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 Journal of the Union County Historical Society
 Union County, Pennsylvania

October 2012                                                                                
Issue: # 2-2

Table of Contents   

From the Editor              

2 (see below)
The Christmas Belsnickle
by Nada Gray
Two Reels and a Crank
by Nessie W. Watson
Unknown Fraktur from Central PA Artist: Are There More?
by Joannah Shucek and Jim Bohn
More Union Countians who moved to Illinois, Wisconsin and Beyond
by Carl R. Catherman
Jacob Stauffer Whitman, First Union County Superintendent
by Sidney G. Dreese
Theron Shoemaker Dersham, (1913-2004)
by Lois Huffines

This issue’s authors

Contributing Essays to Accounts
The Purpose and Scope of ACCOUNTS
Advice to Contributors
Index to Vol. 2, No. 2



From the Editor:                                                                                                        2

With this third issue and a nice flow of manuscript submissions, ACCOUNTS of Union County is here to stay.  You will find the six articles in this issue of striking variety and intrinsic interest:  

In This Issue

As the fall holiday season approaches, in our first article Nada Gray enriches our acquaintance with Union County’s folkloric heritage, belsnickles and all.  Happy holidays and beware of all callithumpians at your door.  Then we break our own rule (proscribing previously written material) to bring you a charming essay containing rare information on Mifflinburg’s now-closed movie house, variously called the Nickelodeon, Lyric, New Theatre, Band Box, and Pix.  Our essay was written years ago by the late Nessie Watson; readers will find that there’s no better account anywhere on the 60-year lifespan of Mifflinburg movies and many will have personal memories.  Then Joannah Skucek and Jim Bohn explore the work of little-known fractur artist Johann Valentin Schuller.   If you don’t know much about fractur, this article will introduce you to the subject and its colorful place in our local history.  Maybe there’s a Schuller fractur hanging in your parlor.  

It’s always a pleasure to find that an ACCOUNTS article has stimulated a reader to write more on the same subject.  In this case, Carl Catherman has expanded the ground of Tim Ryan’s article in last Spring’s issue on the pre-civil War migration of Union County residents west to Illinois and Wisconsin.  Various families followed the westward-moving frontier and with it the prospect of better opportunities and land, making Stephenson County, Illinois, and its vicinity a new home for former Union Countians.  Then Sidney Dreese describes the emergence of public schooling in our county and the election of the first superintendent of county schools in 1854, Jacob Whitman.   His life paints a picture of how formal public, private, and religiously based schooling emerged in Union County.  And Lois Huffines focuses our attention on a beloved Mifflinburg teacher, Theron Dersham, whose fine teaching across more than four decades of the mid-20th Century will be fondly remembered by many, shaping the lives of his former students living today.

Be an ACCOUNTS Author!                                                                                           3

I invite you to write a piece for a forthcoming issue of ACCOUNTS.  All that’s required is a story to tell, illuminating some corner of Union County history.   I can work with you to move it from an idea to an essay, and together we can add what you know to the historical record of Union County and its people.  Got a relative or neighbor who also has a story?  Pass along the name and I’ll extend an invitation. 

There is still space in the next issue.  Don’t confine your topics to the following, but here are some topics to get you thinking:

1.       The Weikert Sportsman Club and the building’s history

2.      Enoch Miller

3.      The logging railroad at White Deer

4.      Billmeyer’s  sawmill and boat-building business on Buffalo Creek

5.      History of  the “Fiddler’s Tract” property on Rt. 192

6.      Hotel Shikellamy, on Blue Hill

7.       Troutman’s Pharmacy, Lewisburg

8.       A local foundry or commercial furnace

9.      The general goods store at the heart of any one of Union County’s small communities

10.   The Penns Creek and Leroy Massacres

11.    The story behind the grave stone on the traffic island at Winfield.

           Do let me hear from you.

Tom Greaves
                                                                                                                                          Editor, ACCOUNTS                                                                                                                              570-523-8880