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One Century Ago: Unknown Man Found Drowned

Headlines from Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, 100 years ago.

Welcome back to One Century Ago, a collaboration between Patch and the Historical Society serving Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown.

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 Historical Society on microfilm.

Friday, September 13, 1912:

Gruesome Discovery in the Hudson

A deckhand on the ferry ‘Rockland’ must have had an unpleasant shock when he saw a partially decayed body floating up the Hudson about one mile from the Tarrytown shore. The man sounded the alarm, and quickly a wave of excitement and dismay spread amongst the passengers.

When the ferry docked at Tarrytown the police were immediately informed, and a motor boat was dispatched to find the body. The police searched for almost an hour before they finally saw something in the water, which did indeed turn out to be the body of a man in a gruesome state of decomposition. A rope was tied to the body and they towed it to shore, in order for Undertaker Dorsey and his assistant Frank Link to remove it to the undertaking parlours.

Early that same afternoon the coroner examined the body and confirmed that the man had died from drowning. However, the body could not be identified, due mainly to the fact that it was in such a bad state, with one side of the face almost entirely eaten away by crabs. The coroner was nevertheless able to confirm that the man had been about 35 years old, had brown hair, wore a dark suit and tan shoes, and was about 6 feet tall. The body was removed to the Alms House Cemetery.

Infant Scalded to Death in Tragic Accident

Stephen Bushel, the 19-month-old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Bushel of Orchard Street, died after falling into a pail of boiling hot water.

The young child was happily watching his brothers and sisters play a game of tag in the yard, laughing as they ran wildly around. When one of them ran past him towards the house he stepped backwards to move out of their way, but fell into a pail of scalding hot water which his mother had just set aside preparatory to cleaning the house. His mother immediately rescued him from the large pail and called for a doctor, but when Dr. Robertson arrived on the scene nothing he did could save the child, and he died from his burns. The funeral was set to be held in the family home the following Sunday.

Crowds Enchanted by Modern Music

Mr. O. J. Lyon installed an “electric piano” in his store on Main Street, and with the help of the demonstrator from the city, the piano was set going on Thursday. “The music which issued forth from this marvellous and awe-inspiring instrument, let it be understood, isn’t the same as that which the ordinary piano discourses. No, sir; when 'O. J.' gets anything it has to be the very latest.”

The Press-Record were not the only ones to be impressed, there was also an ever-increasing crowd outside Mr. Lyon’s store. Apparently this early jukebox sounded like “Sousa’s band going full blast” to the ears of Tarrytown’s inhabitants in 1912. The listeners were enthralled to hear the notes of the mandolin, accordion, harp and drums issuing forth from this new contraption, amazed that all they had to do was drop a nickel into the slot to “hear the fifteen piece orchestras”.

Golden Wedding Anniversary

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Driscoll, of Sheldon Avenue, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Fred Magee. Eighty-one year old Mr. Driscoll, and his 77-year-old wife were both in the best of health, and enjoyed the celebrations heartily. Mr. Driscoll even caused much laughter with his stories from long ago. The couple received many lavish gifts, including a gold tie pin and a gold pocket knife for Mr. Driscoll, and a gold wedding ring and a gold thimble for his “consort”, as tokens of love and esteem.

To join as a member and support the preservation of the history of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, please click here: thehistoricalsociety.net/membership.

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