•100 years ago — Feb. 1914•
Grain burglars apprehended at last
A tip from an angry woman recently put the sheriff’s office at Lake George on the trail of burglars who for a year are alleged to have been stealing grain and provisions from the store-house of Selleck & Cole near the Delaware and Hudson station at the village. Quick action by Sheriff Bolton and his ever alert deputy, Under Sheriff Mac R. Smith, resulted in the arrest of William Gifford, Lewis and Delbert Combs, Clarence Ross and Rob Roy Lockhart, of Lake George and Gordon Persons of Thurman, who were arraigned before Justice Morris Stanton and held to await the action of the Grand Jury on charges of burglary and larceny.
Clarence Ross, whose sister is the wife of William Gifford, was arrested a few days ago for drunkenness. Mrs. Gifford, who does not live with her husband, believed Gifford had caused her brother’s arrest and suspected that the operations of the gang might have become known. Angry at her husband, she approached Under Sheriff Smith and told him that if Gifford had been talking she would give some information about him. She then stated that Gifford and others had been stealing goods from the Selleck & Cole storehouse.
Warrants were sworn out for the miscreants and they were rounded up and lodged in the county jail.
Search warrants were also secured and at Lockhart’s place about 3,000 pounds of grain alleged to have been stolen from the storehouse was found. At the boarding place of one of the Combs men, a barrel of flour was found which the boarding mistress stated had come from the Selleck & Cole storehouse. It was ascertained in various places that the men had been selling flour for $2 a barrel and that they had also been selling grain for almost nothing, compared to its actual value. Lockhart, Gifford and Persons are married men and have families. Persons at one time was employed by Selleck & Cole. The value of the goods stolen is estimated at more than $1,000.
Prisoner begs for mercy
William Gifford was recently placed in the Lake George jail on suspicion of heading up a gang which purloined stolen grain from a Lake George storehouse. He is a brother of Whitman Gifford, who a short time ago cut his own throat in the county jail while awaiting the action of the Grand Jury on a charge of stealing a horse. Whitman Gifford died two days later in the Glens Falls Hospital.
William Gifford, on being committed to the Warren County Jail, begged Under Sheriff Smith to confine him to another part of the jail than that in which his brother so recently committed his rash act.
(Note: The strange story of Whitman Gifford, 40, of Hague, who had been confined in the Lake George Jail until he decided to end it all with a straight razor, was told in this column in the Nov. 23, 2013 and Jan. 11, 2014 Adirondack Journal. Gifford had stolen a horse from Charles Belden of Horicon while Belden was in jail awaiting trial on a charge of bigamy. After cutting the horse’s tail and mane off and trying unsuccessfully to use black paint to cover over the horse’s distinctive spots, Gifford headed for the woods with a posse in hot pursuit.)
Fine old man retires
Capt. Lee Harris, 82, of East Lake George, a veteran steamboat man of the Queen of American Lakes is now retired. He has many reminiscences of the old days on Lake George when he was a prominent figure as a steamboat captain and guide for many prominent visitors of that time.
Capt. Harris, who does not look his age, is a fine example of the value of right living. He has a sturdy body, an honest heart and a kind and genial disposition and is a remarkably fine specimen of a well-preserved octogenarian.
Almost the first steam yacht that plied the waters of Lake George, the Owl, was commanded by Capt. Harris who ran the boat for excursion parties in connection with the Fort William Henry’s boat livery. At that time there were only three or four power boats on the lake where there are now something like 700.
(Note: The first Fort William Henry Hotel opened in 1855 at the head of Lake George for the enjoyment of rich and affluent guests. Steamers took passengers on daily excursions down the lake and frequent dances and balls were arranged by the management of the lavish old hotel. It burned in 1908 and was immediately rebuilt. It was a golden age.)
Store owner to retire
Richard P. Smith, who has for many years conducted a general store at South Horicon and is the leading citizen of that community, has sold his store building and stock of goods and his handsome residence nearby to Fred H. Duell and on June 1, 1914 will retire from business and remove to Pottersville, where he will make his future home.
Dick Smith has been a long-time resident of Horicon and his departure from the town will be regretted by everyone.
The mayor of Bakers Mills
Charles Baker, Mayor of Bakers Mills, is somewhat of a legend in this up-country community, being practically “the whole thing” in business and social affairs, a deputy sheriff, horseman and automobile enthusiast. Big and good-natured, witty and a good mixer, he is naturally popular wherever he is known, which is about everywhere in this vicinity.
Coming back home to rest
Attorney Samuel M. West, of Glens Falls, died Saturday at his home at 12 Marion Avenue, of heart failure following pleurisy. The deceased was a veteran of the Civil War and a former resident of Warrensburgh. The body was brought to Warrensburgh to be buried in the village cemetery.
Mrs. William Mosher, 37, of Hudson Falls, died March 10, 1914 of pleuro-pneumonia. She was formerly Miss Anna Needham, daughter of the late Thomas Needham of Thurman and Warrensburgh.
Going home to God
Mrs. Foster Tripp died March 19, 1914. Rachael Tripp was deeply religious and her life was a development of right thinking and doing, which made her character distinctively noble and her household and family duties successful, achieved only as with all humanity — by self-denial. Internment is in the Landon Hill Cemetery.
The Ides of March
On March 15, 44 B.C., known as the “Ides of March,” Roman statesman and general Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the senate house by a gang of his “friends,” the principal assassin being Marcus Junius Brutus, who later committed suicide.
This winter seems to want to go away and than abruptly turns to come back to bite us once again. Now in late March we still have plenty of snow and have ran out of places to put it. It continues cold. Farmers are preparing for sugaring but the forecast is bleak.
Owing to heavy snow storms, the appropriations voted in Chestertown as payment for clearing roads has been exhausted.
Endless snow shoveling has caused kidney trouble among many and aching backs are common. Several wagons are now seen about the village and sleighing has practically ended. Joseph Drake of Chestertown has sold his horse and sleigh to Olney Vanderwerker for $150.
(Note: “We know that spring is coming, when we see the bird of blue and hear his song in the orchard, a melody old, yet new.” — written in 1914 by 16 year old Lucille H. Quarry.)
David P. Strang, proprietor of the Rockwell Hotel at Luzerne, filed a petition of bankruptcy in the U.S. court. He owes 56 creditors $17,638 and has $301 in assets.
(Note: The Rockwell Hotel, built in 1820, which could accommodate 100 guests by 1874, was rebuilt again after a fire in 1907. It burned again in 1917 but was not rebuilt a second time.)
A colt owned by Foster Tripp of Chestertown, stabled with Ray Jenks of Valley Farm, died recently of wounds self-inflicted while suffering from colic.
A son was born on March 19, 1914 to Mrs. G.H. Brickwedel of Schroon Lake. Mr. Brickwedel is manager of the Leland House in that place for L.W. and J.A. Emerson of Warrensburgh.
The newly wedded pair, Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Hitchcock of Bakers Mills, attended religious services March 20, 1914 at Martin Hitchcock’s house.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at email@example.com or 623-2210.