Wednesday, May 26, 2021


 Imagine this scene for just a small contingent of 36 soldiers who were the first to come home after the war in 1919 

The First 36 Soldiers to Return Were Greeted by Thousands!
  Buffalo gave a dramatic, joyful welcome to her first contingent of returned soldier heroes yesterday when thirty-six members of the 102nd Trench Mortar Battery, the old Troop I, came proudly home after several months in the war zone. They reached Buffalo on February 5, 1919, only a small band, but welcomed by thousands. From the time their train reached the station at 10:30 o'clock yesterday morning until the last dance had been finished at the Knights of Columbus service club last night, Buffalo poured forth its tribute to the lads who have brought glory and honor to the city. 
   The troops reached the city on a special train over the New York Central, and, when they detrained, a clamorous, insistent throng of relatives, friends and admirers rushed past the station guards, brushed a cordon of police aside and gave them a greeting that must have been in strange contrast to the scenes through which they passed during the great conflict. The men of the 102d battery fell into line for their march of triumph through long lines of eager, welcoming thousands who flanked Main Street for blocks with a solid mass of humanity.  With heads erect, eyes alight with vigor and health and their faces tanned to a ruddy glow the thirty-six men tramped through Main Street to the accompaniment of hand clapping, cheers and the shrieking of hundreds of whistles. Flags fluttered from every point of vantage and automobile sirens joined in the pandemonium of welcome. It was a scene that was strangely reminiscent of the peace day celebration, when cheering thousands poured through the downtown streets and cheered until they could no longer articulate.

  Members of the 92nd Division of African-American troops return home from WWI. Scene is on Exchange Street shortly after leaving the NYC Terminal. For a full detailed account of the organization & fighting campaigns of the famous Ninety-Second  as recorded by the division's official historian, Click Here. 

  Yesterday's march through Main Street brought out thousands who gave full vent to long pent emotions. Mingled with the cheers and the cheery, 'God bless you,' of the crowd which lined the sidewalks and overflowed onto the pavements could be heard, now and then, the stifled sob of a man or woman as the scene brought to their memory lost ones who will never return. Factory whistles began their shrieking salvos of welcome at 9:55 o'clock, the time the train bearing the men was scheduled to arrive in the city. For more than fifteen minutes they continued their lusty welcome for the heroes. 
  The soldiers were met at the station by a delegation composed of Colonel Newton E. Turgeon, chairman of the citizens' committee named by Mayor Buck in charge of the reception of homecoming troops, Councilmen Charles M. Heald, Arthur W. Kreinheder and Frederick G. Bagley, City Clerk Daniel J. Sweeney and Chairman Frank A. Darn of the Board of Supervisors. Their escort consisted of a detail of mounted police, a band, and a detachment of the 74th Regiment under command of Captain Ansley W. Sawyer. The line formed on Exchange Street and the route of march was Exchange Street to Main, to Tupper to Pearl. 

27th Division Returns to Buffalo - view at Main & Genesee Streets at 10:30 a.m., April 1, 1919, when the 108th Infantry and 106th Field Artillery (old 74th and 65th) came home from France. Wounded Men in autos.

Exchange Street was a seething mass of human beings, each apparently intent upon being first to greet the soldier lads. As the column reached Main and Exchange streets hundreds of belated welcomers rushed from the lower end of the main thoroughfare and literally surrounded the returned heroes. Their progress through Main Street was repeatedly interrupted by enthusiastic friends who disregarded the Police escort and rushed into the street to grasp their friends by the hand to extend their heartfelt greetings upon their safe arrival home. 

  A stirring scene was enacted at Pearl and Tupper streets, where relatives and friends of the men gathered in large numbers to greet them with all the cordiality and happiness they have been hoarding for weary months. The motor corps girls drew the curtain on this touching scene when they snatched up the men in waiting automobiles and whisked them away to the 74th Regiment Armory, where they received the official welcome of the city and what's just as important-their first feed in the home town in many months.

Memorial Day 2021 

With all the due respect we need to show our veterans as in the above story, this day is set aside for those who did not have the warm feeling of a walk down Main St. to cheering crowds, clapping hands and music.  Their welcome home was more somber and private, if they were able to return home at all.  There were no shaking of hands,  pats on the back or embracing hugs for these men and women.
(click on picture)
To them we must pay homage with pictures, memories, prayers and tears. It seems so little for those who gave so much but in this physical world, that is what we have to offer. Our  gratitude for your service and sacrifice for this country and free nations around the world is boundless.   You will always be missed, and you will always be remembered.  Thank You....and to the families of those who we are remembering today, may you find peace, along with the strength and support you need to carry you through life.  God Bless.  

Jerry M. Malloy

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Knight's of St. John Storm the City of Buffalo


10,000 Visitors From All Parts of the Country Expected Here This Week For Their Convention



The Knight's of St. John Arch at Main & Clinton Sts.  Buffalo, N.Y. 1906

JUNE 25, 1906
  Thousands of Knights of St. John from various sections of the United States are here. They came in a steady stream of glittering uniforms all yesterday, last night and this morning to Buffalo to attend the first biennial and 27th annual convention of this popular Catholic fraternal organization. Their convention opens at the Teck Theatre with a large attendance of delegates from many states of the union. Supreme Secretary M.J. Kane, estimated last night that fully 5,000 men, carefully drilled and uniformed, would pass under the handsome welcome arch at Main and Clinton streets in the parade, and as this army will be greatly swelled by the delegates and ladies, the number of strangers to arrive today will be close to 10,000.

 The Knight's Arch photo is from the collection of Joseph
Schneggenburger, Buffalo,(1872-1960),German sculptor & 
artistic plaster worker. He may have been the creator of the arch
  Buffalo was ready for the Knights. A large majority of the business places along Main St. and other business streets were early decorated handsomely with flags, bunting and Knights of St. John Insignia. Headquarters had been opened at the Lafayette Hotel and there the delegates and their ladies registered, received their handsome badges, and soon were ready for the day's events. The local Knights had the 74th Regiment Band on duty all yesterday and last night, and again this morning, meeting each incoming delegation that came in by train or boat and escorting them to their headquarters.
  The hotels have nearly all expressed an outward welcome in one form or another. A hotel on West Huron St. has all its balconies outlined in colored lights and draped with yellow and white bunting and the Lafayette Hotel is well adorned with red, white and blue bunting. The large department stores also have draped their fronts lavishly. The Hens & Kelly Company has elaborate decorations of yellow and white bunting, flags and shields and long strings of tiny flags stretched vertically down the rows of windows. The Hengerer building is very attractive with its spread of yellow and white and red, and its big white bow stuck with small flags, over the middle lower windows.  The majority of the buildings along the street have at least a flag in recognition of their guests. 

 The big public feature of the convention, the parade, is scheduled to take place this afternoon, starting at 3 o'clock. The parade will move through Genesee and Franklin streets to the Terrace, thence to Main, to Genesee, to Michigan, to Broadway, To Emslie, and then countermarching to Ellicott Square, where it will be dismissed.
   The big arch at Main St. and Court is, however, the most striking object on the line of march. The 5,000 colored electric lamps which outline the structure and the words upon it will be lighted for the first time tonight.  Beneath the bow of the arch, the word “Welcome” is spelled in electric lights and surmounting the whole is the large Maltese Cross of the order, in red, white and yellow and illuminated by a thousand lamps.

Who Are the Knights of St. John?

   Following the end of the Civil War, there existed a real need for physical and spiritual healing. The Knights of St. John was formed in 1873 in Buffalo, New York, USA with the formation of two Local Commanderies under the 2nd Regiment of Buffalo, New York. In 1879, these many organizations, including the Knights of St. George, the Knights of St. Paul, the Knights of St. Louis, and the Knights of St. John met to form a greater society of Knights. They met in Baltimore, Maryland and formed themselves into the Roman Catholic Union of the Knights of St. John, later shortened to the Knights of St. John. 

  The Order was officially incorporated in the State of New York on May 6, 1886 and took as its mission: “a filial devotion and respect for the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, a sense of honor, love of truth, courage, respect for womanhood and a indiscriminating charity motivated by love of GOD.” They sought to care for spiritual, social and physical needs of their members and neighbors. In the pattern of the Knights of the Crusade, they cared for the victims of the war by forming a Widows and Orphan Fund.  In 1992, the name of the Order was officially changed to the Knights of St. John International to reflect the global structure of the Order.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Making Faster Fruit

 Fruit by Trolley

Suburban Trolley Service from Nearby Farms 

has been put in Operation.

Peaches From Olcott

First Car brought 350 baskets 38 miles in two hours.

Revolution in Fruit and Garden Truck business.

September 5, 1901

   Three hundred and fifty baskets of freshly picked peaches were brought by trolley from Olcott Beach to Buffalo Wednesday night. The car reached Buffalo at 1 o’clock in the morning, and shortly afterwards the fruit was unloaded at the Elk Street Market.  This marks an important epoch in the history of the fruit and garden truck business of Buffalo. The trolley car systems are certainly destined to revolutionize the hauling of the products of nearby farms into the city.  To the officials of the Buffalo Railway Company is due the credit for successfully working out this plan, which affects every householder in Buffalo, or will in the near future, as soon as the scope of the work is extended.

Street railway car designed specifically for the transport of fruit and
fresh market produce. Sign on car: Lockport & Olcott RY

   In the near future there will be an end to hauling of big farm wagons through Delaware Ave., Main Street, Niagara Street, Seneca Street and other main thoroughfares all night long.  The transporting of fruit and garden truck to Buffalo from farms in Erie and contiguous counties has been a serious problem for some time past. Transportation by local trains has been a most unsatisfactory method even where the rates charged have not been prohibitory. The result has been that nearly all fruit and garden truck had to be brought into the city in wagons. It has always been necessary to start these wagons early in the afternoon or evening, depending upon the distance required to be traveled.  During the many hours which the fruit was on the road it necessarily accumulated dirt and dust. the result of this has been that Buffalo housekeepers have not had as fresh and sightly looking fruit and garden truck as they should have.  

    On the other hand the passing of the wagons along the streets at night has long been a nuisance.  Take, for instance, Delaware Ave.  The street is cleaned up early in the evening for the next day, but all night farm wagons pass over the street so that by daylight the next morning the street is littered up.  Officials of the Buffalo Railway Co. took all these things into consideration, and determined to put an end to the trouble by establishing a nightly suburban trolley service for the handling of the products of farms within 40 or 50 miles of Buffalo. Nothing was said about the scheme, and consequently nothing was known of it except by those directly interested in the operation thereof. 

    At 11 o’clock Wednesday night a special trolley car was loaded at Olcott Beach with 350 baskets of peaches. The car was built especially for this purpose in the shops of the Buffalo Railway Company. It is equipped with a motor and closely resembles a closed trolley car.  It has a capacity of 600 baskets of peaches, and is closed so that all the contents are perfectly protected from the dust of the journey.  The run of about 38 miles to Buffalo was made in two hours over the tracks of the Lockport & Olcott, the Buffalo & Lockport and the Buffalo Railway lines. The entrance into Buffalo was via Main Street, whence the car was taken to Perry Street and over to the commission house of Charles Richardson at 58 and 60 West Market Street. This morning the commission men on the market were extremely jubilant over the successful inauguration  of the suburban trolley car delivery of farm products, and asserted that it would prove of the inestimable benefit not only to themselves but to every householder in the city.

   Inquiry at the offices of the Buffalo Railway Company this morning elicited the fact that the system has been permanently adopted. It was stated the another car would be put in service tomorrow; that a number of similar cars are now in the process of construction at the company’s shops, and that by next week several of these cars will be in successful operation.

Elk Street Market, Buffalo N.Y.

       Officials of the Buffalo Railway Co. promise that they can give a rate for transportation which will enable the farmers and fruit producers throughout Western New York to bring their products to Buffalo in a much better, quicker and more economical manner.  Instead of 12, 15 and 20 hours being consumed in the journey, all the products from the farms can be gathered late in the day, loaded after dark, and reach Buffalo Markets between 1 and 3 in the morning, fresh for the consumers.  Furthermore, this system will be in strange contrast to the transportation of produce by railroad from points not easily reached by wagon. All who have had anything to do with the handling of fruit and garden truck sent by train know the extremely stale and bad condition of most of it by the time it has been handled and re-handled before it reaches its destination.   
   As the Buffalo Railway Co., or the main organization, International Traction Company, controls all the suburban lines  in and  around Buffalo, the company is prepared to offer great inducements for the transporting to Buffalo of all products of farms many miles from Buffalo in almost any direction.  The officials promise shortly, the cars now being constructed will be completed and will at once be put into daily service.