Looking Back: Franklin County’s history December 9th

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 9th.

25 Years Ago 

December9, 1995Saturday

“Surprises Found In Church Ashes”  

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Chambersburg – Church members will break open two time capsules Monday.  

Demolition crews found two copper boxes in cornerstones of St. Paul United Methodist Church earlier this week. 

“We’re as excited as kids with Christmas boxes,” said the Rev. Dr. Harold Posey, pastor.  “We’re holding them and shaking them. We’re not going to open them until Monday.”  The church at Queen and Second streets was destroyed by arson Feb. 19.  

Also at the meeting Monday, church officials will unveil plans for a $1.1 million church off Fifth Avenue.  The congregation may approve, alter or disapprove plans drawn by Noelker and Hull Associates, Chambersburg architects.  

Ed Norcross, chairman of the trustees, will saw open the boxes with a power hand tool.  They are soldered closed. 

 Some of contents from the boxes likely will be placed in a time capsule in the cornerstone of the new church.  

One box sounds as if a book is inside, Posey said.  Popular items enclosed in church cornerstones have been hymnals, Bibles and lists of congregations.  

The two boxes were found at the base of the church tower:  

  •  A 4-by-6-by-8 inch box in a hole hewn in a large granite block  dated 1845.
  • A 6-by-8-by-10 inch box in a cast cornerstone dated 1896.  

The dates correspond to improvements to the church at 237 E. Queen St. The original log church was founded in 1797.   

During the Civil War, the brick church escaped Confederate torches in 1865. 

50 Years Ago   


“Grove Mfg. Co. Workers Get Holiday Bonus”  

A 2.5 per cent Christmas bonus for all eligible employees of Grove Manufacturing Shady Grove and Greencastle, was announced today by J. Martin Benchoff, president and chief executive officer.  

The bonus will be based employee earnings between January 1 and November Benchoff noted that with Christmas bonus, the total of bonuses paid at Grove during 1970 amounted to 6 per cent added that the bonus checks being presented to employees at the company’s annual Christmas Party this week.   

Recognized as the leading manufacturer of mobile, tele-scoping-boom hydraulic cranes, Grove has recently completed major production expansion program involving three new buildings, the last of which, a new crane final assembly plant, scheduled for occupancy and manufacturing operations this week.  

At its plant in Greencastle, Grove builds agricultural equipment as well as hydraulic aerial fire ladders and hydraulic roll back truck loading beds. 

100 Years Ago  


“ Christmas Candies” 

(Here is a recipe from 1920 for “Christmas Candies”) 

Fruit and Nut Caramels:  1 cup each of nuts, figs, and dates  put though a food grinder.   Mix ingredients together thoroughly, pack tightly into a shallow square pan, making , a layer one-half inch thick.  Smooth with a blade of knife .  When smooth, firm, cut and wrap in oiled paper.   

Nut Stuffed Dates:  Wash and wipe dry dates.  Cut the length of the date on one side and remove the stone (pit).  Refill with blanched almond or roasted peanut, press edges together and roll in sugar. 

Nut Bon-Bons:  Melt over hot water 4 squares of chocolate and one Tablespoon water, cool until lukewarm, add vanilla.  Beat until creamy, add nuts.  Pour onto greased pan.  When nearly cold, cut into squares. 


EDITOR’S NOTE:  If anyone tries these recipes, please let the editor of the newspaper, Vicky Taylor, know how they turned out! Email her at [email protected] 


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