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DurhamHistorical Society

VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 8

									                                                     Durham Historical Society
                                                          WINTER 2002

Dear Fellow Society Members:                                             McIlhinney, Jr.. Many months of planning and a great deal of effort
                                                                         was put in by all of your directors. We even showed a small surplus
     Needless to say, the recent news reports from home and around the
                                                                         after accounting for all of the expenses that were incurred. Next year,
world have cast a dark shadow over the festive atmosphere that
                                                                         Durham Township will celebrate its 275th anniversary and we will be
typically prevails at this time of the year. However, I am pleased to
                                                                         jointly planning and hosting this noteworthy event with the township.
report that the news from your organization is outstanding. Here are
the highlights:                                                              Our annual Membership Meeting was held on November 30th
                                                                         and Lynn Gaun was reelected to serve a three year term as director.
     I am writing this message to you after having just had a telephone
                                                                         Several members expressed an interest in our corporate Bylaws and we
conversation with our State Representative, Paul Clymer, who relayed
                                                                         do have copies of them for anyone wishing to obtain one. Please leave
the terrific news that the state had approved our grant request of
                                                                         a message for our corporate secretary, Lynn Oliver, at (610) 346-1672
$5,874.00. These funds will be used to strip, sand, seal, and refinish
                                                                         and she will promptly mail you a copy. Our 2001 Annual Report is
our Durham Boat thereby restoring and preserving it for posterity.
                                                                         being finalized by the treasurer (Jim Herrmann) and will be sent to all
Requests for proposals will be solicited shortly from painting
                                                                         members within the next few weeks.
contractors who might be interested in bidding on the project. We are
extremely grateful to Representative Clymer and his staff for their          In other news, we have begun the preliminary process of studying
assistance in enabling us to acquire this tremendous grant and to our    the feasibility of jointly publishing — with the Riegelsville Library —
own director, Carle Robbins, who first brought it to our attention and a book of photographs and captions about the history of Durham and
encouraged us to apply.                                                  Riegelsville. The printing of the book would be done at no cost to
                                                                         either organization but does require us to provide photographic
     If you were not among the 38 members who joined us on Friday,
                                                                         material and stories for the book. I will keep you apprised of our
November 30th, for the second presentation of our new Speaker
                                                                         progress and ask that you consider loaning to us any photos that you
Series, I can honestly say that you missed a great evening. Dr.
                                                                         think would be worthwhile to share with the community. All photos
George Boudreau from Penn State University presented a wonderful
                                                                         would be carefully scanned and immediately returned to their owners.
lecture and slide show about Ben Franklin. Refreshments were served
afterwards and Elfriede Marschewski’s homemade pound cake was                I hope that you will enjoy this Winter Edition of our newsletter.
out of this world. Our next event will be on Friday, January 25th, at Thanks to the great efforts of Lynn Oliver, we have received good
7:30 p.m. when Lance Metz, Historian of the National Canal Museum, feedback about the previous issues that she has compiled. This
will talk about The Mystery in the Molly Maguire Trials.                 newsletter serves as your forum to share with the rest of us your
                                                                         remembrances of the community. I heartily encourage you to send
     Jim Herrmann, our director who serves both as Treasurer and
                                                                         your stories to:
Membership Chair, reports that the response to our current
membership drive has been outstanding. We’ve increased our                   Durham Historical Society
membership rolls from 70 to 278 including a doubling of lifetime             P.O. Box 5
members from 12 to 25. Membership contributions have increased               Durham, PA 18039
from $905 in January, 2001 to $8,359.00 currently. I want to reassure        ATTN: Newsletter Editor
all members, especially our new ones, that your Board of Directors has       Deadline for upcoming newsletters are as follows:
the highest regard for the trust that you have placed in us and will         SPRING 2002               March 01, 2002
exercise the ultimate fiduciary responsibility in utilizing these funds.     SUMMER 2002               June 01, 2002
As anyone who attends one of our monthly board meetings can attest,          FALL         2002         Sept. 01, 2002
your Board thoroughly deliberates any expenditure before it is               WINTER 2003               Dec. 01, 2002
authorized. My special thanks to Jim Herrmann and Director Lynn
                                                                         Best Wishes to all for a healthy and happy holiday season!
Oliver who supervised the membership drive and insured that all new
members received their “Thank You” letters and appropriate premium Respectfully yours,
gifts in an extremely timely fashion. I know that it was a huge
undertaking requiring lots of effort and hours on their parts.
    Our new car donation program has already resulted in the
contribution of four cars to the Society. Donors can receive a federal    Stephen Willey, President
tax deduction for the full retail value of their vehicle as determined by
the use of various retail pricing guides such as the Kelly Blue Book. If
you are interested in donating a vehicle, please call me at (610) 346-
8585 to get the details.
    Durham’s Community Day turned out beautifully and was well
attended. Senator Joe Conti personally delivered to us a lovely
engraved proclamation issued by the state commemorating the event.
We were also graced with the presence of State Representative Chuck
Two Kintnersville Gentlemen                                                   out from under their 6” thick, home made duck “feather tick” to do
By Charles Herrmann, Amateur Historian                                        preschool chores. This is the same double bed in which they both
                                                                              slept all their growing up years in this farmhouse. After all, there
    You should meet Paul and Clarence Berger; two of the nicest               were 15 cows, 100 or so chickens, 5 horses, including their favorite
Kintnersville gentlemen one could meet. These young brothers are              “Barney” (who frequently tried to throw them) and 30 hungry hogs to
now 87 and 78, respectively, and have lived in Durham most of their           tend to before school. Dad was also up and trying to catch the
lives. The Berger family has owned land in Upper Bucks for more               embers of last night’s fire in the only heat source in the entire house:
                                                                              the huge, wood burning, kitchen stove.
                                                                                   The 1849 farmhouse was the Oscar and Katie Berger (parents of
                                                                              Paul and Clarence) home. It is on Berger Road, near route 412 and
                                                                              Gallows Hill Road. The farm was usually in oats, hay, corn and
                                                                              wheat back in the 1920s. The house is a large, white stucco
                                                                              (originally stone) home with seven shuttered windows across the
                                                                              second floor. As all houses were then, it was built close to the road,
                                                                              as is a very big barn and several other equipment sheds. (Clarence
                                                                              lives in the back part of the farmhouse and rents the other half.) By
                                                                              the old back door is a nice spot shaded by large maples and good for
                                                                              sitting and much contemplation. Just a perch or two away, on the
                                                                              ground, sits an old birdhouse with “But my God will supply all your
                                                                              needs” (Philistines 4:19) written on it; there is nary a tenant now.
                                                                                   As previously mentioned, the Berger Farm was originally named
                                                                              “Midway” Farm as it was located mid-way from the Lightfarm to the
                                                                              road. The Lightfarm house was built (land deed recorded in 1784) in
                                                                              1811 by Solomon Lightcap. It included an original log home which
                                                                              was the site of an intensive archeology dig lasting 15 years. This dig
                                                                              was conducted by the Bucks County Community College and all
                                                                              artifacts found are now housed at the college campus. The Lightfarm
                                                                              house was eventually bought in 1982 by Carol and Max Sempowski,
                                                                              who completely restored it. Since 1992, it has been a Bed and
                                                                              Breakfast. The Sempowskis sold the business in 2000 and have since
                                                                              moved to Keysville, VA. Once again the home is for sale.
                                                                                  Visiting the Berger farmhouse for the first time, I encountered
                                                                              “Mack,” a large black dog who was guarding the farmhouse property.
               Clarence Berger (Left) and Paul Berger (Right)
                                                                              Actually, he is not much of a guard dog, but rather, a “friendly, jump-
                                                                              up-on” sort of hound who greets you quietly.
than a century. Jerome Berger, the brothers’ grandfather, originally
bought the 98 acre Berger Farm in 1905 and began to farm. When                    Paul, the older brother, lives just a short distance from his parents
Jerome’s father in law (Wilson Keiser) died* in 1915, Jerome and              old Midway Farm at the newly expanded house he shares with his son
wife Isadore (nee Keiser) then bought the adjoining 115 acre                  Donald, Donald’s wife Ann Marie, and their two children.
Lightfarm which was, incidentally, renamed “Sunny-Side Farm” and                   Paul remembers his brother Clarence’s birth in 1923 very well.
then when the 1784 deed was found, it reverted back to the original           When asked to name the hospital he laughed and quickly retorted
name of “Lightfarm.” Isadore, who was executor of her father’s                “The Berger Hospital.” Both boys, and their sisters, were born at this
estate and daughter of Wilson Keiser, helped her husband, Jerome              same farmhouse, by the same doctor, in the same room. That day,
Berger, buy out other Keiser heirs. Both farms remained separately            with his mom very pregnant with Clarence, Paul (then nine) knew
run with Jerome running the Lightfarm (and also farming part of the           something serious was afoot when his sister Evelyn ran out to the
adjacent “Siafoo” farm) and his son, Oscar, the Berger (or “Midway”)          fields telling Paul to “Get Dad quick!” Paul remembers running with
Farm.                                                                         his dad to their 1920 Model T Ford to go get Dr. O’Connell, from
*NOTE: Wilson Keiser, Jerome’s father in law and the brothers’ great          Church Hill Road, who then came and delivered Clarence.
grandfather-in- law, died while returning from taking his day’s milk to the       But let us go back to that cold February morning in 1929.
creamery. He died on his milk wagon and the horse brought him all the way
home.                                                                             With Clarence up and all morning chores finally finished, Paul
    As this information was put together, it became abundantly clear          and Clarence went back to the farmhouse for breakfast which was
that both brothers had excellent memories of these earlier times and          usually eggs or occasionally oatmeal and some fruit, but seldom
were able to help me learn what it was like growing up on a very              meat. The milk, still warm, came directly from the main milking cow
remote Kintnersville farm in the early twenties.                              “Nelly.” The kitchen was now warm and cozy—tough to leave, but
                                                                              the one room Trauger schoolhouse, with grades one through eight
    It is 6:02 a.m., a frigid morning in February 1929 and Mrs. Katie         only, beckoned with its bell; so off they trudged.
Berger hollers up the stairs of the chilly stone farmhouse (believed to
have been built about 1849 by Frederick Keiser) “Boys, get up!”
Their sisters, Kathryn (born 1911) and Evelyn (born 1919), were still
asleep. Paul Berger nudges his still sleeping younger brother
Clarence, grabs his long johns from the bedpost and very quickly gets


Durham Historical Society                                                 Winter Issue 2002                                               Page 2
    Paul, nine years older than Clarence, does remember going to a               to “get a classmate” who would sign a bond taking responsibility for
pre Trauger property, one room schoolhouse, which was on                         the errant boy, and, if the “bad” boy would again get in trouble, the
Trauger’s Crossing Road. The foundation of that building is still                bond signer would have to also be punished by a “rap on the
there. He then went to the newly built Trauger schoolroom, on                    knuckles or being made to kneel on hard peas.” (“History of
Trauger property, and then on to the Nockamixon High School in                   Pennsylvania,” Klein & Hoogenboom, 1980, p. 241)
Revere (now being used as an apartment building).
                                                                                     After school the boys walked home or caught a ride on a
    This new Trauger one room school building was built because                  neighbor’s buggy. Such a walk created hunger and both of them
Jacob Trauger, having one of the biggest farms in the neighborhood               knew precisely where their mom’s metal cake box was hidden—
(about 200 acres), kindly donated a portion of his land to the                   down in the cooler cellar. It was usually raided each day but,
township for it. The Berger brothers still remember two “nice and                somehow, Mom “never did know” and, to their amazement, never
friendly” teachers at this new schoolroom: Miss Margaret                         moved it. “Such good luck” they thought.
Frankenfield and Miss Carrie Hager. These women taught all
                                                                                     The “roads” were all dirt or gravel in those times; many a
grades and all subjects together in the single room which
                                                                                 winter’s day the brothers remember families clearing the roads of
accommodated the different aged children by differently sized
                                                                                 snowstorms totally by hand as there were no township road crews
chairs. The young children were in smaller chairs in the front and
                                                                                 then. They would clear the drives and roads in front of their farms
the older kids would sit on larger chairs back a row. School chores
                                                                                 and then work both ways on the road to the next farm. The brothers
existed, of course, and one of the older boys was usually asked to
                                                                                 thought it was fun rather than hard work!
“go get some coal from the coal pile.” The teachers would then
handle the central pot belly stove. Getting drinking water was                       In 1930 the county, using WPA money, built the Nockamixon
handled in the same way, but was gotten from the neighboring                     Consolidated School, in Revere, thus closing Trauger’s and all other
Melchoir farmhouse. Neither brother remembers any girls ever                     one room schoolhouses. The students from those schools were
being asked to do these duties. Nor did the girls wash the                       brought to the new school. (The undeeded land used for the
blackboards!                                                                     schoolhouse then reverted back to the Trauger farm.) Many farmers
                                                                                 resisted this school “consolidation” and called it “Fineganization”
    Clarence went to the Trauger property schoolroom and in 1931,
                                                                                 after Thomas E. Finegan, Ph.D., then Superintendent of the State
he went to the newly built Nockamixon Consolidated School, now
                                                                                 Department of Public Instruction (1919-1923). Dr. Finegan largely
the Palisades High School. When he transferred from the Trauger
                                                                                 was responsible for development and implementation of the
School to the Nockamixon Consolidated School, he remembers his
                                                                                 “Edmonds Act of 1921” which was the first attempt to put schools
class including only himself and one other child, that being an Anna
                                                                                 on a “business like basis.” (“History of Pennsylvania,” Wayland F.
Kerstner. Clarence must have been sweet on her to remember her
                                                                                 Dunaway, 1935, p. 305)
name all this time.
                                                                                     Supper was the big meal of the day and both brothers always
    Both brothers speak of their teachers fondly—they could not
                                                                                 hoped that Mom had prepared their supper favorite—fried potatoes
remember any discipline other than some boys having to stand in the
                                                                                 slightly burned! If meat was served the question always was, “Who
corner for 10 minutes or so for silly pranks. Paul remembers his
                                                                                 was it?” They did often feel sorry for a particular cow or other
earlier Trauger School class having only three students. Schools at
                                                                                 animal but those thoughts were rare on such a working farm. When
that time provided most supplies—paper, books, and pencils.
                                                                                 an animal was slaughtered they would use the lime bags, from the
Clarence recalls getting a colorful pencil box from the Trauger
                                                                                 lime used in the fields, to hang meat to cure up in the attic. The lime
schoolhouse which he still has in the attic. The brothers also
                                                                                 kept the flies away. Sometimes they would take a few head of cattle
remember some homework, but not much; there were no home
                                                                                 and walk them all the way to Quakertown to the Knauss
bought encyclopedias or libraries at that time and all homework was
                                                                                 Slaughterhouse (now Knauss Dried Beef Co.). There was also
done under smoky kerosene lamps. The nearest library was in
                                                                                 Dorie Fleck, a local guy who seemed to know a lot about cows and
Doylestown and then one was built in Quakertown. They do
                                                                                 butchering—Dorie was good enough than he would be called sooner
remember being made to read a “McDuffey Reader,” a well used
                                                                                 than a vet! By “called” that should be read as “somebody took a
children’s book of the time which stressed “sobriety, piety, and
                                                                                 horse or possibly, by this time, a car to Dorie’s home.” At this time
morality.”
                                                                                 only the Traugers, Melchoirs, and Deemers had phones which were
NOTE: In Pennsylvania, in 1923, there were 13,875 one room                       always readily made available to neighbors.
schoolhouses, 51,703 teachers, and 1,810,520 students. Later, when all of            The Berger sisters usually were found working in the kitchen
the consolidation was finished, there were 2,600 teachers—1,400 men and
                                                                                 after school. Canning and preserving were big jobs in those days;
1,200 women. (“Pennsylvania, A History” by George P. Donehue, 1924, p.
1613).                                                                           the brothers recall many pots a brewing, many clean Mason jars all
                                                                                 lined up, with Mom, Evelyn, and Katherine running from one to the
    Recess and lunch, which was one hour, included basketball,                   other with steaming hot juices and other earthy sweet smelling
baseball, tennis, and a game called “pitch and catch,” played only by            things.
the older boys with the girls dutifully watching and certainly
appraising. The game consisted of one boy throwing a ball over the                   There was not much sickness around though flu epidemics were
entire schoolhouse and caught on the other side by the thrower’s                 frequent. There being few medicines then, Doc O’Connell would
friend. The ball could not touch the school or it was not considered             frequently tell their mom to make a “plaster of lard and mustard”
a good throw. During recess both brothers attest to a lot of horsing             which was used on people and livestock alike. It hurt
around; Clarence tells of a Harry Trout who took the liberty of
stamping on Clarence’s knuckles, and bloodying them as he hung
from a handrail at a schoolhouse entrance. Harry’s nose got bloody
too for that trick!
    A favorite trick of the teachers was to tell a boy in some trouble

Durham Historical Society                                                   Winter Issue 2002                                              Page 3
sometimes but it did warm and loosen the congestion in the patient’s    engine cylinder sleeves. These sleeves, rough cast, then went to
chest.                                                                  Pratt-Whitney, Allison and Wright Brothers (all airplane
                                                                        manufacturers) for final finishing and fitting in various engine blocks.
    When there was a hardware need the boys would take a horse to
Pleasant Valley where there was the Weisbach Hardware Store.                Their mom, Katie, died of rheumatic fever in 1953 and their dad,
There was also Deaterly’s Hardware Store in Springtown. Their dad       Oscar, died of cardiac arrest in 1956. Both are buried in Durham
finally got a 1938 Case tractor which both boys loved to drive—that     Cemetery as are their sister’s Kathryn and Evelyn. A wedding
is except when threshing from the tractor’s PTO. They say, “That is     portrait of their parents, Katie & Oscar, is still prominently displayed
the dirtiest, itchiest, hottest job in the world!”                      in Paul’s house having been taken at the Grieseman’s Photography
                                                                        Studio in Quakertown.
     After school, when the boys got older they would earn money
delivering eggs to nearby farms such as the Longchamps. The farm            Paul and Clarence, still live about 900 feet away from each other,
lady would usually tip them a nickel or dime which Paul kept in a       over on Berger Road, and still see each other daily. I am pleased to
Prince Edward pipe tobacco can—yes—he still has the can. Clarence       be able to call them my friends. The many who know these
kept his money under the bed. There was no such thing as                “Kintnersville Gentlemen” will know exactly what I mean. A recent
“allowance” but, at Christmas time, their grandfather Jerome would      example of their kindness was their donation, of a very much needed
give them the huge sum of $5.00 and, sometimes, their father, Oscar,    3 point 8 inch auger, to the nearby Last Chance Ranch (an equine
would give them the absolutely unheard of sum of $20.00; a fortune      rescue farm). The words “made of the right stuff” comes to mind
in those days! There were always odd jobs to do if they were not        when thinking of these two gents from Kintnersville.
working for their father on the farm but, when they reached twenty      Charles Herrmann is an amateur historian and would appreciate being
one years old, their father began to pay them.                          advised of any errors or comments about this article. He can be reached by
     A well known and popular person in town when the boys became       writing to: C. Herrmann, 373 Kintner Road, Kintnersville, PA 18930, or
                                                                        email: Moose373@axs2000.net. Mr. Herrmann also provided the photo of
teenagers was the local Justice of the Peace who was Theodore
                                                                        Paul and Clarence Berger.
Moyer from Ferndale. JP Moyer, the brothers recall, was always at
all auctions. He always had a pencil in his mouth, took the money       In addition to Clarence and Paul, Max and Carol Sempowski, previous
and wrote all the receipts personally. He also sold dog licenses and    owners of the LIGHT FARM B & B, were substantial contributors to this
people went to him for advice like we now go to an attorney. Mr.        article. Thanks to them all.
Moyer’s daughters were also local teachers.
     Another popular man was the local Constable, a certain Maynard     The Doans Brothers: Part II
Baron. Constable Baron had a deputy, Mr. Wilber Frey. One night         by Carle Robbins, Amateur Historian
there was a complaint at Stoney Point (now Martha’s Grocery) about
a stray dog causing a ruckus. Baron and Frey went to investigate.       A YOUNG REBEL WITH A LOYAL CAUSE
They were prepared to shoot the dog but he was not to be found by           Joseph Doan strove to bring his sons up with the Quaker values
the time they got there on horseback. This was just as well for the     of hard work, peace, love, help thy neighbor, and a strong belief in
locals; they were rooting for the dog! Pretty much as now, there were   God. The young Doans brothers along with their cousin Abraham,
always dogs around farms; Clarence’s favorite dog was “Scotty” but      would attend church on a regular basis. After the service they would
both brothers remember a much loved stray named “Jack” that just        join in the activities held at the Friends Meetinghouse on Ferry Road
happened on the farm and stayed seventeen years following the boys      near Gardenville. It was rumored that even when the Doans boys
all over the county.                                                    were young they excelled in field events, such as running, jumping,
    For some summertime amusement Paul and Clarence would               and other physical contests set up for the children. Even as
camp besides Gallows Run. They would build bonfires, cook their         youngsters, because of their hard work and tending horses, the Doans
fresh caught fish, and talk into the night. A certain local young and   boys displayed an aggressive physical presence when competing with
budding artist by the name of Gaston Longchamp also camped with         their contemporaries.
the brothers. A frequent camp game was “blind man’s bluff” where             Sometime in the 1760’s the Friends Meetinghouse became a
one was blindfolded and tried to catch somebody. The first time         center for the local farmers, ranchers, and tradesmen to sell or barter
Gaston played this new game he wrapped his arms around a tree,          their goods. On one Saturday of each month, this improvised
thinking it a person he “caught!”                                       marketplace would bustle with activity. Most of the trading was
    Only once in their young lives did Paul and Clarence get to see     completed by noon and then organized athletic events were held.
the sea. They went on a family outing in 1931 to Asbury Park, New       These events would attract young men from miles around to test their
Jersey with their Aunt and Uncle Cressman. They were 15 and 8           abilities in wrestling, jumping, foot racing, quoits (a game like
years old. They both, to this day, vividly remember the amusements      horseshoes) and their skills at horsemanship. The Doans boys were
there and that fascinating sea.                                         now in their teens with less than six years separating their ages.
                                                                        Joseph Jr., Moses, Aaron, Levi, Mahlon, and their cousin, Abraham,
    Later yet, as men, the brothers met their wives. Paul met his       all displayed the family traits of tall straight framed muscular builds
wife, Rhea Scholl, at a church supper in Springtown. Clarence met       with long muscular necks. They also had dark brown hair and strong
his wife, Mable Sames, at a Moose Hall dance in Doylestown. Their       facial features. Moses, in addition to some of his brothers, was
marriages were both written up in the “Easton Express,” later called    already six foot in height. As they competed in the athletic events,
the “Globe Times,” and still later the “Morning Call.”                  the Doans boys stayed close together and rooted
    During World War II, Clarence remained on the farm, exempt
from the draft as a farmer, and Paul began working at Bethlehem
Steel (then a defense plant allowing Paul also to be exempt from the
draft). Paul became an inspector of steel (not cast iron) airplane


Durham Historical Society                                           Winter Issue 2002                                                  Page 4
each other on. Moses emerged as the leader of this group and when          Upon hearing this talk, Moses’ demeanor would change violently
he was not competing he would urge and coach his brothers and              and a brawl usually would ensue. Fearing no one, Moses would
cousin. Moses was said to have almost mythical strengths when it           fight with the ferocity of a wild animal. A rumored account has it,
came to wrestling, jumping, foot racing and the handling of horses.        that in a tavern near Trenton, New Jersey, Moses took on four men,
He also displayed a bullying part of his personality that would often      leaving them bloodied on the floor, and the tavern in a shambles.
bring him at odds with other contestants. The only other young man         He then rode off into the night, like an owl, leaving no trail.
from the area that would stand up to Moses was a lad named
                                                                              His legendary deeds were in the infancy stage, but they soon
William Hart. Ironically, Hart would play a large role as Nemesis in
                                                                           would grow as the world around him became splintered. Moses
the future of Moses Doan.
                                                                           Doan now was a young rebel with a loyal cause.
     Sometime in the fall of 1770, Moses and his father, Joseph
                                                                           The next episode—Part III “A Rowdy Gang of Loyalists” —will be
Senior, had a quarrel over Moses’ wild escapades against other
                                                                           in the Spring 2002 edition.
settlers in the area. The quarrel ended in a deadlock and Moses
decided to leave his childhood home. Because he had made friends
with the local Native Americans, Moses was welcomed to live with
the Wolf tribe, which was part of the Lenape Indian Nation. Moses          My Recollection of Durham School Days and More. . .
moved to an Indian encampment near Tohickon Creek located in the           by Maynard Crouse, former Durham Resident
Tinicum area. Here he learned the Indian ways of stalking game at              Since I was born in 1920, north of the Durham School and
night, navigating at night, and negotiating the many Indian trails that    Durham Church (known in the area as the Crouse Farm), I started
lead through the wilderness of upper Bucks County. Moses also              school at Durham in September 1926. I’ll tax my memory to come
fished with his Indian friends, during which time he gained the            up with who my teachers were at Durham.
knowledge of the many crossing points to the New Jersey side of the
Delaware River. In addition, he took great pride in demonstrating               My first grade teacher was Mrs. Pegalaro Monzert. Helen Gall
his strength and agility in the sport of wrestling with his Native         Severs was my second grade teacher who is now 93 years of age and
American friends.                                                          is living in Plainsfield Township, PA. She lives on her family farm
                                                                           on Gall Road, and tells me that she retired from teaching in the
    With the changing seasons being a major factor, the Indian camp        1970s at Palisades. Ms. Severs is also an artist. In her years as a
was moved periodically. This movement enabled the members of               teacher, she taught at several colleges.
the Wolf tribe to take advantage of hunting and fishing accessibility.
The hunting parties continually moved from the forest to the edge of           I’m in doubt if Ms. Grace Bidwell of Warren Glen, NJ was third
the Delaware River. The Indians used the many caves located in the         and fourth grade teacher. She was one or both. My fifth grade
area as temporary camps.                                                   teacher was Mrs. Martin of Upper Black Eddy. Just before her
                                                                           school term ended, she was killed in an auto accident, after school,
   After months of living with the Wolf tribe, Moses let his hair          where Durham Road meets Route 212. Mrs. Kintner then took over
grow and took on the look of his Indian friends. Because of his            as the fifth grade teacher.
                physical abilities and the popularity he gained
                with the local tribe, he was invited to attend tribal          In 1931, my sixth, seventh, and eighth grades teacher was Sam
                council meetings. To reach the location of these           Litzenberger. I’m pretty sure Mr. Litzenberger came to Durham
                meetings, he traveled the many Indian trails that          School right out of college and spent his long career at Durham.
                wove through Bucks and Montgomery Counties,                Sam was also Principal and Janitor. Here’s a portion of my sixth
                Pennsylvania. As his popularity grew, Moses also           grade report card.
                was invited and attended other council meetings of             I was never an honor student, just a hard working farm kid, and
                the Lenape Nation. Because the Lenape Nation               a darn good solider too (I served in WW II later on)!
                encompassed the large geographical area of the
                mid atlantic North America, Moses traveled                     As I stated before, I started school at Durham in 1926. I can still
                throughout central New Jersey, and even to Staten          recall the boys and girls outside toilet being located north of the
                Island. The Indians had trails that the settlers                                                                       original
                knew little about or were afraid to negotiate on a                                                                     school
                regular basis. Moses learned to travel the trails                                                                      building,
                through the Watchung Hills of New Jersey. This                                                                         and that
                knowledge would later play a role in his future                                                                        the section
                exploits. After ten months of living and traveling                                                                     of the
                with the Indians, Moses became a skilled guide,                                                                        building
                hunter, night tracker, and was fearless of the                                                                         on the west
                wilderness at night.                                                                                                   of the
                                                                                                                                       older
    When the occasion came that his travels brought him near an Inn                                                                    building
or Tavern, Moses would leave his Indian friends to enjoy a little                                                                      hadn’t
grog and afford himself a flirt with the local damsels. When he                                                                        been built
entered a tavern, his long hair and powerful build would gain the                                                                      yet. When
patrons’ attention. He would barter with the barkeep for a few pints                                                                   the new
of grog and join in the many conversations surrounding him. It was                                                                     building
said, that on numerous occasions, this ominous looking man                                                                             was being
displayed a great sense of humor until the talk turned to some of the                                                                  built, that
hardships that King George was putting on the colonists.                                                                               night after


Durham Historical Society                                             Winter Issue 2002                                              Page 5
the brick wall on the east side was put up, we had a windstorm that        overseas duty was for forty-three and a half months.
blew a big portion of the wall away.
                                                                               I don’t know how many folks know that we had a person who
When I entered the third grade, in 1928, the new section was               was a pilot of Air Force One. His passengers were Presidents
opened. That meant throwing out the large coal stoves in front of          Eisenhower and Kennedy. His name is Joseph Sofet. He attended
the rooms in the old section because it was now heated from the            Durham School in 1926 and 1927. His family lived on Spring Hill
boiler in the basement in the new building.                                Road, and because of the distance, Joseph was accepted to the
                                                                           Riegelsville School. He is now retired and living in Florida.
                                                                               Upon returning from the service, I did what many veterans did
                                                                           then, I got married, and purchased a home in Nazareth, where I still
                                                                           live with my wife. Our son moved to Florida after he was
                                                                           discharged from the Air Force where he still resides, and our
                                                                           daughter lives in Wind Gap, PA with her two grown sons. I’ve
                                                                           worked as an electrician before and after the war. Over the course
                                                                           of the years I worked on construction and for several industries. I’m
                                                                           now retired.
                                                                               It’s been a long time since those school days, war days, and so
                                                                           on but I still enjoy coming back to visit, and I try to attend the
                                                                           Durham Community Days every October. I even had the honor of
                                                                           escorting my Second Grade teacher, Ms. Severs, to last year’s event.
                                                                           This year I met a DHS Director who invited me to share my story
                                                                           which I hope you have as much pleasure reading it as I did writing
                                                                           it. Things have sure changed since September 1926.
                                                                           Thanks to Mr. Crouse for his article and for submitting the
                                                                           following factoids copied from “Riegelsville People, Places” book:
                                                                           Some Information of the Past.
                                                                           In 1806—The first anthracite coal to be shipped down the Delaware
                                                                           River, at $21.00 a ton. The Delaware Canal opened 1834. With
                                                                           Jashiah White, the cost $8.40 a ton. Canal boats ceased operation in
                                                                           the year of 1931. The canal was 60 miles long.
       (drawing of Durham School floor plan by Maynard Crouse)             In 1828—At the time of high water in the Delaware it was reported
                                                                           as many as 1,000 rafts were traveling the river.
     One thing bad at Durham School, after the traffic became more         In 1831—A stage coach traveling from Philadelphia to Easton, had
frequent, was the highway in front of the school. All summer the           to change horses five times.
grass and weeds were left grown in the school yard. Before the             In 1831—The first postage stamps with adhesive backs were issued,
school term began, a farmer would come with the horses and mow             a one, three and twelve cents stamps.
and cut the weeds, which had grown from May to August. These
tall weeds, after being cut, were never cleaned up.                        In 1859—Fredrick Crouse was appointed postmaster at Riegelsville,
                                                                           PA.
     The school year started in September, after Labor Day, and            In 1874—March 17, The Durham School District purchased the
ended the last week in April. I was told that the reason for this was      Presbyterian Church for $650.00, a second floor was added. Two
the farmers needed the children to work on the farms during the four       years later the school burnt down.
months of summer. I had five years of perfect attendance out of
eight years at Durham School. In my eighth year, my father took            In 1879—Edison’s incandescent lamp come into use.
me to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA. Mr.                    In 1881—The Quakertown and Easton railroad was built. The
Litzenberger marked me absent. I asked him to mark me present              freight train traveled from Durham Furnace to Quakertown. Was
and he refused. I still consider that I deserved to be marked present      discontinued in 1937.
for the year, but then again, rules are rules. I still regret that some    In 1887 at the Riegelsville School, one teacher taught 52 pupils.
people in the township couldn’t have come up with a reunion, when
Mr. Litzenberger retired, for the many pupils that this teacher taught     In 1894—The first class graduated from Riegelsville High School.
over the years.                                                            In 1903—The first trolleys operated between Easton and
    As time moved on, I was one of the first boys drafted from             Doylestown. Its last run was November 25, 1926.
Durham Township, November, 1941, to serve in World War II (just            In 1928—The new smaller paper money went into circulation,
three weeks before the Pearl Harbor incident). I left the states out of    replacing the large bills.
New York for Australia in January, 1942. From there it was on to           In 1959—The Lehigh Valley Black Diamond passenger train made
New Caledonia, and the Battle of Guadalcanal. Because of malaria,          its last run through the valley.
I was sent to Fiji Island to be hospitalized. Later, I fought in the       Before November 18, 1883 a passenger crossing the U.S. had to
Battles of Bougainville Island, Leyte, and Cebu in the Philippines.        change their time 20 times until the five time zones were formed.
When the war with Japan was over, I returned to the states in
September 1945, and served stateside for nine weeks. My



Durham Historical Society                                             Winter Issue 2002                                             Page 6
Note from the Editor:
In our Fall 2001 issue we ran “The Return,” written by Lorretta
                                                                                     Did you know . . .
Deysher (daughter of Harvey Riegel, Jr., and sister of Dr. Richard
Riegel and Herbert Riegel) and received more information from the                   that William Penn
Riegel family.
    Dr. Richard Riegel (Ms. Deysher’s brother) had this to offer:
                                                                               revisited Durham Township
“Our grandfather was Harvey K. Riegel, Sr. He was the father of
Clarence Riegel, Lula Ohlson, Floyd Riegel, Parker Riegel, Harvey
                                                                                       just recently?
K. Riegel, Jr., and Katherine Stemler. Rightfully, Floyd Riegel was
our Uncle. Harvey K. Riegel, Jr. operated the Number 5 Farm
where I, my brother Herbert and sister were raised. We have many
fond memories of being raised on Number 5 Farm. My brother and
I were taught how to trap in the creek, hunting in the fields plus the
many varied farm chores. We have many memories of the Durham
Mill when my grandfather (Harvey K. Riegel, Sr.) owned and
operated it during the Depression years and the early War years
before he died, and then operated by our Uncle Floyd Riegel. Of the
above generation—my mother, Mildred I. Riegel is the only living
person at 90 years of age. She is the wife of Harvey K. Riegel, Jr.
and is presently in the Lutheran Nursing Home in Selinsgrove, PA.”
    Mr. Donald Riegel included the following:
    “My father was Floyd Riegel (my middle name is Floyd). My
grandfather was Harvey Riegel. He was Lorretta Deysher’s
grandfather. The article in the Fall newsletter stated that Floyd was
Lorretta’s grandfather. Floyd was her uncle. Vera (school teacher)
was my mother.”
We wish to thank these gentlemen for the clarifications, and for
providing more information about the Riegel family.



                 Our thanks go once again to:
                 Harmony Press of Easton
  for both their fine work and very generous contribution
        towards the printing costs of this newsletter.



                      Donate Your Car


                                                                                 On Saturday, October 6, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. William Penn
                                                                             (David Rose dressed as Penn) visited our fair Township of Durham .
The                                                  Durham                  He shared with the community writings on the values he held and
Historical                                           Society is              the importance these values had on the development of future
excited to announce that we can now accept donations of used                 American values. Mr. Rose is a speaker from the Northampton
automobiles – subject to certain conditions – with the donor                 County Historical and Genealogical Society.
receiving a tax deduction in the amount of the "fair market                      This kicked off the first of many presentations in DHS’
value" of the vehicle.                                                       Historical Speakers Series. Our second presentation, on
                                                                             November 30, 2001, was Benjamin Franklin and William Penn’s
 Donors of vehicles will be awarded the appropriate level of                 Legacy — a delightful insight to how “Penn’s plans for the colony
membership and its associated benefits based on how much the                 and the city of Philadelphia had great influence on Franklin’s life
society nets from the disposal of the vehicle. Please call us at             and career.” This lecture was given by George Boudreau, Ph.D. of
(610) 346-1672 to arrange for free pick up of the donated                    Penn State University.
vehicle.



Durham Historical Society                                               Winter Issue 2002                                            Page 7
                                                                           Durham, Pennsylvania 18039
                                                                           P.O. Box 5
                                                                           Durham Historical Society




  PERMIT NO. 6
   DURHAM, PA
 STANDARD MAIL
 NON PROFIT ORG.                                                                       JANUARY 2002 ISSUE




                                   UPCOMING EVENTS
Friday. January 25th, 7:30 p.m.: Friday. March 22nd, 7:30 p.m.:                   HISTORICAL
                                                                                SPEAKERS SERIES
        HISTORICAL                                 HISTORICAL
                                                                                GUEST LECTURE #5
      SPEAKERS SERIES                            SPEAKERS SERIES
      GUEST LECTURE #3                           GUEST LECTURE #4
                                                                                TO BE ANNOUNCED
        “The Mystery                             TO BE ANNOUNCED


                                                                                       ?
           in the
    Molly Maguires Trials”
    This presentation will given by Lance
Metz, Historian of the National Canal
Museum in the Durham Township Meeting
Room. DHS hopes you will join us to learn
                                                          ?
the mystery of these trials.



For more information call (610) 346-1672
email: durhamhistoricalsociety@juno.com     Friday. May 31st, 7:30 p.m.:

								
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