Chair of Claysburg Hall of Fame
DALE L. FEATHERS
Nominated by the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company.
Dale was born on June 12, 1961, to Alva Eugene and Violet Grace (Ritchey) Feathers. He was one of five sons and brother to previous Hall of Fame inductee Denny Feathers. Dale graduated from Claysburg-Kimmel High School in 1979 and spent his life in Claysburg. He worked for Smith Transport for 22 years as an over-the-road truck driver. He also operated a dairy farm for several years.
Dale married Suzanne Glunt on May 21, 2001. He was a father to three daughters – Jennifer, Shannon and Jamie and grandfather to Vincent, David and Connor. He loved spending time with his grandsons and cherished the activities they did together.
Dale shared in his brothers’ love of volunteering and joined the Fire Company in 1975 as a teenager. He was also an active member of the Claysburg Ambulance Service. In his 40+ years of service, Dale held nearly every position within the fire company. He served as Fire Chief, Asst. Chief, president and trustee, as well as being an intracule part of the Company’s Relief Association. At the time of his passing, Dale was serving as Fire Company Vice-President and Relief Association President.
Dale was considered a mentor to many in the Fire Company. His knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects of the fire trucks and other equipment, as well as his willingness to teach others around him, made him a valuable asset to the company and community alike. Dale knew the importance of teaching the younger firefighters the proper way to do their job. He was always respectful to other members of the Claysburg Fire Company and to members of neighboring companies.
During Dale’s tenure with the Fire Company, he also served as a Blair County Forest Fire Warden for 25 years. In this position, he was responsible for leading the fire fighters during brush and forest fire calls.
Dale received numerous awards and honors within the fire company and the Central District. Thousands of hours were spent simply giving back to the community wherever it was needed. Dale’s legacy will continue to be his commitment to his family, the fire company and the community. Dale died on January 19, 2018.
The Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome Dale Feathers into its 2020 Class for his dedication to the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company and to the community.
Before coming to Claysburg, Walt “W.A.” Zeigler operated a business at the intersection of Routes 96 and 31 in Manns Choice where he sold farm tractors and equipment. As automobiles were coming of age, W.A. was promised a partnership with a Bedford Ford dealer. When that did not happen, a friend told him about the booming town of Claysburg with refractory plants in both Claysburg and Sproul, and W.A. decided to give the town a try.
W.A. Zeigler opened Claysburg Garage, now known as Zeigler Chevrolet, in 1918 on Bedford Street. It was the first automobile agency in Claysburg. At the time, they sold Maxwell and Chalmers automobiles. In 1919, Buick was added to the line and in 1921, Ford was signed. Both Maxwell and Chalmers were dropped at this time. Fords were sold until 1926, when the contract was signed with Chevrolet and in 1932, Oldsmobile was added. Buicks were dropped prior to 1939.
In 1939, the business was taken over by Ken Zeigler, son of W. A. Zeigler. W.A. Zeigler then moved to Altoona to start an Oldsmobile dealership on Plank Road.
Bob Zeigler, son of Ken and Helen (Beegle) Zeigler, took over the dealership in 1967 upon the death of his father. Bob who was 21-years-old at the time was the youngest dealer in the United States. In 1977, a new building was constructed along route 220 which currently houses Zeigler Chevrolet. In 2017, Bob was personally recognized as being in the business for 50 years. Bob was selected as Blair County’s Small Businessman of the Year by the Blair County Chamber of Commerce in 2010. It is difficult for any business to stay successful over the years, but Zeigler Chevrolet has prospered for 101 years and is still going strong. It is now one of the oldest businesses in Claysburg.
Bob and his wife, Patty (Bailey) Zeigler, have two sons who both work in the business and are now the owners. Kenneth Robert “KR” is married to Erika Corle, and Keith Robert is married to Dana Williams. Bob and Patty have six grandchildren, Max Zeigler, Grace Zeigler, Lilian Zeigler, Audrey Zeigler, Ally Zeigler, and Colin Border.
Bob Zeigler becomes personally involved in the community whenever there is a need. From a financial standpoint his generous contributions helped to get the Claysburg Christmas in the Park Celebration off the ground several years ago. During community events such as Community Days and Homecoming Celebrations, the family and business allow the use of their cars and trucks for parades, etc. The Claysburg Community Theatre has used the barn at the Zeigler farm in the past for summer shows. To this day, the Zeigler family’s financial commitment to the community continues. If there is a good cause, Bob Zeigler has most likely contributed greatly to it.
For the past three years, Bob has been giving his personal time to head up the business segment of fundraising for the Claysburg Education Foundation. He has been contacting other businesses in the area to solicit their financial involvement in promoting education in the Claysburg area.
The Zeigler family is a staple in the community. While Zeigler’s customer base has expanded greatly beyond the Claysburg area, they still have a loyalty to the people in Claysburg. They have remembered where their roots are based and are appreciative of the community that supported them in their growth. Having Bob Zeigler and his family-owned business in Claysburg is truly a great asset to our town.
We welcome Zeigler Chevrolet into the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
Third Annual 2016 Claysburg Hall of Fame Induction
Held on Saturday, April 2, 2016
Musselman's Grove - Pioneer Award
introduced by Tempe "Betty" Musselman
accepting - Jarrett & Ashley Musselman
Robert and Jean Gordon
Bob and Jean Gordon were nominated as a couple for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame.
Bob was born in Claysburg, PA on May 16, 1932 to Samuel "Ted" and Geraldine (Amick) Gordon. Jean Roudabush was born on May 5, 1929 in Claysburg to Lester and Rose (Knisely) Roudabush. They were married on September 23, 1951 in Claysburg and have lived in Claysburg most of their lives.
Bob graduated from Claysburg High School in 1950. Jean graduated from Claysburg High School in 1947. Just prior to their marriage, Bob signed a professional contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the spring of 1952, Bob and Jean travelled to Waco, Texas, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and Pittsburg, Kansas in pursuit of Bob’s baseball career. However, in December of 1952, Bob was drafted into the US Army. In the spring of 1955, Bob and Jean returned to Claysburg and constructed a home in the Friesville area where they still live today.
Bob and Jean have two daughters. Crystal Leta was born in 1955, and Cynthia Louise was born in 1958. Crystal lives in Schwenksville, PA with her husband Andrew Gilchrist. They have two sons, Joe and David, and three grandchildren. Cindy lives in Hamburg, PA with her husband Clayton John. They have three sons, Bobby, Christian and Ian, four granddaughters, one grandson, and one granddaughter on the way.
Bob was employed at Veeder Root for 25 years and at Martin Oil for 18 years. Jean was employed for many years as a bookkeeper and head cashier at Altoona Mercy Hospital in the Physical Medicine Department.
Bob and Jean have truly been assets to the community of Claysburg. They have been involved with the Claysburg-Kimmel Alumni Assocoation, the Claysburg Community Chorus, and Claysburg P.A.S.T. They have been members of the American Legion Band for over 40 years. They were instrumental in the formation of the Claysburg Area Community Theatre and have performed in many of the shows since its inception in 1979. Both have been actively involved with their church, Grace United Church of Christ, where Bob served as a member of the church consistory, as church school superintendent, and as a church school teacher for over 50 years. Jean was also a church school teacher for a period of time. Bob served on the Claysburg-Kimmel School Board for a time and was a Greenfield Township Supervisor. He is a member of the Woodbury Lodge 539 and of the Valley of Altoona Consistory. Bob also served on the board for "Jobs for Joes" which later became the Claysburg Economic Development Incorporated or CEDI and is currently its president. CEDI was responsible for donating the land for the Claysburg Community Park. He has been a member of the Claysburg American Legion where he served as commander in 1984 and held other positions over the years. Jean has worked on the election board serving Greenfield Township for over 50 years. In 1976, she chaired the committee for the first Claysburg Street Fair that was part of the Bicentennial celebration. This event has grown over the years and is now known as Claysburg Community Days. Jean and Lena Gazzara were instrumental in starting the Claysburg Girl Scouts in 1959. Bob and Jean with Ted and Geraldine Gordon and Clair Ebersole started the Claysburg Little League and helped to develop the first Little League field. They were also co-chairs of the 1979 Claysburg 175th Anniversary book.
Through the years, whenever there is a need for volunteers, Bob and Jean are there arm in arm and hip to hip doing what they can to make Claysburg a better community. Their endless hours and years of work have truly left a legacy in the Claysburg area and have set a very high standard for other volunteers. We owe them a debt of gratitude, and we welcome Bob and Jean Gordon into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame. They are an inspiration to many others in our community. .
Last fall on October 3, 2015, Claysburg Hall of Fame committee awarded Thomas L. Ringler a Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame award, the first of its type in the community for his contributions to the community in various organizations, churches and community chorus. In an unprecedented move by the Claysburg Education Foundation and the Claysburg P.A.S.T. (Preserving Artifacts Stories and Traditions) Hall of Fame Committee, Tom Ringler, a former teacher at Claysburg-Kimmel and active community member in the theatre and arts community was presented with two awards. The Claysburg Education Foundation awarded Ringler their first Distinguished Educator Award for his commitment to the Arts and to education in the Claysburg Community. Through the years Ringler has made the community more and more aware of the arts in both music and art form. A musical show and dedication to Ringler was part of an “Arts” weekend in Claysburg by the Claysburg Education Foundation.
Tom grew up in the small community of Blough in northern Somerset County and attended what is now the North Star School District. Tom is the son of Edward and Ruby Ringler. At Forbes High School, Tom’s extracurricular interests were centered on music, art, the school newspaper, and the yearbook.
During his last semester at IUP, he interviewed for teaching positions and chose to take a job teaching high school art in Claysburg, Pennsylvania in 1964, and he remained on the faculty there for the next thirty years. During that time he became an integral part of the community’s civic and cultural scene. One of Tom’s first achievements came in 1969 when he teamed with fellow teacher Tom Booth, community leader Frank Gazzara, and others to organize and plan the first homecoming celebration.
From that beginning, he continued to give his time and talent to a wide variety of community organizations and helped plan and participated in countless community events.
During his teaching career, he taught art and art appreciation. Tom also served as cheerleading advisor for quite a few years. In 1968, he organized and directed Noah’s Ark, a small musical group made up of C-K students. A similar group named Room 102 was formed in 1972. Both groups performed to the delight of audiences near and far.
His work with the Claysburg Area Community Theatre is especially noteworthy. In 1979, he helped organize this group. Tom never enjoyed appearing on stage. Instead, his passions were set design, stage managing and, of course, directing.
In addition to his work with the high school and community theaters, Tom currently serves on the Claysburg Library Board. He directs the Community Chorus, is the organist and a church deacon at Lower Claar Church of the Brethren, and is active with the Bedford County Arts Center. He was a member of the Claysburg Rotary Club for thirty-seven years and contributed greatly to the club and the community.
He quickly came to appreciate teaching and living in Claysburg. Tom chose to make Claysburg his home, and he has never regretted his decision to move here. Claysburg claims him as one of their own, and we welcome him into the Claysburg Hall of Fame with the first and only Lifetime Achievement Award to date.
RICHARD E. ALLISON
Nominated by James Ridgeway
Richard was born in Claysburg on the Allison family farm, the son of Shimer and Grace (Black) Allison. He is a 1969 graduate of Claysburg-Kimmel High School, and attended Penn State University majoring in accounting. Rich began his career working for General Refractories Co – Claysburg and then in 1982, was transferred to its Pittsburgh headquarters as Vice-President of Operations. In 1985, he became President of General Refractories. In 1987, Rich became President of BMI Refractories and the Chief Operating Officer of Adience, Inc. in Pittsburgh. In the 1990s, he became president and co-owner of 247 Equipment Co.
Rich married Sandra Burket Schultz in 1991, welcoming Brian and Amy Schultz, his step-children, into his family. His biggest joy has been the arrival of grandchildren Leo and Scout Hatley and their fun times together. Rich enjoys traveling, Steeler and Penn State football, cooking and entertaining, and working around the farm.
After spending 25 years in Pittsburgh, in 2007 Rich and Sandy moved back to the Allison family farm in Claysburg. Rich’s love of exploring genealogy and family history led him to form the Claysburg PAST group, a local history organization. The group sponsors murals in the community, history tours, Christmas in the Park, Trivia Night, and the Hall of Fame Committee. The group works with the Claysburg Fire Company and others, fundraising for these groups and Claysburg PAST.
In 2014, Rich was one of the founders of the Claysburg Education Foundation. The Foundation has provided financial assistance to numerous school groups, to the Claysburg Library, and to other organizations in the community. In just 7 years, the Foundation was awarded approximately $975,000 with the majority of it spent on local Claysburg education and the Claysburg Area Public Library to promote and enhance education. Rich was also a founder and second president of the Claysburg Alumni Association. Richard has held positions on a number of boards including Adience, Inc., Information Display Technology, Refractories Institute, Nason Hospital, Treasurer and Board Member of the Middle District of PA Church of the Brethren, and the Claysburg Education Foundation. He was also a member of the Duquesne Club in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Sons of the American Legion and a life member of the Smokey Run Gun Club.
In 2019, after discovering a poem written by “famous author J. G. London” in Sandy’s genealogy papers and another one given to him by Missy Brant, Rich spent the next five months reconstructing an 1894 trip of the well-known author Jack London back east into possibly Queen, PA where the poem was most likely written. Without the actual handwritten poem, it can never be fully substantiated if the poem “The Boys Who Peel the Bark” was written by the Call of the Wild author. However, after reading and considering Rich’s research, scholars are 95%+ convinced that the poem was in fact written by the famous Jack London. In January 2020, Rich’s research was published in The Wolf – 20, an annual publication of the Jack London Foundation in California.
Additionally, with a lot of old family recipes and years of travel, he co-published several cookbooks with his wife, Sandy, with the latest in 2009 called Cooking from the Farm to the City that sold nationally.
We are proud to welcome Richard E. Allison into the Claysburg Hall of Fame for his leadership, vision, and dedication to the entire Claysburg community.
Roger Knisely, Master of Ceremonies
Mark Barnhart and NPC, Inc.
-Nominated by Claysburg Education Foundation
Mark Barnhart and NPC are synonymous. They are part of a success story that goes beyond the business world. Barnhart is owner and chairman of the board of NPC, Inc., but he is much more than that. He is a local businessman who has dedicated his life to developing a successful business that takes care of its employees and to giving back to the community of Claysburg. Mark took over the operation of the business from his parents in the late 1980s and then moved the main operation to Claysburg in the early 1990s. Since then, not only has NPC, Inc. made generous monetary donations to the community and provided printing services to many Claysburg organizations, but they also have been mentoring students at Claysburg-Kimmel for several decades.
About seven years ago, Mark partnered with the Claysburg Education Foundation to provide more funding for education to the Claysburg community - a partnership that has continued to grow. Mark’s sincere dedication to education is visible, not just through monetary donations, but also through his personal involved with the Foundation. He has participated in planning meetings with the Foundation and Claysburg-Kimmel School District personnel. He sends his employees to the school to do presentations to students and has his employees work with students and groups such as the Claysburg-Kimmel FBLA. These employees mentor students, critique such things as presentations and resumes, and help students improve the skills they will need to succeed in the real world. Mark also finds personal time to spend one-on-one with many students discussing philosophies, addressing student needs for their future growth, and generally giving advice.
While Mark devotes an extraordinary amount of time and financial resources to the Claysburg Education Foundation, it does not stop there. He is a trustee at Mt. Aloysius College and works with other school districts and organizations. When the Claysburg Fire Company had their largest truck break down beyond repair in December 2020, Mark Barnhart was contacted for two reasons. One was for financial support, but the second -and more important one - was to collaborate with him on how to do a successful fundraiser for the fire company. Mark’s valuable insight helped give the fire company the ability to raise $300,000 in less than 12 months for the new truck fund. Without his input, it would not have been easily accomplished.
Mark was named the 19th winner of the Blair County Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence in 2020, but the presentation dinner was postponed three times because of COVID-19. The actual award was given in October, 2021. The chamber created the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 to recognize business leaders who have made a difference in the community for an extended period of time. Barnhart, 60, is the youngest winner of the award. “It speaks to the regard that his nominators and the selection committee have for him that his monumental accomplishments are deemed worthy despite the fact that his best days may actually be ahead of him. There’s little doubt that he’s far from done,” said Chamber President/CEO Joe Hurd. “Anyone who knows Mark, who has witnessed his incredible drive and who has understood what a community advocate he is, will probably consider his selection as long overdue.”
Barnhart grew up in Roaring Spring the son of Barney and Charlotte Barnhart, who founded News Printing Co. in 1954. After graduating from Central High School and studying English at Penn State, Mark went to work at a printing company in Washington, D.C., in which his father had an ownership interest. He stayed there for two and a half years until the business closed. He came home to get married to one of Claysburg’s own, the former Karen Claar, and worked for the family business. He took over ownership of the business in the late 1980s when he and his father structured a buyout plan. Under Mark’s leadership, the business - renamed NPC, Inc. in 2002 - has grown from 50 to 500 employees and has seen its revenues increase fifty times. What started out as a printing business has become a delivery engine for critical information that customers depend on. NPC, Inc. makes the management of print and web and mobile communications easy, saving customers valuable time, money and frustration throughout the lifecycle of communication programs. According to the company’s website, they serve various industries including federal, state and local governments, high stakes testing, survey data collection, collection letter outsourcing, and commercial printing.
Mark’s wife Karen, their three children, Josh Barnhart, Jenna (Barnhart) Houseknecht and Luke Barnhart, and their son-in-law Brad all work for the family business. Mark and Karen have nine grandchildren and a tenth one on the way. They are: Penelope, Lillian, Adalin, Ariadne, Rozalyn and Ada Barnhart and Holland, Charlie and Blake Houseknecht.
Giving back to the community is very important to Mark and his company. Mark’s goals concerning the town of Claysburg have been improving the education of students for their own future benefits and providing future employees for his company with the skills that will be required as technology continues to march forward. He also continues to push for improvements in the town of Claysburg itself promoting such things as housing, water, and sewage hoping to provide incentives for future employees to relocate to Claysburg.
Mark Barnhart’s financial contributions to the Claysburg-Kimmel School District through the Claysburg Education Foundation have been amazing. Four years ago, his resources helped to supply iPads for every student at Claysburg-Kimmel. This was a welcomed gift at the time but became an invaluable gift as students dealt with the problems of Covid19. In 2020, he donated 140 computers to the school. About two years ago, the Foundation started a pre-K program. Again, it was with Mark’s assistance and financial support that got it off the ground. Mark’s devotion to the town of Claysburg has been rewarding for the entire community.
The Claysburg Hall of Fame is proud to welcome Mark Barnhart and NPC, Inc. to the Hall of Fame.
Thomas W. Kurtz
Thomas W. Kurtz was born on December 4, 1917 at Claysburg, the son of Louis and Emma (Tipton) Kurtz. Tom graduated from Claysburg High School in 1936. After graduating from Penn State at Mont Alto majoring in forestry, Tom returned to Claysburg and began working at General Refractories in 1938. Tom married Mary (Merce) Lingenfelter in 1939.
Tom’s great uncle, T. N. Kurtz originally built the Claysburg plant - Standard Refractories in 1913 and eventually sold it to General Refractories in 1922. Tom came from a long-line of refractory or brick workers. Tom’s father, Louis also worked at General Refractories until his early death in 1932. Tom had two brothers and a sister. Helen Amick, who resides in Tyrone; Jack Kurtz, who resides in Indiana, PA; and Bill Kurtz, who resided in Williamsburg, PA but is now deceased.
Tom and Merce had six children. Ann, who married Bob Wlodkowski, lives in Waxhaw, NC. They have five children: Eric, James, John, Daniel and Amy. Ellen, who married Harold Barnes, lives in Mt. Joy, PA. They have four children: James, Glenn, Beth and Margery. Louis, who married Rozanne West, lives in Buhl, ID. They have three children: Gretchen, Shane and Leah. Lemon, who married Annie Decker, lives in Preston, ID. They have two children: Lee Ann and David. John, who married Suzanne Lingenfelter, lives in Tooele, UT. They have two children: Scott and Adam. Rachel, who married Melvin Glass, lives in Fawn Grove, PA. They have two children: Rebekah and Thomas.
Tom Kurtz was a silica brickyard legend not just in Claysburg but throughout the United States. He was highly respected in the industry. Tom’s life revolved around silica brick. Tom kept on top of the entire operation of the Claysburg, PA plant from when he became Superintendent in 1951 until his retirement in 1980.
Tom Kurtz was well-known throughout the steel industry as an expert on silica brick. During his employment, his reputation extended beyond the United States to Canada, Germany, Japan, and other countries. Tom could sit in a room full of engineers from the largest steelmakers in the United States and solve their problems in regard to brick. When Tom Kurtz walked into a customer’s office, the customers always listened to him.
The Claysburg plant was a very successful plant in its heyday under Tom. While other silica plants were closing throughout the United States due to declining business as a result of technology changes, Tom kept the Claysburg Plant operating under profitable conditions. Employment continued to thrive at the Claysburg Plant under Tom Kurtz. His refractory career spanned 41 ½ years. Tom died on October 30, 1986, and Merce, his wife, died on December 10, 1993.
Tom had a great love of the outdoors and was very knowledge about plants and trees. He loved hunting with his sons, family members, and friends. Turkey hunting was his favorite. If you ran into Tom in the woods, you would never have suspected that he was a great industrialist and one of the most respected silica brick men in the world.
Tom was nominated by Jim Ridgeway of the eastern shore of Wittman, MD. Jim worked with Tom from 1963 until Tom’s retirement in 1980. Jim was Vice President of Sales and considered Tom one of the best people he ever worked with at General Refractories.
We welcome Thomas W. Kurtz into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame. He was a truly dedicated refractory person who deeply cared for the success of the General Refractories Co – Claysburg Plant and worked in the best interests of the Claysburg community.
Claysburg Area Hall of Fame Committee Announces First Inductees 2014
Pictured: Jim & Jane Claar & Family - L-R: Connie Rose, Audry, Jane, Jim and Rick Claar along with Duggie Potter. Circa Late 1950's
Jim & Jane Claar and their Children –
Connie Rose (Claar) Claycomb, Audry Lou (Claar) Lair and Ricky Claar
Anyone who lived in the Central Pennsylvania area during the 1930s through the 1980s has probably heard of Jim and Jane Claar, and their children Connie Rose, Audry, and Ricky.
Jim was the son of Harvey and Mary Jane "Muz" Hoenstine Claar, and Jane was the daughter of Ira and Edith Wynn Boyce Walter. Jim and Jane both grew up near Queen, PA in the Scrubgrass area which is in the northern part of Bedford County near Claysburg, PA. Music was their first love — playing, singing and entertaining the fans. Jim and Jane married in 1937 and for years travelled throughout Pennsylvania and lower New York state. They formed a group called the Western Vagabonds. They lived and performed in areas around Elmira, New York, Williamsport, PA, State College, PA and Lewistown, PA.
They would always open the local radio stations with early morning broadcasts. They also rented land in three different wooded areas to build music parks. Two of them were named Radio Corral and one was named Corral 22. They had famous entertainers come to perform at these parks. Eventually they performed closer home and then finally returned home to their farm near Queen in the 1950s. From 1957-1959, "The Jim and Jane Show" was a popular program on WFBG-TV on Saturdays at noon.
By this time, they had three children, Connie Rose, Audry Lou, and Ricky. In the 1950s, they performed locally as a family and with other groups and also did DJ work locally. In 1957, they built their Wagonshed for square dances on the farm near Queen, and it became an instant hit. Large crowds were there every Saturday night. The Wagonshed closed in 1961. Through the years Jim and Jane, their family, and other groups performed locally at Mayberry Claar Grove in Queen and at Musselman’s Grove in Klahr, occasionally at the request of Doc Williams who would bring big named entertainers to the area. Two other talented local musicians, Smokey Pleacher and Duggie Potter, were both part of the Western Vagabonds for a time.
Jim and Jane decided to slow down from the music profession and live life on the farm. Jim did some truck driving, and Jane lived on the farm during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1986, they performed again at Hyndman, PA as part of the Old-Timer’s Jamboree and continue to do so yearly until 1990. Music was the lifeblood of the Jim and Jane Claar family. From Jim’s guitar playing to Jane’s mandolin music, to the singing and the toe-tapping of family members, it was all top-notch country entertainment. Jim and Jane made the Claysburg, PA area proud.
Jim died in 1991, and Jane died in 2011. All three children still reside in Bedford County. Son Ricky lives outside of Osterburg; daughter Audry lives beside the old home farm in Queen; and Connie Rose lives between Cessna and Bedford. Many people would have loved to have seen the Wagonshed and the TV show continue. However, just like a great song and all good things, they must come to an end.
We welcome Jim and Jane Claar and their children, Connie Rose, Audry, and Ricky into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame, as truly dedicated community members and musicians of the Claysburg area.
Musselman’s Grove – Pioneer Award
-Nominated by the Claysburg Hall of Fame Committee
Music has always been part of the life of the Claysburg Area. Our ancestors had a knack for playing instruments, singing and entertaining. Whether it was playing a fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, mandolin, horns of various types, drums and even kazoos, the Claysburg area has been entertaining since the first settlers arrived.
Many of these talents were brought from the Mother Country by the arriving immigrants and passed down through the years. People were taught, trained, and cultivated to become performers. Local places like Musselman’s Grove, Mayberry Claar Grove, and Barnhart’s Grove provided these local talented people with a place to perform and a few became quite successful over the years. Musselman’s Grove has seen more entertainment on its grounds than most other locations in central Pennsylvania. At one time, the Grove was a nationally known entertainment venue.
In the early days, people needed a way to be entertained locally since travel was not easy. The original Musselman family came from Switzerland to Germany to avoid religious persecution. Later they came to America and settled in Lancaster County. In 1803, John Musselman and his family came to the Klahr area from Lancaster County. They settled in front of the present Lower Claar Church where two large trees were planted and a cabin built. The current cemetery behind the church started out as a family plot. At one point, John Musselman’s family owned all the property from the Lower Claar Church to the Smoky Run Road.
Musselman’s Grove was originally part of the John Musselman, Sr. property. Jacob Musselman, son of John, then owned the property which was passed to his son David in the early 1900s. David’s son, John Musselman, who lived above the Upper Claar Church, owned the Grove until his death in 1982. It is currently owned by Jarrett and Ashley Musselman. Jarrett is a great grandson of John Musselman.
Musselman’s Grove was home to the Annual Claar Walter Reunion which was started in 1909. (The first two reunions were not held at the Grove. They were held off Picnic Road and then moved to the Grove.) In the 1940s, both the Musselman Reunion and the Black Reunion were also held there. It was the Claar and Walter Reunion that first brought some big named entertainment such as Grandpa Jones to the Grove.
Musselman’s Grove only had a few small concession stands and a small stage for picnics until 1946-47 when Doc Williams rented the property for $25 per week. Doc rented the property for three years in a row in 1947-48-49 and then sporadically until the early 1970s. An advertisement in the Altoona Mirror for a June 12, 1949 show listed the price of admission as 60 cents for adults and 30 cents for children. The show started at 1:30 pm only two hours after church was over.
When Doc Williams rented the property, a joint effort between his crew and folks from the community built the current stage and cook shack. They used cinder blocks and tree trunks topped with slabs of boards for seating. It was Doc Williams who put Musselman’s Grove on the map by bringing in big name country music stars. Doc knew how to put on family friendly and entertaining shows. In his book, Doc states, “At that time in 1947, it was the heyday of the country music parks in Pennsylvania. The crowds we had there were huge” - sometimes exceeding 5,000 people! Doc also booked comedy and vaudeville acts like Martinez and his Animal Circus which featured a mouse and cat crossing on a wire.
In 1959, Frank Blazevich of Frank’s Place in Claysburg was in the military in Frankfurt Germany looking at the October, 1959 edition of Esquire magazine when he noticed a picture with a Coca Cola sign on a stage and thought it looked familiar. Indeed, it was. The magazine included an article written about Musselman’s Grove and Country Western/Bluegrass music. The picture was from a painting by Tom Allen, a well-known New York illustrator, featured in the magazine. Allen had visited the Grove to do the painting. When Allen died in 2002, his paintings were selling for over $25,000! The painting showed people dressed in black near the front of the stage. The Esquire article referred to them as the “silently approving Amish.” However, those people were not Amish; they were Church of the Brethren people from Upper and Lower Claar Churches. Even up until the 1960s, especially the older members of the Brethren Church all dressed in black similar to the Amish or Mennonites.
Doc William’s shows were generally held on Sundays, not Saturdays, since he was performing on WWVA radio in Wheeling, WV on Saturdays. Prior to the 1970s, PA Blue Laws prevented people from shopping even for groceries on Sundays. Doc Williams, a smart promoter and businessman, worked things out so he could present family-style entertainment on Sundays. He asked the Smoky Run Rod and Gun Club from Klahr to co-sponsor the shows. Because they were a non-profit organization, they were allowed to have entertainment on Sundays. Doc struck an agreement with the Gun Club to have the soda pop and ice cream concessions at the Grove with no commission paid to him. Normally he charged 25% of the take as his commission.
However, there were still a lot of upset Brethren from Upper and Lower Claar because of having the shows on Sundays. To reduce the unhappiness, Doc Williams hired many of these Brethren to work the events as ticket takers, security guards, cooks, etc., and paid them a dollar an hour which was a lot of money back in the late 1940s. It was money they badly needed to help support families, and locals welcomed the work even though it was on Sunday.
In Doc Williams book Looking Back, he speaks fondly of Musselman’s Grove. He was dedicated to making it a success. Since he often worked on a tight time schedule because of his Saturday night performances in Wheeling and then his Sundays at the Grove, he would occasionally fly his Piper Cruiser Aircraft to the Grove, weather permitting, and land in a nearby cow pasture to get there on time.
Smokey Pleacher was born in Manns Choice, but moved to Claysburg as a kid. We consider him Claysburg’s Smokey Pleacher. He was a comedian who performed across the U.S. and on the Grand Ole Opry. Smokey was with the Doc Williams Show from 1951-52 and later from 1960-70. Betty Musselman has compiled an extensive list with dates of all the people who performed at Musselman’s Grove over the years including locals such as Smokey Pleacher, Jim and Jane Claar, Duggie Potter, and the Green Mountain Boys. “Big name” performers included Roy Acuff from Hee Haw; Big Slim and his horse; the Carter Family with Mother Maybelle Carter and her sister and her brother; the Sons of the Pioneers, without Roy Rogers; the Chuckwagon Gang; Anita Carter and the Carter Family Girls with Hank Snow; Stoney and Wilma Lee Cooper, a husband and wife team from the 1940s; Johnny Mack Brown; Little Jimmy Dickens of Grand Ole Opry fame; and Mother Maybelle Carter and her three daughters, Helen, Anita and June, who married Johnny Cash. Others who appeared at the Grove were Minnie Pearl from Hee Haw; Smiley Burnette; Ken Curtis who played Festus on Gunsmoke; Tex Ritter and his horse; Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys; Cowboy Copas; Ernest Tubb; Crazy Elmer; and Eddy Arnold. Grandpa Jones of Hee Haw appeared there five different times in 1947, 48 and 49, and Connie Smith, introduced by Hawkshaw Hawkins, had her debut performance at the Grove. We will never know the names of all the stars who performed there!
One of the entertainment groups that drew a big crowd at the Grove was husband and wife team Lulu Belle and Scotty. They were from Chicago and performed nationally. They appeared at the Grove annually in 1947, 48 and 49. They would take the Pullman train from Chicago to Altoona and then were picked up and driven to the Grove for their performance. Their show on September 21, 1947 drew the largest crowd in the Grove’s history. There were 8,600 in paid attendance. The crowd was so large that they “hung from the trees.” Doc Williams commented on the back of a picture from that show that there were “8,600 paid attendance plus thousands more who came in free.” (Imagine the Grove with plank seats and filled with 8,600 people.) Doc also mentioned that if all could have made it to the show and gotten in, 20,000 would have been in attendance. The traffic was so bad that the PA State Police shut down the road to Klahr from Sproul. People parked everywhere. Doc was quoted in a 1996 PA Magazine article that they sold 640 cases of soda pop or 15,360 bottles that day and could have sold triple that amount! Today we have modern stereo and sound systems. However, Musselman’s Grove was operating with only 2 bullhorn type speakers hanging from 2 poles for the entire area.
The last Doc Williams show was held on September 9, 1973. It was a reunion show that featured Smokey Pleacher with much of the proceeds going to help with the construction of Claysburg’s Little League field.
A lot of songs were sung, a lot of people were entertained, a lot of wonderful food was served, and a lot of memories were made at Musselman’s Grove. Musselman’s Grove had the potential to be a Branson, Missouri if it had been nurtured. Nonetheless, along the way, Musselman’s Grove left its mark on history!
Fortunately for the Claysburg area, John Musselman’s grandson, Jarrett and his wife Ashley, made the decision to resurrect the Grove. Jarrett and Ashley began the long arduous task of renovation in 2019. They have done a spectacular job to date. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for reviving a piece of Claysburg, PA history. Today we are here to honor an historical place with a great tradition of entertaining people.
The Claysburg Hall of Fame is proud to welcome Musselman’s Grove into the Hall of Fame with the Pioneer Award.
Tom Ringler of Claysburg
Was Given Distinctive and Unprecedented Awards
by Claysburg Community
Saturday October 3, 2015
Originally the Claysburg Coronet Band - Photo circa 1920's
Bob and Patty Zeigler
Dr. Edward J. "Doc" & Maxine V. Schultz
Dr. Edward J. “Doc” and Maxine V. Schultz were nominated as a couple for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by Bessie Walter of Claysburg.
Doc was born in Johnstown, PA on May 10, 1910, to John J. and Catherine Schultz. Doc’s parents were both immigrants from Poland. Doc died on January 6, 1990 at age 80. Maxine was born on December 8, 1914, in Altoona to George P. and Lena (Bechtel) Wagner. Maxine died on July 15, 2009, at the age of 94. Both Doc and Maxine resided the majority of their lives in Claysburg.
Doc graduated from Johnstown Catholic High School and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. In 1935, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. While serving a one-year rotating internship at Altoona Hospital, he met Maxine Wagner. Maxine graduated from Altoona High School and the Altoona School of Nursing. In 1936, Doc and Maxine were married. They were the parents of two children, Dr. Edward D. Schultz of Claysburg and Dr. J. Dennis Schultz of Florida. They had four grandchildren, four great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Doc and Maxine moved to Claysburg in 1937 and, without much money, started a medical practice that grew continually over the years. Doc took care of the patients’ medical needs, and Maxine managed the staff and doctors through the years. In 1941, the medical practice was interrupted when Doc entered the Army Air Corps during World War II. Maxine was one of a kind and quite a character. While Doc served in the war, she basically kept Claysburg healthy. Many people have commented on how she advised them or helped them back then. Maxine and Doc worked hard together to become successful.
Doc was a member of the Nason Hospital Medical Staff, Blair County Medical Society, a member of the Board of Trustees of Nason Hospital, and a member of the Pitt Alumni Boosters. In 1982, he retired after 45 years of medical service. All those years, except for his military service, were spent in Claysburg. He was a true old-fashioned doctor, who delivered thousands of babies and cured lots of people.
Maxine was one of those instrumental in establishing the American Red Cross Blood Bank in Claysburg, which was always a big success. She was a member of the Friends of the Library, Claysburg American Legion Auxiliary, the Pitt Alumni Boosters, the Claysburg Economic Board, and the Claysburg Library Board.
Doc and Maxine were big supporters of the Claysburg Area Public Library where they worked to raise money. They even sold chicken at the Street Fair for years to benefit the Library. Maxine was a very outspoken person, but everyone knew that she had a heart of gold. When Doc developed Alzheimer’s, it broke her heart, but she continued on. They were both members of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Claysburg, now known as St. Thomas More Chapel.
Maxine was not the best driver, and she never could back up. Her reputation for bad driving and giving the infamous hand sign to many people were her trademarks. He was known as Dodo and she was known as Ging to their grandchildren, and they adored them.
Doc and Maxine were both benevolent people and contributed to the community in so many ways. They are quite deserving of this honor.
Kenneth “Buck” and Belva Shore
Kenneth “Buck” Shore was born on July 11, 1923 in Mount Union to James and Anna Taylor Shore. Belva Weyandt Shore was born on August 15, 1922 in Klahr, the daughter of Esther Walter and step-father Michael Walter. Buck attended school in Mount Union before his family moved to Claysburg. Belva was a 1940 graduate of Claysburg High School.
Buck enlisted in the US Army and served in the Pacific during World War II. He was discharged in December 1945. Buck worked at General Refractories and then at Texas Eastern Gas Pipeline. He retired from Texas Eastern. Belva worked full-time and then part-time for Dr. George G. Treese for 35 years.
Buck and Belva were married in Winchester, VA on September 25, 1947. They have a son, Michael, who is married to Carole, and they currently live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mike has a PhD in geophysics. He retired from the Civil Service Defense Department and also from the Air Force Reserve. Currently he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Buck and Belva also have a granddaughter, Mike’s daughter, Vickie who is 34 years old. Vickie has a BA and a MS in Library Science. She also resides in Chapel Hill, NC.
Buck and Belva were the true definition of the word volunteer. Both Buck and Belva would regularly be seen throughout the community attending meetings and volunteering to setup, operate, or tear down after events. They, with Frank Gazzara and others, were instrumental in forming the Claysburg-Kimmel Alumni Homecomings which started in 1969. Belva, who was a seamstress, sewed each and every class flag used in homecoming parades until shortly before her death.
In 1975, when Claysburg was attempting to raise money to fund a year-long Bicentennial celebration, Buck and Belva were the ones who came up with the idea of a flea market, which was held at the old fire hall on Bedford Street. Funds raised from this endeavor were instrumental in financing the events in 1976.
More importantly in 1976, what started out as a flea market quickly evolved into the Claysburg Street Fair. For a number of years this annual event was held on Bedford Street in front of what was General Refractories and now McCabe Trucking. The event moved to the high school for a time. The name was changed to Claysburg Community Days and is now held at the Community Park. In 2018, Claysburg will celebrate their 43rd Street Fair/Community Days. During this event, Buck and Belva were always inside the community booth working and volunteering. We have Buck and Belva to thank for their foresight in helping to organize this and many other events.
Buck was very involved in the Claysburg American Legion and the Legion Color Guard, and Belva in the Auxiliary. Belva always had a camera in her hand at events shooting photos for preservation of the town’s history. Both were members of the Claysburg Church of the Brethren. Buck died on March 29, 1995, and Belva died on June 26, 1997.
Buck and Belva never wanted to be the leaders. They were the ones who were workers and did whatever was needed to complete the job. Their love for the area was very evident in their countless hours of dedication and commitment to the Claysburg Community. We welcome Kenneth “Buck” and Belva Shore into the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
introduced by Hayden Sollenberger
accepting - Janet Sollenberger
Dr. Edward D. Schultz
Dr. Edward D. Schultz was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by Richard Lingenfelter of Claysburg.
Ed was born on July 23, 1937, to Dr. Edward J. and Maxine (Wagner) Schultz. He attended Claysburg-Kimmel schools through grade 8, and graduated from Altoona Catholic in 1955. He graduated from St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA. From there he attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and graduated in 1963. Ed is married to the former Bonnie Dodson. They are the parents of two children, Tammy Claycomb of Claysburg and Michael D. Schultz of Westminster, MD. He has four grandchildren and one great grandchild.
After graduating from medical school in 1963, Ed and Bonnie moved back to Claysburg and have lived here ever since. Ed began his career in his father’s medical practice. Later he took over that practice. Ed and his wife, Bonnie and his father “Doc” and Maxine Schultz were quite a medical team. He was the school doctor at Claysburg-Kimmel for many years and was also an active member of the Nason Hospital staff.
Ed’s medical career in Claysburg spanned over a 30-year period during which time he was available for whatever type medical needs arose. As a general practitioner in a small town, he mastered diagnosing and treating patients with a wide range of illnesses. He was truly one of the last “country” doctors in Claysburg where he even made house calls when they were needed. In 1994, he retired from the medical profession.
Eddie, as he is known to many of his friends, has always been involved in many church and community activities as a volunteer and/or silent supporter. Eddie’s hard work and dedication as co-chairman of the 200th anniversary of Claysburg was outstanding. He helped to direct many volunteers over a three-year period which involved many committee meetings and a lot of fund raising. The final result was a wonderful celebration with $35,000 leftover. This money was given to the Claysburg-Kimmel School District for scholarships.
Ed’s areas of volunteering also included the Claysburg-Kimmel School Board, Claysburg American Legion Band, Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company, Claysburg Minstrel Shows where he was an End Man known as Sun-Down Schultz, Claysburg Area Park, Claysburg Community Chorus, Community Days, and the 175th and 200th Anniversary Celebrations of Claysburg. He is a lifelong member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church, now known as St. Thomas More Chapel.
The community owes a debt of gratitude to Ed for his devotion to Claysburg through the years. For his service to the community and for his volunteer work, Ed is certainly deserving of this award.
D. Orville Ebersole
D. Orville Ebersole was born on May 18, 1909 at Bakers Summit, PA, the son of Edward H. Ebersole and Carrie M. Reighard Ebersole. He married Ruth Black on June 27, 1940 at the Claysburg Lutheran Church.
Orville’s mother, a teacher in a one-room school house in the Cove, died in 1923 when he was just 15. Orville and two of his brothers left school and went to work to help pay for their mother’s hospital bills. Although Orville left school after the 8th grade, he had a life-long passion for education and reading which he got from his mother. Orville had three brothers - Marion Ebersole of Woodbury; Wilbur Ebersole of Claysburg; and Robert Ebersole, who was only six months old when their mother died. Robert was raised by relatives in the Cove. From ages 16-22, Orville worked at General Refractories in Claysburg. Then for several years he worked as a driver for the Eagle Trucking Company which was connected to General Refractories in Claysburg.
During the beginning of the Depression in 1929 and 1930, Orville attended West Penn Radio Institute School in Altoona at night. Then in 1932, with $50 and the encouragement of many friends, he opened a radio repair shop in a small unheated space behind W. A. Zeigler’s garage in Claysburg. Business was good, and he started selling radios and then expanded the business by selling home appliances. In 1946, Ebersole Electric Store, a larger more modern facility, opened on Bedford Street.
Orville and Ruth had three children. The oldest is Paul who married Margorie Bauer from Altoona. They have three children – Doug married to Heather, Lorie, and Janel. Doug and Heather live in Claysburg and have two sons, Riley and Parker. Lorie lives in Pittsburgh, and Janel lives in Altoona.
Next is Elaine, who married Thomas Conrad from Altoona. Tom died in 2008. They have three sons - Gerald (Jerry), Daniel (Dan), and Sean. Jerry married Cary Skinner, and they live in MA. They have two children, Will and Elizabeth. Dan married Kelly Hunt, and they live in Evanston, IL. Sean married Ildi Pap, and they live in NJ. They have two children, Thomas and Alex.
The youngest is Nancy, who married Randy Glass from Claysburg. They have two daughters, Krista and Kate. Krista is married to Dr. Michael Pedone from Meadville, PA. They have two children, Eva and Jake. Kate is married to Kyle Morris from Bedford, PA.
In 1943, the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Department was organized. Orville Ebersole was the first president of the organization. The group purchased Claysburg’s first open-top firetruck in Pittsburgh. Henry Lingenfelter and Orville rode to Pittsburgh with John Carn to get the truck. Orville and Henry then took turns driving the truck to its new home in Claysburg.
Orville always had a soft spot in his heart for children and the community. In 1948, he donated a tract of land adjacent to the Claysburg-Kimmel High School football field to the school and community to be used as a playground for children. Two softball fields were built on the property which continue to be used today.
Orville was a key member of the Claysburg Rotary Club. He was an avid hunter here in Pennsylvania and also in Alaska. His first big hunting trip to Alaska was in August of 1954. He subsequently returned many times. Orville gave numerous presentations on his big game hunting adventures in the mid-1950s. After speaking, he always “passed the hat” and all money donated was given to the Claysburg Rotary Club. Orville always had a great sense of humor and enjoyed sharing his dry wit. Early on when taking up a collection, he would use French fryer baskets since coins would fall through but paper bills would not.
Orville and his brother Wilbur were named for the Wright Brothers. Orville always had a keen interest in flying, but did not pursue it until age 55. Without telling his wife, he began taking weekly flying lessons at Blair County airport. Eventually after obtaining a flying license, he told his family of his new hobby and pursuit.
Orville, a life-long member of the Church of the Brethren, died on April 30, 1990, and left a legacy to the town. He was a very humble, dedicated Claysburg businessman who deeply cared for the best interests of the Claysburg community.
Orville was nominated by his children, Paul Ebersole, Elaine Conrad and Nancy Glass. We welcome Orville Ebersole into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame.
John "Jack" Yingling
John “Jack” Yingling, son of Lewis and Gladys (Zeigler) Yingling, has always been a Claysburg resident. He graduated from Greenfield-Kimmel High School in 1957. He started in the insurance industry in 1966 as an agent for John Hancock Life Insurance Company. In 1974, he became a Nationwide Insurance agent and in 1975, took over the business of Leon Black. He operated out of his home on North Pine Street in Claysburg until 1981, when he moved his office to Bedford Street in Claysburg. From his business, he sold all kinds of tickets, souvenirs, and other items to support countless local charities and organizations. In 1986, Jack opened a satellite office in Martinsburg. He continued to add staff as the business grew.
Jack married Joyce Brown of Duncansville. They have two children. Erin and her husband Gregory Griffith have two children, Steven and Alexander, and reside in Imler. Andy and wife Glennette Davis reside in Claysburg. Andy has two children, Andrew and Alyssa Yingling and two step-children, Ben and Markette Davis. Jack and Joyce have two great grandchildren, Ayla Yingling and Killian Davis.
Through the years Jack has been very community-minded. He is a member of the Claysburg United Methodist Church. He has been an active member of the Claysburg Rotary Club for over forty years. He co-chairs the Rotary booth at Community Days, helps with road clean-up, volunteers at the food bank, rings the bell for the Salvation Army, helps with the annual Hee Haw show, and does so much more. Jack has been a member of the Claysburg Library Board of Directors for many years and currently serves as Board president. He is a member of CEDI (Claysburg Economic Development, Inc.), a non-profit corporation established in 1955 to help promote business and industrial growth in the Claysburg Community. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge in Roaring Spring and a member of the Jaffa Shrine Patrol and Directors Staff. Jack has always given back to the Claysburg community both with his time and financial resources. When a local organization is having a fundraiser, you will almost always find Jack selling tickets and helping to ensure the financial success of the event.
In 2018, Jack made the decision to retire and sold his insurance business to Good and Associates, Inc. He continues to be involved with the community and especially enjoys his time at his farm and with his family.
We welcome John “Jack” Yingling into the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
Taylor and Ella Dively with Children Roy "Mike", Galen and Alma.
Fourth Annual 2017 Claysburg Hall of Fame Induction Held on Saturday, April 1, 2017
Claysburg American Legion Post #522 Band
Originally the Claysburg Coronet Band
A Hall of Fame Pioneer Award goes to the Claysburg American Legion Post #522 Band, originally the Claysburg Coronet Band. For the past 139 years, band members have been providing the area with music and entertainment.
The Claysburg American Legion Post #522 received their charter on March 21, 1933. Shortly after in 1934, the Claysburg Coronet Community Band’s name was changed to the Claysburg American Legion Post #522 Band and financially supported by the Claysburg American Legion. While no official records are available, at least one thousand different people have been part of the band over its 139-year history. The band is one of the last handful of American Legion bands left in the state and one of a few remaining in the nation.
Today, the Claysburg Legion Band participates in local Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day programs, and other community events. The band marches in Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades in other towns as well. The group has performed in Pennsylvania Legion Convention parades in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg and in many other towns throughout the state. The group continues to practice and perform. The band is currently under the direction of Danny Crist and has approximately twenty members.
The Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to welcome the Claysburg American Legion Post #522 Band into the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
Seventh 2020 Claysburg Hall of Fame Induction Was Held on Saturday, July 17, 2021
Dr. Mona Nelson Eckley
Mona Nelson Eckley is the daughter of Don and Ruth Nelson. In 1947, Don, Ruth, and two-year-old Mona moved from Altoona to Claysburg and opened Nelson’s Hardware. Nelson’s Hardware was a flourishing Bedford Street business until its sale in 1978. Don and Ruth Nelson also owned Brady’s Texaco and Nelson’s Mobile and Modular Homes Sales located on Route 220 next to Peggy’s Diner. Mona has one brother, David, who lives in Hanover, PA.
Mona graduated from Greenfield-Kimmel High School in 1962. Her passion was education, and she pursued it. She received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Penn State, a M.Ed. in Child Development and Family Studies, and a PH.D. in Educational Administration and Policy Studies. Her educational achievements include elementary and secondary principal certifications and a superintendent letter of eligibility.
In 1965, Mona married Harold “Boots” Eckley. They became the new owners of Nelson’s Homes, which they continued to operate until Boots’ retirement. Boots and Mona have three daughters - Rhonda, Linda, and Tonya. Rhonda and significant other Jim Fox and Tonya and husband Rich Gergely reside in Claysburg. Linda currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Mona and Boots are the proud grandparents of Brandon and Brielle Gergely.
Mona worked for 29 years as an elementary teacher and then for 11 years as assistant to the Superintendent. During those short 11 years in administration, Mona was responsible for securing over $3.5 million in grants and awards and was instrumental in developing and implementing many other important programs for Claysburg-Kimmel. She retired from Claysburg-Kimmel in 2006.
After her retirement, Mona was hired by the PA Department of Education to serve as a consultant to underachieving Pittsburgh area school districts. She worked with administrators to help increase their knowledge and the skills necessary to improve the quality of education for their students. In 2007, PA Secretary of Education, Gerald L. Zahorchak, awarded Mona the designation of Distinguished Educator for the Commonwealth of PA. Mona was one of only 30 educators selected from hundreds of applicants to receive this great honor.
She also received the Nicholas Ceriocola Memorial Award; a letter of commendation from First Lady of PA Michelle Ridge for her Child PREP Preschool Parenting program; Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Merit and Efforts on behalf of Blair County; PA Association of Small Rural Schools and PA State University’s Award for Community Involvement; PA Speaker of the House Golden Apple Award for parent involvement; Recognition from the Office of Lieutenant Governor Catherin Baker Knoll for being an Education Innovation Honoree; and CK Cares Award for outstanding services to the school district and community just to name a few.
Mona continues to be active in the community of Claysburg dedicating her time to bettering our community as a member of the Claysburg-Kimmel School Board, Intermediate Unit 08 Board member, Claysburg-Kimmel Cares President, member of Claysburg PAST, and a Claysburg Education Foundation Board Member, She is a member of the Grace Family Bible Church.
Despite all the degrees and accolades, Mona has never forgotten to volunteer within the community of Claysburg. Whether she is speaking on behalf of the town with a history presentation, running a food booth for a charitable group, or attending athletic events for her grandchildren, Mona has been part of the volunteer scene at Claysburg for many, many years.
Her determination to do what is “best for the kids” has been evident throughout her career. However, the past four years as a school board member have shown how determined she is to offer the best to our town’s students as she advocates for better education. Initially her concerns fell on deaf ears, and she was relentless as she fought for the students until many from the Claysburg area finally realized she was correct.
Mona was nominated by her family to be considered for induction into the Hall of Fame. While other females have been inducted into the Claysburg Hall of Fame with their spouses, Mona is the first female to be inducted individually. We salute her expertise in education, her determination to make things better for students in the state of PA and locally, and her dedication to being involved in volunteering in many other aspects of the Claysburg area. She has certainly been an asset to the Claysburg community. We welcome Dr. Mona Nelson Eckley to the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
Claysburg Area Hall of Fame Committee Announces 2022 Inductees
The Claysburg Area Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the induction of its eighth class of inductees at the Claysburg-Kimmel High School Auditorium on Saturday, April 2, 2022. This event was jointly sponsored by Claysburg P.A.S.T. and the Claysburg Rotary Club. The ceremony began at 3:00 P.M. with a reception following. This event was jointly sponsored by Claysburg P.A.S.T. and the Claysburg Rotary Club.
This year’s inductees are Mark Barnhart and NPC, Inc., Ernest P. Diehl, Rev. Taylor and Ella (Weyant) Dively, Clair and Rachel (Colebaugh) Feather and Musselman’s Grove. Hall of Fame committee members presented the inductees with individual awards. Additionally, marker plaques in their honor will be placed in the Claysburg Community Park by the Hall of Fame Committee.
This year’s inductees include a Claysburg businessman and his company, a former Claysburg businessman and a founding member of the Claysburg Fire Company, a former minister and educator and his wife, a community volunteer, a former Kimmel Township Justice of the Peace and businessman and his wife, a community volunteer and well-known waitress, and an historic music and entertainment venue that was nationally known at one time.
The Hall of Fame committee is made up of nine members: Troy Crist, Rhonda Eckley, Aaron Hileman, Roger Knisely, Tessa Knisely, Christine Leslie, Brenda Marriner, Elaine Smith and Mary Walter.
Eighth 2022 Claysburg Hall of Fame Induction Was Held on Saturday, April 2, 2022
Nominated by daughter, Linda (McDonald) Peterson
Ray McDonald was born in Sproul in 1922, the son of William and Clara (Helsel) McDonald. He graduated from Claysburg High School in 1942. After high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps as a private first class and fought in the Pacific theater in World War II. Ray was wounded in action and was awarded the Purple Heart. While recuperating in a hospital, Ray saw the lack of focus given to veterans with disabilities.
Until World War II, rehabilitation for injuries was not common. Following his time in the military, Ray utilized the GI Bill to earn degrees from Penn State University, the Medical College of Virginia, and New York University. He was one of the first graduates with a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy in the United States.
Ray married Pauline Davis of Sproul in 1944. They had four children: Linda McDonald Peterson, Joseph McDonald, Terry McDonald, and John McDonald.
Ray was the first licensed physical therapist to practice in Blair County. He began working for the Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona in the mid-1950s. As director, he was honored for the excellent manner in which the physical rehabilitation section was operated. He retired as the director of the Physical Therapy department of the Van Zandt VA Medical Center after 35 years of service. He was involved in the founding of the Easter Seals Societies in Blair, Bedford, Clearfield, and Lycoming counties. While working at Easter Seals, he specialized in working with children with cerebral palsy. In 1968, he was honored by Dr. Burton Chance, a cerebral palsy specialist at the Philadelphia Crippled Children’s Hospital, for his continued service of excellence and advancement of rehabilitation for patients with cerebral palsy. He continued working as one of the leading physical therapists in the Northeast and opened offices in Lewistown, Dubois, and Clearfield.
Ray volunteered for various high school football and wrestling programs as a physical therapist. In the 1970s, he was the trainer for the Big 33 football games. He helped to raise money for athletic boosters and the Easter Seals Society. Additionally, Ray offered free physical training and rehabilitation services to athletes, as well as consultations to coaches and parents.
Ray was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather to whom education was an important priority in life. Though he resided in Hollidaysburg, PA from the late 1950s, he always referred to Claysburg as his hometown. Ray was a pioneer in modern day physical therapy and used his expertise to help countless individuals in the central Pennsylvania area and beyond. Ray died on January 1, 1998.
For his efforts to make life better for veterans and for those suffering with cerebral palsy, we welcome Ray McDonald in to the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
Corporal Harry R. Harr
Corporal Harry R. Harr was nominated by Frank Ball of Everett, PA and originally from Claysburg, PA. Harry R. Harr was the son of Clement and Isetta (Claar) Harr was born on February 22, 1921 in Sinking Valley. While Corporal Harr lived in the East Freedom, PA area, he attended the Claysburg Schools through the eighth grade. He married Mary Winifred Berkheimer on March 20, 1943. They had one son, Harry Harr, Jr whom Corporal Harr never saw. He also had four brothers and two sisters.
He entered the US Army on November 16, 1942. On June 5, 1945, Corporal Harr was killed in action on Mindanao, Philippine Islands. On April 1, 1946 he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for gallantry in action. In order to save four of his comrades, he smothered a grenade with his body costing him his life.
The actual citation reads: The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Corporal Harry R. Harr, United States Army, for gallantry and intrepidity on June 5, 1945, while serving with Company D, 124th Infantry Regiment, 31st Infantry Division, in action at Maglamin, Mindanao, Philippine Islands. In a fierce counterattack, the Japanese closed in on Corporal Harr's machinegun emplacement, hurling hand grenades, one of which exploded under the gun, putting it out of action and wounding two of the crew. While the remaining gunners were desperately attempting to repair their weapon another grenade landed squarely in the emplacement. Quickly realizing he could not safely throw the unexploded missile from the crowded position, Corporal Harr unhesitatingly covered it with his body to smother the blast. His supremely courageous act, which cost him his life, saved four of his comrades and enabled them to continue their mission.
Corporal Harr had many awards and buildings named after him in the surrounding area as well having the I-99 bridge that crosses Route 220 at East Freedom named after him on November 3, 2011.
General Refractories Sproul - Now Harbison Walker - Circa 2011
Built 1910- Slated to Close in 2019
With the building of the General Refractories plants at Claysburg and Sproul, many people moved to the area including a large number of immigrants mostly from eastern Europe. Among these immigrants were George and Grace Pozgar. The family they started in Claysburg is being honored for the number of members who made significant contributions not only to Claysburg, but to America as a whole. This is their story.
On April 12, 1883 Juro Pozega was born in Yugoslavia near current day Zagreb, Croatia. On October 18, 1891 Tereza Juranic was born in Hungary. Juro arrived in America on June 9, 1907 in New York City departing from South Hampten, England. Quite often the man came first to America to earn money and then would return to his homeland to bring his family with him. Juro and Tereza were married in Croatia. Eventually Tereza and Catherine, their daughter arrived in America on September 25, 1911 in New York City departing from Rotterdam.
While we do not know the exact date they arrived, there is proof of the family being in Claysburg by 1914. Juro Pozega became George Pozgar and Tereza Juranic Pozega became Grace Pozgar. George was affectionately known to his family as “Chachi” which means favorite son (a loving term of endearment for a man) in Croatian. Grace was known to her family as “Stödja Baka” which loosely translated means support grandma in Croatian. George Pozgar worked at Standard Refractories Co - later General Refractories Co - in Claysburg, PA in the quarry on Sproul Mountain quarrying ganister rock to make silica brick. George and Grace had a very large family. Records show there was a total of 15 children. Catherine, the first born, was the only one born in Yugoslavia or Croatia. All others were born in America. The children are as follows:
Catherine was born in 1910. She married Ignatz Blazevich. He was also from Croatia near Zagreb and had immigrated to America. He settled in Carlim near Williamsburg, PA where there also was a ganister quarry before moving to Claysburg. Ignatz was known locally in Claysburg as Iggy. He was a successful businessman and purchased the gas station in Claysburg that was called Iggy’s. It is now known as Frank’s. Frank’s Place and Iggy’s saw more students pass through it than any other business in Claysburg. Today Frank Blazevich at age 82 continues to operate this store. Frank’s other brothers included John and Joe and sister, Carol Kagarise.
Joseph was born in Pennsylvania in 1912 and died in 1937 at 25 years of age.
Frank Pozgar was born in 1914 and died in 1987. Frank and his wife, Lorraine, owned a bar and restaurant in Atlantic City known as Frank’s Extra High and Dry. Frank was known as “Peachy” and was very successful. Frank was most instrumental in bringing gambling to Atlantic City. Also, he owned a prime piece of real estate there.
Michael Pozgar was born and also died in 1916.
Martin Pozgar, Sr. was born in 1917 and died in 1972. Martin married Viola Ross who was from Everett, Bedford County. Vi was a seamstress and worked for many years at Loungeray. Viola “Vi” died in 2016. Martin worked for Standard Supply and Equipment. Martin and Vi lived in Claysburg. They had two children: Martin, Jr. and Robert. Martin, Jr. had three children: Robin, Jacqueline and Gregory. Bob had three children: Mike, Chris and Kim and two grandchildren Katie and Sam. Also, Francie Antich Ickes is considered a sister since for a period of time she stayed with the family and was raised by them.
Mary Pozgar was a twin sister to Martin and was born in 1917. She died in 1975. She married John Bartrich and lived in Claysburg.
George John Pozgar was born in 1919 and died in 1997. He was known as Squiz. He and his wife, Adelaide Dively, operated the Sproul Tavern in Sproul. It was also known as the Corner. They were very successful with their business. They had three children: Mary Ann Pozgar Berkebile, George “Danny,” and David Pozgar.
Anna C. Pozgar was born in 1921 and died in 2004. She married James Beach, a local school teacher. They lived in Claysburg. They had son, Jimmy.
Helen Pozgar was born in 1923 and died in 2007. Helen and her husband, John, lived in Detroit, MI.
Mildred Pozgar was born in 1924 and died in 1979. She married Tony Dughi, and they lived in Claysburg.
Steven Pozgar was born in 1922 and married Joyce Brumbaugh. After serving in the Navy, he and his wife settled in Roaring Spring, PA, and he worked as a dispatcher for Eastern Trucking. Steve had three children: Connie, Richard and Christine.
Msgt. John R. Pozgar was born in 1928 and died in 1988. He was in the military and retired from there. He and his wife, Grace, lived in Tennessee. John had two sons, Michael and Gary.
Gladys Pozgar was born in 1931 and died in 1992. She married Mike Boscolo. They owned Michael’s Restaurant in Greencastle, PA and were very successful. Glady had three children: Candace, Michael and Martin.
Also, there was a set of twins who died during birth, but we do not have records for them. This would total 15 children in the family.
Many of George and Grace Pozgar’s grandchildren did extremely well in the business as well.
Frank Blazevich continues to operate Frank’s Place in Claysburg.
George “Danny” Pozgar lives near Washington, DC. He was a CEO and Hospital Administrator of a Long Island, NY hospital. Additionally, he has inspected 500 hospitals as part of their accreditation process. Danny is the author of five books with one of them going into the 13th edition. He is an author, speaker, and a consultant. His specialty of health care is well-known throughout the United States.
Bob Pozgar was co-founder of a major company, Windmere Group, LLC and currently is President of Liberty Technologies Unlimited, Inc. Bob continues to support the National Defense Agency while dabbling in destination weddings and ice cream production. Bob and Maggie split their time between Naples, Florida and Pasadena, Maryland, and Bob continues his role as an entrepreneur. He has especially been driven to help students understand the background needed to get a better higher education with his devotion to the sciences, technology, engineering and math. He has had a focus especially on helping students in higher poverty level areas of the country. Through the years, Bob has supported many non-profit groups with his charitable giving.
One side note, the Croatians traditionally played stringed instruments and the entire ensemble consisted of multiple stringed instruments of various sizes and shapes. The group of instruments was called tamburitza. The Pozgar family always had a wall hanging full of these various tamburitza instruments. On any Sunday, you could see members of the family grabbing instruments and retiring to the front porch where they played their instruments and sang for the entire day. Martin Pozgar, Sr. was offered a spot with the Pittsburgh Tamburitzans, a musical group that continues to this day. Also, he was offered a scholarship at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, his parents did not want him to join the group or move to Pittsburgh, and he honored their wishes.
Throughout all these success stories, these people have never forgotten their family ties and their ties to the town of Claysburg, PA. Those who live outside the area continue to visit Claysburg on a regular basis. When there are needs for their local family or for the community, we have seen some of these family members be most generous with giving of their financial resources for many great needs and causes.
There are many descendants of the Pozgars who have done well. Several times individual members of the family have been nominated for the Claysburg Hall of Fame, but they modestly declined to accept the individual award. The Pozgar family was nominated by the Greenfield-Kimmel Class of 1962. Accepting the award on behalf of the Pozgar family will be Bob Pozgar from the Class of 1962.
Today we welcome the Pozgar Family into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame. Their story is truly an example of the American Dream. It began with George and Grace’s immigration to America, grew with the successes of their children, and continues with the many successes of grandchildren. The Hall of Fame is proud to honor this worthy family.
Clair & Rachel Feather
introduced by Bonita Ickes
accepting Bonita Ickes & Yvonne Rice
Claysburg's 8th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Saturday, April 2, 2022
BURKET FALLS FARM
Dave and Betty Burket
Nominated by Megan (Burket) Weyandt
The Burket Farm was established in 1928 by Frank W. Burket. Dave Burket assumed responsibility of the family farm at the age of 14, when his father Frank was injured and unable to work the farm. After graduating from Claysburg High School in 1950, Dave took over full management of the Burket Farm. In 1953, Dave married Betty (Roub) and together they started Burket Falls Farm on Polecat Road. The farm was named after the natural waterfall located on the farm. The Burkets have three children: Dave Jr. and wife Cathy, Frank and wife Loraine, and John and wife Kay.
With Dave’s keen interest in dairy cattle and genetics, over the next half century the family developed a herd of registered Holstein dairy cattle that became world-acclaimed for the polled (naturally hornless) and red hair coat genes. Today, over two-thirds of all polled Holsteins in the world trace their roots to Burket Falls Farm. Cattle, semen and embryos have been marketed to dairy farmers across the United States and on six continents. The farm near Claysburg has hosted thousands of visitors from over 40 countries. The four-generation farm is now operated by Dave’s son, John and his wife Kay and their children Quentin, Meghan and Grace. The Burkets have been key contributors to the agriculture industry and have built an international reputation.
The Burket Falls Farm has received many professional recognitions over the years. In 2001, the farm was inducted into the Pennsylvania Holstein Association Hall of Fame and in 2003, received the Larry Moore Distinguished Breeder Award. In 2015, the farm was given a Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to water quality through the installation of Agricultural Best Management Practices. In 2017, the farm was a recipient of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce ACE (Agricultural Community Excellence) Award and in 2018, was inducted into the National Dairy Shrine as a “pioneer” in dairy cattle breeding and genetics for contributions toward the advancement of the dairy industry. In 2019, Burket Falls Farm was nominated as one of the top 25 Holstein breeding establishments in the world.
Burket Falls Farm has been on the cutting edge of the dairy industry for decades. As their farm flourished through their use of polled genetics, the Burkets never wavered in their commitment to the local community. Dave and Betty are life-long members of Grace United Church of Christ in Claysburg where Dave served on the consistory and held other offices over the years. He also chaired the C-K Building Authority from 1968-71.
For advancements made toward the welfare of animals by helping to eliminate the practice of dehorning, we are proud to welcome Burket Falls Farm and Dave and Betty Burket into the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
Jacob Fries Family L-R Seated: Jacob and Eliza (Lingenfelter) Fries and Standing: Laura, Martha, Mary and Albert Fries. Circa 1874.
Jacob Karl Fries
Jacob Karl Fries was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by Jean Roudabush Gordon of Claysburg.
Jacob Fries was born on September 23, 1823, in Alsfeld, (Hesse) Germany. Documents show his arrival in New York with his mother Maria Hedwig Fries in September 1837. He came to Claysburg in 1840. In that same year, he built Sarah Furnace Mill for Dr. Peter Schoenberger, who owned the Sarah Furnace Iron Furnace. Jacob was only 16 years of age! At the time, there were about 10 mills of this type in the area. We do not know what brought Jacob to Claysburg or where he learned his craft and skills in construction and architecture.
Jacob married Eliza Lingenfelter of Claysburg. His children included Mary Ann, who married William Madara; Albert, who married Emma Mauk; Laura, who married Frank Herr; and Martha who never married. There were also four children, John Martin, Henry E., Jamina and David who died at a very early age.
Jacob was known as an excellent architect and draftsman. Many of the structures in Claysburg at the time were his designs - including mills, churches, and bridges. He built the original Christ Lutheran Church in 1882, and in 1891, he built Lower Claar Church of the Brethren, which is still in use today.
He bought the property at Black’s Mill from Adam Black II and renamed it Friesville in 1847. He was an entrepreneur. From his properties, his family sold the land on Bedford Street to Standard Refractories in 1914 to build the brickyard, that later became General Refractories. The Fries family descendants currently own the land where Bullscreek Falls is located!
Jacob Fries died on February 8, 1896, at the age of 72. His obituary states that he was an active, enterprising citizen. He was a carpenter and bridge builder. Jacob Fries built nearly all the wooden bridges in Blair and Bedford County in the 1800s. There are long lines of descendants of Jacob Fries spread throughout the United States. To this day, you can still see remnants of his work in the area. Jacob Fries is considered a pioneer among the settlers of Claysburg in the early to mid-1800s. This distinction makes him deserving of this award.
Rev. Taylor L. and Ella (Weyant) Dively
-Nominated by Tempie (Betty) Musselman
Taylor Lawrence (T. L.) Dively was born on June 2, 1894, the third of five children of George G. and Juniata (Musselman) Dively of Klahr, who were members of the Claar Church of the Brethren. Although he was born on the farm, T.L. still had the advantages of common school education which enabled him to enter Juniata College and graduate from the Normal English courses in 1916. In addition, he pursued studies in Bible and music. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Pennsylvania State College in 1929. He made his living teaching, fruit growing, and dairy farming, in addition to the ministry.
Ella Weyant was born on June 1, 1898, the daughter of Adolphus and Della (Colebaugh) Weyant. Ella united with the Upper Claar Church on June 18, 1916.
T. L. and Ella were united in marriage in Huntingdon on August 27, 1919 by Bro. Samuel Weyant, brother of the bride. T.L. and Ella corresponded the entire time he was a student at Juniata. (Granddaughter Nancy (Dively) Sell has these letters in her possession.) They had three children: Galen Paul, Alma Louise (Weyant) and Harry Roy (Mike) and grandchildren: Galen Dively II, John Dively, Tom Dively, George Dively, Edward Dively, Randy Dively, David Weyant, Dennis Weyant, Susie (Weyant) Hershberger, Mickey Dively, Andy Dively and Nancy (Dively) Sell.
T. L. united with the Church of the Brethren in the Huntingdon Church, with baptism being administered by Bro. Tobias T. Myers on January 12, 1912. The Claar congregation called him to the ministry August 20, 1916, and had him ordained through the laying on of hands by Bro. James A. Sell of Leamersville and Bro. John B. Miller of Curryville on May 30, 1920.
T. L., along with Frederick C. Dively and Samuel C. Weyant, were resident ministers at the time of the 1916 division of the Claar Congregation. These men and others, like Archie Hoskin, gave Upper Claar pastoral service as home ministers from 1916 until November 1, 1953. At that time, the Upper Claar Church opted for a full-time pastor and called Bro. Dively’s brother-in-law, E. Myrl Weyant, as pastor.
Ella was very supportive of T.L. She worked alongside him on the farm. She was wife of a preacher, teacher, and farmer; mother of three children; and grandmother of twelve grandchildren. She entertained many groups - both small and large - in her home by hosting birthday celebrations, church youth group meetings and dinners, ladies’ fellowship meetings, prayer meetings, and many others.
Ella never knew when a young couple would show up at her door wanting T.L. to marry them. Ella welcomed them all and witnessed many couples tie-the-knot. She worked long hours in her home, garden, field, and barn, and spent tireless hours working at the church including teaching Sunday School. She was also very active in the Ladies’ Fellowship Group.
T. L. and Ella worked tireless hours alongside the members of the Upper Claar Church, helping to plan and carry out the Claar-Walter Reunion which was held at Musselman’s Grove the last Saturday of each August. The group would plan two big meals for Saturday and entertainment for the day which included distinguished speakers and musical groups like Grandpa Jones; Cap, Andy, and Flip; and many others. The fun would start Friday night and continue all day Saturday. Then, of course, clean-up followed on Monday. Crowds at the Claar-Walter Reunion often numbered more than 5,000.
In 1942, T.L. and Ella Dively donated land for the Smoky Run Rod and Gun Club to be established. The land was donated with the stipulation, by Ella, that the land could only be used to benefit the community and not for private gain. The Club is located at the end of Smoky Run Road, Claysburg, and is nestled against the east side of Spruce Knob, Allegheny Mountain. After applying for a charter in 1942, the Smoky Run Rod and Gun Club was established on July 10, 1942.
The Claar Congregation became associated with the Union Chapel (Fredericksburg/Ski Gap) in the year 1906. Sometime during the year 1925, Bro. Archie Hoskin came to the Union Chapel through the Salvation Army. Bro. Taylor L. Dively befriended Bro. Hoskin and T.L. and Ella opened their home to him. Bro. Hoskin built a small room unto the Dively house and continued to make his home there until the early 1950s. Ella provided many meals for Bro. Hoskin.
In addition to serving the Upper Claar Church as resident minister, T. L. also filled the pulpit at the Union Chapel, Lower Claar and other area churches. T. L. served the Upper Claar Church as elder from 1921 until his death. The Church of the Brethren Annual Conference voted to phase out the eldership in1967. However, Conference action permitted those who had been ordained for life the privilege of retaining the status of elder. T. L. served the Upper Claar congregation as moderator from 1967 until 1971, a new church office established following the Annual Conference vote to phase out the eldership. T. L. served the Upper and Lower Claar Churches as interim pastor from 1968 to 1973, when the churches called Bro. George H. Snyder as pastor.
T. L. was a lover of music and often sang, played the piano and/or led the congregational singing. He served the Upper Claar Church in various years as Sunday School Superintendent and taught Sunday School for 58 years. He served as Church of the Brethren District Conference delegate and Annual Conference delegate for most of the years of his ministry life. He was recognized at the Annual Conference as having served as a Conference delegate more often than any other member. T. L. was a member of the Fifth District of the Blair Co. Sabbath (Sunday) School Association. T. L. and Upper Claar hosted many of their meetings.
T. L. began his teaching days in a one-room school, the Black School in Klahr. He would walk approximately one and one-half miles to the Black School each morning. He arrived long before the students because he needed to start the fire and get the classroom warm before the students arrived. T. L. also taught at another one-room school, the Musselman School, located in Klahr approximately three-quarters of a mile from his home. Both the Black School and the Musselman School closed in 1934 and students were then transported to the Greenfield School District in Claysburg.
T. L. taught math in the Greenfield School District/Greenfield-Kimmel School District for 49 years and also substituted following his retirement. He could solve any math problem in his head before it could be recorded on paper. T.L. was principal of the Greenfield School District/Greenfield-Kimmel School District for many years. Living in Klahr, T.L. would drive to Claysburg each day to teach. On his way, he would pick-up and transport many Klahr students to Claysburg in order that they might get a high school diploma. Daisy Musselman was one of these students.
In 1948, T. L. worked with the Recreational Board of Greenfield Township to get flood lighting for the athletic field at Greenfield High School. In 1931, T. L. helped organize the local Annual Farm Show, which was held at the Greenfield High School. He held the positions of vice-president and secretary of the Greenfield Township Agriculture Association. T. L. was a World War I veteran and a charter member of the Claysburg American Legion House Post 522, holding the office of Historian, established in 1932. He was a member of the Mathematics Teacher Association of Blair County, a member of the Blair Co. Agricultural Extension Association, a member of the Blair Co. Chapter of the American Red Cross, and served as chaplain at Nason Hospital in Roaring Spring. In 1932, he helped establish the Greenfield Township Agriculture Association. In 1938, he helped organize the Claysburg 4-H Pig Feeding Club.
Ella went to her reward on May 10, 1963. Funeral Services were conducted in the Upper Claar Church of the Brethren on Sunday, May 12, 1963 by Pastor Glenn O. Hassinger. Interment was in the Upper Claar Cemetery.
T. L. died on August 18, 1974 following an illness of several weeks. Funeral services were held on August 21, 1974 at the Upper Claar Church by Pastor George H. Snyder. Interment was in the Upper Claar Cemetery. The Upper Claar Church dedicated a monument to the Memory of Bro. Dively on November 16, 1975. Bro. Albert Haught, former pastor of the Claysburg Church of the Brethren and moderator of the Lower Claar Church; Bro. A. Harrison Smith, former pastor; and Bro. George H. Snyder, pastor, participated in the Memorial Service. The Memorial was rededicated in 1992 to the memory of Bro. Taylor L. and Sister Ella Dively. The Memorial was moved to a new location at Upper Claar in 1999 to make room for a new addition to the Upper Claar Church.
The Claysburg Hall of Fame is honored to welcome Rev. Taylor L. and Ella (Weyant) Dively to the Hall of Fame.
Mark Barnhart and NPC, Inc.
introduced by Rich Allison
accepting - Mark Barnhart
PA State Senator
Moris “Mosche” Quint
Moris Quint was born on November 16, 1923 in Claysburg, PA the son of Louis and Ida Quint. His parents were immigrants from Russia who settled in Germany and then came to the United States. In 1919, they opened a general store in Claysburg that specialized in clothing called Quint’s Store. It closed in 1959. According to family legend, Moris’s mother Ida was a seamstress for the Czar of Russia. This may or may not be true.
Moris’s parents raised six children – Molly, Bessie, Jenny, Bertha, David and Moris – and several step-children. All of the children either went to college or to nursing school. The Quint family placed a high value on education, and they were a very religious family.
Moris graduated from Claysburg High School in 1941, the same year as his brother David. He was a very good high school student and an outstanding football player. He was also the high school drum major. During games Moris would play half-back on the high school football team and then perform with the band during the halftime show. He earned a full scholarship to Juniata College where he played football. However, when World War II was in full swing, he left Juniata and enlisted in the US Marine Corp.
Moris married Bette Yeager. They had two children – Walter and Louise. Walter married Lucinda “Cindy” Streett. They have been married for 48 years. They have one son Major Mark Streett Quint. Mark is married to Jennifer Spaulding. They have one child, Charlotte Spaulding Quint. Louise married Roddy Dean. They have one son, Ashley. Ashley is married to Elizabeth. They have two children, Charlotte and Abilgail Yeager. Later in life Moris married his second wife, Janice.
Moris graduated from Officer Candidate School and was commissioned as a Lieutenant. He served in Japan, and then the Marine Corp sent him back to college to complete his Bachelor of Science degree at Muhlenburg College. Also, as a Marine, he served in Washington, DC and North Carolina and did weapons testing off Puerto Rico and cold weather experimentation off Greenland. He was also deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Korea. He incurred a neck injury off shore near Korea which resulted in treatment at Bethesda Naval Hospital. This injury forced him to resign his commission after 11 years.
Moris returned to Claysburg after graduation to coach the high school football team for a brief period in the late 1940s. He also at one point shoveled coal into the kilns at the Claysburg brickyard. During his high school years and after, Moris was affectionately known to his Claysburg friends as “Mosche.”
In 1953 Moris taught biology and United States history at West Snyder High School in Beaver Springs. Later he served as principal at Northern Bedford High School and at Conemaugh Township High School near Johnstown.
Moris earned a Master of Science degree from Bucknell University in approximately 1959, and he completed the course work for a Doctor of Education degree at Penn State University in approximately 1962.
In 1964 he became principal at Gettysburg High School and then became assistant superintendent until his retirement during the mid-1980s.
Moris served as President of his Hanover Hebrew Jewish congregation for more than 32 years from 1975 until his death on December 15, 2007. After retirement he became a full-time volunteer for the Disabled American Veterans. He also spent many hours preparing tax returns for senior citizens volunteering his time. Bette, his first wife, passed away on May 23, 2009. Janice, his second wife, is still living but is in poor health.
Moris was nominated for the Claysburg Hall of Fame by his son, Dr. Walter Quint of West Depford, NJ. Walter is a retired Superintendent of Schools in Paulsboro, NJ and retired Rowan University, NJ professor. Currently he teaches at Gwynedd Mercy University.
Moris was a truly dedicated educator who was ahead of his time with his forward thinking. He made a very positive contribution to the field of education. We are proud to welcome Moris Quint into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame.
Ernest P. Diehl
-Nominated by daughter Janet Sollenberger and grandson Haden Sollenberger
Ernest Diehl was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on July 14, 1906. At the age of seven, he was adopted by Ross and Mary Diehl of Allegan, Michigan. Ross and Mary were formerly from Blue Knob. Ernie was raised on their farm until the age of 16. At that time the family took an extended trip west. They stopped at the newly formed Yellowstone National Park where they helped with the construction of new buildings at the park. Ernie was the cook’s helper to his mother. They then traveled to San Francisco, California, where Ernie was a Western Union telegram delivery boy.
Upon coming to Pennsylvania, Ernie went into the coal business with his uncle, Levi Diehl, a prominent Blair County businessman. In 1934, Ernie leased Levi’s coal business in Claysburg and in 1937, he purchased the business, land, equipment, and house for the sum of $5,500.
In 1935, he married Isabel Brightbill of Duncansville. They had two children, Alfred and Janet. Mr. Diehl conducted the business selling coal, animal feed, fertilizer, sand and cement until the mid-1960s when the natural gas line came through Claysburg and made coal a thing of the past. During the 1950s and 1960s, Ernie was elected as a township supervisor and served as road maintenance supervisor until his retirement. Also, Ernie was a school bus driver for a period of years in the Claysburg area.
Ernie was active in many community affairs. He was one of the founding members of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company serving as president for five years. He was a carnival chairman for many years. He was a charter member of the Claysburg Rotary Club serving in many offices. Ernie was also a member of the Jobs for Joes’ Committee that brought new businesses and industries to Claysburg. Ernie served on the 1954 Sesqui-Centennial Committee or 150th Celebration of Claysburg. He was a member of Christ Lutheran Church and served on church council.
Ernie and Isabel retired to Seffner, Florida in 1971. Ernie passed away in Florida in 1988 at the age of 81. Their son Alfred now resides in their Florida home. Their daughter Janet and her husband, Nevin Sollenberger, reside in the homestead in Claysburg. They have two children, Cynthia Stiver and Scott Sollenberger and four grandchildren, Zachary and Westley Stiver and Haden and Madison Sollenberger.
The Claysburg Hall of Fame welcomes Ernest P. Diehl to the Hall of Fame.
Walter and Nancy Musselman
Walter Musselman was born in Claysburg to Walter and Millie (Walter) Musselman and graduated from Claysburg-Kimmel in 1967. Nancy Cooper was born to Blake and Mabel Cooper of Falls Creek, PA, and graduated from Brockway High School, Westminster College, and Indiana University of PA. They married in 1980. Walter was employed at Altoona Leather Store in State College, Miller Motor Company in Centre Hall, and Musselman Insurance in Claysburg. Nancy taught at Penns Valley High School, Hollidaysburg Area Junior High, and in 1992, was hired as the school counselor for Claysburg-Kimmel High School. She retired from there in 2006.
The Musselmans have resided in Claysburg since 1985 and have been very involved in supporting the community. As active members of the Claysburg-Kimmel Alumni Association, Walter and Nancy quickly immersed themselves in helping to plan the annual events that have come to define this area including the Claysburg Street Fair, now known as Claysburg Area Community Days. Walter and Nancy were instrumental when this summer event was first moved off the street, then to the high school athletic fields, and ultimately to its current home at the Claysburg Community Park. They worked with school officials and township personnel to bring about these changes in location. Walter and Nancy have been co-chairs and tireless volunteers for this event each year for many years, with Walter heading up the grounds and site preparation crew, and Nancy coordinating booths and serving as a liaison with businesses and nonprofit groups renting booth space.
Also, as part of their service with the Claysburg-Kimmel Alumni Association (of which Walter has been long-time treasurer), Walter and Nancy have played a key role in organizing and coordinating C-K’s annual Homecoming celebration. The parade and dance that occur with seeming ease each year do so in large part to their efforts.
Walter and Nancy’s community service is not entirely centered around their efforts on behalf of the C-K Alumni Association, however. Nancy has also co-chaired Claysburg’s Christmas in the Park celebration since its inception in 2014. In addition, Nancy has served on the board of CK Cares and of the Claysburg Education Foundation. She also volunteers with the Claysburg Backpack program. Walter was part of the group that founded the Sons of the Legion in Claysburg and served as a past treasurer of that organization as well. In short, through the years their names have been synonymous with volunteering in Claysburg.
We welcome Walter and Nancy Musselman into the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
A south central Pennsylvania town with beautiful scenery.
The area is nestled between the Appalachian Front to the west and Dunnings Mountain of the Ridge and Valley Region to the east!
Ralph “Sparky” Walter and Family
Ralph D. “Sparky” Walter was born on January 7, 1911, the son of Harry and Odessa (Smith) Walter of Bedford. Later he married Katherine “Marie” Shoemaker. She was born on July 12, 1917, the daughter of Lee and Virgie (Kauffman) Shoemaker of Sproul. Sparky and Marie had one son, Donald L. “Butch” Walter, who was born May 19, 1938. Sparky later married Ruth Ebersole and then Sally E. Imler.
Early in his career, Sparky worked for Henry Lingenfelter at the Claysburg Dodge dealership. Then in the fall of 1947, Sparky purchased the King Garage from Charles Feather for $7,000. The King Garage under Sparky did any and all types of repairs. Sparky operated the King Garage until 1978. He continued doing auto repairs until his retirement in 1996. Sparky also was responsible for maintaining the old Ford Model T fire truck that was used in parades.
In 1948-49, Sparky took the reins of the Claysburg Boy Scouts Troop #65, a position he held for over 12 years. Under his leadership, eleven members became Eagle Scouts.
Additionally, Sparky was involved with the Claysburg Economic Development, Inc or CEDI. CEDI was responsible for bringing new business and industry to Claysburg in an effort to further diversify the employment base in the area. It was Sparky Walter who had the vision to convince NPC to move to Claysburg. In 1989, Sparky convinced Don Nelson, who owned the land across from Peggy’s Diner, to sell 10 acres of land to NPC for the construction of a plant. Don always wanted to help the area and at Sparky’s urging sold the property at a reduced price in order to attract the business. Sparky’s dream was realized, and today the town of Claysburg can boast that in NPC they have one of the best corporations in Pennsylvania.
Sparky was very active in the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company and participated in many community events. Sparky’s entire family volunteered in Claysburg. His wife, Marie, was a charter member of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. For much of her life, she served in many capacities including having a fire company emergency line and fire siren button installed in her home. She also served as an emergency dispatcher in the 1960s and 1970s prior to the formation of the 911 systems. Marie died on January 3, 1978.
Their son, Donald, was active in the Boy Scouts and earned an Eagle Scout rank. He was a member of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Department, where he served for many years as fire chief. He was also a drummer in the Claysburg Legion Band. Butch died on September 16, 1976, and Sparky passed away May 10, 2000.
Sparky had three grandchildren - Ed Walter, Julie Walter Noel, and Gary “Gus” Walter; four great grandchildren - Jade Walter, Amber Davis Weitzel, Alexis Wilt, and Noah Noel; and three great great grandchildren - Addison Rae Walter, Samuel Weitzel, and Lucas Weitzel.
In addition to being a businessman in the Claysburg area, Sparky and his family were very dedicated volunteers in the community. Sparky was nominated for the Hall of Fame by his grandson, Gary “Gus” Walter. We welcome Ralph “Sparky” Walter and Family into the Claysburg Hall of Fame.
Dr. Peter Schoenberger
A Hall of Fame’s pioneer award goes to Dr. Peter Schoenberger for his contributions to the growth of the Claysburg area.
Dr. Schoenberger was born on October 16, 1782 at Manheim, Lancaster County. His father George had established little charcoal furnaces in the upper Juniata Valley. Schoenberger’s German ancestors had been operators of blast furnaces producing iron in Germany. Dr. Schoenberger graduated from medical school in 1806, and on June 17, 1806, he married Sarah Krug of Lancaster at Trinity Lutheran Church. Shortly thereafter, he gave up practicing medicine and devoted full attention to ironmaking.
Schoenberger was the ironmaking king of Pennsylvania and possibly of the United States at the time. His vast holdings included Upper, Lower and Middle Maria Forges in McKees Gap, named for his aunt, Anna Maria Watts; Franklin Furnace and Forge near Hollidaysburg; Rebecca Furnace, named for his daughter, Rebecca Schoenberger McCormick at Fredericksburg, east of Martinsburg; and Huntingdon Furnace near Warriors Mark. There was Martha Furnace near the Maria Forges, named for his daughter, Martha Schoenberger Duncan; Allegheny Forge near Foot of Ten; Sarah Furnace named for his daughter, Sarah Schoenberger McCormick at Sproul; Bald Eagle Furnace near Bellefonte; the Center and Tyrone Forges on the Little Juniata River; Rodman Furnace near the Middle Maria Forges; Bloomfield Mines in Bloomfield Township across the mountain from Sproul near Bakers Summit; the Hollidaysburg Rolling Mills and Nail Works; and Marietta Furnace on the Susquehanna River. He helped form Cambria Iron Company in Johnstown, Mt. Union Furnace near Uniontown, PA, and owned vast properties that included timber, coal, iron ore and other minerals.
Schoenberger built Sarah Furnace in 1832 at Sproul near present day Claysburg, PA. Sarah Furnace was located on the right side of the road that goes back to the current Sheetz complex at the Walter Industrial Park site. He also built the mansion located at the corner of Dunnings Highway and Quarry Road at the Old Sproul intersection. The twenty-one room mansion was a show place in its time, featuring fireplaces throughout made of black marble imported from Greece. A kiln was constructed in the yard of the mansion to manufacture the bricks for the house since transporting them would have been very difficult at the time. A similar if not identical mansion was built in Fredericksburg, PA at Rebecca Furnace and still exists today.
Sarah Furnace was the first industrialized area around Claysburg, and offered the first major employment in the area outside of farming. Iron ore was mined in Bloomfield Township and hauled across Sproul Mountain. Schoenberger, with his vast holdings of furnaces, land, and other properties, travelled continually between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh generally on horseback. Part of his thriving business eventually was in Pittsburgh, PA where steelmaking was coming of age and ironmaking was diminishing. He maintained homes in various places, but his main home was located on 15th and Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh, PA. This home stood until 1926. His heirs sold part of his mills to US Steel.
Dr. Schoenberger and his wife, Sarah had 9 children. Martha married John William Duncan, who maintained the Bloomfield Ore mines and eventually the ganister and limestone quarries on Sproul Mountain that were essential in making the silica brick using the ganister rock from the mountain. Anna Maria, who married Henry Watts, inherited the Marietta Forge on the Susquehanna River. Rebecca and husband Pollard McCormick had three children and managed Sarah Furnace. Following Rebecca’s death, Pollard McCormick married her sister, Sarah and continued to manage Sarah Furnace for a time even after Dr. Schoenberger’s death. They had two children. George K. Schoenberger was twice married, first to Sarah Hamilton and then to Ella Beatty. John H. Schoenberger married Margaret Cust. Elizabeth married Col. Edward Lytle, Sr., who managed Rebecca Furnace for years. Edwin Francis Schoenberger married his first cousin, Margaretta Krug. One of their children, George K. Schoenberger became a well-known Chicago steelman. No information is available on William H. Schoenberger.
Dr. Schoenberger died in 1854 at Marietta Furnace in Lancaster County. He is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. Dr. Schoenberger’s estate totaled $12 million, which was a very hefty sum of money in 1854. That $12 million estate would be worth $354 million today. Dr. Schoenberger’s will left the Sarah Furnace mansion to his five grandchildren from Rebecca’s and Sarah’s marriages to Pollard McCormick. The will included the stipulation that the room at the top right of the stairs be reserved for his wife’s use at her will because she loved the mansion so much.
Pollard McCormick, and then his son, David McCormick, continued to operate Sarah Furnace for a time. The ownership then passed to Essington Hammond and others. However, ironmaking was diminishing and steelmaking was coming into its own. Sarah Furnace closed in 1881 and was dismantled.
Many local businesses thrived because of the prosperity of Sarah Furnace. What we now refer to as Yingling’s Mill at the south end of the township and county line was originally built by Dr. Peter Schoenberger. It was passed on to various other owners and eventually to the Yingling family.
While none of the heirs of Dr. Peter Schoenberger are known to exist in the Claysburg area, many of his descendants still live on hundreds of acres of land in the Cove, Alexandria, Petersburg, and Warriors Mark on property that was once part of the furnace operations. Dr. Schoenberger and his family were quite benevolent and gave vast sums of money to build St. Margaret’s Hospital near Fox Chapel in Pittsburgh, which is now part of UPMC – Pittsburgh. They also gave to many other charitable causes.
About the only reminders we have today of Dr. Peter Schoenberger’s vast holdings in the area are the pits or ponds near Ore Hill where iron ore was mined and the ganister or silica quarries on Sproul Mountain that were quarried by his heirs, the Duncan and their relatives, and the Hartman family for the silica brick business.
As for the Sproul Mansion, it was sold by the Schoenberger heirs to the Reighard family of Pittsburgh, who were in the oil industry. They in turn sold it to the General Refractories Company when the plant was built at Sproul, and the mansion is now owned by its successor company, ANH Refractories. As for Sarah Furnace, the town was renamed Sproul in honor of Governor Sproul who was President of General Refractories at the time the plant was built.
Claysburg Pizza and Paul & Teresa Medasie
Founded in 1959 by Gene Caparella in the building that now is home to Yingling Insurance on Bedford Street, Claysburg Pizza is part of Claysburg’s history. A few years after opening, the pizza shop was sold to Al Lestochi. Al Lestochi and Jean Harbaugh Showalter operated the shop until August 1968. At just 12-years-of-age, Jay Medasie started working for Gene Caparella two weeks after he opened the business. Jay continued as an employee there until he and his wife Elaine took ownership of the shop in 1968.
On August 10, 1972, Jay, son of John and Betty (Freeman) Medasie, and Elaine, daughter of Walter and Vivian (Burket) Feather, and children Penny and Paul opened the current Claysburg Pizza location along Dunnings Highway. In 1981, at the age of 11, Paul Medasie became involved in the family business. Paul and his wife Teresa Claar purchased the business in 2007. They have two children, Samantha and Jeremy. Penny and her husband Brad Poorman live in Chambersburg and have a daughter, Arica.
At the very beginning, pizza was 10 cents per cut and was the only item sold. Today the menu has expanded to include different types of pizzas, strombolis, subs, wings, appetizers, and desserts all centered around the original dough recipe that made them famous in this area. Their reputation for great food and giving back to the community has expanded just as their business has. Claysburg Pizza prides itself on being a Christian establishment where customers can enjoy delicious food at a great price. Their goal is to serve fresh meals and provide fast service to their patrons. They also own Claysburg Auto Wash located next to the pizza shop.
In 2010, the business started helping many groups throughout Pennsylvania with fundraising. Using their most popular menu items, Claysburg Pizza Fundraisers have helped groups raise well over $1,000,000. In 2018, the business expanded again with another building added to make fundraising items and wholesale pizzas and strombolis that are sold in stores.
In 2017, Paul was selected by the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America as Business Person of the Year in Pennsylvania.
Through the years, the Medasie family and Claysburg Pizza have given back to the Claysburg community both financially and through their fundraising programs. They continue to help many local Claysburg groups and other surrounding community organizations raise substantial amounts of money. They are currently expanding their fundraising program into other states as well. Giving back to communities is what drives Claysburg Pizza to continue to be one of the leaders in the independent pizzeria business.
We welcome Claysburg Pizza into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame.
Claysburg Hall of Fame Committee Has Dedication of Monument on November 25, 2017
In April 2013 Claysburg P.A.S.T. announced as part of their history preservation of the Claysburg, PA area that they would begin a Claysburg Hall of Fame presentation each year. Claysburg P.A.S.T. has financially covered the expenses of the Hall of Fame Committee to date. The Hall of Fame Committee has operated independently with the selection process.
In July 2013 the first Claysburg Hall of Fame Committee of nine members was selected through a voting process open to Claysburg PAST members as well as the community at large. The committee established guidelines and by-laws as well as an application form for the process.
The presentations have been held in early April of each year beginning with the first induction in April 2014 of five members. Since that time, five members each year have been added for a total of four induction ceremonies and 20 members. As part of the presentations, inductees had markers inscribed with the plan to build a monument as part of a community display.
Construction began in September, 2017 at the Claysburg Community Park on a monument. The Claysburg Hall of Fame Committee wanted to plan for the future. The monument was designed to accommodate future inductees. Twenty markers for the 20 inductees have been placed to date as well as an additional 20 markers for future inductees on the one side facing inside the park are in place for a total of 40 inductees. Additionally the monument was designed to accommodate an additional 40 inductees on the other side. At an average of five inductees per year, the monument should accommodate future awards for another 12 years or through approximately the year 2029. When totally filled, the monument will accommodate 16 years or 80 inductees.
The monument sits in the Claysburg Community Park in the southwest corner of the park near Dunnings Highway. In 1998, the Claysburg Economic Development, Inc. or CEDI donated land where the Claysburg Community Park is located today. It was this initial donation of land that allowed the construction of the park to begin. CEDI also donated $25,000 for the construction of the gazebo at the Park. Today after years of planning and many long hours of physical labor by many people, organizations and the township, Claysburg now has a beautiful community park that continues to evolve. Today, Claysburg is blessed because of the foresight of the original members of these groups who recognized that industrial diversity that was needed within Claysburg.
CEDI, one of the Hall of Fame inductees also contributed substantially to the construction of the monument plus a donation from Walter Quint was received in memory of his father, Moris “Mosche” Quint who is also one of the inductees. Total cost of the construction of the monument to date has been approximately $7,000 with additionally money to be spent on the remaining 40 markers as well as an escrow account for future maintenance.
The twenty-five inductees that have been inducted to date were: Corporal Harry Harr, Frederick and Christina (Walter) Claar, Norman “Sonny” Close, Regis Nale, Sr and Richard Lingenfelter were inducted in 2014. Jacob Karl Fries, Dennis L. Feathers, Frank P. Gazzara, Dr. Edward D. Schultz and Dr. Edward J. & Maxine V. Schultz were inducted in 2015. Dr. Peter Schoenberger, Bob & Jean Gordon, S. Dean Campbell, Thomas Ringler and Jim and Jane Claar and Family – Connie Rose, Audry and Ricky were inducted in 2016. Claysburg Economic Development, Inc or CEDI, Thomas Kurtz, Vincent Dodson, Moris “Mosche” Quint and George & Grace Pozgar – The Pozgar Family were inducted in 2017. Claysburg American Legion Band Post #522, D. Orville Ebersole, Dr. Mona Nelson Eckley, Kenneth "Buck" and Belva Shore and Ralph "Sparky" Walter were inducted in 2018.
The formal dedication of the monument took place on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at the Claysburg Community Park during Christmas in the Park. The ceremony took place immediately after the Christmas parade at approximately 3:00 pm followed by Christmas in the Park..
Applications for the 2020 induction are now being accepted until December 31, 2019.
Frank P. Gazzara
Frank P. Gazzara was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame on two different nomination forms by Michelle McIntyre of Claysburg and Diana G. Walter Dively of Altoona, PA.
Frank was born in Claysburg on December 24, 1920, to Giuseppie (Joseph) and Maria (Mary) Gazzara. Frank’s parents immigrated to the United States from Italy shortly after their marriage in 1912 and settled in Claysburg.
Frank graduated from Claysburg School District in 1939. He entered the Army Air Corp on September 16, 1942, and served approximately 3 ½ years until January 28, 1946. After returning to Claysburg, Frank worked for P.I. Angle in the tailoring and dry cleaning business. He also began his extensive involvement in many church and Claysburg related activities.
From 1956 until his retirement in 1980, Frank worked for PennDot and retired as an assistant traffic engineer. Frank helped to direct Claysburg’s Minstrel shows and was an End Man known as High Pockets. He was a member of the Claysburg Community Chorus and director of his church choir at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, now known as St. Thomas More Chapel. Frank was a life member of the American Legion where he served as commander and chaplain in Claysburg. He also directed the Legion Band and helped with American Legion baseball. He received the 60 year service award. In 1969, Frank was one of the organizers and first president of the Claysburg-Kimmel Alumni Association. He was a VFW Commander in 1951, 1995, and 1996. He was a member of the Claysburg Industrial Development Committee and a board member at the Claysburg Area Public Library, where his family donated the building currently used for the library. Frank was the financial officer for the 1954 Claysburg 150th Anniversary celebration. He was chairman of the 1976 Bicentennial Committee celebrating the 200th anniversary of the United States. He was co-chairman of the 1979 Claysburg celebration commemorating the 175th anniversary of Claysburg, and he was parade marshal at the 2004 celebration of Claysburg’s 200th anniversary. Frank died on August 8, 2004, the night after serving as parade marshal.
While Frank never married, he had a very special friend in his life, Gail Seabolt of Cresson. Frank gave back to his church and community in many ways. He was unofficially known as the mayor of Claysburg. Whenever and wherever help was needed within the reaches of Claysburg, Frank was there coordinating, directing, and working on the projects. He had a heart of gold, a strong commitment to his country, church, and community, and is certainly deserving of this recognition.
L-R: George & Grace Pozgar
Frederick and Christina (Walter) Claar
Frederick and Christina (Walter) Claar were nominated to the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by the Upper Claar Church of the Brethren. Frederick and Christina Claar were pioneers of the Klahr Valley near Clayburg, PA. Frederick Claar was born on October 30, 1780 and died on March 2, 1864. He was the son of Simon and Anna Margaretha (Klee) Claar. Christina Walter was born on July 23, 1780 and died on April 13, 1853. She was the daughter of Mathias and Barbara (Imler) Walter.
Frederick Claar and Christina Walter were married on October 26, 1800 in the Pleasant Valley Area of Bedford County. Shortly after their marriage in 1800 they made their home in the area now known as Klahr near the site of the present Upper Claar Church of the Brethren. They settled in the area before the town of Claysburg was settled in 1804. They were true pioneers. Frederick was a blacksmith by trade.
They had 13 children: Jacob married to Matilda Morehead; Simon married to Rachel Croyle, Henry married to Catherine Corle; Daniel married to Mary Dively; Joseph married to Esther Ickes; John married to Mary Hemming; Margaret married to Peter Ickes; Barbara married to George Lingenfelter, Rachel married to Bartholomew Dively; Lizzie married to Jonathan Benton; Sarah married to Jacob Lingenfelter; Nancy married to Michael Walter and Mathias thrice married to Mary Musselman, then Catherine Walter and then Hettie Burket.
The Claars laid the foundation for the Claar Congregations. They opened their home and barn doors so people would have a place to worship, and they supplied meals to those who had to travel a long distance for their church services. Later as the congregation grew, they built their first house of worship in 1851 across the road from the present day site of the Upper Claar Church of the Brethren. A stone monument is located there to mark the site.
Then the Lower Claar Church of the Brethren was built and shortly after the Upper Claar Church of the Brethren was built. Frederick and Christina Claar donated the land for the Upper Claar Church and for the cemetery which is over 200 years old. Also from this marriage of Claar and Walter began the annual Claar and Walter Reunion. Unfortunately no picture of Christina (Walter) Claar is available.
STEVEN W. WALTER
Nominated by the Claysburg-Kimmel High School FBLA Members
Steven Wayne Walter was born September 13, 1967 in Elmendorf Air Force Hospital, Anchorage, Alaska, the son of Judith Glass Walter and the late Herbert J. Walter. He attended Claysburg-Kimmel High School and graduated as Vice-President of the Class of 1985. He was involved with band and became band president, National Honor Society, National Business Honor Society, and FBLA. As a senior, he placed first in Mr. Future Business Leader at the regional level and placed fifth in Pennsylvania. His love of business subjects led him to Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland, MD, where he received an Associate of Arts degree in business education. He then continued his education at Frostburg State University, in Frostburg, MD, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in business education.
Shortly after graduating, he accepted his first teaching position at Smyrna High School in Smyrna, Delaware. In 1991-92, he was one of 100 nationwide to receive the Sallie May First-Year Teacher Award. He gave thanks to his mentor and high school teacher, Mrs. Nancy Allison, from Claysburg-Kimmel. Mrs. Allison received recognition in a Newsweek article.
Mrs. Allison retired in 1993, and Steve came home to teach at Claysburg-Kimmel. He has been much involved with teaching business essentials and being advisor of the FBLA program. He devotes much time and effort to this program and has had many students win regional, state, and national awards. In 2017, he was recognized at the FBLA National Leadership Conference as the Advisor of the Year from Pennsylvania. In 2018, Steve was nominated by his students for the national FBLA Advisor Wall of Fame. He is honored with his name on the wall at the FBLA national headquarters in Reston, Virginia.
Steve’s hobbies include ice fishing, hunting, and playing with his dog Max. In the summer, he enjoys deep sea fishing in the Outer Banks, and helping family members with home projects. He occasionally enjoys traveling to the family camp in Potter County or spending time fishing on the Little Juniata River.
He is engaged to Tisia Maxwell and devotes time to her and her two sons, Ty and Trey. He has a step-son, Marshall Neff, who is a math teacher in the Pittsburgh area.
Even though Steve spends endless hours with the FBLA members, he is not one to seek recognition for accomplishments, but believes the recognition belongs to his students. In his words, “They put so much enthusiasm and hard work into their projects, and they are the ones that deserve the credit.” He also credits the huge support system of former members, parents, teachers, administrators, the school board, local businesses, and the community.
We are pleased to welcome Steven W. Walter to the Hall of Fame for his dedication to the students at Claysburg-Kimmel and to the Claysburg Community.
Sixth Annual 2019 Claysburg Hall of Fame Induction Was Held on Saturday, April 6, 2019
General Refractories Claysburg - Circa 1979
Built 1914 - Closed 1987
Claysburg, PA Area Hall of Fame Committee
Maria Leppert, Chairperson
Ronda Dively, Vice Chairperson
Members of Committee and Terms of Office
Term Expires July 1, 2025:
Term Expires July 1, 2024:
Term Expires July 1, 2023:
Rev. Taylor & Ella Dively
introduced by Tempe "Betty" Musselman
accepting - Dr. Galen Dively, Jr.
Claysburg Economic Development, Inc.
L-R Front: Barb Leslie, Sec-Treas and Bob Gordon, President.
L-R Back Row: Phil Emeigh, Vice President, Randy Glass, Jack Yingling.
Norman “Sonny” Close
Norman “Sonny” Close was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by his granddaughter, Linette Burket. He was born July 13, 1923 at Sproul, Pa. He married Anna Treese of Claysburg. They had four daughters. Vicki is married to Dave Weyant; Denise Olivieri, Kim is married to Ronald “Butch” Lingenfelter and Lori is married to Dave Keith. There are 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Sonny graduated from Greenfield Township High School in 1941. After graduation, he was employed at General Refractories Co. He served in the US Army from March 1943 to November 1945 where he served in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
Following military service, he enrolled at Lock Haven State Teachers College and graduated in 1950 with a B.S. degree in physical education and social studies.
He began his teaching career in 1951 at Claysburg. He was later named varsity basketball coach and junior high football and baseball coach at Claysburg-Kimmel. His 37 years ended in 1988 when he retired. Those years of teaching included 33 years of football coaching, 23 years of basketball coaching and 16 years of baseball coaching at Claysburg-Kimmel. Additionally he coached Teener League Baseball in Claysburg. He was also an early Supporter of Little League Baseball in Claysburg.
Sonny was a member of the Claysburg American Legion and served as a past commander. He was an active member of the Claysburg Legion Band. He was also involved in the Claysburg Minstrel Shows, Claysburg-Kimmel Alumni Homecoming Shows and was involved in many other organizations throughout the area. Sonny is remembered as having a “rough” persona in his talks and actions but in reality had a heart of gold and would do anything to help kids in Claysburg. Sonny touched a lot of kid’s lives and enriched them while at Claysburg-Kimmel either teaching or coaching.
Vincent L. Dodson
Vincent L. Dodson was born in East Freedom, PA on February 14, 1944, the son of Leo and Marie (Claar) Dodson. Vince graduated from Greenfield-Kimmel High School in 1963 and from Penn State University in 1967 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He served in the Vietnam War and then in the 458th Engineer Battalion US Army Reserve. He served as commander for units in Johnstown and Chief of Staff for Logistics for the 99th Regional Support Command encompassing five states and the District of Columbia. In 2001, Vince retired from the US Army Reserve as a Colonel with 33 years of service. Vince was employed as a Civil Engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and retired in 2003 with 35 years of service. Vince is also a registered professional engineer and registered surveyor.
Vince married Joy Roudabush on June 15, 1968. Vince and Joy have three children. Gayle was born July 24, 1969 and is married to Bryan Claycomb. They have one daughter, Jazlyn. Tyke was born on February 14, 1971 and is married to Julie Becker. They have two sons, Zachary and Benjamin. Ryan was born June 19, 1980 and is married to Christa Kissel. They have three children, Hunter, Mallory and Piper.
Vince is a past commander of the Claysburg VFW Post #8034 and the Claysburg American Legion #522. He is a life member of Pleasantville VFW Post #6219, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the Reserve Officers Association of the United States. Vince is also a member of the Blair County Veteran’s Honor Guard.
Vince is Chairman of the Greenfield Township Municipal Authority (Water and Sewer) where he has volunteered and been involved supervising the expansion of the infrastructure systems of Greenfield Township.
Vince was nominated by Orville W. Smith for his tireless dedication to the township and the long hours spent securing grants and permits, and making certain the township’s water and sewer systems are in compliance with all Department of Environmental Protection rules and regulations. Vince is being honored for this service to the township and for his military service.
We welcome Vincent L. Dodson into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame, a truly dedicated community member and United States military veteran who has always looked out for the betterment of the military veterans and the Claysburg area.
S. Dean Campbell
S. Dean Campbell was born on November 27, 1922 in South Woodbury, Bedford County, PA, the son of Joseph H. Campbell and Ada Bechtel Guyer. Dean graduated from Greenfield Township High School in 1940. He served in the US Navy from August 5, 1943 to April 8, 1946. In 1946, he married June Stufft. She died in 1978. In 1980, he married Marguerite Delozier, who still resides in Claysburg. Dean died August 14, 1998.
Dean and June had three children. Samuel David Campbell was born in 1947 and died in 1979. Sara Elizabeth Campbell married Samuel Walter of Claysburg. They reside in Purcellville, Virginia and have one daughter, Andrea Walter. Andrea has two children, Aidan and Avery. Joseph Peter Campbell married Ruth Keeton. They reside in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and have one child, Teak. Teak has two children, Maddie and Henry.
Early in his adult life, from 1946 to 1957, Dean was employed by General Refractories in Sproul, PA and Warren, OH. He spent the late 1950s working for Northwestern Mutual. In 1960, Dean went to work for Blair County as a purchasing agent and also was involved in the administration of the food program for needy families. In 1971, he went to Berwind Railway Systems as a purchasing and materials manager and retired from there in 1984. Dean was a Justice of the Peace in Claysburg in the 1960s and 1970s.
Dean was a very community minded citizen. His community service included the Claysburg-Kimmel School Board in the 1950s, Grace United Church of Christ Consistory, Justice of the Peace, a member and Past Post Commander of Claysburg American Legion Post 522, and a member of the Earnest-Dively VFW, Claysburg, PA. He was also a member and past Master of the Free and Accepted Masons, Woodbury Lodge, a member of the Claysburg Industrial Park Committee, and a member of the Greenfield Township Water-Sewer Authority. Dean was known as the straight man or interlocutor that kept the antics of the eight endmen together for Claysburg Minstrel Shows. These shows raised many funds for the community in the 1950s through the 1970s.
Dean was actively involved in the Claysburg Community for the majority of his life, and was well known throughout the Blair County area on both a professional and volunteer basis. We welcome S. Dean Campbell into the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame, a truly dedicated community member who always looked out for the betterment of the Claysburg area.
Fifth Annual 2018 Claysburg Hall of Fame Induction Held on Saturday, April 7, 2018
Below are the Claysburg, PA Area Hall of Fame Guidelines
as Approved by the Hall of Fame Committee
To print a copy, go to bottom of page, click, Guidelines, click "view" and then print from the PDF file.
CLAYSBURG, PA AREA HALL OF FAME GUIDELINES
Article I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame Committee.
Article II: PURPOSE
The Claysburg, PA Area Hall of Fame Committee (the Committee) exists to: annually recognize Claysburg, PA Area residents and former residents whom in their lives have made significant contributions to the community of Claysburg and surrounding areas, or have contributed significantly to the good of humankind.
Article III: FORMATION
The Claysburg Area Hall of Fame was founded in June of 2013 by Claysburg P.A.S.T. as part of the historical preservation efforts of the Claysburg, PA area. Claysburg P.A.S.T. assumes all responsibility for the financial needs of the Committee. The Committee however, works independently from Claysburg P.A.S.T.
Article IV: MEMBERSHIP
The Committee shall be comprised of nine members representing the Claysburg Area. Any person who attends Claysburg P.A.S.T. meetings is eligible to vote on the Committee members. The ballot is comprised of Claysburg P.A.S.T. members who are currently on the email list plus 3 blank write-in spots. This insures unlimited opportunity for election to the Committee.
Article V: TERM OF OFFICE
All newly elected members, after the initial June 2013 election which has prorated terms, shall serve three year terms. Members may serve a maximum of six consecutive years at a time. Members are eligible for a new three year term when they are off the Committee for at least one year after serving a maximum of six years. The purpose of limiting membership in the Committee is to promote fresh ideas and suggestions and avoid stagnation of the Committee. Should a Committee member be unable to complete his/her term, a new member will be appointed by the Hall of Fame Committee using the prior election results. The person with the highest number of votes but not elected to the Committee will be the first appointment.
Article VI: OFFICERS
There shall be a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and a Secretary. Officers shall be selected from the Committee membership annually at the first meeting of the term. Additional officers will be selected as needed. Minutes will be assigned to the Secretary.
Article VII: DUTIES
The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings and with the Vice-Chairperson coordinating all other necessary activities as requested by the Chairperson. The Chairperson will formalize meeting agendas and distribute them to Committee members in a timely fashion prior to the next meeting. The Vice-Chairperson shall act in the absence of the Chairperson. The Secretary will notify members of upcoming meetings and provide minutes of the prior meeting.
Article VIII: MEETINGS
The Committee shall establish its meeting schedule. The Committee will establish agendas for subsequent meetings.
Article IX: QUORUM
A simple majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum. All votes of the Committee shall be carried by a majority of the members present and voting unless specified otherwise elsewhere in the guidelines.
Article X: SELECTION CRITERIA
Nominees to the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame shall be selected based upon the following criteria:
a. Nominees are residents or former residents of the Claysburg, PA Area.
b. Selection is based on achievements which shall include a worthy record in more than one and exemplary achievement in at least one of the following:
1. Job-related achievements
2. Professional honors and awards, professional affiliations, publications
3. Civic or community involvement
4. Personal achievements/accomplishments
5. Positive impact on the community of Claysburg, Pa Area
6. Other appropriate qualifications which the committee believes merit consideration
ARTICLE XI: NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
The Committee shall solicit nominees from the community at large. Anyone may submit a nomination for any person meeting the eligibility criteria above. Only one (1) nomination application for a Claysburg Hall of Fame member per person per year will be accepted. If a person whom has been nominated is not selected as a Hall of Fame member in that particular year, the application can be reviewed by the committee for up to five years.
Application forms may be downloaded from the Claysburg P.A.S.T. website at: https://sites.google.com/site/claysburgpahistory/ or a hard copy may be picked up at the Claysburg Area Public Library during regular business hours.
The Committee will carefully consider all nominations and select no more than five (5) Hall of Fame inductees in a calendar year. The Committee shall require a minimum vote of 6 of the 9 member body to select the Hall of Fame inductees. Absentee voting by the committee is acceptable. No member of the Committee will be nominated or selected for the Hall of Fame during his or her term of office.
The Hall of Fame Committee from time to time at its discretion shall consider and award Hall of Fame Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards to those that the Committee deems appropriate without a formal nomination form and regardless of committee status. The Lifetime Achievement Award will not be an annual event. Outstanding service to the community, achievements and other special acts will be the basis for these very limited awards. The Committee shall require a minimum vote of 6 of the 9 member body to select a Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame inductee.
Article XII: INDUCTION
The Induction Ceremony shall be held annually at a date and location set by the Committee. The Committee shall establish the program and handle all necessary details of the Induction Ceremony. The Committee aims for an induction ceremony prior to June 30th of each year which is the expiration of some of the Committee member’s terms. Claysburg P.A.S.T. will be responsible for the financial cost of the program. The Committee will give an estimate to the Claysburg P.A.S.T. committee well in advance of the ceremony for funding approval.
Article XIII: AMENDMENT OF GUIDELINES
These guidelines may be amended by a 6 of 9 majority of the committee membership. All suggested amendments to the guidelines shall be submitted in writing to the membership in advance of any vote.
Article XIV: REMOVAL OF HALL OF FAME MEMBER
The committee reserves the right to remove a member from the Hall of Fame based on a majority of the 6 of 9 members vote. Removal is a serious action to only be considered in case of egregious conduct reflecting poorly on the Claysburg, PA Area.
Claysburg Hall of Fame Second Annual Induction
Saturday, April 18, 2015 Induction
Regis Nale, Sr.
Regis Nale was nominated for the Claysburg Hall of Fame by his son, Regis Nale, Jr. Regis was born in Sproul, Pa on May 27, 1922. He graduated from the Claysburg High School in 1940. He was chosen as student body president in both his Junior and Senior years at Claysburg.
He married Betty Glass. They had the following children: Gregory, Claire Arndt, Regis, Jr., Rose Martin, Reed, Gerard and Doug. Regis and Betty have 14 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Regis and his wife, Betty had been lifelong residents of Claysburg until one year ago when they relocated to Hollidaysburg for better long term care for his wife.
Regis served in the US Army as a technical sergeant in India making maps or doing Engineering Topography.
He worked for Shaffer’s Store in Claysburg and then went to work for the Claysburg A&P. He retired after 42 years of service with the A&P as produce manager.
He was on the board of the Blair County Senior Citizens, was one of the founding fathers of the Claysburg Food Bank, received awards for fundraising from the American Cancer Society and received the prestigious George Award, a Blair County award for volunteerism.
He was known as Santa Claus throughout the Claysburg area where he performed his duties for a number of organizations including the Claysburg Christmas Parades and at the school. He was Santa at the A&P and Claysburg Post Office and collected for the Salvation Army. Regis life was dedicated to being a Santa Claus for anyone who needed one.
We has been an avid collector of postcards his entire life. He has been a lifelong member of St. Anne’s Catholic Church of Claysburg now called St. Thomas More where he was heavily involved in church activities.
Regis dedication to Claysburg has never waned through the years. He continues to attend events that are held in Claysburg and has been of invaluable assistance in writing Claysburg’s history through stories and photos.
Claysburg Economic Development, Inc. “CEDI”
After the 1954 Claysburg Sesqui-Centennial or 150th Anniversary of Claysburg, the profits from the week’s activities were put into a fund called the Claysburg Fund to promote local business growth. Later a “Jobs for Joes” group was formed and raised money to attract businesses to Claysburg. In 1962, the Claysburg Fund was re-activated. The first real success story of these two groups was in 1963 when they jointly announced that Champion Homes was moving to Claysburg. The plant opened in 1964 and continues here 53 years later. Back then two organizations raised $50,000 to cover the purchase of 11 acres of land from the Clair Hileman estate, build a water supply system, install a rail siding, and pay one half of the cost of site preparation for building construction. The purpose of the two groups was to spur industrial growth and diversity in the community of Claysburg, PA. To get the group moving financially, monies were also donated by employees of General Refractories – Claysburg and Sproul, First National Bank and other businesses and industries. The Claysburg Fund was used as the mechanism to purchase the first land and attract new businesses to the area.
Some of the early names associated with the two organizations who spurred this economic growth were Sam Klevans, who was President of Jobs for Joes at the time, and Grover Imler, who was President of the Claysburg Fund at the time. Other names associated with both groups included Howard Feather, Sam Hershberger, Earl Herncane, Tom Kurtz, Harold Dunlap, Kenneth Zeigler, Clair Ebersole, Paul McKee, Leon Black, Martin Burket, Oren Leslie, Ted Gordon, D. Emmert Brumbaugh and D. Robert Brumbaugh, plus many others through the years.
Later the two groups merged and the group became known as “CEDI” or Claysburg Economic Development, Inc. They brought many other industries to the town with the development of the 115 acre William Ward Industrial Park in 1977. Eventually the public water and sewer systems were developed by the township as part of the attraction to bring industry to town.
CEDI paved the way for News Printing or NPC to develop on the property at the north end of town known as the Lingenfelter Farm and later owned by Don and Ruth Nelson of Claysburg. CEDI was also instrumental in the development of the Walter Business Park with ABC of Altoona and the eventual securing of Sheetz as a tenant to the park. Today another group is building there, Central States. The industries and the parks continue to thrive today with new additions.
In 1998, CEDI donated land where the Claysburg Community Park is located today. It was this initial donation of land that allowed the construction of the park to begin. CEDI also donated $25,000 for the construction of the gazebo at the Park. Today after years of planning and many long hours of physical labor by many people, organizations and the township, we now have a beautiful community park that continues to evolve.
CEDI today continues to work with ABC of Altoona and to attract groups. Earlier this year they presented a check for $25,000 to ABC for continuing efforts on development projects. CEDI’s current board is made up of Bob Gordon, Phil Emeigh, Jack Yingling, Barb Leslie and Randy Glass. Today, Claysburg is blessed because of the foresight of the original members of these groups who recognized that industrial diversity was needed within Claysburg. Today Claysburg has a very diverse group of businesses operating within the boundaries of Greenfield Township. The Claysburg Hall of Fame committee is proud to recognize all of these leaders through the years who were indeed visionaries at the time with their Pioneer Award. Thank you CEDI for helping to chart the future of Claysburg. Bob Gordon, President of CEDI, will be accepting the award on behalf of all its current and prior members.
Richard “Dick” Lingenfelter
Dick Lingenfelter was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by Dr. Edward Schultz of Claysburg. Dick was born on December 23, 1936 to Oliver and Virginia (Beegle) Lingenfelter.
Dick graduated from Greenfield-Kimmel School District in 1955 and then attended Penn State for one year. He also attended a variety of management courses including many from General Motors Corporation.
Dick is married to the former Nancy Albright. They are the parents of one daughter Lou Ann. He has four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Dick has lived in Claysburg his entire life.
Dick worked for Zeigler Chevrolet from 1955 and retired as Service Manager after 44 years. His experience at Zeiglers earned him numerous awards from General Motors.
Through the years Dick has been heavily involved in sports and especially baseball where he could be seen pitching. He earned many awards for sports through the years.
Additionally Dick co-chaired two of Claysburg’s celebrations for the 175th and 200th anniversary of Claysburg. He co-directed many of the Claysburg Minstrel Shows and does volunteer work for the Claysburg Area Public Library and also silently supports many organizations in town both physically and monetarily. He was a past president of the Claysburg-Kimmel Alumni Association and past Chairman of the Claysburg Area Committee.
He has been recognized by his church, the United Church of Christ for his contributions serving on the consistory and for his volunteer work.
Besides all of the above contributions and dedication to the town of Claysburg, the biggest contribution of Dick Lingenfelter’s to the community was his dedication as the Co-chairman of the Claysburg Park Committee. He along with others began organizing and directing the work of many other volunteers from an empty field and had the vision to see the project through to fruition. While the Claysburg Community Park is now under the auspice of the Greenfield Township government, Dick Lingenfelter was one of many leading the effort to get the park developed. The final result was a beautiful park and was a project of which the townspeople of Claysburg are most proud.
Musselmans Grove and Jarrett and Ashley Musselman w Launa and Crew
Clair and Rachel (Colebaugh) Feather
-Nominated by daughter Bonnie Ickes
Clair Feather was born in King, PA on May 31, 1920 and Rachel (Colebaugh) Feather was born in Klahr on September 1, 1925. This is a story about two individuals who became one on November 9, 1943. Both had stories to tell before that date, and this is how they have contributed to the Claysburg area throughout their lives.
Rachel was born in Klahr to a very poor family. Her daddy could not work due to an illness that resulted in the removal of both legs. She attended Klahr’s one-room school and was the only one in her class for a few years. Her daddy died when she was just six years old leaving her mother, Sadie Colebaugh, to struggle just to make ends meet. There were no funds for “luxuries” such as music lessons. Despite the fact that Rachel had no formal music training, she displayed her musical talents in high school. She played in the band and was in many of the musicals - even playing Steven Foster’s wife. She graduated from Claysburg High School in 1943, which was during World War II.
Rachel had to work hard during her teen years both at home helping her mother and working for Clair and Kate Walter picking produce and strawberries. Finally at age sixteen, she started to work for Charles and Irma Feather as a housekeeper, and that was where she met Clair. They were married in 1943 and were blessed with three daughters: Bonnie, Yvonne and Shelly.
Clair was born in King and attended the one-room school there. He attended Claysburg High School graduating in 1936 instead of 1938 because he skipped ninth and eleventh grades. After graduation, he worked on the family farm and when World War II started, continued at the farm since the military would not allow him to join because he was needed to provide food and milk for the troops. After the war, he worked for General Refractories at Sproul as a brick maker and worked there until it closed in 1960. After that he went to SKF in Altoona and retired from there.
Both Clair and Rachel loved their home community and were involved in many activities. Rachel was on the Farm Show Committee for years and was proud to have won many awards with her canning and baked goods. In 1954, they both were on the committee for the 150th Celebration or Sesqui-Centennial and worked hard to make it a success. They sang in the chorus, created a float with the family for the Farmers’ Parade, and attended all events because Clair wanted his daughters to learn about the history of Claysburg.
Over the course of fifty years, Clair served as Justice of the Peace for Kimmel Township, was a member of the Claysburg School Board where he served as secretary, and was the Kimmel Township Supervisor’s secretary. During this time, he was honored by the state and local governments for his diligences to provide service to all in the community. He worked long hours and his desire was to be the best he could be.
Clair was very involved in the school even after his daughters graduated and moved away from the area. Claysburg and the school were always a big part of his life.
Rachel worked at Peggy’s Diner for years and left an impact on so many people. She is remembered for her kindness and always taking care of the needs of others in the community. If someone had a need, she was there to help them no matter what.
Clair and Rachel touched so many children throughout their lives. They both worked in their churches heading up the children and music ministries. Rachel wrote and orchestrated many programs over the years. They were well received by all and showed their love for the Lord and his people. Clair was a board member throughout his life at the church in King and then at the Foot of Ten Independent Bible Church. He was a gentle man, but had great leadership skills. Both were wonderful testimonies for the Lord and to this day, people talk about their impact on their lives.
Daughter Bonnie lives in Waldorf, MD with her husband Tom Ickes. Daughter Yvonne lives in Mechanicsville, MD with her husband Art Rice, and daughter Shelly lives in Bridgeville, PA with her husband Frank Kellander. Grandchildren of Clair and Rachel are: Matthew Ickes, Phillip Ickes, Maria West, Chad Rice, Suzi Scarborough, Tim Kellander and Betsy Jaye plus eleven great grandchildren. Clair passed away on April 6, 2001, and Rachel passed away on October 22, 2012.
The Claysburg Hall of Fame is pleased to welcome Clair and Rachel (Colebaugh) Feather to the Hall of Fame.
General Refractories Company
A Hall of Fame Pioneer Award goes to the General Refractories Company.
In 1910, the first silica brick plant in the area was built at Sarah Furnace. This plant was owned by General Refractories Company. After the opening of the brick plant, a new post office was opened and the town of Sproul was built in honor of Governor Sproul, one of the owners of General Refractories.
Two miles up the road in Claysburg, Thomas N. Kurtz decided to build a silica brick plant in 1913. The company was called Standard Refractories Company. The plant was completed in 1914. In 1922, Kurtz sold his operation to General Refractories Co. and both Sproul and Claysburg plants produced silica brick under the General Refractories name.
With the opening of the brick yards, Claysburg became an ethnic melting pot. Employees were recruited from everywhere. An influx of workers including European immigrants from Italy, Croatia, Slovakia, Albania, Austro-Hungarian Empire and Poland joined the local German population. Later, the first African Americans from the southern United States arrived. In 1946, combined employment at both plants peaked at 714. By the mid-1950s, the number had fallen to 350 workers.
The Sproul plant began silica brick production and continued it for almost 50 years. In 1960, silica brick production ended and many felt the plant was doomed. However, the Sproul plant was retrofitted and in 1962 began production of monolithic refractories or non-brick type castables, cements, plastics and mortars, and other specialty items. This plant became very successful and had steady employment and continued growth for many years. In 2011, they celebrated their 100th anniversary. Sadly, production at the Sproul plant has declined and it is slated to close in 2019.
In 1982, steel took a dramatic downturn. Imported Japanese and Chinese bricks, a downturn in business and new government laws concerning workmen’s compensation closed the doors at the Claysburg plant in June, 1987, after 73 years of operation. McCabe Trucking then bought the Claysburg plant.
Beginning in 1994, there was a consolidation of refractory companies with A. P. Green acquiring General Refractories. In the late 1990s, a merger with others resulted in the European owned RHI Refractories which operated under the trade name ANH Refractories and continued to produce specialty products. In 2015, the company re-branded itself and was renamed Harbison Walker International, the current owner of the Sproul plant.
As a company, General Refractories has always given back to the community through donations or by giving their employees time to assist in various community projects. General Refractories allowed the beginning of the giant-size Christmas cards in town in 1972, on the lawn in front of their parking lot. That tradition continues today in the Community Park.
In 1975, General Refractories allowed the use of their land and electricity to begin what we now call Community Days. (The first year was a flea market to raise money for the Bicentennial year celebration in 1976.) Community Days continues today at the Community Park.
We welcome General Refractories Company into the Claysburg Hall of Fame. of Fame.
Claysburg American Legion Post #522 Band
Click the blue box below to get a 4 page form that you can print at home to nominate someone for Claysburg Hall of Fame
Dennis L. Feathers
Dennis L. Feathers was nominated for the Claysburg Area Hall of Fame by Robert L. Clark, Jr. on behalf of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company.
Denny was born on August 18, 1955, to Alva Eugene and Violet Grace (Ritchey) Feathers. He was one of five sons. Denny graduated from Claysburg-Kimmel in 1973 and has lived his entire life in Claysburg. He is the owner and operator of the NAPA Auto Parts in Claysburg.
Denny was one of five sons. His brothers and their family members are: Robert E. Feathers and his wife Susan E. Johnson – Feathers. They have one daughter Christine D. Feathers. Donald M. Feathers and his wife Joy A. Ritchey - Feathers. Don has one son Mathew S. Feathers and his wife Stacy D. Saylor – Feathers. Wayne Feathers who died at birth, and Dale L. Feathers and his wife Suzanne M. Glunt – Feathers. Dale has three step daughters.
Even before graduation, Denny was volunteering. He was an active member of the Ambulance Service while it was part of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company. He has been a member of the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company since 1970. In his 45 years of service, Denny has held nearly every position within the fire company and its relief association. His most notable position was serving as Fire Chief for 26 years. He has also received many awards and honors within the fire company such as firefighter of the year and Blair County Allied Fireman’s Association firefighter of the month. During his years as fire chief, Denny mentored a lot of youngsters in all aspects of life. Many of them continue to this day as members of the Claysburg Fire Department.
Recently Denny has experienced some health issues which resulted in his inability to continue as Fire Chief and to respond to emergency calls. However, that has not stopped him from being active in fundraising, training, and other fire company business. His expert knowledge is a vital asset to the members of the fire company. He is always willing and available to give advice and praise. Whenever there is a firemen’s event in Claysburg, you will always see Denny in the background doing whatever needs to be done. Denny’s endless hours of service to the Claysburg community through the years certainly qualify him for this award.
One side note, the Hall of Fame committee was so impressed to see a large group such as the Claysburg Volunteer Fire Company members nominate one person to the Claysburg Hall of Fame. And they are right. How many people have donated 45 years of their life to a community on a 24 hour a day basis ready and willing to get up and move out at the sound of a siren? Denny Feathers is one of those exceptional people.
Rich Allison Claysburg.us © Copyright