Welcome to Jefferson Township Historical Society
The purpose of the Jefferson Township Historical Society (“Society”) shall be to bring together those people interested in history, and especially in the history of Jefferson Township and surrounding areas. Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and promotes a better appreciation of our American heritage. Read More about JTHS
Click Here to learn about the History of The Jefferson Township Historical Society!
October 2016 Newsletter
The October membership meeting will be Sat the 15th at 10am in the White Church on Fire Road across from the Eldersville Fire Hall.
Our speaker will be Russell Jenkins who is a 46 year old husband, and father of seven. He just retired from 25 years of service in the Pennsylvania State Police. His perspective was forever changed when he first travelled to Guatemala with his church in April, 2013. He was touched by the people of Guatemala and their circumstances. He returned to Guatemala in July of 2014 leading his own mission team of just 6 people. He visited a village that had been “transformed,” and then visited the village of Altamira, which needed help. Russell came home from that trip knowing he needed to do something. He started the Jeremiah 29:11 Project. He has made two more trips since then, working toward transforming the village of Altamira, Guatemala. This should be a very informative meeting. If you have never been on a mission trip, it can be a very enlightening and rewarding experience. And you are never too old.
The field trip last month was a very interesting and informative trip to the Hanover covered bridge festival. There were talks about the different wars starting with the Revolutionary War. And of course, lots of good food and other activities.
Our yard sale was not as successful we usual. Perhaps because of the weather but not many turned out to see the many really nice items that we had for sale.
Coming up in November is Christmas in the Village. We will have the museum open as well as the White Church with many crafters inside. Christmas in the Village and the Jefferson Township Historical Society are two separate organizations. Because the White church and the Museum are in the middle of the activities in Eldersville we are happy to participate with them and be a part of all the festivities. Come and join in with the fun, food and of course you may find a special handmade craft item for your home. Visit the museum and see what interesting artifacts we have on display. The hours are 10am until 5 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 4th, 5th, and 6th.
Below is the third installment of Frank Muzopappa’s “Albert and the Crew”. It is a wonderful look at what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it and try.
A HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE, PART III
By Frank Muzopappa
Please recall that two previous newsletters carried endeavors of Cecil, Nick, and Frank Rotunda, three of the four young men that were members of “Albert’s Crew,” who earned college degrees in secondary education.
Emphasis was placed on the determination of these three to work at odd jobs, before and during their college years. However, this accomplishment would not have been tenable without the concerted effort made by their families and special people such as Albert Miller. I must add Mr. Earl C. Lunger, the principal in my senior year at Avella High School. He offered me guidance and encouragement to attend West Liberty State College when I visited him after my release from active military service.
As the fourth member, I, Frank Muzopappa, in my humble opinion, was the least likely to attend college. I was graduated from Avella High in 1948, and known as Frank Murzy. I was scholastically ranked in the middle of the class, with mostly grades of C’s and a few B’s.
Once out of school, my only ambition was to acquire a job and move on with my life. Frank Rotunda nor I received any information from Hazel Atlas Glass Company nor Jessop Steel about our job applications, meaning that Albert would have to tolerate me for another summer. The thought of college never entered my mind.
Those of us that were born at the beginning of the Great Depression and grew up in it during our first ten or eleven years now faced another depression after completing high school. However, because of the languid economy that we lived through, we became accustomed to living through tough times. Family chores were many and participation was required by all members of the family, and no one expressed it more clearly to me than my dear father. He philosophically uttered to me: “Eh! Frankie, no work, no eat.” In totality, he succinctly expressed his demands that I had work to do. We had learned the meaning of “Work Ethic” at an early age.
The summer of 1948 would begin the disintegration of Albert’s Crew. Ed Shore was hired to work in a strip mine. Frank Rotunda was working for the postal service in Akron, and Paul Bennett went on a hiatus with a traveling carnival until the steel mills began hiring again. Nick’s family moved to Dormont, and autumn was approaching. The wheat was stored in the granary (Miller School on its original site), the hay was stored in the mow of the yellow barn with bales of straw piled neatly below the mow. The fences were mended and the young lambs had their tails removed. Nostalgically, summer was over, and only Cecil would be back again for another summer. Yes, we left the farm; however, the memories never left us.
That autumn would usher in my first non-farm job. It was a part time job, and I was able to land it because of Ed Shore, my fellow crew member. Ed told me that he was leaving the job, and it would be mine if I showed up the next day at the strip mine site near Bethany College.
For the next two years, I worked part time jobs in several strip mines operated by local men, namely Frank Malinoski and Ralph Ruschell. My last part time job was in rigging steel with my brother, Tony. I was with him from Pittsburgh to Buffalo, New York.
It was not until 1951 that I was finally offered a full time job. It was at Follansbee Steel Company. I liked the job and believed that I was now settled, but it was only a year until I was called up for induction into the military as the Korean War raged on. However, I was comforted by a letter from the main office of the company informing me that the job would be mine when I fulfilled my military obligation.
I arrived at the old Post Office Building in Pittsburgh with hundreds of young men gathered for processing into the military. After being examined psychologically, physically and for mental aptitude, I was asked to take a typing exam. The fact that I scored well on these exams would change the course of my life forever.
There were sixty men in our platoon at Parris Island Training Center, and I was one of two men each assigned to tutor separate halves of the platoon, particularly those individuals having difficulty learning the information in the Marine Corps Manual. Scoring well on this exam was one of the four requirements for being recognized as an honor platoon. We graduate as an honor platoon.
I was transferred to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, assigned to the 8th Engineer Battalion, to be trained by Sergeant Harold Granke to take his job as Personnel Classification Clerk in Headquarter’s Company. There were a thousand men in the battalion, which included five companies.
I adapted well to a job that I thought would be overwhelming thanks to the training I received in such a short time. In fact, the Battalion Commander, Lt. Colonel Ward K. Schaub, had me promoted to Corporal with a meritorious promotion.
In retrospect, I began to think that I might be academically better than I thought I was in high school. On that first day at Parris Island, I thought I died and went to hell. At Camp LeJeune and Quantico, I experienced a complete transformation, emotionally and scholastically.
It was not until my release from active duty that Frank Rotunda queried me as he drove me home from Wellsburg, my final lap from Camp Lejeune. “Did you make up your mind about college?” He further went on: “Was there anything that you did in service that would require a college degree?” There it was; Frank, like Cecil, knew what button to push. There were times when we knew each other better than we knew ourselves. I responded by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed tutoring some of my fellow marines in various aspects of our work, and learning what was required of us.
Frank blurted out that he would go with me to West Liberty to meet his academic advisor, Dr. Joseph Bartell, about registration for classes that were to begin in a few weeks. Frank also stated that he knew that I had put money in a savings account because my mother persuaded me to do it; furthermore, I would be able to use the G.I. Bill. The G.I. Bill would provide $110.00 each month for nine months for each year of the four years to earn a degree, a total of 36 months.
My tuition and registration fees would be approximately $240.00 a year. To help to defray the expenses of housing and living expenses, I was able to be an assistant in the biology and chemistry labs.
Consider the information that I have divulged concerning the cost of our education at state colleges as compared to what the costs are today, and further consider that the state universities in Pennsylvania are about to bump tuition another 2.5% this fall. Base tuition is now $7,238 a year for undergraduate students who reside in Pennsylvania.
P.S. I went on to earn a master’s degree in biology at W.V.U. and a Ph.D. in biology at W.V.U. Now, I must confess to you that I did not mention one grade that I received in high school. I only received one “D” grade, and that was in biology!
Jefferson Township Map - circa 1932
with locations of historical sites noted by Frank Muzopappa.
Click Here to Download a copy of the Map.
Information and Events
The Jefferson Township Historical Society meets at the White Church the third Saturday of every month at 10:00 am.
We will be providing information for the meetings each month. Christmas in the Village is the Historical Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year, look for 216 information soon!
Read more about upcoming events and fundraisers... Read More
Buildings and Monuments
~ Veterans Memorial
It was February 2004 when the Board members of the Jefferson Township Historical Society had a vision for a Veterans Memorial in Eldersville. They owned property where a Memorial could be built. There was a Jefferson Township Honor Roll in front of the former Eldersville Grade School.... Read More
~ The White Church
The White Church is uniquely located in a tri-state area attracting visitors from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. It has been awarded historic landmark designations by the Washington County History and Landmark Foundation for The White Church, built in 1844 and Heritage Hall, built 1876. The White Church Building is a useful site for community events and its monthly meetings and Heritage Hall houses its museum.... Read More
~ Heritage Hall
Heritage Hall is located at 493 Eldersville Road, Burgettstown, PA 15021. In 2012 the Washington County History and Landmarks Foundation awarded Historic Landmark Designations for the Society’s two buildings: Heritage Hall and The White Church....
A contribution of any size is welcome for this worthwhile and commendable White Church Preservation Project. You may mail your contribution to Jefferson Township Historical Society, White Church Project, Box 383, Burgettstown, PA 15021 or contact Frank Malardie, Treasurer at email@example.com.