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Turning Back the Pages

100 Years Ago • December 1912

Mutton dinner shatters lives

A taste for mutton, indulged in at the expense of a neighbor, landed Asa Smith, his wife and two sons, Dennis, 18 and Theron, 17, in the Albany penitentiary where they will sojourn for a period of 180 days at an expense of $10 a week to Warren County. The family stole a sheep from Byron Whittemore and were convicted of the crime on Dec. 13, 1912 in Judge George Hodgson’s court. The eldest son of the family, Claude, about 21, was already an inmate of Albany’s bug-ridden bastille, having been sent there weeks ago by Justice Hodgson, for stealing a sum of money from James Raymond while employed at his farm on Spruce Mountain.

The Smiths are a bad lot, certainly not the Smiths generally, but this particular bunch of the world’s biggest clan, who are most undesirable citizens of the most pronounced class. A year or so ago they moved from the town of Bolton by special request of the authorities. They than located on Harrington Hill in the town of Caldwell for a while and finally drifted into Warrensburgh. They were not warmly welcomed but were tolerated. After another move or two they located last spring on a farm on the Glen Road about a mile and a half from the village adjoining the farm of Byron Whittemore.

One night recently the Smiths were entertaining Eugene Allen, a friend from Pucker Street and hilarity reigned in the farmhouse. Mrs. Smith, who was formerly Josephine Frazier of Horicon, suggested to Allen that there was “some good eatin‘” in the Whittemore pasture near by. The visitor took the hint and accompanied by the boy, Dennis, went after the provender. Locating a fat sheep of a valuable breed, Allen seized it by the horns and pulled while Dennis pushed and landing the animal in the cellar, butchered it.

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

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