The Call of December 1, 1916

Earl Smith, aged about 13 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Smith of Long Run Valley, near town, had a
miraculous escape from not only losing both his eyes but also his life in a gunning accident yesterday
afternoon.  Smith was one of a party of boys, all about the same age, who were out gunning near the
Long Run schoolhouse.  One of the boys threw his hat ion the air and a boy by the name of Bright
Berger, son of the late Walter Berger, was supposed to shoot at the hat.  In some unaccountable
manner the gun went off.  The shots struck a stone and glancing off struck Smith.  About 40 of the lead
pellets entered the face, neck and head of the Smith boy.  One of the shots entered just below the eye
and embedded itself in the flesh for nearly one inch.  The victim was taken to the office of Dr. Gray of
Cressona, where all but one or two of the shots was extracted.  This is another case of letting a child
play with a deadly weapon.

Miles Sprenger, the popular clerk at the First National Bank, of town, is the hero of the week.  As a
runaway pair of spirited mules came dashing down Main Street, Mr. Sprenger ran out, grabbed the
bridle of one mule and brought the team to a stop after being dragged for several yards.  His brave act
undoubtedly prevented a serious accident as a number of school children were just returning and were
crossing the street.

The Call of December 8, 1916

"Me no live here, me move out, me clean up" was the remark of a foreigner who had started a fire within
a few feet of his house Thursday evening.  The fellow came pretty near cleaning up alright as the flames
were leaping high and would have, in a few minutes, communicated to the building and possibly caused
a real fire.  The Schuylkill Hose Company, taking their truck on a test trip out Dock Street noticed the
flames and immediately drove to the spot.  When the cause was discovered they compelled and insisted
the foreigner extinguish the bun fire.

The board ordered paid the salaries of the janitors, teachers and officers.  The teachers will receive
salaries for three weeks, on Friday before Christmas and the following month will be paid for five
months teaching.  The board excused Ruth Hileman, aged about 13 years, of Caldwell Street, of
attending the sessions of school.  It was explained that the girl was a pronounced cripple and unable to
walk the long distance from her home and that the board could not, at this time, provide for her
A communication was received from a citizen of town, inquiring as to why 12 scholars were promoted
from the sixth to the seventh grade and that in no other  grade were promotions made.  The writer was
of the opinion that in every grade in the district there are scholars who are bright and deserving of
recognition and just why partiality should be shown scholars of the sixth grade was beyond the
comprehension of the writer.  With the advancement of the scholars to the seventh grade, a whole year
is practically taken off of their public school life in Schuylkill Haven, while on the other hand, the
remainder for the scholars will lose an entire year.  Superintendent Hoover informed the board that the
scholars were advanced for two reasons, first because they had attained an average of 95 percent
during all of last year, and secondly, to relieve the congested condition of the sixth grade.  Director
Stauffer contended that the point made by this citizen was well taken.  It was then stated that if the same
procedure was taken in the other schools, that it would keep one person busy the entire term making
promotions.  Superintendent Hoover asked that the persons making the objections call upon him and
show the averages made by any particular pupil.  The board took no action on the communication.
A meeting of the board has been ca;;ed for Saturday afternoon at the new school building.  At this time
the board will view samples of flooring and will inspect the stage, to ascertain whether or not it is too
small for the purposes intended, and if so to try and arrange for its enlargement.  

The Call of December 15, 1916

"You never miss the water till the well runs dry," is an old time adage.  A more modern version of this
saying would be, "You never miss the electricity till the lights go out."  This was fully demonstrated to
the entire town Thursday evening, when a few minutes before six o'clock the town was thrown into
entire darkness.  The trouble was due to a short circuit caused by rusted telephone wires of the
American Telephone Company dropping over the electric lines on Main Street near Margaretta.
Not only was the town placed in darkness by the short circuiting of the wires but considerable damage
was done to the switchboard at the electric light plant recently installed.  In fact one of the two arc
switchboards have been so badly damaged that it is out of commission and may require the services of
the electrician from the firm that installed the board.  In addition to the damage the entire plant might
have been burned as the flames from the one switchboard leaped from the roof and for a time Engineer
Bubeck and several neighbors had a hard time extinguishing the same.  It was necessary to cut off all
the power before this could be accomplished.  Engineer Zimmerman and the linemen were busy several
hours Thursday evening repairing the damage.  Several sections of the town were without street lights
Thursday evening and will be until the switchboard is repaired.  
This is not the first occasion that the rusted wires of the above mentioned telephone company have
caused trouble by dropping upon the electric lines.  The wires are rusted and corroded to a great
extent on nearly every line in the town, and this not only makes it a danger to the electric light plant, but
a menace to the traveling public as a wire pulling apart, coming in contact with the electric lines and
dangling in the air or possibly by falling on someone might result in a fatality.

A firm for the utilizing of all the finer grades of coal, especially the grades that are taken from the river,
is about to be organized in Schuylkill Haven.  Wednesday afternoon, W. F. Oswald, a former resident of
Schuylkill haven, visited The Call office and explained the process.  It is the intention of the new firm to
take the finer grades of coal, crush them to a powder and then press them into what will be known as
briquets.  These briquets will be coated with a non water absorbing composition of 100 percent carbon.  
The process for the manufacture of the briquets is a secret that will be known only by the members of
the firm.  Mr. Oswald stated that the briquets can be manufactured and sold for less cost than freshly
mined anthracite coal.  The results are guaranteed to surpass that of coal.
At present the briquets are being manufactured in the city of Harrisburg, where the supply in the city
alone is far from being equal to the demand.  Mr. Oswald stated that it is his intention to organize the
firm in this section and to have the same composed of Hamburg, Schuylkill Haven and Pottsville
capitalists.  All four available sites have been located within easy range of two railroads.  When the plant
is completed, a double shift of five men will be put to work and the plant will have a capacity of nearly 50
tons per day.

The Call of December 22, 1916

Living on the outskirts of Schuylkill Haven, there is a man, a bachelor.  Father Time has dwelt more than
kindly with him and the God above has placed within his person a heart, full to overflowing with
goodness and kindness.  Practically alone in this world, with the exception of a niece and nephew, this
man, known but to a few residents of Schuylkill Haven, is devoting his life to helping and assisting
others, especially those who are poor and in need.  Alone at night he sits in his comfortable little room
in the home of a private family.  On his return from his daily task he has no cherubs to run to meet him,
throw their arms about his neck and impress upon his lips the affectionate kiss that is rightly due a
parent, no wife to bid him a goodbye as he leaves for his work in the morning and a few with whom he
can sit and converse after his day of toil.  Yet he is happy, happy that he has been granted the privilege
of living in a country like the United States where he can share his worldly goods and make others
This man has learned of the efforts of the Good Fellow Club of Schuylkill Haven.  He approves of its
work and has contributed liberally to its fund.  Now he comes forth with the following offer, "I want you
to take the members of a certain family in Schuylkill Haven (mentioning their name) clothe them, buy
shoes, stockings, overshoes, gloves, coats, caps and underwear for them and send me the bill for
That's a Good Fellow as we see it.  To this man the Christmas of 1916 will be one of the happiest periods
of his life.  As he gazes from his bedroom window on Christmas morning, th people passing by on their
way to worship in their respective churches, well can he raise his voice and gently sing, his voice in
harmony with the tolling of the church bells, "Peace on earth, good will toward men."

Residing on what is known as the "Dutch Flat," two women, who are not the least bit neighborly.  One
accused the other of pointing a gun at her and calling her such names as would not be permissible to
publish in The Call.  Their differences were only adjusted when a hearing was held before Squire C. A.
Moyer and the costs imposed against the defendant.

The framework of the tabernacle is about completed and ready for the finishing touches.  The call for
volunteers issued in all directions for men and young men for tomorrow, Friday, December 22, to give
the day or a half day, an hour or even fifteen minutes to help build the tabernacle.  The work of the
volunteers will not be lifting heavy timber, but nailing the boards on, putting up doors, etc.  A hammer or
hatchet is the only weapon needed in defense against idleness.  Everybody is happy and the work goes
with a swing, to the key of "Brighten the Corner where you are."  The big building grows rapidly now,
each hour shows advancement.
At the headquarters in the Trust Company Building, the committees in charge of the work are reporting
progress along all lines.  The chorus is moving in th right direction.  The secretary of the Music
Committee reports that even yet, reply postcards are still coming in.  Some have doubtless forgot to
mail their card but it is quite necessary that all cards be returned within a few days, as the chorus will be
made up before the arrival of the party next week.  
The time and date has been hanged for the reception banquet to be tendered Dr. McMinn, Evangelist
and his male associates.  It will be in Keystone Hall, Monday evening, January 1st, 1917 at six o'clock.  
The entire program will be finished early enough for the basket ball game in which many are interested.  
The Cottage Prayer Meetings will be announced in the churches on Sunday stating when and where
they will be held next week.

The Call of December 29, 1916

All local squires reported that they did not have a single case over Christmas, a fact that is very
To add to the above, Schuylkill County had a Christmas pass by without a murder and comparatively few
fights and assaults anywhere.  We are certainly reforming.

An auto occupied by C. D. Reed of Black Horse and Charles Reber of Schuylkill haven, went through the
guard rail along the state road above the arch at Connors Crossing and plunged down the embankment
onto the tracks of the Pennsylvania Railroad.  Neither one of the occupants were severely injured and
the only damage done the machine was the breaking of the glass on the headlights.  Traffic was held up
on the railroad until the auto was pulled back to the road.

A precedent was established at the local post office on Christmas morning when every piece of first
class mail and parcel post package was dispatched in town.  Thus were the residents of Schuylkill haven
enabled to enjoy their Christmas gift from abroad when it was intended they should enjoy it, Christmas
morning, and not the following day.  The entire post office force came out early and long before noon,
every piece of mail was out.  This fact was appreciated by the residents and reflects considerable credit
upon Postmaster Ebling and his efficient force.  Happy New Year John, and may the coming year bring to
Schuylkill Haven post office a renewed prosperity and a brighter and successful year.