“Dr. Jacob J. Weaver, Jr. Builds A Bathroom Building”

Carroll County Times Article for 8 June 1997

By Jay A. Graybeal

The idea of an indoor bathroom was almost unknown until the early twentieth century. Dr. Jacob J. Weaver, Jr. of Uniontown was among the first local residents to install indoor plumbing. He began construction of his “bathroom building” on April 29, 1891 and recorded his progress in a daily diary preserved by the Historical Society of Carroll County.

April 29, 1891Warm and dry, in fact too dry to prepare the ground for corn. Began my work. Wy Rodkey erected the walls and foundation for our new bath building. Purchased the $500 bond of the First Nat. Bank of Westminster which I engaged on the 20th. Planted the 2nd planting of Sugar Corn in the home lot. Engaged 6 Llbs. of Corn @ $4.00 per Barrel.

May 2

Continued dry weather. Geo. Nusbaum hauled the lumber for our building yesterday. We have not yet planted corn on account of the account of the drowth. The roads heavy with dust as in July. The foliage of the trees is neary full.

May 4

Cool but delightful day. Frost in the low places. Carpenters Elhannan Dudderer and Nathan Rowe began our building.

May 5

Ther. 55_ this 7 A. M. Charley planted corn. Carpenters suspended work on account of assisting in tearing down the Dunkard Church.

May 6

Ther. 35_ this 6 A. M. Rough day, windy and cold. Sleight snow at 4 o’clock and again about 10 o’clock. Four men, Dudderer, Nathan Rowe, Jack Hahn and Charles Rowe at work on the new building.

May 9

Carpenters still at work on our building. Weather warmer, but continued dryness and dust. Ther. 80_ at one o’clock P. M. Drew my lots in the Staunton Land Company. Block 64, Lot 23. and Block 44, Lot 2.

May 11

Carpenters still at work. Very hot day. Ther. 90_. Good rain with thunder and lightning at night.

May 12

Cooler. Ther. 60_ at 6 A. M. Joe put up the tank, this makes our building look like service. Charles spaded the tomato bed in the garden. No saloon in the Village this spring. Clayton Hahn who attempted to open one had his petition rejected by the County Clerk. Tank holds 700 Gallons.

May 14

Threatening rain. South wind. Tom Myers roofed the new building. With well diggers and a carpenter makes the house full of business. Cleared off at noon.

May 15

Morning threatening, it began to rain at 11 o’clock. Finished the well for sink at noon. Suspended operations at noon.

May 16

Cool. Mary & I had the head ache. bad day generally. Carpenters finished except the work of the man to assist Smith.

May 19

Pleasant weather since the 17th. Mason and Laborers finished their work of completing the sink well, used 13 perches of stone. My old friends, Rogers Birnie and Nathan Smith were buried today, both of them have been valuable citizens, both 80 years (or nearly) of age.

May 20

Delightful day. Ther. 80_ at noon. South wind threatening rain. Ground becoming dry and roads dusty. Joe and Lawrence working on the bath room. Gave Florence check for $23 to pay for dress making. Lumber bill rec’d from Jos. Englar $118.25. Charles cultivated the potatoes for the first time.

May 23

Seasonable weather since the 20th. Rain last evening and threatening this morning. Ther. has been as high as 80_, this morning is 60_. Joseph Haines finished the Bath fixtures, Carpenters also finished. The improvement is very satisfactory and I hope will afford us much pleasure. A very expensive luxury for Old Uniontown.

June 2

Splendid Day yesterday and today. Ther. 86_ at 2 P. M. Put on summer underclothing. Charles worked the corn and potatoes. The painters finished their work, this completes our job.

Dr. Weaver also recorded an itemized list of expenses for the project:

Paid Spielman for stone 1.25
” G. Brown for hauling same .80
” W. Arnold for hauling sand .75
” J. Nusbaum for hauling limber 4.00
” Wesley Rodkey for Mason work 4.00
” W. Slonaker for cutting stone caps .80
” Blacksmith for sharpening picks .20
” Lewis (col) for digging well 1.50
” Wm. H. Brown (col) for digging well and tending mason. 4.50
” Edward G. Gilbert for 13 perches stone 2.00
” Joseph Englar for lumber 118.00
” Noah Selby for use of windlass .50
” Sundry Small expenditures .60
” Joseph L. Haines for the plumbing 296.00
” ” ” ” Iron columns and screen wire 18.00
” ” ” ” paper for lining building 2.00
” Thomas F. Myers for tin roof and pipes 16.45
” Emanual Formwalt for hardware and glass 6.50
” Babylon & Gilbert for window weights & cord 2.46
” Harrison Weaver for Paints 15.56
” Jno. A. Brown for painting 7.32
” Harry Stultz for painting 1.50
” Elhannan Dudderer and hands for Carpenter work 38.20
Dr. Weaver also recorded an accounting of his income for 1891 which helps place the cost of his bath room in perspective. He recorded a net income of $3,633.60; it was very good year for the Weaver household.
Photo caption: The interior of Dr. Jacob J. Weaver, Dir.’s “bath building” remains almost unchanged since he added the room in June 1891. The original water closet has been replaced by a modern commode but the other fixtures appear original. Historical Society of Carroll County collection, gift of Bob Porterfield, 1984.