Friday, November 28, 2014

A Short Tale of Turkeys

Thanksgiving is over, but it's not too late to dredge up a memory of my uncle Mac.  Or rather, it's not a memory of my uncle, whom I only saw a handful of times, but rather one of the few times I remember his older brother, my father, talking about him.

As described in other posts, Mac had gotten his PhD in animal nutrition.  He taught for a year in Tennessee, then moved east in 1930 to take a job with the Agricultural Research Service, at the Beltsville MD research center.  He stayed there for 13 or so years, before moving to Massachusetts to become director of research for the Webster feed company.  I remember Dad had some small items, pencils, pocket calendar, that sort of stuff, all with the Webster name on them.

Anyhow, Dad said that Mac had worked on the Beltsville turkey.  Finally got around to researching that and here's what the ARS site says (pdf).  The gist is in the wikipedia site:
The Beltsville Small White was developed beginning in 1934 in response to market research that said consumers wanted a turkey of small to medium size with no dark pinfeathers. In a breeding program at the Beltsville Center that lasted from 1934 to 1941, the USDA used White Holland, White Austrian, Narragansett, Bronze, and Wild Turkey genetics. The breed was used commercially in the 1940s, and was recognized officially by the American Poultry Association in 1951.[2]
As a result of being developed specifically for smaller, urban households, the breed never had the size to satisfy the demands of restaurants. By the 1970s, it had nearly disappeared, and the Broad Breasted White had come into prominence. It is still extremely rare today, and is listed as Critical by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.[2] It retains interest primarily among breed enthusiasts and those interested in a heritage turkey breed.
To be honest, I've not seen a document linking Mac to the turkey, but then I've not specifically searched for one.  He's certainly there at the right time and might well have focused on the nutrition of the new breed, among his other duties.  But since Mac and John almost never wrote, dad would not have not detailed knowledge of his work.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ministers in Hague, NY for Summer

This piece from the Ticonderoga paper of Aug 18, 1898, reports that William and Ada were in Hague and W.R. preached a sermon at the W.M Church.  The writer expressed the hope they'd build a cottage there before another year. Hague is a town on Lake George.  From the other notes, it looks as if it was a popular summer resort for ministers.

The Harshaws were visiting "Capt. Mrs. Robinson".  Whether she was a relative, friend, or just the hostess of the summer resort I don't know.

Dr. Harshaw on the Minimum Wage

The Geneva newspaper picked up something from (presumably) W.R.Harshaw on the subject of fair wages for working women.  (He was for, or at least didn't think women should engage in prostitution on the side to make up for low wages.)  Can't copy the text, so you'll have to look at the link.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

W.R.Harshaw on Libraries

William R. Harshaw wrote an article for Outlook Magazine in June 1901 on the West Pittston library.  The article was reprinted in the Pittston Gazette on July 9, 1901.  He's very concerned about getting people to read only the "best" and rather snobbishly dismissive of Pittston, which was more immigrant coal miners while West Pittston was more professional and managerial.  But for all his dated attitudes, he apparently was a driving force behind rejuvenating the library.

Theodore Roosevelt wrote for the magazine, which was not one of the muckraking mags.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Galum Postmaster: Michael Harshaw

Michael Harshaw was appointed postmaster at Galum, IL on Jan 21, 1862.  Abraham Lincoln had been postmaster some 30 years earlier and got paid about $20 a quarter.  I don't know the basis--whether it was a flat salary or based on the money the postmaster collected.

Ancestry has a some explanation . As noted, the appointment was political (remember the movie "Lincoln") which links up with grandfather's bio of Michael.

But why "Galum"?  Cutler, IL was only developed when the railroad came through, which was after 1862.  My only clue is a "Galum Church Road" which currently runs west from the Pinckneyville area towards Cutler. Today it ends in an area which was mined, but assuming it was a continuous route in 1862 it would be route 15 which runs just north of Cutler, near the original location of Michael's church.

So was Michael's church the original "Galum Church?  No, it seems there was a Galum church  founded in 1854 near Pinckneyville which burned down in 2005,but the cemetery still remains.  So where was the postoffice, near the Galum church or the Cutler church.  Not clear.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The West Pittston Library and W.R.Harshaw I

Ms Anne Barr, director of the West Pittston Library, made connections with me through this blog.  We talked on the phone today.  Briefly it seems that grandfather, William R. Harshaw, was quite involved with the library's affairs, as reflected in the minutes of the library association. She will be sharing information on his involvement with me and I will pass it on (hence the "I").

The library website also provides access to digitized copies of some issues of the Pittston Gazette.  The first mention of W.R.Harshaw is on the occasion of the first use of the new church building, February 26, 1892. He preached twice.  A mystery though--why is he described as of Columbus, Ohio?  Perhaps a correspondent's mistake, because he was of New York City then.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gottleib Mittelberger and Pennsylvania of 1750

Stumbled on this pdf file of Gottleib Mittelberger's description of his journey to PA in 1750 and the conditions there (he eventually returned to Germany).  Provides some context for the Rippeys and Orsons.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jonas Lighty, His Background, and the "Flying Camp"

Jonas Lighty, who left Mary Orson his estate, was, I believe, headed for the "flying camp" which wikipedia has an article on.  (It's a step towards a Continental army.)

And I quote from a message on the Lighty family message board.
John Lighty is my great-great-great-great grandfather. He was the son of Christian and Catharine Leyty (correct spelling) who emigrated from Switzerland in 1737 and purchased a patent from Penn for 200 acres in Lancaster County, later to be York County, in Washington Township (There still remains in the Lighty name, 50 acres of that original patent purchase). They settled in the East Berlin (York and Adams County) area with three other families (Asper, Leas & Malaun) in 1741. John had a younger brother, Jonas, who died as a Revolutionary War soldier in 1776. The York County Historical Society has copies of the Wills of Christian and Jonas. The York County Register of Wills had at one time, copies of the Wills of Christian and John. John's estate record listed his death date as November 30, 1803, having died in Washington Township, York County, PA. I'm sorry that I do not have a burial location. My line follows Abraham. I am familiar with other lines. If you are still interested, please supply an updated email address, as the one on file for this site is not current.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rev. Michael and the Reformed Presbyterians

The Reformed Presbyterian Synod met in Pittsburgh on May 25, 1868 with Rev. Michael Harshaw in attendance and speaking.  The Pittsburgh paper reports their deliberations, which seem stormy.  Though the exact issue isn't clear it's possible that it was united with the larger Presbyterian church. (Much discussion about reunion after the Civil War.) 

 Rev. Michael leaves the Reformed and joins the United in 1870.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Trip--Day 7

Just figured out I didn't post a record of day 7 of the trip Marjorie and I took back in 2008, so I'm only 6 years late (and probably inaccurate).

We left Brecksville, Oh, traveled east, visited Grove City, noting the stone blocks in the main street recording history, including that of the Grove City Harshaws.  Marjorie visited the bank where the Harshaw Diaries had been stored, though she wasn't able to see the vault.  We then went north, stopping briefly in the Grove City cemetery and then to try to locate Andrew Harshaw's farm, but I got lost and frustrated and couldn't find it.  We did succeed, after searching a good while and finally asking for instructions, in finding the church where Michael and M. were married, and then the Rocky Glen graveyard, where Sarah and her children are buried.

Late in the day we got into New York.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

John Coventry Smith

One of Sarah Harshaw's descendants, making him a third cousin.  He rated an obit in the NYTimes, beginning:

" Rev. Dr. John Coventry Smith, a former president of the World Council of Churches and a leader of the United Presbyterian Church, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack while participating in a panel discussion at the Abington Presbyterian Church in Abington, Pa. He was 80 years old."

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sarah Harshaw b1831

Marjorie reported finding a genealogy: "the Harshaws of Northwestern Pennsylvania", mostly focused on Michael Harshaw's brother Andrew and his daughter Sarah.  While I'd found data for Andrew's sons, Sarah was a blank.  So with the names of her husband (Smith) and children, I've been able to fill in some blanks in my ancestry tree.  Mostly her children seem to have lived in the Grove City area.  It's a prolific branch of the tree, so there's much more to do.