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October 08 1920/2020

Simpson, Lackawanna County – Game protectors, George Watrous, from Susquehanna Co., Walter Young from Wyoming Co. and three deputies, were mobbed here last week. They had made 12 arrests and were in the office of Justice of the Peace, J. Pecko, when the disturbance began. When trying the fourth case a mob of men entered the court, took a revolver from Mr. Young, and took the five men to another J. P. and informed them they were under arrest for carrying concealed weapons. When asked to prove their authority to make arrests, and shown their badges, the justice said, “You can get those at any 10-cent store.” When Mr. Watrous tried to show his papers proving authority, they were not looked at. Their search warrant was asked for. This was produced and again were told, “You can get those for two cents apiece,” and informed the officers they were placed under $500 bail to appear at court. When informed that bail could be produced, the justice said they could go to the lock-up. At this the men [mob] began to shout—“Hang them to the bridge; it’s a wooden building; we can burn it tonight.” At this point Mr. Watrous mentioned several prominent men in Scranton who would go their bail which resulted in the justice deciding that the matter could be fixed up and said if they would pay the fine for carrying concealed weapons it would be all right. The men paid the fines and the justice refused to give them their revolvers. The State Commission at Harrisburg will investigate the affair.

Franklin Forks – Will Bailey had a remarkable escape from serious injury while working on a roof. He fell 22 ft., but struck on his feet, and was able to walk to the house somewhat wrenched, but otherwise felt no ill effects from his volplane (?) to earth—on the ladder on which he was working, which slipped off the roof. Will says a man born to be hung will never be killed in an accident.

Great Bend – The plant of the Norman H Parke Leather Co. was destroyed by fire Tuesday night. The loss is estimated at close to a half million dollars. The plant is the largest in the country, manufacturing chamois leather and employed about 90 people. The fire spread very rapidly through the oil-soaked building and in 15 minutes the roof collapsed. Fire apparatus from Great Bend, Hallstead and Binghamton were called by the shrill shrieks of the factory whistle. A few other buildings were saved but the burning of the Parke plant removes the last of the tanneries that once made Great Bend a center of the industry. Years ago, other leather and bark factories were clustered about the plant that burned down.

Lanesboro – The H. G. & H. Stores, Inc., purchased the Buckley Brothers store here and took possession immediately. C. M. Hamlin, a member of the firm, will manage the Lanesboro store as well as the two stores in Susquehanna. This purchase adds the 7th store to the H. G. & H. chain in the county. The company, which is composed of the Messrs. Hand, Gillespie and Hamlin, has three stores in Hallstead, one in Great Bend, two in Susquehanna and one in Lanesboro.

Susquehanna County Court Order – On motion of H. A. Denney the Court ordered a decree that an alternative writ of mandamus be issued to the county commissioners of this county, commanding them to maintain and keep in repair the abandoned “Cochecton and Great Bend turnpike” road situate in this county.

Little Meadows – A very pretty wedding occurred Sept. 29, 1920, at 8 a.m., at St. Patrick’s church, Binghamton, when Miss Cecelia Walsh, of Binghamton and Francis M. Lynch, of this place, were united in marriage. The attendants were Miss Marie Curley, of Flynn and James Walsh of New York City, brother of the bride. After the ceremony an elaborate wedding breakfast was served at the Hans-Jones restaurant. The table was very artistically decorated. They will reside in Little Meadows.

Susquehanna – The Citizens Building and Realty Co. issued a prospectus this week regarding a building boom of houses in and about Susquehanna that the Erie may carry out its plans for enlarging the local shops and which make imperative the need for more houses for the workers. Hundreds of men now come in on the work train who would gladly locate here could houses be obtained and many more will come if the shops are enlarged.

Williams Pond, Bridgewater Twp. – A Pyrex shower was given Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Lewis, Monday evening. All enjoyed a good time.

Eastern Susquehanna County – On a trip through Jackson, Gelatt, S. Gibson and East Mountain the writer noted the woods, which early frosts have begun to change from their dress of green to one of red and yellow, gives to the landscape a touch of beauty unequalled in any other season of the year. The farmers are industrious. This is evident by the look of their crops, the tall and finely shaped corn, the large fields of potatoes, the spacious barns filled with hay and grain, the fine looking herds of pure-bred cattle, mostly Holsteins, which you see grazing on nearly every farm. The well-kept appearance of farm homes and buildings is a dependable indication of frugality and pride.

Forest City – (continued from last week) Chief Blacksmith and officer Cost were given a tip by a business man that bootleggers would bring whiskey into the town that evening. Even the approximate hour and route was revealed. Sure enough, promptly on schedule, at 1 a.m., a big truck containing three men and a whiskey barrel came bumping over the humps of South Main street. The officers held the men up and revolvers in hand, mounted the truck and directed them to proceed to the lockup. At the lockup the leader of the bootleggers intimated that the illicit stuff belonged to Ponzi, who had plenty more, and when the idea was conceived of shooting into the barrel to investigate, it was protested vigorously, saying “Don’t do that fellow, it’s worth $800. Smell the bung.” This was done and it had the small. At this juncture the men offered a bribe of $600, but were informed that there was nothing doing. They were locked up, “Ponzi” as they called the leader, and one of his men, in one cell and the third man with the barrel in the other. The barrel, weighing about 800 lbs. was some job to wrestle with but the officers landed it in the coop. Again the bootleggers offered a bribe and finally pled to be taken to the residence of Burgess Franko, declaring that the cooties in the cells were eating them up. Franko refused to see them, saying they had to wait until morning. Instead of sending them back to be food for the cooties, they all had breakfast at the Forest House. [Continued next week.]

Compiled By: Betty Smith

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