Nanticoke Historical Society

Nanticoke Historical Society

Saturday, June 18, 2016

John S. Fine part I

It's been awhile since I've done any blogging and I may be a little rough around the edges but I will try to present a story of interest.  The Story of John S. Fine may not be familiar to many readers. But if you are a History buff especially a Nanticoke History buff and lived in Nanticoke for a number of years.  You will find this story fascinating.

Perhaps you are a graduate of John S. Fine  High School. Has any one questioned why the school was named after him?  Has anyone told you of his story? This blog will reveal everything the the Nanticoke Historical Society has researched about him.  We are happy to share this story with you.  In the past I have closed the comment box.  After reconsideration I have decided to open it up.  After reading this blog we would love to hear your stories as as a student of John S. Fine High
school. Share your comments here and your photos on our Facebook page.
We would love to hear from you.

Notice: All photos in this blog are the archive of the Nanticoke Historical Society and are freely placed into the public domain any third party material that may appear will properly credited. If you take credited material please keep the captioned source.  Respect the rights of others.  Their hard work is deserving of such respect.

We are in construction of a John S. Fine Library with a collect of personal artifacts, law books and photos, some of which are not seen here.  Please support the Nanticoke Historical Society we have much to offer.  Become a a member or benefactor.  Become active, we need the help for simple tasks.  Extra hands could help so much.


John Sydney Fine

  (Includes excerpts taken from article on the life of John S. Fine, author uncredited, now in possession of Nanticoke Historical Society. New material added as uncovered.) 

The whole story will posted  Installments

And  Now Our Story Part 1


Before we start I will outline some key points of John S. Fine.

The Former Governor of Pennsylvania

  • John Sydney Fine was born in Alden on 10 April 1893, the son of Jacob W. and Margaret C. Fine.
  • He was a resident of Nanticoke
  • Fine graduated from Nanticoke HS. 
  •  He was an attorney 
  • 1927  John S. Fine took the oath of office as Luzerne County Judge in Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, Philadelphia, on 3 January He was a Luzerne County Judge
  • Fine is the name sake of Nanticoke Senior High School
  • He served in the military during WWI
  • Member of the VFW and American Legion
  • Fine Served as Governor from 1951 to 1955
  • Died May 21, 1978 at the age of 85
  • Fine was of the Episcopal Faith
  • Services where conducted by Rev. Henry  R. Taxdal and
    Rev. William Halloway
  • Fine was entombed in the Hanover Green Cemetery

Our Photo Album


In this segment we will focus on the  John S. Fine Library in an upstairs room of the Samantha Mill House, our Home and office of the Nanticoke Historical Society. I hope to complete all segments by the Destination Date Aug. 19, 2016. Time 11:00 am. All will be revealed at this time.  Among the articles collected are Fine law books his personal Bible many photos and other documents of his period.

In the Mill House a collection of photos have been preserved some of these photos. This photo of Fine by Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eistesteade was taken at the National Republican Convention where Fine served as a delegate in 1936

This photo of Fine was take with actor/comedian Bob Hope. The exact details of the occasion were not detailed with this photo but one can surmise that Fine, whom was active in the military during WWI had a photo opportunity perhaps some time after his tour of service since he was not uniform at the time.  Hope often did USO tours in the period to help keep up the moral of the troupes.  Hope, a popular entertainer of the time was well know and a visit from him was more than warmly welcome.  The photo op would to appear to be with him some time after his years of service and would  have been rare, as most everyone, especially our men would almost certainly clamored  at the opportunity.

This photo of apparently of Fine and his brother was labeled in our archives as "Fine Children" and is the photo by   Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eistesteade

An abundance of photos of Fine may easily be found on the internet.  In our collection we have a series of political of undefined origin. Many articles about fine can be found online with background stories.  These photos have been acquired by the Fine Family whom was ready to dispose of them without realization of the historic value.

These political photos are in the NHS  collection without sources listed  or captioned. One may assume that they were campaign  photos or part of the John S. Fine Library that NHS has acquired and is currently organizing.

I have personally not have had the opportunity to visit the library.  It is still under construction. I intend in the near future to document the contents and share with our blogesphere many interesting articles.

Add caption
Our next photos are from a newspaper clipping source AP wire (wmv 32230stfg) local paper unidentified. Here the Governor escorts his wife the day he was inaugurated. The day followed with an inaugural Ball.  Perhaps somewhere in Harrisburg.  Photo 2 the
swearing in ceremony.
According to phillyroads.com  In 1947, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) proposed a series of extensions beyond the existing 160 miles already opened. Legislation signed that year enabled not only construction of extensions east to Valley Forge and west to the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, but also preliminary planning for additional routes in the turnpike system. In these photos Governor Fine is shown breaking ground on the NE Extension. 
The exact date of ground breaking was not included with these photos
BUILDING THE PIKE:It took 20 Months to build the initial 37 miles of the extension from the southern terminus in Plymouth Meeting north to the current EXIT 56 (US 22 / Lehigh Valley Thruway). This initial section of the four-lane turnpike opened to traffic on November 23, 1955, but the two intervening interchanges at Lansdale (current EXIT 31 / PA 63) and Quakertown (current EXIT 44 / PA 663) did not open until early December.









Our Story Continues...

These photos are courtesy Jules Shick and the Fine Family show what is described as political photos. The photo on the right shows Mamie and Dwight Eisenhower.  The photo on the left would appear to be Fine at the State Capitol.






Candidate Fine and his wife Nov. 6 year unspecified photo courtesy Assoc. Press wire photo.Photo on right Penn. State Department Chamber of Commerce and the Fine Family.







Fine was a member of both VFW and the American Legion show here are his membership cards courtesy of the Fine Family.




This Concludes Installment 1 of our series of John S. Fine. Continue following us on our website and Facebook as our story unfolds.

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