200 YEARS AGO
One of the first duties of a citizen is to use every effort, by precept and example, to encourage industry and shut out want. No matter how splendid your city may be, whether shady walks, cooling fountains, marble edifices, and magnificent palaces, give tokens of opulence and ease – if your streets are crowded with beggars and your paths haunted by mendacity it is a stain on the character of the economy of its inhabitants. There are so many ways of earning a morsel of bread honestly, that want, arising from indolence should never be tolerated. Rich or poor, all men should remember, whatever may be their situation in life, that it is ordained by Providence, that “man is to live by the sweat of his brow.”
September 27, 1819
175 YEARS AGO
Henry Clay has obtained another certificate of good character from one of his partisan clergymen. A letter has just made its appearance in some Whig papers signed by N.H. Hall, who is represented as being the Presbyterian Clergyman of Lexington, KY. This reverend gentleman, having been asked to give his opinion in regard to the moral character and standing of Mr. Clay among his neighbors, replies: “I have never witnessed an act or heard expression from Mr. Clay that was not in conformity with the strictest morality.” This Rev. Mr. Hall, we presume, never heard of the Randolph Duel and the participation of Mr. Clay in the Cilley murder; or the language of Mr. Clay to Colonel Polk – “Go home, God damn you, where you belong!”
September 30, 1844
150 YEARS AGO
The Steamboat – the “Mary Boden,” the first steamer designed for Otsego Lake, arrived at Cooperstown, via railroad on Saturday last. Think of it – a steamer for this lake, and arriving here by railroad! We wish that Cooper might have lived to see it and write about it. Mr. D.B. Boden deserves great credit for his enterprise in investing $2,000 in such a craft, and we hope he will find it a paying one. The Mary is built for speed and hard work, and shows very handsome lines. She will go into winter quarters immediately, and will be put in complete order for next summer. The Mary was sledded through Main and Fair Streets – fortunately for the occasion quite muddy – on Wednesday, drawn by about 40 men, three yoke of oxen and two span of horses. She weighs about eight tons.
September 24, 1869
125 YEARS AGO
Local – Dr. E.P. Fowler has this season had a new well drilled for supplying his “Estli” place with water. It is located
south of his house, and is 135 feet deep. A steel windmill is to be erected to hoist the water, which will be carried to the house in iron pipes.
Golf has invaded Otsego County. It first appeared near the head of Otsego Lake, during the past summer, and is confined to that locality. There are grounds at Newport, R.I., Yonkers and a few other points in this country, but no rapid spread of the fad is anticipated. Two or three of our north end neighbors were educated in England. They imbibed the English love of outdoor sports and some of their visitors are outdoor people. To play the game of golf well requires long practice, though one may in a year or two learn to play well enough to take pleasure in the game. However, the sport is not destined to become national, for we Americans rarely devote the time required for its mastery to any one particular thing.
September 27, 1894
100 YEARS AGO
Col. Nelson A. Gapen, Medical Corps, U.S. Army, has replaced Major A.E. Ludwick as Commanding Officer of the U.S. Aviation hospital here. Colonel Gapen arrived last week to begin his duties, and will likely be commanding officer of the hospital until its close, which is expected momentarily. Colonel Gapen has been Assistant Surgeon General of the medical detachment of the air service for the past two years, and paid an official visit of inspection to Cooperstown in July. Major Ludwick remains on staff here. Capt. Charles M. Wharton, for several months physical director here, left on Saturday for Philadelphia, his home, where he will be discharged from the service. Capt. Wharton will begin duties as Chair of Physical Culture at the University of Pennsylvania on October 1.
September 24, 1919
75 YEARS AGO
Mrs. E. Russell Houghton, Knox School President, announces the school’s opening on September 27, this week, for its thirty-third year and the school’s twenty-fourth year in Cooperstown. The number of students enrolled is the largest since 1929 and the school has had to close its door to further applicants. A majority of the girls are from New York. Other states represented are California, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. There are two girls from Bermuda, one from South America, and one from Aruba, N.W.I.
September 27, 1944
50 YEARS AGO
A group of seven young Japanese men who are spending two months in this country as a team taking part in a Rotary Foundation Group Study Program will visit Cooperstown Rotary Club during its regular luncheon meeting at the Cooper Inn next Tuesday. The visitors represent Rotary District 373 which is on Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan. They are university trained businessmen and all speak English. Six make up the study team and the group is in the charge of Dr. Hiroji Mukasa who operates a mental clinic at Nakatsu City, Oita. During their one-day stay the visitors will visit Cooperstown’s museums and the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital.
September 24. 1969
10 YEARS AGO
Last Halloween Shirley Walrath decorated her husband George’s grave in Hartwick Cemetery with hardy mums and a pumpkin. George died on Christmas Eve 2004. “We left it there. Six months later we went back and took it away,” Shirley recalled. During a recent visit to the grave, Shirley found her husband’s plot covered with a flourishing vine. Returning the other day, Shirley discovered 10 pumpkins growing there.
October 2, 2009