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The Story Behind Emma and Her Little Autograph Book

Young Emma Strickler of Swatara Station did what so many young people did back in the 1800's and first half of the 20th century, she asked friends and relatives to pen a sentiment or well-wishes in her little autograph book.

Born just three and one half years after Milton Hershey, Emma Brightbill Strickler, seen here as a young girl...

...asked then twenty-one year old Philadelphia "confectioner and fancy cake baker" Milton S. Hershey to pen a note in her autograph book. Almost 144 years ago, he wrote the following:


Photo source: Private Collection

One is only happy in proportion as he makes others feel happy. And only useful as he contributes his influences for the finer callings in life.  

 ~ M. S. Hershey

Derry, Pa. Apr. 9, 1879. 

(Courtesy of Hummelstown Area Historical Society)

Photo source: Private Collection

This is what young "Milt" (right), seen here in a swim suit with Edwin W. Holt, looked like in 1879.

It is of interest to note that Emma Strickler would later marry James G. Fox of Hummelstown becoming the daughter-in-law of Dr. Thomas G. Fox, the man who brought Milton Hershey into the world in the right front bedroom of The Homestead. 

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