The ‘‘Our towns’’ column is compiled each month by Carol Johnson of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection. The entries have been copied from the April issues of the New Paltz Independent. To get a closer look at these newspapers of the past, visit the staff of the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at the Elting Memorial Library at 93 Main Street in New Paltz, or call 255-5030.
The State Department of Health has designated the week beginning April 11 as Clean Up Week. All residents of New Paltz should clean up yard of all refuse, tin cans, etc. and put in barrels or boxes, and bring out to the street curb. It will then be removed by the street commissioner.
Garden making comes early this year. Several people in our village have had peas up for a week or more. Cherry blossoms have been out for about a week. We never knew them to be out so early. Peach blossoms are bursting into bloom. The freeze of a few weeks ago seems to have done them no harm. Frank J. LeFevre and Philip H. DuBois are setting out some more fruit trees, this spring. Philip H. DuBois is setting out 1000 cherry trees and 200 prunes. This is the first time that a large number of prune trees has been set out by anyone in this section.
Arbutus, the loveliest and most poetic of spring flowers, has been gathered about here the past week. There is danger that this flower, once so abundant, may become entirely extinct if more care is not taken in securing it. It should not be pulled from the ground, but the stems should be cut with scissors, then the plant will continue to thrive. Much of the arbutus on the mountain side west of New Paltz was destroyed by the water supply people.
A big pier is to be erected at Bear Mountain Park for the use of the Hudson River Day Line.
D.C. Storr will begin work, next week at opening Mill Rock Street, between Oakwood Terrace and Manheim Avenue. D. H. Merritt has been busy with the surveys. Mr. Storr finds great demand for houses and building lots in our village at present. He has sold more lots in the past two years than in the previous 15. He has sold building lots on Mill Rock Street to Dr. B.A. Reynolds, Geo. Cahill and Silas Van Wagenen. Howard Grimm has put up a garage on his lot on this street. Mr. Storr could rent a dozen more houses, if he had them to rent.
Thomas J. Mullenix died at his home west of the Village of New Paltz on Monday, April 4th of apoplexy. He was apparently in his usual health, though he had been ailing for several years, when he was stricken. Death came in less than two hours. He leaves a wife and two children. Mr. Mullenix was born in 1856. His grandfather, Thomas J. Mullenix, gave him Sky Top for a wood lot as a reward for his name. In 1875 he married Josephine Low. The funeral was held this afternoon at 2 o’clock. Interment at the New Paltz Cemetery. Rev. Ernest Clapp officiated.
The annual report of Byron J. Terwilliger, superintendent of the Put Corners Burying Ground, to the Huguenot Memorial Society shows funds in the Savings Bank, amounting to over $200. He is entitled to much credit, as he has for many years taken care of the grounds without charge, so that the sum of about $100, originally raised and placed in the Savings Bank has doubled. Certain other burying grounds in this vicinity have been allowed to grow up in briars and bushes. The raising of a small sum of money by those interested, as was done in the case of the Put Corners Burying Ground, would be enough to keep the ground in good order from its income, in most of these cases.
It is well that the Normal building has a large auditorium or it would certainly not have been able to hold the crowd that came Friday evening to the Clionian Play, Nothing but the Truth. The coaching had been done and well done by Mr. Bennett of the Normal faculty. There were a large number of Clionian girls, who took part in the play and there was plenty of fun, as well as life and action. Bob Bennet, who is the principal actor, had the sympathy of the audience in his determined efforts to tell nothing but the truth, for a period of 24 hours, though there were continual temptations thrown in his way to tell such fibs as quite customary in regard to social matters in polite society. The play was not without dramatic episode, but was mainly fun provoking. The audience showed their appreciation by frequent outbursts of applause and laughter. Certainly no performance better fitted to drive dull care away was ever given at the Normal.
Roy Carruthers, manager-director of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, announced last week that he had signed a contract with Oscar for a period of ten years at a fee said to involve almost $500,000. This makes Oscar the highest paid Maitre d’Hotel in the world. It is said he has handled more social functions of importance given to world prominent men and women than any man in this country or Europe, with a long list of decorations by grateful members of royalty who have visited here. Oscar Tschirky, who is known to everyone as “Oscar”, was born in Switzerland in 1871. He came to the United States at 15, and was naturalized at his first opportunity. He is a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Sphinx and other well-known clubs and an athlete. He has a country place, “The Oscar Farm’, at New Paltz, where he spends his weekends.
Postmaster General Hays has ordered that, on account of the large number of post-office robberies, all essential, post-office employees shall be armed. Arms and ammunition will be turned over by the War Department to the post-office. The New Paltz post-office at an early date will comply with the requirement. The employees do not need any other special license when on duty to carry arms.
David Williams, who with his brother Oscar, was arrested at Ohioville charged with stealing chickens on the Forest Road in Orange County, and released on account of an error made in the commitment, was rearrested at Modena last week and held to bail on $500 furnished by his mother. The charge is burglary in the third degree. He is thought to be the person who stole chickens from Jo. E. Hasbrouck a few weeks ago. Chicken thieving has been going on all winter in the Town of Newburgh and 300 are said to have been stolen from farmers there. Mr. Griffin, for the theft of whose chickens Williams was arrested, is pressing the case in the hope of breaking up the wholesale chicken thieving that has been going on. If Williams is convicted, he can be sent to the penitentiary for five years.