Well, Great Grandpa, Willis Ridgway made a valiant attempt to keep the new sanitarium going, but after a few years things weren’t looking real promising.

Willis was a quiet, peaceful type of man. It’s hard to believe that he was the sheriff in some county out in the state of Indiana.

Willis’ daddy, Uncle Sam, was just the opposite. Uncle Sam was six- foot, five-inches tall and weighed over 300 pounds. Uncle Sam had a very charismatic personality, while his son was a little more subdued. Uncle Sam had really big hands, which probably helped him when it came to massaging the Ridgway’s Acme Liniment in properly.

Things started slowing down and they had some people, I believe from Ohio, that wanted to buy the rights to the Ridgway’s Acme Liniment, so they sold it.

After that, Eliza and her son, Willis, kept wondering if they did the right thing by selling Dad’s liniment formula.

In 1906, a new government agency was started — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  They were a gung ho bunch and it didn’t take them long before they tossed Ridgway’s Acme Liniment aside. The FDA said, “You can’t sell this stuff. It doesn’t meet FDA approval. We don’t care what you say it cures!”

So it turned out that it was a very good move to sell the formula when they did.  And Great Grandpa, Willis still had the Ridgway Hotel right smack dab in the middle of beautiful downtown Hydetown!

Penial Crane had a hotel up at the other end of Hydetown.  It was called “The Weed House,” and Jim Fleming took it over after Penial Crane left.

When I was a kid, I heard some of the old-timers talking about “Ladies of the Night” working at that hotel.

As a matter of fact, Jim Fleming shot himself in his office at the hotel one night. Nobody knew why. Maybe he was still grieving the death of his 20-year-old daughter, Eva.  Eva was a school teacher out at Newtontown.

Hydetown was going through a lot of changes.

Come on out. Pull up a bridge and we’ll swap some stories.

Church schedules

— Hydetown Baptist Church: Pastor Jeff Sterling. Sunday: 9:30 a.m., Sunday school; 11, Worship service. Wednesday, 6:15 p.m., Prayer Focus Group; 7. Bible study and prayer. All are welcome.

Sunday sermon: “Go Away Old Man!” Colossians 3:1-11.

Hydetown area residents can tune their radios to 90.3 FM on Sunday to hear the entire Worship service at 11 a.m. Folks are also invited to come to Hydetown, park their cars and hear the service live on their car radios – 90.3 FM. The service can be heard for up to three miles in every direction from the church.

— Hydetown United Methodist Church: Pastor Richard Foland. Sunday:  9:45 a.m., Worship service.  Wednesday 3 – 5 p.m., Bible study.


— The Fall Gun Raffle at the Hydetown VFD is this evening, Oct. 2. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. There will be  four - $200 door prize drawings. Food and beverage are included. There will be instant tickets, a Silent Auction, side raffles, 50/50 and 14 guns on the main ticket. You need not be present to win.  

A final word

Welcome October 2021!  There are lots of good things about October like it is; “National Apple Month,” “National Pizza Month,” and ”National Guardian Angels Month.” Thank God for our Guardian Angels! This weekend would be a great weekend to go to a Corn Maze, have a nature scavenger hunt or go to a pumpkin patch. Tomorrow is “World Communion Sunday.” Don’t forget to go to church together as a family!

Contact us

Jeff and Robin may be reached at (814) 775-0107 for anyone wanting to make positive contributions to this column.  People submitting news and activities are asked to limit the news and activities to those of the Hydetown area.

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Wear a mask. Even vaccinated people can still get the Covid. Stay home, stay safe.

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