"See the early snowflakes!
Softly they descend,
Like an orchard blossom
Scattered by the wind."
— Kate Slaughter McKinney
THIS WEEK IN U.S. HISTORY
Feb. 14, 1849, Photographer Matthew Brady took the first photograph of a U.S. president in office, James Polk.
Feb. 17, 1911, The First Electric self starter application was filed and introduced in a Cadillac in 1912.
Feb. 16, 1968, The first U.S. 911 emergency telephone system went into service in Haleyville, Alabama.
20 YEARS AGO (2001)
Danville Borough Patrolman Christopher Plafcan was pictured in the local newspaper accepting the “Mayor’s Meritorious Service Award” plaque from Danville Mayor Ed Coleman. Plafcan was honored for his outstanding performance in the line of duty, breaking up a recent burglary ring.
Also, this week, according to the local newspaper, the Danville Borough Police Department added another patrolman after swearing in Paul Materne. After taking the oath, Materne went through the ritual of first-day paperwork with Police Chief Rae Leighow, Mayor Coleman and Danville Borough Secretary Tom Graham.
Danville Area High School senior Chris Carlson advanced to the Region IV State Chorus Festival to be held in March, at the Weber Chapel Auditorium at Susquehanna University, after placing first in the Bass I at the District Festival at Central Columbia. The Region IV State Festival will include over 160 of the best high school vocalists from over 50 school districts in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
40 YEARS AGO (1981)
Members of the DHS girls jayvee bowling team, the SVL championship team, were pictured in the local newspaper: Maria Washko, Sharon Reibsome, Jan Reed, Julie Nevius, Noel Wolf, Laura Brady Sue Rohrboch, Janet Rynn and Kelly DeWald.
The team for the season was 9-0-1. Coach Al Barratt was the bowling coach at DHS since its beginning and this was Barratt’s 31st season at the helm. Both the boys’ varsity and the girls’ jayvee squad won the Susquehanna Valley League Bowling Championship this season. Boys’ varsity team included Lee Reibsome, Greg Carl, Ed Harvey, Bill Phillips and John Reibsome. This year marked the fifth time the Ironmen bowlers were undefeated since bowling started at the school in 1950. Coach reported there were about 100 bowlers in the program this year.
The St. Joseph cheerleaders, pictured in The Danville News, tied for second place at the CYO cheerleading competition held at St. Mary’s Gym, Kulpmont. Members of the squad were Tish Ryan, Arlene Hilkert, Jenny Richards, June Delbo, Sandy Lapinsky, Deb Gill, Mary Dennehy, Sylvia Wysocki, Sharon Doran and Amy Hause.
The Danjo Wheelers square dance club, comprised of area couples, celebrated its fifth anniversary at the Danville Junior High School.
Club founders Hilda and Hurley Baylor, Carl and Betty Schmidt and caller Paul and Gladys Haas were honored.
As part of the celebration, a reading recalling the history of the local club was presented by Bud McGill assisted by Jimmie McGill and John and Marg Shade. A proclamation declared the appreciation felt by each dancer for opening up the world of square dancing to the citizens of the community.
A grand march was held and culminated in a dance where everyone danced with the founding fathers.
60 YEARS AGO (1961)
Wives of the Geisinger Memorial Hospital professional and administrative staff presented an ‘Evening with Mark Twain’ at the Danville High School auditorium.
Proceeds from the evening were earmarked for the Youth Pavilion of Geisinger — a portion of the new facilities being added to the medical center.
Dr. George William Smith, professor of speech and radio-television at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago reappeared in his characterization of the famous humorist Mark Twain. Smith portrayed him in the dedication of the Mark Twain birthplace shrine near Perry Missouri. Smith adopted Danville as his home when he married the late Dorothy Welliver, a native of Danville in 1934.
Dr. George Leighow, of Bloom Road, was re-elected president of the Board of Directors of the Frosty Valley Country Club during the first meeting of the new fiscal year.
Leighow expressed his appreciation for the cooperation given to him during his first term as president, singling out the other officers and directors and members of various committees.
“Just one year and a half ago Frosty Valley was farmland and a glint in the eyes of several determined Bloomsburg and Danville men. Now we have an investment already in excess of $200,000 with more to come on the club house, swimming pool and other facilities. We have over 210 members and well on our way toward the creation of a superb social and recreational plant including a golf course which experts claim that is without a peer in eastern Pennsylvania,” he said.
Rev. Alton W. Barley, pastor of Shiloh United Church of Christ, was pictured in the local newspaper presenting Jerry Naugle, a member of the church, with his award for being selected as January’s carrier boy of the month.
75 YEARS AGO (1946)
The Trinity Lutheran Church held memorial services for the Danville Fire Department. The service was attended by 230 volunteer firemen from the fire companies of the local department.
The firemen met at their respective hose houses and proceeded to the church in a body led by Fire Chief William Whispell.
In opening the memorial rites, the minister stated that he wished to pay tribute to the firemen and to the ideals for which they stood. He congratulated them for the work they have done for the benefit of fellowmen, then he offered them his sincere thanks for their voluntary part in the protection of the community. They sang a hymn for “All The Saints Who From Their Labor Rest” and then read off the names of each of the firemen.
The two movies presented at the Capitol Theatre included “Tokyo Rose,” a film tracing the career of the woman well known as Tokyo Rose during World War II Pacific Theatre of Operation as the voice of the enemy.
The other film, “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” was centered on a parochial school. Three of the previous year’s Academy Award winners, Director Leo McCarey, Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman combined their talents to make it one of the outstanding film hits of this or any year.
A special showing of the movie picture was held for the nuns of Sisters of The Sacred Heart Villa’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Hubert’s schools and the Holy Family Convent according to James Reilly, manager of the Theatre.
The final performance of “Pep Parade” sponsored by the Ladies of the Moose was held at the Masonic Temple. The record crowd who attended the earlier performance claimed it to be a superb evening. The cast giving laughter to the audience was: Shirley St. Clair, Jimmy Burke, Peg Redding, Barbara Ryan, Margaret Fox, Mildred Hoover, Jesse Bell and dozens of others. The Glee Cub of the Women of the Moose sang three special numbers. The proceeds were designated for the YMCA.
LeRoy Deitrick, superintendent of the Danville Water Works, and trustee of the Washington Fire and Hose company No. 2 made a resolution that appeared in the “Oh What A Beautiful Morning” column. He claimed that he was through with the indoor sports of winter. From now on he would eagerly await the arrival of the fishing season and warm spring sunny days when he could take his rod and reel to the local streams.
Sis Hause is a Danville historian. Her weekly columns appear in The Danville News.