100 Years Ago - July, 1913
A thrifty but shifty hermit
Orlando Bryant, a thrifty and by reputation, somewhat shifty citizen of Warrensburgh, who currently lives alone in a hut on his ancestral acres on Harrington Hill, is profiting considerably by the state and county bounty on hedgehogs and hen hawks.
For the extermination of these alleged destroyers of farm crops, the state pays a bounty of 25 cents and at the spring meeting of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, a resolution was passed authorizing the payment of the same amount by the county, thus making the carcass of a deceased quill thrower worth 50 cents to the person possessing it as proof that the animal had been deprived of life and consequent possibilities of future mischief. It is required that the forepaws of a hedgehog shall be presented to the supervisor of the town, who will pay the bounty.
During the past two or three months, Bryant has brought to Warrensburgh Supervisor Milton Eldridge a surprising number of paws and has collected the bounty on them. There is apparently no chance for fraud, but it certainly is curious how so many of the pesky animals could be captured on the hill since the double bounty went into effect. The woods must be full of them and Orlando must have a great knack of catching them. Some weeks ago he collected as much as $8, having the paws to show that he killed 16 or more.
Orlando claims to have a mysterious power over animals. He boasts that he can charm them and relates some wonderful tales of his exploits, especially with foxes, one of the most cunning and wary of the beasts of the forest. He surely has the hedgehogs coming his way, however he does it — and if the supply holds out, he has a good thing going for him.
(Note:- Orlando Bryant was a Warrensburgh celebrity in his own time — and he thoroughly enjoyed enhancing his legend. He was shrewd, calculating and often intoxicated. He professed to being a student of the occult and boasted about his dealings with the devil. He used to kill rats and put them in a sack which he brought into the bar at the Grand Army House to show off to the patrons. He lived in “unspeakable filth” in a “squalid abode” on Harrington Hill on the family farm where he faithfully kept a dozen or more cheap clocks loudly ticking which he said relieved his loneliness. I believe that he was the son of Roswell Bryant who served honorably in the Civil War and died in 1891. Roswell is buried in the Harrington Hill Cemetery. Orlando was married but his wife left and moved far away from him to a western state. He also had a daughter, Emma, and a son and they both deserted him. His son died honorably in the Spanish - American War. In later years Orlando lived on his farm with his three elderly sisters.
In 1916 Orlando was convicted of stealing chickens and was sent to Albany Penitentiary for five months. At the time, the local people placed bets on whether the shock would kill him if they gave him a bath there.
In the “Dinner with the Dead” reenactment put on by the Warrensburgh Historical Society in 2010, John Gable played Orlando Bryant and he did an excellent job. Thank you to Rita Ferraro and Sandi Parisi of the Warrensburgh Historical Society who assisted me with information.)
Taking a wild tumble
Leonard Ross, 11, was seriously if not fatally injured and his brother, Barey, 2 years his junior, suffered a bad shaking up in a runaway accident the morning of July 30, 1913 at Wevertown. The boys were riding on a hay rake drawn by a team of horses when the animals became frightened and ran off.
The boys went to the hayfield with their stepfather, Henry Johnson, who was working the horses on the rake. The man left for a short time to go to a nearby field and the boys climbed on the machine and started the team for the barn. They had gone but a short distance when the animals became frightened and broke into a run. Both boys were thrown from the seat and Leonard was caught in the teeth of the rake and whirled along the ground at a rapid rate sustaining a broken leg and many painful injuries. Barey was thrown clear of the machine and escaped with only a few scratches and a severe shaking up.
Doctors agreed that Leonard’s condition was serious and he was taken to the Albany Hospital.
Boy escapes river’s rushing flow
Floyd Herrick, 8, son of James G. Herrick, had a narrow escape from drowning July 7, 1913 in the Schroon River behind his father’s store on River St. in Warrensburgh.
Thinking that the fishing was better in the middle of the stream, the lad ventured out on a small log. A few minutes later he succeeded in falling from his log into the rather rapid current just as another log came along which he grabbed and by vigorous kicking, managed to get to the opposite shore where he scrambled out none the worse for his soaking.
(Note: Herrick’s Variety Store was a busy grocery store through the 1980s — when it was operated by Dick Maxam, a son-in-law of the second generation of Herricks.)
Finishing touches on beauty
Lewis Thomson has had the finishing touches accomplished on the lawn of his beautiful home on Upper Main Street, Warrensburgh graded by Thomas Mannix of Glens Falls and it is now being tastefully decorated with suitable shrubbery while a wide cement walk is being laid both in front of the property and also on the Second St. side. (Note: This 27-room house, built in 1906, is today called “Cornerstone Victorian” and is owned by Doug and Louise Goettsche.)
Mrs. Moon avoids serious illness
Mrs. James Moon has been ill for several days as she was threatened by pneumonia, but Dr. Allen Parker was able to avert the attack. (Note - On March 27, 1873, Miss H.E. Salisbury of Hadley became the bride of James Moon of Warrensburgh. They had three children, Charles, John and Jennie Moon. John died in 1888.
James Moon, born on his father’s farm in Warrensburgh in 1830, was Warren County Sheriff in 1865, County Treasurer in 1873 and in 1876 he was appointed keeper of Clinton Prison at Dannemora. He resigned there as Deputy Warden in 1892 and retired. The Moon family lived on Hudson St. in Warrensburgh.)
Wasili Mishuroff, a wealthy man of Russian rank, who is a summer guest at Hotel Marion, Lake George, sustained fractures of both arms, a fracture of his nose and other injuries on July 13, 1913 in a motorcycle accident. He had attached an extra seat to the cycle to allow Thurston Hill, a boy, to ride with him. The seat worked loose and both boy and man were thrown off.
New health laws to go into effect Jan. 1, 1914 cuts out the fee of 25 cents previously allowed to doctors for reporting births, a service required as part of the professional duties of a physician.
James Richardson, one of the oldest residents of Wevertown, enjoyed his first auto ride Sunday July 27, 1913 with Burt Stevens in Burt’s new car.
Nathan Drake of North Creek, who fractured his hip by falling down stairs at his home several months ago and was in critical condition in little hope of recovery, is now able to be about in a wheel chair.
John Miller, who has been in poor health for some time, died at his home on the outskirts of Wevertown, July 11, 1913. Burial was in the Bates Cemetery.
The Agricultural Hotel, conducted by Henry Ashe, on upper Hudson St. (now known as Ashe’s Hotel) is filled to capacity with a merry crowd of summer guests. Kinne’s Circus pitched its tents July 22, 1913 near the hotel.
Caroline Hitchcock of Bakers Mills went to Newcomb where she will be employed as a cook in Jesse Stanley’s lumber camp during the summer.
W.E. Pereau has opened a new tin shop at North Creek in the John Little block. Lee L. Hall has a number of men building a mill near Stony Creek depot and will move his excelsior machines to that place.
Andrew Hazelton has in his possession a tiny fish which came through the village water pipes alive to his home on Horicon Avenue, Warrensburgh.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.