William A. Williams

photo credit: David Ball Collection

See Location Today

McKean County Democrat
July 6, 1950

Walking the Beat at the County Seat with Ronabelle Mix

A deal was consummated this week whereby Bob and Phyllis Quirk purchased the Brenneman home on E. Main St., from Mrs. Walter Brenneman. This will be an ideal home for Bob and his family, as it is most attractive and in excellent repair.
This home also has an interesting history. The lot which originally took up a quarter of the block was bought in 1811 by William Williams, father of Andrus Williams, who lived there sometime, having his law office on the corner near Main St. The first house was of log construction, and one article in the McKean-Potter History tells of a bear entering the cellar one night and consuming the pork found there. A portion of the block was sold to Eilingsfelt, who build the home now occupied by Elmer and Nora Quirk. Originally this lot was really a farm, with a large barn standing directly in back of the house. This piece of property was bought from the heirs of the Williams Estate by E. T. Daly, who was the father of Mrs. Brenneman. This was sixty years ago. Except for a few years that this house was rented by the Williams Estate, the Williams and Daly families are the only ones who have resided in this home.
Mrs. Brenneman informed me that when they were remodeling the back portion of her home into bedrooms, they found a small notebook in the attic, which contained notes kept by W. A. Williams, dated back in 1838. Mr. Williams was treasurer for the Smethport Debating Society. It was noted that the chief item of expense was for candles. Some of the members of the organization were Williams, Y. Darling, D. Holcand and Gildersleeve. Mrs. Brenneman plans to turn this over to the Historical Society. Some of the subjects for debate listed were: "Were the Europeans justified in banishing Bonaparte to St. Helena?" "Is love a stronger passion than anger?" "Is matrimony more agreeable than celibacy?" "Is a thirst for riches productive of more happiness to mankind than a thirst for honor?"
The host of friends of Mrs. Brenneman will be sorry to hear that she is leaving by plane Tuesday, the 11th, for Long Beach, California, where she plans to make her home. She has sold many of her furnishings, and is removing the remainder by truck to California.


E.T. Daly Portrait

by R.C. Gleason 1895

McKean County Miner
May 11, 1894

Smethport Residents Have a Narrow Escape

As E. T. Daly and Fred Woolhiser were crossing the railroad track at Larrabee an Tuesday night they had a very exciting and interesting time for a few minutes.  Mr. Daly had been to Wellsville for a team of horses.  When they got to the Larrabee R. R. crossing the horses they were leading got frightened and jumping around to the right side of the buggy the near horse got his foot fast in the spokes of the wheel and by crowding ahead overturned the buggy and threw Mr. Daly out at the heels of the team he was driving and the buggy falling bottom side up on top of him.  Mr. Woolhiser finally succeeded in stopping the horses with the assistance of Mr. Daly.  Just as they got the horses stopped, along came a freight train and the circus commenced and after the train passed they went at it and repaired damages and drove home, both badly bruised, but no bones broken.  Taken all in all it was a very lucky escape.  We congratulate the gentlemen on their fortunate deliverance.

McKean County Miner
December 23, 1898

Strange Man Resembling Santa Comes Through Town

One of the strangest freaks of the season passed through here on Mondey morning last. On near inspection it proved to be an old man with long white haid and beard and with feet incased in grain bags. Around his body was wrapped an old overcoat of many colors, owing to the many and vari-colored patches that held it together. On his back was a huge pack of old shoes and an old coat. In the distance he vastly resembled old Santa Claus himself and all the small children in the town were very much in doubt concerning the possibility of its being him. Every horse that got a good loot at him immediately started for the hills or in any other direction rather than to meet or pass him, while the old gent trudged unconcernedly onward, the observd of al observers, and greeting everyone he changed to meet with a cheery "Good morning; a very fine morning indeed."

Location in 2005 A.D.
(front view)

photo credit: Tannyah Merrick

"Side View"

photo credit: Tannyah Merrick