Hollidaysburg High School - Chimrock Yearbook (Hollidaysburg, PA)

 - Class of 1936

Page 9 of 120

 

Hollidaysburg High School - Chimrock Yearbook (Hollidaysburg, PA) online yearbook collection, 1936 Edition, Page 9
Page 9



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History of Hollidaysburg Y HEN Adam Holliday drove the stake in the ground at the "Diamond" he said to his brother William, 'cWhoever is alive a hundred years after this will see a considerable sized town here, and this will be about the middle of it." fThe prophecy of Adam Holliday came true.J In less than one hundred years the borough of Hollidaysburg occupied the site he chose for a farm and there was a population of approximately 4-,000 people. Adam and William Holliday were Irish settlers who were on their way to the far West. When they saw the good location of Hollidaysburg, they were so impressed that they remained, built their cabins, and so founded the town known as Hollidaysburg. The town grew slowly at first, but when Hollidaysburg became a borough, and later the county seat, the population increased from 1,200, until today it can boast of a population of nearly 6,000 people. In 1853 the Pennsylvania Canal was replaced by the Pennsylvania Railroad. It was the construction of this canal that led to the development of Hollidaysburg from a mere hamlet to a town of much importance. The building of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the abandonment of the Pennsylvania Canal were the death of Hollidaysburg and it continued to decline although it remained the county seat. Some years later it again became a railroad center by being the junction of the Martinsburg and Williamsburg branches and the starting point for trains over the New Portage Railroad. The hrst post-office was erected as early as 1779. Hollidaysburg became a borough in 1836 amid much rejoicing, and in 1846 it became the county seat of Blair County. X The last half bf the nineteenth century brought the beginning of modernization to the town. Among the improvements were the erection of the courthouse, the completion of the jail, the county home, the electric car line to Altoona, the introduc- tion of the electric light system, telephone service, and street improvments. The early settlers of Hollidaysburg, true to their training, were strong on religion and education. Hollidaysburg was settled largely by the Scotch and Irish, and the first institutions to be established by them at Hollidaysburg were churches and schools. The old buildings have all been replaced and there are now eleven church buildings: Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, St. Mary's Catholic, St. Michael,s Catholic, the Zion A. M. E. Church, the Church of God, the Church of the Brethren, the Holy Trinity Episcopal, and St. John's Reformed. Each of the eleven congregations supports a resident pastor and parochial schools are conducted in connection with the two Catholic Churches. All of the churches have flourishing Sunday schools and many organized Bible classes and church auxiliaries. The settlers, as stated above, were equally as strong on education. The building known as Highland Hall, a school for girls, then known as the Hollidaysburg Female Seminary, was erected in 1869. The public schools of the borough were never allowed to lag. The people never wearied of providing the means to support the best schools possible. The Central Building was remodeled with a large auditorium and additional rooms. Since Hollidaysburg has progressed so much in the last few years it is seen that a new, larger, and more modern school building must be erected in the near future. The town has always responded patriotically whenever our country has needed help. During the Civil War, Companies A and H came from Hollidaysburg and Colonel William G. Murray, Hollidaysburg's post-master, fell at Winchester. During the World War 706 men were inducted into service from Hollidaysburg. Although Hollidaysburg is mostly residential, its citizens always enjoy the privileges afforded by a wide range of business establishments, including banks and stores, hotels and restaurants, and the trade shops. Many changes have occurred during the century since the town became a borough and even since the town became the county seat Q0 years ago. Yet some of the established places of business in the early days are still showing the substantial quality of the town for business. Page Five

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