This Week in History – Week of April 12th
The Benton House, on the site of the future Hotel Snyder, opened for business to the public. The owner was Hon. Nathaniel Benton. The Post Office was also located there.
An effort is being made locally to raise funds to send an agent to England to report upon the process of manufacturing and marketing cheese, the probable effect of the cattle plague, and other matters pertaining to the dairying interests in the state.
Louis Ransom, the inventor of the steam street cars which are so successful in Philadelphia, is a native of Little Falls.
An explosion in the cellar of the Murray gas station and home at the corner of Ward and East Main Streets demolished the building. William Murray was seriously hurt and later died from his injuries. It was thought that a buildup of gas fumes in the cellar caused the explosion.
A wrecking crane was brought in to begin razing old structures in the “Downtown Urban Renewal” project. The first buildings to go will be the former Jay Smith Garage and the Grange Store at the corner of Albany and Second streets.
Demolition is nearing completion on the First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Jackson and Lansing streets.
Gresham Skinner, a native of Connecticut, died in the Town of Columbia (south of Ilion) at age 76. Mr. Skinner was the miller at the Little Falls gristmill at the time of the June 1782 attack by Royalists and Indians. He escaped by hiding under the water wheel.
The people of Little Falls were sorry and shocked to learn of the death today of the Hon. Titus Sheard who was well known throughout the entire state. As a young boy, he worked in the mills in Yorkshire, England, and came to the United States in 1856. He saved his money for school, became a teacher and eventually was the owner of several large mills in Little Falls.
A complete inventory of the property at the little falls under the management of John Porteous listed twelve houses, and also a bark mill, smith shop, currier’s shop, joiner shop, cooper’s shop, grist mill, fulling mill, saw mill, in addition to his dwelling and store. These buildings represented the beginning of the village of Little Falls.
John R. Taylor, proprietor of a local hardware store, inaugurated a movement to form a retail hardware dealers association in New York State.
A great loyalty demonstration was held with two thousand men, young and old alike, parading prior to the patriotic meeting in the City theatre. Rev. C.B. Papa of Utica spoke in Italian and Steve Zeman in Slovak.
Workman began tearing down the Wheeler – Harding block at the northeast corner of Main and Ann streets to make way for the new Burrell building.
At the MacKinster Hotel, Little Falls citizens celebrated the triumph of the Americans in the Mexican War. Decoration and illumination were done in good taste, and addresses were made by George H. Feeter and George W. Smith.
Hon. George A. Hardin, of Little Falls, one of the foremost jurists in New York State for 28 years, and one of the grand old men of central New York, died today. He also was District Attorney of Herkimer County and in 1893 he edited a “History of Herkimer County, New York.”
The business community felt the lack of good hotel accommodations handicapped the industrial growth of Little Falls. A stock company was formed, and after considering three locations, the members voted 324 to 49 to purchase and raze the Allerton, and construct a new modern hotel – the Richmond.
Doctors in Little Falls do not yet have any of the Salk vaccine, nor do they know when it will be available or how much they will be able to obtain. They expect to be governed by a system of priorities even when the vaccine is obtainable.
A Thursday only, gas special at the Little Falls Texaco station was posted at 46.9 cents per gallon.
The Little Falls newspaper, the “Mohawk Courier”, in an extra edition, wrote “Glad Tidings, the United States and England have exchanged greetings, through the Atlantic Cable.”
Restante’s Dairy Bar opened at 67 Flint Avenue featuring milk, cream, buttermilk, and specialty homemade ice cream. It was operated by Paul Restante Sr. and his sons Paul Jr. and John. In 1960, they purchased an ice cream truck and peddled their wares evenings throughout the city neighborhoods.
Long mislaid headstones were uncovered this week when the old West Shore freight house was razed. Both stones bear the name “Bellinger” with date of 1886-1889 and 1884-1893. It appears the stones were shipped via the West Shore Railroad and never picked up.
Dudley Burwell, prominent Little Falls attorney and one-time member of the State legislature, died at his home in what is now Moreland Park. He donated the land for the park and is buried at the top-of-the-hill with his beloved dog.
Date of a letter to Zaida Zoller of Little Falls from Susan B. Anthony asking that on November 6th the adjective “male” be stricken from the suffrage clause of the U. S. Constitution.
Frank Vincent, of Little Falls, has purchased a lot on Southern Avenue, directly across from Casler & Eaton’s ice house, and will erect a building to be used as a mattress factory. He had started a small mattress business in Casler’s saw mill a few years ago.
WW II Era – The “Salvage for Victory” campaign got off to a good start when the old German cannon, a fixture in Eastern Park since 1920, was dismantled by workman from Matlow & Sons scrap yard.
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!