Main News
County Living
Church Announcements
Dated Events
Military News
Subscribe to the Transcript

Look For Our
Up Coming

Featured In
The August 3rd
Issue Of The
County Transcript

Please visit our kind sponsors

Issue Home July 19, 2005 Site Home

100 Years Ago
Along the Way...With P. Jay

From the Desk of the D.A.
Straight From Starrucca
The Healthy Geezer

100 Years Ago

SPRINGVILLE: Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Hibbard and daughter, Ella, of Toronto, Kansas, are visiting relatives in this vicinity. Mr. Hibbard is a native of Springville and this is his first visit home since going to Kansas 34 years ago. He has done well in the cattle business and speaks highly of his adopted state.

QUAKER LAKE: A team of horses owned by B. J. Barney, a hotel keeper at Quaker Lake, ran away, in Binghamton, Monday evening. Two ladies were in the carriage, but escaped with only a scare. The frightened animals were stopped by a street car conductor.

SILVER LAKE: In the afternoon of July 10th, a severe thunder storm caused considerable damage to the telephones. The instrument at Rose brothers’ was struck by lightning and set on fire, burning the fuse. All communication was stopped with the central and local, except at Laurel Lake. All the surrounding ‘phones fared badly.

FRANKLIN FORKS: F. M. Peirson, who learned his trade with S. E. Newton, of Montrose, has lately gone into business for himself at his home here. Mr. Peirson is occupying the Simeon Stilwell building and is doing a general wagon repair business, such as iron and wood work, painting, etc., and is meeting with good patronage. AND: E. P. Munger has just received, from the Stock Farm of W. M. Lantz, Monroe, N. J., a registered Dutch Belted Bull--Gold Dust Boy. Mr. Munger’s herd of Dutch Belts has been notable at our Fairs and a pleasing sight when grazing on his large pasture. This is the fourth registered bull he has bought.

MONTROSE: Tuesday noon, Dr. C. D. Mackey met with an accident, which luckily did not result seriously. He had just returned from a call and jumping from the carriage left the horses standing alone for a moment. He had scarcely turned, however, when they started to run and the doctor leaped to their heads, grasping the reins near the bits. After a short run, one of the animals kicked and a portion of the harness becoming unfastened, he was thrown under their hoofs and the carriage passed over him. His right arm was dislocated and he was bruised to some extent, but fortunately escaped permanent injury.

STEVENS POINT: A wreck occurred Sunday. Twelve cars went down an embankment, and brakeman Edward McMahon, of Susquehanna, although buried in the debris, escaped uninjured. The Carbondale flyer was delayed two hours, while the wreck was being cleared away.

FOREST CITY: John Thomas, a fireman on the Ontario & Western railroad, was burned to death, Tuesday evening, in a caboose, which caught fire after being wrecked at Forest City. Members of the train crew saw Thomas but were unable to do anything to save him. On his way home to Mayfield, Thomas got into the caboose of a train, running south, and soon fell asleep. At Forest City the train was delayed and while standing on the main track an engine crashed into the caboose, wrecking it and setting it on fire. Thomas was pinned under the wreckage and could not be taken out before the flames had burned him to death. The engine, which crashed into the caboose, was in charge of Engineer Doherty and was running at a high rate of speed. Doherty thought the track was clear and did not see the caboose ahead until he dashed around a sharp curve and too late to avoid the crash. When he saw that a collision was inevitable he and his firemen escaped by jumping. The engine, caboose and several cars were smashed and the rails torn up for some distance.

SUSQUEHANNA: Quite a number of Montrosers came over Saturday to witness the game between the Montrose and Susquehanna baseball teams. They bore the defeat of their club without flinching. AND: During a quarrel here Saturday night, between a unionist, named Frazier, and non-unionist, named Brensley, both of whom were under the influence of liquor, the latter pulled a revolver and J. M. Kelly, an Erie engineer of Susquehanna, who was standing by watching the affair, received a bullet in the cheek, but it was not a serious wound. Both combatants were placed under arrest.

NORTH BRIDGEWATER: Grant Gunn, a prominent lawyer of Everett, Washington, is visiting his parents in this place.

OAKLEY, Harford Twp.: During the hard thunder shower on Monday of last week the wind blew down C. M. Tiffany’s wind mill, besides doing other damage.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Chas. Burr’s hen roost was visited one night last week and relieved of some hens. R. Turrell also missed some milk cans.

DIMOCK: Milk is 71 cents a can at the Dimock station and is getting scarce at that. AND: During a rain storm lightning struck the large steeple on the M. E. Church, tearing it to pieces and also tearing the shingles off the roof and then ran down the chimney and tore up the carpet on the first floor. AND: Preston Maryott has gone West to spend the remainder of his days with his children.

HOPBOTTOM: Wm. Chapin and Jacob Kemmerer, of Scranton, have been granted a franchise to construct a system of water works and it is expected that work on same will be commenced soon. Under the contract the town has the free use of water for eight fire hydrants. Also, the right to purchase the water works at any time within five years at a 10 % advance over cost of construction, interest, &c. The plant is to be in operation by Jan. 1, 1906.

FLYNN: Our new stage driver is making splendid time on the route and gives good satisfaction.

RUSHBORO: Our creamery recently shipped a ton of butter at one shipment. AND: Hull, the huckleberrier, was here Saturday morning and sold fine berries for 10 cents a quart.

NEWS BRIEF:“In The Shade of the Old Apple Tree” is becoming as popular with the whistlers as were “Bluebell,” “Hiawatha” and “Navajo,” in their palmist days. AND: If this warm, dusty period continues, it will be necessary to get the “water wagon” out and sprinkle the streets.

Back to Top


Along the Way...With P. Jay

Our Man Godfrey

October 1, 1950

General Douglas MacArthur called on North Koreans to turn in their arms which they refused to do and his military mission was to pursue them and round them up.

Dick Sisler hit a home run off Dodger Don Newcombe in the 10th inning and the Whiz Kids from Philadelphia won the Phillies’ first pennant in 35 years.

All About Eve was the strong box-office attraction at theaters across the country and was nominated for 14 awards, most ever by a motion picture. It won six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (George Sanders), and Best Director (Joseph L. Mankiewicz).

And, in Clifford Township, Susquehanna County, residents and visitors were gearing up for their own history-making event.

Thanks to the efforts of people like Duane Johnson, who owned the Carbondale-Clifford Airport, Bob Wallis and Jack Grace, the highlight of the annual Air Show at the airport was the arrival of Arthur Godfrey, of radio fame and later regarded as one of the more important on-air stars of the first decade of television.

On his weekly talent scout show, Godfrey made stars of such entertainers as Frank Parker, Marion Marlowe, Julius LaRosa, LuAnn Simms, The McGuire Sisters, Lenny Bruce, Carmel Quinn, Pat Boone, and Patsy Cline.

Besides his own talent of strumming a mean ukulele, Godfrey was an accomplished pilot. When Johnson, Wallis and Grace were helping the Carbondale Jaycees with the Air Show plans, they got the idea to ask Godfrey if he would fly to Clifford in his DC-3 and make an appearance at the show. A letter and a trip to Leesburg, VA, to visit Godfrey is all it took to convince him and his flight into Susquehanna County was arranged.

The 1950 Air Show attracted one of the largest crowds ever at the airport. Besides Godfrey, who made a perfect three-point landing at the airport in his twin-engine DC-3, an air queen was selected and a bat wing parachutist did some daring jumps.

Duane Johnson started building the airport in 1947. He secured a GI loan to finance the project but much of the work he did himself along with Bob Wallis and Jack Grace. As near as can be determined, the airport was finished in 1949 and at one time the runway was paved.

I had an interesting chat with Sandi Mowry, one of Duane Johnson’s seven children, who lives in the 200-year-old Johnson homestead near the airport. Sandi had not been born when Arthur Godfrey flew into her father’s airport but she has a lot of memorabilia and photographs taken way back when. And why not? Among the services her father provided was outstanding aerial photography; an air ambulance for life-flighting and bringing deceased residents and former residents home for burial; and charter passenger service.

At one time, Mrs. Johnson, who passed away in 1999, provided a fly-in breakfast for hungry pilots some of who had Ultra-Lites housed at the airport. She also maintained a hot dog stand at the airport when members of the Pennsylvania National Guard trained there.

In August of 1977, tragedy struck the Johnson family when Duane Johnson was killed in a plane crash. Today his son Don maintains the airport and it is used primarily by Don and a couple of area pilots. There is no more commercial activity.

Mrs. Mowry said the family carved the Johnson estate into individual parcels and some members of the family bought out other members and the 225 acres has been divided into four parcels. However, she quickly dismissed talk that the airport might be swallowed up by development of sorts.

“My brother made certain that the airport itself is totally intact,” she said.

While Arthur Godfrey’s appearance in Clifford contributed to the huge success of the Air Show, on Nov. 4, 1927, Colonel Charles Lindbergh, described as “world’s ace aviator” landed in a farmyard near St. Joseph’s in the western corner of Susquehanna County some 12 miles from Montrose.

Col. Lindbergh was forced down by a low ceiling that hampered his visibility and had him concerned about striking the hills in the foggy atmosphere. The colonel’s flying companion, Major Thomas A. Lanphier also landed in a farmyard a couple of miles from Lindbergh. The Colonel was flying a Curtis single-seat biplane.

Back to Top


From the Desk of the D.A.

On January 14, 1988, the body of James Scanlon was found in a bar that he ran in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Scanlon had been repeatedly stabbed (16 times around the neck), beaten with a blunt object, had his face cut repeatedly with a piece of broken glass, and eventually his body was set on fire. Ronald Rompilla was charged with the murder and the Commonwealth gave notice that it intended to seek the death penalty. The defendant was convicted of the murder, and the jury concluded that the Commonwealth had demonstrated that there were aggravating factors warranting the imposition of the death penalty, namely, (1) the murder had been committed during the commission of another felony; (2) Rompilla had tortured the victim prior to the killing; and (3) Rompilla had a significant prior history of violent felonies. Rompilla was sentenced to death.

Seventeen years later, the United States Supreme Court has spoken – and reversed the death sentence. Although the Pennsylvania courts had all reviewed Rompilla’s convictions, and had determined that Rompilla’s rights had been protected, the Supreme Court, in a decision authored by Justice Souter, disagreed, and concluded that Rompilla had been denied effective assistance of counsel in that his public defenders had failed to present any meaningful mitigation evidence to the jury in an attempt to avoid the imposition of the death penalty.

In particular, the defense counsel failed to review a prior court file containing one of Rompilla’s many convictions. The case file itself was dated 1974, more than 14 years prior to the murder of Scanlon, and involved a burglary and rape conviction. “Rompilla's parents were both severe alcoholics who drank constantly. His mother drank during her pregnancy with Rompilla, and he and his brothers eventually developed serious drinking problems. His father, who had a vicious temper, frequently beat Rompilla's mother, leaving her bruised and black-eyed, and bragged about his cheating on her. His parents fought violently, and on at least one occasion his mother stabbed his father. He was abused by his father who beat him when he was young with his hands, fists, leather straps, belts and sticks. All of the children lived in terror. There were no expressions of parental love, affection or approval. Instead, he was subjected to yelling and verbal abuse. His father locked Rompilla and his brother, Richard in a small wire mesh dog pen that was filthy and excrement filled. He had an isolated background, and was not allowed to visit other children or to speak to anyone on the phone. They had no indoor plumbing in the house, he slept in the attic with no heat, and the children were not given clothes and attended school in rags.” If the jury had considered this evidence, Souter believed that such evidence may have mitigated against the imposition of the death penalty, and essentially outweighed the evidence of Rompilla’s prior violent history and his use of torture.

In their dissent, Justices Kennedy, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas noted that the court was placing an impossible burden upon defense counsel – to read through every single piece of paper in every prior criminal file of a particular defendant. In this case, as noted by the dissent, neither Rompilla nor his family members ever mentioned any of this alleged abuse to defense counsel as a potential mitigation to the horrendous nature of the crime. The dissenters noted that the Pennsylvania courts had all determined that counsel had acted effectively and reasonably – and there was nothing in the record to suggest that the information in the 1974 case file regarding Rompilla’s difficult upbringing would have been sufficient to deter the jury from imposing the death penalty. The dissenters were concerned not only with the reversal of a 17-year old state court sentence, but also with the seemingly impossible standard that the court was placing upon defense counsel.

The Rompilla decision was a 5-4 decision that highlights the difficulty with any death penalty case – namely the finality of the decision is always subject to constant review, and, as in Rompilla, 17 years after the murder of their loved one, Scanlon’s family now must face all of the painful memories again because the Commonwealth was left with only one decision – retry the case to again seek the death penalty or stipulate to a sentence of life imprisonment. Rompilla also demonstrates how important one justice on a nine member court can be – Justice O’Connor was again the swing vote in the decision as she joined in the 5-justice majority. As Justice O’Connor leaves her position, the power and immediate influence of her replacement should be staggering.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801.

Back to Top


Straight From Starrucca

Brittany Glover, daughter of Mark and Sherri Glover, Mishawna and Micaela Hargett, daughters of Julie Rhone Hargett have won a place on the “All Star Softball Team” located in Susquehanna. Dean Rhone is coach.

Another good dinner, or I should say, lawn supper will be served Thursday, July 21 in the Baptist Church social rooms by the Baptist Ladies.

We are so grateful that the square dance was well attended. There were seven sets on the floor at one time. Round dancing and polkas draw a big crowd also. Coming next –

The first will be a “bluegrass” performance on Saturday, July 23 from 7 to 9 p.m. The performers will be Gene Clayton and “Spare Parts.” Then, square dance buffs, there will be one on Saturday, August 20 from 7 to 11 p.m. The callers will be Ray and Carol Rockwell of “Just Us.” The proceeds of these events will support projects in Starrucca which benefit all its citizens.

Tracy and Scott Fisher (living in Baptist parsonage) are rejoicing over the birth of their first grandchild. A hefty young fellow named Kaleb was born June 10, weighing seven pounds, ten ounces at Wilson Hospital. The delighted parents are Felicia and Carl Shimer of Susquehanna. Congratulations. Felicia is the daughter of the Fishers.

The lady I talked about last week at the surprise birthday party was Joy Mead, who celebrated her sixtieth birthday. Sorry, Joy!

Kevin Gardner is scheduled to come home this weekend, the 16th and 17th of July for a trial “at home” stay. If successful he will come home to stay shortly afterward. Kevin had a serious operation at Binghamton General two months ago and is anxious to come home.

Always glad to hear from the Piercy family.

Grandma and Grandpa Vanore came up from Ridgewood, NJ to join in the July 4 festivities and watch the grandchildren, Caitlin, Natalie and Harrison perform with the Saber Marching Band in the Thompson parade.

July 2 was the annual pig roast and party at the Williams family home in Starrucca. The Piercys were invited and enjoyed swimming, eating roast pig and listening to karaoke singing from the guests and Williams family members, especially Greg. Later, fireworks were enjoyed when the sun went down.

July 3 the Piercy family spent a wonderful day at Bigelow Lake in Pleasant Mount. Family from Philadelphia, Forest City, Glen Rock and Ridgewood, NJ gathered to celebrate. First on the schedule was work. The level on Bigelow Lake had risen so high between the hurricanes in the fall and the flood in March that many of the docks on the lake were lifted up and left their moorings to float several feet away. The Piercy dock is made of heavy-duty, treated lumber. It took ten pairs of hands just to lift the dock up on one side, forcing the decision to put it back down and use levers and boards to push it back to its original footings. This was accomplished and not one of the 20 hands or 20 feet were injured.

July 4, the Piercys had a cookout and enjoyed the evening with Loreda and Paul Everett, Trish and Robert Weldy, the Shuler family and Grandma and Grampa Vanore. They all enjoyed a bonfire and fireworks. They were surprised to hear the booming and lighting up of the sky towards Thompson, where the fire company was celebrating the Fourth and freedom four miles away.


Back to Top


The Healthy Geezer

Q. Do liver spots have anything at all to do with the liver?

No. This is a common question and a great starting point for a column about all those doohickeys that grow on our skin as we age.

LIVER SPOTS: The official name for liver or age spots is “lentigines” from the Latin for “lentil.” These are flat, brown with rounded edges and are larger than freckles. They are not dangerous.

KERATOSES—Seborrheic keratoses are brown or black raised spots, or wart-like growths that appear to be stuck to the skin. They are harmless. Actinic keratoses are thick, warty, rough, reddish growths. They may be a precursor to skin cancer.

CHERRY ANGIOMAS—These are small, bright-red raised bumps created by dilated blood vessels. They occur in more than 85 percent of seniors, usually on the trunk. These are also not dangerous.

TELANGIECTASIA—These are dilated facial blood vessels.

SKIN TAGS—These are bits of skin that project outward. They may be smooth or irregular, flesh colored or more deeply pigmented. They can either be raised above the surrounding skin or have a stalk so that the tag hangs from the skin. They are benign.

Now we get into the cancers of the skin.

SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMAS—These are in the outer layers of the skin. They are closely associated with aging. These are capable of spreading to other organs. They are small, firm, reddened nodules or flat growths. They may also be cone-shaped. Their surfaces may be scaly or crusted.

BASAL CELL CARCINOMAS—These are the most common of the skin cancers. They develop in the basal layer below the surface of the skin. Basal cell carcinomas seldom spread to other parts of the body. They usually appear as small, shiny bumps or pinpoint, red bleeding areas on the head, face, nose, neck or chest.

MELANOMAS—The melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanomas can spread to other organs and can be fatal. They usually appear as dark brown or black mole-like growths with irregular borders and variable colors. They usually arise in a pre-existing mole or other pigmented lesion.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. About half of all Americans who live to 65 will have skin cancer. Although anyone can get skin cancer, the risk is greatest for people who have fair skin.

Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. All skin cancers can be cured if they are treated before they spread. The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, especially a new growth or a sore that doesn’t heal.

Check your skin often. Look for changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of birthmarks, moles, and spots. And don’t be reluctant to go to a doctor whenever you see anything on your skin that you suspect might be a problem. Dermatologists recommend that, if you are a fair-skinned senior, you should get a full-body skin exam once a year. This kind of check-up isn’t a bad idea for any senior.

If you have a question, please write to

Back to Top


News  |  Living  |  Sports  |  Schools  |  Churches  |  Ads  |  Events
Military  |  Columns  |  Ed/Op  |  Obits  | Archive  |  Subscribe