Looking Back: Franklin County’s history February 22nd

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 February 22nd.

25 Years Ago

Feb22, 1996 –Thursday

“YOUR  OPINION COUNTS “ 

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        “Join forces to save downtown theater”  

“I have been watching the paper and looking to see if there hasn’t been someone to try to save the Capitol Theatre down here.  I think it is a shame that the owner has to sell it.  He is a very nice gentleman.  “I am very much interested in” saving things.  

Can’t a bunch of people – I would do what I could do to help – get together and help?

Maybe we could preserve it.  *It is) a landmark and something historical like that shouldn’t be-lost.” 

 Caroline Finfrock, Chambersburg . 

50 Years Ago

Feb22,1971 –Monday

“Philadelphia’s Birthplace of Independence to be restored” 

A forgotten national historical landmark, the house in which Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, is going to be recreated in Philadelphia.  The site at the Southwest Corner of 7th & Market Streets, is marked only by a plaque.  In recent years, it has been used as a parking lot and lunch stand.  It was sold recently as part of a 23,000 square foot tract to Fidelity Bank, executor of the estate of Emily S. Balch and trustee for the Balch Institute.  

The Balch estate will eventually sell a portion of the site to the Independence National Historic Park which will recreate the house using funds raised by the Independence Hall Association, with matching funds from the Department of the Interior.  A library will be built on the balance of the tract.  

According to Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co., of Philadelphia, which conducted the title search and insured the title to the property, the property has a history dating back to November 3, 1735, when William Branson acquired title to the property from John Penn, Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esquires, “true and absolute Proprietaries and Governors in Chief of the Province of Pennsylvania.” Title was subsequently acquired by Jacob Graff, a bricklayer, by a deed dated October 27, 1775 from Edmund Physick and his wife, Abigail. Graff constructed the original three-story house at the corner.  

The following spring when the Continental Congress mot in the State House (Independence Hall) two blocks away, young Thomas Jefferson was a roomer on the second floor of the Graff House.  

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee. of Virginia, introduced a resolution to the Continental Congress “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.”   

On June I0, 1776, a committee composed of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman and Thomas Jefferson, was selected to prepare a Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, who at 33 was the youngest member of the committee, was selected to write it. 

100 Years Ago

Feb22,1921 –Tuesday

“Henninger’s Hat Store will remain in Trust building” 

Clay Hennlnger, who was driven from his South Main street store location by the Nlcklas fire, and who took the old library room In the Trust Building as at emergency stand, is so well pleased with his new location that he has decided to remain there.  

The room has been tastefully repainted and decorated and Its spaciousness admits of a generous display of merchandise.  

The only apparent handicap in the upstairs room is the absence of display windows, but this is overcome, Mr. Henninger has found, by steady and exclusive use of the advertising columns of Public Opinion, which each day set Mr. Henninger’s haberdashery offerings before a larger number of eyes than would see a window display in a week In Chambersburg. 


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