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History Under the Stars - Saturday August 27, 2016

History Fair - Saturday September 3, 2016

Sayre Class of 1966 takes center stage in Summer Quarterly

The 50th anniversary of the Class of 1966 is commemorated in the Summer issue of the Sayre Historical Society Quarterly with a two-page center section photograph of the happy graduates.

Photo Caption: The Sayre High School graduating class of 1966 is the featured photograph in the Summer 2016 Quarterly of the Sayre Historical Society. (Photo courtesy of the Sayre Area School District Archives)

Among the other stories featured in the latest issue are the 125th anniversary of the Sayre Times newspaper, the death of 87-year-old Annie Stephens (vice-president of the Sayre Printing Company), a profile of Sayre resident Dick Johnson, the 1894 annual report of the Robert Packer Hospital, the Sayre Ukes Boy Scout Troop, and a photograph of the town clock.

“The Times, as it is christened, peals its note of news to this highly intelligent public today for the first time, making its bow in as graceful a manner as possible,” states the editor, C.L. Francisco in the newspaper’s first issue. The first news of the new journalistic endeavor was the inaugural meeting of the new Sayre Borough Council. Sayre was incorporated as a borough on January 27, 1891.

A number of news items from the first issue are included in the Quarterly such as the new electric street railway, the new Methodist Church, the 760 pupils in the school system, news of Howard Elmer and spouse returning from California, and more. A number of advertisements from 1891 are also included in the story.

Mrs. D.R. (Annie) Stephens was thrust in the newspaper business when her husband passed away only a year after they purchased the Sayre Times-Record from C.L. Francisco. When her son died three years later, she became more active in the Sayre Printing Company which published the Evening Times. Her interesting life is recounted in the Summer Quarterly.

A well-known Sayre man, Dick (DJ) Johnson, who passed away earlier this year, is recalled through a series of photographs, newspaper clippings and even a U.S. Navy commendation.

One of several pictures donated by his niece, Michael Ann Wayman, includes a dance routine from the 1955 Redskin Revue with “D.J.” and Nancy Miller performing “An Old Soft Shoe.”

Mr. Johnson was a 1955 graduate of Sayre High School. After service in the U.S. Navy, he accepted a position with WATS radio. He later worked as an audio-visual coordinator at the H. Austin Snyder Elementary School.

The 1894 Annual Report of the Robert Packer Hospital includes some interesting tidbits of history. Franklin M. Stephens was superintendent of the institution during its ninth year.

Crowding was an issue that had to be dealt with as well as outside painting and plumbing “which has been thoroughly overhauled at an expense of $300,” according to the report.

A separate section lists donations made to the hospital including “a basket of cherries” by Mrs. S. J. French, a carload of wood by Trexler, Terrell & Co., and two boxes of oranges from Julius Hayden of Jacksonville, Florida.

The final story recounts a new Boy Scout Troop organized in 1937. The article appeared in the Ukrainian Youth magazine and was donated to the Sayre Historical Society by Jerry Pryslopski. Officially called Troop 2 of the Ascension of Our Lord Church, the group included “Ukrainian boys” of the community led by Scoutmaster Andrew Costic. Boys included Philip Ball, Steve Ball, Peter Ball, Matthew Cheresnowsky, Mike Fedchak, John Fedorka, Mike Halitski, Steve Pryslopski, John Ryck, John Stromick, Steve Kachmar, Mike Zaborney and John Jascomb.

A poster for a Block Dance to benefit the Sayre Canteen is included on the inside back cover.

The final item is a photograph of the Sayre town clock which is now located in Ithaca at the former Lehigh Valley Railroad station, now a bank. The clock was purchased and relocated by an Ithaca restaurant owner.

Copies of the Quarterly are mailed four times per year to members of the historical society. Individual copies are available from Carl’s Newsstand in Sayre and from the museum on Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.