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HOMETOWN HISTORY, March 21, 2014

125 Years Ago
More than 6,000 railway employees were either killed or maimed on the 150,000 miles of railroad in this country last year from handling the brake and coupling cars alone. Surely something should be done to prevent this slaughter.
Missing persons – The death of Mrs. Jane Houghtaling, relict of Louis Houghtaling, who died on Sunday, brings to mind the strange disappearance of her son, Reed Houghtaling, who left his home in Oneonta on the 3rd day of last July, since which time not one word from him has been received and all efforts to discover his whereabouts have been futile. Reed was physically an unfortunate fellow, being afflicted with a nervous trouble of the St. Vitus’ dance order. He was, however, frugal and industrious and for years had peddled small wares throughout this locality, accumulating in this way several hundred dollars.
March 1889

100 Years Ago
An Evening in Erin – A good 550 people of whom 518 were spectators packed Holy Name Hall last evening to the very doors and spent a happy and entertaining three hours in “The Land Where the Grass Grows Greenest.” The whole entertainment was the biggest kind of a success for the church, the performers and the audience, and everyone was happy and good natured. Everything on the program was a hit. Joseph Haggerty with his song replete with local hits struck the spirit of the audience dearly. The pie-eating contest provoked a few gales of laughter, but Miss Murphy was funnier. All were excellent. This St. Patrick’s Day will long be remembered. The proceeds were about $200 and practically the whole amount will go to the new seats.
March 1914

80 Years Ago
There are reports of numerous Robins in the area; also a flock of song sparrows has been reported as well as the gathering of evening grosbeaks for their journey to Canada seen daily in the area of Third Street. With food in the woods still scarce, crows are foraging in settled localities. Rev. W.H. Alger of Otego, who started a bird calendar 11 years ago, reports the earliest arrival of a Robin in his area as March 5 in 1925 and the latest as March 30, 1933. Last May 18, Mr. Alger’s big day, he sighted a verio, an oriole, a barn swallow and eight bobolinks.
March 1934

60 Years Ago
Arthur J. (Red) Cleary, 30, Cooperstown RD 3, will be arraigned in City Court this morning on charges of grand larceny in the first degree, assault third degree, and resisting arrest. The larceny count arose from what police charged was the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle owned by Evelyn Thomas, 17 Market Street. Thomas complained to police that Cleary was supposed to deliver the car to her from a Cooperstown garage, but would not give it to her. Patrolman Leroy Turner found Cleary sitting in the car parked on Market Street in front of the Sears Farm Store. Patrolman Turner asked Cleary for the motor vehicle registration and his driver’s license. Cleary was unable to produce either document. When Patrolman Turner demanded the car keys, Cleary advanced on Turner who drew his gun. Cleary kept advancing, yelling, “You don’t dare shoot.” Cleary, in an attempt to hit him or knock the gun aside, struck his gun hand, causing the weapon to discharge. The bullet struck Cleary in the fleshy part of the upper left arm. Cleary was taken by ambulance to Fox hospital for treatment before being returned to police headquarters.
March 1954

40 Years Ago
The appearance of Alger Hiss on the SUCO campus this week has resulted in protests from area residents. The protests prompted SUCO president Clifford Craven to issue a statement defending the appearance. Hiss spoke on campus Monday night. Hiss was accused of being a Communist in the late 1940s. Though the charge was never proven, he was sent to prison on a perjury charge following an investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Craven said he has received several phone calls during the past week from area residents who felt a man once accused of belonging to the Communist party should not be allowed to speak on a college campus.
March 1974

30 Years Ago
President Ronald Reagan lobbied heavily Monday in a
last-minute attempt to save one of his major re-election efforts. The president called 20 senators to the White House a day before the scheduled vote on a constitutional amendment to permit organized spoken prayer in the nation’s public schools. But only four senators showed up. Dennis Diconcini (D-Ariz.) suggested the administration and the
U.S. Senate should spend more time praying about the deficit.
March 1984

20 Years Ago
Governor Mario M. Cuomo recently proposed two bills to help people with mental illness receive emergency psychiatric care. The Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, originally a five-year experimental program, would be made permanent. That program is operating in the state’s urban areas. The new law will make it easier for the State Office of Mental Health to create a statewide emergency psychiatric system over the next several years. The governor’s other legislative proposal authorizes the State Commissioner of Mental Health to establish more mobile crisis outreach teams to transport people to psychiatric hospitals for evaluation and treatment referrals. The measure also provides for emergency services for people who become intoxicated or incapacitated by alcohol and drugs.
March 1994



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