•100 years ago - August 1913•
Schroon River claims boy’s life
While for the first time in his 17 years of life enjoying the pleasure of going in swimming, Seward Hack and his 10-year-old brother, Grenville and friend Wyman Bennett, 16, went up the river Aug. 9, 1913 from their home on the “Klondike” in Lewisville, Warrensburgh carrying their bathing suits for an afternoon’s sport.
Arriving at a point on the Clark farm, where in a shady spot a sand bar extends for some distance into the Schroon River, the boys splashed in the shallow water, a short distance from Sheridan E. Prosser’s place (near Rosalee Avenue) off Horicon Avenue.
The boys were wading about the sand bar and young Hack, who could not swim, stepped off into 12 feet of water in the center of the river and sank immediately to the bottom. S.E. Prosser, Burnis Wade and Fred Glynn entered a boat and went rapidly to the scene and retrieved the body, which had been under water for half an hour, with a pike pole.
George Hack, young Hack’s father, who is employed at the Pulp Mill at Burnhamville, was brought to the scene by W.L.R. Durkee in his automobile. His grief when he saw the dead body of his boy was pitiful to behold. The corpse was taken home and the mother was prostrated and the heart-rending grief of the parents, the brother and five- year-old sister cast a pall of sadness over all.
The dead youth was employed in the cutting room of the shirt factory. He was a good boy. The family came here last spring from Stony Creek and the body was taken back to that place for burial.
Governor sidesteps impeachment
The record of New York Gov. William Sulzer during his campaign will go under the scrutiny of the Frawley investigating committee of the Senate despite the governor’s declaration that the committee is without authority to investigate him. The investigation is part of the effort of the governor’s opponents to bring about his removal from office on a charge of violating the corrupt practices act and to dispose him from the governorship.
At daybreak, Aug. 13, 1913, after an all-night session in the capital at Albany, the assembly, by a vote of 79 to 45, adopted a resolution calling for the impeachment of Gov. Sulzer who says he will carry the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals. He also says that he has the strength and force of the National Guard of the state to use against any attempt to remove him from office and he has the right to call out the militia to aid him.
No governor of New York has ever been impeached and not in 121 years has any governor of New York ever been accused of any violation of law. Lt. Governor Glynn declined to take any hand in the controversy.
Daring young men
News has come from France that Adolphe Celestin Pegoud has thrilled his countrymen with a death-defying feat never before attempted by mankind. On Aug. 19, 1913, Pegoud has made the first parachute jump in Europe. On Aug. 20, 1913 he became the first pilot, setting a world record, to parachute from an airplane. (Note - Pegoud was a handsome devil and the ladies adored him. He was a world War I flying ace and on Aug. 31, 1915, at the age of 26 years, he was killed while intercepting a German reconnaissance air craft over Petit-Croix. This was much the same way the “Red Baron” ended his days just a few years later. “Live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse,” as the old saying says.)
News near and far
It is reported that this summer (1913) the temperature hit 134 degrees in Death Valley, California. There are currently 97,225,000 people in America.
Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa was born Feb. 14, 1913. (He has not been seen since 1975.)
August is the month that marks a breathing spell between haying and harvesting. This is the best time of the year to plant grass seed.
A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Lanfear on Aug. 11, 1913. Quite a number of children have the whooping cough in Sodom. There is an outbreak of diphtheria in Minerva.
Floyd Moore of Lake George and Miss Lillian Marsha of Riparius were married Aug. 11, 1913 at North Creek. Ernest Millington of Riparius and Miss Kate Moore of Wevertown were married at Wevertown.
John G. Smith, who a few months ago moved into his newly finished residence on Hudson Stt, Warrensburgh, has sold his old home on Woodward Avenue to Clarence Swan of North River. (Note: The story of electric light entrepreneur John G. Smith and his fabulous new home at 63 Hudson St., was told in this column in the March 30, 2013 Adirondack Journal.)
Hudson St., Warrensburgh, which has been in a deplorable condition since it was torn up to lay the sewer last fall (1912), the sand being knee deep, is now being put in good condition by Henry Williams, Town Superintendent of Highways. Several teams are being employed drawing hard pan as far up as the Agricultural Hotel. (Now Ashe’s Hotel.)
More to the Ross saga
(Note: There is nothing as rewarding to this columnist as telling a good story here and then having someone call to relate how the story eventually all turned out. It was a pleasure to hear from Myrtle Ross who lives on the Schroon River Road.)
Myrtle is the daughter of the “Barry” (Garry David Ross) whose story appeared in this column in the July 27 and Aug. 10, 2013 Journal. At Wevertown, on July 30, 1913, Garry, 9, and his brother, Leonard Ross, 11, defied their stepfather Henry Johnson and attempted to drive two horses, attached to a hay rake, to the barn. Both were thrown out when the frightened animals ran away and the boys were caught up by the rake and dragged over the ground. Leonard’s body was carried along with the rake until it struck a rock and when his poor mangled body was thrown away from it, Mr. Johnson picked it up and carried him to the house. He was than carried about half a mile on a stretcher by the hands of neighbors to the state road and than taken to Riverside station where he was placed on a train for Albany. At the hospital there he was declared dead and it is believed that he died instantly in the hay field. His funeral, in the Bates Cemetery, was largely attended.
The rest of the Ross tale
Garry Ross, his leg broken in two places and the other badly mangled had to wear a heavy leg brace for the rest of his life. He married Reilla Gates and I am told by his daughter that he fathered 13 children. One was born a couple of months after his death. I only find a record of Myrtle, Lillian, Geneva, Garry Jr., and Charles Ross. His mother, Mrs. Henry (Chloe Sawyer) Johnson went on to marry George Lahay of Igerna. Garry, the son of William Ross, had a half sister, Sarah Johnson who later lived in Crown Point and Garry was the nephew of David Sawyer of Foxlair Camp, Bakers Mills.
Disaster strikes once again
Garry Ross, 28, on Sept. 3, 1932, had been employed for three weeks at the Tahawus Club at masonry work with his stepfather, George Lahey. On that fateful day, he and Edward Sheehan of North Creek, another employee of the club, were engaged in transporting stone across Lake Santinoni using a motorboat to tow a raft laden with stones.
While they were loading the stone, the motorboat floated out from shore and both men jumped into the raft, intending to push the load to the boat. Suddenly the raft tipped, throwing both men into the water. Sheehan swam to the shore, but Ross went down and did not rise again to the surface. It is believed that he was struck by some of the stones as the raft tipped. The body was recovered about three hours later and no water was found in his lungs.
Funeral services were conducted Sept. 6, 1913 at the home and later at the Methodist Church in Wevertown, the Rev. A. Johnson Cambridge officiating. Garry Ross is buried in the Bates Cemetery with the rest of his large family after his brief but eventful life. Twice in his life he managed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.