100 Years Ago in Suffield

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Selected from the pages of the Windsor Locks Journal and
lightly annotated by Wendy Taylor of Kent Memorial Library.

 December 5

Thursday morning was the coldest of the season so far, the mercury averaging about eight above zero.

[Bishop] Rev. John J. Nilan…administered the sacrament of confirmation… to a class of nearly 200 children at St. Joseph’s Polish church.

Tobacco buyers have been active this week and a good many acres have been picked up…The crop as a whole has turned out pretty well. In some crops there is considerable canker and some pole sweat is reported…Broadleaf has moved much faster than the Havana seed.

December 19

The Suffield Fish and Game Club has arranged an old-fashioned winter fox hunt on the West Suffield mountain…

 Suffield is to have a community Christmas tree this year which will be placed on the green in the Center and lighted Saturday night for the first time. 

December 26

A light snow Wednesday night gave a Christmas-like appearance to the landscape Thursday morning. The banks, library and stores closed for the day and there were a number of family parties in the homes about town. 

January 9

George Matuska… crushed his wife’s skull with a hammer Wednesday morning in the presence of three of his children, and then walked to the house of John Eagleson nearby and told Mrs. Eagleson that he had killed his wife and was glad of it…

Matuska evidently killed his wife in the heat of a quarrel, as the children said they had quarreled the night before and in the morning. Matuska, it is alleged took about $300 and went to New York two weeks ago, after a quarrel with his wife, in which he accused her of being too friendly with a boarder. He returned Tuesday night and resumed the quarrel which ended in the tragedy. The murdered woman was 38 years old.

Medical Examiner Caldwell visited the home and found the body lying on the kitchen floor, with the hammer covered with blood and hair laying beside her…He found the four years’ old girl holding the two months’ old baby and trying to quiet its cries, while the two years’ old child was clinging in terror to the little mother, as she gazed at the battered bleeding body on the floor.

January 16, 1920

The matter of installing a fire alarm system was discussed…It would cost about $625. A siren could be placed on the town building and connected with the town clerk’s office and hose house, being operated from either place by the use of a button. This would give the town 24-hour service.

The selectmen have purchased a Champion snow scraper for use on the highways after heavy snow storms. The scraper has a ten-foot blade and will be attached to the front of a truck and pushes the snow off to the side of the road… In these days of automobiles, the old fashioned method of breaking out the roads with a sled and team, does not fill the bill.

Steven Hanford and Edwin F. Warner are the official census enumerators for this town.

The infant child of Mrs. Maggie Matuska, who was murdered by her husband last week, died last Saturday.

January 23

The Kusciusko Soceiety, composed of Polish young men of the town, will give a dance in the Town hall.

A new moving picture machine has been purchased and is expected soon to be installed in the Second Baptist church. 

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