HOMETOWN History May 24, 2019


May 24, 2019

150 Years Ago

The Oneonta Union School numbers over 200 pupils the present term – about 70 in each department. The academic department is equal to many of our academies now in scholarship and perhaps somewhat ahead of those of our neighboring villages, whose educational halls once echoed to the classic tongue of Virgil and Sallust, or the abstruse propositions of Euclid, but now they echo no longer. Peace to their shades! May they never be less! The Intermediate Department is a hive of busy workers, from the teacher to the youngest pupil, while the Primary is a jewel set with bright eyes and rosy faces – the pride of the school. To parents we would say, see that your children are regular and punctual in attendance. You know not the annoyance you may cause the teacher even by the detention of your child one day necessarily from school. Do not do it unless absolutely essential. Your children are young but once. The day is coming when they must meet those who are enjoying the advantages of our noble school in the great school of life. See to it that they are able to cope with those whose minds are strengthened by study and application.

May 1869

125 Years Ago

The sale of pictures advertised last week by Artist Morse of Utica was, we are sorry to say, not a success. Mr. Morse exhibited some very fine paintings, and the more they were seen the better they were liked. When he comes to Oneonta again with his pictures, which we trust he will do sometime he will doubtless have better success.
Four hard-looking tramps who made their quarters for a day or two in a box car on the switch near the ice house, were arrested Tuesday and hailed to the village “donjon.” Wednesday, they were arraigned before Justice Hoye, who gave one of the offenders 60 days at Albany and another 30 days at Cooperstown. The others were released and given twenty minutes to get out of town. They were a hard crowd and had on one or two instances attempted to “hold up” citizens at late hours of the night.

May 1894

80 Years Ago

City councils, state legislatures, and even Congress spend much time and energy on laws proposed to curb the activities of aliens thought to be enemies, real or potential, of our government. Some of the suggested legislation would go so far in its regulation of speech and behavior as to threaten the very democracy it seeks to defend. In this connection, the recent address of U.S. Attorney General Murphy before the Conference of Mayors, contains both reassurance and counsel. “We have criminal laws that protect us against violence and incitement to violence,” he said. “We should be ready and able to use them. We have legitimate methods of bringing propaganda groups into the open and exposing their nature to the light of day. We ought to know not only what they preach but who their sponsors are and where they get their funds. But, as devotees of democracy we cannot crush them and deny them a place in the market. We need not do this. We have no reason to fear their competition. We have a better article, and we can do a better job of salesmanship. Propagandists can be taken care of by competent enforcement of the controls already possessed.

May 23, 1939

60 Years Ago

Bresee Boy and Girl Gone – The Boy in Blue Overalls and the Girl in the Green Dress are gone from their pedestal in the front yard of 8 Maple Street. The entire Bresee family plus a lot of their friends are upset. The lad and lass, cast in iron had adorned an ornamental fountain for 76 years. Huddling under an umbrella as the water sprayed around them, the symbols of constant youth had become a refreshing spectacle for many thousands of admirers, year after year. They were installed in 1883 by a woman physician, Dr. E. Pope Westcott, who lived in the brick mansion that faces Walnut Street. In 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Bresee bought the property, a year after they moved to Oneonta from Sidney to establish Bresee’s Oneonta Department Store. They willed the house along with its fascinating “Fountain of Youth” to their oldest son, Lynn H. Bresee, who resides there. Yesterday morning Mr. Bresee noted that the famous young pair was missing.

May 1959

40 Years Ago

Tragedy marred the 17th annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta on Monday. The rain-swollen waters of the Susquehanna River claimed the life of 22-year-old Bruce G. Merritt, Jr. of R.D. Clymer, when his canoe capsized on the river opposite the Holiday Inn. Mr. Merritt and teammate Randy Singer, 23, of Houghton, had just passed through the second trestle in Oneonta about 11:15 a.m. when they collided with another canoe. The canoe capsized and Mr. Singer was able to cling to the craft. According to police, Mr. Merritt got caught in the fast moving water. Laurens resident Ray Halstead who was watching the progress of the race from the trestle saw the accident happen. He dove into the water and attempted to rescue Mr. Merritt. However, the fast-moving water defeated his efforts and pulled Mr. Merritt under.

May 1979

20 Years Ago

A report that a 15-year-old Oneonta youth fooling around with what appeared to be a handgun as a car passed a local day care center was investigated by police who said the gun was a plastic toy. The Oneonta Police Department’s juvenile officer is expected to speak with the teenager and his parents. No charges will be filed in the incident. The SUCO Children’s Center staff reported the sighting.

May 1999

10 Years Ago

The Oneonta Job Corp Academy will have new management starting next month. Kentucky-based Education and Training Resources was selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to begin the takeover of the academy on June 1 from Chugach Industries, the primary operator for the previous three years. In September, Chugach Industries failed to pick up a second optional year of its contract to manage the OJCA. OJCA enrolls about 370 students and employs about 150 people.

May 2009

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