Penn Trails

Somerset County Miscellaneous Newspaper Articles


The Somerset Fire.
The Entire Business Portion of the Town Destroyed—Fifty Families Homeless—Loss $1,000,000.

PITTSBURG, PENN., May 10.—A special dispatch says that the fire in Somerset, Penn. Destroyed six squares in the heart of the town, embracing one-third of the area of the place and two-thirds of its entire value. The buildings destroyed included three hotels, every business house, store and shop but one, both banking—houses, both printing-offices, the lawyers’ offices, the Post Office, two churches, the Masonic and Odd-Fellows’ Halls, the telegraph and express offices, and over thirty private dwellings. Fifty families are rendered homeless. The total of the losses is estimated at $1,000,000; the insurance, $75,000.

This morning, at 4 o’clock, three boilers exploded in James Wood. Sons & Co.’s iron-mill, at Sawmill Run. A fireman named Charles Marchant was instantly killed. The boilers were nearly new, and had not been used yesterday.

Source:  The New York Times, New York, May 11, 1872 - transcribed by Terri Griffiths


SOMERSET, (Penn) March 20. – It becomes our painful duty to record the circumstances of a most melancholy occurrence, which took place at the house of Henry Hieple, Innkeeper, about half a mile east of this place, on Wednesday night the 12th instant. Reuben Long, a native of Southampton township, in this county, a blacksmith by trade, had for some time past been ill of a fever, at Mr. Heiple’s house, where he was an inmate. About twelve o’clock of that night, he complained that he was dry; Mr. H. attended in the room, and poured him out some tea, which stood on the stove in the room; when Mr. H. told him he had some tea ready for him, he turned himself round in the bed towards Mr. H. and smiled and again resumed his former posture in the bed, Mr. H. stand-with his back to the stove, and facing the bed. Long then in a moment sprang from the bed, and struck Mr. Heiple a violent blow, immediately below his right breast. Mr. H. was, some moments recovering from the shock, when he discovered that Long was stabbing himself with a penknife, which he did by piercing himself just below the pit of the stomach, and cutting from thence downwards right and left from the same point, until his bowels came out—another young man who then entered the room and laid hold of him, received a stab, but the thickness of his clothes prevented its entered his body.  Mr. H. by this time discovered, from the flowing of blood, that he himself was stabbed in the breast.

Long expired on Friday last, and was buried on Saturday near town. James Johnson, Esq. the coroner of the county, held an inquest on the body, who after the examination, returned a verdict of suicide, during a fit of insanity.

It is doubtful whether Mr. Heiple will recover.

Date: April 10, 1817
Location: Massachusetts
Paper: Weekly Messenger
Article type: News Article

Transcribed by Terri Griffiths


From the Public Ledger, dated January 11, 1844:

Destruction By Fire – Major Wm Kennedy’s grist and clover mills at Bedminster (Somerset county) were burnt on Christmas night, with a large stock of grain.  The Somerset Whig intimates that it was the work of an incendiary, and estimates the loss at $5,000 – no insurance.

(Contributed by Denise Burge)


Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) January 11, 1826

On Monday morning the 2d inst., (says the Somerset Whig), the Tavern house of John Chorpenning, about six miles west of this place, was consumed by fire together with the greater part of its contents.


Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) June 28, 1826
Somerset, June 21.
Dreadful Accident
On Saturday last at the raising of a barn of Mr. Christian Sarkley, in Somerset township, as the hands were putting up the rafters, the last work to be done to the building on that day, Theophilus Sutton and a son of Mr. Jacob Huffman, aged about 19 years, who were on the building, were by reason of the plank or board on which they were standing, giving way, precipitated to the ground and horrible to relate, the former instantly killed and the latter so much injured by the fall that little hopes are entertained of his recovery.

Mr. Sutton has left a wife and four small children to lament the loss of their dearest earthy friend. – Whig.


Republican Compiler, Gettysburg, PA, August 20 1828
Somerset, Pa., August 2.
Lamentable Accident

On Saturday last a Michael Weimer of Milford township in company with some others were coming to town on business. He and Mr. Adam Deetz agreed to try the speed of their horses for a short distance. They started and did not proceed far until Mr. Weimer’s horse few the road into the woods where mr. Weimer was dashed against a tree and shortly after expired. The deceased was a respectable citizen and has left a wife and three small children to mourn after him. – Whig.


Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, ND)
Volume XXX Issue: 157 Page: 1
May 2, 1911


Many Buildings Wrecked and Much
     Damage Caused by a Heavy
                 Wind Storm.

Somerset, Pa., May 1 -- The terrific wind of a cyclonic nature that accompanied the thunderstorm late this afternoon, shattered windows, moved houses and barns from their foundations and wrecked machinery, unrooted trees, and lifted cattle from the fields, depositing them in a heap a hundred feet or more away.  The new brick structure of the Somerset Ice company was demolished, and the machinery was wrenched and twisted into a worthless pile of junk. The roofs of the Somerset Trust company and the Farmers' National bank buildings were torn off, the electric light plant was crushed in by the wind pressure, and hundreds of acres of timber and orchards were leveled.

(Transcribed by Terri Griffths)


Newburyport Gazette (Newburyport, MA)
Volume I  Issue: 23  Page: 1
June 22, 1807

On Saturday, the 11th April, was executed in Somerset, Pennsylvania, pursuant to his sentence, Noel Hugus. He left the jail about half an hour after twelve, and was turned off a few minutes before one. He died with the greatest intrepidity--mounting the car with alacrity. Just before he was turned off, he declared himself innocent--said he forgave every person but Koontz and the others who assisted in taking him. He confessed he had attempted some time since to hand himself by cutting up his shirt and twisting it into a kind of rope--said he did not care about death--that he had faced it frequently, but disliked the kind of death he was about to experience--gave directions about his neck, &c.

It is thought there were about 2500 persons present.
                                                            [Bedford Gazette.

(Transcribed by Terri Griffiths)


Haverhill Gazette (Haverhill, MA)
Volume: IV  Issue: 8  Page 2

Governor Wolf of Pennsylvania, has been burned in effigy at Somerset, for appoint free masons to office. Governor W. is a mason.

(Transcribed by Terri Griffihs)


Patriot (Harrisburg, PA)
Volume 73  Issue: 113  Page: 5
September 30, 1914


Pittsburgh, Sept. 29. -- Mrs. Daryle R. Heckman, of Somerset, today was admitted to practice before the State Supreme Court. She is the second Western Pennsylvania woman to gain that privilege.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in various cases, most of which were from Somerset and Cambria counties.

(Transcribed by Terri Griffiths)


Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA)
Volume: 145  Issue: 17  Page: 2
July 17, 1901


It Will Be Selected for Encampment if Satisfactory Arrangements Can Be Made

Special to The Inquirer.

SOMERSET, Pa., July 16.--Brigadier General John A. Wiley of the Second Brigade, Pennsylvania National Guard, accompanied by eight members of his staff, arrived here at noon to-day and inspected the proposed site for the brigade encampment on August 17. All the officers emphatically declared Somerset to be an ideal location for the encampment, and, if satisfactory arrangements can be made with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for the transportation of the troops, Somerset will be selected beyond a doubt.

(Transcribed by Terri Griffiths)


Springfield Republican (Springfield, MA)
Issue: 64  Page: 9
June 8, 1906


Floods in Three Counties Cause the Worst Disaster Since the Johnstown Catastrophe.

Thunder showers, electric storms and heavy downpours of rain that have prevailed throughout western Pennsylvania during the entire week culminated yesterday in cloudbursts in Cambria, Westmoreland, Somerset and Butler counties, that caused the rivers and creeks to overflow, flooding the streets in many towns and causing great damage. A cloudburst at Hooversville, Somerset county, 18 miles north of Johnstown, caused Stony creek to rise suddenly and portions of the lower part of the city are under water. Island Park, a pleasure resort, two miles from Johnstown, has been practically washed out of existence. The only fatality resulting from the flood so far reported is the killing of an unknown woman, who was struck by a train while standing on the old stone bridge watching the high water. The damage along Stony Creek is estimated at $25,000. The flood is said to have been the worst since the disaster of May 31, 1889.

(Transcribed by Terri Griffiths)





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