NewsClips: Things Were Different Then.

From the Albany Evening Journal, Watervliet news section, Saturday, May 3, 1902:

A meeting will be held this evening by the old members of the Oswald Hose Company. The meeting will be held for the purpose of placing in the company’s quarters the head of “Nell,” who was the first horse ever owned by the company. “Nell” for over twenty years hauled apparatus to fires and became greatly attached to every member of the company, and it was with the greatest sorrow when she was obliged to quit the service.

The members fearing that she would be sold by the commissioner, raised a sufficient sum for her purchase, and placed her upon a farm in Colonie about three years ago. She then became sick, and it was thought best to end her suffering by chloroform, which was done.

The members decided to have the head mounted in a suitable manner, and the members will meet this evening, when the head will be dedicated, after which a spread will be enjoyed.

Some observations:

1. The Oswald Hose Company was, of course, in Watervliet. I was looking at volunteer fire companies in West Troy/Watervliet because my great-grandfather Joseph Haigney served in Watervliet’s Gleason Hook and Ladder company.

2. I’m continually struck by how 19th-century ancestors could be so much more sentimental and, at the same time, so much less squeamish than we are today.

3. First the head, then the spread. I prefer a simple tailgate, myself.

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