Thursday, September 26, 2013

Things Get Hot In The Ice House

Early Railroad Refrigerated Car

     Is it ever appropriate to settle an argument with an ice pick?  I'd say no, (most of the time), but my 3rd great Uncle William Warner would clearly disagree.  I haven't done much with Uncle William, genealogically speaking, but I was running some newspaper searches yesterday and this came up in the Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY published October 5, 1912--
     James Baird of Shortsville was badly cut today as the result of an argument between him and William Warner.  The trouble took place in the Swift & Co. ice house, [The ice house was in the Lehigh Valley Railroad yards] both men being employees of the company.  The two got into a heated discussion and it is said that Warner called Baird names which so aroused Baird's anger that he slapped Warner in the face.  More talk ensued and finally Warner stated he had had enough.  Thinking it was all over, Baird stooped to pick up his tools, and while his back was turned, Warner snatched up an ice pick and stabbed him in the thigh.

     Holy cow monkeys!!  What was he thinking? Initially I believed this must have been Uncle William's son, William Jr. who would have been in his 20's.  It surely sounds like the impulsive act of a young man, but then I found another article giving the perp's age--62, it was Uncle Bill all right.  I told my oldest son about this and he merely shook his head and said, "Not another one".  I'm not sure what he meant by that? 

     Uncle Bill got off with a $50 fine, but I'm thinking this may explain a nagging question I've had for some time about my uncle.  He and five brothers came to America in 1870 along with their parents, well actually the two oldest came in 1869.  All of them eventually purchased land within a mile of each other in Manchester, NY and began farming.  Then around 1915, William just upped and moved 61 miles to Syracuse to live with William Jr., and became a caretaker at Oakwood Cemetery in that city.  I never understood why he left the family enclave and moved so far away.  Now I wonder if this may have had something to do with it.

     After reading the above article, my curiosity about Uncle William was kindled so I did some more searches, one of them at Find A Grave. What happened next must qualify as a record of some sort!  Yesterday afternoon I sent a photo request hoping a volunteer would snap a picture of my great great Uncle William Warner's gravestone at Oakwood.  By 8 o'clock that evening I had the photo.  I am totally blown away by the kindness of the photographer, not to mention her speed.  So blown away I wanted to return the favor.  I clicked on the link for contributor's tools and up popped a request for St. Patrick's Cemetery.  I know that cemetery, I've had some of my most hair raising cemetery experiences there and my very first  blog was about it.  So I claimed the request.  This morning I will be looking for the grave of Bartholomew Howe, an Irishman who died in 1873.  I hope his stone is not one of the damaged ones that will be impossible to read.  I also hope nothing too weird happens this time.

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