Tomfoolery proves fatal
Frank Griffin, 18, of Newcomb was accidentally shot by his 19-year-old chum Charles Murphy, near that place Nov. 30, 1911 and with his dying breath absolved from all blame the friend who unwittingly inflicted the wound which he well knew would prove fatal.
The young men were on their way home from Minerva where they had attended a dance Wednesday night. Early in the morning they stopped at Haven’s place, about half way between Minerva and Newcomb, to get something to eat. The place was in charge of a young man named George West, the Haven family having moved into the lumber woods for the season.
The boys were given a lunch and while eating it were having considerable sport in a good-natured way. Finally young Griffin stepped outside and stood in front of a window looking in. Murphy picked up a gun standing against the wall and holding it with one hand playfully pointed it at his chum and exclaimed, “Your money or your life.” Murphy, who had no intention of firing it, was horrified when it went off.
After the shot was fired, young Griffin walked out to his cutter and than back into the house. Murphy did not know that Griffin had been hit until he saw him stagger. Murphy thought Griffin was fooling until he fell to the floor. He asked the injured boy to forgive him and Griffin said, “There is nothing to forgive,” he said. “I was as much to blame as you.”
Arrangements were made to carry the boy home and he died along the way. Funeral arrangements were made from his late home. He was buried Dec. 3, 1911 in the Newcomb village cemetery and there was a large attendance. Young Murphy, who has an excellent reputation, is heartbroken over the affair even though no one blames him. Relatives of the dead youth have treated Murphy with utmost consideration.
Man dies in motorcar crash
Jesse Smith, for two years employed as chauffeur by Senator James A. Emerson in Warrensburgh and well-known throughout this section, was killed in an automobile accident Dec. 1, 1911 on the Saugerties Road near Rondout.
Since leaving Warrensburgh about a year and a half ago, Smith had made his home in Glens Falls but had been working as a mechanician in various automobile factories and had worked in Rondout since Oct. 23, 1911 at the Wyckoff, Church & Partridge Automobile factory.
Jesse Smith was riding in a car which was being tested by Henry Amon when a shoe blew out which caused the machine to swerve from the roadbed into the soft ground along side the highway. The car was brought to a stop by running into a stump along side of the road. Smith either jumped or was thrown out of the car striking against a tree. Amon was only slightly injured. Smith was carried into the nearby residence of Mrs. Edward Legg and died just as they got him into the house.
The funeral was held at the home of Smith’s mother at 244 Glen St., Glens Falls and the body was taken to Pottersville for burial. Smith leaves a widow who was formerly Miss Russell of Warrensburgh.
Conflagration at Stony Creek
The village of Stony Creek narrowly escaped being swept by fire early in the morning, Dec. 5, 1911 when a two-story building owned by J.E. Vanderbilt and occupied by him as a drugstore, was burned to the ground.
The fire was discovered about 2 a.m. by the night watchman at Halls’ Steam Mill, who saw flames issuing from the rear of the building. An alarm was given and the residents got out the hand engine with which they were able to save the surrounding buildings. It was only with great effort, however, that the flames were prevented from devouring the entire village as the fire had gained considerable headway when discovered.
The entire loss is estimated at $4,000 which is partially covered by insurance of $2,000. Mr. Vanderbilt, who came to Stony Creek about a year ago from New York City, bought the building from R.W. Clayton.
New bridge or not
A special town meeting will be held in Stony Creek Dec. 29, 1911 at Kenyon’s Hall, for a vote on whether or not the town shall construct a bridge over Stony Creek where the highway leading from Stony Creek station to Hadley intersects the creek and the vote upon the question of raising and appropriating the sum of $2,618 for the expense of building said bridge.
Horse thief sent to jail
Danny Jackson of Warrensburgh was re-sentenced to a term of four years in Auburn Prison and was taken there Nov. 30, 1911 by Deputy Sheriff George Hackett. Jackson was sentenced at the previous term of court for stealing a horse but was brought back to be re-sentenced because of an error in the commitment. (Note: The detailed account of this unusual theft and subsequent chase by the sheriff’s posse appeared in this column in the April 9 Adirondack Journal.)
Calamities in Lewisville
Mrs. James Harris, 53, of Thurman dropped dead in Lewisville (River St., Warrensburgh) at about 3 p.m. Nov. 30, 1911 after she had stepped into a wagon to return home from a shopping trip in this village. She had just finished shopping at J.F. Cameron’s store when the young son of David I. Combs, a resident of Thurman, drove by and she hailed him and asked permission for a ride home. She hastened to overtake him and had barely seated herself in the wagon when she fell lifeless into the boy’s arms. She was quickly taken to the Wayside Hotel and Dr. C.B. Cunningham and Coroner J.M. Griffin were summoned. They pronounced death due to heart failure. Several times that day Mrs. Harris had mentioned that she did not feel well. Burial was in the Warrensburgh Cemetery. (Note: J. Freeman Cameron’s mercantile establishment was approximately across from today’s Curtis Lumber store.)
In other Lewisville news, William Hall, while carrying two pails of boiling water at the Empire Shirt Company’s laundry, slipped and fell on the floor, spilling the water over part of his body. One arm and one leg were severely burned. He is confined to his home in poor condition and Dr. C.B. Cunningham is attending him.