Looking Back: Franklin County’s history December 8th

Franklin County’s history

Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on December 8th.

25 Years Ago 

December8, 1995Friday

“Archives puts U.S. history in perspective through paper” 

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Milt Gustafson thinks we aren’t as civil to each other as we once were.  

The senior archivist at the National Archives finds his evidence in a piece of paper no bigger than a note card, dated Oct. 2, 1865.   

“I, Robert E. Lee of Lexington, Virginia, do solemnly swear, in the presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Union thereunder, and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves, so help me God.”  

The amnesty oath of the great Confederate general is a small part of “American Originals,” a new exhibit of documents from the Archives, displayed in the a same room as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  The exhibit will remain through December 1998.  

The collection of 50 pieces of paper and photographs covers 300 years of U.S. history, from the last will and testament of Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas to George Washington’s first inaugural address to notes from John Kennedy’s speech at the Berlin Wall and Richard Nixon’s formal letter of resignation from the presidency.  Also, the treaty of the Louisiana Purchase, the receipt for $7.2 million in payments to the Russian government for the territory of Alaska (with a contemporary cartoon by Cincinnati Enquirer artist Jim Borgman reacting to demands in Russia for return of Alaska) and an 1882 indictment of Jesse and Frank James “for conspiracy to commit robbery and to defraud the United States.”  

That’s the point of the archives, putting 1995 (or 1865 or 1945 or 1968) in historical context through the 4 billion pieces of paper, 7 million still photographs, 2 million maps and nearly 9 million aerial photographs in its collection.   

The point of “American Originals,” says curator Stacey Bredhoff, is “to let people know what we have.”  

“The idea … is to convey a sense of excitement about historical documents,” Bredhoff says.  

She singles out George Washington’s first inaugural address to the Senate on April 30, 1789.  “I shall take my present leave,” he told the Senate toward the end of the speech, “but not without resorting once more to the benign parent of the human race in humble supplication …”  

“It’s entirely in his own hand,” Bredhoff says of Washington’s forward-slanting, graceful and readable script.  “That’s the paper he touched and wrote and signed.  It’s very exciting.” 

50 Years Ago   


“County DAR Tours Alden Reed Home” 

A tour was taken last Thursday through the home of Mrs. Alden Reed, Waynecastle, sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Franklin County Chapter.  

In addition to seeing Christmas trees of various origins, Mrs. Reed has a room especially designed to display her collection of dolls.  

Some of the dolls are quite old, while others come from all over the world.  Many of their costumes depict American history from colonial, frontier and modern ways of life. Mrs. Reed’s home is filled with antiques and is appropriately decorated for the yuletide season.   

Mrs. T. H. Krebs Benchoff, 141 Lincoln Way West, Chambersburg, regent of the DAR, said over 400 tickets had been sold for the tour.  There was no charge for children.   

Door prizes were awarded by the chairman of the ways and means committee, Mrs. Cornelius P. Brink, 1416 Wilson Ave., Chambersburg, and food was sold for donations.  The money collected will support scholarships for Bacone College in Oklahoma, and the Kate Duncan Smith School.  

The state regent of Maryland was present, as well as members of the DAR from Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Hagerstown, Perry County, Fort Loudon, Mc Connellsburg, Chambersburg and Harrisburg. Area members included Mrs. Seth Steiger, Mrs. J. Paul Spanogle, Mrs. O. Fritz Rohr, Mrs. Enos H. Horst, Mrs. S. C. Hoover, Mrs. S. L. Greenawalt, Mrs. Brink and Mrs. Benchoff.  

Mrs. Reed’s children were home for the tour. The rain did not dampen the spirits of those who came to support the DAR project. 

100 Years Ago  


“ Baseball Fields Will Have Signs” 

At a meeting of the baseball directors last night, it was decided that because the directorate is small in number, the directors will act as a-committee of the whole in all departments, except a field committee.  

W. C. Hull was named chairman of the, field committee, with L. G. Lyons and John K. Berger the other members.   

The big galvanized iron sign board in the Tolbert lots, South Fourth  Street, will be purchased from Harry L. Tolbert and will be erected in the stretch of Henninger Field now fenceless.  Signs will be painted on this and any local merchant can buy a space by seeing Mr. Lyons about terms.  

Director H. G. Wolf .was designated for league’ vice president, representing Chambersburg.  Secretary Greenawalt continues as league representative. 


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