•100 years ago - Oct. 1913•
Alcohol-fueled fight, shooting
Alfred Dodge, 18, is in jail at Hudson Falls, charged with having shot and killed his stepfather, Samuel Wiggins, 50, early morning Oct. 26, 1913 when Wiggins, so it is said, attacked his wife and the boy’s mother after threatening to kill her at the Wiggins’ home in Smith’s Basin, a settlement in Washington County about 5 miles from Hudson Falls.
Wiggins and his brother, George, both of whom had been drinking, got into a fight in the dooryard and George was knocked down. When he failed to arise, Mrs. Wiggins began to remonstrate with her husband. The latter, according to Mrs. Wiggins and her son, then began to savagely beat her. Wiggins has been arrested several times in the past on charges of assault reported by his wife. Dodge, who was standing in the doorway, rushed into the house. Returning with a gun, he shot Wiggins dead.
Dodge made no attempt to escape and went to the County Jail with Coroner W.B. Mellick of Fort Edward.
Man’s best friend
H.C. Ingraham of Landon Hill, Pottersville, went to Igerna recently with his faithful 11-year-old Collie dog Fido after young cattle pastured there by D.B. Jenks.
For 10 years Fido has helped in driving and going after the cows, making two trips every year, most of the time with the spirit of a puppy, but now poor old Fido is obliged to give in to his age and his master had to stop at houses on the way and let him rest. Those good people praised poor Fido and petted him and the dog indeed felt proud of being noticed by his many old friends.
Deer run for cover
The mighty nimrods of the “Bear Waller” hunting club of Warrensburgh will eagerly hit the trail on election morning for Sawyer’s Clearing in Johnsburgh’s “Oregon Country,” where they will remain in camp until Nov. 16, 1913 at the close of deer season.
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Wescott went north recently to prepare the camp for the reception of these bloodthirsty descendants of Robin Hood. They will provide the provender for the hungry hunters and will endeavor to make them comfortable. Frank Steves will be the official guide.
Governor showed the door
William Sulzer, a Democrat who was Gov. of New York State in 1913, made powerful enemies from the beginning of his term, and they worked hard to remove him from his office. As a result of a quarrel with the Tammany Hall democratic political boss Charles F. Murphy, charges against him were ambiguous and referred mostly to conduct prior to his election as governor.
Sulzer declared they were seeking to impeach him not because of the offenses charged but because he disobeyed Murphy’s orders. He was quoted as saying, “Murphy said to me, ‘Unless you do what I want you to do, I will wreck your administration as governor and block all your legislation.’ He also threatened me with disgrace.” Sulzer said he was also offered large sums of money to comply.
Sulzer was investigated by the Frawley investigating committee and the state senate later convicted him Aug. 13, 1913 after a considerable battle. He was removed from office Oct. 18, 1913 in an action that has been described as a political lynching and regarded as a misuse of the impeachment process for partisan purposes. His was the first impeachment of a governor in state history. One of the charges against him was his allowing his wife to freely spend the state’s money to lavishly redecorate the governor’s mansion. After his removal from office he went back to his law practice and died Nov. 6, 1941 in New York City.
He is a forgotten man and very little mention of him can today be found in history books. After Sulzer’s removal, his Lieutenant Governor, Martin H. Glynn took over his job and was successful in restoring harmony in Albany politics. (Note - More details can be found about this interesting story in this column in the Aug. 31, 2013 Adirondack Journal.)
Ghostly visitor in the night
During the many years that I have lived in the Adirondacks I have had the privilege of seeing many animals, except for a live bear or a panther. Since the late 1950s the Hadden family has had a camp on the Schroon River, fairly near the Starbuckville Dam, where I have seen my share of turtles and beavers and heard coyotes howl in the night.
On a Saturday in late September this year, my son Maclane Hadden was there with Christine, the irreplaceable lady in his life. About 10 p.m. they heard splashing and footsteps outside in the night. Standing on the deck, they looked north along the river bank and in the moonlight they saw a huge full-grown female moose wading toward them along the shore, stopping occasionally to chew on water lilies.
The moose paid little attention to their presence as they watched her progress. Nonchalantly she meandered past them and faded away like a ghost in the night, ambling south toward the seclusion of distant swamp land.
My son’s moose encounter reminds me of the only moose I ever saw. This was back in the 1990s.
The editor of the Adirondack Journal called me, saying that a moose had been struck and killed on the highway and the body was taken to the state Environmental Conservation office in Warrensburg and would I go over and take a photograph to accompany a newspaper story.
I arrived to find a poor adolescent male moose who had been brought in on a backhoe, lying on the grass beside the driveway. I took pictures of the dead creature. But looking at the moose’s legs stiffened by rigor mortis, and his enormous tongue projecting out of his mouth, that was the day I gave up nature photography, and I’ve since stuck to photos of squirrels in my back yard.
A.E. Prescott, the well-known North Creek jeweler, is spending some quality time at Mount Clemens, Michigan, taking the mineral baths for rheumatism.
Elmore Tucker and son, Wallace have a matched pair of chestnut horses that weigh 2,200 pounds and are good roadsters. (Note: Elmore and William Wallace Tucker were the grandfather and father of former Town Historian Mabel Tucker.)
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.