Many come to boy’s defense | Turning Back the Pages

•100 years ago - Nov., 1913•

Many come to boy’s defense

Alfred Dodge, 18, the boy who shot and killed his step-father, Samuel Wiggins at Smith’s Basin, Oct. 26, 1913, is being held in the County Jail to await the action of the Grand Jury on a charge of second-degree murder. The murder is a subject of much speculation among local citizens and many believe that the boy was justified when he fired the fatal shot.

From the testimony of the case, taken by Coroner W.H. Mellick, the murdered man had, during the early morning hours, roughly kicked his wife and stepson out of their beds. The dead man’s brother, George Wiggins, swore that a short time before the murder, the heavily intoxicated man, who had been drinking whiskey, had knocked him to the ground and had made an attempt to hit him in the head with a pick-axe in a melee in the dooryard and the man’s wife, also intoxicated, standing close to her husband, had tried to intervene and he beat her. It was then when Alfred Dodge, standing in the doorway of the house several feet away, fearing for his mother’s life, fired the shot that blew off the top of Wiggins’ head.

Many hours elapsed between the time the shot was fired and the time that the coroner was notified. (Note: Details of this once hotly-debated case may be found in this column in the Oct. 19, 2013 Adirondack Journal.)

Music Hall performer

Not particularly large, but exceedingly well pleased was the audience that enjoyed the delightful concert given by the Florence Lillian Frost Company at the Music Hall, Warrensburgh, on the night of Nov. 3, 1913.

Miss Frost, a fascinating young girl, is a violinist of exceptional ability. Her tone is sweet and powerful, tender and pleading or ringing and triumphant as she wills — and her interpretations clearly show the soul of a great artist. For one encore she played with exquisite tenderness that old time favorite, “Annie Laurie.”

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

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