This Week in History – Week of Nov. 15th
The first hospital in Herkimer County opened, with four rooms for patients, in a renovated house at 14 North Ann Street in Little Falls. Mrs. E. B. Waite headed a group of women to form the hospital. Mrs. Jennie Johnson was matron and Miss Keegan was nurse. The first patient was a William Hoover.
Two old lithographs of Little Falls are on exhibition in Donavan’s window, one dated 1847 and the other 1862. They have attracted a good deal of attention.
At a meeting held at the stone school house, the local Methodist Society was incorporated. There were 88 members and the salary of the pastor was $280 a year.
Edward M. Griffing, editor of the first newspaper published in Little Falls, passed away. Griffing was 23 years of age when he started a weekly newspaper called “The People’s Friend” in 1821. First published at the brick house at the top of Mary Street on Garden Street, it later became known as the “Journal and Courier.”
The imposing monument at the homestead of General Nicholas Herkimer was formally dedicated with appropriate and interesting exercises at the cemetery and the Skinner Opera House by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York and the D.A.R. The 65 foot high obelisk, made from the finest Barre granite, was erected by the State under the direction of Hon. John Vrooman and Hon. Titus Sheard.
The 4,752 foot long Western Inland Lock Navigation Company (WILNC) canal, containing five lifting locks and a guard lock, was “rendered passable” around the little falls and opened for business. 2,550 feet was through solid rock. The finished cost was $100,000. Porteous opined: ”It adds a degree of ornament to the whole place that is only exceeded by the amazing conveniency it occasions.” The toll is a Dollar a ton.
Herkimer County Bank in Little Falls announced a semi-annual Dividend of four percent, on the capital, declared payable on and after the first day of December.
About 35 feet of the unfinished wall of Hansen’s Laboratory on Lock Island, which had attained the height of about twenty feet, collapsed without any warning. Three workmen suffered serious injuries and were extricated from the debris. Cause of the collapse was believed to be some fault in the construction.
The whopping big tire made by the Goodyear Rubber Company had travelled 46,000 miles around the country, and has no experience like that at Little Falls. It could not pass under the Central railroad bridge. The tire was deflated by the local Goodyear agent and inflated to its normal pressure after it was hauled to the other side of the bridge to continue on its journey.
Three solemn funeral masses were held at St. Mary’s church for Mrs. Hannah Sellman, conducted concurrently by her three sons, Rev. Edward Sellman, Rev. Raymond Sellman , and Rev. Leland Sellman before a large attendance of Clergy, Sisterhood, and Laity.
George “Buddy” O’Neil was honored as he retired after serving 35 years in the Little Falls Police Department. At his retirement party, accolades were “heaped” on O’Neil by fellow police officials and lawmakers from all over upstate New York.
Edward Ellice, acting as executor of the estate of his father, Alexander Ellice, leased to William Alexander all that Tract of Land situated at the Little Falls for $1,000 per year. He also stated “If War should unfortunately take place between Great Britain and America, Mr. Alexander is to be exempted from Rent during its continuance.”
Village President Petree received a petition from all the village clergymen indicating that several “dance houses” and “concert halls” are believed to be a public nuisance and a menace to the morals of the town. They asked the village president to use every means of his power for their suppression.
The New York Central Railroad ordered that engine crews currently living in Little Falls, a majority of whom have families and own homes and are some of our best citizens, must move to the ends of the railroad division. This involves 29 engineers and 28 firemen.
Mayor Clifton E. Wagoner cut the ribbon to open the $2,500,000 project, changing the course of the Mohawk River and eliminating the dangerous gulf curve on the New York Central railroad through the city. The westward bound Empire State Express made the inaugural run over the new tracks.
The big steam fire whistle, bought by the Board, has been located on the Mohawk Mills (Old Stone Mill.)
Five shares of Little Falls National Bank stock were sold at auction ($800 per share) and ten shares of National Herkimer County Bank stock ($850 per share) from the estate of Jonathan Beattie. The prices show the high standing of our local banks.
Bootleggers, using three powerful automobiles, made a valuable haul of nearly one hundred cases of wines and liquors, with a monetary worth of $10,000, from the home of L. O. Bucklin on North William Street.
State Highway Commissioner A. W. Brandt rebuffed Little Falls’ request to build Route 5S over Lovers’ Leap through the city’s south side “when it cannot take care of the notorious River Road” which he deemed as one of the most disgraceful stretches he knows of for a main line road.
A fire of major proportions was averted at historic St. Mary’s church when a young man walking his dog at 11:30 pm alerted the Little Falls fire department of a fire in progress. Several area fire departments responded, and the fire was confined to a storage room. The church itself only had smoke and water damage.
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!