Mrs. Will’s Christmas Fruit Cookies

Fron Joyce Rahe via Bob Wignall.

But there is a story, which we thought you would find interesting. One December Virginia was at Reba’s house and they were rehearsing for a Christmas program.  A wonderful aroma came wafting through the house and Virginia asked, “What is that I smell”.  Reba told her it was just her mother baking cookies in the kitchen.  When the rehearsal was over, Reba gave Virginia some cookies and also the recipe.  We have no idea where the recipe came from, but it’s possible it was a “family” recipe.  Here goes:


2 pounds good candied fruit (mixed)
1/4 pound red candied cherries (but in half)
4 tablespoons brandy (to give it a little kick!)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 pound pecans
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons honey
2 eggs

Cream the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, flour, brandy, honey and eggs.

Add fruit and nuts and mix well.  It will be stiff, with just enough dough (it seems skimpy) to hold the nuts and fruit together.

Use parchment paper and drop the mixture by small spoonfulls, with room to spread to about 2 1/2 inches

Bake at 350 degrees until nice and brown……about 10-12 minutes (it takes us longer at high altitude…..6800 feet)

It looks much like fruitcake, but has a much more pleasing flavor.  Virginia doesn’t like fruitcake, but she loves these!  I manage to snatch a couple every morning with my breakfast!

We hope you will enjoy this recipe and, like us, think of Reba while you eat them.

Narrow Passage railway disaster, March 6, 1876

Rockingham Register, Harrisonburg, Virginia, March 16, 1876. See also the account of the disaster from the Shenandoah Valley, March 10, 1876, as recounted by John Walter Wayland in “A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia.”

The Railroad Disaster

Further Particulars!

Shocking details.

The details of the fearful Railroad disaster at Narrow Passage, on the night of the 6th of March, do not mitigate the horrors of the accident. We follow up the account of last week, of the particulars, as far as they have reached us in an authenticated form.

The train was in charge of Conductor James Russell, Florence Dunnavan, Engineer; T. Cunning, fireman, and J. Chapman and T. Jefferson, Brakemen. There were eleven loaded cattle cars, five freight cars and one passenger coach.

The accident occurred about 12 o’clock at night. It is impossible to ascertain certainly the particulars of the breaking through of the train. From the information given by those who escaped as well as from the position of the engine in the creek, it is believed that the break first occurred under the two freight cars immediately behind the tender, and that in their descent they dragged down with them the engine and tender. The rear cars followed the others, one after another, down the terrible chasm, until the last one of the train was mingled in the horrible wreck of cars, bridge timbers, iron rods, flesh, blood, flour, cattle, sheep and hogs.

Continue reading “Narrow Passage railway disaster, March 6, 1876”

St. Luke’s Church is observing its 85th anniversary (1933)

st. lukesDaily News-Record, Wednesday, October 11, 1933.

St. Luke’s Church is observing its 85th anniversary

County Line congregation is holding special services this week

Church has long led in spiritual work

Congregation takes pledge for “Spiritual Recovery Act” to increase usefulness

St. Luke’s Reformed Church, often called the County Line Church, is holding services this week to commemorate the 85th anniversary of its establishment. These services are called “S. R. A. — Spiritual Recovery Act.”

The schedule of services for the remainder of the week are as follows.

Wednesday 7:30 p.m. — Address, Rev. O. B. Michael. Reformed Church, Edinburg.

Thursday 7:30 p.m. — Addresses, Rev. A. W. Ballantine, Rev. G. S. Derrick, Lutheran Church.

Friday, 7:30 p.m. — Address, Rev. H. R. Lequear, Reformed Church, Bridgewater.

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. — Sunday School; 10:30 a.m. — Holy Communion; 2:30 p.m. — Sermon, Rev. J. Galor Garrison, Reformed Church.

Members are requested to bring basket lunches to the church. A special offering will be taken; members are urged to make a liberal contribution.

Spiritual Recovery Act

So that St. Luke’s Reformed Church may better serve its day and its community, members of the congregation have pledged themselves as follows:

1. To partake of the Lord’s Supper at least twice a year.

2. To attend Church worship services regularly.

3. To support the Sunday School by personal attendance and the bringing of the children.

4. To seek to win others to Christ.

5. To so live in daily life that others may see our good works and thus bring honor to the church.

6. To give generously to the support of all Church work.

Organized in 1848

Early in his pastorate of the Mill Creek charge, the Rev. H. St. John Rinker organized the Trinity congregation at the county line. This congregation is now called St. Luke’s. This organization was effected on the third Sunday in October, 1848, the following being charter members:

William Orebaugh, Samuel Orebaugh, William Will, George Rolls, Samuel Gordon, John Ritchie, Noah Orebaugh, Lydia Good, Sarah Fansler, Rebecca Will, Elizabeth Will, Sarah Orebaugh, Hannah Orebaugh, Polly Gordon, Catherine Fansler, and Anna Rolls. The elders were Elders John Orebaugh and Andrew Orebaugh and Deacon George Andes.

Associated with Raders Church

From the beginning of this congregation has been associated with Rader’s Church and later with its successor, Trinity Reformed Church at Timberville. Records do not show when the church was built but the probability was that it was erected shortly after the organization. From the start this congregation has prospered and frequent mention is made in the records of the large congregations in attendance at services.

The following pastors have served:

Rev. H. St. John Rinker — 1848-1874;
Rev. A. J. Bowers — 1875-1876;
Rev. B. R. Carnahan — 1877-1882;
Rev. C. W. Summey — 1883-1885;
Rev. G. H. Martin — 1885-1887;
Rev. T. P. Ballet — 1889-1892;
Rev. J. P. Harner — 1893-1900;
Rev. M. A. Kieffer — 1901-1908;
Rev. Milton Whitmer — 1908-1912;
Rev. N. R. Fravel — 1916-1921;
Rev. S. C. Baker — 1922-1925;
Rev. H. A. Behrens — 1929-

Present officers

The present officers are:

Trustees — G. J. Tusing, G. L. Will, S. P. Jones.

Elders – S. C. Gordon, E. E. Jones, G. J. Tusing.

Deacons – P. A. Jenkins, B. H. Golliday, C. M. Gordon, Mark S. Jones, O. B. Wine, C. W. Jones.

Timberville’s peach yield will double any previous crop (1929)

This is from The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Friday, June 21, 1929.

Timberville’s peach yield will double any previous crop

George H. Crist places yield for this year at 170,800 bushels

“Mayflower,” an early variety, goes to market

Failure of southern crop indicates a profitable price this season

The largest peach crop in Timberville’s fruit history — 170,800 bushels of approximately 450 carloads — will be harvested this year, according to estimates compiled by George H. Crist, veteran fruit grower of that section of Rockingham.

The first shipment of Timberville peaches are now on their way to market. They are the “Mayflower” variety and are grown by W. E. Propst. They were sold for $2.25 per bushel. Mr. Propst has 200 bushels of this early variety, and the failure of the Southern crop enables him to get a good price for them this year.

Big crop this year

“The peach crop this season will be Timberville’s largest, in fact twice the size of any crop the Timberville area has ever put on the market,” said Mr. Crist. “Not only will there be lots of peaches, but the quality will be splendid and the size will be huge. The peach growers are expecting good prices this year on account of the failure of the Southern peach crop.

The rush of picking, packing and shippng peaches from Timberville will start about July 20 this year. The Carmens, the early variety, will then be ready to harvest. There are about ten carloads of this variety. On about August 5th the Hila Belles and the Georgia Belles will be ready for picking and shipping, and when this crop is exhausted the Elbertas, the best of all, will be ready for the harvester. Timberville is looking forward to the biggest peach season of its history, and it is not improbable that it will lead the state in production this year.

Shipping a problem

Shipping the big peach crop to market is now developing into a problem. The Southern Railway has been handling the bulk of the crop, and this year it is expected that the Southern will be compelled to augment its express shipments with a truck service. At the height of the season this year it is expected that at least shipments will go forward at the rate of from 20 to 25 carloads a day.

Mr. Crist’s Estimates

Mr. Crist’s estimates for this year’s peach yield are as follows:

  • H. F. and T. B. Byrd, 27,000 bushels.
  • H. S. Zigler, 20,000 bushels.
  • H. J. Garber, 20,000 bushels.
  • F. H. Driver, 16,000 bushels.
  • Bowers & Garber, 13,000 bushels.
  • George H. C. Crist & Son, 11,000 bushels.
  • R. L. Miller, 8,000 bushels.
  • S. F. Hoover, 7,000 bushels.
  • J. H. Andes, 5,000 bushels.
  • O. B. Kelley, 5,000 bushels.
  • W. E. Propst, 4,000 bushels.
  • J. A. and E. E. Jones, 3,500 bushels.
  • Wm. Jones & Son, 3,000 bushels.
  • C. A. Sourwine, 2,000 bushels.
  • J. W. Calhoun, 3,500 bushels.
  • J. T. Will & Son, 2,000 bushels.
  • T. J. Hefner, 2,000 bushels.
  • J. D. Moore, 2,000 bushels.
  • Geo. D. Sager, 1,300 bushels.
  • O. B. Wine, 1,200 bushels.
  • Elmer Kipps, 2,000 bushels.
  • G. M. Getz, 800 bushels.
  • W. H. Will, 800 bushels.
  • S. P. Jones & Son, 800 bushels.
  • William C. Wean, 1,000 bushels.
  • P. A. Miller, 250 bushels.
  • George W. Campbell, 400 bushels.
  • R. G. Biller, 350 bushels.
  • O. W. Summers, 1,500 bushels.
  • J. W. Rinker, 500 bushels.
  • Mrs. B. F. Coffman, 1,300 bushels.
  • W. T. Fahrney, 1,200 bushels.
  • Nair & Bowman, 1,200 bushels.
  • J. C. Will & Bros., 500 bushels.
  • H. Z. Holler, 600 bushels.
  • W. S. Ritchie, 1,200 bushels.
  • J. M. Vetter, 200 bushels.
  • B. F. Golladay, 600 bushels.

Total, 170,800 bushels.

Luray Firemen, Community In Tributes To J. Everett Will (1962)

This is from The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Wednesday, October 17, 1962.

Luray Firemen, Community In Tributes To J. Everett Will

Luray – “I’m just a country boy, who loves all the firemen in Virginia,” is the way J. Everett Will, his voice choking with emotion, arose to thank all who honored him in a surprise “This Is Your Life” party, Sunday night.

Those gathered to honor him were firemen from all over Virginia: Warren Hicks, of Hampton, state secretary, Edward Braithwaite, of Harrisonburg, past president, William Ware, president of the Northern Virginia Firemen, Frank Stoutamyer, of Front Royal, past president, and H. H. Colvin, of Culpeper, a past president.

But firemen were not the only ones who welcomed this versatile citizen, a prominent lawyer, and a member of the Virginia Council of the State Bar. Judge Mark Woodward, of Luray, paid tribute to his excellency at the Bar, and the many offices he has held, and triumphs won.

Recalls First Case

Robert Lillard, who told of his membership In the Rotary and perfect attendance for 17 years, reminisced that he was on the jury in Mr. Will’s first case here-which he lost. When he saw Mr. Lillard the next day, he said, “I think I’m going to work at the tannery.”

Mayor Fred Walker told how Mr. Will put across the program of securing a new hospital for Page County. When he asked Mr. Will where he expected to get $200,000 for the hospital, he answered “From the people.” And he did.

Chairman and Toastmaster was Harry B. Dyche, who gave a resume of Mr. Will’s life history. Of his former chairmanship of the Republican party and his two times candidate for Congress from the Seventh District, Mr. Dyche said, “We are just as glad you lost for your town and county need your services.”

Born at Mt. Clifton

Mr. Will was bom in Mt, Clifton, Shenandoah County, taught school, then attended college in Washington, when he spent 17 years in the government. He passed the Virginia State Bar, in 1924, and came to Luray and opened an office. His first secretary was Mrs. E. P. Durrette.

Tlie program was planned and arranged by Mrs. Robert Lillard of the Firemen’s Auxiliary, and Miss Elizabeth Bailey, who assisted with collecting life items. Strange to say. all of the Auxiliary women kept the secret, and Mr. Will, at one time, did not plan to come.

His birthday being October 25, a huge cake was baked, and this was brought in at the close of the program, the crowd rising to sing, “Happy Birthday.”

Gifts included a small gavel from the Edith Rebecca Lodge. and a squirrel tail from the Squirrel Club.

Other Tributes Paid

There was also a large bouquet from leaders of the Virginia fire­ men’s auxiliary — “Mother” Travis, Helen Williams, and Margaret Tyler, of Alexandria; Marie Willlams, Strasburg and Ruth Nelson, New Church; and a scrapbook of pictures presented by Mrs. Miller Swartz, president of the Luray Auxiliary.

Others on the program with each representing an organization of which Mr. Will is associated were: Ralph Vaughan, Modern Woodmen; Miss Hazel Moyers, Edith Rebekah Lodge; Robert Lillard, Odd Fellows; Richard Sedwick, First National Bank of which Mr. Will is a director; C. P. Harrel, Luray Fire Co, who presented his photograph for the firemen’s Hall of Fame; the Rev. Louis Carson who spoke of Mr. Will’s Church activities; Floyd Eppard, Peoples Bank of Shenandoah; Mrs. Katie Hiden and Miss Cleta Rhodes, Northern Virginia auxiliary.

Mr. Will served 21 years as president of the Firemen in Luray and four years as president of State Firemen. He organized the Northern Virginia Firemen in 1947 with 13 companies and was its first president. He was instrumental in getting much beneficial legislation passed. Present with Mr. Will were his wife, the former Edna Dellinger, and one of his children. Douglas, now studying law in Washington. His physician. Dr. J. E. Wine, of Harrisonburg, was also present.

Of his interested firemen, Mr. Will said: “I think you’ve said it all. There will be no need for a minister when I die. Just put on my stone, “Here lies a county boy, who loved firemen.” This country boy, he said, used to go out in the night in the country, and see sparks flying, and thought of the need for firemen and fire companies.


Timberville, Tuesday March 9, 1920.

Pandemonium reigned in telephone circles here Friday morning when an electric light wire became entangled with the telephone line wires. Bells rang incessantly for about four hours and talking over the lines was practically impossible. The power plant is about three miles distant and no lineman could be found for some time. However, nervous persons were at last able to take their fingers from their ears.

From the Daily News Record.

Jacob Will’s will

The following is from “Background of Adams County,” by B. F. MacPherson, No. 184 – Jacob and Elizabeth (Shriver) Will. This article originally appeared in The Gettysburg Times, Saturday, March 29, 1941.

The will of Jacob Will is to be found in the local courthouse, Will Book “B” — Page 206 — No. 484. In this document he mentions the following members of his family:

  1. Wife — Elizabeth Shriver “is to have the profits of my mill and lands.”
  2. Brother — Andrew Shriver “is to live with my wife and be maintained by her so long as she shall live.”
  3. Son — George Will.
  4. Daughter — Rachel Will.
  5. Daughter — Elizabeth Will.
  6. Daughter — Catherine Will.
  7. Daughter — Sarah Will.
  8. Son — David Will.
  9. Son — Andrew Will.
  10. Granddaughters — “Eve Shriver and Mary Hoopert, daughters to my daughter Mary Hoopert.”
  11. Granddaughters — Sarah and Evelina Will.
  12. Son – Jacob Will.

Jacob Will’s will was written April 13, 1812, and entered into probate on November 12, 1812. Andrew Shriver and George Will were named executors, while R. McIlhenny, John Echrode, and Jacob Eckert added their names as witnesses.

Andrew Will, the son of Jacob Will and Elizabeth (Shriver) Will, was married to the widow Clemens (maiden name McSherry) of Littlestown. Another son, David Will, never married. Mary, one of the daughters of Jacob and Elizabeth (Shriver) Will, married Adam Rupert of Hanover, Pennsylvania.


Rockingham County’s Civil War Losses

The Free Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Thursday, April 14, 1904.

County’s Losses by the Yankee’s Last Raid.

As Recorded, By The Rockingham Register of Issue Nov. 11, 1864.

Through the kindness of a friend, in furnishing us with a number of old copies, of the Rockingham Register, ranging from 1861 to 1864, we shall be enabled from time to time to furnish some straps of history that may be of interest to our readers.

Rockingham’s Losses as copied from Rockingham Register of date, Nov. 11th, 1864.

“The following is a fair and an accurate exhibit of the losses inflicted upon the great and noble county of the Old Commonwealth by the Yankees in their last raid up the Valley.

“It has been obtained by our county court, after diligent effort and the employment of all the means necessary to approximate accuracy in such a calculation. The court, after being called together for this purpose, appointed a committee of 72 persons, consisting of 36 Magistrates and 36 citizens of respectability and standing, located in every section of the county, and after a careful and an accurate canvass of the county, they have furnished the estimate of the loses hereto appended:


Dwelling Houses Burned, 30
Barns Burned, 450
Mills Burned, 31
Fencing Destroyed (miles), 100
Bushels of Wheat Destroyed, 100,000
Bushels of Corn Destroyed, 50,000
Tons of Hay Destroyed, 6,233
Cattle Carried Off, 1,750
Horses Carried Off, 1,750
Sheep Carried Off, 4,200
Bogs Carried Off, 3,350
Factories Burned, 3
Furnace Burned, 1

“In addition to which there was an immense ammount of farming utensils of every description destroyed, many of them of great value, such as McCormick’s reapers, threshing machines; also household and kitchen furniture, money, bonds, plate, &c., &c., the whole loss being estimated at the enormous sum of $25,500,000. This estimate is in Confederate prices, and should be reduced, we think, about one fifth, in order to bring it to the Government standard.

“Has any other one county in the Confederacy suffered to the same extent.”

Another Revolutionary Hero Gone

The Adams Centinel, November 17, 1821.

Another Revolutionary Hero Gone!

DIED—at Littles-Town, on Saturday morning the 27th ult. Mr. MICHAEL WILL, at the advanced age of 85 years.

In the early part of his life, in the struggle with Great-Britain for our Independence, he joined the army, and stood the hard fought battles of his country. At the battle of Brandywine, he received a severe wound—the effects of which he carried to the grave.

Many attended the following day, to pay the last tribute of respect to their departed favourite. His remains were interred in Christ’s Church burial ground, attended by the Rev. J. B. Wieslting, who delivered an appropriate discourse from 1st Kings, xix, and part of the 4th verse—“It is enough now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”

Michael Will (1736-1821) was the son of Michael Will the immigrant, father of our family in North America. Michael Jr. apparently never married.

Some early Will family history

The following comes from the Transcript and complete list of the birth and baptism records of Christ Reformed Church, Littlestown, Pennsylvania. This book is located in the Pennsylvania Room at the Guthrie Library in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The first baptism record is dated September 5, 1776, and the last is dated May 1, 1871. The book has three indexes: the first index is by the baby’s surname, the second is by the witness surname, and the third documents baptisms of illegitimate babies.

This is an excerpt from this book where there is a Will family member as a parent or a witness to the baptism.

Continue reading “Some early Will family history”