100 Years Ago in Suffield

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Selected from the pages of the Windsor Locks Journaland lightly annotated by Wendy Taylor, Kent Memorial Library

June 4

Miss Mary O’Brien, visiting nurse, lost control of her automobile on the West Suffield mountain Wednesday afternoon while returning from a call and it ran into the ditch and bent the steering gear. While the car was being towed to this place it tipped over and broke the windshield. Miss O’Brien was slightly cut by pieces of glass.

A slater, employed in covering the roof at the home of H. M. Alcorn, slipped and fell from the roof of the building, Wednesday morning, injuring his back. He was unconscious when picked up, but the physician who was summoned could find no bones broken. He was taken to his home in Hartford.

Memorial Day was quietly observed in town this year, there being no parade or other exercises. Sunday the veterans decorated the graves of the veterans in the several cemeteries of the town, returning in time to attend church. 

June 11

Nelson S. Cole, aged 80 years, a veteran of the Civil War and a resident of this place for nearly fifty years, died at his home near the Thompsonville bridge last Saturday after a short illness. He was born in Marlboro, Vt., and enlisted in Co. C, 2d Regiment of Vermont Volunteers and served during the war. He was taken prisoner, but escaped before being committed to a prison pen. 

After he was mustered out of the service he remained in Brattleboro, Vt., where he was engaged as a mason and contractor. He later went to Millers Falls, Mass., where he remained several months, and came to Suffield about 48 years ago, settling in the eastern part of the town. He continued in the mason and contracting business until ten years ago, when he retired and was made caretaker of the Suffield-Thompsonville bridge that connects this town and Thompsonville, which position he held at the time of his death. In 1894, he built the house on the River boulevard that he died in. 

The body of a woman, apparently about 40 years of age, was found floating in the Connecticut river near Douglass landing, just south of the Suffield-Thompsonville bridge on the Suffield shore of the river Thursday morning and is still unidentified at the undertaking rooms of J. Francis Browne in Thompsonville. As soon as the body was found members of the Douglass family telephoned Dr. W. E. Caldwell, medical examiner of this place, who viewed the body and gave permission for its removal. The body was badly decomposed, having been in the water several months. The woman was about 40 years old, five feet four inches tall and wore a green collarette. She also wore high button shoes, with black underskirt and a white underskirt under that. She also wore gold rimless glasses and a plain wedding ring with no initials or other marks of identification on it. She had two gold crowns on her teeth, second and sixth lower left teeth. As none of the nearby towns has reported anyone missing, it is believed the body floated down the river from a northern point. 

The teachers at the Center School are planning to take their pupils to Riverside Park Saturday.

June 18

The commencement exercises of the Suffield School started last Saturday evening with a concert in the Second Baptist church by the musical clubs of the school. The entertainment was an enjoyable one and showed careful training in every number.

The graduation exercises of the public schools will be held in the Town hall this (Friday) evening. The program will be commemorative of the tercentenary of the landing of the Pilgrims, the 250th anniversary of the founding of Suffield and the centennial of the birth of Florence Nightingale. A cantata, “The Lady of Shalott,” will be given by the Center school. Diplomas will be presented to thirty graduates by Howard F. Russell, chairman of the school board. 

W. J. Wilson is at Rangeley Lakes, Maine, recuperating from his recent illness and incidentally feeding tinsel and feather to the large trout of that region. [Fly fishing!]

June 25

There is an epidemic of whooping cough in town and Health Officer Caldwell has received a number of complaints of parents that have allowed their children afflicted with the disease to roam about the town giving it to other children. The health officer has investigated one or two of the complaints and is satisfied that they were well founded. Dr. Caldwell is determined that the epidemic shall be checked and has decided that if parents do not respect quarantine, to take steps to make them. 

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