100 Years Ago • December, 1912
Sam Pasco, cornered & captured
Sam Pasco, Thurman desperado and wild man, after being pursued by the Warren County Sheriff and his deputies, was captured without a struggle after breaking his parole and getting caught at it. He began serving his ten-year sentence Dec. 26, 1912. He had his chance at freedom but lost it when he let his arrogance and his disdain for the law get the best of him.
Alvin “Sam” Pasco, the legendary Thurman bad man, who has been a fugitive from justice since Dec. 6, 1912, was captured by Sheriff T.J. Smith and deputies the evening of Dec. 19, 1912 at the farm of Alvin Combs in the town of Moreau, Saratoga County. The officers got the drop on Pasco before he was aware of their presence and his arrest was affected before the bloodshed which had been feared. Sam had been indicted by the grand jury in October for grand larceny in stealing timber from the lands of Lewis Everts in Thurman.
When he was arraigned before Justice Raley in the Nov. 1912 term of county court and pleaded guilty, he was sentenced to 10 years in Dannemora Prison but the sentence was suspended upon the condition that he would leave Warren County in 10 days and remain away for 10 years.
Pasco promised he would relieve the county of his presence and said he intended to go to Canada. He returned to Thurman while his parole was effective and after 10 days he was allotted yet another five days grace period to complete his preparations for departure. The limit was again reached and yet Sam continued to linger and he was seen around town armed with a rifle and making threats against townspeople who had incurred his wrath and dislike. He boasted that he had no intention of leaving the county and would shoot any officer who attempted to arrest him.
Judge Raley immediately issued a warrant for his arrest and placed it in the hands of Sheriff Smith. Pasco said that he would rather die than go back to Dannemora where he had already previously served one term. It was assumed that he would make a desperate fight rather than submit to arrest. Sheriff Smith learned that Sam had secured a position with the Griffin Lumber Co.y of Hudson Falls and was working on the company’s farm in Moreau getting out lumber.
Dec. 19, Sheriff Thomas J. Smith, Deputy Sheriff George Dougrey, William Hackett and Constable John Malan went to the Combs farm in an automobile and surrounded the house. Through a window they saw Pasco with a burning match in his hand ready to light a lamp. Sam lit the lamp and at the same time saw Dougrey through the window and before he had time to move, Hackett and Malan entered the room through an unlocked door, each with a drawn revolver. Hackett said, “Sam, throw up your hands” and the trapped man submitted without a struggle. Handcuffs were put on him and he was driven to the county jail in Lake George.
Monday morning he was taken before the judge and his lawyer T. Edward Singleton pleaded for mercy promising the judge that his client would immediately leave the county. The judge was having none of it and declined clemency for a second time and Sam was taken to Clinton Prison at Dannemora the day after Christmas, too late to celebrate the holiday there.
In the opinion of his fellow Thurman townspeople, among whom his whole life had been spent, he was deserving of no mercy as they believe that he is entirely without principle and is indeed a man to be feared. His foolish defiance and apparent contempt for the law was a characteristic act of his bravado.
(Note: It is a fact of life that good men who do good deeds and sit peacefully at night before the fire are soon forgotten after their demise. Benjamin Franklin once said that if you do not wish to be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, manage to do something in your lifetime, either good or bad, that will be worth writing about long after you are dead and gone. Here it is 100 years later and we are still talking about the adventures of Sam Pasco, the Adirondack legend.)
Alice C. Thaw to wed
The former Countess of Yarmouth, Alice C. Thaw, will marry Geoffrey W. Whitney of Boston. She married the Earl of Yarmouth on 1903 and divorced him in England in 1908, two years after her brother, Harry K. Thaw had shot and killed architect Sanford White in 1906 in front of a restaurant full of people at Madison Square Garden in New York city. Her marriage to Mr. Whitney will probably take place in the spring and be one of the big society events of Pittsburgh where the former Countess is currently living with her mother. (Note: I told the outrageous story of the countess’ brother, the late Harry Kendall Thaw, whose lavish home was in Bolton Landing, in this column in the Nov. 17, 2012 edition of the Adirondack Journal.)
Killed in an instant
Charles Brummagin of Glens Falls, while walking on the Hudson Valley railroad track between that city and Hudson Falls on the evening of Dec. !9, 1912, was struck by a trolley car and instantly killed.
He had just stepped from the other track to avoid a southbound car and walking with his head bent down and did not see the car that struck him. At 1 a.m. the next morning his brother-in-law, James Zeto, who recognized his clothing, identified the body. The unfortunate man left a widow and three small children.
Fort William Henry Hotel to reopen
The new Fort William Henry Hotel at Lake George will reopen for the winter season on Dec. 21, 1912. The management of Mortimer M. Kelly and the D.&H. railroad will undoubtedly leave nothing undone to make this one of the most successful and enjoyable seasons on historic Lake George.
A toboggan slide one-eighth of a mile long extends from the hotel to the lake. Two rinks, one on the tennis court and the other on the lake, each brilliantly lighted with real electric lights at night are available to the guests. A large fleet of ice boats, some equipped with gasoline engines are also provided by the hotel management. The hotel’s hockey team will be composed of some of the finest players obtainable. Snowshoeing, skiing and other winter sports will be enjoyed. A vast marble-pillared porch faces the lake and tea is often served there so that the guests might sip their beverage and enjoy the magnificent view of the lake. The new hotel building is fireproof and pleasantly equipped and furnished.
New method to eradicate pests
Disheartened housekeepers, weary of long struggles against the presence of bedbugs, cockroaches, fleas, clothes moths, ants, house flies, rats and mice, may take heart for the government agricultural department has found a remedy in hydrocyanic acid gas. It will drive human beings out of their homes but they can return later on and the nasty pests trapped inside the house can not.
The revival meetings closed Sunday evening, Dec. 15, 1912 in Bakers Mills. The Rev. Frank Johnson and the Rev. Fred Perkins have currently left for Sodom where they will conduct future meetings.
Harry Pasco, a former resident of Thurman, who left two years ago to relocate in Davison, Michigan, was married Dec. 5, 1912 to Miss Estella Lambert of that place.
A carload of 1913 Ford touring cars has arrived at the Empire garage in Glens Falls. The machines show a marked improvement over the 1912 model and are receiving much favorable comment. The most notable improvement is in the body and the machine sells for $90 less than the 1912 model.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.