Death came in the night
“Hey, dig my grave will you!” shouted George Taylor on the afternoon of Aug. 5, 1912 to Edward Noble, Sexton of the Warrensburgh Cemetery, who was at work there when Taylor was passing by. The words were said in a light-hearted jest, but the next morning Noble did the job and assisted in lowering into the grave the terribly mangled body of the jester.
Taylor was trampled to death by a horse in Mrs. Ann Torrence’s barn on Third St.during the night. The man had been employed as hostler at the Agricultural Hotel (now Ashe’s Hotel). He had been there about a year and a half, coming to Warrensburgh from a job in Lake George. He was one of the many good natured, irresponsible characters who float about the country, little to be depended upon, principally because of the use of intoxicants.
Just five days before he died, Taylor went to the pasture after the cows and did not return until Saturday. Landlord Henry Ashe then informed him that forbearance had ceased to be a virtue and discharged him. The man asked permission of Asa Bunker, brother of Mrs. Torrence, who lives with her, to occupy for a few nights a room in the loft of her barn and his request was granted.
Mr. Bunker says that when he locked the barn Monday night Aug. 5, Taylor was all right. When he went to do the chores about 5 o’clock Tuesday morning he found the man’s lifeless body in the box stall with the horse, horribly mangled by the horse’s feet while the animal was cowering in a corner. Taylor was lying face downward with one arm drawn up evidently in an effort to protect his face. The body was cold and stiff showing that he had been dead for several hours. Just how the accident occurred will never be known.
H.L. Smith, who lives in the adjoining house, heard the horse kicking and squealing about 10 o’clock Monday night and it was without doubt then that the tragedy occurred. The horse is a gentle animal and the owner is unable to account for its action. Coroner Burt of Lake George gave a verdict of accidental death. The body was in such a condition that immediate burial was necessary and as Taylor left no money, Overseer of the Poor John J. Archer took charge of the body and superintended the burial. George Taylor was originally from Port Henry.
Singer issues bad notes
New York vocalist Griffith Hughes, who spent a week in Warrensburgh early in July and was the subject of a brief write-up in the Warrensburgh News, was arrested Wednesday evening, July 31, 1912 at the Baptist Church in Ticonderoga, just after he had sung with the choir the closing hymn of the weekly prayer meeting.
The offense for which Hughes was taken into custody and to which he confessed his guilt was passing a worthless check for $20 at the Hotel Worden, Lake George in payment for a bill for board. When informed of the charge against him, the young man confessed that it was true and than collapsed. He was under the care of a physician for several hours and his plight aroused much sympathy among the congregation that had so greatly enjoyed his really fine singing. His voice was much admired by all who were privileged to hear him. They therefore raised sufficient money to make the check good and the case against the baritone soloist was dropped.
Hughes played the same game at the Warren House in Warrensburgh. When he left his bill was $10 and he gave Landlord O’Connor a worthless check for $15 and received $5 in change. He was in such a hurry to leave that he left some of his baggage behind. It was found that he also passed a bogus check at a prominent hotel in Rutland, Vt. (Note: The story of the Welch baritone’s Adirondack tour was in this column in the July 7, 2012 Adirondack Journal. I think that besides being a fine singer, Hughes was also a fine actor who knew, probably from long practice, just how to arouse financial sympathy from his adoring audience.)
Elderly Chester resident dead
One of the oldest residents of the town of Chester, known as “Aunt Jane Wells,” passed away the morning of July 24, 1912 at the old homestead on the lane road on The Gore, where she had made her home with her two sons, William and Arthur Wells. She was the widow of Francis Wells and for many years she had been in ill health and was unable to be up and about for the past year, but although she was 80 years old her death came as a shock to all who knew her.
Mrs. Wells was the mother of seven surviving children, James, Daniel, Woodard, William and Arthur Wells, all of Igerna as well as Amarilla West and Elijah Wells, 19 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. She had been an active member of the North Chester Baptist Church for 52 years. Jane Wells led a Christian life and the world was better for her having lived and her hope and patience through suffering these last years is a lesson to all.
Deaths in the news
Henry Brown, 58, of North Creek, died June 28, 1912 at Eagle’s Nest Club, Blue Mountain Lake, of which he had been superintendent for ten years. He leaves a widow and two daughters, Geraldine and Pauline Brown, all of North Creek. The deceased was highly esteemed.
Winifred M. Chambers, 16, died Sunday afternoon, July 27, 1912 at the home of her father, Robert Chambers of Lake George.
The body of Mrs. O.B. Proy of Somerville, Mass., was brought to Warrensburgh, where she was formerly a resident, on July 29, 1912. She died at her summer home after an illness of only 45 minutes.
News near and far
The greatest volcanic eruption thus far in the 20th century took place June 6, 1912 as Novarupta in Alaska began a series of explosive episodes over a 60-hour period.
Seneca Ray Stoddard of Glens Falls has issued his 1912 automobile road map of the Adirondacks. It is handsomely printed with colored lines showing state roads completed and in process of construction. The map sells for 50 cents and is indispensable for traveling autoists. These maps are the best that can be procured of this region.
The state road is closed between Warrensburgh and Chestertown as they are blasting at the Devil’s Kitchen area and it is not safe to go near there. (Note:“The Devil’s Kitchen” is the impressive high stone wall formation on the side of the mountain at the east side of Rt. 9 half way between Warrensburgh and Chestertown.)
Scarcity of feed owing to the lack of rain has risen the price of milk in Bolton Landing to seven cents a quart.
A son was born to Mrs. John H. Arehart, Aug. 1, 1912, at the Stony Creek Inn.
Misses Cora and Corda Potter of Thurman spent the summer at Schroon Lake at the Leland House.
Thomas Dillon of Newcomb lost a valuable horse with lockjaw caused by stepping on a rusty nail.
Jay Dalaba of Bakers Mills broke one of his ankles the other night while wrestling with John Steves.
Clayton Weller of Riverbank ran the point of a meat hook into his hand and the result was a very sore and painful hand but he is again on the road with his meat cart.
A gray mare owned by Lewis Thomson, one of a well matched and valuable work team, was stricken with a paralyzing disease in the yard of the Warrensburgh planing mill and was unable to arise. It is believed that she is suffering from spinal trouble and her recovery is doubtful. The animal was moved with great effort to a nearby barn where she is now under treatment.
Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2210.