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Category:  Did You Know?
Published:  July, 2008

Did You Know?
By Al Owens

…Uniontown High School owns the WPIAL record for the most consecutive basketball victories? Technically, the 1964 and ’65 teams are tied with Washington High School in that category.

But did you know that just before Uniontown set that record it had also run up a string of 36 straight victories? If you already knew that, did you also know that a Uniontown basketball team in the mid 1920’s put together a string of 44 straight wins, before losing to a college team?

The eventual Pennsylvania state basketball champs, led by Basketball Hall of Famer, Charles Hyatt, were nearly unstoppable in 1925. They did manage to lose a game to the freshman team from the University of Pittsburgh while seeking their 45th win in a row.

During that season, the Uniontown team (before they were known as the Red Raiders) managed to achieve another rare accomplishment.
According to the January 21st, 1925 edition of the Uniontown Morning Herald, Hyatt and his “Five Horsemen” managed to hold Indiana High School scoreless for two periods in their 60-7 victory.

Did you know that Uniontown’s WMBS Radio is named after the wife of a congressman?

On the day the station went on the air (July 15th, 1937) the Uniontown Daily News Standard ran a congratulatory notice on its editorial page titled “Welcome WMBS!”

The letter “w” was given to most radio stations east of the Mississippi River (KQV and KDKA in Pittsburgh are two exceptions). But the letters “MBS,” according to that notice, stand for Marian Buehler Snyder, who was the wife of local Congressman J. Buehler Snyder.

The reason the station was named in the congressman’s wife’s honor could be found in the previous day’s Morning Herald. Snyder “…was credited in much service in obtaining the station,” it said.

Did you know that a 1927 Uniontown automobile accident with no fatalities still managed to make national news?

According to the Placerville, California Mountain Democrat, “The jar of an automobile collision at Uniontown, Pa., ejected a bone which was stuck in the throat of a child being rushed to the hospital.”

Did you know that if some folks had their way, Redstone would have its own county?

That word comes from the Tioga Eagle in Wellsboro (then spelled Wellsborough), Pennsylvania in the winter of 1850.

Some residents near Brownsville “had held a meeting for the purpose of taking action in favor of the erection of a new county, to be called ‘Redstone.’ However, the very next sentence probably explains why there is no Redstone County today. It went on to say that, “…portions of the county will dispute the propriety of the measure.”

I’m sure many of you have heard just how tough the game of football was, before padding and face masks. Well, did you know that referees were just as tough?

This comes from the Oakland (California) Tribune, dated November 11th, 1939: UMPIRE (REFEREE) HURT, FINISHES JOB IN FOLDING CHAIR.

It seems that during a college football game played in Uniontown between Waynesburg College and St. Vincent – a referee got run over by one of the players, and had his knee hurt. Willard Lewis, the injured referee, returned to the field, complete with a folding chair and continued his referee duties for the rest of the game.

Did you know that lead was discovered in Fayette County in February of 1870?

A dispatch from the Uniontown Genius of Liberty that was printed in the Indiana (Pa.) Progress, chronicled the discovery. (I think this may have been the inspiration for Jed Clampett’s discovery of oil, black gold Texas tea – you’ll get the point)

George W. Thomas was passing through the woods near his home near Wharton Township (Then one day he was shootin’ up some food), when his dog starting chasing a rabbit.

The fleeing rodent headed for a hole. The dog followed, and apparently put the rabbit out of commission.
Thomas started digging into the hole for the rabbit when, according to the article, “He struck but a lick or two, when he struck something which attracted his attention.” (up from the ground came some bubblin’ crude)
He’d struck lead. And it was a piece that weighed a pound. It was later taken to Pittsburg (Before they stuck that “h” on the end of it) where Otto Wuth, a “celebrated chemist” pronounced it, “the purest ore he ever examined.”

It’s not known if Thomas “loaded up his truck and moved to Beverly.”

Did you know that a Uniontown man once gained a certain degree of fame, just because he happened to wear glasses?
It’s true and I’ll tell you all about it next week.