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Issue Home February 28, 2007 Site Home

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

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

100 Years Ago

KINGSLEY: The Kingsley Hotel is famous as a place for fine meals and the traveler is always glad to stop there. This house has been newly papered and painted and presents a very wholesome and neat appearance.

CARSON, Nevada: Thomas J. Tennant, who is said to have written more of Nevada’s laws than any other man living, a historian miner and ex-state senator, was discovered dying of heart disease on the basement floor in the state capitol building at Carson, by lieutenant governor Don S. Dickerson. Governor Sparks was called, but when the chief executive arrived, Mr. Tennant was dead. The report of the death on the street caused gloom to settle on the city and flags were hung at half-mast. The deceased was one of the best-known and best-informed men in the state of Nevada. He was a fine parliamentarian, had a good knowledge of the state and was one of the pioneers who passed through the first boom days. Mr. Tennant was born in Susquehanna Co., this state, on January 1, 1837, and went to Nevada, settling at Hamilton, White Pine county, in the early 50’s. He served three terms as treasurer of that county and also represented it in the state legislature. He is survived by three brothers, Julian, of Tirzah, Pa., Judson, of Jackson, Pa., and Derrayne, of Red Cloud, Nev.

LANESBORO: Saturday afternoon, while Myron Foote was hauling ties with his horse from the side of the tracks on the banks of the Susquehanna river, the horse slipped and fell down the embankment, pulling Mr. Foote with him. They landed on the ice some 50 ft. below. The horse’s neck was found to be broken and Mr. Foote received serious bruises. If his son, Floyd, had not been there to call help, he probably would have frozen to death.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Erie-D & H “crossover” on the Jefferson division, some two miles from Susquehanna, was the scene of a bad wreck on Saturday afternoon, both engines of Erie No. 121 and D & H No. 2 being derailed with several cars. The D & H train was late and accordingly was supposed to wait at the crossover for the Erie train to pass, but owing to some mistake was standing on the crossover when 121, running at about 30 miles an hour, came around a sharp curve. Engineer Wood, of the Erie train, applied the air and had the speed of his train reduced sufficiently to avoid a fatal crash, but the two trains came together with sufficient force to derail both engines and smash the D & H baggage car. A number of the passengers of No. 121 were badly shaken up, while the crew of the D & H engine were also hurt.

MARYALL, Bradford Co.: The A. J. Elliott homestead, at Merryall, three miles from Wyalusing, was, with most of its contents, destroyed by fire on Sunday last, the origin of the fire being a defective chimney. It was a large farm house built by Hon. John Elliott about 80 years ago, the site being near that of a log house erected by Joseph Elliott in 1794. Joseph, the father of John, was one of the few who escaped from the Wyoming massacre, not many years after which event he removed to Merryall, being one of the first settlers in the valley of the Wyalusing creek. The house burned was on the main road nearly opposite the Merryall cemetery and but a few rods from the old Presbyterian church, originally organized in 1793. It was occupied by the family--widow and children of the late A. J. Elliott.

GELATT: Mrs. Geo. Hine is getting out lumber and will erect a number of cottages on the shores of Reilly Lake next summer.

NEW MILFORD: One of the most enjoyable church functions of the winter was held on Washington’s Birthday, when the Philathea class of the Presbyterian church served a colonial dinner in the parlors of the church. The rooms and tables were attractively decorated with flags and bunting, while pictures of George and Martha were conspicuous. Arthur Hawley impersonated the first president and Mrs. Delia Smith, Mrs. Washington. About 100 guests were present, each of whom were presented with a souvenir hatchet.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: Guy Wells, one of the best-known residents of this section died Feb. 20, 1907, after but a day or two of illness. Mr. Wells was one of the best blacksmiths and mechanics of his day but on account of old age has been living quietly on his farm near Watrous corners, on the road between Montrose and Brooklyn, for several years. He had charge of all the iron work in building the jail, about 1870, and also the Bradford county jail, at Towanda, working with Avery Frink, the contractor in both instances. His body was laid to rest in the Newton cemetery in Brooklyn beside that of his wife, who died several years ago. He is survived by one son, D. O. Wells.

GREAT BEND/HALLSTEAD: The people on both sides of the river are pleased because Wm. Knoeller has been awarded the contract to build the new school building in Hallstead.

LATHROP: Homer Johnson, a son of Elmer Johnson, of Lathrop, a young man about 21 years old, has been hauling milk to the creamery at Hop Bottom for some time past. On Thursday he stayed around here until nearly night, when he left for home. At a late hour his family became alarmed and started out in search of the missing man. His team was found out in a field with Johnson unconscious. The lines were frozen fast to the man’s hand and had to be cut before the team could be driven. The man’s hands and arms were frozen, as was his feet and legs to above the knees. Little hopes are entertained of saving his life. Johnson was unmarried. [Homer survived and on the 1910 census he is married, with one child.]

THOMPSON: Leon Hallstead, of the firm of Burns & Hallstead, running a meat market here, gave shelter for a few days to a crippled base ball player. Friday morning last, said tramp relieved his hostess of sixty dollars and took the Flyer for parts unknown. AND The Flyer ran into the engine of the Saratoga at the Jefferson Junction Saturday afternoon, causing a delay of a few hours and a general shaking up of the passengers on the Flyer, among whom was J. D. Miller, Esq., of this place.

BROOKLYN: There were many surprises in the result of the recent election. The town is a strong Republican town, but with a few exceptions, the entire Democratic ticket was elected and the question whether to bond the town and build the section of State road, from Lathrop town line to a point north of the village, was carried to build the road and it is expected that work will be commenced in the Spring. This is part of the proposed State road to be built from the State line to Scranton, and it is expected that road will connect Binghamton and Scranton via. Franklin Forks, Montrose, Brooklyn, etc.

HARFORD: The Central house had 26 guests for supper, Thursday night. Mr. and Mrs. Seaman are ideals as hosts and hostess and keep a splendid house. The viands are always of the best and everything about the place is cleanly and neat as wax.

MIDDLETOWN: Middletown Grange held a very interesting meeting Saturday evening, Feb. 22. The principal feature was a debate on the question “Resolved that the horse is more useful to mankind than the cow?” From the arguments given the judges decided that the cow was more useful.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Equal Opportunity For All

I have a great deal of respect for most attorneys and they certainly deserve a lot of credit for sticking it out for what is it, six or seven years before they are officially licensed to practice law? And even then they must pass a pretty rigid bar exam before they can hang up a shingle.

So when I see someone write a letter to the editor challenging the amount of time lawyers have to devote to government, be it municipal, county, state or federal, I kind of wonder how much the author of such a letter really knows about any form of government.

Don’t get me wrong! I know some lawyers who are genuine blockheads and I know some who are – move over Archie – meatheads. But they are in the minority and in my years of dealing with attorneys as an elected official and as a journalist, I found that most of them know the law or where to get the right information about it.

If this gentleman would bother to take a look, I think he would find that most of our legislators in state and federal government are attorneys. I know it was that way when I was a reporter covering the State House in Trenton, NJ. And I have no reason to think it has changed that much. New faces, of course, but most have law degrees. Why is that? All I can conclude is that most attorneys have more time because they usually have a sizeable office staff to take care of the daily routines while they focus on the cases where the bucks can be earned.

Look around you Mr. Letter Writer and you will see that, besides the big bucks they are paid for defending a client in a court of law, attorneys also do a lot of what is known as Pro Bono or free legal work. And they are often tapped by a judge to represent an indigent defendant who is entitled to legal counsel by law. And then, of course, if they come from a large family, they wind up representing brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and cousins they didn't know existed until one of them is in need of a lawyer. And how can you bill your Mom’s sister or your Dad’s cousin twice-removed?

So, along comes an attorney who has been representing municipalities in a variety of ways and feels the experience he got from it might help the county to better understand the plight of a small town elected official. And this particular attorney also has been the county solicitor for 10 years and certainly he has a pretty good working knowledge of county government. And didn't an attorney run for county commissioner in the last commissioner’s election? The answer is yes.

My friends, one of the many nice things about living in the USA is our rights. We can like or dislike whomever we want and we don’t have to give a rhyme or reason for our thinking. And, as much as I may disagree with Mr. Letter Writer’s evaluation of the attorney running for commissioner, I certainly would not deny him his constitutional right to express his opinion in print.

You know, perhaps it is time we modified the meaning of the word practice. How many times have we heard someone say, “That doctor has been practicing medicine for years. You would think by this time he would have it down pat.” Or, “That lawyer has been practicing law for years and he still has to go to the law library for information.” And before we get off this know-it-all paragraph, let me tell you that I know a lot of doctors and lawyers who burn the midnight oil catching up on changes in medical and legal procedures.

Personally, I think it is commendable that lawyers like Kathie Shelly and Mike Giangrieco are willing to devote time to help improve the county. And whether you concur with their political beliefs or not is of no consequence. It is their constitutional right to seek elective office just as it is the right of a farmer or a factory worker. Didn't we elect a peanut farmer as president a few years back? And isn't Jimmy Carter the same president who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002? From peanut farmer to president of these United States to a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Only in America!

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

I have been told by a number of persons that there are rumors floating around about the new county DUI Task Force. The purpose of this column is two-fold. First, I would like to dispel the myths that seem to be surrounding the Task Force. Second, I would like to give credit to those who assisted in its creation. I am astounded that the DUI Task Force has caused such a stir and protestations, and I am reminded of the words of Queen Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

First, I have repeatedly heard from numerous sources that some people are complaining that the Task Force will be targeting bars, pubs and taverns. I have no idea as to the genesis of this rumor, but it is categorically false. The Task Force constitutes a roving patrol that will be given a large geographic segment of the county to cover over an 8-hour shift. While the patrol will occasionally be stationary, there is no intent to target any particular establishments, businesses, or eateries. It is a DUI Task Force – it will target drunk drivers, not bars and restaurants. There is no logical basis to conclude that a roving DUI-patrol is a concerted effort to target drinking establishments. It is shameful that some persons are willing to equate an effort to make our roadways safe with a governmental attempt to destroy private business.

Second, I have been told that some people are angry about the increased law enforcement presence in the county. This anger apparently stems from the irresponsible belief that they can safely operate a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. One person actually said that he takes the dirt roads home, so his driving is safe and should not be a concern. In the last 18 months, Susquehanna County has seen four persons die at the hands of drunk drivers, and two of the fatal accidents occurred on dirt roads. In one of the fatal accidents, a family member of one of the defendants told me that a few weeks prior to the accident the defendant told her that he was careful when he drove drunk because he drove only on the dirt roads. Obviously, this mentality is not only ridiculous, but it may prove fatal.

Third, as to the funding, the program has been implemented without the use of taxpayer dollars. The patrol vehicle was purchased through law enforcement funds that were generated through the seizure of monies from defendants in criminal proceedings. The wages for the patrol officers will be covered through certain costs and fees that are paid by criminal defendants in the course of their supervision. Finally, the salary for the Task Force Coordinator has been covered by the Susquehanna County Drug & Alcohol Commission, which transferred $25,000 to Susquehanna County for the program. The $25,000 represents monies that have been paid to the Commission over the years by convicted drunk drivers in the form of costs imposed by the court as part of any sentence. I gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance and support that the Drug & Alcohol Commission has given to this innovative project. There are no county tax dollars being utilized for the DUI Task Force. Moreover, in case you were wondering, the municipal officers will also be conducting drug investigations, which will be funded through monies received from the state. In short, there are no county tax dollars being directly used in connection with the task force activities.

As with Queen Gertrude, I fear that these protestations are revealing of a darker issue, namely the permissive public attitude that continues to surround intoxicated drivers. This is a national phenomenon, and it is said that for every drunk driver arrested, there are another 2,000 that avoided detection. In reality, a single eight-hour DUI patrol over an entire weekend will not be able to stop every intoxicated driver. But it just may make a few people change their bad habits, and, if this happens, it is already a success.

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

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I’m from an Italian-American family and we seem to have a predisposition for gallstones. Is this something people of my ethnic background get more often?

I could find no evidence that people with an Italian background get more gallstones than others. However, Native Americans have an inclination for this malady; they have the highest rate of gallstones in the United States.

There is a bunch of other risk factors. People over age 60 are more likely to develop gallstones than younger people. Women between 20 and 60 years of age are twice as likely to develop gallstones as men. Other factors include obesity, excess estrogen, cholesterol-lowering drugs, diabetes, rapid weight loss, and fasting.

The gallbladder is a blue-green organ, about three inches long on the underside of the liver. The liver produces bile in a diluted form, which is then stored and concentrated in the gallbladder. The bile is then secreted from the gallbladder into the small intestine where it aids digestion.

You can live without a gallbladder. After it is removed, bile flows out of the liver through ducts into the small intestine. However, because the bile isn't stored in the gallbladder, it flows into the small intestine more frequently.

Bile is made up of fatty substances such as cholesterol. When excessive amounts of fat are present, stones can form. The stones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. About 90% of gallstones are composed of cholesterol.

Gallstones can block the normal flow of bile. A blockage can cause inflammation.

If the blockage persists, it can damage organs and be fatal.

Symptoms of gallstones often present themselves suddenly. If you have a gallstone “attack,” you can suffer pain in the upper abdomen, between the shoulder blades, and under the right shoulder. An attack, which often comes after a fatty meal, can last from a half-hour to several hours.

Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, indigestion, abdominal bloating, and recurring intolerance of fatty foods.

You should get to a doctor immediately if you have an attack with chills, fever, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, and clay-colored stools.

About 80 percent of people with gallstones have no symptoms. They have what are called 'silent stones' that don't need treatment.

Gallstones are usually treated by removing the gallbladder. This surgery is called a “cholecystectomy.” In traditional surgery, the gallbladder is removed through an abdominal incision up to eight inches long. However, the most common method today employs a laparoscope, a thin tube with a scope on the end of it.

The laparoscope is inserted through a small incision below the navel. The surgeon can see inside with the scope. The other surgical tools are inserted in three other small incisions in your abdomen. The gallbladder is removed through one of these cuts.

Abdominal ultrasound is considered the safest and simplest of the tests for gallstones. Sonar waves from a probe are passed over the abdomen to detect the presence of stones.

If you have a question, please write to


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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

Last Friday, I had an accident going to school after the significant amount of snowfall. Fortunately, no one was injured, but my car was severely damaged. So now, Cindy and I have to resort to riding the good ole bus. I realized today that Mark Swartz has been the bus driver since I was in kindergarten. I hope Mark knows that his bus-driving career is well appreciated by his riders; especially, ones that wreck her car. Keep up the great work!

Unfortunately, I have to report an error in last week’s column. Roger and Naomi Getter did not travel to Florida with her sisters Gale Williams and Joyce Medlar. A neighbor asked Naomi about her trip to Florida and she soon learned about my column. I am sorry for this inconvenience.

I ran into Mark McHale and he was glad that someone had taken up the column. He also adds, “Local ice fishermen say there is plenty of ice, but too much snow. You can’t get to where you want to fish.”

I am glad to report that my brother, Nate Williams, and his wife, Amanda will by expecting another son come July. Congratulations Nathan and Amanda!

Danny Downtown has received his driver’s license. My advice to this new driver of our community: one, drive slow through town, especially with the growing population of younger children roaming around. Two, beware of bad road conditions. Good luck and drive carefully!


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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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