Three Rivers
History From America's Most Famous Valleys

Little Falls, Chartered 1811
150 Years of Progress, 1961
Excerpts will be used from this book.
Map of the City of Little Falls, 1961 use your back button to return to this page.

Part Six.


With forests in every direction the early settlers burned wood in their fireplaces and used candles for illumination. If they wished to talk to a neighbor they had to travel to the latter's house as there were no telephones.

About the time Little Falls was incorporated, as well as in later years, it was a familiar sight to see several sleighloads of wood parked on the streets while the owners called at homes taking orders.

The first gas to be manufactured in Little Falls was made in a small plant at the rear of the Saxony Woolen Mill, owned by Seth Stitt. In 1853 A. G. Story, a local resident, and Mr. Stitt secured a franchise for the exclusive right to lay pipe and sell gas to Little Falls householders. This was the same year that the Richmonds first sold coal in Little Falls. In 1860 the village contracted for six gas street lights to replace oil lamps. In 1869 the Little Falls Gas Light Company was formed, with capital of $25,000. In 1886 Main Street from Ann to William was illuminated with this new type of light. That year there was competition from a new type of light which burned Naptha, a petroleum product. The gas light era ended on February 1, 1892, when the electric street lights were turned on for the first time, but the use of gas for cooking increased, and mains, were laid in all the streets.

On February 5, 1898, a group of New Yorkers purchased the local gas and electric company for $199,000. This was the beginning of the Utica Gas and Electric Company, which closed the local gas plant and piped in gas manufactured in Utica. In 1931 a 500,000 cubic feet gas storage tank was built on Loomis Island which was dismantled this January. In 1951 natural gas replaced the manufactured gas.

On November 3, 1882, the Parker Electric Company leased the Woodbridge Paper Mill on Seely Island and installed a generator, which secured power from the lower falls of the Mohawk. A week later the Cronkhite Opera House was illuminated by electricity for St. Mary's annual fair. The advent of the electric arc light speeded up the construction of the West Shore Railroad, enabling the laborers to work night and day. The arc type light, used in street lighting and in some halls, never became popular until the introduction of Edison's incandescent bulb. There were no meters and the cost, per month, was one light, $l.50 two, $3.00; three, $4.50, etc.

Many factories had private electric systems and at the Fourth of July celebration in 1887 Main and Second Streets were illuminated by four electric arc lights, current being supplied by the Adams Mill. There was much agitation for electric street lights and at an election, held September 11, 1891, 176 taxpayers voted "Yes," while 165 taxpayers voted "No." On February 1, 1892, eighty-three arc lights were turned on, which ushered in a new era, as the youngsters were able to play outdoors under the lights. For years, P. J. Dineen used to make the rounds, adjusting the carbons in the lamps and he will always be remembered for his kindness to youngsters in passing out the old carbons which were; so handy in marking up sidewalks. On February 29, 1891; the Little Falls Light Company was formed with Watts Loomis as president. Two steam engines in the Ives and Teall building furnished the power until December 26, 1896, when the old Elbeouf Mill, now owned by Stafford and Holt, was purchased and the power secured from the Mohawk river. The electric company was sold, with the gas company, in 1898 and in 1910 the Utica Gas and Electric Company put into operation their present hydro-electric station on the bulkhead road. Since that time the company purchased the mills on Mohawk Street, and their water rights, so that a large percentage of the current consumed by the local citizens is generated by the Mohawk river. In 1937 the Utica Gas and Electric merged with four other utilities, forming the Niagara Hudson Corp. The local company was then known as the Central New York Power Company. On January 5, 1950, the Buffalo Niagara Power Company, the New York Power and Light, and the Central New York all united to form the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation.

At the present time there are 25 employees of the Niagara Mohawk. Francis Schafer is Valley District Manager; Theodore Andrews, General Line Foreman; and Francis Freedon, General Gas Foreman.


The first record of a telephone in Little Falls is found in the local newspapers of 1878, which describes a private line between the home of Frank Bramer and his office in the Warrior Mower Company.

In May, 1882, the Herkimer Telephone Company set up ,in office in the building at the southeast corner of Main and Second Steets and advertised rates as $36 for residential phones and $40 for business places. By May, 1885, only the Girvan house and three stores had phones. In 1897 a rival telephone company appeared in town, the Interstate, and to show that a man was really well-to-do, he would tell his friends, "Call me, both phones." By 1912 the lines were consolidated by the Central New York Telephone Company. The present building, on South Second Street, was completed December 6, 1907, and at that time there were twelve operators and switchboard connections for 2,500 phones. At present there are 45 operators and 4,749 phones. The business office, originally located in the Telephone building, was moved to the west side of Second Street in 1949 and in 1960 was closed. Miss Florentine Kelly recently retired as Chief Operator, and Mrs. Grace Cords now holds that position.

The telephone company now owns the vacant lot on Main Street, across from City Hall. Construction of a new dial telephone building will be started this summer. It is planned to hold the cornerstone laying ceremony during the Sesqui-Centennial Celebration week.


Little Falls is fortunate in having a modern Y.M.C.A. and a W.C.A. because of the generosity of the Burrell family. On October 25, 1910, John F. Leary and wife sold to the Presbyterian Church the land now occupied by the Y.M.C.A. building for $2,100. On November 28 of the same year, John Hurley and wife and John O'Rourke sold the Judge Benton house, now the W.C.A., to the Presbyterian Church for $2,000.

On November 6, 1911, D. H. Burrell laid the cornerstone of the present Y.M.C.A. building, which was then called the Presbyterian Parish House. The title and name was later changed to the Young Men's Christian Association, which is rounding out its fiftieth anniversary this year. The building was opened to the public for inspection on January 13, 1913. At that time Mr. Burrell called it the "Citizens Association Building," for the use of all citizens.

The W.C.A. building is not only one of our most attractive houses, but one with much history. Judge Benton was born February 19, 1792, served in the War of 1812, and came to Little Falls in 1816. He was one of the few local residents to be allowed to purchase land from the Ellice Estate. The lot was purchased on December 16, 1826, and the house was built the following year. Judge Benton was. District Attorney, County Judge, State Senator, Secretary of State and was the first president of Little Falls in 1827-1828. He was the author of the first history of Herkimer County and President Adams was his guest in 1843.

On March 9, 1920, David, Loomis and Elizabeth Burrell gave the home and twelve thousand dollars to the people of Little Falls for a W.C.A. It was opened for inspection on November 22 of that year and dedicated to the memory of their deceased sister, Anne Louise Burrell.


One of the events of the Centennial Celebration of 1911 was the dedication of the present Post Office building. The first Postmaster of Little Falls was John Porteus, who was appointed on March 30, 1797, by Postmaster General Joseph Haberman. This was before the incorporation of the village, and the office was located in Porteus' store on Sixth Street. Adam Feeter was Little Falls' pioneer "Pony Express" rider and carried the mail from Canajoharie for the following two years. Afterwards it was brought here by the stage coaches.

As the succeeding postmasters were appointed, the office was located in their stores, but from 1861 to the time that the present building was built the office was located in Temperance Hall, the present Journal & Courier building. The first adhesive stamps were placed on sale on July 1, 1847, and the money order business was established during the Civil War in 1864. Little Falls established a letter carrier service on July 1, 1887, and in 1902 Rural Free Delivery was begun here. In 1913 the parcel post system was established and in 1920 the local post office delivered parcels by a motorcycle with a side car. This was replaced by a former Army truck in 1922 and today two trucks are in use.

The present postmaster, Herman J. Misner, was appointed on July 1, 1952, succeeding Mrs. Ann Shall, the only woman who ever held this position.


Fifty years ago, when Little Falls was celebrating the Centennial of its incorporation, the present Library building
<-Upper Left-right: Hotel Snyder, United States Post Office. Lower Left-right: Little Falls Public Library, YMCA and WCA Buildings.

was acquired on the death of Judge Rollin H. Smith. Mr. Smith was born in Little Falls in 1838, studied law in Judge Hardin's office and was admitted to the bar in 1863. He was county judge from 1883 to 1889, and passed away on February 7, 1911, at the age of 73. He left his home and an estate, estimated at $5,000, for establishing a library. The first library in Little Falls was established by an association in a room rented in a private residence.

In July, 1895, local residents collected a thousand dollars and the Regents Department contributed five hundred dollars for establishing a public library. This was located in the Cronkhite block and when the present high school was built it was relocated in the basement. This was a joint public and school library and was moved on January 1, 1912, to the Smith house. From 1912 to 1930 the school library and city public library were combined; then a separate school library was established in the high school.

Miss Mabel Richards has been librarian since July 1, 1907. Mrs. Norma Menge is junior librarian and Mrs. Esther Frank is clerk.

In 1949 the late George L. Smith furnished funds for the erection of a fireproof vault, which was built north of the Smith house, for storage of historical and rare books.


Previous to World War I the various departments of the city of Little Falls were located in rented quarters scattered around town. For many years there had been discussions about building a city hall, but it was 1914 before any action was taken.

On March 3 of that year, when Frank Shall was mayor, David H. Burrell, Sr., made an offer of fifty thousand dollars to be used to build a city hall if the city would raise the same amount. A special election was held on April 7, and the motion was carried, 765 to 65. Land at the southeast corner of Main and William Streets was condemned, and possession was acquired on May 1, 1915. The contract for the new building was awarded on January 4, 1916, to George Wills Company for $104,706. Mr. Burrell then gave an additional ten thousand dollars for his share. The cornerstone was laid by Mayor Abram Zoller.

On May 17, 1918, the fire alarm system was moved to the city hall and Chief Cooney moved in that day to care for it, the entire fire department being moved in seven days later. The other branches of the city government, the Police Department, Board of Public Works, and the offices of the City Treasurer and City Clerk occupied their rooms that summer.

On December 23, 1918, Mayor Zoller and the Aldermen met for the first time in city hall to pay their respects to D. H. Burrell, whose generosity had made the building possible.


One organization which will be kept busy during the Sesqui-Centennial will be the Little Falls Military Band. The history of the band dates back to 1872, when fifteen members formed the Amity Social Club. In 1873 they were called the "Little Falls Brass Band" and Ryance Lewis was their leader. They rehearsed in the Armory, now part of Christ Lutheran Parish Hall, and in later years in the Evans House Hall, now Hap Steele's garage.

On May 1, 1877, Rollin Smith requested permission to build a bandstand in the Eastern Park, and then collected the funds necessary for the construction. It was completed by Memorial Day, in time for the dedication of the Soldiers' Monument in the park by the G.A.R.

Although park concerts have been held off and on ever since that time, they were not always paid for by the municipality, as in 1883 local citizens collected funds for the concerts.

Some of the leaders of the band since Mr. Lewis have been Charles Bailey, Squire Bailey, Tom Bailey and Frank Garden. George Bennett was leader from 1919 to 1945, when the late Salvi Ferraro became director. After the latter passed away on March 15, 1958, Donald Musella, who was a teacher and director of the two high school bands, became leader of the Military Band. Clarence Hotaling has been announcer with the local band for many years.


Another organization which has added to the musical andcultural life of Little Falls has been the Little Falls Symphony Orchestra, organized in 1928 by Leon M. Dussault, and has been under his direction ever since. Three concerts have been given each year and over the years many renowned artists have made guest appearances with the orchestra. The orchestra has also sponsored concerts by the famed Don Cossacks Chorus, the Hamilton College Choir, Hartwick College Choir, Utica College Choir, and smaller ensembles.

<-Main Street 1906.

The playing personnel is made up of school music teachers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women, students-a very cosmopolitan group, all of whom give freely of their talents for the fun of making good music together. A few professional musicians are hired to augment the instrumentation. Money for this and other expenses is raised by popular subscription and by contributions from the Community Chest and the Adult Education Program of the local schools.

All concerts are given free to the public

The final concert of the 33rd season was given on May 14 at the local high school auditorium as one of the special events of the Sesqui-Centennial Celebration.


After the Revolution all the residents of Little Falls were still members of the Militia and General Muster Day was held annually in the field to the rear of what is now Main Street, in the Garden Street area. Private military companies were also organized and on March 15, 1807, a troop of horse, or cavalry, was organized from members who owned saddle horses.

WAR OF 1812

In the years before the War of 1812 the border was quite indefinite and the question was if the new United States could survive as a nation. Even before the beginning of the war the militia was organized and, under Colonel Christopher Bellinger, marched to Sacketts Harbor. War was declared on June 19, and in July Governor Thompson appointed General Stephen VanRenssalaer as commander of the forces, and the latter made a journey up the Mohawk Valley, stopping for dinner at Major Morgan's tavern in Little Falls.

On July 19 a fleet of five British ships attempted to land at Sacketts Harbor, but were driven off by Colonel Christopher Bellinger of Little Falls, with the militia and the crew of an eighteen-gun brig.

During the war many events occurred in Little Falls, as the troops were constantly marching through the village and fleets of boats were transporting supplies on the Mohawk and the Inland Canal through Little Falls. In the summer of 1813 two deserters were trapped on the Ann Street covered bridge, and jumped into the Mohawk to avoid capture. An interesting story is told about Henry Haman, who was conscripted in Germany by Napoleon, captured by the British in Spain, fought for the British at Sacketts Harbor and was captured. Passing through Little Falls a prisoner, he heard German spoken, and escaped and went to work for a German farmer. He was the proprietor of a butcher shop in Little Falls for many years and died here, over eighty years old. After the victory at Lake Erie, Commodore Perry traveled down the valley on a boat, attending celebrations along the way.

In the days before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July was the military holiday, and as late as July 4, 1825, many veterans of the War for Independence were in the parade. Military companies were still popular, and in the parade of 1826 Colonel Standish Barry, later first president of the Herkimer County Bank, had an artillery outfit in line.

While there were many local veterans of the War of 1812, there were only a few local soldiers in the Mexican War. An article of April 16, 1847, describes how the Little Falls Hotel was handsomely illuminated in honor of the recent victories in Mexico.


On May 16, 1860, the Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln for president at Chicago and "Wide Awake Clubs" were organized all over the country, including Little Falls. A monstrous torchlight parade was held here on October 11 with two thousand in line. Many were in uniform and groups came from surrounding villages to take part in the parade.

On February 18, 1861, the train bearing president-elect Lincoln and his family stopped at the railroad station in Little Falls enroute to Washington, where he was to assume the Presidency. The band played "Hail Columbia," village president Seth Richmond welcomed Lincoln and he, in turn, addressed the cheering crowd. Many Southerners had threatened to secede if Lincoln became president and there were threats of assasination. Hon. Horace Burch had a private wire open all day to Washington, but the Inauguration passed peacefully.

On April 12 the bombardment of Fort Sumpter started and the terrible Civil War had begun. On April 12 President Lincoln called for 75,000 men to put down the rebellion. On April 20 a monstrous rally was held in Little Falls, Major Zenas Priest presiding. Patriotic speeches were made by several local citizens, one of whom was so patriotic that he hired a substitute to go to war for him. Chief of the Fire Department, Wells Sponable, recruited Co. B of the 34th Infantry and was made their captain. The first week in May the local regiment bade their friends goodbye, and entrained for Albany. The following year the 34th took part in General McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, landing at Yorktown on April 5. In the first battle at Fair Oaks the boys fought bravely, 34 being killed and Captain Sponable being wounded in the leg. During the following years several other Herkimer County regiments were formed, including the 121st, of which Captain H. M. Galpin was the commander. He was shot through both hips at Cherry Creek with General Sheridan, and lost an eye in the Wilderness Campaign under General Grant. He returned to Little Falls and died in March, 1871. The local Grand Army of the Republic Post was named after him. The 152nd was also a Herkimer County outfit and the Hardin History also lists the 14th, 22nd, First Light Artillery, Second Heavy Artillery, and the Second Regiment of Rifles, of which James Fralick was captain, as being locally recruited regiments. The 97th, recruited in this county, lost half its men at Antietam.

In the early days of the war so many boys were eager to defend the Union that no draft was necessary in Little Falls. Quotas were set and, in all cases, more enlistments were made than were necessary. The first draft was made in August, 1863, and in the Town of Little Falls, which included the present city, 617 were enrolled and 176 were drawn. In Manheim 213 were enrolled and 60 were drawn. Those having the money could hire a substitute, but they might be drawn a second time.

A second draft was started in the fall of 1863, but proved unnecessary, as enlistments were more than the required 176. In June and September 1864 there were two more drafts.

Most of the news of the Civil War was probably received in letters from the "Boys in Blue." Casualty lists were posted on Main Street when news was received in such letters and from the telegraph system, including the direct wire of the Cheese Market. But news traveled fast as is seen in the diary of the man who hired a substitute, who wrote on July 22, 1861: "I went to Snell & Scott's and read an account of the great disaster to our troops near Manassas Junction in which from 4,000 to 5,000 were killed and wounded. A great gloom is over our village in consequence of the defeat of our Army." On February 17, 1862, he wrote: "Big celebration in the village over the capture of Fort Donalson. Band and torchlight parade and bells ringing."

War brought prosperity as well as sorrow to Little Falls. and the Mohawk Mills ran night and day turning out blue woolen cloth for army uniforms. Many moved to Watervliet to work in the Arsenal and to Ilion to work in the Remington Arms. Inflation set in and when farm prices went up, many farmers were able to pay off the mortgages and build the beautiful type of flat roof brick homes that are so numerous in this area.

The news of the surrender of General Lee, on April 9, was received with great rejoicing in Little Falls. All business was suspended, bells rang, cannon were discharged and by ten o'clock in the morning everyone was on Main Street. Judge Loomis, riding down the street on horseback, was given a resounding cheer. A parade was organized, followed by speeches.

The joy soon turned to grief when news was received of the murder of President Lincoln. On April 26, at 7:30 P.M., the train bearing the remains of the beloved President stopped at Little Falls. All public buildings and stores were draped with mourning and wreaths were laid on the coffin by Mrs. Harry Burrell and Mrs. A. Green.

On July 4, 1865, a "Welcome Home Celebration" was held for all the returning veterans and on that day the survivors of the 121st Regiment arrived in town. There was great rejoicing, but there were also many broken hearts, as only 445 out of the 1076 who marched away, had returned. There seems to have been one woman from here, Mrs. Katherine Goodbread, who was a nurse in the Union Army. She died November 10, 1933, at the age of 93.

After the days of the Civil War, due to interest in. military affairs the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization, was organized along with various military companies, the first of which was an artillery unity which in 1865 built the Armory, now part of Christ Lutheran Church parish house on Petrie Street. This was followed by Dave Smith's company, in 1876, and the Union Guards and the Rifle Corps of 1892.


When the Spanish-American War started there were only three Little Falls men in the 31st Separate Company in the Mohawk Armory, but many volunteered in the four months' war. Thirty-three local residents were in the services, Lambert Will being the only one who can join in this year's celebration. No local resident lost his life in this war.


On April 2nd, 1918, four days before war was declared, Company B of Cohoes arrived in Little Palls to guard the canal and railroad against sabotage. At first they were stationed in the Zoller block and later in Moreland Park, when the weather became warmer. Before the Draft of June 5th a total of 108 local men had joined the services. The city of Little Falls enrolled 1,495 men, while the total county enrollment was 6,703, between the ages of 21 and 31. Many of the local residents learned much about military service from visiting Company B in Moreland Park.

During that summer, a large number of submarine chasers passed through Little Falls on the Barge Canal, and several were tied up all winter at Lock 17. During the winter of 1917-18 there was a constant stream of army trucks passing through, and the drivers spent the night at the Y.M.C.A. As these were the days before roads were plowed it took one fleet fourteen days to travel from Buffalo to Albany. On January 18, 1918, the aldermen voted $2,500 to equip a company of Home Guards and the members also raised $1,900. Remington single-shot rifles and equipment was purchased and they drilled in the Y.M.C.A. Captain Guy Beardslee of East Creek, a retired army officer, was their commander. With a daily paper the residents of Little Falls were kept well posted on events in the war area, as well as the activities of the various members of the armed services who wrote letters to the "Times." There was a false report of an Armistice on November 7, 1918, followed by the authentic one of November 11, four days later. On that morning there was a fire in the Cronkhite Opera House building which housed the Little Falls National Bank. During the days there was a parade and general rejoicing.

There were 634 men and women in the Armed Services in World War I, and 255, or forty percent, were overseas. Twenty-four died or were killed while in the services:

Lugi Agnocco, died October 3, 1918, U.S.A.
John Babinsky, died of wounds, December 25, 1918.
Eugene A. Cliffford, died overseas, November 3, 1918.
Albert Ford Cole, died October 6, 1918, U.S.A.
Guisseppi Corrodori, died October 6, 1918, U.S.A.
Ross Critser, died when "Ticonderoga" was torpedoed, September 30, 1918.
Angelo DiCarlo, killed October 3, 1918. (Post named after him.)
William Bornburg, died in U.S.A.
Albert N. Flint, died of wounds in October, 1918.
Carl L. Poote, killed in action June 23, 1918.
Frank W. Hadcock, killed in action October 4, 1918.
Antona Kazmierski, died September 28, 1918, in U.S.A.
John Kumara, died October 17, 1918, of wounds.
Stanislaw Kubacki, died of wounds, buried elsewhere.
Lodovico Macali, died December 31, 1918, in U.S.A.
J. Willard Mahoney, died October 8, 1918, in U.S.A.
Deloir Marco, died of wounds on August 1, 1918.
Ernest D. Miller, died October 14, 1918, in U.S.A.
Angiello Natalo, died of wounds October 18, 1918.
Dennis Ryan, died August 28, 1918, in U.S.A.
Dominick Settevendemmie, died in France, March 4, 1919.
Glen Stafford, killed in France, October 11, 1918.
John Costes Stavros, died October 2, 1918, in U.S.A.
Glen E. Walters, died on ship returning to U.S.A., March 9,1919.

On July 3 and 4, 1919, a Welcome Home Celebration was held in Little Palls, and one of the important attractions was an army aeroplane, piloted by Lt. Malcolm Allison. There was a parade on July 4, speaking in the park, dancing, a ball game and fireworks.


At the beginning of World War II in 1939 there was much agitation for preparedness and on October 16, 1940, all men between the ages of 21 and 36 registered in the first peacetime Draft in the history of the United States. A total of 1,452 registered, including college students residing elsewhere. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the peacetime draft became a wartime draft.

A Home Defense Council was appointed by Mayor Richard Conley and Home Defense units were formed as follows: Firemen 150, Police 125, Air Wardens 400, Observers 20, First Aid 40, Red Cross 20, Transportation 15, Demolition 15, Public Works 30. The first test blackout was held January 7, 1942.

The long awaited invasion of Normandy took place on June 6, 1944. On April 12, 1945, the radio announced at 5:45 A.M. that President Roosevelt had died and all flags were placed at half mast. On May 8, the fire whistle blew and President Truman made the announcement on the radio that the war in Europe was over. This news was not at all unexpected, as local residents had watched with interest the surrender of more and more of Germany to the victoriousAllies. There was no celebration as the war was only half won. Conversely, the local residents were surprised at the sudden collapse of Japan, after the atom bombs were dropped. News was received at 7 P.M. on August 14, and crowds jammed Main Street all evening. The two following days were declared holidays and there was a big parade on August 15, with ceremonies in the Western Park. Gasoline and canned food rationing ended immediately, but melt and butter rationing remained until November 24; sugar rationing until January 1.

On July 4, 1946, there was a Welcome Home Celehration which was attended by Governor Dewey. There were parades, exhibition of war planes in the Western Park, band concert, and street dancing.

In World War II, with a population of around ten thousand. Little Falls had 1,668 men and 69 women in the various services. 1,337, or 80 percent of the men, and 28 or 40 percent of the women were outside the country, scattered all over the world. Forty-four actual residents were killed or died in the service. One of these was a woman, nurse. Eight others died who had wives or mothers living in Little Falls, and three died soon after the war ended.

Honor Roll of World War II

Norman Asselin, killed on Tinian, August 16, 1944.
Vernon Bailey, killed December 24, 1944, in Belgium.
Marcus Benedict, killed in accident in South America, July 25, 1943.
Thomas Bonaros, drowned at Arube, October 25, 1943.
John Clements, killed in Normandy, June 6, 1944.
Philip Cone, killed in aeroplane accident, July 21, 1943.
William Cheney, killed at Paullien, September 25, 1944.
Anthony Cvitan, killed in Italy, October 11, 1944.
John Crimmins, missing over Roumania, August 1, 1943
Francis DeDomenick, killed in Italy, May 21, 1944.
Louis Ehlinger, killed in Germany, February 28, 1945.
Robert Edick, missing over Norway, February 25, 1945.
William Farrell, missing off Saipan, January 22, 1945.
Edward B. Feldmeier, killed on Iwo Jima, March 5, 1945.
James Harter, killed in air crash in the Caribbean, June 11, 1943.
Eugene Hooks, killed in air crash in England, September 8, 1944.
Nellis Heath, died in Philippine prison camp.
Nellis Jones, killed in English Channel, December 20, 1944.
Raymond Krawecki, killed on Saipan, June 17, 1944.
Robert Kenna, killed in sinking of Japanese prison ship, October 24, 1944.
Paul Kuric, killed over Italy, December 9, 1944.
John Laur, killed in accident in U.S.A., December 26, 1942.
Francis MacDonald, killed in France, July 16, 1944.
Edward Massi, died in U.S.A., January 11, 1944.
Joseph Milin, killed on Iwo Jima, February 27, 1945.
Charles Mosher, missing in Belgium, December 22, 1944.
Fred Mutchler, died in U.S.A., April 2, 1944.
Richard Metz;, died in a German prison, April 8, 1945.
Chester Mikus, missing over Paris, December 31, 1943.
Gertrude Meade, killed in an accident in U.S.A., May 21, 1944.
Vernon Nightingale, killed in Germany, December 17, 1944.
Kenneth O'Brien, killed in Germany, November 4, 1944.
Frank Peckay, died of wounds on Tinian, July 25, 1944.
Albert Polodori, killed in France, July 31, 1944.
Stefan Remias, killed over England, March 29, 1944.
Edgar Ruby, died of wounds in Italy, April 12, 1944.
Christian Rothmyer, killed in England, July 3, 1944.
Arthur Randall, missing in the Atlantic, June 17, 1945.
Lynn Randall, killed in air crash in Alaska, April, 1943.
David Roche, killed in Italy, May 29, 1944.
Walter Sheehan, killed on Saipan, June 15, 1944.
Robert Schuyler, missing over Germany, April 8, 1944.
Dewey Steele, missing over Germany, November 2, 1944.
John Staffo, missing over Greece, October 10, 1943.
Philip Spine, killed in Italy, October 31, 1944.
Steve Stefula, died of wounds in German prison, January 17, 1942.
Philip Seifried, died of wounds in German prison, April 20, 1945.
John Tomei, died in England, May 17, 1944.
Fiorello Verri, killed on Luzon, February 13, 1945.
Edward Wroblewski, killed in France, January 12, 1945.
Michael Zeman, missing over Austria, September 10, 1944.
John Zukowsky, killed in Belgium, November 2, 1944.

Died during war, after discharge:
Walter Willman, died August 21, 1944.
Frank Lehman, died March 19, 1945.
Fred Collette, died March 23, 1945.
Charles Gabrovsek, resident of RD 3, killed in Germany, April 25, 1945.
Milan Zeman, former resident, killed in action and buried here.


Unfortunately the victories in Europe and Asia did not end the threat of war and the peacetime draft continued, fortunately, as the United States soon found itself in the Korean War.

There was no rationing during the Korean War, but prices went up and up.

The ending of the Korean War appeared to be of a temporary nature and there was no celebration when the fighting ended on July 26, 1953, and as the "Evening Times" remarked, "It looked like any other night on Main Street, no celebrating, no whistle tooting, no outward recognition. But for many, the war was never over. William Grogan, twenty-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Grogan, was killed in action on March 22, 1951. Clifton Avery was missing in action May 30, 1951. Thomas Ochar died September 10, 1950, as the result of an air crash. Walter Bobak was killed in an air crash on January 1, 1951. And before peace was actually signed, Milan Mosny was killed on January 6, 1955, in a crash of two jet aeroplanes over Tokyo Bay.

There were nearly 400 in the services from Little Falls during the Korean War.


To the early settlers of Little Falls, recreation probably consisted of visiting one another. Hunting and fishing were considered a necessary part of the struggle for food. After the Revolution, when John Porteus built his store-home-tavern on Sixth Street, it probably became the center of the social life of the community. As the town grew. Crane's Tavern was built on the site of Chickering's Restaurant between 1808 and 1811 and, as the stage coaches stopped here, it became the center of life in the community. On January 8, 1827, a Military Ball was held in this hotel.

Even before the completion of the Erie Canal, a floating museum stopped in Little Falls in 1824, and soon there were floating book stores, lottery offices, dry goods stores and theatrical companies traveling on the canal.

In May 1834 Angevine's Natural History Museum, which sounds like an animal show, exhibited in what is now the Western Park.

Washington Hall, which was torn down only a few years ago, stood on South Ann Street opposite Clinton Park and was built in 1842. Many traveling players, including Jenny Lind, Tom Thumb and the Abolitionist, Abby Kelly, appeared here. In 1836 the first train came to Little Falls and, after this time, it was a favorite pastime to go down to the station to see the trains, just as after the Erie Canal was opened, people from far and near would walk along the towing path on warm evenings to see the boats.

In 1847 Temperance Hall, now housing The Journal and Courier Printing Company, was built and dances, parties, and plays were held here for a number of years. On July 8, 1855, Washburn's Circus came to town and advertised "Real Indians." In 1863 Keller Hall, now the National Auto Supply building, was built and the village had another hall. Skinner Opera House was built in 1870 and Cronkhite Opera House was opened in 1874. In June, 1878, a new invention, the Edison phonograph was exhibited here for the first time.

Excursions were popular in those days, to Sylvan Beach, Niagara Falls, Thousand Islands and Catskill, and when the Dolgeville Railraod was completed, to High Falls Park in Dolgeville. Hiring a horse and carriage was a high point in the summer and there were several liveries in Little Falls for those (who were the large majority) not belonging to the "Carriage Trade."

Bicycling was also popular; cinder paths were built and Ed Van Allen says he thought nothing of a Sunday ride to Utica, Bridgewater, Cherry Valley and home the same day.

The year 1897 ushered in a new era-when the movies were first shown in Little Falls. Pictures were shown in the Star Academy and Skinner Opera House and, in 1905, Reardon and Shults opened a movie house on West Main Street. In 1907 they moved to the store now occupied by the Strand and in the same year William Beaumont had movies in the Rifle Corps hall. In 1908 Reardon and Shults "Gem Theatre" was opened where Yourdon's store now stands and later they purchased the Skinner Opera House.

In 1910 W. H. Linton operated the "Hippodrome Theatre" in the I.O.O.F. Hall on William Street. He also operated the "Lintonian" in the Skinner Opera House.

In 1922 a local group purchased land on North Ann Street and built the "Gateway Theatre," which was at first leased and then purchased by the Schine Corporation, who changed the name to the one it has borne since 1925, the "Rialto."

The first "talking" pictures were shown February 28, 1929, and after this time the use of the organ was discontinued. Nicholas Kauffman has been the manager of the Rialto Theatre since 1935.

Swimming is a form of recreation that youngsters have enjoyed wherever they can find water. Local residents are fortunate that there are so many beautiful mountain lakes around Little Falls. Only a few miles away are Keyser and Beardslee Lakes where one can have a cool swim after work on a hot summer day. About an hour away are Pine, Canada, Caroga, Canadaraga and Otsego Lakes. And an hour and a half run brings the motorist to Piseco, Sacandaga, Oneida or Fulton Chain of lakes. For years local youngsters have learned to swim at the local Y.M.C.A. and have enjoyed a lifetime of pleasure around the water. This year we are dedicating a swimming pool on the West Monroe Street playground, where youngsters can enjoy the water safely and, in addition, learn to swim.

Little Falls will also dedicate a municipal golf course this summer near the reservoir, and two new and modern bowler dromes will be erected.

But probably, next to television, the chief recreation is motoring and there are many pleasant drives out of Little Falls to the Adirondacks or the Catskills. Syracuse is 75 miles west on the Thruway and Albany 75 miles east. New York City can be reached in around four hours, and Boston is only a little farther away.

Little Falls will also dedicate a municipal golf course this summer near the reservoir, and two new and modern bowler dromes will be erected.

But probably, next to television, the chief recreation is motoring and there are many pleasant drives out of Little Falls to the Adirondacks or the Catskills. Syracuse is 75 miles west on the Thruway and Albany 75 miles east. New York City can be reached in around four hours, and Boston is only a little farther away.

Copyright 1998, -- 2003. Berry Enterprises. All rights reserved. All items on the site are copyrighted. While we welcome you to use the information provided on this web site by copying it, or downloading it; this information is copyrighted and not to be reproduced for distribution, sale, or profit.

Contents Introduction Links Home