100 Years Ago - January 1913
Drunken interlopers caught
Cornelius “Woodchuck” Sullivan and Daniel “Gagen” Lynch, shining lights of the Glens Falls Bummers Association, were recently engaged in their usual occupation of hunting for booze. On the night of Jan. 9, 1913, they discovered a closed saloon on the Glen Street Hill in Glens Falls with the side door invitingly unlocked — the proprietor,Charles Yattaw left it that way when he was taken to police headquarters with an attack of delirium tremens.
No one was present, and the bums entered and made themselves at home, drinking so freely of the stock of liquors that they became “ossified,” and fell into a deep sleep.
Their loud snoring in the morning awakened the occupants of the living rooms above and the police were notified. The two are now in the Warren County Jail at Lake George, booked for 59 days. “Gagen” Lynch is a barber and was employed several weeks this fall in the downtown barbershop.
Looking back at the news
It was just one year ago, Jan. 17, 1912, that after enduring horrible hardships to be the first in history, English explorer Robert Falcon Scott, 44, along with the members of his Terra Nova expedition, finally reached the South Pole. Scott along with Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans and Lawrence Oates, were aghast there to discover evidence that Norwegian explorer Roald Engebreth Gravning Amundsen, 39, along with four others, had beaten them by 34 days.
Scott and all of his men died from starvation, exhaustion and bitter cold on their desolate trek back towards civilization.
(Note: In the winter of 1908, British explorer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton and his 14 men weathered a miserable winter in Antarctica on Ross Island wracked with severe blizzards and in 1909 they failed in his attempt to reach the South Pole. He died in 1922 on his fourth voyage.)
Grand old man dies
John Hart, 106 years old, known as Troy’s grand old man, and probably the oldest resident of New York State, died Jan. 31, 1913 at his home in North Troy after a long illness. Mr. Hart was a veteran of the Mexican and Civil wars and even recalled incidents of the war of 1812. He received injuries in the Civil War where he served in “A” company, 18th Regiment, New York Volunteers after the fall of Fort Sumter and was not mustered out until after Lee’s surrender and during his later years became childish, constantly telling of his wartime experiences. He returned to Schenectady after the war and resumed his trade as a carpenter.
Because of his devotion to the flag which he defended in more than a dozen battles, he painted his North Troy cottage in the colors of red, white and blue. For miles around, it was known as “the little red, white and blue house of Troy’s grand old man.”
Mr. Hart was born April 14, 1806 in New York City, but after the Mexican War in 1848, he went to Schenectady to search for a daughter by his second wife, Virginia Hart. After searching for a long time he finally located her about nine years ago in Troy and has since resided there with her. He received a double pension for his service in the Mexican and Civil wars and until a couple of months ago, when he was confined to his bed, he did most all of the housework.
President prepares to leave office
U.S. President William Howard Taft is preparing to become a private citizen. With a smile that was as genuine as his life, on March 4, 1913 at the presidential inauguration, he will turn over the honors and the responsibilities of the office to his successor Woodrow Wilson, who is destined to become our 28th president. Taft will take a few days vacation in the south and then go to New Haven, Conn., where he will get ready to become Professor Taft. (Note: Taft, a Republican, was a solid 354 pounds. It was said that Taft reminded people of “a bison or a battleship.” Politically inexpedient words occasionally came out of his mouth, such as the time in 1900 when he was governor general of the Philippine Islands, he referred to the Filipinos as “little brown brothers.” Teddy Roosevelt once said of him, “Taft has the most lovable personality I have ever come in contact with — One loves him at first sight.”)
The winter of 1913
This winter has so far been remarkable for its mildness but it is safe to predict that we will get what is coming to us in the way of cold weather before the robins nest again. Business has been dull on account of lack of snow and lumbermen desperately need an accumulation to get their logs out of the woods. (Note: On Jan. 29, 1913 the snow began to fall in the afternoon and evening and the ground was covered to a depth of three inches. Feeling that winter had come at last, excited people began to get their light sleighs out to frolic in the snow. The next day the temperature warmed up and the snow turned to rain.)
Weather forecast by publication
Shepherd’s “Almanack” of 1676 is regarded as a reliable forecaster of weather and is consulted by experts. It states that the weather of the whole year depends upon Jan. 25, Saint Paul’s Day, saying “sun means a good year, rain or snow foretells indifferent weather, a mist means want, while thunder predicts winds and death.” (Note: Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote that an allegory can be effectively used by comparing events of earlier years for those of today. It could be true.)
Boy receives windfall
Benjamin Cramer, a half-witted boy whom resides in the vicinity of Pottersville, is the heir to a large fortune of $80,000 which is being held for him and his sister, Fannie by unknown parties in New York City.
Some time ago an advertisement appeared in the daily newspaper asking that the person by that name contact them as they were searching for his whereabouts. Benjamin and his sister, Fannie had been placed in a children’s home when they were infants and Benjamin had only lived in Pottersville for a few months where he had been bound out as a laborer to a farmer. Fannie left the home many years ago when she was adopted and her brother has no idea where she is located at this time.
“We are all more or less crazy,” says Dr. Stuart Palon of Princeton University, “and there are 27 varieties of insanity.”
(Note: Illustrating this principle, apparently, was news elsewhere in the same edition of the Warrensburgh News, which cites that a Massachusetts man who lived to be 87 years old credited his life-long health to eating four quarts of molasses per week.)
A total of 871 persons were killed and 4,340 were injured on the steam railroads of New York State last year. There were 5,272 accidents.
Mrs. Rachel Turner of Johnsburgh, an old lady, fell down into her cellar Jan. 27, 1913. She was badly bruised, but no bones were broken.
Mrs. William Butler of South Horicon went to Chestertown and brought home with her the little baby left by her son’s wife who died recently and she will care for the little one.
William Hitchcock of Bakers Mills, while driving logs at Cold River, bruised one of his fingers so badly that it was necessary to amputate it in order to save his hand.
Peter O’Connor, 82, of Olmstedville died at his home the evening of Jan. 24, 1913 after a few days illness caused by rupture of the intestines.
Miss Clara Richards came home to Warrensburgh from New York to spend the holidays at The Elms with her sister. Mrs. Mary Kellogg of Elizabethtown, who joined her on the happy occasion. (Note: Later, the house was renamed The Pillars and it is thanks to the Richards sisters that we have the Richards Library. There are currently framed photographs of them hanging on a wall there.)
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at email@example.com or 623-2210.