Judge Barlow’s Buttermilk Problem – (Part 2)

when we last left our intrepid hero, he was comfortably ensconced in a Canastota jail cell, carrying on pleasant conversation with his newfound friend. Let’s pick up the tale:

Justice Barlow Has Resigned


Canastota Magistrate Was Found Guilty Of Public Intoxication


Barlow Tendered His Resignation at 10 O’clock The Forenoon and it is Expected That He Will Be Released Under a Suspended Sentence



Canastota May 28The case of Charles F Barlow who, for over a year has been Canastota Police Justice came to an end at 10 O’clock today when Barlow formally tendered his resignation to take effect immediately. Ex-Justice Barlow will go through the formality of appearing before Justice Bell at 7 O’clock the evening to receive a suspended sentence and a previous suspended sentence of $10 or 10 days which hangs over him will not be brought up.

In accepting Barlow’s resignation today, the Board of Trustees also drew a line through a debt which the ex-Justice is said to owe the village in the matter of fines collected and not paid in. Barlow made the board a proposition this morning to the effect that he would tender his resignation to take effect on July 1, but this was summarily rejected by the Board.

Barlow was tried yesterday before Acting Police Justice John H Bell on a charge of public intoxication and several witnesses gave testimony for the prosecution. When Barlow’s turn came, he testified on his own behalf saying: “ I came up to the court room about 8 AM. Later in the morning, I met Attorney Robertson , who wished me to do some surveying. In company with Charles Kenyon as helper, I went to do the work about 10 O’clock. We stopped at the creamery and obtained a drink of buttermilk. After completing the work I went home and upon being advised by Chief Carman that a man was under arrest for public intoxication, I came up-town again at 5:30 PM to the village hall. I couldn’t understand the name of the offender and asked him to write his name on a tablet. Chief Carman said something about my being intoxicated and shoved me into a cell. There I remained until being brought before Justice Bell”.

In response to further questioning, Barlow said Kenyon and W.C. Dunn, who was visiting from Pennsylvania, spent a part of the afternoon at the Barlow home in East Chapel street. In questioning relative to the presence of liquor at the house, Barlow said that he carried home a loaf of bread and some other family supplies in a basket, but no liquor had been brought there Wednesday. He admitted, however that Kenyon brought two or three bottles of cider in a basket, which was then the property of Justice Barlow, but the magistrate swore he did not drink any of the liquid but when asked to drink replied “No, I have cut it out”. He swore that he had not visited any saloon during the day nor indulged any drink, except of course the drink of buttermilk.

Mrs. Frank Carman testified that she saw Barlow and Kenyon and Dunn all take their turn at emptying a bottle while at Barlow’s home just previous to the Justice leaving for up-town about 5 PM. Seeber and Reynolds were at the corner of Peterboro and Center streets as Barlow went around the corner with Chief Carman en route to the village hall to arraign the common drunk under arrest and testified as to the state of intoxication in which Barlow was, as causing him to stagger as he proceeded on his way to hold court. Edes, who conducts the meat market near the Peterboro street bridge, observed Barlow as he came up-town and characterized his condition as “carrying a big load” and his walking as crooked. Barlow upon being asked by the people’s attorney J.L. Robertson why he walked so crooked explained the matter thus: “ Since an injury to my left leg some time ago, it has bothered me considerably at times. It bothered me yesterday. If I walk without a cane I am liable to sidestep quite a distance”.


  • Utica Herald-Dispatch May 28 1909

Somewhere I saw mention of this incident not being the first incident, but sadly, I could find nothing about it. The mention of a “previous suspended sentence” might have something to do with it. Two incidents in a year and pocketing fines ended his illustrious career as a judge. He worked as a lawyer and surveyor until his death in 1927 at 70 years old. He had to do without “the salary of Police Justice that suited him so well” though.

Edit: FOUND IT! The July 4th Canastota Bee says Judge Barlow was locked up for public intoxication, given a choice of ten dollars or ten days and released on a suspended sentence. In his defense, Barlow claimed his apparent intoxication was merely the result of his having walked to Lenox Rural Cemetery in the heat. “He says that he has not been under the influence of liquor since he has been Police Justice. Some of our citizens believe he has been under the influence of liquor since election (the whole time?) and he should be removed from office unless he fulfills his ante-election promises”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: