Evans City, Pennsylvania



September 2018


204C South Jackson Street Evans City, PA 16033


E-mail address: evanscityhistory@gmail.com 
Web site: www.evanscityhistory.com 

The September General Membership meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 24, 2018 in the community room of the library.

Our program for the evening will be presented by Joy Hamilton. Joy has been a reenactor for the period of time from 1754 to 1763 known as the French and Indian War. Much was happening in this area as the colonies of British American were pitted against those of New France. It began with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, the Forks of the Ohio and the site of Fort Duquesne. Joy will present her program in period dress and bring with her many replicas of objects from that time in our history.

Joy is a former president of the Cranberry Historical Society. Mark your calendar and come prepared to learn more about a somber and challenging time faced by our ancestors.

**  Our meetings are open to any and all who are interested in local history.

Please feel free to come in, sit down and enjoy an evening with us,


Our Thanks to the following people for donations of memorabilia:

*To Terry Waible of Florida for 17 unedited VHS tapes of the aftermath of the tornado which struck the area on May 31, 1985. We have had several of the tapes converted to DVDs so we can assess the contents of their information.

* To William King for a metal desk that came originally from the Evans City train depot. Bill’s father, Earl King. had bought the desk when the depot was being closed in 1964. It is a large, dark green, double sided metal desk that can be used on both sides and includes drawers for  storage.

* To Ed Ragazone for a Barry Spithaler painting of the Evans City Harmony Line trolley depot.

* To Gary Blinn for a 1931 ECHS Yearbook and numerous photos – some with names, some without.

* To Linda Anthony (deceased) for a picture if the 1936 graduating class of Evans City High School with names and for the ledger of C. A. Anthony & Sons Painting and Graining business.

*To Barry Spithaler for 100 post cards of an aerial view of ‘downtown’ Evans City taken with a camera attached to a drone.

*To Jason Columbus for a clothes brush inscribed “H. F. Gelbach, Feed, Coal Builders” Supplies. The clothes brush was used as a gift to his customers.

* To Patti Flach for a T-Shirt – yellow with blue letters  “ 1st ECCC 10 km Road Race”.

* To Bill Glenn for a monetary donation.


OUR VETERANS’ SHOWCASE – Three of our Board members, Barbara Etter, Mary Kosniski and Bev Sacripant, have been searching our files for information about local veterans. They have remounted a number of pictures, redone out Veteran’s showcase and organized material into notebooks that can be handled and used with ease. They have planned special dates and are inviting the public to visit the museum


Come to the museum and stroll down memory lane from the Civil War to the present

Come join us to celebrate our veterans

WHEN: Every Tuesday in October from 9:00 to 12:00 noon and 6:30 to 8:30 and two special Saturdays – November 3rd and 10th from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.

On display – Memrabilia including veterans’ pictures, military scrapbooks, uniforms, slideshow, metals, WW1 dog tags, a piece of the Berlin Wall and much more.



COULTER GLENN, SR.  - Coulter Glenn, Sr. was born in Coulterville, Butler County on January 25, 1858, the son of  A. Porter and Moriah McConnel Glenn. The 1860 census shows him living in a household of ten, which included grandparents, aunts and uncles as well as his parents and two siblings; Lowry and Harvey. Our history book tells us he grew up in Concord Township and was educated in the schools there. Very little is known of his early life, but he apparently came to the Evans City area prior to 1900 where he became widely known as an oil produce. Coulter was known for inventing things one of which was a portable drilling rig that caught the attention of the Benedum & Trees Oil Company of Pittsburgh. It was from inventions related to the early days of oil drilling that he made his money. He married Nettie Buhl in the n n 1890s. Their children were Christine born in 1896, Lucille born in 1898 and Coulter Jr. born in 1900.

Around 1903 he built a beautiful 17 room  mansion on the corner of North Washington and Elizabeth Streets in Evans City. The house was said to have generated its own electricity which was stored in batteries in the cellar. The walls (and ceiling) of the ball room were covered with mirrors. Years later, when the family was in financial difficulty, daughter Lucille would use this room to teach dance.

Also in the home was a fuel carrier operated by a hydraulic lift which brought logs or coal from the cellar to the living room fire place and dumped it automatically. The ashes were removed by dropping them through a trapdoor in the fireplace floor to a bin in the cellar. The garage itself featured one of his ideas: a revolving turntable. He could drive his car straight into the garage and the turntable would turn it around so it faced the street when he was ready to drive it again. In the back yard he built a merry-go-round for his children and their playmates. The merry-go-round could hold 12.

Dean McMillen, who gave us the merry-go-round  picture, remembered hurrying to the Glenn back yard after school to ride on it. To make it go around you would place your feet on a bar and your hands on another. By pushing with your feet and pulling with your hands it moved in a circular motion.  The music of a German band played as the mery-go-round went round and round.


            Sometime around 1912 Coulter erected a building on Main Street which housed a movie theater, a confectionary store and the U. S. Post Office on the lower floor. The top floor was used sometimes as a ballroom; sometimes as a theater for locally produced plays and sometimes as a basketball court. The building still stands in 2018 and houses Gospa Missions

In the early 1900’s the Evans City Glenn Orchestra was sponsored by Coulter Glenn, Sr. and practiced in the room above his garage on North Washington Street.


                        VIOLINS                                                  DRUMS                                            CLARINET                      HARP

                                Ada Kinsey (Goehring)                        Herschel Hill                                   Edgar Bhame               Grant Waldron

                                Iva Garvin (Behm)                                               

                                Flossie Rahiser                                                                                                                                      SAXOPHONE

Edgar Dunbar                                       CORONET                                        CELLO                            Ernest Boyer

                                Floyd Fox                                               Ralph Rahiser                                Pauline Peffer

                                Ida Graham                                           Charlie Behm                                                                        TROMBONE

                                Mamie Eichert (Smith)                                                                                 BASE CELLO                 Walter Goehring

                               Clara Fechter (London)                        FRENCH HORN                               Fred Peffer

                               Eugene Gehm                                        Mark Aiken                                                                                          



LIVING DEAD FEST coming up Octobrt  5th 6th and 7th.

           Some excerpts from an article titled The ‘Hollywood touch,  published in the News Record, July 18, 1973.

“The grisly goings-on  began in 1968 when George Romero, a boyish Pittsburgh producer, best known at the time for some slick beer commercials, cranked out a now-classic chiller called ‘Night of the Living Dead’ a tale of a band of ordinary folks who rise from the grave to gobble up their neighbors.    … It happened partly by chance.  We were looking for an old frame house on a lot of open land when we made ‘Dead’and we found it in Evans City.”

            “Phil Smith, a strapping cabinetmaker and part-time farmer, for instance was living next door to the abandoned farmhouse where most of the ‘Dead’ scenes were being filmed and dropped by out of curiosity. Smith recounts, ‘They were smearing me and Ella Mae (his wife) with cold cream and other make-up so we’d look like we was dead ghouls. I never knew we could look so ugly’.

“Just about the same thing happened to Randy Burr, a burly electrician who came to the set to fix a faulty pump and ended up playing a gun-toting sheriff. The first thing I (Burr) saw when I came up there was a girl running around the corner of the house with her eyeball hanging out screaming like a demon with her clothes all tattered up and blood all over. I was going to get out of there as fast as I could until some of the people on the staff told me what was going on and wouldn’t you know it a star was born. … Movie star wages were in fact rock bottom. Burr got just $25 for his part in ‘Dead’ a movie some industry sources say grossed as much as $5 million .”

The producers bought a lot of Hershey chocolate syrup (for blood) and chipped chopped ham (for flesh to be eaten by the ghouls) at the local Isaly store. Evans City people beleived that would be the end of it. Today, Isaly’s is gone, but the movie is bigger than ever with a large cult from around the world following it. They will meet in a few weeks to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movie.



People have asked me how we got in the movie, Night of the Living Dead. So I thought I better write it down before I forget all about it.

Randy Burr came into our cabinet shop one afternoon, I think it was May 1968, and said a movie was going to be filmed in the farm house behind us. He said he heard it would be a ‘Love Story”. Joking, I said, “wait till they see Phil and I , they will want us to be in it. One Saturday afternoon after we were done working we sat in our yard under the shade tree drinking a glass of iced tea, when a car stopped and a young lady got out. She introduced herself and then asked us if we wanted to be in this movie. Phil, being reserved said,’No”, I on the other hand being more out going said “Yes”, it seems like it would be lots of fun. After talking it over, Phil said “Ok” we would go back and see what was going on. When we got back to the farm house, before we knew it, we were in a chair getting this goop on our faces and looking like a dead person. Then ‘Walla’ we were ghouls! It was quite different from a love story. They made Phil’s hand  look like it had a big ugly gash in it, blood and all. Then we found out that in one scene he was to walk up on the farm house porch and pick a brick and throw it through the window, breaking the glass, so the ghouls could get into the house. “Exciting”. We were in many scenes, but it goes fast and it was hard to tell who was who. Only after seeing the still photos did I realize how many times the camera caught us. All summer we watched and played in this movie, having lots of fun. Then it was over in the fall, so now we were ‘actors’, never dreaming this movie, Night of the Living Dead,  would become the hit that it now is. Sadly, Phil passed away in 1995. He never got to know about the excitement of the movie.

I have had the opportunity to attend several conventions and theaters signing autographs during the last few years and meeting lots of fans who really like this movie. I just regret that my husband couldn’t be with me to enjoy these happy times.

I sat down one day and wrote a poem about our experience. Here is the last verse of the poem –

                        We will always remember and never regret

                        No matter how old and feeble we get,

                        The times we spent acting like silly old fools,

                        And got in the movies, resembling two ghouls.



Not long after the end of World War 1, in August 1919, a Post of the American Legion was established in Evans City. It was given the number 219 and the names of two local servicemen was added to the title: that of Frank L. Bishop and Thomas R. Sharrar.


Not too much is known about Frank Bishop, but we do know he was born in 1899 and died in 1918. He is buried in the Evans City cemetery. The 1910 census gives us these facts: he was then 10 years of age and living on Washington Street with his parents Henry and Margaret Bishop. He had an older brother Ralph L age 14, and a younger sister, Gladys E. age 6. His father was employed as a carpenter at the lumber mill.


Thomas R. Sharrar was born in 1886 . The 1900 census tells us he was the son of Adam and Elizabeth Sharrar. He had an older brother Fred J., and an older sister Jane C. The family was living on Pittsburg Street, today’s Main Street. He was a member of the 27th engineers and achieved the rank of Corporal. After the war he decided to stay in England for awhile and study in Liverpool. It was there he developed pneumonia as a result of being exposed to mustard gas in the trenches. He died in Liverpool and was buried there. His body was never returned to the U. S.


The Bishop-Sharrar American Legion Post #219 has been in Evans City for almost 100 years. They will be disbanding by the end of 2018.


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