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
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
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
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.