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National Apple Museum

It Took a Village, Part 2: Biglerville’s Sesqui-centennial Celebration

As mentioned in Part 1, the gentlemen of the town who had given up shaving were known as the Brothers of the Brush. If you wished to shave, you were required to have a shaver’s permit. If you shaved and had no permit, you might receive a summons to appear before the Chief Magistrate at Kangaroo Kourt. A small jail cell was erected on the square where Kangaroo Kourts were held throughout the week.  

In addition to being summoned to court for shaving, a number of other offenses could land you in the slammer.  A copy of the summons is posted here listing the crimes, misdemeanors, and offenses.

Imagine the humiliation if you were summoned because someone “just didn’t like you”! Found guilty? No problem. Just obtain the proper permit or perhaps stand on the square and sing a song as your punishment. Hopefully you can carry a tune.       


Saturday, August 12 was the day of the Adams County Volunteer Firemen’s parade. The parade featured marching bands, fire companies, drum and bugle corps, floats, twirlers, etc. Bob Baker was the parade’s grand marshal. My family watched the parade from our home on East York Street. It was quite a spectacle, and I doubt that Biglerville has seen a parade of this magnitude since. The Gettysburg Times reported that an estimated 6,000 people, the largest crowd in town’s history gathered to watch the parade, after which the judging of the Brothers of the Brush took place back at the fire hall.  

Winners were

Most Colorful – Terry Stansbury


Longest – Gerald McKinney (3 1/4 inches)

Best Trimmed – Fred Oyler

Best Goatee – Willis Finfrock

Ugliest – Lester VanArsdale

One who tried the hardest – Gene Shaffer

Best group – The Foliage Five, comprised of Clyde Funt, Glenn Rex, Harold Guise, Gerald McKinney, and Tom Leedy.    

Following the judging, men who wished to be relieved of their facial hair could be shaved by local barber, Tom Leedy.   Several were even shaved by their wives. What a fun event!

Saturday’s carnival entertainment, as if we needed more, was the Biglerville High School Band, and the Cannonaders Square Dance group.

The celebration concluded on Sunday morning with a pancake breakfast at the firehall.      

A booklet was published, with Darby and Gene Shaffer Co-chairmen of the booklet committee. Time Marches On is a detailed history of the town.  A copy of the booklet is on file in the library at the National Apple Museum. I have also periodically seen them for sale on Ebay or at local antique malls.

It certainly did take a village to pull off this celebration and what a week it was.      

With thanks to The Gettysburg Times via newspaper archives, and the booklet, Time Marches On for filling in the memory blanks. Also, thanks to Brad Funt, and Darby and Gene Shaffer for the summons and pictures.


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