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120 Years Ago

from The Hermonite, vol. XI, no. 6, p. 87; December 4, 1897.


The case of Commonwealth vs. Alice M. Brereton, for the larceny of a piece of cake from the store room of East Hall, came up before Judge C.I. Scofield in the winter session of the Northfield Seminary Superior Court, at Marquand Court House, Tuesday afternoon, November 30. The Commonwealth was represented by District Attorney Eliza S. Halsey, and the defendant by Lawyer Eldridge. The witnesses were sworn in by Clerk Elizabeth Aitken and the prisoner was brought in by Sheriff Julia Rieser.
The district attorney called the following witnesses: Misses Mamie Milk, Catherine Utley, Elizabeth Hendrickson, and Grace Prouty. Evidence was issued to prove that a handkerchief scented with a certain perfume that could readily be distinguished from all others on account of its peculiarity to itself, said perfume alleged to have been the property of the defendant, was found near the cake box from which the cake had been abstracted. Lawyer Eldridge, for the defendant, called Misses Flora Dobbin and Sadie Whalen as witnesses, who swore that on the night in question the store room was locked and the defendant was away from the building all night. In rebuttal the Commonwealth brought forward evidence to prove that the defendant was in East Hall on that night and that she made brown bread, which was served with beans for breakfast Sunday morning.
After eloquent pleas by both lawyers, and His Honor’s solemn charge, the jury retired, and after a short session brought in a verdict, “Not guilty.”


Arthur J. Philips was fined $50 for contempt of court, and ordered to remain in the custody of the sheriff until the fine was paid.
The entrance of the executive committee of the Mount Hermon Good Government Club caused His Honor so much annoyance that he instructed the sheriff to arrest anyone making further disturbance.
After the adjournment of the court the executive committee of the Mount Hermon Good Government Club was sentenced by the Current Events Club to one hour’s solitary confinement in Wayside Inn.

Editor’s note: The Sheriff went on to found the Whitney Museum of American Art.