100 Years Ago in Suffield

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Selected from the pages of the Windsor Locks Journal and lightly annotated by Town Historian Lester Smith.

October 4

Town Treasurer S. R. Spencer has received a check from the State Treasurer for $83,359.24 [about $1.4 million in today’s dollars] as this town’s share of the penalty tax imposed on the estate of the late Martin J. Sheldon of this place. . . . Through a misunderstanding of the law the state has received the tax from a good many estates in recent years . . .

This large amount makes possible the establishment of a fund to be set aside for some future need which may arise and a special town meeting has been called to see what action the town will take in regard to purchasing bonds not to exceed $85,000 of the United States Government Fourth Liberty Loan. [The purchase was approved at the October 7 meeting, unanimously.]

According to the health officer there are still a number of cases of the Spanish influenza in town and every precaution should be taken to prevent a serious epidemic. [Suffield shared in the great flu pandemic of 1918.]

Joseph Karpinski, a Polish farmer of Mapleton avenue, was arrested by Constable T. B. Cooney Monday night for breach of peace and assaulting with a pitch fork Mr. and Mrs. E. N. Austin, who were in an automobile near the Williston place on Mapleton avenue about 8 o’clock Monday evening.

The Red Cross workers gathered over 1100 pounds of clothing for the Belgians this week.

It is reported that Howard Barriesford and Arthur Case have bought the wood on the mountain next to the property of Daniel Eagan, and which has been for a long time owned by William Wright.

October 11

The annual town meeting was held Monday and the good weather and an army of automobiles brought out a large vote. A vote on the [liquor] license question also helped to swell the vote. The town again voted “dry” the vote on license being 294 yes, and 303 no.

Upon motion of Mr. Spencer the selectman were instructed to have a voting machine at the Town hall on the day of the state election in November, in order that the voters might have an opportunity to see it working and if thought advisable the town would vote to purchase it at the special town meeting in March.

The girls of the Lesbian Society [a social club] connected with the Suffield School [the new name of former C. L. I.] held their annual initiation Monday night at the tobacco warehouse of James N. Root on Main street. October 18

The number of cases of Spanish influenza in this town is assuming goodly proportions, but fortunately a large percentage of cases are light and with proper precaution do not result seriously.

There is no cause for serious alarm if people will only take proper precautions, and worrying over the possibility of contracting the disease is one of the worst things to do.

The body of an unknown woman, apparently about 55 years of age, was found in the canal a little ways below the old Enfield Bridge road a little before noon Thursday by a gang of men working on the canal.

Sibbil Dwight Kent Chapter, D. A. R., has received an appeal from the Walter Reed hospital at Washington, D. C., for canes for convalescing soldiers.

October 25

The epidemic of influenza in this town seems to be on the wane, as fewer cases have been reported this week. In all there have been about 150 cases in town. As a matter of precaution, several of the schools about town have been closed and the Kent Library is open only on Wednesdays from 3 to 4 in the afternoon. Services in the Baptist and Congregational churches have been discontinued until further notice and services in the West Suffield churches have also been discontinued.

A New York dispatch to the daily papers this week tell of a new wonder of German horticulture, a tomato plant grafted on to a potato vine, which bore both kinds of fruit. Henry Lawrence, gardener at the Hendee place, did the same thing two years ago, and very modestly explained that it was not hard to do as both plants belonged to the same family. The Germans will have a hard time getting ahead of the U. S. A.

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