Zadock Pratt Museum - "Millennium History Feature of the Month" 

Throughout the year 2000, we highlight interesting items from Prattsville history.  
This is Number 9 in our new feature series.   


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Catskill Daily Mail, Tuesday, July 6, 1926 
Read the story in detail - click on the image ! 

November 2000 Feature 
-  Ken Rappleyea lives in Prattsville now, but grew up at Mosquito Point, half-way between Prattsville and Lexington. 

Here, he shares a very amusing story about his cousins.

Mosquito Point, usually very quiet with its not very big population, was shocked from the story of two twin brothers who robbed their own father and ran away. 

The happening was in the summer of 1926, in the family of Mr. Deyo. The irony of the story is that not very long ago Mr. Deyo had announced to the court that all he had was $1.60, that way getting away from paying alimony to his former wife. In the meanwhile he took out his money from the bank and put it in a milk can in his garage. 

Well, he succeeded in his mission, but still did not have the opportunity to enjoy his money as he was robbed himself by his own kids.  

s they say, nobody gets to enjoy the robbed money. And it was true not only about Mr. Deyo, but also about his kids. Soon the sheriff found them and brought them back. Of course big chunk of the money was gone, but I guess it doesn�t really matter.

I read this story in the Catskill Daily Mail newspaper of July 1926. The paper, as well as all the other information on this web page was given to us by Mr. and Mrs. Ken Rappleyea.  

Today this family lives in one of the Prattsville�s oldest houses.  

Originally Mr. Ken Rappleyea was from Mosquito point, where he spent his childhood and youth, going to school, working on his Dad�s farm. And Mr. Deyo, the subject of the story on the left, was Mr. Ken Rappleyea�s grandfather.  The "lads" in the story were his cousins. 

Please click on the newspaper clipping on the left to read the entire amusing story (below) in detail.

But that is not the only thing that his family is unique. Sarah Rapelje, daughter of one of the Rappleyea family�s ancestors, was the first white child born in New York State, in 1625, in �Fort Orange� which is nowadays Albany, NY.

A historic marker there reads:


Site of West India Company colony 1624.  Here was born Sarah Rapeljs, first white child in N.Y. state, 1625.  Fort stood by the river"  

Click to see a larger view of the Rappleya letter

Mosquito Point is a small area in Lexington; right next to town of Prattsville. It is know for its very dangerous swimming place, both nowadays and the old days teenagers� favorite place to hang out.  I said dangerous because it is fairly deep, but that is not it.  Jumping from the bridge is the one that used to and still makes parents worry about their kids.  Today the whole bridge is wrapped up with a net, but don�t you agree with me that it is not a big obstacle for teenagers? 

Why �Mosquito Point�? A question that comes to mind every time you hear that name. Well, I must say that nobody knows the answer. There are absolutely no mosquitoes up there. Probably some creative person�s idea.

Mosquito Point School list 1912-13, 
note a lot of Rappleyeas on the list

As I mentioned before Ken Rappleyea was born in Mosquito point. He too, as well as all the other kids there, gave hard time to his parents, while jumping from the bridge and swimming. 

Ken went to school there too. The schools in those times were a lot different then what they are now. In Mosquito Point, as well as in Prattsville and all the other small towns, they had a one room schools, with one teacher � the first row was for the first graders, second for the second graders, and so on. 

The teacher was the same � after finishing the work with the first graders, she would give them assignments and start working with the second graders.  This was slightly different in Prattsville, as Mr. Tom O�Hara told us.  The school of Prattsville was located in, what it is today, the town hall. The Prattsville building (below) was a lot different though - it had two floors. it was painted white, had more kids.

Click to see the full size picture of the Prattsville School, now the Town Hall on Main Street.

Carman Tourist Home advertisement - click to see larger version

Carman House ... click to see larger version

An interesting Ken Rappleyea lent me is the advertisement for Carman House, one of the many Prattsville Boarding Houses, which we already discussed the the Chatfield and Becker stories earlier.  

Many "tourists" from the city used to spend their entire summers in Prattsville and the Catskills, staying in boarding houses like this one.  

Even in the days way before e-mail, the advertisement promised, on top of good food and accommodations, Two Mails a Day !

Here is an ad for the Carman House, and the house itself.  Please click on both to see larger versions.
Thank you, Ken, for the documents, and sharing the 1926 story of your cousins.

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Our teenage website correspondent, Sona Grigoryan, 
was a 1999-2000 exchange with the Cernikovsky family.  
Sona, from Yerevan, Armenia, attended high school and 
lived in New York City and Prattsville.  

Here she is interviewing Mr & Mrs Rappleyea at their home in May 2000.  
Sona wrote a series of articles based on interviews
with old-time residents, to capture glimpses of life
 in Prattsville in the 20th century.
 You can write to Sona at

The O�Hara family�s house story is coming up soon 
in this series of "2000 History Features".

The 1926 Deyo story in detail is just below: 

Sona with Mr & Mrs Rappleya in Prattsville

Story in detail:    Catskill Daily Mail, Tuesday, July 6, 1926                        Go to the Top


Found Milk Can in Open Shed Stuffed with Money,

          Grabbed a Handful Netting Over $3,000 and Went Off on a Wild Raid of Adventure and Spending

          --- Lavish Doings and Bushkill, Pa., Aroused Suspicion and Arrest  Followed.

Sheriff Arbogast made a trip to Pennsylvania last week, following a visit on Wednesday, June 30, from Otis.G.Deyo, of Lexington, a farmer and a sawmill operator of that town, accompanied by Trooper Allen, of Tannersville.  Mr.Deyo communicated to the Sheriff the information that his twin sons, Otis and Otto, aged 17, with another lad, William Huggins, also aged 17, had discovered a depository of his money which he kept in an old milk can in his open sawmill shed, and left the town in and old Ford car.  The amount taken he estimated as over $3,000.  It appears the boys had discovered the elder Deyo�s rather original depository of surplus cash, had helped themselves freely and started away as stated.

Sheriff Arbogast at once began an inquiry with a view to locating the boys, and was busy on the trail they left behind them by lavish spending expenditures, when he received a telephone call from Stroudsburg, Pa., the headquarters of the State police of Monroe County, in that State, announcing the detention of the lads there, where suspicion had been excited by their display of money and lavish expenditures.  Sheriff Abrogast left Catskill and motored to Stroudsburg, Thursday afternoon, leaving here at 5 o�clock, accompanied by State Trooper Allen.   He returned with the three boys in charge Saturday night, arriving here about 7 o�clock, and with full information of one of the most unique tales in juvenile delinquency in the history of Greene County.  The strory as told by the lads, and confirmed at every point by the Sheriff and Pennsylvania authorities is as follows:

The boys claimed that they had been denied any spending money by their father, and in company with young Huggins, had discovered their father�s money cache.  They decided to make us of what6 seemed to them to be a great opportunity.  Otis grabbed a handful of the bills and stuffed his pockets, from the milk can and the three took an old Ford car which they claimed belonged to them and headed for Kingston.  Arriving in that town, they made a dicker and sold the old Ford car for a small cum, and then hunted up the local Ford salesroom, where they negotiated and bought a new Ford touring car, paying $586 for it.  In this they left Kingston, and turned up Wednesday at Bushkill, Monroe County, Pa., where they called at Schaller�s garage and requested some repairs made on their new Ford, also stating they wished to have a foot accelerator put on it.  While the repairs were in progress, they looked about the garage and their attention was attracted to a new Willis-Knight car, for which make Mr.Schaller was an agent.  The boys began to ask as to terms on which they could trade their Ford for the Willis-Knight.  Thinking the request boyish curiosity, Mr.Schaller told them he would take the Ford car at the price they had paid for it and $1,060 cash for the Willis-Knight.  He went into his office on some matter, and shortly was surprised when Otis Deyo walked into the office and laid $1,060 bills before him.  The party then went to a justice�s office, to to have the title in the Ford car changed to Mr.Schaller�s name and to have the application and the certificate for the Willis-Knight made out in the name of one of the twins.  Mr.Schaller was also handed $15 to secure a new license for the lads.  Meantime, the boys were compelled to wait for the license.  Over Sunday, in Bushkill, they were heroes among children of the village, buying boys and girls candy, ice cream cones, fireworks, etc., and spending money in a lavish way.  This liberally excited Mr.Scheller�s suspicions.  The boys then took a notion to run up to Scranton by rail, telling Mr.Scheller they would be back for the Willis-Knight in three days.  Mr. Schaller notified the State Police at Stroudsburg of his suspicions.  The lads came back to Bushkill Thursday night, and had each bought a new suit of clothes and also purchased a complete camping outfit.  They attempted to camp in a field near the village, but were ordered away, and then came back to Schaller�s garage.  Here Sergeant Annich and Trooper Stewart of the Pennsylvania State Police, and county detective office Shafer awaited them, and they were taken inti custody.  The Sergeant took $1,130 in cash from Otis Deyo, which he had in his two hip pockets.  The boys were taken to the State Police headquarters at the American House, Stroudsburg, which is the county seat of Monroe county, where under police examination, the Deyo boys broke down and made a full confession.  Mr.Schaller was told to hold the $1,060 paid him until further notice and Sergeant Annich put  $1,130 in a Stroudsburg bank.  With the $586 paid for the new Ford car, this accounted for $2,776 of the stolen money.

Sunday afternoon, the boys were taken by Sheriff Arbogast to Lexington, and a hearing was held by justice of the peace Christopher Riley.  The boys were held on the charge of grand larceny, bail being fixed at $1,000 each.  The bail was furnished and the lads released from custody.

But this was not the end of this peculiar case.  Yesterday, Robert Craft, of the law firm of Ives & Craft, of Roxbury, arrived in town and called on Sheriff Arbogast.  Mr.Craft is counsel for Mrs.Otis Deyo, who is separated from her husband and has certain legal claims against him which he has evaded, Mr.Craft stated to a Daily Mail representative, under the plea that he had no money, stating that $1.60 was all he had in the bank.  Just what Cratf�s mission will result cannot be stated, but it is evident that the Dayo twins have piled up trouble for their father that will not be entirely obliterated by their own punishment, whatever that may be.  The case will be of great public interest when it comes up in court.


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