THE WAY WE WERE – November 1912

The Way We Were

Culled by Judy Garrison

From November 1912 issues of

The Andes Recorder

100 Years Ago






Events of a Week as Chronicled by

the Man on the Street




With commentary by Jim Andrews



Harold Hyzer, of Andes, and Blanche Wickham, of Arena, were married at Margaretville on October 25, the Rev. James Douglas performing the ceremony. They will reside on the groom’s farm in Gladstone Hollow.




Master George Polley was slightly bitten [Jim Andrews: How can you be “slightly bitten”?] on the leg Monday by George Elliott’s dog with which he and Master Donald Elliott were fooling. Tuesday Master Donald attempted to pull the dog from under the table and was bitten on the arm. [JA: Now the dog would have been quarantined and probably destroyed. Master George Polley would have had to undergo a series of rabies shots and George Elliot would have been held responsible and probably sued for damages.]




Late Tuesday afternoon an accident occurred in southern Bovina, where the construction work on Robert L. Gerry’s summer home is being pushed as rapidly as possible, and as a result William T. Hyzer, of Andes, sustained a broken leg. [JA: William Hyzer had a livery here in town and apparently hired out with his team and equipment.] The cable of the hoist on the concrete mixer which worked on a drum, was broken a few days ago and until repairs could be made the concrete was being hauled up with a team. The evener of the whiffletrees [JA: the pivoted crossbar at the front of a wagon to which the harness is attached] broke as one load was being hauled up and the clevis [JA: the U-shaped piece of iron with a pin which is used to connect the whiffletree to the tongue of the wagon] flew back and struck Mr. Hyzer on the leg breaking it mid-way between the ankle and knee. Mr. Hyzer was brought home in an automobile and his leg set. [JA: This is an example of the lack of safety devices in place at the turn of the century. Working with horses and early equipment could be very dangerous.]




Tuesday’s election [the Nov. 8th edition] thruout the nation resulted in a tidal wave for the Democrats and as a result Woodrow Wilson received a plurality of 2,500,000 on the popular vote and received the electoral vote of 40 states…The Democrats owe their success to that demagogue Theodore Roosevelt [Ed.: He ran on the Bull Moose party] and should certainly reward him handsomely. In New York Sulzer is elected Governor by 185,000 over Hedges. In Delaware county the result was a victory for the Democrats….The same old cry of ring and bosses coupled with the Bull Moose did job. An Andes man remarked that he supposed even after Lawrence was dead the claim would still be made that he was the boss in Delaware county. The Bull Moose vote ranged from 1,168 for O. S. Nichols to 1,868 for Roosevelt, the demagogue and would be dictator. [Ed.: The editor certainly didn’t hold back with editorial opinion!]




James O’Connor, known as the “Deaf Poet,” died from paralysis at his home in Roxbury, Saturday afternoon, October 26. He was stricken the previous Wednesday and rallied to semi-consciousness. He was born in Andes on January 26, 1835, and is survived by his wife who was Mary J. Dickson, and a son and two dauters.




It is stated that work will be begun at both ends of the Andes-Delhi State road very soon. A shanty has been built near Sherwood’s bridge and some Italians have arrived. A 20-ton steam shovel is at the depot and a auto truck brought a load of machinery and tools from Cobleskill. Culverts and pipes will be put in and during the winter the heavy cuts will be made. [JA: Italian immigrants were used for heavy labor. They also built the D and E Railroad which ran from Arkville to Deposit earlier in the decade.]




Duncan Ballantine died in the hospital in New York, Wednesday night November 27 as a result of a fractured skull received a week previous. He was born in Andes about 25 years ago. …The fatal injury was received as Mr. Ballantine and a companion were walking along the street. Three newsboys or rather men insisted upon selling him papers. Finally two left but the third was insistent and struck young Ballantine a blow that felled him to the pavement. The tough is known to police but is still at large. [Ed. To Jim: I just saw “Newsies” in NYC, a musical in which all the newsboys are adorable and sympathetic characters, so this is distressing to read, even though 100 years old!] [JA: City life was dangerous at best back then. The article didn’t say if they were out walking at night. We can only imagine what the streets of New York were like in 1912—[Buffy Calvert: Young Duncan was the grandson of Duncan and Nancy Hunting Ballantine. I have two pictures of him, one at Perch Lake and the other at the Andes Depot. He was a very handsome and debonair young man.]




Sheriff Austin raided the Italian camp at Robert L. Gerry’s near Lake Delaware last Friday and took two half-full packages of beer and a barrel of whiskey to Delhi and it will be disposed of under order of the court. The beer was taken to the camp for the personal consumption of the 100 or more Italians employed there, but the wet goods had been disposed of to outsiders and this was the cause of the raid. It is stated the storekeepers had been warned by the authorities that the continued sale to other than Italians would result in trouble for them. One of the storekeepers was arrested and taken to Delhi. [JA: Prohibition was not in effect yet so I’m a little confused about the “sale to other than the Italians” comment. Andes had become a “dry” town in the 1870s and remained dry until the 1950s. Alcohol could not be served or sold at businesses. It might have been possible that the whiskey and beer was given to the “Italians” and that the storekeepers were funneling it elsewhere for profit. The Italian immigrants were not citizens and unfortunately were pretty much considered not much better than slaves.] ~


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