#12 --The Livery Stable Fire, the Stagecoach, and Post Office
The Livery Stable
One Saturday night there was a fire in a livery stable belonging to Jim Sondles, located on the corner of Minden Court and Bridge Street, just south of the present Oxford Township Building. Most of the horses were saved, although there were six which would have to be shot, as they were burned so badly.
As soon as Sunday School was dismissed the following morning, I hurried down to see what was left of the barn. The six horses which were burned so badly were hardly able to walk. Everyone was wondering who would shoot the poor beasts and put them out of their misery. No one volunteered to do the shooting, until Hans Crater said that he would, so he hurried home and got his squirrel rifle and announced that he was ready. This was a gruesome procession and I'll never forget it to my dying day. There was Hans, dressed fit to kill with his plug hat, a white vest that was a trifle stained by tobacco juice, a cut-away coat, string tie, etc., walking ahead with his rifle over his shoulder; behind him strung out the poor horses hardly able to walk.
Finally, the burial spot was reached, and the horses put out of their misery.
The Stagecoach and Post Office
In the early days of Newcomerstown, the post office was located on Goodrich Street, somewhere between Canal and Church Streets ... I have never found the exact location.
When the stagecoach would arrive in town carrying the mail, the driver would give several lusty toots on his horn, signaling his arrival.
The postmaster would meet the coach at the curb, and the small package of letters and papers would be handed him. Quite often the postmaster would dispense with the formality of taking the mail into the office and would open the pouch to hand out the various pieces of mail to the persons gathered there, without bothering to stamp the pieces as being received at Newcomerstown.
This is a far cry from the way the mail is now handled.
Next week's story: The Railroad, the Canal, and a Joke. Stories are reprinted from a series is stories by former NCTnews contributor, D.B. Moore. The historic tales are from Moore's book, My Hometown, Gekelemukpechunk. The book is a collection of true stories that Moore recalled from growing up in Newcomerstown.