2016-08-10 / Looking Back

Looking Back

100 Years Ago, SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 1916


What We Are Talking About at the County Hub


Nearly Suffocated in Tunnel – Delhi Man Has Runaway in Walton – Stole a Camera.

Mrs. John Storrer of Loomis has had forty young turkeys killed by foxes during the past few weeks. They were killed in open daylight.

Fred D. McMullen, the well-known Ontario and Western engineer, who was elected mayor of Norwich in 1914 on the Independent ticket and who has served as the first mayor of the city, is up again for nomination, this time on the Republican ticket.

One of the main sleepers on the Benton avenue bridge over East Brook broke while George T. Johnston’s heavy ice truck was passing over the structure Saturday evening. The bridge has been closed during the week for repairs. The maintenance of the bridges is a town expense.

Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Hotchkiss of Walton have made an exchange of their small place of 30 acres located near the Third Brook reservoir toward a large farm of 120 acres stock and personal property, located at West Davenport, owned by J. H. Jaques. Possession will be given in the fall. The trade was made through the real estate agency of H. S. Ogden of Walton.

While there have been no cases of infantile paralysis in Walton, the precautions taken to insure against any outbreak of the disease here will not be relaxed. During the past week new cases have been reported to the state department of health from Livingston Manor, Liberty, Fallsburgh and Centerville, Sullivan county. There have been two deaths at Fallsburgh.

The Board of Education of the Walton High School met Tuesday evening and organized for the coming year. Dr. W. B. Morrow was re-elected president; A. H. Lincoln, treasurer, and H. S. White, clerk. Dr. Morrow, John R. Bryce and R. E. Lockwood were re-elected members of the Board of Education at the annual school meeting in May, the term of office beginning August first. Dr. Morrow re-appointed the same committees as last year.

The Cortland Cart & Carriage Co. of Sidney exhibited two of their automobiles in Walton Thursday, and demonstrated that Delaware county can produce as good an auto as any. The “Hatfield” roadster has all the equipment of a modern car, electric starting and lighting, is easy riding and sells for $850. The company also make a five-passenger car specially adapted for combined business and pleasure use. It is just the car for the farmer.

J. P. Ahrens of Deposit was robbed of $40 on the fair grounds in Binghamton in broad daylight, Sunday afternoon, according to a report which he made to the police Monday morning. When he was confronted by John Doyer, the man whom he accused of the theft, he refused to make a formal complaint against him, but still maintained that he had been victimized, says the Binghamton Press. Ahrens formerly conducted a store on Gardiner Place, Walton.

The studio of Kinch Brothers, the photographers, on the second floor of the Kinch block, Delaware street, was entered Monday morning about 8 o’clock and a camera stolen. Edgar Kinch had opened the studio and then went to the third floor. He was gone several minutes and as he came down saw a boy hurrying down the stairs below. On investigation he found one camera missing from the studio. The thief was recognized and prosecution will follow unless the camera is returned.

Henry Rogers of Norwich, an O. & W. engineer, was nearly asphyxiated Friday evening in the tunnel between Merrickville and Northfied. He was the engineer in charge of southbound extra 317, which left Sidney at 8:45 o’clock. While passing through the Northfield tunnel he was overcome by smoke and gas and was in the unconscious condition when discovered by his fireman. The train was stopped at the Northfield station and the fireman received orders to run the engine to Walton. Here Mr. Rogers was placed on board train 5 and taken to Norwich and to the hospital in that city. He did not recover consciousness until an early hour Saturday morning.

Aaron Stern of Delhi had a runaway accident in Walton Friday afternoon. Mr. and Mrs. Stern had been spending the week in Walton with his brother, E. M. Stern, while attending the Chautauqua. Late in the afternoon Mr. Stern harnessed up E. M. Stern’s horse to go to the Chautauqua grounds after his wife. He did not fasten the hold-back straps tight enough, and in coming down the steep hill from E. M. Stern’s home to Park street, he lost control of the horse, which began to kick when the wagon came down against it. In making the turn into Park street the wagon was overturned and Mr. Stern thrown out. The horse ran down the Park street hill dragging the overturned wagon. The animal was unable to make the turn at Bassett Park and ran into the trees and shrubbery in the park. The wagon was badly damaged and the animal injured. Mr. Stern escaped with severe bruises.


Our Guardsmen Given Ovation on Their Arrival Home


Men Believed They Were Going To Border When They Left Here- Given Supper at the Armory.

Home again. Nearly seven weeks after having been ordered into service Company F arrived home Thursday evening of this week.

Anxious as many of the guardsmen were to see service, it was through no fault of the men that they were not called to the border and the citizens of Walton gave the boys a royal welcome on their return.

The first Regiment of which Company F is a unit, broke camp at Peekskill Thursday morning, and moved in four sections over the New York Central railroad to Albany. Companies F of Walton, G and H of Binghamton traveled together.

That the men are glad to be home goes without saying. Many made financial sacrifices to go out with the company. The first regiment was the only one in the state recruited to war strength. Several weeks ago it became evident that the first First had been sidetracked from active service on the Mexican Border. The question remains, why was the regiment not sent home at that time instead of involving further useless sacrifice on the part of the men when their services were not to be called for? Only Governor Whitman, who selected the regiments sent to the border and directed the disposition of the remaining three regiments, can answer this question.

The train on which Company F returned Thursday evening was met at the station by the Walton band and fire department. As soon as possible after detraining the guardsmen fell in line and marched to the armory. The company came back under command of First Lieutenant H. A. Wilbur, as Captain J. S. Ballman returned directly to his home in Middletown.

The streets were lined with flags and bunting as a welcome to the returning soldiers. At the armory the men were given a great ovation by the business men assembled for the banquet of the Tri-County Business Men’s Association.

The guardsmen were dismissed from duty at the armory. In a moment the gallant boys were clasped in the arms of loved ones and for a time the banquet was broken up, as many of those present had sons or relatives in the company. Tables had been prepared for the guardsman’s arrival and after disposing of their equipment the boys fell to at the viands with a will. Having travelled all day with but little to eat they did full justice to the meal.

The Chamber of Commerce at a meeting held Tuesday morning appointed a committee to make plans for a public reception for the company at a date to be announced later.

The company was ordered into service on the 19th of June and remained in Walton subject to call until June 27th when they entrained for Camp Whitman, Dutchess County, where they remained four weeks before going to Peekskill for rifle practice.

The members of Company F received their first pay in camp, at Peekskill on Saturday. This was only for the twelve days in June. The delay of the state in paying the First Regiment has been the subject of much unfavorable comment and yells of “We want our pay,” rang all through the camp at Peekskill last Friday night The next day the long expected money arrived and the men were paid off. They now have five weeks pay due for service in July and August. When they will receive this is problematical. Privates receive $1.25 per day.

While in camp at Peekskill, the men had a great deal of liberty. During the rifle practice Sergeants Armstrong and Archer, and Corporal Howland, of Company F were detailed as instructors on the range and about twelve of the Walton guardsmen were detailed to serve the targets. Company F, with Companies E of Newburgh, G of Oneonta and H of Binghamton, all in the second battalion, went on the rifle ranges Monday to shoot the instruction course. All recruits and older men who failed to qualify before were required to shoot.

The Walton boys stood well the march from Camp Whitman to Peekskill, a distance of about thirty five miles. The men were on the march four days and pitched camp at Peekskill about ten o’clock last Thursday morning. Very few of the Walton guardsmen dropped out of the line, while on one day nearly thirty in Company E of Newburgh fell out. The men came back in fine physical condition.

Harry L. Sturgis of Company M of Mohawk, was killed by a train on a railroad trestle near Peekskill Saturday evening.


Board Will Act on Delayed Section of Delancey-Delhi Highway.

A special meeting of the Board of Supervisors will be held in Delhi this, Friday, evening.

The principal matter to be acted on is the approval of plans for the section of highway on the Delancey Delhi road which was held up by the elimination of the grade crossings between Frasers and the Clark crossing just below Delhi Village. The Board will make the necessary appropriation for the county’s share of the cost and the contract for this piece of highway will doubtless be let in the fall.

Hon. Edwin Duffey, state commissioner of highways, is expected to meet with the Board and go over the highway situation in Delaware county. Mr. Duffey was in Walton Thursday evening for the business men’s banquet.

There are also some matters in connection with the office of the commissioners of elections to be disposed of.


Norwich Man Sends Challenge to Congressman Fairchild.

Declaring that he has been ridiculed “through the press, from a safe distance,” by his opponent, senator Samuel A. Jones of Norwich, candidate for congress from the thirty-fourth district, has sent a challenge to representative George W. Fairchild of Oneonta, who is seeking reelection, to meet him in debate during the campaign. Senator Jones seeks to have representative Fairchild defend his record every day, except Sundays for the last few weeks of the primary campaign, but says he well hold the challenge open for any meeting during that time. In his letter senator Jones challenges congressman Fairchild’s record on the excise question.


Four-Year-Old Daughter of William Vallequettee Has Disease.

(From our Hancock Correspondent.)

The four-year-old girl of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Vallequette of Hancock was taken ill Sunday night and the case has been diagnosed as infantile paralysis. Dr. Lester Woolsey has charge of the case.

Dr. Morrow of Walton was called in consultation Tuesday and the symptoms of the disease are in evidence. The family are under strict quarantine for the present and children are asked not to assemble and play together.


Oneonta Party Crash into Guard Rail of Bridge in Owego.

Judge and Mrs. A. L. Kellogg and Lincoln Kellogg of Oneonta had a narrow escape from a fatal automobile accident of the court street bridge over the Susquehanna river and the Lackawanna railroad tracks in Owego Monday

The car, a seven passenger National, approached the bridge from the east at a good rate of speed, and as the turn was made struck the heavy iron railing at the side of the bridge, bending it over against a telegraph pole, which prevented the car from plunging to the railroad tracks below, a distance of more than 20 feet. The front left wheel of the car was over the side of the bridge when the car came to a stop. As a result of the contact the left front wheel, the front fender and lamp were smashed, and it was with difficulty that the car was hauled back onto the bridge.

Judge Kellogg has many friends in Delaware county and at Treadwell, his native town, who are glad to learn that the accident was not more serious.


William Billsborough Struck on Head and Fractured Skull.

(From our Hamden Correspondent.)

William C. Billsborough, aged about 65 years, a former resident of Sidney, died on Thursday morning of last week from injuries sustained that morning by falling through a hay chute at the Cottage Hotel, Hamden. Little is known of the party as he had no home and traveled from place to place, having secured employment on Cabin Hill during the summer.

The care-worn and aged traveler came to the hotel the evening previous and was given supper by the proprietor, he being touched by the aged wanderer and also received permission to sleep in the barn. A good resting place was given him, and it is supposed he arose about 4 a. m. to travel on, when he fell through the hay chute, a distance of about ten feet, striking on his head on the floor below, fracturing his skull. He was found about an hour later by Leslie Moore, who came to the barn to feed his horses. Dr. M. D. McNaught was hastily summoned, but he only lived a short time.

The body was taken to the Howland undertaking rooms where it was prepared for burial in the Hamden cemetery on Friday.


Decide at Convention to Hold Pay-Up Week Again


Second Tri-County Convention in Walton Thursday a Great Success- Speakers at Banquet.

Fraternity and co-operation were the keynote of the second annual convention of the Tri-County Business Men’s Association held in Walton Thursday, August 3.

Never before in this section of New York State have so many business and professional men gathered for the discussion of their problems and for a day of social enjoyment as met in Walton Thursday.

The Walton Chamber of Commerce has just cause for satisfaction over the success of the convention and banquet. After Delhi’s entertainment of the first convention last year, it was agreed that Walton had a difficult task to equal the hospitality of the county seat business men.

The convention has meant work and much of it; it has taken time and money but it was well worth while. The Tri-County association embraces merchants in towns within a radius of about thirty-five miles from Walton, and within that radius there is no place except Oneonta whose facilities for the entertainment of a large number of visitors equal to those of Walton except in Oneonta.

Walton presented a gala appearance. As soon as word reached here Tuesday that company F was to return home Thursday evening, steps were at once taken to give them a royal welcome home. Nearly every home and business place had flags out which served the double purpose of welcome for Company F and for the visitors at the business convention.

As the visitors arrived they were directed to Walton Hall where they were welcomed by the reception committee and after registration received identification badges. The badges served a good purpose many times, because one often recalls the face when the name cannot be spoken.

The delegations from the other towns began to arrive late in the morning. The special train from Delhi brought about fifty and large delegations were present from Sidney, Deposit, Hancock, Oneonta and other towns. About three hundred registered.

At 11:30 a. m. the serving of the buffet luncheon in the court room of Walton Hall began and continued until all were fed.

The rooms of the Walton Club were placed at the disposal of the visiting ladies who were entertained by the ladies of the Civic Club.

The parking of the automobiles was a difficult task ably handled by John R. Bryce.

The topic at the business session held at about 1:30 o’clock in Walton Hall was the question, “Did Pay-Up Week Pay?” S. A. Adee of Delhi presided at the session. It was evident from the discussion that no great results had been secured from the Pay-Up week last fall. Whether this was due to the newness of the plan, the lack of response to the movement by many of the merchants, or from some other cause, were questions brought out in the discussion.

In the discussion which followed a motion that a Pay-up week be held this year, Paul Collier, secretary of the Oneonta Chamber of Commerce, declared that he believed that the lack of better results last year was due to two mistaken ideas; first, the pay-up week was designed for the benefit of a particular class of business men; and secondly, a belief that pay-up week would bring in the dead beat accounts. Among those who took part in the discussion were; B. E. Pudney and President Borden of the Sidney Business

Men’s Association; George E. Davis of Walton, secretary Bullis of the Norwich Chamber, C. K. Brown, Deposit; J. E. Harper and C. E. Kiff, Delhi; F. E. Conlon, Hancock; E. T. Van Buren, Hobart; R. K. Teller, Unadilla.

The motion to hold a pay-up week was carried by a rising vote and Mr. Adee appointed Granville W. Rathbone of West Davenport as chairman of a general committee composed of the secretaries of all the Cambers of Commerce and other commercial bodies represent at the convention. They are to make plans for pay-up week and appoint other necessary committees. The general opinion was that with education of the public to the meaning of the week better results will be secured.

The cash basis in the village and the city store was discussed in two excellent papers by E. S. Brisbee of Meridale and Charles S. Talylor of Norwich, both of whom operate their business places on a cash basis.

Mr. Bisbee first put the plan in operation in January of this year and at the end of six months found that he had done a gross business $281.74 greater in volume than in the same period in 1915. He lost but few customers and was more than compensated by freedom from worry over dead accounts. Mr. Taylor’s experience in Norwich was practically the same as Mr. Bisbee’s, though he has done business on a cash basis for some years. Both men answered all questions put to them and an interesting discussion followed.

Invitations from both Oneonta and Norwich for the convention in 1917 were received. On the ballot Oneonta was selected by a vote of 114 to 28. Secretary Bullis of Norwich said that the Chamber of Commerce there would offer a prize to the person bringing to the convention in 1917 the greatest number of other men who had not before attended one of the conventions.

The speakers on the program of the afternoon session are all business men living in this section; men who are acquainted with the problems of business life in small communities; and men who are able to present to their fellows some solutions which they have themselves found for those problems.

After a recess, following the business session the convention assembled again in the hall and E. W. Elmore, president of the Oneonta Camber of Commerce presided. A question box conducted by B. F. Pudney, the well known Sidney music dealer, led to the discussion of several interesting business questions.

The paper of Roscoe C. Briggs of Oneonta, on “The Credit Bureau,” was a fine effort and many helpful suggestions were contained in it.

Cooperation was the keynote of the address of J. Q. Barlow, of Beerston,who spoke on, “Farmers, Merchants and Co-operation.” Mr. Barlow is a speaker who always hold the attention of his audience. He was followed by Thomas Hewlett of Jefferson, Schoharie County, who spoke on “The Store Paper.”

Frank Farrington of Delhi, as usual had a worth while message on “The Farmer’s Business.” Mr. Farrington is recognized as one of the leading authorities of the country on community development.

The banquet in the evening was served in the armory. The large drill hall was nearly filled with the long tables and the spectacle was not one soon to be forgotten.

Preparations had been made to feed the members of Company F and on their arrival the guardsmen were given a great ovation. Many of those present had sons in the company and the banquet was temporarily suspended while the boys were being welcomed.

The menu was a choice one and the dishes appetizingly prepared. Much credit is due to J. J. Farrell and Charles Evans, who had charge of the preparation and serving of the banquet.

After the meal Hon. S. H. Fancher presided as toastmaster. Hon. Edwin Duffey, state commissioner of highways, was the guest of honor. He presented the facts regarding the highway situation in Delaware county as to mileage of state roads and available monies. Contracts for three Delaware county highways, The Delhi- Delancey, Sidney-Masonville and Franklin village-Unadilla roads, are to be let the week of August 13. The relation of good roads to good business was emphasized by Commissioner Duffey.

The other speeches on the program were by Hon. C. L. Andrus, general counsel of the Ontario & Western railroad; Rev. V. C. Robinson, of Philadelphia, Justice A. H. Sewell, of Walton, and J. H. Nuelle, engineer in charge of maintenance of way on the O. & W. All were greatly enjoyed. President John B. Kerr of the O. & W. was unable to be present.

Mr. Fancher called upon Frank Farrington of Delhi, C. E. Scott of Deposit, Secretary Paul Collier of Oneonta and Secretary Bullis of Norwich for short speeches.

During the evening choice music was furnished by the Walton Symphony orchestra, H. A. France, leader, and the selections by Miss Hildred Thompson, and the Walton quartette, C. L. Watkins, D. H. Murray, Harry F. Marvin and Howell B. Townsend, Delighted the hearers.


Four Oneonta Residents Fatally Injured Within Twenty-four Hours.

Two men were killed by locomotives in the D. & H. yards in Oneonta within twenty-four hours of each other. Charles Terry of Oneonta, a Delaware & Hudson car inspector, was struck and fatally injured by a switch engine in the Oneonta yards Friday night. Terry came from Otsdawa, near Otego, and leaves a wife and four children. He died a short time after the accident.

Mrs. Edith Bookhout of Franklin is a daughter and Mrs. Nellie Mudge and Mrs. J. E. Scott of Leonta sisters of Mr. Terry.

Saturday night James Brown, a laborer, employed by the Oneonta Light & Power Company, was struck by the switch engine on the crossing just east of the D. & H. Station. The accident happened about 10:30 o’clock and the man died about 2 o’clock Sunday morning in Fox hospital. Both of his legs were severed.

Sylvester Wood of Oneonta and Leonard A. Guerin of Hudson Falls, a D. & H. fireman and brakeman, respectively, were instantly killed Saturday evening in the yards as the result of a collision between the engine on which they were riding and a yard switch engine, in the D. & H. yards at Colonie, near Albany.


Ex-sheriff Austin Retained to Ferret Out the Thieves.

(From Margaretville Correspondent.)

W. T. Austin of Margaretville has been in Fleishmanns during the past week and in company with others at that place has been watching out for crooks at that end of the town. The village is alive with city people and a gang of burglars have taken considerable lot of diamonds, silver, money, etc., from different parties. It is almost certain that they will get caught providing they do not skip the town at once.


Grant Brown of Sidney Center Found Guilty of Assault.

(From Sidney Center correspondent)

Constable John Marean took Grant Brown of Sidney Center to Albany last week to serve a six months’ term in the penitentiary. While Brown was in an intoxicated condition he injured William Stewart. He was arrested and brought before Justice William H. Benedict for trial. The jury brought in a verdict of assault in the third degree and he was sentenced to the state penitentiary for a six months term.


Herman B. Sanford’s Skull Fractured by Fall


Had Been Town Superintendent of Highways and was Man Prominent in Town Affairs.

Herman B. Sanford, a wellknown Franklin resident, was found dead in the cellar of his home in that village Monday morning. He had fallen down the cellar steps and fractured his skull.

About eight o’clock Monday morning George Ostrander, who works at the Phelps market, noticed that the cows of Mr. Sanford had not been milked and were making a fuss in the pasture. Investigation disclosed that those who secured milk from Mr. Sanford had been there only to find the house locked.

His son, Leon, who resides on the homestead farm, was reached on the telephone and he directed that the house be entered by removing the screens from one of the windows, which was done. It was found that the bed usually occupied by Mr. Sanford had not been occupied during the night and further search revealed that the cellar door was open. At the bottom of the stairs the searchers found the lifeless body of Mr. Sanford.

It is believed that Mr. Sanford had been in the cellar and was coming up the steps when stricken with apoplexy which caused him to fall over backwards. The accident probably happened Sunday evening as Mr. Sanford had been seen that evening by neighbors while doing his chores.

Mr. Sanford was about 65 years of age. Some years ago he retired from the homestead farm and purchased a small place of six or eight acres in Franklin village and kept a couple of cows, supplying several families with milk. He was a man highly thought of in the community and had capably served the town as superintendent of highways. His wife died several years ago. Two sons survive, Leon on the homestead farm and Clyde, who recently went to Waterbury, Ct., where he has a position. He leaves also a grandson by a son, William Sanford, who was kicked to death by a horse about two years ago. Since the death of his wife Mr. Sanford had lived alone.

The funeral service was held Thursday at 11 o’clock.


Hancock Woman’s Leg Broken by Falling Shaft in Cemetery.

(From our Hancock Correspondent.)

Mrs. Mary Cloonan of Hancock had the bone of her left leg broken near the ankle last Monday evening while in the Catholic cemetery at French woods. A monument which she happened to be near at the time fell on her with the above result. Dr. Lester Woolsey of Hancock was hastily summoned and at present she is resting comfortably at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. Rotzler at Hancock. Mrs. Cloonan, in company with Miss Gertrud warner of Deposit, and Mrs. Rose Realy and Father Cloonan of Hancock were on their way home from Lordville and in passing the cemetery stopped to visit the graves of relatives.

Children Under 16 Banned At Fair

1916 Polio Scare Led to Quarantine

By Abby Butler

WALTON - The major concern for fairgoers and much of Delaware County – during August, 1916 – was the risk of infantile paralysis (polio). Though no cases had been reported in Walton by the time of the fair in the first week of September, officials decided not to take any chances and banned children under the age of 16 from entering the fairgrounds, churches, Sunday schools, movies and all other gatherings.

After a learning of numerous other instances of polio cases in surrounding counties throughout the summer, the Village of Walton became concerned with the spread of the disease to the village’s youth. The State Commissioner of Health, Hermann M. Biggs, sent out a letter to all towns and villages, requesting that children be kept in quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease.

In response to the letter, fair officials and the Walton Board of Health crafted a request for advice from the commissioner and a plea for understanding of the circumstances. They requested permission to allow “the children of our village to attend the fair, providing that no case of infantile paralysis [polio] develops from now to the opening of the fair on September 5, 1916; that by not allowing the children of the village to attend the fair would be a serious menace to the success of the fair.”

Biggs received the letter and replied that he could and would not force a municipality to undertake any specific action, but that he recommended a quarantine based on polio cases that had occurred in the county already. The Board of Health agreed, after a lengthy discussion, and children under the age of 16 were therefore banned from the fair.

According to the August 26, 1916, issue of The Walton Reporter, the lid was on in Walton. A quarantine was enacted to prevent the spread of polio into Walton, after cases were reported in Cadosia, Horton and Cooks Falls. The Walton Board of Health made the decision to quarantine the village and held parents responsible for ensuring that their children did not congregate – violations of which were punishable by a $25 fine, 25 days in jail or both. To ensure that children under the age of 16 did not enter the village, policemen were posted at each point of entry, including the train station.

Despite the exclusion of children under the age of 16, fair organizers took an optimistic stance in the week leading up to the festivities, despite their earlier misgivings. “While children under sixteen will be barred from admission to the grounds, it is not believed that this fact will decrease the attendance to any considerable extent,” an excerpt from the Walton Reporter reads.

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