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Paul Smith celebrates birthday

June 23, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY (hjriley@adelphia.net) , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Thanks to E. L. Gray, we have a chance to peek in at the 85th birthday celebration of Paul Smith. Mr. Gray's scrapbook is resting comfortably in the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library. The following stories were carried in the Enterprise.

September 1910 - "Paul Smith celebrated his 85th birthday anniversary on Saturday. He visited Saranac Lake and attended the convention held at the Opera House in the interest of good roads. He returned in time for supper in the big dining room of his hotel which is known the world over.

"During his meal he read many interesting telegrams and letters from distant friends and, Uncle Paul, as he is affectionately known, received many handsome and valuable presents. Many of the gifts were of silver and cut glass; there were a series of pretty paintings in oil of the Sanatorium Gabriels, the land for the site of which was donated by Paul Smith and Seward Webb. The paintings were the gift of Sister Mary P. H. Kieran, who had been the leading spirit in the development of the institution.

Article Photos

The handsome couple in the photo which was found in the house at 17 Balsam St. (then No. 22 Balsam St.) was probably taken sometime in the 1920s. The house was once owned by a doctor. Let us know if you can identify them.
(Photo provided by Robert W. Martin, current owner)

"Of all the presents, however, Uncle Paul talked about the most of an elaborate red neck tie, the donor of which had played a neat trick on him. The tie was crocheted by a lady guest in the hotel and when Paul noticed her working on it he remarked, 'That is very pretty, now you want to take it back to the city and give it to the best man you know."

"When he opened his gifts at the party he found the handsome necktie among his presents with a note 'to the best man I know' and the ladies initials.

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He did not care for church

"Uncle Paul always had some business on Sunday morning that kept him away from church. But finally they got a conditional promise from him that he would attend church Sunday if Mrs. Smith would go. Paul felt certain that Mrs. Smith would be too busy to go and that he was perfectly safe in making the promise.

"It turned out that Mrs. Smith did go and Paul did not back out but he then told of one of his church experiences: 'I got all mixed up in church. I got up when I should have been sitting down and then sat down at the wrong time. Bye and bye I saw Dr. Trudeau [don't you just love it] coming down the aisle with a platter [not a basket or a plate] full of five and ten dollar bills. I felt around in my pockets and could not find anything better than a torn one dollar bill. I put it on the platter and Trudeau leaned over and whispered to me: 'Paul that will return to you ten fold."

"Paul entered a poker game a short time later and won 13 dollars. He looked up Dr. Trudeau and told him he remembered what he said to him in church about the ten to one business and told Dr. Trudeau he had the 'wrong proportion' because he just won 13 dollars in a poker game."

[Paul Smith died two years later in 1912 at age 87 in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.]

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Wesley Mood a hero

The Enterprise -?915

"Presented to Wesley Moody by the Adirondack Enterprise for saving the life of Arthur Duquette, Feb. 24, 1915.

"This is the inscription upon the case of a watch which the Adirondack Enterprise has given to Wesley Moody in recognition of his brave act of saving the Duquette lad from drowning in Lake Flower.

"The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission declined to recognize the heroism of Wesley Moody on the assertion that the Commission does not recognize the acts of children who have not reached the age of discretion. Wesley is only seven years of age.

"The Adirondack Enterprise, however, holds that the lad has discretion, else he would not have saved the life of Arthur Duquette, and therefore we let the Moody lad pick out his own medal, which he did."

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Smiths are still ahead

New York City Directory - 1910 - "The new City Directory, published by the Trow Publishing Company, is out, larger than ever. The peculiar names it contains include Drinkers, Booze, Boozers, Drinkwine, Pickle, Drinkwater, Beers, Schnapps and Seltzers. Animal life is represented by Bears, Beavers, Mules, Hoggs, Goats, Piggs, and Wolfs. Some birds are Cranes, Ravens, Robins, Hawkes and Pidgeons. There are two Laffs and Tear.

"There are more Smiths, of course, than any other, 3,318 in all. Brown runs second with 1,600 and Jones, 850."

 
 

 

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