•100 years ago — March 1914•
Worker killed in mill accident
Death in a most remarkable form came March 10, 1914, in an instant, which ended the troubled career of William J. Armstrong of Warrensburgh. During his lifetime he was the victim of many misfortunes, some of which he brought upon himself by dissolute habits and others, the worst were thrust upon him by an all wise but inscrutable Providence.
Armstrong was killed at 4:30 a.m. at the Schroon River Pulp and Paper Co. plant in Burnhamville, Warrensburgh. He was caught in a belt and hurled to his death in the twinkling of an eye, his body being horribly mutilated. The left leg was torn from his body, the torso being mangled and his skull was crushed like an egg shell.
The man had been employed in the mill until about two weeks ago when he was discharged. He had since been roaming the village, satisfying his thirst for intoxicants as he could by one way and another find to procure them. Estranged from his family and therefore having no place to sleep, he had been going nights to the paper mill where he was permitted by the employees to sleep in most any corner he could find.
On the night of March 9, night engineer Jay Brainard admitted him to his warm and comfortable room and he slept there on the floor during the night. About 4:30 a.m. Brainard left the room for a moment and while he was outside heard a thumping sound which he thought was the sound of a belt breaking. Hurrying to a room through which ran a 26-inch belt connected with the main shaft, he was horrified to find Armstrong’s lifeless body horribly mangled, lying on the floor where it had been hurled after being released from the rapidly revolving belt.