HOMETOWN HISTORY: August 12, 2021


August 5, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

135 Years Ago

Home & Vicinity – Frank A. Robbin’s Circus & Menagerie drew a big crowd to Oneonta on Tuesday. The company met with delays in getting here from Delhi, where it showed the day preceding, and it was not until between twelve and one o’clock that the street parade occurred. The best feature of the tent performance was the trained elephant exhibition.
Last September, a bay mare valued at $200 was stolen from the barn of Andrew J. Burdick of Clifford, Pennsylvania. Nick Crandall, a notorious character, was arrested and convicted of the theft and sent to prison for two years and six months. He had disposed of the horse but would not disclose to whom. Recently Mr. Burdick was informed that the horse was in Oneonta, and on coming here he found it in the possession of Lafayette Stanton, who bought it of Charles Knapp of Mt. Vision, who procured it from Crandall. The horse has been identified by Burdick, but legal steps will be necessary before he obtains possession of it.

August 1886

110 Years Ago

In spite of threatening rain clouds early Tuesday morning, no rain fell to dampen interest in the arrival and unloading of the Barnum & Bailey Circus between 4 to 7 a.m. Crowds thronged at the Fonda Avenue crossing and at the circus grounds on Wilcox flats. By 10 o’clock, Main Street was filled end to end along the line of the parade. The parade itself was probably the largest ever seen in this city, extending in a solid line for about one mile and a half. When the steam calliope, which brought up the rear, was passing the corner of Dietz Street on Main, the head of the procession, which meantime had passed up Main Street to Maple, up Maple north to Center, from Center west to Dietz and back to Main again, just lapping the steam piano on its way up Main. Estimates of the crowd vary widely but are 20,000 to 25,000 on average. There were not less than 14,000 under the Big Top at the afternoon performance. In the evening, the attendance was perhaps 3,000 greater.

August 1911

70 Years Ago

Dr. William Ward Ayer, noted radio preacher of New York City, will be the speaker at the 9 a.m. Sunday drive-in service at the Del-Sego Theater. In charge of the service will be the Rev. George Thompson, pastor of the Main Street Baptist Church. The King’s Men, a quartet of young college students, will provide music, presenting both instrumental and vocal numbers. Mrs. Breta Fay will be at the console of the Hammond organ. The life story of Dr. Ayer has been the subject of a prize-winning biography titled “God’s Man in Manhattan,” written by Mel Larson.

August 1951

50 Years Ago

The Oneonta Indians professional football team in the Empire League will play its season opener at Oneonta High School this Saturday at 2 p.m. Members of the Indians’ squad this season include Ron Wilber, a graduate of Franklin Central, where he paced the Purple Devils to Tri-Valley League titles. Ronnie joined the Indians last year, but was taken into the armed forces before his first game. Joe Super is probably the most versatile back on the Indian roster. Super was a mainstay of the tribe’s offense last season, playing quarterback, flanker back and seeing action on defense. He made All-Empire League last season.

August 1971

40 Years Ago

An Oneonta High School physics teacher says he suspects he was transferred this summer to another teaching assignment so the district could offer his job to a much-needed soccer coach. Robert Reynolds, who has taught physics at the high school for the past three years, said he was transferred involuntarily last month without explanation. Last week, the school board appointed Daniel Clune of Oneonta to fill Reynolds’ former position. Clune was also appointed that same night as junior varsity soccer coach. School officials declined to discuss the reasons for Reynolds’ transfer.

August 1981

30 Years Ago

Locals – Hartwick College in Oneonta will dedicate the Paul F. Cooper, Jr. archives during a private reception on campus Wednesday evening. Administration and library officials will attend and Professor Alan Taylor will present a talk titled “The New Jerusalem: William Cooper and John C. Hartwick.” Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr. will respond. The papers of William Cooper, a judge, land agent and politician of two centuries ago, were bequeathed to Hartwick College last year.

August 1991

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