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History of Cambria County, V.1

90 HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY.
     Ewing was arrested at Coshun's coal bank, now in Conemaugh township. Cambria county, by sending in a bloodhound and scaring him out. Shaffer was apprehended at Columbia, Pennsylvania, and the others, excepting Young, were soon in Somerset jail. Before the trial Ewing broke jail and was never heard of afterward.
     The trial took place in Somerset in August of that year before Judge Kimmell, when John R. Edie, Esq., subsequently a member of congress and a colonel in the regular army, was district attorney. Zook was not indicted, but betrayed his confederates and went on the witness stand for the commonwealth, although it was he who planned the robbery and procured their help to carry it out. Shaffer, Miller and Patton were sentenced to seven years' imprisonment, but Shaffer was pardoned after a period of three years, and for many years afterward kept hotel at Duncansville, Blair county.
     A portion of the $300--about one-third--was the savings of Joseph Johns, the third, in five and ten-dollar gold pieces. It seems Shaffer did the dividing of the spoils in a house over the basin waste weir, between the corner of Clinton and Washington streets and the Gautier Works, in Johnstown and, shaking some of the gold pieces, said, "these pennies are not much account, and put them in his pocket, thus defrauding his criminal associates, as he had Mr. Johns.
     Neither the grandfather, nor the son, ever sat for a portrait, daguerreotype, photograph, or any other kind of a picture of themselves. At the period when the elder Mr. Johns lived there was no opportunity for such things, except to have an oil portrait, and such artists were scarce in the vicinity in which he resided; but it is most probable he would not have had a likeness if he could, on a question of principle, as his son--Joseph, the second--declined to do so because it tended to vanity, which these good people abhorred. The grandson absolutely declined to sit for a photograph, but he qualified his refusal by saying: "Some of the children have theirs, but I do not need it." However in 1904 he reconsidered his former opinion.


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Created: 3 Feb 2006, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors