150 Years Ago
The complete census returns of Otsego County give the population at 43,982, an increase of 1,344 in five years.
Harvey Baker has commenced building another house on Baker Street. Welcome Parish and Wm, Mickle have commenced building new houses on Centre Street. Others will soon follow.
At the annual meeting of the Union Graded School, on Tuesday evening, W.W. Alton and S. Sullivan were elected Trustees for three years and N.I. Ford for two years. The estimates for expenses were promptly voted, also a stone walk, six feet wide, from the schoolhouse to the road. The school is doing nobly and increasing in numbers.
The bluff below the village is rapidly diminishing under the command of Commodore Sloat who has a large force employed. He has found a valuable bed of – not gold – but sand. Many idle men in this village can secure steady employment there. The foundation for the Round House will be finished in a few days. Brick laying will commence in a week or two. All mechanics can secure work by applying on the ground.
125 Years Ago
Good roads are very desirable. Everybody wants them. Governors talk about them in their messages to legislatures. State and local societies recommend them. Newspapers advocate them and tell farmers and others how to construct them. That is all very well. Then comes the question – what is really practical and attainable in most villages and in the country? Good roads cost a great deal of money. A million dollars would not put all of the roads in Otsego County in first-class condition.
80 Years Ago
Worcester Town Highway Plans – WPA funds will pay for repairs and improvements for 2.3 miles of the South American road between the county road and South Worcester at a cost of $15,396 according to James Conley, WPA district manager. The agency approved $8,544.00 in federal funds for the work which will provide 150 months of employment for men taken from local relief rolls. Plans call for making 8,500 cubic yards of excavation to improve the grade and alignment of the highway, placing 6,000 cubic yards of gravel base and installing 250 feet of concrete pipe to improve drainage.
A meeting of the Tri-County Motor Club was held Friday night at the Dutch Mill Restaurant near Oneonta with 32 members, directors and guests present. The Hon. Chester T. Backus, Morris, presided.
Total club membership stands at 1.409. Resolutions favored by the club include a state appropriation of $65,000,030 for improvement of highways; abolishment of the toll system of public highway taxation; reduction in motor vehicle taxes; adoption of a uniform date for all three-years driving licenses; a registration fee of $3 for all private passenger vehicles; and an amendment to the law changing the date of issuing license plates from February 1 to April 1.
60 Years Ago
Congressman Samuel S. Stratton (D-NY) recommends that the college education for American students be encouraged by the federal government by granting income tax deductions to parents on sums spent on the college education of their children. Such a bill was introduced in the 86th Congress but died in the Ways and Means Committee. If re-elected, Stratton promised to see that the legislation was resubmitted. “The challenge of Communism to our American way of life,” Stratton says, “is every bit as great in the field of education and scientific achievement as it is in economics or space exploration. If we intend to meet this challenge, as indeed we must, then it is up to the federal government to take steps to stimulate the greatest possible use of our outstanding system of higher education.”
40 Years Ago
It seems that lately cases of violence, maltreatment, and loss of life related to people within the same family have been reported in great numbers, According to local authorities the abuse has been a very real part of many peoples’ lives, but which until recently had gone unreported. According to Bonnie Laugen of the Aid to Battered Women (ABW) organization based in Oneonta, the recent wave of abuse victims seeking help to get away from their abusers is due in part to society’s change of ideals. “I don’t think the problem is greater today. It’s just that the women are more independent than they were in years past,” Laugen stated. “I believe the Women’s Rights Movement has had a lot to do with it,” Laugen added. The ABW organization is a small band of volunteers who provide support to battered women.
20 Years Ago
The New York State Department of Education released the results of the State’s English and Mathematics Competency Examinations which were distributed to elementary and middle schools in May. In our region, which is composed of 37 school districts in Otsego, Delaware, Schoharie and Chenango Counties only 43 percent of the eighth-grade students tested passed the mathematics section while 45 percent earned a passing grade in language arts. In our four-county area the Oneonta and Cooperstown districts fared the best with the two highest cumulative scores. Sixty-three percent of Cooperstown’s eighth-grade math students earned a passing grade and sixty-one percent hit the mark or better in language arts. Seventy-three percent of Oneonta’s eighth-graders passed in math and sixty-five percent in language arts. This year’s exams covered only mathematics and language arts. Next year three new subjects will be phased in – science, social studies and intermediate technology. Both fourth and eighth-grade students will be assessed.
10 Years Ago
For decades, it was Oneonta Sales, the city’s first auto dealership, a sizeable presence at the bottom of Chestnut Street. Lately, it’s been vacant, a black-painted hulk that The Twelve Tribes acquired as part of a package deal that included what is now the Common Ground property. Now, The Tribes, that multi-national fundamentalist Christian movement that has been in the city for a half-dozen years, is being encouraged by Mayor Dick Miller to fast-track plans for the building. Bob Racine, one of the sect’s leaders, said The Tribes sees the building developing into a natural foods-processing plant with a retail adjunct, and the hub of a regional food distribution system.