Back in Time: In 1908, Glens Falls was set to be incorporated as city
Most people in Glens Falls were not concerned with legal and political proceedings in Albany on Tuesday, March 10, 1908.
Their village was days away from official incorporation as New York’s newest city. Future metropolitans had other things on their minds: Men and women attended club meetings. Kids shot basketballs and planned flower gardens. Others played indoor baseball, and prepared for spring’s outdoor season.
There was a lot going on, according to the Glens Falls Daily Times, a now-defunct newspaper.
-- Dr. Fred Fielding was one of the first on the move. He spoke at the afternoon meeting of the Mothers Club. His topic: “The Hygiene of the Home.”
“The physician said that though the larger problems of life may lie with the men, the work of the woman at home — of the mothers — is just as essential to the welfare of the family,” the Times reported.
The doctor advocated more fresh air and sunshine in the home. And less dust.
-- Winter was just about licked, but the prospect of cool spring nights meant the Glens Falls Box & Barrel Co. on Maple Avenue was still moving inventory. The company sold split logs, and had plenty on hand. Hard wood sold for $3.50 per half cord. Mixed woods were $2.75 for a similar pile. “All wood warranted dry,” the box and barrel boys promised.
-- People were always in the market for horses and rigs. Griffing and Leland were renting wheels and hooves for all occasions. “A man rides like a king when he rides in a rig hired at Griffing and Leland Company,” an advertisement read, describing equipment as top notch: “A handsome, comfortable easy-riding carriage and a good, well-dressed horse that cannot be beaten for gentleness.”
-- The Times knew all about the new school plan to introduce children to gardening, and editorial writers liked the idea. “The movement to have flower seeds distributed to the public school children under private auspices may seem to many to be in line with the nonsensical fads, but it will not appear so to a person who gives serious thought.”
The newspaper wanted boys and girls going to seed. It was the righteous path.
“A boy walking the streets may by chance meet a companion and enter a place of evil resort,” the Times lamented. “The step may wreck his whole life.” Working with soil, the paper said, would cultivate good habits.
“No matter how humble the home,” the editorial of March 10 read, “when you see the yard sown with grass seed and planted with flowers, you know instinctively that the environment reflects some part of the character of those who dwell inside.”
-- The Glens Falls Club held its annual meeting, and officers announced the group had settled its building repair debt of $10,000. The club, organized in 1887, was booming. In 1908, the membership roster stood at 400; about 100 men had joined the previous year.
-- Fort Edward’s schoolboy basketball team defeated Glens Falls Academy, 20-15, at the YMCA.
-- Baseball players were also playing indoors. The Goodson Brothers’ clerks beat the “Shoestrings” 12-6, but had little time to savor their victory. In a second game, clerks from the Boston Store throttled the Goodson crew, 15-10.
-- The year 1908 was a presidential election year, and The Times was backing Charles Evans Hughes. New York’s governor also was a native of Glens Falls, born in the village on April 11, 1862. “With wisdom to see the right, with courage to dare the task, with strength to do the duty,” read a small box of print promoting Hughes on the editorial page.
The Times was ahead of its time. Hughes was the Republican candidate for president in 1916, but lost to Woodrow Wilson.