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by- Denny Creitz


Mauch Chunk Gazette. Thursday August 17, 1854.


     This morning in slope of Messrs. Packer, Douglas & Co., an explosion of Fire Damp took place, causing the death of one man and seriously injuring eleven more. It appears that there were two explosions – how the first originated is at present unknown – it however caused but little damage, and most probably more were injured by it. The second explosion was caused by a lighted candle or lamp being put through under a door in order to give those on the opposite side a light, whose lights had been put out by the first explosion. The door was placed across the gangway, (which runs East and West) at bottom of Slope. There is also a Tunnel being driven South from bottom of Slope, and the men working there heard the first explosion and ran out of the Tunnel, (which is driven in some 50 or 60 yards) in order to relieve any that were hurt, when they came to this door it appears that it could not be opened and some run back in order to get a sledge to force it open and while they were gone one man feeling anxious to relieve those on the opposite side and give them light, dug under the door and putting his light through, set fire to the sulphur that had been brought into the gangway by the first explosion and thus in order to relieve others, caused his own death and the serious accident that has happened. The man that was almost instantly killed was James Stephens Jr. Those seriously injured are Richard Eustice Sr., Hugh Carragher, John Garrey, Francis Williams, Owen Crossen, John Caden, Jas. Caden 2nd, Wm. Martin, Richard Martin, Philip Smith and Wm. Davis 2nd.

     Saturday, August l9, 1854.

Since the above happened, three out of the above number have died – Richard Eustice Sr., Hugh Carragher and John Garrey. Messrs. Packer, Douglas and Co. have neither spared expense or trouble to render assistance and alleviate the sufferings of the afflicted.


Mauch Chunk Democrat March 7, 1903

     Mrs. James Butler, the oldest woman in the village, being 93 years of age, is confined to her bed. Old age and debility is the trouble.

     While driving across the trolley tracks at the corner of Bechtel’s Hotel, Ralph Corby had his wagon spring broken and was compelled to haul it home by hand. The crossing is in bad condition and should be attended to at once.

     The gold watch and chain, lost by Mrs. Ralph Simmons on Feb. 19th while going to the entertainment in the M. E. Church, was found last Wednesday in front of Levi Marsden’s bakery by Miss Annie Smith. The watch was immediately returned and a suitable reward was given.

     Owen Dermott some time ago purchased a setting of game eggs. Dermott tended to the setting of the hen, who was to hatch them out, and apparently everything was satisfactory. Several days ago, so we are informed the eggs gave up their prizes with the result that there are ten chicks and one goosling, with only one eye.

     Ezekiel Johns, night, boss in Shaft No. 1 had a miraculous escape from death on Friday night by falling down an air shaft 85 feet deep. He was giving instructions to his son, a miner, as to how to put the steps in, when he missed his foothold. He received a bruise on the head and is bruised about the body but not seriously.

     The funeral of Augustus Bechtel, who was killed by falling down a plane 250 feet inside of No. 1 tunnel, took place Saturday from the residence of his parents. The remains were taken to the Church of the Sacred Heart, where a Requiem High Mass was celebrated by the Rev. John J. Clark. The funeral was the largest ever seen here. The United Mine Workers turned out in a body, 700 strong, as mining operations were suspended. He was highly esteemed by the community, and his parents have the sympathy of the entire village. His funeral cortege clearly demonstrated how much he was respected by all classes.


 Mauch Chunk Democrat May 9, 1908

     The two day’s celebration held at Little Italy on Saturday and Sunday, under to auspices of the Saint Mauro DiGalizio Society, of that place, was a grand success despite the inclemency of the weather that prevailed on both days. The celebration was in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the patron saint, Saint Mauro, after whom the society is named.

      As on former occasions, Little Italy was profusely decorated and apparently every one of the village’s 800 people entered heartily into the festivities of the celebration. The celebration proper began at 6 o’clock Sunday morning with a High Mass in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, one of the most picturesque little churches in Carbon County. This was followed by a parade over School Street, Main Street and High Street, which are the only three streets in the place. A costly statue of Saint Mauro was carried in the parade, under the escort of 15 little girls dressed in white, each carrying a bunch of flowers. Following the statue came the Italian Band of Hazleton, 30 pieces, the members of the society, 62 strong, and from 400 to 500 people of the village.

     The pleasures of the day began at 2 o’clock with a concert by the band from a pavilion erected about midway the town, on its main street. The band discoursed most excellent music, which was kept up at intervals until a late hour. From 3 to 6, the place was filled with visitors, who came by trolley, and the main street was far more crowded and picturesque than is the midway at a county fair. The street was lined with wagons and venders and business was at its height. A great and curious throng crowded up and down the street and those who were in Little Italy for the first time gazed in wonder at the novelty of this peasant village transplanted seemingly from Italy to America and right into the most romantic spot in all Pennsylvania. It’s the opinion of many, Little Italy surpasses in wonder and curiosity even Glen Onoko and the Flagstaff.

     The day closed with fireworks at 9 o’clock in the evening. The extent of a celebration of this kind may be inferred from the fact that this one cost its promoters from $1200 to $1500 for band and fireworks alone.

     On August 15 and 16, there will be another celebration at the same place for the benefit of the Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Preparations are already under way. Its promoters belong to another faction of the people of Little Italy and intent that the coming one shall surpass this one.


Coal Gazette December 2, 1910

     Charles Madara of Mauch Chunk, a clerk for the L.C.& N. Co. and Miss Hazle, a daughter of James Ronemus were married on Tuesday evening by Rev. Barnes. Their many friends join in wishing them a happy future.

     The hoisting record at the shaft has again been smashed. On Tuesday 560 cars were hoisted, the best previous record being 541 cars. A bonus is earned by the foremen and bosses every time they break a record and this is quite frequently done at the local colliery.

     Mrs. L.A. Wills, Mrs. R. Measures and Mrs. John Wisley were entering the gate of the latter’s home, enroute from the Nickelette they were commanded to halt by an unknown man. They gave a shriek in alarm and Constable Ben Oxley and Morris Granger rushed to their aid and took the man in charge. At this juncture Matt McGorry appeared and stated that a few minutes previously he had been held up by the same man, but after giving him a beating McGorry let him go his way. The hold up man had a harmless disk rule in his hand, which looked like a stiletto. He was taken before Squire Watkins for a hearing, but as no one appeared against him he was discharged. It is believed he is from Lansford. When arrested he threatened the ladies by declaring “I will get them yet.”


Mauch Chunk Coal Gazette May 6, 1912

     A valuable horse belonging to Undertaker Joseph F. Gallagher died on Sunday.

     Michael Makovich is the new bartender at the Miners’ Hotel.

     Frank Dolan, who is ill at the home of his mother, Mrs. Jane Dolan, was in a very bad way last night, his condition being so precarious that death was monetarily expected, but he rallied and this morning he was resting more easily.

     There is talk among our bachelors of organizing a club with a view of remaining in a state of celibacy all their lives if the girls do not soon break the ice. Why the girls during Leap Year should ignore such a highly eligible bunch of fellows as our town can point to, is beyond comprehending, unless they are exceedingly hard to please and nurture such sentiments as expressed by one of our attractive girls who was heard saying last week, “The man I marry must not chew, smoke, drink, curse nor gamble, and he must keep good hours and be amiable and trustworthy.” Truly a comprehensive assortment of qualifications, my dear girl, but why not have him also wear a crown, play a harp and grow wings as all angels are supposed to do.


Mauch Chunk Daily Times December 10, 1918

     Saloons are ordered closed at Nesquehoning by board of health on account of critical “flu” epidemic. The Board of Health ordered the closing of the saloons last night on account of the outbreak of influenza. There are 280 cases and deaths occurring daily. The situation is grave. Whole families are afflicted. Two deaths have occurred in some families. In a number of families there is no mother or no father to attend the stricken of their own homes. Mothers and fathers who should be in bed are ministering to their sick. It is especially bad among the foreign element. The people of the community are doing their utmost to aid the victims. The schools being closed, teachers are engaged in nursing. There is a great need for an emergency hospital. It would undoubtedly result in the saving of lives. The State should send aid. It would be a blessing if any benevolent or humane institution would help out in the emergency. The cause is there. Those helpless suffering men, women and children appeal for aid, but are denied it as they should receive it. Only the schools and moving picture places were at first closed, but the situation becoming worse it was decided to close the saloons also. Dr. Gromsky, a representative of the State Department of Health, made an investigation of the situation yesterday and advised more drastic steps to prevent the spread of the dreaded malady. E. J. Campbell, of the U.S.Navy was granted a ten days’ leave of absence on account of the “flu” epidemic. There is no druggist in town since he enlisted and the navy department was petitioned for his return under the circumstances. Every house where a case of the disease exists is quarantined. To enforce quarantine two State Troopers arrived today. They have limited sales at stores, only a few people being permitted to enter any store at one time. No ice cream or ice cream sodas or drinks will be allowed served in ice cream parlors. The purchaser must take the ice cream to his home. Only one person at a time will be permitted to enter candy stores. Health officer Zaengle reported 8 new cases of “flu” yesterday.


Mauch Chunk Times-News March 7, 1928

     A phone has been installed at the home of John Watkins, secretary of the Nesquehoning Death Benefit Association.

     The American Legion Auxiliary met on Tuesday evening in the Legion Rooms. The Auxiliary members are planning to attend the Four-County Council at Stroudsburg. Plans were discussed for the annual sale of poppies and it was felt that nothing except the poppies should be sold on Memorial Day. The Post has ably assisted their auxiliary in this noble work.

      The recent death of Cletus Mulligan following a five years illness brought to the attention of his many friends an interesting episode concerning his great admiration for the radio.

     Owing to the boy being an invalid, the father purchased a radio for him last Christmas. The wonderful instrument opened vistas of pleasure for the poor afflicted lad. He had been a brilliant honor student throughout his school days and was just beginning the term as a High School freshman, when his illness prevented further attendance at school. Entering High School at the same time were two other young lads, Harry Slusser, of town, and Anthony Holpits, of Hauto.

     The former was a dear friend of Cletus and died following an appendicitis operation just two weeks after the school term began.

     Young Holpits met death the same winter by drowning in the Hauto dam while skating. Therefore the death of Cletus marked the tragic third of the class which graduated in 1923 from the eight grade. His classmates and school chums always kept him in mind and visited him often.

     Recently, Cletus listened with rapture to the W. L. S. programs from Chicago and was especially pleased with Toney’s Scrap Book and the non-denominational hour. He had forwarded, unknown to his parents, a letter with poems enclosed, to Anthony Wons of Station W. L. S. with the request that if the poems be considered worthy, they could be read. His brothers and sisters knew he had added a postscript, that if the poems were read his father would be proud as a peacock. And he also added that if they were not worth reading his feelings would not be hurt at all.

     Imagine the boy’s surprise while listening in three weeks ago to hear his name mentioned and hearing his poem “Be a Winner” read. He hastily called his mother to hear the good news.

     A week later Cletus again had the pleasure, during Tony’s Scrap Book Hour to learn that another poem “Clouds and Sunshine” would be read later in the evening. Unfortunately the Mulligan family and other radio owners failed to get good reception at the time designated. It was a terrible disappointment to the lad. However, radio owners in Mauch Chunk stated they heard the program well, one of them having been a patient at Palmerton Hospital during Cletus stay there.

     Cletus had decided to send another poem called “Laff” but death intervened and on the day after he died his parents received an autographed copy of “Tony’s Scrap Book” from Mr. Wons. It contains a splendid collection of poems by the best authors. Cletus knew he was to receive the gift and anxiously awaited its receipt. This book together with one of Cletus’ own Scrap Book of Poems will be greatly treasured by his parents.

     Patient, ever mindful of his parents, especially his devoted mother, he never whimpered, stoically suffering and making the best of his poor health in the spirit of his beautiful lines which are appended.

     We all may well profit by the splendid example of fortitude Cletus has shown. How well does this boyish poem express the spirit of these troubled times:

Clouds and Sunshine

Clouds are only temporary
They never come to stay
Sometimes they mar the

But they finally drift away.

Some clouds are dark and gloomy,
That’s when we feel so blue,
But the sunshine’s right behind
Waiting to shine for you.

Some clouds are light and fluffy
And they flit across the sky
Such clouds never dampen
The spirit of you and I.

Some clouds bring rain and lightning,
And the thunder roars all
But when its over, the sun
comes out again,
And soon dries up the ground.

So why be always grouchy,
When we have cloudy skies,
They cannot last forever
The sunshine never dies.

Cletus Mulligan,
Nesquehoning, Pa.


Mauch Chunk Times-News November 7, 1946

Mikovich is All-State Material.

     The football fans in this little football-minded community are boosting Vic Mikovich for All-State honors this season. And you can’t blame them.

     Mikovich is the star halfback on the Nesquehoning High School team and he’s the big reason why the Maroons are currently enjoying one of their best seasons.

     Labeled the “Black Hills Express” because of his blinding speed and quicksilver elusiveness, Mikovich is a carbon copy of Army’s Glean Davis and, like the ghost from the banks of the Hudson, he’s a real terror on the chalk-ribbed turf.

     In eight games this season, the 155-pound speed merchant has racked up a total of twelve touchdowns. He has carried the ball 91 times for a total gain of 1050 yards – an average of 11 yards per try.

     No team has yet devised a method to stop him.

     In the game against Coaldale three weeks ago, he grabbed the opening kickoff and galloped 88 yards through the entire team to score. Against Tamaqua he intercepted a pass and sprinted 80 yards for a touchdown. The following Saturday, against Mt. Carmel Township, he tallied three of his team’s touchdowns and last week he hit the football jackpot with four touchdowns against Summit Hill.

      In addition to being a crack football player, Mikovich, a senior, is a basketball hotshot and is rated one of the top-ranking men in his class. He plans to enter college next year, but at the moment he’s more interested in driving his mates to the coveted Eastern Conference title.

     And Nesquehoning fans feel confident the 17-year-old kid with the crazy legs will do it.






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