This week in local history: Wreath making, lost graveyard, Kennedy assassination and bear hunt make early 1960s news


Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com



Making wreaths in December, 1961 at the Waverly Community House, from left, first row, Mesdames John S. Davidson, Joseph Bunnell, Edwin Warren, Richard Yates, Major Lee White, Jr. and Joseph Sproul. Second row, Mrs. Herbert T. Axford, Miss Sally Gearhart, Mesdames Joseph White, Samuel B. Samter, J.D. Reifsnyder, George V. Gerber, Hamilton Winslow, Leigh Woehling, Wade Swingle, Jack Aydelotte, Floyd Truesdale, Joseph Janisko and Mrs. David G. Davis.


Abington Journal file photos

Tim Mooney and David Griffiths discover in 1962 the old Hall Family Cemetery from the 1800’s, located somewhere north of Abington Road between Clarks Green and Chinchilla.


Abington Journal file photos

Mrs. Charles Hetzel, of Clarks Summit gun in hand, stands with a bear she brought down the last day of bear season in 1964.


Abington Journal file photos

1961 — In a tradition that continues to this day, Waverly women gathered to make Christmas wreaths at the Waverly Community House (Comm). Mrs. (Mary) J. Donald Reifsnyder instructed the group in creating wreaths from a large pile of greens. Today, Reifsnyder’s granddaughter, Abby Peck, of Waverly continues the tradition.

1962 — Two Abington youths, Tim Mooney and David Griffiths, did some detective work in their spare time to find a lost graveyard, the Hall Family Cemetery. They found it north of the Abington Road between Clarks Green and Chinchilla. Of the existing slabs with distinguishable dates at the time, some went as far back as 1812.

“The two boys related how a group of young adventurers spent a holiday from school looking through the woods searching for the burial ground,” read the Journal article. “After finding the Hall Cemetery, they continued their excursion to an adjoining locality known as the ‘Forgotten Village.’ While investigating there, they were driven away by squatters and beat a hasty retreat. After this incident, a number of adventurers were discouraged from further explorations.”

Some of the names in the cemetery include Henry Hall, Horace Johnson, William Phillips and Joseph Moore. Although many of the epitaphs are nearly impossible to read, one cryptically states that the interred hung herself.

1963 — Less than a month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, the Journal ran the following poem, titled “The Death of a President,” by Kathleen Mackey.

As crowds cheered on that fatal day,

And all was going well,

A shot rang out, then two, then three,

And struck, our leader fell.

Everyone shocked, everyone still,

Knowing not what to say,

Quietly looked to the heavens above,

And ever so silently prayed.

It was understood he would not live,

And as time sped on it told,

That a darkened nation had been bereaved,

Of a kind and gentle soul.

The only thing we could give,

For all the world to see,

Was a dedication fond and dear,

A lasting memory.

Flags were flown at mid-way mast,

The hour filled with sorrow,

People could not comprehend,

What would come tomorrow.

But tomorrow came and with it,

Grief beyond compare,

Along with a widow and children,

Sadness a nation shared.

In the midst of a country he’d served so well,

He lay in quiet state,

Receiving farewells for the last,

In his final resting place.

His funeral was of glory,

His grave like those of fame,

But one thing was of difference,

There burned a lasting flame.

A spark of love ever endless,

A light that will never cease,

But signifying his greatest hope,

A wish of lasting peace.

Guns were fired in honor,

Then taps was sadly played,

And the flag that covered his coffin,

Was folded as people prayed.

He is dead now, but life must go on.

And our hearts again will mend,

But over his people his sentinel keeps,

For his term will never end.

Yes! They caught the man who took his life,

But he met his death too,

So what can we say? Where can we turn?

And however will we prove,

It’s times like these when we must be strong,

And keep our thoughts as true,

And the hearts of Americans whom he gave his life,

For he gave it to me and you.

1964 — Mrs. Charles Hetzel, of Clarks Summit, brought down her first kill of anything larger than small game: a black bear. She bagged the animal on Nov. 28, the last day of bear season, and a photograph of her with the carcass was printed on the front page of the Journal a couple weeks later.

Making wreaths in December, 1961 at the Waverly Community House, from left, first row, Mesdames John S. Davidson, Joseph Bunnell, Edwin Warren, Richard Yates, Major Lee White, Jr. and Joseph Sproul. Second row, Mrs. Herbert T. Axford, Miss Sally Gearhart, Mesdames Joseph White, Samuel B. Samter, J.D. Reifsnyder, George V. Gerber, Hamilton Winslow, Leigh Woehling, Wade Swingle, Jack Aydelotte, Floyd Truesdale, Joseph Janisko and Mrs. David G. Davis.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_ABJ-LH-1216-1961.jpgMaking wreaths in December, 1961 at the Waverly Community House, from left, first row, Mesdames John S. Davidson, Joseph Bunnell, Edwin Warren, Richard Yates, Major Lee White, Jr. and Joseph Sproul. Second row, Mrs. Herbert T. Axford, Miss Sally Gearhart, Mesdames Joseph White, Samuel B. Samter, J.D. Reifsnyder, George V. Gerber, Hamilton Winslow, Leigh Woehling, Wade Swingle, Jack Aydelotte, Floyd Truesdale, Joseph Janisko and Mrs. David G. Davis. Abington Journal file photos

Tim Mooney and David Griffiths discover in 1962 the old Hall Family Cemetery from the 1800’s, located somewhere north of Abington Road between Clarks Green and Chinchilla.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_ABJ-LH-1216-1962.jpgTim Mooney and David Griffiths discover in 1962 the old Hall Family Cemetery from the 1800’s, located somewhere north of Abington Road between Clarks Green and Chinchilla. Abington Journal file photos

Mrs. Charles Hetzel, of Clarks Summit gun in hand, stands with a bear she brought down the last day of bear season in 1964.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_ABJ-LH-1216-1964.jpgMrs. Charles Hetzel, of Clarks Summit gun in hand, stands with a bear she brought down the last day of bear season in 1964. Abington Journal file photos

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

comments powered by Disqus