Flashback Friday Archive 2019-20: Flashback Friday: Week of June 12

2020-06-12 TWIR Image-Funton

June 11, 1870 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Messenger

[Image:  Hugh M. Funston, courtesy Funston Family Archive,]
       A writer in the New York Daily Globe, of recent date, after eulogizing Spring Valley in the most glowing language thus speaks of one of her citizens well known throughout the county:
       “About four years ago Mr. H. M. Funston, late of the firm of Funston & Scofield, dealers in fireworks, in Dey street, purchased a tract of land there at the rate of about $500 per acre. He at once made vigorous efforts to stimulate public spirit in the place. After many discouragements he secured the co-operation of a few far-seers, and at once employed time, money, skill, and help in the endeavor to open Spring Valley, and the interior of Rockland County—a most luxuriant, picturesque, and delightful region—to an incoming tide of suburban settlers. A large district was at once surveyed, and staked out into lots; avenues were opened, graded, and fenced in; new houses were built, and the locality prominently advertised into general notice. Lots were sold in considerable numbers, Dwellings were erected. The population began to increase at a more rapid rate than was ever known in the history of the village. One of the very first enterprises worked for by Mr. Funston was a new Academy. The need of a first-class school was sadly apparent. He succeeded in gathering a few in a stock company, and subscribing a large proportion of the stock himself, a splendid three-story brick edifice was erected on one of the most beautiful eminences in the place at a cost of $12,000. It is now an active and successful operation, under the efficient superintendence of Rev. Mr. Brock, and is in every respect a school of high grade. He has built several houses, at a cost of from five to twelve thousand dollars each; the last and one of the finest is now nearly completed. He has sold and built more than all the others combined, and the increased value of property by these improvements is not less than $350,000. The Board of Trustees of the public school, of which he is a member, have determined to build a new school house, worthy of the place. There is a splendid hotel, well patronized, especially in the summer season. As a summer resort, this locality is unexcelled in any respect. The view from the hotel balconies is superb. The hills and dales of Rockland, watered by brook and spring, and greet with the verdure of fertile fields and wealthy foliage, are visible on every side for a long distance.”

June 11, 1920 100 YEARS AGO
Rockland News

       Miss Omelia Radner of Sloatsburg was the winner of the county spelling contest held at Nanuet. Miss Myrtle Cella of Nyack was second. Both will go to Syracuse at the expenses of the State to compete in the State spelling bee. Miss Redner as principal and Miss Cella as alternate.

LIVED WITH AUNT AS MAN AND WIFE – FORMER BLAUVELT MAN IS FINED AND SENTENCED TO JAIL – Justice Tompkins Suspends Sentence So Long as Man Provides for His Children
       Frederick H. Schock, who was arrested upon complaint of his aunt, with whom he had lived as her husband was sentenced by Justice Tomkins at Nyack, Saturday to pay a fine of $1,000 and to serve one year in the county jail. The jail sentence was suspended by the Justice, however, upon condition that Schock provide a suitable bond to secure the payment of $3.50 each week to his children who are now living at Blauvelt, until they become sixteen years of age. If Schock fails to provide the bond at once, ten months will be added to the jail sentence. Schock was found guilty of abandoning the children: a girl of four and a boy of three years. According to testimony established by District Attorney Lexow, Schock is the father of two children by his aunt. About six months ago Schock disappeared from his home in Blauvelt and married Helen Schock the daughter of an alderman of the city of Kingston. When Schock’s aunt heard of this marriage she notified District Attorney Lexow and the latter with the aid of Sheriff Merritt, brought Schock to Rockland County and charged him with abandoning his two children at Blauvelt. At the trial Schock claimed he had no children with his aunt but district Attorney Lexow proved that Schock evaded the draft by claiming he was a married man with two children to support. Mrs. Louis Schock and her two children were the parties referred to in Schock’s questionnaire. District Attorney Lexow stated that he would very likely communicate with the Federal authorities and inform them that Schock evaded the draft by making illegal assertions. It is probable that Schock will later be brought up on this charge and a heavy penalty imposed.

June 11, 1970 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       Five suspects in the $25,000 gunpoint holdup yesterday of the Piermont branch of the Tappan Zee National Bank were arrested by a combination of federal, state and local police.
       One man was released this morning, three were charged with bank robbery and together with a fourth man, conspiracy to rob a bank.
       The robbery occurred shortly before 3 o'clock. Earlier, at 1:30, the three men had entered the bank and asked for Garvalli. Told he was out to lunch, the men left immediately. One of the men was described as wearing green pants and a yellow shirt.
       When the trio returned, one man held a pistol to the head of manager, John Garvalli, while two women tellers were ordered to step back from the service counter. Two men cleaned out the cash drawers. The staff reacted calmly, and no shots were fired.
       The first three were picked up at 5:55 p.m. as they were driving south on the Palisades Interstate Parkway. They were pulled over by Parkway Patrolman Joseph Lynch because the trio looked suspicious to him. Lynch said he pulled them over for a routine check and in the process found the weapon used in the robbery.
       Those taken into custody were Theodore R. Bartley, 20, of 70 Brookside Ave., Nyack who has been released; Mitchell Harris, 20, of 234 South Broadway, South Nyack and Richard Lee Vaughn, 25, who gave his address as 35 Ryman Ave., Newark, N.J., but who also lives in Spring Valley. Bartley was released after questioning, apparently for lack of sufficient evidence against him in the robbery.
       The other two men are still being held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York City. At 12:30 a.m. today a fourth, suspect, Bruce Gilmore, 19, of Nyack, was arrested as he entered Don's Plaza Diner in Nanuet. He was apprehended by FBI agents and Spring Valley Police jointly.
       The final arrest was made at 2:30 a.m. today, when James H. Robinson, 18 of 22 First Ave., Spring Valley, a student at Ramapo Senior High School, was arrested by village police in downtown Spring Valley.
       According to police officials, about $15,000 of the $25,000 stolen has already been recovered, some from a house on Union Road, Spring Valley and more at a house on Prospect Hill, also in the village. Police charged Gilmore, Robinson and Harris with bank robbery and conspiracy to rob a bank. Vaughn is being charged with conspiracy to rob a bank.
       Bank officials noted that all of the money, whether recovered or not, is insured by the federal government, through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
       Earlier, Piermont police, Orangetown police and FBI agents later went house-to-house in the area to determine if the holdup men had been seen. They also combed adjoining streets on the chance that the getaway car, described as a compact, had been abandoned.
       The men apparently crossed Main Street after the robbery and then ran uphill on Ash Street, where the getaway car is believed to have been parked.
       Piermont Police Chief Leon Taveniere said that although Main Street was busy at the time and that people were outside in the yards of their homes near the bank, no one had noticed the men as they fled.
       One tip received by police indicated that earlier in the afternoon two of the men were seen getting out of a compact car as it pulled up near the bank. They had a paper bag with them as they emerged, and the driver took the car into the Continental Can Co. parking lot.
       Police said the informant who supplied this detail thought they were employees going to work at Continental Can and did not notice whether they had entered the bank.
       A search for fingerprints in the bank was made by John Slater of the county Bureau of Criminal Identification.

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.


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