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January 28, 2021

150 Years Ago

In the Village of Oneonta during the year 1870 the mortality was as follows: Total number of deaths: 9; of which 5 were women, 1 man, 2 boys and 1 girl. Ages: Under 1 year and under: 2; between 1 and 5 years: 1; 15 and 20 years: 1; 30 and 40 years: 5. Diseases: Bronchitis: 1; Cancer: 1; Consumption 1; Dysentery 1; Hemorrhage of Lungs 2; Killed by Cars (Railroad) 1; Scarintina 1. Deaths to population: Eight-tenths of one percent.
In reference to the Musical Convention held at Schenevus recently, Miss Emma Gates of Oneonta had probably the fullest and best cultivated soprano voice of any of the female singers present. Her delineation is broad and fluent, her execution full of delicacy, and her rendition of impassioned music – “vehement.”

January 1871

125 Years Ago

Local: Most of the Oneonta lawyers are in Cooperstown this week, including the veteran R.M. Townsend, who has fully recovered his health.
Mrs. James F. Thompson and her two children of Oneonta returned home on Monday, after spending several days with Mr. and Mrs. A. Lane, the parents of Mrs. Thompson.
The Cooperstown Watch and Optical Company have decided to remove their business from Cooperstown to Oneonta. They have taken a lease of one of the stores in the Stewart Block.
President Coykendall of the Ulster and Delaware R.R. has offered to build a spur into the Town of Andes, Delaware County, if the people of that town will agree to furnish 500 cans of milk
a day for shipment.
At Milford, Henry Ellsworth was arrested Friday night on a charge of burglary and lodged in the County Jail at Cooperstown to await the action of the grand jury.
On Friday, a villager saw him enter the hotel by a back door and informed Landlord Salisbury of the fact. A search resulted in finding him hiding in a dry cistern in the cellar.

January 1896

80 Years Ago

Earl G. Stalker, Otsego County Mobilization Officer of the American Legion and Sheriff Fred F. Fox have completed details of a mobilization program for Otsego County. The principal objective is to make available to the Sheriff’s Department in time of national emergency approximately 500 ex-servicemen for civil defense duty. The county has been divided into five sections with a mobilization point for each. These five points will be Oneonta, Unadilla, Morris, Richfield Springs and Cooperstown. It is possible two other points may be established later. The program calls for men of special training for duties such as first aid, emergency communications, mechanical engineering, etc. Each section will be in the charge of a commanding officer to be appointed by the American Legion with the approval of the Sheriff’s Department. In case of an emergency the units could be mobilized within 30 minutes. Questionnaires have been distributed to all Legionnaires and Veterans of Foreign Wars in Otsego County. A “Signal School” will be established by the American Legion under competent direction and embracing Morse Code, blinker systems, wig-wag, and the latest in radio signaling. New equipment is being purchased and presented to the Legion for this purpose. All residents of Otsego County will be eligible to enroll in the Signal School training.

January 29, 1941

60 Years Ago

Talking on the Telephone – “Line Busy” the American telephone operator tells you. Someone has discovered the average telephone conversation is now twice as long as it was 10 years ago. Many of us are more communicative than ever. In face-to-face talk, we may rely partly on wrinkling the brow, twitching the nose, or projecting the eyes to give poignancy to our confidences. On the telephone we have to let words do it all. Parents who are forever waiting to call other parents attribute the new average telephone call to the new average teenager.

January 1961

40 Years Ago

Area residents are invited to “People and Places – A Photo Documentary of the Catskill Region” at Hartwick College’s Yager Museum. “People and Places” features photographs by Mark Zeek of Cooperstown. The photos are selected from the book titled “On the Mountain, In the Valley/Catskills Architecture 1750-1920,” published by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. Mr. Zeek’s photographs portray some of the residences, mills, churches and barns built in the area prior to 1920. Zeek, who served as Chief of Photography for the NYS Division of Historic Preservation, has photographed extensively throughout the Catskills. A roundtable discussion will include an historical overview of the area by antiquarian book dealer Roger Butterfield.

January 1981

25 Years Ago

Lorna Czarnota not only spun her own yarns while at Greater Plains Elementary School, she had the fifth and sixth graders telling stories as well. Czarnota was in Oneonta Wednesday and Thursday telling tales while in costume and speaking about her own personal experiences. Working as a substitute teacher Czarnota said she did not realize until about ten years ago that she had pretty much been a storyteller since childhood.
“But, I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl.”
Czarnota is a member of the National Storytelling Association known as “Spin-A-Storytellers” and the “Society for Creative Anachronism.” Czarnota is versatile and spins tales for people from pre-Kindergarten to senior citizens. Her family originally hailed from this region and she still has family here. Her program in Oneonta is a new one started this year. “I requested to work with “at-risk students.”

January 1996

10 Years Ago

Eleven Rules: This year (2011) we will experience four unusual dates: 1/1/11 (January 1, 2011); 11/1/11 (November 1, 2011) and 11/11/11 (November 11, 2011.
Editorial Recollection by Jim Herman OCCA Conservationist of the Year: Mayor Calvin Tillman of Dish, Texas spoke with local officials on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 and that evening to a public event at Oneonta’s Unitarian Universalist Church. “Dish Texas receives emissions from 11 natural gas compressor stations and many pipelines. The results are seen in serious health issues for quite a few residents of the little town. High levels of carcinogenic neurotoxin compounds have been recorded which are above safe levels. While I drove Mayor Tillman up Route 205 to Cooperstown, he looked out at a cornfield and said: “In my part of Texas you could not drive straight through at 55-60 miles an hour on a road like this.” I asked, “Why not?’ “Because there would be so many heavy-duty tanker-trucks from the gas wells. These corn fields would make perfect well sites.”

January 2011


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