Looking Back: Franklin County’s history Oct 16th

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 Oct 16th.

25 Years Ago  

Oct16, 1995Monday

“ Apples Are The Stars” 

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County's history October 16th
Several varieties of apples are arrayed for display during the 14th annual Apple Festival and Antique Engine Display at Tayamentasachta Environmental Center, Greencastle.

50 Years Ago  


“Missing Heirs Halt Sale of Farmland” 

A Franklin County court decision that there are seven missing heirs has held up a proposed $52,000 sale of two tracts of real estate in Southampton Township.   

Judge John W. Keller handed down the decision and opinion on a proposed sale by Anna M. Gettel, R. R. 2, James F. Foltz, Erie; John E. Foltz, 541 E. Liberty St., and their spouses, to Howard M. Lyons and Foster L. Carothers, Shippensburg, of 121 acres in two tracts southwest of Shippensburg.  

An agreement was entered for the sale Jan. 8, 1969, specifying initial payment of $3,640 at the execution of the agreement, and the remaining $48,360 to be paid April 1, 1969 on delivery of “a good and sufficient deed.”  However because of the complicated background of the real estate the prospective sellers agreed to submit the question of the marketability of the title to the court with costs set on the sellers.  

The amicable action of assumpsit was filed in Franklin County court Oct. 17, 1969, and briefs filed June 26, 1970 with the request the case be decided by the court without argument.  

In his opinion and decree Judge Keller noted that “The seeds of the controversy are found in the will of Alfred D. Smith, late of Southampton Township, who died testate Aug. 22, 1897.”  The property up for sale was a farm owned by Smith, which under his will was divided between two sons, Benjamin Smith received the western half, containing 61.03 acres, and Franklin Smith the eastern half, 60.31 acres.  Under Alfred Smith’s will, Christian, a third son, inherited Benjamin’s farm when the latter died intestate and single in 1939.  Christian died in 1944, leaving his share to his three children, including Anna Smith Gettel, Arthur G. Smith and Ruth P. Smith Foltz.  

Christian’s survivors, Mrs. Gettel, and his grandsons, the Foltz brothers, inherited Franklin Smith’s farm, the eastern end of the original Alfred Smith farm, when Franklin died in 1964 single and intestate.  

The heirs in question in the sale of the two tracts are the seven children of Mary C. Mills, mother-in-law of Arthur G. Smith.  Mrs. Mills survived Arthur and his wife, and passed her portion of their share in the western tract to her seven’ children.   

Concluded Judge Keller: “the plaintiffs cannot convey a good and marketable title in fee simple to the real estate in question by reason of the undivided one-84th interest owned by each of the seven legatees of Mary C. Mills” in tract 1.   

George E. Wenger, counsel for the Foltz’s and Mrs. Gettel, said his clients have not decided on their next move.  Robert J. Yocum represented Lyons and Carothers. 

100 Years Ago  

Oct16, 1920Thursday

“Duby Lesher is new Mercersburg police chief”  

The most recent alumnus of the Chambersburg training school for patrolmen to gain promotion In policedom is Charles D. (Duby) Lesher, ex-motorcycle officer, who has been elected chief of police at Mercersburg Police Department.  He has assumed his new duties.   

It is the purpose of the Mercersburg town council to provide its police department with a motorcycle and sidecar and also add another patrolman to the force.  When Lesher left the local police department Mercersburg made a bid for his services.   

Waynesboro selecting its chief of police and two patrolmen from Chambersburg and Mercersburg electing its chief from the local force speaks well for the course in police work afforde’ by our town. 


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