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From left, Helen Stambaugh, Pearl Charles, Ruth Gregg, Mary Jane Doerr and Alma Hamm gathered to share childhood memories of being the “Dead End Kids” of North Liberty Street.

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Excerpts and summaries of news stories from the former Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era and Sunday News that focus on the events in the county’s past that are noteworthy, newsworthy or just strange.

The neighborhood surrounding the dead-end block of North Lime Street north of Liberty Street was described as poor and blue-collar, but the self-styled “Dead End Kids” never saw it that way.

Five women who grew up in that neighborhood loved it dearly as children and gathered 50-odd years later to reminisce fondly about life on their block before World War II.

Pearl (Stauffer) Charles, Mary Jane (Stauffer) Doerr and Ruth (Stauffer) Gibson Gregg decided that it would be fun to get the whole group of “Dead End Kids” together again.

Their first reunion took place in 1993 at the Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, when 17 “Kids” showed up. The next gathering drew 23. The Stauffer sisters and old friends Helen Caldwell Stambaugh and Alma Shoff Hamm gathered in 1995 for a newspaper story in advance of the group’s next reunion.

The five friends reminisced about their allowances (a penny a week) and playmates (everybody played with everybody).

Walking through their old neighborhood, they noted the striking absence of the neighboring stockyards, and recalled Israel “Izzy” Ansel and his never-changing corner grocery store.

They also mentioned how that dead-end block was their private playground as children. Their cartwheels, marbles, baseball games and rope jumping would not happen there today – there are simply too many cars.

It may have been literally “the other side of the tracks,” but the Dead End Kids who spent their childhoods there all remembered it with warmth and fondness.

National headline: Large lion with leash roaming near Phila.

New Era, Jan. 5, 1995.


The world outside Lancaster County took a little time to settle in to New Year 1970. Most of the national headlines on Jan. 5, 1970, were fairly grim:

Both Sides Claim Kills In Dogfight Over Egypt

U.S. – Israel Relations Reach Unusual Low Point

Austrian Art Thefts Rise

Are GIs Getting The Truth? // Army Probes Censorship

Russian Huckster Hamstrung

However, there were at least two nuggets of more encouraging news:

2 Survive 12 Days In Arctic Sub-Zero Cold

Miss. Set To Comply In Schools (Federal desegregation order)

Intelligencer Journal, Jan. 5, 1970.


In early 1945, Lancaster saw a fatal case of mistaken beverage identity.

Samuel M. Sheffer died after mistaking poison for sweet cider at his workplace, Red Lion Ice Plant.

One of his workmen brought cider to the plant, and told Sheffer where to find it if he wanted a drink. Near the jug of cider was a similar-looking jug of a poisonous chemical used to remove rust from metal containers at the plant.

Sheffer unfortunately chose the latter jug for his refreshment. He realized his mistake immediately, but died shortly afterward at the hospital.

Also, a missing duck was returned safely to his home.

The pet waterfowl, named Paddy, was stolen from a yard at 29 E. James St., reported owner Mrs. Paul Pavlides.

A local hotel employee returned the duck to the home several days later. The man said that two intoxicated soldiers brought the duck to his hotel. He held the bird until he read in the newspaper that it had been reported missing.

Noting the address in the article, the man escorted Paddy home.

Intelligencer Journal, Jan. 5, 1945.


Lancaster City residents got quite a shock on the afternoon of Monday, Jan. 5, 1920.

Their well-loved mayor, Harry Lightner Trout, died at Lancaster General Hospital, where he had been a patient.

Trout had shown signs of improvement over the weekend, giving hope to family and friends. A swift decline overnight brought his family to his bedside.

Trout had been hospitalized since early November. As late as Jan. 3, the mayor was attending to city matters from his hospital bed, leading everyone to believe he was improving steadily. Plans were in place to formally swear him in for his second term in his hospital room.

Trout died at 12:45 p.m. on the fifth anniversary of his taking the oath as Lancaster’s mayor.

Tributes were already pouring in to the newspaper and City Hall.

New Era, Jan. 5, 1920.