Welcome to the first edition of One Century Ago, a collaboration between Patch and the .
Each week we'll be bringing you the front page of a local newspaper that covered the news in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow (North Tarrytown) one hundred years ago.
This week, our front page comes from the Tarrytown Press-Record, the only paper regularly publishing in the area from 1909 to 1914. The Press-Record was published as a weekly from 1893 to 1946.
The Press-Record has been preserved on microfilm which then had to be printed and scanned to reproduce online. Special thanks to Sara Mascia at the Historical Society for helping with the transfer process.
Tarrytown Press-Record, June 9, 1911
Convicts Drown - In perhaps the most bizarre incident reported, two convicts at Sing Sing prison drowned after one man attempted suicide.
The paper reported that Italian immigrant Antonio Cuana was among other prisoners marching to the Hudson River to empty their waste buckets before they were to go to sleep for the night. When it was Cuana's turn to empty his bucket, he stepped forward and leaped into the river in a suicide attempt.
Several other inmates jumped into the river in an attempt to save the man, but apparently he was "determined to end his life". The rescuer nearest to him, inmate Ernest Sinclair, was grabbed around the neck by Cuana and pulled under the water. Both failed to resurface. Their bodies were found 15 minutes later.
Cuana was serving time for having a concealed weapon, and left behind a wife and four children in Italy. Sinclair, 25, was serving time for abduction.
"Colored Men" have "Pitched Battle" - Political correctness was definitely not the norm 100 years ago. The Press-Record announced there was a pitched battle, and made sure to note the two men involved were "colored" both in the headline and in the first sentence of the story.
Aaron Johnson and James Ballard were sent to Westchester County Jail after a fight broke out between them at the corner of Wildey Street and Cortlandt Street. The report couldn't conclude what occurred to "bring on the fracas" but noted that "Johnson started the ball rolling."
Johnson apparently pulled a gun on Ballard, but Ballard wrestled the gun away and began beating Johnson with it. At that point Johnson, who seemed "prepared for skirmishes of this kind," pulled out a knife and started slashing at Ballard's face. The two were broken up by North Tarrytown Officer Burns.
The report noted that Ballard seemed pleasant during interrogation, even though he had massive bruises and gashes on his body. Johnson, who was barely injured in the incident, apparently spent his time laying on the floor of police headquarters, "groaning as if his death was near at hand."
Hackley Track Meet - A full third of the paper was dedicated to the tri-school track meet between Hackley School, Mackenzie School of Dobbs Ferry Holbrook School of Ossining
The article noted that the "young ladies were out in full force, each cheering for her favorite school."
However, Hackley School lost the track meet to the Mackenzie School, which earned 66 points on the day to Hackley's 29. Holbrook School of Ossining could only muster four points on the day.
Splendid Entertainment at the Music Hall - The Press-Record proclaimed that "great credit is due" for a minstrel and vaudeville show that was set up to benefit the Tarrytown Hospital. The paper thanked the minstrels from Conqueror Hook and Ladder Company and the minstrels from Hope Hose Company, who performed in the show. "Fine! Great! Best show I have seen in a long time," one unnamed spectator was reported to have said.
Important Meeting - One of the biggest pieces of local news was an "Important Meeting" held by the North Tarrytown Board. The meeting consisted of forwarding complaint about sidewalks to the village's Street Committee, and deciding which streets would be the first to be "bricked" – in this case Valley Street.
Board members also could not decide on a new alarm system for the fire department. There was disagreement as to whether they should adopt a box alarm system or a telephone notification system. Board President John Wirth noted his preference for the telephone system, saying it was "considerably cheaper, and was the most used."