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Newspapers of McDONALD, PA
and Surrounding areas
BIOGRAPHIES - Letter H, 1900s
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|February 1, 1924
McDonald PA Record
Mrs. Anna Catherine HESS Biography
In Hesse Cassel, Germany, October 8, 1847, Mrs. Anna Catherine WAGNER
HESS was born. She came to America with her parents, landing in New York
City on July 4, 1850, and then came to Etna, Allegheny county, Pa.,
where she enjoyed a happy and popular girlhood. She recalls with a big
smile the many dances and the fun of the parties of long ago. When asked
by a well-meaning friend if she was sorry she had danced so much, she
replied, “Indeed no, I’d still enjoy a good dance.”
When aged eighteen, August 23, 1865, she was united in marriage with
Henry HESS, a member of Co. D, 155th infantry, Pennsylvania Volunteers.
He served three years in the Civil war and died November 17, 1901.
Mr. and Mrs. HESS came to Midway May 2, 1871, to the home she now
occupies. When she first came some kind neighbor presented her with a
hen and to this day she has a flock of chickens. Always, so long as she
was able, Mrs. HESS planted and cultivated a wonderful truck garden,
selling hundreds of dollars worth of tomatoes and cabbage plants as well
as all kinds of cultivated berries and fruits.
Mrs. HESS lives happily and contented in her home on North avenue. Her
only companions are her two cats, “Piper” and “Bessie”, and her
big white dog, “Bismarck.” She reads her German newspaper,
“Volksblatt und Freiheits-Freund,” with as keen an interest as she
did when she first began to read it sixty-four years ago.
She has been a constant reader of the “McDonald Record” ever since
it was first published.
Although the last surviving member of her family—she had two half
sisters and one half brother, who have long since passed on—she is a
living example of Carlyle when he said, “Wondrous is the strength of
Mrs. HESS has been a life-long member of the United Presbyterian church
of Etna and is a lover of truth. She reads only such things as tell the
solemn truth—one reason why she has so long “clung to the Record.”
She said, “I like only those people who stick to their promise
regardless of how great or small—always I have tried to keep any
promise regardless of the cost to myself.”
When speaking of the past of Midway, Mrs. HESS said the greatest
difference she saw was that the people were far more sociable when they
were fewer. Mrs. HESS has as her motto of life, “If at first you
don’t succeed, try, try again.” She has a most remarkable memory,
recalling poems she learned when only six years old, and too, a
wonderful sense of humor. She reads Mark TWAIN’s works with real
enjoyment, relating many of the clever little incidents for which Mark
is truly famous.
Mrs. HESS has many friends and neighbors who have long known and enjoyed
her wise, witty and truly entertaining stories. She has calmly smoked
her pipe for more than thirty-two years, loved and cared for her pets,
planted and tended her garden and now in the afternoon of her life she
lives as Sam Walter FOSS tells in Mrs. HESS’s favorite poem: *cut for
McDonald PA Guestbook1
| These newspaper items were
researched and typed by Victoria Hospodar Valentine for the over the
course of 5 years. Vicki had submitted hundreds of articles to the
PAWASHIN-L@rootsweb.com mailing list and other Lists.
Her work is presented here in the McDonald,
PA section of this website. Please use the links to navigate or
use on-site search engines to locate articles.
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All newspaper items posted with permission of
the Observer-Reporter Oct. 13, 2005.
(c) Judith Ann Florian
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