The Durham Historical Society recently came into possession of an original oil painting by the late Berks
County artist, Paul “Papa” Horning. Mr. Horning, born late in the 19th Century, was a self-trained artist
who expressed his talent basically in oil painting depicting rural and agricultural scenes of Eastern
Pennsylvania. Mr. Horning painted from memory, studying the subject area carefully and then returning
to his studio, he painted the scene as it had been stored in his mind.
The painting, a gift from Mrs. Ronny Riegel, depicts a team of six horses with a covered wagon standing
by the old Durham Grist Mill. The painting shows the mill as it would have looked prior to 1913 (when
the warehouse portion of the structure was built. Durham Road and Old Furnace Road are shown as dirt
roads and the old Durham General store is proudly displayed as well.
The painting ad originally been owned by Dr. Richard Riegel, Ronny’s late husband. Dr. Riegel was born
in Durham and had a father and brother who were both millers at the Durham Mill. Dr. Riegel served in
the Korean War in a M.A.S.H. unit and was a scrub nurse for Dr., Richard Hornsberger, who under the
pseudonym, Richard Hooker, wrote the original book that the M.A.S.H. TV series and movie were based
The painting will be on loan to Durham Township to be displayed at the township meeting room.
The Society sincerely offers their thanks to Mrs. Riegel for her generosity.