Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library
135 Years Ago
Kate Farrell, aged 22, whose home is at Starucca, Pennsylvania, has for a few weeks been visiting her sister, Mrs. Frazee, at Gaylord’s store, West Harpersfield. Kate was addicted to the morphine habit.
She obtained as a substitute some hydrate of chloral. Sunday afternoon she visited Agnes Ward of Oneonta, who is caring for her mother, not far from the Gaylord store. Not long after Kate left Agnes she was found down the bank by the roadside, nearly unconscious. She was taken to her sister’s, where she died in a few hours.
The coroner’s jury found that she came to her death from an overdose of chloral, taken in mistake.
The body was buried at Starucca on Tuesday.
110 Years Ago
Ray Church, the 16-year-old son of Frank Church of South Side, while engaged in what began as a friendly wrestling bout in front of the Church home last Saturday, became angry and shot his companion, Archie Ryan, in the right knee.
The shot was fired from a single-barrel shot gun, which the boy took from the wall and aimed at Ryan’s head. It is stated that Mr. Smith, the grandfather of the Church boy, knocked the gun down just as the trigger was pulled, which fact only saved Ryan from instant death. The latter came at once to the city, where a warrant was sworn out for Church’s arrest.
Church was apprehended by officers Stapleton and Lang, and brought to the city police court. Church waived examination and gave bail in the sum of $500, pending the action of the grand jury.
General rumor has it that the Church boy when angry is ungovernable. It is also stated that he had for years habitually carried a revolver.
70 Years Ago
Sherman M. Fairchild, an Oneonta native, is described in the July issue of the magazine Nation’s Business as a “fair child of invention.” The feature speaks of him as “one of the most unusual men in American industry;” also as “an inventor’s inventor, a connoisseur of technical ideas, a man who probably has nurtured as many innovations as any man since Edison, and who in the process has founded a succession of industrial dynasties.” This year, the U.S. Air Force gave a $200,000,000 contract to Kaiser-Frazer for production of Fairchild’s C-119 “Packet,” a giant troop and cargo-carrying airplane. The “Packet” has a detachable fuselage, which can unload and reload in a matter of seconds like an auto truck and trailer.
Fairchild is the father of present-day methods of aerial mapping. He perfected the aerial camera. He sponsored the enclosed cabin airplane; the radio compass; the in-line air-cooled Ranger engine; the P-19 standard primary training plane used by the Air Force, and the C-82 and its larger, faster successor, the C-119. His latest invention is the “Scan-a-Graver,” a photo-electric device for making newspaper picture cuts in a few minutes directly from photographs.
Mr. Fairchild is a 49-year-old bachelor and one of the few inventors listed in the New York Social Register. He is the son of the late George W. Fairchild, a founder of IBM.
The Fairchild family home at Main and Grand streets is now the Masonic Temple.
50 Years Ago
Bogus $10 bills have surfaced in Oneonta that have identical serial numbers to ones among $16,600 worth of counterfeit bills allegedly found in the possession of three Ulster County men this past weekend. The three men were apprehended over the weekend in a Clarence, New York motel near Buffalo according to U.S. Secret Service officials.
Oneonta police detective Anthony Angellotti said several counterfeit bills of high quality turned up in local banks this week. Angellotti urged Oneonta residents to bring any suspected counterfeit bills to the police station, or leave them with their banking institutions.
The counterfeit bills have serial numbers “B15229293H, B51399222H, and B51223992H.
40 Years Ago
Oneonta’s Soccer Hall of Fame Committee recently applied for a provisional charter to operate a museum. “This means we’ll be able to operate as a real museum,” Albert Colone, the committee chairman said. “And, we’ll also be a not-for-profit corporation.” The charter application must be approved by the New York State Board of Regents before the site on Ford Avenue can be operated as a regular museum.
In the meantime, the Soccer Hall of Fame Committee is still looking for private donations to offset financial losses suffered when it sponsored a professional soccer match in May and attendance suffered when rain and cold weather dampened fan enthusiasm for a match between the Pennsylvania Stoners and the New York United clubs.
The committee is also looking for larger contributions in the $200,000 range to help build a permanent home.
There are plans for a 90-acre site to include a museum, a stadium, dormitories and practice fields.
30 Years Ago
A poem penned 39 years ago by Donald Petersen, an English professor at the State University College at Oneonta, will be read in the Home Box Office television documentary “When It Was a Game.”
The poem, titled “Ballad to Dead Yankees” describes several New York Yankees players who succeeded because of their agility and quickness. Five passages from the poem will be read by actors James Earl Jones, Roy Scheider, and Jason Robards.
The poem appears in Petersen’s book of poems, “The Spectral Boy,” published in 1964.
20 Years Ago
A study of 250,000 children involved in car accidents shows that less than one percent of children between the ages of seven and eight in New York are properly restrained when traveling in motor vehicles.
In addition, 83 percent of children, ages four to eight are being restrained by adult seat belts instead of using a belt-positioning booster seat, according to a study conducted by Partners for Child Passenger Safety. When not restrained properly, children are three and one-half times more likely to be seriously injured in a crash.
The study’s findings in New York are consistent with results in other states.