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Each week we bring you the front page of a local newspaper that covered the news in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow (North Tarrytown) one hundred years ago. This front page comes from the Tarrytown Press-Record. The Press-Record was published as a weekly from 1893 to 1946 and has been preserved by the on microfilm.
Friday, June 7, 1912:
Princess Del Drago Complains to Tarrytown Board of Assessors
In 1912 the taxpayers of Tarrytown were, on the whole, very well satisfied with the work done by the Board of Assessors in valuing their property. There were only 27 complaints registered, compared with almost 100 in 1911. This was partly due to the fact that the Board, which included President Pierson, discovered that they had made some notable errors the year before, and they set about rectifying this situation.
Some of the prior assessments were found to have been excessive, and were freely and readily reduced. For example, the valuation of Henry Graves’ property was reduced by $25,000 since “they thought that $100,000 was all this property was worth”.
Other residents and property owners received less welcome news when their tax valuations were increased. One of the few to officially protest the increases was Princess Josephine Del Drago, who owned property on Broadway. This may not have come as a great surprise to many who knew the wealthy “Princess”, since she was notoriously fond of money.
Previously known as Mrs. Schmid, Josephine was the widow of a successful New York brewer. She had retained a firm hold on her husband’s fortune, despite his will stipulating that their two daughters should each receive a third of the money when they turned 21. The eldest daughter had died shortly after reaching 21, and the younger was forced to sue her mother to receive her inheritance.
When widow Schmid was over 50 years old she married an Italian aristocrat, thought to be only 27 years old. Due to his distant and tenuous ties to European royalty, she insisted upon being addressed as Princess after the marriage. It was thought that the imperious Princess Del Drago would be unsuccessful in her demands for property reassessment.
Three People Rescued from Burning Building
A fire broke out at 50 Beekman Avenue, and quickly spread to engulf the whole building before the fire company were called to the scene. The fire crew set to work as soon as they arrived, but before long a crowd of curious bystanders had congregated, and became a serious hindrance to the firemen. Not only did they block clear access to the fire, they also endangered themselves by wandering right up to the flaming, crumbling building. On a few occasions it became necessary to turn the fire hose onto spectators to force them back.
It took around three hours to extinguish the flames, and some very daring work was done by the fire crew to rescue people from inside the building. Miss Jessamin A. Ellis and her father, and also the father of John Bloom, were trapped on the second and third floors, their escape routes cut off in all directions. They were frantically running to the windows crying for help, and it was only due to the skillful work of the fire crew that they were able to climb down some emergency ladders. As soon as Miss Ellis’ feet touched the ground she fainted and had to be taken to Farrington’s drug store.
Outstanading Performances at Schools' Athletics Meet
The Fifth Triangular Track meet of the Holbrook, Mackenzie and Schools was held on Hackley Field. The weather was superb, and a great many spectators were drawn to the event.
Shortly after 2 o’clock Mr. May announced in a loud voice that the “wan hundred ya-ard tr-rials” would begin. In the first heat of this event Koenig of Holbrook won with a time of 10 seconds. The Press-Record confidently stated that “It is hardly probable however that the Holbrook man made it in that time; 10:3-5 would be nearer correct”.
For the one mile run there were 16 entries. This was an extremely close contest, and on the home straight it looked as if it could be anybody’s race. However, Lyon of Hackley made a great effort at the end and won the race, achieving a time of 4 minutes and 55 seconds.
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