2018-10-17 / Looking Back


100 Years Ago, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19,



What We Are Talking About at the County Hub


Saturday Last Day to Register - Change in Railroad Time - Pines Man Breaks His Leg.

George T. Johnson has commenced to harvest his large crop of cabbage on the river flats. He had about 45,000 head planted.

Louis Allen of Third Brook had two cows killed by lightning during the recent thunder storm. They were insured for $80 with S. H. Pond.

Over three thousand voters were registered in the town of Walton last Saturday. Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 19th is the last day of registration.

Smith Goodrich of Pines fell Saturday night while leaving the barn after feeding his horses, and broken his leg just above the ankle. Dr. W. G. Smith reduced the fracture.

Potatoes are retailing at $1.50 to $1.60 a bushel in the Walton markets. Some farmers report a good crop while others have a light yield.

Arthur Depuy, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Depuy of upper Delaware street, fell Wednesday while at play and fractured his right arm at the wrist. Dr. W. R. Gladstone reduced the fracture.

A recent order of the Conservation Commission shortens the open season for partridge to the month of October only and limits the bag to two birds a day and ten in a season. The order remains in force for two years.

Richard Armstrong recently bought the Melvin Beagle farm, Oxbow Hollow, from the executors of the estate, and later sold the place to Percy Jackson. Mr. Jackson has moved there from the Cable farm in Frear Hollow.

Important changes in the present schedule of O. & W. trains are announced for October 20th. It is reported that trains 3 and 4 will run from Norwich to Cornwall only, where passengers to and from New York will change, using the West Shore from that point to and from the city.

Lieutenant Tolman Douglas Wheeler of the 127th Infantry, died in a base hospital in France on September 5th from wounds received in action. He was a son of Henry R. Wheeler of 17 Battery Place, New York city, the engineer who had charge of the construction of the Northfield tunnel, and Lieutenant Wheeler was born in Walton while the family were residents here.

Word has been received in Walton that Charles Goecking and Sergeant Ryan of the 165th Infantry have been decorated for bravery in the St. Mihiel drive for rescuing wounded comrades under heavy shell fire by the enemy. Both men were formerly in Co. C., 71st Infantry, which was stationed in Walton on guard duty last summer. The men are in the Rainbow Division which went overseas last fall.

The four per cent bonds of the First and Second Liberty Loans must be presented to the bank before November 9th, to be converted into 4 ¼ per cent bonds bearing the same maturity as the original bonds. The 3 ½ per cent bonds of the first issue may be exchanged into bonds of any issue put out later, bearing a higher rate of interest, but the four per cent bonds are convertible only into 4 ¼ per cent bonds and that right is lost after November 9th.

Saturday of this week, October 19, is the last day of registration. On account of the change in boundaries of the election districts in many of the towns it is important that every voter see that he or she is registered. The registration places are open from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. To register and vote you must be a citizen of the United States, 21 years of age, and have lived in the state one year, in the county four months and in the election district thirty days. If you have become a citizen by marrying a citizen, you must have lived in the United States five years. If you have become a citizen by marrying a citizen, you must have been naturalized ninety days before election. Personal registration is not required and the names of voters may be sent to the election boards to be placed on the registration books. Over three thousand voters were registered in Walton on Saturday, October 12.

Walton lacks less than $20,000 of its quota of $268,600 for the Fourth Liberty Loan, and when the subscription books close Saturday night there is no doubt that the quota will be passed by a substantial margin. The rally in Walton Hall Friday evening gave the loan a big boost here and sent the subscriptions past the $200,000 mark. The entertainment by the Metropolitan Troupe was something unique, a combination of seriousness and fun that brought results. The pledges for the evening were $30,200, the best record made at any place by the Metropolitan Troupe. The largest purchase was $10,000 of bonds by C. W. Peak. There have been nearly 1,200 individual purchasers of bonds through the Walton bank. Subscriptions cannot be counted until the initial payment is made. This must be done on or before Saturday. Payment on the subscriptions received will fill Walton’s quota.


Larger Sizes Must Be Used by Householders.

Delos W. Cooke, New York State Fuel Administrator, makes the following announcement:

“On account of the extraordinary demands of the War Department for stove and chestnut coal for use in army camps and cantonments, anthracite in chestnut and stove sizes has already become so scarce that other sizes must be substituted. It will be impossible for mine operators and shippers to supply the trade with the usual percentages of egg, stove, chestnut and pea sizes of anthracite. Retail dealers will have to take and pass on to their customers a larger proportion of egg and pea coal in place of the usual amount of stove and chestnut.

“Domestic consumers using small stoves should try to use pea coal in place of chestnut. If they cannot use pea coal exclusively they should mix it with chestnut. No stove or chestnut coal should be used in furnaces, hot water heaters or under steam boilers. Egg and furnace sizes for heating plants which cannot burn buckwheat and other small coal must be the rule if the available supply of anthracite is to meet requirements.

“The War Department’s priority claims for stove and chestnut sizes virtually commandeer enough for the use of more than a million men. It is impossible to increase the percentage of these domestic sizes without great waste of time and coal.

“Large sizes of anthracite cause no waste in small stoves if the ashes are screened to recover the coal that is unconsumed when the fire goes out. In many communities bituminous coal can be substituted for anthracite.”



Many Deaths in County From Pneumonia Reported


Estimated Over three

Hundred Cases in Town of Walton with Three Deaths -

How to Prevent.

That there are between 300 and 500 cases of influenza in the town of Walton alone is the estimate of local physicians. Dr. E. A. Hand, the village health officer and Dr. C. S. Gould, town health officer, on Thursday received communications from the state department advising them that the Sanitary Code has been amended to include epidemic influenza in the list of communicable diseases and to require reporting. Each of the physicians in town is handling from fifty to one hundred cases of the disease.

Dr. Hand issued orders Saturday closing the village schools, the churches, the library and moving picture theatre for two weeks and prohibiting all public gatherings. Most of the district schools in the town are also closed though a few remain in session.

Delhi, Hancock and Sidney have taken similar action in order to check the spread of the disease. In the town of Walton there have been three deaths from influenza and complications. The danger arises chiefly from pneumonia following influenza and many deaths throughout the county have results from this cause. The deaths in Walton were Miss Cora M. Jamieson, Fred Covert and Margaret Walker. Mr. and Mrs. Rae Wakeman of Port Jervis died the latter part of the week from pneumonia following influenza and Mrs. Walter Harby, well known here, died Tuesday at her home in Astoria, Long Island.

While the great majority of the cases are not serious if proper care is taken, there are several cases where the condition of the patients is critical.

Three Delaware county soldiers have died from pneumonia following influenza in the past week, making nine deaths among the young men in service from the county. The deaths were Stanley Salton of Hamden, Ray Stone of Harpersfield and John Germond of Horton. Deaths in the army in the United States from this cause number more than 12,000, a number greater than the total of those killed in action or who have died from wounds in France.

A new regulation has been added to the sanitary code making the act of sneezing or coughing in public place without properly covering the face a misdemeanor.

The best means of treatment of influenza cases were communicated to the country a few days ago by Surgeon General Blue, who issued a leaflet which tells something about the malady.

“It seems probably that in 1918, as in 1889-90, the earliest appearance was in eastern Europe,” it says. “By April cases were occurring on the western front. In Spain, according to reports, 30 per cent of the population were attached in May. The epidemic of 1918 was at its height in Germany in June and July. It has appeared in practically every section of Europe. In England and the epidemic prevailed in May, June and July.

“Outbreaks have been reported from various sections of the United States, but the spread has been by no means so rapid as in 1889, when the disease occurred in America almost simultaneously with its appearance in western Europe.

“The symptoms in the present epidemic have been an acute onset, often very sudden, with bodily weakness and pains the head, eyes, back and elsewhere in the body. Vomiting may be a symptom of onset and dizziness if frequent. Chilly sensations are usual, and the temperature is from 100 to 104 degrees, the pulse remaining comparatively low. Sweating is not infrequent. The appetite is lost and prostration is marked. Constipation is the rule. Drowsiness and photophobia are common. The fever usually lasts from three to five days, but relapses are not uncommon, and complications, particularly pulmonary, are to be feared. The death rate is usually given as extremely low; but in the latter periods of an outbreak an increased number of deaths, presumably due to complications, has been reported in Spain and in the United States. Besides bronchitis and pneumonia, inflammation of the middle ear and cardiac weakness may follow the disease.

“The short course of the fever, always less than seven days, in uncomplicated influenza is an aid in diagnosis. All ages are attacked, young, active adults being especially susceptible.

“The following instructions tell how to prevent the disease: Avoid needless crowding, smother your cough and sneezes. Remember the three C’s – a clean mouth, clean skin and clean clothes. Open the windows – always at home at night; at work when practicable. Choose and chew your food well. Your fate may be in your own hands – wash your hands before eating. Drink a glass of hot water on getting up. Don’t use a napkin, towel, fork, glass or cup which has been used by another and not washed. Avoid tight clothes, tight shoes, tight gloves. Breathe pure air and breathe deeply – through your nose.”


Charles Cresson of Hancock Killed Friday


Fellow Employee Buried up to Shoulders by Falling Earth

- Repairing Water Mains.

(From our Hancock cor.)

Charles N. Cresson of Hancock was killed Friday morning, October 11, when a ditch in which he was working caved in on him.

The Hancock Water company has been engaged in replacing the water mains on Bridge street with a larger pipe. The ditch along the street where the old pipes had been uncovered was from five to six feet in depth. Mr. Cresson was down on his knees in the ditch engaged in the work of changing the pipes, when suddenly, without any warning, the ditch began to cave in and buried Mr. Cresson under nearly four feet of dirt.

The other men at work on the job began at once to remove the earth from him, but it was about twelve minutes before the body was uncovered. Dr. F. M. Woolsey was called but could do nothing as Mr. Cresson had been suffocated to death.

John Barre, who was helping Mr. Cresson, and who stood near him, was buried up to his shoulders. Had he been stooping over he probably would have suffered the same fate as Mr. Cresson. He was badly bruised about the body as it was.

Mr. Cresson had been connected with S. N. Wheeler & Sons Co. for over thirty years, and was a very trusty and capable employee. He is survived by his wife and one daughter, Elma, who is married and lives in Binghamton. The funeral was held Monday at 2:30 o’clock, conducted by Rev. Herbert Hazzard, with burial in Riverview cemetery.


Hamden Physician Among Those Rescued From Transport After Collision.

Details of the colliding and crash of the British armed merchant cruiser Otranto and the transport Kashmir, in the North Channel between Scotland and Ireland, on Saturday, October 6th, at 9 a.m., was cabled and received for publication on Saturday, October 12th. Captain F. S. Heimer of Hamden, after several weeks in training at Camp Greenleaf, Ga., received orders to report at Hoboken, N. J., from which place he embarked on the ill-fated Otranto for service in France. On October 11th official notice of his safe arrival overseas was received by his family and father, Dr. W. D. Heimer, of Hamden, who were surprised to learn, through the New York papers that the Otranto had been sunk by the collision of with the Kashmir. Both vessels were carrying U. S. Troops. The torpedo boat destroyer Mounsey was called by wireless and by skillful handling succeeding in taking off 27 officers and 239 men of the crew and 300 U. S. soldiers and 30 French sailors who were landed at a north Irish port, where they were cared for by the Red Cross being put to bed in private homes. The work performed by the destroyer Mounsey was wonderful. Under command of Lieut. Commander Craver, who forced the Mounsey eight times alongside the Otranto to take off the men and refused to give up his efforts until he could not take another man. Over 400 men are missing. The following was taken from the London Evening Mail of Oct. 12th:

“Capt. F. S. Heimer, Army Medical Corps, unattached, whose home is at Hamden, N. Y. arrived in London today (Oct. 12), with 250 survivors of the crash. 317 soldiers and 150 members of the Otranto’s crew were rescued by a British destroyer,” he said.

“The Otranto and the other vessel of the convoy were battling with the heavy seas and high winds Sunday morning. The storm was so severe and the visibility so bad that the Kashmir, a former Peninsular and Oriental liner, crashed into the Otranto squarely amidships.

“As the bows of the Kashmir were pulled from the great hole in the side of the Otranto the water rushed in, but for a time it did not serve to stop the engines. The Otranto tried to proceed, but made no headway against the gale.

“Within a short time the water put out her fires, and the Otranto drifted helplessly onto the rocky coast of the Islay Island, where most of the Tuscania victims met their deaths.

“Captain Heimer, interviewed by the United Press, said the collision occurred at 9 o’clock Sunday morning.

“A raging storm was in progress,” he stated, “with high seas sweeping across our decks, when the Kashmir hit us amidships. The coolness and calmness of the soldiers was wonderful. They jumped to attention at their appointed places, awaiting commands without panic. There were one hundred sick cases below, and I believe they were all lost.

“Unstinted praise is being heaped on Lieut-Commander Craven, who commanded the British destroyer Mounsey and rescued more than 200 men.”


Many Farmers Will Vote Against Whitman for Third Term


Successor to Long, if Elected, Already Picked - As to Gasoline and Liberty Bonds.

Outside of those particularly interested in politics few realize that election day is only two weeks ahead. Public interest is absorbed in the war, the peace talk and the progress of the Liberty Loan so that politics has not occupied their usual prominence. This is true in the state as well as in the county. While large claims are made by both parties, the fact remains that owing to war conditions the estimates are largely guesses based on hopes rather than on concrete facts. The woman vote is an unknown factor but judging from the primary will not materially change anything except the aggregate number of votes.

It is generally conceded that Whitman will be cut upstate by the farmers to a considerable degree. Opinion as to his hostile attitude to the farmers has not been changed by his White Book or the pleas that he has done nothing to them after all. The farmers’ case against Whitman was ably presented by Samuel Fraser, of the State Federation of Agriculture, and printed in the Reporter of last week. The legislation forced through against the desires of the farmers has afforded a vast number of jobs to non-farmers who of course are scouring the state for Whitman.

The political workers of the Republican organization in this county are trying to befuddle the issue in the assembly. They say of course Nesbitt is a farmer and so is Long, and between two farmers why not vote for the one of the Republican ticket. Prof. Long retired to a farm some six months ago after many years of teaching and preaching, while Nesbitt has been a farmer all his life. But the material thing is not whether both are real farmers but the fact that Prof. Long was selected because the organization wanted to queer the farmers’ movement in the county. It has looked upon the farmer vote as something that belonged to it. Once let it get organized it would control the politics of the county, so the main thing to do is to kill it at the start. The organization argued that to go outside and get a candidate not particularly identified with it would be a good stroke. After the farmer’s movement was killed it could go back to the regular type of candidate.

If elected Prof. Long is slated for just one term. His successor has already been picked. A business man and supervisor from one of the towns in the upper end of the county is down for the nomination. The Republican policy has been for one term in the assembly and no exception is to be made for Long if elected. Mr. Nesbitt received a vote of over 1,600 in the Republican primary although the farmers did not come out to the primary in force. It would appear therefore that Mr. Nesbitt’s chances for election are good. The Delaware Express is indulging in its usual misrepresentation and probably just before election the county will be electrified with some more forged letters or burglars. Just now it is worrying over Nesbitt’s gasoline consumption. He owns a Buick, so does Andy Mc- Naught, while Prof. Long rambles right along in a Ford. The crime of using gasoline seems to be committed by all of the candidates. Another point was that Nesbitt hadn’t bought Liberty bonds. This is on a par with the gasoline. Mr. Nesbitt has bought several thousand of the bonds, probably more than Wyer. This trying to work the patriotic business against Nesbitt is silly. It would be as pertinent if the Reporter asked Andy why he did not enlist as he has not passed the age limit. If Andy was an energetic a soldier as he is a letter writer he would chase the Kaiser into Berlin in no time.

Speaking of Andy his pictures are so plentiful in the county as the Kaiser’s is in Germany. Every family has one, many three; some are hung right side up and other upside down. What they cost would buy several Liberty bonds, a discovery the Express would have been sure to announce if Andy was the Democratic candidate.


Willard F. Holmes Among Missing on U. S. S. Ticonderoga,

Submarine Victim.

Willard F. Holmes of Afton, an electrician in the navy, is among the ten officers and 106 enlisted men reported missing from the U. S. S. Ticonderoga, which was sunk by a German submarine on Sept. 30, about 1700 miles off the Atlantic coast. Electrician Holmes is a son of S. E. Holmes of Afton and a nephew of Mrs. Mary Cable and A. J. Holmes of Walton. A sister, Elva Holmes Cable, makes her home with her aunt, Mrs. Mary Cable, in Walton, and is a student in Cornell University.

Willard Holmes enlisted in the navy three years ago and was in Afton on furlough about the middle of September, just before the Ticonderoga sailed from an American port. He was 27 years of age and besides the sister mentioned leaves another sister, Mrs. Clayton Slawson, of Herkimer, N. Y.

The sinking of the Ticonderoga was a typical case of Hun ruthlessness. There were 250 men aboard the Ticonderoga, an American steamship of 5,130 tons, and all but the 20 who arrived at an Atlantic port last Thursday are believed to have perished.

The survivors got away in the only boat which was not demolished by the shell fire from the submarine, they said. Seventeen of the men who reached port were members of a detachment of soldiers detailed to care for horses which were being transported.

The Ticonderoga was attacked, presumably on October 2, when she fell behind her convoy because of engine trouble.

According to the story of the survivors, the submarine was not sighted until she had sent a torpedo crashing into the side of the ship. The torpedo did not strike a vital spot, however, and the captain crowded on full steam in an effort to escape, at the same time ordering the gun crews into action against the submarine which appeared about a mile off.

“Our gun crews did not fire more than five or six shots,” one of the survivors said. “The forwards gun was shot away almost at once. The after gun and its crew was done for almost as quickly. Then the men went to the boats, but it was no use as the flying shrapnel was spraying the deck and men fell in scores, either killed or badly wounded.”

Another survivor declared that all of the Ticonderoga’s eight lifeboats, with the exception of one, were riddled with shrapnel before they could be launched. A number of men who tried to get into the eighth boat were killed by shrapnel as they clambered over the side of the vessel, he said.

“Finally” this survivor continued, “one of our men in desperation swam close to the submarine and hailed an officer, asking him in God’s name to stop firing.

“The lieutenant who answered him replied with a loaded revolver, saying that if he did not swim back he would shoot him.

“When our boat had only 20 men in it we were ordered alongside the submarine and made to tie up while the shelling of the dead and drying on the sinking ship continued.

“The leader of our boat was asked some questions which he refused to answer and suddenly the submarine submerged and only the parting of the rope with which we were tied prevented our going down with it.”


Sergeant Leslie LaForge Accidentally Shot at Camp


(Livingston Manor correspondent)

Mrs. Sydney Soules of Livingston Manor received a telegram on Friday afternoon stating that her son, Sergeant Leslie La Forge of Company D Camp Sherman, Chillicothe, Ohio, had been killed that morning.

The news was a great shock to the mother, who had seen her son but once in the seven years since he entered the army, that once being about a month ago, when he spent a ten days’ furlough at the Manor, it being the first leave he had had since his enlistment.

The young soldier was born in Pine Bush, N. Y., 28 years ago last May 30th, son of James Henry La Forge and Katherine Harvey. He spent most of his younger days in this vicinity being employed as a machinist during the erection of the Ashokan Reservoir, when he enlisted seven and one half years ago.

He saw service in the Philippines, South America, the Canal Zone and the Mexican border. At the time of his death he was engaged in training colored troops in the use of machine guns for the national army. A short time ago, while with a machine gun company, he was injured and spent six months in a hospital.

The shooting was due to an accident, and was done by an unidentified hand. The body reached Livingston Manor on Monday morning, accompanied by a comrade of the dead soldier, Corporal William C. Tobergta, who stayed until after the funeral, which was held on Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock from the Catholic church. Rev. Henry P. Tracy, D. D., officiating. The home guard and cadets attended in a body, as did the local Red Cross. Interment took place with full military honors in the Catholic cemetery.

Sergeant La Forge is survived by his mother, a sister, Mrs. Lulu Morse of Binghamton, his stepfather, Sydney Soules, a half brother and sister, Sanford and Irene Soules.

The accompanying letter received by his mother from the young man’s commanding officer vouches for the exceptionally high esteem in which he was held by his comrades.

Camp Sherman, Ohio. October 12th, 1918.

My dear Mrs. Soules:

It is a duty that comes to me as the Commanding Officer of the company of which your son, Leslie La Forge, was a member, to inform you of his death.

Major Smith informs me that he will write you the particulars, so I will not enter upon those details. The new of his death came to us all as a decided shock, for of all the men in this company of five hundred sixty-one men, I considered him the most valuable.

He was the most thoroughly conscientious soldier I have ever known with the greatest regard for duty, and a most likeable disposition. The whole company joins with me in tendering our sincere sympathy to you.

Time will probably erase from our hearts the deep grief we now feel, but I hope never will fade from our minds the memory of the truest and best soldier I have ever known.

His effects will be taken care of in the regular manner, and in due time will be sent to you.

With profoundest sympathy, I am,

Very truly yours,



Grange Take Initiative in Rally Which Pledges to $18,600.

Bloomville went over the top, even exceeding its quota, at the Liberty Loan rally at Coan’s hall last Saturday evening under the auspices of the Bloomville grange, when subscriptions to Uncle Sam’s Fourth Liberty Loan totaling $18,600 were taken. The Bloomville Grangers, led by John N. Dayton, master, are vitally interested in the success of the loan and they had the assistance of the Hobart loan committee, headed by Hon. James R. Stevenson and A. L. O’Connor, Esq., both of whom gave stirring patriotic addresses. Prof. E. O Harkness of Delhi also spake and Bruce M. Kilpatrick sang several selections to the delight of everybody present. Patriotic music was furnished by the Hobart band.

As Bloomville is without a bank, the subscriptions will be forwarded to the Hobart, Delhi and Stamford banks as the subscriber may be a depositor, or in accordance with his or her individual preference.


Pneumonia Following Influenza Fatal to Men in Service.

Pneumonia, following influenza, has caused the death in army training camps this week of three Delaware county soldiers and of another soldier formerly a resident of the county. The dead are Stanley Salton of Hamden, John Germond of Horton, Ray Stone of Harpersfield and Clayton Silvernail of Oneonta, formerly of Hobart.

Stanley Salton, the 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Salton of Launt Hollow, Hamden, died Friday, October 11, at Fort Jay, Governor’s Island, N. Y. from pneumonia following influenza. At the time of his enlistment last summer he was only 17 years of age. The body was brought to the home of his parents Tuesday, accompanied by Private McKenzie as military escort, and the funeral was held Wednesday afternoon at one o’clock, at the Salton home, conducted by Rev. H. J. McClure, pastor of the DeLancey United Presbyterian church. A detachment of the Sheldon Rifles of Delhi was in attendance and members of that unit acted as pallbearers. Military services were carried out at the grave. Beside the parents there survive two sisters, Ada and Grace, and one brother, Irwin. Much sympathy has been extended to Mr. and Mrs. Salton in their bereavement, as another son, Clifford, died only a few years ago, from the same disease.

Private Claude Silvernail of Oneonta died at West Point, Ky., Saturday night from pneumonia, following influenza. Private Silvernail was a member of the 92nd Field Artillery. He was born on Titus Hill in the town of Harpersfield, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Silvernail, now residents of Oneonta. The young man was 22 years of age and at one time was employed in the Sheffield creamery at Hobart. The parents, two brothers and two sisters survive.

The Reporter’s Horton correspondent writes: The funeral services of Private John Germond were held at Horton chapel on Wednesday afternoon of last week. Private Germond, who was formerly employed at Horton, was drafted into service on Apr. 29, 1918, and sent to Camp Dix, where he was assigned to Co. K, 311th Infantry, and about the first week in June was transferred to Co. C, 3rd Brigade, Camp Lee, Va, where he remained until his death from pneumonia. He leaves a wife, father, one brother and two sisters, to whom the community extend their deepest sympathy, and they have the consolation of knowing that he did his duty as a soldier and died for noble cause.

Word reached North Kortright on Sunday of the death from pneumonia of Ray Stone, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Stone, of Harpersfield. He was in a southern training camp.


Everett E. Griffin Victim of D. & H. Rear End Collision.


Fire Started in Wreckage After Crash and Body Was Not Recovered Until Later.

Everett E. Griffin, a former Walton man, was killed Monday in a rear end collision near the Schoharie Junction on the Delaware & Hudson railroad. Conductor Frank Fitzgerald of Oneonta was fatally injured in the wreck and died a few hours later in the Oneonta hospital.

Mr. Griffin moved from Middletown to Oneonta in October, 1917, and entered the employ of the Delaware & Hudson as a trainman. The accident in which he met his death occurred about two o’clock Monday morning at the foot what is known as the Esperance hill. Extra 1047 southbound had come to a complete stop to await pusher engine 897 in charge of engineer Sherman Loreman of Oneonta, which was to help it over the hill. It is claimed that Loreman’s airbrakes failed to work and the pusher crashed into the caboose of the extra with terrific force. The caboose and three cars of the extra freight were demolished and a fire started at once in the debris. Trainman Griffin was buried under the wreckage, and it is believed that he was instantly killed. The fire made it impossible to reach him for some time, and when it became possible to investigate only charred remnants of his body were found in the ruins. Two of the three cars wrecked were loaded with print paper and the third was an empty car.

Conductor Frank Fitzgerald was terribly burned about the body before rescue and died at 9:30 o’clock in the Oneonta hospital. He was 35 years of age and is survived by his wife.

Everett E. Griffin was a son of Erastus Griffin of Walton and much of his life had been spent in Walton. He was 35 years of age and beside the father is survived by his wife, who was Miss Ethel Booth of Walton before their marriage on March 10, 1907, and by three brothers and one sister, Ethel and Alvin Griffin of Walton, Omar Griffin of Norwich and Glendy Griffin in France with the 303rd Engineers. Everett Griffin was employed for eleven years on the Ontario & Western and the family made their home in Middletown, Walton and Sidney. He was a young man well thought of both by his employers and fellow workmen. The family moved to Oneonta last fall.

The body was brought to Walton Tuesday and the funeral service was held Thursday afternoon at 3 o’clock at Holmes’ chapel, conducted by Rev. J. C. Coddington, pastor of the Methodist Church with burial in the Walton cemetery.

Return to top