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Timeline - As Relates To Edwards
From early 19th century to the end of the 20th century

Posted April 5, 2012

1795   Township patented to Daniel McCormick by Macomb. Named for Edward, brother, of Daniel McCormick.
1810- 1812 Russell Turnpike, Military highway completed through Edwards, opening the land for settlement.  Enos Chapin was road superintendent during construction of the military turnpike.  He became father-in-law of George Allan, Pitcairn's land agent.
1812 January First settlers came ... Asa Brayton, Jr.and wife, Eunice. On October 22 they had first baby born in Edwards, John Brayton.  Another settler of that year, Abel Bancroft, and wife, Sally Tarbell, also had a new baby, date unknown, Abel Edward Bancroft, Jr.
1817   Brick house in Edwards village begun for occupancy of Joseph Pitcairn's land agent.  Bricks made in a brickyard on Given Road on what is now Bullock’s land.
1819 June 4 Scottish settlers, under auspices of Joseph Pitcairn, arrived and became the nucleus of Edwards community.  They finished building the brick house and stayed in the house through the first winter with the new land agent, George Allan, who had immigrated with the other Scottish settlers.
1827 April 27 Town of Edwards organized.  First meeting held at William Martin’s.
1830   A Captain Alfred Freeman erected an iron furnace in area that became Talcville later and tried make a success of the iron ore.  While it never was a successful business, the community was known as Freemansburg until talc became the ore most mined and the named was changed to Talcville.
1860   About this date the first village cemetery, on Main St., abandoned and property was purchased on Church St. for a larger graveyard and became known as Riverside Cemetery.  Actual date not known.  Riverside Cemetery does not show on the 1858 map, but is in place on the 1865 map.
1861 April 12 Civil War began.  April 9, 1865 was the surrender of the South at Appomattox Court House.  President Lincoln assassinated on April 14th by John Wilkes Booth.  Formal ending of the war was 26 May 1865.  164 men enlisted from Edwards, although not all were residents of the town.  Number of deaths in service was 30.
1876   Talc discovered on Nelson Freeman's farm in Talcville, then Freemansburg.  He leased the mineral rights to Agalite Fibre Co.  They began digging the following spring.
1889 Sept 6 The hamlet of Freemansburgh was officially renamed Talcville.
1890 July 6 Item in Gouverneur Free press ... "The talc mines of the Agalite Fiber Co. fell in from the roof last week and yesterday at about five o'clock, the ground fell in.  The cave in is only about three rods from Mr. Freeman's house, and some repairs will have to be made at once.  Teams have been traveling over the place recently". This was the Freeman Mine and happened directly in front of the Nelson Freeman home in Talcville.  A picture of the Freeman home shows a huge pit where the front yard had been.
1892 Sept 19 (newspaper) Dr. Taylor asked his tenants to move as he plans to repair the house and live there.
  Dec 26 (newspaper) Dr. Taylor has commenced housekeeping in his house which he purchased of H. Gardner.
1893 March 6 "Mr. F. L. Davis has his store and dwelling house nearly completed.  The workmen are putting on the finishing coats of paint and plaster".  Mr. Davis was a jeweler and also had firearms and fishing tackle in his store.  This building was the long time dentist office of Dr. Willis Campbell, then the telephone office for a number of years.
  June 12 News article ... Wm. Grant has the foundation and basement completed for a large furniture store on Main St. next door to the Post Office.  This building was later the Grange Hall.  The post office mentioned was in Raymond's store on corner of Main and Church, with L. Raymond as postmaster. By the first week of August, Grant had his building nearly completed.
  June 21 Edwards village incorporated.
  Aug 1 Railroad completed and first trains ran that day.
1894 July 4 Disastrous fire which destroyed most of Main St and some of Factory St. and Maple Ave.
  July 25 article in Northern Tribune.  "Grant and Bell of Talcville building the new school".  This building served as their local elementary school until centralization closed outlying schools.  Now used as a home.  From an old map there appears to have been an earlier school behind the newer one just beyond the turn onto Ames Rd.
  Aug 8 article in Northern Tribune.  Williams & Johnston, architects of Ogdensburg, will draw the plans and specifications for the new town hall to be erected this fall.  The design has been on exhibition in the post office.
  Aug 22 article in Northern Tribune.  "The architects for the new town hall have just completed the plans.  The new building will have a frontage of 45 feet and be 80 feet deep. The first story will be of Gouverneur marble with Potsdam sandstone trimmings and the second story will be of brick.  There will be a tower about 75 feet high on the right hand corner of the building and over the colonial entrance there will be a large triplet window with stone arch.  Within on the first floor will be the town meeting room and on second floor an amusement hall with a seating capacity of about 400.  The  town officers' rooms and the town lockup are on the first floor.  The building is a very pretty one and will be a credit to the town.  The work of erection will be commenced in a week or ten days and the building will be completed the present season."  Erection did not begin as the article states, but was later than planned.
1897 Feb 13 V.S. Records #184-189. Terrible cave-in at Talcville mine.  Six men killed.  Alfred Tetherton, Charles W. LaRock, John Mathews, Milford S. McLaughlin, Fred Hurley McCoy, William H. Dawley.  The Town Clerk wrote a note in the records ... "Unfortunate miners, killed without one moment's notice, by falling talc in Freeman mine at Talcville, NY, Feb 13, 1897, leaving 5 widows and 26 children."
  May Dr. Willis Campbell, dentist, moved to village from Gouverneur.  Practiced here until retirement.
1898 Apr 25-
  Aug 12
Spanish-American War with formal ending on 10 Dec 1898.  Edwards men who participated were: Martin Henry Hogue, Frank Wesley Ingraham, Alexander Oswald Noyes, Herbert Wheeler.
1899   Zinc mill built by Northern Ore on the Robert Brown farm.
1900   William Grant sold his building on Maple Ave. to the Masonic Lodge.
1901 October The second hotel built on the corner on Main St. and Maple Ave. (the first one built 1860), after the fire of 1894, was renamed.  It had been the "Thomas House", but the owner at that time, Fred Goutermont, changed the name to "Hotel Edwards" and that name remained until the building burned in May 1970.
1905   The IOOF Hall (International Order of Odd Fellows) built on the lot that originally contained the first village cemetery.
1909   Northern Ore bought the local mine and began developing it as a good commercial operation employing many workers.
1910   Urban O. Webb started the local electric power company.  (Some sources say 1910.  Should be checked.)  Cyrus Watson store first commercial building to be wired and Mott Meldrim first private home to have electricity.  Only had power from about 7:00A.M. to 11:00P.M. when Ernest Gibbons, the operator, shut it down and went home for the night.
1914 Jan 7 A committee of Edwards men met to discuss whether there was enough interest among the townspeople to consider organizing a local bank.
  Feb 28 Application for a charter for the Edwards National Bank was approved by the Comptroller of the Currency.
  June 27 The First National Bank in Edwards opened for business on Saturday afternoon with its office in the Town Hall. 
1915 Jan 15 Fairview Cemetery chartered. Land had been property of the Woodcock family and in accordance with their request, their parents remains were moved from Riverside Cemetery to the new burial ground as the first interments.
1917 April 6 United States entered WWI.  91 men from Edwards served in this conflict.  Four died in service.
1918 Nov 11 At the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th month of the year WWI was ended.  The date became a national holiday, Armistice Day, in 1919, and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 with a broader significance.
1919 Feb 7 An exciting day in Edwards. There were three births and one murder.  The first birth was Don Hubert Gregory followed by Helena Inez Freeman, both in the village.  The doctor went from one birth straight to the second.  The third birth was Eloise House in the Ingraham home at the foot of Sand Hill.  Later in the day in the Ingraham home, the step-father, George Allen, was intoxicated and arguing with his stepson, Robert Ingraham.  Robert went out the door and George Allen fired the gun he was holding.  The bullet pierced the door, hit and mortally wounded, Robert Ingraham, age about 20 years.
  Oct 28 The 18th Amendment passed bringing Prohibition to the United States. (Ratified January 1920).  Throughout this period, in Edwards, as elsewhere, there were men who made alcoholic beverages, or brought them in from Canada to sell illegally to the townspeople.
1921   First Miss America pageant held.
    In Edwards there were a number of arrests involving residents who were making  "Moonshine", an illegal alcoholic beverage.
1924 June 6-12 Mine cave-in that came to the surface on Trout Lake Road and a number of houses and other buildings and trees sank in.  No fatalities or injuries.
1925 Jan/Feb John Milan purchased the blacksmith shop property from W. O. Cleland and had the two story building in which he operated an ice cream parlor erected that year by Roscoe Todd, on the triangular portion.  The Meldrim Electric Co in Edwards installed the wiring and electrical fixtures.  He opened for business on June 6, 1925.
1926 June 26 St. Joseph Lead Co. made its first acquisition in the area by purchasing Northern Ore Co. in Edwards.
1929 Oct 24 “Black Thursday” - Stock Market crash on Wall Street.  The Great Depression began in United States.
1933 Feb 20 Congress passed the Blaine resolution to submit to the states the 21st amendment for the repeal of the 18th Amendment (Prohibition).  It was adopted by December. Those establishments in Edwards passing as non-alcoholic public houses were able to get licenses to sell legally, what they had been selling illegally right along.
1935   President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Social Security program.
1939 Sep 1 Germany invaded Poland.  Clifford Pratt, a boy in the village who sold the newspapers, stood on the hotel corner with the extra edition calling out the headlines so the people could buy the paper to read the account of the invasion.
1940   In summer the third draft in the history of the United States enacted.  Those males between the ages of 21 and 35 required to register for one year of military service.
1941 Dec 7 Japan bombed Pearl harbor.  United States declared war on Japan on Dec 8th. Both young men and women of Edwards enlisted during this war.
1942 May 14 The WAAC (Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps) formed.  Later changed to WAC.  There were six girls from Edwards who joined the service during WWII, but not all were in the army.
  Aub 25 Olan Keith Brayton, Edwards serviceman (army) of WWII, dies as prisoner of the Japanese. First casualty of WWII from Edwards and first citizen from St. Lawrence County to die in a Japanese prison camp.  Local VFW post named for him.
1943 Feb WWII goods rationing began.  Included shoes, sugar, meat, cheese, and canned goods.   Because of the war there were no cars manufactured in 1943. (from the History Channel on TV)
1944 June 6 D Day in WWII when the Allies invaded the coast of Europe.
  June 13 Arthur Blaine Fenner, Talcville native, who had joined the Air Force, was killed in action in a parachute jump over water, near Italy.  Body not recovered.
  Sep 1  Earl Reed, Jr., local soldier, was killed on the beach by enemy fire in northwestern France when coming off an LCT during WWII and is buried in a cemetery for fallen servicemen in St. James, Manche, France.
1945 Jan 12 James Skeldon of Talcville, sailor, was a member of the crew on the submarine, "Swordfish" when it was sunk in the Pacific Ocean, becoming the fourth Edwards resident to give his life in WWII.  Body not recovered.
  Feb 4 Talcville native Everett Hurley, soldier, was accidentally shot by a buddy who was cleaning his gun in their barracks on Biak Island, New Guinea.  He died of the wound.  Body not returned to family until 1949.  
  April 12 Franklin D. Roosevelt died at 4:35 P. M. of a massive cerebral hemorrhage at his retreat in Warm Springs, Georgia.
  May 7 Germany surrendered at 2:30 A. M. ending WWII.  General Walter Bedell Smith accepted the German surrender.  
  Aug 14 Japanese surrender.  The Japanese emperor announced their surrender to his people on Aug 15.  The end of  WWII.  A total of seven Edwards servicemen's deaths in WWII.  
1946   The baby boom began.  Those children born between 1946 and 1964 are considered "Baby Boomers".
1948 Sep 1 Edwards High School became Edwards Central School.
1951 June 13 Section of Ames Rd. in Talcville caved in over what is believed to have been, originally, the Freeman Mine, closing the road for a period.
  Sept The first Kindergarten in Edwards began with class in the basement of the Methodist Church.  Ercel Cassidy McKee was the teacher.  Until Feb 1952 when the new wing was ready, she had to walk with the children to the school and back, daily, for the special classes and lunches.
1952 Feb The new wing on the school finished and the Kindergarten class, of about 30 students, moved into their new classroom.
  Oct 28 Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation completed purchase of Edwards Light & Power Co. from Grant and Harry Webb.  Local power company was started by their father, Urban O. Webb.  
1957 Sep 4 Ford Motor Co. introduced their new model car for 1958, the "Edsel", named for Ford's son.  It was never very popular and production was stopped in 1960.  Lloyd Soper was the only person in Edwards to buy one.  His was the Corsair, the intermediate model, with 345 hp., and retailed at $3,390, a large amount for the time.  One day while driving over a rough section of road, the windshield popped out, slid down the hood onto the pavement in front of the car, and Lloyd ran over it before he could stop!
1970 May 18 the Edwards Hotel burned.
    Lions Club partitioned off back section of Election Room (Court Room) in Town Hall for use as a History Center by Historian, Leah Noble.  
1972 Sep 15 the Edwards Methodist church burned.  Services were held in Sacred Heart Catholic Church for 19 months until a new church was completed.
1973 Summer The Library needed new roof and the two fireplace chimneys, one at each end of the building, had to be removed because of prohibitive cost to repair them.
1976   The year of our nation's 200th birthday and communities all over America were doing special things.  Edwards had a week of celebration in May with events happening each day, culminating in a parade on May 31.
1980 Dec 17 St. Lawrence National Bank, Edwards office, closes after having been open only two days a week for a period.
1981 Jan 23 a Friday ... Edwards mine closes.  Severe effect on local economy.
1983 Jan 1 Edith Duffy appointed Town and Village Historian following death of Historian, Leah Noble.
1986 July 1 Official date of the beginning of the Edwards-Russell Central School District, the merger of Edwards Central with Knox Memorial Central of Russell.  State law required that merged districts be named for the communities within the region.  The board of education then had to request that the state legislature change the name to Edwards-Knox, which is was.  Edwards area students continued to attend school in the village while the new building was constructed.
1989 Sep 6 Students began the school year in the new building built about halfway between the two communities. The faculty began Sep 5 with meetings all day.
1994 June Brick buildings on west side of Main Street razed because of their poor condition.
1995 April 22 A new take out restaurant named "Wings & Things" opened today in Dr. Campbell's (Lela Brown's home) building.  Bonnie Norton owns it.  They feature pizza, subs, calzones and salads.
  May 28 Bowling Alley burned.  Electrical in origin.  
1996 May Edwards connected to Internet via a volunteer group of the four neighboring towns ... Hermon, Edwards, Russell, DeGrasse ... known by the acronym HERD.  This made possible local, rather than long distance calls, for customers, when connected to the Internet.
  Oct 12 The Fire Dept burned the two condemned Myron Clark tenements on Trout Lake St. about 8:00 A. M. The two buildings had been knocked down in preparation for the burning.  
1997 Nov 26 the day before Thanksgiving, the bridge to Island, by the oldest house in Edwards, taken out, making the street a dead end and forcing the residents on the Island to go the route of New St., to Pleasant St. to Island St. to get home.
1998   During the summer the bridge in South Edwards was replaced.  While the work was done the bridge was completely closed and traffic had to use the River Road.
  Sept Edwards Knox Central School started an Alternative Education Program/GED held off-campus in the recreation room of the Sacred Heart rectory on Trout Lake St. This program is designed for those students, at least age 16, who learn better in a nontraditional program.  They are instructed in the five core areas for one-half day and attend BOCES programs in the county for the other one-half day.  The teacher for 1998-1999 was Mrs. Robin Hurley (wife of Thomas Hurley, whose father, Larry Hurley grew up in Edwards).  The teacher for 1999-2000, Mr. Michael VandenBerg.
  Dec 9 Organizational meeting held to reactivate the Edwards Historical Association with 12 people in attendance.
1999 Jan 13 First meeting of the reactivated historical group.
  Aug 14 Edwards Historical Association held a Scots Heritage Day to commemorate the 180th year of the immigrants from Scotland arriving in Edwards.  Of the 10 families known to have come to Edwards, seven still have descendants living in the community.  Weather was damp and windy for the program, but had around 300 people attend.
  August TDS Telecom, local phone company, having previously purchased the land on which the old brick buildings stood, began building a new business office on the site nearest to the Town Hall.  They had their first day of business in the new building on 13 Dec 1999.
  Sept 26 Sunday, the Italianate style, square house in Pleasant Valley built by Bower Freeman in early 1900s was razed at 7:30 A.M. by a controlled burn at the request of the present owners, Daniel and Margaret Cole Fuller, so they could replace it with a double wide factory built house. First half of the new house arrived on Oct 15th.
  Dec 13 (Monday). The store first opened as Padgett's before 1900, then became associated with IGA chain, then independent as "L Bee's" (Lynette Brassard), closed, with sign on door saying "temporarily closed until further notice".
  Dec 20 The former telephone company building prepared to be razed.   Built for John Milan in 1925 by Roscoe Todd.  The rear section of the building left standing as phone company garage.  This part originally built by W. O. Cleland as a blacksmith shop.  The building taken completely down the next day, Dec 21st.  They worked at cleaning up the heap through Thursday and putting plywood and vinyl siding on the exposed end of the garage section.
  Dec 28 Workmen from Griffith Oil, Potsdam, NY began installing a propane gas furnace against the back wall in the museum section of the Town Hall today.
2000 Jan 1 The new year, with the date turning 2000, did not result in all the catastrophes that had been foretold by the pessimists.  Everything worked just fine.
  Jan 19 Frosty's Wings & Things, a pizza and similar items "take out" business, located in Dr. Campbell's former building, closed because of insufficient funds.  (Filed for bankruptcy).  The former owner had made an apartment upstairs and Sandra Whitford rents it.  Opened March or April 1996.
  Apr 14 (a Friday) ... The former Frosty's opened this evening as Hayden's Bakery and Pizzeria.

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