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About 1:30 a.m. on Monday, July 14, 1919, the Solvay (NY) police department received a phone call from a railroad worker who had discovered a body on his way to work.

The railroad man worked out of the nearby Belle Isle yards, just beyond the village line, but the Solvay police routinely covered the area. The body he discovered was lying under a tree on Beagle Road near the northwest edge of the State Fairgrounds. The man who made the discovery walked east, past the fairgrounds, to Halcomb Steel, on Bridge Street, to make the phone call.

The area is where the Town of Camillus meets the Town of Geddes, a kind of no man's land as far as jurisdiction is concerned. Solvay is a village in the Town of Geddes, and it was in villages that you'd find police and fire departments. There is a village of Camillus, but at the time it was much smaller than Solvay, and further from the crime scene.

For many years, before the creation of the West Genesee school district, teenagers in the eastern part of the Town of Camillus, in a section called Fairmount, attended Solvay High School. The State Fairgrounds, barely inside the Town of Geddes, are also on the edge of an area known as Lakeland, whose students, I believe, still attend Solvay High. This is merely to establish context. In any event, where murder was concerned, this would be the business of an authority higher than the Solvay police.

But that afternoon, the Syracuse Herald reported that Solvay patrolmen Sullivan and Humphrey were the first lawmen on the scene of what would become a fascinating, but futile murder investigation fully exploited by Syracuse newspapers.

The case produced a lot of confusion and contradictory reporting, which wasn't unusual in an era of highly competitive journalism. In addition to the Herald, Syracuse area residents were served by a morning newspaper, the Post-Standard, and another afternoon newspaper, the Journal. (Pages from a fourth newspaper, the Evening Telegram, owned by William Randolph Hearst, were not available for 1919 and 1920, neither was the Hearst Sunday newspaper, the Syracuse American.)

What followed was a mad rush to solve the shocking murder of a hard-working railroad freight conductor from Oswego, a married man with two grown children, a man who had spent that Sunday afternoon with his wife at the Long Branch resort along the northern shore of Onondaga Lake. That's right. There were resorts and amusement parks located along what was well on its way to becoming one of the world's most polluted bodies of water.

FOR AWHILE, each of the three newspapers I read had a different version of the crime — the Herald saying robbery was the motive, the Post-Standard implying that revenge was involved, and the Journal quickly discovering what would become the accepted theory: Frank Clark was killed because his wife was obsessed with another man.

As for the confusion, it began with the Herald's mention of patrolmen Sullivan and Humphrey. Almost certainly, only one Solvay policeman was sent to Beagle Road in Lakeland, where the body was discovered. That policeman would have been Humphrey J. Sullivan.

While Sullivan was driving to the murder scene, a dispatcher notified the Onondaga County Sheriff Edward G. Ten Eyck and coroner E. Ellis Crane, who took over the case.

Beagle Road, which no longer exists, connected what would become State Fair Boulevard with the railroad yards in Belle Isle. Apparently, Beagle Road ran along the edge of the State Fairgrounds, not far from the stables used for horses that raced on the mile-long track that also featured a 100-mile automobile race during the state fair every September.

The story broke too late to make the morning Post-Standard on July 14, but the afternoon newspapers, the Herald and the Journal (which would merge in the late 1930s), were all over the case, but with decidedly different takes. The Herald headline is printed in ALL CAPS, just as it was that day, though the newspaper ran it in much larger type at the top and across the full width of the page. The story, obviously, ran much longer than the four paragraphs printed below.

Syracuse Herald, Monday, July 14, 1919
Railroad man is stabbed
to death near Belle Isle

Frank Willis Clark, 46, a Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg railroad freight conductor, was beaten and stabbed to death about midnight, presumably by one or more highwaymen, on a path through the new extension of the State Fairgrounds near the Belle Isle yards. Robbery is believed to have been the motive.

The slayer or slayers escaped.

The body, with a deep cut in the forehead and about 20 stab wounds in the neck and body, was found lying across the path. The discovery was made by Daniel Doyle, another railroad man about 1 o’clock this morning. Clark’s body lay face down in the shadow of a large tree.

Within a few feet lay a heavy club with which Clark evidently had been beaten into insensibility. Doyle hurried to the Halcomb Steel plant and notified the Solvay police.

Meanwhile, a Journal reporter had come up with new and different information. Again, what follows are only the first four paragraphs of a long story that was mostly speculation.

Syracuse Journal, July 14, 1919
Eternal Triangle Motive
in Belle Isle Murder

That Frank Willis Clark, who was murdered near Belle Isle Sunday night, was the victim of the second man in an “Eternal Triangle” was the belief of officials who day who are investigating the death of the Oswego railroad worker. The robbery motive has been discarded.
Identity of two men and one woman who form the points of the triangle is sought by sheriff’s offices attaches.

Syracuse and Oswego were scoured in investigations to uncover the past life of the murdered man, a woman, and a second man who is believed to have had a motive in the killing of the New York Central conductor.

Sought for his possible knowledge of the events of Sunday night in the lonely stretch of woods on Beagle Road is one George Thompson, war veteran and former cook at the W. D. Haskins railroad restaurant at Belle Isle.

It is claimed Thompson knew the murder victim well.

Police had good reason to suspect an "eternal triangle" was involved. It eventually turned out Mr. and Mrs. Clark were cheating on each other. She, in fact, had been carrying on an affair with the same man for four years. But whether these affairs led to the murder was never proven.

As for George Thompson, the war veteran and restaurant worker, well, he was involved in the case, all right, but most likely wasn't the killer. More on him much later.

The next morning the Post-Standard offered their theory of the crime:

No doubt this was interesting, but apparently there was not a word of truth to the story that echoed the headlines above. Florence Clark claimed she was engaged to a fellow named Jack Ross, and in that afternoon's Journal, she said she had been at home in Oswego on Sunday, and that Ross picked up her mother that night when she returned to Oswego by train after spending the day with her husband at the Long Branch resort. Florence Clark said her father had no objection to her relationship with Reed, that she and the young man planned to marry in two months.

There WAS an Italian involved in this case. His name was Guiseppe Vincenzo Dimento, and he was involved not with Florence Clark, but with her mother. How involved? Deeply. At least, as far as Mrs. Clark was concerned.

Dimento, however, said he viewed himself as a paid escort. As he told the Oswego County District Attorney Francis Culkin, “I met her by appointment every Friday and received my allowance on Saturday. That is all there was to it."

Meanwhile, Fannie Coe Clark was hopelessly smitten with Dimento. One of the things she appreciated about him was that he called her "Frances," and not "Fan" or "Fannie," as she had been known all her life. (Census records until 1920 refer to her as Fannie or Fanny; after 1920 she is listed as Frances.)

As far as the Syracuse press was concerned, it was open season on Guiseppe "Joe" Dimento and Fannie ("Please call me Frances") Coe Clark. The murder victim was portrayed as an easy-going, devoted husband and a hard-working freight train conductor, who had no enemies.

Clark spent most of his days and nights on the road, which gave his wife plenty of opportunity for an affair, though her relationship with Dimento was rather one-sided. Years later newspapers would have referred to her as Joe Dimento's Girl Friday, because that is the only night she would see him. They often saw each other on Saturdays, but only long enough for her to hand him his "allowance," though occasionally he was unavailable and she had to give it to his sister or sister-in-law. There was one Saturday she was unable to pay him for his services; six days later he sent his sister, Lena, to the Clark residence to collect his "allowance" and tell Mrs. Clark that Joe would not be see her that evening unless she paid.

What Frances Clark gave Dimento varied from week to week, depending on what she could afford. Sometimes the "allowance" was $2, sometimes $5, sometimes $10. Occasionally she gave him more, especially for clothes. During the brief period police considered Dimento a suspect, they searched his home and discovered he had an incredible wardrobe for a man who had no job.

The Ogdensburg News, July 17, 1919
From the Clark home, police officers went to Dimento’s rooms at 6 West Ninth Street. He was at home and was dressed with utmost care. After he had been taken to jail, the Onondaga County men and two Oswego police offers searched his rooms. It was decorated and ornamented like that of a woman. Everything was fancy — sofa, pillows, pieces of elaborate embroidery and lace — the work, the officers later learned, of the Italian in his leisure hours.

The drawers of his dressing bureau were filled with underwear of the finest materials, including silk shirts and pajamas. In his clothes press hung half a dozen or more suits of the latest cut and expensive material. The dressing table had elaborate toilet articles. On a stand was a bill from a druggist for toilet water, cold cream and other articles.

In a drawer of the bureau was a bundle of letters and photographs. One of the photographs was that of Mrs. Clark. The letters, of which there were dozens, were written in English and breathed adoration for the Italian. He is unable to read or write and every letter had to be translated.

Incidentally, that business about needing a translation for his mail apparently was a lie. In any event ...

Reading newspaper clippings today, one suspects Frances Clark wasn't the only woman Dimento was stringing along, but no other relationships were mentioned.

The dapper immigrant lived in what was considered Oswego's Italian colony. He had three brothers and a sister in this country, all living in Oswego, and all younger than he. His sister, Lena, and her husband, Joseph Finocchio, had a restaurant, referred to by newspapers as "a spaghetti place." Journalists at the time were rather insensitive folks who enjoyed an era of political incorrectness. Finocchio's Restaurant was a favorite meeting place for Dimento and Mrs. Clark.

As for insensitivity, police were no better, as evidenced by investigators' openly expressed opinion that the murder — which began with a blow to Frank Clark's head with a long club, and was followed by nineteen deep cuts with a knife —bore the earmarks of having been committed by an Italian. State troopers jumped to that conclusion, which later was echoed by other police and the prosecutor.

Five days after the murder, police had in their possession something that had been found by a farm worker north of Belle Isle on what was called the Syracuse-Oswego Highway. They concluded it belonged to the person who had stabbed Frank Clark, and that the killer was headed for Oswego, where, police reasoned, the murder had been planned

Unfortunately, this was many, many years before DNA testing. The shirt bore a label from Saks-Washington, and the Saks people told police this particular shirt — purple with a pattern created from light brown thread — was sold only in the nation's capital, but investigators found a Syracuse store that carried it. In any event, nothing came from what today would be a significant piece of evidence.

However, the unusual colors of the shirt seemed to strengthen police believe that an Italian was responsible. Why? Who knows? At the same time, flamboyant Joe Dimento was ruled out as the killer. He was in Oswego at the time Clark was being beaten and stabbed to death. Witnesses supported his alibi.

Beyond that, police didn't consider him the type. Newspapers freely referred to Dimento as effeminate, an overly polite man who was small of stature, always impeccably dressed, in the style of the day, and with greasy, slicked-down hair. He was unlikely to do something that would get blood all over a new shirt.

Besides, the murder victim was tall and burly. Even with the head start of a whack on Frank Clark's head, Dimento probably couldn't have subdued the man. Perhaps more importantly, Dimento didn't have a motive. He liked his situation with Frances Clark just the way it was. He didn't love her and had never considered marrying her. Her husband was a convenient buffer.

It was erroneously assumed by most people, especially the press, and to a certain extent even Dimento, that there was a big difference in the ages of the Italian and Mrs. Clark. As the Syracuse Herald described her after an appearance at the coroner's inquest:

"Seen in the full glare of daylight and in her street clothes, Frances Clark looks not far from 50 years old. Her thin cheeks were sallow and her face drawn and wrinkled."

Joe Dimento was quoted several times saying the woman was too old for him to love. No one seemed to know how old they actually were; one newspaper headline even referred to Dimento as "a youth."

In truth, Guiseppe Dimento was born in 1885, making him 34 at the time of the murder. Florence Clark was born Fannie Coe in September 1876, making her only 42 when she became a widow. When their relationship began in 1915, she told him she was 38. It was the truth, though he believed she was shaving a few years off her age.

Mrs. Clark emerged as a pathetic, delusional person who entertained the idea she and Dimento would someday marry. She had two grown children and a husband who was hardly ever home. She was ready for something new and exciting in her life.

Especially pathetic was how Mrs. Clark met Guiseppe Dimento, a man who told her he did not like to work. But occasionally it was necessary. Which is how he happened to be using a pick and shovel in 1915, helping dig a ditch for the sewer that would run past the Clark home. She spotted him near her yard ... and it was fascination at first sight.

After her husband's murder four years later, a fourteen-year-old neighbor, with her mother's encouragement, came forward to tell police how Mrs. Clark had been used as a go-between to get the romance started.

Syracuse Herald, July 20, 1919

Mrs. Clark would station the girl at the window to wave to the Italian and beckon him over to the house.

“After that,” said the girl, “Mrs. Clark used to send me to the picture show to find Joe for her. She would tell me Joe was in the habit of going to one special picture show every afternoon and would ask me to go inside and see where he was sitting — to count the number of rows from the back of the house and the number of seats from the end of the row to his chair, and then come back and tell her.

“She said once that Joe was going to teach her to dance and she took me to Pulaski Hall with her. I held her coat and hat while she and Joe were dancing.”

The girl said Frances Clark confided the sordid details of her affair. When the girl’s mother found out, the girl was ordered to stay away from the Clark home.

 

The woman sent Dimento countless cards and letters, all of which were recovered at the man's residence. Here's part on one letter she sent while he was visiting friends in Wilmington, Delaware in 1916:

"Thinking of thee, I feel the tear drops start, thinking of thee, a longing fills my heart, longing to hold the dearest, truest, best, close to my lonely heart, and be at rest. Thinking of how we are and how we might have been, liked winged birds, thoughts fly back to thee, begging but one sweet crumb of memory. Thinking of thee, I wonder where thou art. There is no life, Dear Love, from thee apart. Come back to me."

He sent her several letters, too, but Florence Clark told police her mother destroyed each one soon after she read it.

Thus Mrs. Clark assumed she had been able to keep her romance a secret from her husband. And for several days after the murder, newspapers assumed the same thing.

The widow indicated she would have gone to great lengths to prevent word reaching her husband. She made this interesting statement to Sheriff Ten Eyck: “If anyone should tell Frank about me and Joe Dimento, I would shoot that person down with my own hands.”

The woman certainly had a flair for the dramatic, but, in truth, someone did tell Frank. That someone was the couple's son, Floyd, who, along with his wife, had seen his mother dancing with Dimento at Pulaski Hall. Floyd then told his father, who, outwardly, at least, refused to believe his wife was cheating on him.

Floyd's sister, Florence, was well aware their mother was seeing another man. When Florence answered the phone at home and recognized Dimento's voice as the caller, she refused to connect him with her mother. She found her mother with Dimento in public, and confronted her about this. Mrs. Clark slapped her daughter in the face.

Frank Clark and his son, Floyd, did not get along, and for a while the young man — he was 23 at the time — was considered a possible suspect, especially after young Clark admitted buying a new shirt the day after his father's murder, a shirt paid for by his mother.

Floyd was married and had a newborn son. He was occupied at home at the time his father was murdered. But a railroad man acquainted with Frank Clark told police that shortly after midnight, about the time the murder took place, he was sitting on the front steps of Mathews Saloon on Bridge Street, in Solvay, near the State Fairgrounds. He said he saw a man running up the street, toward Milton Avenue, and when he attended the murder victim's funeral a few days later he saw someone who looked like the man he had seen that night — it was Floyd Clark.

Assistant District Attorney James Barrett discounted that report because not only did he believe young Clark's alibi, but he was certain the killer — or killers —had fled by car in the opposite direction, throwing a blood-soaked shirt out the window halfway between Three Rivers and Phoenix, about ten miles north of the murder scene.

Those responsible for Clark's death were never apprehended, but it seems clear Onondaga County Sheriff George Ten Eyck and Prosecutor Barrett believed Mrs. Clark had arranged the murder, and paid some of Dimento's friends to do the job, probably without Dimento's knowledge. For a while Dimento claimed he didn't know — even after four years — that his Frances was married, saying he believed she worked for the people who owned the house. It was one of several lies Dimento told during the investigation, perhaps the biggest being his claim he could not read nor write.

Mrs. Clark and Dimento quickly hired lawyers who told their clients to stop talking to authorities. About a week after the murder, the news about the investigation faded from the press, but a month after that — thanks to Clark's co-workers and various acquaintances —the case took an abrupt turn.

It turned out Mrs. Clark wasn't the only cheater. Her husband, well aware something was wrong with his marriage, had found a woman to keep him company during his those evenings it was impractical for him to go home. For a long time he had been in the habit of sleeping in an old railroad car alongside the tracks in Belle Isle. In 1918, about thirteen months before he murder, he and co-worker Frank Hooper decided it would be more fun to spend their time in Syracuse where Clark rented a room.

Soon Clark and Hooper visited a restaurant on North Salina Street and met two women who invited them to a boarding house on South State Street. Hooper testified at the inquest that Clark had become friendly with a woman named Emma Van Horn, who was married, but separated from her husband. Hooper said Clark also had spent some time with a young woman he knew as "Josie," who was never located. Mrs. Van Horn, however, was questioned, reluctantly admitting she and Clark had been more than friendly on one occasion.

However, there was nothing to indicate the woman's husband knew or cared about her activities. About the most interesting thing to come out of this phase of the inquiry was the testimony of one of Clark's friends and co-workers, who said the conductor's recent sale of his large touring car was prompted by his knowledge of his wife's friendship with Dimento and his Italian friends.

The railroad worker said Clark told him he got rid of the car to insure that, should something happen to him, his wife would not be able to give the vehicle to her boy friend.

Police again concentrated on Mrs. Clark and speculated the reason she agreed to meet her husband at Long Branch on that fatal Sunday was to point him out to the men she had hired to kill him. It was common knowledge, police said, that Clark would take a trolley from Long Branch to Syracuse Junction, near Halcomb Steel and the Fairgrounds, and walk to work via Beagle Road. He was to get on a freight train in Belle Isle about 1:30 a.m.

Much was made about the murder scene, with Sheriff Ten Eyck saying the murderer (or murderers) had taken time to cut branches from a tree that Clark had to pass along the way. The sheriff said the branches were cut in such a way that the killer (or killers) had a clear view of anyone walking their way, while the trunk was big enough to hide anyone who waited in ambush. The club used to stun Clark may have been fashioned from one of the branches.

A few days after the murder, a teenaged girl who delivered milk along Beagle Road would tell police she had seen a man near the tree earlier in the evening. The man, he said, appeared to be hiding in a pile of hay.

The Herald claimed Clark had a reputation for carrying lots of money, but on the night he was killed, according to Sheriff Ten Eyck, the conductor had just $20 and some change, and it was still on the body when police arrived. The newspaper based its robbery theory, in part, on a statement from family members that Clark had more than $100 on him. Employes of a Belle Isle restaurant, not far from the murder scene, also said Clark usually carried a lot of money, often making loans to friends.

It was supposed he was carrying $100 from from the sale of his automobile. Later it would be learned he deposited that money in the bank a few days before. Mrs. Clark claimed she had loaned her husband $100, but Sheriff Ten Eyck suspected the woman, who'd be asked to account for $500 she had recently withdrawn from the bank, was lying, just as there was some dispute over her statement she had loaned her in-laws $200. (Her husband's stepfather claimed this was true, but her mother-in-law denied such a loan had been made.) The widow also claimed she had given a chunk of the money to her son, but he said the amount was closer to $5.

The Sheriff's theory was Mrs. Clark had used the money to arrange the murder. Weeks earlier the Syracuse Journal had stirred things up with this misleading headline:

In the story beneath the headline, the newspaper patted itself on the back for exposing "the real state of affairs in the Clark family." What followed was a tale told by a citizen to a patrolman who walked a beat in Clark's neighborhood.

The "previous attempts" — note the plural — involved two men who were spotted near the Clark house two nights before the conductor was murdered. The citizen, who was walking up Clark's street, saw the two men move quickly to what was described as "a strange, high-powered, seven-passenger car, containing four unknown men, drawn up under the shadows of a tree near the Clark home." The two men hopped into the car, which took off. The citizen could not see the license plate.

Also notice the victim was identified as Frank N. Clark. According to the Journal, Clark's middle name was Nellis, but other sources, including the United States Census, say his middle initial was W, for Willis.

Sheriff Ten Eyck and Assistant District Attorney Barrett must have known as early as September that they had little chance of finding the man or men who did the actually killing, especially if they were correct with theory about Mrs. Clark hiring friends or acquaintances of Dimento to do the job. Admittedly, she was friends with his family and others in the Italian community.

Which gets us finally to George Thompson, described earlier as a war veteran and former cook at the W. D. Haskins railroad restaurant at Belle Isle.

Thompson became conspicuous by his absence the day after the murder. He was at the restaurant early that morning, but declined when Haskins asked him to accompany him and Mrs. Emma Slack, a waitress. to the murder scene before they opened for business. Thompson offered to tend to business while his boss was away, and Haskins accepted.

But when Haskins and the waitress returned, Thompson was gone.

Mrs. Slack testified at the coroner's inquest in July. When asked if Thompson had taken anything with him when he went away, she replied, “I’ll say he did.” Among the missing articles, she said, was a gold watch and chain and brooch, “not to mention,” she added, “$91 in money, everything I owned.”

He had also rifled the cash drawer which contained about $120. His timing made him a murder suspect. His unexpected return to Syracuse seven months later and his recollection of events on the night of the murder convinced Sheriff Ten Eyck that Thompson had nothing to do with killing Clark. He was an opportunistic thief, not a murderer.

"My God, I'd steal, but I'd never murder a man," Thompson declared to the police. He said his real name was Nicholas George Simmons, that he was from Chicago, and had been convicted of burglary many years before. Later, after being paroled, he was imprisoned again for three years for grand larceny.

He had drifted to the Syracuse area in 1917 and worked in railroad construction for awhile, before taking the job at William Haskins' restaurant.

He might never have been caught by Onondaga County authorities were it not for his decision to visit Mrs. Blanche Bills, described as "my lady friend." He had been hiding in Boston and New York City, but intended to return to Chicago, after a brief visit with Mrs. Bills. Newspapers did not explain how Syracuse police discovered Thompson/Simmons was in town.

Thomson/Simmons said he met Mrs. Bills the day he robbed and fled the restaurant. He spent his first night in a Syracuse boarding house and had lunch in the restaurant where the divorced woman worked. They went out that evening and he gave the woman a brooch which she later learned he has stolen from Mrs. Slack.

In April, 1920, the man was convicted of grand larceny, receiving a prison sentence of 30 months to five years. He was no longer regarded as a murder suspect.

Meanwhile, in Oswego County, District Attorney Culkin went after Joe Dimento and Fannie/Frances Clark on morals charges. It took two trials, but on December 3, 1919, Joseph Dimento was found guilty of what the Syracuse Post-Standard described as "a serious charge" involving his relations with the married woman. He was sentenced to six months in prison.

Almost a year later, Mrs. Clark pleaded guilty to a statutory offense. Her six months sentence was suspended and she was ordered to pay a $250 fine.

Chapter Two
Sad to say, no one was ever arrested, charged and convicted of murdering Frank W. Clark. After his widow pleaded guilty to an adultery charge, the case disappeared from the press. Whether the murder actually was committed by Italians, as the Onondaga County sheriff believed, is something we'll never know. Nor will we ever know if Nicholas G. Simmons, aka George Thompson, got away with murder by being so candid about his tendency to steal.

Some thought the murder may have been committed by one of the roughnecks who rode the rails and often spent the night at the Belle Isle yards, some of them being bold enough to sleep in the bunkhouse reserved for railroad men. But such a man likely would have been after money, and the cash and valuables — such as a gold watch — that Frank W. Clark had with him were left on the body. The savagery of the attack, however, suggested the murder was personal, not motivated by robbery.

On March 4, 1920, shortly after Thompson was arrested, a new theory was offered, though nothing came of it. That theory involved a section foreman who lived near the fairgrounds, who regularly used the path that Clark was walking on his way to the railroad yards. Edward Smith, apparently a railroad detective, told investigator this section foreman had made enemies among foreigners in his gang. The foreman bore a strong physical resemblance to Clark, and the detective thought perhaps the foreman was the real target that night, and that the conductor was the victim of mistaken identity.

As for Clark's survivors, there was another tragedy in April, 1922, when the most virtuous person in the story, the murdered man's daughter, Florence, died after an illness of several weeks. She was 24 years old.

Floyd G. Clark, son of the murder victim, had a much longer and fuller life. Mrs. Emma Slack, the waitress who was victimized by George Thompson at the Belle Isle restaurant, had testified at the coroner's inquest that Frank W. Clark often ate at the restaurant and sometimes talked about his family.

"Just a few days before he was killed, he told me he was having an awful lot of trouble with his son, Floyd. He said the boy was lazy and wouldn't work."

Well, work he did, and like his father, Floyd G. Clark joined the New York Central Railroad, working for 25 years as a fireman, then taking a job in the chemical department of the Diamond Match Company in Oswego. He died in Edward Nobel Hospital in Alexandria Bay, New York, in August, 1970, after being stricken at his summer home in nearby Redwood. He had retired to Zephyrhills, Florida, a few years earlier. He was 74, and survived by his widow, Ethel Rookey Clark, two children, eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Neither child outlived Fannie (Frances) Coe Clark Sweeney. That's right, the woman apparently remarried, and must have done it soon after she pleaded guilty in 1920 of a charge of adultery. Her second husband was Joseph Sweeney, though I've yet to find out when the wedding took place. He must have died soon afterward, however, and left some property to his wife ... because Frances Sweeney is identified as the landlady of a boarding house at 409 North Clinton Street, in Syracuse, even after she moved to Liverpool in the 1930s. Later she moved back to 94 Niagara Street in Oswego, living with her granddaughter, Mrs. Frank Murray.

On January 13, 1969, Frances Sweeney was pictured in the Oswego Palladium-Times taking her first ride on a snowmobile, piloted by her great-granddaughter's husband George Rowan Jr. of Herkimer. Mrs. Sweeney was 92 years old.

She died seven years later, on July 30, about five weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

As for Guiseppe Dimento, well, like the rest of his family, he settled down and pursued the American dream, albeit a bit later than his brother, Samuel, and his sister, Lena. He got married to a woman named Dominica; they had a son and three daughters. Ironically, perhaps, he, too, joined the railroad, working many years for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, before he retired. Along the way he survived a bad accident that killed one worker and injured eight others when a gasoline-powered work car and a locomotive collided while Dimento and others were working on a railroad tunnel in Oswego.

Dimento died in 1965. He was 80 years old.

 
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