Archive for December 18th, 2009

Curious Wreath

December 18, 2009

CURIOUS WREATH

A wreath is exhibited at a fair in Gloucester, Mass., this Christmas week, that is composed of the hair of one hundred different residents of that town, none of whom is under seventy years of age, while ten of them are over ninety, and one of them is a centenarian. The lady who made it is fifty, and has been four years about it.

The Adams Sentinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jan 5, 1864

Prayer and Our Founding Fathers

December 18, 2009

This is from 1888. I had no idea this argument had been going on for so long:

HISTORICAL FACTS.

Showing That the Founders of Our Government Were God-Fearing and Praying Men.

It seems as easy to believe bad things about a body of men, as it is to believe them about one man. Indeed, it is somewhat easier. For, if there is even a small portion of charity in our make-up, we will exercise it in favor of one whom we are afraid to slander, whereas we will receive and repeat the same story about a congregation, a convention, or a congress without fear or qualm. And if it is a body of dead men, their reputations are absolutely at our mercy. The classic exhortation, to speak nothing about the dead but praise, is rarely heeded after the first burst of post-mortem eulogy.

It is quite the custom for instance, to think and say that the members of the Continental Congress were not devout men, that they had no regard for prayer as an aid to their deliberations, that they did not take God into the account in discussing the measures and results of the revolution. This is an offense to all believers in a gracious Providence, and it is also a foul libel on the political fathers.

We are gratified, therefore, to note that the learned Judge Bacon, of Utica, N.Y., in a recent historical paper of great general value, has corrected this false and unjust estimate of the Continental Congress. He shows how, on the 7th of September, 1774, when the real business of the body was to begin, a formal request was made for an opening prayer by Rev. Mr. Duche and that gentleman was thanked by resolution for his “excellent” services.

This is more consideration than some modern assemblies show to the divine who invoke God’s blessing on their deliberations. Afterward that same Congress, at ten different times, appointed days for fasting and thanksgiving. The last order of that kind was voted late in October, 1781, when December 15 was declared a day for thanksgiving and prayer on account of Cornwallis’ final overthrow.

When that order was entered, a further evidence of devotion was given by Congress going in a body to the Dutch Lutheran church in Philadelphia, there “to return thanks to Almighty God for crowning the allied armies of the United States and France with success, by the surrender of the whole British army under the command of the Earl Cornwallis.”

Now let the reader call these historic facts to mind, the next time he hears it said that the founders of our Government were not God-fearing men; or that the foundations of the Republic were not laid in prayer.

Interior.

Spirit Lake Beacon (Spirit Lake, Iowa) Sep 14, 1888

More on the First Prayer in Congress HERE

*Note: I am not affiliated with the above website, I just ran across it when looking for an image and noticed they had more on this topic.

A Huntingdon Co., PA Centenarian

December 18, 2009

NATIVE OF COUNTY 100 YEARS TODAY

Mrs. Beigle of Altoona Born Sept. 17, 1834, In Franklin Twp.

A native Huntingdon countian today became a centenarian.

Jane Elizabeth Beigle, the widow of Abram Irwin, a highly respected citizen of Bellwood, was born in Franklin township, Huntingdon county, September 17, 1834, and hence today is 100 years old. She is in excellent health and retains the use of all her faculties except that of sight which has been failing of late years. She is contented and happy and never tires of telling how good and kind God has been to her during all her life. She is a living exemplification of the promise to the godly.

Her parents were William and Margaret Beigle. She was married in 1884. Her husband died Sept. 6, 1920, and she now makes her home with her grandson, Avery Irvin, at Bellwood.

No special celebration marks the occasion today. The W.C.T.U. met with her this afternoon for a short service. Relatives and friends also called to extend felicitations.
She received her early education in the public schools of Huntingdon county and at Bucknell university, Lewisburg, where she was graduated in 1857.

A studious nature and a love for children especially fitted her for school teaching, so she began her life work in that profession at a little country school at Spruce Creek, where she spent several winter.

Then, a more difficult place at Warriors Mark awaited her where she taught the following five years. About this time, during the closing period of the Civil war, a great need had sprung up in the south for teachers to work among the freed Negroes, and she at once offered her services to the American Baptist mission board and was accepted and sent to Murfreesboro, Tenn.

After three years of hard work and endurance of the intense heat, she contracted yellow fever. This made it necessary for her to come home for a short period of rest and recuperation, but she again returned to her duties, this time being sent to Columbus, Ga., and later into Alabama. The entire amount of her teaching work in the south covered a period of twenty years.

Besides being a school teacher, she was an enthusiastic church and Sunday school worker, having a class in the church school as long as she was able to attend.

Baptized into membership of the Logan Valley Baptist church in Bellwood on April 10, 1853, by Rev. A.K. Bell, she has “kept the faith” for more than eighty years.

She is also an interested and devoted member of the Women’s Christian Temperance union, being the oldest member in Blair county, the organization which is today celebrating its fiftieth anniversary.

Daily News (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania) Sep 17, 1934

NATIVE OF COUNTY DIES AT AGE OF 101

Mrs. Jane E. Irwin, Bellwood, Oldest Alumna of Bucknell

Mrs. Jane Elizabeth Beigle Irwin, a native of Huntingdon county and one of the states oldest residents, passed away at the home of her grandson, Avery Irwin, in Bellwood, on Friday forenoon, December 27, at 11:10 o’clock. Mrs. Irwin observed her 101 st birthday anniversary on September 17, 1935…..

[The rest of the obituary repeated much of what is in the above article.]

Daily News (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania) Dec 28, 1935

About her husband, Abram Irwin and his family:

Twentieth Century History of Altoona and Blair County,
Pennsylvania, and Representative Citizens
Sell, Jesse C.Chicago, IL: Richmond-Arnold,
1911, pp. 559-561. [Posted on Ancestry.com]

ABRAM R. IRWIN, who has been a resident of Bellwood, Pa., since 1875, was for forty years engaged in farming in Blair County, Pa. He was born on what is now the Wentzell farm below Hensheystown, Pa., March 9, 1832, a son of Daniel and Catherine (Crain) Irwin, and is a direct descendant of one Jared Irwin, who came from Ireland about the time of the advent of William Penn. It is said that Jared Irwin bought the land of Penn, where Philadelphia now stands, and the family branched out to various parts of the country, many becoming prominent and useful citizens. Jared Irwin married into the royal Stuart family and had a family before coming to this country. One Jared Irwin became second governor of the state of Georgia, and the branch from which our subject’s family sprang, settled in the vicinity of York, Pa. The grandfather of our subject was named Jared, as also was his great grandfather. The name seems to occur in all branches of the family, indicating that the Irwins in all this country generally are descendants of this original Jared Irwin.

Jared Irwin, grandfather of our subject, lived in Huntingdon County, Pa.
Daniel Irwin, father of Abram R., was born in Huntingdon County, Pa.,
and was for some years located in the vicinity of Tyrone. About 1833 he
bought the farm now owned by the heirs of Frank Irwin, and resided in Gospel Hollow until the time of his death at the age of sixty-eight years. He was survived some years by his widow, who in maiden life was Catherine Crain.

Daniel and Catherine Crain reared the following children: Belinda, now deceased, who married Abram McCartney; Adie Crain Irwin, deceased: Evaline, deceased, who married Joseph Adlum; John, deceased; and Abram R., who is the only survivor.

Abram R. Irwin was reared on the homestead and attended the common
schools of the township. He began working on the farm at a very early age,
and was glad to be allowed twenty-five cents a year to attend the review in
Sinking Valley. He ultimately received a part of the home farm retiring in
1875, and moving to Bellwood, where he bought four or five lots on First Street and built a home. He then entered the employ of the Bell’s Gap
Railroad, and worked as rodman in laying out the roads from Lloydsville to
Coalport. He later ran on the road for some time as baggage master, being
with the company some ten or fifteen years. In 1881 Mr. Irwin bought a square of land and built his present home on the corner of Third and Martin streets. He also has three other houses and several lots left, and a son of his also owns six lots of this square.

On January 17, 1854, Mr. Irwin married Betanna S. Hileman, who was born
near Frankstown and died February 1, 1874. They had the following children:  Howard, born November 16, 1854, who lives in Depew, N.Y.; Isadora Blanche, born December 13, 1856, who is the widow of John Mingle and lives in Sinking Valley; Harry Hudson, born October 8, 1858, who lives on the home farm, in which his father still has an interest; Jessie Kate, born March 17, 1861, who married James Campbell, of Bellwood; George Brinton McClellan, born June 20, 1863, who lives in Gadsden, Alabama; Rose Leslie, born October 20, 1867, who is the wife of William Stafford and resides near Davenport, Iowa; Fred Bennett, born October 30, 1869, who lives near Davenport, Iowa; Hester Bell, born March 22, 1872, and now deceased, who was the wife of Clyde Greenland; Rebecca Hileman, born October 22, 1873, who married Harry Laird of Bellwood.

Mr. Irwin formed a second matrimonial union with Catherine Gwin, who is now deceased. On October 23, 1884 he was united in marriage with Jane Elizabeth Beigle, who was born September 17, 1835 in Franklin County, Pa. Mrs. Irwin is highly educated and was for about twenty years engaged in missionary work in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. She belongs to the Baptist church, Mr. Irwin being a member of the Presbyterian church.  The latter has charge of the Logan Valley Cemetery, serving as secretary.  he was for many years a Democrat but votes independently, voting for the man rather than for the party, and other things being equal, favoring prohibition candidates.