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Category:  Did You Know?
Published:  October, 2008

Did You Know?
By Al Owens

Did you know that people really did store their hard earned money in their socks for safe keeping?

Did you also know that a Uniontown, man who used that particular means of banking, probably shouldn’t have?

According to the August 1st, 1881 edition of the Stevens Point (Wisconsin) Journal, a respected Uniontown farmer had been quite successful saving his money in old socks – until burglars broke into his house. The thieves made of with, among other things, the man’s rather full sock.

The Journal added the man, “Is on the verge of conversion to business principals.”

Did you know that an American patriot may have been the person responsible for the fact that Albert Gallatin took up residence in Fayette County?

According to a lengthy newspaper article published in 1826 in Gettysburg, it was Patrick Henry (Yes, that Patrick Henry) who made the suggestion.
That article stated that before his already numerous accomplishments in 1874, “He was so fortunate as to obtain the friendship of Patrick Henry, by whose advice he purchased his farm in Fayette County. Pennsylvania (at that time the county of Fayette was claimed by, and was under the jurisdiction of the state of Virginia.)”

Did you know that silence definitely wasn’t “golden” in one Fayette County household in the 1920’s?

The Bismarck (North Dakota) Tribune carried the story about the silent treatment that led to marital strife, in its July, 16th, 1929 edition.

It seems, Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Zimmerman of Fayette County had been married for 40 years. They’d reared 15 children together. They’d not spoken to each other for four years.

The silence began in 1924, after the couple had an argument when Mr. Zimmerman came home from work.

The argument apparently escalated, until Mr. Zimmerman vowed that “he would be just as happy – and in general state of well-being – if the good wife would discontinue speech with him.”

There was no report of a settlement of the impasse.

Did you know that in July of 1894, strikers took over the town of Dunbar?

It was a violent event that made national headlines.

The Centralia (Wisconsin) Tribune reported on July 28th, that dynamiters threw a “large bomb” under the house of a strike-breaker. Another bomb was found under the house of another non-unionist.

From the early evening, the report said, “there was considerable shooting done, not only in the town but in the surrounding country.”

The people of Dunbar were forced to walk the streets all night, while 2,000 strikers gathered for a meeting.

Did you know that Fayette County Christmases have been known to have gained nationwide and even worldwide attention?

The Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada) Herald carried a story about Christmas cheer in Uniontown its December, 19th, 1910 edition.

The Frick Coal and Coke Company bought 50 thousand pounds of Christmas candy for the children of its employees in Connellsville and the Klondyke regions.

That was enough to delight over 3,000 eager young Christmas revelers.

Did you know that sometimes even thieves would like to help bring a bit of the Christmas spirit – even to their victims?

The European edition of the military publication, Stars and Stripes, carried such a story in its November 9th, 1992 edition.

According to the report, a Uniontown couple had their outdoor Christmas lights stolen in 1989. They had suffered a bit of a financial burden when they bought them, because the husband was out of work.

But the person who stole them apparently had a heart. They returned the three strands of working lights with a note. “They were taken three years ago. Sorry, I am returning them,” it said.

Did you know that in order for Uniontown’s favorite son, Gen. George C. Marshall to become U.S. Secretary of Defense in 1950, they had to change a law?

That’s only part of the story. I’ll tell you the rest next week.