Democratic watchman. (Bellefonte, Pa.) 1855-1940, June 14, 1895, Image 2

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    Bellefonte, Pa., June 14, 1895.
Historical Address.
Delivered at the Centennial Anniversary of Belle.
fonte by ex-Governor James A Beaver.
One hundred years ago our
forefatl ers, with wise forethought and
keen foresight, laid out and founded &
village where we now reside which
they believed would be a centre of in-
fluence, a desirable place for residence
and to which would naturally gravi-
tate the business of the surrounding re-
sion. The year was propitious.
Probably in no other single year of the
history of Pennsylvania were 80 many
enterprises of like character and equal
success started as in the year 1795.
The localitv was, in ail respects, hap-
pily chosen and fully satisfying. One
hundred years of practically continu-
ous and uninterrupted progress and
prosperity fully vindicate the wisdom
of the choice of our founders. We,
their successors, have not overestima-
ted the importance of this anniversary
nor have we celebrated it with too
much of acclaim and eclat.
No celebration of an event of this
kind in our country seems to be com-
plete without an address, and, inas-
much as you have kindly imposed the
duty of making this address for the oc-
easion upon me, I approach its dis-
charge with much of delicacy and dif-
fidence, for the reasons, firat that Iam
not “to the manor born,” and, second,
that there are so many who have full-
er knowledge of the facts and are in
many ways better qualified than I for
meeting the requirements of the ocea-
History is more than a mere narra-
tive of human events. To be worthy
the name of history such a narrative
must recite a series of events in the
life of our race which directly or indi
rectly, positively or negatively, by imi-
tation or avoidance, tends to advance
civilization and promote the general
welfare. If this be true, the lives of
those who preceded our immediate
forefathers in this locality are entitled
to but little consideration. They con-
tributed nothing to the civilization of
the generations following them and
left them little which in our day can be
regarded as worthy of imitation. The
influences which combined and centre
in the settlement of Bellefonte can be
traced directly backward along the
stream of history for many centuries.
To do this, however, is not the pur-
pose of such an address as this. I
must confine myself within very par-
row limits so as not to transgress the
proprieties of time and place.
In. dealing with locality, a lawyer's
first concern relates to the title, and I
must, therefore, say a word as to the
title under which our ancestors held
the lands upon which we now reside.
You are well aware that, by a royal
charter from Charles II. of England,
bearing date the 4th of March, 1681,
there was conveyed to William Penn a
grant of territory bounded practically
on the East by the River Delaware,
lying between the 40th and 43rd paral-
lels of northern latitude and extend-
ing westward five degrees of latitude.
This, of course, included all of Centre
county, and, in accordance with the
ideas and customs which prevailed in
that day, recognizing the right of dis-
coverers to all the lands discovered,
gave a gond title to William Penn, the
proprietor. Penn, however, did not
share in the views in regard to the
rights of the discoverer of territory as
then entertained and determined to se-
cure, in addition to those rights, the
title claimed by those who were in pos-
gession of the territory granted to him
by royal charter. In pursuance: of
this policy, he extinguished the titles
of the Indians from time to time by va-
rious purchases to all their lands east
of the Susquehannah river and south
of a line drawn from the mouth of
which is now called the Mahontango
creek, in the Susquehanna river south
of Sunbury to the mouth of the Lacka-
wanna creek in the river Delaware. In
the year 1754 at Albany a treatv was
made with the Six Nations of Indians
(so-called) by which, as it was claimed
by the successors of Penn, the title of
the Indians to all the lands north and
west of previous purchases to the ex-
treme boundary of the province was
extinguished. The Indians claimed
however, that they were over-reached
in the transaction and did not under-
stand the terms “northwest” and
‘west’ and this point being apparent-
ly conceded by the Penns anew ar-
rangement, negotiated by Richard Pe-
ters and Conrad Wiser on behalf ot the
proprietors, was made in 1758 by
which a deed of confirmation and
compromise, dated October 23d of that
year, executed at Easton, conveyed the
title ot the Six Nations to all the lands
included within the boundaries which
follow ; Beginning at the Kitnatinny or
Blue Hills on the west bank of the
Susquehanna river and running thence
up the said river, binding thereon to a
mile above the mouth of a creek
called Kaarondinhah (or John Penn's
creek); thence northwest and by west
to a creek called Buffalo's creek ;
thence west 10 the east side of Alle
gheny or Appalachian hills ; thence
along the east side of said hills bind-
ing therewith to the south line or
boundary of said province ; thence by
the said south line or boundary to the
south side of the Kitationy hill;
thence by the south side of said hill to
the place of beginning, There is a
rude map annexed to this deed intend.
ed to represent the waters on line from
Buffalo creek to Allegheny mountain,
which line is represented as passing
very near the junction of Spring creek
with the Bald Eagle. Itis now con-4
ceded that this was the true line of
this purchase, Inasmuch, however,
as the Indians were dissatisfied and
the proprietors were extremely anxious
to retain their good will, no lands
were allowed to be taken up by settlers
e north of a line of which the Nittany
| mountain and a line running west from
the end thereof was the boundary.
This,jof course, excluded from settle-
ment all lands in the Nittany valley.
The next purchase from the Indians
was made in 1768 and included all
the land west of previous purchases,
beginning at a point on the North
Branch of the Susquehanna river near
Owego; thence through what is now
Bradford county to the West Branch
of the Susquehanna; thence by the
several courses and distances of the
Susquehanna to Cherrytree in Indiana
county ; thence by a straight line to
Kittanning on the Allegheny river,
and thence to the western boundary of
the province, and thence by the bound-
aries of the province, and the
lines of other purchases to the north-
east boundary of the province, and
thence westward to the place of begin-
ning. By this purchase all of Centre
county became vested in the proprie-
tors and the lands contained therein
were opened to settlement. The fact
that the lands of Nittany valley were
not open to settlement earlier may ac-
count for the fact that Captain James
Potter, who visited this county in 1867
on his return from a westera military
expedition, coming by way of the Bald
Eagle and Spring creek, passed by the
Big Spring and beyond the Nittany
mountain, before he found lands for
which he made application, the first
surveys in this county, as is well
known, being made in Penns valley in
1766. After the purchase of 1768 the
lands in this valley were opened to
settlement, and early in the year 1769
one Griffith Gibbon made the follow-
ing application to the land office.
“Griffith Gibbon applise on the
usual terms for three hundred Acres of
Land situate and beginning on the
South side of the Bald Eagle Creek and
Below and Joining James Sharons
land or ground clamed located by him
on said Creek.”
It is quite remarkable as to its spel-
ling and the use of capital letters. I
have a copy of it by me but can con-
vey no adequate conception by reading
it to you. It is not dated but was evi-
dently received at the land office on
the 3d of April, 1769. The applica-
tion was honored, a warrant for a sur-
vey was issued and a survey made in
pursuance thereof July 20, 1769. Who
wag Griffeth Gibbon? He does not
seem to have retained the title to the
land for any length of time ; for, when
it was returned for patenting on the
5th of February, 1794, William Lamb
had evidently secured whatever of title
belonged to him. The land was pat-
ented to William Lamb, 7th of Feb:
ruary, 1794, and is known as tract No.
248, and has the additional taking ti-
tle of “Innocence.” After the Indian
purchase of 1758 and after the warrant
for the survey of the Griffith Gibbon
tract had been issued, the title of the
Penns became extingnished by reason
of the revolutionary struggle and the
purchase by the commonwealth of all
their interest. When, therefore the
patent was made to William Lamb it
was the deed of the commonwealth of
Pennsylvania and represented the title
of England, based upon discovery, con-
veyed to William Penn, the title of the
Indians, subsequently conveyed to his
heirs and the title of the common-
wealth which had been acquired from
them. The official survey of this
tract of land contains within its
boundaries the representation of a large
spring flowing into a running stream a
few rods distant. It is probable that
William Lamb agreed to convey at
least a portion of this tract shortly af-
ter he secured the patent therefor to
John Dunlop, although the deed there-
for was not made until November 3,
1797. The spring was no doubtiregard-
ed as a desirable acquisition, as is
shown by its representation upon the
original survey. It doubtless deter-
mined the location of the town and the
two French words signifying “beauti-
ful fountain’ suggested an appropriate
and euphonious name for the new vil-
lage: The town was laid out by Colo-
nel James Dunlop and James Harris,
esq., and the name—said to have been
suggested by Tallyrand—was given to
it by the wife of the latter who was
the daughter of the former.
The centre of activity, business,
commerce, trade and residence seems
to have been at first at the intersection
of Spring and High streets. The four
corners made by the intersection of
these two streets were soon occupied.
The first house was erected by Colonel
James Dunlop, a portion of which is
said to be included in the residence of
Jacob Valentine: The next residence
was erected by William A. Petrikin
on the corner diagonally opposite,
where the residence of Daniel Garman
now stands. McKee's tavern, which
was erected on the lot opposite, now
occupied by the residence of the late
T. R. Reynolds, was erected in 1797.
Many will recall the date, which was
plainly marked upon one of the stones
in the old building which was torn
down, when Mr. Reynolds erected his
residence thereon.
The first mention of Bellefonte in
the legislation of the state, so far asl
know, occurs in the act of the 13th of
February, 1800, entitled ‘‘An act for
erecting parts of the counties of Mif-
fin, Northumberland, Lycoming and
Huntingdon into & separate county.”
Section 3d of that act .provides that
“The judges of the supreme court:iand
the president of the Fourth district,
of which district the said Centre coun-
ty is hereby deciared to be a part, as
well as the associate judges who shall
be commiesioned in and for the said
Centre county, shall have like powers,
jurisdictions and authorities within
the same as are warranted to and exer-
cised by the said judges in other coun- |
ties of this commonwealth, and that!
the courts of quarter sessions of the!
peace and of common pleas in and for |
the said Centre county shall be open |
and holden, on the Mondays next suc- !
ceeding the general county courts held |
in the county of Mifflin in each year,
at the house now occupied by James
Dunlop in the town of Bellefonte, in
the eaid Centre county, until a court
house shall be erected, as herein before
directed, and shall then be held at the
said court house.” It was provided
by the 9th section of the same act that
“Andrew Gregg, William Swanzey and
Robert Boggs, of Bald Eagle, be, and
they are hereby appointed trustees for
the county aforesaid, with full author-
ity for them, or the survivors or sur-
vivor of them, to purchase or take and
receive by grant, bargain or otherwise
as well all such assurances for the pay-
ment of money and grants of land as
hath been stipulated for by James
Dunlop and John Harris by their
bond to the governor of this common-
wealth, as also any moneys, bonds or
other property that may hereafter be
offered to them, in trust to sell and
convey or otherwise dispose of the
same to the best advantage and to vest
one moiety of the neat proceeds there-
of in some productive fund for thesup-
port of an academy or public school in
the said county and with the other
moiety of the neat proceeds of the
land or lots aforesaid and with other
moneys duly assessed, levied and col-
lected within the said Centre county
for that purpose, which it is hereby
declared it shall be lawful for the
commissioners thereof to do or cause
to be done, to build and erect a court
house, prison and other buildings for
the safe keeping of the public records
of said county on such parts of the
public square laid out 1n the said
town of Bellefonte as to them shall ap-
pear most suitable ; and the said trus-
tees shall from time to time render due
and faithful accounts of the expendi
tures of the same to the commissioners
and to the auditors of the county who
are here authorized to adjust and set
tle the same. It would appear from
the provisions of the act of assembly
of the 13th of March, 1795, as if the
inhabitants of Bellefonte at the time
town was laid out and subsequently
thereto, until they were included in a
separate election district, 7th of Jan-
uary, 1891, were included in the dis-
trict which held their annual elections
in the house then occupied by Richard
Miles, in the town of Milesborough.
By the seventh section of the act ap-
proved upon the date mentioned it was
provided that “the township of Upper
Bald Eagle and Centre, in Centre
county, shall be a separate election
district, to be called the “First election
district, and the electors thereof shall
hold their elections at the place where
the courts are held in the town of
The limits of the town, as originally
laid out, are not definitely known to
the speaker. Lot No. 11s situate on
the west side of Spring street, north of
Howard, upon which Mrs. Hastings
now resides. The lots are numbered
thence consecutively from north to
south, from No. 1 to No. 19, the latter
of which is the northwest corner of
Spring and Bishop streets. No. 20 is
nearly opposite No. 1 on Spring street
and No. 21 fronts on Allegheny street,
the rear of it being immediately across
the alley from the rear of No. 20.
Whether this indicates that the north-
ern line of the town, as originally laid
out, was the northern line of lots 1, 20"
and 21 and thence eastward, and the
southern line was the northern line of
Bishop street is not certain, buat the
numbering would seem to indicate this
as the probable size of the town, as
originally intended by the founders.
The town was incorporated into a
borough by an act of the legislature
approved the 28th day of March, 1806,
the corporate title being “The Borough
of Bellefonte,’ this being the first time
in the history of legislation when the
final “e” is added to the name. The
borough, by the terms of the act, is
bounded and limited as follows, viz;
By lands of John Dunlop and Na-
thaniel Simpson on the south and east,
by land of James Dunlop on the north
and by Spring creek and land of James
Harris on the west. These boun-
daries, although very indefinite with
the exception of Spring creek, evident-
ly included all of the town as at pre-
gent laid out lylng between Lamb
street on the north and Logan street
on the south, Spring creek on the west
and Wisdom’s way—which seems at
that time to have been a street thirty
feet wide running north and south
back ot the public grounds where the
jail is now located—on the east.
By the act of the legislature, ap-
proved the 18th of March. 1814, the
towns of Bellefonte and Smithfield, in
the county of Centre, within the
boundaries therein described, were
erected into a borough of Bellefonte.
The boundaries were as follows:
Beginning at Spring Creek where
Lamb street adjoins the said creek ;
thence by the said street to the erd
thereof ; thence so as to include all the
outlots sold by the proprietors of the
town of Bellefonte; thence to the
head of the Big Spring; thence to
Spring Creek, including the spring
and the creek therefrom in the
borought ; thence by Spring Creek to
the lane which divides John McKee's
field from Benjamin William’s lot ;
thence along said lane and the road
leading to tne Bellefonte mills to the
north side of James Steel's lots, to the
place of beginning. By subsequent
legislation and decrees of our courts
the limits of the borough have been,
from time to time, enlarged until they
occupy a space practically a mile
square, extending a half mile, or
nearly so, in every direction from Al-
legheny street in front of the court
When the trustees named in the act
providing for the erection of Centre
county endeavored to discharge the du-
ties enjoined upon them in reference to
the erection of the public buildings,
they found that it would be impractic-
able to erect the jail upon the public
square or ground which had been set
apart for that purpose. In the build-
ing of the court house excavations
were made in the hill in the rear of
which for many years were regarded
as stone quarries, and are so noted in
| one of the early drafts of the borough.
They did not seem to think it advis.'
able to erect the jail upon the top of
the hill as it is now and, as a conse-
quence on the 7th of January. 1801, it
was provided by the legislature “That,
Whereas, by the 9th section of the act
to which this is a supplement, the
trustees of Centre connty are author-
ized and directed to erecta court
house, prison and other buildings for
the safe keeping of the public rocords
on the public square in the town of
Bellefonte, but as it appears ineligible
that a prison should be erected on the
public equare of the said town, there-
tore the trustees of Centre county
are here by authorized to erect a
prison for said county on any
of the lots in the town of
Bellefonte conveyed to them ‘by
James Dunlop and James Harris,
which may appear to them most suita-
ble and best situated for the same.”
In pursuance of this authority there
was erected upon lots on the north side
of High street, nearly opposite the
court house, a small building thirty
feet long and twenty-five feet wide in
the clear with a dungeon in the cellar
twelve feet by nine in the clear, cov-
ered above with hewed logs laid close
together along the plank of the floor
and a proper trap door to let intg the
dungeon. This was a prison fashioned
after the models of that day, and it is
perhaps well to say incidentally that
in nothing bas the civilization of this
age made greater advances than in the
treatment of prisoners who, through
fault or misfortune, are necessarily
separated for a time from their fel:
lows. This primitive prison was suc-
ceeded by a stone building for the resi-
dence of the sheriff and for a jail for
the custody of prisoners, which is well
remembered by many now living and
which continued to be used for such
purposes until the new jail was erect
ed on the top of the hill where it now
stands. :
It will have been observed that in
the act of assembly erecting the county
of Centre the trustees for the county
were authorized to receive such aesur-
ance for the payment of money and
grants of land as hath been stipulated
for by James Dunlop and James Har-
ris, by their bond to the governor of
this commonwealth, and any moneys,
bonds or other property that may here-
after be offered to them, in trust to sell
and convey, or otherwise dispose of the
same to the best advantage and to vest
one moiety of the neat proceeds there-
of in some productive fund for the sup-
port of an academy or public school
in the said county. Whilst it:is un-
doubtedly true that the assurance for
the payment of money and grants
of land stipulated for by Jamas Dun-
lop and James Harris, by their bond
to the governor of the commonwealth,
were made for the purpose of securing
the location of the county seat at Belle-
fonte, it is worthy of note that the
founding of an academy or public
school was considered quite as import-
ant by the founders as the erection of
the county buildings. Indeed in a
hurried review of the town and county
as it hes been written and a somewhat
careful examination of the legislation
relating to the town, the careful solici-
tude of the early settlers for the edu-
cation of the young and the provision
which they made therefor, has im-
pressed me more than anything else.
Although provision was made for the
funds for the erection of an academy or
public school in 1800 in the law pro-
viding for the erection of Centre coun-
ty, the academy was not incorporated
until the 8th of January, 1805. At that
time a law was enacted which provides
that “There shall be established, and
hereby is established, in the town of
Bellefonte, in the county of Centre, an
academy or public school for the edu-
cation of youth in the useful arts, sci-
ences and literature, by the name, style
and title of Bellefonte Academy.” On
the 9th of January, 1806, the governor
was authorized to draw his warrant on
the state treasurer for the sum of $2,000,
which was granted out of any money
not before that specially appropriated
which may be in the treasury of this
commonwealth to the trustees of Belle-
fonte academy, to be applied in erecting
a suitable building for the accommoda-
tion of the said institution. There was
coupled with this appropriation a provi-
sion that ‘there shall be admitted into
said academy any number of poor chil-
dren who may at any time be offered, in
order to be taught gratis, provided the
number so admitted and taught shall at
no time be greater than six, and that
none of the said children shall continue
to be taught gratis in the said academy
longer than two years.” Much of the
legislation relating to Bellefonte, after
its erection into a borough, has been for
the benefit of its schools. In 1844 the
school directors of the Bellefonte bor-
ough school district, in the county of
Centre, were authorized to assess upon
each scholar in the said district any sum
not exceeding one dollar per quarter, at
the discretion of said directors, to be
paid by the parent, guardian, master or
other person having charge of such
scholar, in proportion to their ability to
pay, in such manner as is hereinafter
provided. Provision is also made for
the collection of the said tax. By the
8th section of the act of the 3d of May,
1852, it was provided that ‘‘the town
council of the borough of Bellefonte be
and are hereby authorized to cause all
dogs owned or kept in said borough to
be assessed, returned and taxed at such
rates as to them may seem reasonable,
and to have such taxes collected as
school taxes are now collected, provided
that all moneys arising therefrom shali
be appropriated to the support of the
common schools of said borough and to
no other purposes.”
These extracts and a reference to later
laws, authorizing leans for school pur-
poses are sufficient to show that the de-
sire of the founders for the education of
youth has been followed by a like desire
on the part of those who have succeeded
to the care of the interests of the com-
Two reflections, based upon these
facts, are pertinent and appropriate.
First. The founders of our town were
broad-minded, intelligent, thoughtful
men. They realized fully the value of
education and the debt which they owed
to posterity. It is to their lasting credit
that they endeavored to discharge this
debt to the extent of their ability. Sec-
ond. Nothing said or done by the found-
ers of the town during their life-time
| has so linked them to the present and
| has so thoroughly and honorably per-
| petuated their memory as their interest
{in and efforts for the cause of educa-
! tion. James Dunlop and James Har-
| ris are better known and more highly
| honored for what their wise foresight
| prompted them to do for the cause of :
education than all else in their lives:
combined. The academy, which crowns
one of the prominent hills of our town,
is their monument and the hundreds
who have gone out from its walls are
indebted to them for the training which
has enabled them to take their place in
the world alongside those who have en-
joyed equal or superior advantages. The |
lesson is obvious. Those who wish to!
link themselves to coming generations
and live in the future shoald ally them-'
selves with institutions which live and
are likely to live and whose mission it is |
to help to elevate mankind. In our age’
and country no institutions have larger
promise for long life and prosperity
than those established for the education
of the young, and the man who desires
to leave a fragrant memory behind him
should ally himself, by strong and in-
dissoluble ties, to such institutions. We |
have them in our midst. They need en- |
largement and endowment. Would |
that the men of to-day were as wise, as |
far-seeing and as beneficient as those
who were the founders of Bellefonte and |
the promoters of its educational in- |
In the discharge of the duty which
you have assigned to me, two tempta-
tious present themselves. The one is to
generalize—to enter the domain of na- |
tional and state affairs and to traverse |
the whole realm of science, art, litera- |
ture and progress. The other is to |
specialize—that is to confine one’s self |
to the delineation of individual char-
acteristics and the portrayel of personal
peculiarities. No one century in all the
history of the world furnishes a larger
theme for generalization, than the one
which we have under contemplation
to-day, and the community—certainly
none in our commonwealth—presents a
more inviting field for personal and
biographical delineation than our own.
The limits of time and the proprieties
of the occasion, however, forbid the
yielding to either of these temptations.
There has lately been developed, in the
growth of the art of photography, what
is known as the composite picture. By
this process of producing such a pic-
ture, the peculiarties of the individual
are lost in the general average of the
features of the larger number and are
reduced to a symmetrical and harmonious
unit. The task is confessedly difficult
and yet I would, :f I could, in the little
time that remains, gather together the
general characteristics of those who
have preceded us, which have given to
Bellefonte its present enviable status
and its prominence in the larger com-
munity and commonwealth of which it
forms a part.
Our fathers and founders were careful
of the foundations. Solidity rather than
show characterized their earlier efforts
to esteblish a prosperous community.
None better than they knew that the
foundations are out of sight and yet
none more fully than they realized that
no substantial and abiding superstruc-
true could be built, without such founda-
tions. Hence their willingness to sacrifice
the immediate present for the larger
hopes and promises and possible achieve-
ments of the future. Hence their de-
sire to secure for their children the
privileges and advantages which had
been denied to them. Hence their ef-
forts in the cause of education and the
provision which they early made for the
mental and moral culture of the com-
munity, for it must be remembered that
the school and the church went together,
that the efforts of the schoolmaster and
the preacher—often combined in the
same person——were early invoked for the
development and nurture of a broad,
vigorous, conservative and substantial
character. The physical features of our
town and surroundings doubtless con-
tributed to this distinguishing char-
acteristic. Solidity is written all over
this region. Our solid beds of lime-
stone, our great deposits of iron--early
discovered and their value fully appre-
ciated——the everlasting hills which rear
their impressive crests in sublime beauty
about us—all taught this lesson. How
well the lesson was learned is shown by
the men whose substantial and rugged
character is as well known and better
appreciated than at the time in which
they lived ; by the enduring character
of the institutions which they founded ;
by the very houses which they built,
some of which remain with us until
this day ; by the constant, continuous
and uninterrupted progress of the com-
munity in material advancement; by
the regular and healthful growth of
population, and by the constantly grow-
ing appreciation of those who followed,
of the wisdom, strength and self-sacrifice
of those who, possibly building better
than they knew, have transmitted to us
the goodly Leritage which we now
Another distinguishing characteristic
of the founders of Sellefonte ‘and of
those who immediately followed them,
was the disposition to secure solid and
enduring comfort, at the sacrifice of
show and sham. Thisis only another
development of the solidity which has
been spoken of and yet itis worthy of
special note, for it has givento us not
only the earlier conveniences and com-
forts for which our town is noted but
has so taught the community that, up
to the present time, no development of
science or art which ministers to the
comfort or convenience of & community
has been withheld from the practical
use and enjoyment of our people. The
establishment of our water works soon
after the incorporation of the borough
is a striking illustration of this fact.
For nothing has the town been so ready
to expend money, save perhaps only in
the cause of education, as in the ef-
fort to furnish an adequate and
practically unlimited supply of
the pure, clear and unfailing water from
our unrivaled spring, which is one of
the distinguishing physical features of
our locality. Forty years ago, with a
population of scarcely more than 1,000,
we introduced, forthe accommodation
of our people. the distribution of manu-
factured gas as an illuminant, being at
the time the smallest town in the state
to secure this convenience, The steam
heating system and the plant for electric
lighting have followed and are in suc-
cessful operation, not so much because
of their commercial value and dividend
paying capacity as for the reason that
our people aredesirous of enjoying what-
aver ministers to real and substantial
comfort and convenience. The more
! general avenues of intercourse with the
outside world have not been neglected.
Largely by the energy, enterprise and
foresight of our own people we were
early connected with the canal system
of the state by the Bald Eagle and
Spring Creek Navigation company’s
canal. Later came the primitive tele.
graph by the way of the West Branch,
and subsequently the later railroad de-
velopments, which made us & little rail-
road centre of our own and converge at
this point six or seven lines of com-
munication with the people of our own
region and those of the world about us.
The composite picture of beauty, sym-
metry, grace and glory which comes to
us out of this century and which I bold
up for your view to-day, the same in all
ages and in all the world, specially
prominent in our locality is that of the
crowning glory of man and the cap-
stone of human achievement--self-sacri-
fice. I can imagine those of you who
are older, as I hold up this picture to
your view, tracing the streams of mem-
ory to their source and noting the ex-
ceptions which will readily occur to you,
but I am not speaking of exceptions to-
day. What Bellefonte is and what
Bellefonte enjoys in its beauty of imme-
diate environment, in its solid and sub-
| stantial comfort, in its self complacency
at home and reputation abroad, is due
to the sacrifices made by your founders
and those who immediately followed
them. I have seen the balance sheet of
the final settlement of the founders of
the town with the commissioners of the
county—the purchase price of every lot
specifically noted. An absolutely hori-
zontal cut of one-half of the proceeds
to the proprietors and the other half
equally divided between the fund for
the establishment of the academy and
that for the erection of our county build-
ings. I do not follow, for fear of mak-
ing invidious distinctions, the lives and
the career of 1those who followed, but it
is absolutely safe to say that the men
who to-day most enjoy the confidence,
the esteem, the love and the veneration
of our people are those who made the
largest sacrifices for the general welfare,
and it is aiso true that these are the men
who secured for themselves the largest
enjoyment while they lived and have
left & memory which will longest endure,
fragrant and unfading.
I will not trespass upon vour patience
by a continuance of this delineation.
What shall I say more? It isnot my
purpose and time would fail me, if it
were, to speak of the great army of
worthies whose names are our pride,
whose achievements are our heritage,
whose lives are our inspiration and
whose memory is our sacred trust. I
do not individualize and yet I cannot
refrain from mentioning the names of
some of the men out of whose lives I
have briefly and imperfectly sketched
the composite picture herein delineat-
ed. The Armors, the Benners, the
Blanchards, and the Burnsides, the Cur-
tins, the Dobbinses and the Dunlops,
the Gillilands and the Greggs, the Hales,
the Harrises, the Humeses and the Hus-
tons, the Irvins, the Linns and the
Mileses, the Potters and the Petrikins,
the Walkers and the Wilsons—where
are they ? The fathers all gone—some
o1 the names scarcely more than a mem-
ory in our community, and yet these are
the men who subdued savages, who in
colonial, revolutionary and later times
braved danger and breasted opposition
in order to give us our present heritage
of peace, freedom, prosperity and com-
fort, who made our laws, interpreted
them and helped to execute them, who
in their day wrought righteousness and
taught purity and the precepts of the
Gospel of peace on earth and good will
to men, who in their day endured all
things that the thing for which they
hoped might be a realization to us,
whose monuments are all about us in
what Bellefonte is, and in what its possi-
bilities for the future may be, who
through their wisdom and toil and self-
sacrifice have given us this goodly herit-
age, whose memories are green as the
scd which grows above the graves of the
most of them in our City of the Dead,
whose example wherever worthy. of im-
tation we invoke for our guidance for
the future and whose spirits all about us
beckon us to nobler resolves, purer pur-
poses and higher achievements than
theirs, inasmuch as we have with us the
inspiration of their lives, the benefit of
their experiences, the incentive of their
successes and the glory of their renown.
My neighbors and friends, are we
worthy of such an ancestry? Are we
worthily carrying forward the work
which thev began? Are we as unself-
ishly as they giving ourselves to the de-
velopment of the present for the benefit
of the future? Ido notanswer this
question for you. We are each answer-
ing it in our individual lives. It will
be answered many, many times by those
who come after us; and, if answered af-
firmatively, at the next centennial pur-
chance our names will be linked with
those of the men who have gone before
us as worthy of a place in the list of
Bellefonte’s benefactors and heroes.
Young man, what is your ambition ?
What are your aims? What are your
purposes ? To what have you dedicated
your life? If, in your thoughts and in
your plans and in your efforts you are
seeking to gather to yourself for selfish
purposes any of the things which in this
day of greed and gain is considered de-
sirable and essential to your present en-
joyment or your future fame, learn from
this short review of the century past that
they enjoy most who sacrifice most and
that those will be longest remembered
who most faithfully serve not them-
Joly es but the generation in which they
Century gone, you have taught us im-
pressive lessons; you have furnished us
brilliant examples of what life is and
and what it ought to be; you have left
us a glorious heritage! Century to
come, we turn to thee: All hail!
May the men who are born to thee be
equal to their opportunities and worthy
of their inheritance! Beauteous Belle-
fonte, may this be but the beginning of
your development and the starting
point of your progress! May your men
and your women be your pride as in the
past and may your future be as endur-
ing and glorious as your past has been
solid and beneficient.
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