Editor’s Note: For an hour at its monthly meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Otsego County Board of Representatives debated two resolutions: H, condemning the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. And G, condemning both the attack on the Capitol and summer-long riots that followed George Floyd’s death.
RESOLUTION NO. G
RESOLUTION: CONDEMNING VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND REAFFIRMING THE BOARD’S COMMITMENT TO THE RULE OF LAW, FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS, AND THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER
Introduced by Republican Reps. Ed Frazier, Dan Wilber
WHEREAS, on January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College; and
WHEREAS, the results of the 2020 election were lawfully certified by Republican and Democratic election administrators in all fifty states; affirmed in dozens of court cases; and formalized by the vote of the Electoral College; and
WHEREAS, thousands of individuals sought to and did, in fact, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts; and
One of the perks of being a state senator: When your term is up, you get to buy your chair for $25 as a memento of your service to the Empire State.
The other day, Jim Seward’s chair was delivered to his home on North Main Street.
Midnight on New Year’s Eve, 36 years of serving Otsego County will be over. “Cindy and I will be at home, sipping champagne,” the county’s most celebrated politician said Monday, Dec. 29, in a farewell interview.
“I’ve survived two very serious life-threatening illnesses over the past year,” he said – a near-fatal bout of COVID-19 and a recurrence of cancer. “I’m truly blessed to have emerged from both of those as well as I have.”
So he’s particularly looking forward to “a less-structured schedule, spending more time with Cindy and our family” – son Ryan and his wife, Kelly, and daughter Lauren and her daughters, Nora and Vivian.
“Elected office at the state Senate level: the demands on time are tremendous,” he said. “It took a lot of time away from home.”
Here’s a scoop, though: The senator plans to work part time in a role that will contribute to the prosperity of Otsego and the nine other counties in his 51st Senate District. “Look forward to an announcement in January,” he said.
He’s heartened that his final year, The Year of COVID-19, is almost over.
“I was looking forward to touring the district. A farewell tour, shall we say, touching bases with the community leaders and citizens I had worked with over the years,” he said. That, of course, wasn’t to be.
“Usually, on the last night of the session,” he continued, “there are, for the retiring senators, speeches from the legislative leaders … And retiring members have an opportunity to reminisce a bit.”
“None of that was possible,” he said.
Still, there was a Zoom conference for Republicans, as part of new member orientation earlier this month, where he and other retiring senators “were able to make a statement virtually. But it’s far different.”
Still, his departure was not without accolades, albeit virtual ones. The Otsego Chamber presented him with its Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Citizen of the Year Award; The Boy Scouts of America, Leatherstocking Council, the Community Leadership Award.
Oneonta Common Council presented him with the keys to the city. And the Cooperstown Village Board Monday issued a proclamation in his honor.
In his final days as a senator, he thinks back to “early January 1987, the day I first walked into the chamber. I took my seat – that really struck me: Hey, I’ve been given an awesome responsibility to work positively to impact people’s lives.
“Even though I had been a staff member, I was a bit awestruck.”
At the time, state Sen. Warren M. Anderson, R-Binghamton, was majority leader, and called Seward into his imposing office. “This is your first term,” said Anderson, surrounded by a phalanx of aides. “We want to get you off to a good start.”
In the late 1980s, the state was on a prison-building spree. Seward paused. “’I need one of those prisons,’ I said. And it worked,” the senator remembers.
In his district, only Cayuga County was lobbying for one. Seward delivered, winning the renewed support of Moravia’s Arbon Hatfield, who had lost the Senate nomination to Seward in a three-way Republican primary.
What’s more, the state bought Hatfield’s farm for the prison. “Now, Arby,” he was able to say next time he saw Hatfield, “I did you a favor by beating you in the primary.”
As he’s said before, his most affirming moments were when a constituent come up to him – four times over his career – and said, “Senator, you saved my life.” As longtime Insurance Committee chairman, he knew who to call to remove obstacles to insurance money for cancer treatments.
Twice, Seward had the opportunity to run for Congress, in 2006, when Sherwood Boehlert of Utica retired, and 2016, when Chris Gibson retired.
The first time, he was reluctant to primary Ray Meyers, the Utica assemblyman who wanted the job. “I might have done it if I had a clear shot,” Seward said. The second time, he believed his seniority in Albany allowed him to do more good than becoming one of 435 Congressman in Washington.
That’s because Seward established himself as an “honest broker” in the state capital. “Whatever the administration” – Mario Cuomo, Pataki, Spitzer, Paterson, Andrew Cuomo – “I’ve maintained good relationships, for the benefit of my constituents.”
His reflections returned to Day One in Albany, when he learned a particular lesson that stuck with him.
“On my first day, Warren Anderson came over, put his arm around my shoulders and said, ‘We haven’t done the seating chart yet: Why don’t you sit where’ – he snapped his fingers – ‘where what’s-his-name sat,’” Seward recalled.
“The minute you’re no longer in the Senate,” he said, “they can’t even remember your name. It’s a lesson not to take yourself too seriously.”
Thirty-four years ago, during her first summer as a nurse’s aide at Bassett Hospital, Heidi Bond’s mother, Registered Nurse Cindy Brophy, gave her advice that has carried her through her career to date.
“She told me, ‘I don’t care if you have to go cry in the bathroom every shift – you finish this summer,’” said Bond. “She had a very strong work ethic, and she instilled that in me.”
That fortitude was put to the test when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Bond, also an R.N., has worked tirelessly, seven days a week, since the first case arrived in mid-March, assisting with contact tracing, scheduling testing clinics and monitoring the rise of the virus throughout the county.
For her steady hand and firm compassion, Otsego County Director of Public Health Heidi Bond has been named the Citizen of the Year by Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and www.AllOTSEGO.com.
“I know I’m proud of the work she’s done,” said Dave Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, chairman of the county Board of Representatives. “And I’m confident in saying our board is too.”
“The challenges of COVID would have caused others to curl up in the corner,” said county Rep. Andrew Stammel, D-Oneonta, who chairs the county board’s Health & Education Committee. “But not Heidi. She works diligently, confidently and without complaint.”
“She’s a phenomenal person, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter,” said Brophy, now a nurse in Scarborough, Maine. “She is gentle and kind, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her lose her temper. Everybody loves her.”
Bond was raised in Richfield Springs, graduating from Richfield Springs Central School with the Class of 1991. Working at Bassett, her mom got her the candy striper job in 1986, when Bond was a teenager.
“I really enjoyed helping people,” Bond said. “Even just things like bringing them fresh water to drink.”
The next year, she applied to be a nurse’s aide, a job that was considerably more challenging. “I didn’t think she had the stomach for it,” said her mom. “I thought she’d change one bedpan and be out of there!”
But Heidi – determined to see the summer through – found joy in the work. “She fell in love with it,” said her mother. “She would write letters and cards for the older patients if they wanted to send one. She found the work very rewarding.”
She attended Utica College’s four-year R.N. program, graduating in 1995 and returning to Bassett’s pediatric inpatient unit, providing care for children who had surgery, the flu or accidents requiring an overnight stay.
There, she learned another critical-care lesson.
“So many people told me, ‘Oh, I could never do pediatrics, I’d get too attached,’” she said. “But I got very good at separating my personal emotions from my work, and I learned how to be strong for the kids and the families.”
She married her high school sweetheart, Stephen, in 1992. The couple had their first daughter, Katie, in 1998, and the young mother switched to part-time in pediatrics so she had more time to stay home with her daughter. Daughter Emily was born in 2001.
In 2000, when Katie was 2, Bond heard about an opening for nurses at the county’s Health Department. “I enjoyed my public health classes at college,” she said.
At that point, part of public health involved home-care visits. “It’s a much different style of nursing,” she said. “In a hospital, you’re seeing a patient in a sterile environment and you have no idea what their home life is like. But in home care, you’re able to see them where they’re most comfortable.”
Sometimes, home care involved more than just nursing. “You’d go into these places and see that they didn’t have running water or there would be holes in the floor,” she said. “When you see someone in the hospital, you never imagine they’re living that way.”
Facing her new challenge, she didn’t retreat to cry in the bathroom, either.
“You can help them get the help they need,” she said. “And sometimes, they don’t want to accept that, so you help them as much as you can with the resources they do have.”
In 2005, the county department gave up its Home Health Agency certification, switching more focus to scheduling rabies vaccinations for pets, flu-shot clinics, visits to new mothers, lead-prevention poisoning and education, and prevention of chronic diseases and injuries.
She was promoted to Communicable Disease Control director in 2004. “Before the pharmacies began offering the shot, we had to put out a clinic schedule,” she said. “One year, we got a message from the state saying there was a shortage of the vaccine, and we had to cancel all the clinics.”
“It’s funny,” she continued. “Back then, people were clamoring to get the flu vaccine. Now we have to educate people into taking the COVID vaccine. It’s a culture change – a lot of people have never had to deal with a serious communicable disease in a way that affects a whole society.”
She was appointed public health director in 2008, just one year before swine flu hit. “We did have cases,” she said. “But nowhere near as many cases of that as we do of COVID.”
Part of her new duties included pandemic preparations, such as “war games” scenarios. “When Ebola hit in 2014, we would have a practice station where we would get PPE on and off,” she said.
“We would go to hospitals and make sure they were putting it on right.”
No cases of Ebola ever arose in Otsego County. Still, those two test runs, she said, helped mentally prepare her for when she got the call in January.
“I had taken a Friday off because my daughters and I had planned to get massages,” she said. “But the state Department of Health scheduled a mandatory webinar, so I had to cancel them. That started the alarm bells ringing, and they haven’t stopped going off since.”
The first case in the county arrived in March, when a SUNY Oneonta student and his mother went on vacation to Lake Placid. “Mom was sick and the student didn’t want to quarantine with her,” Bond said. “So he returned to campus, and cases spread from there.”
From March until August, there were five deaths and 117 cases, and by June, the county seemed to have gotten the pandemic under control.
“There was a point in the summer where we went three weeks without a case,” she said. “I didn’t think it was over, but I’d tricked myself in to a complacency where I thought we could handle it.”
But the return of the college students jeopardized all of that.
A “super-spreader” party Friday, Aug. 21, SUNY Oneonta students’ first weekend back, resulted in 107 cases by the following weekend, when newly appointed SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras made a whirlwind trip to Oneonta and cancelled classes for two weeks. When cases hit 300 a week later, he closed the campus for the remainder of the semester.
“That really opened my eyes to just how fast the virus could spread,” she said. “Even with measures in place, in congregate living, it spreads no matter what you do.”
In the months since, SUNY’s infections topped out at over 700, with Hartwick College infections totaling 71 over the semester.
Community spread from the college outbreaks was minimal, in part, thanks to rapid testing sent in by the state. But as the weather got too cold for outdoor dining and “COVID fatigue” set in, cases began to trend upward, with more than a thousand cases and 11 deaths since September.
“We have the highest number of hospitalizations we’ve had, but people just aren’t as concerned as they were in the spring,” she said.
“I know she must be frustrated, but she remains professional and always does her job,” said Bliss.
“It breaks Heidi’s heart when people aren’t wearing masks,” said Brophy. “She isn’t angry, she just really cares about people.”
Bond is in constant communication with the state Department of Health, as well as the county board. “I talk to her daily,” said Bliss. “Sometimes multiple times a day. Before this, I might talk to her once or twice a month.”
“I feel confident when we go to her with questions,” said Stammel. “She explains the answers, and if she doesn’t know, she knows who to get the answer from, and brings it back to us.”
With the arrival of the vaccine – last week, 350 Bassett employees received the Pfizer shot and more than 500 received the Moderna – and with the recent approval of funds to hire three additional nurses, Bond is finally seeing the end of the crisis nearing.
“I try to tell myself that, in the grand scheme, a year or two is not a lot of time,” she said. “But when it’s all over, we’re all planning to take a long vacation on the beach.”
We are pleased to present our 2020 Otsego County Yearbook for you to enjoy. We’ve handpicked 52 pictures, one from every week of the year, each in their own way show life in Otsego County in Upstate New York. These pictures are a nice cross-section of life in our county and our communities, week by week.
We hope you enjoy our year-end review. We look forward to continuing to be your local newspapers in 2021 and beyond!
As more than 50 people look on, “Daddy Al” and Susan Dick’s huge Norway Spruce is lowered onto the flatbed that will carry it to Rockefeller Center, where it will be the centerpiece of Christmas celebrations that begin in early December. Inset, two woodsmen from Lynn Warren Lawn Maintenance & Landscaping, Newburgh, attach the harness to the spruce – midway up and at the bottom. Once cut, the crane lifted the harness, and the tree swung – to “ooohs!” from the crowd, and some applause – and laid in on the flatbed. The rig will be parked outside New York City until Saturday, when the lighter weekend traffic will enable it to be placed alongside the skating rink at Rockefeller Center, 22 acres that stretch between 48th and 51st streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues, about a three-minute walk from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This tree, on Route 23 in West Oneonta, is the second Town of Oneonta fir tapped for the Big Apple festivities in four years; in 2016, Graig and Angela Eichler, Country Club Road, provided a record-tall 96-foot tree. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Important to Tanners – The patent right for preparing, using and vending chestnut wood for the purpose of tanning and dyeing in the New England states, is vested in the Springfield Manufacturing Company, who will soon have in operation machinery and apparatus for preparing the wood fit for use, and will deliver it to purchasers in large or small quantities, at any place within the above limits, for a sum that will not exceed two-thirds of the amount of the price of the equivalent of oak bark, on a credit of one year. The proprietors have no hesitation in saying that the above material, for the purpose of tanning, is in every respect superior to oak bark. The leather tanned with it is of a better quality, being firmer, less porous, and at the same time more pliable. It is also very neat and convenient in the application. Letters relative to the above, addressed to Benj. Jenks, Agent, at Springfield, Massachusetts, will be promptly attended to. (Ed. Note: This marks the beginning of the end for America’s chestnut trees which, though once numerous as the oaks, had virtually disappeared by the early 20th century. In replacing the oak tree as the preferred source, the chestnut may have saved the oaks from a similar demise.)
July 3, 1820
175 YEARS AGO
(Selected) List of Letters remaining in the Post Office at Cooperstown, June 30, 1845: Miss Polly Ball, Henry Brown. Amos Bissell, Henry Chadwick, Miss Jane Crippen, Marcus Dutcher, Miss Hannah Edwards, Estate of Herman Lord, George Fern, Heirs of Lieut. L. Loomis, Swift’s Continental Regt. Army of Revolution, Miss Mary M. Hicks, Erastus Horth, Joseph Husbands, E. B. Hubbell, Theron Ives, R.S. Johnson, Alver Kenyon, Anna Lum, A.V. and S.S. Moore, Van Booskirk Morris, Mrs. Elizabeth Quackenbush, R.E. Robinson, William Smith, Samuel Tabor, Mark Tomlinson, Walter S. Tunnicliff, Miss Eliza Ann Walker, David Waterman, George H. Webb, Miss Jane Wilcox, Simon Wolf, John Yale.
June 30, 1845
150 YEARS AGO
The Fourth (of July) was one of the most delightful days of the whole year so far as the weather was concerned. There was no celebration of the day at this place, and the “boys” had all the noise to themselves. If they had not commenced quite so early, their powder and crackers would have held out longer. After about ten o’clock “firing ceased all along the line,” and during the rest of the day only an occasional “pop” was heard in our unusually quiet streets. The Lake was the resort of a great many parties and individuals, and the “Mary Boden” had a paying day. In one little circle, at least, the day was duly “observed” after the good old fashion, the orator and poet being the great grandson of a soldier of the Revolution; patriotic songs were sung and toasts were given under the shadow of the stars and stripes, and the usual salutes were fired. In the evening enough fireworks were set off by different families about the village to have made quite an attractive display had they been concentrated.
July 7, 1870
125 YEARS AGO
Local – One of the handsomest horses which we have seen on this corporation in a long time is a five-year-old dark bay gelding whose sire was a famous Kentucky horse called “Banker.” He has the gait of a fast traveler and the action of old “Snip,” the finest horse ever owned in this county. He belongs to Mr. Barclay, the brother and present visitor of Mrs. Constable.
The Journal for this week is issued on “The Glorious Fourth” and it will be rather a quiet day in Cooperstown. In the afternoon there will be a baseball game played on the grounds of the C.A.A. at 2:30 o’clock between the home team and one from New York.
July 4, 1895
75 YEARS AGO
Sunday, when the mercury soared to 97 degrees Fahrenheit, hundreds sought relief in the cooling waters of Otsego Lake. The temperature equaled the former ideal record that stood until it was broken on August 4, 1944, with a reading of 93. Monday, the weather completely changed and became raw, wet and so cold that everyone around the lake had to jump in the water to get warm.
July 4, 1945
50 YEARS AGO
Boyd Bissell, son of Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Bissell, Jr. of Cooperstown, and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s Hotel Management School, knocked about on ocean liners for two years before coming home. Finding opportunities limited here, he headed for Paris, France where he landed a job cooking for an American family. After many “digestive” complaints he was “sacked.” He then applied to a cooks’ employment agency in Paris and two days later was told to present himself to LePre Catelan, a swanky restaurant in the Bois de Boulogne. To his surprise, he was hired and given a room to sleep in since he had none elsewhere. Recently he was introduced to Oliver, the renowned chef of LeGrand Vefour where he will work in an underground kitchen beneath the sidewalk of an arcade in the Palais Royal.
July 1, 1970
25 YEARS AGO
Gallery 53, having been under the charge of Interim Director Susan Friedlander since April, will officially welcome back Beth A. Bohling, a former Arts Administrator at Gallery 53, as the new Director on July 10. Bohling has recently been Director of the Pyramid Arts Center in Rochester. “While I was in Rochester, I missed the small town community. Living in a rural area is more for me than living in an urban area. I missed the camaraderie of Cooperstown, and I missed the hills.
July 2, 1995
10 YEARS AGO
It was a 35-day sprint, and Price Chopper crossed the finish line Tuesday, June 6, opening its new Cooperstown supermarket in time for the Fourth of July weekend. “It was an incredibly quick turnabout,” said Mona Golub, vice-president for public relations and consumer services. “To build a store from scratch takes nine months to a year,” she said. Interest was high in this super-market-starved community as 150 people gathered in the parking lot awaiting the 8:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting and opening.
A new Republic appears to be rising in South America, at Caracas, including a vast territory and a population nearly equal to that of the United States in 1776, to the government of which, the people and their leaders are strongly attached. Should they succeed in becoming independent, they will be the second Republic on the globe, as, until this event the United States are not only the first, but the only republic on earth.
June 23, 1810
180 YEARS AGO
Newspapers – The man who takes no newspaper cannot reasonably expect to occupy a very high station in society. How can he expect to know what is passing in the world, what mankind is about, and what he ought to occupy himself about, unless he has access to those chronicles of the times, which disseminate intelligence, and herald in due form all earthly Monarchs, to the birth of Mrs. John Smith’s twins – from the conquest of empires to the capture of a hummingbird? How can a man expect to rank equal with the best, unless he takes a newspaper?
June 29, 1840
135 YEARS AGO
Few men in this county are more widely known throughout the State than George Clarke of Hyde, Otsego County, and none have more marked personal peculiarities. Favors may be obtained of him; he has the reputation of being kind and indulgent to good tenants, though not inclined toward many improvements; but it is questionable whether his opinions or actions are influenced by any one; in politics an independent; a good conversationalist; educated well and well read; fond of music and the drama; caring nothing for everyday personal appearance, yet thoroughly at home in the drawing room. With an immense landed estate – much of it very valuable, extending over several counties in this state – which we think he could close up in his lifetime, meet all obligations, and retire on not less than a million and a half of dollars. He will run an expensive lawsuit if crowded for money as long as he can, or till he gets ready to pay, sooner than sell a valuable town lot or farm – because his income exceeds his expenses. On his farms are over 100 acres of hops. Mr. Clarke is about 63 years of age, is a hard worker, and wastes little vitality on fret or worry.
June 23, 1885
110 YEARS AGO
Cooperstown Topics – Judge L.J. Arnold, Harold T. Basinger, C.R. Hartson, and Wm. Macdonald danced a jig on the four corners Wednesday morning. The cause of it was the Fenimore Farm Milk Wagon, which was running away up Pioneer Street. Upon seeing the terpsichorean efforts of the
gentlemen above mentioned the horse stopped before any damage was done.
June 25, 1910
80 YEARS AGO
Carl Sandburg, winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize in history, will give an address July 4th in Cooperstown at the Dedication of the Hall of Life Mask in the Museum of the New York State Historical Association. The dedication of the Hall of Life Masks will have patriotic significance as the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, is represented in the collection by a remarkable mask for which he sat at the age of 82.
June 26, 1940
60 YEARS AGO
On Thursday, June 16, about 54 parents and younger brothers and sisters of the 31 Kindergarteners in Mrs. Rutledge Manchester’s room were entertained at a play day. The children presented a circus in which they demonstrated many of the songs and rhythm games which they have learned this year. The “Circus McGercus,” as it was called, was complete with a ring, a band, wild animals, tight rope acts, and refreshments. Mrs. Manchester was ringmaster. Taking part as galloping horses were Charles Jennings, Mark Butler, Jimmy Robinson, Billy Snoad, Richard Weland, Craig Phillips, John Cook and Michael
Kraham. High-stepping horses were Michael Mondore, Danny Dodge, Danny DeSena, Randy Selan, Michael Frey, David Wilfeard, Danny Coons, Charles Ainslie and Michael Kraham. Bareback riders were Kathy St. John, Randy Selan and John Cook. Elephants were Peggy Norwood, Aleyne McRorie. Shelly Schallert, Teresa Petrucco, Patty Larbig, Barbara Mahlum, Melody Williams, Susan Walrath, Peggy Rees, Karen Bozosi, Cheryl Newell, Kathy St. John and Patty Weir.
June 22, 1960
35 YEARS AGO
Portable signs became an official part of Cooperstown Monday night, following a packed public hearing on a proposed amendment to the sign ordinance. The village board voted 4-2 with one abstention to pass the amendment and quiet a controversy that had reverberated through the community for almost a year. The amendment goes into effect immediately, Mayor Bill Purcell said. The village planning board was to begin defining the amendment and possibly begin hearing requests from business people at its meeting on Tuesday, June 25. The amendment allows the signs from May 1 to October 15 from 7 a.m. to sunset when the businesses are open. Proper papers and a sign permit approved by the planning board must be obtained before a business can display a portable sign. Trustees Bill Burnett, Gerald Wilson, Tom Malone and Mayor Purcell voted yes; Pam Washburn and Stu Taugher voted no. John Mitchell abstained.
June 26, 1985
15 YEARS AGO
The provisions of a new dress code for students at Cooperstown Central School include the following: “Shirts may not be off the shoulder, sheer, nor low-cut; shirts worn outside the waistband must be of sufficient length that no flesh is exposed when the student fully extends one arm above the head.” Long-slung pants “exposing underwear” are outlawed as are “holes, rips or tears” in “inappropriate places.”
June 24, 2005
10 YEARS AGO
When Price Chopper opens its doors in Cooperstown Tuesday, June 29, it plans to have produce from at least one local farmer on its shelves. Gaia’s Breath Farm, Jordanville, was expecting Price Chopper inspectors at his farm Thursday, June 24, the last step to supplying the 127-store grocery chain – Cooperstown’s will be 128 – with locally grown food.
Court of Sessions – The following convictions were had in the Court of Sessions, held in this village the past week: John Gardner, indicted for Grand Larceny – sentenced to confinement at hard labor in the State’s Prison, five years; John Havens, indicted as an accessory before the fact for larceny – sentenced to imprisonment in the State’s Prison, four years; Benson Nichols, indicted for assault and battery – sentenced to two months in the County Jail; Reuben Saunders, indicted for Larceny – sentenced to imprisonment in the County Jail, three months; Charity Saunders, indicted as an accessory of Petit Larceny, after the fact, sentenced to imprisonment in the County Jail for one month.
February 7, 1820
175 YEARS AGO
Contemporary Editor’s Note: The proceedings of an Anti-Rent meeting, held at Westville, in this County, on January 2, 1845, have been left with us for publication and are rejected because they contain libelous matter in commenting upon the acts and motives of an individual. At the same time that we decline inserting them, it is proper to add, that several of those who participated in the meeting, whom we know personally to be respectable citizens of neighboring towns, have assured us that they utterly repudiate the idea of “oppugnation” to the laws, and look upon the recent “Indian” outrages upon civil officers as offences requiring a rigid administration of justice. They seek correctives of what they regard as existing evils by constitutional means, and will never sanction violence of any sort for redress of supposed grievances in the operation of laws.
February 3, 1845
150 YEARS AGO
Summary of News – The ordination of Rev. C.C. Smith, Pastor of the Baptist Church of this village, will take place on February 10 – sermon by Rev. F. Dodge, D.D., President of Madison University, and ordination in the evening.
The people of Worcester have resolved to build a new District School House. There is not a town in the county where new school houses are not needed – though the necessity is more marked in some towns than in others. Among the wealthy farmers of Otsego there are not a few liberal-minded men, and they should direct their attention earnestly to this important matter
The farmers of this and surrounding towns are about to experience a still further benefit from the construction of the Cooperstown railroad. Plaster, so much in use by most of them, is to be brought here in large quantities over the road, and sold at a price which will make it an object for them to buy it here instead of going to the Central railroad for it. Thus, we receive compensation for the increased taxes caused by the building of the roads.
February 3, 1870
100 YEARS AGO
Amusement at the Village Theatre – Like a slave in the market place sold to the highest bidder, Mary MacNeill, heroine of “The Woman Thou Gavest Me” by Hall Caine, passes through the most terrible experiences that could fall to the lot of a woman. Yet, she overcomes them and wins a measure of happiness. In the cast are such well known players as Katherine MacDonald, Theodore Roberts, Jack Holt, Milton Sills, Katherine Griffith, Fritzi Brunette, and others. Fatty Arbuckle in “Back Stage” will also be offered. Ed. Note: The “Village Theatre” was located in a space at 22 Main Street in the building donated by Robert Sterling Clark which now serves as the home of Village Offices and the Cooperstown Library.
February 4, 1920
75 YEARS AGO
U.S. Navy Specialist First Class seaman Francis T. Bellhouse, who spent several summers in Cooperstown with his family while employed as a jockey by Mr. F. Ambrose Clark, is reported as a survivor following the sinking of his ship, the newly commissioned USS Cooper on December 27, 1944 off Leyte when it was attacked by Japanese forces. Bellhouse and other survivors of the USS Cooper were in the sea waters off Leyte for 17 hours dodging bullets from strafing Japanese fighters before rescue help arrived. Bellhouse credits Commander Mel A. Peterson, his ship’s Captain, for keeping the surviving sailors alive until rescuing seaplanes arrived to pick them up. Directed by Captain Peterson, Bellhouse and his shipmates remained together treading water and resting periodically in a small raft, a floating life net and a rubber boat.
February 7, 1945
50 YEARS AGO
More than 250 people attended the opening program of the New York State Historical Association’s Winter Sunday Lecture Series at Fenimore House on February 1. Leonard DePaur, conductor and arranger, spoke to an enthusiastic audience on “Black Folk Song – A History of Survival.” His research in the field of black folk music has been extensive. He augmented his talk with tapes of African tribal music and early American Negro music. The second program in the Winter Series will be a talk by Clay
Lancaster, an architectural historian on “Architectural Follies in America.”
February 4, 1970
25 YEARS AGO
Lonnie Bunch, noted curator and author, will speak on cultural diversity in American museums at the Cooperstown Graduate Program as part of the observance of Black History month. Bunch is the assistant director for curatorial affairs of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. Graduate program Director Gretchen Sorin noted, “The Graduate Program is a wonderful community resource, and throughout the year we will be bringing exciting speakers here. We are looking to share these programs with the public so that others have an opportunity to hear these historians.”
February 1, 1995
10 YEARS AGO
Helen E. “Lizzie” Kiser died Sunday morning, January 31, 2010 at Bassett Hospital shortly after telling her family that she was ready to “leave this Earth to be with the angels.” She was 85. Helen was born January 7, 1925, in Brooklyn, one of five children of Rudolph and Helena (Radke) Platt. On December 31, 1944, she married Arthur H. Kisrr, Sr., and shortly thereafter they moved to and made their home in the Cooperstown-Milford area. Helen was an accomplished seamstress and worked for many years doing tailoring at the Smart Shop in Cooperstown. She was an avid quilter and had many friends in local quilting and sewing circles.
ZUMBA PARTY – 6 – 7 p.m. Welcome New Year and party like it’s about to be 1920. Come dressed in best flapper outfit or wear black, white, & gold. Dress-up optional. Cost, $7/non-member. Oneonta YMCA, 20-26 Ford Ave., Oneonta. 607-432-0010 or visit www.facebook.com/OneontaFamilyYMCA/