Biography of an Emporium Beauty Queen

HMI Announces a new series of Cameron County Essays

Emporium, PA — In the Allegheny mountains of Pennsylvania, there is an isolated town where few people live but many amazing stories have been written. I’ll bet you haven’t heard many of these stories unless you grew up there too.

The total number of people who call Emporium “Home”, will surprise you. They seem to be everywhere.  You meet them here and there, hither and yon, in areas of the U.S. and even other countries where you least expect them to be. I call Emporium home too.

Our hometown sits in a valley about 50 miles from everywhere. Most mornings are cool and misty, no matter the season. The wide borough streets are quiet and at one time were lined with trees.

In the distance there may be the occasional bugle of a bull elk, screech of a hawk or howl of the encroaching coyote. The air smells clothesline fresh with no hint of farming but once in a blue moon, you may smell a skunk or two.

Emporium has the friendliest people, the most beautiful scenery and front porch swings that really work.

In Great-Great-Grandma’s day, and over the last one hundred and sixty-plus years, many folks lived out their days, from cradle to grave in this wooded area.  But lately, many have started their stories here and then went on to live their lives outside of the sanctuary of our hills. For the time they lived in the PA Wilds, they developed similar strong characters from the rural background, developed a great work ethic and an appreciation for nature and all God’s creatures.

The telling of their stories is rare and important. That’s why we must do it.  Not biographies of the rich and famous, these stories are life essays of hometown folk who are real and unknown.

Remember, no matter who you are, you are famous in the hearts and memories of your classmates, friends and family who now live all over the world.

The very first book in this collector’s series is the story about Ruth Lathrop……

Graduated from Emporium High School in 1952, Ruth Ann Kronenwetter Lathrop is a beauty queen and a pioneer in women’s physical education and in the man’s world of Sales, Marketing, Real Estate and Business.

Ruth’s story is the first story in a series of Cameron County stories.  You can purchase this book by Cathy O. Swarmer, online at Barnes and Noble .com, or you may order directly from the Publisher (HMI) by clicking here and completing this contact form.   An invoice will be sent to confirm your order.

If you want to order by mail, you can send your order information to:  Hometown Mentors, Inc., P.O. Box 394, Yeagertown, PA  17099.

Hometown Mentors, Inc. is proudly founded in Emporium, Cameron County, Pennsylvania.

Cameron County Writers are Invited to contact [email protected]

One person is unable to write all the Hometown stories.  Therefore we are extending an invitation to you.  Any Cameron County resident (past or present) who is interested in writing and publishing a children’s book, or the biographical story of their mentor to be included in the new Essays of the Real and Unknown series.  For more information please email:  [email protected]


Order The First 17 Years Are the Hardest

Hometown Mentors published this unique autobiography, written by a 17 year old high school boy, in 1949. That boy is now eighty-nine years old and he’s not so sure that the first 17 years are the hardest.  His innocent words, written to fulfil an English assignment, have turned into a small unique piece of Americana. The essay documents his life from birth in 1932 to his last year in high school.   Authors:  Ken Ostrum and Cathy Swarmer  © January 2021   ISBN: PB – 9781666241976   AND  HC – 9781666236194

Order online at B&N


The Story of Ruth Ann Kronenwetter Lathrop

By:  Cathy Swarmer © March 2021

ISBN: 9781666264111

B& online or contact the author


First Book Published: A DUCK NAMED PUDDLES

The Story of a very lucky duck — PUDDLES

By:  Susie Singer and Cathy Swarmer © July 2020

ISBN: 9781663537706

B& online or contact the author