Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on September 12th.
25 Years Ago
September 12, 1994 – Monday
“Following Doctor’s Orders”
Jay Fuller’s doctor advised him to pound a block of wood or something’ for stress. Now Fuller’s home is crammed with dozens of woodworking projects, but he’s really just “following doctor’s orders. Woodworking is a full-time hobby for Jay Fuller. He’s made wooden rings into bowls, displayed in his front window.
Your own eyes are so overwhelmed and confused that Jay Fuller Jr. leads you from one object to another. Shelves of hand-painted wooden bowls brighten his apartment window. Dark decoys hunker under the sill. The hand carved gorilla, aware of your presence, hesitates in stride and plants his bamboo walking stick.
Fuller, lacking a curator’s patience, has more to show you in the next room:
A dry sink made from 100-year-old pine church pews. A small Queen Anne chest fashioned from cherry and sassafras woods. “It’s supposed to be for silver, but there’s sewing stuff in there,” he said.
Into the living room. Then the hallway. You take care not to knock over the scrolled candlesticks or brush against the wood-burned seascapes hanging in the hall.
Jay, 83, has made all of the stuff and then some.
“Now I’m making Christmas presents for my kids,” Jay said. “If there’s something on TV I’m not interested in, I’ll go down in the basement.”
His glasses ride slightly down his nose, like a person always busy with something near at hand.
“I have stuff scattered all over the house,” said his son, Peter Fuller, Chambersburg. “He normally won’t sell the stuff,” He says, “If I start selling it, it won’t be a hobby any the more. It would be a job.”
Fuller retired in 1976, but he’s been working in wood since Peter, 54, was a baby.
“Whatever grabbed his interest, he’d go full bore on it until something else grabbed him,” Peter said. And he won ‘t start another project until he has finished the one he started.
“He makes me look like a slouch,” Peter said.
“He does have a lot of energy for a person 83 years old,” said Ray Hayes Jr., Jay’s neighbor and landlord. “I sort of term him the manager of the apartment. When I need work done, he’s there to do it. He’s such a mechanic.”
Jay cuts the grass, even paints second-story windows from a ladder.
As a youngster, Hayes got to know Jay at Chambersburg’s five-and-dime. Jay was J. J. Newberry’s manager, 1936-51, then an investment broker for 28 years.
That’s when Jay got interested in woodworking.
He was feeling anxious and dizzy. His doctor told him it was from “too much mental work,” too much stress. The doctor told Jay, “Go down in the basement and pound a block of wood or something.”
If I was having trouble closing a big account, I’d go down in the basement to the woodshop, Jay said.
Self-taught, Jay has “pounded” out pictures, furniture, carvings, toy cars, birds, signs, even eight-foot totem poles.
50 Years Ago
September 12, 1969 – Friday
Franklin County’s Quincy Township ranks for the fourth year in the top three in the state in the occurrence of forest fires of an incendiary nature.
“Quincy Twp Ranks at Top of Incendiary Forest Fires”
A total of 21 fires of an incendiary nature have been discovered this year in the townships of Quincy and neighboring Hamiltonban Township in Adams County. None of the fires have been solved, says Michaux District Forester, Richard Thorpe.
The statistics were compiled by the Department of Forests and Waters. Of 115 fires in the two townships since 1905 of which 97 were determined of a suspicious nature.
Thorpe said that almost without exception the fires were the work of arsonists. During 1968 all 21 fires in Quincy and six of nine Hamiltonban.
100 Years Ago
September 12, 1919 – Friday
SAVED $17,000 ON $1.50 A WEEK
Sixty years ago, Miss Martha Miller, then a young girl, hired out to the family of John Lesher living on a farm northeast of town. She received $1 a week and her “keep.” Later she went to Daniel Lesher’s family in town and her wages were raised to $1.50. A few-years ago, she was given a dollar advance, to $2.50 a week.
Miss Miller in all these years made monthly visits to a local bank as a depositor. Four months ago she died and when her estate was settled, it was found she had $17,000 to her credit in bank. Her small deposits, compounding “had grown into a little” fortune.