HOMETOWN History Jan. 31, 2020


Jan. 31, 2020

150 Years Ago

Suicide – John VanBenscoten, a farmer in independent circumstances near New Kingston, committed suicide by hanging himself in his barn, Saturday morning last. He got up before daylight, took a lantern as was his usual custom and went out, as was supposed, to do the chores at the barn. Shortly after, other members of the family having gone to the barn, found the lantern with the light burning, on an inverted measure, and he hanging dead. He was about fifty years of age. No cause can be assigned for the act.
Fire at Schoharie – A destructive fire occurred at Schoharie Court House on January 17. It was first discovered about noon in a barn of the Eagle Hotel. The hotel, with outbuildings, the Court House, one or two stores, dwellings and other buildings were destroyed. The loss is estimated at $40,000.

January 1870

125 Years Ago

Local: A wholesale house for the sale of Chicago-dressed beef will soon be opened in Oneonta. Merlin L. Platt, who has built and stocked a large ice house, will handle meats directly from the famous Swift Company of Chicago, the goods being shipped in refrigerator cars.
A subscription paper was circulated in the railroad
shops at Oneonta last week for a fund towards funding
an Emergency Hospital for the sole benefit of D. & H. employees. Over $200 was at once subscribed among the shop men alone, and the sum will be augmented as soon as opportunity to subscribe is given to conductors, engineers, firemen, and trainmen.

January 1895

100 Years Ago

Among all the communities of Otsego County, West Laurens, one of the smallest is probably the hardest hit by the influenza, there being nearly 40 cases of that disease and five cases of pneumonia. Most of the flu victims are the children, the school being closed as nearly all the pupils are, or have been suffering from the disease. It has spread quite rapidly. It is now believed that the epidemic is at its crest as there were no new cases reported yesterday.
Last evening more than 100 ladies gathered at K. of P. Hall to spend a social evening and consider the proposed organization of a Mooseheart Legion” in this city. The speaker was Charles W. Southworth, the first member of the Loyal Order of Moose in the city. He pointed out the many merits of the organization. Mrs. C.A. Boswell of Binghamton followed with an address on Mooseheart, the home maintained by the order. T.E. Blanchard was the third speaker and spoke of the order’s aims, purposes and teachings. Some 15 new names for charter members were secured, bringing the total to date to 58.

January 1920

80 Years Ago

Adolf Hitler, his voice shrill with emotion and knife-sharp with bitter irony, predicted ominously before a vast mass meeting that England and France alike will get “the fight” he said they had asked for, and voiced his utmost confidence that Germany would win the war. It was the seventh anniversary of his elevation to Chancellor. Hitler’s speech was the first formal one he had made since November 8, when he barely escaped death in the Munich beer hall explosion. A wildly enthusiastic throng was there to hear him pronounce the determination of the German people and its leadership unshakeable; its army the greatest in the world; its position safe “from the rear” because of its alliance with Russia, and bulwarked by an unchanged “close friendship” with Italy. Hitler’s voice quivered, then rose to a high pitch as he told how Germany’s enemies at home had gotten the war which “they wanted.” Then, he threatened: “In 1939 the western powers dropped the mask and sent Germany a declaration of war despite all our attempts at an understanding. Today, they admit an understanding with Poland might have been possible, but they didn’t want it. They wanted war. I can only tell England and France, “They’ll get their fight!”

January 1940

60 Years Ago

Mayor James Georgeson said last night he disagreed with the theory that Oneonta’s present government needs “streamlining or revamping.” “It’s not that I won’t change my mind,” the Mayor said. “But, no one’s convinced me yet it needs changing.” Last Friday, Second Ward Alderman Francis Feeney advocated the present government be “streamlined and overhauled.” He suggested a strong-mayor type government and abolition of the present Commissions. Under Feeney’s proposal all department heads would replace the Commissions and be directly responsible to the Mayor. “The Commissions do a tremendous amount of work,” the Mayor said. “I think the board or commission government is sound.” Mayor Georgeson attributed the friction with Commissions in the past to lack of clarification and personalities who didn’t conduct themselves as city officials.

January 1960

20 Years Ago

While some stock market analysts are encouraging investors to buy Amazon’s stock, critics are wondering if the company will have enough cash on hand to operate the entire year. However, Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com, who recently was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, is laughing. “I’m just plain having fun at Amazon.com,” Bezos said. “I’m a change junkie, and I cannot imagine an environment more changing than the Internet in general and Amazon.com in particular.” The e-commerce company which began as a bookstore now sells most everything. Amazon’s fourth-quarter sales are expected to total more than $650 million compared to $253 million for the period in 1998 and greater than its $610 million in sales for all of 1998. The company boasts a customer base of 16 million people.

January 2000

10 Years Ago

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said Wednesday night that Andrew Weber, Oneonta Tigers General Manager, has confirmed that his NY-Penn League franchise will move to Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut for the 2010 season. Miller’s written statement states: “The fact that they are leaving a year earlier than planned is unfortunate but understandable given the unanticipated opportunity presented to them by the N.Y. Penn League in Connecticut.” Oneonta was among four N.Y. Penn League franchises in the running for Dodd Stadium. The N.Y. Penn League also considered moving the Batavia Muckdogs, the Jamestown Jammers and the Vermont Lake Monsters.

January 2010

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