Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Scene of the Fatal Explosion in Philadelphia

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, published from 1855 to 1922, was an American illustrated news publication started by publisher and illustrator Frank Leslie. While only 30 copies of the first edition were printed, by 1897 its circulation had grown to an estimated 65,000 copies.

Our illustration represents the scene of the explosion of a steam-boiler, which occurred on the afternoon of June the 6th, at the steam saw-mill, occupied by Geary & Ward, No. 1,024 Sansom street, Philadelphia.

The explosion occurred at about six in the afternoon, and reduced the structure to a mass of ruins, nearly every person about the building being buried beneath the debris. Search was immediately commenced for the unfortunate beings, but before any of them were rescued, a fire broke out where the most of them were buried, and in a very short space of time the entire pile of rubbish was one mass of flames.

The shrieks of the men who were thus fastened in the very jaws of death were heartrending in the extreme, but all efforts of the firemen to rescue those who were smothering and burning to death were unavailing. About eight o’clock the fire was subdued, and search at once commenced. In a few minutes a number of bodies, blackened, scarred and disfigurred beyond recognition, were removed. The search continued during the entire night, and is still progressing. Ten bodies have been recovered from the ruins, and others it is feared are lost.


History of York County, Pennsylvania from the earliest period to

A Look Inside the History of York County, Pennsylvania

The 1106 page History of York County, Pennsylvania from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Divided Into General, Special, Township and Borough Histories, with a Biographical Department Appended can be found in the Pennsylvania section of our American County Histories Collection. This particular book is exceptionally valuable to genealogists and family history researchers because it contains almost fifty detailed biographies of York County settlers and other prominent citizens.


History of York County, PennsylvaniaThere is no portion of the territory of the United States in which there is centered more of historic interest than that occupied by the county of York in the State of Pennsylvania. The town of York, in the words of LaFayette, was the seat of the American Union in our most gloomy times. In its cemeteries lie buried the remains of two of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. But not only during, but before and after, that great event, the American Revolution, the incidents of our history are full of interest.

The county was organized 136 years ago. Its earliest settlements were made some twenty years before. Throughout the whole period of time since then its progress has been steady and its development commensurate with the growth of the American nation. It is the purpose of this history to trace that progress and to study that development. As a portion of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, York County is largely identified with its early settlement and its social and political progress.

Biographical Sketches

Atlee, Hon. William Augustus
Barnitz, Hon. Charles A.
Barnitz, Hon. George
Barton, Rev. Thomas
Bonham, Hon. Samuel Coxe
Cassat, Esq., David
Cathcart, Rev. Robert
Clark, Gen. John
Dare, Hon. George
Deininger, Rev. Constantine J.
Dritt, Capt. Jacob
Durkee, Hon. Daniel
Ettinger, Rev. Adam
Fisher, Hon. Robert J.
Franklin, Rear Admiral
Gibson, Gen. Horatio Gates
Glossbrenner, Hon. Adam J.
Grier, Col. David
Haller, Col. Granville. O.
Hartley, Hon. Thomas
Hays, Hon. Mills
Hinkle, Hon. John L.
Jameson, David
Jordan, Archibald Steele
King, Hon. Adam
Koller, Hon. Isaac
Lewis, Judge Ellis
Mayer, Rev. Lewis
McIntyre, Hon. Peter
McLaughlin, Capt. William H.
McPherson, William
Members of the Bar
Mitchell, Hon. James S.
Newcomer, Hon. David
Prowell, Maj. Joseph
Reed, Gen. William
Rieman, Hon. John
Schlegel, Col. Henry
Schriver, Gen. Edmund
Small, Gen. M.P.
Stair, G. Christopher
Stevens, Hon. Thaddeus
Stouch, Capt. George W.H.
Welsh, Lieut. George
Ziegler, Rev. Daniel

Images from the Volume


The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter.

Weeping Willows School House

Schools in the Pennsylvania Forest

Many of the volumes in our American County Histories collection outline the formation of the first schools in a given county or parish. The History of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, with Illustrations Descriptive of its Scenery, by Captain Franklin Ellis in the Pennsylvania section of this collection describes how the mostly religiously minded settlers from Ireland, Scotland, and Germany established free schools for their children.

Schools In The Forest

If the earliest settlers, upon their arrival here, gave their first attention to the question of religious worship, they did not long postpone that of schools; for they believed that education made better citizens, and enhanced the ability and usefulness of its possessor.

As early as 1673, the Assembly had passed an Act, making it obligatory upon parents and guardians to teach every child in their control to read and write; which is all the comment that is necessary on the progressive spirit— as touching educational matters—which actuated the people of Pennsylvania, even at that early time.


Hon. Andrew G. Curtin,  Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

A Look Inside the History Of The Pennsylvania Reserve Corps

One of the volumes in our The Civil War — Part II: The Soldiers’ Perspective is History Of The Pennsylvania Reserve Corps: A Complete Record of the Organization; and of the Different Companies, Regiments and Brigades Containing Descriptions of Expeditions, Marches, Skirmishes And Battles; Together with Biographical Sketches of Officers and Personal Records of Each Man During his Term of Service. By J.R. Sypher, Esq. Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Compiled from official Reports and other Documents in the year 1864.

This book is over seven hundred pages long and is one of the most complete histories ever compiled by a Civil War Corp. The volume’s text is fully searchable.


To His Excellency, Hon. Andrew G. Curtin, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, The earnest Patriot and the Friend of the Soldier, this record of distinguished services, and roll of honor is inscribed.

Preface (excerpted)

The Great Rebellion of the Southern States was formally opened and war commenced by the attack of the conspirators on Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, in South Carolina, on the 12th day of April, 1861. After resisting the terrific attack for two days, early on the morning of the 14th of April, the garrison of less than one hundred men, surrendered to an attacking army of over two thousand strong. On the 15th day of the same month, the day following the fall of Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, issued a proclamation, calling out seventy-five thousand militia from the several States in the Union, to serve during a term of three months, in the war against the rebels. A requisition was made on the State of Pennsylvania for fourteen regiments. These were promptly furnished, and, such was the patriotic ardor of the people, that the number was increased to twenty-five regiments fully organized; and as many more regiments, offered by the people, were not accepted by the War Department.



A Look Inside the History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania

The full-text search capability of the American County Histories database permits the student/researcher to explore all the publications of a particular county by using a single query. In addition, those wishing to read or browse the text on a page by page basis may do so in the original format merely by scrolling down the screen and then continuing to the next chapter. The Table of Contents is hyperlinked to each chapter as well as to each individual illustration. The user can select a particular graphic from the List of Illustrations and proceed immediately to it by clicking on the highlighted text.

This is an overview of one of the books in the Pennsylvania section of the Mid-Atlantic States group of our American County Histories collection.


This volume is offered to the public as a contribution to the history of Bucks county. The writer does not flatter himself that the subject has been exhausted. It has been his effort to present the essential facts pertaining to the development of the county in such relation to each other as to indicate the various motives and influences which have led to the present results. Pioneer life in the original counties of Pennsylvania was not such as to afford opportunities for brilliant action. The peaceful precepts of the Friends precluded the thrilling experience of the border as well as the pomp and pageantry of glorious war, and the story of the origin and development of this portion of the state is significant in its moral rather than in its material aspects.

The “Book of Arrivals,” often quoted from and the basis of all certain information regarding many of the pioneers of the county, is given in full, with lists of those who have served the county in a public capacity. The latter have been compiled at a considerable expense of time and labor, and are thought to be as complete as it is possible to make them. The sketch of the early history of the state, prepared by Prof. Samuel P. Bates, will be found in abbreviated form in the introductory chapter. The biographical sketches, for the most part, have been arranged alphabetically under the several township headings in the latter part of the volume. This arrangement has been adopted as the best means of affording convenience of reference, and relieving the narrative portion of tedious digression. The large number of these sketches has necessitated, as brief treatment as the circumstances would warrant, and the editor has been compelled to chiefly depend upon the members of the respective families for the accuracy of the facts set forth. No pains have been spared to make this department accurate, and it is believed that it constitutes an interesting portion of the work, which will increase in value with the lapse of years.

In the preparation of this book great assistance has been derived from the various newspaper contributions to the history of the county, none of which have been more useful than the writings of “Iron Mask,” a nom de plume which only thinly veils the authorship of the present scholarly editor of the “Bucks County Intelligencer.” The writer has been greatly aided by the use of the valuable historical library and collections of Judge Richard Watson, and of books from the libraries of other gentlemen of Doylestown; by the valuable suggestions and scrap-books of Judge Harman Yerkes and Mr. Henry D. Paxson, the files of the “Intelligencer,” and the archives of the local historical society. The chapters on the townships were prepared by Mr. Herbert C. Bell; the chapter on geology by Charles Laubach, Esq., of Riegelsville; and the biographical sketches by Mr. F.L. Beers (assisted by Miss Anna Le Compte), to whose editorial supervision this difficult department was assigned. To each one of the many, to whose encouragement and aid the success of this enterprise is largely due, the editor wishes to express his indebtedness to, and appreciation of their kindness and assistance.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
September, 1887.


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