Peeking into the Past: Mud Run Disaster commemorated on 65th anniversary in 1953


Peeking into the Past - Judy Minsavage



In 1973, members of the Public Affairs Department of the West Pittston Junior Women’s Club and St. Anthony’s Church, Exeter met to formulate plans for a youth center to be used by junior high school students in Exeter and West Pittston. Organizers planned on going into the classrooms and asking students as to their preferences regarding the youth center. Those who attended the planning meeting were from left, first row, Rev. Lawrence Pio, Mrs. Thomas Kearns, Mrs. Samuel Chairge, Mrs. Joseph Selenski. Second row, Mrs. Joseph Mikita Jr., Mrs. Jasper Parrino, Mrs. Charles Golden, Mrs. Anthony Chiumento, Mrs. Donald Zurenda. Third row, Mr. And Mrs. Jerome Postupack, Mrs. Albert Zuba, Mrs. Victor Malinowski, Mrs. Anthony Oliveri, Mrs. James Oliveri and Mrs. James Bone.


Sunday Dispatch File Photo

1953 – 63 Years Ago

Thirty-one Avoca residents were victims of the Oct. 10, 1888 Mud Run Disaster. In 1953, Avoca residents and family members of the victims commemorated the 65th anniversary of the disastrous train accident. Early on the day of the accident, celebrants traveled to Hazleton to attend an event sponsored by Catholic Total Abstinence Union of the Diocese of Scranton. The event also noted the birthday of Rev. Theobold Matthew. Returning home later that day, the St. Mary’s Cadets of Avoca boarded the fifth of six trains transporting the attendees home. They settled into the last car for the long ride home. Train officials planned for five minute intervals between the trains, but the engineer of the No. 5 noticed that an all-clear signal was not displayed so he stopped his train at Mud Run, a small station between Penn Haven and White Haven. As the train waited, two passengers, Henry Jackson and Thomas McHale, disembarked and immediately saw train No. 6 approaching quickly. A warning signal was sounded, but train No. 6 crashed into the rear of the No. 5 crushing the unsuspecting passengers in the last car. The victims were listed as Bernard Mehan, William Kelley, John Coleman Sr., John Walsh, Thomas Reddy, John and Martin Barrett, James Jackson, Michael Whalen Jr., Bennie O’Brien, Austin Gibbons, Michael and John Coleman, James Brehony, Louis and Abraham Doran, Patrick Curran, Thomas and John McAndrews, Margaret McAndrews, Willie Earley, James Lynot, John Lynot, Charles Galitz, Thomas Morrissey, Mathew Flaherty Jr., Patrick Walsh, Mrs. P.B. Brehony, Katie Featherstone, Mary Meehan and James Jackson.

The Duryea Lions were unhappy to hear that their Little League stadium would be torn down to allow a strip mining company to mine a large vein coal that was discovered to be running underneath the field. The stadium, which originally cost the Lions $2,000 to build, was expected to be replaced, but the club would need to sponsor future fundraisers to obtain the monies necessary. The company that was scheduled to start the stripping operation was not disclosed.

1963 – 53 Years Ago

The Sunday Dispatch Inquiring Photographer asked, “Is a man or woman the better manager of family funds?” Mrs. J.H. Myhano of West Pittston answered, “I think women. They are better equipped to handle money and get the most out of it.” William Gilroy of Pittston said, “I think men are best suited for the job, he is the better manager. Men are more logical than women and not likely to be swayed by emotion.” Jasper Arnone of Pittston added, “It all depends on some things, the money should be spent by the one that can handle it the best.”

Winners of the first-ever Joe Rock Golf Tournament held at Emanon Country Club, were Leonard Modleski, Richie Shannon, Willie Rayko, and Buddy Yarrick.

The Dial Rock Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated their 67th anniversary. Mrs. Ralph Thomas, regent, called upon those attending a luncheon to continue the objectives of the national society and to promote historical, patriotic and educational endeavors. Dial Rock is the second oldest DAR chapter in the Wyoming Valley.

1973 – 43 Years Ago

Lt. John S. Flanagan, Pittston, received the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious services while Chief of the United States Army Procurement Office in Thailand. In heading the office, Flanagan oversaw 45,000 procurement actions annually, totaling $30 million.

The St. Mary’s School in Avoca had been burglarized, and students were highly upset over the loss of a prized possession — two gerbils. Avoca Police Chief Michael Dessoye decided that the kids should not remain heartbroken, so he purchased two more of the cute rodents and presented them to the children.

1983 – 33 Years Ago

Pittston Area High School juniors Mary Ellen Opeka and Chris McNulty won silver medals at the District 2 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Atheletic Association tennis championships held in Kirby Park in Kingston. The doubles partners were set to advance to the state tournament. “The duo is just awesome, they play to win,” said Stan Waleski, their coach.

1993 – 23 Years Ago

“May all who come behind us find us faithful,” was the theme for the centennial celebration of the Second Presbyterian Church in Pittston. The church evolved from an Italian Mission in 1893 to the First Italian Presbyterian Church in 1930 and then finally to the Second Presbyterian Church in 1949.

Norbert Ziobro of Dupont was awarded a patent for an item he invented that increased the stafety of workers at the Tobyhanna Army Depot. An inspection of the facility showed that a large number of pieces of equipment were missing safety guards due to inefficiencies with the mechanisms. Ziobro designed an adjustable multiple use guard to fit to most all of the machinery. The project was completed within a year. This was the fourth patent granted Ziobro. He obtained three prior patents used in the manufacture of integrated circuits while working for Western Electric.

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In 1973, members of the Public Affairs Department of the West Pittston Junior Women’s Club and St. Anthony’s Church, Exeter met to formulate plans for a youth center to be used by junior high school students in Exeter and West Pittston. Organizers planned on going into the classrooms and asking students as to their preferences regarding the youth center. Those who attended the planning meeting were from left, first row, Rev. Lawrence Pio, Mrs. Thomas Kearns, Mrs. Samuel Chairge, Mrs. Joseph Selenski. Second row, Mrs. Joseph Mikita Jr., Mrs. Jasper Parrino, Mrs. Charles Golden, Mrs. Anthony Chiumento, Mrs. Donald Zurenda. Third row, Mr. And Mrs. Jerome Postupack, Mrs. Albert Zuba, Mrs. Victor Malinowski, Mrs. Anthony Oliveri, Mrs. James Oliveri and Mrs. James Bone.
http://psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_YOUTH-CENTER-toned.jpgIn 1973, members of the Public Affairs Department of the West Pittston Junior Women’s Club and St. Anthony’s Church, Exeter met to formulate plans for a youth center to be used by junior high school students in Exeter and West Pittston. Organizers planned on going into the classrooms and asking students as to their preferences regarding the youth center. Those who attended the planning meeting were from left, first row, Rev. Lawrence Pio, Mrs. Thomas Kearns, Mrs. Samuel Chairge, Mrs. Joseph Selenski. Second row, Mrs. Joseph Mikita Jr., Mrs. Jasper Parrino, Mrs. Charles Golden, Mrs. Anthony Chiumento, Mrs. Donald Zurenda. Third row, Mr. And Mrs. Jerome Postupack, Mrs. Albert Zuba, Mrs. Victor Malinowski, Mrs. Anthony Oliveri, Mrs. James Oliveri and Mrs. James Bone. Sunday Dispatch File Photo

Peeking into the Past

Judy Minsavage

Reach Judy Minsavage on Twitter @JudithMinsavage

Reach Judy Minsavage on Twitter @JudithMinsavage

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