Looking Back: Franklin County’s history January 11th

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 January 11th.

25 Years Ago 

January11, 1996Thursday

“Patience and tolerance lost in piles of snow” 

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A man asked his son to shovel the walk.  His son told him what he could do with his shovel.  They argued and walloped each other.  

It’s one of the situations Chambersburg Police Department has had to cope with, thanks to cabin fever and the snow.   

People who deal with the public have had it rough this week, including restaurant employees, mail carriers and police officers.  

“I can remember things being worse, but yeah, we’ve seen people do some pretty dumb things,” said Chief Michael T. DeFrank.  

Cabin fever has fueled tempers the past four days.  

“We’re still battling with the people who want to put their dining room tables and chairs in the parking spot they’ve shoveled out,” DeFrank said. “It’s provoked neighborhood arguments. I think we’ve had two or three calls of that nature (Tuesday) night.” 

Folks are also calling police, asking them to do something about the cars in “their” spots.

“That’s a sampling,” DeFrank said. “I thought crime calls would taper off, but basically things are going pretty steady.”  

Police officers aren’t the only ones dealing with irate people. Restaurant employees are also frazzled.  

Pizza Hut, 81 Wayne Ave., struggled to make do Tuesday with the few employees who could make it to work.  But callers still wanted deliveries.  

“It’s like, look out your window,” said manager Lori Stumbaugh.   

“People get upset. They think you have miracle drivers or something. I’m not putting any of my drivers at risk just to get a pizza there within 30 minutes.”  

Most customers understood the situation, Stumbaugh said, and drivers were delivering by Wednesday.  

But deliveries are still difficult.  

Maybe Domino’s Pizza got it right.  

Knowing that delivery would be tough and his drivers could be swamped, franchisee Dean Skiles recorded a pleasant message for calling customers.  

On the message, Skiles asks them to suggest a good place to park while drivers drop off the order and “please bear with us through this bad weather.”  

“Most of the people we’ve had this morning have been fine,” Skiles said Wednesday.  

Aside from pizza, people requested delivery of another kind this week: mail.  

Residents who haven’t seen mail since Saturday haven’t complained much, said Keith Filer, supervisor of customer services at the Chambersburg U.S. Postal Service office.  

“There have been a few who called in and asked us why we haven’t delivered yet, (because) they’ve had their mailboxes dug out since Monday,” Filer said.  

Others called requesting mail carriers go to their homes, pick up mail, and take it to the post office.  

“But the majority of the people have been good about the whole thing,” Filer said.  

Maybe it’s too cold outside to complain, suggested mail carrier Janet Maines as she made her rounds Wednesday.  

Her biggest problem: people who don’t shovel their sidewalks.  

Maines dropped mail in slots and boxes along her 7-mile route, despite whipping winds and blowing snow.  But the petite carrier can’t get through to those mailboxes covered in snow.  

How can people cope? 

Shovel sidewalks in front of your home.  

Don’t call police to tow the car that blocked your La-Z-Boy.  

If you know where delivery people can park, call for pizza. 

50 Years Ago   


 “Thousands Tour Old Franklin County Jail” 

Chambersburg – Crowds estimated from 2,500 to 5,000 turned out Saturday to tour the Franklin County jail.  

Franklin County Commissioners opened the jail for one last nostalgic look by the public before it passes into other hands.  Prisoners were transferred from the structure in December, ending its distinction as the oldest operating jail in the state.  The county’s prisoners are held in security facilities at the old county nursing home, while a new jail is about to undergo construction this year.  

Families predominated among the tour visitors, who poked through the stone structure, from the 1818 original Georgian building, to the circa 1880 older prison blocks.  Children had the most fun, peeking into long-unused dungeon rooms, climbing over everything, even the cupola, and locking each other into barred rooms.  

A few of the visitors recounted that they had once stayed within the grim walls in past years, perhaps on driving charges, and that they wanted their friends and families to have a glimpse of what it was like.  

The three county commissioners, chief clerk, and Sheriff Bender were on hand to show off the structure. Numerous requests were made to have the building opened for another tour but commissioners indicate that will have to be the responsibility of some other authority.  

The jail is expected to be turned over to the Redevelopment Authority for $225,000 Friday at settlement.  

Robert Peiffer, chairman of the Redevelopment group, said a reuse appraisal of the jail is expected to commence Monday, Jan. 18, by appraisers Jackson Cross Co.. Philadelphia, and a John K. Heyl, Allentown.  The appraisal, which may take a month to complete, is being done at the request of Heritage, Inc., which hopes to purchase the jail for a museum-culture center.  

Heritage has offered to pay the costs of draining pipes of the jail to prevent damage to boiler and pipes, if the county turns off the heat Friday.  The county will consult with the Authority as to their wishes on turning off utilities. 

100 Years Ago  


“Salvation Army Man Falls Dead After A Prayer” 

Aaron F. Yenger, 701 South Church Street, an aged member of the- local corps of the Salvation Army, dropped dead of heart failure Saturday evening about 8 o’clock while taking part In the outdoor service of the corps in front of the post office.  

” Mr. Yeager had offered the opening prayer at the service and seemed to be in his usual health then. While the Salvation Army was finishing the last hymn Mr. Yeager suddenly fell over.  A large crowd of people was gathered around listening to the service and death under the circumstances caused much excitement for a while.  

Mr. Yeager was nearly 71 years of age, having been born March 1, 1850, at Greenwood, above Fayettevllle.  He removed to Waynesboro about eight years ago from Cashtown, Adams County.  He had been employed in the local shops since here and recently joined the Salvation Army.  He was a member of the United Brethren Church for many years.  

Besides his second wife, who was Miss Josephine Wagaman, Adams county, he leaves these children by his first wife, who was Sarah Ann Richardson, also of Adams county, Harvey Yeager, Mont Alto; Edward E., Sterling, Ill.; Byers A., Rock Falls, Ill.; Mrs. Harry West, Sunnyside, this city; brother, Francis Yeager, Jordon Valley, Oregon; stepsons, Charles and Henry Carbaugh Yeager; 20 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  

The funeral will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the house, in charge of the Salvatlon Army.  Burial will beat Green Hill Cemetery. 


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