•100 years ago - August 1913•
Drama at the Warren County Fair
Driving his four-passenger Ford automobile the evening of Sept. 2, 1913 at an estimated speed of 8 miles an hour on the crowded midway of the Warren County Fairgrounds at Warrensburgh, Wesley Wing of Hudson Falls ran over Noah Squires, 6, a gypsy lad. Without stopping to ascertain the extent of the boy’s injuries, who was left lying unconscious on the ground, Wesley Wing made his escape. He was pursued by special officer William J. Hackett of Glens Falls and others and captured near the entrance of the fairgrounds where he was halted by the gate tenders.
The boy had both bones of his left leg broken just above the ankle. He was taken to the office of Dr. J.E. Goodman. After remaining in the gypsy tent on the fairgrounds overnight, he was taken to Glens Falls Hospital.
The lad is the grandson of Belcher Squires of Hartford, Conn., who has a string of trotting horses while his gypsy band conducts several fortune-telling booths. The youngster was playing with his dog on the midway when he was run down by the machine. This was his second experience of this kind this year, he having been badly injured in a similar accident in Hartford last winter.
Wing furnished bail of $500 to appear to await the action of the Grand Jury. He said that the boy ran in front of his machine and he could not avoid hitting him.
Deaths in the news
Mrs. Mary Reidy died at her home in South Glens Falls where she had resided for 63 years. She was born in Tipperary, Ireland. She is survived by two sons, Andrew and Myron Reidy of Warrensburgh and three daughters, 15 grand-children and 13 great-grandchildren. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, South Glens Falls.
Caleb Vernum, 78, died Aug. 21, 1913 at his home in the Vowers district (Schroon River Road) after a long and painful illness of mastoid abscesses and heart disease. He was born Dec. 2, 1835. He leaves a widow, Mary Vernum, five daughters and an adopted son, Carson Vernum. Burial was in the Warrensburgh Cemetery.
Centennial festivities abound
Warrensburgh has been ablaze with color this past month as all of the hotels and business places and many residences are beautifully decorated with flags and bunting.
Landlord A.C. Stone, of the Grand Army House, hung up a handsome new sign on the front of his popular hostelry and was one of the first to decorate his building for the town Centennial celebration. It looks extremely gay in an elaborate trimming of flags, festoons and bunting, arranged by C.L, Wagner of Glens Falls. Music Hall building has also been decorated by Mr. Wagner’s men. (Note: The Grand Army House was located where George Henry’s tavern is located today.)
On Aug. 8, 1913, the Centennial crowds converged upon Warrensburgh, Aug. 8, 1913 and it was a big day for the village, probably the biggest we have had since the great barbecue at the Grand Army reunion in 1887 when some 5,000 people were entertained here. Special features of that day and evening were the dignitaries, oratory, soldiery, music and fireworks. Doring’s Band, under the leadership of Sergeant George Doring of Troy, National Guard, Second Regiment, the peer of any band in the state, came here from Fort Sulzer.
Upon the arrival of the soldiers, a parade was formed by Supervisor Milton Eldridge to march over School St. (now Stewart Farrar Avenue) and Elm St. to the fairgrounds on upper Hudson St. A grand pyrotechnical display by the Pain Fireworks Co., comprised of about 60 unusual pieces were set off from the knoll on the Richards Lot (now the town Recreation Field), where they could be seen from all parts of the village. Senator James A. Emerson and his wife Margaret Emerson later entertained the distinguished guests at dinner in their home.
At the formal opening of the Warren County Centennial celebration on August 5, 1913 at the Empire Theatre in Glens Falls, Miss Stafford read the memorable Centennial poem. She is possessed of considerable elocutionary ability and consequently the reading of the poem was received with deep appreciation.
(Note: Thanks to my good friend Warrensburgh Historical Society editor John Hastings for additional research concerning this special celebration.)
Peabody predicts bad times
Charles J. Peabody drove up to Lake George from New York City recently with his family for trading purposes and diversion. Mr. Peabody has been domiciled for a part of the summer months in the beautiful new home he had built on Bolton Road, which certainly has every convenience. There is not one of the modern and costly homes in the large colony on this celebrated thoroughfare that is more pretentious.
Mr. Peabody is a man of large financial interests. When interviewed, he stated that current financial conditions are threatening in this country. He said that “financial conditions are so threatening all should conserve their resources and keep a steady hand on the pilot wheel and carefully watch ahead for breakers.”
(Note: Charles Jones Peabody bought the Lower Price Place which he named “Evelley.” Financial conditions were indeed “threatening.” The year 1913 was the last good year of wealth and prosperity for men in Mr. Peabody’s class and no one realized just how bad the years to come would be when on June 28, 1914 the assassination of the heir to the Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, at Sarajevo in Bosnia, triggered World War 1, called “the Great War,” and it wasn’t completely over until 1918. Poison gas was used at the front. The death toll, estimated at 10 million persons and damage to great fortunes worldwide were staggering.)
Sousa’s band chooses local boy
Dick Whitby, who as a boy in Warrensburgh learned to toot a horn in a brass band, left here some 15 years ago to become a professional musician and has by sheer ability risen so rapidly in the musical world that he is now in the front rank of instrumentalists and is considered one of the great slide trombone soloists in the country. Such is his ability that he has recently been offered the second chair in the trombone section of John Philip Sousa’s celebrated concert band, with a promised promotion to the first chair upon the retirement of a veteran musician who now occupies that position. (Note: Dick Whitby worked for many years in the Warrensburgh Shirt Factory before he ventured out into the world to became famous. John Philip Sousa led the U.S. Marine Band until 1892 and then formed his own band and toured the world. In 1897 he wrote The Stars and Stripes Forever and some other 100 immensely popular marches heard today, such as Semper Fidelis. He died in 1932.)
Pillows made of 5 pounds of duck feathers in red and white striped ticking may be purchased, while they last, for $1.39 a pair at the funeral parlor of J.A. Woodward in the Aldrich-McGann block in Warrensburgh.
Because of the drought, all the fruit in the Town of Johnsburgh is a dismal failure excepting blackberries which are plentiful.
A reader recently asked me if Warrensburgh has an official song. I have never heard of one mentioned if it does exist.
The late Miss Mabel Marguerite Tucker, Warrensburgh Historian, was a talented lady who wrote several songs about the town that she so loved. They are published in her book, “Reflections and Recollections of the town with a past.” In 1974 she wrote, “You have come a long way, Warrensburgh, to reach the place you are to date. Since 1813, a beginner, now a top-notch winner. A credit to the Empire state.” Mabel died in 1999.
This year, at the time of the Bicentennial, however, the morning glory has been named as the official flower.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.