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Turning Back the Pages

100 Years Ago - January 1913

Savage blow ends man’s life

Orville S. Pratt of 69 Maple St., Glens Falls, a former resident of Horicon, died Jan. 22, 1913 in Glens Falls Hospital of general peritonitis super induced by a rupture of the bladder, caused by a heavy blow or a fall, believed to have been received in a fight which he engaged in Saturday with an Italian in Whitehall. Pratt was taken to the hospital on Monday and the next morning his death occurred, prompting Coroner Birdsall and the police to begin an investigation.

While waiting for the train at the depot, according to the story told by Pratt some hours before his death and corroborated by his brother-in-law Thomas Bennett of Whitehall, an Italian appeared and demanded a dollar he claimed Pratt owed him. Pratt, knowing that the demand was a ruse, engaged in a fight which he decidedly got the worst of, and when he finally arrived in Glens Falls his coat and vest were torn and his right eye was badly discolored. Thinking that he was intoxicated, his wife gave him little attention and on Saturday and Sunday he did indeed imbibe alcohol and Sunday night complained of severe pain in his stomach. A physician was summoned the next day after which he was taken to the hospital and on Tuesday he died.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Richard Pratt, 19 and Burt Pratt, 15, and his mother, Mrs. George Carpenter of Horicon.

Explosion wreaks havoc

The heating boiler in the Burt Shirt Company’s factory in Luzerne exploded on Saturday evening about 6 o’clock with devastating results. The front of the boiler was blown out and the smoke stack split its entire length. It is supposed that an explosion of coal gas was the cause as the boiler had just been fired by Frank St. John, who was struck on the leg by a piece of the door and somewhat injured. The factory is a branch of the Troy Shirt Factory.

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

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