Pennsylvania. Dept. of Internal Affairs Pennsylvania. Bureau of Industrial Statistics.

Annual report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs of the ..., Volume 40 online

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and nearly nine hundred are school attendants. Medical inspection
has been established with beneficial results and but very few working
certificates were granted the past year, the prevailing policy being
not to employ minors in the industries carried on.

In the high school is a free public library, maintained by the city,
which has more than 4,000 volumes of well •selected books, and which
has proven to be a veiy valuable adjunct of the school life.

Corry has ten churches having a combined valuation of f200,000.
Within these buildings worship that number of congregations repre-
senting various denominations, and it is estimated that sixty i)er
cent, of the population of the city are regular church attendants.
Numerous Bible and church societies are maintained.

One of the most charitable features of the city is the Corry hos-
pital, which was established in 1896 for the alleviation of those
needing such care in this community, and for the purpose of in-
structing young women in the art of nursing. During the past year
two very extensive improvements have been made which have greatly
modernized the institution. The building is a fine three-story brick
structure, well located, and has a capacity of fifty beds. Adjoining
the hospital is a nurse's home, erected in 1904, the entire hospital
property being valued at more than $50,000. The total number of
patients treated during the year was 400, of which number 325 were
discharged as cured. More than fifty per cent, of the cases treated
required surgical operations. The average cost per week per patient
was f 11.35. There is an indebtedness on the hospital which should
be removed and a more liberal patronage should be extended for its
support, in addition to the f7,000 received for its maintenance from
the State.



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No. 10. BUREAU OF INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS. 205

CIVIC DEVELOPMENTS.

Improvements brought about by proper civic spirit have changed
the original unattractive appearance of Corry until now there are
some pleasant features which merit especial notice. A public park
of four acres, centrally located, has been planted with many beatiful
shade trees, among whicn have been placed means for the pleasure
and comfort of the public. Within this park has been erected a fine
soldiers' monument to commemorate the valor of those serving in
the Union's civil war; and nearby are several mounted cannon and
a fountain of water to adti further attractions to this pleasant scene.
A recently built State Armory of fine proportions and pleasing
architecture helps to develop the present military spirit of Corry.
Tlie building has a commodious drill room and contains also com-
fortable quarters for both men and officers.

An annual feature of Corry life, and, in fact of much of this part
of the State, are the meetings of the Driving Park Association, held
on its grounds north of the city. Twenty-five acres of level land have
been finely improved for that purpose, at an outlay of many thou-
sand dollars, and the fairs held usually attract an immense attend-
ance, causing this to be the most popular assemblage of that kind
in this part of the country. This institution receives some State
support which has helped to promote its usefulness. Much of the
country surrounding Corry is capable of supporting large dairy in-
terests and already vast quantities of such products are shipped
from this point, with a steadily increasing demand for larger sup-
plies.

One mile west of Corry, in a well selected tract of ground, thirty
acres in extent, is one of the State's fish hatcheries. New modern
buildings and devices are used and and fifty-two fish ponds are
maintained on these grounds to propagate various species of fish.
Especial attention is paid to brook trout, about 5,000,000 of that
kind being here developed yearly for distribution to some of the
streams of the State, making this one of the most commendable
plants of that kind in Pennsylvania.



UNION CITY.*



The thriving borough of Union City had an existence earlier than
Corry, and has always been one of the best minor towns of Erie
county. It has a good location near the center of Union town-
ship, on both banks of the South branch of French creek, about



*I>aU hy H. L. Cbnrch.

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206 DEPARTMENT OP INTERNAL AFFAIRS. Off. I»c

twenty-six miles southeast from the city of Erie. In this locality,
owing to the fertility of the soil, settlement was early made, and
improvements were begun which have been developed to make this
an excellent community. The original saw and grist mills, which
gave name to the place, were displaced by more important ones in
1856, and when, two years later, the Erie and Sunbury Railroad was
completed from the former place to Union Mills, a very substantial
reason for growth existed. Subsequently, after the oil discoveries
at Titusville, about 1859, and shipments of that commodity from
this station were begun, the era of growth was accelerated. Future
possibilities were confirmed when, in 1862, three oil refineries and
large cooperages were located at Union City, and this became a most
important oil shipping point, especially after other railroads had
been completed to here form a junction point from which commercial
centers could be reached readily. The town now has three leading
railways affording superior transportation privileges. As a natural
result manufacturing establishments sprang up, especial development
being made of the furniture industry. Here have sprung up chair
factories, whose output places them among the largest in the country,
and more recently iron manufactories have been started, with other
diversified occupations, until about sixteen hundred people are in-
dustrially employed.

The town had, in 1900, 3,104 inhabitants. There has been a slow
but healthy increase since that time, the population in 1910 being
3,684.

MUNICIPAL DATA.

Incorporated in 1863 as Union Mills, the name was changed to
Union City on July 4, 1871, and the privileges of this charter have
since been used under that name. The assessment valuation of all
properties in the borough is, approximately, |800,000, upon which
is levied a tax rate for borough purposes, 12 mills; school tax, 20
mills; county tax, 3^ mills; total, 35i mills. There is a bonded
debt of $40,000, which is being gradually reduced.

The borough has its own system of water supply from two spring
brooks about two miles distant. The location permits a normal
pressure by gravity of about forty-five pounds, and for protection
against fires this system is augmented by two powerful Holly pumps.
Three of the large chair factories also have strong fire pumps con-
nected with the water mains and the creek, thereby procuring relief
in case of need. Two very efficient hose companies, a hook and
ladder company and a fine fire police company are maintained. The
police system is well ordered and there is a local board of health
to look after the welfare of the community.



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No. 10. BUREAU OF INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS. 207

Three of the principal streets are paved with compressed shale
brick and sewers have been laid on some of the streets to drain into
the creek about a mile and a half below town. Electric light for
power and illuminating purposes are provided by private companies.

GENERAL BUSINESS INTERESTS.

Union City is abundantly supplied with the privileges of tele-
phone, telegraph and express companies, two or more of each kind
being available.

The mail service is provided by a third class office, which furnishes
free delivery and also supplies seven rural routes.

The town has two National banks, with an aggregated capital of
1150,000. Each is supplied with safety deposit vaults.

Newspapers have been published in this community since 1885,
and after various changes and consolidations the present Union
City Times-Enterprise exists with a circulation of several thousand.

EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS.

Many of the inhabitants of Union City being New Englanders,
or descendants of New England parents, a proper interest in educa-
tional matters has been maintained from the beginning. At present
there is an excellent graded school system which requires the use
of three common school buildings and one of the finest high school
edifices in the western part of Pennsylvania, which was erected at
a cost of f40,000. The school enrollment of the borough is 745,
of which the high school has an attendance of 152, several score
being from adjacent districts.

In 1908 a public library was organized by the women of the
several social clubs of the borough, which has been successfully
maintained since that time, which receives an annual appropriation
of 1300.00 from the school board.

Since 1811 the services of the Presbyterian church have been main-
tained in this community, the first church edifice being erected in 1831
on a lot donated by William Miles, the founder of the town. A large
congregation now worships in a more recently constructed church
building. The forms of worship of the Methodist Episcopal church
have been maintained since 1817, there being a church building for
such use since 1847. A fine house of worship is now occupied and
there is a membership of more than 600. There are also Baptists,
Protestant Episcopal, United Brethren and Free Methodist churches
of the Protestant faith, each having several hundred members. And
since 1857 the Roman Catholic church has maintained worship in
this community. A building for its exclusive use was erected in 1860
and the present membership is more than three hundred.
14



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208 DEPARTMENT OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS. Off. Doc.

LIVING CONDITIONS.

The residential sections of Union City are ideally beautiful. There
are many line shade trees and the cultivation of flowers in all parts
of this borough give to it a most attractive appearance in summer.
There is but one small park in the community, which was donated
by H. L. Church, Jr., but which is inadequate for the needs of the
steadily increasing population. Efforts have recently been insti-
tuted to raise funds for a larger plot of ground for park purposes.

A small hospital is very urgently needed, owing to the employ-
ment of so many people in the wood working industries, where
accidents frequently occur. Abundant building lots are available
but there appears to be an insufficiency of dwellings for the proper
accommodation of the large number of workmen engaged in the
factories of the town, and there should be more erected speedily.

The wage earners- of this community are, with few excej)-
tions, native Americans and in consequence there have been but few
labor tioubles, the relations between employer and employe being
usually i)leasant and satisfactory to all concerned.



HAZLETON.



The city of Hazleton, one of the most progressive of the younger
municipalities of the State, is located in tlie southern part of Luzerne
county, nearly in the center of one of the richest coal deposits in the
world. The site is a rolling plateau, on Buck mountain, on the
divide between the Lehigh river basin on the east and the Susque-
hanna basin to the west, with the Sugar T^oaf mountain on the north
and Spring mountain on the south. The city lies in the valley bottom
of this rolling plateau at an altitude ranging from 1,600 to 1,800 feet
above tide water. Towards the mountains the ground rises grad-
ually until an elevation of about two hundred feet is attained at
the southern boundary, while to the north the slope is more abrupt.
The crest of Sugar Loaf mountain extends partly into the city,
from whence the ground slopes rapidly to the north into the valley
beyond.

Like most towns in the anthracite regions, Hazleton owes its origin
and success to the coal industry, their history being largely coeval.
Among the first whites to visit this region were Captain Klader
and his company of Northampton county soldiers who, in 1780,
marched along the road which is now Broad street, and were later



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No. 10. BUREAU OF INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS. 209

massacred by the Indians and Tories near the present site of the
Country Club house. The early settlers were principally Germans
and for many years the majority of the people were of that nation-
ality'. They were a very industrious and desirable class of people
and their descendants are still among the most prominent and sub-
stantial citizens. Hazleton was originally a part of Hazle township
and the name had its origin from the German word "Hasel," or "Hasel
Swamp," a term formerly applied to the surrounding country, owing
to the existence of a large number of hazle bushes. Through this
country the Berwick turnpike, of which Broad street is now a part,
was constructed in 1804, and shortly thereafter the State road
from Wilkes-Barre was built, joining the turnpike at what is now
Broad and Vine streets, tlius naturally suggesting a point for town
building. A saw-mill was set in operation within the present city
limits in 1910 and the first discover^' of coal in this region was made
in 1013 by some Welsh prospectors, but immediately at Hazleton
coal was not found until a dozen years later. As late as 1834 this
point had four houses only. With the incorporation of the Hazleton
Coal Company in 1836 a town became a reality. Lots were laid out
and sold by that company. The Beaver Meadow Railroad was built
in 18^^3 and in 1836-37 the railroad running from Hazleton to the
Beaver Meadow Railroad at Weatherly was completed and the first
coal shipped in 1838 by the Hazleton Coal Company, assuring a
future for this place. But its growth was slow. Mining operations
were on a comparatively small scale, owing to the difficulty of
preparing coal and transporting it to market. Yet, in the course
of twenty years, different conditions prevailed, the newer develop-
ments being brought about largely by Mr. Ario Pardee, Sr., whose
masterly efforts solved the problems of transportation and made
coal mining a successful occupation. In the early fifties the village
of Hazleton experienced a boom which changed it to a large town,
permitting a borough form of government in March, 1857. Since that
time, with the coal production placed on a more permanent basis,
the further changes have usually been steady and, in some cases,
even rapid, producing features noted in the pages here following:



BECOMES A CITY.

In April, 1892, Hazleton relinquished its borough form of gov-
ernment and became a third class city. Since that time its municipal
area was changed so that in 1912 its bounds enclosed a trifle less
than six square jniles. This contained in 1910 a population of
25,425, oi^ an increase since the census of 1900 of 78.9 per cent., one
of the largest percentages of increase in the State-during that decade.

14—10—1913.

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210 DEPARTMENT OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS. Off. Doc

Some of the increase was because of the annexation of a part of
Hazle township. But aside from that the city has had a most
remarkable growth, being especially vigorous in the past five years.
In that period many conditions have been changed, the influence
extending from the home of the modest house owner to the pretentious
towering business structures of sky-scraping proportions, the hand-
some City Hall and the attractive Markle building standing out
prominently as examples of the latter class, with a half dozen others
claiming similar classification. Adjoining the city is the borough
of West Hazleton, with a population of 4,745, which, except in the
matter of government, is practically a part of the Greater Hazleton.
This added, as projected, and the natural increase since the National
census, warrants the claim of being a city of more than thirty-two
thousand people, most of them cherishing bright hopes of a great
future. This faith in such possibilities has frequently inspired efforts
on the part of many citizens of this part of Luzerne to form a new
county, with Hazleton as the shire town ; but the strenuous opposition
of the northern part of the county has prevented such division, and
although the project may again be materialized, it is probable that
Hazleton will not attain county-seat distinction for some years to
come.

SOME MUNICIPAL DATA.

The general government of the city is vested in the mayor and three
councilmen from each of the fourteen wards into which Hazleton
is divided. The assessed valuation of the property within the limits
was, in 1912, f8,113,125, which was subject to a total tax rate of 28
mills, distributed as follows: City, 7.8 mills, including 6 mills for gen-
eral purposes, and 1.8 mills for sinking fund; school, 14 mills, includ-
ing 5 mills for building, 1 mill for the sinking fund ; and i mill for
library purposes; county, 6.2 mills. The city has a bonded indebted-
ness of 1193,000.

Police protection is provided by a department composed of a chief,
at 185.00 per month ; one lieutenant, at $75.00, and fourteen patrol-
men at $65.00 each, including three mounted officers. In addition
three of the State constabulary men have headquarters in the city
and their presence has a wholesome influence on the order of the
community. Notwithstanding the large number of foreigners resid-
ing in the city there is comparatively but little disorder and no excess
of crime.

Protection from flre is provided by a department consisting of
three companies with a membership of over three hundred volunteers.
These companies are well housed and their equipment consists of
three steamers; one horse drawn chemical wagon; one combination
chemical and hose automobile; one hose cart, one hose wagon, two



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No. 10. BUREAU OF INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS. 211

hook and ladder trucks; 7,700 feet of hose and twelve horses. The
city has equipped the department and it is fully under municipal
control. Excellent as is the volunteer service there is a growing
sentiment among many of the leading citizens and business men
that the time has come for the installation of a paid fire depart-
ment The loss from fire in 1911 was estimated at f 60,000, and the
cost of maintaining the department in the same period was 18,717.67.
The city has a modern fire alarm system. There are 109 fire hydrants
distributed throughout the city, for which an annual water rental
of f 12.50 per hydrant is paid. The water supply is ample for any
emergency arising from fires. In addition to this public protection
several industrial establishments maintain private fire companies,
composed of their young men employes.

Included within the city limits are 76.4 miles of streets, 20.1 miles
of courts or avenues, and 4.2 miles of roads. Much of the annexed
territory is unimproved but helps to swell the city's mileage of streets.
Broad street, the main thoroughfare, is a wide and beautiful street
extending from northeast to southwest, the entire length of the city,
through the heart of the business district. In the original city the
streets run parallel to and at right angles with Broad street. Dia-
mond avenue forms the dividing line between the old and the annexed
territory. This is a wide residential street with an almost east and
west course. Many beautiful homes are located on it and in this part
the streets also run at right angles. Hazleton has 4.2 miles of paved
streets, nearly all being of brick. But little has been done in the way
of street improvements in some of the newly annexed territory.
The paved streets are kept clean by a street sweeping machine and the
Buffalo cart system. In 1912 the city expended $57,000 for street
improvements and $3,000 lor street cleaning. Excellent street illumi-
nation is furnished by 215 arc lights, the current for which is pro-
vided by a private corporation at a yearly rate of f55.00 per light,
on a ten years' contract.

W^ATER, SEWERAGE AND LIGHT.

One of the greatest essentials of any community is an abundant
supply of pure water and in this respect Hazleton is well favored.
The city's water is secured from mountain streams, springs and
artesian wells and is furnished by two private corporations, having
combined storage capacity for about 450,000,000 gallons. Each com-
pany distributes into its own territory, the city being divided into
two districts for that purpose. Their water sheds are policed and
the supply is free from contamination and apparently inexhaustible.
A flat rate prevails generally and few meters are used, except where
water is furnished in large quantities. The charges for an ordinary
modern residence are fl5.00 per year. The natural sewerage ad-



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212 DEPARTMENT OP INTERNAL AFFAIRS. Off. Doc.

vantages of Hazleton are very unusual. It is said that within the
city limits water flows toward the four cardinal points of the com-
pass. Although the headwaters of the Schuylkill river are only
about a mile south of the city the surface drainage of Hazleton is
toward the Lehigh and the Susquehanna rivers, through several small
streams rising within the municipality. The city has 8.9 miles of
terra cotta pipe and 2.4 miles of stone construction sewers, nearly
all being in the original city. A number of extensions to the system
have been made during the past few years and many more are pro-
jected. The problem of sewerage extensions into the unsewered parts
of the city is an important one and should receive the early attention
of the city authorities. Plans for a comprehensive sewerage system
and disposal plant are being considered to comply with the require-
ments of the State Department of Health. At present, owing to the
large amounts of mine drainage into the sti*eams which receive the
city's sewage, the waters are highly charged with chemicals which
have a greater or less influence in neutralizing sewage poisons. Be-
cause of this condition few nuisances prejudicial to the public health
are reported. The city enjoys an excellent climate, and barring
the milder epidemics, like measles, &c., this community has been
comparatively free from sickness. The death record is about twelve
per thousand, a percentage which is comparatively low. An efficient
board of health, having a competent health officer, looks after health
conditions and receives an annual appropriation of f2,300 from coun-
cils. Garbage is collected by the city at an annual cost of |1,500.00.

Hazleton has abundant electric current for light and power, with
a minimum charge of seventy-five cents per month, at a rate of ten
cents per kilowatt hour and cheaper for larger consumption, with
discounts for prompt payments. One of the largest electrical plants
in the country is located at the Harwood mines, using for its fuel
to generate power the accumulated coal waste of many years. This
culm permits not only a vast production, but also so cheaply that
many mine operations are carried on by electricity here made;
and the supply is sent to j, score of nearby towns for light and power.
In some cases localities as far distant as forty miles are also sup-
plied with this wonderful modern agency, produced from a former
Avaste place.

A private company supplies gas for both light and fuel. It has
an extended service, having the patronage of more than tliree thou-
sand customers. Kates are based upon the amounts consumed
monthly, varying from $1.25 for the first thousand cubic feet to ?0 85
for four thousand or more cubic feet used in that period.



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No. 10. BUREAU OF INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS. 213

GENERAL BUSINESS INTERESTS.

While Hazleton is not located directly on any of the main lines
of the State's great railways, it enjoys very good transportation facili-
ties, provided by both the Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley sys-
tems and their connections. By these means delivery of freight is
made within twelve hours to Philadelphia or New York, distant one
hundred fourteen and one hundred forty-five miles respectively ; and
there is abundant rapid passenger service by steam roads. By means
of a third rail electrical system easy travel is afforded to Wilkes-
Barre, thirty-one miles away, and that road also operates a fast
freight service which has proven to be useful and popular. All towns
within a radius of ten miles are connected with Hazleton by well-
equipped trolley lines.

The city has also all the usual privileges offered by express, tele-
phone and telegraph services and is thus well prepared to act as the
commercial center of at least 75,000 people. Considerable whole-
sale trade is centered at Hazleton, and retail mercantile establish-



Online LibraryPennsylvania. Dept. of Internal Affairs Pennsylvania. Bureau of Industrial StatisticsAnnual report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs of the ..., Volume 40 → online text (page 15 of 38)