HOMETOWN HISTORY: July 22, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

July 22, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

Mr. N.C. Hart of Oneonta, who is
presently on his annual pilgrimage in the North Woods, writes poetically of his time there: “I have built me a cot close by a great rock at the base of a high mountain crest where the hawks sail around and game doth abound, and the eagle has chosen her nest. At the foot of the hill are both springlet and rill, and the shores of a bright sylvan lake in whose waters the trout leap spryly about and the deer comes his thirst to slake. Amid scenes like this our outing is bliss – no cares have we on our mind. We enjoy perfect rest in a haven that’s blest mid nature’s own bright summer clime.”

July 1886

110 Years Ago

F.W. Ayer, well known the country over as proprietor of a leading Philadelphia advertising agency, was in Oneonta Saturday with his Coach and Pullman railroad cars. Mr. Ayer, who owns the extensive Meridale Stock Farms, where he also has an attractive summer residence, gives each of his employees a two-week vacation at his home in Meridale, paying all expenses to and from Philadelphia, the trips going and coming being made by different routes. Mr. Ayer’s trip to this city was for the purpose of bringing to the railroad a party of twenty, who had finished their two weeks outing, and to take a similar party back with him.
Fifteen members of the Boy Scouts left Oneonta yesterday morning by trolley for Index, from which place they will march to Cooperstown, where they will spend a week in camp, with two or three thousand other Boy Scouts from all over the country. The encampment is the first of its kind ever held in the United States. The Oneonta boys held a meeting Monday evening at the association rooms and, after taking the necessary examinations, took the Scouts’ oath and were pronounced full-fledged tenderfoot Scouts of the first class. Appropriate uniforms were received this week and were distributed to the Scouts at the meeting.

July 1911

90 Years Ago

It was announced last week at Albany that final plans for the new training school building for the Oneonta State Normal School have been approved and contractors are being notified that bids will be received by the commissioner of education for the construction, for heating and sanitary work, and for electric work. It will be remembered that $80,000 was appropriated for the foundation of the building a year ago. The contract was awarded to C.M. McLean and Sons of Binghamton for approximately $25,000. That work has been rushed and it is now expected the contractor will complete it early this week. The whole structure will cost about $375,000, $295,000 having been appropriated to complete the building.

July 1931

70 Years Ago

An early-morning SOS for anti-snakebite serum was answered yesterday in Oneonta as part of a five-city emergency effort to save a war veteran in Ilion who attempted suicide, police said, by the bite of a diamond-back rattlesnake on his tongue after putting the reptile’s head in his mouth during a carnival show. Vernon M. Bellew, a pharmacist for City Drug Store, was awakened at 5 a.m. in his residence at 30 Otsego Street by a phone call from Ilion Chief of Police Clifton Sitts. Sitts apparently obtained Bellew’s name and phone number from a pharmaceutical salesman. The pharmacist was urged to rush the serum to state police in the East End of Oneonta. Bellew called a taxi, got an ampule vial from the store refrigerator and delivered it to Trooper Blake Muthig
in the East End at 5:40 a.m. Alerted and waiting, Trooper Muthig was under instruction to speed northward on Route 28 until he met an Ilion police car. Twenty minutes later, at 6 a.m. Trooper Muthig shot past the approaching Ilion car on the southern outskirts of Cooperstown. Brakes screeched, both cars halted, the Ilion car spun around and stopped. A window in each car went down and Muthig handed the package to the Ilion officer. The snakebite victim is George Morgan, age 30, of Camden, New Jersey, employed in the W. B. Sutton Snake Show, currently playing in Ilion. Carnival workers said Morgan had been despondent since receiving word that his brother’s remains had been returned for burial from Korea where he was killed in war action. Morgan is now stable and expected to recover.

July 1951

40 Years Ago

For the first time since draft registration was resumed last year, the Selective Service has asked the Justice Department to start prosecuting young men who have failed to sign up. A Justice Department spokesman said it will probably be several months before papers are filed and prosecution is begun against an initial list of 132 men suspected of not registering. The action shows the government is serious about signing up all 18-year-old males for possible military duty. If convicted, those who ignore Uncle Sam’s call could face up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. “It would be very foolish to do a waiting game with the government,” said Tom Stewart, a Justice Department spokesman. Brayton Harris, assistant director of the Selective Service,
estimates that 400,000 draft-eligible men have failed to register.

July 1981

30 Years Ago

New York State’s Board of Regents is studying a curriculum committee report that urges changes in history texts that demonstrate an unfair bias toward white Europeans. The committee’s recommendations have touched off a nationwide debate over political correctness in the classroom. The regents are also considering a pilot project that would provide vouchers to some parents to switch their children from public to private schools.

July 1991

20 Years Ago

Calling computer security one of the nation’s top problems, Attorney General John Ashcroft said Friday that the government is forming nine special units to prosecute hacking and copyright
violations. Ashcroft said that the additions will increase to 48 the number of prosecutors working on cyber-crime in U.S. Attorneys’ offices across the country.

July 2001


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