By TOM HEITZ & SHARON STEWART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
200 YEARS AGO
Died at Jerusalem, Ontario, on the 8th inst. – Jemima Wilkinson, commonly called the “Universal Friend,” aged 66 years. Her complaint, we learn, was the dropsy. A few moments previous to her death she placed herself in her Chapel, and called in her disciples one by one, and gave each a solemn admonition, then raised her hands, closed her eyes and gave up the ghost. Thus, the second wonder of the western country has made her final exit. We have not as yet learned whether she will have a successor to speak to her people, or whether, after having lost their religious head, will continue united or not. Much curiosity has been excited since her departure. The roads leading to her mansion were for a few days after her death literally filled with crowds of people, who had been, or who were going to see the Friend. Her mansion stands on a barren heath amidst the solitudes of the wilderness, at some distance from this settlement. (Ed. Note: Jemima Wilkinson (November 28, 1758 – July 1, 1819) was a charismatic American Quaker and evangelist. After suffering a severe illness and fever Wilkinson reported having the experience of death and returned from heaven, reincarnated as a prophet known as “The Universal Friend” who was neither male nor female.)
July 19, 1819
175 YEARS AGO
For President: James K. Polk, of Tennessee; For Vice-President George M. Dallas, of Pennsylvania. Otsego is highly complimented by the democratic press generally for her show of strength on July 4, which she is adding to every day, particularly among the young men who desire to do the right thing in politics, having no narrow-minded prejudices to overcome. The watch fires are being lighted up on every hilltop, and the valleys are illuminating so that every man shall see his way clearly when the horn is sounded and her sons march to battle and to victory, as they will do, claiming the State Banner as the reward of their patriotism.
July 22, 1844
150 YEARS AGO
Business on the Cooperstown Railroad starts off well and the receipts fully meet the expectation of the Directors. On Saturday, the Company’s first locomotive, the “Ellery Cory,” brought in the afternoon train, its first run over the road. It is a fine machine, and came in decked with flags and wreaths of flowers, and has on the front part an excellent likeness of the worthy citizen for whom it is named. The large crowd of men and women who had congregated on the depot grounds to welcome the E.C.’s arrival gave emphatic endorsement of the compliment bestowed on one who on all hard work has always been a “motive power” in this village, and whose deserved popularity no man envies.
July 23, 1869
100 YEARS AGO
Purely Personal: Miss Gertrude Birdsall, who has been visiting relatives in New York, arrived last night to spend the remainder of the summer with her parents, the Rev. and Mrs. A.W. Cooke at Edgewater.
Jas. Fenimore Cooper and son Linn Fenimore Cooper, returned yesterday from Albany, where they spent a few days on a business trip.
Dr. M. Imogene Bassett was a dinner hostess at her home on Fair Street, Thursday night. Her guests numbered nine and the evening was spent at bridge.
Miss Elizabeth Ellsworth of New Britain, Conn., is a guest of her mother, Mrs. Mary Ellsworth for a short time.
F. Ambrose Clark spent the weekend at his summer home, Iroquois Farm.
Mrs. Flad and daughter, Miss Flad of St. Louis have arrived at Otsego Hall for the remainder of the summer season.
July 10, 1919
75 YEARS AGO
First Lieutenant Alexander O. Jones, Jr., son of Mrs. Alexander Ogden Jones of Cooperstown, 15th AAF P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot who was reported missing in action on March 28, 1944, over Italy, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement in aerial flight
according to a dispatch received Monday from the 15th AAF in Italy. The citation states: “Lieutenant Jones led his flight on an escort mission providing cover for heavy bombers attacking a rail center in Italy when the formation was suddenly attacked by 40 enemy fighters. Although outnumbered four to one, the P-47s engaged the enemy, broke up the attacking formations, destroying six fighters and damaging several more. Lieutenant Jones intercepted a number of enemy aircraft and in the ensuing engagement, destroyed one before the fire of two other enemy fighters destroyed his plane.”
July 19, 1944
50 YEARS AGO
Dr. M.M. Jastremski of Bowerstown was re-elected president of the Cooperstown Central School Board of Education at its annual reorganization meeting held Tuesday night of last week. Dr. William H. Mook of Cooperstown was re-elected vice-president. Other members of the Board include Webb J. Weaver of Hartwick, Mrs. John H. Schneider of Cooperstown, and Roy K. Swatling of Fly Creek who was re-elected to a five-year term on the board last week. Donald J. Pier of Hartwick was re-appointed District Treasurer.
July 16, 1969
25 YEARS AGO
Parents Choice Foundation Award winner Skip West was the star of the show at a mid-day concert on the lawn at Global Traders on Saturday, July 16. West delighted youngsters with a variety of songs each of which gave the audience a chance to participate. West is a music educator and the time he has spent with young children is evident in his ability to connect with youthful audiences. Some of his songs and sing-alongs integrate the children’s names. Skip West also plays trombone, five-string banjo, mountain dulcimer, piano and synthesizers.
July 19, 1994
10 YEARS AGO
Elsewhere, Brian Collis of Latham is known as “Mr. Ding-a-Ling. Here, let’s just call him “Mister.” On July 20, the Cooperstown village trustees issued a “hawking, soliciting and peddling application for the Collis Good Humor Ice Cream Truck to ply local streets this summer. But, T. Margaret Oakley, who will driving the truck, was told she couldn’t be ringing the bell, as it would violate the noise ordinance.
July 24, 2009