Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Was Abraham Lincoln Ever in Pelham?

A number of American Presidents have had connections, however fleeting, to the Town of Pelham.  These include George Washington, Martin Van Buren, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, Warren G. Harding, and Chester A. Arthur.  In fact, like so many others, Pelhamites have proudly proclaimed for nearly two hundred years that "George Washington slept here."  According to tradition, on "several occasions" George Washington spent the night in a home owned by Colonel Philip Pell III (who was among Washington's senior leadership in the Continental Army and rode triumphantly with Washington into New York City on Evacuation Day).  Pell's home was located near today's Colonial and Cliff Avenues.  The home since was destroyed by fire.  See Barr, Lockwood, A Brief, But Most Complete & True Account of the Settlement of the Ancient Town of Pelham Westchester County, State of New York Known One Time Well & Favourably as the Lordshipp & Mannour of Pelham Also the Story of the Three Modern Villages Called the Pelhams, pp. 119, 143-44 (Richmond, VA: The Dietz Press, Inc. 1946).

I previously have written about connections between American Presidents and the Town of Pelham.  See, e.g.:  

Mon., Feb. 21, 2005:  Presidents Day Post: American Presidents and Their Connections To Pelham.  

Wed., Mar. 25, 2015:  Pelham Mourned the Death of FDR as His Body Passed Through the Town by Train on April 15, 1945.

Fri., Jun. 03, 2016:  More Newspaper Accounts of President Martin Van Buren's Visit to Pelham in 1839.  

Mon., Aug. 29, 2016:  President Grover Cleveland Passed Through Pelham Waters on August 22, 1894.

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog explores whether one of the greatest American presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was ever in Pelham.  The only opportunity I previously have had to write about Abraham Lincoln involved the announcement of the assassination of President Lincoln that was delivered at the Rebel prisoner of war camp in Pelham on April 15, 1865.  See Fri., May 21, 2010:  The Announcement of President Abraham Lincoln's Assassination in Pelham, NY on April 15, 1865.  

With the critical transportation arteries of the New Haven line and the Boston Post Road that pass through the heart of Pelham, it truly should come as no surprise that Abraham Lincoln was, in fact, in Pelham.  Lincoln passed through the little settlement of Pelhamville on a New Haven Line night train the evening of March 10, 1860 during his campaign for the presidency.

Daguerreotype of Abraham Lincoln Probably
Taken in Springfield, Illinois on Sep. 23, 1858 by
Christopher S. German, From a Private Collection.
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

Presidential campaigns today seem to begin as soon as Inauguration Day concludes and last nearly until the last polling place closes on election night.  That was not the case in the 1850s and 1860s.  

In early March, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was in the midst of his last few public campaign speeches before the Republican Convention in May and the November election.  On February 27, 1860, Lincoln delivered his famous Cooper Union speech, then known as the Cooper Institute speech.  The speech is considered by some notable historians to have been one of his most important speeches and the one most likely responsible for his victory in the presidential election.  He used the speech to demonstrate, based on his own painstaking research, that the Founding Fathers would have agreed with Lincoln's position that slavery should not be expanded into the western territories.

After his Cooper Union triumph that was widely-hailed and trumpeted by newspapers throughout the nation, Lincoln immediately embarked on a two-week speaking tour in the northeast.  He spoke at least every business day at campaign appearances during that time and attended other campaign events and local churches (and made a few speeches)  on the weekends. 

On March 6, Lincoln took the Hartford & New Haven Railroad to New Haven where he gave a rousing speech in Union Hall.  The following day, March 7, Lincoln took his special train to Meriden, Connecticut.  As Lincoln's train made stops between New Haven and Meriden, more than six hundred Republicans hopped aboard hoping to see Lincoln and attend his speech in Meriden.  According to one account, "[b]y the time the train reached Wallington the cars were so packed that a hundred people were left behind at the depot."  Jaffe, Eric, The King's Best Highway:  The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route That Made America, p. 149 (NY, NY:  Scribner's, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2010).  

Lincoln gave another inspiring speech in Meriden before a "raucous crowd three thousand strong."  Id., p. 150.  In the next two days he spoke in Woonsocket (near Providence) and in Norwich, Connecticut on Friday, March 9.  Lincoln then traveled to Bridgeport, Connecticut where, on March 10, he gave a rousing speech in the Town's largest hall, filled to capacity.

Lincoln's Bridgeport speech on March 10 was a modified version of his triumphal Cooper Union Address.  It was his last such "public talk" until he was elected President.  Id., p. 150.

Immediately after his Bridgeport speech, the exhausted presidential candidate "boarded a New Haven night train back to New York."  Id.  Within a short time, Abraham Lincoln passed through Pelham on the New York City bound New Haven Line train.  The New-York Daily Tribune reported Lincoln's train ride two days later.  

Most certainly, even if the exhausted candidate was awake at the time, he most certainly would have taken no notice of the tiny little settlement of Pelhamville within the Town of Pelham as the train hurtled through the area of the Pelhamville station.  There were no residences in the immediate area.  There was no lighting -- lamp lighting or otherwise -- in the area.  In short, the future president likely never even realized he had passed through Historic Pelham. 

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Immediately below is the text of two items that form the basis for today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog.  Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.

"ABRAHAM LINCOLN spoke on Friday at Norwich, Conn., and on Saturday evening at Bridgeport, whence he came on by the Night Express to this City, attending the churches of Drs. Beecher and Chapin yesterday.  He leaves this morning for home, by way of the Erie Railroad, having spoken once in New England for each secular day since his address in our City, two weeks ago.  Mr. Lincoln has done good work and made many warm friends during this visit."

Source:  ABRAHAM LINCOLN, New-York Daily Tribune, Mar. 12, 1860, Vol. XIX, No 5891, p. 4, col. 2.  

"Lincoln was not quite a Boston Post memory yet.  He rode the Shore Line train back to Providence for a speech in the nearby town of Woonsocket, then circled back along the Sound toward Bridgeport for his final talk, on March 10.  Immediately after this speech the exhausted orator, hungry for home, boarded a New Haven night train back to New York.  From there he would leave for Illinois, but not before strolling around the city one final time with James Briggs, the man who had originally invited Lincoln east.  By then, in the words of the Providence Daily Journal, Lincoln was 'as much of a favorite in New England as in his own State.'"

Source:  Jaffe, Eric, The King's Best Highway:  The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, the Route That Made America, p. 150 (NY, NY:  Scribner's, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2010). 

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Friday, January 13, 2017

The Prevost Mansion Known as The Shrubbery, Once Owned by Aaron Burr, Burned December 31, 1880

A large home known as "The Shrubbery" once stood along Split Rock Road in Pelham Manor.  The home once was owned briefly by Aaron Burr, Revolutionary War hero and third Vice President of the United States before he infamously shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel on July 11, 1804.  Burr married the widow Theodosia Bartow Prevost, a Pelham Manor native, and became a stepfather to her son Augustine James Frederick Prevost.  The family reportedly bought The Shrubbery as a summer place.

Portrait of Aaron Burr in 1792, Attributed to
Gilbert Stuart.  NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

The circumstances regarding how Aaron Burr came to own The Shrubbery and then sell it to his stepson, Augustine James Frederick Prevost, seem rather suspicious.  Indeed, I have written before about those questionable circumstances.  See Tue., Jul. 18, 2006: Aaron Burr Tries to Pull a Fast One in the 1790s and Must Sell His Farm in Pelham.

In his recent book The King's Best Highway, Eric Jaffe also wrote of the odd circumstances surrounding Burr's purchase and prompt sale of The Shrubbery.  Jaffe wrote:

"Before the Revolution the patriot Lewis Morris, an eventual signer of the Declaration of Independence, had sought permission to build a toll bridge across the Harlem River, almost exactly where the modern Third Avenue Bridge exists today.  (Morris lived in a region of the Bronx that still goes by the name Morrisania.)  A branch road toward his bridge would severely duck the old approach from New England onto the island over King's Bridge.  The diversion would pay off twice; once when the thankful traveler deposited a coin at the gate of the new bridge, and once again down the line, when the value of Morris's land increased.

"Come 1790 Morris was ready to revive the idea of this bridge when the proposal caught the ear of the state's new attorney general, Aaron Burr.  Burr offered to finesse the bill through to passage, and when he was finished, Morris earned the right to build his bridge, and the task of laying out the new road fell upon three commissioners -- two of whom, Joseph Browne and John Bartow Jr., were Burr's close in-laws.  In March of 1790 the bill indeed passed.

"Some evidence suggests that Burr intended to purchase the land through which the new road passed, and profit as its value soared.  Back in the fall of 1789, Burr had represented the heirs of Joshua Pell, a loyalist whose 146-acre farm had been confiscated after the war by the state.  The following February, Burr bought the plot in question -- dubbed The Shrubberies [sic] -- for use as a summer home.  The Shrubberies resided 'on the post road' as it passed through modern Pelham, beginning near 'the gate of the Boston Turnpike Road,' precisely where a new road would branch toward Lewis Morris's new bridge.  Burr soon transferred this land to his stepson, Augustine Prevost, for ten shillings -- essentially gave it away, perhaps to distance himself from its acquisition.

"A few years later Lewis Morris sold his rights to the toll bridge to John Coles, who soon undertook its construction.  In summer of 1800 the Westchester Turnpike Company established its 'Western Gate' near The Shrubberies and extended the new highway from Pelham to the 'Eastern Gate,' near the Connecticut line.  When the city laid down fresh milestones in 1801,this new Boston road became the route of record between New York and New England."

Source:  Jaffe, Eric, The King's Best Highway -- The Lost History of the Boston Post Road, The Route that Made America, pp. 95-96 (NY, NY:  Scribner, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2010).

Undated Photograph Said to Depict "The Shrubbery," a Home
That Once Belonged to Aaron Burr and, Later, His Stepson,
Augustine James Frederick Prevost and Stood Along Today's Split
Rock Road in Pelham Manor. Source: Courtesy of The Office of
The Historian of the Town of Pelham. NOTE: Click on Image to Enlarge.

Detail from 1868 Beers Atlas Map Showing Location of "THE
SHRUBBERY" (Lower Left) Just Off Today's Boston Post
Road in Area Between Today's Split Rock Road and Today's
Boston Post Road. Source: Beers, Frederick W., "City Island,
Westchester Co, N.Y." in Atlas of New York and Vicinity from
Actual Surveys by and Under the Direction of F. W. Beers, p.
35 (NY, NY: Beers Ellis & Soule, 1868). NOTE: Click Image to Enlarge.

NOTE: Click on Image to Enlarge.

The Shrubbery remained in the Prevost family for the next eighty years.  In late 1880, George A. Prevost, a brother of the actual owner of The Shrubbery, lived in the home with his wife and "two maiden sisters."  The grand home was two and one half stories high with massive, grand Corinthian columns in its front. It was filled with the Prevost family's "furniture, paintings, statuary, and many ancient relics which were highly prized." 

Late in the evening on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1880, a fire was discovered in the room of one of the maiden sisters.  Reports later indicated that the fire may have begun from an overheated flue in the room.  In any event, the fire spread until it completely destroyed the mansion and all its contents.  Reports indicated that the property destroyed was valued between $15,000 and $20,000, the equivalent of about $487,000 to $649,000 in today's dollars.  I have written before about the fire that destroyed the Prevost home on that New Year's Eve.  See Tue., Aug. 16, 2016:  The "Shrubbery" Mansion in Pelham Once Owned by Aaron Burr Burned Down on December 31, 1880.  

Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog provides the brief text of another newspaper article that referenced the fire that destroyed The Shrubbery.

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The end of the old year and the beginning of the new has been prolific of fires -- not an uncomfortable thing to read of in view of the demoralized, rent condition of the thermometer.  Among these fires was the burning of James R. Keene's Newport villa, including what the redoubtable bon vivant, Sam Ward, pathetically characterized as 'a divine wine-cellar.'  Another fire was the destruction of the Provost [sic] mansion, in the town of Pelham, which is said to have been occupied at one time by Aaron Burr.  The latest important addition to the list was the total annihilation of Mount St. Vincent's in Central Park on Sunday morning, more recently and better known as 'Stetson's' which has been a favorite resort and restaurant for sporting men and the general public.  The part of the building used for hotel purposes was over one hundred years old."

Source:  THE FIRE FIEND, Evening Star [Washington, D.C.], Jan. 8, 1881, Vol. 57, No. 8660, p. 1, col. 7.  

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I have written before about the Prevost Mansion known as "The Shrubbery" and the family that owned it.  (The family name often is misspelled "Provost."  It is "Prevost.")  See:

Tue., Aug. 16, 2016:  The "Shrubbery" Mansion in Pelham Once Owned by Aaron Burr Burned Down on December 31, 1880.

Thu., Jun. 23, 2016:  Original Record of Forfeiture Sale of Lands of British Loyalists in the Manor of Pelham.

Thu., May 21, 2015:  Pelham Manor Romance:  A Tale of Aaron Burr and His Love, Theodosia Bartow Prevost of the Manor of Pelham.

Thu., Apr. 23, 2015:  Augustine James Frederick Prevost of The Shrubbery in Pelham Manor.

Tue., Sep. 30, 2014:  Pelham Resident Recorded His Impressions of Meeting Aaron Burr.

Fri., Feb. 7, 2014:  Early History of The Pelham Home for Children, an Early Pelham Charity (Notes that The Pelham Home for Children was located on a portion of the old Prevost Farm).

Wed., Aug. 1, 2007:  1805 Real Estate Advertisement Offering Prevost Estate in Pelham for Sale.

Mon., Jun. 4, 2007:  Abstract of 1797 Will of John Bartow, Sr. Who Owned Land in Pelham and Whose Family Became Early Pelham Residents.

Wed., Jan. 31, 2007:  A Large Distillery Once Stood on the Prevost Farm in Pelham During the 1790s.

Mon., Oct. 2, 2006: The Revolutionary War Diary of Loyalist Joshua Pell, Jr. of the Manor of Pelham.

Thu., Jul. 27, 2006:  1799 Notice of Foreclosure Sale of Pelham Manor Lands Owned by Augustus James Frederick Prevost, Stepson of Aaron Burr.

Tue., Jul. 18, 2006: Aaron Burr Tries to Pull a Fast One in the 1790s and Must Sell His Farm in Pelham.

Wed., Jun. 14, 2006: Text of Deed by Which Aaron Burr Acquired Pelham Lands in 1790.

Thu., Apr. 14, 2005: The Pelham Home for Children that Once Stood on Split Rock Road.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Six of Pelham's Earliest Firefighters Marched in the 36th Annual Fire Inspection Parade in 1930

The First Fire District that once covered the Villages of North Pelham and Pelham (today's Pelham Heights) pre-dated incorporation of the two Villages.  That is why it was formed as a Fire District rather than a Village Fire Department.  

Officially formed in 1893, the First Fire District held its first annual inspection and parade in 1894.  See Tue., Jun. 14, 2016:  The First Annual Inspection of Pelhamville Fire Fighting Units in 1894.  Each year thereafter, the volunteer fire fighters dressed in their parade best, shined and cleaned up all the equipment, and marched through the area on parade to demonstrate to their Fire Commissioners, Village and Town officials, guests, and Town residents that they were vigilant and prepared to risk life and limb to protect Pelham from fires and other emergencies.

The purpose of the annual fire inspection parade in the early years of Pelham fire fighting was to display to the community the professionalism, efficiency, and readiness of the volunteer firefighting units to instill confidence and allay fears of the local population.  The parades were the product of tradition and attracted spectators and celebrants who lined the streets to view the spectacle.

The 36th annual inspection parade held Friday evening, September 26, 1930 was particularly notable.  Six of the volunteer firemen who marched "had taken active part in thirty or more such inspections."  They were Charles W. Foster, President of the Relief Hook & Ladder Company; Philip Godfrey, James Reilly, James Caffrey, William Edinger, Louis Epple and Kneeland Durham.

The parade began from fire headquarters on Fifth Avenue at 8:00 p.m.  The parade began by heading north to Seventh Street, then reversed direction and returned south down Fifth Avenue.  The marchers were led by members of Pelham's Boy Scout Troop 6 who carried flares "brilliantly illuminating the scene."  The members of the Board of Fire Commissioners led the parading firefighters, followed by Fire Chief William Carson and Deputy Fire Chiefs John Amato and Robert Young.  Next came the members of the Liberty Engine & Hose Company, then the Relief Hook & Ladder Company, then the Hose Company No. 2.  The apparatus of each company followed behind the marchers in the same order as the members of the companies with a telegraph truck at the end of the procession.  

The procession marched down Fifth Avenue and turned onto the railroad plaza in front of the Pelham Train Station where the marchers lined up for inspection.  The inspection committee consisted of the Fire Commissioners, Village Mayors, the Town Clerk, various fire officials, and a former president of the Westchester County Firemen's Association.  

After the brief inspection, the procession marched back to fire headquarters for refreshments and a brief social gathering.  

1895 Photograph of Members of Liberty Hose Co. No. 1,
North Pelham, New York Likely Taken During the Annual
Inspection in 1895.  NOTE: Click Image to Enlarge.

1895 Photograph of Members of Relief Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1,
North Pelham, New York, Likely Taken During the Annual
Inspection in 1895.  NOTE: Click Image to Enlarge.

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Below is the text of an article describing the 36th annual inspection parade held in 1930.  It is followed by a citation and link to its source.

Brilliant Demonstration of Efficiency of First District Firefighters.  Six Thirty-Year Men in Parade.  Chairman Davis Thanks Volunteer Firemen.

In a vivid demonstration of the strength of the fire fighting forces of Pelham and North Pelham the 36th annual inspection of the First Fire District was held on Friday night.  Volunteer members of the fire companies paraded through North Pelham and stood at inspection on the railroad plaza.  In uniforms spick [sic] and span and with all apparatus spotlessly shining the firemen proved to the citizens of the villages, their efficiency as firefighters.  Harold W. Davis, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners headed the inspecting party which included members of the Board of Fire Commissioners, village and town officials and distinguished guests.

Six of the volunteer firemen in the parade had taken active part in thirty or more such inspections.  They had seen the old fire horse replaced by the modern fire truck and had seen such aids to fire fighting as smoke masks and chemical take their places among the articles of the department's equipment.  Veterans of fires that have occurred in Pelham for over a quarter of a century, they are still fit for active duty and are steeped in the lore of fire fighting.  These members are:  Charles W. Foster, president of the Relief Hook & Ladder Company; Philip Godfrey, James Reilly, James Caffrey, William Edinger, Louis Epple and Kneeland Durham.

The parade left fire headquarters at about 8:00 o'clock and turned north of Fifth avenue as far as Seventh street.  At that point they reversed their direction and came swinging down Fifth avenue.  Boy Scouts of Troop No. 6 carried flares brilliantly illuminating the scene.

The members of the fire board headed the procession followed by Chief William Carson and his deputies John Amato and Robert Young.  The Liberty Engine & Hose Company was next headed by Captain Irving Wallach.  Following the engine company in the order named were:  the Relief Hook & Ladder Co. headed by Captain Robert Reilly; the Hose Company No. 2 led by Captain J. A. Lefson.  The apparatus followed in the same order as the companies with the telegraph truck taking up the rear.

At the railroad plaza, the companies lined up for inspection.  The inspection committee included the following:  Fire Commissioners Harold Davis, chairman, Louis Edinger, Walter Caffrey and Louis Sigloch, Treasurer of the department, William Dollny, Mayor Edward B. Harder and Trustees Dominic Amato and Walter Hedley of North Pelham; Town Clerk Frederick Hurttig; Chief William Carson, 1st deputy chief, John Amato, 2nd deputy chief, Robert Young, of the First Fire District Department; Chief John J. Brennan of Pelham Manor; Charles Buckley, former president of the Westchester County Firemen's Association and at present a director of the organization; and George Lambert, former chairman of the fire board.

The inspection was brief.  Harold Davis, chairman of the fire board, thanked the members of the fire board, thanked the members of the department, in behalf of the citizens of North Pelham and Pelham Heights, for the excellent work that they had accomplished in the past year.  The companies then marched back to headquarters where the parade disbanded.  Refreshments were served to members and invited guests.

The First Fire District Department was organized in 1893.  Inspections have been held annually since 1894.

Invited guests at the inspection were:  Fred Merkle, fire commissioner of Mount Vernon; Acting Chief John MacDonald, of Mount Vernon; Leland Haynes, a director of the Westchester County Volunteer Firemen's Association; Stephen Ryan, also a director of the Association and former president; . . . Captain Louis Mangold, of the Chief Arthur Steuhl, of Eastches[ter]-Tuckahoe Hose Company; and Captain A. Francis Fitzpatrick of the Independent Hose Company No. 6, of Ossining.  There were also delegations from Engine 3 and Engine 1, Truck 2 and Chemical 4 of Mt. Vernon; and companies from New Rochelle and Ossining."

Source:  OLD TIMERS MARCH WITH VOLUNTEER FIREMEN IN 36TH INSPECTION PARADE -- Brilliant Demonstration of Efficiency of First District Firefighters.  Six Thirty-Year Men in Parade.  Chairman Davis Thanks Volunteer Firemen, The Pelham Sun, Oct. 3, 1930, Vol. 21, No. 27, Section 2, p. 1, cols. 4-6.  

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Below is a list of prior Historic Pelham Blog postings that touch on firefighting and the history of firefighting units within the Town of Pelham.

Tue., Dec. 06, 2016:  An Account of the Tragic Vaughan Livery Stable Fire in Pelhamville in 1907.

Tue., Oct. 04, 2016:  Harry R. King, Fire Chief of the First Fire District From 1911 to 1913.

Wed., Jun. 15, 2016:  Organized Volunteer Fire Fighting in Pelhamville Began as Early as 1885.

Tue., Jun. 14, 2016:  The First Annual Inspection of Pelhamville Fire Fighting Units in 1894.

Tue., Jun. 07, 2016:  When Did Pelham's Minneford Engine Company Acquire its First Fire-Fighting Steam Engine?

Mon., May 16, 2016:  Fatal Fire in 1902 at One Fifth Avenue Burned Down the Post Office and Pharmacy.

Fri., Apr. 29, 2016:  Famous Meyers Mansion in Pelham Manor Burned Down in 1897.

Thu., Apr. 28, 2016:  Pelham Manor Dutifully Extinguished a Fire That Nearly Burned Down its Hated Wooden Train Station in 1896.

Mon., Jan. 04, 2016:  Pelham Manor Voters Voted to Disband the Pelham Manor Fire Department in 1928.  

Mon., Dec. 14, 2015:  Early History of the Village of Pelham Manor Fire Department.

Fri., Dec. 11, 2015:  Evidence of An Early Independent Firefighting Unit in Pelham Named "Indians."

Thu., Dec. 10, 2015:  Grand Fire-Fighting Competition and Parade Held in the Town of Pelham in 1891.

Wed., Dec. 09, 2015:  Pelham's Minneford Engine Company Built a New Fire House on City Island in 1894.

Mon., Dec. 07, 2015:  The Code Used on the City Island Fire Bell in the Late 19th Century Used for Fire Alarms.

Mon., Nov. 30, 2015:  Another Detailed Account of the 1901 Fire that Destroyed the Clubhouse of the New York Athletic Club on Travers Island.

Fri., Nov. 20, 2015:  Account of 1894 Fire in One of Pelham's Earliest Newspapers.

Wed., Sep. 30, 2015:  Was it Arson that Destroyed the Prospect Hill School at Jackson and Plymouth Avenues in 1917?

Thu., Sep. 17, 2015:  An Account of the February 28, 1925 Fire at Pelhamdale, A Home on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fri., Jun. 12, 2015:  The Tumultuous Reign of Pelham Manor Fire Chief J. Louis Cunningham in the Early 1900s.

Tue., Jun. 09, 2015:  Reminiscences of Firemen Who Served From 1893 Until 1923 in North Pelham.

Wed., Jun. 03, 2015:  The Bell in Firemen's Memorial Park at First Street and Wolfs Lane.

Tue., Jun. 02, 2015:  Important Early Images of the Pelham Fire Department.

Fri., May 22, 2015:  History of Pelham's Beloved "Nott Steamer" Known as "Jim Reilly's Boiler."

Thu., Mar. 26, 2015:  Fire Destroyed the Old Pelham Manor Post Office in 1945.

Fri., Mar. 20, 2015:  Fire in 1932 Devastated the Bolton Priory in Pelham Manor.

Tue., Feb. 17, 2015:  More on the Early History of Organized Firefighting in the Settlement of Pelhamville.

Mon., Feb. 16, 2015: The Great Furniture Fight of 1896: Company of Pelhamville Firemen Resigned En Masse.

Thu., Feb. 12, 2015: Rare 19th Century Image of Pelhamville Firemen Who Served in Relief Hook and Ladder Company No. 1.

Fri., Dec. 12, 2014: Parade and Housewarming Hosted by Pelhamville Fire Department in 1894.

Thu., Dec. 11, 2014:  Pelhamville's First Attempt to Create a Fire Department in 1893 Failed Due to a Legal Technicality.

Thu., Jul. 24, 2014: Dedication of the New Fire Headquarters in the Village of Pelham on December 29, 1927.

Wed., Jul. 02, 2014: Election Shenanigans Involving Fire Commissioner Election in 1898.

Thu., Apr. 24, 2014: Information About the History of Fire Departments in the Town of Pelham Published in 1927.

Thu., Jan. 30, 2014:  The Night Pelham's Town Hall Burned.

Fri., Jan. 24, 2014: Early Days of Organized Fire Fighting in Today's Village of Pelham.

Thu., Jan. 23, 2014:  Another Account of the Devastating Fire that Destroyed the Travers Island Clubhouse of New York Athletic Club in 1901.

Wed., May 12, 2010:  Fire Partly Destroyed Pelham Town Hall in 1908.

Fri., Jan. 15, 2010: Photograph of Augustine C. McGuire, President of the Board of Fire Commissioners of the First District Fire Department in 1913.

Thu., Jan. 14, 2010: 1913 Report of the Firemen's Benevolent Association in Pelham.

Thu., Dec. 10, 2009: More 19th Century Baseball and Firefighting References.

Tue., Dec. 08, 2009: The Darling Triplets: Three Brothers Among Pelham's Earliest Firefighters.

Thu., Oct. 08, 2009: Firefighting Units on City Island in Pelham During the Early 1890's.

Fri., Sep. 04, 2009:  1901 Newspaper Article About Fire that Burned New York Athletic Club Clubhouse on Travers Island.

Mon., Aug. 31, 2009: Contest in 1891 To Determine Which Steam Fire Engine Company Could Throw a Stream the Greater Distance.

Fri., Aug. 28, 2009: Reorganization of the Minneford Engine Company on City Island in February, 1891.

Thu., Aug. 06, 2009: Brief History of the Fire Department in the Village of North Pelham Published in 1913.

Wed., Aug. 05, 2009: Pelham Manor Fire Chief Pleads for Taxpayers to Authorize Purchase of Village's First Fire Engine.

Wed., July 15, 2009: Liberty Hose Company Election in 1898.

Thu., Feb. 19, 2009:  The Old Hunter House Burns to the Ground in an Arson Incident on Travers Island on April 4, 1889.

Thu., Jan. 19, 2006: Pelham Manor's Earliest Fire Fighting Equipment.

Wed., Jan. 18, 2006:  Newspaper Report of the Infamous Vaughan's Livery Stable Fire in North Pelham in 1907.

Mon., Oct. 17, 2005:  The Firemen's Memorial of the Pelham Fire Department.

Mon., Aug. 01, 2005: An 1896 Inspection and Drill of the Fire Department in Pelham.

Tue., May 31, 2005:  The June 6, 1940 Fire That Destroyed the George M. Reynolds Mansion (Part I of II).

Wed., Jun. 01, 2005:  The June 6, 1940 Fire That Destroyed the George M. Reynolds Mansion (Part II of II).

Fri., May 06, 2005:  The Great Furniture Battle at Pelhamville's Relief Hook and Ladder Company in 1896.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Baseball Star Paddy Smith of Pelham

Recently I received a copy of the new book "Paddy Smith:  Dexter Park's Eternal Firebrand" by Thomas F. Smith, a grandson of Lawrence Patrick "Paddy" Smith of Pelham.  The book is an entertaining and informative account of the storied baseball career of Paddy Smith, a Pelham resident and baseball star who briefly made it to the major leagues during the 1920 season.  He played in two games for the Boston Red Sox.  He was hitless in two at bats and caught during one of the two games.  He remained in the majors for a short time from a week or so up to one month, according to one account.

Though Paddy Smith's appearance in the Majors was brief, his roughly two decade career as a semi-professional baseball player from about 1915 until 1936 was a glorious and successful chapter in his long life.  As Thomas F. Smith recently wrote:

"In his time, Paddy Smith was one of the best known and most colorful characters in the New York sports world, as established by the confemporary sportswriters' published accounts.

"Between 1920 and 1936, Paddy would play for the three best independent baseball clubs in the New York area, Tesreau's Bears (1920-1921), Doherty (Paterson) Silk Sox (1922-1925), and the Brooklyn Bushwicks (1926-1936)."

Source:  Smith, Thomas F., Paddy Smith:  Dexter Park's Eternal Firebrand,  p. 9 (Privately Printed, Thomas F. Smith).

Born on May 16, 1894 in Pelham, Paddy Smith was a member of the famed Pelham family founded by the Smith Brothers who established an excavation contracting business in Pelham.  It appears that the "Smith Brothers" including Charles Smith, Paddy's father, arrived in Pelham well before 1894 and opened their contracting business well before Paddy's birth.  

According to an article by baseball historian and Red Sox expert Bill Nowlin brought to my attention by Thomas F. Smith:  

"[W]e probably don’t know his family name.  Whether due to impatient immigration officials or a desire better to fit in with a name that was less 'foreign' in the New World, many immigrants had their last name changed when they arrived in America.  Italian native Charles Smith may have been one of these when he came to America in 1881.  He told the census enumerators in 1900 that he’d been born in Italy, of two Italian parents, in September 1865. 

"Charles Smith lived in Pelham, New York, at the time, working as a construction contractor, with his wife Katie (Katherine) and their six children: Leo, Dominick, Esther, Patrick, George, and Loretta. By 1910, the family had grown to include Marguerite, Howard, William, Lucy, and Helen. The work as a building contractor must have been good; the Smith parents were able to add two servants to the household: Sarah Devine (housekeeper, private family) and Frank Mantleon (servant, odd jobs.)"

Source:  Nowlin, Bill, "Paddy Smith" in Society For American Baseball Research (visited Jan. 10, 2017) (hereinafter "Nowlin, Paddy Smith, SABRE.").  

The Smith Brothers produced offspring who themselves became famous as the "Smith Brothers!"  Paddy, Turk, Howie, and Bache Smith became athletic powerhouses in the Pelham region.  The family is repeatedly referenced in the local newspaper as "the athletic Smith family."  

Paddy attended Fordham University for about two years.  According to Bill Nowlin, he began his semi-professional baseball career in about 1915, prior to World War I:

"Paddy Smith is said to have played for six teams – for the Lewiston Cupids and the Worcester Busters in 1915, for the New Haven Murlins and the Bridgeport Hustlers in 1916, and for the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsfield Hillies in 1920.  He shows up in the occasional box score, for instance as Lewiston’s catcher in the June 23, 1915 game. . . . He caught in 32 games with a .957 fielding percentage.  At the plate, he appeared in 42 games with 117 at-bats and hit for a .154 average.  In 1916, “L. Smith” is seen playing for two more teams – Bridgeport and (after his release in June) New Haven. He hit .205 that year in 201 at-bats in 72 games. His fielding was .932 (assuming he was the Smith reported as catcher for “Bridge.-N.H.”)  After the season, Lawrence Smith filed a claim of some sort against Bridgeport and his claim was upheld by the National Board."

Source:  Nowlin, Paddy Smith, SABRE (endnotes omitted).

Paddy Smith took a break in his baseball career to serve in the United States Navy during World War I and, thereafter, worked for the family's Smith Brothers excavation contracting business in the Village of North Pelham before he made it to the Majors.  

He was with the Boston Red Sox for about a month, playing in two games against the Philadelphia Athletics on July 6 and July 7, 1920, before manager Ed Barrow reportedly asked him to "go to the Pittsfield club of the Eastern League, and help them out of a tight place."  As Bill Nowlin put it in his brief biography of Paddy Smith:  "[H]e was traded to Pittsfield on July 15.  Smith and infielder Harvey “Hob” Hiller were dealt to the Eastern League team for second baseman Cliff Brady.  The Boston Herald reported that the Red Sox had actually purchased Brady’s contract and that Hiller and Smith were actually just being loaned to Pittsfield for the remainder of the 1920 season."  Nowlin, Paddy Smith, SABRE (endnotes omitted).  Smith remained with the Pittsfield club for a few weeks, then returned to North Pelham where he resumed work with the family business, Smith Brothers.

Paddy lived in Pelham through at least the early 1930s and worked in Pelham for much of his life.  The 1905 New York State Censuus shows a young Paddy Smith living with his family on Second Avenue in North Pelham.  His World War I draft registration card confirms his birth in Pelham on May 16, 1894 and notes his place of residence in 1917 as 65 Harmon Avenue in Pelhamwood.  (He lived there with his parents, Charles and Katie Smith, since at least as early as 1910, according to the U.S. Census for that year.)  In 1925 he was living in the home at 117 Nyac Avenue in Pelham Heights. By about August, 1929, Paddy Smith had "made it" -- SHORTLY before the stock market crash two months later.  He purchased a "$42,000 home on Orienta Point, Mamaroneck.  By early 1930, Paddy Smith lived at 1 Storer Avenue in New Rochelle, where he suffered a fire due to defective wiring that badly damaged his home.  By 1931, he lived at 111 Bleeker Avenue in Mamaroneck, choosing to remain in the region as he completed the last five years of his baseball career.  

Lawrence Patrick "Paddy" Smith World War I
Draft Registration Cards.  NOTE:  Click on Link
to Enlarge.

Before making it to the majors in 1920, Paddy Smith married Marie Mulligan.  The couple had two children:  Robert (born about 1920) and Thomas (born September 17, 1922).

Paddy Smith was a baseball machine.  While living in Pelham he played semi-professional baseball for the Paterson Silk Sox and the Brooklyn Bushwicks.  He also played with and served as the Captain of the Bronx Giants.  He played for the New York Athletic Club baseball team that practiced and played on Travers Island.  He played for the North Pelham Fire Department baseball team.  He helped coach the Mount Vernon High School baseball team.  He reportedly agreed to coach the Iona Prep baseball team in New Rochelle.  He provided assistance to the coaching staff of the Pelham Memorial High School baseball team.  

During all this time, Paddy worked at the family business:  Smith Brothers in North Pelham.  Working in the family business gave him the flexibility to play semi-pro ball and work full time.  

Clearly Paddy Smith was a colorful character with a lavish sense of humor and a quick temper.  He was hauled into local court in Pelham for assault after fighting a fist fight with an electricity meterman with whom he had a disagreement over monies owed to the electric utility.  He was hauled into local court for failing to pull over for a local cop who chased him through Pelham Manor for speeding.  (He later testified he thought he was being chased as part of an attempted robbery, but paid the $10 fine.)  One report suggests Paddy Smith suffered a personal bankruptcy in 1936 during which he "failed for almost half a million dollars."  It seems, however, that the bankruptcy likely was not a personal bankruptcy.  Rather, though one can only speculate based on the sparse record, it appears that at the height of the Great Depression, Smith Brothers -- not Paddy Smith -- suffered bankruptcy.  At about this time, Paddy Smith gave up his semi-professional baseball career and opened the "Firmbilt Construction Company of North Pelham" with at least one of his brothers.  The firm not only handled local construction projects, but also held the refuse collection contract in the Village of North Pelham for several years in the late 1930s.  It seems possible, though it is not established, that the Firmbilt Construction Company of North Pelham was a successor to Smith Brothers.

As if all of this was not enough, Paddy Smith also played hockey.  In fact, he was a great hockey player.  He may have been good enough to be a professional hockey player.  He and his brother, Turk, were "stars of the old New York Knickerbocker team which won the amateur championship in 1925-26."  In 1930, Paddy and Turk worked to put together a Pelham hockey team to compete in the Westchester County Ice Hockey League to be organized under the Westchester County Federation.  Perhaps more significantly, in 1929 Paddy Smith was appointed a member of the officiating staff of the National Hockey League to officiate on the ice in Madison Square Garden during New York Rangers home games.  

Paddy Smith remained in the region his entire life.  At various times he lived in Mamaroneck, Yonkers, and New Rochelle.  Paddy Smith died at the New Rochelle Medical Center on December 2, 1990, at the age of 96.  He is buried in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, Westchester County, New York.  

Given his prominence in the region as a well-known and successful semi-pro ballplayer, there are many hundreds of news articles that mention Paddy Smith.  Today's posting to the Historic Pelham Blog attempts to collect a few of the more substantive local newspaper references to Paddy Smith.  The task has not been easy since The Pelham Sun alone published a couple hundred such articles to keep Pelhamites informed of every success and failure of the Town's beloved Paddy Smith.

"PADDY SMITH  Pelham baseball star, captain of
Bronx Giants, who is in danger of suspension through
order of Judge Landis."  Source:  Paddy Smith Kicks
The Pelham Sun, Apr. 28, 1922, p. 1, col. 2.  NOTE:
Click on Image to Enlarge.

Autograph of Lawrence Patrick "Paddy" Smith.
Original in Collection of the Author.  NOTE:
Click on Image to Enlarge.

*          *          *          *          *

Below is the text of a number of local newspaper articles that mention Paddy Smith.  Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.

"'Paddy' Smith May Manage Team

Paddy Smith who caught for Tesreau's Bears last year is seriously considering an offer to organize and manage an independent semi-pro ball team in New York this year.  'Paddy's' ability to lead the team together had been [illegible] by one or two well known men [illegible] of semi-pro base balll in New York."

Source:  "Paddy" Smith May Manage Team, The Pelham Sun, Jan. 27, 1922, p. 7, col. 2.  

"Paddy Smith Injures Hand

'Paddy' Smith, Pelham's star baseball player, who is captain of the Bronx Giants this year, suffered injury in his first game this year.  Playing last Saturday in a practice game at Columbia, he dislocated the first finger of his right hand.  'Doc' Newell put the injured member in splints, and the Pelham star hopes to be able to be on the receiving end for Kelleher in Sunday's big game at Bronx Oval."

Source:  Paddy Smith Injures Hand, The Pelham Sun, Mar. 31, 1922, p. 1, col. 7.  

"Paddy Smith Kicks Over Tough Decision
Pelham Star May Be Barred From Playing If Ruth and Meusel Join Bronx Giants

If Babe Ruth and Meusel join up with the Bronx Giants for a few exhibition games during their period of suspension from the big tent show, Paddy Smith may be without a job for a while, and the Pelham star did considerable hustling during the week in order to get a ruling on his status from Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

Two years ago Paddy signed with Boston Red Sox, and states that there was an express stipulation in his contract that he was not to be farmed out to the minors.  Paddy's reason for this was that he can get bigger money in semi-pro ball than in the minors. After about a month with the Boston club, Ed Barrow, then manager of the Sox, requested Paddy to go to the Pittsfield club of the Eastern League, and help them out of a tight place.  After a few weeks with the Eastern League team, Smith came back to Pelham and resumed business in Smith Bros. Contracting Co.

In 1921 he received a contract from the Pittsfield club, which he states he returned immediately with the information that he was going to continue in the contracting business.  Since then Paddy has figured that he was listed on the 'voluntary retired' roll.

Through Sam Crane's connection with the Bronx Club, Ruth and Meusel have agreed to play a few exhibition games for the Bronx Giants.  Now it is discovered by interested parties, that Paddy Smith is on the suspended list, and that neither Ruth nor Meusel can play on the Giants' team if Paddy is in the line-up.

Through his attorney, Smith has taken up the matter direct with Judge Landis, and in a letter tells his story and asks for a reinstatement on the ground that his name on the suspended list is an error.  The reply of the High Mogul of baseball is eagerly awaited by local fans as Paddy is playing in great form at the present time and is the idol of the Bronx Club supporters."

Source:  Paddy Smith Kicks Over Tough Decision -- Pelham Star May Be Barred From Playing If Ruth and Meusel Join Bronx Giants, The Pelham Sun, Apr. 28, 1922, p. 1, col. 2.

"'Paddy Smith' Gets Reinstated By Landis
Local Star, Captain of Bronx Giants Gratified At Quick Action of High Mogul

Paddy Smith, local baseball star and captain of Bronx Giants is jubilant.  Judge Landis has notified him that his suspension from organized baseball has lifted, and he is again eligible for the 'big tent' show.

Paddy was unaware of his suspension until a few weeks ago, when overtures were being made to Ruth and Meusel to play a few exhibition games with the Bronx Giants while their suspension from the big teams was in force.  The negotiations which took place revealed the fact that Paddy was on the suspended list.  He immediately got busy and through an attorney petitioned Judge Landis to investigate the reason for his suspension and at the same time requested his reinstatement.

His notification of reinstatement was followed by an offer from a scout who saw Paddy pole out a two-bagger with two on, in the tenth inning of a game against the Lincoln Giants two weeks ago.  Paddy broke up that battle, making the third that he has pulled out of the fire for the Bronx Giants this year."

Source:  "Paddy Smith" Gets Reinstated By Landis -- Local Star, Captain of Bronx Giants Gratified At Quick Action of High Mogul, The Pelham Sun, May 19, 1922, p. 7, col. 3.  

"Paddy Smith, Boy Here

A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Paddy Smith on Sunday.  'Paddy' made a home run on hearing the news and the Paterson Silk Sox were without a catcher."

Source:  Paddy Smith, Boy Here, The Pelham Sun, Sep. 22, 1922, p. 7, col. 2.  

"Smith Brothers In Mt. Vernon Victory

'Howie' and Bache Smith, of Pelham, members of the athletic Smith family, younger brothers of 'Turk' and Paddy Smith, were lined up with Mount Vernon High School's football team in the county championship game between Mount Vernon and New Rochelle Saturday.  After Mount Vernon's exciting victory the team paraded through the streets of Mount Vernon and Pelham.  The players were guests at the N.Y.A.C. Saturday evening.  Jack O'Sullivan of North Pelham, well known in local football circles, was an object of demonstration at George's store on Fifth avenue, the Pelham man being swept up by the victorious celebrants and taken along to join in the festivities."

Source:  Smith Brothers In Mt. Vernon Victory, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 1, 1922, p. 9, col. 3.

"'Paddy' Smith Signs With Patterson [sic] Silk Sox

'Paddy' Smith, the baseball star of the athletic Smith family of Pelham will be seen again this year in his old position behind the bat for the Patterson [sic] Silk Sox, the Eastern independent baseball champions.  Paddy refused offers from the Boston Braves and the Pittsfield club of the Eastern League, preferring to play on Saturdays and Sundays rather than every day in the week.

Last season when the Silk Sox made up their record of 42 victories, 14 losses and 4 ties, meeting ten major league clubs among many independent clubs.  Paddy caught in every game.  The Pelhamite proved his worth with the stick and finished well up among the leading hitters of the eastern independent teams."

Source:  "Paddy" Smith Signs With Patterson [sic] Silk Sox, The Pelham Sun, Feb. 16, 1923, p. 6, col. 4.  

"'Paddy' Smith Coaching Mount Vernon

Although he is signed up with the Paterson Silk Sox for the coming baseball season, 'Paddy' Smith is finding time enough to coach the Mount Vernon High School team in indoor practice.  The Silk Sox will open up on April 25th against the Bushwicks of Brooklyn."

Source:  "Paddy" Smith Coaching Mount Vernon, The Pelham Sun, Mar. 9, 1923, p. 1, col. 6.

"Paddy Smith Plays In Opener

'Paddy' Smith, Pelham's big backstop, will be behind the bat in the opening game of the Paterson Silk Sox's season, against the Lincoln Giants, at the Protectory Oval, Sunday afternoon.  The schedule of the Silk Sox for this season includes games with many major league clubs and the fastest independent clubs in the east.  This is Smith's second season with the Silk Sox.  Last year he caught in all of the games and came through the season with an enviable average."

Source:  Paddy Smith Plays In Opener, The Pelham Sun, Apr. 6, 1923, Vol. 14, No. 6, p. 1, col. 5.  

"Fined $25 On Charge of Assaulting Man

His handiness at fisticuffs cosdt Lawrence P. 'Paddy' Smith, of 117 Nyac avenue, Pelham, $25 when arraigned before Judge Charles E. Rice, jr., in North Pelham court Thursday night.  Smith was charged with assault of James Flanders, of 60 East 241st street, Bronx, a meter collector for the Westchester Lighting Company.  The case was to have been heard last week but was postponed until Thursday.  It is reported that a dispute arose between the two men when Flanders came to collect money from the meter, and that Smith struck the collector during the squabble. . . ."

Source:  Fined $25 On Charge of Assaulting Man, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Apr. 4, 1925, p. 10, col. 4.  

"Paddy Smith Signs With Hackensack's Star Semi-Pro Team
Will Work Behind the Bat With Harry Harper in Semi-Pro Classic at Close of Season

Paddy Smith is now wearing the uniform of Harry Harper's Hackensack team.  After stopping them behind the bat with the Paterson Silk Sox for the last four years, Paddy left the Silk Sox a short while ago.  He had many offers from major league and leading semi-pro teams of the metropolitan section.  Paddy accepted the offer of Harper, who sought a dependable backstop to receive his offerings.

Harper has gathered a sterling aggregation of ball stars to offer the national pastime on the field out on the sandlots of New Jersey.  Jimmy Hickman, who shone in former years with the Brooklyn Dodgers, is holding down the initial sack for Harper.  The annual Hackensack-Englewood series at the close of the season, is the classic of the semi-pro seson in the metropolitan area.  In former years Harper has sought a major league backstop for this series.  This year Pelham's own Paddy Smith will be behind the bat."

Source:  Paddy Smith Signs With Hackensack's Star Semi-Pro Team -- Will Work Behind the Bat With Harry Harper in Semi-Pro Classic at Close of Season, The Pelham Sun, Jun. 18, 1926, p. 3, col. 3

Rhinehardt Displays Masterful Exhibition of Pitching and Wins Easily.  'Paddy' Smith and Bill Reilly Shine at Bat.  Victory Is First Win in Last Four Starts

Through the excellent pitching of Joe Rhinehardt, and the heavy hitting of Bill Reilly, Pelham's fire department nine was able to return to the win column yesterday when they defeated the Mamaroneck All Stars in a seven inning twilight exhibition game at Harbor Island, Mamaroneck, the final score being 3-1.  Pelham took the lead in the opening inning and continued to hold it for the remainder of the game.  Rhinehardt pitched masterful ball throughout the contest and but for the slip-up on the part of A. Halliday in the sixth frame would have scored a no run game.

Pelham started their scoring in the initial inning when they chased a run over the plate on successive singles by W. Reilly, Cassin and 'Paddy' Smith, Reilly making the tally.  In the third inning Pelham produced two runs when Reilly again opened the inning with a single.  Paddy Smith advanced him again with a hot drive through pitcher's box.  W. Smith drove out a sacrifice fly which advanced P. Smith.  On Howie Smith's long single over second base, both Reilly and Paddy Smith romped home.  This boosted Pelham's score to 3.  Mamaroneck had a chance to score in the third inning when Sheehan, first man up, hit the first ball pitched him for a triple.  The ball was returned to the infield but escaped into the crowd.  Sheehan attempted to score from third on the badly handled ball, but Rhinehardt recovered and threw him out at the plate.  Their turn to score, however, came in the sixth frame.  Halliday mussed up W. Cunningham's infield tap.  F. Cunningham laced out a sacrifice fly, and Costello came through with a timely single scoring W. Cunningham.  This ended the scoring.

Paddy Smith and W. Reilly were heavy hitters of the affair.  Both players came through with two hits.  Smith getting two singles out of three trips to the plate and Reilly two singles out of four.  Both teams had five men left on base.

Pelham F. D.            ab     r     h     e
Halliday, 3b..............4       0     0    1
W. Reilly, cf..............4       2     2    0
W. Cassin, 1b..........3       0     1    0
P. Smith, c...............3       1      2    0
W. Smith, ss............1       0      1    1
H. Smith, 2b............3        0     1    1
E. Lyon, lf................3        0     0    0
E. Lohman, rf..........2        0     0    0
J. Rhinehardt, p......3        0     0    1
Totals.....................26       3     7    4

Mamaroneck All Stars
                                ab     r      h     e
W. Cunningham, 1b  3     1      1    0
F. Cunningham, 2b   2     0       0    1
Costello, c................3      0      1     0
Hillenbrand, ss.........3      0      1     0
Hogan, lf..................3      0      1     0
Potts, 3b..................3      0      0     0
Caputo, rf................3       0     0      0
Pelster, cf................3       0     0      0
Sheehan, p.............3       0      1     0
Totals.....................26      1      5     1

Summary:  2 base hits, Cassin, W. Smith; 3 base hits, Sheehan; struck out, by Rhinehardt, 5; by Sheehan, 10."

Source:  FIREMEN NINE RETURN TO WIN COLUMN WITH 3-1 VICTORY OVER MAMARONECK ALL-STARS -- Rhinehardt Displays Masterful Exhibition of Pitching and Wins Easily.  'Paddy' Smith and Bill Reilly Shine at Bat.  Victory Is First Win in Last Four Starts, The Pelham Sun, Jul. 23, 1926, p. 4, cols. 1-2.  

"Paddy Smith Prepares For Baseball Season
Big Backstop Will Work Behind the Plate for Bushwicks, Fast Semi-Pro Team of Brooklyn

With the ground yet covered with snow, Paddy Smith is thinking of baseball.  The big backstop who spends his working hours in the management of Smith Bros. Contracting Co., in North Pelham, will be seen this year behind the plate for the Bushwicks' fast semi-pro aggregation of Brooklyn.  The Bushwicks will open their season on Sunday, March 20, at Dexter Park, Brooklyn, with the team of Camden, N.J., as opponent.  Paddy is busy these days working the big mit into shape in preparatiion to the handling of the slants of the moundmen of the Bushwicks, among whom are several former big league players and many promising youngsters.  Paddy was formerly with the Pittsfield and Red Sox teams, and later the Patterson [sic] Silk Sox.  He has been material in the grooming of many youngsters who later made good on big teams.

Smith will also coach the baseball team of Iona, Prep at New Rochelle.  Turk Smith, his brother, was successful in putting across a championship gridiron team for Iona last fall.  Paul Dillon erstwhile Pelham Memorial High School player was a star of the team."

Source:  Paddy Smith Prepares For Baseball Season -- Big Backstop Will Work Behind the Plate for Bushwicks, Fast Semi-Pro Team of Brooklyn, The Pelham Sun, Feb. 25, 1927, Vol. 17, No. 52, p. 1, col. 6.  


It was Paddy Smith of Pelham who wielded the big willow for the Bushwicks team in their 6 to 2 victory over the Kensington team in Brooklyn on Sunday.  Paddy, a member of the firm of Smith Bros. Contracting Co., undertakes big contracts on days when the Brooklyn semi-pro team is not playing baseball, starred at bat by driving in two runs with two hits and scoring twice himself.  Paddy was formerly a member of the Pittsfield Club of the Eastern League and has had several offers to join major league clubs.  He has been responsible for the development of many a promising youngster and has been placed with several major league clubs."

Source:  PADDY SMITH WIELDS BIG WILLOW FOR BUSHWICKS, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 19, 1927, Vol. 18, No. 26, p. 9, col. 4.  


Paddy Smith, North Pelham's leading representative in the baseball world, is back behind the plate again for the Champion Bushwicks team leaders of semi-professional baseball, who play every Sunday in Brooklyn.  Paddy, a favorite with the fans, has developed a good string of moundmen this year and promises a good season for the Bushwicks.  He is also an unofficial representative of a major league team and has his eye on several promising sand lot youngsters.

He is also seen occasionally in the uniform of the New York Athletic Club on days when the Bushwicks are idle.  On Tuesday he played with the winged foot nine in its 8 to 1 victory over the Princeton University team at Princeton.

Howie Smith, his younger brother, a student at Notre Dame, who won fame as a schoolboy diamond star a few years ago, is not able to play the game this year due to an injury to his arm he suffered when a horse threw him last winter.  Howie is being treated by Bonesetter Reese."

Source:  PADDY SMITH PLAYS WITH BUSHWICK AND N.Y.A.C., The Pelham Sun, May 3, 1929, Vol. Vol. 20, No. 3, p. 3, col. 2.


Lawrence P. (Paddy) Smith, a member of the firm of Smith Brothers Contracting Co., has taken up his residence in Mamaroneck.  Although Paddy, who is Pelham's favorite athlete may have a new place of abode he will still be remembered as a product of the Pelhams, and his achievements in the world of sport will always be a Pelham boast.  Paddy, known as the best backstop in independent baseball in the metropolitan district, has been responsible for the big league career of many promising youngsters.  From his post as catcher for the Bushwicks he has sent many good players into the big time circuits.

He is also a hockey player of some note, having been goalie on the famous old Knickerbockers and more recently the New York Athletic Club and Ice Club teams.  

Paddy recently purchased a $42,000 home on Orienta Point Mamaroneck, where he is now living."

Source:  PADDY SMITH BUYS HOME IN MAMARONECK, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 30, 1929, p. 9, col. 2.

"Paddy Smith May Play Ball With Major Leaguers
Pick Of American League Teams Booked For Series With Bushwicks, If Judge Landis Allows

Paddy Smith has a chance to travel in fast company for a while, if Judge K. M. Landis, baseball czar, will waive a few long-standing rules.  Paddy, who in his leisure moments directs Smith Bros. Contracting Co. of Pelham, works behind the bat with the semi-pro championship Bushwicks team on Saturdays.  The Bushwicks team on Saturdays.  The Bushwicks have signed a group of star American League ball players to play against the team in a series of exhibition games next month.  The list includes no less than peerless Babe Ruth, himself; Jimmy Foxx, Earl Ehmke, and several others.

The major league playing rules prohibit barnstorming games after Nov. 1.  If this can be waived, Paddy's going to travel in fast company."

Source:  Paddy Smith May Play Ball With Major Leaguers  -- Pick Of American League Teams Booked For Series With Bushwicks, If Judge Landis Allows, The Pelham Sun, Nov. 1, 1929, p. 15, col. 6.  

"Paddy Smith Appointed Official Of National Ice Hockey League
Pelhamite Officiates At Games Of New York Rangers At Madison Square Garden

Pelhamites who attend the hockey games of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden have noticed a familiar figure among the officials on the ice.  It is Lawrence P. 'Paddy' Smith, of North Pelham.  Frank Calder, president of the National Hockey League, recently appointed Smith a member of the staff of officials for Rangers' home games.

Paddy has earned a wide reputation in baseball as catcher for major and minor league clubs and is also a capable hockey player.  He was for several years a member of the team of the New York Knickerbockers, Metropolitan Leauge champions, and is now captain of the New Rochelle Bears, which will soon start its season at the Garden."

Source:  Paddy Smith Appointed Official Of National Ice Hockey League -- Pelhamite Officiates At Games Of New York Rangers At Madison Square Garden, The Pelham Sun, Dec. 20, 1929, p. 15, col. 4.  

"3 Families Burned Out in Blaze at 6th St. Apartment
Firemen of First Fire District Get Call to Answer Fire at Paddy Smith's Home at Recall.

Fire of unknown origin which started in the cellar of a three-family building at 135 Sixth street, North Pelham, owned by Michael De Filippie of Eighth avenue, gutted the structure Tuesday afternoon.  Only efficient work on the part of firemen of the First Fire District under supervision of Chief Joseph Carraher saved the building from total destruction.

The flames, starting in the basement, swept upwards through the partitions in the roof, destroying it and the entire third floor.  Part of a 250 gallon still was found in the cellar, according to Chief Fitzpatrick.  This was removed from the building Thursday night.

The fourteen people residing in the building all escaped to safety, before the blaze had gained much headway.  Those who made their homes there were Mr. and Mrs. R. Frimero and their four children; Mr. and Mrs. Harold Muller and three children and three men who resided on the third floor.  Patrolman James Romano who reached the burning building a few minutes before the firemen arrived saw to it that all tenants were out before conditions were dangerous.  

The firemen battled the flames for two hours before the recall was sounded.

Just as the men were backing the apparatus into headquarters, another alarm rang in, from the home of Laurence Smith at 1 Storer avenue, New Rochelle.  When the First District men arrived on the scene, New Rochelle firemen were fighting the blaze and the locals returned to headquarters, after standing by ready to aid for half an hour.

Smith's home was badly damaged, the entire attic and roof being consumed by the flames, caused it is believed by defective wiring.  Water caused much damage, according to reports."

Source:  3 Families Burned Out in Blaze at 6th St. Apartment -- Firemen of First Fire District Get Call to Answer Fire at Paddy Smith's Home at Recall, The Pelham Sun, Jan. 10, 1930, p. 8, cols. 2-5.  

Pelham Has Promising Group of Diamond Stars Who Will Be Seen on Diamond at Travers Island Wearing Uniforms of the New York Athletic Club.

Turf on the diamond at Travers Island was broken for the first time this year on Sunday when candidates for positions on the New York Athletic Club's baseball team reported to Manager Ollie Bell.  The Winged Foot diamond aggregation this year will consist of many well known ball players.  Among them are several former professional and intercollegiate stars.  John Law, who made athletic history at Notre Dame is among those who will work out behind the plate for the N.Y.A.C. team.

Paddy Smith, the pride of Pelham also got out his big mitt on Sunday and looked over the slants of the hurling candidates.  Paddy, regular catcher for the independent champion Bushwicks team of Brooklyn will play with the Winged Foot team in Saturday games.

There are other Pelhamites prominent in the world of sport on the team.  Chick Fewster, formerly shortstop for the New York Yankees will play in the infield.  Fewster regarded as one of the most promising shortstops in the Yankee fold played in bad luck in his second year with the New York Club and suffered an injury that marked the end of his big league career.  Last year Fewster played with the Jersey City club of the International League.

Bob Cremins, erstwhile P.M.H.S. hurler who divides his time between art and baseball will wear the red and white uniform this summer.  Harry Courtney, formerly of the Washington Senators, who lives in North Pelham will also be on the pitching staff.  So Will Tom Godfrey, also of North Pelham.

The Winged Foot team will open its season early next month, and local fans will see many interesting contests at the diamond on the Sound shore."

Source:  FEWSTER, CREMINS, SMITH, GODFREY TO PLAY ON WINGED FOOT TEAM -- Pelham Has Promising Group of Diamond Stars Who Will Be Seen on Diamond at Travers Island Wearing Uniforms of the New York Athletic Club, The Pelham Sun, Mar. 21, 1930, Section 2, p. 5, col. 4.  


Paddy Smith, of North Pelham, will be missed in the lineup of the Bushwicks, champion independent bseball team in its game in Brooklyn on Sunday.  Paddy, who is rated as one of the best catchers in semi-pro baseball circles wrenched his right knee in a game Sunday afternoon, after catching in the first game of a doubleheader.

Smith hopes to be back in the lineup the following Sunday when the Bushwicks meet the fast Omegi team from Japan.  The Japanese team enroute to Europe, will play only three games in the United States.  The Bushwicks have been selected from a host of independent baseball teams for one of these contests."

Source:  PADDY SMITH TEMPORARILY OUT OF GAME, The Pelham Sun, May 10, 1930, Vol. 20, No. 6, p. 3, col. 5.


At the meeting of the Manor Board of Trustees on Monday night, bids for rock excavation on Pelham Parkway were called for and each as is the custom, was accompanied by a certified check for $500.  Smith Brothers Contracting Company, the firm which was awarded the contract, however aroused attention when 'Paddy' Smith put their bid on the table, for there resting on the bid was a $500 bill."

Source:  PADDY SMITH PARTS WITH LOOSE CHANGE, The Pelham Sun, Mar. 1, 1930, p. 8, col. 3.  

New York Athletic Club Defeats Fort Slocum Team by 3 to 0 Score.

The baseball season at Travers Island ws fittingly ushered in on Sunday when the New York Athetic Club baseball team defeated the team from Fort Slocum by a score of 3 to 0.  The Wing Foot nine showed up in splendid form as an indication of a successful season.  Tomorrow the Chase National Bank team willl play at Travers Island.  On Sunday the soldier boys from Fort Slocum will return for another game.

The schedule for the Winged Foot team will soon be announced.  The leading semi-professional, collegiate and amateur teams will be seen in action at Travers Island during the summer.  The team will travel on Saturdays.  Home games will be played on Sunday.  

Larry Fiske, Bob Cremins, Tom Godfrey, Harry Courtenay, Paddy Smith and Chick Fewster, all Pelhamites are members of the squad."

Source:  WINGED FOOT NINE OPENS WITH WIN OVER SOLDIERS -- New York Athletic Club Defeats Fort Slocum Team by 3 to 0 Score, The Pelham Sun, Apr. 25, 1930, Vol. 21, No. 4, Section Two, p. 5, col. 5.  


Lawrence P. (Paddy) Smith, the big backstop of the Brooklyn Bushwicks, whose home is in Pelhamwood, suffered a painful injury on Sunday when he attempted to catch a foul ball during a game at the Bushwicks' Park.  In his anxiety to get the ball he fell into the dugout behind the plate.  His right arm was severely lacerated in the fall.  He will be out of the game for several weeks."

Source:  PADDY SMITH IS HURT IN GAME, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 29, 1930, Vol. 21, No. 22, p. 1, col. 3.

Brooklyn Team Will Oppose Bushwicks on Sunday.  Smith Receives Flattering Offer.

Paddy Smith will be playing big league baseball again on Sunday when the Bushwicks will play the Brooklyn Dodgers team at Dexter Park, in Brooklyn.  Paddy has recovered from the injury which he received when he fell into the dugout when chasing a foul ball recently.  The big backstop who worked with several major league clubs hopes to grab off a couple of good hits from the Dodgers, whose lineup will include Dazzy Vance and many of the regular players.

Paddy, whose home is in Pelham, recently received a flattering offer to become a member of a baseball squad which will be featured in a series of games in Europe during next summer."

Source:  PADDY SMITH TO CATCH IN GAME AGAINST DODGERS -- Brooklyn Team Will Oppose Bushwicks on Sunday.  Smith Receives Flattering Offer, The Pelham Sun, Oct. 3, 1930, Vol. 21, No. 27, p. 2, col. 2.

Many Outstanding Stars Among Those Lined Up for Local Team in County League.

Pelham may be featured in the ice hockey limelight this winter.  Local sports enthusiasts among whom are numbered Turk and Paddy Smith are planning a Pelham team for the Westchester County Ice Hockey League to be organized under the Westchester County Federation.  The Smith brothers who are well known as hockey stars attended a meeting of the federation on Wednesday night.  Plans were discussed for the league games to be played on the new rink at Playland Casino at Rye.

Turk and Paddy who will be remembered as stars of the old New York Knickerbocker team which won the amateur championship in 1925-26 have lined up a brilliant array of hockey stars to represent Pelham.  They number among them several members of the Knickerbockers including Tom Gillespie, Fred Berault, Turk and Paddy and Basche Smith.  Wink Fowler who formerly played with Toronto, Orrin McPherson and Don Grimmason of the New York Athletic Club team are also in the group."

Source:  ICE HOCKEY TEAM PLANNED BY SMITHS -- Many Outstanding Stars Among Those Lined Up for Local Team in County League, The Pelham Sun, Oct. 3, 1930, Vol. 21, No. 27, p. 3, col. 2.   

"Pelhamite, Catcher for Bushwicks, Raps Out Circuit Clout in Game With N.Y.A.C.

Brilliantly illuminated night diamonds have an attraction for Paddy Smith, of North Pelham.  The big backstop of the Bushwicks, semi-professional ball team of Brooklyn, slammed out a home run under the flood lights in the night game with the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday night.  The Bushwicks won by a score of 6 to 1.

Leen Schaenen, former Cornell University pitcher, hurling for the Bushwicks, kept the boys from Travers Island swinging wildly.  Burns, Robertson and Hyer pitched for the New York Athletic Club."

Source:  Pelhamite, Catcher for Bushwicks, Raps Out Circuit Clout in Game With N.Y.A.C., The Pelham Sun, Jul. 10, 1931, p. 5, col. 7.  

Paddy Smith Charged with Reckless Driving -- Ordered to Appear in Court September 3rd.

Paddy Smith, 38, of No. 111 Bleeker avenue, Mamaroneck, well known athlete and a member of the local firm of Smith Brothers Contracting Company, must [appear] on September 3rd to answer a charge of reckless driving.

Smith, who was summoned to appear at last night's court session by Patrolman Charles T. Baisley, was absent, and Judge Floyd Price told Chief Philip Gargan to notify him to appear next week.

According to the charge brought by Baisley, Smith drove his car at a high rate of speed on Ely avenue and then down the Esplanade to Boston Post road.  Baisley also charges Smith turned left against a traffic signal and then turned again into Pelhamdale avenue at a high rate of speed.

Baisley kept up the pursuit in the police car and finally overtook Smith at Manor Circle after a chase of about a mile.  The alleged violation occurred about noon on Saturday."

Source:  ATHLETE MUST ANSWER SUMMONS -- Paddy Smith Charged with Reckless Driving -- Ordered to Appear in Court September 3rd, The Pelham Sun, The Pelham Sun, Aug. 28, 1931, Vol. 22, No. 22, p. 1, col. 3.  


Paddy Smith, of Pelham's athletic Smith family is doing double duty on the diamond these days.  Paddy is the regular backstop for the Bushwicks in their almost nightly games at Dexter Park in Brooklyn and he is also managing the Madison, N. J., team of the Lackawana League.  Paddy piloted Madison to one pennant last year.  He's now in second place but he tells us he'll not be behind for long. . . ."

Source:  Browne, Ed, SKIMMING The SPORTS, The Pelham Sun, Jun. 21, 1935, p. 12, col. 1.  

"A Wirthless [sic; intended as a pun, though] Debt.

In a recent bankruptcy case in Pelham, where Paddy Smith, ball player failed for almost half a million dollars, the name of Frederick M. Wirth is listed as a creditor [illegible] owes hi nothing and never has owed him anything.  Rumor hath it that Paddy and Tuts Brady will open up Post Lodge in Mamaroneck very soon."

Source:  A Wirthless Debt, The Pelham Sun, Feb. 14, 1936, Vol. 26, No. 45, p. 2, col. 3.

"Loss of Refuse Collection Contract To Lower Bidder Arouses L. P. Smith; Hurls Caustic Criticism At Trustees
North Pelham Board of Trustees Award Contract to Amarsano Trucking Co. of New Rochelle at $5,500.  Firmbuilt [sic] Construction Co., Holder of Present Contract Had Raised Price From $5,785 to $5,985.

A caustic outburst by an unsuccessful bidder punctuated the awarding of the North Pelham refuse collection contract at the Town Hall on Monday night.  Lawrence P. 'Paddy' Smith, erstwhile professional baseball backstop, criticised the Board of Trustees for accepting the low bid of the Amarsano Trucking Co. of New Rochelle, and the rejection of the bid of Smith's company, the Firmbilt Construction Co. of North Pelham, which has held the contract for several years.

'This is the cheapest thing that has ever been done by the Board of Trustees' he shouted.  'We've paid taxes here for 45 years.  You're all a lot of carpetbaggers,' he added as he strode from the board room.

The Amarsano company's bid ws $5,500.  The Firmbilt company was paid $5,785 last year, and in making up the budget the board provided for a similar appropriation.  The Firmbilt company raised their price to $5,985, for the new contract.

Mayor Dominic Amato explained to the members of the board that the Firmbilt company ws a large local taxpayer, and that in previous years when bids did not vary greatly, preference was given to local contractors.  It was pointed out however that the Firmbilt bid was $200 above the budget appropriation.

Trustee Shirley R. Guard in presenting a motion to accept the Amarsano bid expressed an opinion that there was too great a margin between the bids to give any preference, particularly since the Firmbilt bid was higher than the budget appropriation.

'We are the oldest and one of 

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Loss Of Contract Arouses L. P. Smith
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the largest taxpayers in this village' said Smith.  'We employ local men on this job and on many other jobs.  If you accept this now you'll put a lot of men on relief.'

Investigation of the contract by Village Attorney Gordon Miller showed that any contractor whose bid is accepted must employ local labor.  Trustee Guard's motion was seconded by Trustee Rieger and carried unanimously.

Earilier in the evening Charles S. Nelson called attention of the trustees to the fact that terms of the contract had not previously been adhered to, by the contractor who had left garbage in cartons and baskets along the sidewalk waiting for the collection wagon for long periods of time.  He urged that the board see to it that the contract is complied with.

George Smith, another member of the Firmbilt Company was questioned about this, and he replied that he had not received any complaints about this in the past.  Frank A. Williams, President of the Pelhamwood Association spoke highly of the method of collection, saying that he had observed no infractions of the contract in his neighborhood.  Trustee Guard upheld Nelson in his criticism of the contractor.

'We'll see to it that the contractor adheres to the letter of the contract or forfeits his bond,' said Mayor Amato.  'There will be no more peach baskets full of garbage setting along our curbs.'"

Source:  Loss of Refuse Collection Contract To Lower Bidder Arouses L. P. Smith; Hurls Caustic Criticism At Trustees -- North Pelham Board of Trustees Award Contract to Amarsano Trucking Co. of New Rochelle at $5,500.  Firmbuilt Construction Co., Holder of Present Contract Had Raised Price From $5,785 to $5,985, The Pelham Sun, Apr. 26, 1940, Vol. 30, No. 4, p. 1, cols. 7-8 & p. 4, col. 6.

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