Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library
135 Years Ago
Home & Vicinity – A meeting for the purpose of taking steps toward organizing a village law and order league was held at the M.E. Church on Tuesday evening, at which there was a good attendance. Prof. N.N. Bull was chosen chairman and A.L. Kellogg secretary. Short addresses were made by the chairman and by Rev. Mssrs. Allen, Lee, Gleason, Richardson and others, the sentiment of the meeting being that the law governing the sale of intoxicants must hereafter be respected. The license laws were read for the information of those present. The following resolutions were unanimously passed – Resolved: that the pastors of the village churches prepare and distribute 2,000 copies of a circular containing the points of law regulating the sale of intoxicating drink; and Resolved: that the pastors and five committeemen named by them be authorized to organize a law and order league. The committee consists of Geo. Reynolds, N.H. Briggs, George Kirkland, A.A. Whitcomb, and T.W. Stevens.
110 Years Ago
The last game of basketball at the Oneonta High School for the season 1910-1911 was played Monday evening. The visiting team was the strong five from the Colgate academy, who have been winners all the season, and the game in Oneonta was an exciting contest. The visitors started the game with a rush, scoring first and closing the first half with a record of 18 points to 13 for Oneonta. The second half saw the home lads creeping up to and finally passing their opponents, the game ending 27 to 25 in favor of Oneonta amid such cheering as would bring down the walls of a building less substantial than is the Oneonta High School. During the season now closed Oneonta played 14 games and won nine of them. In the 14 games Oneonta scored 371 points to 289 for their opponents. Stratton was the leading scorer with 49 goals from the field and 39 goals from the foul line.
70 Years Ago
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Holcomb of Delancey were notified Thursday that their son Marine Corporal Frederick Holcomb, might be a prisoner of war in Korea after his name was mentioned in an enemy propaganda broadcast. That fact was confirmed yesterday when they received a letter from him delivered from a North Korean prison camp. Holcomb was first reported missing in action November 28. The letter, dated February 6, states: “Well, here I am writing to you to tell you not to worry because I’m still alright. Today is the Chinese New Year. They gave us tobacco and peanuts and we are having four dishes for chow this afternoon. I don’t have much to write, but sure wish I could hear from you to hear you are OK and what the news is back home. I don’t know if you got the other letter I sent you, but at least you will know I am alive and OK. Well, I guess that is all for now, and don’t worry. Love from Fred.” The letter’s return address is: “Prisoner of War Camp, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Care of Committee for Chinese Congress of Defenders of World Peace, Peiping, China, who will endeavor to forward one letter a month from next of kin.”
50 Years Ago
The Internal Revenue Service has ordered the Rex Restaurant at the corner of Prospect and South Main Street closed for non-payment of taxes. Opened originally by the Farone family, The Rex as it is called has been a well-known establishment dating back to 1902, operating continuously since that time except for a period during the Prohibition era when it was closed. The Farone family still owns the structure. However, the Rex’s current operators and the targets of the I.R.S. order are Cameron and Anthony Siringo. As the closest restaurant to Neahwa Park, the Rex was for decades a favorite tavern hangout of the city’s sportsmen, especially baseball fans who were accustomed to meeting and mingling with the professional baseball players who came to Oneonta to play for teams in the Canadian-American League and later the New York-Pennsylvania League. The building is slated for acquisition by the city’s Urban Renewal Agency for demolition in connection with the planned redevelopment of the area.
40 Years Ago
The Oneonta Common Council has adopted a tax incentive program that is calculated to bring new businesses and industries to Oneonta. Designed by the New York State Department of Commerce, the plan offers a 10-year, 100-percent tax break to start-up business enterprises that provide at least five new jobs and a certified training program.
Oneonta hopes the plan will bring new industries to the Pony Farm Industrial Park in the West End. Seventh Ward Alderman Charles Burnsworth wanted the tax break restricted to the Pony Farm area but Fifth Ward Alderman Samuel Zummo argued that it should apply throughout the city. “We may have that D&H property vacant soon and we’ll need incentives to get industry in there.” Burnsworth’s proposal was rejected and the tax incentive will apply city-wide.
30 Years Ago
Lobbyists in New York State were paid a record $29.3 million to influence New York State government last year, an increase of 12 percent over 1989 according to the state’s Lobbying Commission. The state’s fiscal troubles are said to be responsible in large part for the increase. The state currently faces a projected $6 billion deficit for the fiscal year starting April 1. “I believe that the austerity has increased the intensity of the lobbying,” commission member Morris Klein said.
20 Years Ago
Otsego County’s population has increased by 1.9 percent over the decade of the 1990s, from 60,517 to 61,676. However, the population of the City of Oneonta has dropped from 13,954 to 13,292, or 4.7 percent. The reported figures are the results of last year’s decennial census. According to Diane Carlton, Otsego County’s Director of Planning, “the numbers show that trends we’ve seen for at least a decade are continuing. People are spreading out and moving into the countryside.”