100 Years Ago in Suffield

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

February 2

The village committee is making repairs and improvements at the fire department headquarters. Two large closets have been taken out and a very pleasant bedroom has been made for the assistant chief. A hat rack and coat hooks have been placed near the door. A chair rail has been placed around the recreation room and the whole interior will be painted a light color.

February 9

Mrs. Ellen Rogers, aged 102 years, died at her home on Thrall avenue…She was born in County Clara, Ireland, and had lived in Suffield for 70 years…She… moved to Suffield and was married to Thomas O’Laughlin. After the death of her husband she ran a tobacco farm for many years and up until about ten years ago took an active interest in its operation. About twenty years ago she married Lawrence Rogers of this place, who died twelve years ago.

One of the prominent residents who drives an automobile about the country a good deal during the winter, has acquired the habit of taking an axe along in the car so that if he meets another car in a tight place he can chop away the ice at the side of the road and make the passing easier. One day…he started for Springfield, and picking up an axe as he left home, he got one that had been used to kill chickens with and was well smeared with blood. The ride to Springfield was uneventful, but on the return trip our prominent resident met an automobile near Calla Shasta grove and to save either from the backing up, he grabbed the axe and jumped out of his car. His size and ferocious appearance was too much for the other driver and he started to back up and the more our citizen flourished the axe in an effort to reassure him, the faster the backed. He finally struck a side road and the last the Suffield citizen saw of him he was backing down the road at a speed of about ninety miles an hour.

February 16

The body of a man identified as Solomon Hendrickson, aged 60 years, of West Suffield, was discovered Monday night, a short distance from the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad tracks, about a quarter of a mile south of Congamond station in a badly mutilated condition. When the body was found it was frozen. Medical examiner Edward S. Smith ascertained that Hendrickson was seen at the Congamond grocery store at about 12 Monday and it was also learned that he had been drinking heavily. He was employed by Paul Smith, a farmer, of West Suffield. It has been impossible to learn in just what manner the victim met his death but it is assumed that he was hit by some train during the afternoon, as he had apparently been dead several hours when found.

February 23

Upon complaint of several of the residents of the north part of the town of an abundance of moonshine in that section, the officers finally got information that it was being sold by one Arthur Lewis who came to this town about two years ago and built a shack in the woods in the rear of C. A. Gardner’s place. A raid was made on the shack, and found three gallons of moonshine hidden under the floor of the shack.

Henry Rawlins, who is employed as fireman and janitor at the Town hall and post office, was painfully injured about the head…while splitting wood at his home on Depot street, when the axe he was using caught in a clothes line. The axe struck him on the forehead inflicting a deep scalp wound which required five stitches to close.

The trade in moonshine whiskey is said to have been a little dull for the past few months on account of the bad traveling and cold weather, but it is rumored that a good spring trade is anticipated.

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