This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of January 26

2024-01-26 TWIR Image-Rose Coe

January 24, 1874 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

       A correspondent of ours in Jacksonville, Florida, vouches for the truth of the following statement, which he desires us to find a place for in the JOURNAL:
       “Jane Flynn is sixteen years old, lives in St. John’s, Florida, with her old invalid mother. They have twenty acres of land, ten of which are cleared and on a part of which is an old log house. Miss Flynn has supported herself and mother in a comfortable manner, and during the last year has made the following record for herself: She borrowed her neighbor’s horse, ploughed and cultivated part of the ten acres, and raised during the last season fifty bushels of corn, one hundred and eighty bushels of sweet potatoes, sugar cane enough to make a barrel of syrup and one barrel of raw sugar, which she boiled down herself. From two cows she has made and sold thirty dollars worth of butter, raised forty dollars worth of chickens, marked and branded her own calves, cut her wood, made her necessary fences and has set out a small orange grove. Miss Flynn is a native of Florida, is five feet high and rather slender.”

January 25, 1934 90 YEARS AGO
Pearl River News

       Burglars who made no attempt to conceal what they were doing noisily battered down the door of Vetter’s general store on Red School House Road, south of Spring Valley at 2 A.M. Tuesday and drove away with the cash drawer containing between $6 and $10.
       The entire Vetter family, consisting of husband, wife, son, 17 and infant, were upstairs in bed at the time, but being unarmed they made no attempt to come down stairs and break up the robbery.
       The marauders smashed their way into the building with a battering ram made of a post from a nearby fence. The blows awakened the family, who peered out of the window and saw the thieves moving about with flashlights. After getting the cash drawer they drove away without molesting any of the merchandise in the store.
       The Vetters have no telephone. They waited until 6:30 A.M. Tuesday morning before notifying Chief Abe Stern about the robbery. He went to the scene of the crime and found the empty cash drawer not far from the store, in a pile of brush.

January 25, 197450 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Rose Coe is happy to get her $400 back. Photographer: Warren Inglese, Journal News, January 1974.]
       A Stony Point woman carried some of the most important things in her life in her pocketbook Thursday—$400 she and her husband had scraped together to pay taxes, medicine for her serious heart condition, and precious pictures of her dead son.
       Then she lost the pocketbook in a supermarket.
       But Frank W. Reed of Thiells Road found it and returned it with all the valuable contents intact to the neighbor he had never met, Mrs. Rose Coe of 22 Tomkins Ave.
       Mrs. Coe was shopping at the A&P in Haverstraw about 10 A.M. Thursday when she noticed her pocketbook had disappeared. Her daughter, Mrs. Virginia Ramsell, said Mrs. Coe put her groceries in a shopping cart after having paid the checkout girl and returned her wallet to the pocketbook. When she reached for her bag again, it was gone.
       “My mother was frantic. She has a very bad heart condition and all her medicine was in the pocketbook—heart pills, nitroglycerine pills, pills to help her breathe, water pills, tranquilizers. A person would have to be pretty grumpy to steal all that medicine that obviously belongs to a sick woman,” Mrs. Ramsell said. “But more than the money for the taxes, more than the medicine what upset her was the loss of pictures of her son, who was killed in the army when he was 23. They could not be replaced.”
       Mrs. Ramsell said her mother drove to her home and told her what had happened. Mrs. Ramsell called Haverstraw village police and then drove back to the A&P to meet them. Two police cars arrived at the supermarket almost immediately after the call. They didn’t find Mrs. Coe or the pocketbook so they left, figuring it had been a crank call, according to Lt. Edward Fox. Mrs. Coe arrived shortly after the police had departed and, with her daughter, searched in vain for the pocketbook.
       Mrs. Coe was taken to the bank to stop all the blank checks that had been in the pocketbook, and was then taken to her doctor in Tuxedo Park for emergency injections. Exhausted, feeling ill, and worried about how she would tell her husband, James, about the loss of the money—since he, too, has a heart condition—Mrs. Coe went to bed. Meanwhile, Frank W. Reed found the pocketbook in a shopping cart in the A&P parking lot. “I didn’t want to turn it in to the A&P management, since I have worked in several places where money has been found and when the wallets were claimed the money was missing. So I decided to try to track the owner down myself. Her name was on the cards but I was unable to find a telephone number for her,” Reed said.
       “In the pocketbook was her tax bill with the money, so I called the tax office and asked if they knew how to reach her,” he said.
       “I thank God it was Mr. Reed who found the pocketbook. This will not be the last time he will see me,” said Mrs. Ramsell, who added that her mother has been feeling better since she heard the pocketbook had been found and may visit her benefactor soon to thank him personally.
       Reed took the incident calmly and refused to have his picture taken. “I did it because it was the right thing to do. That’s all.”

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. © 2024 by The Historical Society of Rockland County. #FBF Flashback Friday may be reprinted only with written permission from the HSRC. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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