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History of Cambria County, V.2

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 431
Edson, McCormick, Hartzell, Kopelin, McPike, Murphy and all the Bolsingers, penalized for various infractions of the rules.
    At the regular meeting No. 367, held August 28, 1857, the debate of the day was on the question: “Was there animal existence for successive ages prior to the time of Adam?” Mr. King, Sr., led the affirmative, and General Potts the negative. It was the custom for each member to take whichever side he desired to argue after the inquiry was opened. On this occasion, Messrs. Guss, Rea and Robinson were the judges, who decided, “No.” The meetings being consecutively numbered, show that the association substantially met weekly during the seven years of its existence.
    The Association flagged during the war and for several years following after, but in 1869 it was reorganized with all its old time vigor. It may not have been the same organization but it took its place as the Literary Society. On November 8, 1869, the following question was debated : “Should the Christian religion be explicitly recognized in the Constitution of the United States?” Rev. A. H. Thomas, the pastor of the Franklin M. E. church, led the affirmative, and General Potts the opposition and the question was left undecided by a tie vote. The next meeting was held on the 15th, when John P. Linton was the orator ; R. H. Singer, the declaimer ; General J. M. Campbell, essayist, and Abraham Kopelin and John F. Barnes, the debaters.
    In the later sixties Miss Mary Woodruff, a teacher, organized a Literary Society composed entirely of pupils of the public schools. This society, which met every Friday afternoon, had the distinction of editing two papers, The Eagle and The Repository, neither of which, however, was printed.
    After 1871 all the members of the Johnstown Literary Society were high school scholars, and the membership remained so thereafter during all the years of its intermittent existence. The entertainments given by it in Union Hall were events in the pleasure days of the boys and girls on its roll.
    At the beginning of the school year for 1897, at the suggestion of William F. Long, principal of the high school, two societies were formed. The seniors and juniors united as one body, and selected the name “Tau Kappa Epsilon,” or the “T. K. E. Society,” while the sophomores chose for theirs the name, “Emerson Literary Society.” To the freshmen was given the privilege of choosing membership in either. This of course


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Created: 26 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors