200 YEARS AGO
Court of Sessions – The following convictions were had in the Court of Sessions, held in this village the past week: John Gardner, indicted for Grand Larceny – sentenced to confinement at hard labor in the State’s Prison, five years; John Havens, indicted as an accessory before the fact for larceny – sentenced to imprisonment in the State’s Prison, four years; Benson Nichols, indicted for assault and battery – sentenced to two months in the County Jail; Reuben Saunders, indicted for Larceny – sentenced to imprisonment in the County Jail, three months; Charity Saunders, indicted as an accessory of Petit Larceny, after the fact, sentenced to imprisonment in the County Jail for one month.
February 7, 1820
175 YEARS AGO
Contemporary Editor’s Note: The proceedings of an Anti-Rent meeting, held at Westville, in this County, on January 2, 1845, have been left with us for publication and are rejected because they contain libelous matter in commenting upon the acts and motives of an individual. At the same time that we decline inserting them, it is proper to add, that several of those who participated in the meeting, whom we know personally to be respectable citizens of neighboring towns, have assured us that they utterly repudiate the idea of “oppugnation” to the laws, and look upon the recent “Indian” outrages upon civil officers as offences requiring a rigid administration of justice. They seek correctives of what they regard as existing evils by constitutional means, and will never sanction violence of any sort for redress of supposed grievances in the operation of laws.
February 3, 1845
150 YEARS AGO
Summary of News – The ordination of Rev. C.C. Smith, Pastor of the Baptist Church of this village, will take place on February 10 – sermon by Rev. F. Dodge, D.D., President of Madison University, and ordination in the evening.
The people of Worcester have resolved to build a new District School House. There is not a town in the county where new school houses are not needed – though the necessity is more marked in some towns than in others. Among the wealthy farmers of Otsego there are not a few liberal-minded men, and they should direct their attention earnestly to this important matter
The farmers of this and surrounding towns are about to experience a still further benefit from the construction of the Cooperstown railroad. Plaster, so much in use by most of them, is to be brought here in large quantities over the road, and sold at a price which will make it an object for them to buy it here instead of going to the Central railroad for it. Thus, we receive compensation for the increased taxes caused by the building of the roads.
February 3, 1870
100 YEARS AGO
Amusement at the Village Theatre – Like a slave in the market place sold to the highest bidder, Mary MacNeill, heroine of “The Woman Thou Gavest Me” by Hall Caine, passes through the most terrible experiences that could fall to the lot of a woman. Yet, she overcomes them and wins a measure of happiness. In the cast are such well known players as Katherine MacDonald, Theodore Roberts, Jack Holt, Milton Sills, Katherine Griffith, Fritzi Brunette, and others. Fatty Arbuckle in “Back Stage” will also be offered. Ed. Note: The “Village Theatre” was located in a space at 22 Main Street in the building donated by Robert Sterling Clark which now serves as the home of Village Offices and the Cooperstown Library.
February 4, 1920
75 YEARS AGO
U.S. Navy Specialist First Class seaman Francis T. Bellhouse, who spent several summers in Cooperstown with his family while employed as a jockey by Mr. F. Ambrose Clark, is reported as a survivor following the sinking of his ship, the newly commissioned USS Cooper on December 27, 1944 off Leyte when it was attacked by Japanese forces. Bellhouse and other survivors of the USS Cooper were in the sea waters off Leyte for 17 hours dodging bullets from strafing Japanese fighters before rescue help arrived. Bellhouse credits Commander Mel A. Peterson, his ship’s Captain, for keeping the surviving sailors alive until rescuing seaplanes arrived to pick them up. Directed by Captain Peterson, Bellhouse and his shipmates remained together treading water and resting periodically in a small raft, a floating life net and a rubber boat.
February 7, 1945
50 YEARS AGO
More than 250 people attended the opening program of the New York State Historical Association’s Winter Sunday Lecture Series at Fenimore House on February 1. Leonard DePaur, conductor and arranger, spoke to an enthusiastic audience on “Black Folk Song – A History of Survival.” His research in the field of black folk music has been extensive. He augmented his talk with tapes of African tribal music and early American Negro music. The second program in the Winter Series will be a talk by Clay
Lancaster, an architectural historian on “Architectural Follies in America.”
February 4, 1970
25 YEARS AGO
Lonnie Bunch, noted curator and author, will speak on cultural diversity in American museums at the Cooperstown Graduate Program as part of the observance of Black History month. Bunch is the assistant director for curatorial affairs of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. Graduate program Director Gretchen Sorin noted, “The Graduate Program is a wonderful community resource, and throughout the year we will be bringing exciting speakers here. We are looking to share these programs with the public so that others have an opportunity to hear these historians.”
February 1, 1995
10 YEARS AGO
Helen E. “Lizzie” Kiser died Sunday morning, January 31, 2010 at Bassett Hospital shortly after telling her family that she was ready to “leave this Earth to be with the angels.” She was 85. Helen was born January 7, 1925, in Brooklyn, one of five children of Rudolph and Helena (Radke) Platt. On December 31, 1944, she married Arthur H. Kisrr, Sr., and shortly thereafter they moved to and made their home in the Cooperstown-Milford area. Helen was an accomplished seamstress and worked for many years doing tailoring at the Smart Shop in Cooperstown. She was an avid quilter and had many friends in local quilting and sewing circles.
February 5, 2010