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.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pelham News on May 30, 1884 Including Allegations of Oyster Larceny and Meeting of the Pelhamville Improvement Association

The Chronicle, published each Friday in Mount Vernon during the 1880s, typically included a section reporting news in Pelham and City Island.  The May 30, 1884 issue contained an interesting report that detailed allegations of oyster theft against Captain Joshua Leviness of City Island.  The same report described a meeting of the "Pelhamville Improvement Association".  I previously have noted the existence of this organization and transcribed a brief news reference to it.  See:  Thursday, September 24, 2009:  Brief Newspaper Account of the January 1, 1883 Annual Meeting of the Pelham Manor Protective Club.   

The complete May 30, 1884 report appears below.


Mr. Floyd Leviness and Miss Rose McMahon are to be married on Sunday next.

A strawberry and ice cream festival is to be held in the M.E. Church, on Thursday evening next.

Last evening, the Merry Ten, an old organization of City Island, gave a complimentary ball, at Von Liehn's Hotel.

Mr. Joseph English, of Pelham Manor, has sold a plot of ground on Prospect Hill, 1 1/2 acres, to Mr. Edward Bertine.

Invitations are out for the marriage of Mr. Rich, of Stamford, to Miss Susie, oldest daughter of Mr. David Carll, on June 15th. 

The semi-monthly meeting of the Ladies' Social Aid Society of the M. E. Church, was held at the residence of Mr. A. Stearns, last Tuesday night. 

At Carll's ship yard, the Schooner yacht, Resolute, also a small sloop yacht, are out for overhauling.  The barge just completed for Ferris of Portchester, will be launched on Saturday. 

On Tuesday evening last, a special election for member of the Democratic County Committee for the town of Pelham was held.  Forty-four votes were polled.  Mr. George W. Sembler being the unanimous choice. 

The first evening hop and camp fire of the H. B. Hidden Post No. 320 G. A. R., of City Island, was held at Secord's Pavillion, Bartow, last Wednesday evening.  Representatives from other posts were present, and a very enjoyable time was had.

A regular meeting of the Pelhamville Improvement Association was held on Monday evening, May 26th, at the residence of Mr. C. H. Meritt.  After the transaction of some routine business and the adoption of a constitution and by-laws, the following officers were unanimously elected for the ensuing year.  Messrs E. H. Gurney, Pres; John Bos, Vice-pres.; C. H. Meritt, Treas., Lieut. Delcombie, Sec.  All further elections and appointments were left over till next meeting.  The next regular meeting of the association will be held on the last Wednesday of June.

About the first of November, 1883, City Island was, one morning, thrown into a flutter of excitement, by the announcement that during the night previous, Capt. Joshua Leviness had been caught taking up oysters from grounds beloning to the Billar estate.  He was confronted by the executors of the estate and flatly denied the ownership.  The executors thereupon threatened legal proceedings, when Leviness made overtures and in order to save litigation and expense it was mutually agreed to have the matter settled before a referee.  Justice Thomas Martin was chosen as the referee and after a full an impartial hearing of both sides decided against Leviness.  Accordingly, a warrant was issued for larceny, he was arrested and an examination was held on the 27th of November when the justice decided to hold him in the sum of $1,000 to await the action of the grand jury.  That body, at the December term, found an indictment for larceny in the second degree against Leviness, and his trial took place on Wednesday of last week, when he was acquitted, the Jury finding him not guilty.


Nora Walsh, 13 years old, the daughter of Patrick Walsh, of Pelham Manor, was brutally assaulted while on her way to school in New Rochelle on Friday morning last.  As she did not return home in the evening a search was made for her continuing through the night and until the following morning.  She was found in an insensible condition in the edge of woods, about a mile south of New Rochelle, near the Boston turnpike.  Her hands were tied behind her, and a gag made of leaves was in her mouth.  Two young tramps were committed to jail, in White Plains, on suspicion of being the perpetrators of the outrage.  They have been fully identified, and the case will be presented to the Grand Jury."

Source:  Pelham And City Island, Chronicle [Mount Vernon], May 30, 1884, p. unknown, col. 4 (the page number was not printed at the top of the page at the time).

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