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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Wra(i)th of the Paxton Boys


While attending the public hearing in Lehman Township on 1/20/10, I had to chuckle when one of the folks from EnCana or Whitmar mentioned he had been in Luzerne County for 10 months. Ten months. As if somehow that qualified him to know or say anything about the area. He did have a good collection of local business cards, so he claimed.

Well, my friend, let's compare our roots. Below are pics, circa ~1900, of my great-great grandparents and their families; the Williams & Stewart clans. Their ancestors had been leaving footprints in the Wyoming Valley for well over a century before these photos were taken.

Williams Family

Stewart Family

My great grandparents, Edward Williams and Sarah Maude Stewart, were married for close to 60 years and lived on Wyoming Avenue in Kingston for most of their time together. 'Grandpa Eddie' is the tallest of the three boys in the first picture, and 'Grandma Williams' ( I was told she hated being called Sara Maude ) is dead center in the picture directly above. Although I was only 6 when Eddie died, I do remember him well from spending time in their 2nd floor apartment. They raised my father after his mother died when he was 11, and we lived directly across the street for several years when I was a mere lad of 2 or 3. 

For anyone who knows the history of the Wyoming Valley, especially the years leading up to and including the Battle of Wyoming in 1778, the name Stewart should ring a few bells. Yes...that Stewart.

So, for the gentleman from parts southwest that has been in the area for ~11 months now...I'd suggest a quick trip someday to the corner of Wyoming and Susquehanna Avenues in Wyoming. There's a large monument there with some names carved on it. Check out how many members of my family are memorialized there. I think you'll figure out the rest.

Tread softly, my friend. Very softly. You are on hallowed ground.



  1. Are you a member of the Wyoming Commemorative Association? If not, please join us at the Wyoming Monument on July 3rd at 10:00 am.

  2. I paid my dues last July...participated in the fundraising walk in August, and will be there on July 3rd, 2010.

  3. I attended a regional planning commission meeting at Misericordia several weeks ago. The crew from Encana were there to present their "plan" with a film. I was new to the frac issue. During the Q&A I pointed out that their film portrayed fracking as a process utilizing water and sand with no mention of the chemicals in the frack fluid. When I pointed this out as misleading and asked for a list of chemicals they got very defensive. Other questioners were met with escalating defensiveness. I was surprised at how easily rattled they became. I think it humorous that they try to portray themselves as homies. No matter if they were - some "homies" will screw you just as soon as an outsider. Just ask the men with black lung - if any are still alive.

    You are doing a great job with this site. Thank you!