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Turning Back the Pages

Unknown ladies at the old Warren County Fairgrounds racetrack in Warrensburgh in 1923, waiting for the horse racing to commence.

Unknown ladies at the old Warren County Fairgrounds racetrack in Warrensburgh in 1923, waiting for the horse racing to commence.

Gone to meet his maker

Benjamin Harrington of West Stony Creek, a centenarian known locally as “Uncle Ben,” died Sept. 2, 1912 at his home, aged 101 years. He and his wife, who survives him, celebrated the 101st anniversary of their birth March 28, 1912 as both were born on that same day in 1811.

Ben Harrington was apparently in his usual good health the day before his end. Death came to him like the sleep of a little child. He sank into a stupor and never rallied. He had never been sick in bed in his life.

Ben was born in the hills of Stony Creek and spent his entire life on the farm he occupied at the time of his death. He never rode on a railroad train but once when he and his wife, “Aunt Harriet” went to Albany to see Governor Hill inaugurated. He never used liquor or tobacco in any form. They lost one son, Benjamin Jr., in the Civil War at the battle of Bull Run and their other son lived on the farm with them as their caretaker. “My only regret is,” said Mrs. Harrington, “we could not die at the same time. We have been very happy together and have lived a long life.” (Note: More stories about the lives of this remarkable couple were told in this column in the March 17, 2012 Adirondack Journal. David Bennett Hill became New York’s 29th governor at Albany in the year 1885 when Ben Harrington was 74 years old.)

Police officer fired after joy ride

The entire police force of the village of Lake George has been suspended by village president Sisson for an indefinite period. The force, it is alleged, got drunk and was caught at it. Officer Putnam, who is it, while in full uniform on Saturday night, went with an automobile party on a joy ride to a road house near Saratoga and returned late in the night in a state alleged to have been unduly hilarious. There was so much talk around town that it all came to the ears of Mr. Sisson who promptly suspended the erring one from the force. (Note: Here it is 100 years later and this poor man, Officer Putnam, dead and long gone, hasn’t yet lived down his wild night out on the town!)

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

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