Amazing Stories of Middle Village & Maspeth -
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the September 2012 Juniper Berry Magazine

Amazing Stories of Middle Village & Maspeth

Another Milkman Loses His License

Dr. Harris Says he has learned Dilution of Good Milk With Skimmed is Widespread

Big Profits In Illegality

Commissioner's Aids Are Getting Evidence for Prosecutions in Several Boroughs

NY Times March 30, 1926

Dr. Louis I. Harris, Health Commissioner, after an investigation in his office yesterday afternoon, announced the revocation of the license of the Daisy Food Company, Inc., of 325 East 152d Street, the Bronx. This was another step in what the Commissioner terms clearing up the milk situation here, which began with the arrest on Friday of Harry Danziger of Middle Village, L.I., for the alleged extortion of $2,000 from a Bronx milk dealer.

On Saturday the Commissioner revoked the license to sell and distribute milk of the Grade A Milk Company of Middle Village, which was said to be conducted by Lena Bernstein, a sister of Danziger. Dr. Harris said yesterday that his investigation had disclosed that the business of the Grade A Company had been taken over by the Daisy Company and that the latter had been distributing its milk.

According to Dr. Harris, he questioned Morris Meth, President and Treasurer of the Daisy Company, whose wife is its Secretary. The Commissioner said that Meth told him that the Daisy Company took over the business of the Grade A Company without action being taken by its Board of Directors or a price stipulated. Meth, the Commissioner said, told him that he had taken over the business after a conversation over the telephone with Aaron Danziger, a brother of Harry. The goodwill of the Grade A Company is said to be worth $20,000, without taking into consideration the concern's physical equipment.

Evidence has come to this department that indicates a widespread use of skimmed milk with which to dilute whole or standard milk, said Commissioner Harris. Those who are getting milk so thinned are not getting the required fats, and this has a direct bearing upon the health of children and those sick. While milk sells for about $3.10 a can, skimmed milk can be purchased wholesale for 45 cents a can. When the practice of mixing half a can of 45-cent milk with half a can of $3.10 is considered, it does not take a mathematician to see that there is considerable profit in this illegal business. It is, unfortunately, impossible to ascertain what effect these irregularities may have had on the thousands of children in New York and to what extent the careless handling of milk of this sort may have caused a deterioration and bacterial impurity.

Commissioner Harris said that when certain evidence had been compiled it would be laid before the District Attorneys of the boroughs concerned.

Elmhurst Cries For a Dog Crusade

Many Homeless Mongrels Out there and a Dog with Rabies has Bitten Ten Others

Five Persons Bitten Also

Four Children Taking Pasteur Treatment, but Man Refuses it ‒ Dogs Under Observation

NY Times April 2, 1910

If the fear of hydrophobia, which is now causing many mothers in Elmhurst to keep their children at home from school spreads to other suburban sections, it is likely that the Health Board will begin another campaign this Summer against the stray mongrels in the outer circles of the city.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals keeps six wagons and a force of men picking up undesired and stray animals all the year around. It has three wagons, one of them a motor vehicle, operating in Manhattan and the Bronx, and three more operating in Brooklyn and Queens. The motor vehicles run around the outskirts of the city, picking up what they can.

The society does not operate any wagons in Richmond, and most its work is in picking up animals whose owners notify them that they want to get rid of them. It hasn't enough men to hunt the stray dogs, which wander, sometimes in packs, in some of the outer suburbs, particularly in Queens. Its wagons bring in from thirty to forty dogs a day. It finds homes for all it can, killing the rest; most of them are killed.

Last July the Health Board sent out its own men to destroy these dogs and between July and November they killed in Manhattan 217 dogs, in Brooklyn 170, in Queens 256, in the Bronx 110, and in Richmond 250. In September the board ordered that all dogs should not only be licensed, but muzzled or leashed when they are taken into the streets by their owners.

That order expired in December, but Health Commissioner Lederle said yesterday that if public necessity seemed to demand it he would issue a similar order this year. Out at Elmhurst, where the present campaign is now on, it is said that in the Italian settlement our dogs are almost as numerous as people.

Last Saturday trouble began in Elmhurst which has resulted in a number of citizens sending a petition to Mayor Gaynor to try to do some think to rid that place and Corona of undesirable dogs.

A fox terrier belonging to John Burke of Court Street, Elmhurst developed a genuine case of rabies and began running through the streets, biting at other dogs and every person he came near. Running into a group of boys playing in a vacant lot, he bit twelve-year-old Adrian Snow, son of A.M. Snow of Court Street, four times on the legs.

Snow's companions, deserting him, fled in all directions. Continuing on his way, the terrier bit six-year-old Frank Coombs, son of Frederick Coombs of Hanover Street; five-year-old George Wessel, son of George Wessel of Hanover Street; fourteen-year-old Gustave Flint of Evergreen Avenue and Charles Crane, 39 years old, a painter, living in Evergreen Avenue. He bit ten other dogs before he crept into the cellar of the Burke home.

That night Mr. Burke killed him and sent his head to the Board of Health. According to a report made to Commissioner Lederle the terrier had rabies. One of the ten dogs he bit has been shot, the same report says, two have been sent to the Kingston Avenue Hospital for observation. The petitioners to the Mayor say, however, that the owners of some of the dogs that were bitten have kept them in hiding these owners refusing to kill them or let anyone else do so.

The dog bit one man and four children, the report continues. The children are all taking the department's Pasteur treatment. The man refused to take it.

It was said at the Pasteur Institute in West Twenty-third Street that Mr. Crane had not applied for treatment there. Therefore his neighbors are keeping a close watch on him. He was bitten on the hand.

According to the Health Board officers, the Elmhurst patients, with the exception of Crane are doing well. Nevertheless some hundred citizens of Elmhurst and Corona have petitioned the Mayor to adopt drastic measures to clean out the worthless dogs from both Elmhurst and Corona. It is said that sections along Cook Avenue, Grove Street and Hanover, Union and Jackson Avenues are infested with homeless mongrels.

Fire-Damaged School Abandoned in Queens

200 Middle Village Pupils Go to Units by Bus

NY Times 1/6/41

Two hundred school children of Middle Village, Queens will be sent by bus to schools in other parts of the borough beginning today as a result of serious damage by fire to the one-story wooden Public School 128, at 65-02 Seventieth Street, Middle Village.

The building, which has been in use for ten years, was damaged by fire two weeks ago. During the Christmas and New Year holidays efforts were made to repair the building, but it was learned that the foundation had been badly damaged and that it would not be worth the expense to attempt to repair the old building.

While the children are being transferred to other schools today, Mrs. Johanna M. Lindlof, member of the Board of Education from Queens, will hold a conference at the school to discuss plans for schools in the area. The old school building has been the subject of many protests from residents of Middle Village, which is one of the growing areas of Queens.

Brakeman Killed Here

Train Jumps Rails, Crushes him Against Tool Shed

NY Times February 19, 1958

A 33-year-old freight brakeman was killed yesterday when a boxcar on which he was riding jumped the track and crushed him against a brick tool shed.

Frank D. Peters of 99 Eagle Street, Brooklyn, was the victim. He was holding onto a side ladder on the second car of a two-car train when it entered a narrow, sharply curving pass between two rows of buildings at the Long Island Rail Road's Atlas Terminal. The terminal is at Cooper Avenue and Dry Harbor Road in Glendale, Queens. As the car swerved into the pass it left the rails and hit the shed.

The railroad had no official explanation of the accident. Mr. Peters had been with the road since 1942.

Lost When Canoe Overturns

BRANCHVILLE, N.J., July 24 ‒ Frederick Hug, 23 years old, of 81 Dry Harbor Road, Glendale, Queens, was drowned late today when a canoe in which he and a friend were riding on Lake Owassa, five miles from here, overturned, throwing them into twenty-five feet of water.

Hug and William Sanders of 71-18 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale, had gone to the lake to spend the weekend with friends. After Dinner they went out in the canoe. Hug, who could not swim, is said to have stood up in the draft causing it to tilt over. He was drowned despite Sanders' efforts to save him. His body was recovered.

A Country Political Ring

An Imitator of New York's Methods at Newtown, Long Island ‒ The Last Election Partially restores The Rule of the Citizens

NY Times April 9, 1895

So much attention has been given to the great political frauds of this City that the existence of a Democratic Ring of an equally rapacious character, but with less opportunity for plunder, in the Township of Newtown, Long Island, has been overlooked. The respectable citizens of the township, both Democratic and Republican, united in a Reform Party, have steadily battled against the Ring, and with some effect.

One of the most prominent Ring men, Thomas H. Murphy, is now confined in jail on a charge of fraud. This man was the Ring Justice of the Peace. His bills were repeatedly appealed from the honest citizens as being fraudulent, and cut down to one-sixth of their original amount. He was openly charged with retaining and appropriating to his own use the fines he had imposed on persons brought before him.

Mr. Murphy's present difficulty is that a poor blacksmith named Casey gave him $400 to pay off a mortgage existing on a little property owned by the unfortunate man. Mr. Murphy, instead of paying off the mortgage, put the money in his own pocket. When Casey discovered the heartless fraud practiced on him he procured the services of Mr. G.J. Garrison, The School Commissioner, who, two weeks ago, procured a warrant, and had Justice of the Peace Murphy arrested and lodged in jail, where he still remains.

The elections are carried on according to the usual Democratic principles. Until the last election and roughs attached to the Ring have driven the respectable voters from the polling places, and have had things their own way. At the last election, however, a detachment of Police was sent from Long Island City, which preserved comparative order and peace; and as a consequence the Reform Party carried several important offices, electing Mr. Joseph J. Tompkins Commissioner of Highways, a saving to the taxpayers of at least $10,000 a year; Mr. William H. Gordon, Town Clerk, and Mr. William O'Gorman, Overseer of the Poor. One of the best citizens of the town, Mr. Benjamin W. Strong, was nominated on the Reform ticket for supervisor, but was defeated by Robert Burroughs, a Ring man, who was re-elected to the office. Since Burroughs has been in office he has not published any official account of the receipts of his office or of the business transacted. Legal measurers will soon be adopted to compel him to nourish such accounts and submit his books for inspection.

Acreage Tracts Sold in Queens

Building Syndicate Assembles

1,100 Lots Adjoining New Juniper Park

Flushing Farm in Deal

Old Family Holdings in Rego Park

Area Bought for Residential Improvement

NY Times April 11, 1937

Developing and investing syndicates played an important part in to the realty activity of Queens County and adjacent Long Island areas last week. Several hundred acres passed into the hands of large building interests and in practically every case plans are under way for immediate improvement of the properties with medium priced homes.

One of the largest of these transactions involved the purchase of 450 lots at Eliot Avenue and Seventy-seventh Street by the Queenshaven Realty Corporation from the Juniper Holding Company, which assembled the tract about twelve years ago. The property includes the former Keller, Keppelmann, Trippe, Brunjes, Capone and Howard Farms and portions of the Leverich and Mensing farms. The recent purchase gives the Queenshaven Corporation control of more than 1,100 building plots within half a mile of the new Woodhaven Boulevard station of the Eighth Avenue Municipal subway. A section of the tract formed part of the old South Elmhurst subdivision.

The property is bounded on the south by the new Juniper Park, now being improved with playgrounds, athletic fields and a swimming pool. Work has been started by the developers in the grading of new streets and the installation of sewers and an extensive building campaign is planned at an early date. The brokers in the sale included Brunswick, Praver & Nassof, Rex Lee Paris and James T. Scott. The consideration is said to have about $750,000.

Buy Old Farm Holdings

In the immediate vicinity within the Rego Park section, the former Catherine Burkhardt farm fronting on Dry Harbor Road about 150 yards from Woodhaven Boulevard was purchased by Fair Estates, Inc. It was bought from Frederick and Caroline Burkhardt and Elizabeth and Anna Schmidt, heirs of the old farm holdings through Rex Paris as broker. The property was originally owned by the Kochersberger family and was acquired by the Burkhardts from seventy-five years ago. On the farm is a old barn erected 125 years ago.

Payroll Robbers Kill Ex-New York Detective

NY Times May 13, 1978

A retired police detective was killed by gunmen yesterday as he tried to protect

a $12,700 payroll outside the offices of Silver Crest Farms, a dairy-produce concern in Elmhurst, Queens for which he worked two days a week.

The police said the victim, 59-year-old Frederick George Getty, was shot at 8lst Street and Caldwell Avenue at 4:05pm. Four men fled in a white Pontiac that later was found abandoned near 79th Street and Eliot Avenue.

Mr. Getty, a bachelor, lived with is ailing 90-year-old mother at 44-01 34th Avenue in Astoria, Queens. He retired from the Police Department in 1966, according to his brother William, and had worked only for a year or two at Silver Crest on Thursdays and Fridays.

Found Dead, Shot Through the Head

NY Times August 18, 1900

The police of Queens Borough yesterday found the body of an unidentified man in Brower's Woods, on Dry Harbor Road, Myrtle Avenue, Glendale. The dead man had a bullet wound in his head, and in his pocket a card with the address S. Schwartz & Bro., 205 Fulton Street, Manhattan. At the address given nothing was known of such a firm as Schwartz & Brother.