26 June 1994
Town history: Historian chronicles Uniontown’s past
By Joe Getty
Community life in Uniontown was depicted in the 1895-6 “History of Uniontown” written by Dr. Jacob J. Weaver. These photographs will be used to illustrate the original text when this series of histories is published by the Historical Society this fall.
When the final installment of Weaver’s “History of Uniontown” was published in the Carroll Record in 1896, editor Preston B. Englar printed the following accolade to Weaver’s work: “The RECORD is truly under great obligations to Dr. Weaver for the excellent series of articles he has given us, and we feel sure that the verdict of those who have followed him each week, must be one of satisfaction. This history stands above all that have heretofore appeared in the RECORD in the matter of accurate dates, and in the positive verification of facts – very important features in any history.”
Weaver’s approach to writing a community history was more scholarly than some of the histories that previously published in the series. The entire series will be published for the first time in book format by the Historical Society. This new publication will also contain a supplement of family, business and organizational histories prepared by donors to the publication project. If you would like information about this project, please contact the Historical Society at 848-6494.
The format used by Weaver to trace the history of Uniontown began with the first settlers and the development of the town. Next, he outlined the political history including the local agitation for the national “Know Nothing” party, the first Union meeting in Maryland prior to the Civil War, and the incorporation of the town. The next several installments cover themes in local history such as churches, newspapers, schools and fraternal organizations. Weaver concludes with descriptions of the businesses and industries located in Uniontown throughout its history.
An example of Weaver’s talent in documenting local heritage is this excerpt about the history of education in Uniontown:
“THE ACADEMY – Tradition gives it that the first school opened at “The Forks” was conducted in the Jamison property by a certain Thomas Harris, in the year 1807; this is probably correct. On November 30th, 1811, Charles Hubbs conveyed to Daniel Zollickoffer, Daniel Cover, David Stem, Jonas Crumbacker and Jacob Clabaugh, a
Photo credit: Courtesy of Pauline Flickinger Groft
Photo caption: Above is Uniontown School. The creation of a county school board in 1865 led to the formation of a public school system that took over the Uniontown Academy. In 1880, it sold the building and erected the schoolhouse shown in this photograph taken in April 1903. Pictured are (left to right): E. Lee Erb (teacher), Georgia Slonaker, Dora Zile, Edith Beard, Miss Zile, Jennie Trite, Nellie Weaver, Diemie Sittig, Mollie Hesson (teacher), Romaine Hollenberry, Isabel Weaver, Anna Beard, Edna Sentz, Natalie Haines, Edith Routson, Blanche Shriner, Gorene Hollenberry, Ida Belle Beard, Lucile Weaver, Mary Heltibridle, Carrie Slonaker, Fossie Arnold, Bertha Shriner, Amy Clark, Reba Erb, Ethel Palmer, Loretta Weaver, Elsie Heltibridle, Guy Haines, Fielder Gilbert, Grenvill Erb, Paul Devilbiss, Alfred Zollickoffer, Charles Ecker, Myers Englar, Purice Zile, John Heltibridle, Harry Baughman, John Romsport, unidentified, Edgar Stultz, Russell Zile, Walter Devilbiss, Ross Heltibridle, Thomas Devilbiss, Bennie Dingle, Russell Fleagle, and Roland Erb.
Photo caption: To the left is the Uniontown Band. The town band was one of the primary community institutions viewed with civic pride during the 19th century. The band provided a social outlet for its members as well as being available to provide music at parades, ceremonies, concerts and other community events. Here the members are shown with their instruments and four-horse bandwagon.