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•100 Years Ago - April, 1909•

Hungry days for wildlife

Never has so many deer been killed in violation of the game law through the closed season as there has been this past hard winter, at least in some areas of the Adirondacks. The cause of this wanton slaughter is thought to be hard times, during which the people have not had money enough to purchase their provisions. Hounding is strictly forbidden and penalties are severe for those who break the law.

Third family member dies

Luman Pendell, 73, died March 22 of pleuro-pneumonia. His is the third death of the same disease in the same family, all in the month of March, 1909. Pendell's wife and sister-in-law, Mrs. Orange Kathan, have also succumbed to the dreaded malady. His brother, James F. Pendell of Thurman, survives him. He was buried in the Athol Cemetery.

No will to live

Charles L. Mason, 35, foreman for construction crews of the Glens Falls firm Finch & Herlib, met death the night of March 20, 1909 after a day's work on the state road construction at Pottersville, as the result of ingesting chloral. This chemical, which results from the combination of chlorine and ethyl alcohol, is a hypnotic.

Mason was in good health and apparent good spirits on the night of his death. He left the Wells House in Pottersville at 8 p.m. and shook hands with several men on his way home. He seemed well and happy.

After taking the drug, Mr. Mason kissed his wife and children and told them he was going to die. Terrified, Mrs. Mason hurriedly summoned Dr. Perkins. When he arrived he found the patient past all help. It is a great mystery why a young man with no financial troubles, in the prime of life, should choose to die.

(Note... I am reminded of the strange story of Nicholas Bibby who, in February, 1909, also left the Wells House and walked across the street to his house and shot himself through the heart with his double-barrel shotgun. No one knew the reason why.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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