Old News – Trolley Accident

This is a long and detailed article about a local trolley accident.


Thursday, July 22, 1915



Motorman Claims to Have Been in Stupor. Those Injured.

ad-1915-07-22Quite a number of Brockport people were on the ill-fated 1:17 B. L. & R. car out of Brockport which ran into the work car about two miles west of the Rochester City Line about 1:40 o’clock last Thursday afternoon. Motorman Roy Clark and Conductor John Clark, two brothers from Lockport were in charge of the car. Of the Brockport people who were unfortunate enough to be on the car Mrs. Charles Smead, Mrs. W. S. Steele of Clarkson, and P. J. Willson, editor of the Brockport Democrat were the most seriously injured. All are able to give vivid accounts of the wreck.

It seems that Motorman Roy Clark had stopped the car and reported for orders at South Greece. After that time the car gained in speed until it reached a rate of from thirty-five to forty miles an our. Nothing was thought of such speed until passengers observed that the motorman paid no attention to a flagman who had been sent out from the work train to stop the limited. The flagman was Conductor L. R. Demond of the repair train and he had proceeded 1,000 feet west from it to signal and was standing in the middle of the track. When the limited failed to slack its speed as it approached, the flagman jumped from the track just in time to avoid being struck. At the same time to attract the attention of the motorman he frantically threw the flag which was attached to a heavy stick against the car hoping ti throw it through the window. It fell short of the mark striking against the lower part of the car.

In the meantime within the car, passengers realized that the motorman had disregarded the signal and they frantically pounded on the window of the locked vestibule at the same time calling loudly to attract his attention. He paid no attention, however, and sat with his head bowed as if reading or asleep. According to reports of general manager, Joseph P. Barnes at the coroner’s inquest held this week, Motorman Clark in St. Mary’s Hospital had given him the impression that he had fallen into a stupor and had no recollection of anything that occurred after reporting at South Greece until a second before the crash came. Witnesses state that he was seen to straighten up quickly after which he threw off the power with his left hand, stooped hurriedly and looked back through the car and then jumped. Passengers had by this time seen that the collision was inevitable and those in the smoking compartment had hastily made their way through toward the back of the car.

The work train was made up of two flat bottom trailer cars with the motor car which was equipped with a tower between them. Members of the work crew saw the approaching car and knowing the collision could not be avoided, called to each other to jump. When the limited struck the trailer the body fairly left the tracks and climbed on top of the trailer leaving the front trucks on the track. James Gray of Albion, the lineman in charge of the repair who was working on the trolley bracket, had not heeded the warning of the others about jumping and when the collision came, he was thrown to the ground and suffered internal injuries and a fractured skull which caused his death after he had been removed to the Hahnemann hospital.

On the passenger car the shock threw men, women and children from their seats and tor away the front of the car besides piling the seats from the smoker nearly into the center of the main compartment. Some were pinned underneath the wreckage and the situation was made more serious by the fact that broken wires quickly caused a blaze which made considerable headway and threatened the lives of those who were unable to escape. When most of the eighteen passengers had been accounted for outside the burning car, it was discovered that Mrs. Charles Smead was missing and Rev. S. T. Hooper of Jersey City, who has been supplying the pulpit of Christ Episcopal Church in Albion, with Edward Henrietta, a Rochester man, returned to the car and found her pinned under some seats which had already begun to burn. They hastily removed the debris and assisted her from the car where she regained consciousness. Her jaw was dislocated, several teeth were knocked out and the force of the blow had driven her lower teeth through her lip. Besides this her body was a mass of bruises and it was feared she had suffered internal injuries. Outside she found herself beside Mrs. W. S. Steele of Clarkson. Mrs. Steele’s nose had been badly broken and she also had severe bruises which were thought to be indicative of internal injuries. While they were sitting on the grass beside the tracks, someone called to the crowd telling them to get out of the way of falling wires and Mrs. Steele and Mrs. Smead arose hastily and started to run out of the path of the flashing-wire above their heads. Mrs. Steele tripped and fell and Mrs. Smead also lost her footings and fell over her, both striking hard against the crushed stone. It was not long before the limited car was a mass of flames, no facilities being obtainable to put the fire out and the blaze spread to the motorman’s cab of the adjoining car. Within a few minutes an eastbound New York Central passenger car came along and Conductor John Clark, (who had been sitting at the rear when the crash came, it is stated) had the steam train flagged the injured passengers transferred and taken to the New York Central station in Rochester where they were met by St. Mary’s Hospital and Hahnemann Hospital ambulances.

Mrs. Smead, Mrs. Steele and Miss Russell, Mrs. Steele’s sister, were taken to the Hahnemann hospital. P. J. Willson who was in the rear of the car when the collision occurred was thrown to the floor of the car and made unconscious. He was assisted from the car with other passengers but by the time he reached Rochester, he had recovered somewhat and objected to being taken to the hospital and he was soon able to come to his home where he has been suffering considerable from the effects of his injuries and the shock. Mrs. Smead and Mrs. Steele were brought to their homes in Brockport and Clarkson on Monday, but are still suffering from their injuries.

An investigation of the accident has been commenced but it is probable that the hearing will not be continued until the recovery of Motorman Clark. A preliminary brought out the fact that Motorman Clark’s record had always been a clean one; that he was not a drinking man and that he had not been spending the night previous in any manner that should have unfitted him for his day’s work. He had taken a short auto trip accompanied by his father and brother returning home early and had apparently had a good night’s rest. Whether the stupor into which he claimed he had fallen was caused by the heat or from a shock, will probably be determined when he is well enough to submit to an examination by physicians.

The most severely injured persons besides those mentioned from Brockport were Rev. S. P. Hooper, Mrs. Hooper and little daughter Muriel, George Banker and James Ray of Albion, Miss Helen Garner of Knowlesville and Bessie Russell of Gainesville.

Free NY Sources Webinar

AA-final-logos-colorsThis Thursday (July 23rd) there is a free online webinar on “New York Resources at NEHGS” (New England Historic Genealogical Society). The description of this event says that “finding information about your New York ancestors can be tricky. Learn what resources are available at NEHGS and on AmericanAncestors.org and gain valuable research tips from genealogist and New York expert, Chris Child.” The organization mostly has sources for New England but they also have some cemetery and probate records of New York State. I’ve already signed up to find out what else they have.

The webinar is at 3 p.m. eastern (noon pacific, etc.). It is open to everyone. Register today on American Ancestors.

Kodak News – Boom!

kodak-bldg-53Kodak is imploding another building early tomorrow (July 18th). Building 53 in Eastman Business Park was former the home of roll coating. At 8 a.m. it and the smokestacks on top will be dropped. Preparations have been under way for months. The picture is one I took in late April. (Click on it for a larger version.)

Kodak has an area set aside for the press and the destruction will be live on the local Time-Warner news channel. There isn’t an official area for public viewing but it appears that lot on the corner of Dewey Ave. and Eastman Ave. MAY be out of the blast zone. Get there early if you are going to watch.

To see implosions of other Kodak buildings from years ago, go to YouTube and search “Kodak implosion.”

Old News – Tin for Household Use

It appears that from this articles that tin was just beginning to be used in the making of household items. It is very possible that these aren’t tin at all. Tin cans are actually made from rolled steel..


Thursday, July 16, 1915


Articles Which Contribute a Gay Note in Outdoor Life.

ads-1915--07-16Among the tin novelties which some ingenious brain has evolved is the door knocker into which the guest’s name or car may be slipped and save confusion in a home of many visitors. And now that the door-stop door porters are so in vogue, bricks are being decorated in gay flowers for the purpose of holding back doors when strong breezes blow.

A charming idea is that of the painted tin cluster of flowers forming the old time curtain knob or rosette, as it was called. These are only effective on a plain curtain and not on flowered drapery.

Sure to be popular is a practical ornamental painted tin pail in which ice can be packed about any bottled drinks and be carried out to the tennis courts or for a garden tea, Popular, too, are the long tin horns which are meant to summon guests at the tea hour for the meals. The convenient tin newspaper rack will no doubt figure conspicuously on the up to date veranda.

The bird houses of the painted tin if they are put up in a more or less sheltered place, promise to be a decorative note of color on the lawn. Painted tin has been introduced into garden novelties. Watering pots of different sizes for my lady who does the sprinkling of her choice blossoms cannot but appeal to the fair gardener. The garden sticks come both in the painted tin and wood, as do the weather vanes.

Little Doors

I’ve been dog-sitting lately. Walking the dog I have seen more of my neighborhood in the past couple of weeks than I have in the past 25 years.

Down the street there is a row of houses that have a little door next to their back door. The door is about a foot wide and a foot and a half tall and it is situated at waist height. These houses were built in the 1930s and that little door was for the milkman. He would put the milk inside and you were able to open the door from the inside the house without having to go outside. This was an inventive design as most houses just had a box that would sit outside on the front porch.

In many cases the milkman used to bring butter, cheese and eggs. For the most part, most home milk deliveries faded away by the 1960s. There are just a few places in the US where there still is a milkman making morning rounds.

Top Songs of 1965 – #16

Satisfaction-usThe next song to go to the top of the record charts in 1965 was “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones. The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It would be their first number one song in the US.  “Satisfaction” was the number one song on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Cash Box chart for the weeks July 4 – 31 (4 weeks).

The Rolling Stones started out playing blues songs by other artists. You can still the blues influence in their music. The group was considered by many to be the bad boys from Britain. They appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in October 1964 and caused so much panic that Sullivan banned the group from his show. Sullivan changed his mind later when they became more popular. In January 1967 when the group appeared on the Sullivan show they were going to sing “Let’s Spend the Night Together” but Sullivan asked them to change the lyrics to “let’s spend some time together.” They rehearsed the song with the new lyrics but on the live show used the original lyrics. That was the last time they were on Sullivan.

The Rolling Stones started calling themselves “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band” about  1972.

The group is doing a limited tour again. They will be at Ralph Wilson Stadium tomorrow. Ticket prices were running $85 to $3000 each. The show is mostly sold out except the highest price tickets.

Download songs by The Rolling Stones (for a small fee) from Amazon.

Visit the official Rolling Stones website.

Top Songs of 1965 – #15

The next song to go all the way to the top of the record charts was “Mr. Tambourine Man” performed by The Byrds. The song was written by Bob Dylan who released his original version of it on his 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. His rendition was more of a folk song than the one that was recorded by The Byrds which included electric guitars..

The Byrds formed in early 1964, when Jim (later Roger) McGuinn, Gene Clark, and David Crosby came together as a trio. They all had a background in folk music and had worked on the coffeehouse circuit. Then drummer Michael Clarke and bass player Chris Hillman were added to the group. “Mr. Tambourine Man” was the first song released by the group and it also became the title of their first album.

“Mr. Tambourine Man”was the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week of June 20 – 26. It was on the top of the Cash Box record chart for the week of June 27 – July 3.

Download songs by The Byrds (for a small fee) from Amazon.

Old News – Ontario Beach Park

An invitation for people from the Towns surrounding Rochester to come to Ontario Beach Park o a special day just for them.


Thursday, July 8, 1915

Community Day At Ontario Beach Park

ad-1915-07-08The remarkable progress made by Ontario Beach Park this summer in the way of big features on days and nights has caused the management of that popular amusement resort, situated on Lake Ontario to come forward with another new idea.

Ontario Beach Park this summer has had its New York State Sportsmen’s Association shoot, United Commercial Travelers Day, All Children’s Day, Carnival Masquerades, Country Dances, Big Noise Night and Country Store Night. All of these special events have been attractive to all classes of Amusement lovers in the city, but on Saturday, July 24th Ontario Beach Park will put on what is known as Community Day. On this day people from all surrounding towns are requested to join hands and enter into a spirit of revelry in a manner that will make Community an annual event in the future. To be explicit in the description of Ontario Beach Park’s Community Day, the whole affair will be in the nature of a township picnic.

It will not be necessary to bring lunch as food at all prices may be obtained in the grounds, but a huge picnic pavilion with tables, dishes, gas range, ice boxes, etc. with attendants supplied by the park, is available for the use of those who prefer bringing their lunch baskets.

This is a movement in which every granger in this vicinity should take some part. It is to be a good fellowship gathering of people living within a radius of fifty miles of the Port of Rochester. There is a baseball ground in connection with Ontario Beach Park and the lawn on the picnic grounds will permit of all sorts of games and contests that can be arranged for. This excellent resort is populated by Monk’s Temple Theatre Orchestra, hippodrome vaudeville, shows and rides of every description. The bathing pavilion offers a magnificent beach and a toboggan slide and a country dance will be given on grounds on the night of Community Day, where all lads and lassies can join in the old fashioned dances. The grounds of Ontario Beach Park can take care of 24,000 people and for this reason this particular amusement resort and picnic playground is well adapted for such an event as is planned for Saturday, July 24th.

In another column of this issue will be found a coupon good for free gate admission to Ontario Beach Park on Community Day.

Old News – Role of Women for Independence

This editorial tells how women helped during the Revolutionary War.


Friday, July 2, 1915


They Had Glorious Share in Winning American Liberty.

ads-1915-07-02It has been said that in every woman’s breast there lies the possibility of great heroism. What she can do when put to the test is amply illustrated by the events of history, not alone in our own country, but in all others.

Anecdotes of women of the Revolution, showing what they did and what they suffered in so doing, happy in the thought that they were serving the country they loved, are positively thrilling.

One wonders how many young women of today would offer themselves to carry a message from one army to an other across a country fairly bristling with hostile troops when not a man could be found intrepid enough to take a letter from General Greene to General Sumter. Emily Geiger, a frail young girl, undertook the task and set out on horseback on a sidesaddle. She was intercepted on the second day of her journey by Lord Rawdon, who had her locked up until a Tory matron could be found to search her person. By this unusual Lord Rawdon lost his coveted information, for as soon as back was turned she ate the the letter, bit by bit. When eventually released she succeeded in reaching her destination, where she was able to give her message orally, if not in true military and documentary style in consequence Sumter soon joined Greene’s army. Emily later married a wealthy planter.

The fascinations of women have seldom been used in better advantage than upon a certain afternoon shortly after the retreat from New York, when a troop of British soldiers were detained at the house of Mrs. Murray, who gave them cake and wine and such sprightly talk that they remained two hours just long enough to allow General Putnam, the last to leave the city, to make retreat across the dangerous highroad on which the British were loitering. Think of the excitement of this little Quaker when she realized that by her subterfuge she had saved a part of the American army.

There is no doubt that we owe our present wealth and ease to the courage and resourcefulness of the early America women quite as much as to the efforts of the men. She was the mother of those great men whose intellects were the backbone of the American nation. It was her sacrifice and nobility that made it possible for them to be what they were. Their lives are her eternal panegyric their works the undying proclamation of her power.

Don’t Do As I Do

lason-henry-pI got this photo from my grandmother in the late 1960s, long before I got started in genealogy. The man on the left was related to my grandmother. I also like the photo because he looks similar to me. From what I remembered he was in the Spanish-American War in the Philippines and then stayed on to be a policeman for a while there in the Philippines.

The picture sat in an envelope in the bottom of a file drawer all these years. I thought that he was my grandmother brother, George Buell, as he would be about the right age. In the past few years, at times I would try on various websites to find if my remembrances were correct. I kept looking for George Buell but couldn’t find anyone by that name in the Spanish-American War. That made me think that maybe he didn’t serve in the military.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was searching for something else in that file drawer and on the bottom was that envelope with the picture. I finally looked at the picture for the first time in many years. More important, is that there were two letters also in the envelope. They told me that the man on the left isn’t my grandmother’s brother but it is her cousin, Henry P. Lason.

I quickly found Henry’s military record online. He enlisted April 3, 1901 at Seattle, Washington at aged 21 into Co. F. 2nd Battalion Engineers that went to the Philippines. He was discharged Nov. 13, 1903 at Manila, Philippines. One letter states that he is on his way back to the U.S. in May 1904. That means he was only on the police force for about six months.

Yesterday, when I went to scan this photo I had to pull it out of the frame that it has been in for over a hundred years. On the back of the photo are the names of the other two policeman. In the center is Martin V. Morgo and on the right is Albert Nautz. They are part of the 3rd precinct of the Manila police department.

Sadly, Henry Lason died May 15, 1905 at age 23 in Tompkins County, NY. His mother filed for a survivor pension and I have ordered that from the National Archives. Maybe that will give some more information on Henry.

The point of this story is that neither I (or you) should let all the things just sit in a file. Every once in a while go back and look at old documents, photos. etc. If you can safely take pictures out of a frame (never open daguerreotypes), see if there is any identifications on them.