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Category:  Did You Know?
Published:  March, 2010

Did You Know?
Did you know that a single case of smallpox discovered at the State Hospital in Uniontown led to what newspapers around the country called a “mutiny” in 1910?

There had been 150 cases of smallpox discovered in southern Fayette County that year, with none being detected in the northern parts of the county.

The single case at the State Hospital led to a 17 day isolation, which, in turn, caused “foreigners” to rebel.

According to the February 4th, 1910 edition of the Trenton (N.J.) Evening Times, “When the quarantine was announced, the foreigners house at the hospital, began muttering to themselves, and then they made a concerted effort to rush the head nurse.”

The article claimed a “score” of convalescing foreigners were engaged in the rebellion.

Did you know if you had been a budding guitarist in the mid-1970’s you may have benefited greatly by taking lessons from a famous Fayette County native?

Eddie Gray, who’d been one of the founding members Tommy James and the Shondells (Crystal Blue Persuasion and Mony, Mony) returned to Connellsville in the 1970’s. Gray formed a local band, and then, according to an ad in Connellsville Daily Courier on August 25th, 1977, he began giving guitar lessons at his Gray’s Guitar Studio.

Did you know that one of George C. Marshall’s earliest influences was in witnessing the troops march through the streets of Uniontown after they’d returned from their service in the Spanish-American War?

Well the one incident Marshall apparently never highlighted was the August 1902 near riot in Uniontown involving the third reunion of the Tenth Regiment (Veterans who’d returned from combat in the Philippines).

The Greenville (Pa) Evening Record chronicled how one of the regiment’s officers who’d felt he’d been insulted, “knocked down and kicked” a man. The police moved in and arrested two members of the regiment and took them to the city jail. “A great mob surrounded the lock-up and clamored for their officer’s release,” the article said.

There were even guns drawn before the tensions could be defused. The details of the skirmish gained widespread attention across the country.

There had been other, more peaceful, gatherings of the Tenth Regiment in Fayette County.

On July 8th, 1889, the Pittsburgh Post hailed the “Eight Days of Love, War and Work for the Soldier Boys” of the Eighteenth and Tenth Regiments who were setting up an encampment near “Historic Uniontown” that week.

The soldiers were set to arrive by train in the middle of the night. They would immediately march to their campground a mile and a half east of Uniontown.

The writer of that article seemed to have a hard time containing himself when he wrote, “One can easily imagine the commotion it will create in a town as quiet as Uniontown to have a regiment tramp through it at 3 A.M. At the head of the troops will be a band, drum corps and bugle corps alternately playing inspiring martial music. Following them will be the steady tram, tramp, tramp of company after company of heavily equipped soldiers.”

“Rudely awakened from the deep sleep of early morning the residents along the line of march will think that war times have returned and they have been captured unawares,” the writer warned.

Nothing of note seemed to have taken place during that encampment. There was nothing as newsworthy as the incident that would take place when the Tenth Regiment returned in August of 1902.

Did you know that Edgar J. Kaufmann, the man for whom Frank Lloyd Wright built Fallingwater, had dealings with the hills above Uniontown many years before?

According to the July 25th, 1917 edition of the Daily Courier, there was to be a “paper chase” at the Summit Hotel on the following weekend.

The paper chase was an obstacle course that featured contestants riding horses who would strike out in an effort to discover a “fox.” The winner of the event would be awarded a silver loving cup donated personally by Edgar J. Kaufmann.