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The new year in Saranac Lake, Jan. 1943

January 3, 2009

The Saranac Lake police blotter in January 1943 contained the mundane events of any small town with a little humor thrown in from time to time.

One of the first entries, Jan. 1, 1943, was made by Officer Pete Higgins, Sharon Bishop's dad, who was a casual acquaintance. He did have a great sense of humor. In Pete's handwriting, here is one thing that happened at 1 p.m. of the New Year.

"Call from Mrs. Finnigan, 20 Margaret Street. Said she rented her basement apartment to some man and she just got a call from Mrs. George L. Starks saying the man was dead downstairs. Mrs. Finnigan was afraid to go down. Investigated by Ryan and Higgins. Found 'Jake' Hawley eating dinner. (acted as tho' he was somewhat alive - case closed)." Higgins

Article Photos

New York State Police Trooper Terrence Reilly in 1957 in Grand Island
(Photo from the 1993 State Troopers PBA calendar)

9 p.m. "Complaint from Sam Kelly Sr., that the pin boy on alley #5 in the bowling alley was throwing balls down the alley into the spectators. The boy would not stop when told to. Investigated by Wallace who found Raymond Ormsby was trying to be funny. Warned him and also the boy in charge of allies."

10 p.m. - "Complaint from Lionel Miller that (John Doe) had been drinking and creating a disturbance at 22 Margaret Street. Investigated by Jones and Wallace. We went up there and quieted him down and called Dr. Wardner who gave him an injection to quiet his nerves and help him to sleep."

7:45 p.m. (Jan. 10) - "Call from Mrs. Boynton at 56 Shepherd Avenue wanted police in a hurry. Found a soldier, John Doe, brother-in-law of (Jane Doe) had a bad cut on his nose and bruises on his head. Had been in a fight. Brought him to the police station. It seems they had some trouble at home. Took him to Dr. Wardner who took eight stitches in his nose. Brought him back to the police station and kept him till morning to avoid any more trouble. Says he is going back to the army in North Carolina tomorrow. He will take care of the doctor's fee." Jones

7 p.m. (Jan. 16) - "Gave prisoner his supper." Wallace

7:45 p.m. (Jan. 17) - "Saw one (John Doe staggering around the St. Regis corner. Sent him home but found him taking a drink out of a bottle in front of the A&P about 2 minutes later. Arrested for P.I." Wallace

4:30 p.m. (Jan. 18) - "Saw elderly woman fall in front of Cheeseman's Sport Shop. Investigated and found (Jane Doe), 89 Park Avenue lying in a stupor on the concrete. Carried her into the Hugo Dress Shop where, after making her comfortable, notified Dr. Woodruff. A Miss Coty, who is a first aid instructoress (sic), helped me get her into the police car on the advice of Dr. Woodruff and she was taken to the General Hospital. Dr. suspected broken shoulder." Wallace

7:10 p.m. (Jan. 19) - "Report from Forrest LaMoy, Jr., 13 Baker Street that there was an accident on the Church Street Extension bridge. Investigated by Wallace. LaMoy said a woman with a Dobermann-Pischner dog had fallen and knocked herself out. Tom Smith came by with the Gas Company pickup truck and almost ran over her. He took her home to 50 Baker Street where she lives. Tom said she apparently was intoxicated. I checked with Charles Boynton who said she was (Jane Doe) Wallace

7:15 p.m. (Jan. 20) "Call from Ernest Gushlow, A&P driver saying he had run over a woman in back of A&P and she was lying under truck wheel. (Mrs. Myrtle Taylor, 73 Broadway, see accident file). Notified Mrs. Taylor's two daughters that their mother was in the hospital - Miss Irene Taylor, 94 Lake Flower Avenue and Mrs. Howard Bombard, 45 Payeville Road." Wallace

10 p.m. (Jan. 22) - "Call from Ray Brook Hospital requesting police to notify Wallace (Pete) Gay, 2 Neil Street, that Benjamin Gay, his brother, just died. Did so." Higgins

6:45 p.m. (Jan. 23) - "Call from C. Wright, agent for the New York Central complaining about kids raising hell when the 6:40 train comes in. They grab the people's bags that get off the train and use abusive language. Conductor of train requests a policeman over there for the next couple of nights when the train comes in." Higgins

So that is the way it was on the streets of our fair village starting the New Year 66 years ago.



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