This Week in History – Week of Oct. 31st
The flotilla of boats bearing Governor Clinton and party arrived in Little Falls at 10 o’clock in the morning as a part of the grand opening of the Erie Canal. His boat, “Seneca Chief,” was towed across the aqueduct to the basin. Following a parade, a banquet was held at McKinster’s Tavern. This occasion was the first authentic appearance of what was later known as the Little Falls Military Band. Elijah Case, Jr. was the leader of the band.
The Little Falls Fish & Game Club received a carload of pike fry from the state hatchery in Constantia. The consignment was dumped into the Mohawk River near Jacksonburg. Anglers are looking forward to good fishing.
Father J. Thomas Connery, age 82, as swept away in flood waters in the town of Norway while endeavoring to get to Newport to say Mass on All Saints Day. Father Connery’s first assignment as a priest was at St. Mary’s church from 1963 to 1967, and he later returned to Little Falls as pastor from 1981 to 1990.
Forty-eight Italians arrived in Little Falls from Buffalo to work on the Little Falls – Dolgeville railroad.
“Big Frank,” the little 90 pound kangaroo, which was to have boxed at the Star Academy, died in that building from cramps.
Albert G. Story, a long-time fixture in Little Falls financial affairs, died of apoplexy sitting in his chair at the National Herkimer County Bank on South Ann Street.
Construction of the new Hoffman Paper Company plant (later Burrows; then Twin Rivers), one of Little Falls’ newest industries, on West Main Street, is nearing completion. High grade tissues are the principal product of this manufactory.
The second annual concert given by the Little Falls Military Band and sponsored by Little Falls Commandery, No. 26 K. T. was held at the Linton Theatre. Mr. George H. Bennett was the Director of the twenty-seven member group which is among the oldest bands of this type in New York State.
A reception was held today at the recently enlarged Barnet Bros. tannery on East Mill Street, the second largest tannery on this continent. Rich and poor alike were made welcome with several visitors from abroad. Music and speeches are to be followed by a banquet this evening at the Metropolitan Hotel.
A resolution was passed by the Common Council authorizing the construction of a sewage disposal treatment plant for the City of Little Falls at an estimated cost of $5,700,000.
Mary Haggerty, considered the “Jill-of-all- Civic-Trades” in Little Falls passed away today at age 58. An educator in Little Falls schools for 34 years, she was nationally prominent in the Girl Scouts and the Red Cross, and held leadership positions in the Hospital Guild, DAR, WCA, Community Chest, Holy Family Parish, and the Little Falls Historical Society.
Mark Blask was elected as the new mayor of Little Falls on the Democratic ticket, gathering 745 votes, to 230 votes for current mayor Robert Peters Sr., and 36 for Michael Lonis.
Jack Dempsey, perhaps the most popular American prize fighter, arrived in Little Falls this afternoon, and will stay at the Girvan House. He will appear in “Bottom of the Sea” at the Cronkhite Opera House tonight.
Long-time LFHS wrestling coach, Charlie Young, was inducted into the Central New York Wrestling Hall of Fame. In addition to leading the wrestling program for over twenty years, Young also coached football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and physical education during his tenure at Little Falls High School.
The Chronkhite Opera House opened with a concert.
The Little Falls fire companies were well known throughout the State for their expertise in fire drill competitions. They did not do as well in foot ball. The local Erina Chemicals team met the Herkimer Field Club at the county fairgrounds and came out on the short end of the contest. Little Falls lost 56 to 0.
Rame Rovazzi (the unofficial mayor of the south side) led the Italian Citizens Band to the home of Nelson R. Gilbert to publicly congratulate him on being elected mayor of Little Falls. Gilbert’s motto had been “Fairness to All.”
“More Than 99 Per Cent of Registered Voters visited the Polls Here” “Although it is still too early to know how this city stood in relation to the rest of the country, as far as the number of voters is concerned, it is evident that it stands very high and there is a strong possibility that Little Falls has produced the highest percentage on voters of any city in the country.”
Of interest are the two short telegrams exchanged by Eisenhower and Stevenson following the election:
Congratulations/ concession from Adlai Stevenson: “The people have made their choice and I congratulate you. That you may be the servant and guardian of peace and make the vale of trouble a door of hope is my earnest prayer.” .
Eisenhower’s reply: “I thank you for your courteous and generous message. Recognizing the intensity of the difficulties that lie ahead, it is clearly necessary that men and women of goodwill of both parties forget the political strife through which we have passed and devote themselves to the single purpose of a better future. This I believe they will do.”
John and Patrick Kearney have the contract to complete the St. Mary’s church steeple for $8,300. The original church building was topped at the height of the bell tower. The contracting masons built the handsome 185 foot steeple, and “crowned” the new spire with a massive gilded cross.
David H. Burrell laid the cornerstone of the present Y. M. C. A. building which was then called the Presbyterian Parish House.
A citizens’ mass meeting was held at the Hippodrome Theatre, sponsored by people not sympathetic with the strikers at the Phoenix Mill. The object of the meeting was: “to take action for the preservation of peace, business stability and the welfare in general to businessmen and wage earners alike, and the enforcement of laws regulating riotous and disorderly acts.”
Dr. Mary K. Irving returned to Little Falls and set up a medical practice at 29 North Ann Street, the same location as Dr. J. J. McEvilly. She was the first woman doctor to practice in the city’s history
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