HOMETOWN HISTORY, December 6, 2013
100 Years Ago
One of the most important realty transactions in the city in some time has been consummated in the purchase of the A.S. Miles house on Chestnut Street from Henry E. Huntington by the Oneonta Building and Loan Association for a home for the organization which is recognized as one of the leading institutions of the city. The sale was made through E.R. Ford, Mr. Huntington’s agent. The house, which at the present time is occupied in part by Dr. G.W. Augustin, will be remodeled to meet the needs of the association and it is possible that business offices may be formed from portions of the building not occupied by the purchasers. The lot on which the house stands has a frontage of 86 feet on Chestnut Street and is 160 feet deep. The association was organized in 1888 and started business with $500 in capital. Since that time it has paid out over $1,000,000 in shares.
80 Years Ago
“Hitler will have to change his policies,” Dr. Ray Freeman Jenney of Syracuse told those present at the joint Thanksgiving meeting of the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs at the Elks Club Wednesday noon. Dr. Jenney, who is pastor of the Park Central Presbyterian Church of Syracuse, gave a powerful address titled “Has Germany Turned the Clock Back?” Dr. Jenney declared that Germany has the spotlight of the world turned upon it today. Dr. Jenney deplored the looming of another war and declared: “The hatred of the Jews cannot be condoned. We can’t permit brutality and suffering through the persecution of a minority.”
60 Years Ago
The Civil Defense alert to be held in Otsego County tomorrow is an important part in the atomic bomb test at Utica and its success depends upon the cooperation of each and every individual. Far too many citizens look upon civil defense as hogwash. Apathy to the program is understandable in view of the many conflicting statements made these days by some of our national leaders. The cold fact remains. These are grim times. We must be constantly on the alert. We cannot relax and be caught off guard. There must never be another Pearl Harbor in the history of this country. Civil Defense is not a game. We have much at stake in its success. Cooperation should be the keynote when the fire sirens signal the raid Saturday morning.
40 Years Ago
Trees have been planted, lights installed and new granite curbing cemented into place. Oneonta’s newest street is easily the proudest in the city. But alas, it has no name. The Urban Renewal Agency has been pressuring the Common Council to officially title reconstructed Market-Prospect Street and last night the aldermen took their first crack at finding a name for the road. Urban Renewal Agency Director David Cooper counseled keeping the name Market Street. A motion that was eventually tabled proposed naming it Market Street from Grand Street to Main Street. Some aldermen feel that since the reconstruction has left a continuous road from Division Street, along what used to be Prospect Street to Market Street the entire stretch should have a single name to avoid confusion. Alderman L.E. Guenette favors calling the full road Division Street. The First Ward’s Peter Clark proposed “Lettis Lane,” “Baldo Boulevard,” or “Griffin Grove,” all of whom are his colleagues. Clark also proposed “D & H Drive,” noting that the road runs parallel to the railroad.
30 Years Ago
Unemployment fell to 8.4 percent in November, the lowest rate in two years as 743,000 Americans found work and swelled the overall job force to a record 102.7 million. The White House called that report “the best Christmas gift this country can receive.” The new civilian jobless rate, down 0.4 percent from October’s 8.8 percent unemployment, was far below the fourth-quarter estimate which had been projected by the Reagan administration last July. That assessment predicted unemployment would average 9.6 percent in the last quarter this year, and dip no lower than 8.6 percent a year from now.
20 Years Ago
Hartwick College adjunct professor Julia P. Suarez will present a public lecture December 10 comparing the lives of two 19th century women in Otsego County. Titled “Otsego County Voices” Suarez will read and examine excerpts from the writings of two young women. Sally Fairman was a lady of leisure in 1819. The entries in her journal are lengthy and introspective. Schoolteacher Harriet Warner’s 1853 journal consists of shorter more factual recordings.
10 Years Ago
Oneonta health teacher Renee Stanley and art teacher Kiersten Jennings partnered as faculty members at Oneonta High School to create a 70-piece student art exhibit that recognizes the magnitude of the AIDS epidemic worldwide.
The exhibit, mounted in the high school cafeteria, depicts the horror, the statistics (34 to 46 million victims worldwide) and even the hope for a cure.