200 YEARS AGO
A Law Case (Leesburgh, Virginia): An action to recover damages for a breach of promise of a marriage contract was tried in the Supreme Court before the Hon. Judge White. The circumstances attending the case were of a very interesting nature, and excited a lively feeling on behalf of the plaintiff, whose character was proved to have been correct and exemplary. She was the daughter of a widow in a humble station of life, who had brought up her daughters in paths of piety and industry. The attentions of the defendant were proved to have been for many years devoted to the plaintiff. But, after having sipped the dew of her beauty, he refused to consummate a promise which he made in the sweet and tender language of a verse from the “Wisdom of Solomon.” The case was forcibly and pathetically pleaded by the plaintiff’s lawyers, and the jury did honor to themselves and their country, and gratified the moral and manly sentiments of their fellow citizens, who received their verdict of five thousand dollars for the plaintiff with the liveliest satisfaction.
May 1, 1820
175 YEARS AGO
A Goat in Church – A he-goat, with whom we had many a butt and pull, once entered the village church during service, and passing to the pulpit stairs, entered the place always to be found in old-fashioned churches, between the pulpit and the Deacons’ seat. He there laid down quietly, until nearly the close of a long prayer such as the Rev. Mr. F. (not a regular pastor) was accustomed to make. “Dick” seemed to partake of the general weariness of the congregation at “long prayers,” and rearing his fore feet upon the communion table, he looked up beseechingly in the face of the minister and sent forth a loud “baa!” If there was a long face in church it was out of our sight, and the prayer soon wound up.
May 5, 1845
150 YEARS AGO
Death of Dewitt C. Bates, Esq. This gentleman, so long and actively identified with the legal profession of this county, and with the interests of Cherry Vallley, died on Monday last, after a brief illness, aged about 62 years. Mr. Bates was a self-made man who commenced the study of law when nearly half his years had been numbered. His progress overcame obstacles and difficulties which might have discouraged one of less determined will and perseverance. He was a gentleman of marked peculiarities, and many estimable qualities of heart and head; a most devoted and faithful friend, a firm and unyielding opponent. He was a good lawyer, and one of the best advocates before a jury of any legal gentlemen in this county. He had the reputation of being one of the best District Attorneys the county had for many terms. To Mr. Bates’ exertions and influence, more perhaps more than any other man, Cherry Valley is indebted for its railroad.
May 5, 1870
125 YEARS AGO
The Leatherstocking Falls Farm lying north of Cooperstown on the lake was sold at auction last Monday to Charles I. Thayer, for $4,255. There are 78 acres in the farm, more than half of it tillable, a number of Pine trees, a small wood lot, and it has a frontage of about 85 rods on the lake. It brought at least $700 more than was generally expected, and is worth more to Mr. Thayer, who runs the home farm adjoining , than it would be to almost anyone else.
May 2, 1895
100 YEARS AGO
The Forest of the Dozen Dads: A short time ago Floyd S. Barlow, the forestry exponent of the Otsego County Improvement Association, formed a local corporation for the purpose of planting a tract in timber as a form of endowment insurance for the children of the incorporators. The “Forest of the Dozen Dads” has secured a tract of land about three miles from Cooperstown and with Claude Bliss as Manager, the tract has been planted and will be cared for. The incorporators are C.E. Stone, L.J. Gross, R.D. Spraker, Frank Stevens, R.H. Van Scoik, Earl Chase, C.H. Blencoe, and Claude Bliss, all of Middlefield, with Floyd S. Barlow and Harry M. Parker of Cooperstown.
May 5, 1920
50 YEARS AGO
Activity is humming for the July 27 Hall of Fame Day. The Expos, from Canada, will be the first major league team from outside the United States to play in Cooperstown. As representatives of the National League, the Expos will play the American League entry, the Chicago White Sox at Doubleday Field. Tickets in the outfield reserve section are available at $2.50. In the morning, at 10 o’clock, the public is invited to ceremonies outside the Hall of Fame Library without admission charge. Lou Boudreau, Earle Combs, Ford Frick and Jesse Haines will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn presiding and Hall of Fame President Paul S. Kerr as host.
May 6, 1970
25 YEARS AGO
Wednesday was the first day of practice for a group of local residents who volunteer as members of the Leatherstocking Base Ball Club (LBBC). Now in their tenth full season the LBBC team demonstrates how “Town Ball,” an early form of baseball was played under the 1858 Massachusetts rules. The game is demonstrated at the Village Crossroads site on the grounds of The Farmers’ Museum. “Elizabeth Warner, an employee of The Farmers’ Museum and I were the founders,” Heitz explained. “Our mailing list has about 50 names and we probably go through the summer with about 60 people participating. The Haney brothers, Tim, Bruce and Craig have been longtime of the LBBC.
April 30, 1995
10 YEARS AGO
Joy Shearer, an American Cancer Society “Hero of Hope” from St. Lawrence County, will be keynote speaker when the Cooperstown/Northern Otsego Relay for Life opens on May 21 at the Cooperstown Dreams Park. Cancer survivors will take the first ceremonial lap around the track, with caregivers joining in on the second lap. There will be a hair-cutting event to support partner Pantene Beautiful Lengths efforts to provide real-hair wigs for women fighting cancer. The fund-raising goal is $90,000
May 6, 2010