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Judge James Harris Mussina

Judge James Harris Mussina

Birth
Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 17 Jan 1953 (aged 89)
Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Secton J, Lot 7
Memorial ID 92761012 · View Source
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The remarkable career of James Harris Mussina came to an end Saturday at 1:45 p. m., the hour marked down at the Lock Haven Hospital as the time of death of this intrepid old man whose 89 years spanned some of Lock Haven's most colorful history. Not only did "Judge" Mussina' years span history; he helped make it. In recent years, as vigorous youth gave way to restricted old age, each January 11 he turned the tables of convention, and celebrated his birthday by giving a party for his friends, instead of the other way around. Here, in an atmosphere thick with cigar smoke, the judge's favorite ozone, he delighted friends with stories about rafting days on the Susquehanna, memories of his boyhood. The river was so full of fish in those days, he once told friends, that he recalled sitting on the bank, shooting perch in the water. His mature years were spent in a more serious profession, law and law enforcement, as probation officer, sheriff of Clinton County, and associate judge, from which derived the title judge by which he has long been known. His memory and his father's memory stretched back into the beginnings of Lock Haven. Judge Mussina recalled how his mother came to Farrandsville from Trout Run in 1832, and his father, Lyons Mussina, to Salona from Aaronsburg, in 1849. It was 1850 when Lyons Mussina came to Lock Haven to become a canal clerk in Lockport, the first step in an eventful, prosperous life for the elder Mussina. The son, born Jan. 11, 1864, at 123 North Jay St., lived his entire life at that residence, except for the four years he spent "In jail," living as sheriff of the county in the sheriff's residence. Through 22 leap years he remained the town's "most eligible bachelor," during a life almost incredibly full of variety. A skinny boy aged 10; he began 20 years of lumbering on the river by carrying water for the rafters. That was in 1874. He was promoted to tape boy, then to tallyman and finally became a shipping clerk. He has told that in 1889 as shipping clerk, he was the last person to telephone from Lock Haven before the destructive June flood struck the city. He called his employer at Lewisburg, warning him in time to save rafts. When the rafting business waned, Harris Mussina learned steam fitting and went into the plumbing business with his father, Mussina and Gould, later Mussina and Brunner. His father also became part of Mussina and Reed, a company that cut and stored the thick winter ice on the river for summer sales, and dealt in coal.
In 1905 he was elected the county's first Democratic sheriff; in 1909, at the end of that term he was first appointed probation officer; and in 1916 he was elected for one term as associate judge. Following his term as judge he again was appointed probation officer, and it Is in that official capacity that most of the younger generation has known of "Judge" Mussina. He was dean of Masons in this area. He joined the lodge in 1887, and was honored 50 years later for a half century of membership and for 40 of those years was district deputy grand master of Masons in Pennsylvania. He became a life member in 1919. His other affiliations were numerous. He was a member of First Baptist Church, a life member of the Lock Haven Lodge of Elks, to which he had belonged for 59 years; the U. O. S. of A. and Knights of Pythias, being the oldest member in the city; and the Rotary Club, which he joined in 1922. He had served as a trustee of Rockview Penitentiary, where he became a close personal friend of Dr. J. W. Claudy, former superintendent. Dr. Claudy now at Western Penitentiary, where weekend disorders among prisoners have made the headlines, was to have conducted the funeral services. He called this morning to express his regret at being unable to do so. The judge had also served on a state penal institution board, was one-time school director, director of the Lock Haven Hospital, a member of the Wheel Club in Williamsport, of Highland Cemetery Association and one-time manager of the old Opera House here. The accident in which he lost his right arm occurred nearly a half century ago, on Nov. 12, 1903. He was unloading coal at the present freight station when he was thrown from a car when the train crew made a "flying switch." Judge Mussina had been in failing health for some months. He had been a patient in the Lock Haven Hospital during the autumn, and was again admitted on Nov. 26, Thanksgiving eve. This month, for the first time in many years, he was unable to be host at his usual big birthday party. Nephews and nieces are his only survivors. [Lock Haven Express, January 19, 1953, Page 1]

MUSSINA - Services for J. Harris Mussina, 123 N. Jay St., who died Saturday, Jan. 17, 1953 at the Lock Haven Hospital, will be held Wednesday at 2 p. m. at the Masonic Temple, the Rev. Henry Murdoch officiating. Burial, Highland Cemetery. Friends may call at the Helt Funeral Home until Tuesday evening, when the viewing will be at the Masonic Temple. Interment, Highland Cemetery. [Lock Haven Express, January 19, 1953, Page 1]


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  • Created by: Bruce Speck
  • Added: 29 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 92761012
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Judge James Harris Mussina (11 Jan 1864–17 Jan 1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 92761012, citing Highland Cemetery, Lock Haven, Clinton County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Bruce Speck (contributor 46873080) .