•100 Years Ago - April-May 1911•
A slow, painful spring
The Bakers Mills village school and the Edwards Hill district school are closed because of the measles, which have a firm grasp on the area and are the cause of many deaths.
Farmers are planting early potatoes. They are liable to get chilled if this cold weather continues. The night of May 1, 1911 had severe lightning, thunder and wind storm.
On Easter Sunday, the weather was fair, but a cold blast from the north made the occasion quite uncomfortable for those who ventured out without their winter overgarments.
Elmer Streeter of South Horicon has made 650 pounds of maple sugar during a season that started out slowly but to everyone's amazement, the sap just keeps on running.
Veteran suffers violent death
Henry Hill, an aged veteran of the Civil War, was found dead on the morning of April 29, 1911 on the ground at the north end of the Bolton House, on Lower Main St. in Warrensburgh. His body was terribly crushed and shattered, his right leg being fractured in two places and the right arm and lower jaw broken. He had fallen from the piazza roof upon which opened the window of the room he had occupied in the third story of the hotel. He had evidently been dead for several hours.
Hill lived with his family on Harrington Hill in the southern part of town. He was in the habit of coming to the village occasionally and sometimes would stay for two or three days at the Bolton House. He was always assigned to a room in the northwest corner and on the third floor of the building.
Frequently, it is said, he would roam about the house at night only partially awake. It is believed that on this occasion he crept through one of the front windows opening from his room onto the piazza roof and lost his balance and pitched headforemost to the ground about 20 feet below. No outcry was heard by anyone in the building. At 5:30 in the morning the house was opened and the hosteler, Billings Monroe discovered the body and rushed to inform Harry Bolton, the hotel's owner. Dr. Griffin, after he had examined the body, stated that the man had been dead for several hours.
Mr. Hill would have been 73 years old in August and had been a resident of Warrensburgh since boyhood. He was a carpenter by trade and was known for his skill and honesty. He leaves a widow, three sons, Walter, Bertram and Jay and a daughter, Mrs. Ambrose Griffin, all of Warrensburgh. His funeral was held at the Baptist Church.
Bad luck strikes butcher
Hubert Carroll conducts a meat market in Indian Lake and while closing the door one night recently he stumbled and pushed his left hand through the glass portion of the door. The arteries of his wrist were severed and but for the timely aid of Drs. Bonesteel and Stevenson, the injured man would have bled to death. He is under treatment at the Albany Hospital.
Local herb healer dies
George Henry Newton, 72, formerly of Horicon, died April 17, 1911 at the home of his son, Albert James Newton in Schenectady. He was born May 10, 1839 in Fort Ann but he spent most of his life in our area. He was twice married.
The deceased was a veteran of the Civil War having served in Colonel Chrysler's regiment. He was a cousin of the late Dr. Ira Frazier, a herbalist of Horicon and Lansingburgh, who was famous for his extensive knowledge of roots and herbs. This talent also seemed natural to Mr. Newton and people often came many miles to receive his aid and advise in cases of illness. He was noted for his generosity and no matter who sought his aid at any time of the day or night, he was there to offer his liberal response.
Griffing homestead spruces up
The Griffing homestead is undergoing extensive improvements preparatory to its occupancy this summer by the owners, Grace C. Merrill and her father, Dr. Cyrus S. Merrill of Albany. Hardwood floors are being laid by James Hall in all rooms in the first story and the building is being painted, inside and out by John J. Archer and Herbert March.
Dr. and Miss Merrill are expected to arrive the latter part of May and they will remain until fall. (Note: This house was built by Grace's maternal grandfather, businessman Stephen Griffing II, who starting in 1857 was three times supervisor of Warrensburgh. Today it houses Grace's Restaurant.)
A new trolley car built for the Hudson Valley railroad arrived in Warrensburgh on April 30, 1911 for the first time. The coach is somewhat larger than the old cars and it holds far more people. The fittings are very handsome.
A bright, bouncing baby boy, named Charles Frederick Burhans, Jr., arrived in Warrensburgh to join the family of Charles and Eva Burhans. He has a dainty little sister, Helen Burhans who is four years old. (Note: the Burhans mansion stood on "Burhans Hill," now known as Pine Tree Lane, directly behind today's Town Hall. It was indeed the showplace of the "Queen Village." Made of stone from Hackinsack mountain, the grand structure was torn down in the early 1960s, and the stone from its walls was used to build the town garage.
Fire leaves family homeless
Edward Dimmick's farmhouse was burned April 30, 1911 with nearly all of its contents destroyed. The chimney burned out and set fire to the roof and the shingles were so dry it was impossible with the meager facilities at hand to stop the blaze. The family dinner was cooking on the new steel range that cost $68 and was destroyed together with all the maple sugar and syrup made on the farm this spring. There was $400 insurance on the building but the household goods destroyed were a total loss.
News around Thurman
Spring housecleaning with all its many terrors is upon us once again.
Mrs. Corda Elwell and Mrs. Cora Kenyon of Athol recently walked seven miles to the home of Mrs. Elwell's father, in Dartmouth. Mr. Combs brought them back the next day.
While J.W. Cameron and a young man were in the woods cutting wood, Mr. Cameron went to cut off a limb from the tree they were sawing up and received a severe bruise on one of his feet and he is now going around on crutches.
Elder Edwin H. Hovey of Maple Street, Athol, has sold his Guinea hens to Frank Cameron. John Kenyon is also adding these fowls to his stock of poultry. David Frost has had good success in hatching chickens this spring. "Old Speckle arose from off her nest and cackled with much vigor, as if to say, "That egg I laid, no hen can lay a bigger." (Note: Rev. Hovey married widow Mary E. Hadden Frost and they moved away to Hagadorn Mills to serve in a church there.)
Thought for the Day - "The web of our life is of a mingled yarn." - Shakespeare
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.