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Title: Sitting - Thinking
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With the recent passing of Jessie Rote and Harry Wagner - it leaves only 4 people still living here in Williamsport that were here in 1899 when I moved here with my parents from Benton Co. So, I have seen many people come and go - and certainly many, many changes. As a telephone operator all over this area for 40years I used to know where everybody lived - as that was a needed help in telephone work, and I knew most of the people in the county. As in 1912, I called on every business place in the county, also Ambia, in putting out the Directory that year. The only person living now that was listed as a telephone subscriber in that Directory as Mrs. Grace Elwood, who now lives in Lafayette. But now it is not the same and the names I read in the paper are mostly strange.

As I said - many changes, and I don't like what I see. All the empty store rooms when I go up town, the upper rooms are almost completely vacant, closed and gloomy - when years ago they were all full and alive. Will people believe me when I tell them the way it used to be all the time - 3 hotels, 2 Opera Houses, a depot and 8 passenger trains stopping here each day, 4 each way, 2 Dry Goods Stores; 3 Hardwares; 2 Furniture Stores; 1 Men's Clothing; 1 Jewelry; 2 Livery Barns; 2 Weekly Papers; 4 Doctors; 1 Dentist; 2 Tailors; 3 Restaurants; 2 Elevators; 2 Blacksmith Shops; a movie Theater; 2 Drug Theaters; 2 Shoe Stores; a Telephones office; 3 Big Lodge Halls; 2 Millinery Shops; a Skating Rink; and 2 Meat Markets. All stores open at night until 8 or 9 o'clock. 6 groceries, with 4 of them having their own delivery service even if a loaf of bread was the only order; a Bakery; 9 Attorneys that seems at the least change - just some names are differnt.

I could go on and on - it was such fun to stand at the windows of the Light Plant to watch the big wheels go around and hear the hum of the machinery. To follow the ice delivery man; to be lucky enough to get a few chips of ice - to follow the sprinkler wagon to get your feet wet, to have a big 4th of July celebration in your own town, to go ice skating on the ponds, to take rides on the river (The Tecumseh), with the lights and dancing.

Yes, things have changed - Time to sit and think again.

Date: 9/1/1989
Origin: Backward Glances
Author: Dollie Brant
Record ID: 00000117
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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