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August 01 1913/2013

Jackson - Lightning struck the general store of H. M. Benson during a fierce storm Thursday night and started a fire that destroyed several business places and did more than $15,000 damage. The blaze started in the upper story of the Benson store and quickly spread to stores owned by Roberts Bros. and the Central hotel. The opera house was also destroyed. A bucket brigade did noble work but was unable to cope with the flames. The blaze was first discovered by H. M. Roberts, proprietor of the Central House. The telephone in his dining room was on fire and after extinguishing this blaze he rushed out doors and discovered the flames bursting forth from the Benson block, situated across the driveway from his hotel. The store had been closed for the night when struck. People came from every quarter until hundreds were at the scene of what proved to be a most stubborn and disastrous conflagration. The hotel seemed doomed to destruction and the furniture was removed, but the heavy rain and the never failing hotel well and the great work by willing fire fighters at last saved the building, but in a wrecked condition. No insurance was carried by Mr. Benson. He had been in business for almost 50 years. The Jackson Postoffice was on the first floor and it is reported to be a total loss. The second story was occupied jointly by Freedom Lodge, F. & A. M. and I. O. O. F., which met here for almost 50 years. All their records and furniture were destroyed. At the rear of the Benson block was the opera house, occupied by the G. A. R. and P. O. S. of A. No insurance on this building. A few feet north of the opera house was the large hotel barn owned by Roberts Bros. But one store now remains in Jackson, that of E. W. Pickering. About 5 years ago the Howell House and the Harris homestead burned, in which Miss Eunice Harris was burned to death. [Photographs of the fire are on the Historical Society’s Facebook page.]

St. Joseph - Thomas McNerney returned to Binghamton Saturday after spending two weeks vacation with his father, Cornelius McNerney. Although a merchant now, Tom knows how to handle the rake and fork in the hay field.

South Montrose - Last week’s Democrat had this item: Wm. Bell has the banner cow in the neighborhood. The type must have been set wrong as it was written by the correspondent. Wm. Bell has the banner corn in the neighborhood, not cow.

Glenwood - It is reported that Grover Lawrence, of West Lenox, is hired to teach the fall and winter term at Wright school house. He is just the one we need and wish him success.

Montrose - Miss Zelda Conklin sold her baby Shetland pony, two months old, to the Uncle Tom’s Co. showing here Monday, getting $50 for it and her grandfather, ex-Sheriff H. S. Conklin, put the money in the bank for her the next morning. The pony was a little beauty and captivated the show management.

Springville - Stuart Riley and son, Minot, were in Montrose, Tuesday, coming up in a handsome Apperson “Jack Rabbit” car. The latter has the sale of this famous make of car in Susquehanna County.

Susquehanna - The contract for the paving of Main, East Main and Front streets has been awarded to Contractor W. E. Bennett, of Lanesboro, for the sum of $21,467. ALSO: A telegram from New York says that Mrs. Emma Franklin, of Susquehanna, and her sister, Mrs. Eliza Johnson, of New York, whom she was visiting, were both burned to death Sunday, when kerosene oil exploded in their rooms.

Lawton - The Lawton Fair Association’s handsome catalogues for 1913 are out and contain much interesting matter about this popular agricultural society’s coming exhibit, premium list, etc.

Bridgewater Twp. - The road from Montrose to Heart Lake, via Tiffany, has been worked under direction of the State Highway Department and is in splendid shape. Another gang of men are working from Tiffany towards Brooklyn. The road has been worked to the East Bridgewater church already.

Howard Hill, Liberty Twp. - The people of this place were grieved when the news came that Mrs. Lizzie Risley, formerly of Stanfordville and Miss Lena Kennedy, daughter of Rev. Preston Kennedy, of Binghamton, were among those who perished in the big fire of the Binghamton Clothing Company.

Brushville - The berry season opened with a large company of young people at J. H. Hartt’s and B. B. Washburn’s. On Monday of last week, the Hartt Bros., with 21 pickers, picked and shipped 25 bushels of raspberries.

Hop Bottom - Mrs. Esther Tiffany celebrated her 83rd birthday on Saturday. The family and a few friends gathered at the old homestead, at Lindaville, for a house party in honor of the occasion. The homestead is now the summer home of Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Loomis, daughter and son-in-law of Mrs. Tiffany. ALSO: The ice cream social held at the home of Griffin Brooks, a few evenings ago, was a decided success in every particular. About 200 people assembled and a nice sum of money was realized towards the pastor’s salary.

Fire Victims Laid to Rest: - The funeral services for the victims of the recent terrible fire in Binghamton were held in the Stone Opera House, in that city, on Sunday afternoon. Long before the hour of service hundreds were waiting for admission and in 15 minutes the doors had to be closed to the general public. Admission then was only to relatives who held tickets. After hymns remarks were made by ministers of all denominations and Father Porubasky, of Sts. Cyrill and Methodius’ church, addressed the people in four languages—Slovak, Italian, German and English. While the services were in session the work of removing the 21 caskets, containing the unidentified bodies of the girls who perished, was being made from Dibble’s undertaking rooms to the funeral cars. Thousands of people thronged the route and Court Street was a surging mass of people. There was sadness pictured in every face. The burial was made in Spring Forest cemetery and as the cortege wended its way into the cemetery, many women and girls fell in a swoon. The bodies of the fire victims were placed in separate graves, forming a circle. In the center of this plans are being made to erect a handsome monument to the memory of the dead. The bodies were lowered into the graves at sundown.

Compiled By: Betty Smith

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