We're pleased to present an entertaining new 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 1 begins with the first column published on July 24, 1873 and ends with June 4, 1874.

July 24, 1873:

No license in Ilion for another year.

The state assessors meet in Herkimer August 7th.

The next term of the academy at Little Falls will open Tuesday, August 26th.

The Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg Railroad Company has established a ticket office at Little Falls.

A Frankfort man has been fined $100 and sentenced to three months imprisonment for selling liquor without a license.

The Herkimer County Fair is to be held September 23rd, 24th and 25th.

Prof. Squire will make ascension on the second day.

Nearly 100 tons of bituminous coal are used in the Armory and Sewing Machine Works in Ilion every week.

Doctor Barney, of Brockett's Bridge, removed from the spine of a child of Mr. N. K. Vedder a needle at least one and a half inches in length. The child had complained somewhat but no suspicion of the existence of a needle there had been entertained previous to the doctor's examination.

July 31, 1873:

The Masons of Ilion are making preparations for a grand pic-nic.

The grading of the fourth track is nearly completed between Herkimer and Frankfort and the ties are putting down.

The employees of Remington Armory will work twelve and a half hours per day next week instead of ten as at present.

Civil damages actions are now in order at Herkimer. Nearly every liquor dealer in the village has been indicted on one charge or another and they hardly know who to sell to.

A Little Falls man who wondered where his ice disappeared to discovered that the hired girl chopped a chunk every morning to make coffee with. It being handier than drawing water.

Frederick Patsol, of Newport died suddenly on the 24th with decided symptoms of arsenic poisoning. He had a $1000 policy on his life which is supposed to have had something to do with his untimely taking off. The case is being investigated.

The Ilion Armory hands are feeling jubilant again and so are the merchants. The proprietors of the Armory made the announcement Tuesday that the men should prepare for an additional contract of 50,000 more guns. This week the hands commence to work 13 hours per day. They will be expected to turn out about 500 guns per day.

August 7, 1873:

No Herkimer or Montgomery County article.

August 14, 1873:

Suits continue to be brought in Ilion under the civil damage law. Judgments generally for plaintiffs ranging from 40 to 75 dollars.

The Remington Agricultural Works will soon commence manufacturing 180,000 dozen hoes. This is in anticipation of next season's trade.

John A. Lackey, proprietor of the West Winfield Cheese Factory, has been detected in skimming the cream from his patrons' milk after delivery at his factory. He paid the patrons $50.00 to settle. John had better keep a cow.

August 21, 1873:

Four civil damage suits have been successfully wiggled to desired stance in Ilion.

Herkimer County has 296,629 improved acres. Average value $92.65. Value of production per acre $19.24. Number of cows in county 48,547, averaging one cow to each six 1 to 9 acres. Number of pounds of butter and cheese made: 6,314,605. Averaging 130 pounds to each cow.

August 28, 1873:

Little Falls tots have a graded school.

The schools at Fairfield and Little Falls have opened for the fall.

The Republican County Convention meets September 20th at Herkimer.

A special term will be held in the new court house at Herkimer commencing next Tuesday.

September 4, 1873:

A dramatic association has been organized at Frankfort.

The barns of the hotel at Mohawk were burned Friday night. Mabbitt's loss by the burning of his hotel barns at Mohawk: $4,000. Insurance $1,500.

Honorable John Schell of Ilion has for some time been suffering from a painful tumor which has finally been removed by the surgeon's knife.

The paint store near the bank in Little Falls was burned Thursday night. The roof of the bank and the side of the dwelling house adjoining were also badly damaged. Loss about $3,000.

A dividend of 3 1/2 % has been declared on the capital stock of the Herkimer and Mohawk Street Railroad, payable on and after September 10th.

A 6 year old son of Mr. M. Folsom, cheese buyer from New York, while on a visit to Mr. F. Ives' in Salisbury cut 3 fingers of his left hand nearly off in a straw cutter.

The Citizen says The Herkimer County Agricultural Society is making extensive preparations for their fair which is to be held at Herkimer on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of September.

September 11, 1873:

Republican County Convention at Herkimer September 20th.

They are sniffing around the coal beds yet. Parties have even leased land to work for black diamonds.

When Postmaster Piper went into his office at Frankfort Sunday morning, he discovered that the door of his fireproof safe had been bored and blown open. The contents consisting of stamps, postal card, money &c. amounting to between 80 and 150 dollars in value were carried off. No trace of the thief has been found.

Messrs. E. B. Waite and Co. of Little Falls are about erecting a large addition to their paper mill. Their proposed addition will considerably increase the capacity of the mill.

September 25, 1873:

Ilion merchants hereafter will close their stores at 8:30 p.m.

It looks like war times at the Ilion Armory. The Remingtons and their contractors have a full force at work on the Spanish contract by day and night.

October 2, 1873:

Col. Reinlein of the Spanish army is at Ilion inspecting the guns being manufactured at the armory for his government. It is reported that some 30 or 40 Spaniards will soon be employed on the contract.

The smallest post office in the county is Danube. The annual salary is $12.00.

The annual convention of the Central New York Spiritualists is to be held at West Winfield October 11th and 12th.

The loan commissioners will meet in Herkimer on Thursday October 7th and on Tuesday and Wednesday of each week for three weeks thereafter.

The Remington Empire Sewing Machine Company are turning out at the manufactory 100 sewing machines per day and still they are not able to supply the enormous demand.

A few evenings ago, some malicious person threw a stone at a passing train in the vicinity of Little Falls, hitting the engineer in the head and knocking him senseless. We understand the unfortunate man's name was Stacy. The miscreant is not known as it was dark when the foul deed was done.

Sat. superintendent Priest had a narrow escape from death at Herkimer by getting between the two express trains as they were passing. His presence of mind kept him exactly between the two, hence no serious results followed.

October 9, 1873:

The county lodge of Good Templars will meet at Salisbury October 15th and 16th.

The receipts of the Herkimer County Fair were $2800 of which $1,130 will go for premiums.

The youngest son of William Williamson of Frankfort Hill has suffered by two accidents recently. About a week ago, the little fellow was run over by a double wagon laden with stone. The wheels passed over his breast and arms yet strange is to say that he did not break any bones. His body was severely bruised however and one arm so injured that he was not able to use it handily up to Saturday when the other accident befell him. About 6:00 Saturday evening while playing in the barn, he fell from a beam to the floor injuring the same arm, this time more seriously than before, the bone being broken below the shoulder. Dr. J. G. Hunt of Utica attended him.

October 16, 1873:

George Robinson, of Herkimer, while working on the M. E. Church in Herkimer, fell from the scaffold to the ground, a distance of 40 feet. No bones were broken and his injuries are not considered serious.

C. G. Burke formerly of Utica is president of the Herkimer Falls music association.

Herkimer and Mohawk are troubled. A gambling establishment is in operation in each place.

Middleville has a case of small pox.

Over 1500 men are employed by the Remingtons at Ilion. It is expected that the present contracts will keep them busy for two years.

The receipts of the Herkimer County Fair this year were $3,663.20. This amount is larger than had been received from any previous exhibition of the society.

October 23, 1873:

The remodeled Mohawk Reform Church was rededicated Thursday afternoon in the presence of a large congregation. After the dedicatory services proper, the work of providing for the remaining debt on the edifice, $3,500, was commenced and the sum of $3,800 was raised. The church is now very handsome. The repairs on the old church were so extensive that the present edifice may be called new. The total cost of the work was $9,500.

Mrs. Amos Gage died in Little Falls on the 10th inst., aged 100 years and 6 months. She was born near Cherry Valley.

Sunday School convention at Ilion October 23rd and 24th.

The Little Falls news says portions of three skeletons were dug up on the roundhouse flats the other day while digging for the foundation for a stone wall in connection with the roundhouse buildings. Some of the teeth in the upper jaw of one skull were still perfect. Portions of other skulls were found as well as numerous small bones. Under one set of bones a board was found showing that it had been buried with the body. A twelve pound cannon ball was also found nearby. And on another spot a similar kind of shell. Indian arrowheads and tomahawks were dug up showing that this ground had once been the scene of a bloody struggle. The skeletons were found at the point about 120 feet from the river's edge.

October 30, 1873:

Rev. C. T. Moss formerly pastor of the M. E. Church in Herkimer village has assumed the editorial management of the Ilion Citizen.

Asa C. Cole of Fairfield met a sad death at Shingle Hollow in the town of Hoosick on Wednesday afternoon by a horse running away and stampeding a herd of cattle belonging to himself and brother who were engaged driving them to market when Cole was trampled to death.

The tannery of John Brown situated about a mile from Grant in Russia was burned to the ground Friday of last week. The loss is about $4,000, insured for $2,500.

November 6, 1873:

A boy fell through an elevator opening at the Remington Armory on Saturday afternoon and broke one of his legs. It is said that he has been the chief support of a crippled father. We did not learn his name.

November 13, 1873:

Cows are selling in some sections at 5 to 15 dollars.

A Little Falls lady who dresses in black colored her blue kid gloves black herself, there being no dyeing establishment in town, but was surprised on walking with her male admirer and striking him in the face with her gloved hand among the pleasantries to see a mark left on his face and paper collar.

Incendiaries attempted to start fires in several parts of Little Falls last Wednesday night. They were successful in only one instant. The wooden hay shed at the depot was burned together with wood, hay and lumber. The rubber hose of two of the engines was cut with a knife and made to leak terribly. The businessmen of the place held a meeting Thursday afternoon and took measures to secure night patrolmen. The police force of the place has been largely increased.

Henry Ward Beecher will lecture at Little Falls December 1st.

November 20, 1873:

Jim Johnson, policeman of Little Falls, had a pistol snapped near his head the other night near Burke and Hely's new building. Whether it was in earnest or done by a scare is not known as the party made himself suddenly scarce.

Little Falls night police are doing good service. The incendiaries are making themselves scarce.

The Frankfort Debating Society will discuss this question at their next meeting: Resolved: That the people of Canastota would have been justified in hanging the incendiaries, Woodford and Stone.

Robert Almond, of Ilion, won the $250 Remington Diamond Badge at the Creedmore Rifle Range last Saturday. His aggregate was 70 out of 84.

November 27, 1873:

A recently discharged employee of Messieurs Hoblitzel claims to have been robbed in Little Falls last week of $30 and a watch, but his account of the affair is not very satisfactory.

It is thought the fair of the ladies at St. Mary's Church in Little Falls has netted them over $2,000.

It is stated that the Remingtons at Ilion have received order to ship no more arms to Spain. The entire force of the armory has of late been engaged on the Spanish contract.

D. H. Phelp's grocery store at Newville was broken into and robbed of about $18 worth of tea &c. last Monday night.

Little Falls will have Thanksgiving services at 10:30 a.m. at the Episcopal, Methodist and Universalist Church. The Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists uniting at the Methodist Church.

The wages of the foundry hands in the Remington establishments in Ilion have been reduced.

It is stated the audience room of the Methodist Church at Ilion is being frescoed. Meanwhile services are held in the basement.

Temperance meetings are held each sabbath afternoon in the Ilion Good Templar Hall. Considerable interest is manifested in them.

December 4, 1873:

For some time past a number of Spanish officers have been stopping at Ilion. They were sent by the home government to act as ordnance inspectors in the matter of the arms now making by the Remingtons for the Spanish government. It seems that these gentlemen have become quite popular during their stay, especially by the ladies of Ilion. In consideration of the attention they have received, the gallant Spaniards have promised to give a grand ball in honor of their lady friends. The affair comes off this evening at Maben's Hall. The ball promises to be the most recherche that has ever been given in Ilion.

A package of gloves discharged at Fonda from the local freight was found on examination to have been broken open and a part of the package removed. The owner followed the train to Herkimer and had the hands arrested. The gloves were found in a pail belonging to one of the hands. Justice Green held the accused to bail which he succeeded in finding for his appearance at County Court.

December 11, 1873:

An iron modified whipple bridge to be erected where the Frankfort Street Railroad crosses the canal is being built at the Ilion Agricultural Works.

Little Falls New Free Academy, formerly the Academy of Little Falls, opened last week with 50 pupils.

Fairfield seminary is to have a course of lectures.

The patrol system devised for protecting the village of Little Falls from incendiaries, and introduced a few weeks since, seems to be working extremely well.

December 18, 1873:

Thursday night the clothes store of Alexander Loucks in Salisbury Center was entered by burglars who secured clothing in the amount of $300 to $400. The same night the machine shop of G. L. Byington in the same village was entered but nothing was missed from the establishment. No clue to the burglars has been obtained as yet.

The citizens of Little Falls some time since devised and put in execution the system of a drafted voluntary patrol force for protecting from fires mainly for the reason that their charter fixes a limit to the sums to be annually raised by taxation and to sustain a paid force equal to that now doing duty would require a sum far in excess of the lawful limit. At a meeting of the board of trustees recently held, a resolution was passed to initiate proceedings to secure an amendment to the village charter permitting a larger sum to be raised by tax than heretofore.

The Masonic hall at Little Falls is to be opened December 26. The preparations for the dedication are elaborate and consist of grand processions, addresses, decorations, etc., followed by the usual festivities of the evening. Doring's full band furnishes the music during the day and for the ball in the evening. A large attendance of the brethren of the district is expected.

December 25, 1873:

The total amount of the assessment against the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company in this county is $883, 249, the total tax on which will be something near $20,396.

The Remingtons have provided Ilion with a costly clock in the Armory tower. It will be illuminated at night.

E. A. Munson, supervisor of the town of Herkimer, died on the 11th. He was born in Salisbury some 64 years ago and had been identified with the business interest of Herkimer village for nearly 40 years.

Mr. Richard Ward, formerly a citizen of Little Falls village, and one of the largest landowners of that place, died in New York on the 8th inst., aged 78 years. He, it was, who purchased and donated to the Immanual Church, the Spanish bell which hangs in its tower and gives forth such a peculiar sound. He also presented to the village what is known as Eastern Park.

Complimentary ball to the Spanish Ordnance Committee at Ilion tomorrow evening.

January 1, 1874:

Petroleum V. Nasby lectures in Ilion about January 10. Thomas Nast will deliver the fourth lecture of the Little Falls course, next Monday evening.

January 8, 1874:

The celebrated caricaturist of Harper's Weekly, Thomas Nast, gave the fourth of the Y.P.C.A. Le Course of Lectures and Entertainments, at Little Falls on Tuesday evening and lectured in Ilion last evening.

January 15, 1874:

An uneasy Herkimer boy, whom a mother tried to quiet on a Central Train the other day, by telling him the conductor sometimes swallows bad boys, astonished her a few minutes after as the portly form of conductor Whitbeck appeared at the door, by creeping behind her and exclaiming in a whisper: "Ma, I guess he has swallowed one already."

January 22, 1874:

A correspondent of the Albany Argus writes: Scarlet fever is on the rampage in the villages of Herkimer and Fulton and Montgomery Counties. It is confined to children between one and five years of age, principally. At Brockett's Bridge, Herkimer County, the disease has proved most fatal. Hardly a family there but what is afflicted. The disease in other localities is quite as common, but seemingly of a milder form. Physicians account for the malady at this season of the year by attributing it to the changeable state of the weather.

Death of possible interest: In Osceola, NY, January 18, 1874, Permila M. Wright, child of ___ and E. Wright, aged 2 years and 9 months.

January 29, 1874:

no Herkimer County article

Death of possible interest: In Redfield, NY, January 25, 1874, an infant son of Joseph A. Gardner, aged 1 month and 4 days.

February 5, 1874:

The New England supper and donation for the benefit of Rev. H. Garlick of West Winfield, was a very enjoyable affair, and netted to the pastor over $250.

A Herkimer county farmer who has quite an extensive hennery took special care to ascertain what worth there really was in a certain number of hens. January 1st, 1874, he found that thirty six hens had furnished him with 4,004 eggs and in addition to this, he raised forty seven hens which are now at work.

February 12, 1874:


February 19, 1874:

Wednesday night, the 11th, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Sherman of Ilion celebrated their golden wedding at the house of their son, Mr. Jared Sherman. Seven children, thirteen grandchildren, and two great grandchildren compose the entire family and these were all present on the occasion.

The Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company has opened an office in Herkimer at the Express office.

Mr. and Mrs. Madison Shaw of Ohio celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage Thursday evening, February 12th. A large number of friends were present, who left numerous crystal tokens of their good wishes for the welfare of the couple.

February 26, 1874:

The county jail contains eight inmates.

"License or no license" will be the issue at the Ilion charter election.

Thirty-seven thousand California salmon trout have been placed in West Canada Creek.

March 5, 1874:


March 12, 1874:


March 19, 1874:


March 26, 1874:

E. Remington and Sons of Ilion have paid all their employees up to the first day of March. Nearly $200,000 was required to cover the whole.

April 9, 1874:

Gobbons writes to the Albany Argus: "A rather singular phase in the administration of Herkimer County is made known and the good people of the county are amazed thereat. It rests in the fact of certain officials of that county recommending the appointment of a man as deputy sheriff who was convicted of violating the excise law and sentenced to three months in the Albany Penitentiary last October."

Mr. Samuel Remington of Ilion will spend his winters hereafter in Cairo, Egypt and the Troy Times says: "Egypt will not represent darkness within the limits of Mr. Remington's influence there, but rather the light which cometh from good works and the genial elements that constitute a power of blessing both for him that gives and those who receive."

-That's all for April, 1874

May 7, 1874:

The Travers murder trial was begun at Herkimer Tuesday.

Baled hay, very scarce, brings $22 to $35 per ton at Little Falls.

No licenses were granted in West Winfield at the session of the Board on Monday. There was only one application, all the other parties accepting the verdict of the last town election as being opposed to license. It is said there are none granted in Plainfield or Litchfield.

Some of the roads are yet almost impassable from snow.

May 21:

Gen. Frank Spinner offers his residence at Herkimer for sale intending to live in future at Washington, DC.

Frederick Hicks of Little Falls, while in a rowboat, was carried over the dam at that place and drowned Sunday the 17th.

Willow trees have been planted along the side of the Mohawk and Herkimer Street Railroad between the Mohawk River and Herkimer to prevent the sweeping away of the road and track by the spring floods.

-That's all for May.

June 4:

A Little Falls baseball club intend attending the Watertown tournament.

A man was caught stealing freight from the Ilion freight house last week. The freight agent there has been missing boxes and bundles of freight for several months past. The man was arrested and convicted.

An epidemic disease has gotten among the hogs in the southwestern part of Herkimer County and a great number of them are dying. At and around Van Hornesville is this particularly the case. It is presumed that the disorder was brought into that locality recently with a number of hogs bought in Canada.

Mr. Gates' new building for the manufacture of matches at Frankfort progresses rapidly. It will be, when finished, a model workshop.

A few days ago several children of Matthias Smith, of Van Hornesville, became dangerously sick and no cause could be assigned for their illness for several days. It finally transpired that the spring water that had been used in the family contained poison, large quantities of fungi being discovered in the water.

There is considerable talk of having the lock-up building in the old brick Methodist church at Frankfort. A good idea: what better place than a church to bring sinners to repentance?

-That's all for June.

Continue on to Part 2.

***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: 2/15/98
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