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Welcome to our news and history blog!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Name 'New Lebanon' (Letter to the Editor,1899)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. December 16, 1899. Page 1.

Mr. Milo Mead Tells about a Deed and Refutes Some Misstatements. 

Editor of the Greenwich Graphic:

DEAR SIR – The Greenwich News of the 8th of December says: "The western part of the town known to the United States Government as Hawthorne:" How is it that the Government knows it by that name? Probably by the influence of one dollar bills paid to some of the officers of the Government to have that name adopted. Probably not a baker's dozen of the inhabitants of this village were in favor of that name. The government knows very little of this a village only by reputation, certainly it is not by the general business that is done under that name. There is not a store or blacksmith’s shop, or shoe maker’s shop, or market, excepting one and that is unoccupied in the village that does business under the sign Hawthorne.

The News says: "That the name excites his wrath (meaning myself) as much as a red rag does a bull.” If a bull could laugh and talk he might refer with a grin about the going for a red rag seven years after date, eastern time. “I am not in it” claims this singular paper.

In the News of November 24th among the real estate transfers was this item. “Milo Mead to William Boal, lot on southerly side of Delavan Avenue,” this with the exception of the word Hawthorne the News says was copied from the warrantee (he made a mistake in spelling) it should have been warranty deed. The News says that I kept the deed, and that deed was drawn March 8th 1892 and recorded November 11th, 1899, and the paper says it does not know what my idea was in holding this deed back so long before having it recorded. Here the News evidently grins and thinks that it has scored a point against me. I did not hold the deed back, it was handed to the buyer of the ground within ten minutes after the money was paid. Perhaps it would be pertinent, to suggest to the editor of that Greenwich paper, the propriety of changing the name from the Greenwich News to the Greenwich History, news is what has lately happened, history is an account of what happened years ago. 

Near the beginning of the article he says I have an exclusive name for the for the place, and that I dislike both other names. That does not follow of course. A man may like three persons, but he may like one of them better than the other two. The sovereigns of Europe have names enough to nearly reach across this page.

“The Fire Company there” (the article further says) “refused to apply that name (New Lebanon it means) to the organization even though a bribe was offered them in the shape of a building lot.” That is not exactly correct. Seventy-five dollars was offered to the company by three persons, which the “Greenwich History” would call a bribe. The company was organized and incorporated under the name of the “New Lebanon Fire Company,” but afterwards the name was changed to “Protection Fire Company.” The Editor of the “History” seems not to know in his writing and his talk the difference between a bribe and a prize. This is what the > Webster’s Dictionary says about a bribe, (part of the definition) “a price or reward with a view to pervert the judgment or corrupt the conduct of a judge, witness of other person or persons to some act contrary to what he knows to be the truth, justice or rectitude.” The editor of the “History” probably knows what the word bribe means, it is probably used by him for effect, not because there is an propriety in its use in respect to Belle Haven Avenue and the New Lebanon Fire Company. 


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