Tri County Clippings- Troy Gazette Register 1901 - Yesterday's News
|These clippings from ancient
and fragile newspapers stored above the Troy Gazette-Register office are
being typed by Tri-County volunteers for presentation on site. Primarily
we are preserving the neighborhood news columns and the obituary, marriage
and birth information included in them. I intend also to include articles
that show the influences on the lives and attitudes of our local populations
at the time, and I will also illustrate the individual pages with ads from
the era. Nothing is more revealing of lifestyle than the goods and services
The TGR covers the area of all townships surrounding Troy and many neighborhoods have a local column submitted, but not necessarily every week or even every year.
Our thanks goes to the staff of the Troy Gazette-Register for giving us access to this valuable old news so that we can share it with you. There is no better way to understand the culture and customs of our old communities than by sifting through these clippings. Even the names of some of these old communities have ceased to exist in today's world, but we have them captured and preserved here. If you do not have the time to enjoy the luxury of sifting through clippings, these will be included in the Partitioned PICO Search Engine which you can reach from current What's New Page of the site. There is a partition just for the TGR Clippings.
Twentieth Year, #965, Wednesday, January 9, 1901
William Witter Spalding. A Veteran of the Lake Superior
Region, Born in Bradford County, Talks of Early Times.
The Duluth Evening Herald is publishing sketches of the pioneers of the Lake Superior region and early residents of Duluth. Among the most interesting is that of William Witter Spalding, one of the earliest settlers in that region. Mr. Spalding is a native of Bradford county and tells the story himself:
“I was born July 11, 1820, so I was informed later by those who knew the facts, at Standing Stone on the banks of the Susquehanna river, near Towanda, Pa. My first recollection of life is tinged with pain. It is connected with my well-meant attempt to feed bread and butter to an old sow who nipped my tender fingers in her anxiety to prevent any of the food getting away.
“I imbided what education I have at a college on the hill at Towanda, consisting of one room in a log house, luxuriantly furnished with long wooden benches, and a desk for the teacher. Here I learned the three R’s, readin’, ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic, and how the girls’ backs and shoulders were kept straight and their heads up by wearing a board strapped across their shoulders. I was named after my grandfather, who received a medal for bravery in the Revolutionary war. He was a descendant in the sixth generation from Edward Spalding, who came from England about 1619 to Maryland from whence he removed some years later to the Massachusetts colony. The members of the family are almost as numerous as the Smiths, and are now to be found in every state in the Union. There were seven of the name in the battle of Bunker Hill. My mother’s names was Cash, of a family whose American residence is almost as old as that of the Spaldings.
“After finishing my education-no Greek or Latin was taught in my college-at the age of 12 I entered the store of Burton Kingsbury in Towanda, where I was serving as a clerk when the great shower of metors took place which frightened many people out of their wits and made them think the world was coming to an end.
“In 1835 my father went to Peru, Ind., to take charge of a store for Col. H. L. Kinney, who had a large contract on the canal then building from Chicago to the Illinois river. During the next summer my mother and family followed him. The only modes of transportation in those days were natural water courses and common roads. Under the direction of Judge Simon Kinney we procured a large scow on which we built a one-story board cabin; putting our household goods aboard one fine morning with hundreds of our friends and neighbors lining the banks to see us off into the wild west, out of which they never expected to see us return, we pushed out into the stream and floated down the Susquehanna.
“Our trip down the river was uneventful, except the fright given by the steersman-I was at the steering oar-by the pilot who warned me to look out for Buttermilk falls, as they were dangerous. This kept me in a flutter until we reached them and found them to be only a place where a small stream tumbled down the hillside into the river.
“After several days we came to the west branch of the river and struck a canal or rather slack water navigation with a towpath. We purchased a horse and were towed up to Hollidaysburgh; here se sold the horse, scow and cabin and took the railroad to cross the Allegheny mountains. The cars were hauled by a stationary engine on the top of the mountains and they took us to the top whence we went to Johnstown. Thence we went down the Allegheny to Pittsburg, where we went on board a steamboat for a trip down the Ohio river to Cairo, then up the Mississippi past St. Louis to the mouth of the Illinois and up that stream to Peru.”
All his life until late years Mr. Spalding has lived “ahead of the railroads,” and his story of pioneering in the west is a most interesting narrative.
Tobacco Growers’ Association.
The organization of the Bradford County Tobacco Growers’ association was perfected at a largely attended meeting held in the grand jury room of the court house yesterday afternoon. About 200 men interested in the growing of tobacco were present, all sections of the county being well represented. The officers chosen at the preliminary meeting in Athens on January 22, were made permanent, as follows: President, Louis Piollett of Wysox: Vice-president, J. Lehman Elsbree of Athens; secretary, E. L. Walker of Ulster. An executive committee of the following nine members was elected: John Childs, Sheshequin; Francis Granger, Ulster; N. J. Bailey, Towanda; P. C. Pierce, Burlington; J. T. Sweet, Monroeton; Wayne Scoville, Towanda; Wm. Rhodes, L. Mills, North Towanda; George Gilbert, Franklindale.
A number of good addresses on the aims, objects and need of a tobacco growers’ association were made, among the speakers being Louis and J. C. Piollet, J. H. Sawyer of East Troy, N. J. Bailey and S. M. Huston of Towanda, and George Rockwell of Chemung, N.Y. Of those present 60 signed an agreement of association. Another meeting will be held in Towanda on Saturday afternoon, February 18.
The objects of the association are mutual improvements in the culture of tobacco, the maintaining of prices and the future establishment of a warehouse where the crop can be gathered and sorted in a scientific manner. If sufficient interest is manifested a company will be chartered, bonds issued to be sold to members and a warehouse built. Review, Jan. 31.
Reception to Aged Sisters.
A large gathering February 14, 1901, at All Soul’s church gave the cordial greeting in behalf of the three aged sisters and life-long members of the Universalist church:
Electa Brace McKean, 90 years.
Nancy Brace McKeen, 87 years.
Martha Brace Bullock, 85 years.
In spite of the cold wave all was warm and inviting inside the church parlors of All Soul’s church. Electa and Nancy were too feeble and the weather too rough for them to be present. Relatives of the Brace family came from Mansfield, Nelson Brace and wife, the descendants of Timothy Brace, who came with William Brace in 1806. Nothing daunted they meant to enjoy this sacred occasion. They brought a long letter from one of the Brace family living in Detroit, Michigan, that gave the records back many generations to a William and Stephen Brace who came over from England in the good ship Elizabeth. One a linen draper, one a hatter. From these the large family of Brace’s had descended. They were a prosperous and industrious class as far as the record had found them, holding positions of trust and honor among their townspeople and a loving and God-serving class. From these the William Brace who settled in Springfield in 1806 and brother Timothy descended. William Brace the senior helped build the Universalist church there and brought all his children with him in his own faith. There were fourteen children in all, by the two wives.
The dinner served, then came the hour for greetings, which was well filled with prayers of gratitude and blessing and songs of lofty cheer “For like a might army moves the church of God.” Martha, that is 85 years, then gave the long road that was traced by these brave heroic three, all born in a log house, the hard work they were all trained to do, the difficulties to overcome, for fourteen children were reared. The wool must be spun for all their garments, the flax for the linen. Nine children all attended school at one time. Martha was able to be present, and she greatly cheered and interested the company with incidents of her early childhood and how life seemed in those early days. The spinning and waving was interspersed with marriages. She told of the wedding she attended in the old school house, they carrying their shoes and stockings under their arms until near the school house, then putting them on. She wore her first calico dress and felt so “dressed up.”
Of those that once made up the old home, William, Dition and Stephen Brace yet remain, with these three sisters, Electa, Nancy and Martha. Diton, the banker, well known in Troy, keeps his farm, William and Stephen prosperous farmers. Stephen lives upon the old sited occupied by his father, William. There are thirteen grand-children living, all occupying homes of peace and plenty.
Letters of tender regard and appreciation were received from the previous pastor, Rev. Emma E. Bailey, to whom a box had been sent commemorating by the All Soul’s church of Troy her mother’s birthday, for she was 91 years on February 14, 1901. Rev. Herbert Grans of Towanda wrote a letter full of good cheer and would have been to the celebration but for the snow banks. Letters also from the churches at Athens, Sheshequin and Standing Stone, showing the religion of the Larger Hope is gaining rather than losing.
A hymn was beautifully sung by the M. E. minister’s wife, Mrs. Ward Mosher. The M. E. pastor was present, also the Episcopal rector. The Presbyterian and Baptist pastors were unavoidably prevented from attending. Mrs. Martha B. Bullock sang also with much vigor. One could not believe she was 85 years of age, so active and vigorous, keenly enjoying as a maid of sixteen the sweet pleasures of the occasion.
Electa and Nancy were remembered with greetings of cake and flowers. The relatives, Nelson Brace and wife from Mansfield, called upon them and read to them the old records of their forefathers sent from Detroit, Michigan, which they greatly enjoyed.
The affectionate characteristics of the Brace family here were pointed out by the remarks of the present pastor, Rev. Amanda Deyo. The old father, William Brace, senior, kept all his children with him. What he felt was good and true he wanted his children to share. In the day, when to be a Universalist was at great cost, so much persecution individually, the faith of the Larger Hope inspired their hearts and lives.
The cold weather and the snow banks prevented many of the friends from being present who lived at a distance. Martha and her three children, Harriet Young, Furman Bullock and Alton Bullock and three children were present. William Brace one son Edward living in Elmira. Diton Brace has one daughter Blanche, who married Edson Harkness, three grandchildren. Stephen Brace has two sons living, McKean Brace and Frank Brace and four grandchildren. Electa McKean one son, Herrick McKean. Nancy has only her son’s wife, Mrs. Pondd.
It was a pleasant occasion long to be remembered.
Mr. Baldwin of Williamsport, who leased the Minnequa Spring for
a number of years, has completed his pipe line and is barreling water as
fast as two men can work. He has fixed up the old Bottling House
and fills his barrels there and ships to Philadelphia by car load lots.
Mr. Baldwin had tried shipping Minnequa water last fall to Williamsport
and Philadelphia and met with great success.
Serious Flood. In Pennsylvania and New York. Great Damage
Done-Homes Destroyed- Thousands of Dollars Worth of Property Lost in the
December Freshet-Worst Flood in Forty Years- Several Lives Lost in Bradford
Note: There is a whole page describing the damages done at Elmira, Ithaca, Binghamton, NY and Athens, Shomokin, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Towanda, and Monroeton, Pa. Monroeton being the hardest hit with loss of life of three people: Charles Merritt age 16 years, Mrs. Hattie Fesseden, brother of George Ripkin and old Mr. Reynolds.
Worst Flood in Years. Lives Lost and Property Damaged Many Thousands
of Dollars-Northern Central Tracks Practically Ruined for Miles Troy has
Saturday’s rain-storm culminated in perhaps the worst and most damaging flood Saturday night that has visited this section. Even the great flood of 1889, generally termed “the Johnstown, or June flood” did not cause such devastation and general disaster to property as that of December 14, 1901. Saturday the downfall of rain was increased and continued until Sunday morning. Quickly following the storm came a lowering of the temperature, below the freezing point, which, combined with cloudburst and flood, caused, in other localities, intense suffering to those who were rendered homeless, and those who had to battle with the storm.
A few days previous the weather was severly cold, but the last of the week experienced a change to warm weather, when only the surfaces were thawed, so that the torrents of rain, instead of soaking into the earth, swept from elevations over frozen ground to valleys and lower points.
The swollen rivulets, streams and rivers in eastern Pennsylvania, together with a greater part of New York state, have caused damage to the country districts, borough and railroad properties amounting to millions of dollars, together with loss of life. Highways and country roads have been washed out and rendered impassible; business houses, industries and homes were flooded and property ruined; hundreds of township, county and railroad bridges have been taken away, with numerous outbuildings and floatable objects. Railroad traffic is suspended; whole towns were isolated from one another; travellers were unable to reach their homes.
With the passing of the storm, the visited districts present a scene of ruin and loss of property. Along the northern tier of counties and throughout the state, each separate town gives a similar story. Railroads are just beginning to get into action again and temporary repairs are being made as rapidly as possible. The loss of life by colds and sickness from exposure will be great.
In this borough evening shadows had begun to fall with the rising of the water in the waterways. The steady downpour of rain was accompanied by a rapid increase in the size of the streams, which came so fast and unexpectedly that people were wholly unprepared for it. Those residing on the higher points were most entirely unaware of the seriousness of the storm until news was brought to them on the sufferers. By 9:30 o’clock the flood had reached its height, and it was then from a foot to eighteen inches higher than the memorable June flood of 1889, and about two feet above that of March 11, 1901.
Citizens returning home from the shopping districts found the low point of Canton street by the Register building impassible. Sugar creek had assumed the proportions of a mighty rushing river, joined by its tributaries at different points. Cellars of residents on the lower points of Canton street were filled, and the inmates were suddenly called to remove from them such articles as could be saved in time, while horses, cattle, pigs, chickens and live stock generally, were taken to safe quarters, while rescues were wading sometimes waist deep in water, and lanterns were flickering to and fro. On the cross street from Redington Avenue to West Main street, a road bridge spanned a small creek, this causing a damming of flood trash which carried it away, precipitating an immense volume of water onto the flat below. About this time this creek changed its course and ran down close to Redington Row and along the rear premises of the Universalist church. This changing of the creek’s course is thought to be a lucky circumstance, as had it not occurred, might have caused the removal of barns and other buildings and dammed the narrow outlet on lower Redington Avenue, which would have occasioned a greater amount of damage, with probable loss of life.
At the time of the flood’s height, the Register buildings was surrounded by over a foot of water. The cellar was filled and about forty open barrels of vinegar belonging to R. W. Budd, valued at nearly $300, stored there, was lost. Soon the rushing and tearing force of the water tore a section from Mrs. Dare’s platform adjoining her residence and carried the upper half of it down stream. The strong current, passing around the south-western corner of the Register building, began to tear the earth away inside the creek wall, leaving a hole that would have received a wagon. A large portion of the creek wall and a large quantity of earth was taken away. Wooden sidewalks on both sides of the building were lifted up and moved. Water entered onto the first floor to the depth of several inches, which was cleared of perishable articles. In the electric light station the floors and boiler room were flooded, necessitating the stopping of the arc-lighting dynamo for a time, and Engineer Stright was obliged to shove coal ankle deep in water, considerable damage being done.
The residences of Dr. Carpenter, C. B. Kimber, Mrs. Harriet Dare and Dr. Barker, with several other Canton street dwelling houses, were surrounded by water.
At the time when the flood was highest, the Troy House omnibus conveyed the occupants of Dr. Carpenter’s residence to quarters out of reach of the water. People down in this section were beginning to think about building arks.
The Railroad Avenue bridge is apparently uninjured.
H. C. Rolison’s flour and feed mill suffered considerable damage and loss. The basement, which contained a large amount of shafting with belts and driving wheels, was flooded, as was the engine and boiler room. The work of thawing out and loosening the machinery and belts occupied the greater part of three days and the damage will figure well up into three figures.
The tannery of E. Bowen & Co. suffered loss to about $1,000, from water and mud soaked hides that were in the vats.
E. W. Fenner suffered besides considerable damage to his premises, the loss of his chicken coup containing twenty-two fine fowls, a few of which were recovered from scattered points in Sucese & Case’s mill yard.
The shoe factory received a share of the damage. The guy wires to their smoke stack were broken by moving timbers, the stack breaking close to the boiler-house roof. The well used for boiler purposes, was filled up which require some time in clearing out.
Sucese & Case’s mill yard and property was the scene of much havoc. With water surging through the years, lumber piles were soaked and in many cases removed and scattered about. Eight tons of cement was ruined. In their barn two horses stood in three feet of water with no means of removing them possible, and there they stood until the water subsided. The yards presented a general topsy-turvy appearance, and a force of over a dozen men was employed Monday in clearing them up. Their loss by damaged property will easily cover #300.
The knitting mill sustained a loss in its store room, where an amount of hosiery was damaged by water. A stock of completed goods was lifted from the main factory floor to high places, to escape the water, which however did not quite reach the floor. The work of re-arranging the rooms delayed operation of the factory until Wednesday morning.
The bridge at Snedeker & Mitchell’s was washed away, together with large patches of wall on both sides of the creek, and part of the embankment, so that the coal sheds have to be reached by driving around over Paine’s bridge and through the Pierson property. A quantity of phosphate and dynamite was carried away. The loss to them is estimated about $500.
The dam at Mitchell Bros. Machine Shops was taken out, with a large portion of the creek wall supporting the building, which lowered the floor over a foot in the centre. Their loss figures up to a large amount.
A culvert on Geo. Pierson’s property was removed, leaving a large hole.
On down the course of the stream, garden and land properties were greatly damaged, many gardens washed out.
The old Dillon’s dam on Elmira street was washed out as was also a temporary bridge awaiting the erection of the new one at the entrance of Porter road. The abutments for the new bridge remained intact. A temporary crossing has been erected.
One of the abutments of Dillon’s bridge was washed away, and the bridge entirely ruined, though not carried away. Travellers have been obliged to ford the creek.
Alparon Park was despoiled of many of its beauties by the rapid waters. The lower entrance gate was cleared away, with the ticket office and several fences, and the grounds and drives were quite badly torn up.
The railroad bridge near Dillon’s, was somewhat weakened by the force of the flood. The centre support was loosened and twisted so that the tracks were lowered about four inches in the centre. For the purpose of testing its strength, two box cars were pushed over, then the engine was started slowly from one end by the engineer and caught on the other side by the fireman. Freight trains have passed over it at greatly reduced rate of speed.
Dillon’s mill escaped injury with the exception of water getting in the cellar.
At. Longs’ Mill the wall partition of the tail-race was taken away and some machinery water soaked. The dam remained solid.
At Alparon Farm a heavy land slide occurred at the point a water course runs alongside the house, and covered the railroad tracks with a pile of earth 138 feet in length and five feet deep in places. A force of over fifty men were engaged Sunday in clearing the tracks, and by four o’clock in the afternoon the obstruction was removed.
At Burlington water was a foot deep in the streets. The Tomjack creek bridge is out. A barn on the property of Mrs. Lane was floated off, and one belonging to W. S. Wright moved onto her premises.
M. S. Hulslander’s cider mill was taken away. In the store of J. H. Campbell water poured into the cellar, and damaged stock and property to the amount of $500. Other property was considerably injured.
Strope’s grist mill at Luther’s Mill, was damaged by water, which ruined grain in the first story.
Thirty bridges in Smithfield township are gone. The road from Smithfield down the hill to Milan is largely torn up. The rear end of Seth Gates’ house was taken off.
Columbia X Roads.
The news from Columbia’s sufferers was but a repetition of similar disaster that occurred here as well as in adjoining districts. Bridges out, cellars flooded, property of all kinds damaged and lost, sidewalks floated away, and country roads terribly washed out; fences down in all directions, gardens washed out and fields badly torn; gradings removed, and the general landscape filled with the picture of debris strewn valleys and ruin scattered broadcast.
Bridges at G. C. Besley’s, Edgar Gernert’s, Mrs. Wells’ place and Oliver Besleys’ are gone, also two more on the Wolfe Hollow road to Coryland. At a place know as the eel-rack dykeing, nearly a mile above the station, a land slide covered the railroad tracks with gravel a length of about ten rods. A culvert near Edgar Gernert’s was washed out. Four or five heavy stones that supported it, weight two tons apiece, were taken away by the flood and no traces of them could be found. At William Sim’s considerable gravel and debris was carried onto the railroad tracks.
Down Sugar Creek.
The old county bride in East Troy still remains intact, although it received a hard rub, and is somewhat loosened. The iron bridge leading to it was destroyed. Baxter’s store suffered considerably from a flooded cellar. Frank Shattuck had a large quantity of tobacco stored that was ruined. The flats down the left of Sugar Creek were greatly torn up. The tobacco lands of Burt Dunbar, Clyde Swain and George Warner were ruined. With others. The bridge at East Troy creamery still remains, but is weakened. The Cole bridge, approaching Hilton’s is out.
Nearly all of the West Burlington bridges are gone, those at Colton Dickinson’s, the County Farm, the Mosher place, and others. A portion of Rockwell’s portable saw-mill was taken off, and damage done here. Luther Rockwell’s mill dam was injured at one end, but not destroyed. At this point the water was reported to be two feet higher than at any time previous. The property occupied by Milton Case was damaged to an extent that represents a considerable sum.
In this section bridges are out at John Shedden’s, Richard Ross’ Jas. Crandle’s, and one on Coolbaugh Hill leading to Troy. Buildings belonging to Chas. Taylor were damaged. Travellers are able to proceed in all directions on temporary crossings.
At Alba the bridge at Shep Cosper’s is out, with the abutments. Ward Hollow was filled up with gravel. Miller’s barn was undermined and tipped into the creek. Water was over the level of the bridge in front of the stores. Up the mountain road the flood cut a new channel above the upper bridge, and great holes on each side.
Every bridge between Leona and East Troy with the exception of one small one at Ritner Guild’s is gone. The bridge at the mill went out, and the creek took a new course, damaging Mrs. Guild’s property and taking her bridge out, also the one of Guy Ballard’s and at the creamery, and one at Ritner Guild’s, where a low wagon bridge was left, the water flowing around and over it, also the bridge at E. Kennedy’s is gone.
A bridge near Justin Taylor’s at Wetona is out.
At Austinville two lives were lost, Abram and Mrs. Sarah Richart, both past the years of a half century. Although the true facts in the case are not definitely known, they are substantially as follows: Mr. and Mrs. Richart, who resided a short distance above Austinville centre, owned a large amount of poultry, and in the night, when the flood was rising, Mrs. Richart rose and went to the chicken coop to rescue her flock, and while inside the structure was swept from its position and she was carried down by the current. Her loud cries awoke Mr. Richart, who rushed out of the house and fell in a deep hole he was unaware of, and was likewise taken down by the flood. A searching party were unable to find the bodies until the following morning. Mrs. Richart’s body a short distance below the house buried in sand, and Mr. Richarts’ body farther down on Andrew Moore’s premises. The bridge near the Andrew Moore place is out.
Sylvania was also greatly afflicted by the flood. A barn belonging to Homer Pitts was floated off and landed on the bridge in the centre of town, taking away part of the abutment and destroying this crossing. The creek coming from Armenia, which naturally flows by Wm. Mosher’s, took a new course between Waldo’s store and Marion Borden’s. Waldo’s store cellar was flooded, causing damage to stock. Water entered the hotel basement and damaged a large stock of cigars. The cross road from Hagar’s over the Taylor flat was rendered impassible. Altus roads were badly torn up. D. F. Pomeroy of Troy had 30,000 feet of lumber at the mill, 20,000 feet of which was floated away. The bridge at Steve Wilbur’s is gone.
All around the outlying districts and throughout the state, the mass of ruins and debris lies in a frozen state and many repairs must await the coming of warm weather. At many points telephone and telegraph communications are not restored sufficiently to learn all the facts concerning the flood disaster.