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J. M. Bales Oil Company - Union Twnp PA

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My uncle John “Merle” Bales, a longtime resident of Harlansburg, was an avid outdoorsman who loved to race pigeons. He served in the Pigeon Service for the U.S. Army during World War II and saw service in North Africa, Italy, and southern France. Afterwards he operated a general store in Harlansburg adjacent to the Village Inn and served as the Fire Chief of the Scott Township Volunteer Fire Department. In the mid-1950’s he got involved in the heating oil business and later opened the J. M. Bales Oil Company at #2318 West State Street (Route 224) in Union Township. Merle was slowed by health issues (he suffered a stroke at a young age) and sold the business in the early 1970’s. It became home to the McCracken Oil Company and today the site is owned by the Frenz Petroleum Corporation. Merle passed away at the young age of sixty-two in June 1982 and was buried next to his parents in West Newton, Pennsylvania. (c1962) Full Size



(c1960) Full Size


(c1960) Full Size


(c1960) Full Size


(c1960) Full Size

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