Turning Back The Pages

•100 Years Ago – Aug. 1911•

Exciting news from afar

In Warrensburgh barber shops and around local places where men congregate to smoke their pipes and converse, the big news that excites aviation fans comes from Chicago where two deaths marked the fourth day of the great aviation meet there. William C. Badger, the son of a Pittsburgh millionaire and St. Croix Johnstone, a Chicago boy, both met a spectacular death when they went down in a blaze of glory before their shocked and adoring fans and the news quickly spread across the country.

William Badger was a national hero, a daredevil former automobile racer and the idol of every schoolboy. The accident he suffered took place before the eyes of thousands of people as he was attempting some spectacular maneuvers. One of the wings of his flying machine came in contact with the bank of a deep gully and in an instant the plane went to pieces. Badger was picked up unconscious, bleeding from a dozen wounds. His back was broken and death soon followed in the ambulance. There was a frenzied rush to the crash site and police had difficulty in preserving order.

That same day, St. Croix Johnstone was a half-mile off shore when his motor blew up. Hugh A. Robinson, in his hydroplane, swooped down from 300 feet in the air in a thrilling but vain attempt at rescue. Johnstone fell under his monoplane and was carried down under his engine. A fleet of motor boats recovered his dead body.

Prominent lady dies

Mrs. Walter Pasco, 71, died of heart trouble at 4 a.m. Aug. 4, 1911 at her home on River St., Warrensburgh, after an illness of only an hour. She had been subject to similar attacks for several years and she had been feeling unusually well of late and her death was a shock to her family.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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