#16 John C. Schmidt & Company, Chain Manufacturer in York is founded by a Hall of Fame Industrialist

John Charles Schmidt (1919 Photo from his Hall of Fame article on Page 19 of the November 1st, 1919 issue of the American Artisan and Hardware Record)

John Charles Schmidt (1919 Photo from his Hall of Fame article on Page 19 of the November 1st, 1919 issue of the American Artisan and Hardware Record)

 

Several times a year, the Chicago trade publication American Artisan and Hardware Record selected a Captain of Industry that was profiled in a feature they called Hall of Fame.  John C. Schmidt of York, Pennsylvania, was given the honor in the November 1st, 1919 issue of the publication.  This photo of John Charles Schmidt is from that Hall of Fame article.

In 1899, John C. Schmidt & Company manufactured chains in York, PA.  Even though the name includes “and Company,” John C. Schmidt was the sole owner.  The #16, in the post headline, signifies that in the year 1899, there were only fifteen companies containing a work force of more employees in all of York County.

AAHrecord1919I’ve seen short news blurbs in the American Artisan and Hardware Record about their Hall of Fame Industrialists attending a dinner, in their honor, in Chicago.  I’m not sure if an accompanying dinner applied to all selections, because I could not locate such a news blurb for some of the honorees, including John C. Schmidt; however that may only indicate that these dinners were not always publicized.

The initial paragraphs of the feature on John C. Schmidt delve into metaphors expounding, “Prosperity is within the power of every normal human being.  It is gained and held by work—never by watching the clock.”  The biographical part of the 1919 article follows:

There is no mystery in the success of John C. Schmidt, President of the Schmidt and Ault Paper Company, York, Pennsylvania.  He has earned everything, which he possesses, intellectually as well as financially, by giving full values of thought and work in return.  He was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, March 14, 1859.  While he was still very young, his parents moved to York, Pennsylvania, where he attended a private school and the York Collegiate Institute until 1875.  Subsequently, he traveled with his parents in Europe, and spent one year in school at Stuttgart, Germany.

On his return to America, he took a position with P. A. & S. Small Company, hardware merchants of York, Pennsylvania.  He remained in their employ from 1876 to 1880.  In the latter year he went into the chain business for himself as a manufacturer in York, Pennsylvania, under the firm name of John C. Schmidt and Company.  A few years thereafter he bought out the Keystone Chain Company of York, and operated both plants until 1890, when he consolidated them in a new location in York, Pennsylvania.

In 1899, he was instrumental in the organization of the Standard Chain Company, a combination of thirteen different factories scattered throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada.  He became first president of the Standard Chain Company, and held that position until 1916, when he sold out the entire company to the American Chain Company.

About 1898, he engaged in the manufacture of paper under the name of the Codorus Paper Mills, which was some years later changed into a corporation known as the Schmidt and Ault Paper Company, of which he became and continues to be president.  Since his retirement from the chain business he has devoted himself chiefly to the manufacture and marketing of various kinds of paper.  His main point of contact with the hardware trade is through the making of sheathing paper.

He is a director in the York National Bank, the York Railways Company, and the York Gas Company, all of York, Pennsylvania.  During the war he was active in Red Cross work and served as Chief of the Chain Section of the War Industries Board in Washington, D. C.

By way of hobby, he is a florist and orchardist.  He plays golf well enough to get satisfaction out of it.  His chief pleasure, however, is in the management of his business, because through it he is constantly widening the circle of his friends.  And these he considers a precious form of riches.

Continue reading for more details about John C. Schmidt and his chain businesses.

Continue reading “#16 John C. Schmidt & Company, Chain Manufacturer in York is founded by a Hall of Fame Industrialist” »

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Memories of Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse and the Surrounding Area

1947 Interior Photo of Miller’s Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township (From September 4, 1947 Issue of The Gazette and Daily; in the Newspaper Microfilms at York County Heritage Trust)

1947 Interior Photo of Miller’s Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township (From September 4, 1947 Issue of The Gazette and Daily; in the Newspaper Microfilms at York County Heritage Trust)

This Gazette and Daily photo captures the interior of Miller’s Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township during the beginning of the 1947-1948 school year.  The teacher, Mrs. Erma Daron, normally taught students spanning eight grades in this one room, however this year there are no eighth graders in the class.

Erma1926Mrs. Erma Throne Daron had a very long teaching career, which included many years at Miller’s.  After graduating in the Class of 1926, at the State Normal School in Millersville (now Millersville University), Erma’s first teaching job, during the 1926-1927 school year, was at Miller’s.

This is Erma S. Throne’s Class of 1926 Yearbook Photo.  The photo is from Ancestry.com’s collection of scanned yearbooks; specifically page 68 of the 1926 Touchstone, the Yearbook of the Class of 1926 at the Pennsylvania State Normal School in Millersville, PA.

After her initial year at Miller’s, Erma is moved around to other One-Room Schoolhouses in the Springettsbury Township School District.  Between 1927 and 1935, Erma Throne taught three years at Stony Brook; followed by two years at Glades and three years at Mr. Zion, before returning to Miller’s.  Erma then taught at Miller’s from 1935 to 1951; including her first year of teaching, that is 17 school years as the teacher at Miller’s School.

During 1940, Erma Throne married Franklin H. Daron.  When the One-Room Schoolhouses closed in 1952, Erma Daron continued to teach in the newly formed Central School District.  In a comment to my post on Monday, Jim Fahringer noted, “I knew Mrs. Erma Throne Daron. When I first started to teach in Central School District in 1969, Mrs. Daron was still doing substitute teaching.  Her husband, Frank, actually built the house we lived in.”  Erma’s obituary in 1994 noted that she taught in the Springettsbury Township and Central-York School districts for 44 years.

Erma’s classmates at Millersville in 1926, wrote this about her in the yearbook:

Erm’ who is ever seen with a smile and who is always chatting unceasingly is a true classmate.  Late and early she has a cheery word for everyone, and usually contrives to make everybody feel just a little more cheerful when she is with them.  We are confident that the enthusiasm and the zeal with which she entered upon her work here will assure her success in the role of a teacher—a good teacher.

Comments with your memories of Erma Daron are welcome.

Turk Pierce provided memories of Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse and the surrounding area in the mid-1940s.  When Turk states that he walked down the hill to school, the initial section he traveled is now called Spring Ridge Road.  That road extends up the hill from Ridgewood Road, west of the Alpine Road junction.  The Pierce Family lived in the highest building on that very steep hill.  Here are Turk’s memories:

In 1945 I started first grade at Miller’s School.  The building still stands, as a private residence, on Heindel Road.  (When I attended, Heindel Road came to a T at Concord Road.  The roads have changed quite a bit.)  The teacher was Erma Daron, who lived on Locust Grove Road in Stony Brook.  The school had about 32 students, eight grades and no electricity or running water, just outhouses.  After eight grades, students went to Hellam High School.

On my first day, I remember wearing white shorts.  As I walked down the hill, I joined other children.  The first was Sylvia Wolf, who was six years older and used to baby-sit us.  She was the granddaughter of Mr. And Mrs. Henry Wolf and they lived on Ridgewood Road northwest of the Alpine Road junction.  The house next to theirs, east of Alpine Road, on Ore Bank Road, was home to the Hewitts.  Gary was my age, Janet a year or two younger and Gladys four or five years older.  East of them, up the hill, lived Marlin Miller, he was younger than me, with fiery red hair.

At the bottom of Alpine Road was Preston (Pret) Chronister family.  All younger than me, Audrey was the oldest, then Judy and at least another girl until a boy was born.  In the wintertime Pret would charge people to skate on his frozen pond.  Catty-corner from them was a hermit, Mr. Hauser.  When he died, in the 1970s, I had a chance to go into his house and it was crammed full of junk.  It has been fixed up very nicely now.  A private road ran from Ridgewood Road down to Pleasant Valley Road, and on this road lived the Sterner brothers in two adjacent houses.  Mike and Pat, who I think were cousins, were our playmates.

There were people named Inners and another house on Pleasant Valley Road, which ended at Pleasant Acres Road, now called Arbor Lane, as it dead ends at Route 30.  On the corner a house was built around 1950 and Bill Markey, my age, lived there with his family.  We used to play in the woods across the street; these woods have been torn up for the new Pleasant Valley Road.  On down Pleasant Valley Road was a family named Crowe, with children a little younger than I was; the Flinchbaughs, empty nesters; and the Dietzes.  Ray Dietz was my father’s boss at S. Morgan Smith and he later sold garden tractors and my father helped him with that, also.  He had a machine shop behind his house, which can still be seen from Route 30.  The Dietzes’ son Ray, Jr., built a house just north of his parents’ for his family.

The Bell’s house was taken for Route 30.  Gloria was in eighth grade when I was in first and George was a few years older than I was.  Next to them was the Rubys.  Ruth Ann was my brother’s age.  Then the Ferrees; Carl was my age and my best friend, but we got in trouble for breaking some windows at the Heindels’ tobacco barn.  Freddie Hubley, a little younger, lived next to the Ferrees.  Evelyn Heindel was between my brother and me and we heard recently she was killed in a horseback riding incident when she was in her 20s.  She had a younger brother, I think.

The school also drew from a couple of houses west of Mt. Zion Road.  John Roth, whose father, I think, managed the Meadowbrook Farms, was my age.  Also living in that area, were the Harper girls, Patsy and Mary.  I was between them in age.  The final area from which the school drew was the trailer park behind the Paddock.  I remember two girls who babysat us coming from there, Vivian Witherow and Norma Jean Tew.  Also a Japanese family (Tomasso?) lived there after the war, with Richard and Naomi coming to Miller’s.  Lee Bowman is another trailer park boy I remember.  The oldest boys at the school were Tommy and Clarold Ness, who lived on a farm near the school.  The farmhouse still stands next to the York County Prison.  Tommy was 16 and in second grade and Clarold 14 in fourth grade.  Today they would be special-ed, but Mrs. Daron handled them pretty well.

A correction will be made to the to the early roads drawn as yellow lines, on a 2014 Bing.com aerial photo, in my post on MondayWhen Miller’s was utilized as a schoolhouse, i.e. before 1952, Turk Pierce noted the playground was south of the schoolhouse and the road looped on the north side of the building.  The road was changed to loop around the south side of the schoolhouse, as it does today, after the building became a private residence.

Turk also noted two additional details.  The schoolhouse was surrounded by farmer’s fields on the east and south, and by sort of a jungle to the west, along the creek.  He thought Heindel Road was the north-south road to the T, as it came from Heindel’s farm and asked the question, wasn’t the east-west road, by the schoolhouse, Concord Road?  If anyone can confirm the road names prior to 1952, please comment.

The following photo does not go back to school days, although it is close.  This detail is from an aerial photo taken July 11, 1956 by Dave Allen and is from the Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee Archives.  The view is looking to the northeast; I’ve noted Miller’s Schoolhouse location, surrounded by open fields.

Millers1956

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 17 . . Production . . Part 3

RAILCAR GOLD    Chapter 17 . . . Production   add 2 blanks after GOLD

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 17 . . . Production

RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century.  This is Part 3 of Chapter 17 . . . Production.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.

Continue reading “RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 17 . . Production . . Part 3” »

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Tractor Seat Chair or Modern Art; You Decide

Illustration from United States Patent No. 644,506 (Colorized and Shaded by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Illustration from United States Patent No. 644,506 (Colorized and Shaded by S. H. Smith, 2014)

I happened upon this image while looking for a United States Patent related to a future post.  My first thought, this could easily be a piece of modern art.  I was not surprised that the patentee was from York, PA, because that was one of fields I’d specified in my search.

I’ve colorized and shaded this illustration from United States Patent No. 644,506.  The patent was issued to Walker A. Dromgold, of York, PA, on February 27, 1900.

Header from United States Patent No. 644,506 (United States Patent and Trademark Office)

Header from United States Patent No. 644,506 (United States Patent and Trademark Office)

The Hench & Dromgold Company made agricultural implements in York, PA.  S. Nevin Hench and Walker A. Dromgold were the owners.  Their company was located at the northwest corner of North Hartley Street and the Railroad Tracks.

The seat in the illustration was used in horse drawn agricultural implements produced by Hench & Dromgold, however this is the same basic seat design that later appeared in many early tractors.  Walker A. Dromgold stated in this patent:

This invention relates to improvements in chairs, and particularly to that class known as “park or lawn seats.”  The object of the invention is to produce a chair which will yield to the weight of the occupant.

Furthermore, the object is to produce a chair composed of iron, in which the legs, seat, and back are clamped in place by a single bolt, which arrangement simplifies the construction and makes it comparatively inexpensive.

Futhermore, the object of the invention is to produce a novel form of back in which an upper portion is arranged with a yielding or spring connection attached by the bolt above referred to.

Finally, the object of the invention is to produce a chair of few parts, which will prove strong, durable, and efficient, as well as satisfactory in use.

The drawings page from United States Patent No. 644,506 follows:

DromgoldChair3DromgoldChair4

YorksPast posts of a few York, PA related United States Patents:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse (~1860-1952)

Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township (From Collections of York County Heritage Trust; Photo by Scott W. Knaub in 1941)

Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township (From Collections of York County Heritage Trust; Photo by Scott W. Knaub in 1941)

This is a photo of Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse as it stood along Heindel Road during 1941 in Springettsbury Township.  The photo was taken by Scott W. Knaub and is from the Collections of the York County Heritage Trust.  Following the 1951-1952 school year, it was one of the last five One-Room Schoolhouses that closed in Springettsbury Township.

Students received an education in this schoolhouse from about 1860 to 1952.  Through, and including the 1950-1951 school year; students, spanning eight grades, were taught in this one-room.  During the final year as a schoolhouse, it was used for students spanning grades 1 to 6.

In terms of the present surrounding landmarks, I’ve indicated the location of Miller’s Schoolhouse on the following Bing.com Aerial Photo.  I’ve crossed out Concord Road and Davies Drive, since they did not exist at present locations when Miller’s was a schoolhouse.  The yellow lines indicate the location of early roads in the area.

2014 Bing.com Aerial Photo over a section of Springettsbury Township, York Co., PA (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

2014 Bing.com Aerial Photo over a section of Springettsbury Township, York Co., PA (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

In 1856, a tiny 0.08-acre lot was set-aside at a “T” intersection for a school building.  This lot was distinctively in the middle of a farm lane, on the boundary between John Miller’s and John Stricker’s farms.  Today that building still stands as a private home at 3565 Heindel Road; as seen in the following photo.  It is still uniquely located, as if it was originally placed in the middle of Heindel Road.

Millers2014

I’ve seen various years stated when this building was first utilized as a schoolhouse; among them are 1856, 1860 and 1861.  Since a schoolhouse does not appear at this location on Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, circa 1860 is probably the best way to state the starting year for Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse.

The building ceased being a schoolhouse on September 6, 1952, when the School District of Springettsbury Township sold the building on the 0.08-acre lot to Reginald H. Heindel and Alverta S. Heindel, his wife.  There have been a number of private owners since that time.

Look for my post on Friday for memories of Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse and the surrounding area by a former student.  Continue reading for related posts and a compilation of the teachers that taught at Miller’s:

Continue reading “Miller’s One-Room Schoolhouse (~1860-1952)” »

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Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse named for Preacher David Witmer

Section of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, PA (Present Road Names and Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Section of Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County, PA (Present Road Names and Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse was built in 1889; prior to the 1891 formation of Springettsbury Township from Spring Garden Township.  Township farmer and Mennonite Preacher David Witmer deeded the land for Witmer’s Schoolhouse to the Spring Garden School District for One Dollar.  Offering land for schoolhouses for only one dollar, nearly always resulted in the schoolhouse being named after the benefactor.

I’ve added present road names to Shearer’s 1860 Map of York County.  I’ve also noted the location where Witmer’s Schoolhouse would be built in 1889.  In 1860, if one traveled south from Stony Brook and took the Old Orchard Road “Y” turnoff from Locust Grove Road, one would pass the first Stony Brook One-Room Schoolhouse (1859-1913) in the “Y”, then Elias Witmer’s place and then David Witmer’s place after crossing Stonewood Road.

Witmers1845These are 1845 signatures of David Witmer and Elias Witmer, from Estate Records at the York County Archives.  David and Elias were the administrators of the Estate of their father David Witmer.

The elder David Witmer owned about ninety acres of farmland in the area.  He was a Mennonite preacher, and built the first church of that persuasion in his section; initially known as the Witmer Meeting House.  He continued his preaching all through the region until he passing away in 1843.  His son, David Witmer, continued in his fathers footsteps, preaching and farming.

Elias Witmer died in 1873.  His bother David Witmer continued to add to his farmland acreage, which can be seen by the following Beach Nichols 1876 Map of the same area previously shown in the 1860 Map.  Deed research indicates that not only does David Witmer continue to own his original land east of Stonewood Road, he also now owns significant land between Locust Grove Road and Stonewood Road.

Section of Beach Nichols 1876 Map of York County, PA (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Section of Beach Nichols 1876 Map of York County, PA (Annotations by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Witmers1889In 1889, David Witmer deeds a 100-foot by 50-foot rectangular plot of land along the eastern side of what is now called Stonewood Road to the Spring Garden School District.  When Springettsbury Township was formed in 1891, per Pennsylvania Law, all the school property previously in the Spring Garden School District automatically transferred to the Springettsbury Township School District.

The plot, shown here, is included on York County Deed Book 8L, page 644.  The 18.5 perches equals 0.12-acres.

In 1952, Springettsbury Township sold the Witmer Schoolhouse on the original 0.12-acre rectangular-shaped property to Charles H. Heiges and Mary S. Heiges, his wife.  The Heiges’ already owned some adjoining land, creating an overall 0.53-acre triangular-shaped schoolhouse property, where the schoolhouse sits today.

David Witmer was married to Anna Kauffman in 1837; Anna’s nickname was Nancy.  David and Anna had two children, Magdalena and Susan.  His wife Anna and his daughter Magdalena died prior to David’s death in 1891.

Witmer1891This is David Witmer’s gravestone in Stony Brook Mennonite Cemetery along Stone Ridge Road in Springettsbury Township.  David was born December 16, 1811 and died March 15, 1891.  As the sole survivor, Susan Witmer inherited everything.  Susan kept all of her father’s land and became a landlord; which was her declared occupation in the 1900 United States Census.

Susan Witmer died in 1908; she is buried to the left side of her father in Stony Brook Mennonite Cemetery.  Susan’s estate was extensive, with a long list of people owing her on notes, mortgages, and rent.

The land in the estate was sold in six parcels.  The land closest to Locust Grove Road was sold to John A. Witmer.  The land in the little valley where Stonewood Road runs, south of Old Orchard Road, sold to Mary A. Landis; Witmer’s Schoolhouse is surrounded by northern end of this tract.  The land along Old Orchard Road and east of Stonewood Road was sold to Samuel M. Strickler.  Timberland along Witmer Road was sold to Charles Kauffman.  And two small lots were sold to Joseph D. Loyd and Moses C. Holtzinger.

The following photo shows Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse as it stood in 1941.  This photo was taken by Scott W. Knaub and is from the Collections of the York County Heritage Trust.

Witmers1941

Related posts include:

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 17 . . Production . . Part 2

RAILCAR GOLD    Chapter 17 . . . Production   add 2 blanks after GOLD

RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 17 . . . Production

RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century.  This is Part 2 of Chapter 17 . . . Production.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.

Continue reading “RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 17 . . Production . . Part 2” »

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#17 Celestino, Costello & Company; Top Cigar Manufacturer in York during 1899

The Round-Up, Cigar Crate label from Celestino, Costello & Company, York, PA (from S. H. Smith Collections)

The Round-Up, Cigar Crate label from Celestino, Costello & Company, York, PA (from S. H. Smith Collections)

In my count down of the 50 top factories in York County at the end of 19th Century, there are 12 cigar factories represented.  Celestino, Costello & Company is the eleventh cigar related manufacturer that I’ve written about thus far, in counting down the top 50.  This company has the distinction of being the top cigar manufacturer in the City of York during 1899.  Round-Up was one of their popular cigar brands.  The Cigar Crate Label is for 10,000 Round-Up Cigars from Celestino, Costello & Company.

Compared to Celestino, Costello & Company, only one other cigar factory in York County had more employees during 1899.  Do any of my readers care to guess where this factory, that made cigars and also cigar boxes, was located within York County?  I’ve already had readers guess, Dover, Red Lion & Dallastown, none of which are the correct answer in 1899.

In Polk’s 1899 York City Directory, Celestino, Costello & Company is located at 209 North Beaver Street in York.  Edwin Myers and John C. Eimerbrink are listed as the owners of this company that year.  I’ve used blue shading to pinpoint the 209 North Beaver Street location on the 1903 Atlas of York, PA; the Cigar Factory housing Celestino, Costello & Company is just north of the York County Academy.

1903 Atlas of York, PA, by Fred’k B. Roe (Section of Plate 8 with Shading and Annotation by S. H. Smith, 2014)

1903 Atlas of York, PA, by Fred’k B. Roe (Section of Plate 8 with Shading and Annotation by S. H. Smith, 2014)

Edwin Myers attended the York County Academy.  He organized several small-scale tobacco and cigar manufacturing businesses immediately following completion of his schooling.  At the age of 29, Edwin convinced several others to join him on a grander scale in 1873, with the establishment of Myers, Adams & Company.

Edwin Myers was president of this company from its inception in 1873 until his death in 1916.  The other principles in the company, at various times, included: Samuel I. Adams, Oscar Reinach and John C. Eimerbrink.

At the outset, Myers, Adams & Company bought and sold leaf tobacco; i.e. a wholesale leaf tobacco business.  The business was initially located on the southwest corner of North Beaver and North Streets; a rail spur ran to their tobacco warehouse.  This Leaf Tobacco Warehouse is located at the top of the 1903 Atlas illustration and is shown in the following 1893 photo.

Myers, Adams & Company Leaf Tobacco Warehouse in 1893 (This is a zoomed-in view of the background building in a 1893 Variety Iron Works photo in the collections of the York County Heritage Trust)

Myers, Adams & Company Leaf Tobacco Warehouse in 1893 (This is a zoomed-in view of the background building in a 1893 Variety Iron Works photo in the collections of the York County Heritage Trust)

Celestino Costello & Company was organized concurrently for the manufacture of cigars.  The initial location of the Cigar Factory may have been in the Warehouse, however cigar manufacturing soon moved to the 209 North Beaver Street building.  Celestino Costello & Company operated as a division of Myers, Adams & Company.  As the cigar manufacturing part of the business grew, the Warehouse was used less for their wholesale leaf tobacco business and more for supplying their own cigar production operations.

Edwin B. Myers was heavily involved in four cigar related businesses, plus was Vice President of York Valley Lime Company.  In addition, Edwin was on the Board of Directors of the City Bank of York, the York Water Company and York Telephone.  Edwin having been a founding board member of the York Telephone Company.

This is the same Edwin Myers that made extensive modifications to a farmhouse in Springettsbury Township in 1901, creating the Meadowbrook Mansion in the Georgian Revival style.  This mansion presently stands as Christmas Tree Hill along Whiteford Road.  Edwin used the Mansion as his summer residence through 1915.  One of Edwin’s other businesses previously appeared in the top 50; here are the related posts:

Continue reading for more illustrations and additional details about Celestino Costello & Company.

Continue reading “#17 Celestino, Costello & Company; Top Cigar Manufacturer in York during 1899” »

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Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse (1889-1952)

Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township (S. H. Smith Photo, 2014)

Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse in Springettsbury Township (S. H. Smith Photo, 2014)

This is a photo of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse as it stands today along Stonewood Road.  Following the 1951-1952 school year, it was one of the last five One-Room Schoolhouses that closed in Springettsbury Township.

Several years ago, when Nick Kocoronis acquired the property, the building was over grown with vegetation and in need of repairs.  Nick did a great job in restoring the schoolhouse to its former grandeur, as is evident in this recent photo.

Students received an education in this schoolhouse from 1889 to 1952.  Through, and including the 1945-1946 school year; students, spanning eight grades, were taught in this one-room.  During the 1946-47, 1947-48 and 1948-49 school years, students, spanning grades 5 to 8, were taught in this schoolhouse.  The remaining years, until the school closed in spring of 1952, students in grade 4 and higher were taught in this One-Room Schoolhouse.

The following photo shows the interior of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse in 1949.  This photo is from the collections of the York County Heritage Trust; it is part of The Gazette & Daily photo collection held by the Trust.  As a schoolhouse, Witmer’s never had electricity and relied upon the coal stove in the middle of the room for heating.

1949 interior of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse (York County Heritage Trust)

1949 interior of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse (York County Heritage Trust)

Based upon research at the York County Recorder of Deeds, the School District of Springettsbury Township sold the Witmer Schoolhouse on the original 0.12-acre rectangular-shaped property to Charles H. Heiges and Mary S. Heiges, his wife, on September 6, 1952.  The Heiges’ already owned some adjoining land, creating an overall 0.53-acre triangular-shaped schoolhouse property.

Herbert W. Stone planned on purchasing the 0.53-acre schoolhouse property per his April 11, 1957 plan for an adjacent development of Woodstone Court.  Had the Heiges’ sold the schoolhouse property to Herbert Stone, the schoolhouse likely would have been torn down to create a half-acre lot for a modern home.  Instead, the Heiges’ sold the schoolhouse on the 0.53-acre property to Donald R. Fritz and Kathryn E. Fritz, his wife, on July 11, 1958.  Herbert W. Stone’s revised plan for his Woodstone Court development went ahead, without the inclusion of the schoolhouse property.

Donald and Kathryn initially operated businesses in the schoolhouse; Donald, a Copy Shop, and Kathryn, a Dress Shop.  From about the early 1970s and onward, the schoolhouse was rented out, primarily as storage space.  For many years, Todd Witmer used the schoohouse to store supplies for his ServiceMaster Cleaning business.

Donald R. Fritz died December 25, 2007 and Kathryn E. Fritz died December 15, 2009.  Kathryn’s Estate sold the Witmer Schoolhouse on the 0.53-acre triangular-shaped property at auction.  The owner of the neighboring property, Nick Kocoronis became next owner of Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse on May 14, 2010; and was responsible for restoring the schoolhouse to its former grandeur.

I’m going to check if Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse qualifies to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Look for my post on Friday for additional details about the earliest history of the school.

Continue reading for related posts and a compilation of the teachers that taught at Witmer’s:

Continue reading “Witmer’s One-Room Schoolhouse (1889-1952)” »

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Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during June 2014

Stats2014Jun

YorksPast started with a post on July 26, 2012, with about 30 views per day during the initial months.  This chart shows the growth of YorksPast readership in recent months; thanks to my ever-growing legion of loyal readers!

At the beginning of every month, I’m sharing with my readers the top 10 posts from the previous month.  You’re continuing to catch up on reading the past installments of my historical novel, that I post every Thursday; 29 of the top 50 post views were installments of Railcar Gold.  These are your favorites during June 2014:

Yt55York-Lancaster Inter-County Bridge at dusk with Original Lights

The ugly cobra lights are gone.  Their hideous orangish-yellow illumination is replaced with a pleasing blanket of white light from the 1930s style lantern lights.  I also summarize the Bridge Names; official and otherwise.

Yt56Clock Trickery in Columbia; connection to Steam Into History in New Freedom

One can’t help but think that a wall painting in The National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia as surreptitiously advertising the Steam Into History train that runs between New Freedom and points north in Southern York County.  Congratulations to Steam Into History on beginning your second year of operation.

Yt57End of May, over Ten-Feet of Ice at Lockport along Susquehanna in York County; Connection to Apollo Moon Mission

Before the building of the Safe Harbor Dam in 1931, Lockport was located at rivers edge.  The Safe Harbor Dam is the second dam at this site.  Lockport is now under the Apollo County Park edge of Lake Clarke, however Lockport still appears on current topographic maps.

Yt58Readers Choose Top 10 Posts during May 2014

In early June, I shared this top 10 list; i.e. the posts with the most page views from my loyal readers, during May 2014.

Yt59Springettsbury Township closed their last five One-Room Schoolhouses in 1952

About 200 Springettsbury Township students received One-Room Schoolhouse education during the 1951-1952 school year.  When the Springettsbury Township School opened in the fall of 1952, the last five One-Room Schoolhouses, in the township, closed.

Yt60Pennsylvania Governor Wolf on the cover of the Directory of the Teachers and School Directors of York County

Why is Pennsylvania Governor George Wolf on the cover of the 1933-1934 Directory of the Teachers and School Directors of York County?  The simple answer is in observance of the 100th Anniversary of the Common School Law in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf’s backing of the unpopular measure led to the establishment of publicly financed grade-school education throughout Pennsylvania.

Yt61Stony Brook One-Room Schoolhouse (1913-1952)

I utilize Directories of the Teachers and School Directors of York County to compile a list of most of the Stony Brook teachers that taught in this One-Room Schoolhouse located at 101 Locust Grove Road in Springettsbury Township.

Yt62Locations of five One-Room Schoolhouses that closed in 1952; and The Avalong Connection

In this post, I show the location of the last five One-Room Schoolhouses that closed in 1952.  I also pinpoint the location where the Springettsbury Township School was built and point out the Avalong connection to the school.

Yt63Governor Wolf’s profound impact on York County

Yorker Tom Wolf is running for Governor.  One hundred and eighty-five years ago, Pennsylvania had its first Governor Wolf.  It was Pennsylvania Governor George Wolf who brokered a deal with the Pennsylvania Legislature to approve a charter leading to the first railroad into York County.  This deal was required because the first York County rail connection was with Baltimore, Maryland instead of a Philadelphia connection preferred by the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Yt64Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

Reading the Headlines is an always-up-to-date, quick index to all YorksPast Posts that was suggested by a reader.

Reading the HEADLINES; A Quick Index to ALL YorksPast Posts

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