200 YEARS AGO
Cooperstown – On Wednesday last, Benjamin P. Day, only son of Mr. Israel Day, of this village, aged 5 years, was unfortunately drowned, by falling out of a boat, on the lake. He with two other boys, entered the boat, probably for the purpose of paddling around the shore, but being driven out by the wind, in their exertions to regain the shore, he fell overboard. His body was taken out in about twenty minutes after he sunk. But every effort to resuscitate him proved unavailing. His remains were interred on Thursday.
July 5, 1819
175 YEARS AGO
Otsego in Her Strength – Ten Thousand Warriors in the Field – The Otsegonians to Their Fellow Democrats Greeting. The Fourth of July, 1844, will ever be cherished by the Democrats of Otsego as the proud day in their Calendar. There never was such a gathering, Whig or Democratic within her borders. The number in attendance from nearly every town in the county, is variously estimated. It is pretty well ascertained that there were at least 2,000 vehicles of different descriptions, some carrying as many as 30, and others 24, 18, 12 &c. and none less than two, within the village limits by 12 o’clock. We set down the number at 10,000 at a moderate calculation. There was a single gun at daybreak, and a national salute at sunrise, with the ringing of bells. From an early hour in the morning, the democrats began to pour into the village from all quarters, and by 12 noon the principal streets were literally alive with a moving mass. A nine-pounder on an eminence announced the approach of the several delegations from the towns, as they came in sight – and there was an escort in readiness to go out and accompany them to the place of general gathering – Lewis’s Eagle Tavern, where they were cheered as they came up. Among the interesting incidents of the day was the presentation of a beautiful banner, the handy work of some democratic young ladies of the village to Engine Company No. 2. There was a presentation address by Miss Wilson and a reply on behalf of the Company by Mr. Chas. A. Bowne.
July 8, 1844
150 YEARS AGO
Our Old People – There are living upon this corporation 54 persons, 27 men and 27 women who are 70 years of age, or upwards, possibly a few more, whose names we have not on the list before us. The venerable Mrs. Bowers celebrated her 91st birthday in April. There are three other ladies who are 80 or more; one gentleman of 82, another 85, another 89. The average age of these 54 persons is full 74 years. The present population of the Village of Cooperstown is about 1,700.
July 2, 1869
125 YEARS AGO
(Edited excerpts) Within the last decade public interest in the North American Indians has undergone a revival induced in part by the assiduous application of ethnologists and archaeologists to Indian subjects and who direct their attentions to the investigation and study of this probably most romantic and poetic people the world has ever known. The day is well- nigh dead for the purity of ceremonial rites and folklore amongst their many hundred nations. Civilization and intermarriage are adulterating those exclusive tribal ordinances that for many centuries have been the stronghold of a most conservative race. With the exception of Finland, the country is unknown that possesses such wealth of folklore as America. There are mines of unchronicled legends and superstitions, each colored by tribal distinctions, that scholars will never unearth, and that will perish with the people whose blood grows annually thinner and paler as their prairies receive the “white man’s footprint” as their rivers ripple to the dip of his oars, as their forests fall at the hurling of his axe, and who will themselves be but a tradition and a memory in the lapse of a century or so.
July 5, 1894
100 YEARS AGO
The seven-passenger Packard touring car belonging to L.H. Spencer of Otsego Hall was somewhat damaged in a collision Tuesday afternoon at the corner of Lake and Chestnut streets with a Pierce-Arrow car driven according to witnesses, by Mrs. George Hyde-Clark of Hyde Hall, when the latter car turned on the wrong side into Lake Street while Mr. Spencer was about to turn on the right side in coming into Chestnut Street. Eye witnesses declared that the woman driver of the northbound car did not blow her horn at the corner, and instead of going to the right of the iron traffic cop, cut into the left, meeting the Spencer car almost head-on. The Spencer car was thrown over to the side of the street, but remained upright. The Pierce-Arrow, it was declared, did not stop after the accident, but put on increased speed after turning into Lake Street. Persons who saw the accident testify to the identity of the driver. Shortly after the accident Constable Charles T. Cooke was preparing a warrant for the arrest of the driver of the Pierce-Arrow car.
July 2, 1919
75 YEARS AGO
Miss Susan P. Clarke, a pilot in the Army Ferry Command and daughter of George Hyde Clarke and Mrs. S. Beach Cooke, was killed Tuesday morning in an airplane crash at Columbia, South Carolina. She was 25 years old. Miss Clarke was graduated from Cooperstown High School and attended schools in New York and Italy. She became a licensed pilot three years ago and joined the Ferry Command last year.
July 5, 1944
50 YEARS AGO
The sports editor of the North Penn Reporter rode the railroad coach from Lansdale, Pennsylvania to St. Louis an April night in 1943. The next afternoon he was up to his ears in galleys and batting averages at The Sporting News in St. Louis. That was animated Clifford Kachline – always with his nose buried in baseball facts and losing no time about it. He is the new Historian of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it was announced today by Hall President Paul S. Kerr. The 47-year-old editor, writer and statistician succeeds Lee Allen who died in May.
July 2, 1969