welcome to ...

the Decker Journey

mark of Jan Broersen Decker

Home -> Stories -> Goldsmith Maid

Unable to display menu


Goldsmith Maid - Article published in The Sun

New York, December 14, 1890, Image 13
The sun. (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916

Retrieved 7/20/2012 from http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030272/1890-12-14/ed-1/seq-13/

See also:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldsmith_Maid

(Source:  Wikipedia - posted as public domain)

[Note:  Goldsmith Maid won over 350 heats and won 92 out of 121 races. She earned a total of $364,200 in her career, a record that would not be broken until the 1950s.  (Wikipedia, reference from Sports Illustrated, 1954)]


Helped Buy Goldsmith Maid.

How ‘Squire Tom Bingham Aided in Bringing Out the Famous Mare.

GOSHEN, Dec.13 – ‘Squire “Tom” Bingham, who died In Newburgh a few days ago, never felt so well pleased as when he was telling how he helped to buy the mare that afterward became the famous Goldsmith Maid.  In 1864 John H. Decker, a friend of the ‘Squire’s, lived in Newburgh.  He was a brother-in-law of Judge Fullerton, having married the Judge’s sister.  His father was, and is, one of the wealthiest of Orange county’s farmers, who at that time lived near the Chechunk Spring, three miles from Goshen.  John H. Decker was of a speculative turn, and one day said to ‘Squire Bingham that he believed a good deal of money could be made by buying up a car load or two of turkeys, which were scarce in the market and commanding big prices.  The ‘Squire agreed with him, and in November 1864, the two started out with a team to buy up the turkeys.  They intended to take in Orange and Sussex counties.  In the course of their trip they came one afternoon to Uncle Johnny B. Decker’s farm, near Deckertown, in Sussex county.  Johnny B., as he was known all through that country, was an uncle of John H. Decker’s, and he and ‘Squire Bingham concluded it would be a good place to tie up for the night, and they did.  John H. Decker was one of the best judges of horseflesh in all this region of good judges.  In the course of the afternoon he walked out to look at some horses his uncle had in a field, and among them saw a young mare that he fell in love with.  He tried to give her close inspection, but he couldn’t get within gunshot of her, she was so wild.  Still he had such admiration for the mare that the next morning at breakfast table he said:

“Uncle Johnny, I’ll give you $250 for that wild mare of yours.”

Johnny B. sneered at this offer.  He said the mare was as worthless as could be, but money couldn’t buy her.  The mare was known all over the country as Decker’s worthless mare.  Johnny B.’s good wife was anxious that her husband should get rid of her.  To help the matter along she put it on the score of relationship.

“Now father,” she said, “here’s John’s your namesake and nephew, and you must let him have the mare.  John, offer him $10 more and he’ll let you have her.”

So John H. counted out $260 and Johnny B. said all right, he could have the mare, provided he could catch her.

“So John and I went out in the lot,” ‘Squire Tom Bingham used to say, “and tried to surround the mare.  We chased and circled and tumbled around that lot for an hour, with old Johnny B. standing at the fence enjoying the scene and almost bursting with laughter.  After a while, when we were both almost ready to drop, we got a corner on her, ran her in the barn, and put a halter on her.  When we led her out a captive Johnny B. wanted to back out, and coaxed John to let him have the mare back, but John had great ideas ahead for that mare, and stuck to the bargain.  We led the mare behind the wagon to John’s father’s, and there John ran against a snag.  His father and mother knew that lots of horsemen had been trying to buy the mare, because they thought they saw a great future in her as a trotter, although she had never been even in harness.  The old people were opposed to John’s being concerned in a trotting horse, and when John saw his mother crying over the matter he weakened, and sold the mare to Bill Thompson, known as Jersey Bill, who had heard that John H. had bought the mare, and had come over from New Hampton, a couple of miles away, to see if he could make a dicker for her.  He gave John H. his check for $360, and drove off to New Hampton with the mare.

“Decker and I drove on to Goshen, he lamenting all the time that he had sold the mare, and devising schemes by which he could get her back.  When he got to Goshen he telegraphed to the Middletown Bank on which Jersey Bill’s check was drawn, asking whether the check was good for $360.  The answer came back that it was good for only $300.  Then John H. was determined to drive straight to New Hampton and take the mare out of the barn and lead her away Being [??]  I knew that John would get himself in a peck of trouble if he undertook such a thing as that, and I told him so.  But he was bound to do it, and while he was getting his horse ready to start he was handed a telegram.  It was from the bank, and stated that Jersey Bill had made his check good for $360.  There never was a more disappointed, down hearted man on earth than Mr. Decker was, and he never got over it.

“Well, Jersey Bill sold the mare, as everybody knows, to Alden Goldsmith for $600, and Bill Bodine made her the horse that carried the name of Goldsmith Maid all over the world.  And that’s the way I helped to buy her.”

July 26, 2012