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Category:  Did You Know?
Published:  August, 2009

Did You Know?

Did you know that Uniontown was mentioned in a newspaper article titled “Life in the Dirtiest City in the Nation” in 1976?

Don’t worry, that article wasn’t about Uniontown. It was a reference to Steubenville, Ohio. Uniontown, which is 75 miles away from Steubenville, was compared favorably to that city regarding air pollution.

George Esper (a Uniontown native and an award winning writer for the Associated Press) wrote the article which appeared in the Fairbanks (AK) Daily News Miner on February 7th, 1976.

“The EPA still rates Steubenville one of the dirtiest cities in the nation and definitely the dirtiest in Ohio,” Esper wrote.

The high amount of pollution, of course, was the result of the booming steel mills in and around Steubenville. At the same time, the U.S. Dept. of Labor rated it as one of 23 “pockets of prosperity.”

However, the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare estimated that it cost $500 more a year to live in Steubenville than Uniontown, owing to the higher building costs and cleaning bills from the high air pollution.

Did you know that there really is something to that phrase “your vote really does count?”

The Butte (MT) Standard carried the story of a Connellsville man who knew more than most political candidates the importance of a single vote.

On November 6th, 1959 it was reported that a candidate for alderman had “chuckled” when he’d won the Democratic nomination by a single vote during the May primary election.

However, he apparently wasn’t chuckling much after the November general election. “He lost his bid for election on Tuesday to his Republican opponent. The margin – one vote,” the story said.

Did you know that 21 Fayette County goats had to be rounded up after they’d spent a night getting drunk?

The February 24th, 1933 edition of the Connellsville Daily Courier carried the front page story of the wandering goats, who’d somehow come upon a pile of “mash” (the remnants of homemade – and illegal at the time - alcoholic beverages) near Breakneck.

According to the article “After indulging in the mash, they became inebriated and couldn’t find their way home.” That Prohibition Era story apparently had a happy ending.

However, did you know there were many, many stories regarding the government’s ban on the sale of alcohol from January of 1919 until December of 1933 that resulted in tragic consequences?

On November 11th, 1930 a Fayette County coroner’s jury ruled that “sufficient evidence had not been presented against three Uniontown merchants,” after six men had died after drinking “radiator alcohol.”

Such substances had been bought from legitimate merchants and had become a deadly substitute for liquor.

That day the Daily Courier reported that Fayette County District Attorney J. B. Adams was also planning to prosecute merchants for selling “denatured alcohol, lilac tonic, anti-freeze liquids, canned heat, etc. for beverage purposes.”

Did you know that more than a century earlier, when legal liquor flowed freely across the country, a Brownsville man enjoyed a bit of a “record” for helping to distribute it?

The Adams Sentinel of Gettysburg, Pa, reported on August 13th, 1830 that Henry G. Brown had used his six horse team to help him haul “42 barrels of whiskey, estimated at 13,000 pounds” over the mountains, where he delivered his cargo to Hagerstown, Frederick and Baltimore Md.

“This is probably the heaviest load ever brought across the mountains,” the article concluded.

Did you know that another Brownsville man may have set another kind of record nearly 46 years later?

The New Philadelphia (OH) Democrat chronicled the unusual “wedding” of a Brownsville telegraph operator and his new wife that took place on December 28th, 1875.

Mr. G. Scott Jeffreye and Miss Lida Culler got hitched, by telegraph.

They were in the same place, but the preacher was in “Waynesburgh” (their spelling).

The report indicated that “Operations along the entire line were suspended for five minutes to give them a chance to be united in this novel way.”

Technology in those days – even telegraph operations – was considered high tech in those days. One would have to wonder if those people could see television events being beamed to nearly every corner of the earth today.

Did you know that two of George Washington’s closest relatives were buried in a cemetery in Brownsville?

I’ll provide the details next week.