What happened in Elmira at the turn of the 20th Century?

Compiled by © Allen C. Smith from
Elmira's newspapers 1901, 1902, 1903

October CLASSIFIED ADVERTISEMENTS - one cent a word.

October A very pretty cottage at Glenora on Seneca. Glenora is only one hour from Elmira. Has veranda on three sides, 7 rooms, furnace, hot and cold water, good sized lot. Price $1500.

October After three years of life in the Klondike, George Backer of Sullivan Street has returned home. He gives a most interesting account of life and events in the gold fields, though rather reluctant to speak of his own mining operations.

October New Saurkraut [sic] now ready. Our own make (not the factory kind). Handsome white long cut and we know it is clean. F. A. Berner, 601-603 E. Water Street.

October Miss Mary Chilson of Rathbone was run over by a bicyclist named Frank Budwick Tuesday near the post office on 14th Street, Elmira Heights. The woman had just alighted from a streetcar when the bicycle struck her, throwing her into a large mud hole.

October You can't stop Elmira. There is no use to try it. This city is bound to be in the front ranks. What any other lively, down-to-date place has Elmira must have and so work is being done on what will be the first apartment house ever erected in this city.

November An epidemic of mischief seems to have laid hold of Elmira small boys. The latest credit to these youngsters is the removal of a cover of a cesspool at the corner of Third and William.

November The school commissioners have received a communication from the Board of Fire Commissioners recommending that fire alarm boxes be placed in all of the school buildings.

November Police are on the track of thieves. Robbing dummies in front of clothing stores seems to be the principal manner of operating chosen by the lawbreakers.

November Everybody knows what Old Crow Whisky is. There is nothing better for family use. John M. Connelly, 413-415 Carroll St., will supply you any quantity. Telephone connection.

November Thaddius Carrigan, the 19 year old son of James Carrigan of 924 Lackawanna Avenue, was severely injured about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon as a result of his efforts to coast down Watercure Hill on a bicycle. The wheel, which was supplied with a coaster brake, was running at a rapid rate of speed when suddenly the front forks gave way, throwing the rider to the ground with great force.

November L. H. Storrs of Lake Lamoka, near Tyrone, was in Elmira yesterday. He reports excellent shooting on the lake, he and his son having shot 42 ducks of different varieties, and one wild goose weighing eleven and three quarter pounds on Monday.

December The city pavements are in a dangerous condition owing to the icy coating. Horses are having much difficulty. Once a horse falls down there is no easy matter to get him up.

December BEECHER STATUE UNVEILED TODAY. A gentle pulling of strings, a slight flutter of the silken folds of the stars and stripes and as the immense audience in a deeply impressive silence looked on, the beautiful American flag gracefully fell away to the ground slowly exposing to view the massive metal figure of the eminent divine whom the spectator to a man loved in life.

December ELMIRA FLOODED - Creeks and River Reached High Marks, Much Damage Done. NEWTOWN CREEK - Greatest amount of suffering and damage was in Eastern section of city. HOFFMAN CREEK - Overflowed for first time Saturday and inundated Western section. SOUTHSIDE ESCAPED DAMAGE - New dyke was high enough to keep the river in its proper channel.

December DESTITUTION IN FLOODED DISTRICT - Captain Madden and Salvation Army workers made an investigation. Many families are in need.

December What a true saying it is that one half of the world does not know what the other half is doing. No more clearly is this demonstrated than in the "flood district" in the eastern part of Elmira where the suffering and poverty is much more severe than is realized by the wealthy or comfortably situated citizen.


The Gazette made a record yesterday in the matter of advertising - a full four page advertisement. Sheehan, Dean & Co. is the business firm to establish the record and the Gazette is the newspaper.

January The delivery cutter of Hiram Decker’s meat market tipped over in a runaway accident yesterday and as a consequence, five gallons of oysters were mixed up with the mud and slush of the street.

January While coasting down west hill at the end of Fourteenth Street Saturday, Miss Elizabeth Tanner fell from a sleigh on which she was riding and sustained a fracture of the left collar bone.

January Lovers of fast horses congregate these days on West Church Street, for on this fine thoroughfare there is great sport. Chief of Police Frank Cassada has issued orders allowing the speeding of horses on West Church Street every afternoon from two to three-thirty.

January For the first time in the history of the city, Elmira has a woman City Physician, Dr. Jessie L. Herrick. Few of the aldermen at first realized that the petitioner was a woman.

January This evening in the federation labor hall on Carroll Street an effort will be made to organize the local team drivers. An organizer from the American Federation of Labor will present and address the meeting.

January Mardi Gras, New Orleans, $35.50 round trip via Lackawanna.

January If you want to send in a want ad to the gazette you may use the telephone, either line. Call 396 on the old line or 286 on the new line. The situations wanted and help wanted are printed free.

February The members of the Central WCTU held an interesting meeting in the railway YMCA yesterday afternoon, during which an address entitled “Why One Woman Wants To Vote” was delivered by Mrs. Anna Grandin Baldwin.

February Classified ads, one cent a word. Will exchange stenograph for mimeograph. C. W. Mooers, 354 Pennsylvania Avenue.

February The Grand Jury of the County of Chemung recommends that a padded cell be placed in the Chemung County Jail for the use of insane and violent prisoners.

February GIRLS QUIT FIRST THEN REST STRUCK. One hundred and fifty employees left tobacco firm this morning. Trouble started over wages.

March Elmira is shut off from the world today by a flood the greatest and most extensive in the history of the city.

March At no time during the flood did the high water in the river during Friday night, Saturday or Sunday reach the extreme height registered by the June flood of 1889.

March For the past two days the patrol wagon has been continually on the jump and altogether 28 calls were received at police headquarters. Many of them were to give aid to flood sufferers, but the majority were for the purpose of taking intoxicated people to headquarters.

March NOTICE TO COLORED MEN. Call for a meeting in Douglass Church for the relief of flood sufferers.  S. L. Carrothers, Pastor.

March The gazette congratulates the city upon the election off Daniel Sheehan to the office of Mayor. Mr. Sheehan was the Democratic candidate. The Gazette is a Democratic journal.

March Of course you’ll have some sort of Walking Skirt… Ours are a little nobbier than you’ll find anywhere else. - The Misses E. L. & M. Sullivan, 300 E. Water St. [advert.]

March Harrison Nickerson, who twice within five years has been reported killed while in lumber camps in Pennsylvania, has returned to Elmira.

March Report of the Health Officer. Eighteen typhoid fever cases within the past two weeks. The water should be boiled, Dr. Wey warns residents of the sections of the city which suffered during the recent high water - much work to be done.

March The inmates of the New York State reformatory will enjoy a musical treat Sunday. There will be singing by the entire body of the inmates and also instrumental solos by inmates who are members of the reformatory band.

March [Among] pertinent statements made by Dr. Arthur W. Booth in his lecture on “Municipal House Cleaning” at the Park Church last evening, “We have a river at our door that is nothing short of a common sewer for all the towns above us, and to our discredit, we add our full quota to our neighbors below”.

March James Molitino, who conducts a fruit store on East Fourteenth Street, is displaying a beautiful Easter rose bush. There are six blossoms of a delicate shade of red and each one measures over four inches in diameter.

April Jags are going to be more expensive. As a result of the new excise law, which increases the license fees fifty per cent, it is going to cost a man more money to get a “comfortable load of booze.”

April There is an epidemic of measles in the city at the present time and a number of children are ill with the disease.

April The old livery stable on South Main Street near Mt. Zoar Street is to be removed. It is expected that Orr Griswold of Maple Avenue will use the building for a tobacco shed. The stable was first erected for a skating rink.

April Boys set fire to brush on East Hill yesterday at the foot of East Church Street. A great deal of dry matter ignited and last night the blaze could be seen from all parts of the city.

April Scenic artist Clark of the Lyceum Theatre will paint a number of new scenes for the summer theatre in Rorick’s Glen.

April Nathan Bowen of Tuttle Avenue is the owner of a four-legged chicken. The chicken was hatched from a double yoked egg.

April The police are determined to break up the practice among the small boys of playing ball in the streets. Six boys were arrested yesterday afternoon on warrants issued by Recorder Bogart.

May C. M. Soper, a well-known farmer in the town of Big Flats, claims to possess the champion goose egg producer in the county. He sent to The Advertiser yesterday a goose egg weighing nine and one half ounces. The egg is 11 by 6 inches in circumference.

May [headlines] T. Briggs and Company’s Brewery Ready for Inspection - The ladies of Elmira are especially invited to come and see how pure beer and ale are made.

May A colored boy of 18 or 19 years of age told a reporter yesterday that it is true the boys of the colored district have a sort of a club, the members of which snuff a powerful drug, the effect being the same as any narcotic except that it is stronger. In explaining the boy said: “ It makes you feel like a millionaire and you haven’t a cent in your pocket.”

May A party of a half dozen surveyors is busily engaged running a prospective line for the construction of the electric railroad between Elmira and Corning.

May The Elmira Tennis Club has arranged for a formal opening of its house and grounds Saturday afternoon, Hoffman and West Third Streets.

May Be sure and attend the mass meeting at the Lyceum Theatre Sunday night, called to protest against the massacre of the Jews in Kishineff [sic], Russia. Prominent speakers. Excellent musical program.

May A prominent West Water Street family had an interesting experience the other night. Through some disarrangement the telephone bell rang steadily all night. It is the most effective means yet discovered to disgust patrons with telephone service.

June Protect Your Dog!  If you have a dog afflicted with distemper, mange, fits, fleas or anything else, cure him with Glover’s Celebrated Dog Remedies. Also a complete line of collars, whips, muzzles, leads, chains, whistles, soaps, etc. Elmira Arms Company. 117 Main Street.

June The important news event of the week and one of the saddest tragedies that ever occurred in this city was the explosion Monday afternoon at the plant of the Explosives Manufacturing Company, near the southern line of the city. Three employees lost their lives, many more were injured, and the factory was almost totally destroyed.

June A large tent is being pitched at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Spaulding Street near the Lake Street Bridge for the purpose of religious lectures. Admission is free, and infidels, agnostics, and unbelievers are especially invited.

June A serious conflagration was averted yesterday afternoon when the fire department was summoned to the Bush block on East Water Street, opposite the Hotel Rathbun. During the excitement caused by the fire, the Number 2 truck team ran away, but was stopped before having gone any great distance.

June Protests are being made by those people who have relatives buried in the Second Street Cemetery against converting it into a public park and the consequent and necessary moving of the bodies now in the cemetery to some other place.

June With a blaze of red light, to the swelling strains of martial music and eloquent oratory and with a throng of several thousand happy, jolly pleasure seekers in attendance, the Masonic carnival and street fair was thrown open to the public last evening with a most elaborate ceremony.

June In sight of 7,000 people, aeronaut Bert Berry hung to his balloon 1,000 feet in the air over State Street last evening while the horrified spectators expected to see him dashed to the earth and picked up a mangled mass of humanity.

July Police court was crowded this morning by persons curious to witness the arraignment of Susie Delapp and five young women, who were arrested yesterday morning as a result of a raid made by the police upon this woman’s place over the “Imperial” saloon on Carroll Street.

July The Fourth of July was an extremely busy day for the streetcar department of the Elmira Water, Light and Railroad Company. 45,000 passengers had been carried by the cars that day.

July The village of Big Flats has a smallpox epidemic. Four patients are already suffering from the disease and are being cared for in an improvised detention hospital.

July Bruno Pizzumenti, the Italian contractor, who was arrested Monday and charged with violating the sanitary laws in allowing 45 of his countrymen to sleep in one house on Magee Street, was arraigned in police court this morning.

July Park Commissioner Alex Levy will this week present to the city for display in Grove Park a cage of five horned toads.

July Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Clemens are guests of Mrs. S. L. Crane at Quarry Farm on East Hill.

July Residents of the northern section of the city are complaining against the New York and Pennsylvania Telephone Company employees who are engaged in erecting new poles. Mrs. John Lonergan who resides at the corner of Washington Avenue and Magee Street compelled them to stop work by running out of the house and jumping into the freshly dug hole.

July Fred Evans, a prisoner at the Chemung County Jail, who has been allowed to work in the kitchen, walked out of the building yesterday morning and the city officials have been unable to locate him.

July Andrew J. Brown of 800 East Market Street has been notified that he is dead, but he has no faith in the report and is making strenuous denials of the story at every opportunity.

July Charles H. Brown, Licensed Scavenger. Closets and cesspools cleaned. Odorless process. Ready at all times. Satisfaction or no pay.

July A cottage on Owasco Lake occupied by Eugene Zimmerman, the Horseheads cartoonist, and George Beard of Auburn, and their families burned yesterday while the campers were on the lake.

August Business has not been resumed at the Elmira Glass Cutting Plant and the former employees are apparently as determined as ever not to work longer than 55 hours a week, their original proposition.

August Acting Chief Hartigan of the local police department desires to warn citizens of Elmira to be on the lookout for crooks, pickpockets, sneak thieves, back doormen, burglars and, in fact, professional thieves, sharpers and swindlers of all kinds who make it their practice to follow circuses.

August This is Circus Day and red lemonade, toy balloons, peanuts, elephants, farmers and the children have the call… many excursions… Barnum & Bailey, “Greatest Show on Earth”…95 cars to transport the paraphernalia [sic]….hundreds of horses… sword swallowing and needle eating… a lion faced boy, a moss haired girl… without parallel in any other show or museum in the country.

August Violent attack of diarrhea cured by Chamberlain’s Colic, Cholera and Diarrhea remedy and perhaps a life saved.

August The Blacksmiths of the city will enjoy an outing on Saturday. The shops will be closed.

August Lyceum Theatre - Hoity…Toity - A girly whirl of wit and merriment. 50 people - mostly girls.

August The liberty of the four girls who escaped from the Anchorage in this city Sunday morning was short. In Corning, the girls made such a scene upon their recapture and each made the statement that they would rather commit suicide than be taken back to the Anchorage.

August All trains on the eastbound track of the Erie are forced to slow down at the Water Street crossing today. The trouble lies in a broken rail.

August During the storm yesterday afternoon lightning struck an electric wire just outside of the saloon of Solomon Bernstein, 156 Lake Street, and was carried into the saloon causing considerable damage. The bar was burned along its entire length and supervisor Bernstein was shocked and rendered unconscious for a few minutes.

September It cost Chemung County about ninety five cents a week to feed each prisoner in the county jail during the month of August. The total expense for the month was $128.61.

September On the 13th hour of the 13th day of the month the local government officials formally established the Elmira Post Office in the new Federal building at the corner of East Church and State Street. Postmaster D. M. Pratt personally raising the flag over the government building at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon signifying the Post Office had been transferred to that place.

September Plastered with mud, dust and grease, a chauffeur drove a 24 horse power automobile through Elmira a few moments before 7 o’clock this morning on his way in the mad race against time from Chicago to New York City.


News of 1909
News of 1914

Home | Books | Links | Visitors | Old Photos/Postcards | Gift Shop
| Barnes Library |
Elmira City Historian
Copyright Chemung County History 1999-2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Please email for permission to reprint.
Please visit our Book Store and Gift Shop - they help to sustain this website

web design by Diane Janowski