One Hundred Years Ago
Foot arouses suspicion of murder
A sensation was caused at Bakers Mills near the last part of May, 1914, by the finding of what by some people believe to be a human foot in a strip of woods about 75 rods from the place where William Merrill was found dead in the ruins of his store. Many people believe that the foot once belonged to Merrill and therefore they contend that he was murdered. District Attorney James S. Kiley has been notified and will make an investigation. The theory of murder is scouted by other people at Bakers Mills who are positive that the foot is that of a bear.
William Merrill met his death a year ago, last April 8, 1913, when his store was burned to the ground. The building caught fire during the night and his body was found in the ruins. One leg was missing, but this aroused no suspicion and it was generally believed that the fire had been caused by the overturning of a lamp. Several other theories as to the cause of the fire was advanced by the residents of that section and at no time was there ever the slightest hint that the storekeeper’s death was due to anything but an accident.
A few days ago William Lackey found a foot near a stump in the strip of woods. Instantly the rumor spread through the place that it was the foot of Merrill. Dr. Lemon Thomson, of Glens Falls, declared that it was a bear’s foot and Dr. J.L. Fuller, of North Creek, was equally as positive that it was not the foot of a human being. Deputy Sheriff Charles Baker, of Bakers Mills, is firm in the belief that the foot is that of a bear and discredits the idea of Merrill having been the victim of murder. District Attorney Kiley, however, is of the opinion that it is indeed a human foot and is acting upon his belief. (Note – The story of William Merrill’s untimely death was told in this column in the April 20 and April 27, 2013 issue of the Adirondack Journal. Rumor had it that at the time of the fire Merrill had been walking around intoxicated in his store at one o’clock in the morning with a lighted kerosene lantern, but this was never proved. Mrs. Merrill and her nephew, Edgar Cole, asleep in the upper story at the time of the fire, barely escaped with their lives. If the foot was actually that of a bear, one can not help but wonder just what happened to the rest of the animal’s body.)
John Duggan gravely injured
John Duggan, one of Warrensburgh’s most highly respected citizens, lies at his home on lower Elm Street suffering from two broken ribs and many painful bruises on his body as the result of an accident which occurred on May 31, 1914, of which he was the victim.
After attending the 10:30 mass at St. Cecelia’s Church, Mr. Duggan, following his custom of many years, walked uptown for an exchange of greetings with his many friends. At the Adirondack Hotel, while passing through a rather dark hallway, he opened, by mistake, a door leading to the cellar and stepping through it fell down the stairs to the bottom where he struck on his back and side. The noise of his fall attracted immediate attention and several men went to his assistance. He was taken to an upper room and was attended immediately by Dr. John M. Griffin who was fortunately found in his office nearby. After temporary relief had been administrated, Mr. Duggan was placed in Dr. Griffin’s automobile and taken to his home.
The physician’s examination showed that two ribs were broken about an inch from the spinal column and a third was probably cracked. There was also quite a severe cut on the back of one hand and severe bruises on his back and side. The injuries in a man of Mr. Duggan’s age, 79 years, are naturally dangerous. He is expected to recover. (Note – The Adirondack Hotel was located where Rite Aid is today. Mr. Duggan lived in the caretaker’s cottage at the Isham estate. This estate on Main Street was called The Elms and today the building is commonly called The Pillars. The cottage behind it on lower Elm Street was later owned by the late Merv Hadden and lastly by the late Grant Eldridge. John Duggan survived his fall, lived for another five years was well known for his excellent gardening skills.)
Granger, gone in his prime
Clinton R. Granger, 30, died Sunday morning, May 31, 1914 at the Grove House, Kattskill Bay on Lake George. He is survived by his widow, two sons, Kenyon C. and Donald C. Granger, three bothers, Claude, Gordon and Reginald Granger and a sister, Mrs. John Mulford.
The deceased was a native of the town of Horicon and was a son of the late Marcus Granger, formerly a well-known resident of that place, but later of Glens Falls. Internment was in Pine View Cemetery, Glens Falls. (Note – Marcus E. Granger and his wife, E.Viola Smith, located in Horicon in 1874. He was proprietor of the Horicon House.)
Boy returns to asylum
Abram Burdick, a Warrensburgh young man whom has been mentally afflicted for a number of years and only recently discharged from the state hospital for the insane at Utica, while visiting his sister last month, Mrs. Louis Weaver, in Hudson Falls, became violently insane and was taken in charge by officers and placed in the village lockup. He was later taken to Glens Falls and Wednesday, June 3, 1914 was committed back to the asylum.
Paper Mill accident
Schuyler Rhodes, a Lewisville, Warrensburgh young man, had his left arm broken in an accident at the Schroon River Pulp and Paper Mill, in Burnhamville, Saturday night, May 16, 1914, while “tending the dicker.” His foot slipped and he fell against the machine and his hand was caught between the belt and the pulley wrenching the member and breaking the bone just above the elbow. He was taken to his home where Dr. Griffin attended him.
Bicycle out of control
While coasting on his bicycle down the grade in front of the Grand Army House on lower Main Street, Floyd Dickinson, on Tuesday evening, June 9, 1914, collided with Will Russell’s automobile coming up and escaped death by a very narrow margin.
In the approaching darkness, young Dickinson did not see the auto until it was close upon him. He was then unable to check his speed. When the crash came he was thrown from his wheel on to the brick pavement and sustained many painful bruises and a severe shaking up. The bicycle came out of the mix-up only for the junk pile and the windshield and a lamp on the automobile were smashed. (Note – The Grand Army House was where George Henry’s restaurant is at this time.)
New deputy sheriff
William E. Burdette, a prominent Republican in the third ward of Glens Falls, has been appointed by Sheriff Richard J. Bolton as Deputy Sheriff in place of the late Louis H. Mosher. Mr. Burdette was formerly editor of the Glens Falls Daily Times for several years and is at present secretary of the Griffon Shirt Company. (Note – The story of the tragic death of Louis H. Mosher was told in this column in the May 25, 2014 Adirondack Journal.)
For rent – House, five minutes walk from Warrensburgh Shirt Factory. Recently repaired, $6 per month. Inquire of Mary S. Herrick.
For sale – Iron fences removed from Warrensburgh Cemetery, for a circular lot thirty feet in diameter. Iron posts for a chain fence. All parts anchored with stone foundations for setting. Inquire at the office of B.P. Burhans & Son, Warrensburgh. Also for sale is a billiard table. (Note – Although Colonel Benjamin Peck Burhans died in 1875, the former “Burhans Bank,” most probably the “Burhans office,” was the building that houses St. Cecilia’s rectory today.)
The long period of clear weather which had almost developed into a destructive drought was broken by a gentle rain which began falling about nine o’clock the morning of June 3, 1914 and continued into the next day.
Spring housecleaning is in full blast and everything is turned upside down. Strawberries are blossomed full and so are apple trees, cherries and plums. Potatoes are growing fine and so are the potato bugs and apple tree worms.
The Palisades Hotel, on beautiful Brant Lake, one of the most popular summer resorts in this section, opened for the season on Saturday with 100 guests. The dining room was filled to its utmost capacity and several automobile parties were turned away.
It was just 19 years ago, June 8, 1895, that the Lake George – Prospect Mountain Railway opened in Lake George.
Charles Morehouse, of Horicon Avenue, Warrensburgh, a carpenter in the employ of Count Mankowski, of Bolton Landing, broke a bone in his foot while working and was obliged to go home for a rest of about two weeks.
A party of young men from Warrensburgh made a bicycle trip on Sunday, June 1, 1914 to Bolton Landing.
John Davis’ house at Mill Creek, Johnsburgh, caught fire early Sunday, May 24, 1914. The neighbors were aroused by John’s cries for help and responded quickly. A bucket brigade was formed and the building was saved from complete destruction.
A daughter, Catherine L. Tate was born to Leroy and Alma Wend Tate, Dec. 23, 1913, in Wynantskill. (Note – Catherine L. Saunders, 100, the widow of Willard Saunders, died May 24, 2014 in Johnsonville.)
Reuben Ross is having an addition built on his house in Sodom which makes a great improvement in the looks of the building.
John Glassbrook, of Stony Creek, has bought a new automobile which he will use in his livery.
Walter H. Pasco has been presented with a Maxwell touring car by his father-in-law, Halsey Herrick. The machine was purchased from Edson Granger, the local agent. (Note- Walter H. Pasco, Warrensburgh businessman, first married Halsey Herrick’s daughter, Elizabeth Eleanor Herrick, in 1913 and they had a son, Delbert Herrick Pasco. Walter’s second wife was Helen Brennan.)
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.