Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Obituaries (January 17)

Jennie Jones
Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, NY, July 31, 1868
In New Lisbon, July 19, of diphtheria, little Jennie [Jones], only child of James and Abagail Jones, aged 5 years.  Beautiful in person, confiding and affectionate in disposition, she seemed too good and pure for earth. She lingered here long enough to become the light of the household, and gather to herself the affections of many friends and kindred. The childless parents sadly mourn their loss, "But not as those without hope."  "For of such is the kingdom of heaven."   A.G.
Annis Shute
Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, NY, January 30, 1863
Mrs. Annis Shute, wife of A. Shute, Esq. of Milford [Otsego Co., NY], departed this life Dec. 7th, 1862, after a short but severe illness, aged 73 years.  For 40 years a member of the Church of Christ, she steadfastly maintained her Christian integrity before the church and the world. The blow falls as heavily as unexpectedly upon a confiding companion and endeared children, but they have her whole life to cheer them in their bereavement, as it points to her unswerving confidence and faith in Christ. She loved and studied her Bible. The spiritual hymns of Zion were a source of comfort and religious instruction to her and afford an additional view of her interior life, telling the heart work that under God was maturing within.  Being an old resident of the town, and one of the pioneer members of the church, a deep feeling manifested itself in her decease, and a multitude attended her remains to their burial. Surely, the memory of the righteous as a savor of good.
Dr. Aborn Thornton Bigelow
Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, NY, July 31, 1868
In compliance with a resolution of the last meeting of this Society, I proposed to present a very brief sketch of the life and character of the late Aborn Thornton Bigelow.  To those advanced in life the departure of one with whom they have been long associated is peculiarly mournful.  It is Surrendering one more of the ties that bind us to the things of earth, already rendered few by the relentless march of Time. Although it may be painful, it also may be profitable to us who still remain.  By admonishing us that we too must soon depart, and live only in the memories of a few surviving friends.
Toward the close of the last century, Dr. Uriah Bigelow removed from Massachusetts and located in the town of Worcester, in the valley of Schenevus while that section of the country was comparatively a wilderness.  He was a practitioner of the Old School, a man of sound judgment, inflexible integrity and great perseverance.  He cleared up a farm, and raised a large family, who have done honor to his memory. The oldest of three sons, the late Uriah G. Bigelow, entered the Profession and succeeded his father in practice, when age and infirmity compelled him to relinquish it.  the second son was a farmer, and lived and died on the old homestead. The third son, the subject of this sketch, was born in 1802.  He labored on the farm during his minority, with no advantages of education beyond what the dominion schools of that day afforded. After he attained his majority he entered the office of his brother as a student of medicine, attended a course of lectures at Pittsfield, and, if I am rightly informed, was licensed by the State Censors in 1827.  The same year he commenced practice in the town of Colesville, in Broome county.  In 1828 he married a Miss Pennfield, of Harpersfield.  In 1839 on the death of his brother, Dr. U.G. Bigelow, he returned to his native place and resumed practice as the successor of his father and brother.  Not long after this he buried his wife, who left two daughters.  in 1850 he married a Miss Huntington, of Middlefield Centre. The fruit of this marriage was two daughters and one son, who still survive.
Some ten years since, he gave up practice, removed to Middlefield Centre, and engaged in mercantile business; but not being pleased with the change, after two or three years trial, he returned to Worcester and resumed the practice of his profession, which he continued until about a year before his death, when, his hearing having become considerably impaired, infirmities incident to his time of life, induced him to relinquish practice altogether.  In 1863 he spent several months in the army in the employ of the Christian commission.   After retiring from the active duties of the Profession he purchased some mill property formerly owned by his father.  While making some repairs and improvements on this property, he took a severe cold which resulted in Pneumonia, which for the first week promised a favorable termination, when symptoms of Meningitis supervened, and proved fatal February 8th, 1867.
Few men have more fully realized the confidence and respect of the community in which they resided than the subject of this sketch.  In all the rivalries of business--through the excitement of political contests--he commanded the respect of those with whom he found himself obliged to differ.  He was emphatically a man of peace, a wise and prudent councilor; never compromising the right for the cause of expediency; with a mind solid rather than brilliant; capable, but never seeking office; a pillar in the church of which he was long an official member; kind and sympathizing toward the afflicted; generous and liberal as far as his means would allow in every good work.  He has passed away and left a void in his household, in the church and in society which is felt by all and not easily filled.
Death Notices
Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, NY, July 31, 1868
In Otsego [Otsego Co., NY], on the 23d instant, Daphne [Jarvis], relict of Wm. C. Jarvis, deceased, in the 75th year of her age.
Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, NY January 30, 1863
In this village [Cooperstown, Otsego Co., NY], on the 26th instant, Elyhu Phinney, aged 77 years, 6 months and 26 days.  Funeral at 4 P.M. Thursday, from his late residence.
In Byron, Genesee County, N.Y., Jan. 18, Caroline [Farrington], wife of Philetus Farrington, and daughter of Levi Grey, of Springfield, Otsego county, aged 43 yrs.  She has gone home to rest.
In Canajoharie [Montgomery Co., NY], of scarlet fever, Jan. 10, Kittie May [Gilchrist], daughter of Andrew Gilchrist, aged 4 years 6 months and 10 days.
At Westville [Franklin Co., NY], Jan. 20, Mrs. Mercy M. [Newton], wife of E.A. Newton, in the 52d year of her age.  For twenty years she has suffered from inflammatory rheumatism, until for eight years last, she has not been able to walk or help herself, but she suffered with Christian resignation.  The family, the church, and the community feel her loss very keenly.
In Otsego [Otsego Co., NY], Jan. 25th, of diphtheria, Mary Jane [Freeman], only daughter of Oliver and Mary Jane Freeman, aged 7 years and 3 months.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Obituaries (January 15)

John Barber
The Pilot, Cazenovia, NY, August 10, 1808
Mr. John Barber, the proprietor of this paper, is no more!--He expired on Sunday night last, after a tedious and painful illness of eighteen months, aged 50 years--and on Tuesday his remains were interred in the cemetery of the Episcopal Church, attended by the Mechanic's Society, of which he was a member, and a numerous concourse of relatives, friends and fellow citizens.
"When the just man died, let the people mourn."
Dr. Amasa Harrington
The Freeman's Journal, Cooperstown, NY, May 29, 1820
Died at Laurens [Otsego Co., NY], on the 16th April, of a lingering illness, which he bore with Christian resignation, Dr. Amasa Harrington, aged 39 years.  Dr. Harrington was a physician of no ordinary talents, who devoted his time with care and assiduity to alleviate the pains and sufferings of his fellow creatures.  As such, his loss will be long felt and remembered by his friends and acquaintances.  He has left a wife and three children to deplore the loss of a kind husband and an affectionate parent. 
William B. Holmes
Madison County Whig, September 24, 1845
Death of Wm. B. Holmes, Esq.--It has at length become our melancholy duty to announces the death of our esteemed fellow citizen, W.B. Holmes, Esq. He died at Utica [Oneida Co., NY], yesterday afternoon, about ten minutes after the arrival of the cars from the east, on which he came; being on his way from New York to the residence of his father-in-law, Col Hearsey, of Cazenovia.  He had for some time been laboring under the consumption, and spent the past winter in Georgia in the hope of restoring his health.  He returned somewhat improved, but a heavy affliction awaited him in the death of his wife, who died about two months after his return.  This severe shock proved too much for him, in his precarious health, and possessing, as he did, a keen unsleeping temperament, actively alive to the sensibilities of our nature, he staggered under it, but he was filled with a strong desire to live for his two children, now orphans, and soon after the death of his wife went down to N.Y. and there placed himself under the care of an eminent physician, as a last hope. This, however, was blighted and being convinced that his disease was beyond the reach of human aid, he was anxiously returning to die among his relatives, when the approach of death arrested his progress at Utica, and he expired a few minutes after he had been conveyed to the house of a friend.  He age was about 31 years.  Herkimer Co. Dem., Sept. 18.

Augustus Porter
Madison County Whig, June 27, 1847
Death of Augustus Porter--By reference to our obituary head, it will be seen that the venerable Augustus Porter expired yesterday.  Judge Porter is nearly the last of that intrepid  band of settlers who entered Western New York while a wilderness, 60 years ago, and who live to see it "blossom like a rose."  With a strong and well stored mind, and indomitable energy and enterprise, he encountered and conquered the trials of pioneer life.  His efficiency and incorruptible integrity, won for him the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens, by whom he was called to various posts of trust and honor.  After a faithful discharge of the duties of life, he is gathered to his father like a shock of corn fully ripe. The pillars of the social fabric fall when such men are removed.

Erastus F. Loomis
Madison County Whig, August 15, 1849
In this town [Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY], on the 23 of July, Erastus F. Loomis, son of Mr. John Loomis, aged 24 years.

When in health, Mr. Loomis engaged to himself many friends by the estimable qualities of his character, and when prostrated by disease, he was the object of much sympathy and friendly attention, amidst the extraordinary sufferings he was called to endure.  Rejoicing in the hope that he was prepared by divine grace to enter the heavenly rest, with singular deliberation he made the arrangements he wished to be observed at his funeral.  Selecting the preacher, the text, the hymns to be sung and some of the young men he loved to bear his body to the grave.  His love for his youthful associates was never more fitly or strongly expressed than in his dying message to them, viz.  "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth"
Death Notices
The Freeman's Journal, May 29, 1820
In Otsego [Otsego Co., NY], on Wednesday last, Mrs. Sophia Williams, wife of Mr. John Williams, in the 24th year of her age. 
At Finsbury (N.J.) Frederick Pickle, aged 100 years.  When he was 94, he cut with a cradle 500 sheaves of rye in a day. at 97 he went into the woods and split 100 chestnut rails in less than a day.
Madison County Whig, September 24, 1845
At DeRuyter [Madison Co., NY], on the 18th inst., of consumption, Miss Susan W. [Dodge], youngest daughter of the Rev. John R. Dodge, aged 19 years.

Madison County Whig, August 15, 1849

In Elmira [Chemung Co., NY], on the 8th instant, Mrs. Selina Gridley, relict of Abel Gridley, formerly of this place [Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY], aged 62 years. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Obituaries (January 14)

General Erastus Root
Madison County Whig, December 30, 1846
The New York Express of Friday contains the following obituary notice of the late Erastus Root, who died in New York on the 23d inst.

Under the obituary head we notice the death of Erastus Root, at the advanced age of 74 years.  He reached this city [NYC] on his way to Washington, from his home in Delhi [Delaware Co., NY], On Monday last, and was suddenly seized with an inflammation of the kidneys, which terminated his earthly career, at the house of a friend.  Gen. Root has filled a wide space in the political affairs of this State; for nearly half a century he has been a prominent politician.  He was a native of Hebron in Connecticut; was educated at Dartmouth College, and for some years was a school teacher.  He studied law, and settled in Delaware, then a portion of Otsego County.  In 1798, he appeared in the Legislature of this State [NY], as a Representative, and from that period until within a short time, he has been in public life--always a representative of the people!  He was in Congress sixteen years, and in the Legislature of this State, as Senator and Representative, for more than twenty years.  He was Lieut. Governor when Joseph Yates was Governor, and has held many other important statins.  Gen. Root was a strong minded man, a ready and able debater.  There is hardly, a man that can be named who was more popular at home than Gen. Root.  He was elected to every prominent station in the gift of his friends, and almost always by very large majorities.  He was for many years the leader of the Loco Fuco party, in this State.  He was the champion of their principles. When, however, Gen. Jackson became a candidate for the Presidency, Gen. Root left his party, and asserted that they had deserted their principles, and he became as devoted a Whig as he had been a Loco Foco, and was returned to the Senate of this State. At one period of his life he became irregular in his habits; but his strength of mind and purpose was such, that he became perfectly correct, and for a long period had been exemplary.  He was a fierce and ardent politician; but his animosities were political, not personal.  Some of his warmest friends were his political opponents.  He was most kind and perfectly free from any malignant feeling.
Caroline M. Mead
Madison County Whig, August 4, 1847
In Nelson [Madison Co., NY], on Friday, July 30th, 1847, Caroline M., only daughter of Oncsimus Mead, M.D., in the 31st year of her age.  Once more has relentless death entered the dwelling of our friends, and taken from their circle one dearly beloved.  Once more have they been called upon with little warning to render up another child in whom their affections were deeply centered--Once more has a sympathizing multitude assembled at the house of mourning, and from thence followed to the grave the remains of one, who but a few weeks since, bid fair to live and long continue to cheer the declining years of her aged parents.  But she is gone, leaving her many friends assured that it is well with her.  She had in early life, and while in health, wisely chosen the good part, which could not, even in death, be taken away.  Her funeral was attended on Sunday afternoon, and an appropriate discourse delivered by Rev. E.C. Pritcheit, from Job 1:21  "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
Rev. E.S. Barrows
Madison County Whig, August 4, 1947
In Utica [Oneida Co., NY], on Wednesday, July 28, Rev. E.S. Barrows, for many years Pastor of the Presbyterian church in this village.  We copy the following obituary from the Utica Gazette:
The above melancholy announcement will not be entirely unexpected by those of our citizens who had the pleasure of an acquaintance with the deceased.  An illness of several weeks, attended with continued unfavorable indications, gave no room to hope for a favorable issue.  Anticipation has become reality, and death has followed in the track of disease.  There are few men in any community who could boast of a larger circle of real friends, than the departed.  Possessing in an eminent degree those qualities which find their appropriate manifestation in the promotion of the happiness of those around him, his enjoyment was found in advancing the well being of others, and in endeavors to mitigate the ills of life.  As a man he possessed the affectionate regard of many, and commanded the respect of all.  As a herald of the everlasting gospel, his daily life was made up of devotion and love.  Fully alive to the exalted station which the providence of God had called him to fill, he sought to be an approved laborer in the Master's vineyard. As a preacher he addressed the understanding rather than the imagination.  His aim was to induce his bearers to act from principle, rather than impulse, and to make religion the great object of life, instead of the fleeting impression of the hour.  And although ill health frequently compelled him to lay aside the active and public duties of his profession, his daily walk and conversation were living illustrations of the doctrines he proclaimed.  In his piety and judgement his brethren in the ministry were ever wont to confide, conscious that one of such purity of life must be in close and intimate communion with his God. The last hours of Mr. Barrows were peaceful.  There was no fear, no doubt, no conflict. The voice which called him away, broke in accents of kindness on his ear; and he gladly heard the summons which invited him to the skies. As his life had been faithful, so was his death glorious and triumphant.  Like Goldsmith's faithful pastor, be "Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way."

Death Notices
Madison County Whig, August 4, 1847

At the Utica Asylum [Oneida Co., NY] suddenly, of disease of the brain, Mr. William Earl Faulkner, in the 24th year of his age. About four months since the deceased began to show signs of insanity, and for the last two months has been an inmate of the Asylum.  He has left a wife and numerous friends to mourn his sudden and unexpected death.

In this village [Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY], on the 2d instant, Peries Bradford, aged 83 years.

In Madison []Madison Co., NY], on the 25th ult., Jacob Lamb, aged 71 years.

In Pitcher, Chenango county, on the 22d ult., David Dearborn, formerly of this place [Cazenovia, NY], in the 82d year of his age.

Madison County Whig, June 27, 1849

June 14th, at the residence of her brother, in Louisville, Ky., of Cholera, after an illness of 23 hours, Jane A. Servick, aged 30 years.

In this town [Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY], at the residence of his son, Lewis Raynor, Mr. James Raynor, at the advanced age of 90.

Madison County Whig, October 16, 1850

In this town [Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY], after a long protracted illness of Consumption which she bore with Christian fortitude in full assurance of a blessed immortality beyond the grave, Miss Emma [Fay], Daughter of Mr. Asa and Sarah Fay, aged 28 years.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ghost(?) Mystery at Sherburne, NY - 1884 - Part 3

Still Unraveled
Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, December 31, 1884

The late sensation brought about by the story related by the Boos family in regard to the mysterious operations which have been going on at their home, has by no means abated.  The affair has created a great deal of talk wherever it became known, and doubtless will continue to excite comment so long as it remains shrouded in mystery.  People seek for an explanation, but as yet none have been able to throw any light as to the cause which has produced all of these singular and unnatural disturbances heretofore mentioned.  The house has been visited by many people, who went there for the purpose of investigating the matter, and yet none of them have thus far been able to ferret out the same. They give their opinion, but what does that amount to, so long as they do not clearly know whether the disturber is a man or devil.  Boos informed the Telegraph representative that the strange being, whatever it is, is there yet, and that it is getting more bold in its operations. The boy Charlie was at the home of a neighbor for a few days, but his absence seemed to make no particular difference with the business of the intruder, for it kept right on with its work just the same as though the whole family were at home.  Boos has a pair of tongs which he had made for the purpose of catching the animal, but says he will have to have them altered over to make them of service to him. Two gentlemen from New Berlin visited the house a few days ago.  Both were armed with revolvers and were men of grit and courage. Before going to the house they were advised by Mr. Boos to carry their robe and blankets to the house, but they considered them safe where they were and left them in the cutter in the barn.  When they returned to the barn for their horse, the robe and blanket were missing, and afterwards found by them in the corn house. The family were all in the house during the time the gentlemen stayed with the exception of the boy, who was absent from home.  Mrs. Boos the other day discovered her jelly had been meddled with and the glass jars in which she kept it had been opened and a portion of the jelly gone.  A few days since two good looking young men from Norwich who have been canvassing Sherburne for a new kind of hanging lamp, heard of the haunted house and concluded to wend their way there and stay overnight.  They asked Boos if he would keep them, and after he had looked them over sufficiently and found them perfectly harmless and ghost proof, invited them in and offered them the best bed in the house. The boys thought they had best sleep on the floor in case the animal came near them, as then they might have a better chance to escape in safety.  They made known their wish to sleep on the floor and a place was prepared for them.  Toward midnight they felt something crawling up between them which cause both to tremble.  The light was burning dimly at the time, and they could discern an object in bed with them.  Their hair began to straighten and pull on their scalps. To run would be useless, and they made up their minds to stand their ground, life or death.  One of them, the most courageous one, doubled up his fist and sent a blow at the object which fairly made it yell, its voice was recognized as that of a cat. the boys did not sleep anymore in that house for the remainder of the night.  Some people seem to think that Peck, a Bad Boy, is about the premises; others believe it is a ghost, and still there are some who believe older heads have a finger in the matter.
Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, January 17, 1885
The strange being which recently made things lively at the residence of Fred Boos near Sherburne, has been rather quiet for some time.  The mystery as to what it was, or is, still remains unsolved.

Obituaries (January 13)

Truman Higley
Afton Enterprise, March 15, 1900
After an illness of five months from heart affection, Truman Higley died this morning at the Park Hotel, his residence for the past five years.  Truman Higley was born in Canton, Conn., in 1837 where he resided until 1856 when in company with his brother, Walter Higley, he moved to Bainbridge [Chenango Co., NY].  The funeral services will be held at his late residence, the Park Hotel Friday afternoon at 1:30.  Services private for family and immediate friends.
Dora (Eaton) Atherton
Afton Enterprise, March 15, 1900
Dora Atherton, wife of William Atherton, and daughter of the late Dr. R.B. Eaton, died at her home at Indianapolis, Ind., on February 18, 1900, and her body was brought to Argos, Tuesday, and taken to the home of her mother, Mary J. Eaton, where the funeral was held on Thursday at 1 o'clock, p.m.  After the funeral services the body was quietly laid away in Maple Grove Cemetery near Argos. The deceased, after a journey of only forty years, four months and five days, closed her eyes on the scenes of earth to enter the realm of immortality, to meet the friends who like her had passed the ordeal of translation from the cares and ills of the mortal to enter the new life, with its radiant and never ending joys.  She had been a sufferer from disease for some time prior to her demise, but was conscious of the approaching end, calmly and serenely contemplating it, not the shadow of a fear disturbing the equanimity of her mind.  Her long suffering was borne bravely, accepting the infliction, knowing that when life's fitful fever should release her she would be made whole and find a compensation for whatever of ill she suffered in the mortal.  Her last days were made pleasant by the presence of her mother and sister who, together with a kind husband, loving son and step-son, patiently administered to her earthly wants.  No more can the father and children say home, when they turn their thoughts to where they have spent so many happy hours.  All is gone when wife and mother is gone.  Her home is in the better land; but one of these days you will cross the rainbow bridge and be welcomed there--Plymouth, Ind., Democrat
Emma H. (Williams) Russell
Afton Enterprise, February 16, 1905
Early Tuesday morning, Feb. 7, 1905, Mrs. Emma H. Russell entered into the joys of eternal life, who had been a patient sufferer for many years and since November 12, 1904 confined to her bed, lingering in extreme weakness, tenderly cared for by her husband and children in the home. At the last, suddenly, without a moment's warning, her pure soul took its flight to join the throng of redeemed ones in heaven.  Always tenderly solicitous for the welfare of others, loving patient sympathetic, keenly appreciative of even the slightest act performed for her comfort, the memory of her beautiful, self-sacrificing life will be a constant benediction to all who knew and loved her. Early in life she gave her heart to god and united with the M.E. church and was a truly devoted follower of the Saviour, "who came not, to be ministered unto, but to minister."  She lived in the immediate presence of God, taking everything to Him in  prayer. To one who thus knew God, death held no terrors.  It was only going home to her Father's house of many mansions, where Jesus had prepared a place for her, with a sure confidence that she would find a welcome there.
"Oh how sweet it will be in that beautiful land,
So free from all sorrow and pain:
With songs on our lips and with harps in our hands.
To meet one another again.
She was the daughter of Wm. O. and Harriet Williams, born March 18, 1841, and married to Lewis L. Russell, March 27, 1861.  Besides her husband she leaves a sorely bereaved family of children, Mrs. Gertrude l. Pearce, of Gilbertsville, Rev. O.G. Russell, of Herrick Center, Pa., George W. Russell, of Sidney, Minnie A., Mary E., Ernest R. and Edgar J., at home.  Also a large circle of near relatives and friends, who with the immediate family deeply mourn their loss. The funeral service was held at the home at 11 o'clock, Feb. 10, 1905.  Her pastor, Rev. F.A. Matteson, spoke comforting  and appropriate words from the text which she had chosen, "We look for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God," Heb, 11:10.  Her four sons tenderly bore the beloved form to its last resting palce.  The burial was in Glenwood cemetery [Afton, Chenango Co., NY].

Mrs. George Hacker
Afton Enterprise, March 23, 1905
Mrs. George Hacker, aged 52 years, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Philip Hoehm, at Coeymans [Albany Co., NY], Friday from cancer.   Funeral services were held in the Reformed church, Rev. Layman officiating.  The interment was made in the cemetery at that place. She leaves to mourn her loss, four daughters, Mrs. J. Swinnerton of New York; Mrs. Wm. Seaburgh and Mrs. Philip Boehm of Coeymans and Miss Elizabeth Hacker of Newburg; and three sons, Charles Hacker of Fours Bush and Walter and Eugene Hacker of Coeymans, who have the sympathy of the entire community.

Death notices
Chenango Union, November 11, 1875

BUNNEL:  In Oxford [Chenango Co., NY], Oct. 30, 1975, Mr. Charles F. Bunnel, aged 56 years.

WALL:  In Smithville [Chenango Co., NY], Sept. 21, 1875, Mr. Daniel Wall, aged 77y.

GRAVES:  In Bainbridge [Chenango Co., NY], Mrs. Gaylord S. Graves, aged 41 years.

BUTTON:  In Smyrna [Chenango Co., NY], Nov. 3, 1875, Mrs. Sarah J. Button, aged 44 years.

PADDLEFORD:  In Greene [Chenango Co., NY] (Page Brook) Oct. 8, 1875, Eudora [Paddleford], only child of Henry and Mary E. Paddleford, aged 7 years 9 months and 13 days.

ORTON:  In Lisle [Broome Co., NY] Oct. 31, Dr. Wm. J. Orton, aged 30 years, formerly of Greene.

BIDWELL:  In Solon [Cortland Co., NY], Oct. 24, 1875,  Miss Susanna Bidwell, aged 74 years of New Berlin [Chenango Co., NY]

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ghost(?) Mystery in Sherburne, NY - 1884 - Part 1

Is it a Ghost?
Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, December 17, 1884

On Skinner hill, four and a half miles south east of Sherburne village, resides the family of Fred Boos, who are Germans and came to America eighteen years ago.  Mr. and Mrs. B. were married at Earlville, November 12, 1871.  They have one child, a boy twelve years of age. The house stands in the lot some fifteen rods from the road. Twelve years ago Boos purchased the farm of Gilbert Manwarring and has occupied it ever since.  The family have the reputation of being peaceable, honest, truthful and hard working people. They are not superstitious and are not given to believing in ghosts or hobgoblins.  The first thing which happened that attracted the attention of the occupants was about three months ago.  Eggs were missing at the barn Those gathered were brought into the house, put in a basket and hung on a hook in the wall.  These also gradually and mysteriously disappeared.  Soon after, singular operations began in the cellar. Barrels filled with ashes were overturned, potatoes dumped upon the cellar bottom, and cabbages, which had been put into box and securely nailed, were strewed around. Believing the cellar was infested with rats they made an image of straw, dressed it in male attire and stood it up in the middle of the cellar.  A few feet from it was set a steel trap awaiting its victim. Five minutes after, when one of the family repaired to the cellar, the dummy was found astride a milk rack with the trap hanging to its pantaloons.  Next observed was the fruit jars, which had been on a high shelf, now lying on the ground, but none were broken. To secure the pork, a heavy stone, which required the strength of both Mr and Mrs. Boos, was put on the top of the barrel and a strong prop put from it to the joist above.  On entering the cellar next morning the pork was scattered promiscuously over the cellar bottom.  These disturbances meanwhile were going elsewhere on the premises. At the barn the harnesses were scattered about upon the floor, blankets and other things displaced, but no injury done to them. Things continued to go from, bad to worse, and destruction to personal effects seemed inevitable. To shut the disturber out of the cellar, every hole in the wall was stopped up, but that did not serve the purpose. This mysterious creature, whatever it was, whether man, animal, spirit or devil, seemed invincible to every human precaution which was made to stop his nefarious work.  He seemed at times everywhere present, but no where could he be seen.  Like Santa Claus, occasionally he would enter the house from the chimney.  All the unused holes in the chimney were stopped and one night he was heard by the family coming down the chimney and on down the pipe till he reached the stove, then making his exit through the door, when a fire was in the stove.  The intruder would go to the boy's bed while he was asleep and drag the bedclothes from him and leave them laying near or on the stove.  Sometimes they have found cold pancakes between the ticks.  Not only articles but money has been stolen and some of it was afterward found in the straw tick and under the carpet.  Five dollars is still missing. A week ago, between the hours of eight and nine PM Mrs. Boos heard a peculiar noise which came from in the bed, that sent a terrible thrill over her. These noises have continued at times ever since, proving a great annoyance to the family. The creature seems more attached to the boy than any of the rest of the household, and has often been felt by him in his bed.  Since these plagues have commenced, two feather and four straw ticks have been cut and torn so badly as to render them worthless.  Pillows, as well as other articles about the house have been destroyed.
Friday night Mr. Boos felt something in the straw tick of his bed, and avers he had hold of it.  He says it resembles some kind of an animal.  He fought it for an hour and a half, but failed to secure it. This affair has been kept secret by the family all this time, except  a few friends and neighbors were told of it. They dreaded to make it public, for they thought people would not believe the story.
On Saturday Mr. and Mrs. boos, leaving the boy at home, went to Sherburne, and there they related the story as we have given it to the readers.  The story spread rapidly, and in a short time was in everybody's mouth.  That night about forty persons assembled at the house, among them your correspondent.  We were taken into every room, and we must confess nearly everything in the house was turned upside down.  Mrs. Boos claims that the house was in order when they left it in the morning, and it was as they found it on their return. The boy says it was all done while he was doing the chores.  Had Barnum's cage of monkeys been let loose, things in the house could not have presented a more confused aspect.  In fact almost every piece of furniture in every room of the house was turned topsy turvy. A curtain was torn, pie stewed upon the carpet, large places in the walls on the sides and overhead were made, holes were made in the floor, castor upset, clock taken from the shelf and set down on the floor, and the lounge was found by them with one end upon the kitchen stove. Examination showed the holes to have been made with some kind of dull instrument.  A chisel was found in the pantry that corresponded with notches in the holes. The family claims that it is not an unusual thing to find knives and other articles near or in these holes, which were dragged there by this intruder. The other day Mr. R's revolver and a pair of tongs were found in these places.
Boos says it is an animal of some kind with eyes like a ball of fire and which moves like a streak of lightning. Reliable neighbors claim to have seen evidences confirming what we have written.
What we have written is vouched for by the family, who appear to want to relate nothing but the truth.  Many stories are afloat regarding the matter, and it is hoped through investigation that something may develop to explain the cause of all this uncalled for rumpus and destruction of household effects.  On Sunday G.S. Tanner and Charles James were at the house all day and night, to learn the cause and satisfy themselves, but as yet no developments have been made.    G.S.T.

Obituary (January 10)

David Graves
Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, December 17, 1884
Mr. David Graves, aged 71 years, who resided on Silver Street [Norwich, Chenango Co., NY], went to his barn, as was is custom, Friday evening to take care of his horse. While so engaged he was taken suddenly ill, and repaired to the house.  He continued to grow worse, and about 11 o'clock Dr. Purdy was called to attend him.  He found that Mr. Graves was suffering from heart disease and that there was no help for him.  In about an hour after the doctor's arrival he breathed his last.  Mr. Graves has been in poor health for about a year.  His trouble was organic disease of the heart.  He leaves a wife and one son, Charles, who resides at North Walton.  The funeral was attended on Sunday from the late residence of the deceased.
Hickson Jones
Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, January 17, 1885
Deacon Hickson Jones died at his home in Coventry [Chenango Co., NY] last Friday.  At the time of his death he was in the 97th year of his age.  He was one of the original settlers in Chenango County.  He was one of the constituent members of the Coventry and Greene Baptist Church, which was founded in the year 1818.  During his life he has always been a sincere Christian gentleman and beloved by all.  He has been well and tenderly cared for through the declining years of his life by his son and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. F.W. Jones, he being the only immediate member of the family who survives.  He was the oldest man in Coventry, and doubtless in Chenango County.
James H. Bliss
Chenango Semki-Weekly Telegraph, January 17, 1885
James H. Bliss, a well-to-do farmer of Smithville [Chenango Co., NY], aged about 60, was killed by the cars at Olean Monday night, while on his way to visit his sister in Pennsylvania, whom he had not seen in thirty-five years.  It seems that two trains pulled into the deport at Olean about the same time and it is presumed that after getting off one train he was struck by the other coming from the opposite direction.  The accident was discovered immediately after both trains had pulled out, when the body was found with the head and upper portion of the trunk lying between the rails on the main track, cut squarely in two across, the abdomen.  A short time before he had been inquiring the best way to reach Driftwood and Penfield, Pa.  His identity was made known by a memorandum in his valise.  He leaves a wife and several children.
Death Notices
Chenango Telegraph, October 28, 1863
AGARD:  In Smithville Flats [Chenango Co., NY], October 1, 1863, of pneumonia, Erastus Agard, Esq., aged 76 years, 7 months and 19 days.
AGARD:  At Union Mills, Erie Co., Penn. Sept. 15, 1863, Lucy [Agard], wife of Dr. J.C. Agard, son of Erastus Agard Esq, of Smithville Flats.
BROWNING:  In Pharsalia [Chenango Co., NY],Oct. 15, 1863, of consumption, Mrs. Harriet Browning, wife of Halsey Browning, aged 34 years.
Chenango Telegraph, November 4, 1863
WELLS:  In Pharsalia [Chenango Co., NY], Oct. 30, 1863, Mary L.[Wells], wife of M.A. Wells, aged 90(?) years.
RATHBONE:  In McDonough [Chenango Co., ,NY], Oct. 27, 1863, Flora [Rathbone], youngest daughter of Lewis A. and Lois Rathbone, aged 9 years.
HAYES:  In Greene [Chenango Co., NY], Oct. 28, 1863, Helen [Hayes], wife of Lorenzo Hayes, aged 30 years and 14 months.
JACOBS:  At Polly Island S.C., Oct. 1, 1863, Lieut. --- Jacobs, son of Edwin T. Jacobs, formerly of Oxford [Chenango Co., NY]
PAGE:  In Greene [Chenango Co., NY], Oct. 16, 1863, of consumption, Almira C. [Page], daughter of Solomon and Eliza Page, aged  28 years, 11 months and 24 days.
STEWART:  In Afton [Chenango Co., NY], Oct. 14, Wm. Stewart, aged 66 years.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ghost(?) Mystery, Sherburne, NY - 1884 - Part 2

No Clue to the Mystery
Chenango Semi-Weekly Telegraph, December 20, 1884

The curiosity in regard to the mysterious power which continues to disturb the tranquility of the Boos family, has by no means abated, as the following from our correspondent will show:
"On Sunday last the home of Fred Boos on Skinner Hill, near Sherburne [Chenango Co., NY], was visited by a great many people, a number of whom were admitted, while others were denied the pleasure of viewing the works of his ghostship.  Nothing happened worthy of note during the day, except the fact that on going to the Boos barn your correspondent found the robe and whip, which he had left in his buggy on repairing to the house, on the floor and the blanket disturbed. About nine o'clock Sunday night, the family retired and quiet reigned supreme.  The first part of the night was passed by your correspondent in reading and preparing his report for The Telegraph.  By the time his task was finished, the solemn hour of midnight was upon him.  He took his position in front of the stove, his feet resting upon the hearth, and engaged in conversation with his associate, Mr. C.W. Janes, who had consented to share the perils of the night him.  Being deeply engaged in discussion, little things were allowed to escape his notice, when suddenly a loud noise was heard which sounded like a heavy fall, and which shook the entire house, as by an earthquake, and caused the dishes to dance on the pantry shelves.  Mrs. Boos, awakened from her slumbers by the noise screamed loudly.  Mr. Boos jumped from his couch, the son rolled over on the lounge, the cats ran under the bed for protection, and your correspondent found himself prostrate upon the floor, with the chair which he had occupied but a moment before, over turned beside him and partially demolished.  It must be remembered that the house was unoccupied save by those before mentioned.  Picking himself up the best he could after the shock, he secured another chair and endeavored to make himself comfortable while awaiting further development.  Toward daylight the family averred that the mysterious animal, or whatever it was, was about the house, and that we would soon have it caught, caged and on exhibition.  Faster said than done.  The cellar door, which had bene securely fastened, was now partly opened, and Mr. Boos informed the watchers that he could see a pair of eyes peering at us through the crack in the door.  Everyone looked, but nothing was discernable through the darkness.  The wife who had been reclining on the bed out in the sitting room, became frightened and returned to the kitchen. The son took his position in another bed, in order to attract the stranger in that direction so that he might be captured.  Mr. Boos went to the bed several times, and made a careful examination of the mattress without success and gave up the search in despair. At the conclusion of the morning meal, Mrs. Boos had occasion to visit the sitting room, when, on opening the door, she was astonished to find chairs overturned and the glass lamp shade lay unbroken on the floor.  The sly intruder had been with us, but where was he?  Your correspondent did all he could to find him, but failed, and about eight o'clock  returned to Sherburne.  Since then no new developments have been brought to light.  People continue to visit the house, and the excitement runs as high as when the story was first related. 
The mysterious being and its doings is the principal topic of conversation everywhere in and around Sherburne, and all appear anxious to learn all the particulars and sift the matter to the bottom.  No one seems to question the evidence as presented about the Boos house, for it shows conclusively that the strange things where have happened there are not exactly right.  There are a few incredulous ones, however, but they are found ready to ask the views of others and compare them with their own, which goes to show that they are not satisfied in regard to the matter.  The Boos family appear sincere and are greatly annoyed over what is going on about their premises, and manifest their willingness to lend assistance in helping to ferret out the cause of the disturbances.  It is to be hoped that before the next issue of The Telegraph more light will be thrown on the subject by finding the intruder and bringing him before the public ahead of P.T. Barnum."   G.S.T.
LATEST:  We learn this (Friday) A.M., that some discoveries have been made which will doubtless lead to a full development of the cause of the remarkable demonstrations at the Boos house, the details of which we hope to be able to give in our next.

Obituary (January 9)

Lewis Drury Taft
Chenango American, Greene, NY, December 3, 1891
Mr. Lewis Drury Taft, formerly of Triangle, N.Y. [Broome Co.], died suddenly in "Allens' Opera House," Jamestown, N.Y. [Chautauqua Co.], on the 13th of Nov. aged 86 years, 3 months and 9 days.  Mr. Taft was born at New Lebanon, Conn.  He was a man of good intellect, moral character, and respected where he lived for fifty years.  A Universalist in religion, Republican in Politics, a kind step-father, and faithful to his family.     E.P. Allen
Mary Harrison
Chenango American, Greene, NY, December 24, 1891
Died in Greene [Chenango Co., NY], Dec. 18th, 1891, Mrs. Mary Harrison, aged 85 years. The funeral services were held at one o'clock, Monday, at the house of her son, Mr. Ed Harrison, her former pastor, Rev. Edward Taylor, D.D., officiating.  The occasion was specially saddened by the absence, through sickness, of three out of five children and of several members of all the five families. Two of Mrs. Harrison's favorite hymns were sung, "Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead us," and "Safe in the Arms of Jesus."  Dr. Taylor's eulogy of this venerable woman was tender and just. She was loyal to Christ first of all, and, while positive in her convictions, ever held them subject to His approval, and never lost charity of spirit towards those of different views.  She was industrious, courtly in manners, dignified in speech, devout in spirit, loving to a loving posterity.  Her last illness was brief, as she had often desired it might be, and she serenely closed her eyes upon earth, leaving the "memory of the just which is blessed."
John Griffin
Chenango American, Greene, NY, June 8, 1893
GRIFFIN:  In Brisbin, May 31, 1893, Mr. John Griffin, aged 95 years.
Among our obituary notices may be found that of Mr. John Griffin, father of Mr. Patrick Griffin of Brisbin [Chenango Co., NY][, this town, who died at that place on Wednesday, May 31, at the advanced age of 95 years and 5 months, being at the time of his death the oldest person in town.  He was born in county Clare, Ireland, and came to America in 1848.  He first settled in Vermont and then removed to Norwich, where he resided for about thirty years. the last few years of his life he spent with his son Patrick.  He was never sick, and at the last simply fell asleep without pain.  He was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Oxford [Chenango Co., NY], Friday, Rev Father Mabon officiating.
Lewis A. Gross
Chenango American, Greene, NY, December 14, 1893
GROSS:  At his late residence in Okoboji township [Iowa]i, Dec. 6, 1891, Lewis A. Gross, aged 27 years, 1 month and 16 days.
This is the saddest occurrence we have been called upon to record for many months.  Lew was taken sick a week ago with a cold which developed into pneumonia, and he died at 9 o'clock Wednesday evening.  Lew was a splendid boy and counted everyone as a friend.  He was born in Greene, Chenango County, N.Y., on Oct. 20, 1866.  Came to Milford in Nov. 1882.  He was married to Alice I. Merrell, of Afton, Chenango county, N.Y., Oct. 8, 1891.  Deceased was the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Gross. For about a year Mr. Gross was associated with his brother-in-law, E.C. Merrell, in the grocery business.  The body will be taken to New York for burial.  Monitor lodge I.O.O.F., of which deceased was a member will have charge of the arrangements.  The grief stricken relatives have the sympathy of the entire community--Milford (Iowa) Mail.
The remains of Mr. Gross arrived here [Greene, NY] Saturday and were buried from Zion church on Sunday afternoon, in Sylvan Lawn Cemetery.
George Henness
Sidney Enterprise, February 7, 1929
Wednesday morning at 1:30 o'clock after an illness of less than two days, George Henness died as the result of a stroke, which at first was not recognizable as such.  Mr. Henness was born June 8, 1847, at Eminence, Schoharie county, where he resided for many years.  He was of Dutch ancestry on both the father's and mother's sides, being a descendant of the early settlers of New York state.  He possessed many of the traits of that nationality, being honest and industrious, and believing every person was as honest as himself, unless proven otherwise.  In 1872 he married Miss Polly Shaffer of Blenheim, whom he survived by nearly six years.  He was the last remaining member of his family.  Mr. Henness has lived in Sidney [Delaware Co., NY] about twenty years.  He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Sidney.  Surviving him are five daughters, Mrs. E.E. Hilborn, Ethel, May, Lillian and Emma Henness, all of Sidney; a son, A.W. Henness of Cooperstown, and three grandchildren, Gladys Hilborn of Geneva, Roland Hilborn of New York, and Laurence Hilborn of Elmira. The funeral services will be held at the home Saturday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock, Rev. T. Ashton Rich of the Sidney Methodist church, officiating, the interment will be in Prospect Hill cemetery [Sidney, NY].

Monday, January 8, 2018

Obituaries (January 8)

Joel Morse Guy
Afton Enterprise, January 10, 1924
Joel Morse Guy was born on the hill farm in the town of Oxford [Chenango Co., NY] on March 29, 1848.  He was the son of Joel Guy and Condise Morse Guy. The family was one of the sturdy old fashion kind with ten children.  when "Joe", as he was best known, was 13 years old the family moved from Oxford to the Patrick farm on The Plains near Center Village.  One of "Joe's" frontier stories was of a big New Foundland dog on the Patrick farm who did double duty as churn dog and saddle pony, provided he did not see the churn in preparation, when he would promptly disappear.  After two or three years the father, Joel Guy, Sr., purchased the farm three miles south of Afton which for many years was known as the Joel Guy farm. When they purchased the farm, the river flat was a swampy wood lot.  Only an old-fashioned family with plenty of man power and no fear of hard work would have tackled the job.  Today it is one of the finest pieces of land in the township and stands as a monument to the industry and energy of Joel Guy and his family.
As he came to young manhood, "Joe" worked for a time for his father, farming in the summer and lumbering in the winter.  Later he went to Colorado where he engaged in sheep raising for nearly three years. that was in the days when the buffalo dotted the plains and the antelope went fleeting away light as thistle down.  "Joe" was an enthusiastic hunter and he had a great many interesting adventures with the "old Sharpe rifle."  In later years these stories were a source of great entertainment to his boys as they gathered around the fire on winter evening.  Upon his return from Colorado, he was married on February 20th, 1878, to Martha K. Chamberlin who was his faithful and loving helpmate for  more than 45 years.  Four sons were born of this union; Frank, Bert, Randolph and Harry, all of whom are living.  Of "Joe's" brothers and sisters two are still living; Henrietta, of Hinsdale, N.Y., now 86 years old, and Charles, a younger brother, who resides in this village.   
A quiet, home-loving man, little given to social entertainment, "Joe" was best known to his family and near neighbors, for his unfailing industry, his straight-forward honesty and his absolute fearlessness.  To these qualities he added a constant seasoning of kind wit.  Making no pretense of piety, he lived a clean upright life as he saw it. The world is poorer for his going, but better for his having been here.
Ralph R. Pomeroy
Sidney Enterprise, February 7, 1929
Ralph R. Pomeroy, a former Sidney [Delaware co., NY] boy, died at his home in Carbondale, Pa., January 28, 1929.  Mr. Pomeroy was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 22, 1893, and was therefore 35 years of age at the time of his death.  All his high school education was received in Sidney, his home then being at Sidney Center.  He completed both the commercial and shorthand courses at the Albany Business College, and 5 days before graduation, when he was 17 years of age, he entered the employ of the Delaware & Hudson R.R. Co. as book-keeper and stenographer in the Oneonta office, and he was ever thereafter connected with the company.  He was for a time in the transportation department, then in the maintenance of way department and later was made chief clerk, in the department of stores.  So efficient and faithful did he perform his duties that when 25 years of age he was technically made an officer of the company, being placed in charge of the Pennsylvania division, as division storekeeper, with head quarters of Carbondale, which position he held at the time of his death.  He was highly regarded by the company.  Various officials of the company from Albany as well as various division officials attended the funeral.  The floral offerings from the Oneonta division, with which he was formerly connected, were in the form of a crescent with a vacant star; the floral piece from the employees in his own department was a very large circle of beautiful flowers with the vacant place at the head.  He was an expert at checkers, somewhat following his father, and the fellow checker players sent a floral offering in the form of a checker board with 32 red roses properly placed as playing squares and 32 white carnations as the non-playing squares, gilt ribbon separating the same, all being in a solid background of moss firmly bound.  Many were the floral offerings, and the funeral, held at Carbondale, was largely attended by officials, relatives and friends.  Interment at Westport, N.Y.  His illness, which dates back to April, 1928, was diagnosed by the medical authorities as transverse myelitis, caused by a tumor on the spine.  He was at the University of Pennsylvania hospital, Philadelphia, many weeks.  All that medical skill and nursing could do was done.  He returned home where loving hands faithfully ministered to his care.  He made a heroic, optimistic, never complaining battle, endeavoring to regain his health, but the malady was too great to be overcome.  He is survived by his wife, Katherine, four children, Earl, 12, Rita, 10, Harry, 7, and John, 5, and his father, M.E. Pomeroy, of Binghamton, N.Y.
Merritt Delos Brown
Sidney Enterprise, February 7, 1929
Merritt Delos Brown passed away at the Sidney hospital [Delaware Co., NY] Saturday, Feb. 2, after an illness of two weeks duration.  Mr. Brown was born at Bloomville, N.Y. [Delaware Co.], March 28, 1850, son of Stephen and Henrietta (Grant) Brown and there his early years were passed.  in 1874 he married Miss Augusta Fisher of Unadilla, who passed away at Sidney about 29 years ago.  With the exception of four years spent in Rogers Park, Ill., and Muskegon, Mich., his life after his marriage, was passed in Unadilla and vicinity and in Sidney, until seven years ago, when he moved to Westville, N.Y.  For 29 years he lived in Sidney, working for 20 years for the M.L. Siver co. in the capacity of lumber counter.  He also served in this capacity for Mr. E.L. Beale and other lumber dealers in Sidney.  For the past two years he has resided with his daughter, Mrs. Haynes, between Unadilla and Sidney.  He was an industrious man, devoted to his family, and though quiet and retiring in manner, his genial nature and integrity of character won him many friends.  Left to mourn him are two daughters, Mrs. Margaret Haynes of Sidney township, and Mrs. Gertrude Hooker of Westville, N.Y.; a granddaughter, Miss Frances Hooker of the same place, and several nieces and nephews. The funeral was held from the home of his daughter, Mrs. Harry Haynes, on Tuesday, February 5, at 1:30 p.m. with interment in Prospect Hill cemetery at Sidney.  The services were conducted by Rev. Harry Brooks, of Afton.
Clella E. (Manwaring) Rolf
Sidney Enterprise, February 7, 1929
Another highly esteemed resident of Guilford [Chenango Co., NY], Mrs. Clella E. Rolf, who has been seriously ill for some time with pneumonia and the flu, passed into eternal rest at her home at Ives Settlement, February 6th, aged 46 years.  The deceased was the daughter of Charles and Flora (North) Manwaring and was born in Guilford, having spent her entire life here.  In early life she became the wife of Robert Rolf, and three children came to bless this union, Robert and Barbara, who still survive, and a little daughter, Betty, who preceded the deceased nearly five years ago.  Having been born and cradled in the atmosphere of a Christian home, she early became affiliated with the Guilford Methodist church and has always been a consistent member.  She was a woman of many kindly traits and will long be remembered both in the home and community.  The funeral services were held at the home, Wednesday, the Rev. F.S. Crispell, pastor of the Guilford M.E. church, officiating.  The body was laid in the family plot in Sunset Hill cemetery, at Guilford.   The father, Charles Manwaring, who lives in Unadilla, was not able to be here, he also being ill with pneumonia.  Those who survive are a husband and two children, Robert and Barbara of Guilford, the father above mentioned, and two sisters, Miss Hazel Manwaring and Mrs. Jessie Teed of Unadilla.  Much sympathy is expressed to the bereaved in the loss of their loved one.
Charles H. Manwaring
Sidney Enterprise, February 7, 1929
Charles H. Manwaring a highly respected resident of Unadilla [Otsego Co., NY], and a man who was well known throughout this vicinity, passed away at his home in that village Wednesday afternoon at 5 o'clock, after a week's illness of pneumonia.  His age was 73 years.  Mr. Manwaring's daughter, Mrs. Rolf died at her home in Guilford three days ago and her funeral was held but a few hours before the death of her father.  The funeral services will be held in the Methodist church at Guilford on Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock, preceded by a brief prayer service sat his late home. Rev. Dr. Charles S. Olmstead, pastor at the Elm Park church of Scranton, Pa., a former pastor and a personal friend, will officiate at the funeral. The interment will be in the cemetery at Guilford [Chenango Co., NY].

Borden Chemical Plant Explosion - 1973

Explosion Rocks Borden Chemical Plant
January 1973
Left, recently built (at the time) Resin Pan Storage building
Center: Skeletal framework of what remains of the Resin Grinding Room
Right:  Warehouse

Bainbridge:  An explosion at 1:10 a.m., Saturday, January 27, at the Bordon Chemical plant in Bainbridge caused extensive damage to the plant.  The explosion was followed by a fire.  Extensive damage was done to the Powdered Resin Plant and it could take nine to twelve months to redesign and rebuild an all-new system, incorporating all known safety features and devices.  The company will have to make some adjustments in the labor force while repairs are being made.

Elmer's Glue operations were not affected.  The spray drying system suffered some minor damage and it is expected to be operable within several weeks.  products affected were spray dried powders used in the woodworking industry and ground phenolic resins used in the frictional, abrasive and foundry trades.

Normal shift assignment placed four men in the Grinding Room at the west end of the plant.  People normally assigned to the room for that shift were Tommy Rieman and Bob Curtis, grinding operators, and James Curtis and Ernest Cowley, helpers.  Immediately prior to the explosion, Rieman had gone to the maintenance shop to pick up a small tool, Cawley and James Curtis had gone to the lunch room for a coffee break, and Bob Curtis had gone to the foreman's office in an adjoining building to receive instructions for the succeeding batch of materials to be ground. Fortunately no one was in the Mill Room when the explosion occurred.

Three men suffered minor injuries in the explosion.  In the Powder Plant Control Laboratory were Joe Jural, resin chemist and a member of the Development Laboratory under the management of Mr. Rinker; Leo Pratt, lab technician, and Richard Chupak, foreman in charge of the shift in the Powdered Resin Plant.  Of the three, Jural received a cut on the back of his head that required suturing, Pratt sustained a cut on the forehead that also required suturing, and Chupak was blown out of the building onto the loading platform.  He picked himself up from the platform, sustaining only bodily bruises.  All three were taken to The Hospital where they were treated and discharged. The following day, Jural was re-examined and found to have a broken rib.

Immediately after the blaze, Borden Fire Brigade, consisting of Tim Rieman, Charles Leonard and Gary Reynolds responded and had hose playing on the affected area before the Bainbridge Fire Department arrived on the scene. According to an official of the Fire Department "These men did a whale of a job in holding the fire down until we could get into position to fight the fire."  Foreman Chupak also re-entered the building to see if everyone was accounted for, and an immediate head count assured that the area had been cleared.  The first Borden management on the scene were Bob Craver, Casein Plant Manager an dDave Ireland, plant engineer.

The immediate cause of the explosion has not been determined, but a Borden investigation is underway.  Plant officials state that the atmosphere in the Mill Room was clean and clear of dust.  The explosion occurred within the grinding system itself. At the time of the explosion, the grinder itself was not running, but the rest of the system (e.g. collection and blending) were in operation.  "Contrary to some reports," said plant officials, "in no way could there be an explosion or succession of explosions at the plant that could jeopardize the community or even our immediate neighbors."

The Bainbridge Fire Department as usual did an outstanding job not only in putting out the blaze, but containing the fire from spreading by using water to cool down adjoining areas.

Company officials were planning extensive renovations in the area where the explosion occurred.  These plans will of course now be revised.  The Borden Company wants to assure everyone in the community that everything possible is being done to return the plant to normal operation as soon as possible.

Looking east into plant, tall structure is what remains of the grinding operation, on left is pan storage, at right warehousing area.

Most severe damage occurred in this corner of the building.  The room on the left side is the washroom, next to it is the lab where the three men were located who were injured, and in the next room two men were having a coffee break.

Skeletal remains of the grinding facilities and newly erected pan storage room