May 2000

Jefferson College Historical Society

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

The Jefferson College Times is published by the Jefferson College Historical Society; 220 North Central Avenue; Canonsburg, PA 15317. The Jefferson College Historical Society is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to advancing knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of local history. Members receive the Times by mail at least four times yearly. Articles of local historical interest are earnestly solicited. Correspondence should be addressed to

Editor, Jefferson College Times

117 S. Central Avenue, Canonsburg, PA 15317

What follows is the most recent issue of the Jefferson College Times, modified for the electronic medium.

Revised 22 June 2000

News and Comments

Next Meeting:

The Jefferson College Historical Society will next meet on May 17, 2000, at 8 p.m. in the rooms of the society, North Central Avenue, Canonsburg, located on the lower floor of the auditorium building. Guests are welcome. The board of directors will meet at 7:30.



James M. Ross, administrator of the Washington County Historical Society, will speak on "The Life and Times of Dr. Frances LeMoyne." Mr. Ross was educated at W&J and Bethany Colleges and has a degree in Public Administration. He formerly was associated with the National Guard helicopter unit stationed at Washington Airport.

The subject of his presentation was the son of Dr. John Julius LeMoyne, and like him, was a physician. His home and office on East Maiden Street, Washington, is now the headquarters of the Washington County Historical Society.

The house is a National Historic Landmark because of its function as a stop on the Underground Railway. Dr. Francis LeMoyne took a considerable risk in aiding slaves escape to Canada. He was an educated man and helped spread learning; he even founded a college. He had eight children, five of them girls, and was involved in the formation of Washington Female Seminary. His philanthropy also included considerable support of W&J. Of course, we will hear about Francis LeMoyne's crematory. Here was a man who was not content just to be a small town doctor.


Cover story:

Two small boys are seen marching down Pike Street with the color guard in Canonsburg's 1939 Memorial Day Parade. William A. Amon took the photograph from a position near his photographic studio at 40 East Pike Street. The day was bright and sunny, which made photography of the parade difficult, since the participants were harshly backlit by the morning sun as they proceeded west on Pike. A number of 4x5-inch film negatives of the parade have survived and photographs made from them accompany the article about Memorial Day 1939.

Pike Street 1939:

The buildings on the north side of East Pike Street, between Central and Greenside in 1939.

Photograph Album:

This view of the 1939 Canonsburg High School Band is a much better than the parade photos. This picture of the band with its director, J. Kyle Work, was published in the 1939 Canon Log.

Around Canonsburg:

George Yates has sent along an obituary from the Daily Notes of April 27, 1912. It relates to the article on the Chartiers Valley Railroad published in the March issue of the JCTimes. The Notes ran the obituary on the front page with a streaming headline that included the news, "Former Railroader Dead."


"Eulogy for a Night Soil Man" by James T. Herron, Jr.

The Canonsburg Daily Notes ran two editorials in its January 5, 1934 issue. The first was about voting machines, the second was a tribute to a prominent local citizen, David J. P. McCartney, on the day of his funeral. The Daily Notes commented in his obituary: "Every community has its local characters and its institutions. Canonsburg has just lost one of these in the death of Dave McCartney at his home in North Strabane township" ("Passing of Dave McCartney" [editorial], Daily Notes, Jan. 5, 1934).

Dave McCartney was not a powerful politician or wealthy businessman. He cleaned out the pits under outhouses.

Poetry referred to in the McCartney article.

The literary works by Chic Sale and James Whitcomb Riley, mentioned by the Daily Notes in reference to Dave McCartney, were familiar to the newspaper's readers in the 1930s, but are mostly forgotten today.

The work referred to as Riley's is probably this one. It does not appear in his published works; its usual means of publication would have been carbon copies of a typescript. The origin of the poem is unknown. This version was found in Privy: The Classic Outhouse Book (Sun Designs: Delafield WI, 1980) by Janet and Richard Strombeck.


  The Specialist


Chic Sale

The other literary personage mentioned by the Daily Notes, Charles (Chic) Sale, was real and was the author of The Specialist. He was a humorist of the 1920s and '30s and the little book (4 by 6 inches) was first published in 1929.

The most enjoyable humor tends to concern familiar characters or situations. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be) the old outhouse is outside the experience of most people today, so the little book is long out of print. The text on the following pages is complete, from the 7th printing, as are the illustrations.

2000 Officers: Paul Katrencik., president; Kathleen Kirr, vice- president; Lois Ahwesh, secretary; Joseph A. Solobay, treasurer; directors Wilburt Scott ('01), David Westwater ('02), Mary Lou Underkoffler ('03), and James T. Herron, Jr. (past president).


The Jefferson College Historical Society is grateful to

Jean Suplick Matuson for archiving the Times at

This Internet web site, Genealogy in Washington County Pennsylvania, is a gold mine of historical material for the local historian and genealogist.


Membership in the Jefferson College Historical Society is open to all. An individual active membership is $8; student membership, $5; contributing membership, $15; business or institutional membership, $25; sustaining membership, $50; and life membership, $150. Correspondence concerning membership should be directed to

Joseph A. Solobay, 514 Craighead Street, Canonsburg, PA 15317