2017-09-13 / Looking Back

Looking Back

100 Years Ago, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1917


What We Are Talking About at the County Hub


Jack Frost Arrives - Firemen Called by Chicken House Blaze - Child Dies from Pneumonia.

Buckwheat and corn were badly damaged by the frosts Monday and Tuesday evenings of this week, and many gardens were badly touched by the frost.

Representatives of the Interstate Commerce Commission are in Walton. They are engaged in the work of making a valuation of the property of the Ontario & Western.

The boys’ camp at Island Park conducted by Prof. C. H. Davis of Richmond Hill, closed Saturday, and the boys who had remained until the date returned to their homes. Prof. Davis will conduct the camp next year.

The interim certificates for the Liberty Loan have been issued and those who subscribed through the First National bank may secure the certificates by calling for them. The certificates are to be exchanged later for the engraved books.

Anna Hila, the twenty-two months old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmot Houck of Baxter Brook, town of Walton, died Wednesday from bronchial pneumonia following an attack of whooping cough. There are three other children in the family.

Robert, the sixteen months old son of Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Hoos, fell from a kitchen chair one day this week, striking his head against a coal scuttle. A bad gash was cut above his eye which required several stitches for the physician, Dr. Holley, to close.

Students who expect to stay out of school on the farms later than Monday should see Prin. C. P. Wells and have the necessary papers made out as specified by the new school law, in order that they may have the time element waived for the regents examinations.

Arrangements are being made whereby the Western Union Telegraph office will be moved to More’s drug store, and the business will be under the supervision of W. J. More. There have been many complaints of poor telegraph service and it is believed that with the office centrally located the service will be much improved.

The Ford automobiles driven by Ralph J. Kent and Tony Vallone collided on the state road near the Edmund More farm last Thursday evening. Both machines were damaged. Vallone, who conducts the state road commissary, ran into E. B. Guild’s car on the Colchester road recently and stripped the running board and mudguards on one side.

J. G. Hoyt, superintendent of the Oneonta water works, was in Walton this week looking over the water system. There have been complaints of bad taste in the water and this was found due to the presence of a small amount of algi or vegetable matter in the reservoir. Reports that the water had been condemned are untrue. Officials of the company believe the trouble has been remedied.

The fire department was called out for the third time within a few weeks at 2 o’clock Sunday morning. Saturday Burkett Brothers had burned sulphur in their chicken house on Tripp Avenue and had left the sulphur in a box. During the night the sulphur set fire to the chicken house and the alarm was sent in by a neighbor who saw the blaze. The fire was put out before the department equipment arrived.

A telegram was received Tuesday afternoon stating that the Cadillac automobile owned by J. W. St. John of Walton had been badly damaged by fire near Summersville, South Carolina. Mr. St. John shipped the machine by water from New York to Charleston, S. C., last week, and the car was being driven from there to Columbia when it caught fire from defective wiring. The message did not state the amount of damage, but conveyed the impression that the loss would be serious. Mr. St. John is district manager of the American Agricultural Chemical Co. in Columbia, S. C., and expected to go south in a few days. He has been with Mrs. St. John at Clifton Springs.

The Buick automobile owned and driven by John Carlson of Trout Creek was struck by the O. & W. switch engine on the Delaware street crossing near Vannakin’s lumber yard late Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Carlson was driving into the village, and as the view of the tracks is shut off by the office building, did not see the engine in time to avoid the accident. The machine was struck near the middle and the occupants thrown out. In the car were Mr. and Mrs. Carlson and their four year old daughter Grace and Mrs. Maurice Ellis. All four suffered severe cuts and bruises, but Dr. Morrow, who was called, found no broken bones. The automobile was badly damaged. The fenders and mudguards on the right side were stripped off, one wheel smashed and the body of the machine badly jammed. The crossing has always been considered a dangerous one and in need of a flagman. The switch engine is passing back and forth frequently and the view of the tracks is obstructed by nearby buildings.


Walton High School Opened Monday With Many Non-Residents.

The Walton High School opened Monday with a registration of 702. The registration in the High School is the same as the opening day last year, 216. Of these 100 are non-resident pupils. Including the training class there are 123 non-resident pupils in the school. The number of pupils in the lower grades shows a slight falling off, resulting in a decrease from the registration of last year, which was 735 in the schools. The registration in the three school buildings is as follows:

High School Building: High School, 216; training class, 10; eighth grade, A and B classes, 69; Total, 295.

Miller Avenue School: First grade, Miss Bootier, 40 pupils; second grade, Mrs. Seacord, 32; third grade, Miss Loos, 27; fourth grade, Miss Robinson, 38; fifth grade, Miss Newland, 33; sixth grade, Miss Forst, 29; seventh grade, Miss Arbuckle, 31. Total, 230.

Stockton Avenue: First grade, Miss Schlafer, 33; second grade, Miss O’Connor, 24; third grade, Miss Coburn, 26; fifth grade, Miss Sanford, 27; sixth grade, Miss Lyon, 35; seventh grade, Mrs. McMullin, 32. Total, 177.

There are fifty registered in the vocational courses as against thirty four of last year. A registration of twenty-four in cooking makes it necessary to form two classes in order to accommodate them in the kitchens. No more students can be accommodated in typewriting unless more machines are added.

Miss Ruth Reiss, who with her sister, Elise, enter High School this fall, from Cadosia, was the winner of the spelling contest in Sullivan county in the state spelling contest at the State Fair, in Syracuse, on Tuesday. Dr. Finley, State Commissioner of Education, pronounced the words. Miss Ruth Reiss is twelve years of age. Her expenses were paid by the state, as were those of forty-one other contestants. A boy from a Schenectady grammar school won the contest and received a cash prize of fifty dollars.

Non-resident pupils entering Walton schools for the first time this fall are: Florence E. Aldrich, Walton; Grace A. Borchers, Bronx; Sophia E. Beardsley, Walton; James Burnett, Walton; Hattie Ballard, Halcott Center; Marjory E. Burton, Walton; Cecile Beers, Beerston; Roland H. Burton, Walton; George H. Chilson, Beerstown; Dorothy Chamberlin, Granton; Clyde Constable, Walton; Earl Constable, Walton; Alfred Dearstyne, Rock Rift; Arthur DuMond, Franklin; Lola Frazier, Glen Spey; Bertha Grant, Walton; Robert Gray, Walton; Kenneth Goodrich, Beerston; Amy Hoyt, Walton; Doris King, Franklin Depot; Gladys Moore, Granton; Lawrence McClennon, Walton; Mildred Peck, Granton; Donald Rotzler, Beerston; Madora Scofield, Granton; Elizabeth Stasio, Merrickville; Max Tuttle, Beerston; Eva Tripp, Beerston; Lelah Tripp, Beerston; Ofelia Torre, Walton; Mabelle Terry, Downsville; Marshall Thompson, Walton; Dorothy Whitaker, Trout Creek; Bruce Williams, Beerston; Reeves Wood, Walton; Elsie Reiss, Cadosia; Ruth Reiss, Cadosia.

Principal C. P. Wells has been busy arranging classes in the High School and the work is now settling down to routine. Six grades are accommodated in the new Miller avenue school. In discussing the large enrollment of nonresident pupils Principal Wells said:

“For every pupil entering High School from a district not maintaining an academic department, twenty dollars each year is paid by the state. Last year District No. 1 received tuition from the state to the amount of $2,023.05. In addition to this pupils in the grades paid in $391.35, thus making the tuition receipts amount to $2,414.40.

“This tuition money is sufficient to pay the salaries of the two vocational teachers, not otherwise paid by the state, and in addition will pay the salaries of two other high school teachers and leave nearly enough to pay the salary of the instructor in music. Without the above-mentioned aid and no increase in taxes, Walton High School could offer only the inflexible routine which the average small village school has to offer. Then, too, the presence of 125 non-resident boys and girls in Walton during 200 days of the year cannot help but benefit the merchants very materially. Walton welcomes the presence of the great number of non-residents in the local schools.”

Murder Case Still a Mystery.

Nothing new has developed in the Frank Belcher murder case at Oxford. The evidence gathered will be submitted to the next Chenango grand jury. Ellery Young, who was arrested at Port Crane for alleged complicity in the crime, is still being held. The other men arrested have been released.

Muster in Sheldon Rifles.

The Sheldon Rifles of Delhi will be mustered into the state service this, Friday, evening. The mustering officer will be Captain A. E. Connor of Walton. The uniforms of the company will be dyed to conform with the federal law prohibiting the use of the army uniform.


Miss Ida Hager Dies from Injuries in Oneonta Hospital


Entire Party Thrown From Car When Machine Skidded - Thought Injury Trivial.

Miss Ida Hager of Hobart died in Fox Memorial hospital, Oneonta, at 10:50 o’clock Monday evening, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Ouaquaga, Broome county, four hours previous.

Miss Hager has made her home for several years in the family of A. M. Milhalko, near Hobart. In the car at the time of the accident were the driver, Mr. Mihalko, Miss Hager and two friends from Yonkers, Miss Lilian Hall and Miss Carol Klinger. The car skidded on a turn and went into the ditch. The wheel struck a boulder and was dished, causing the machine to turn turtle.

All the occupants were thrown out. Dr. Stillson of Windsor was called to attend the party, all of who escaped with minor injuries except Miss Hager. She suffered a serious wound above the nose between the eyes, and the physician advised her to go to the Binghamton hospital. Miss Hager insisted her injury was not serious, and finally Mr. Mihalko engaged another car to bring the party home. Before Otego was reached Miss Hager displayed signs of nausea, and when Oneonta was reached she was taken to Fox hospital, where she died an hour later. Her skull was probably fractured, resulting in cerebral trouble.

Miss Hager was a nurse by occupation, but had not been able to follow this calling of late. The body was taken to Hobart where the funeral was held Wednesday at two o’clock in the M. E. church, of which the deceased was a member. Miss Hager was also affiliated with Hobart Valley Rebeckah Lodge No. 470.


Supervisors to Act on Question on Site Tuesday


State Will Build Hospital if County Does Not Act Before January First.

Delaware county is about to have a county tuberculosis hospital thrust upon her, whether the people wish one or not. A meeting of the board of supervisors has been called for next Tuesday to take action on procuring a site and establishing a hospital, as required by a state law. The cost will be about $25,000 to $30,000, it is estimated.

A bill passed by the late legislature and signed by Governor Whitman makes it mandatory upon every county in the state having a population of 35,000 or over, not having already a tuberculosis hospital approved by the commissioner of health, to provide such a hospital on or before July, 1918.

The law further states that if the board of supervisors of any such county shall have failed to secure a site for a county tuberculosis hospital and to have awarded contracts for the erection of suitable buildings thereon by the first day of January, 1918, it shall be the duty of the state commissioner of health to forthwith proceed to locate, construct and place in operation a tuberculosis hospital in and for such county, all expenses involved by the commissioner of health in this connection to be a charge on said county.

About twenty counties are affected by this legislation, among them Delaware. Some time ago Chairman John Chambers of Hamden received a communication from the governor relative to the matter, and on Wednesday issued a call for a meeting of the board of supervisors in Delhi on Tuesday, September 18, at one o’clock, to take action upon procuring a site for a county tuberculosis hospital and any other steps necessary in establishing a hospital.

The question of a county tuberculosis hospital has been agitated in Delaware county for some years past, and at one time a committee of the supervisors was appointed to look for sites, but nothing was ever done.


Items of Interest About Delaware Men in The Service.

Charles Jennings, a former Downsville man, is a member of Company I of Middletown.

Floyd Van Aken and Roy Hughes of Roxbury went to Poughkeepsie last week to enlist in the army.

Arba Whitaker of Binghamton, a former Walton boy, is in the regular army and is said to be in France.

Mrs. C. M. Allaben of Roscoe received a cablegram Saturday from the doctor, that he had arrived safely in England.

Raymond F. Vanderwalker of Sidney, a member of Battery C of Binghamton, has been appointed one of the battery buglers.

Stoddard and Ralph Stevens of Hobart, members of the naval militia, came home Saturday noon, having a furlough of forty-eight hours.

The many friends of Miss Anna S. Keator of Roxbury will be pleased to learn that she has arrived safely in France, where she will take up the duty as a Red Cross nurse at the battle fields.

George B. Marshall of Hobart enlisted in the infantry branch of the regular army at the Oneonta station last Thursday. John J. Burns of Delancey also enlisted in the infantry in Oneonta last week.

Telegrams have been received announcing the safe arrival in Europe, probably England, of Dr. R. A. Loomis of Sidney and Dr. Whitney H. Joyce of Unadilla, first lieutenants in the medical officers’ reserve corps.

Dr. Russell Salton of Williamson, West Virginia, a former Walton boy, expects to leave for France in a few weeks. He has been commissioned in the medical officers’ reserve corps. Mrs. Salton and children are now staying in Delancey.

Ray and John Wakeman, sons of George Wakeman of Third Brook, have been in the navy for over a year, and both are stationed on the battleship Wyoming. John Wakeman was home on liberty recently. His brother Ray is a petty officer.

Rev. Ralph S. Thorn, formerly pastor of the M. E. church at Cook’s Falls, and now stationed at Vail’s Gate, has decided to enter the war work of the Y. M. C. A., and will go to Plattsburgh where he will take a two-months training course in this work, preparatory to going to France.

Ray Swart, Lynn Butler, Ray Butler and Percy Herrick of Sidney are members of the first ambulance corps of Binghamton, and Charles Fisher, Ernest Callahan and Carl Pick of Davenport belong to the first field bakery, N. G. N. Y., both of which organizations arrived at the training camp in Spartanburg, S. C., this week.

Dr. George C. McCullen, who has been associated with Dr. C. M. Dunne in the latter’s dental parlors in Norwich for more than a year, has received his commission as a first lieutenant in the dental corps of the U. S. army, and has gone to Yaphank, Long Island, where he has been ordered to report for duty. He is a son of Engineer Fred McMullen.

Arthur Amner returned to New York city last Thursday after spending a two weeks’ vacation with his parents Mr. and Mrs. N. D. Amner. Immediately upon his return he enlisted in the 21st Recruit Co., Fort Slocum, located at New Rochelle. Mr. Amner gives up a fine government position in the post office service, and also his work in the night school in New York university. —Sidney Center cor.

Mrs. James Nutt of Hancock received a very fine letter from her nephew, Dr. James Breaking, and is son, somewhere in France. He reports that they are being well cared for in that country, but long for news from home, which they do not get very often. Both of them are in fine health. Mr. Breaking and son are with a company from Ann Arbor, Mich., and since going to France Dr. Breaking has been appointed captain of the medical unit of Harper’s hospital. If you have any friends who have enlisted don’t forget to write to them, as they do appreciate a letter from home. —Hancock cor.


Table Showing Number of Volunteers From Each Town in County.

A compilation of enlistments in Delaware county by towns is given below. It includes all branches of service of the army and navy. Figuring on the basis of the 1915 population, as given by the state census that year, the average enlistment in the county was .0085 per cent of the population. In Walton the percentage was just double or .017 per cent. This does not include the 30 men with the Company F depot unit on guard duty near White Plains, N. Y.

The towns of Andes, Bovina, Colchester, Delhi, Hancock, Middletown, Roxbury and Stamford are in the first exemption district of Delaware county and the towns of Davenport, Deposit, Franklin, Hamden, Harpersfield, Kortright, Masonville, Meredith, Sidney, Tompkins and Walton constitute the second district. Of the total of 391 enlistments in the army only 126 were in the first district and 265 were in the second district with a lower registration. The method followed by the state in crediting enlistments to the entire county instead of to the districts resulted in an inequality as the second district has to furnish 83 men for draft and the first district with 200 more men registered and only half as many enlistments, furnishes 80 men.

The following table shows the enlistments by towns in Delaware county. In the first column is given the population shown by the 1915 census figures, in the second column the number of enlistments and in the third column the number of enlistments each town would have had if each town had furnished volunteers on the average ratio for the county or .0085 per cent:

Andes 2,084 7 17
Bovina 867 3 8
Colchester 3,250 14 28
Davenport 1,393 9 12
Delhi 2,852 24 24
Deposit 1,645 30 13
Franklin 2,222 14 19
Hamden 1,387 18 12
Hancock 4,908 29 42
Harpersfield 1,223 5 10
Kortright 1,608 10 13
Masonville 988 5 8
Meredith 1,472 4 13
Middletown 4,026 23 34
Roxbury 2,318 13 20
Sidney 4,125 59 35
Stamford 2,343 18 21
Tompkins 1,919 16 16
Walton 5,275 90 45
45,995 391 391


Candidates Withdraw and Others Enter Primary Race - Nesbitt Strong.

Local politics seem to overshadow the contests for county and judicial offices in the Republican primary next Wednesday. The unofficial primary for the nomination of town officers will be held in the lobby of Walton Hall from 9 a. m. to 8 p. m., while the official caucus for county officers will be conducted at the regular polling places from 7 a. m. to 9 p. m.

William H. White has withdrawn from the race for town superintendent of highways, as he has a better paying position in the armory. Everett Dicks, who has been mentioned as a candidate, has also stated that he will not run. The only two candidates out for the office now are E. F. Goodrich of Beerston and John McGibbon of Mt. Pleasant. Nominations are to be filed by Saturday with the Republican town committee and before that time other candidates may appear.

Justice of the peace is another office closely contested for L. F. Henderson is out for the nomination to succeed himself and Samuel H. Pond, R. L. Shaw and George Culter also seek the nomination. Two justices and two assessors are to be named. Fred F. Dickermon opposes Clarence Payne for collector.

Harry F. Marvin will receive a good send off in his home town for the Republican nomination for county treasurer.

J. Clark Nesbitt of Bloomville is receiving assurance of strong support for member of assembly. The result will depend on the size of the vote gotten out. Rev. G. M. McKnight, of Walton, has declined the Prohibition designation.

For Supreme Court Justice the indications are that Judge A. L. Kellogg, of Oneonta, will carry the county by a substantial plurality as the vote for him in Franklin, his native town, and the northern and eastern parts of the county will be large. Theodore R. Tuthill of Binghamton, Judge James P. Hill of Norwich, and Robert Parsons, of Binghamton, have many supporters who are urging the merits of each candidate. The result will probably be determined by the size of the votes in the cities of Elmira, Binghamton, Cortland, Norwich, Ithaca and Oneonta.

In the Democratic party there are no contests, but each voter should make it his duty to go to the polls. Judge Monroe M. Sweetland of Ithaca is a candidate for Supreme Court Justice but his name must be written in on the ballot to insure his nomination.


Age Limit Increased Two Years by Law.

The law governing the selling of cigars, cigarettes or tobacco in any form to minors has been amended to take effect on September 1st, so that the age limit has been increased from 16 to 18 years. Dealers are now prohibited from selling to any person under 18 years of age.

Under the old law it was a misdemeanor for any person to sell or furnish any person under 16 years of age tobacco in any form. The amendment reads that “a person who sells, pays for or furnishes any cigar, cigarette or tobacco in any of its forms to any child actually or apparently under the age of 18 years is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

It is also stated that it is unlawful to sell tobacco in any form, under this provision of the law, to any minor, under any conditions, whether or not the child is acting as an agent, and regardless of the fact as to whether the seller is aware of the fact. The burden of knowing the purchaser’s age is upon the seller and ignorance will not be accepted as a defense or in mitigation.


Hancock Experts to Place Value of Railroads at $1,657,000


Gentlemen’s Properties Also Appraised at High Figures - Matter Adjourned Until September 2.

(From our Delhi cor.)

The hearing in the Hancock equalization case, before Commissioner W. H. Knapp of the State Tax Commission, was taken up in the court room in Delhi at ten o’clock Tuesday forenoon. The appearances were attorneys A. G. Patterson of Walton, V. N. Elwood and L. G. Carpenter of Hancock, for the town of Hancock, appellant; W. F. White of Walton, C. R. O’Connor of Hobart and A. E. Conner of Walton, for the county, respondent. Judge M. Linn Bruce of New York was also in court in behalf of the Gerrys.

The town of Hancock appeals from the equalization of the taxable property of the several towns of the county made by the board of supervisors in 1916, so far as it affects the said town. Mr. Patterson opened the case for the town, mentioning some facts which are expected to be proven by the appellant; also the difficulties encountered in the matter of computing values from sales which have been made because personalty and realty are often joined for the sale. The appraisers for the town did most of their work in June and July, although a small part has just been completed. Attorney White, in opening the defense of the county, said that it had been the purpose of appraisers employed by this respondent to get such actual valuations as would be of future benefit to all interested, as well as aid in reaching a just conclusion in the present contention. He spoke of value of hill farms decreasing, because of distance from shipping points, and the values of lowland farms increasing, because of better facilities, yet the assessments have been largely copied and so continue to practice the same. It was also stated that especially on the East Branch, except the lower portion of Colchester, timbered land was not as valuable as in Hancock, for the reason that the shipment of wood and lumber entails a double freight charge on account of being on a very short railroad. The difficulties of making appraisals, for several reasons, were stated.

The assessment rolls of the several towns of the county and the equalization made last fall were introduced by the town and received in evidence. The first witness introduced on the part of the town was an expert in the matter of the “gentlemen’s properties” in this county, Robert Miller of New York city, a deputy tax commissioner of New York city. He has examined the five properties of this class, and estimated the values of the houses and buildings, aside from the land, as follows: Mrs. Louisa M. Gerry $66,386; Robert L. Gerry $125,000, Bovina properties; Samuel W. Andrews, So. Kortright, $285,000; E. B. Sheldon, Delhi, $114,000. These estimates are based on the cost of deduction less the depreciation. Most of these houses would cost more in New York than in this county, the witness said, but the McLean mansion cost more where it is than it would have in the city. He figured the cost of the old Gerry house, build forty-seven years ago, at $2.50 a square foot. The McLean and R. L. Gerry houses at $10 per square foot, and the Andrews house at $3.

The county put on the state Mr. Dolan of Albany, a real estate dealer for the past 22 years, and who has been conversant with sales of such properties as the above in various upstate places. He cited numerous sales in the vicinity of Saratoga, and in each the selling prices was only a fraction of the cost. Among others he mentioned “Wolfert Roost” near Albany, the late Senator Hill’s place, which was bought by Democratic state committee for $50,000, and presented to the Senator. He expended $100,000 upon it, but when it was sold three years ago the price was but $45,000.

During the afternoon F. C. Cook of the New York pipe line company, which has lines in Hancock and Deposit, was examined at length as to the cost of the lines and the pumping station at Hancock. There are 61 miles in Hancock worth $51,500, and the station is valued at $35,000.

At the close of the session in Delhi Tuesday adjournment was taken to Walton the next morning, when the hearing was continued. On this day the cost of reproduction of railroad property in the county was gone into. Louis D. Fouque of Fishkill, and E. L. Jenks of Walton, witness for the town of Hancock, placed the cost of reproduction of railroad property in the town of Hancock as follows: Erie $592,000; Ontario & Western $940,000; Delaware and Northern $125,000.

Both sides submitted the list of appraisals of property in each town. As the expert for the county, Mr. Whitbeck of Albany, a former deputy state tax commissioner, did not have his figures compiled regarding the valuation of railroad property, it was agreed to submit a copy to the attorneys for the town of Hancock as soon as they could be gotten in shape. The valuation of the Erie in the town of Hancock by Mr. Whitbeck is $1,129,000.

B. J. Bussman of Hancock was sworn as to the valuation of various acid factory properties in the county, it having been agreed by both parties that he should make appraisal of this class of property for both sides. Some of his valuations of acid factories were as follows: Risley Lumber Co., Rock Rift, $26,000; Keery Chemical Co., Cadosia, $77,480; Beerston Acetate Co., $60,000; Corbett & Stuart, Corbett, $92,500; Luzerne Chemical Co., Arkville, $8,500; Tyler & Hall Co., town of Hancock, $9,000; Corbett & Stuart, Harvard, $8,000; C. W. Peake, Peakville, $9,500; George I. Treyz, Cook’s Falls, $22,666; Mrs. E. C. Lemmi, Cook’s Falls, $18,326; Kerry Co., Colchester, $10,000; Maplewood Chemical Co., Colchester, $10,000; Merritt Co., $12,000.

The hearing was adjourned Wednesday to Thursday of next week, September 20.


Files Claim Against Railroad for That Amount.

Mrs. Thomas B. Carpenter, of Unadilla, has filed a claim for $25,000 against the Delaware & Hudson company for damages on account of the death of her husband, who was killed at the depot crossing in the village of Unadilla, June 22.

The claim is filed by Mrs. Carpenter as administratrix of the estate, in behalf of herself and three children. Hon. Charles C. Flaesch, of Unadilla, is attorney for the claimant.

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