Clark House News

June 2012

Paths of Glory: The Unfinished Life of Colonel Richard White

by Patricia E. Johner

In September 1862 Richard White, Colonel of the 55th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, wrote to his father Thomas White in Indiana about the devotion of the men he commanded. With them he expected he would “achieve great things.”

The assertion came at the end of a letter in which Colonel White also assured his father that despite what he might read about his son in the newspapers, a recent court-martial and trial had “honorably” acquitted him of all of the charges that several officers in the 55th Regiment had brought against him. The court-martial was only the latest incident in a life that seemed plagued by misfortune and lost opportunities.

Thirty-six-year-old Richard White was a member of the prominent White family of Indiana County. His father was the Honorable Thomas White, a highly respected judge whom Pennsylvania Chief Justice Gibson described as the “best land lawyer in Pennsylvania.” Thomas White’s clients had included wealthy easterners such as the heirs of George Clymer, the Gilpins, and prominent families in Boston and New York who bought and sold land in western Pennsylvania. In lieu of monetary payment for his legal services, Thomas White acquired vast land holdings in Indiana County. White was also a successful banker, businessman, and politician. The newly formed township that surrounded Indiana Borough was named in his honor.

The judge had friends and relatives in high places—Titian Coffey, his nephew and law partner, served as Assistant Attorney General in Lincoln’s Cabinet. Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin was a friend and confidant. White’s son Harry, Richard’s younger brother, was a Princeton-educated lawyer, a popular young man with political aspirations who would serve in the Pennsylvania legislature and would emerge from the Civil War a brigadier general and war hero.

Richard, born in 1826, was Thomas White’s eldest son. As a young man he seems to have lacked the focused ambition of his father and brother. For a time he worked in the tanning and lumber businesses and in various iron furnaces. He attended Yale in the years 1843 to 1844 but didn’t apply himself and was forced to leave. In 1847 his family sent him to Heidelberg, Germany to study journalism. En route he was almost persuaded to join a whaling expedition. He boarded with a family in Germany and fell in love with their daughter, Kathrina Helena Podesta, whom he married in 1849. While in Germany, Richard, of the Episcopalian Whites, converted to Roman Catholicism.

Richard returned to the United States in 1849. His wife Kathrina followed him a year later. His marriage was said to have infuriated his mother who treated her German daughter-in-law with contempt. Back in Pennsylvania, Richard founded a newspaper in Ebensburg. He and his growing family (he and Kathrina had five children in the years 1852-1859) lived in various places in Cambria County while Richard worked as a newspaperman. By 1857, however, he had left the newspaper business.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, idealistic young men, seeking adventure and glory on the battlefield, recruited their own companies to defend the Union. Richard White, with five young children at home, organized a company of volunteers in Cambria County and accepted an appointment as regimental commander of the 55th Pennsylvania Infantry. Thomas White, concerned about Richard’s family, brought them to Indiana and settled them in a stone gatekeeper’s lodge that was to be the servants’ quarters for an English manor house he and Richard planned to build.

In May 1861 Richard wrote to his mother from Camp Curtin near Harrisburg that he was enjoying military life and that it suited him. As his military career progressed, however, some members of his family had their doubts about Richard’s soldiering. Richard’s aunt wrote to Thomas White that she feared that Richard was too impulsive for military life and that his “strong sense of justice” conflicted with the Army’s need for strict discipline. Richard’s brother Harry was concerned that he seemed unwilling to follow established military procedures. Richard had asked Harry to intervene personally with Governor Curtin to seek his approval for promotions and disciplinary actions Richard thought were necessary in the 55th. Harry wrote to his father on November 13, 1862 that he had met with Governor Curtin on Richard’s behalf but was embarrassed to do so and that Curtin had emphasized that such matters should be dealt with through proper channels. Harry worried in another letter to his father in November 1862 that Richard seemed to have lost support in the Adjutant General’s office as the result of a dispute over promotions in his regiment.

Despite these missteps, Richard’s leadership apparently earned him the respect and confidence of his men and his superiors. After he managed to remove three troublemakers in the regiment, men he referred to as “drunkards and gamblers,” Richard was honored with a sword, sash, and other decorations that soldiers in the 55th presented to him in a special ceremony. Richard wrote to his father that his men seemed “perfectly satisfied with their treatment.”

Richard and the 55th were assigned to guard key ports at Port Royal and Hilton Head on the South Carolina coast and, at first, saw little action. In February 1862 they were ordered to secure Edisto Island. It was there that the 55th received what Richard described as its “baptism of fire and blood.” He was in command, he proudly wrote to his father, of his own regiment, a company of Massachusetts Dragoons, the 47th New York Infantry, and several artillery pieces. In late March the Confederates sent fourteen companies against White’s regiment and the Union forces. In dense fog the two armies lined up opposite each other and blindly fired their weapons. Richard’s 55th Infantry included a company of soldiers from Indiana County under the command of James Nesbit, who, although outnumbered, “fought like tigers,” in Richard’s words, until they had “not a cartridge left—hardly two cartridges could have been raised in the whole company.” So fierce was the battle that ramrods were shot right out of the hands of the Indiana soldiers, Richard reported to his father.

In June 1862 Richard was in command of the garrison guarding James Island while preparations were being made for an attack on Charleston. Richard pledged to his father that he would defend the Island “in the last extremity.” In the letters he wrote to his father during his military service Richard often praised his regiment’s courage and effectiveness or defended the disciplinary measures he thought were necessary or described his duties in his current post. He also regularly sent home money, usually in $300 amounts, for the support of his wife and children. One of his letters suggests that Richard was concerned that his wife was not receiving the funds. He asked his father to send him a receipt to confirm that he had, indeed, received the money and had given it to Kathrina.

A battle in the spring of 1864 marked the beginning of the end of Richard’s military career. General Grant ordered General Ben Butler’s Army of the James to cut off the Richmond and Petersburg railroads and to mass forces against Richmond from the south. The 55th, called in to reinforce Butler, was deployed to anchor the left flank of the Union lines. On May 16, 1864, Confederate forces attacked. Outflanked and nearly surrounded, Colonel White sent three of his companies to charge the advancing Rebels. The attack failed and the 55th was overwhelmed. Richard White and many of his men were captured.

Richard spent several months in Confederate prisons including Andersonville, notorious for the inhumane treatment of Union prisoners held there. On August 3, 1864, Richard and the soldiers of the 55th were released in Charleston in a prisoner exchange. The rigors of his military service and imprisonment had taken a heavy toll on Richard. He returned home in frail health only to face another court-martial in which he was accused of conspiring with his brother Alexander to steal the bounty money soldiers in his regiment were promised for enlisting. After an exhausting trial he was acquitted. His trials were not over, however. In October 1864 his twelve-year-old son Herman contracted diphtheria and died.

Richard attempted to return to active duty with his regiment but he became ill with inflammatory rheumatism. An Army surgeon discovered that he was suffering from angina pectoris, a condition then thought to be fatal. Richard was advised to retire from military service. He arrived home in Indiana on March 31, 1865. Two weeks later, on April 14, 1865, he suffered a fatal heart attack. The soldier who had hoped to achieve great things was dead at the age of thirty-nine. Kathrina, who was pregnant when her husband died, delivered their sixth child on October 21, 1865.

Richard White was buried in the White mausoleum in White’s Woods. His cousin, John Savage, sent condolences in language that perhaps expressed the family’s despair over Richard’s difficult life and early death. “I learn with sorrow that poor Dick is dead,” he wrote to Thomas White on April 24, 1865.

Thomas White died on July 22, 1866. His will provided that Kathrina and her children could continue to live in the gatekeeper’s lodge. With the death of Thomas White, the English manor house that he and Richard had planned was never built.

Kathrina raised her children in the gatekeeper’s lodge, known in Indiana as the Old Stone House. Her grandchildren remembered that she kept chickens, pigs, and cows and grew vegetables and fruit trees in a large fenced garden. The stone lodge had two libraries—an English one and another full of books in Latin, German, Italian, and French. In the English library were Richard’s large, handmade, cherry desk and three cherry armchairs covered with deer and bear skins. It was rumored that escaped slaves, passing through Indiana on the Underground Railroad, hid in an unfinished room at the end of one of the lodge’s long, dark halls.

Kathrina died in 1901. She was buried in St. Bernard’s Cemetery. After her death, the bodies of her husband and two of her children were removed from the White mausoleum and were buried next to her in St. Bernard’s. In 1923 the bodies of six other members of the White family were moved from the crumbling mausoleum to Oakland Cemetery. The lodge and the White mausoleum gradually deteriorated and the stones were taken for other uses. Today there are few reminders of the Old Stone House and the family that once lived there.


Sources:
Scanned images of the Civil War-era letters of Richard, Thomas, and Harry White can be found at: http://www.accesspadr.org/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/aiupa-cw. (AccessPennsylvania Digital Repository)
The Price of Patriotism: Indiana County, Pennsylvania and the Civil War by W. Wayne Smith. Burd Street Press, Published in association with The Historical & Genealogical Society of Indiana County, 1998.
Indiana County 175th Anniversary History Vol. IV by Clarence D. Stephenson. A. G. Hallidin Publishing Co., Indiana, Pa., 1978.



 

April 2008

Revisiting White’s Tomb

by Dorie Leathers

“I recently returned to Indiana for a visit after many years and was surprised to find all the new development in White's Woods. The public land that had been wild and overgrown, but still accessible to all, has been whittled to half its former glory, so that a walk there on Christmas Day provided more than a few surprises. 'The cliff" was still to be found, of course, though it was not nearly as imposing as it had been when I was a child, but old familiar pathways had vanished and, with them, certain landmarks that had been the focal point of many a childhood excursion. What baffled me most was my inability to find even a trace of Judge White's tomb. In fact, a fellow hiker who my wife and I encountered that afternoon, who claimed to have extensive knowledge of the woods, admitted to having never even heard of any tomb. Has it vanished without a trace? Was it deemed an attractive nuisance and consequently demolished? Or did it simply collapse under the weight of age and gothic mystery? It certainly sparked many a childhood fantasy and even a few nightmares but I know it was no dream. Can you tell me what became of it? And are there any photos of it in the ICHS archives?”
Stephen Russell, Wellfleet, MA

~ White’s Woods ~

In 1820, a young Thomas White was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar. The following year he moved to Indiana and set up an office. His decision to practice in Indiana County was influenced by the number of absentee landowners who required the services of an attorney to manage their interests here. White became the legal agent for the heirs of George Clymer of Philadelphia, who at one time was the largest absentee landowner of this area with three thousand acres. Attorneys engaged by these landowners were often paid in the form of “contingent fees”, a share of land in lieu of cash. As a result, Thomas White acquired considerable land in the area and it is his name and that of his family which is associated with the woods to the north and northwest of Indiana - the land that became known as “White’s Woods”. The present property which makes up White’s Woods is only a small portion of the area that the family originally owned.

Thomas White became the first president judge for Armstrong, Westmoreland, Indiana and Cambria counties, serving from 1836 to 1847. He was active not only as a lawyer and judge, but also as a banker, businessman and politician. As one of the area’s most prominent citizens, it was in his honor that a newly formed township surrounding Indiana Borough was named.

~ The Old Stone House ~

By the 1830s, White owned approximately a thousand acres of land. He had planned to build an English style estate on the property and began with the construction of a small sandstone house which was to serve as a gate lodge or house for hired help. Thomas White never lived in this house, his permanent residence being a large house on Philadelphia Street, now part of the downtown business district. When his son, Richard was taken prisoner by the Confederates, Thomas was concerned for his son’s family and arranged to move Richard’s wife and five children into the stone house. Richard lived there when he returned home in failing health and his widow continued to reside there after his death in 1865.

Tradition and local lore suggest that the stone house was also used as a station for the underground railway during the Civil War. Thomas White was known to be sympathetic to the abolitionist cause and, as a judge, had made some controversial decisions in favor of escaped slaves. It was also rumored that the judge’s wife was among a number of Indiana ladies involved in contributing food and supplies to these fugitives. A wooden frame addition had been added to the back of the house to accommodate the families of Thomas’ sons. White descendants who recalled the interior of the house described a deep drop off along the hall over the dining room, where only planks were laid over the ceiling rafters. This room was not a part of the original house, but of the wooden addition. Family stories referred to this dark drop off, called “the dungeon,” as a hiding place for escaped slaves heading north to freedom. There was very little left of this structure in 1980 and what, if any, evidence remains of it now would rest on privately owned property.

Thomas White also had a family burial vault constructed on the hill above the stone house. For a period of time, from the 1850s to the early 1900s, this vault held the remains of members of the White family. This is the only remaining structure that White had built for his planned English style estate. The main manor house that Thomas had envisioned and that he and his son, Richard, had planned and staked out was never built. The proposed location is not known for certain although it is said that it was near a big spring. A large spring in this general area was later damned up and used as a water supply for a brewery which was located near the railroad tracks between Chestnut and Oak streets. The small pond was known as Brewers Pond. The dam and filled-in pond are now located on private property.

~ White’s Tomb ~

Family members who are known to have been interred in the vault included Juliet, only daughter of Thomas White, in 1853; Mrs. Judith Lloyd McConnell, Thomas White’s mother-in-law, also in 1853; Richard White, Thomas White’s oldest son, in 1865; and also several of Richard’s children. Thomas White himself was buried there in 1866 followed by his widow, Catherine Brooks McConnell White, in 1880.

The following article from the Indiana Progress, October 30, 1901 explains what became of some of the tomb’s inhabitants.

On Monday the remains of Col. Richard White and his two children were removed from the vault on White’s hill and interred in the St. Bernard Catholic cemetery beside the grave of his widow, who was buried only last week. The family was prompted in taking this step on account of the condition of the vault which has been neglected for years and is showing the want of proper care. The remains of Col. Dick have been secreted in the vault since the close of the Civil War. He died on the day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, his death due to diseases contracted during exposure in the army. All bodies were in metallic caskets, which were well preserved. Four bodies remain in the tomb, two being the remains of Judge Harry White’s parents.

An old photograph of the vault or mausoleum, taken in the 1890’s, reveals a large stone wall with an ornamental cast iron fence on the top. The inner vault would also have had a door, and there was most likely an iron gate in the outside wall. By 1920 the old family vault had been abandoned and stood empty, the remaining family members who it had sheltered having been removed to Oakland Cemetery. A portion of this silent sentinel of White’s Woods was still standing in 1980, located on privately owned land on the side of the hill not far from Fourth Ward Park. Only the inner vault remained to be seen and the White name was barely visible on the large sandstone block above the portal. It was completely empty except for trash and litter left behind by curious people. A few small pieces of extremely weathered and rusted iron fence were hidden among brambles and poison ivy. Nothing remained of the door, outer wall, or other parts of the mausoleum. The site of the tomb is now situated on private property.

Of the four children fathered by Thomas White, it was the youngest son, Harry Lloyd White, who had almost as great an impact on local history and White’s Woods as his father had. Harry, who also became a lawyer, served as general during the Civil War, as Judge of Common Pleas from 1885 to 1904 and in the United States Congress in 1877. Also very active in financial ventures he bought and sold both land and businesses. Over the years, the thousand acres that he inherited were divided up and sold, some by him and others by his heirs. The White descendants retained ownership of some parcels around the area where the old stone house once stood, but many other parcels and tracts were purchased by private individuals, businessmen, and corporations, with the largest single tract being owned by The Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company.

Source Notes: Stephenson, Clarence D., Indiana County 175th Anniversary History. Vol. IV. Indiana, Pa: Halldin Publishing, 1983.
Stephenson, Richard S., An Introduction to the Human History of White’s Woods Nature Center. Indiana, Pa:
Indiana Area Recreation and Parks Department, 1980.
The Indiana Progress, Wednesday, October 30, 1901, p. 1.
 

April & May, 2007

Bible Project Completed

by Danielle Kittredge

Over the course of the last several months an extensive collection of 171 Bibles belonging to the Indiana Genealogical and Historical Society has been recorded in a database. For each Bible the date of publication, size, and condition were recorded. Each Bible was also examined for any genealogical information, handwritten notes, and inserted artifacts.

As some of the written information in the Bibles has begun to fade, the writing becomes difficult to decipher. This is why photos have become an important part of the documentation process. Photos preserve the writing and other artifacts in their present state. Of course not every Bible contains a wealth of information. Some contain only a few fragments that provide clues to their former owners while others provide no link at all. Even if a Bible contained no personal information, photos were still taken of the cover of each to make their identification in the database easier.

After data for each Bible was recorded by hand, it was then entered into an Excel document. The Bibles were all assigned numbers and the photos for each were then linked to the corresponding entry so one can quickly view what the Bible looks like and any information found among its pages.

Every Bible encountered during this project offered a new history to discover. There were no two Bibles alike. The various artifacts preserved in some really brought out the character of the Bible’s previous owner. Among some of the numerous items found were: photos, pressed flowers and plants, swatches of cloth, newspaper clippings, locks of hair, images cut from greeting cards, and even a homemade remedy for small pox and scarlet fever. While we may never know the meaning or purpose of every artifact in these Bibles, I like to think they had great personal meaning to the ones who placed them there.

While most of the Bibles are written in English, a few were written in German, Old English, and Welsh. The Bibles range in age from the earliest, printed in 1620, to the most recent, in 1954. Their comparative sizes varied greatly as well. There was everything from pocket Bibles, with words so small you almost need a magnifying glass to read them, to very large editions that weighed several pounds.

Among the 171 Bibles there were a few that stood out for their uniqueness and personality portrayed by the genealogy and personal artifacts found throughout.

The first is a 1620 Bible written in Old English and gifted to the Historical and Genealogical Society by Mr. and Mrs. Donald Miller. A unique feature about this Bible is a page that contains the signatures and dates of past owners. Some of the readable names include: Habyah Weld 1751, Benjamin Fistabrooke, and Mrs. John Sutton 1867. Additionally, the excellent condition of this Bible, considering its age, makes it a true treasure.

The second Bible, from 1938, is a collection of wartime artifacts whose photos transport you back to another time in history. This pocket-sized edition, with the initials A. F. F. on the cover, appears to be a gift from Allen, a solider, to an unidentified person. Different photos and artifacts were tucked between many of the pages. Only one of the several photos contained an inscription. This photo simply stated ‘Roger at Key West.’

While there are many Bibles in this collection rich with history, there is not time to talk about them all. However, I would like to mention just one more. This last Bible, published in 1730, represents an impressive dedication to the recording of family history. Belonging to the Morgan Family, there is an extensive genealogy, spanning 100+ years of this family’s history from South Wales to America.

*About the author: Danielle is a graduate student at Indiana University of PA working on her Master’s degree in Geography and Regional Planning. She was assisted on this project by Joan Magas.


Mystery Surrounds Memorial Park

by Dorie Leathers
 

Memorial Park began its long and colorful history as one of the three original cemeteries located within the borough of Indiana. The land it encompasses was donated to the German Lutheran congregation by John Conrad Rice in 1804 for use as a burial place or construction of a church. The earliest interment that is evidenced by a marker is that of the pioneer, John Lydick, whose death occurred in 1803. By 1845 the cemetery had become a stop on the Underground Railroad, where fugitive slaves hid among the tombstones and brush. In 1853 in Indiana Weekly Register deplored the wild appearance and dilapidated condition of the graveyard. In 1875, Borough Council prohibited any further burials in the “Lutheran Graveyard” and two years later the cemetery was described as “a town common for the pasturage of cows.”

The Presbyterian churchyards were also reported as being in deplorable condition and, in 1896, the church trustees requested that persons who had relatives or friends interred in these churchyards remove them to another burial site. How many of these graves were relocated to the Lutheran Cemetery/Memorial Park remains unknown. There have been reports of burials being moved from one cemetery to another, when in fact only the tombstones were moved. According to Dr. Beverly Chiarulli, director of Indiana University of Pennsylvania Archaeological Services, this was a common practice in the 19th century. She cites as an example the 740 graves discovered and excavated in the northside of Pittsburgh during the construction of I-279. These Voegtly German Lutheran church burials were reported to have been relocated, but only the headstones were removed, some of which were later found in the foundation of an education building owned by the church.

By 1928, the center of the “old Lutheran cemetery” was reported to be sunken below street level. Clair Weaver, Commander of the American Legion post at that time, proposed a repair and beautification project which was approved by the Borough Council. Murphy’s Five and Ten was then under construction and four hundred loads of dirt were hauled from the site to fill in and level the sunken graveyard. Volunteer veterans dug out the old tombstones, cleaned them, and laid them flat on top of the graves. One particular tree required dynamite to uproot it and it was then discovered that the roots had encircled a casket, jarred open by the blast. Among the contents was a tarnished button from a soldier’s uniform. The volunteers quickly transferred the contents to another casket and re-buried it.

In November 2006, Memorial Park became the site of a geophysical investigation, conducted at the request of the Indiana Parks and Trails department. The purpose of this survey was to determine if unmarked graves are present in the park. Mr. William Johnson, of D’Appolonia Engineering of Pittsburgh, conducted field investigations of the northwest quadrant of the park, which is along Wayne Avenue and across from the Indiana County Historical and Genealogical Society. Three types of ground-penetrating technology were employed in this study: a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) machine, an electrical resistivity meter and a deep metal detector.

The GPR machine, which projects radar into the ground, can detect disturbances in soil layers decades after they have occurred. Soil layers will remain intact unless disturbed, such as by digging, and the waves will reflect back in a different pattern when this has occurred. This machine can also aid in determining if an area dug in the soil was then filled with something else, such as a grave. Electrical resistivity, using electrodes placed in the soil, tracks the movement of electrical current through the ground. The progress of the current, faster or slower, provides clues as to what may lie beneath the surface. Deep metal detectors are used to locate metal objects and will provide varying readings which help to identify the shape, size and density of the object.

The results of Mr. Johnson’s field investigation were published in December 2006 by Dr. Chiarulli. The ground penetrating radar identified numerous “anomalies” in the surveyed quadrant of the park, which could suggest as many as 124 potential burial locations in that single quadrant. There was essentially no portion of the survey area where the ground had not been disturbed. The assumption was made that the graves would be placed in an east-west orientation, as would have been the practice in the 19th century, but Johnson’s study indicates that the burials appear to overlap one another.
In summary, he reports that the area surveyed at Memorial Park appears to be so disturbed that it is difficult to identify individual graves. Whether this disturbance is the result of the excavation of graves for burials, removal or relocation of interments, or the covering of the cemetery with fill cannot be currently determined.

One of the most interesting anomalies, identified by the deep metal detector, shows enough metal to comprise a small underground storage tank. A more likely explanation is that a metal coffin, either of iron or lead, is present at this location, which is within ten feet of the sidewalk along Wayne Avenue. This site is of particular interest and will most likely be investigated further. According to the Colonial Williamsburg website, early in the nineteenth century the traditional coffin began to be replaced by elaborately shaped sarcophagi of cast iron. In 1848, Almond D. Fisk was producing metallic burial cases in Providence, Rhode Island. The shape of his castings is reminiscent of an Egyptian mummy, with the exception of the glass window at the head to enable relatives to look in.

If this anomaly proves to be a metal coffin, it will not be the first to be discovered in the area. In June of 1953, construction on the Social and Education Center, adjacent to the Presbyterian church chapel at Seventh and Church Streets, unearthed “a buried funeral ground in the heart of Indiana.” The Indiana Evening Gazette reported “ancient tombstones, burial boxes and an iron casket containing the remains of one person, were uncovered in the upheaval. Robinson’s Funeral Home workers removed the iron casket and contemplated its reburial in Oakland Cemetery. The buried cemetery was presumably one of three located within the confines of the borough in the Nineteenth Century.” Yes, folks … this would be one of the churchyards whose trustees requested the removal and relocation of burials back in the year 1896.


Peg Ruddock …
Happy Birthday!!

by Mary Yanity

As Mark Twain famously said…”Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Now, we are not certain Peg knew Mark Twain, but she certainly embodies his thought. Researcher, advice giver on library usage to genealogists, historian and general great person to have around all describe Peg Ruddock.

Peg is celebrating a milestone birthday in May and a little history on her role in the Historical and Genealogical Society is in order. Most family researchers who use the library have no idea that, in many cases, when they find a nugget of family history they treasure, they can thank Peg Ruddock. She has been responsible for setting the surname file in order and on the right direction. She set up a cross-reference file for surnames where researchers can, at a glance, see where information about the family name they are seeking can be found. Many aids in the Library are there because of Peg Ruddock.

The Francis Strong Helman Award is given for exemplary service to the Historical Society. It is not given lightly nor often and, as the second recipient (after Clarence Stephenson), Peg displayed the high standards that this award requires. She continues, as a volunteer, to show determination to keep this Society top-notch in its research capability.

Have I told you what Peg’s age will be? No? Good, because I don’t intend to. Let us all give this treasure of the Historical Society best wishes of the day. Happy Birthday, Peg!!!