•100 years ago — Jan. 1914•
Jailed horse thief slashes his throat
Despondent over his imprisonment in the County Jail at Lake George, where he had been confined for several weeks to await the action of the Grand Jury on a charge of stealing a horse, Whitman Gifford of Hague, slashed his throat Jan. 2 1914 with a razor and inflicted wounds which caused his death two days later at Glens Falls Hospital.
Gifford was confined in a corridor of the jail with James Gifford of Glens Falls, who was not related to the Hague man. The men were locked in the corridor because of plumbing improvements being made in other parts of the jail. Gifford was shaving and after he was finished went into a bathroom off the corridor and crawled in between a bath tub and the wall. A few minutes later the Glens Falls man was attracted by groans and upon investigating found his fellow prisoner lying prostrate between the wall and the tub with blood flowing freely from his self-inflicted wounds.
James Gifford than shouted for aid and was heard by Undersheriff Mac R. Smith. The two placed the injured man on a cot and summoned jail physician Dr. Charles K. Burt and Dr. Bean of Lake George, who ordered Gifford’s removal to the Glens Falls Hospital where he was taken on a Hudson Valley trolley car.
At the hospital Dr. Burt and Dr. Thomas Cunningham worked over him for two hours. Although greatly weakened by loss of blood, he was expected to recover. In closing the gashes in the man’s throat the muscles used in swallowing were rendered useless and it would have been necessary to provide a means of feeding him through the stomach. He died before that became necessary.
The crime with which Gifford was charged was stealing a horse from Charles Belden of Horicon while Belden was a prisoner in the County Jail last fall awaiting trial on a charge of bigamy. When Belden got out of jail, he went to Gifford’s place in Hague and recognized his horse although Gifford had cut off its tail and mane and painted the white spots with black paint.
A warrant was issued for Gifford’s arrest and Constable Marcus Russell of Horicon went after him. He found the man in the barn and granted his permission to go into the house and change his clothes. A few minutes later the alleged horse thief appeared with a rifle and ordered the officer to move off his property, which Russell did and Gifford took to the woods with a posse headed by Constable Ross and Justice of the Peace Melvin Barton hot in pursuit. Several weeks later, however, Constable Russell laid for Gifford and captured him on his farm and took him to the county jail after he had seen the Hague justice.
The deceased was 40 years old and leaves a widow and several small children. His body was taken back home on Jan. 4, 1914, to Hague.
(Note - The drama leading up to this story was told in this column in the Nov. 16 and Nov. 23 issues of the Adirondack Journal.)
The subject of marriage
Lina Cavalieri and her new second husband, Monsieur Muratore, sailed for Paris on the steamer France. The famous singer and beauty was in a melancholy mood when approached by interviewers. Her utterances were pessimistic pertaining to the subject of marriage.
She said in her heavy accent, “My advice to girls is to marry for love if you can, but never fail to have an eye for convenience. Sweet words and kisses won’t pay the chauffeur. New York girls should never marry. They are too frivolous and too fond of dancing. They make poor wives. I have had more than 800 proposals of marriage. Married life is not too good. Girls should wait until they are 44 years old and never have more than one child.” Monsieur Muratore understands very little English.
Prominent businessman dies
Daniel O’Leary Jr., 69, One of the best-known citizens of Glens Falls, died Jan. 14, 1914 at his home, 21 Grove Avenue. He had been sick for some time and the day before his death he experienced a sinking spell from which he never rallied.
Mr. O’Leary lived in Glens Falls his entire life and was the son of Daniel and Mary Mellen O’Leary who moved to the area in 1834. On Jan. 10, 1872 he married Miss Mary Leavy.
At one time he was engaged in the manufacture of cigars, but for many years he has been in the real estate and insurance business. He held many important offices, including village collector, village president, excise commissioner, member of the board of education, chairman of the city charter committee and postmaster.
Haskell & Hall to open store
An important business change in Warrensburgh is announced with the arrival of the new year. Haskell & Hall Co., Inc. succeeds the firm of Haskell Brothers, general merchants who have successfully conducted a store in the Wills Block on Hudson Street with $18,000 in capital. The directors are Frank E. Haskell, George R. Haskell and Fred W. Hall, all of Warrensburgh.
They say their new establishment will be the finest department store in this area as they have made arrangements to purchase the entire stock and fixtures of Mr. Thomas B. McGann and to lease his present store in the Aldrich-McGann block where he has conducted a dry goods store for a number of years. They state that “A dollar saved is a dollar earned — and we can save you a dollar.”
Frank and George Haskell came to Warrensburgh from Chestertown and purchased the stock and goodwill of John H. Remington with only modest funds and started in the grocery store business. By fair methods and excellent management they built up a large trade. In 1913 they added a line of dry goods. Mr. Hall came from Seneca Falls about a year ago and until recently conducted the Warrensburgh Garage in partnership with Edson Granger.
(Note - The Haskell Brothers’ original store was in the stone building, still standing, next door north of the Merrill-Magee House. It is an odd coincidence that now, just 100 years after the Haskells moved out of it to the new store in the Aldrich-McGann block, the building is seeing the passing of another long time resident.
Irene E. Hall, 88, died Dec. 16, 2013 at her home. She was born Feb. 3, 1925 in Thurman, daughter of the late Lee and Mabel Bunker Baker. On Feb. 11, 1944, Irene married Simeon E. Hall and they lived in the building and operated Hall’s Bait & Tackle Shop there for many years. Mr. Hall died Aug. 21, 1988 after 44 years of marriage — and Irene, an avid historian, went on residing in the historic structure that was once known as the Wills Livery Stable.)
Elderly man loses home
A dwelling house on Schroon Avenue near the Judd Bridge, owned and occupied by John Reirden, an aged man, burned this week. The cause is believed to be a defective chimney. When the fire broke out, Reirden was alone in the house and owing to his infirm condition, it was some time before he could sound an alarm. By the time help arrived, there was no hope in saving the building. Most of the furniture was removed by neighbors.
Musicians move south
Glens Falls pianist Prof. Charles K. Hicks, who with local violinist Frank Green has played for most of the dances in Warrensburgh this past season, has gone to Florida with four Troy musicians to furnish music during the winter at the Atlantic Beach Hotel near Jacksonville. The party left New York city, Jan. 14, 1914 by steamer.
Meat market to open
John H. O’Connor, who has resided in Brooklyn for several months, has returned to Warrensburgh and will open a meat market in G.M. Swan’s building opposite the Grand Army House downtown. Mr. O’Connor was formerly employed by G.H. Dickinson, the downtown meat man, as delivery clerk. (Note - The Swan house is today on the south corner of Main St. and Horicon Avenue.)
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.