Sunday, August 5, 2012

1957 - James D. Green, Civil Engineer at AC&F

This photo shows James D. Green, a Civil Engineer at AC&F in Berwick.  He worked with Bob Loughlin & Walt Kastner.  Not sure which man is James or who the other men are. 

Claudia Guay provided this photo or her step-father, Jim Green.  Her family moved to Berwick in 1957 and James Green worked as a Civil Engineer at AC&F.  She recalls "Several of the wives of the engineers who worked at AC&F (including my mom, Paula Green) got together & formed a Ladies Club (might have been called the Berwick Ladies Club) who took flying lessons at the local airport; back then flying lessons were cheap!  I also remember the men (including my dad) took flying lessons, too."  The family moved from Berwick in 1963.

If anyone has any photos or other information on the Berwick Ladies Club and their flying lessons, please share them.  Thank you Claudia for your photos & remembrances of Berwick!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

1955-1956 Proposed Teacher Salaries for Berwick Borough School Distict

This document is the proposed salary recommendations for teachers and staff for the Berwick Borough School District for 1955-1956.  The document is from the Educational Committee.  Staff are listed by name showing their 1954-1955 wages and proposed increase.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tax Bills for 1956 & 1958 - Read 'Em and Weep!

Here are two tax bills showing the county tax, borough tax and school tax amounts due in 1956 and 1958.  One is for Berwick Borough and the other for Briarcreek Township, adjacent to Berwick. 
Click on the image to enlarge.


1956 Briarcreek Township Tax Bill

1958 Berwick Boro Tax Bill


Sunday, July 3, 2011

CIVIL WAR - 150 Year Anniversary

The Civil War began 150 years ago and  Pennsylvania sent many sons and fathers to fight.

This is about one of them, volunteer soldier William Nugent.  When the war began William lived in Salem Township, Luzerne County.  He had been
separated from his family as a small child in Philadelphia and essentially orphaned.  Daniel Seybert of Salem Twp. selected William to come work on his farm as a "bond boy" and William was brought to Salem Township from Philadelphia. 

William met his wife, Nancy
Boyles, when she worked for Seybert, they married, and lived in the Beach Haven area after William was released by Seybert. 

William's enlistment record shows he was a 28 year old farmer on September 28, 1864 when he enlisted at Scranton.  He served as a Private in Company E, 2nd PA, 112th Regiment Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery.  Salem Twp., Luzerne County's 12th District was credited with his service.

William is described in his records as being 6' 1" + tall with grey eyes, black hair and a dark complexion.  The photo below is reported to be him and was taken in 1892. 

Pennsylvania State Archives records show that William enlisted on July 31, 1875 as a Private with Company D, 9th Infantry, Pennsylvania National Guard.  He transferred to Company D, 12th Infantry in 1878.

William farmed and worked as a laborer.  In 1871 he sold his land in Beach Haven and moved to Berwick where his wife operated a small grocery store. 

Census records list that he was born in Ireland in 1834, immigrated in 1839, was a naturalized citizen, could read but not write English. 

William died on March 20, 1903 and is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Market Street, Berwick.  His wife Nancy died in 1902.  Their children were Clement, Eudora (married John Ashton), Jennie (married George Bason then Ernest Eckstrand), Harriet (married Daniel Boyle), Kate (married James Bason), and Willie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

1961: Berwick's 175th Anniversary

Festivities for the 175th Anniversary of Berwick included electing a Queen, Miss Peggy Mensch.  Other contestants for Miss Greater Berwick were:  Mrs. Nancy Creasy, Mrs. Donna Edwards, Miss Barbara Glenn, Miss Peggy Samsel, Mrs. Kay Stout, Mrs. Barbara Petty, Mrs. Gail Lamar, Miss Daryl Eves and Miss Dorothy Davis. 
Also appearing was Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Elizabeth Laura Walton & James B. Garcia - Albuquerque NM

   The search of family history and genealogy leads to many history lessons as new information brings new questions. A minor note on a census record can lead to new questions and new opportunities to delve into history.

One of our family stories is that my great-great grandmother’s father got students from the Carlisle Indian School to work on his farm in the summer. One of his daughters fell in love with one of the boys and they ran off, got married, and lived in New Mexico.

This story resulted in lots of questions, mainly, is the story true, did the Carlisle Indian School send students out to work in the summer, and what happened to the farmer’s daughter and Indian student. The answer to the first two questions is yes. Laura Walton left Pennsylvania, married James B. Garcia of Acoma Pueblo, and they lived in Albuquerque New Mexico. Here’s some of their story.

James B. Garcia was born about 1868 and lived in Acoma, New Mexico. He was a full blooded Pueblo Indian of the Acoma Band. He was sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, PA, arriving August 24, 1884. He entered Carlisle in the 2nd grade and was in the 8th grade when he was discharged on September 14, 1891. His records at the school show he was sent "To Country" three times to "Patrons", where he worked farming for the "Patrons". He went to Patron Jos. Walton, Shickshinny, Luzerne Co., PA on March 4, 1889 and returned "From Country" September 13, 1889.

Laura Walton (also known as Elizabeth Laura or Lizzie) was born February 28, 1867 to Joseph and Lavina Walton. The 1880 US Federal Census (Census) shows the family living in Salem Twp., Luzerne County. Joseph Walton owned about 600 acres where he farmed and produced lumber. Laura would have been 22 years old when James came to work on the farm.
In 1900 Laura, age 33, was living with her father and a nephew Clyde Walton in Hazleton with five boarders in the home. Laura and James married in 1903 and are shown living in Albuquerque on the 1910, 1920 and 1930 Census’ with her listed as Laura E. Garcia. The census records show she didn’t just ‘run off’ with James, but waited more than 11 years to be with him.

On the 1910 Census Laura reports having 2 children but none surviving, so it is doubtful that they had surviving children. An undated family history reported they had twin boys.

James completed a survey in 1911 and returned it to the Indian School in Carlisle. He reported he married Miss Laura E. Walton on Penna. and was living in Albuquerque. He reports he has his home at 725 S. Edith St., Albuquerque and a property on 2nd street. James wrote that he did not attend any schools after leaving Carlisle and "I did not graduate at Carlisle I was only up to 12 grade in Miss Cutter’s room." He writes that he is working for A.T. & S.F. RR Co. (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway) - "my principle work has been railroading at present time I am working in Santa Fe shops at Albuquerque. Census records list him as a machinist for the railroad.

A 1916 directory for boarding houses for tuberculosis patients listed "Mrs. Garcia’s House" at their home address on Edith street in Albuquerque with Mrs. J.B. Garcia as proprietor.

US Indian Census Schedules for New Mexico list James as a member of the Acoma Band of Pueblo Indians. He is listed with his mother Maria Vicente Garcia until her death in 1920. The 1920 Census lists Jas. Garcia, age 58 as "married to white woman, lives Albu." US Indian Census Schedules for 1932 and 1933 list James B. Garcia and wife Lola C. Garcia as not living at the jurisdiction (Acoma) where enrolled, but living in Albuquerque. James is listed as a full Acoma Pueblo Indian and Lola as a not eligible white.

Both James and Laura died in 1939 and are buried at Sunset Memorial Park cemetery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The family story also was that Joseph disowned Laura because she married James. I don’t know if this is true but if it is I believe he forgave her. In October 1904 Joseph Walton of Salem sold for $500 the coal and other mineral rights belonging to him of land in Salem Twp. To Mrs. Lizzie E. Garcia of New Mexico and Clyde Walton (his grandson) of Philadelphia.

If you’ve been to both Acoma New Mexico and Luzerne County Pennsylvania you know how different the land and people are. That Laura left her family and all she knew to be with James in a culture and land so different speaks highly of their love.

I pieced this story together using: US Federal Census and US Indian Census Schedules; James B. Garcia’s records from the U.S. Indian School at Carlisle, PA from the NARA; Luzerne County Deed records; family history records; and trolling Google. One family story took me on a history tangent from the Indian School in Carlisle to Acoma NM to the Santa Fe Railroad.  Isn't genealogy grand!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

This Santa was made by Derl Moore 90 years ago, in 1920. 
Derl lived in Foundryville, outside of Berwick.