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Category:  Did You Know?
Published:  August, 2008

Did You Know?
By Al Owens

Did you know that a soft drink was once named after a Uniontown street?

Nehi Bottling, which opened operations in Uniontown in the late 1920’s, was located at 253 Coolspring Street.
(For the record, I grew up at 207 Coolspring Street. It used to give me great pleasure to stick my head inside the door of the plant to watch all of those bottles rolling along the production line on my way to Park School in the morning.)

The first bottles of Nehi soda were rolled out to the public on February 9th, 1928. In April of 1932, the Uniontown Morning Herald published a Nehi Bottling Company profile which listed a certain ginger ale known as “Coolspring Pale Dry.”

Apparently, that particular soft drink was only sold in Uniontown. (Nehi had 900 plants across the country at the time.) By the mid-1930’s Nehi began distributing Royal Crown Cola, which is still being sold today. Although the company name Nehi is no longer attached to it.

Did you know that in June of 1971 a Uniontown girl’s fight to play baseball against the boys at Baily Park made news as far away as Japan?

11 year-old Terry Weinberger had sought to play Little League (Midget League) baseball. On June 25th, the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes (the military news publication) reported that Weinberger’s request had been denied by the administrators of the Little League in Williamsport.

“Our extensive research in the area of physiological comparisons between male and female children, indicate strongly that girls are much more likely to be injured,” they announced.

By the way, on April 10th, 1974, in Marin County, California, Jenny Fulle became the first girl to play Little League baseball. In June of that year Little League officials opened up the game to all girls.

Did you know that another development involving baseball in Uniontown made another issue of Stars and Stripes?

In the April 10th, 1947 edition of Stars and Stripes, there was a report that future Baseball Hall of Famer William Jennings Bryan “Billy” Herman (He was generally known as Billy) was the player/manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates. But not only that, his wife had to do a lot of traveling that year.

It seems the Herman’s son, Billy, Jr., was playing for the minor league Uniontown Coal Barons at the same time. That mean Mrs. Herman would, according to the article, watch her husband play and manage at Forbes Field in the afternoon and then she’d drive 60 miles to watch her 18 year-old son play in Uniontown that night.

Herman was only in Pittsburgh one year. His son’s baseball career didn’t last much longer than that.

Did you know that on April 1st, 1949, the Oakland (California) Tribune reported on a tornado that hit Uniontown Country Club?

According to that report, there had been between $150,000 and $200,000 worth of damages when a “baby tornado” hit the country club and six nearby farms. Several people were injured. None were killed.

Did you know that in 1967, when cable television was first introduced to Fayette County, it only cost four dollars a month?

Of course those four dollars could only get subscribers ten or so channels. Cable TV was first proposed to Uniontown City Council in December of 1962.

But after five years of red tape and legal wrangling, a local group headed by the owners of Ross TV and Radio, connected the first lines for customers on February 10th, 1967. It was then the Uniontown Evening Standard proclaimed, “Cable TV is making its long-awaited debut in Uniontown.”

By August of that year, E.A. (Bud) Ross said his company – Fayette TV Cable Co. - had already connected 1000 homes and businesses and that 100 new cable TV connections were being added each week.

Did you know that an editor of the Uniontown Herald Standard was so incensed by the level of gambling in Fayette County, he took his concerns directly to a grand jury?

In the September 6th, 1956 edition of the Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) Free Press, it was reported that Joe Dickson had been serving on a grand jury, when he “submitted an individual report to the court charging widespread gambling and other law violations in the county.

The report, however, didn’t generate the intended effect. The other grand jurors reviewed the report, but found, “no justification for filing the report.”

Did you know that Uniontown garbage once made national news?

It’s true. I’ll explain how it did that next week.