Naming distinguished citizens of the mid-Nineteenth Century in Pine Grove

In the September and October editions of Russell-Akeley Life, I wrote about some of the distinguished citizens of Pine Grove Township during the early years of our community. I will conclude the series this month.

John B. Cable (1855-1937) was born May 11, 1855, in Cable Hollow, Pine Grove Township. In his early years he worked on his father’s farm and attended local schools. In 1878, at age 23, he took a course in penmanship and drawing at Union City College. He became an insurance solicitor and established an office with a Mr. Knapp. In 1885, John married Susan V. Foss. He became a fire insurance agent and for a few years moved to Wichita Kansas. Returning to Warren County in 1889, John and his brother, William L. Cable, became district managers for the Traveler’s Insurance Company of Hartford Connecticut. John was a well-known poet, publishing several volumes of his poems. He passed away at age 82.

Jesse Rawson Martin (1854-1939) was the son of Isaac and Fanny Martin who lived on Kiantone Rd. His parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were pioneers of Kiantone and Busti NY. His family moved to Carroll or Frewsburg NY after 1858. At the age of nine, Jesse received a dulcimer from his uncles. By age 14 Jesse was playing for dances in the area. His musical ability made him famous beyond the local area. In December 1925, Henry Ford invited Martin to play for a dinner dance in Dearborn, Michigan; he was invited back in 1927. Jesse Martin married Edith Atkins in 1873; the couple had seven children: Earl, Erie, Adah, Izora, Jesse Jr., Fannie and Della. Della married Phillip Van Arsdale and the couple lived in Pine Grove Township. Jessie Martin came to live with the Van Arsdales and in so doing passed skill with the dulcimer on to three of the Van Arsdale grandchildren. Jesse Martin was 84 when he died in 1939.

Effie Akeley (1873-1947), fifth child of Levi Erastus and Julia Ann Akeley, was born in Ackley Station. She was educated in local schools, and later taught school for a time before taking nurse’s training. During World War I she was an overseas Red Cross nurse. After returning from the war, she worked in the Register and Recorder’s Office of the Warren County Court House. While there, she was able to unify the spelling of the Ackley / Akeley name. Ackley Station became Akeley PA. She retired from the Court House in 1925.

Alice Ione Akeley (1879-1967) was the daughter of Olney and Nellie Nelson Hook Akeley on Akeley Hollow Road. She was educated in local schools and graduated in the Russell High School Class of 1910. Alice taught school for several years before taking nurses training. She joined the American Nurse’s Corps during World War I and served in France at Base Hospital 59, where she contracted Spanish influenza. Her tour of duty overseas taught her how well off we were as residents of the United States.

Cora Randall, M.D. (1888-1962) was born in Russell PA, the daughter of Sylvester and Jennett Reynolds Randall. She was educated in local schools. Cora was an undergraduate at Oberlin College before attending Western Reserve University in Cleveland OH, where she graduated as a medical doctor in 1929. She first majored in general practice then, specialized in pediatrics. Cora married Ronald Sharp and practiced medicine in Cleveland until her death.

Charles H. VerMilyea, M.D. (1897-1957) was born in Union City PA. He graduated from Baltimore Medical College in 1897, came to Russell and remained here until his death. He was a country doctor who catered to the farming population of the area during the horse and buggy era. Dr. VerMilyea delivered more than 2,500 babies without the loss of a single mother. Dr. VerMilyea dispensed his own drugs, some favorites including “Uncle Billy’s Oil”, to be used internally or externally for burns, sore throats, sores, colds, earaches, toothaches and other aches and pains.

Signe Erickson (1898-1943) was born in Gouldtown, attended the local elementary school and graduated from Russell High School. Signe graduated from Clarion State Teachers’ College. She taught for five years, then entered the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 1923. From there she entered Gordon College in Boston, graduating in 1923 then, served as a social worker in Boston and in New York City. Beginning in 1930 Signe served as a Missionary teacher for the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society. Ten years later, she came home on furlough to earn a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York City. Unfortunately, after returning to the War zone she and ten other missionaries were killed by the Japanese in 1943.

Aaron Bradley Daugharthy, M.D. (1913 – ? ) was educated in Pine Grove Township schools, graduating from Russell High School in 1931. He finished premedical school at Columbia Union College in Maryland. In 1933, he married Roselva Thompson, a college classmate, and the pair went to Loma Linda University in California to complete their education. Aaron majored in general medicine and general surgery, while Roselva majored in obstetrics. Both graduated in 1938 and finished their residencies at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore. From November 1942 to September 1946, Dr. A. B. Daugharthy served in the army of the United States assigned to the Air Force. After his discharge, he took special courses in gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Following that he practiced general medicine and general surgery in Baltimore Maryland. Drs. Aaron and Roselva Daugharthy received an engraved plaque recognizing their 50 years of service to the city of Baltimore.

Walter C. Randall, Ph.D. (1916-1993) was the son of Harry and Ruth Wiggins Randall of Akeley. He attended local schools and graduated from Russell High School. He received a BS in biology from Taylor University in 1938 and Masters and PhD degrees from Purdue University. In 1942 and 1943 he was a post-doctoral fellow at Western Reserve University in Cleveland OH and from 1943 to 1954 he was on the faculty of St. Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Randall joined the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago in 1954, where he served as head of the Department of Physiology from 1954 to 1975, retiring in 1987. He also was Research Professor of Biology at Taylor University in Upland Indiana from 1987 until his death in 1993.


NOVEMBER 2, 2020

The regular monthly meeting of the ROAR Committee was held at the Russell Town Hall on Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m.. Karen Martin, Beautification Committee chair, said the sites where flowers were planted have been cleaned up. Priscilla Prowley reported that the winter flags and banners will be put up by Nov. 15. Art Segar, Canoe/Kayak Committee chairman, said the Canoe Launch grant proposal will be submitted for funding in December by Nate Welker. Nate also will take care of removal of the dead ash trees near the canoe launch site. Replacement of the sidewalk on the west side of North Main Street was discussed. The new sidewalk will be ADA compliant. Grass at the edges of the sidewalk also will have to be removed.

Jason Wenzel has purchased the old hardware building in Russell on the east corner of North Main and Liberty streets as well as the old milk plant in Akeley. Ron and Lori Eckman have purchased the Weatherby property in Russell, which includes the oldest brick house in Warren County, built in 1822-1827 by Robert Russell. Future plans for these parcels are not known at this time.

The traditional Christmas tree at Larimer Park will be lighted Friday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. but due to COVID restrictions there will not be a lighting ceremony. The ROAR Committee wishes everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving.


NOVEMBER 11, 2020

The 2021 budget for the township’s general fund has been completed and is available for public review. The budget is posted on the township’s website and copies are available at the township office on East Street. The supervisors were able to develop a balanced budget despite a significant rise in the cost of healthcare for the township employees. The major concern with the budget is the potential for lower revenues due to the pandemic. Township officials said they know that the township will lose revenue from a reduction in liquid fuel taxes received from PennDOT and termination of the contract with PennDOT for the plowing of Priest Hollow. However, township officials said they developed a relatively conservative budget and should be able to handle these losses, as well as other revenue losses that may occur.

Within the 2021 budget is funding for continued improvement to township roads and streets. While not finalized yet, the projected list of major road work includes: completion of reconstruction of the Hultberg Road, regrading and sealing of the Howard and Norberg Roads, milling and paving of Conewango, Shady Ridge and Race Streets and sealing of Stanton Hill Road. It may not be possible to complete all of these roads, but township officials said they hope most of them can be done. The long-range plan is to have almost all the township roads and streets completely brought up to reasonable standards by the end of 2022.

With the unexpected, pleasant weather this fall, the township maintenance crew has been able to grade and smooth some rough spots on Old State, Hultberg and Howard roads. They also will be able to complete replacement of a large drainage pipe at the end of the Big Four Road.

The snow removal equipment is largely ready to go. There is a problem with the hydraulics on the township’s new small plow truck, but it is anticipated repairs will be completed before it is needed. The supervisors have reviewed the township bridge inspection reports and are assessing the priority repairs recommended in the reports. None of the recommended maintenance actions are critical, but should be undertaken at some point to avoid further problems down the road.

The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. at the township hall on East Street. Residents and interested parties are welcome to the meeting. Those who have an issue to be discussed with the board should call the office at 757-8112 in advance to be placed on the agenda. Minutes of Board of Supervisors’ meetings are placed on the township website after their approval. The website is www.pinegrovetownship.org and the e-mail address is pinegrovetwp@verizon.net.


The Pine Grove Lions’ Club once again thanks all the persons who have supported them by purchasing brooms and garbage bags during these difficult pandemic times. Money raised by the sale and other fundraising activities goes back into the community to provide sight and vision services, assistance to those individuals and families experiencing extreme hardships and holiday meals for select families throughout the club’s service area. The club also maintains Larimer Park for Pine Grove Township. Money generated by park rentals are used to support this activity. Persons interested in renting pavilions at Larimer Park can reserve them by calling the Pine Grove Township office at 757-8112.


Due to an unfortunate mix up, the bulk of annual solicitations were not delivered to the intended recipients. But it’s not too late to participate!

The Tree of Lights project is a way to memorialize and honor someone. Their name will be displayed on two large wooden scrolls, prominently located at Larimer Park, throughout the holiday season. This is an opportunity to honor the people, and even pets, that have made an impact on area residents’ lives.

Since 1985 the Pine Grove Lioness has contributed more than $25,000 to the community through the Tree of Lights and other fundraisers. Kindergarten eye screening, stocking the Eisenhower Middle-High School Pantry, local illness and disaster assistance are just a few of the Lioness’ charitable undertakings.

For a donation, area residents may have a name placed on an “In Memory Of” or “In Honor Of” scroll. Due to COVID-19 the group is doing things a little differently this year. The tree and scrolls will be lit at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov 27, at Larimer Park and will continue to be lit nightly through Dec. 31.

Please consider participating in this event by sending your donation to:

Pine Grove Lioness Club, PO Box 538, Russell, PA 16345

Please include on a separate piece of paper:

¯ Your name and phone number

¯ “In Memory Of” or “In Honor Of” and Name of Person or Pet

¯ Check Payable to Pine Grove Lioness Club

Forms are also available at Ter-Lyns Reflections, North Main St, Russell.


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