Sunday, July 19, 2009


When I was a little girl.....(maybe 4 ) my family lived in a tiny town in Pennsylvania. We lived on the second floor of a small clapboard building on the main street. The first floor was the home of the town newspaper, The Mountain Echo. I have these shadowy noir memories of going in the front door. On my left is a huge oak roll top desk ( I am sure that at the age of 4 I did not realize it was oak) and seated at the desk in a wooden swivel chair is Mrs Adkins. Picture tall, stately, grey hair pulled into a washer woman hair do. I see a voile dress with small flowers. There is no voice and no conversation that I can remember......

She had to have spoken to me. At the very least to allow me entrance.

Their was a GIANT printing press in the back of the building.....It made very loud noises. On the right at the back are several men with oil skin aprons setting type. There is a hole in the floor where the excess ink is put. The smell is glorious....paper, ink, heat of the press running. In today's world, I would never be left to wander this space. I do not know why Mrs Adkins let me do so then....but she did.

This is what I have found about her...she was a woman far ahead of her time and wasn't I just the luckiest child to have been near her. Imagine being a woman editor and owner of a Newspaper in the 50's. I now understand that she must have been an older mother and had much sadness in her life. One son died at 2 and the other in a tragic accident in the late 40's.

"Mrs Adkins was a native of Light St. Columbia Co., and a daughter of of the late Franklin Pierce Kelly and Mary Ammerman Kelly. The family moved to Shickshinny in 1885 where Mrs. Adkins was enrolled in the Shickshinny Public Shools.Following graduation she took the state examination for teachers and began teaching in the Shickshinny Valley School. Later she was appointed to North Main St. School. She devoted 18 years of her life to teaching. In 1916,Mrs. Adkins gave up that position to become a housewife. She was married to the late Mason Hix Adkins, then a partner in the Mountain Echo, in the 1st ME Church,Shickshinny, by the late Rev. E. E. Harter. In 1930 her husband became sole owner of the Mountain Echo and they worked side by side in promoting the affairs of the newspaper. Her husband died in 1945 and Mrs. Adkins then assumed the full responsibility as editor and publisher and continued to do so until her death."

It is no wonder that I believe women can do anything....from very early, I saw them doing everything. Oh, how I wish I could talk to Mrs Adkins today! I am going to see if I can find some copies of the newspaper at that time and find some editorials she may have written....

More to come...........

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