This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of December 30

2022-12-30 TWIR Image-Truman

December 28, 1872 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

      The Social Hop and Oyster Supper at the Fairview House, Spring Valley, on Christmas night, was a very fine affair. Mr. Furman and his estimable lady know well how to make an occasion of this kind pleasant for all who attend.
      Now is a good time to “swear off” forever from bad habits of every description.
      Last Saturday morning our sidewalks were in an elegant condition to make people sit down quickly.
      Rockland Lake has about eight inches of ice on its surface. Cutting will commence about New Year’s.
      A new school district is to be organized at West Nyack, Clarkstown. The census embraces 125 children.
      The Ramapo Car Wheel Manufacturing Company are creating a village to be called Woodland, near Suffern.

December 28, 1932 90 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal-News

TELLS POLICE HE’S THROUGH — Martin, Coin Box Thief, Admits He Served Terms in Two States
       Raymond Martin is only 34 but his life of crime has caused police many sleepless nights in three states for the past six months. Yesterday he sat for hours in the district attorney’s office at New City and enumerated his crimes against society.
       “Boys, I’m through,” he said. “I would rather go to jail now than dodge you any longer. You don’t know the half of it; you don’t know the chills that the sight of a blue-coat gave me in this racket.”
       County Detective Edward Browne took down the young man’s statement. It is said to cover more than fourteen pages. Martin began his story to the detective shortly before noon yesterday after he had been held for action of the grand jury on a charge of burglary by Justice of the Peace John Hill at Sparkill. He talked to the detective until eight o’clock last night, unfolding his story piece by piece. Jogging his memory often to recall the circumstances of his varied crimes. He served prison terms in Illinois and in Ohio. One sentence was from one to fourteen years and that cost him five years in jail. He may in the end find four felonies chalked up against him and that would mean life imprisonment under the Baumes law.
       But most of the long list of crimes he enumerated are petty larceny charges because the amount of money he obtained from coin boxes never exceeded more than $15 or $20 each. He said he averaged about $10 per box and always the man worked to the noise of approaching train when he jerked a coin box from the telephone booth in the particular railroad station he had wandered into or entered through a window under cover of night.
       Martin traveled under various aliases. Sometimes it was Lawrence Watson, then just L. Watson or F. Marko. He followed the rails like a tramp. What he did with the stolen money has not been determined to the satisfaction of the police but they believe his arrest will put an end to the wholesale robbery of telephone coin boxes in the metropolitan area and will end many sleepless nights of the police.
       Twenty detectives and police officers from as many communities in New Jersey sought information concerning Martin at his hearing yesterday.

December 28, 1972 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Ramapo justice court, in an effort to reduce lengthy delays, will become the first in the state to operate on a full-time basis beginning Jan. 3.
       Ramapo Supervisor John F. McAlevey has estimated that the full-time operation will cut the calendar waiting time to three months.
       “Anyone who has in the past waited as much as four years for a case to be heard will appreciate the value of this projected time factor,” McAlevey said.
       Town Justices Leo Fassberg and Bernard Stanger will preside over the extended operation, which will cover five days and one night of court. Their salaries have been boosted from $10,000 a year to $17,500. McAlevey has said that the increased service will not cost the taxpayer anything because fees and fines generally exceed the justice court operating costs.
       Stanger said that jury civil trials have been backlogged for as long as four years and the new extended operation will “hopefully reduce the delay to three months.”
       Although delays in jury criminal trials have been reduced to six months, Stanger estimates a further reduction to three months. He noted that traffic cases involving not guilty pleas are running two years behind and that plans are to try such cases within a month, these cases will be heard on Thursdays.
       “Lengthy court delays can only result in tainted justice,” said Stanger, who noted that a choked calendar can mean years of waiting for settlement of suits or dismissal of legitimate charges. Other problems occur when key witnesses leave the area.
       The town justices have also submitted a bill to the state legislature requesting authorization for a small claims section to be incorporated within the justice court. This section, they said, would settle suits for small amounts quickly at a minimum cost.

       Former President Harry Truman (who died on December 26, 1972) is seen walking down the hallway of Haverstraw High School on October 1960 with former state Democratic chairman Michael Prendergast of Haverstraw (left, partially hidden), former Haverstraw Democratic chairman Robert A. Feeney (left, background), and former Postmaster General James A. Farley of Grassy Point (right, background).

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


Add a Comment:

Please signup or login to add a comment.