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This Week in Port Jervis History

On November 29, 1927, photographer, Ludolph Hensel, died at his home in Hawley. Ludolph Hensel was born on January 29, 1849 in New York City to Louis Hensel and Sewetj Ames. Ludolph moved with his family to Port Jervis in 1866 at the age of 17. After serving as an assistant photographer in Port Jervis, he opened his own studio at 4 Front Street in 1875. Ludolph created landscape photographs and stereographs, much of which he produced while in Port Jervis. Ludolph and his father were involved in performances by local organizations such as the Literary Association and Concordia, a local German and Jewish organization formed in 1874 that put on instrumental and theatrical performances. In 1870, Ludolph played the role of Puffy, the baker, in a performance of the Poor of New York at Graham’s Hall (on the corner of Pike and Hammond Streets). His father also produced an operetta, “Der Rasende Handwerkbursche” (the Wandering Tailor) in 1870. Ludolph is buried at Laurel Grove Cemetery next to Theresa, his wife of fifty-three years.

On November 29, 1934, the Port Jervis football team played their annual Thanksgiving Day game against Middletown. The first Thanksgiving matchup between the two teams took place in 1897, just weeks after their first ever match. On Thanksgiving day in 1934, Port Jervis beat Middletown 18-6 at Glenette Field. Their quarterback and captain was junior, Eddie Dunn, who later played for the University of Miami. In 1938, Dunn played in the first Florida-Miami game, in which he scored all three touchdowns. Dunn served as the University of Miami's baseball coach from 1946 to 1954 and as head coach for the football team from 1943 to 1944. In 2009, Dunn was inducted into the University of Miami’s Ring of Fame.

On December 1, 1873, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was founded by Joshua Alexander Leach and 10 other Erie Railroad firemen. Firemen stoked the boilers of locomotives to keep them running. Leach was born in 1843 in Ireland and emigrated to the United States with his family in the 1840s. In 1852, he was left orphaned and lived with a farmer in Orange County. In 1857, he began working as a tow boy on the D&H Canal and he later worked as a deckhand on the Hudson River and as a sailor. Leach served as a member of the 56th New York Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. In 1869, Leach began working as a fireman for the Erie Railroad. The first meeting of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was held at Lockwood Hall (also known as Rosencrance Hall) at 92 Pike Street. The meeting space on the third floor was named Deerpark Lodge and later Leach Lodge. In 1874, George Page was killed in the Port Jervis yards when a boiler exploded, becoming the first member of the B of LF to be killed. Leach served as the first president until 1876. In 1969, the B of LF (then called the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen) merged with three other unions to form the United Transportation Union (UTU).

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