EVANS CITY AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Evans City, Pennsylvania

Newsletter

NEWSLETTER APRIL 2017

EVANS CITY AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

204C South Jackson Street                             Evans City, PA 16033

                                    724-538-3629                                     

                E-mail address: evanscityhistory@gmail.com                   

Web site: www.evanscityhistory.com

 

 OUR APRIL MEETING IS OUR ANNUAL DINNER MEETINGDATE:  MONDAY, APRIL 24; TIME 6:30

The meeting will be held at the VFW Hall on North Washington Street. We will be treated to a sit-down dinner served by the VFW Auxiliary. Our program will be presented by Brad Pflug who will talk about the 1843 murders of the Wigton family by Sam Mohawk at the Old Stone House, Slippery Rock. Brad is a teacher at Knoch High School. There, among other classes, he teaches one about Local History.

DINNER MENU ON LAST PAGE

**  Our meetings are free and open to any and all who are interested in history, both  local and area wide

Please mark date and time on your calendar and enjoy an evening with us.

 

WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS:

Lois Anderson; Cliff and Jeanne Graham; Richard Lipp; Carol & Eugene Polite

 

OUR THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR MONETARY DONATION

Reid & Emiko Banyay; R. Troy & Beverly Barclay;  Nan Barton;  Matthew Beahm;  Patricia English;

 Barbara Etter;  Don Frishkorn;  Cliff & Jeanne Graham;  Roland Herb;  Mary Howard;  Ariel & Shirley Kelly;  Jim & Carol Larkin;    Adeline Liken;  Janice & Karen Marburger; Kinsey/Volz Funeral Home;  Linda Andrew Marshall;  Dean & MaryBelle McMillen;  Virginia Morgan;  Carol Morrison;  Carol & Eugene Polite;  Chalmers Richardson;  Rita Schoeffel;  Janet Shaffer; Lewis Sowell,  Revs. Ken & Karen Thompson;  Elvera Wahl;  Shirley & Dayne Wahl;  Ruth Walker

 

OUR SYMPATHY to Mary Harger Scheidemantle Howard and her family on the unexcepted death of her oldest son, John on February 21 at her apartment. Mary resides at 2001 W. Rudasill Road, Apt #3303, Tuscon AZ 85704-7833

OUR SYMPATHY to the family of Shirley Hoffman Wise who passed away on March 14.

OUR SYMPATHY to the family of Gladys Adamczyk who passed away February 7.Gladys was residing in Salem, Virginia, near her son.   Gladys was a long time member of the Society having served in many capacities including that of president. She was buried next to her husband Frank in the Evans City Cemetery

 

IN MEMORY OF Flora Dally by Ron West Agency

IN MEMORY OF Florence and Edward Wahl by Beverly and Troy Barkley

IN MEMORY OF Paul and Flora Dally by Larry and Karen Martino

 

OUR  FEBRUARY MEETING about local one-room schools was to a full house where many interesting facts and stories were presented. Among them was that a person could attend a 9 week session at Slippery Rock Normal School and be ready to teach in the fall term. Being interested, I  went to the internet and looked up History of Slippery Rock Normal School and learned this surprising information.”Normal schools were developed as the earliest means by which women were able to attend school to get an education. The institutions established classroom standards or ‘norms’ for how teachers should educate and what students should be taught. Normal schools gave women the opportunity to be salary earners and be independent….A number of these women were also ‘nontraditional students’ who were already teaching , but later decided to get an education… In spite of what was said about normal schools, these women worked hard and wanted to expand their horizons.” Slippery rock Normal School was established in the mid 1890’s

I was surprised that apparently only women attended and that one could begin to teach as young as age 16. Nothing was mentioned about having a high school education. Was high school only a two year program back then? If anyone has more information about this era of teaching, please let us know.  Rita Schoeffel

;MILITARY BANNERS Dean Zinkhann reports he has 245 military banners to hang this spring.  It is not too late to order a banner. Dean can be contacted at 724-538-9121 for more information.

 

PRESERVING A BIT OF HISTORY

 Old Route 68 east of Evans City is not a very busy road. If you were leisurely traveling along it and had all the time in the world to look around you probably still would have missed the unusual stone pieces in the corner to the right just after you crossed Buhl Bridge and the railroad tracks. But Beverly and Troy Barkley knew they were there and what they really were. So did  Betty Westerman. Beginning in September 2016 they decided to do something about them. They got some machinery to start  carefully pulling and digging away dirt around the stones and bit by bit a small building and steps began to appear. More work  and the building emerged as a small spring house and the steps leading down to it. Much more work was involved to make sure  run-off water would be drained away from the site and it would not fill in with soil and silt in future years. By November the project to unearth the Buhl/Wahl spring was completed.

The Barkleys gave the museum a small picture album

of the work as it progressed along with this

 information

:                  A Brief History of the Spring

The ‘headstone’ at the Spring is engraved but not dated

  In Remembrance of Fred Buhl and Lou Wahl

 

Mary Christine Buhl, who married Ausmus Wahl, had the spring house built.in memory Fred Buhl, her father, who died in 1925  and Lou Wahl, her son. Lou died in 1927,  a young man, from a cerebral hemmoragh. It is believed she had the springhouse built between 1927 and 1939. The springhouse was already there in 1939 when the property was bought by Alfred Stach and his mother, Mary Louise Stach. The property was sold to them by Mary C. Wahl”

Part of the following was taken from several Histories of Butler County. Most was from a report written by Geraldine Walker Cashdollar , March 27, 1989.

 

JOSEPH  ASH , HIS DESCENDANTS & HIS FARM. Among the earliest families to settle in Forward Township was that of Joseph Ash. Born in 1771 in Kentucky, his life was short but full of adventures and hazardous escapes. As a young boy he was captured by Indians along with a brother, his mother and.another child. He remained with the Indians for two years, during which time his mother and the child were killed. Before he and his brother were released, the Indians split their ears, perhaps to show they had been in captivity or as a sign of identification. He then made his way from Kentucky, through Westmoreland County and to Western Pennsylvania. At this time he was employed to carry mail part of the way between Fort Pitt and Old Stone House; his mail bag being his coon skin hat. . By 1803 he had married Sarah Powell and he and his bride settled in Forward Township on a 212 acre tract of fertile bottom land and built a log cabin. Here they would raise a family of two boys and two girls until tragedy struck in July 1811. Joseph was seriously injured when a tree he was cutting fell on him. Sixteen days later he was dead. His body was buried on the farm and remained there until 1893 when it was removed to the newly established Evans City Cemetery. Joseph left the farm to his two sons, Isaac and Sylvester. In 1827 the sons finally received a deed to the farm. In 1847 Isaac released his share in the farm to Sylvester. Sylvester apparently was not only a farmer, but a carpenter and a business man. He had added 52 acres to the farm and owned property in Evans City. In 1831 he contracted to build a bridge across Breakneck Creek opposite the Boggs home. Sylvester Ash married Martha Boggs and their family would consist of four sons and one daughter. The youngest son, J. Anderson Ash would inherit 200+ acres of his father’s the farm and in 1876 he would marry Mary Elizabeth Textor. It is possible he met Mary, called Lizzie, at a social since he played the fiddle for square dances all around the area. (Some years later his granddaughter, Myra Davidson picked up his fiddle and learned to play it. Apparently Myra was a talented musician because when she went to Grove City College it did not take her long to earn a seat in the orchestra. This fiddle is still in the possession of the Davidson family) J. Anderson and Lizzie’s family consisted of four daughters, Edna, Myra, Nellie and Mary. Myra married Harold Maitland, Mary became a registered nurse and died from a mastoid infection she contacted at Columbia University in New York City where she was furthering her education.  Nellie never married  and would eventually inherit the  J. Anderson Ash farm. Edna, the oldest daughter, was educated at Slippery Rock Normal School and married Harold Davidson. They had a family of two sons and five daughters. One of the daughters, also named Nellie after her aunt Nellie Ash, married Richard Walker and they became the parents of Geraldine Walker Cashdollar, the creator of the wall hanging.

 

THE FARM

The Log House was built in 1803 by Joseph Ash. It would be the homestead of generations of descendants until the still standing farm house was built.

The Farmhouse - J. Anderson Ash built the farmhouse on the opposite side of the road from the log house and moved into it 1889. Over the years the house was remodeled; 1927 saw indoor plumbing added. An indoor bathroom and small bedroom became part of the house The basement was only partially cemented. The area that was a ground floor was cool and contained bins for vegetables and fruits. The cemented area was separate and contained a room for a furnace and a coal bin. Ducts only led to the first floor; the second floor depended upon the heat rising. The other area contained shelves for home canned jars of fruits and vegetables.

The Cisterns -.Two large cisterns were at the outside of the kitchen and caught rainwater which was the source of water in the house for many years. About 1935 Richard Walker wired the house for electricity and plumbed the house so that water came from the spring house which was a better and safer source of drinking water.

The Summer Kitchen  set immediately behind the house and contained two rooms and screened in porch. It was connected to the house by a covered walkway. Summer cooking, canning and eating was done here to keep the main house cool and clean. Running water, sink and gas stove were part of the summer kitchen. A  spigot was located on the outside  so workers could wash their hands and faces before coming to eat. The screened porch provided a resting area during hot summer days.

 The Spring House was an important part of the farm buildings. It provided refrigeration for everything perishable, It contained a deep spring which had been preserved by stone walls, two troughs which had shallow water and in which crocks were set so their contents could be kept cool. This spring never went dry.           Crabs could be seen at night working in the bottom. As a result the purity of the water was never questioned and it supplied the water for the main house. Water was carried from the spring house to the wash house.

The Wash House  contained a huge fireplace over which an iron kettle hung. Water was heated here. There was a hot plate on which was a copper  wash boiler. On wash days this sat boiling with the extra dirty clothes. Nearby was the Pig Pen, a large structure with a yard in the back so the pigs could be either in or out It was kept very clean and like all the buildings (except the barn, tools shed and corn crib) was painted white. Also standing beside the wash house was the Privy – the outdoor toilet. In this cluster of buildings stood a Smokehouse for the preservation of meats.

The Sheep Shed was a large two story building. Sheep were important for keeping untilled land clean from becoming overgrown. An added bonus was they could be used for food and their wool could be sold. J. A. Ash was involved with the breeding of a special strain of black faced sheep.

 

MY IMPERIAL RINGLET BARRED ROCK PLYMOUTH ROCKS

                             are elegant this years, having farm range

                      THEY ARE MODELS IN EVERY WAY

                        Cockerel and Pullet mating stock for sale

                                       Eggs for hatching

                        J. A. Ash           RFD 3              Evans City, PA

 

 

The Chicken Coop & Yard  housed  the highly prized and advertised IMPERIAL RINGLET BARRED PLYMOUTH ROCKS raised by  J.A. Ash.

 

A garden was near this chicken coop

 

The Forward Grange cook book ran the following ad seen to the right: 

 

 

Then we come to the Tool Shed with both a front and back door. All buildings in this area were connected by a walk way. A Corn Crib sat on one side  and a second garden on the other. Here was a third Cistern with a hand pump which provided water for the hired helpers house and also for the barn needs .The Barn was a two story bank-barn . Horses, cows, cats could be found on the lower first floor while the second floor contained the hay mows and granary. Because it was a bank barn, hay wagon and other machinery could easily enter the top floor.. The Wagon Shed was also a two story structure and housed farm machinery and wagons – later automobiles - on the first floor. The second floor was a repair shop and storage area.

The Small Cottage was originally built for the hired man and his family. The first recorded family to live in this cottage was that of Hugh Wallace in the 1880 census. This cottage contained a small kitchen with a dry sink, dining room, living room, and two bedrooms. A pot-bellied stove stood in the dining room for heat. There was an outside toilet and a chicken coop for the hired man to keep chickens, plus his own garden area. He also received butter and milk in addition to his wages.

The Orchard contained mainly prune plum trees but there also were apple, pear and cherry trees. One huge hickory nut tree stood in the middle of the largest cultivated field . Many of the fruits were canned but some were also dried in the oven of the wood burning kitchen stove. As late as 1934 this stove was still in use.

The Ash farm was a self contained compound with all necessities being produced right on the farm.

Also on the farm were 9 oil wells in operations by 1900,  J. A. Ash having signed an oil and gas lease with T. W Phillips on August 23, 1888 .(For many farm families, this was a wind fall. Many used this extra money to build a farm house. J. A. Ash built his in 1889). When J. A. Ash was 40 years old he fell from the roof of a barn he was helping to build and broke his hip. It never healed properly and for the remainder of his life he would use either a cane or crutch. He died in 1930; his wife ‘Lizzie’ died in 1934. The farm passed to his two daughters – Edna Davidson and Nellie Ash. Edna died in 1958 and the farm was sold shortly after that. Nellie moved into Evans City. The farm today is the Reddi-Green Turf Farm. All of the buildings are now gone with the exception of the 1889 farm house. It was the fond memories and recollection of this farm and its buildings that led Geri to design and stitch her wall hanging.

Unsure if you have paid your dues, ask yourself, ”Did I get a 2017 membership card?” We try to mail out the cards within one week of receiving dues. No card? Dues probably unpaid.

 

2017 MEMBERSHIP DUES                       EVANS CITY AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

            Individual.....$10.00                                                               Student..... $2.00

            Husband & Wife..... $18.00                                                     Patron..... $100.00

            Family (children under 18)..... $25.00                                    Benefactor.....$250.00

Name:                                                                                      Phone  number:                                              

Address:                                                                                                                                                         

City:                                                                                  State:                       Zip                                       

(Optional) – email address:                                                                                                                           

(Optional) I’d like to add this additional donation: for the Historical Society                                              

Enclosed is a check made payable to Evans City Area Historical Society for                                 

Please forward this form and check to:

Evans City Area Historical Society   204 C. S. Jackson St., Evans City, PA  16033

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Any donation you make is both tax deductible.and very much appreciated.

 

 

 

DINNER MEETING RESERVATION                               RESERVATIONS MUST BE IN BY APRIL 18

 

** Once again we will hold our annual dinner meeting at the VFW on North Washington Street. We will have the dining room all to ourselves that evening. The entrance to the dining room is easily accessible by a side door on the north side of the building. The price is $12.00 per person.

MENU

Choice of Stuffed Baked Pork Chop

 or Stuffed Baked Chicken Breast

Baked Potato with Sour Cream & Butter

Green Beans

Salad with choice of dressing -  Rolls & Butter;

Coffee, Hot Tea, Iced Tea, Water

Cake from Costco

 

Name _________________________________________ Please circle choice   Pork Chop  or  Chicken Breast

Name _________________________________________ Please circle choice   Pork Chop  or  Chicken Breast

 

Enclosed is a check made payable to Evans City Area Historical Society for                                 

Please forward this information and check to:

Evans City Area Historical Society   204 C. S. Jackson St., Evans City, PA  16033

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