Looking Back: Franklin County’s history January 3rd

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 3rd.

25 Years Ago 

January 3, 1996 – Wednesday 

“Mortar crumbles away at 130-year-old home” 

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A 130-year-old stone farmhouse partially collapsed Tuesday in Waynesboro, leaving three people and their pets homeless.  

The family was not home at the time, and the animals a cat, eight or nine dogs, and about 100 exotic birds were uninjured.  

A wall on the right side of the home bowed out for years gave way and toppled 2 ½ stories of stone, said Gary Summers, deputy fire chief of Waynesboro Fire Department.  

“The wall just simply fell out of the house,” Summers said. “It looked like age, and probably the weather over the years.  Water would freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw, until it destroyed the mortar.”  

Vicki Obebholver rented the property in the 9700 block of Goods Dam Road. She and her family went out about 11 a.m. Tuesday.  When they returned two hours later, the side of the home was destroyed.  

Obebholver and her family stayed at the American Red Cross Tuesday night.  The dogs and cat were kept at a neighbor’s farmhouse, but they were still trying to find a place to keep the birds warm.  

Obebholver was trying to reach the Connecticut owners early Tuesday night.   

A collapse of a standing house is rare, Summer said.  

“Especially stone houses you think of them lasting forever.  “I guess today was forever for that house.” 

50 Years Ago   


“Deavers Celebrate 50 Married Years” 

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MERCERSBURG –  Mr. and Mrs. Russell Deaver, R. R. 1, were honored Sunday afternoon with a surprise 50th wedding anniversary celebration in James Buchanan High School cafeteria.  

The event was planned by the couple’s four children: Miss Agnes Deaver, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Blair and the Misses Hazel and Agnes Deaver, all of R. R. 1.  

The couple was married Dec. 23, 1920, by the Rev. John M. Stevens, formerly of Mc Connellsburg.  

Mrs. Deaver, the former Christina Reeder, is the daughter of the late Thomas J. and Maria Alice Sipes Reeder.  Deaver is the son of the late Josiah V. and Mary Laidig Deaver.  He is a retired employee of Loewengart  Co.  

The refreshment table held a triple-tier anniversary cake, garnished with yellow and white icing roses, topped with a cluster of gold bells. Punch was served from a flowing fountain. Savoy Restaurant, Waynesboro, was caterer.  

A money tree centered the gift table, ‘which held many gifts.  The gold and white anniversary decor was enhanced with attractive floral arrangements sent by well-wishers.  

Guests were registered by Mrs. Paul Reeder. Mrs. Larry Martin, Miss Dorothy Bloyer and Miss Geraldine May were in charge of the gift table. Hostesses were Mrs. Jack Rank and Mrs. Donald Blattenberger.   

Also assisting were the Misses Dina, Tina and Mary Jo Blattenberger.  

Approximately 250 relatives and friends attended from Baltimore, Md.; Santa Barbara, Calif.; Waynesboro, Greencastle, Chambersburg, Lemasters, Dillsburg, Willow Hill, Mechanicsburg, St. Thomas,  Hustontown, McConnellsburg, Upper Strasburg, Burnt Cabins, Newville, water fall and Merersburg areas. 

100 Years Ago  


“At 78 He Walked to Pittsburgh” 

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The above photo of David S. Eby was taken “just before he started on his walk to Pittsburgh, which  he made In 1908 in order to refresh his memory of the highway over which, as a young man he traveled many times as a driver of a Conestoga wagon. 

Mr. Eby was 78 years old when he took this long walk and he lived 12 years after doing it,  death coming to him yesterday at his home here.  


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