The Free Site   |  Hug.me - Get a local dinner date this week   |  Cheap Web Hosting - starting at $5

Notable Alumni

SHUGERT, S. T., engaged in the publication of the old Centre Democrat and was its editor and proprietor from 1834 to 1845.  About this time he was solicited by Gen. Simon Cameron to remove to Pittsburg and take charge of the Pittsburg Post. Declining this he received the appointment of chief clerk in the U. S. patent office, acceptably filling this responsible trust until the administration of President Buchanan when be was advanced to the position of commissioner, which office he retained until after the inauguration of President Lincoln.  While still living in Washington, finding Centre county was without a Democratic organ, sent to Bellefonte a complete newspaper outfit and established the Democratic Watchman.

Returning to Bellefonte in 1861, he was elected State Senator in 1868 from this district, then composed of Centre, Mifflin, Clearfield, Juniata and Perry, and was a member of the House of Representatives in 1875 and 1876.  In 1878, yielding to solicitations of his friends, be again commenced the publication of a newspaper, the Centre Democrat.

STRAUB, James Alexander, a 1915 graduate of Bellefonte Academy, James also attended the Pennsylvania State College, graduating there in 1919.  James first worked for General Electric company, at Erie, but later left there to become chemist for the Glidden Varnish company, at Cleveland, Ohio.  He was transferred to their plant at Toronto, Canada.  In April 1925, he accepted a position with the Niagara Electro-Chemical company, and was in charge of the construction of that company's big acid separating plant at Niagara.
STOVER, John Hubler, a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from Missouri; born in Aaronsburg, Center County, Pa., April 24, 1833; completed preparatory studies at Bellefonte Academy; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1857 and commenced practice in Bellefonte; held several local offices; district attorney of Center County 1860-1862; enlisted in the Union Army in 1861 as a private, and was successively a captain and a major; commissioned as a colonel of the One Hundred and Eighty-fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; after the war moved to Versailles, Morgan County, Mo., and resumed the practice of law; district attorney of Morgan County from 1866 to 1868; elected as a Republican to the Fortieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Joseph W. McClurg and served from December 7, 1868, to March 3, 1869; was not a candidate for re-nomination in 1868; resumed the practice of his profession; engaged in the real estate business and was also interested in mining pursuits at Versailles, Mo.; delegate to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1876; unsuccessful candidate for election in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress; died at Aurora Springs, Mo., October 27, 1889.

TUTEN, Earl C., received his entire education at the Bellefonte Academy. When a young man be went to work as local editor on the Daily News and Bellefonte Republican.  Later he acquired the newspaper plant and conducted the papers until he was elected Register of Centre county in the fall of 1905. Even after his induction in office on the first Monday of January, 1906, he continued in charge of the papers until the plant was sold a year two later to Charles E. Dorworth.  He served through January, 1912.

After his retirement from the register's office he went into the fire insurance business.  In the fall of 1913, he accepted a position as local editor on the Centre Democrat, doing newspaper work in connection with his insurance ness. In March, 1914, he accepted a very enticing offer to become the city editor on the DuBois Courier and about six weeks later moved his family to that place. He worked on the Courier about seven months then resigned his position on that paper, to accept a similar place on the Express, an afternoon paper published in DuBois, and was working for that paper when he was taken sick last week.

After his retirement from the register's office he went into the fire insurance business, which he conducted with more or less success. In the fall of 1913, he accepted a position as local editor on the Centre Democrat.  In March, 1914, he accepted the position of the city editor on the DuBois Courier.  Within seven months, he accepted a similar place on the DuBois Express.

VALENTINE, Robert, one of Centre County's pioneer iron makers was born in Bellefonte May 24th, 1827 laid the foundation of his education at the Bellefonte Academy and afterwards graduated with honors from Haverford College.  After returning from school he was employed by Valentine & Thomas as a clerk in their office. The old members of the firm soon retired and Robert became the head of the firm of what was afterwards known as Valentine, Milliken & Co. In this firm were associated his four cousins, George, Abram, Reuben and Jacob.

The day came, however, when the charcoal furnace, which made from forty to sixty tons of iron a week, must give way to a larger furnace with a capacity of one hundred to one hundred and fifty tons a day. This time came August 2nd, 1886, when the Valentine Ore Land Association was formed and bought the property. On the same day a mortgage of $600,000 was entered on the property. Of this $400,000 was used to pay the purchase money and the $200,000 was used to erect the present furnace. It did not prove a financial success but Robert Valentine had so much faith in the enterprise that from time to time he endorsed notes in order to keep this furnace in blast. But finally the worst came and Mr. Valentine lost almost every cent he had in the world.

VALENTINE, Robert, was a landscape and portrait painter from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. He was born December 23, 1879, at his family's home in Bellefonte. His father, Jacob Downing Valentine, was a second-generation iron-master and senior member of the Valentine Company iron furnace. Valentine received his education at the Bellefonte Academy and the Westtown Friends School near Westchester, Pennsylvania. His passion for art seems to have developed at an early age, and was encouraged by a brother and some of his cousins who were also artists. When he was attending the Bellefonte Academy in 1900, he provided a series of illustrations for the school paper,
"The Addisonian Mirror."

After his father's death, Valentine received an inheritance from his father's iron business that allowed him to live comfortably. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1911 to 1913, studying under Thomas Anshutz, and later studied with Emil Carlsen, Philip Leslie Hale, J. Alden Weir, and Robert Vonnah. There he began producing paintings that appear to have been influenced by his contact with the work of Thomas Eakins, Thomas Anshutz, and Daniel Garber.

He served in the First World War, enlisting in the Bellefonte Cavalry Troop in September, 1917. After training at Camp Hancock in Georgia, he was sent in May 1918 to England and then to France, where he served with the 28th Division as a member of the sanitary unit. He was discharged from the Army in March of 1919.

After the war he returned to Bellefonte, and from 1924 to 1930 worked as a lime inspector at the American Lime and Stone Company. In 1930 he had one work, Our Back Yard, accepted in the Twenty-Eighth Annual Philadelphia Watercolor Society Exhibition. In the 1930s, Valentine's paintings began to show the influence of the French Post-Impressionist painters Paul Gauguin and Paul CÚzanne.

Shelly Grunder, whose master's thesis is the only published work on the artist, writes: Valentine painted landscapes with a concern for retaining the solidity of objects while using abstract shapes and forms. Like CÚzanne, he uses trees as compositional devices to screen what lies behind...Valentine's strong purple shadows, flat areas, and interest in abstraction are closer to the style of Gauguin.

Valentine's three paintings, Armour Gap Quarry at Bellefonte, White Rock Cement Kiln, and The Tipple, Bell Mine Quarry, American Lime and Stone Company, Bellefonte, Pa., were painted in 1934-35. They depict limestone quarrying operations in the Bellefonte and Pleasant Gap areas. Each work is executed in the same high-keyed palette of green, grey and purple, and they all reveal Valentines interest in shape and form as established by the use of broad areas of color. Valentine's preparatory sketch for The Tipple, Bell Mine Quarry is one of approximately ten works by Valentine in the collection of the Centre County Library and Historical Museum in Bellefonte. The majority of his paintings remain in the private collections of friends and relatives.

VALENTINE, Stanley Burnside, graduated Bellefonte Academy and Penn State University.  He was a mechanical engineer.

WALKER, Robert J., Territorial Governor of Kansas, 1857.  Lived in Bellefonte from 1806 to 1814.  His father was president judge of this judicial district.  He first lived in the home which was located just below the State Theatre on East High Street.  He subsequently lived in what was later the Linn Home on North Allegheny Street.  Robert was educated at the Bellefonte Academy
He was a U. S. Senator from Mississippi, 1836-45; Secretary of the Treasury under President Polk, 1845-49.  During the Civil War, he was President Lincoln's fiscal representative in Europe and he was instrumental in keeping England from recognizing the Confederacy.

It's said that his initials, carved in the door-jam of the Academy, were visible for many years

WARD, Ferdinand, business partner of President Grant and Grant's son Buck in a wall street brokerage business.  Ward's early financial successes had earned him the nickname, "the young Napoleon of Wall Street." Grant persuaded his old army buddies to invest. His name gave credibility to the firm - enough for hundreds of admiring veterans to invest their pensions. Dividends flowed in and Grant and his family were finally living the good life.

Unbeknownst to Grant, the firm was a scam. "Ward never invested any of it," says writer Max Byrd. "He had a wonderful estate in Connecticut with lots of horses and huge grounds. He lived beautifully at a townhouse in New York . . . and out of the money he received, he simply paid back dividends to the investors who thought they were doing very well."

In spring of 1884, Ward told Grant the firm was short on cash and asked him to borrow money from his friend and railroad financier, William Henry Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt wrote Grant a check for $150,000, which Grant handed over to Ward in the belief that the short-term problem was solved. Days later, angry investors caught wind of trouble; they rushed the offices of Grant & Ward, demanding their money back. Ferdinand Ward was nowhere to be found. The Grants and many of their old friends lost everything. Grant was mortified. He turned over to Vanderbilt the deeds to his house, his beloved horse farm, and all of his prized memorabilia. The items of historic value, Vanderbilt gave to the Smithsonian; he gave the rest back to Grant, saying he considered the debt repaid. But Grant's reputation was ruined.

For his antics, Ward wound up in Sing Sing, where his was imprisoned for six years.  For nearly twenty-five years he remained silent and contributed little to history. Then, in December 1909, apparently penniless and desperate, he told his story to the
New York Herald, which was published in a book titled, "General Grant as I Knew Him."  The more than six years in Sing Sing and a life of poverty thereafter influenced him to self-pity rather than candor, as the book was generally considered to be less than the truth.

WARD, John Montgomery, "Monte", attended Bellefonte Academy in the early 1870s; attended Penn State College 1873-1875; celebrated, player, manager, owner, labor organizer; member of the Baseball Hall of Fame; additional information

WEIRICK, Joseph, Graduated in 1905, principal of the High school at Howard, Pa.

WETZEL, John Henry, attended the Bellefonte Academy, the Penn Hall Academy, Franklin and Marshall college, the College of Northern Illinois and studied law at the University of Iowa. After a short stay in Nelson, Neb., he returned to Bellefonte and engaged in surveying and engineering. He was elected to the Legislature in 1898 and served one term.  He was re-elected in 1902, and made creditable records during both terms. For several years he was connected with the United States geological survey in Pennsylvania and other States. He served as borough engineer in Bellefonte for many years and was also county surveyor several terms.

WOOD, Judge Joseph, star pitcher and catcher for Princeton University

Email any additions or corrections to this information with verifiable documentation.

Latest Update:
22 August 2004

Website design and contents © 1999-2005