Part 2 of the Camden Advance Journal marks the completion of a full year of an entertaining monthly serial created by Beverly Crim, Town of German Flatts Section Editor. The Camden Advance Journal's weekly column covered local human interest stories and other items considered newsworthy to people living in the neighboring county of Oneida. The reporter had a real sense of humor, and occasionally a flair for the dramatic; mundane events indeed seem far more interesting in happening to the ancestors. Part 2 begins with the July 2, 1874 column.

6/14   Scroll down to April through June 1875.

July 2, 1874:

Ed Note: This is not from Herkimer County but this name has ties to Herkimer/Montgomery/Otsego County.

Died: In Williamstown of typhoid fever, Frederick W., son of Henry and Nancy Green, aged 18 years. He was a young man of good habits and principles, kind and affectionate to his parents, brothers and sisters and generally respected.

July 9, 1874:

Died at Taberg, on Sunday afternoon, July 5th, Dr. Samuel Beach, in the 85th year of his age.

July 16, 1874:

Major Wm. Cameron of Herkimer County, formerly General Tom Thumb's coachman, submitted to an amputation of the leg above the knee Wednesday. A cancer made it necessary.

July 23, 1874:

It is stated that the widow of Mr. Adam Bellinger, who was recently killed at Herkimer, purposed to bring action under the civil damage law against those parties who sold him liquor on the day of his death.

Hon. A. C. McGowan is building three Baxter steam canal-boats, at his dock in Frankfort.

August 6, 1874:

A canal bridge fell in last Friday at Little Falls and a large number of people were thrown into the canal. Fifteen persons were injured.

During Wednesday night some person or persons entered the barn of a Little Falls gentleman named Small and stole a horse and top-buggy. The horse was driven as far east as St. Johnsville where it was left under a shed early Thursday morning. Friday, an officer from Little Falls took the rig back to that village and received a reward of $100.

Between 7 and 8 o'clock on Monday evening, Captain William Harter fell from a load of hay in Herkimer while adjusting a binder and was so seriously injured as to cause his death at 8:30 Tuesday morning. The binder struck him on the left side of the head causing compression of the brain from which death ensued. The deceased was about 55 years of age.

August 13, 1874:

Hon. Abijah Beckwith, of Cedarville, died last Saturday at his late residence.

A remarkable number of deaths of aged persons are reported to have taken place at Norwich Corners, Herkimer County, within forty-eight hours as follows:
Friday July 18: Mrs. Maria Dems Dempsey, aged 75 years
Same date: Samuel Kershaw, aged 72
Saturday July 19: Charles Birdseye, aged 82
Sunday July 20: Walter Warriner, aged 83

The united ages of the four were 322 years. This is one of the most remarkable instances of the mortality of aged persons within a short time that we have ever chronicled.

Death: In Camden, NY, August 7, an infant child of a J. H. Young, aged 4 days.

August 7, 1874:


August 20, 1874:

Death: At Springfield, Otsego County, August 14th, Jacob C. Rathbun, brother-in-law of the Messrs. Fifield, of Camden, NY, aged 51 years.

A new grindstone, weighing 5,600 pounds recently burst at the Ilion Armory. It flew into fragments, and Joseph Hoeness, one of the grinders was severely injured in the shoulder, leg and head. A piece of the stone weighing 1,000 pounds fell near another grinder. The wood work was considerably damaged.

Two small boys aged six and eight years named Frank Kerrivan and George Ashby were drowned in the Mohawk River at Frankfort, Saturday morning. The bodies were recovered but too late to resuscitate life.

August 27, 1874:

H. H. Wheeler, teller in the First National Bank of West Winfield is suffering from acute inflammation of the eyes and there is danger of his losing one.

September 10, 1874:

Dr. B. D. Biddlecome, "Veterinary Surgeon", who for three or four months past had made Pulaski and vicinity his headquarters, was on Monday arrested by Herkimer county men for desertion of wife and child and for money due for boarding them for the past year or more.

Barnum's World's Show cannot be exhibited in Little Falls as no suitable grounds could be obtained for that purpose.

General Spinner, Treasurer of the United States, is taking a vacation near his old home at Mohawk.

The cornerstone of the new Catholic church in West Winfield is to be laid next Sunday.

September 17, 1874:

Gen. Z. C. Priest of the Central Railroad is confined to his residence at Little Falls by severe sickness.

The hurdle race to take place during the Herkimer County Fair at Herkimer will be for a purse of $300.

Horses from Saratoga and Canada will be in the filefield and the race a well contested one.

September 24, 1874:

The Little Falls News says: "The latest sensation in Mohawk is the fact that a respectable married woman of that village attended a dance at Bliss' Grove one night dressed in men's clothing. It seems that a chap named Bidwell, a painter, has been paying attention to the lady's daughter and she went out to see with whom he associated. We understand that she got into some quarrel, her moustache and hat were knocked off and her sex discovered. She was at once protected by some of the bystanders and a carriage conveyed her to her home. It is currently reported that this Bidwell is a married man and has a family. The young men of Mohawk are making preparations for a coat of tar and feathers if he does not leave town soon."

October 1, 1874:

Died: In Vienna, September 25, 1874, an infant child of James Stevenson, aged 4 days.

Dr. Noah Johnson, of Frankfort, has made a lady's dressing case, the veneering of which contains 700,000 pieces of mosaic. The woods used were found in Herkimer county. The arrangement of drawers is complicated and yet the work was nearly all done with a jack knife, saw and plane.

It is now generally conceded that new and damaging testimony will be presented at the trial of Dykeman, the Herkimer county murderer, to be had in October. Dykeman is now confined in the Herkimer county Jail and is very melancholy.

October 8, 1874:


October 15, 1874:

During the camp meeting, recently held at Columbia, over $150 worth of buffalo robes were stolen from the grounds.

The population of Ilion has increased by the number of 882 persons during the past year and the school population has increased 247.

October 22, 1874:

Jacob Fitch had his nose severely cut by falling on the iron bridge near Ingersoll's, Ilion.

The Herkimer Catholics are fixing up the old Methodist church and intend to occupy it soon.

A Herkimer man shut his safe and forgot to take out the key and now troubled how to get into the safe.

The store of Tuckerman, Eldred & Rulioson, at Ilion, was entered by burglars several mornings ago. The burglars bored an entrance through the back door and succeeded in breaking open the safe. They secured only about $20 in money, however, and scattered over the floor about $7,000 worth of notes besides bonds and mortgages, all of no value to them.

October 29, 1874:

Newport was afflicted with a destructive incendiary fire Saturday night which destroyed nearly all the business portion of the place. A block owned by O. Spencer and occupied by the stores of Elisha Thornton, Mr. Fielding and A. Newman & Son and the post office was destroyed as were also the adjacent shop and dwelling of Mr. McAneeny and the millinery store of the Misses Sandford. The fire department with their apparatus, a hand engine, were promptly on hand but water and hose, being in short, the effects were ineffectual. Total loss $13,000. No insurance except $2,000 on Mr. Fielding's goods. It is thought the incendiary will be caught.

Died: In Frankfort, Herkimer county, of consumption, October 22, 1874, Dr. Chas. A. Babcock, in the 36th year of his age. Dr. B. was the son of Mrs. L. A. Babcock, a former resident and teacher of this place (ed. note: "this place" is Camden, NY) and a brother of Mrs. Flora Osborne, now of Amsterdam. A warmer hearted man than Dr. B. we have rarely seen. He had fine gifts, intellectual and social, and in spite of his weaknesses he was one of those whole-souled and generous men, naturally, whom all were compelled to esteem. He made a masterly struggle to be true to himself, but failed to gain full victory over that which had become part of his nature. He had been in poor health for a long time and has been kindly cared for by a devoted sister and mother. His every want has been anticipated by his sister. The remains were brought to Camden for interment.

November 5, 1874:

This evening the new Opera House at Little Falls will be opened with grand ceremonies. The Utica Medelsohn Club and the Little Falls Musical Association will participate in a concert. The proceeds go to ornament the structure and should be swollen by the purchase of tickets.

November 12, 1874:

The gristmill owned by Lancing & Fonda of Little Falls was sold at auction November 7. It was bought by C. B. S. Fonda for $15,000.

November 19, 1874:


November 26, 1874:

The store of A. C. Devendorf, at Mohawk, was burglarized Sunday morning and some $200 worth of cloths and clothing taken. The thieves effected an entrance by removing a light of glass from a window fronting on Columbia Street. A coat partly made was taken. If the thieves will return it, Mr. Devendorf promises to put in the sleeves and finish it.

At Mohawk the other day, considerable money was lost in wagers that a horse could not draw a bag of sand attached to the end of a long rope. It was discovered that an ordinary horse drew 700 pounds of bags of sand attached to a rope 70 feet in length. The experiment was tried in the presence of a large crowd of spectators.

December 3, 1874:

J. A. Dennison of the firm of Link & Dennison, Little Falls, has received the appointment of major of engineers and will go to Egypt in the employ of the Egyptian government. He is a graduate of West Point, and will receive a yearly salary of $4,000 in gold.

The steam canal-boat, Ilion, recently made the run from Buffalo to Rochester in 24 hours, including stops.

Deaths: In Madison, Wisconsin, November 22, 1874, Frances A., only surviving child of Theodore F. and Myra Rathbun, aged 1 year and 9 months.

December 10, 1874:

The total cost of the new courthouse at Herkimer was $46,596.28.

Mr. C. L. Osgood, teller of the Ilion National Bank, is about to remove to Cleveland, Ohio, to engage in the furniture business.

December 17, 1874:

(Ed. note: Again I repeat-so many people from the Central New York area have roots in the Mohawk Valley that I thought this little "tidbit" might be of interest to someone who is having trouble tracing their ancestry.)

A correspondent of the Phoenix Register says that the Town of Hastings, in Oswego County, was formed from Canastota, April 20, 1825. It abounds in briny springs and difficulty has been experienced in finding fresh water by digging. The first settlement in the town was made by Oliver Stevens, in 1789. The first death was that of Horatio Stevens, in 1792. The first child born was John L. Stephens, in 1805. The first marriage was that of Silas Bellows and Betsey Vikery in 1808.

December 24, 1874:

The stock for the new railway between Ilion village and the depot has all been taken and work on the road will soon be commenced. The road is to be built so as to admit of the running to and from the depot the freight cars of the New York Central, as well as for the conveyance of passengers.

The Remingtons have a contract for making two thousand of their type writing machines.

On Monday two little Ilion boys were riding on their sleds when one of them, a son of Mrs. Dr. Ayers, fell from his sled quite near to a horse that was tied to a post. As soon as he fell, the horse reared and as he came down, one of his feet struck the child's head, inflicting four serious flesh wounds.

December 31, 1874:


January 7, 1875:

no Herkimer news

January 14, 1875 :

Little Falls is a daily butter market and large quantities were bought there last week. Saturday prime grass butter sold for from 34 @ 35 cents, while hay or winter butter brought from 30 @ 34 cents. The most sold for 32 cents. The annual donation presented to Reverend George Fisher, pastor of the Baptist Church at Newport, was $170.

Miss Estell Burgess, of West Winfield, aged 16, suddenly fell to the floor in a fit, January 6, while combing her hair and soon after died.

January 21, 1875 :

No Herkimer news.

January 28, 1875:

Town Meetings February 9.

Numerous new cheese factories are to be built in Herkimer County during the coming season.

Henry Bowen of the Ilion Agricultural Works will sail for Europe Feb. 20 to enter a similar establishment at Stettin, Germany.

The new hotel to be built at Mohawk will be 132 feet front on Main Street and 100 feet front on Oswego Street. A wing of 110 feet will include a large hall.

February 4, 1875 :

Andrews, Berry & Co. are preparing to engage in the manufacture of suspenders at Little Falls.

The Presbyterian pulpit at Little Falls has been declared vacant by the Presbytery of Utica, upon resignation of Rev. Walter Condict.

February 11, 1875 :

A man was arrested in Ilion a few days since for aiding in circulating the Syracuse Sunday News.

February 18, 1875 :

Herkimer county elects a Democratic Board of Supervisors.

Rev. Walter Condict, pastor of the Little Falls Presbyterian church, having resigned his charge has removed to Newark, N.J. He has not decided yet where to permanently locate. On the day of his departure, his friends at Little Falls presented him with a purse of about $270.

Ilion claims to be "solvent". During the past year, all the village indebtedness has been paid off including school bonds, with interest.

Some Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railway stock was sold at Bagg's Hotel, February 10, owned by the Town of Columbia. It sold at 75 3/4 @ 76.

February 25, 1875 :

Herkimer District M. E. Conference at Ilion March 15 and 16.

Says the Ilion Citizen: "The Ilion Mining Company has been fully organized under the general law, with a capital of $12,000. A large number of our best citizens have taken stock in the company. The mines are in Bingham Canon, Utah, and are believed to be very valuable. The president is John R. Thomas."

The Remingtons, at Ilion, are manufacturing six hundred sewing machines per week.

MARRIED: At the Moses House in Camden, February 20th, 1875, by J. H. Spencer, Esq., Joseph R. Grant, of Williamstown, and Sarah A. Johnson, of Little Falls.

March 4, 1875 :

The Remington gun works at Ilion employ 2,000 men, night and day, upon a contract for 300,000 breech-loading rifles for the Spanish government. Between 4,000 and 5,000 finished rifles are shipped each week.

The dry-goods and grocery store of J. W. Sharp, at Jordanville, six miles north of Richfield Springs, was destroyed by fire last Friday evening. The entire stock was burned, the only articles saved being three rubber boots. The fire was discovered about midnight, and its origin is unknown. The total loss is about $4,000. The stock was valued at $3,509 and the building at $500.

March 11, 1875 :

Men employed in the forge department in the Ilion armory are about to organize a protective association for the purpose of being prepared to help one another in times of accident or sickness.

Sixty two years ago, the Board of Supervisors of Herkimer voted a premium of $15 for every full grown wolf killed within the county limits.

Fifty two shares of the railroad stock belonging to Richfield were sold last week at 75. The Railroad Commissioners are now paying the March coupons of the town bonds and will shortly advertise and pay off $5,000 of the principal of the bonds this spring. Richfield is inclined to sell all her railroad stock and pay off her bonds, raising the deficit by tax.

Ilion was recently the scene of an elopement of an unusual nature. A farmer named Dickson, residing in this town, had been known to say that he would be just as happy if his wife would leave his fireside and that they did not live happily together, though their union had been cemented by the birth of three children. Henry Stevens, a youth of eighteen, happened to be laboring on the farm and the wife and he agreed to elope. She had saved the sum of $400, which she shared with the young man. The pair went by rail to Buffalo, and while there, Stevens deserted the woman and went to Albany by the first train east. At Albany, he fell among swindlers and lost a portion of his money. He is now held at an Albany station house and the woman has not yet been heard from.

March 18, 1875 :

Frankfort has a "Tom Thumb", 25 years old and only about 40 inches high.

The bridge to be erected over the canal at Mohawk is to be of the Whipple patent, three truss, 84 feet by 40 wide.

The first County Court held in Herkimer county was convened in a barn at Whitestown in January, 1794. The day was an intensely cold one, and the Court, it is said, was only able to continue the work it had to do by a free use of old gin, which was drank from a jug by judge, attorneys and jury alike.

March 25, 1875 :

No Herkimer news.

April 1, 1875:

About one o'clock Tuesday, as several girls were playing on the Hydraulic Canal, in Herkimer, the ice gave way and two were drawn under the ice. One of them was rescued almost immediately by Philip M. Hilts; the other, Miss Addie Shoemaker, aged 13, was carried some 15 rods downstream. The water in the canal was near six feet deep with a strong current, and mostly covered with a thick layer of ice. The ice had to be cut and although a hundred men were working, it was nearly three fourths of an hour before the body was recovered. Every effort was made to resuscitate her, but in vain. She was a bright, interesting child, and the family is overwhelmed with grief.

Since the beginning of January, fifty car-loads of cows have been received at the Herkimer depot-in all about 1,100 heat-to fill up the dairies of that section and to make butter and cheese from this summer.

April 8, 1875:

Herkimer's axle factory has commenced operations.

The Frankfort and Ilion Railroad is proving very successful. Over 74,000 passengers have been carried the past year, and the road has, within the twelve months, paid 6 1/3 per cent on the cost.

The Presbytery of Utica will meet in the Presbyterian Church, Ilion, on Monday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. The retiring moderator, Rev. E. N. Manley, of Camden, will deliver the opening sermon on Monday evening.

An Italian, named Charles Vengerler, who was stealing a ride from Fort Plain to Frankfort on a freight train which passes Frankfort without stopping, attempted to jump from the train when the Frankfort depot was reached, when he was thrown under the wheels and the left leg, from the foot to the knee, was completely crushed.

April 15, 1875:

Nearly the entire amount of the debt on the Ilion Presbyterian church ($15,000) was raised at the services on the evening of the dedication.

A very curious looking fish was recently caught from the eddy in the Mohawk River, opposite Wait's paper mill at Little Falls. It is twenty inches long and about four and one half inches wide with mouth not unlike that of a bull pout on the lower jaw of which is a long beard, its belly and tail like a bullhead's. A fin runs the entire length of the back. It has been pronounced the spotted barbot.

Ilion is troubled with roughs. Several windows were broken a few evenings ago, among them a $75 plate glass window.

April 22, 1875:

No Mohawk Valley area news.

April 29, 1875:

The Presbyterian church and congregation of Little Falls have extended a unanimous call to Rev. Geo. Alexander of Schenectady to become their pastor with a salary of $2,000 and a parsonage.

May 6, 1875:

The pine tree at Fort Herkimer under which Washington once took dinner is still standing. Whilst all the pine trees in the vicinity are cut down, the woodman's ax has spared this relic, and there it stands alone in its majesty, still denoting the historic spot, on the farm which at that day was owned by the Frank family and now by Mr. Dager of Herkimer. General Washington passed up this valley as far as Rome in the fall of 1784 and was escorted by General James Clinton, who, by the way, was the son of the first commander of Fort Herkimer.

Married: At the home of the bride, May 4, 1875, by Rev. Mr. Casler, Dr. J. W. Swanson, formerly of this village (Camden) and Miss Arralena N. Baird, all of Springfield Center, Otsego County, NY.

May 13, 1875:

No Mohawk Valley area news.

May 20, 1875:

Large quantities of witch hazel are being cut in the wooded country north of Little Falls, which is drawn to that village, where it passes through some process before it is shipped to Europe and elsewhere to be used for medicinal purposes. The hazel is worth $6 per ordinary wagon load and those persons who have for years regarded the saplings as worthless as they grew upon their premises are now realizing a handsome revenue in its sale.

May 26, 1875 and June 3, 1875:

No Mohawk Valley area news.

June 10, 1875:

A boy named Willie Matthews, about twelve years of age, was drowned at Little Falls last Saturday.

A citizen of Mohawk was, a few days ago, in receipt of a letter from Gen. F. E. Spinner, in which he says he is at present undecided as to whether he will make Mohawk, NY; Jacksonville, Florida; or Washington, DC his future home, but expresses a preference for the former, his old home, and in his native county.

Mohawk voted Monday on the question of purchasing a steam fire engine.

June 17, 1875:

Rev. W. S. Sale, of Boston, will preach in the Salisbury Center Universalist Church during the summer.

June 24, 1875:

William Gates of Frankfort will soon have completed a machine which will make 14,000 matches per day.(ed note: Do you suppose he's related to "Microsoft" Bill Gates?)

Continue on to Part 3.

***Bev plans to transcribe the columns a few months at a time. Because she doesn't own the microfilm of this newspaper, no lookups. If you see an item about your ancestors, contact the historical societies to do a search for you to check for more detailed coverage in Herkimer and Montgomery Counties papers. We think Bev deserves a round of applause for this project! If you like what she's doing as much as we do, let her know.

Source: These newspaper columns were transcribed from microfilms of the original newspapers by Beverly Crim.
Copyright © 1997, 1998 Beverly Crim

Material may be freely used by non-commercial entities, as long as this full paragraph remains on all copied material. These electronic pages, with commentary, original photographs and underlying source code, cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation, nor may this copyrighted original electronic text and digital photographs be used on any other site or CD-ROM.

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Last Updated: 6/14/98
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