This Day in History – January
General Z. C. Priest informs us that during the past ten years, there have passed over this division of the N. Y. Central Railroad, 5,700,000 cars, or an average of one every minute during that long time.
The three month long strike in the Little Falls textile mills is over. The workers will receive 60 hours of pay for a 54 hour week, and increases in the rate for piecework ranging from 8 to about 15 percent. All employees will be rehired.
To safeguard coasters, motorists will be asked to stop at all intersections leading into Monroe Street. This was an exception as the commissioners decided to have the police enforce the ordinance against coasting on other city streets. Coasters are at risk of being struck by automobiles and trolley cars. It was observed that bobsleds go down East Monroe up to 40 mph.
WW II Era – A Home Defense Council was appointed by Mayor Richard Conley. Home Defense units were formed: Firemen 150, Police 125, Air Wardens 400, Observers 40, First Aid 40, Red Cross 20, Transportation 20, Demolition 15, Public Works 30.
Crowds greeted former heavyweight champion John L. Sullivan and his troupe as they checked into the Metropolitan hotel in advance of his performance in “The Man from Boston” a sensational and romantic drama. Admission is 50 cents to $1.00. The fellow sparring with Sullivan was Daniel Dwyer an old-time prize fighter.
The contract for the new City Hall was given to George Wills Company for $104,706. Of this total, David H. Burrell donated $60,000.
In his annual report, Chief of Police James Long reported 698 arrests during 1918 – 664 males and 34 females. Of special interest were the significant increase in the number of cases of juvenile delinquency, which Long laid principally at the door of parents who are indifferent to the welfare of their offspring.
Tony Sarg’s marionettes made a great appeal at the afternoon performance, “Pied Piper of Hamelin,” given to 1,500 school children of the city at the Rialto Theatre. The evening performance, for adults, was “Treasure Island.” Mrs. Loomis Burrell was in charge, assisted by Mrs. George H. Smith.
The first truckload of machinery arrived from New York City for the Melrose Slipper Company, and was installed on the top floor of the former Phoenix Mill. The firm expanded and soon occupied all six floors of the building.
An unknown caller left a little box containing $80 in gold at the home of Rev. Francis Bellamy. An accompanying card informed him that it was from his friends in the Baptist church.
Patrick Kelly, of Little Falls, who has been serving a five year sentence in Auburn prison for mayhem, was pardoned by Governor Hill.
On this date, Rev. Francis Bellamy wrote a letter to the Journal & Courier on behalf of a group of earnest ladies in Little Falls who were endeavoring to do something to relieve the suffering of the very poor in the village. In his letter, Bellamy distinguished between the “deserving poor” and the “undeserving poor.”
The Little Falls fire and police departments and the recorder’s court have moved into the new municipal building at the corner of Albany and Second Streets. The first floor contains the fire department with stalls for the horses. Jail cells were in the basement.
Capt. Milan Mosny died today in a collision of jets over Tokyo Bay. He was the valedictorian of his high school class, and a star basketball player at Little Falls High School under Coach Wilbur Crisp. At West point, the 5’9” Mosny was the team captain, the leading scorer, free throw and field goal percentage leader for both the 47/48 and 48/49 basketball seasons. He was buried in Church Street Cemetery.
The city’s long cherished desire for a good modern hotel is realized at last with the opening of the Richmond (later Hotel Snyder) today. It is believed that it is the finest hostelry between Albany and Syracuse. The first big event was a banquet to honor Homer P. Snyder and Fred G. Teall who, with their wives, were about to leave for a trip around the world.
WW II Era – With hundreds of residents participating and thousands of others giving splendid cooperation, Little Falls experienced its first “blackout” test with success. The fire alarm at 9:12 p.m. signaled residents to darken their homes, and the city was shrouded in complete darkness for 15 minutes.
A military ball was held at Cranes Tavern (site of Chickering’s Restaurant) on Main Street on the anniversary of Jackson’s victory. Gentlemen were asked to appear in uniform. The tavern was the center of life in the Little Falls community.
A new newspaper appeared in Little Falls this day when the Journal and the Courier were combined under that name, “Journal & Courier,” and this weekly paper was printed for many years.
A murder case from four years ago was revived when authorities found the accused murderer, Ralph Getman, in jail in Tucker, Arkansas. Getman was charged with the heartless shooting of his young wife when she refused to move to Ilion.
Dr. Fred Sabin, who was president of the successful Sesquicentennial Celebration, was elected the first president of the Little Falls Historical Society.
In a letter to William Alexander, James Murdock stated “Little Falls in itself from its command of water must eventually grow, and grow fast. Indeed there is no saying what it may be in time. One improvement gives birth and strength to another; all would contribute to the increase of population and business.”
Eighty-five year old John Cantlin, the venerable grave digger, died at the home of his daughter. Mr. Cantlin, a worthy and respected citizen, dug the first grave in the Church Street cemetery.
The John Pierce Company, at its quarry on the “burnt rocks”, features two 105 foot towers which support a great cable and bucket that transports rocks to the gigantic crushers whence it goes into bins that load the finished product rapidly into railroad cars by gravity.
Up for consideration was a proposal to build a double track electric railroad (trolley) between Little Falls and Johnstown passing through Sammonsville, Ephratah, Palatine Church , and St. Johnsville. This railway would connect with the current trolley from Little Falls to Rome. The line was never built.
Teachers’ contributions of 15% of their salary to the work relief projects will be discontinued, and they will be receiving their full salary. Sick leave allowances will also be restored.
Four are feared dead and two rescued as the top floor of the stone mill on Moss Island occupied by the Transit in Storage Co., Inc. as a warehouse collapsed from the weight of heavy bales of wood pulp. A large crane was brought in to expedite rescue work. Father Heenan entered the ruins to administer last rites.
Arson was a definite possibly of the late Saturday evening fire that destroyed two-thirds of the Little Falls High School, with damage estimated at three million dollars. Major divisions amongst school board members, administration, faculty, students, and the community festered for nearly a decade.
DID YOU KNOW?
Many older Little Falls residents can fondly recall the large-scale celebrations that took place during our 1961 Sesquicentennial and again in 1970 during our Diamond Jubilee. What were these impressive displays of community spirit recognizing? The 1961 Sesquicentennial recognized the 150 years that had passed since Little Falls incorporated as a village in 1811. The 1970 Diamond Jubilee was recognition of the 75 years that had passed since Little Falls became a city in 1895. Additionally, Little Falls celebrated its bicentennial in 2011.
Little Falls resident Miss Zaida Zoller was a major local organizer for women’s suffrage political activity prior to the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women’s suffrage in 1920. Miss Zoller is buried in Fair View Cemetery.
The Y.M.C.A., a magnificent gift to the community from David H. Burrell, was formally opened to the public. Built at a cost of over $100,000, the fully equipped building is dedicated for the benefit of men and women of Little Falls irrespective of creed. There are facilities for swimming, pool, billiards, bowling and basketball.
An exhibition of the Edison phonograph is being held at the Metropolitan hotel for a few days. This human talking machine is one of the wonders of the age. A large number of musical selections will be given. Admission is 25 cents.
A fire burned the library collection.
Seaman Daniel Bass, of Little Falls, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism during the land assault at Fort Fisher, North Carolina on this date. After most of the assaulting force retreated, he remained behind, and came safely away bringing the wounded, the arms, and the colors. He is buried in the Wilcox Cemetery in Little Falls.
Mr. J.A. Woolever, freight agent at Little Falls, reported that 5,653,118 pounds of cheese was shipped by rail from Little Falls during 1874. He indicated this total did not include large numbers of cheese sent by boat during this same period. 12 million pounds was shipped from Herkimer, Fulton, Montgomery, and Otsego counties valued at $1,740,000.
The modern Little Falls Post Office, at the corner of West Main and Third Streets, the new home of Postmaster Harry Becker and his force, is ready to open.
The last rites for the city’s foremost citizen and philanthropist, David H. Burrell, were held at his Overlook Mansion. The services were in keeping with the simple life he lived – no eulogy and no music. Business was suspended during the funeral hour. The cortege to Church Street cemetery consisted of fourteen carriages containing mourners, bearers and escort.
The ice skating rink known as the “Huddletown Ice Palace” on Kingsbury Avenue in the upper West Monroe Street neighborhood has opened under the supervision of George Malavasic. The rink had large crowds and featured a Winter Carnival. Mr. Malavasic went on to manage the city sponsored Monroe Street Ice Skating Rink for many years.
Olga, young daughter and only child of Dr. and Mrs. K. A. Bushnell, died at her home of malignant measles. An immense, beautiful monument, fashioned after a recent photo of Olga and her dog, adorns the family burial plot in Church Street Cemetery.
The Little Falls Electric Light and Power Company and the Little Falls Gaslight Company have consolidated under the name of the United Gas and Electric Company of Little Falls.
The National Herkimer County Bank in Little Falls has been fortunate in having been designated a depository of United States internal revenue funds.
The Little Falls Maennerchor has purchased the Stephan A. Ingham property on South Ann Street and, after alterations and improvements, will endeavor in make it one of the finest homes belonging to any organization in the Mohawk Valley.
Mrs. Cornelia Moore, one of the best known colored residents of the section and a resident of Little Falls for over 60 years, has passed away. She was honored and esteemed by all who knew her. Active in the affairs of the A.M.E. Zion church, she was one of the best known cateresses in the Mohawk Valley.
Ninety-five year old Martin Burney of Little Falls, Herkimer County’s last veteran of the Civil War, died today in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Burney’s body will arrive in Little Falls tomorrow and will be met by an American Legion honor guard. Burial will be in the Fairview cemetery.
The Aldermen voted $2,500 to equip a company of Home Guards and the members also raised $1,900. Remington single-shot rifles and equipment was purchased and they drilled at the Y.M.C.A. Captain Guy Beardslee of East Creek, a retired army officer, was their commander.
The Little Falls Sesquicentennial Corporation, after conducting a hugely successful celebration during the summer of 1961, has been dissolved. Monies, left over after the festivities were completed, amounting to $ 13,202.57 was donated to the Little Falls Hospital Building Fund by Dr. Fred C. Sabin who was general chairman of the program.
At Jacob Zoller’s packing house on Main Street, car load after car load of fresh porkers arrive to be cut up, salted and smoked. It’s not an area where one wants to be on a hot summer’s day.
In “Hints for the Motorist” in the Automotive section of the Evening Times, advice was given to motorists on: windshield wiper repair, clutch lubrication and slippage, wheel bearing trouble, cold proofing rear-axle lubrication, cylinders won’t fire, engine won’t start, and fan belt noise.
Cale Developers of Herkimer have been chosen to develop the two-block Urban Renewal area known as the “Downtown Project” bounded by Main, Second, Albany, and William streets at an estimated cost of $1,300,000. They are to develop the property and to sign up tenants. Local cost is $195,000.
Pfc. Donald Coffin, while serving in Vietnam died alongside two fellow soldiers when a projectile, most likely a Russian 122mm rocket, went through the ground and up into the bunker at base camp in Cu Chi.
The location of the boundary between Herkimer and Montgomery counties was in dispute for many years. On this date it was proposed that the boundary be set at the mouth of the East Canada Creek where it empties into the Mohawk River, and extends northward to Canada.
At the Celtic Lyceum, a debate was held – the question being as to whether or not women should be given the right to vote. The debaters, three men on each of two teams, skillfully presented their arguments pro and con, and the judges, all male, declared the woman suffragists were more persuasive.
A spectacular fire at 4:00 a.m. caused an estimated $60,000 in damages to the three story Foley apartments on Handcock Street displacing eighteen families in near zero weather. All occupants reached safety, although most residents had no insurance and many saved only what they could carry. The owner, John Foley, plans to rebuild as soon as possible.
White-out conditions forced two Royal Canadian Air Force helicopters to make a surprise landing in the parking lot of Cherry Burrell at 6:45 pm. The seven crew members spent the night in Little Falls before continuing on to their destination.
People scoff at the idea that anyone has had the genuine Russian influenza. Every man who has had a little cold flatters himself that he has the fashionable disease. Whether you call it “La Grippe”, “influenza”, plain “grip”, or a matter of fact cold, one has profound respect after wrestling with the critter awhile.
Wilbur Crisp, Syracuse University basketball star, but more importantly the legendary basketball coach at LFHS for decades has died. A state championship in 1929-30 and all-class section 3 championship in 1959-57 were the high points of his 334-167 record. Crisp was also a prolific inventor of basketball and wrestling devises and equipment. He also coached at SMA.
Mabel Richards, who had been identified with the library system since 1907, passed away today. She had served as school librarian from 1907 to 1929 and as librarian at the Little Falls Public Library for many years beginning in 1929.
In a letter to Rear Admiral J. S. Gracey, Commander of North Coast Guard District, and Victor E. Taylor of the Federal Highway Administration; Stanley Doromas Of The U. S. Department of Interior strongly recommended against approval of the application for a bridge over Moss Island. Various groups had indicated that Moss Island merits protection and preservation.
The first case of coronavirus (COVID19) was first reported at a nursing home in the U.S., in Washington state.
Little Falls has been designated a Bicentennial City.
The 1982 Little Falls High School state champion baseball team was inducted in the Mohawk Valley Baseball Hall of Fame before a crowd of 200 gathered at the Knights Inn in Little Falls.
The Wyndham Hotel Group has upgraded the “Knights Inn” in Little Falls to “Travelodge and Suites.” The move will provide a wider marketing plan. The motel has 48 rooms and four suites.
There are from ten to fifteen stage coaches running through the village every day, and from twenty to sixty boats passing daily on the Canal in the season of navigation.
West Main Street has been set apart by the mayor to be used by horsemen as a speedway on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, between two and five pm.
William Alexander started a new grist mill today at the little falls.
“Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde” is playing tonight at the Cronkhite Opera House.
The question was raised as to why the number of establishments in Little Falls employing men have decreased while the factories employing large quantities of women and girls have increased. Yet the town is quite prosperous! Officials asked if the town could continue to prosper unless more employment is furnished for men.
Night air mail service was started over Little Falls.
The Central Railroad Night Express train met with an accident a few miles east of Little Falls. A broken rail threw three of the passenger coaches from the track. All the passengers escaped without injury.
Miss Petrie’s class in physical culture played a basketball game against Herkimer with Little Falls winning 24 to 14. Seventy-five Ladies were present for the game, after which Gentlemen were admitted for dancing. Susan B. Anthony’s and Dr. Anna Shaw’s speeches were not falling on deaf ears.
In what is normally the coldest part of the winter, the mercury in Little Falls reached 71F. Doors and windows were open, people sat out on porches, overcoats were on men’s arms, and the sprinkler wagon was out to water down the dusty streets.
This Week in History” is brought to you by the Little Falls Historical Society. Please Visit the Little Falls Historical Society Website and please consider supporting the Museum by becoming a Member. Download the membership form here!