100 Years Ago - January 1913
Savage blow ends man’s life
Orville S. Pratt of 69 Maple St., Glens Falls, a former resident of Horicon, died Jan. 22, 1913 in Glens Falls Hospital of general peritonitis super induced by a rupture of the bladder, caused by a heavy blow or a fall, believed to have been received in a fight which he engaged in Saturday with an Italian in Whitehall. Pratt was taken to the hospital on Monday and the next morning his death occurred, prompting Coroner Birdsall and the police to begin an investigation.
While waiting for the train at the depot, according to the story told by Pratt some hours before his death and corroborated by his brother-in-law Thomas Bennett of Whitehall, an Italian appeared and demanded a dollar he claimed Pratt owed him. Pratt, knowing that the demand was a ruse, engaged in a fight which he decidedly got the worst of, and when he finally arrived in Glens Falls his coat and vest were torn and his right eye was badly discolored. Thinking that he was intoxicated, his wife gave him little attention and on Saturday and Sunday he did indeed imbibe alcohol and Sunday night complained of severe pain in his stomach. A physician was summoned the next day after which he was taken to the hospital and on Tuesday he died.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Richard Pratt, 19 and Burt Pratt, 15, and his mother, Mrs. George Carpenter of Horicon.
Explosion wreaks havoc
The heating boiler in the Burt Shirt Company’s factory in Luzerne exploded on Saturday evening about 6 o’clock with devastating results. The front of the boiler was blown out and the smoke stack split its entire length. It is supposed that an explosion of coal gas was the cause as the boiler had just been fired by Frank St. John, who was struck on the leg by a piece of the door and somewhat injured. The factory is a branch of the Troy Shirt Factory.
Bad luck abounds in Chester
Miss Hattie Nelson of Starbuckville, Chestertown, met with a painful accident recently. She had been subject to fits since childhood and after going into one, fell on the kitchen stove burning the flesh on one hand to a crisp and inflicting frightful burns about her face and neck. She remains unconscious and little hope is given for her recovery.
Mrs. Eugene Murphy of Loon Lake, Chester is suffering from a sore throat, the results of swallowing a chicken bone which lodged in the passage and produced hard coughing spells. Four days later she went to the Glens Falls Hospital where x-ray photographs were taken but failed to locate the bone. She has received no relief.
Saintly Darrowsville mother dies
Eva Brown, 26, wife of Anson Butler, died at her home in Darrowsville. She was married four years ago and leaves her husband, two little daughters and an infant son, only two days old at the time of her death. She is also survived by her aged mother, Mrs. Lucy Brown, four sisters and two brothers, Albert and Fred Brown.
Early in life she accepted Christ as her personal Savior and when dying, assured her weeping relatives that she was going to her eternal home.
The funeral was held Jan. 16, 1913 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Darrowsville which was largely attended by many sorrowing friends and relatives and many flowers were received. (Note: I have sat on the hill at the top of the Darrowsville Cemetery on many a summer’s day and looked down at what is left of that wonderful old church with much nostalgia, thinking of all the weddings, funerals, and church socials that have taken place there over its many years. The remains of many the participants in these past dramas now lie in the cemetery resting hopefully in peace. †he church has a remarkable history, having been an anti-slavery outpost that nurtured a robust, active congregation of more than 200 members in the mid-1800s. The church’s congregation was renowned for its abolitionist activities — including offering welcoming shelter for African-Americans escaping slavery via the Underground Railroad, according to reports at the time. Although there was an effort in the late 1980s by Ralph Long and others to rehabilitate the Darrowsville Church, I have since seen the organ taken away, the bell tower collapse and today the roof lies flat on the ground. There are so many untold and forgotten stories there that are forever lost.)
Sickness and trouble abounds
The unseasonable weather of this fall and winter is without a doubt the cause of a great deal of the sickness which now prevails throughout the Adirondacks. Business is also seriously affected by the lack of snow and in many areas there is much fear of an ice famine. A large number of people are seriously ill with colds and grippe.
Harry Higgins of Igerna is ill with the grippe and tonsillitis and Julia Cross of Indian Lake also has been stricken.
In Bakers Mills, Charles Frazier is seriously ill with stomach and throat trouble and Arthur Perry, the 10-year-old son of Rev. Watson Perry, is ill with rheumatism. Bethuel Comstock has been ill since Dec. 20, 1912 at his home. A prolonged season of old fashioned winter weather would now be most welcome.
(Note: In 2013 we are experiencing an “old fashioned winter” and TV news tells us that this is the worst flu season in years. Author Brooks Atkinson once wrote that the “good old days” were a myth and no one ever thought that they were good at the time.)
Area to celebrate Centennial
To celebrate the county’s 100th anniversary in 1913, there are many things being planned locally. There will be auto rides over the fine roads in the country, a boat parade on Lake George, a big gathering on the county fair grounds in Warrensburgh with addresses by former county residents and a banquet. Various other events are also being planned for the celebration in August 1913.
The distinguished Hon. Charles Evans Hughes, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, born in Glens Falls, will be invited as guest of honor. Hon. A.B. Colvin, of Glens Falls is chairman of the committee. (Note: Charles Evans Hughes was the governor of New York State in 1907 and in 1916 he was narrowly defeated by Woodrow Wilson for the presidency.)
A Chicago doctor says that improper eating is the greatest cause of balding and there are many men in Warrensburgh who have been evidently been careless in their diet.
Although a heavy downfall of rain accompanied by thunder and lightening visited this area Friday, Jan. 3, 1913, the skating rink on the village playground on Hudson St., Warrensburgh was finally able to be opened Jan. 13, 1913, for the first time this season and was occupied all the first afternoon and evening by a merry crowd of young people.
In Bolton, fine skating is being enjoyed on Trout Lake. Anna Young lost a cow by slipping on the ice on the lake. Milo Cardle killed a pig for Jonathan Gates that weighed 525 pounds. Jerod Putney recently purchased the Russell Streeter place and John Ross of Diamond Point has purchased the farm of Jeptha Ross.
A new organ has been placed in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Johnsburgh.
In Bakers Mills, Dennis Waddell, while at work on his new house, fell from the staging and broke several of his ribs. Sarah Lackey stepped on a nail about three weeks ago which almost went through the skin on top of her foot. She has been suffering severe agony from the wound.
Charles H. Wilcox is collecting taxes at Sanford Kenyon’s store in Thurman. William J. Baker of North Thurman has lost his bay mare. Carl Wheeler of West Bolton lost a fine colt. Mr. Stevens and his son, Elmer of Wevertown lost a valuable cow. A colt belonging to Rozelle Stevens, which had been missing since early autumn, was recently found dead in the woods a short distance from the barn.
In Johnsburgh Corners, Earl Waddell, who was recently injured quite badly by being thrown from a load of hay to the frozen ground, is nearly well again.
Thought for the day: The coal dealer does his business exclusively with people who have money to burn.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at email@example.com or 623-2210.