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Hometown History

April 13, 2023

125 Years Ago
Under the rules and regulations of the Board of Health, “every privy vault and cesspool shall be cleaned and contents thereof removed at least once in each year, and on or before the first of May,” etc. It is hoped that citizens will appreciate the importance of complying with the requirement and govern themselves accordingly. The farther the contents of these receptacles of filth can be removed from the human habitation the better. No doubt we as a community suffer from the burial of filth near our residences. If it be so that any who live not very near neighbors think they can safely bury the contents of their vaults, I would urge them not to bury it within 1,000 feet of a house, well, or spring of water. Above all, do not bury it deep; cover slightly with soil, just sufficient to absorb the odor. The gravel or sand underneath the soil possesses no power or property of absorbing anything; it is a sanitary point of view, simply a conductor of air and water; hence the danger of deep burial of decaying and putrid matter. O.W. Peck, M.D., Health Officer.

April 1888

100 Years Ago
The directors of the Fox Memorial Hospital have purchased one of the finest X-ray machines in the country. The machine is known as the Solace Interruption X-ray machine, and is exactly the same type and size that is used in the Roosevelt Presbyterian New York Post Graduate, and in short, all the leading metropolitan hospitals. The cost was $1,500. The machine arrived early last week and was installed on Thursday and Friday under the direction of Dr. H.F. Waite of New York, who is a member of the Waite & Bartlett company of New York who are exclusive manufacturers of electric medical and surgical appliances and devices, and are conceded to be foremost among the manufacturers of such goods in the country, if not in the world. It is an 8-kilowatt machine with a voltage of 150,000. It has other currents for treatment of eczema, neuralgia, muscular rheumatism, and for reducing arterial tension. During the first two days many interesting radiographs were taken.

April 1913

80 Years Ago
Pursuant to action of Congress in amending the Volstead Act, legal beer returned to Otsego County Friday morning of last week. Federal permits at five dollars each are all that a vendor requires outside the City of Oneonta in order to sell the 3.2 percent brew. With the modification of the Volstead Act and failure of the state government to establish a control plan, the Oneonta Common Council at an adjourned meeting Thursday evening unanimously passed a local ordinance providing for a regulation of wholesale and retail dealers, including restaurants and clubs. It provides that all vendors must procure a license in addition to the one required from the federal government. The city licenses will cost $50. Sale of beer is prohibited between the hours of 1 and 6 a.m. and during the hours of elections; to minors under the age of 18 years, directly or indirectly; within 500 feet of a school or church excepting in restaurants, stores, and certain other business places.

April 1933

60 Years Ago
Charles J. Beams recalls his early days of life in Oneonta – When Charles J. Beams came to Oneonta in 1886 there were no pavements, parks or ward schools. A wooden building on Academy Street housed all grades and the high school, and Main Street was called “Wooden Row.” There was no Main Street viaduct. Horses and buggies took their chances with trains at grade level. The Delaware & Hudson Railroad was resplendent with modern hand brakes, link and pin couplings, and sunflower stacks. For amusement and recreation there were roller skating rinks, fireman’s tournaments, home talent melodramas of Civil War times, bicycling and the Central New York Fair. Beams is secretary of the Upper Susquehanna Historical Society and one of his hobbies besides trout fishing and photography is collecting historical data.

April 1953

40 Years Ago
This is National Library Week and if you haven’t visited Huntington Memorial Library recently, we advise you to do so. We think that you will be amazed at what you see and hear. We believe that no city the size of Oneonta in the entire country can match the facilities at Huntington and the services which it renders.
This summer, Oneontans may see a few gasoline stations close and others curtail their hours because of a lack of gasoline for customers. And the price of gasoline will probably go up. The amount of gasoline available has decreased, while demand is up about seven percent. Several factors have caused the shortage. For one, no new oil refineries have been built in the past five or six years because of pollution regulations. A shortage of oil to refine is another factor. National figures show so far this year that refineries are a billion gallons behind schedule. By mid-summer, the U.S. will be 125 million barrels behind as each barrel of oil yields 42 gallons of gasoline.

April 1973

30 Years Ago
George Wolfgang Forrell, the Carver Distinguished Professor of Religion at the University of Iowa, will speak Monday at 8 p.m. in the theater of the Anderson Center for the Arts at Hartwick College, Oneonta. He will be the first speaker in the annual Christian-Scholar Lecturer Program sponsored by the Staley Foundation. Forrell’s lecture is titled “The Ethical Crisis in Secular Higher Education.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

April 1983

10 Years Ago
President Bush, eager to avoid the political mistakes of his father, is making an aggressive push to boost the sluggish economy. Bush plans a Rose Garden speech on the economy and tax cuts today. With Congress adjourned for the two-week Easter recess, Bush is sending 25 Cabinet officials and deputies across the country to promote his economic recovery plan, which relies heavily on tax cuts. The proposal is under fire from lawmakers, including some Republicans, who think it would reduce revenues too deeply and plunge the country into damaging deficits.

April 2003


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Hometown History: July 20, 2023

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The Local News—From the annual report of the state factory inspectors it is seen that Otsego County has twenty factories, employing over 900 hands. Fourteen are located in Oneonta, three in Unadilla and two at Schenevus. In the county there are nine cigar factories, employing some 200 hands, three-fourths of whom are engaged in factories in Oneonta.
No man takes more pride in the neatness of the exterior surroundings of his residence than C.E. Ford. From the vases in his well-kept front yard flowers have more than once been stolen and one recent night the plants themselves were taken. This was more than good nature could bear and Mr. Ford is anxious to pay $25 to know who did it.
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Hometown History: July 27, 2023

135 Years Ago
Two thousand Italians in New York are absolutely destitute and dependent wholly upon charity for the continuance of existence. So at least says Signor R. Marzo, general manager of the Italian Society of Emigration, and he is probably a good authority. And there are many more who, being without employ, would also be starving but for their having some small savings upon which they live in the most economical fashion. When their means are gone, unless there is such an improvement in the labor market as there now seems no reason to expect, they too will be added to the army of paupers. The society is already doing what it can to relieve the distress of these unhappy people. To procure aid Signor Marzo has issued an appeal to the charitable, and has already the gratifying response of contributions amounting to over $700 from well-to-do Italian residents of New York. Last year 42,725 Italian emigrants landed here. The present wretched condition of so many of the Italians is due to the excessive immigration from Italy within the past six months.
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Putting the Community Back Into the Newspaper

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