News from 100 years ago
Editor's note: The news items appearing on this page first ran in the daily Brattleboro Reformer during its first month of publication, in March 1913.
Baseball league establishes rules
BELLOWS FALLS -- Drastic action toward putting baseball on a basis within the means of towns in the sections was taken at a meeting of the Twin State league directors in Bellows Falls today. Representatives from the Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Keene, and Northampton clubs discussed the problem at length and finally decided in favor of a four-team circuit like that of 1912. They also declared unanimously in favor of reducing the weekly salary limit to $200, this to include the salary of the manager whether or not he is a player. Furthermore, a bond of $500 will be required from each club to insure no violation of the compact.
In the course of the discussion it developed that all of the clubs ended last year in debt and that during a part at least of the season every club exceeded the salary limit. The Northampton representatives stated that they had hoped to see the league enlarged, but that after hearing all the details were willing to continue with four clubs under the conditions outlined in the foregoing paragraph.
Blood stains point to murder as suspect fights extradition
HINSDALE, N.H. -- So far as can be learned in Brattleboro or Hinsdale, John Wren, who is in Halifax (Nova Scotia) charged with the murder at Hinsdale of James Stewart Hamilton, is still fighting extradition. The last of the evidence for the respondent was heard last Friday. At the same session of the court the announcement of the experts was made that the stains on the clothing of Wren were human blood.
Under the laws of the province, unless Wren should suddenly announce his readiness to return without extradition papers, he will be held two weeks after the last hearing to enable him to present papers in habeas corpus proceedings. Should he do this, it is believed by the officials directly concerned in the case, it will merely postpone for a few days his ultimate trip to New Hampshire to answer to the crime of murder.
People in Hinsdale and Brattleboro who became acquainted with Hamilton found him a man of winning personality and the men associated with him in work held him in high regard. He was able to command men on the construction work and yet hold their respect and friendship. Mrs. Pike and Miss Adams, with whom he lived in Hinsdale, were nearly prostrated by his tragic end and to many others his death brought a sense of personal loss.
(Wren was accused of murdering and robbing Hamilton after he was fired by Hamilton as a laborer on the Hinsdale branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad.)
Committee favors widening Main Street
BRATTLEBORO -- The committee appointed at the last town meeting to consider the matter of widening and straightening Main Street and Flat Street will report at tomorrow's town meeting. Their recommendations have not yet been made public but it is understood that they favor widening Main Street by continuing the west side straight from the southeast corner of the Cox block to the south corner of Flat Street at is junction with Main, and that Flat Street be made 55 feet wide between curbs.
The committee, which consists of C.R. Crosby, J.H. Estey and S.A. Richmond, will recommend that these changes be made when the property owned by H.G. Barber is improved. It has been known for sometime that Mr. Barber intended to erect a business block on the site of the present Ray and Judge buildings, but the probabilities are that the new structure will not be started for another year at least.
It is understood that the report contains no recommendations as to what the town should pay Mr. Barber for the slice of his property that will be necessary to make these improvements. The committee believes that this is a matter that will best be settled through a court's commission.
New power lines mean big things for Putney
PUTNEY -- An enthusiastic meeting of citizens was held Friday night to discuss and make plans for a better Putney. John L. Howard presided and there were present from the Brattleboro board of trade President Major C. Houghton, Secretary Carl Hopkins and Ex-President Dennison Cowles, who addressed the meeting. They said Mr. Fitts assured them that a powerline would go through our town this season from the newly acquired property of the Connecticut River Power company at Bellows Falls, where electric current will join forces with that at Brattleboro. The keynote which they sounded and which is needed by the town is "cooperation." The outlook is good for the town if power can be obtained here that is so much needed. The business prospect is much brighter than for some time.
Mr. Hopkins gave some good advice to the effect that politics be kept out of the question. "Forget that you are a republican, progressive or democrat," he said, "and work for the interests of the town."
Reformer adds team of ‘Newsies'
BRATTLEBORO -- The Daily Reformer will be delivered in Brattleboro by boys, who will start from the office every afternoon as soon after 3 o'clock as possible. These boys are authorized to take subscriptions at the regular rates. The boys include Henry Lawton, Henry Harlow, Clinton Graves, Alvin Wright, Clarence Covey,
The boys will make every effort to deliver papers as quickly as possible although it will necessarily take them a little time to become familiar with their routes. Co-operation on the part of subscribers will be appreciated by the boys and the Reformer management.
Putney fire extinguished quickly
PUTNEY -- An alarm of fire was sounded about four o'clock yesterday afternoon, when the house of Fred B. Hyannum was to be on fire. Mr. Hannum's sons, about 10 and 12 years old, were at home alone when they discovered fire around the stove pipe in the kitchen. They rang in an alarm but the blaze was extinguished in a short time. The road in front of the house was crowded with men in a short time and others on the way were turned back when word came that the fire was out. The wind was blowing a gale at the time and if the fire had gotten under headway it probably could not have been stopped.
Busy Vernon Street may get sidewalks
BRATTLEBORO -- An effort will be made at tomorrow's town meeting to pass a resolution instructing the sidewalk commission to use the balance of the $20,000 appropriations not already laid out, for the construction of a concrete walk on Vernon street as soon as the change of grade of that thoroughfare has been made. Those who favor this plan point to the fact that Vernon Street is one of the busiest avenues of traffic in town and that immediate provision should be made for the convenience of the working men who traverse it daily. This includes most of the employees of the White River Chair company, the Crosby elevator and the Last lock factory as well as many railroad men.
Sheriffs call off raid; leave man to his beer
BRATTLEBORO -- The raiding squad, Sheriff C.E. Mann and Deputy Sheriffs C.I. Knapp and Frank L. Wellman, received a telephone tip late Saturday afternoon to the effect that a large consignment of contraband goods was being received at the Kellogg House on Elliot Street. The forces were marshalled promptly, the necessary papers were obtained to permit a legal search and the speed indicator was pushed over to the highest notch.
They found the consignment to have been received and to be the property of a man who uses beer in lieu of water to wash down his food and quench his thirst. He told the officers all about it and proved to them at regular stated intervals he received the same sort of consignment and had for some time. The officers were convinced that he was buying it for his own consumption and not for profitable distribution, and they left the beer and its owner in peace.
Of whooping cough and Woodrow Wilson
DUMMERSTON -- Lowell Patch, Jr who had been spending a few days in Rutland came home Saturday.
Rep John Miller Knight has gone to Washington to attend the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson.
Health Officer A.E. Robbins was called to West Dummerston Saturday to look after cases of whooping cough or mumps.
Mrs. Charles Rivier, Beatty Balstier and Fred Amiller are ill. Harold A. Reed has tonsillitis and George Hall is nearly helpless with rheumatism.
The women of Dummerston will furnish dinner tomorrow for those who attend town meeting. As there are 13 articles named in the warrant, and some of them are likely to provoke lively discussion, the forethought of the women will be appreciated. Nothing serves like a good dinner to fortify one for a defeat or victory.
Hammer mishap hobbles Charles Squires
WEST BRATTLEBORO -- Charles S. Squires has been housed several days as a result of having injured his left knee. He accidentally struck it with a hammer while at work about a week ago, but did not consider the injuries of a serious nature and kept about until the member became badly inflamed.
Man guilty of liquor charge
NEWFANE -- William S. Paddock of Somerset, who was arrested in his home Feb. 15 and found guilty of keeping liquor with intent to sell, a fine of $300 being imposed, appeared in municipal court Saturday afternoon, coming from Newfane jail, and asked that the state's attorney file an information against him. This being done, he paid the fine of $300 and costs of $10.14 and started for his home town. He had been languishing in jail while efforts were in progress to raise the money to release him.
'The Girls' celebrate Mrs. Estey's 94th birthday
HINSDALE, N.H. -- The group of four Hinsdale "girls" whose aggregate ages are 356 years enjoyed another happy celebration Wednesday afternoon and evening, Feb. 26, in the home of Mrs. P.F. Amidon, the occasion being Mrs. James F. Estey's 94th birthday anniversary. The reception hall and parlors were filled with cut flowers and potted plants. Many letters and numberless cards of greeting afforded entertainment for the guests. The "girls" include Mrs. Maria W. Barrows, 84, Mrs. Julia A. Fay, 84, and Mrs. Julia H. Jones, 94.
Goodnow buys store
GUILFORD -- Mr. and Mrs. George M Thomas have sold their store in Guilford Center to Elmer Goodnow of that town. Possession will be given April 1st and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas will return to their home at 23 Washington Street.
Farmers lose heifer
NEWFANE -- Alton and Bert Smith lost a heifer last week. It is thought its death was caused by eating something poisonous in the hay.
Kurn Hattin makes annual report
WESTMINSTER -- The annual meeting lf the New England Kurn Hattin Homes was held at their office in Bellows Falls Feb 11. Reports from the homes at Westminster and Saxtons River showed that 85 boys are now inmates. Fourteen boys were received during the year 1912 and 10 went out from the homes. March 1, Mr. and Mrs A.G. Fraser of Malden Mass., will take charge of the home.
Students enjoy sugar on snow
JAMAICA -- On account of the snow storm Tuesday the sleighride for the primary and junior classes of the Congregational Sunday School had to be given up. However, a treat was prepared for them at the church parlors, where they gathered at 2 o'clock. Mrs. Buchanan, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Sargent, Mrs. Prouty and others, including the teachers, helped give them a good time. The refreshments included sandwiches, cake and sugar on snow. The primary class had a special table ,where they were seated in the kindergarten chairs. Games and stunts in which women joined, much to the amusement of the little ones, made the time pass very quickly. There were over 30 present and if one could judge by appearance all had a good time.
Festival and dance enjoyed by all
JACKSONVILLE -- The annual festival and dance was held in the Glen House last Thursday evening. A large crowd was present as usual and 100 tickets were sold for the dance. Many articles were sold by auction and brought good prices. The women took in $226. Many out-of-town guests attended.
Cows killed and hurt when barn floor collapses
CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- Cliff Stoddard has met with a big loss. His barn floor gave way, letting his cows down to the basement. Two cows broke their chains in the fall and got out. Two others were still hanging and were found dead and two more were uninjured.
Large old maples cut down
DUMMERSTON -- John Niles, who bought the Kelly farm last November, is having cut some of the old maple trees, which he has sold to the Vermont Last Block company, and two teams from Brattleboro are drawing the logs to that town. George Parmenter, one of the teamsters, had a load worthy of mention on one of his later trips. One maple log measured 410 feet and another 282 feet. A load of 622 feet from Dummerston to Brattleboro is considered an extra load for two horses, especially on a truck and with bad roads.
Voters approve furnace for town hall
WESTMINSTER -- The town meeting which was held in this part of town Tuesday passed off quietly. The people here are pleased with the re-election of E.G. butterfield as selectman and Rollin Ranney as school director. The ladies society furnished dinner to over 100 thus adding between $20 and $25 to their treasury. Another vote that is appreciated by the people here was that to place a furnace in the town hall. This is much needed as the present manner of heating is inadequate.
Long-distance hikers pass through town
SAXTONS RIVER -- Last Tuesday, two young men passed through this place on a hike. They came from Portland, Maine, and had been on the road 11 days.
C.I. Gale and C.H. Twitchell are cutting ice in Cambridgeport to finish filling their ice orders. The ice is 22 inches thick and clear as crystal.
Harry Barnes attended the hearing of Clarence Gould in West Springfield, Mass., recently and recovered most of the things stolen from the Barnes home, except two watches. Clarence is put on six months probation.
Old roan horse drops dead
PUTNEY -- The old roan horse owned by Harrison Townshend dropped dead as he was driving up Sleeper Hill Tuesday. The horse was over 30 years old.
A first railroad ride a thrill for 55-year-old
TOWNSHEND -- An argument which took on the nature of a rather strenuous discussion some months ago was the basis for the first railroad ride and the first visit to Brattleboro that A.E. Jennison, 55, a long-time resident of West Townshend ever made. Yesterday was the momentous day, but there was nothing in the action or appearance of Mr. Jennison which would have led one to suspect that he had just experienced for the first time the joys (?) of a ride on the West River Railroad, or any other.
Bancroft property purchase approved
BELLOWS FALLS -- The article taking most interest was the one regarding the purchase of the Marcy C. Bancroft property on Westminster Street for an armory site. The matter was thoroughly discussed in all its phases, and the town voted unanimously to appropriate an amount for the purchase.
Two husbands surprised in Whitingham
WHITINGHAM -- Mrs. Elliot Davis and Mrs. Clarence Plumb, who live in the same house, gave their husbands a surprise party Monday night. They opened their rooms so there was a big social gathering with the two surprised men. Sugar on snow was served and a very enjoyable evening passed.
Newfane names tax collector and tree warden
NEWFANE -- In the town meeting Tuesday E.C Clarke was elected to collect all taxes to receive 1 per cent thereafter. The tax bill will be in his hands August 15. Those paying within 30 days have 4 percent discount; within 60 days 3 percent; within 90 days 2 percent. After that no discount to tax payers and no collection fee added.
A new town office was established -- tree warden. Mr. Heath was elected to this office.
The town meeting which was held this year in Willamsville passed off very harmoniously. The attendance was not large, less than 100 being present, including those from this part of the town. The school year was increased from 30 to 36 weeks. Arthur Howe whose term had expired, was re-elected as one of the school directors. Frank Willard was elected to serve as one of the selectmen.
New peddlers' fees established
BRATTLEBORO -- Some additions and changes have been made in the peddlers' law and now, in addition to such articles or goods as previously included in the list to peddle when a license was required, are peaches, oranges, bananas, groceries and wearing apparel of all kinds. The license fees are $15 for pack peddlers' license and $30 for a peddler who uses other means than shank's mare and his back to carry his goods.
Fire hits New England Hardwood
WILMINGTON -- Fire which started at 5 o'clock March 9 in the basement of the store building of the New England Hardwood company destroyed that building and contents, the office building in which was located the post office, a large boarding house and two dwellings, all property of the company. The fact that the wind was blowing away from the main mills alone prevented the destruction of that plant for the third time within five years. The loss is estimated at $25,000 and is partially covered by insurance. The origin of the fire has not been determined.
Trains collide in East Putney
PUTNEY -- Two northbound Boston & Maine freight trains came together at 2:30 o ‘clock this morning at East Putney and before the tracks had been cleared this afternoon 14 cars and their contents had been destroyed by fire. No one was seriously injured, the engine crew of the second train jumping just before they crashed into the caboose of the first train, which was standing still. The track was blocked completely until noon and for hours until about 9 o ‘clock this morning the telephone wires had gone down and were out of commission.
Butter truck crashes because platform is toast
BRATTLEBORO -- The express company had a wreck of its own yesterday, right here at the railroad station. It was not the fault of the company or any of its officials or employees. One of the trucks of the company, laden for the most part with boxes of butter, was being wheeled along the platform when a plank in the platform, long abused by overwork and exposure to the weather, gave up the ghost and the truck gave up its load of butter. A wrecking crew composed of some of the employees of the express company and bystanders, dragged out the truck and repaired the boxes of butter, which in some case were badly sprung.
Women contend they can vote on school matters
BROOKLINE -- Several women were present at the town meeting and contended their right to vote on school matters, even though their names did not appear on the check list, and they would be convinced that it was illegal for them to vote until one of the town fathers read the law to them in reference to the matter. However, three of the number were qualified and cast their ballots.
Audiences love 'The Teaser'
GRAFTON -- The play "The Teaser" was given Friday evening in the town hall for the benefit of the grange. Not as large an audience was usual was present on account of the weather and traveling. All took their parts well.
New dog license law goes into effect
GUILFORD -- The new dog license law will be likely to give an unpleasant surprise to many who forget to license before April 1. After that date licenses for male dogs will be $3 instead of $1 and licenses for females will be $8 instead of $6.
Brattleboro cut off by record flooding
BRATTLEBORO -- All records for high water in this locality were broken last night and this morning by the Connecticut River. Sweeping down from the north with irresistible force, the stream inundated a vast area and wrought damage of such extent that it cannot now be estimated. Brattleboro has been an isolated community today so far as railroad service is concerned. Communication to the southward ceased last evening and attempt to operate a train northward this morning failed. Train service on all roads is at a standstill. On the West River branch there is a serious washout on the Bradley Meadow and many more farther up the line.
Reports from the power station at Vernon told of more than 12 feet of water flowing over the crest of the dam at 8 this morning, when the flood seemed to have reached its highest point.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.