2018-01-09 / Looking Back

Looking Back

100 Years Ago, SATURDAY, JANUARY 12, 1918


What We Are Talking About at the County Hub


Flim-Flam Factory Didn't Hook Walton - Working Out His Sentence - Village Treasurer Resigns.

Dr. W. B. Morrow has been reappointed surgeon for the Ontario & Western railroad for the ensuing year. He has held the position thirty-five years.

William G. Moore, who took office as supervisor January first, has resigned as village treasurer. E. B. Guild has been appointed in his place by the village board.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in Albany Wednesday heard the appeal of the Village of Walton from the decision of the Public Service Commission allowing the Walton People's Telephone Company to increase its rates.

Mrs. Fred Mogridge, who lives on More Brothers farm on the state road the below Walton, fell one day this week while going out to get the mail from the rural mailbox. Dr. W. R. Gladstone, who was called, found that she had sustained a Colles' fracture of her right wrist.

Beginning January 14th, the money order window at Walton post office will close at 6 p. m. This is necessary to the end that the services now employed at this window evenings may be employed elsewhere in connection with the central accounting business of the office.

Directors of the First National Bank of Walton were re-elected at the annual meeting of the stockholders Tuesday. The directors are C. E. Hulbert, John Olmstead, E. B. Guild, George I. Treyz, J. E. Cassidy, W. J. Merwin, H. W. Retz, C. G. DuMond, Herbert Shaw, Dr. W. B. Morrow, C. W. Hulbert and C. W. Peak. The directors organized by electing C. E. Hulbert president, John Olmstead, vice president and E. B. Guild cashier. The bank has just paid a semi-annual dividend of five per cent.

Hon. James P. Hill of Norwich, county judge of Chenango county, has released Curtis B. Steele, of Walton, on a suspended sentence and sent him back to Walton to work out his sentence. Steele was committed to the custody of ex-sheriff, J. J. Farrell, and will immediately go to work, onehalf of his wages being turned over to Mr. Farrell each week and same to be sent to the court there until the stolen fifty dollars has been replaced and the court costs paid. Steele was indicted by the Chenango grand jury for having stolen $50 from the pocket of a Mt. Upton farmer, while the latter sat sleeping in the O. & W. station in Norwich, last August.

During the past week much trouble has been experienced by the frost going deeper in the ground as the weather became milder. The water mains on Prospect Avenue were frozen up one day. The brooks are frozen to the bottom and the practice of many people of leaving their water faucets running at night to keep the pipes from freezing has brought the water supply in the reservoirs to a low level. Fortunately, no fires have occurred. One day the first of the week one of the threeinch fire protection water mains in Walton Hall froze and burst in the gallery. The water had been pouring forth in a stream for over half an hour before discovered. No great damage was done.

Some months ago a Hebrew, who gave his name as Benjamin M. Goldberger, visited Walton and tried to get business men interested in the establishment of a toy factory. His proposition didn’t appeal to the merchants, as the only thing Goldberger could furnish was a line of talk. Later Goldberger visited Oneonta with the same proposition, expecting to take over the shops of the Briggs lumber company and merge it with others. This proposition of his failed as the Oneonta business men took no more kindly than the Walton merchants to Goldberger's line of gab. Now, the toy man has brought an action against a number of Oneonta men, directors of a toy company already doing business there, asking $75,000 damages on the allegation that they had failed to sell their plant as agreed. The suit has been transferred to Otsego county on motion of the attorney of the defendants, and this will probably be the last of the matter.

John E, Stilson had his left ankle fractured and Frank Wright was painfully injured in an accident Wednesday evening at the Borden plant. Stilson and Wright, with two others, were helping load a car with cases of evaporated milk. While they were at work the switch engine backed down to couple up with the car. The engine struck the box car with a terrific impact and the men and boxes were thrown in every direction. Mr. Stilson was the most seriously injured. Dr. W. B. Morrow, the railroad surgeon, found that he had a fracture of the left ankle and was badly bruised and cut about the face and body. Mr. Wright, who was working with Mr. Stilson, was injured about the back and hip but sustained no broken bones. The other men were working in the further end of the car and were not injured. The accident is said to be due to the fact that no lantern was used in signalling, and as it was dark Engineer Gadwood was unable to see the cars.


Big Fire Entails Loss of Nearly $40,000


Several Narrow Escapes From Suffocation - May Use Site For Park - Plate Glass Windows Cracked.

Fire early Sunday morning totally destroyed the Hotel Sidney in Sidney. The total loss is estimated at between $30,000 and $40,000. The jewelry store of Fred A. Elliott, the office of the Standard Light, Heat & Power Co., and Boland's barber shop, located on the ground floor of the building were burned out.

William Brown, a former shoe merchant in Sidney leased the hotel building about two years ago from Mrs. J. R. Williams of Owego and purchased the hotel fixtures. He has since conducted the hotel and on account of its central location on Main street near the O. & W. and D. & H stations, the place has been liberally patronized by travelling men.

Mr. Brown lives on River street and Saturday night remained until 2 o'clock in the morning to await the arrival of the O. & W. train No. 5, which was two hours late. After showing a guest, who arrived on the train, to his room, Mr. Brown started for the basement to fix the fire before leaving for his home. As he opened the cellar door a dense cloud of smoke surged forth. Mr. Brown slammed the door shut and started for the upper rooms to awaken the guests and the employees of the hotel. Everyone in the house escaped in safety though there were some close calls from suffocation.

Within an hour the structure had fallen in and continued to smolder all day Sunday. The previous Friday a small fire started near the fireplace in the office and it may have been smoldering in the floor since that time. The fire doubtless started in some way, either from the heating plant or from the fireplace in the office.

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Tollins and two children, who occupied rooms on the floor, escaped in their night clothes. Mr. Tollins is a milk inspector for the New York Board of Health. Charles Hodencamp, of Roseboon a former resident of Sidney, had just gone to his room when Mr. Brown gave the alarm. He had boarded at the hotel when a resident of Sidney, and was familiar with the rooms and hallways. When he started for the lower floor, he found the hallway filled with smoke. Mr. Tollins, wife and two children were in the hall bewildered by the smoke be and the children were nearly overcome. Mr. Hodencamp assisted them to the main entrance. The door was locked, and Mr. Hodencamp broke out the glass suffering several bad cuts in doing so. Mrs. Tollins and the children were badly affected by smoke but have fully recovered.

The help at the hotel were all able to make their escape without injury but with the loss of some of their personal effects.

Mr. Tollins suffered a loss of personal effects valued at $700. His Ford car, stored in a barn at the rear of the hotel was removed to safety, but the structure caught fire afterwards and burned. Two of Tollins’ tires left in the barn were destroyed. The family have been cared for at the home of David Melnick.

Wm. B. Dicks, another guest at the hotel, waited until he got fully dressed before leaving, and then slid down a rope to safety. He is a salesman for a millinery house and lost about $500 worth of samples.

W. S. Myers of New York city, who had room 59 over the office, escaped by climbing out of the window to the top of the vestibule over the office door and then jumped to the ground.

Mr. Brown went back into the burning structure three times, and the fact that no lives were lost is largely due to his presence of mind, and the fact that fewer guests than usual were in the building as it was Saturday night and most of the travelling salesmen had gone to their homes. One woman Mr. Brown was helping out cried out, "I can't find my coat." Brown's reply was emphatic "Let your coat go to hell and get out of here."

The alarm was given by the tooting of the whistle of a D. & H. locomotive and by an alarm sent to Officer Dickson at the municipal hall by Miss Ella Farrington, the telephone operator. Before any alarm had been sounded the lights went out on the Sidney House numbers on her switchboard, showing that the circuit had been broken in some manner. Placing the receiver to her ear, Miss Farrington heard unusual crackling noises coming over the wire from the Sidney House line, and surmised at once what the trouble was and sent in the alarm. The firemen were soon on the scene and did excellent work but the side of the hotel toward the D. & H. tracks was already a mass of flames and attention was soon devoted to saving adjoining buildings. The water pressure was good.

The Sidney House was built thirty-three years ago and was opened to the public in the fall of 1885. It extended from the D. & H. tracks to the corner of Cartwright Avenue and Main streets. It was a three story frame building with a tin roof. The first owners were C. G. Brooks and Horace A. Phelps. The property changed hands several times and was once conducted by Robert Palmer under the name of the Palmer House. Later J. R. Williams bought the building and about two years ago after the death of Mr. Williams, William Brown leased the building of the widow. Mrs. Williams places her loss at $25,000, and had an insurance of $20,000. Mr. Brown had $8,000 on the hotel fixtures, none of which were saved. The fixtures Were valued at $9,000 to $10,000.

Aside from the hotel offices, dining room and kitchen on the ground floor, the barber shop of James Boland, the Standard Light, Heat & Power company's offices and the jewelry store of F. A. Elliott were also located on the lower floor.

All the fixtures in Mr. Boland's shop were destroyed. He carried an insurance of $800.

The fine fixtures of the lighting company's offices were completely destroyed. General Manager E. O. Allen places the loss at $2,800 with an insurance of about $1,000.

The jewelry store of F. A. Elliott was located in the portion of the building farthest away from where the fire raged the fiercest. A large part of his stock was in the safe, and about two-thirds of the balance was carried out. His loss will be about $1,000 with insurance.

Thomas Poole's building on Cartwright avenue narrowly escaped destruction. As it was the building was considerably damaged, nearly every window glass being broken out by the heat and the paint badly blistered and scorched. Mr. Poole's loss will probably be about $250, covered by insurance.

Windows were broken and paint scorched on the Hotel DeCumber. This building was protected by volumns of water and many rugs and carpets, which were hung out and wet down to prevent sparks setting fire to the building. The falling in of the ruins of the Hotel Sidney came just in time to prevent the flames spreading. Coffee was being made for the firemen at the DeCumber House, while that structure was itself in danger.

When the hotel collapsed a wave of intense heat surged across Main street and windows and paint suffered. On the first floor of the Peoples National Bank building every one of the large panes of glass was broken. All the windows in the front of the Star Lunch were broken and the paint badly blistered. Windows were broken in Harry English's barber shop and also in Robinson's restaurant. The large plate windows in Middaugh's pool room were cracked.

The Union Telephone company also suffered damage to the amount of about $350 by the loss of instruments, poles and wires. Superintendent C. W. Reams with a force of men worked energetically all day Sunday and by night practically had the service restored. Repairs were also made to the electric light system and this was in full operation before nightfall.

The hotel will probably not be rebuilt. The purchase of the site by the village for a public park is being discussed at present.


Seven Directors Charge With Conspiracy by City Officials


Pleas of Not Guilty Entered by All - Violations of the Donnelly Act Alleged by Grand Jury

Seven officers of the Dairymen’s League have been indicted in New York city on a charge of conspiracy to raise the price of milk. The indictments were reported Monday by the grand jury. A violation of the Donnelly antitrust law is charged.

Roswell D. Cooper of Little Falls, president of the League; F. H. Thompson of Holland Patent, the vice president; secretary Albert Manning of Otisville; treasurer Louis M. Hardin of Sussex, N. J., and John E. Miller of Thompson, Pa., H. J. Kershaw of Sherburne, Chenango county, and H. J. Culver of Amenia, N. Y., directors and members of the executive committee are the men indicted. All have entered pleas of not guilty and furnished bail in the sum of $1,000 each.

District Attorney Swann asserted that the fact that the Federal Committee had approved a selling price for the League in advance of the price on which the indictments were found, would be no bar to action in the State courts. Mr. Swann declared that the League managers had deliberately broken an agreement made to him to provide cheaper milk for the poor of the city, and while this agreement was pending had obtained Federal approval for increasing the price of the product. This agreement, Mr. Swann said, provided for retailing milk in the city at 10 cents a quart and arrangements were under way for its distribution through co-operating grocers, dealers and stores when the producers obtained permission from Washington to raise the price.

Assistant District Attorney J. E. Smith, who conducted the investigation against the dairymen, said last night, that he had evidence showing that a fund of $100,000 was raised by the League in eight months. This was accomplished, he declared, by exacting from producers one cent on every 100 pounds of milk sold.

Mr. Smith said he would ask for copies of telegrams sent from the League's general office in New York, which would show the plans for controlling New York's milk supply. One of these telegrams, he declared, would show the existence of a fund of $40,000 for field work.

Regarding the indictment of the seven officers of the Dairymen's League, former Commissioner of Food and Markets, John J. Dillon, says:

“The United Sates has been urging farmers to organize their own protection and benefit, and here, when they make their first move in that direction they are summarily halted in this way.”

“For years the milk distributors of this city have been dictating prices, not only to the farmer, but to the consumer as well. They have done this without punishment. If the dairymen are guilty of restraint of trade, the distributors certainly are.”

Members of the League will loyally stand back of the indicted officials. With the findings of the Federal Commission that the dairymen were not receiving an adequate prices for their milk and the granting of the highest price yet fixed for the month of January, vindicate the stand the League officials have made in demanding a price for their milk which would yield them a living profit.


William Blackman and Lowell Smith the Victims


Davenport Center Boy Succumbs to Injuries In Hospital - Horton Man Lived Three Days.

Explosions of gasoline resulted in two deaths in Delaware county this week. One accident occurred in Horton, and the other at Davenport Center.

William Blackman died Sunday morning at his home near Horton as the result of the explosion of a can of gasoline with which he was priming the engine used in sawing stove wood in a shed attached to his house. The accident occurred on Thursday, December 27. The fire consumed the wood shed and about ten cords of wood, also some lumber and tools and only by great effort by the neighbors the house was saved. Mr. Blackman was badly burned about the face and hands, and suffered terribly until death came as a relief. The funeral service was held Wednesday. Mr. Blackman was well known in the Beaverkill section.

Lowell Smith, the 14-year-old son Mr. and Mrs. Silas Smith, of Davenport Center, died at the Fox Memorial hospital in Oneonta last Thursday night, shortly before 12 o'clock, from the effects of shocking burns sustained earlier in the day at Davenport Center. The accident occurred while Lowell was in the garage of S. D. Brooks with his father and William Fox and the latter's son. Mr. Fox and Mr. Smith were not paying particular attention to what Lowell was doing when the boy picked up a can of gasoline, supposing it to be kerosene, and decided to build a fire. Immediately upon throwing it on the fire it exploded, burning the boy's clothing partially off his body, the head and arms being badly burned. He was taken to the post office and Dr. T. L. Craig called. Upon the arrival of the doctor, the latter accompanied him to the Fox Memorial hospital at Oneonta, where he died. The funeral service was held Sunday afternoon at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Putman in Oneonta, conducted by Rev. C. T. Newell of Davenport Center.


System Being Put Into Effect In Delaware County - No Relief In Sight.

No relief from the coal shortage is looked for in the immediate future, or while the cold weather continues. In Walton, while many families have at various times been practically out of fuel, the two dealers have managed to serve the community well and ask the co-operation of the public to reduce the fuel consumption to the minimum.

In all counties a card system is being inaugurated and before any person can secure coal he must go to the dealer's office and make a declaration that he is out of coal and state the amount needed. The dealer is required to verify the accuracy of such statement and if he finds the declaration untrue future supplies of coal will be cut off from that consumer.

This plan is already in operation in Chenango county.

In Delaware county the county chairman, J. L. Clark of Sidney, has inaugurated such a system in his home town, and has sent the forms to the dealers in the other towns for their use. The Walton dealers received their supply of blanks Wednesday, but have not yet put them into use. Patriotism and reasonable regard for others demand that every consumer should co-operate in the equitable distribution of the coal that is available so that no one will suffer. In a few instances lately the Walton dealers have received orders for coal and on bringing it for delivery have found that the person who gave the order already had a sufficient stock on hand to last for some time and have refused to make delivery. Fortunately such instances are rare and in general Walton families are seeking in the broader spirit to secure equal distribution of all coal received.


Following is the report of the materials purchased for the Red Cross work room during December:

The following finished knitted articles were received at the Red Cross Chapter, Jan. 9: Walton, 25 sweaters, 18 mufflers, 6 pair wristlets, 36 pair socks, 4 helmets. Cannonsville, 3 sweaters, 5 mufflers, one pair wristlets, 12 pair socks.

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