150 YEARS AGO
West Oneonta – Measures were instituted some time ago, looking towards the erection of a new school house at West Oneonta. Progress was so far made that proposals for building were received with the prospects of the early completion of the building. But, owing to the fear of some close-fisted taxpayers who have no children to educate, the good work is indefinitely postponed. These parties and others interested should understand that an attractive and commodious school house adds to the value of property in the neighborhood, and bespeaks the intelligence and good sense of the inhabitants. The school building now occupied at West Oneonta is a standing shame to the community at large. It is far wiser to pay a tax for the support of schools, than for the maintenance of jails and alms-houses. Reconsider your action, ye penny-wise and pound foolish. Go to work at once.
125 YEARS AGO
Two well-known Utica artists, Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Morse, have on exhibition this week in the Blend building, about thirty of their latest and best works in oil and water colors. In the collection there are a number of Otsego views, including a “Sketch at Gilbertsville,” “On Butterrnut Creek” and “Study of a Barn near Gilbertsville.” Saturday afternoon all the pictures will be offered at auction. No one should fail to inspect these fine paintings.
Saturday of this week the Laureates of Troy, believed to be the strongest amateur ball team in the state, will cross bats with the Normals at the Fair Grounds in this village. A first class game may be looked for, as the Normals express a determination, despite the reputation of their competitors, to retrieve past losses.
100 YEARS AGO
Manager Stanford, who is evidently disposed to make the Oneonta Hotel famed throughout the state and a center for tourists as well as the traveling public, has decided to dispense with the services of the five piece orchestra and has purchased of the G. Shearer company one of the most elaborate and costly of the celebrated Wurlitzer orchestras secured through the Pittsburgh agency of which H.P. Shearer, formerly of this city, is manager. This instrument has arrived in the city and is being installed in the dining room of the hotel. It will be equipped with a motor-driven blower and be ready for use. It is expected that a talented organist will give a recital upon this marvelous instrument at the annual dinner of the Chamber of Commerce. The instrument has all the features of a pipe organ, but with it comes a full orchestra, a brass band, violins, flutes, piano, cornets, cellos, choir or quartet singing, chimes, bells, xylophones, fifes, brass drums, snare drums, and kettle drums, and many other effects from an Indian Tom-Tom to the roar of the ocean and from a fire alarm to the notes of a canary.
80 YEARS AGO
Property damage unofficially estimated at over $75,000 was caused by a fire which destroyed two homes, three large barns, several smaller structures and a garage in the hamlet of Emmons yesterday afternoon. Over 100 firemen and volunteers battled the flames for three hours. The blaze swept farm buildings on the estate of Mrs. Kendall Morgan of Emmons and Chicago, Illinois before enveloping homes owned by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Murphy of Emmons and Mrs. Francis Atwood of Cooperstown. Sparks added to the peril threatening to ignite other residences. Employees at the Morgan estate estimated the value of the buildings at over $35,000. The losses also included valuable antiques, farm machinery, 200 chickens, quantities of hay and grain, tools and equipment. Ten cows and six calves were rescued.
60 YEARS AGO
The first Armed Forces Day celebration in Walton was a success. It will be continued with yearly anticipation. The main event of the day was a beauty contest, won by Miss Donna Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stilson Miller of 144 North Street. Other events included a big parade and a buffet supper in the State Armory. The beauty contest was held in the Armory with from 1,200 to 1,500 spectators present. The 21 contestants passed before the judges singly and then in a group from which three finalists were chosen. Miss Miller, the winner, said “It’s wonderful. At first I couldn’t believe it. I’m happy to be the winner.” She was crowned Miss Walton National Guard. Judges were Miss Shirley Jones, Oneonta, Raymond Secord, Delhi and Mrs. James Casucci, Walton.
40 YEARS AGO
Otsego County Republicans, 350 strong, gathered at the Hotel Otesaga Tuesday evening to hear guest speaker Richard B. Cheney, Congressman from Wyoming and former Assistant to the President and White House Chief of Staff during the Ford Administration. During his speech, Congressman Cheney focused on the energy crisis and told his audience that the United States has no choice but to rely on the Middle East for its oil. “Oil imports have been increasing every four years and within the last month we have hit an all-time record high. The last major oil finds in the U.S. were made during 1967 and 1968.”
20 YEARS AGO
Since the beginning of the month, Carl Puylara, Sr. has seen a steady stream of customers come through the doors of his jewelry store in downtown Oneonta. While all of the customers are there to buy merchandise, many have a second reason to pay the owner of Galinn’s Jewelers’ a visit. They are there to thank him for more than five decades of services. For the past two weeks, Galinn’s Jewelers has been holding a business-closing sale. After 37 years as owner of the store and more than 50 years in the retail jewelry business, Puylara has decided to retire. “I think it’s just the right time to do the things retired people do,” said Puylara, 75, of Oneonta. “I’m going to fish and I’m going to hunt, and I’m going to garden.” Puylara’s departure is a blow to downtown Oneonta,” said Seventh Ward Alderman Sean Farrell. Puylara has worked in Oneonta’s downtown business district since he returned from the South Pacific in the 1940s, when served in the Marines during World War II.