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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Brief Account of the 1890 Fire that Destroyed Loftus Brotherton's Grocery Store

During the 1880s, Loftus Brotherton ran a tiny grocery store located on 5th Avenue near what was then known as 4th Street (today's Lincoln Avenue).  Brotherton leased the structure that housed the store from another Pelhamville resident, Jacob Heisser.  Because the small store had a reputation for high quality goods, it was a busy and successful business that attracted shoppers from Mount Vernon, Pelham, and New Rochelle.  The little store also served as an important gathering place for members of the community.   

I have written before about Brotherton's Grocery Store. See:

Tue., Jul. 15, 2014:  Three Important 19th Century Structures That Stood in Pelham.  

Fri., Sep. 08, 2006:  An Image of The Brotherton Store in Pelhamville Before It Burned in 1890. The store burned to the ground in May 1890.

The Brotherton Store.
Source:  Montgomery, William R., Do You Remember When - ?, 
The Pelham Sun, Dec. 16, 1927, p. 3, cols. 1-2.

Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting transcribes an article containing a very brief account of the devastating fire on the afternoon of Sunday, April 6, 1890 that burned both the grocery and a small cottage in the rear of the grocery to the ground.  At the end of today's posting I also have included a variety of research materials regarding Loftus Brotherton.


Is it true that Prospect avenue is to be extended from Chester Hill to Pelhamville.
Mr. Chas. Barker will shortly occupy his new Queen Anne house and the residence now occupied by him will be taken by his son, Dr. Chas. Barker, Jr.
About two o'clock last Sunday, a fire broke out at the store of Mr. Loftus Brotherton.  It was promptly discovered by Mrs. Brotherton who gave the alarm, and the family barely escaped from the burning building.  Nothing was saved except the clothing in which they were robed.  A small one-and-a-half story cottage situated about 50 feet in the rear of the store was also consumed.  

Both buildings were the property of Mr. Jacob Heisser, and not fully insured.  Mr. Heisser's loss is about two thousand dollars.  We understand that Mr. Brotherton's loss is fully covered by insurance."

Source:  Pelhamville, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Apr. 8, 1890, Vol. XXI, No. 1,287, p. 3, col. 4.

*          *          *          *          *

Below are research notes regarding Loftus Brotherton.

"Death of Loftus Brotherton.

Loftus Brotherton, for the past fourteen years a resident of what is now North Pelham, died on Wednesday afternoon at his late residence on Fifth avenue corner of Third street.  The deceased was 56 years old.  He was the proprietor of a hotel for a number of years.  The deceased leaves a widow and two daughters, Mr. [sic] Charles A. Parker and Miss Florence Brotherton.  He is also survived by two brothers, one of whom, Henry Brotherton, resides in this place.  He had been ill for several years and death was due to dropsy."

Source:  Death of Loftus Brotherton, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Feb. 4, 1898, p. 3, col. 4.

"Loftus Brotherton, proprietor of the Roadside Hotel on Fifth avenue, was arrested last Friday by a government officer for not paying his government and internal revenue licenses.  He was taken to Ludlow Street Jail, where at the latest reports he was still locked up.  Mr. Brotherton has been a saloon keeper for a number of years.  When two of the other dealers were arrested on the evidence of a Raines law agent, his place was not visited, but he is now in trouble for different reasons."

Source:  PELHAM AND WOODLAWN -- Pelham, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Dec. 11, 1896, p. 3, col. 3.  

"Among the early members of Liberty Engine and Hose Company were Alexander Anderson, William B. Pearson, Charles T. Johnston,, former Mayor James Reilly, former Supervisor David Lyon, former Mayor Eugene Lyon, Edward A. Schwartz, William A. Broege, John B. Clegg, W. J. Everett, Vincent Parker, William E. Algie, Herbert Barker, Loftus Brotherton, Henry F. Sountain, W.S. Harrison, John Hengel, Village Trustee Daniel J. Kennedy, John W. Dillon and Patrick J. Marvel."

Source:  Allyn Van Winkle, G., Volunteer Fire Companies In First Fire District Were Organized In 1893, The Pelham Sun, Apr. 12, 1935, pg. 11, col. 1.

"The people of Pelhamville are working earnestly to have the railroad station moved, and its name change [sic] to Winyah Park.  The petition to the railroad company has also been forwarded to the Post master-General [sic].  The petition and signers are as follows: 

To the President and Board of Directors of the N.Y., N.H. & H.R.R. Co.

GENTLEMEN: We, the undersigned, residents of Pelhamville, N.Y. do humbly petition your honorable Board, to locate the new depot to be erected at this place east of and near Fifth avenue as the grade will permit, on grounds given by Mr. Richard Lathers, as a park, and to change the name of the station from Pelhamville to Winyah Park. Depot not to be more than 100 feet from Fifth avenue: 

E.H. Gurney, Geo. McGalliard, Vincent Barker, Loftus Brotherton, Augustus Godfrey, C.W. Bolton, I.C. Hill, John T. Logan, James Shoebottom, John Bos, E.A. Patterson, J.P. Jacob Heisser, Stephen J. Stilwell, Wm. H. Penfield, Geo. Wright, William Barry, Wm. H. Sparks, Chas Baker, Henry Montgomery, F.W. Case, John Case, S.E. Case, David Lyon, E. Lyon, H. Gurney, Chas. B. Oakley, C. H. Merritt, G.W. Jager, E. C. Merritt, P.H. Acras, Alfd. P. Delcambre, F.C. Buxton, Geo. Pearson, Alex. Anderson, E. Anderson, John Britten, Bridget Flanagan, Delia Flanagan, H.T. Stone, L.A. Stone, L. McGalliard, C.V.R. Bolton, D.J. Meade, Mrs. C. Barker, Miss Caroline Barker, Mrs. Geo. Wright, Mrs. Fred. Chase, Mrs. J. Bos, Mrs. S. Johnson, Mrs. M. Clark, Mrs. I.C. Hill, J.P. Marquand, T. Jackson Lambert, Wm. T. Standen, N.A. McGalliard." 

Source: PELHAM AND CITY ISLAND, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 28, 1887, Vol. XVIII, No. 997, p. 1, col. 7.


Last Monday evening the case of James Riley [sic] vs. Hutchinson which had been adjourned May 28th, was tried at the Court House, in Pelhamville before Judge G. I. Karbach.  Mr. Plumer acted as counsel for the defendant and W. H. Sparks for the plaintiff.  The trouble consisted in the alleged stealing of a dog by Hutchinson, who is employed by Lukert a butcher of Tuckahoe, from James Riley [sic] the local blacksmith.  Among the witnesses were John Sweeney and Loftus Brotherton.  The defendant was found guilty of petty larceny and fined twenty dollars.

The question has been asked 'why is it that goods sent by the Adams Express Company are delivered free of charge to residents of Pelham Manor, while the people of Pelhamville are obliged to pay extra charges.'

A mass meeting will be held this evening to consider the feasibility of celebrating the 'Fourth' in an appropriate manner.

Liberty Hose Company held their regular monthly meeting on Monday evening.  During the absence of their foreman, W. S. Harrison; assistant foreman, Eugene L. Lyon occupied the chair.  This company is the possessor of a very neat sign the gift of Chief B. F. Crewell.  It is displayed on the fire house at the front of their apartments.

The annual athletic contest of the New York Athletic Club will occur on Saturday June 9th at Travers Island.  A conveyance to the grounds will be found at the depot."

Source:  Pelhamville, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Jun. 7, 1894, Vol. XXV, No. 1,640, p. 4, col. 1.


Mrs. Jarley's celebrated wa-works and the distinguished Peek sisters from Alaska, will appear at the Court House, Tuesday evening, May 8th, in aid of the Church of the Redeemer.

The Right Rev. Bishop H. C. Potter will visit the Church of the Redeemer on Sunday afternoon, May 27th, at four o'clock, for the purpose of confirmation.

An address will be made to the confirmation class every Friday evening until the 27th proximo.  All are invited to attend.

A. P. Groom, druggist, of Troy will occupy one of Mr. John Young's new stores as soon as completed.

Mr. H. Nutting has broken ground for his new house, near Mr. Fairchild's.

Mr. Caldwell of New York city will move into his new house on Nyack avenue, this week.

The children of the public school had a 'vaccination bee' on Monday last.  

Mr. J. Borden has moved into Mrs. K. Wood's new house on Third avenue.

The Town Board and the Board of Health will meet at the Court House, Pelhamville, on Wednesday, May 2nd.

Chief B. F. Crewell has ordered an inspection of the Fire Department, on Decoration Day.

The Board of Education has no intention of closing Pelham Manor School as announced by the Pelham Manor Tribune of last week.

The contract for the additional plumbing work in Mr. W. S. Harrison's summer home has been awarded to Messrs. J. B. Clegg & Co.

Two new cells have recently been built in the Town Hall by Mr. S. E. Lyon.

A new feature of interest is a good sized aquarium, containing a number of fish, which is stationed in the pump-house.  The work of Mr. Englebert Nordman the chief engineer.

Mr. Loftus Brotherton has beautified his grounds by whitening the surrounding wall.

Col. Richard Lathers expects to erect a summer residence soon, on Lathers Hill.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Wilmott of Darien were the guests of Mrs. W. A. McGalliard last Sunday."

Source:  OUR NEARBY NEIGHBORS -- Pelhamville, The Chronicle [Mount Vernon, NY], Apr. 26, 1894, Vol. XXV, No. 1,634, p. 4, col. 1.  

"A Social Event At Pelhamville.

The Court House in this pleasant hamlet was the scene last evening of a very enjoyable tea and dance.  The patronesses were the Misses Hattie Boyle, Kittie McGalliard, Florence Brotherton, Henrietta Logan and Mrs. G. I. Karbach.

The hall was very handsomely decorated with flowers, bunting and flags.  The scene was a pretty one.  The figures of the grand march were enacted by fifty couples.  Many of the dances were novel and intricate, but were executed gracefully.  Professor Mager's orchestra furnished the music.

Supper was served at intermission to which ample justice was done.  A novel feature of this part of the affair was the presentation to each lady of a beautiful china cup and saucer.  The tables were bountifully laden with choicest credentials of Pelhamville's cullinery [sic] art and no one had just cause to criticise [sic] or complain of the delectables.  Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Logan and daughter, Mrs. P. Vanderoest; Mr. and Mrs. I. C. Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Judge Karbach; Mr. and Mrs. Loftus Brotherton; Mrs. Daggett; Mrs. Charles A. Barker, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Montgomery, Miss Lulu Montgomery, Miss Minnie Everett, Miss Daisy Barker, Miss Matilda Whitney and Miss Belle Rankin of Mount Vernon, the Misses Archer of Union Corners; and Merrs. Frank M. Lyon, Thos. Donlon, and Winfield Baxter of Mount Vernon."

Source:  A Social Event At Pelhamville, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Apr. 29, 1892, Vol. 1, No. 26, p. 1, col. 6.

Not Enough Hostility Developed Yet to Make a Case for the Court.

Eliza Brotherton is seeking a limited divorce and separate maintenance from Loftus Brotherton, to whom she was married in 1863.  She alleges cruel and inhuman treatment.  He makes no defense to the action.  They have two daughters, aged eleeven and fifteen years.  Mrs. Brotherton testified before the referee that her husband had struck her in the face several times.  Their quarrels arose because he didn't like to have the children go to a Catholic church or to a Catholic school, wishing them to go to the public school.  'I can't say who begins the quarrel,' Mrs. Brotherton testified.  'I think that we are both to blame, but that he is a little more in fault than I am.  We separated on the 30th of August, and he has come to see me since.  I saw him last evening.  I told him before the papers were served that I was going to begin this suit.  He gave me permission.'

Judge Lawrence in Supreme Court Chambers refused to confirm the referee's report in favor of a divorce, saying:  'Before confirming this report I shall require much stronger evidence than the referee has taken as to the alleged cruel and inhuman treatment.  I deem it also proper to say that the testimony reported by the referee goes far towards establishing an impression upon my mind that the action is collusive.  Of course I shall afford an opportunity to the plaintiff of showing that such an impression is erroneous, but it seems to me to be incredible that parties who are seeking a separation should continue to visit each other on apparently amicable terms and should interchange friendly observations as to the progress which is being made in the litigation pending between them.  Case sent back to the referee to take further proof.'"

Source:  AMICABLE DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS, The World [NY, NY], Oct. 28, 1880, Vol. XXI, No. 2095, p. 1, col. 4.

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home