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December 10 1915/2015

Thompson – The Liberty Bell passed through this place last Thursday morning, enroute for Philadelphia, returning from the Panama Exposition. ALSO Everything in and around the stores in Thompson borough betokens Xmas, and anyone desiring to purchase Christmas gifts will do well to give the merchants here a call before going elsewhere.

Uniondale – The Gazette of Scranton, Kansas, states that A. l. Merrithew, a relative of Mrs. N. G. Dimmick, is building a large blacksmith shop in that town and it is said to be the finest shop building in the county. Mr. Merrithew has many friends here who will be pleased to learn of his success. ALSO Strayed or stolen, two pigs from the pen of Valentine Knapp. They are gone and the supposition is that they left with someone else. ALSO A concrete bridge, spanning the Lackawanna, is being constructed by the State near Stillwater.

Lynn, Springville Twp. – The new blacksmiths, Welch & Smales, are very busy at this writing.

Montrose - For Christmas, full line of cut glass at Mahon’s cut glass works. Buy direct and get factory prices. ALSO Lake Montrose was completely frozen over for the first time, Monday morning. Since that time the ice has steadily increased in thickness, and youngsters are anticipating enjoying same soon.

Brooklyn – The lord helps those who help themselves and those who help themselves to their neighbor’s chickens will need all the help they can get from that source if they get caught.

Birchardville – Lester Turrell has been circulating a petition to get the Friendsville stage reinstated. This stage for many years was operated between Montrose and Friendsville and was a great convenience to the people of that vicinity, located as they are 10 to 15 miles from the nearest railroad. The administration, in the interest of economy, discontinued the stage, the mail now being taken by rural route driver on No. 2. The Friendsville mail had to go via Binghamton and owing to poor train connections, mail that was shipped from Montrose Friday morning at times does not reach Friendsville until Monday.  We hope the stage line will be re-established.

Franklin Forks – Franklin Forks Alliance, No. 131, will hold a “Bread Contest” in connection with their regular meeting in the Alliance hall, Wednesday, Dec. 15th. Suitable prizes will be given.

Harford – Several from this vicinity attended the entertainment given by the Epworth League, last Tuesday evening, and we think if the “League” can render such fine entertainment, there is no need of Harford being called a “dead town,” as far as “Amusements” are concerned. ALSO In addition of the list of Revolutionary soldiers already published that are buried in the Harford cemetery, should be added the name of Dr. Comfort Capron, a surgeon in the Revolutionary army, who came to Harford in 1794 and died there in 1800, aged 56 years.  Dr. Capron was the first physician to locate in Harford and the second to locate in the county. The Montrose Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution have sent a marker to be placed at his grave.

Clifford - The porch to Spedding’s hotel has just received the finishing touches. It is a fine specimen of workmanship, done by carpenter Hinkley, and covers first and second stories. It has a nicely paneled concrete base and the whole structure is just as fine as the carpenter’s art can make it. Hinkley was both mason and carpenter.

Susquehanna - Mrs. Everett Gould fractured her arm while cranking her auto.

Lanesboro – The new rooms in the Methodist church will be opened and dedicated Dec. 1st.

New Milford – Glenn Lewis, the 13 year old son of Frank Lewis, was taken before Justice J. M. Brundage Monday evening, by the truant officer, for failure to attend school.  Upon promises by the boy and his father that hereafter there should be no cause for complaint, the justice allowed them to go. There have been several complaints of “violations of the compulsory school law” and the faculty and school board are determined to remedy the evil. (From New Milford Advertiser)

News Brief:  The State has lately notified the farmers that the annual rebate of $4 for keeping a watering trough in repair will not be allowed. As a result it is reported the farmers living along the road between Montrose and the State line towards Binghamton, have removed all watering troughs which makes it an inconvenience to travelers. The automobilist finds it is often necessary to water his engine as well as the horseman to water his horses, but the autoists seem to be doing the most kicking.  The local auto club might take the matter up with the State Highway Department.

The Trial for the Murder of Jackson Pepper – On Saturday, Mr. Davies argued vigorously for a new trial for Eagan, and Mr. McCollum replied forcefully to his argument.  Judge Searle did not decide at once as to the knotty points raised, but adjourned court until 7:30 Saturday evening, at which hour the court room was well filled.  He announced that after due consideration, the application for new trial, in case of Eagan, was refused.  At this time Mr. McCollum, representing the D. A., stepped forward and said: “In cases of Com’th vs. J. James Eagan and Cornelius Shew, we move, your Honor, for judgment upon the verdicts against each of said defendants.” The Judge asked Eagan to stand up.  He did so and the Judge said: “The jury has found you guilty of murder in the first degree; have you anything to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon you?”  The doomed man quietly replied: “No sir.”  He was told by the Judge to sit down; soon was called up again when the Judge said: “You’ve been defended by able counsel and we feel you have had the benefit of every doubt; had we not thought so we would have granted you a new trial.  “The sentence of the court is that you, J. James Eagan (alias J. James Smith) be taken hence to the place from which you have been taken, within the jail of the County of Susquehanna, and from thence to the place of execution within the walls or yard of said jail, when the execution warrant shall direct it, and that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead.  And may God have mercy on your soul.”  He stood his sentence well, but asked for and drank a glass of water.  Shew was asked to stand up and asked if he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be pronounced upon him.  He replied “Yes sir.  I feel that a verdict of first degree murder I am not entitled to.  I took no part in the crime calling for first degree.  I do not deny being in the matter, but I did not lay the plans for the terrible crime in Rush, nor knew it was to be committed; If I had known it, I have not the heart to have gone into it; and I say now and always shall say, that while somewhat guilty in the matter, I was not entitled to first degree.  That is what I think, your Honor.”  He was told by the Judge to sit down for a few minutes, after which he was again asked to stand up, when the Judge said: “The learned counsel assigned to you have done all they could, and you have had the benefit of every doubt: and the court then sentenced him to be hanged in substantially the same words as above.  Shew sat down, looking quickly around towards Eagan as he did so, with a sickly smile, as though trying to suppress a sob.  The men were quickly led out of court, to the jail, to remain until further acts in this terrible drama in real life and court soon adjourned.  On the way to jail there was silence for some time, which was finally broken by Shew, who said; “Well, this is one of the things we read about, but never experience but once in a life time,” after which they chatted more or less till the jail was reached.  The date of execution will be set by the Governor.*  Lawyer Davies, in the meantime, expects to take Eagan’s case to the Supreme Court.  Jason Treadwell was the first man ever hung in this county, on January 13, 1825, below the Court House, near where the Dr. Vail office building now stands.  The hanging was open to the public and thousands of people came to it, some coming as far as 60 miles, from up in York State and elsewhere.  Treadwell was taken from the jail to the gallows in a cart drawn by two oxen.  The above article is the conclusion of a murder mystery that took place in 1898 in Rush Twp., Susquehanna County, brought to you in conjunction with “Susquehanna County Reads” program.

*The first date of execution was set for May 18, 1899 but the governor respited the date for the purpose, as then given out, that the Board of Pardons might have further time to consider their cases.  However, their sentence was not overturned and Shew and Eagan were executed on Tuesday, January 9, 1900.

Compiled By: Betty Smith

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