Forest City– Agostine Francati, a well-known Italian resident of this place is either in serious danger from the well-known and infamous Black Hand organization or some of his Italian friends, in an effort to perpetrate a joke, are laying themselves liable to severe punishment. Mr. Francati is one of the town’s most industrious and law abiding citizens. He is night watchman at the Clinton colliery, a man of exemplary habits, and a leader among his countrymen. It would appear that his industry and apparent prosperity have aroused the cupidity of someone and an effort is being made to extort some of his hard earned savings. Yesterday he received a letter, post marked Dunmore, purporting to be from the “Black Hand.” It was written in Italian and at the end was a bold drawing of the back of a man’s hand, and underneath were crossed bones. To one side appeared the figure of a man with a pistol pointing at it, drawn on one side and on the other another hand, dripping with blood. The transcribed letter read: You are going to have trouble of your own. You are working all the time and you must have plenty of money. A letter has come from Italy which says to take your life if you don’t pay $500. If you pay you will be let out of this. If you don’t pay your life is gone. Anywhere you go we will find you with our members. You received another letter and did not pay any attention to it. Now make up your mind; either the money or your life. The hand served as a signature and within was written: “From this hand nobody escapes. It has been baptized with blood.”
New State Road – The State Highway Department has given assurances that an improved state road, starting at the New York state line and proceeding via Choconut, St. Josephs, Birchardville and Rushville, where it will connect with the state road leading to Wyalusing, will be given immediate attention early this year. It is said that the road from Montrose to St. Josephs, to connect with same, will probably be built the following year, which will give a better and shorter route to Binghamton.
Kingsley - Located on the line of the D. L. & W. railroad’s cut-off operations, Kingsley was treated to a sort of eruption of Vesuvius Saturday last, when three and one-half tons of dynamite were exploded in “one shot.” This great blast was used to loosen earth and rock in a cut on the line between lands of P.M. Wilmarth and Augustus Tiffany, but the convulsion of earth and rock were confined to the areas desired and while the vibrations were plainly felt all over the town, no windows were broken, nor debris hurled about. Some of the blasting however, has given the people of Kingsley some thrills. The other day a small blast, using only three pounds of dynamite, hurled rocks through the windows of the residence of P. M. Wilmarth and others, but fortunately no one was injured.
Hopbottom – Some men are born great, others achieve greatness, but “Charley” Miller had a postoffice plum dropped right into his lap—at least he is holding down the job until a successor to E.C. Tingley, deceased, is formally named and confirmed by the Senate. While a lot of patriotic, self-sacrificing citizens, are pursuing the postoffice bee, losing time, money, shoe leather and in some instances their very reputations in many places of the country, Mr. Miller had the position thrust upon him. “Charley” wasn’t looking for the job either and didn’t want it—for he has two Guernsey cows and several White Leghorn hens whose toilets cannot be well neglected, which keeps Charley pretty “gosh darn” busy. But Mr. Miller had to take the job, for he was the one man thoroughly equipped to discharge its duties on short notice, for he was Hopbottom’s postmaster for many, many years when “Can” Stone was the big figure in Republican politics and before the “wicked” Democrats came into power.
Oakley, Harford Twp. – The whistle on the D.L.&W. bridge is heard no more as the final work on the bridge is now completed and one of the largest concrete bridges in this state is built.
Montrose – News comes that Elijah Sherman, an old time Montroser, has struck it rich out in Idaho. Elijah claimed that he knew where the gold was and tried to raise a company in Montrose to develop a claim he held out there, but found nobody willing to go in with him. ALSO Wm. L. Smith, a highly esteemed citizen, succumbed to pneumonia, Jan. 11, at his home on Drinker street. His age was 54 years. The deceased was a son of the late W. W. Smith, and upon the death of his father, succeeded him for several years in the furniture and under-taking business and later selling the business to the late J. E. O’Brien.
Thompson – J.F. Potter, Thompson’s genial constable, was over to the County Seat Monday to make his quarterly returns, driving the 25 miles in three and one half hours—we know, because we asked him as to time and distance. Mr. Potter found some snow drifts.
Harford – Six inches of snow fell here last night and people are using sleighs, but with the rain falling in torrents it looks as though they would soon go back to wagons.
Williams’ Pond – Mrs. Ralph Morrison and children have returned to their home in Protection, Kan., after an extended visit with her brother, Guy Lewis.
Forest Lake – Mr. and Mrs. Fred L. Booth and daughter have returned to their home at Forest Lake after spending some weeks with relatives at Gainesville, Fla. Mr. Booth says the country is all right to visit, but sand and mosquitoes are not to his liking. The night before Christmas, he complains, a sheet was all the bed covering needed, and he had a homesick longing for blankets and sleighbells.
Dimock – It is rumored that the temperance people have bought the Dolan House, with the intention of running a temperance hotel
West Auburn – It is fully realized by the West Auburn Telephone Co. that party line service is largely dependent for its efficiency and satisfaction upon the person using a line. In a neighborhood where the people are courteous, considerate and tactful in the use of language, always observing the golden rule, the telephone is a great blessing. But where people are rude, impolite selfish and unkind it is just the reverse. There are three general sources of difficulties on a party line, viz: “Monopolizing the line” with resulting delay and inconvenience to others; listening on the line when others are talking, which makes it almost impossible for the persons talking to make themselves heard, and leaving the receiver off the hook, which throws out of service all other telephones on a party line. These are sources of service trouble which we earnestly urge party line subscribers to avoid. We mention these things because we want every neighborhood covered by our lines to receive the greatest benefit from the service.
News Briefs: “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” seems to be as popular here as it is in the trenches. Every schoolboy is whistling it, and every Victrola owner plays it on his machine. Gamble, the Victrola man, says he sold 26 records in four days of this piece alone. An order for 10 of these records was unfilled, as the factory cannot supply the demand. ALSO The Story Hour, which is conducted Saturday afternoons at the library, forms a popular attraction for the young children. Parents who wish to be freed from the care of their children, for a short time on that afternoon, find here congenial surroundings and also may know that the children are receiving useful instruction, given in an entertaining manner. The ladies in charge of the story hour welcome all children who have not already become regular attendants.