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Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 20, 1875
South Deerfield - S.F. Fisher has reopened his harness shop in the basement of the Methodist Church; P. Corcoran a shop in Pierce's block; James Baghardt a shop over the post office; E.H. Warren a stable at his residence, and James M. Houston has opened a hotel in the second story of Pierce's block.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
Great fire at South Deerfield
Great fire at South Deerfield - over $40,000 worth of property destroyed. One of the most destructive conflagrations that has ever visited Franklin County raged at South Deerfield Sat. night, sweeping out of existence the two village hotels, the finest private dwelling house in the place, a manufacturing establishment, a livery stable with several buildings, sheds and other property.
About 15 minutes before 12 o’clock, fire was discovered in the trimming room, in the second story of the ell part of John Ockington’s carriage shop, which was located on Depot Street, a little west of the Main street of the village. Before the alarm became general the flames with almost lightning rapidity spread to the main building, a large 2 story wooden structure, used for the various branches of the carriage business, and a repository for finished work.
Mr. Ockington’s books were rescued, and a portion of his stock, but a carryall, buggy, express wagon, sleigh, and a no. of carriages in different stages of construction, tools and lumber and stock of various kind were destroyed. ..The wind, which was blowing strongly from the north and north west, carried the flying cinders in the direction of Main Street.
Ten and a half ft. from the shop was the livery stable owned by W. Houston and occupied by Frank Warren. Hardly 15 minutes from the breaking out of the fire the stable had caught, and in a very short time was reduced to ashes...The next building reached by the devouring fire fiend was the Hayden Hotel, a large 2 story wooden building in the south west corner of Main Street and Depot Street, 75 ft. distant from the stable. It was owned by L. Hayden and occupied by his son Charles Hayden.
...Nearly all the furniture was removed from the building, but still considerable valuable property was destroyed. Miss Benn Hayden occupied a fancy goods store in the block, and her stock was nearly all saved.
100 ft. to the south on Main Street was Loren Hayden’s fine dwelling house, built but a short time ago, the most extensive residence in South Deerfield, and well furnished. Only a part of the furniture was saved, and the building and most of its contents were soon in ashes. In the rear, 27 ft. distance, was a large new barn which with its contents of hay and grain were destroyed....
While the conflagration was waging its war of destruction upon this corner of the street, another had broken out with equal fury on the opposite corner. The Bloody Brook House, belonging to C.P. Aldrich, was in a few moments a mass of flames. This long building, extending over 100 ft. on Main Street, with a new ell on Depot Street, its barns and numerous outbuildings melted before the flames like frost beneath the rays of the sun.
Efforts were made to clear out the contents but they were mostly unavailing, and the furniture, a piano, billiard table, provisions, bedding, etc. were lapped up by the greedy element. In the large grocery store of L.T. Harris, in the ell part of the building, but little was taken out. Scudder, a jeweler, saved most of his stock, but shot himself through the hand while handling one of his revolvers. J.T. Burnett occupied a room as a barber shop, but met no serious loss.
S.F. Fisher, who had a harness shop in the building, packed his goods and tools in trunks, and saved nearly all. P. Corkins, the shoemaker, another occupant, was alike fortunate. Several boarders in the hotel lost their clothing, but fortunately no one perished or was seriously injured.
Providentially there was a change in the wind, and the fire made no further progress in a northerly direction; though a horse belonging to Edward Jones of Greenfield, which is adjacent, was scorched and vigilant watching was required to prevent it from igniting. O.S. Arms’ house, on the east side of Main Street opposite Hayden’s, was several times on fire. All of the furniture was taken out, and by cutting through the roof and applying water as best they could when flames were discovered, he and his neighbors managed to save the building.
On the corner of Main Street opposite the Hayden hotel, is a large wooden building belonging to C.A. Pierce. This too was scorched. and the roof was frequently on fire, but it was saved without serious damage. Its occupants, M. Roch, druggist, Boyd & Houghton, dry goods, Mrs. B. Parsons Mansfield, milliner, O.S. Arms, post office and shoe store removed a portion or all of their goods, and had them more or less damaged. William B. Houston, who occupied a tenement on the 2nd floor, had his furniture taken out.
Deacon L.H. Fellow’s house, some 20 ft. from the post office, was also on fire and its contents taken out, but the fire was kept at bay by the use of small hand pumps, such as are used in gardens and in washing carriages. C. Mosher’s livery stable was saved in the same way. Numerous other houses and buildings were at different times on fire, but the assembled people were able to put them out.
South Deerfield is without a fire engine, reservoir, or any organized means for extinguishing fire. The people who assembled in obedience to the alarm could do little but assist in moving furniture and goods, and the fire in the destruction of the buildings mentioned had it all its own way. Within two hours from the breaking out of the flames in Ockington’s shop they had done their work, and nothing was left but tottering chimneys and smouldering embers.
About a quarter past 12 a dispatch was sent to Springfield for help and an hour or two after, two steamers and a hose cart arrived, making the run from Springfield in 40 minutes; but it was too late to be of service, and if the engines had come earlier there would have been little water that could have been made use of. The train soon returned.
The Deerfield Guards, under Captain B.F. Bridges, who had returned from msuter the afternoon previous, were early called to guard the property scattered about the streets. Some disturbance was created by boys who had confiscated liquors, but it was quelled without serious trouble. The fire was seen for miles, and burning brands were carried as far as Sunderland.
Mr. L. Hayden was so prostrated from the excitement incident to the fire that there were rumors yesterday that he was not likely to survive; but these rumors were probably exaggerated. John Ockington, one of the principle sufferers, is away at the seaside.
[Article goes on to discuss policies and amount of insurance, but this is all nicely listed in the NYTimes article].
Though there is some doubt about the origin of the fire, the prevailing belief is inclined to incendiarism. There had been no fire about the carriage shop after 3 o’clock the previous afternoon. The place in the building where it broke out was quite a distance from the forging shop. The calamity is a serious blow to the community.
[See the article "Losses by fire" in the Sept. 6, 1875 issue of the New York Times Online Archive].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, September 6, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
(Greenfield) A lady made a misstep last week, and fell the whole length of the stone steps below the post office. A fellow, who might easily have caught her, as he stood within an arms length, looked on with open mouth, and did not even go to pick the lady up when she reached the bottom. Luckily, though bruised and frightened, she was not seriously hurt.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
An old story
The following was told me by the late Theodore Hoyt of Bernardston, father of Richard Hoyt. Mr. Hoyt’s father was Jonathan Hoyt, born in the old Indian House at Deerfield and son of landlord Hoyt. He built a house upon his father’s land at West Deerfield, probably around 1760, where he lived to old age, and sent out into the world a large family of children and grand-children. Here Mr. T. Hoyt was born.
The family were obliged to cross the Deerfield river to attend the public meetings of the town, and to the post office and store. Much of the time the river was crossed in a wooden canoe, which was kept near the old cemetery , as the river at this time was making its way very near its sacred enclosure, and it was feared that it would disturb the sleeping inmates.
Mr. Hoyt was returning from the village, and had entered a ravine on the farm now owned by Salmon Chapman, when a raccoon started up and ran. Mr. Hoyt went for him. He said in those days they did not let any thing disturb them. The raccoon ran under some rubbish and roots of trees, which he began to remove, when he saw a large copper kettle, which he thought was taken by the Indians from the village of King Philip’s time, or in 1704, and buried there.
The old kettle was taken home, but a large hole was found in it, making it unfit for use; but neighbor Deacon Jehiel Jones, grandfather of G.W. Jones and Charles Jones, gave him an old kettle to mend it with, and it did good service for many years. Near where the kettle was found, the Indians had a cemetery and an armory, or a spot for burying arrowheads and other war implements.
The Indians were mostly buried in a sitting posture. This brought the head near the top of the ground. Mr. Hoyt said, when they plowed this land, the plows would cut off and turn out the Indians’ skulls. Oh, what a harvest Mr. Sheldon and Dr. Hitchcock would have gathered from that field! - enough to have filled several shelves of their cabinet.
This farm was then owned by Mr. Hoyt’s brother, father of S.B. Hoyt of Bernardston. The present owner, Mr. Chapman, found deposited in a cavity, 60 or 70 arrow heads, showing it to be a place of deposit. These, we are sorry to say, fell under the eye of Dr. Hitchcock a little too soon after they were found, and are now deposited in the Indian cabinet at Amherst College, with a promise to be returned to Deerfield and deposited in the Memorial Hall when completed. (N. Hitchcock)
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 30, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
The mail agent on the down train over the Conn. River Railroad Thurs. aft., made a target of the heads of the passengers who were waiting on the platform to take the train, throwing a mail bag with great force into the crowd. The bag struck a lady on the side of the head and shoulder, nearly prostrating her. That she was not seriously injured was not the fault of the careless mail agent.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 23, 1875
The camp meeting cannot be without some slight effect upon us. Whether it is the great amount of travel, or for the sake of showing people that "competition is the life of business", that has developed two lines of coaches between here and the camp ground, we do not know. R.N. Clapp runs a branch store there, and we hope he may do well. Postmaster Chenery spends most of his time on the grounds, being among the number of police; and for the accommodation of the campers, has obtained leave from Washington, to deliver mails from his branch office, and receive them off the cars at the lake. We express a hope too, that our landlord, Wildes, may have a busy time during campmeeting. He has already received several summer boarders.
Turners Falls bridge - Plans of the proposed bridge are now ready at the office of the Clerk of Courts, which have been drawn by E.A. Stratton, the Engineer employed by the County Commissioners. The specifications require that the bridge shall have a carriage way of 18 ft. in the clear, and a projecting sidewalk on either side of 5 ft. in the clear. The bridge shall be capable of sustaining 80 lbs. to the square foot, exclusive of its own weight.
From the Turners Falls side of the river to Great Island, the bridge is to be built of iron, of a suspension or truss form as may be decided upon. The span for a truss bridge over the present canal shall be 75, 100 or 150 ft. as may be determined...From Great Island to Gill shore, there will be a clear span of about 210 ft., making a total length of 960 ft. The masonry for the bridge is to be of that character called "first class rubble". The stones are to be of a hard and durable quality, and so quarried as to admit of being laid in regular courses without hammer dressing, and all to be laid in the best quality of hydraulic cement mortar.
Particular attention must be giver to the up-river ends of the piers in the main channel of the river, and cut-water points are required of similar style as in the piers of the Montague bridge, and all the stone in the up-river end of the piers are to be dowelled together up to high water line. In quantity there will be about 1630 cable yards of masonry. There will be embankments required of approaches to the abutments, and excavations for the roadway on Great Island, which will amount to about 2800 cubic yards.
Proposals will be received for the whole work or separately, as parties may prefer, and all work to be done to the acceptance of the county commissioners. The plans take from the east end of the Montague Paper Mill about 20 ft., and keeps clear of the Clark & Chapman machine shop. The estimate is as follows: 1630 yards of masonry at $7, $11,410; 2800 yards of earth work at 25 cents, $700; the price of the superstructure will determine the balance of the cost; assuming that the entire bridge may be made of wood, at a cost not exceeding $30 per lineal foot, the amount would be $28,800, making the total cost $40,910.
It is claimed that a truss bridge or a suspension bridge can be built at low figures as those given in the estimate. The matter of damages is the most serious difficulty to be disposed of. It will be remembered that the act of Legislature requiring the construction of the bridge limits the cost to $42,000. Now it is claimed that the land damage should not be included in this sum, and high legal opinion has been obtained which takes this view of the question. A no. of bridge builders have made inquiries either by letters or by personal visits, and bids are likely to be made at quite low figures. If the bridge is to be built, a time will never be found when it can be done cheaper than now.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 16, 1875
The Lake Pleasant Camp Meeting Association will run an excursion train to the Lake on Thurs. eve. for the benefit of the dancing community, leaving Greenfield at 7 p.m. and returning after the dance. There will also be dancing every aft. and eve. (Sundays excepted) until the 29th.
George S. Eddy of Greenfield has been appointed special police at camp meeting at Lake Pleasant.
A post office has been established at Lake Pleasant during camp meeting and Postmaster Chenery has charge of it, in connection with his office at Montague Center.
The Police Department is in charge of I. Chenery and W.W. Thayer of Montague, with power to appoint a force sufficiently strong to preserve order.
Mary E. Woodard vs. Samuel S. Eastman et al. - This was an action of libel brought by the plaintiff, the wife of Elbridge O. Woodard of Greenfield, against the defendants, publishers of the Gazette & Courier, claiming $5000 as compensation for the damage to her character, by a certain item published in the paper of the defendants on the 25th of Jan. last. The following is the plaintiff’s declaration, and the plaintiff says the defendants printed and published, and caused and procured to be printed, published and circulated, in a certain newspaper, edited and issued by the defendants at Greenfield, in the same county, this false, scandalous and defamatory libel of and concerning the plaintiff, a copy whereof is hereby annexed:
Copy of libel annexed: "Our village was disturbed by a lively row Sat. eve. It appears that Elbridge G. Woodard, whose wife is employed in the kitchen of the Mansion House, had learned from intercepted letters that one Bailey, a blacksmith of Shelburne Falls, had planned an elopement with Mrs. W. Woodard [meaning thereby the plaintiff; and further meaning that she, the plaintiff, had secretly devised, agreed and arranged with the said Bailey, and he with her, to run away and leave her lawful husband, the said Elbridge G. Woodard, and to live with him, the said Bailey, in adultery], his brother Galusha Woodard, and a friend were in waiting at the appointed hour, and when Bailey made his appearance at the rear of the Mansion House, pounced upon him, one Woodard using his fists and the other a whip-stock. Officer Kimball finally separated the parties, but Bailey was badly punished. Thoroughly scared, he rushed for his team at the American House, and made hasty tracks for home, while Woodard, in another sleigh, followed in his pursuit."
Whereby the plaintiff was and is greatly injured in her name, character and reputation, and was and is held up and exposed to public ignominy, shame, and disgrace, and was and is otherwise, greatly damnified. By the plaintiff’s attorney, Charles G. Delano.
Defendants’ answer - And now the defendants come, and for answer say, that they admit that they are the publishers of the Gazette & Courier, and that the article set forth in plaintiff’s declaration was published in the issue of January 25, 1875. The defendants deny each and every other allegation contained in said declaration, and leave the plaintiff to prove the same. They deny that said alleged libelous article is false, scandalous or malicious. They deny that said plaintiff has been in any way injured in her name, character or reputation by said publication...And the defendants aver that said article, as published by them, is substantially true; and they say that the village was disturbed on said Sat. eve. by a lively row; that the plaintiff was employed at the Mansion House; that letters had been intercepted, and that the plaintiff’s husband had learned from said letters that one Bailey had planned an elopement with the plaintiff; that said husband and Galusha, his brother, were in waiting at the appointed hour, and that when Bailey made his appearance in the rear of the Mansion House, they pounced upon him, one with fists, and the other with a whip-stock; and that the parties were separated by Officer Kimball; and Bailey was badly punished, and rushed for his team at the American House, and drove rapidly homeward, pursued by Woodard.
And the defendant further say that said article, set forth in plaintiff’s declaration, was so published by them in good faith, without malice toward the plaintiff, as current news of the day, and substantially as stated by the husband of the plaintiff to the defendants and to the bystanders and to others, on said Sat. eve., and at other times...That said words "that one Bailey planned an elopement with Mrs. W." do not, in their plain, common and natural import, accuse the plaintiff of any action whatever in the matter. It is Bailey who has planned...By C.C. Conant, Defendant’s Att’y.
It was decided to proceed with the case, and C.G. Delano, Esq., counsel for the plaintiff, opened by alleging that the words of the obnoxious item were false, and would be an injury to his client for a long time; would lacerate her feelings and hold her up before the community in shame and disgrace. Admitting that a portion of the facts were true, he said the objectionable words were those which alleged elopement...The counsel then read an item alluding to the libel case, from a recent issue of the Springfield Union, the responsibility for the publication of which he tried to trace to the defendants...
The first witness called by the prosecution was the junior editor of the Gazette & Courier, who was asked under oath, the extent of the circulation of the paper. [This is rather a delicate question with some publishers, but we have no reason to be ashamed of our growth, in the court room or elsewhere]. Mary E. Woodard was next put upon the stand. She had lived in Greenfield about 10 years, and had been married 17 years to Elbridge G. Woodard. She held property and did business in her own name. The publication of the article which she had alleged was libelous, had been made the subject of no little talk and comment about town, and she cited instances when it had been the occasion of sneers and derision when she walked the streets.
People who had been friendly before now cut her acquaintance. She described an interview which she had with Mr. Eastman after the publication of the item. She said that she was real sorry that it had appeared, and asked him to retract it; but he said it was all true, and he could prove it. On the cross examination she said she had worked at the Mansion House 3 days, at the time of the disturbance there. Her husband came for her that night about 7 o’clock in the eve. to take her home. He went out to get his horse; had been gone half an hour when he came back and said there was a gentleman at the door who wanted to see her. She went to the door, saw a gentleman and went right back.
Afterwards she heard a noise but didn’t hear anything said. Didn’t know what the disturbance was about; didn’t anticipate any row; didn’t know what it was. Saw Bailey the week before at the house of friends at Shelburne Falls, and played cards with him. She saw her husband the next day after the fracas, but didn’t see him again that night. She never got a letter from Bailey; didn’t know whether her husband had intercepted one or not; she never wrote to him. She had lived in Coleraine a number of years with her husband. He was in the war 3 years. She had no talk with Mr. Doolittle after the trouble at the Mansion House about the matter, never told anybody that her husband had intercepted letters.
She never told Maggie Tracy anything about it nor Jim Butler. She never had any trouble at Coleraine with her husband; never heard any stories about her character; didn’t remember asking Hugh B. Miller if an accusation of unchastity by her husband was sufficient ground for divorce. She never told Euclid Owen that she was "going to get a good slice out of Eastman". never asked him if they could go back more than 5 years on her character. Didn’t sit on a sofa with Bailey at Shelburne Falls; never told him that he was the "first man that ever turned his back on her". In direct testimony she did not expect her husband to call upon her the night of the fracas. He asked her if she got a letter from Bailey, and she told him she hadn’t.
The prosecution rested their case her, and C.C. Conant Esq. opened for the defense. He told the jury that he would prove that the complainant’s character could not have been greatly injured by the publication, because it was already soiled by a reputation for unchastity in this and an adjoining town; but it would appear in testimony; that the statement published was substantially true. He would show that Bailey received a letter, and came to Greenfield to meet her in obedience to it; that this proposed meeting was the reason that Woodard committed the assault, and because Bailey was going to run away with his wife. Before the witnesses for the defense were called to testify, Lilla B. Woodard, a daughter of the plaintiff, was put upon the stand by the prosecution, and she said that she had complained to her mother about the treatment she receives from the children at school in consequence of the scandal.
The first witness for the defense was Samuel S. Eastman, the senior editor of the Gazette & Courier. He described the interview with Mrs. Woodard at his house after the publication. she asked him if he had not published something about her, and he replied by inquiring if Bailey did not come to meet her, and if letters were not intercepted. She did not deny, but she said "You can’t prove it". She did not ask him to retract or apologize, but was violent in her talk and behavior, and said she would give him all the law he wanted.
E.A. Hall, the junior proprietor of the Gazette was called to the stand, and said that he wrote the item giving an account of the disturbance, that he had no malice towards Mrs. Woodard, and knew her only by reputation. In the cross examination he told how he obtained the facts, as published, by Officer Kimball, whom Woodard had told that he (Woodard) had intercepted letters from Bailey to his wife, arranging to run away with her. Darwin F. Hamilton, a clerk in the post office, did not recollect of a letter passing through the office directed to Mrs. Woodard.
George Doolittle, proprietor of the Mansion House, said the plaintiff worked for him two days at the time of the fracas. He recollected the disturbance. Mrs. Woodard was in the pastry room at the time, adjoining the kitchen, where the sound of voices outside could be plainly heard. He saw Mrs. Woodard when she came for her pay, and she said she ran away because of the trouble. Maggie Tracy, meat cook at the Mansion House, testified that she slept with Mrs. Woodard the night after the disturbance. Mrs. W. told her then that her husband said he had received letters from Shelburne Falls directed to her.
Mrs. Woodard told her that she was "a’feared" to go home. At the time of the disturbance, she (Maggie) was in her room, second story, facing Federal Street, and heard Woodard say that the man was going to run away with his wife, and that he had letters in his pocket to show it. Joseph A. Bailey of Shelburne Falls was the next witness put upon the stand. He saw Mrs. Woodard at Shelburne Falls, at the house of one White, where he joined with her in a game of cards. He left her about 11 o’clock. He came to Greenfield the night of Jan. 23, and hitched his horse at the American House; went to the Mansion House alone; met a man at the entrance of the stable yard, of whom he inquired for the hostler; the man lead him to a short distance and then assaulted him.
He didn’t know as he saw Mrs. Woodard or any other woman. He received a letter from "M.E. Woodard" that day, asking him to meet her in the eve. at the American House. He met a man there, by the name of Hossington, who told him that she wasn’t there. When he was with her at White’s, at Shelburne Falls, she said, when he was seated beside her on a sofa, that "I was the first man that ever turned his back on her". On the cross examination, Bailey said that Hossington told him at Shelburne Falls, the day of the fracas at Greenfield, that he would get a letter from Mrs. Woodard. When he stopped at the American House he went in and took a drink of whiskey. He denied that he knew Mrs. Woodard was at the Mansion House. When asked his name during the fracas, he said it was "Hilliard".
Hugh B. Miller of Coleraine was next called. He had known plaintiff since 1860; her reputation for chastity in Coleraine was not good, and he should think that it was the same at Greenfield. Thomas D. Purrinton of Coleraine knew this woman, and her reputation for chastity was not the best. Charles Webster Smith of Coleraine had heard people say "she" was not what she should be. J.B. Clark of Coleraine said her reputation for chastity was not the best. Dwight Jewett of South Deerfield was acquainted with the plaintiff, and her general reputation for chastity was bad. When cross examined, he said her father and brother had called her character into question. C.B. Tilton of South Deerfield corroborated Mr. Jewett’s statement. Alfred Wells of Greenfield knew Mary Woodard’s reputation, and it was bad. Bela Kellogg of Greenfield said her reputation for chastity was not what it should be.
J.H. Beals testified that his place of business on the night of Jan. 23, was opposite the kitchen of the Mansion House on Federal Street. He thought the noise of the fracas could be heard 20 rods. The distance from the pastry room across the kitchen was 14 ft. He could hear the talk in his store with the door shut. He heard Woodard ask Kimball to arrest Bailey, and when the officer said he would arrest him if he didn’t stop, Woodard said "Mr. Kimball, you don’t understand, this man has had sexual intercourse with my wife" or words to that effect.
C.H. McClellan being called, said that he was a storekeeper in Greenfield. Had known plaintiff in Coleraine and Greenfield, and her reputation for chastity was not good. J.M. Monson has known her for some years, and her reputation has been bad ever since he knew her. Euclid Owen testified to having had conversation with plaintiff in reference to the case. She had asked him how much she was likely to get; a thousand dollars would do her a great deal of good; she meant to "get a good slice out of Eastman". she asked if they could go back on her character to the time she lived in Coelraine. He told her that they could not go back more than 5 years.
Henry L. Miller said that his shop was 22 paces from the entrance to the Mansion House. He heard Woodard’s voice answer to a question "This man was going to run away with my wife". He heard it distinctly. George A. Kimball, the officer who quelled the disturbance, testified that he heard the noise of the fracas as far off as Howland & Lowell’s store, some 15 rods. He found Bailey in the custody of Woodard, told the latter to let him go, and the former to clear out. Kimball declined to arrest Bailey because he had no authority. In answer to his inquiry, Bailey gave his name as "Couillard". Woodard said his name wasn’t Couillard, but Bailey, as he had a letter in his pocket.
The disturbance was within 3 ft. of the windows of the kitchen. Thomas Todd, employed in the Federal Street Market, testified that he went out when he heard the row; saw a fellow running and Woodard after him. In answer to his inquiry, Woodard said the fellow was after his wife. Heard Woodard say to Mr. Kimball, that he had got a letter in his pocket to show the man’s name. This last statement was corroborated by Samuel J. Lyons, who heard a portion of the conversation. Miss Belle W. Eastman, daughter of the senior proprietor of the paper, corroborated her father’s testimony in regard to the conversation between him and Mrs. W., at the interview at the former’s house. She remembered distinctly shutting the hall door when ushering Mrs. W. into the house. Mrs. Woodard did not ask her father to retract the statements in the publication.
The defense here rested their case, and the prosecution then called the following witnesses, who had known the plaintiff and had not heard her reputation called in question: S.L. Shattuck, George W. Potter, Joel Wilson, Hattie A. Sessions, Sarah H. Brown (of Leyden), Lewis W. White. The latter lives at Shelburne Falls, and it was at his house where Bailey was introduced to Mrs. Woodard. They played "Old Maid". Hossington, his wife’s brother, was present. He didn’t see anything out of character. The testimony of Mrs. White was substantially the same. Elbridge G. Woodard, the husband of the plaintiff, was slow called to the stand. He couldn’t describe much of the Mansion House fracas.
He said the letter he told Kimball he had in his pocket was from the Warrior Mowing Machine Co., on the back of which he had some memoranda. He said he heard Bailey was coming there from Bill Hossington. He didn’t have any letter which he had destroyed. He didn’t know that he had told S.D. Bardwell of Shelburne Falls that he had destroyed a letter from Bailey to his wife. He didn’t know that he had left instructions at the post office to have all letters addressed to his wife detained and given to him. On the night of the fracas he didn’t know Bailey. He thrashed a man he did not know, and that he couldn’t see in the dark. He followed him to Shelburne Falls.
Went to Bardwell’s to enter a complaint against Bailey for riding out with his wife. He was over there the same day in Bailey’s shop with Hossington, told him about Bailey and his wife. He didn’t tell Mr. Bardwell that Bailey said he had had all he wanted out of Mrs. Woodard. At this point the prosecution called to the stand Dr. Charles L. Fisk, L.L. Luey, George Pierce Jr., James Newton, A.A. Rankin and S.O. Lamb, who couldn’t recollect that they had heard Mrs. Woodard’s character called to question.
S.D. Bardwell, a magistrate at shelburne Falls, was called by the defense in rebuttal. Woodard came to him on the night of the 23rd of Jan. saying that he had taken a letter from the post office in Greenfield, directed to his wife, purporting to come from Bailey, arranging a meeting. He (Woodard) was exasperated and proceeded to catch Bailey when he came according to his appointment. A complaint of rape was made on Woodard’s representation. On cross examination Mr. Bardwell said that Bailey was tried before him on the complaint, but was discharged because neither Mr. nor Mrs. Woodard appeared against him. Euclid Owen was also called to the stand to contradict Woodard’s statements. Woodard told him that he was about starting for Conway that Sat.; he went into the post office and took out a letter for his wife and noticed it was from Shelburne Falls. He opened it and found it was from Bailey. He didn’t say what he did with the letter.
The evidence in the case was now in, and W.S.B. Hopkins Esq. of Worcester presented the cause of the defense to the jury. It was one of those cases that it was always unpleasant to try, but nevertheless should be tried fully and fairly. There were several points in the statements of the alleged libelous article upon which both sides agree. The counsel for the prosecution objected to the portion which says: "One Bailey, a blacksmith at Shelburne Falls, had planned an elopement with Mrs. W." Were these words libelous? The words were capable of two constructions, and it was left for the jury to determine which was intended...
[Follows a long rehashing of the evidence]. Judge Aldrich charged the jury at considerable length, and with unusual clearness. He explained the difference between slander and libel. A libel is a false imputation which is written or published, holding up the slandered party to more public ridicule and contempt than would words spoken in slander. the plaintiff claims that she has sustained damage in consequence of the article published. The defendants admit the publication. they say that it is not libelous, does not hold up Mrs. Woodard to shame and ridicule. It was not claimed that there was any actual malice on the part of the defendants.
The question of inference or interpretation of the words should be decided by the jury; they should determine the obnoxious meaning; should see practical common sense to reach a verdict; they should decide whether the words were applicable to the plaintiff or not; whether Bailey planned an elopement with Mrs. Woodard or without her aid. If the import of the language was that it was a plan of Bailey alone, then it was no imputation upon Mrs. Woodard. the defendants say that if it was a charge upon Mrs. Woodard, they can prove that it is true. It was for the jury to say whether the truth was established or not.
The judge reviewed the evidence. If what Woodard said in the fracas was competent evidence, it must be proven that it was within the hearing of his wife. This the jury should determine. If the matter is libelous and also true, you must find for the defendants, if libelous and untrue, the verdict should be for the plaintiff. In fixing damage to character, the jury should take the standing of the woman before the public for chastity. A bad character may be hurt, and it was for them to determine the extent. It was competent for the defense to show a bad reputation 10 years before. If a woman years ago was lascivious, the presumption is that her character continues the same. The jury were to judge whether before the publication she was a pure woman.
The case was given to the jury at 4:30 on Thurs. Their first duty was to choose a foreman, as E.D. Merriam, the foreman previously chosen, was challenged off. The judge kept the court open till 9 o’clock in the eve. and then adjourned, and the jury were out all night. At 9 the next morning, they announced that they had still failed to agree, and were called into the court room. The judge took the occasion to say that he thought the case a clear one, and it should not have detained them but a short time. In a case of this type, the burden of proof rested with the plaintiff. It was necessary for the defendants to show only the truth by a preponderance of evidence.
They should show the truth by a fair amount of testimony, absolute truth was not insisted upon. It was the duty of the jury to render a verdict if possible. They should pay proper respect to each others’ opinions. He then sent them out to make another attempt. About half past 11 in the forenoon, the jury sent in for instruction, asking if the word "appears" used in the article alleged to be libelous, did not indicate that there was no direct charge. His Honor instructed them that that was the very point which they themselves must determine. He added that he wanted them to understand that he was not detaining them. If they were satisfied that they could not agree, they might say so and be dismissed. But the jury retired to their room, and in 5 minutes returned a verdict for the defendants. They had had a siege of 19 hours and were dismissed until Mon. morning.
The counsel for the plaintiff had filed a bill of exceptions, which has not yet been approved by the judge.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, August 2, 1875
Charles Nally, to whom belongs the honor of being the last victim of the old fugitive slave law in York State, died at Washington last week. Nally escaped from his owner in Virginia, and coming north, found employment in Troy. One day in 1860, when returning to his work, he was seized by the officers and carried before the United States Commissioner, who remanded him to the charge of his old master.
Meanwhile a large crowd of colored people had gathered, who after a long and determined struggle, succeeded in rescuing him. He was taken across the Hudson and back into the country, where he was kept until a sufficient sum had been raised to satisfy his owner. For the past few years he has lived in Washington, where he has been employed as a messenger in the Post Office department. One of his daughters is the wife of State Senator Ruby of Mississippi.
[Apparently his wife Lucy was a mulatto, and made many whites "uncomfortable" when she married George Thompson Ruby].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 19, 1875
The Second Congregational Church of Holyoke, Rev. J.L.R. Trask, pastor, unsolicited, sends the church at Turners Falls $28, accompanied with the following letter: "The Second Congregational Church of this city [Holyoke], realizing from its own history, the needs which a young church in a manufacturing village sometimes needs, voted to ask your church to accept the within amount to be appropriated as you may deem most expedient". The Turners Falls Society, though small and made by the removal of several members from town [Greenfield], weak and somewhat dependent, is still making good progress and doing good work. The need is a church building of its own, where its people would feel more at home and would be encouraged to new zeal and effort.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
The New Granada earthquakes
Mail advices received from different places in Columbia [i.e. Colombia] more than confirm the horrors of the earthquakes in New Granada in May last. In Cucuta alone over 10,000 people were killed, in addition to other thousands who were seriously injured. Everything in the place is in ruins - not a house remains standing, and to add to the horrors, thieves and robbers from the surrounding country have swept down upon the stricken place and despoiled the remnants of inhabitants of what little they had saved from the general wreck...
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 12, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
There are many funny things sent through the mail. On Thurs. a live alligator from Texas arrived here safely under Uncle Sam's charge, directed to J.L. Phillips of Conway. The animal, a small one by the way, was neatly put up in a perforated tin box, and appeared to be as comfortable as his contracted quarters would permit.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, July 5, 1875
Brief notes of a pleasant excursion
The Massachusetts Press Association left Boston on the morning of June 23, for their annual excursion. The party, including ladies, numbered almost 90...On this excursion two first class cars and a smoking car on the Boston & Albany road were devoted to the exclusive use of the excursionists...The sandwiches, cakes, etc. were neatly packed in pasteboard boxes for each individual, and were liberally accompanied with iced lemonade.
At Albany...there was a change to the fine cars of the New York Central Railroad, and we were soon steaming with almost lightning rapidity through the beautiful Mohawk Valley. The flat farm lands here are of an unsurpassing fertility. There does not appear to be an acre that is not under cultivation....The Mohawk runs parallel with the road for many miles, and on the opposite side of the river is the Erie Canal. The latter, which has been one of the great institutions of the Empire State for many years, appears to New Englanders to be a rather slow method of transportation. The canal boats, which we pass in quick succession, seem hardly to move, so snail like is the progress which they make, but what is lost in time is saved in expense. If it was not for the Erie our coal and grain would never approach the present low prices, and upon it has depended largely the wealth and development of the great Western States.
But...the day was fearfully hot, and our excursion cars were in the rear of a very large train; and the dust and cinders that poured into the windows soon blackened our faces, filled our eyes and ears, so that when we reached Syracuse about 8 o’clock in the eve., after a ride of 350 miles, we were a sad looking set, more like a band of miners from the coal region, than people who patronized soap and water. We were, however, nicely quartered at the Globe and Vanderbilt hotels and through the transforming influences of the bath, clean linen, and a good supper, were soon ourselves again.
The party left Syracuse soon after 6 the next morning, by the Auburn branch of the New York Central. At Auburn we got the chance to see the extensive buildings of the State Penitentiary, but did not stop for a close inspection of the establishment. A short ride brought us to the wharf at Cayuga, where we embarked on a small steamer for a delightful trip of 38 miles through Cayuga Lake...
With song and mirth the happy excursionists were soon on the top wave of enjoyment. At Goodwin’s Point a landing was made and the party visited Taghkanic Falls To reach the Falls we climbed a steep descent of a mile, under a broiling sun, and were hardly, when we reached the summit, in the most favorable mood to fully appreciate this wild freak of nature. These falls are on a small stream, and 215 ft. in perpendicular height, while the rocky gorge is nearly 400 ft. down.
It is a wild and picturesque spot, but at this season there is not a large flow of water over the fall. A hotel has been built upon the summit, within a stone’s throw of the fall, and it is quite a resort for excursionists and picnic parties.... Afterwards we landed at the beautiful town of Ithaca, at the head of the lake. the principal business here is apparently the transferment of coal. The coal is brought by rail from the mines in Pennsylvania and transshipped to the canal boats, which convey it across the lake and thence through the canal to the Eastern markets. Our quarters were at the Ithaca Hotel, a first class house...After a sumptuous dinner, carriages were provided for a visit to Cornell University.
The college buildings occupy a beautiful site overlooking the lake, and can be seen miles away...The college was opened in 1868, and everything about the premises is neat and new...The founder of the college, Ezra Cornell, Esq. endowed the institution with more than three millions of dollars...Our party assembled in the Library of the college, and were addressed by President White...It was the purpose of Mr. Cornell to found a university where any person could find instruction in any study, and well has his purpose been carried out. It recognizes no distinct religious belief, though its aim is to promote Christian civilization...
Upon the grounds an opportunity is afforded, as at our Agricultural College, for the practical study of agriculture. There is a carpenter shop, furnished with power and machinery, where students who have tastes in that direction can cultivate their skill in wood work. A large machine shop is fitted with lathes and a variety of machinery and tools, and we found here a dozen or more young men hard at work with sleeves rolled up, dressed in colored shirts an overalls, hands and faces begrimmed, just like "greasy mechanics".
Several valuable inventions have been made in this shop, and much of this work is put to a practical use. In the same building is a printing shop with a large assortment of type and presses...Cornell University recognizes the co-education of the sexes. Young ladies are admitted on the same footing as young men, and are advanced through the same studies...the young men, who at other colleges have been accustomed to practices that were vulgar and demoralizing have voluntarily given them up since the admission of the young ladies, and so far from the mingling of the sexes leading to unpleasant talk and scandal, as some had predicted, not a breath of suspicion of anything out of character had ever existed...
Before leaving the college grounds we were driven to Fall Creek Gorge a wild, romantic locality, where the waters of a small stream leap and splash over the rocks of a wild ravine in its mad course to the lake below. We left Ithaca at 7 in the eve. over the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad, the President of which is Gen. W.I. Burt, the Postmaster of Boston. General Burt had accompanied our party, and we were indebted to his kind attention and influence for many courtesies. On this road we pass through Elmira, and about 10 o’clock at night, in the midst of a drenching rain, arrived at the town of Watkins at the head of Seneca Lake. After a little confusion we were provided with carriages and driven through the pitchlike darkness up the steep ascent to the Glen Mountain House [See the NYPL Digital Gallery for great photos], which has been erected above the famous Watkins Glen.
There is no natural wonder on the American continent, with the exception perhaps, of Niagara Falls, that surpasses the Glen...Says Bayard Taylor: "In all my travels I have never met with scenery more beautiful and romantic than that embraced in this wonderful Glen, and the most remarkable thing of all is that so much magnificence and grandeur should be found in a region where there are no ranges of mountains...It is only since 1869 that the Glen has been accessible to the public...[A very large section follows about the Glen and its hotels. To be continued next week].
Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 21, 1875
News about home: Greenfield items
The Ladies' Strawberry Festival of the Second Congregational Society came off Thurs. eve., and was well gotten up but thinly attended. The refreshments were abundant and excellent and the side exhibitions varied and good. In addition to the fish pond, which appeared well stocked and was well patronized until dried herring made their appearance, there was a table of beautiful fancy articles made by the young girls of the society; the post office; a beautiful table of flowers; the guess cake and guess beans; the fortune teller; while Punch and Judy, with new attractions gave 4 exhibitions. There was a table set with old fashioned table furniture, with its pot of baked beans, Indian bread, dough nuts [i.e. doughnuts], etc. The guess cake was taken by Mrs. H.W. Clapp and George Averill, and the guess gold lined silver cup by Mrs. J.C. Bangs. Proceeds about $135.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 14, 1875
Hampshire County items
A few days since, Dr. Hitchcock received a box containing quite a quantity of curiosities from Western Africa sent him by Rev. Mr. Claflin, a missionary there. The most valuable of these specimens is the skull of an African warrior of the Mendi tribe [i.e. Mende http://www.footnote....width=290&height=400 ], which has good facial angle, unusual prominence and width of cheek bones, and is finely formed for anatomical purposes. Though wishing for a long time to obtain such a skull, Dr. Hitchcock has never before succeeded because of the superstition of the African tribes.
Gazette & Courier - Monday, June 7, 1875
Remarkable story of one of Barnum's curiosities
An old man has just died at Troy, N.Y. who had a most remarkable criminal career or showed extraordinary depravity in claiming as his own, crimes that others have committed, while on his deathbed. He was noticeable for the absence of hair on both his head and face, and he said he was the person exhibited, some years ago, by Barnum as "Vancouver, the no-haired man of Vancouver Island", though he was born at Sharon, Litchfield County, Ct.
/ After being with Barnum 7 years, he said he began a life of crime, and he had had 8 wives, 7 of whom are still living. He said that he had been concerned in 300 burglaries since he left Barnum, 3 of which were attended with murder. He had been arrested 115 times, and served many terms in prison, ranging from 6 months to 2 years. He was an accomplice of Dan Noole in the celebrated bond robbery of 1869, and, being tried at Buffalo, was sent to Auburn State Prison for 5 years, but after 2 years was pardoned out. He was of the gang that robbed the St. Catherine's Canada bank, and made out an alibi, when tried, through the testimony of a woman supposed to be perfectly trustworthy, but who was an accomplice in the robbery. The plunder was $20,000 and a large amount of bonds; the latter were buried in Delaware (N.Y.) County near the Ulster County line, where they are yet, for aught he could tell.
/ There is a reward of $5000 still standing for the capture of the robbers. The dying man also claimed to have planned the robbery of mail bags at Utica about a year ago, to have participated in the Comstock robbery at Utica, and to know who broke open the Port Jervis bank in 1869, when $50,000 was stolen. He pretended too to give a full account of the recent murder of Mr. Edwards at Cooperstown, N.Y., mentioning the names of those concerned in it, and declaring that the man now under arrest is not the guilty party. The confession was made voluntarily to a clergyman whom he called to his bedside. [Sounds like this man had a bad case of reading too many newspapers!].
R.O. Ferrier, the inventor of the new lawn and parlor game "America" has made arrangements with Sumner Smith of West Whately, to manufacture and supply those who want this game. All orders sent to him will be promptly filled.
Postmaster General Jewell declares that if the citizens of Athol do not suggest to him some name for Athol Center, he will, on July 1, denominate it as Old Athol. Athol Depot will then, as now, be designated as Athol.