HOMETOWN HISTORY, August 24, 2012
125 Years Ago
I saw Bob Ford, the murderer of Jesse James at Las Cerrillos, a mining town here recently. He is penniless, or about so, his blood money having been exhausted long since by riotous living. He is a hanger on of saloons and gambling dens, and manages somehow to make a living. He is cordially detested by the people and by miners generally, who are themselves often very rough in ways and deeds, and are too brave do the cowardly trick that removed Jesse James from earth. Ford is alone, in all the desolate sense of that word and it will always be so. Dick Liddell is also here, but he is “reformed” and is receiving the assistance and moral encouragement of well-disposed people. He is a nice looking man, very much unlike the brutal Ford in appearance, in actions and in words. Liddell married a woman of the town, who also “reformed” and the people helped them to start on the right road.
100 Years Ago
Wednesday night a hopper on a coal car on a northbound train of the D. & H. Co. broke a little way south of the U. & D. station dumping the entire load of coal along the tracks. Within a short time about 20 people of all ages and descriptions began a harvest of the spilled coal without regard to the ownership of same, and had carried away a large amount of it when the D. & H. detectives, Mssrs. Abell and Fox caught them at their work and took the names of the entire party. All promised to appear before Judge Bolton yesterday morning for examination, and 12 of them did so, these being fined $3 each on their pleas of guilty to the charge of petit larceny. Five others appeared in the afternoon and were fined $4 each for their tardiness in appearing and the remaining three have yet to be disposed of.
80 Years Ago
L.A. DeRosia, a representative of the New York headquarters division of the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, arrived in Oneonta yesterday and is making his headquarters at Hotel Oneonta for about a month, while he interviews residents of this vicinity in the interest of that organization. Miss Jane Babcock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Linn H. Babcock of Norwich, is assisting him in the local campaign. Mr. DeRosia is enlisting members for the association and hopes through this endeavor to convince Congressman John D. Clarke of Fraser, Republican candidate for Congress from this district, that the attitude of his constituents toward prohibition has changed since the last referendum was held. Congressman Clarke has consistently voted dry because of the dry majority in that expression. Mr. DeRosia stated last evening that he is led to believe, based on preliminary interviews yesterday, that many Oneontans have changed their position in regard to national prohibition.
60 Years Ago
Local postal authorities yesterday announced the opening of a new Highway Postoffice (HPO) for after September 20. The unit will serve 22 communities between Albany and Binghamton, including Oneonta. The new HPO will double round trip mail service in the Susquehanna Valley, according to postmaster Sam Bertuzzi. It will replace a similar mail service discontinued several years ago on the D&H Railroad. The new HPO will not conflict, however, with the present rail mail operation. “We’ll still have to handle the late mails,” said Charles House, divisional superintendent for the D&H. The mail mobile schedule calls for daily trips leaving Albany at 7 a.m., arriving in Binghamton 11:20 a.m.; leaving Binghamton at 1:15 p.m. and arriving back in Albany at 6:35 p.m. with mail being sorted en route and delivered the same day as received. The first round trip will carry only mail stamped with postmarks for collectors’ items. Afterwards, all mail will be handled except parcel post and bulk.
40 Years Ago
Carpenters Union demonstrators have quietly been pulled off the picket line at the Pyramid shopping mall now under construction along Route 7 in the East End. An accord on the contractor’s hiring practices has been reached, and a few union carpenters are already working on the job. Negotiations between Pyramid officials and Carlton Atkinson, business manager of the Hudson Valley Council of Carpenters resulted in the addition of four union carpenters to the workforce in what had been a non-union operation until the demonstrations. A court order by State Supreme Court Justice Joseph P. Molinari prevented a continuation of large demonstrations against Pyramid allowing only a few picketers to remain along Route 7 carrying placards.
20 Years Ago
Before Hurricane Andrew – Hurricane Andrew surged relentlessly toward southern Florida on Sunday and forecasters warned it would be the most powerful storm to hit the United States in decades. More than 1 million residents were told to flee. Forecasters expected the hurricane to reach Category 5 – the worst category with winds topping 155 mph – as it crosses the Gulf Stream to Florida. Landfall in southern Florida was expected between 6 and 8 a.m. today. Miami is on alert for winds in excess of 150 mph and up to 10 inches of rain. After Hurricane Andrew – Hurricane Andrew struck southern Florida on Monday with 160 mph winds and a 12-foot tidal surge that flattened homes, uprooted trees and flung boats onto land. The most powerful hurricane to strike Florida in 60 years has been blamed for at least eight deaths.
10 Years Ago
Local students will tell of the early theater days in America in a play at the State University College at Oneonta. “The Voyage Aboard the Charming Sally” takes place in the 1750s and is about immigrants from England who formed the first theatre troupe in the New World, according to Nancy Bakhuizen, director of the Americorps Program, which is presenting the program in the Little Theater at SUCO. The production is the result of a workshop that started July 29 and ran daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. About 50 students from Kindergarten through eighth grade, plus a few older teens, participated.