2017-02-08 / Looking Back

Looking Back

100 Years Ago, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1917


What We Are Talking About at the County Hub


Cold Snap Causes Small Fires Covenanters Call Pastor Successful Sale of Red Cross Seals.

The Quinn & Sherman interests who own the Beerston Acetate Company, have purchased the Tionesta acetate plant near Addison, Pa.

The proceeds from the sale of Red Cross seals in Walton this season amounted to $102.01. Principal C. P. Wells, who had charge of the seals, appreciates highly the liberal support given this cause. The money is used in the fight against tuberculosis.

Two still alarms of fire were sent in Saturday night when the chimneys of James Salton’s and Mrs. Charles North’s houses, Park street and Beerston road, burned out. The chemical jitney and a few firemen answered each alarm and used extinguishers to put out the flames.

Friday last was Candlemas Day, when, so runs the legend, the bear or ground hog comes forth from his winter quarters. If he sees his shadow he goes back and sleeps for six weeks longer, being assured that there is at least this much of winter to come. He had no trouble to see his shadow Friday as the sun shone bright and fair all day.

Rev. S. M. Morrow, who has accepted a call to become pastor of the Church of Covenanters, arrived in Walton the latter part of the week and conducted the church services Sunday. Mr. Morrow’s home is in Blanchard, Iowa, and he was formerly pastor of a church in Syracuse. The New York Presbytery will act on the call of the Walton church at its spring meeting and the formal installation will soon follow. Mr. Morrow is unmarried and is now boarding at the home of George A. Peck, South street.

A consignment of the new twenty-five cent pieces has been received by the First National Bank. The coin is of the new style but different in detail from the new half dollar and the new dime. The quarter on the obverse side shows Liberty in full length bearing a shield in the left hand, an olive branch in the right. The motto, “In God We Trust,” the thirteen stars and the date complete the obverse. On the reverse the eagle in full flight, the motto “E Pluribus Unum,” the inscription “United States of America” and the thirteen stars complete that side.

Mrs. Nancy A. Merrill of Union Hill, N. J., was found dead in her home in that place on Thursday, February 1. Her brother, C. W. Morgan of Ridgefield Park, N. J., called Mrs. Merrill on the telephone and receiving no response went to that place. He found the door locked and after calling a policeman, forced his way in. The lifeless body of Mrs. Merrill was found near the door of the bathroom. Death is believed to have been due to a shock. Mr. Morgan and son Jesse brought the body to Masonville Sunday for burial. Mrs. Merrill was 65 years of age and at one time lived in Walton.

Andrew E. Engert has opened a grocery store in the William Gaul building, Delaware street. Mr. Engert installed a new stove in the place which nearly caused a bad fire Tuesday. Engert had locked up the store at noon and had gone home for dinner. Gerald Hawk, who has rooms over the store, happened to return there and found his rooms filled with smoke. Investigation showed that where the stove pipe passed through the flooring the woodwork had been set on fire. A pail of water put out the blaze, but had not the flames been so opportunely discovered a serious fire would have resulted.

The question of the proposed increase of telephone rates by the Walton People’s Telephone Company came to the front again this week, when S. T. H. Knight, the company’s collector, visited the patrons in an effort to collect the February rent in advance at the increased rates. Many paid before they had thought of the matter, while others refused payment on the ground that the increased rates have not been approved by the Public Service Commission and are therefore not effective. The question will probably be submitted to the Commission to see whether the company has any right to collect the increased rates until the Commission has rendered its decision on the legality of the increase.

Saturday morning the horse of Frank Dann, driven by Norris Dann, ran away at West End. Norris Dann had brought the morning’s milk to the Meadowbrook Dairy company’s creamery back of J. H. Townsend’s house, and had emptied his load of milk from the wagon. While he was inside the plant the horse became frightened, whirled around and started across the Townsend yard on the west side of the house. The animal narrowly escaped colliding with several trees in the yard and then crossed the street. The horse ran upon Alexander Tweedie’s yard and one of the wagon wheels caught on the front steps of the Tweedie house and wrecked them. Then the horse dashed back across the street, clearing the iron fence about the vacant lot on the corner of Howell and Delaware streets. The wagon was left behind here while the horse ran up the Third Brook road for nearly a mile before it was stopped. The horse had one leg badly injured.


Supervisors Engage Attorney and Counsel at Special Meeting


Beerston Man Unable to Agree With Commission but Board Takes No Action on State Road Matter.

A special meeting of the Board of Supervisors, at which all members were present, was held in Delhi Wednesday afternoon. The meeting was called for the purpose of naming counsel in the appeal of the town of Hancock from the equalization of its assessment. William F. White of Walton was named as attorney for the board with C. R. O’Connor of Hobart as counsel. Andrews & McNaught were formerly attorneys for the board, but Mr. McNaught’s illness made a change necessary. Supervisors Eckert, Mackey, and Conner were named as the committee to conduct the appeal.

The supervisors also appropriated the sum of $600, upon which the district attorney may draw for the expenses of his office. A bill of $459 presented by sheriff Austin for services of employees of the jail and a few other bills were audited in open board by unanimous consent.

A. D. Peake of Walton was given the privilege of the floor and presented the matter of the claim of John S. Tuttle of Beerston for damages on account of the state road construction in Walton. Mr. Peake stated that the state highway had been built at a much lower grade than Mr. Tuttle had been told it would be and this resulted in making impassable the old private road leading to his house. About two acres of land had originally been purchased by the county for the right of way at a cost of $350, but Mr. Tuttle had been unable to make a settlement with the supervisors’ committee for the damage to his private roadway. The committee had offered $250, but Mr. Tuttle would not take less than $800. Mr. Peake, as his attorney, presented the proposition that three or five disinterested arbitrators be appointed to settle the dispute.

On behalf of the committee Supervisor Siver of Sidney stated that twice offers had been made to Mr. Tuttle for the construction of a new road to his place by the state road men without cost to him, but both offers had been rejected. The committee did not feel that Mr. Tuttle had any legal claim against the county for damages, but his claim to a certain extent was equitable and therefore the committee had offered him $250 or would build a new road for him.

No action was taken by the board on the matter.

The first hearing in the appeal of the town of Hancock from the equalization of assessments in Delaware county for the year 1916, will be held in the supervisors’ room in Delhi on Tuesday, February 20.

Commissioner Walter H. Knapp has been designated to sit at the hearing of this appeal. The character of the testimony submitted will be similar to that in the equalization case last year.

The town of Hancock secured a reduction of its equalization in 1915 and that case is now on appeal before the Appellate Division. Practically the same questions are involved this year, the town of Hancock claiming that the equalization of its assessment is unjust in comparison with other towns. The equalization commission increased the 1915 equalization $700,000 over the assessed valuation of the town. The tax commission ordered this reduced $602,000. The commission this year raised the town about $500,000 over the assessed valuation. The state and county taxes of the towns are levied upon the equalized values. The new attorneys for the board will appeal from the decision of the tax commission in the 1915 case as well as fight the appeal of Hancock from the 1916 equalization.


First Regiment Called Out by Governor Whitman Sunday


Given Nothing to Eat and Were Sheltered in Mule Barn Now Located Comfortably at Millwood.

The members of Company F. Walton’s national guardsmen, are at Millwood, Westchester county, engaged in the task of protecting the Croton aqueduct from damage by cranks or German sympathizers.

A message received Thursday evening stated that the company was quartered in the Division Engineer’s office building a mile from the Millwood station. The building has a furnace and connection for electric lights and the men are all feeling better after the hardships they experienced the first few days. Millwood is located about six miles south of the Croton reservoir. How long Company F will remain out is uncertain.

Just as dusk was falling Sunday evening 6 o’clock the special train bearing the guardsmen pulled out of the Walton station amid the cheers of the hundreds who had gathered to bid them farewell and Godspeed.

Saturday afternoon word came over the telegraph wires of the severance of diplomatic relations between the United States and Germany, following Germany’s announcement Wednesday of an unrestricted submarine warfare against England. That evening First Lieutenant H. A. Wilbur, commanding Company F, received orders to have a guard placed in the armory.

About 1:30 o’clock in the morning the order from Major Sheehan of Newburgh came to Lieut. Wilbur directing him to assemble his company in the Walton armory at 8 o’clock Sunday morning. When daylight came the men who had remained on guard in the armory were dispatched to assemble the guardsmen and word was sent by telephone to those who could be reached in this way. The alarm was also given by the discharge of three blasts of powder in front of the armory. At the same time word was telegraphed to out of town members of the company to report at once at the armory.

The calling out of the guard came as a surprise and shock to the community and before the village had time to hardly grasp the meaning of the order the company was entrained and on its way to Peekskill.

The men were held under call all day, after the morning assembly. At the mobilization of the First Regiment during the Mexican crisis last June, the company was held ten days at the armory before going to Camp Whitman and there was little thought that the departure this time would come as quickly as it did. A union church service in Walton Hall had been arranged by the pastors in honor of the guardsmen, but an hour before the time of service the guardsmen had left Walton.

At four o’clock in the afternoon word came to Lieutenant Wilbur to assemble his company and entrain at the O. & W. depot at 5 o’clock for Newburgh. Two coaches and a baggage car had been commandeered, but it was not until nearly six o’clock that the special train left here.

During the day sweaters, arctics and gloves for the men had been purchased at the Walton stores, and as there were not enough in stock for all, a requisition was sent to Delhi for more. A supply of groceries and meats were purchased for the commissary department.

Word of the intended departure of the company passed quickly and the armory was soon filled with friends and relatives who came for a last word. The large drill hall presented an animated spectacle with some of the guardsmen making ready their outfits and other shaking hands and saying good bye.

Shortly before 5 o’clock the order to march was given and the line of guardsmen swung down Delaware street towards the depot accompanied by several hundred townspeople. At the depot, after another short delay, the men boarded the two coaches on the switch by the freight depot, but it was not until an hour after the departure from the armory that the train pulled out of the yards.

Then no one of them knew their destination, but all were prepared to face whatever duty lay before them with a smile and a cheer, and those left behind knew that wherever bound the sons of Walton would give a worthy account of themselves.

The special train reached Middletown between 9 and 10 o’clock Sunday evening and was joined there by Company I and the Medical Department of the First Infantry. When the guardsmen reached Newburgh after 11 o’clock, a heavy snow storm raging. They were escorted to the armory in that city where they remained for the night. The hardness of the armory floor did not conduce to sound sleep. The two Newburgh companies, which with Companies F and I form the battalion under command of Major Sheehan, reported at 8:30 came the march to the ferry across the river to Beacon. There the militiamen took a New York Central train for Peekskill.

The Walton armory is in charge of armorer S. J. Beagle and privates Lee Finch, Ed. Carr, Charles Rothensies, Glenn Griffin and Charles LaFrano.

Over six members of the company, who were out of town when the mobilization call came, arrived in Walton Monday in answer to the summons. Tuesday, word was received from Lieutenant Wilbur that they would not be needed. There were a number of others who wished to enlist Monday but were not taken for the same reason. About twenty of the company’s members are with the division supply train at McAllen, Texas. Had these been here and if the company had remained in Walton until Monday they would have left nearly one hundred strong. Men on the reserve, whose enlistments had expired, who had been dropped from the company, cannot go out unless the reserves are called. Ivan Laidlaw of DeLancey, and several others on the reserve list, who came to Walton when they heard of the call, found that they would not be permitted to go out with the company.

Privates Howard Schoonmaker, Thomas LaFrano, Mark Cadem, Ed. Close, Axford Beagle and Patsy Cicale enlisted in the company on Sunday.

The following is the roster of Company F. There are one commissioned officer and sixty-four privates. Those marked with a star (*) are at the armory or did not report in time to be taken.

Roster of Co. F.

1st Lieut.: H. A. Wilbur, in command.

1st Sgt.: Charles O’Neill.

Sgt. Q. M.: A. E. Oothoudt.

Sgts.: John Armstrong, J. J. Connelly, F. Pierson.

Corporals: Chas. Smith, Wm. H. White, H. Kniffin, M. Eells.

Musicians: Donald Berry, Lee McCook.

Cooks: J. J. Townsend, H. M. Benedict.

Artificer: R. W. Wilbur.

Privates: S. J. Beagle, A. Brundage, L. Bunnell, A. L. Beagle, H. G. Cable, E. D. Carr, J. Cetta, H. G. Clarke, W. J. Cleaver, DeLancey; F. S. Conklin*, J. E. Cole, E. Closs, P. J. Cicale, M. E. Dow, F. M. Dumond, C. F. Eaton, Loomis; V. H. Elderkin, J. W. Felter, Rock Rift; F. Felter, Readburn; L. E. Finch*, Livingston Manor; Leo Flynn, A. E. Grey, Beerston; G. W. Griffin*, M. T. Guild, C. Hammond, J. Hammond, M. E. Hinckley, R. B. Holmes, I. W. Houck, Beerston; Paul Jones, Beerston; H. C. Laidlaw, Alex Launt, C. LaFrano*, D. Loushay, Thomas LaFrano, W. H. Meade, J. H. McCall, L. Northrup, J. W. Palmer, J. E. Rourke, C. Rothensies, G. E. Salton, R. W. Secord, F. Shackleton, F. H. Smith, L. T. Stidd, C. H. Schoonmaker, F. M. Tompkins, L. S. Wakeman, A. Welton, Hancock; O. T. Whitaker, Trout Creek; C. E. Wood, H. G. Woolley*, J. B. Young, N. E. Marks, M. E. Caden, L. T. Snyder.


Oneonta Guardsmen Include Number of Delaware County Boys.

(From North Franklin correspondant)

In past years our citizen soldiers have served terms of enlistment in the National Guard without ever being called for service, but at present enrollment in the militia is not without its reward, the members of Co. G. of Oneonta decided, when on Sunday they were called out for the second time in less than a year.

Captain Parish received the order to mobilize at 2:30 a. m. Sunday and by mid-afternoon had 81 of his 99 subordinates in uniform with full equipment. Other members out of town, who reported in the evening, were ordered to join their command later in the week.

Although the call was unexpected by most of the men, thoroughness marked their preparation and found them in line eager for departure. All day throngs of people filed in and out of the armory as the town was early stirred by the words, “Company G is called out,” and all wished to bid their soldier friends good bye. Hundreds marched with the company and hundreds more waited at the D. & H. depot, where the boys entrained about 4:30. It was generally believed that Co. F of Walton would be on the same train and disappointment was manifested when it was learned that the latter company went a different way. Co. H and the regimental staff from Binghamton composed the remainder of the contingent which the train bore toward Albany.

A minor but important detail was observed by Captain Parish, who saw that each man in his command was equipped with a mackinaw and a pair of arctics in addition to the regular uniform. The captain reasoned that it was a very cold world for men to abruptly enter who had all winter been in warm offices and even the outdoor men would appreciate the extra clothing.

On the march to the depot there was no accompanying band music, no escort by the mayor and city officials, no citizen societies marching behind, only the silent escort of hosts of friends. When the train departed farewell was waved by thousands of hands, but not a single flag was in evidence, and no cheering was heard. The populace acted more curious than sentimental; it was more like the crowd that turns out to watch a fire or goes down to the railroad yards in the early morning to see a circus train unload. It was not because the people were any less loyal or patriotic, but circumstances were different than they were that other day of departure last June, when the guardsmen were supposedly going to the Mexican border. Then the people were keyed up to a fine patriotism by days of preparation and anticipation for giving the men a royal send off.

The purpose was more definite, the public believed actual war imminent, while Sunday afternoon the purpose was vague, it was not even known where the men were going, whether they were to act as state policemen or for more grim work. The anticipation of something tangible which produces unrestrained enthusiasm was lacking. Although flags were displayed all over the city, one could not say whether for the soldiers or the grangers, as citizens were asked last week to honor the coming state grange by session by unfurling “Old Glory.”

When Monday dawned on the young city and it environs, there were many vacant places. The work week found offices without assistants, stores without clerks, automobiles without drivers, railroads without helpers and more than one farmer faced a long row of cows with a single milk pail and looked wistfully down the line where the hired man stripped away a day or two ago.


Committee Will Receive Money or Pledges From Citizens.

The calling out of Company F Sunday takes away the heads of several families or those upon whom others are dependent for support. Hardships will result unless immediate steps are taken by the citizens of Walton to furnish relief where needed. The company itself has funds sufficient for the present to purchase the things needed for the comfort of its own members, but a fund should be raised for the relief of their families at home. The committee appointed last summer to receive funds for the same purpose has consented to act again, and money may be handed to any of the members: George E. Davis, S. H. Fancher, Jr., W. H. Knight and E. B. Guild. It has been suggested that instead of giving a lump sum of money it may be better to pledge a certain sum each week for this purpose, the same to automatically stop when the guardsmen return.


Action of State for Destruction of Booze on Supreme Court Calendar.

A settlement has been effected in the damage action brought by Eva E. Chase, through her guardian, Walter H. Chase, against the Ontario & Western railroad. Eva Chase, a little Sidney school girl, was run down by the New Berlin train on the Main street crossing in Sidney and one of her legs was cut off. The train was doing some switching.

The case was on the Supreme Court calendar for trail at the February term of court in Delhi next week. Justice R. L. Davis of Cortland will preside at this term. There are 87 cases on the calendar, but the largest per cent of them will pass the term.

One interesting case is that brought by the state excise department for the destruction of liquor seized at the Hotel Elm, at Pepacton, last October. Samuel H. Spear, a liquor dealer, claims title to the liquor. E. R. Williams had bought the liquor of him with the understanding that when nolicense became effective October first, Spear would take back the stock in hand. Spear claims the liquor was being stored for him when seized and asks for possession of the same.


Another Phase of Fleischmanns Bank Fight Before the Court.

The fight for control of the First National bank of Griffin Corners came into court again this week, when Justice Hasbrouck of Kingston was asked to vacate an injunction granted by Justice C. E. Nichols of Jefferson on January 6, which restrained the bank, John E. Scudder, U. S. Grant Cure and Fred D. Cure from transferring five shares of stock in which the control of the bank rests, or from voting such shares at the annual meeting of the stockholders or collecting dividends on the same.

On the day of the bank election, January 9, the injection restraining Cure from voting the five shares was served and this gave the Halpern faction control by one vote.

The five shares of stock were originally owned by Harold O. Judd and were pledged by him as collateral security with J. E. Scudder, who was endorser on a note. Scudder claimed that he sold the stock in January, 1916, to Fred Cure to protect his liability on the note. This stock gave the Todd faction control of the bank in 1916, but resulted in criminal prosecution of Scudder.

At the annual stockholders’ meeting held on January 9, 1917, two tickets were in the field. The incumbents, or Todd faction, had the following ticket: A. H. Todd, M. H. Tompkins, Otis H. Todd, Grant Cure, F. D. Cure, Anna Lasher, Herbert Lasher, George Speenberg, Earl Jenkins. The opposition put up Albert Halpern, George P. Doolittle, C. V. Spriggs, Elmer Hinkley, Dr. Edwin Champlin, Anna Lasher, and Herbert Lasher, and elected their entire ticket.

C. V. Spriggs was elected president and Herbert Lasher vice president.

There are 250 shares. The Todd faction voted 122 and the opposition 123. The five other shares are the celebrated H. O. Judd shares, which were transferred to F. D. Cure at the last election, by J. E. Scudder, and which decided that election.

Afterwards Scudder was arrested for larceny, convicted and sentenced to not less than one year and not more than three years in state prison. The case is now on appeal.

Attorney J. W. Eckert, in support of his motion to vacate the injunction, cited the revised statutes of the United States in relation to restrictions imposed on injunctions against national banks, and said, in answer to Judge Hasbrouck’s questions, that his clients were trying to save the bank.

George A. Speenburgh, in opposing the motion to vacate the injunction, contended that under the facts in the case, the injunction could be vacated only because of irregularities in the papers on which it was granted, and that such irregularities must be set forth fully in the motion papers by his adversary. No meeting of stockholders was pending at which the five shares in dispute could be voted, and the entire case could be tried, if the defendants desired, at the trail term of Supreme Court to be held in Delaware county of February 13.

Judd’s rights in his stock could not be extinguished, he insisted, by a private sale under any power of attorney without sufficient notice, and Scudder never had given any notice. Furthermore, Scudder was only the fourth and last endorser on the note for which the bank stock had been assigned to him as collateral security, and he never had paid one dollar on the note and therefore had not become entitled to sell the stock, because he had no claim against Judd that had not been amply secured.

The continuation of the injunction was necessary, he insisted, in order to prevent his stock from being peddled about among different owners which plan, if followed, would prevent the real owner from being served with papers which could determine the rightful ownership.

Judge Hasbrouck reserved decision.


Ask Higher Pay From Hartley Manufacturing Co.

About twenty silk weavers employed in the plant of the Hartley Mfg. Co., in Sidney, shut down their looms Monday and walked out, because the company would not meet their demands.

The men want an increase in wages on two kinds of silk and ask for a better quality of silk. The men are still out, but the factory is continuing operations with a reduced force. Mr. Simpson of Patterson, the general manager of the company, came to Sidney to talk the situation over.


Harry Smith’s Latest Scheme to Make Money


Former Delhi Editor Would Collect for Advs. and Then Skip Tried Game at Moravia.

Harry G. Smith, editor, financier and Beau Brummel, who last year laid down his strenuous editorial duties in the old Gazette office in Delhi to visit parts unknown, is now reported to have turned to financial pastures new for his living.

When Smith left Delhi his dog Trixie and numerous bills remained behind. Later he was arrested on a warrant sworn out by Attorney R. W. France of Sidney, on whom he passed a worthless check, and Smith mowed the court house lawn for a time as recreation while in the custody of the sheriff.

Last reports of his financial operations came from Moravia, N. Y., where Frank M. Spiers, a former Walton man, is employed as a foreman in a printing office. The following extracts for a letter from Mr. Spiers is self-explanatory of Smith’s latest scheme:

“Smith was introduced to our office by Rev. Mr. Jones, pastor of the Congregational church and asked for price for printing 350 copies of a history of the church which would make about 28 pages. Smith was to get his pay from the advs., and proceeded at once to solicit and, in many instances, to collect. He had a nice lot of advs. and we set up the body of the book. In the meantime he had left Moravia and we did not know where to locate him. Finally we received a letter from him from Cortland, asking that proofs be sent to him there, which we did, and after a few days he returned them, saying that he would be in town in a few days.

“He had neglected to pay a three-weeks’ board bill to a farmer living a little way out of town and we became a little suspicious of the man and did not feel like doing any more work until we could see some money in sight.

“Matters ran along until a day or so before I first wrote you, when we received a letter from a woman in Cortland asking if we could furnish his address And what a letter! It gave him a very bad reputation all around. Said that he had worked the church history game in various places. Would collect for the advertising and leave Mr. Printer to whistle for his pay. That he had served two or three jail sentences, and was a drunkard, gambler, and Lord knows what all. I Thought the fitted the Gazette man so wrote to you.

“This woman says ten Cortland people are wanting him, but did not say on what charge. That if they can get ahold of him he will be jailed once more.”


Proposed Rates of Sidney Water Works Company Rejected.

The Sidney Water Works Company has notified the Sidney village board that it will charge the village $40 each for fire hydrants, $100 for the municipal hall, $200 for sewer flushing and $200 for payment flushing. Under the old contract which expired in September the rate was $25 for each fire hydrant, $50 for the hall and $150 for sewer flushing.

The Sidney village board and the board of water commissioners of the village have rejected the proposed contract as exorbitant and unwarranted.


Laurant, the Magician, Delightfully Entertained Walton Audience.

A full house greeting Laurant, the magician, and his party of able assistants in Walton Hall on Monday evening when they appeared under the auspices of the Walton High School and Community lecture course.

Much pleasure had been anticipated from this number by the townspeople, and their anticipations were more than realized by each of the performers, the central and leading figure of course being the magician himself, Mr. Laurant, who proved to be indeed “a man of many mysteries.”

From the beginning of the entertainment to its close the large audience was held spellbound by the strange and mysterious things which took place before them. Flowers in profusion sprang into sight from apparent nothingness, as did also other things - even living creatures - a rabbit, a canary, a guinea pig, a duck, etc.

Two particularly novel and puzzling features of the evening were “The Wizard’s Supper,” and the clock trick. At the former banquet scene was represented at which food was magically prepared and passed to the audience. But Laurant or his accomplishments cannot be adequately described. His wonderful powers must be witnessed to be fully appreciated.

The musical numbers during the intermissions were excellently rendered and very much enjoyed. The entire company is well worthy its wide popularity and will be gladly welcomed in Walton again at any future period.

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