Meetings

THE BUSHY RUN LIONS CLUB ORIGIN

   A familiar passage of Scripture found in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 records that for everything there is a season and a time for every matter. First among the long listing of such seasons and times is that of “A time to be born”.   

   For the Bushy Run Lions Club the time to be born was January 21, 1948.     

   In late 1947 Lions of the Jeannette Club envisioned the possibility of establishing a Lions club in neighboring Penn Township, which at one time had included the land on which Jeannette was founded. The Jeannette Lions Club had been organized and chartered in 1940; its energetic president, John Simpson, had already been instrumental in forming and sponsoring Lions clubs at Delmont in 1944 and at Herminie (Sewickley Township) in 1946. Simpson, who was to become District Governor of 14-E in 1949, apparently was exploring other places to establish a Lions club. He encountered township residents, notably George Stemmler of Harrison City and Thomas Seda, Jr. of Claridge, who were responsive to the idea of having such a club in the Penn Township area. With the motivation and leadership engendered by Jeannette Lions and local enthusiasts, the venture of establishing a Lions Club in the min-township vicinity proceeded with harmony and dispatch.

   The meeting of organization took place January 21, 1948, at the home of Stemmler. At this initial meeting John Simpson was accompanied by Ezra G. Moyer, of Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, who at the time was serving as Field Representative of Lions Clubs International. As might be expected, Simpson and Moyer outlined to those in attendance details relative to organization, operation, and objectives of Lions Clubs. Three key officers were chosen at this organizational meeting: George Stemmler, President; Thomas Seda, Secretary; and Ewing Watt, Tailtwister. Other officers were to be elected at a future meeting of the club.

   The first regularly scheduled meeting following organization at Stemmler’s took place Wednesday evening, January 28, 1948. The meeting was held at the Harrison City Evangelical and Reformed Church. The primary purpose of the program obviously was one of orientation. The Jeannette Club, sponsors of the Bushy Run Club, had assigned five members of their club to assume this responsibility. The procedure of delineating the process of operation and function of a Lions club bore a relationship to that given by Simpson and Moyer to the small group present at the organization at Stemmler’s January 21.

   During the orientation process, each participant of the Jeannette Club undertook a specific phase of operation: Gerald Terrill, president of the Jeannette Lions, the process of operating a local Lions club; William Smith, a past president, the Code of Ethics and Objectives of the Lions; Andrew Lyrean, the duties of a secretary; Charles Frye, the exposition of the duties of a tailtwister; and John Simpson, founder and past  president of the Jeannette Club, and at the time zone chairman in District 14-E, dealt on the details relating to membership applications and the process of approval through the Board of Directors of a Lions club.

   Sixteen members of the Bushy Run Lions Club were present for the initial meeting. They were George Stemmler, Theodore Hartman, Cleon Berlin, Walter Blake, Joseph Mihalic, Martin Zackel, Almas Kauffman, Dr. Joseph Orris, John Turk, William Kren, Frank Supancic, Charles Buterbaugh, Paul King, Ewing Watt, Benjamin Raymaley, and Clarence Whirlow.

   During the interim between the first regularly scheduled meeting held on January 28 and the charter night proceedings, a number of essential items relative to the Bushy Run Lions were consummated. The Jeannette Club continued its fine efforts of orientation as the sponsoring club. Several Jeannette members attended in early February to assist in organizational details. Most informative was a presentation of the various methods utilized by the Jeannette Club in fund raising to support their charitable activities.

   The official date for the charter night ceremonies was set for March 17, and the announcement made that Judge Edward G. Bauer of the Westmoreland County Courts was procured as principle speaker for the charter night program.

   The main business of the meeting of February 26, 1948, was the finalization of the first staff of officers of the Bushy Run Club. The previous action of January 21 which resulted in the elections of officers Stemmler, Seda, and Watt was confirmed, and the following members were added to complete the entire staff: Paul Scholz, Rudolph Yerina, and Dr. Joseph Orris as vice presidents; Paul Cush as treasurer; John Turk, Lion Tamer; and Bedrick Blazer, Robert Jackson, Ivan Anderson, and Paul King as directors.

   Interestingly, the first project of the Bushy Run Lions Club was announced as being the procurement of a piano for the Harrison City Evangelical and Reformed Church, where all of the early meetings of the Bushy Run Lions were held.

   Planning for the charter night proceedings was placed in the hands of two committees representing the Jeannette and Bushy Run Clubs. As sponsors of the new club, Jeannette Club president, Gerald Terrill, appointed six members to aid in arranging the program: Lloyd Newman, Roland Wurthner, William Smith, Charles Frye, Al Heasley, and L.W. Pierce. The Bushy Run Lions planning committee members consisted of Paul King, Chairman, Thomas Seda, George Stemmler, Ewing Watt, John Turk, Dr. Joseph Orris, Cleon Berlin, Walter Blake, and Paul Scholz.

   The Charter Presentation meeting of the Bushy Run Lions Club was held on Wednesday evening March 17, 1948, at the Penn Township Joint High School at Claridge. The dinner phase of the program was conducted in the cafeteria of the school. The toastmaster for the dinner program, introduced by Lions president Stemmler, was William Smith of the Jeannette Club.

   Dr. Ralph Cox, of Star Junction, District Governor of District 14-E, presented the charter of the Bushy Run Lions Club to George Stemmler before the assemblage of 160 reported attending the dinner and added remarks appropriate to protocol of Lionism.

   As previously indicated, Judge Edward G. Bauer, a former Penn Township resident and member of the Board of School Directors, presented the principle address of the evening. Supplementing this were remarks offered by Henry K. Shaw, Deputy District Governor of 14-E, and Zone Chairman John Simpson, who was conspicuously involved in the organization and orientation involving the Bushy Run Lions.

   There were other features of the charter night program. Gerald Terrill presented a flag, bell, and gavel to the Bushy Run Club. Aimee Fisher, a Penn Township Joint High School graduate of 1947, who during the previous year had won the Jeannette Lions Amateur Night Contest, performed for the dinner party with her music. Eileen and Maxine Newcomer, blind twins of Harrison City, popular participants on radio in Wheeling, West Virginia, also performed and were adopted as the local club’s “Sweethearts”.

   Invocation was offered by Rev. Lee O. Worthing, pastor of the host church of early Lions meetings and a Bushy Run Lions Charter Member. The Rev. Alban Bosnik, O.S.B. closed the festivities with the benediction.

   Visiting Lions clubs delegations were present from Jeannette, Derry, Youngwood, and Scottdale clubs. Following the Charter Night dinner, dancing took place in the high school gymnasium.

   Offically, the Bushy Run Lions Club was now set to operate in the Penn Township community. What remained, however, was a definitive answer to the question:

 

WHAT’S IN THE NAME?

   Generally, names of Lions clubs bear the names of the municipalities that provide the base locations of their members. However, the choice of Bushy Run for the newly-organized club in Penn Township appeared unusual. With the membership destined to be derived from the Harrison City and Claridge vicinities, selection of either town for the club name would have been impractical. The choice of a great local historical event and the brilliant military personage Colonel Henry Bouquet associated with it seemed most appropriate, and The Bushy Run Club organizers attached themselves to it.

   Colonel Bouquet was the first great military figure to dominate the history of Pennsylvania. No other commanders serving in Pennsylvania during the colonial period made so deep an impression upon the development and history of the state, especially the western Pennsylvania region, as did this Swiss soldier-of-fortune. Regarded by historians as one of the most colorful soldiers in the annals of colonial America and as a superb organizer of men and brilliant strategist, he displayed a leading role in the successful effort of Britain to extend its rule to the lands west of the Alleghenies. He was associated most prominently with two decisive events in the history of Pennsylvania – the capture of Fort Duquesne in 1758 and the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763. The first, the Forbes Expedition, permitted Bouquet to enhance his reputation as a wilderness campaigner and marked the beginning of the end of the French attempt to dominate the upper Ohio River Valley, thus allowing Pennsylvania to expand to its western provincial limits. The Battle of Bushy Run crushed the organized power of the Indians, thus opening western Pennsylvania to white settlement.

  Historical evidence indicates that the name Bushy Run was well-known prior to the battle encounter in 1763. During the Forbes Expedition against Fort Duquesne, General Forbes, located in camp at Loyal Hanna, on November 16 directed Bouquet to inform Colonel George Washington to have his advance group establish a camp 20 to 22 miles distant from the general’s position. In a brief letter that he headed “Camp West of Bushy Run”, Washington informed Bouquet that he had already made camp. Camp Washington, as it became know, was located on present Forbes Road midway between the Harrison City-Export Road and Newlonsburg. Forbes arrived at Camp Washington four days later, November 20.

   In 1759 Colonel Bouquet constructed the southern branch of the original Forbes Road from what is now Route 66 via Route 993 to Harrison City and then Route 130. He then issued a substantial military grant to one Andrew Byerly, who established a relay post on the road. The military grant bordered on a stream called Bushy Run.

   During the early years at Byerly’s relay station, assigned military, Indian fur traders, and traveling visitors specifically referred to visitations at Bushy Run. On March 26, 1762, Colonel William Eyre, consulting engineer of General Jeffrey Amherst, the Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in America, who was on an inspection tour to Pittsburgh, made a number of informative and interesting observations about Bushy Run.

   Thus, we have considerable evidence to provide acquaintance to Bushy Run prior to 1763. So for a few years the way station at Bushy Run was as normal as might be expected on the wilderness frontier. However, when the Indian uprising known as the Conspiracy of Pontiac threatened Fort Pitt, Colonel Bouquet was given the responsibility of relieving the fort of its danger.

   Bouquet’s relief force left the staging point at Carlisle on July 18, and reached Ligonier on August 2. Leaving Ligonier on August 4, the force camped a short distance west of Ligonier. Camp broke early August 5, with Bouquet intending to go on that day as far as a stream called Bushy Run. Shortly before reaching that point, the force was beset by a sudden Indian attack.

   Thus began the historic two-day battle, August 5-6, which the noted historian Francis Parkman stated was one of the best-contested actions ever fought between the white man and the Indians. The battle came at the very critical time that white civilization was being threatened along the frontiers of Pennsylvania. The battle assured relief for Fort Pitt and represented the turning point in thwarting the Indian rebellion.

   In his two reports of the fighting, Colonel Bouquet, the victor of the battle of Bushy Run, supports the fact that the name Bushy Run refers to two distinct places – one a stream that meandered from its source near Cloverleaf Golf Course southward through what is now Harrison City to its junction with Brush Creek at Manor; the other place was the forested hilltop where the strategic battle took place. His report of the first day’s action at Edge Hill is headed “Camp at Edge Hill” and states that “I intended to have halted today at Bushy Run (a mile beyond this camp)… .”

   After the second day of fighting, and after the burial of the dead on the western hilltop, the soldiers began a slow march towards Fort Pitt; but as Colonel Bouquet intended on the previous day, they reached only as far as Bushy Run, present Harrison City, where they camped that evening. Bouquet’s report written at that time bore the heading “Camp at Bushy Run, 6th Aug., 1763.”

   For posterity, the Bushy Run battle action was a historic case of the right man, at the right place, at the right time. For the Bushy Run Lions, it provided rational and unequivocal support for their special choice of the club name. And labeled with such distinctive appellation, the Bushy Run Lions Club was challenged to distinctive humanitarian service in Lionism.

 

 History of the Bushy Run Lions Club 1948-1998 by John W. Mochnick

 

         
  CHARTER MEMBERS
         
Ivan Anderson       George W. Kunkle
Dr. W.E.Bauer       William Lazar
Michael Baloh, Jr.       Joseph H. Lux
Peter Baloh       Joseph Milhalic
Cleon Berlin       James F. Miller
Walter E. Blake       John Mochnick
George Blank       Tarcisio Onder
Paul Blank       Dale S. Opela
Bedrich Blazek       Stephen Opela
Harry C. Brown       Joseph A. Orris, Jr.
Charles M. Buterbaugh, Jr.     Joseph Orris, Sr.
Emil Cavanaugh       Lewis Leroy Potts
John Costellic       Benjamin Raymaley
Paul J. Cush       Andy Rizzardi
Pat J. DeZorzi       Edmund Saraceni
Warren E. Elliott       Paul W. Scholz
Joseph K. Esler       Frank Seda
Carl D. Frye       Thomas Seda
Walter George       Henry Park Shearer
Alfred J. Gongaware       George E. Stemmler
Frank Grabner       Frank Stepnick
Theodore C. Hartman       Frank Supancic
Charles Hostetler       John Turk
William N. Howell       Floyd Warren
John Istanish       Joseph Warren
Richard Jackson       Martin Warren
Robert Jackson, Jr.       Ewing Watt
Almas P. Kauffman       Robert Watt
Ray Kemerer       Walter Wergin
Bert C. Kepple       Clarence C. Whirlow
Paul P. King       Lee O. Worthing
Rudolph Kosoglow       Rudolph Yerina
George Kratofil       Martin Zackel, Jr.
William Kren       Rudolph Zackel
Zeigy Kunczewski        

 

   

                 
  BUSHY RUN LIONS CLUB PAST PRESIDENTS
                 
1948-1949 George Stemmler   1981-1982 Cyrus Homer III
1949-1950 Walter Wergin   1982-1983 Angelo DeSantis
1950-1951 Ewing Watt   1983-1984 Carl Bruno
1951-1952 Carl Frye     1984-1985 Willis Krohe
1952-1953 John Mochnick   1985-1986 Clifford Martin
1953-1954 Paul King     1986-1987 Robert Sartain
1954-1955 Rudy Yerina   1987-1988 James Lindsay II
1955-1956 Charles Hostetler   1988-1989 William Vechter
1956-1957 Ivan Anderson   1989-1990 David Wojciechowicz
1957-1958 James Kelly   1990-1991 John Forringer
1958-1959 Joseph Esler   1991-1992 Kenneth Blawas
1959-1960 Paul Fatur   1992-1993 Dennis Kearney
1960-1961 Walter Blake   1993-1994 Robert Likar
1961-1962 Wayne Frye   1994-1995 Keith Brown
1962-1963 Ralph Nicol   1995-1996 Emery Toth Jr
1963-1964 David Cunningham   1996-1997 Hilary Schramm
1964-1965 Herbert Good   1997-1998 Daniel Janicik
1965-1966 Edward Grant   1998-1999 David Cunningham
1966-1967 Paul Joseph   1999-2000 Carl Shuster
1967-1968 Joseph Hague   2000-2002 Keith Rubright
1968-1969 Frank Maffessanti   2002-2004 Keith Brown
1969-1970 Wayne Blank   2004-2005 John Forringer
1970-1971 James Lindsay II   2005-2007 Martin Garvey
1971-1972 Joseph Mahkovec   2007-2008 Keith Rubright
1972-1973 Robert Angle   2008-2009 Mark Close
1973-1974 William Vechter   2009-2011 Patrick Cartwright
1974-1975 Clifford Martin   2011-2012 Albert (Buddy) Tanyer
1975-1976 Willis Krohe   2012-2013 Warren Barkell
1976-1977 Robert Sartain   2013-2014 Robert Gerstel
1977-1978 John Hajduk   2014-2015 David DeFazio
1978-1979 Samuel Kistler   2015-2017 David Katz
1979-1980 Wayne Brentzel   2017-2019 Joseph Mediate
1980-1981 William McKee   2019-2020 Albert (Buddy) Tanyer
           

  

      

 

 

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