Vol. 3-Interview-Surgent


Denis Mercier 8/16/72 Helene & Mary Surgent

Someone should go to the home for the blind (Coxe Foundation) in Drifton and see Mrs. Hinkle. She could tell us much about Sophia Coxe and her philanthrophy. Many pictures, too!

Danny Coxe’s family still may be on or around Cherry Street in Philadelphia.

We should try to find out what became of the property of Mr. Lindsey, now deceased, who ran a hardware business in Freeland. He was an historian of note and had maps and pictures as well as books in his collection.


George Surgent (6-19-12) – (Interviewing while visiting his sister, Irene Surgeon)

I. George stated previous to our interview that a great amount of his information was handed down from his mother and father. Those statements which seem to be questionable or has been noted as being second-hand information will be marked with an asterisk *.

II. Sister Helene Surgent will be in Eckley this Friday. 6-23-12, with information from Aunt Veronica Polancezsky who lives in Philadelphia area – picture of John Mitchell and information on Molly McGuires.

III. Family moved into Eckley about 1906. First lived in house #102 (1906-1921), moved to house #162 (superintendent’s house) in 1921 and the family has lived in this house ever since. Irene now living here.

IV. Eckley store was first owned by the Company (coal co) then Evan C Reese owned the store, then the company took it over again. (unexplained – says see Bruno Lagonosky for details)

V. Says to see Mary Lurko for information on Molly McGuires – her Grandfather, Frank McHugh , was a Molly, a runner for the Molly’s – the only person *known to be a Molly. *

VI. Traveling stores – “hucksters” came to Eckley into the 1940’s A. Beer man came to town once a week ? horse-drawn cart, with “keg” quarter barrel wooden kegs, and jugs of whiskey “Old Honey” (brand name) which the owners would fill family jugs from large jugs of whiskey kept under the seat. (This was before prohibition ? the whiskey). B. Butcher would come in Eckley every other day from Freeland. He would come in a horse-drawn wagon cart which had curtains on the side – later by truck. Butcher block on the rear of the wagon, with the meats in the front of the wagon C. Grocery man came two or three times a week. He had canned goods and mostly “dried goods.”


if the grocery man didn’t have what you wanted in the wagon, he would take ‘your order’ and bring it the next time he came to town he brought the order. D. Bread man came to Eckely about 3 times a week. He wasn’t that important to the town, because most people baked their oen bread. He did sell som bread, cades and pies to those who didn’t bake, or those who hadn’t baked that day. E. [?] [?] man would come in with bolts of material. [?] yard goods [?] [?] “Jews” who came with bundles on their backs filled with different [?yard] goods. Extended Surgent famile and heir addresses as [?] further investigation. To be received from sister Helene when she comes to Eckley. Eckley B. Cox got the Eckley [?] [?] cheating. He was a surveyor for a Philadelphia Coal Company. He surveyed the Eckley land but told the Company that the land was no good. Leter he bought the land. He is suppose to hav served time in prison for this [?] deed (not certain, but he still retained ownership to the lands. This is the reason that [?]. Cox was teh “Angel of the Anthracites’ to atone for her husband’s deed. Legend – when a man was drowned and his body could not be found, the people would throw loaves of bread into the water to make the body rise. George Petrushka’s father drowned in no. 1 hole, and would be a good informant for such a legend, as this process was used when he drowned. After 7 days his body rose to the top of the water. X. Check with below for pictures ([?][?] saves paper). Thomas E. [?] 108 Maple St Freeland, Penna. 636-3532


[very poor scan]

2 PM ???? & Bobby? Surgent — House # 160 1/2

??????? ??????? of “Community activity center” — backetball, baseball, and football ???? ????? the property?, the ???? ???? was ????, as were the baseball? field. The Surgents ???? a basketball court?. Jean surgent, now deceased, was the ?????? of ????? ????? head near the surgent property. ???? ????? that entire ???? used to take ??? in the Surgent house?.

-The ????? (C.F. Dr. Fessner in ????, also ?? Bachman) ??? cuts? once the head???? for a dollar?, then later a nurse.

-???? Evan C. Reese, Bennie Shuffelk?, A ???? ????, took over the Co. Store. ???? ???? Supply Co. took it over. Then ??????? Roshko managed the store. Walter ????? took over after that, and Mrs. Rosko? ????? ???? ???? the job of Post Mistress. The P.O. was ????? in the Co. store. After she gave it up, it was ???? west of R.F.D. system.

-????? ??? ????? ??? John ????. ???? was a hotel. Was ???? into 4 or 5 family house. Surgents used to live next to Dr. Rubin.

– ????? ??????? Granmother? had an ???? own ?????? [illegible]

– ????? ????? ??? “vintage? school” ?????


8/16/72 Surgent Interview

– ? & ? lived in #147

– Across from Surgents was the “Company Field” on which was raised hay & oats, etc. for more food. Was phased out shortly after mules were, because for several years the people who owned cows raised feed on it.

– Episcopal Church basement had facilities for suppers. Held sewing classes during certain evenings of the week. The biggest Christmas tree in Eckley was traditionally in the body of this church, resplendent with candles (tapers), tinsel strands, candy canes. This tree went floor to ceiling (30 feet). When the Minister couldn’t come in from Freeland, Mr. Bachman would conduct the services!




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Page 4 – 6/19/72

“Lattimer Massacre” 1896 – attempt to org. union ( CF. [Pa ??]

[List??] info (circled)

Mollie & [???] – Freeland [??] Don’t type ( in left margin)

Grandfather[ ? ??] was John Mitchell’s [?????????????] to organize the [?????????] (Spokke broken English [??] Mining Info [???????????????????????????????????????????????????]

Contributions Message

Cynthia Schuetrum , Camille Westmont, Daryl Bojarcik, Barbara Olsav-Hudock and CMHCMH