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News of Otsego County

Cooperstown history

BOUND VOLUMES: May 13, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

May 13, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

185 YEARS AGO

Nature is beginning a length to throw off her sable mantles and everywhere Spring is appearing in all its primitive loveliness – the God of the seasons is breathing upon the autumnal earth and changing it from gloom to glory. There is a lofty and peculiar spirit belonging to the vernal developments of nature which man would do well to imitate. As the harvest in autumn depends upon the seed committed to the earth in spring, also the character of the man depends upon the principles implanted in the minds of youth in the springtime of life.

May 9, 1836

BOUND VOLUMES: May 6, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

May 6, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

185 YEARS AGO

Congress has been between five and six months in session and the general appropriation bill is not yet passed. The consequence is that the salaries due on the first of April have not been paid, to
the great inconvenience of those officers of the government who have no other dependence. In the meantime, the members of Congress take better care of themselves and they draw their pay at their pleasure, even in advance. This is not very fair. To whom should the blame attach? If we look at the daily account of doings of Congress we find the proceedings filled with dilatory motions – speeches of some days duration made upon an amendment to defeat an ordinary appropriation and supported by only six votes after consuming 58 days in the discussion.

May 2, 1836

BOUND VOLUMES: April 29, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

April 29, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

210 YEARS AGO

Who was the first Democrat? A gentleman claiming the name of federal, requested to be informed whence the name of democrat came, and who was the first democrat? For the information of such gentleman, I would observe, that the word democrat came from Democritus, a Grecian philosopher, who flourished between three and four hundred years before the Christian era; this same Democritus was the first Democrat I can find by searching the ancient writings; I take it his political opinion was, that the supreme power ought to remain the people; and this is the opinion of his followers to this day.

April 27, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES: April 22, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

April 22, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

210 YEARS AGO

Item – We understand that Mr. Smith has resigned the post of Secretary of State, and that James Monroe, Esq. of the Commonwealth of Virginia, has been appointed by the President of the United States to fill that station.
Item – It is supposed that soap is made with the greatest success in the increase of the Moon. A multitude of well authenticated facts renders it certain that the influence of the Moon on vegetation, on the sinking of manure, etc. is very considerable. Does not this subject deserve philosophical investigation?

April 20, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES: April 15, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

April 15, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

210 YEARS AGO

Members of the Commission reporting on the feasibility of constructing a canal, or system of navigation, from the Hudson River and Schenectady to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are identified as Gouverneuer Morris, Stephen Van Rensselaer, William North, De Witt Clinton, Thomas Eddy, Peter B. Porter, and Simeon Dewitt.

April 13, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES: April 8, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

April 8, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

210 YEARS AGO

Excerpts from a report of Commissioners appointed by resolutions of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York to explore the route of an inland navigation from Hudson’s River to Ontario and Lake Erie: “…they have examined the country as critically as time and circumstances would permit, and caused surveys to be made for their better information. By aid of canals a good navigation (for boats) can unquestionably be made from Schenectady to the falls in the Oswego River, twelve miles south of Lake Ontario. From Schenectady to the Hudson River and from the falls just mentioned to Lake Ontario a boat navigation is also practicable.” (Ed. Note: This report provided a rationale for the construction of the Erie Canal)

April 6, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES: April 1, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

April 1, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources
courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

210 YEARS AGO

Advertisement – To The Public: A young man, aged about 25 years, deaf and dumb, left the abode of Benjamin Rowland, his father, in Burlington, Otsego County, State of New York the latter part of December last and has not been heard of since. He had on, when he went away, a dark brown Surtout (Ed. Note: a fitted coat), and pantaloons of the same, a striped Swansdown vest, and an old pair of boots. He is of large size and dark complexion. Whoever should be so fortunate as to meet with the said young man, is requested to write a line directing him where to go, as by showing that to strangers, they can inform him what course to pursue to return him to his family.

March 30, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES: March 25, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

March 25, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

210 YEARS AGO

Mrs. Martha P. Graham’s recipe for a crimson dye – To two gallons of poke berries, when they are quite ripe, add half a gallon of strong vinegar, made of the wild crab apple, to dye one pound of wool, which must be first washed very clean with hard soap. The wool, when wrung dry, is to be put into the vinegar and poke berry juice, and simmered in a copper vessel for one hour; then take out the wool and let it drip awhile, and spread it in the sun. The vessel must be free from grease of any kind.

March 23, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES: March 18, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

March 18, 2021

Compiled by Tom Heitz/SHARON STUART, with resources courtesy of The Fenimore Art Museum Research Library

210 YEARS AGO

Observations on the Culture of Hemp – The soil peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of Hemp should be rich, strong and mellow – low lands, and even cleared swamps, well ditched and drained, exhibiting a deep black, loamy soil, and a sandy bottom, are extremely prolific in the production of Hemp. When the soil is judiciously selected, and properly prepared, the seed must be entered early in the month of May and sowed very thick to prevent its great height, which ought never to exceed five feet. Hemp sown thin on strong ground runs up 7, 8 and 9 feet high is coarse in its texture, and never so good in its quality nor its quantity, as when sown thick. No further attention is necessary until the blossom appears and begins to decay. The Hemp is then pulled by hand in the same manner as flax is pulled, and never to be cut. After pulling the crop it is to remain on the ground 10 or 12 hours; then bound in small, portable bundles and placed under the surface of running or still water to remain 6, 8 or 10 days; when taken from the water, spread to dry as soon as possible on poles, or sticks laid on crotches to admit free circulation or air. The article will command from 300 to 500 dollars per ton. (Ed. Note: Hemp from which rope was made, was at the time a scarce commodity in the United States)

March 16, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES: March 11, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

March 11, 2021

185 YEARS AGO

In our notice last week, of the result of town elections in this county, we did injustice to the Town of Decatur, by stating that she had elected an opposition man for supervisor, and now make amends by correcting the error and asserting the fact, that Col. Robert C. Lansing, a firm democrat is elected – thus, of the 22 towns, placing Richfield alone in the opposition ranks, and in her case we learn that the majority was only 5! Another year will redeem Richfield from her political fatuity.

March 14, 1836

BOUND VOLUMES: March 4, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

March 4, 2021

210 YEARS AGO

The revenues of the state school fund may for the present be estimated at $36,427.64, arising from the following sources: $20,160.64 interest on bonds and mortgages; $10,665.00 dividends on bank stock; $1,600.00 collections from quarters used for dormitories; $4,000.00 net proceeds of the clerk’s offices of the Supreme Court. (Ed. Note: A portion of clerk’s fees for legal proceedings retained in excess of expenses was diverted to education)

March 2, 1811

BOUND VOLUMES July 12, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

July 12, 2020

210 YEARS AGO

The pirates in the Persian Gulph have been wholly defeated by the English; the pirates amounted to 6,000 men; but 1,400 English troops landed at Rasul Kimaz, their principal seat on the Arabian shore, and gained possession of the town in about four hours. The enemy was severely cut up, and gave away in every direction, and the town was given up to plunder.

June 9, 1810

185 YEARS AGO

Two Negroes were recently burned to death in Mobile, Alabama, for the murder of two children under aggravating circumstances. The laws of the country had never conceived
that crimes could be perpetrated with such peculiar circumstances of barbarity, and had therefore provided no adequate punishment. Their lives were justly forfeited to the laws of the country, but the peculiar circumstances demanded that the ordinary punishment should be departed from – they were seized, taken to the place where they had perpetrated the act, and burned to death.

June 8, 1835

160 YEARS AGO

It is already well known that the Newspaper Express on the Hudson River has proved a complete success. We now learn that the New York Central has under consideration and will probably submit to the Government a proposition to carry the great United States mail from New York to Cincinnati and Chicago at a rate of speed heretofore unparalleled in the history of railroading, at least in this country. It is proposed to leave New York at 3 or 4 o’clock a.m. with the mail and New York papers, and reach Cincinnati at 3 o’clock a.m. the following morning, and Chicago at 5 or 6 o’clock a.m. Businessmen would receive their correspondence from New York twenty-four hours in advance of the present mail arrangement.

June 8, 1860

135 YEARS AGO

The origin of Memorial Day at the north is a matter of inquiry. John B. Murray was a lawyer and a native of Vermont; at the opening of the Civil War he resided in this state and entered the service as Captain in the 50th New York Volunteers. He rose gradually in command, and in 1865 was brevetted Brigadier General. He was the originator of the Decoration Day observances in the northern states. In the winter of 1867-1868, when in the south, he noticed the touching rite of the decoration of soldiers’ graves by the ladies, and deeply impressed with the beauty and solemnity of this custom, he instituted a similar one at his home when he returned in 1868. He died on October 8, 1884, and his remains were followed to the grave by a large number of veterans.

June 13, 1885

110 YEARS AGO

Topics of Cooperstown – Lung Fook is the latest addition to the laundry of Ah Choy. He, like the others in Choy’s laundry, has been “Americanized” by the loss of his queue.
The new parlor in the Hotel Fenimore is a dream. The side walls are artistically tinted, new pictures adorn them, a fine Brussels rug, newly upholstered chairs and new writing tables have been added. Just peep in there if you want to see something really fine.

June 11, 1910

85 YEARS AGO

Where Nature Smiles – The Meadowbrook Steeplechase Handicap at Belmont Park on Saturday was won by Mr. F. Ambrose Clark’s eight-year-old gelding Irish Bullet, favored in a field of six. Irish Bullet, perfectly ridden by F. Bellhouse, won practically as he pleased after setting the pace most of the way and after he had reached Mrs. C.V. Whitney’s Rideaway into the ground.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Carlton Clark have issued invitations to the marriage of their daughter, Elizabeth Scriven Clark, to Mr. Henry Richardson Labouisse, Saturday, June 29, at 12 o’clock, Eastern Standard Time, at Christ Church, Cooperstown. Immediately following the ceremony a reception will take place at Fernleigh, the home of the bride’s parents here.

June 12, 1935

30 YEARS AGO

The Otsego County District Attorney’s office is handling the case involving vandalism caused by skateboarding in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Hall. Rev. John Sise said parishioners noticed some vandalism recently. Skateboarding in the hall has caused damage to floors, walls and tables. Last week, Sise said he saw three youths walking between the Catholic Church and the neighboring Baptist Church heading for the Parish Hall. He was able to seize one of the youths but the other two made off over the fence.

June 13, 1990

20 YEARS AGO

Otsego Lake has its secrets, many of which pertain to the lake’s marine biology. Other secrets of “The Glimmerglass” can be traced to human activity. Last Thursday, the lake yielded one of its human secrets. Lee Ferrara, a diver working for the biological field station on a research project was 500 yards north of the Cooperstown Country Club and about 50 yards offshore in relatively shallow water when he came upon a large device lying on its side and partly submerged in loose silt on the lake bottom. Ferrara, with the help of fellow divers Jeff Opar, Dale Webster and Paul Lord eventually recovered and brought to shore a contraption that resembled a cross between a bicycle, a boat, and a sled with flotation tanks attached. A chassis similar to a bicycle with a seat and handlebars is mounted on a sled-like base. A gear wheel turned by a crank with wooden bicycle pedals drives a marine propeller assembly to the rear. Flotation cans are attached to the front and rear along with a front rudder. “I haven’t seen anything like it before,” Bill Harman, biological field station director, said, noting that finding artifacts in the lake is a common occurrence. “But finding this artifact was quite out of the ordinary.”

June 9, 2000

10 Years Ago

CCS junior Adrian Lynch woke up six weeks ago to find “two guns pointed at my face.” Two village police officers handcuffed him and dragged him downstairs, where his landlord and roommate were handcuffed as well. When Lynch, who is black, asked what was going on, “nobody could give me an answer,” he told 150 people gathered in CCS’ Sterling Auditorium Tuesday, June 8.
A woman officer advised him there had been talk that he was selling drugs, but there has been no report of any charges being filed. Lynch told his story during “Broadening the Horizon: Reconciliation Across Differences,” the second of two presentations that grew out of a Good Friday shooting at Main and Fair streets.

June 11, 2010

BOUND VOLUMES May 28, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

May 28, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

The following convictions took place before the Oyer and Terminer, which closed its session in this Village, on Thursday last. Bejamin A. Thompson, an Irishman, convicted of burglary, and sentenced to the State Prison at hard labor for life. At the time of passing sentence, Judge Woodworth intimated that there were doubts in his mind, whether Thompson had in fact committed the offence charged upon him, and that therefore, if he conducted himself well, it was probable a pardon would be obtained. Abraham Quackenboss, convicted of passing counterfeit money, and sentenced to the State Prison at hard labor for ten years – it appeared that this fellow was hardened in crime, and when sentence was pronounced upon him, he laughingly said, “I honor your judgment!” William Gannett, convicted of passing counterfeit money. He pled guilty, and threw himself upon the mercy of the Court – sentenced to the State Prison at four years hard labor.

May 29, 1820

175 YEARS AGO

The Binghamton Courier reports that the house of Mr. A.C. Angell was entered on Friday night by some person unknown. Mrs. A., being awake in bed, heard a slight noise, and aroused her husband, who made his way into the kitchen without a light, and discovering a person in the adjoining bedroom where slept his children, demanded to know his business there. Receiving no reply, he stepped a little back and seizing hold of a chair when the burglar did the same and an encounter ensued. At the fourth or fifth blow, Mr. A. floored his antagonist, and not knowing that he had made a finish of him, as he lay perfectly quiet without noise or motion, Mr. A. stepped to his room once again for a light. On returning the thief was gone, having failed in his object and received a sound drubbing.

May 26, 1845

150 YEARS AGO

The Great Democratic Victory in New York – The result of the Special Election in this state on the 17th shows an unexampled Democratic victory. The Democrats have carried the state by about 90,000! When the telegraph first announced that the City of New York had given a Democratic majority of over 50,000, the Republican press said, “The rural districts cannot overcome this large majority.” But it turns out that outside of that city, there is a Democratic majority of about 30,000 – and this notwithstanding the Republican reinforcement of say 8,000 colored voters. The Albany Argus says “New York was first of the Northern States to shake off the delusions and hallucinations by which American politics have been so largely affected since the breaking out of the late rebellion. The crimes, the frauds, and the various smaller “rascalities” inflected by radical politicians upon the State of New York upon pretense of “saving the nation” have been exposed by the Democracy and have been checked by the results of the New York elections of the last four years. The conservative elements all over the country have taken fresh courage.

May 26, 1870

125 YEARS AGO

Local: The lake water as it flows from the pipes in the houses of this village shows a temperature of 51 degrees, cold enough for pleasant drinking.
We have alluded to the fact that robins are not as numerous as usual this year. There are, however, many other birds, including one or two new varieties for this section.
Miss Chaffee of New York is visiting her Aunt, Mrs. Alfred Corning Clark at “Fernleigh.”
F.D. Dexter is in town this week tuning pianos. He will return next month as most of his patronage desire tuning in June. Orders for tuning may be left at the usual places, or addressed to Dexter the piano tuner at West Winfield.

May 30, 1895

75 YEARS AGO

A group of young women of the First Presbyterian Church met recently at the manse for organization purposes. Officers elected were: President: Katherine Bouton; Vice President: Barbara Hall; Secretary: Mrs. Frederick McGown; Treasurer: Mrs. Charles Hadcock; Chairman of the Membership Committee: Mrs. John Sill. The group will be known as the Service Guild and plans to meet the third Monday in each month.
Chief S.K.E. Sydney Smith and his son Hugh Smith, of Edmeston, had the pleasure of meeting recently and each spent a day on each other’s ship. This was the first time
father and son had met in three years, and the first visit since son Hugh has been in the Navy.

May 30, 1945

50 YEARS AGO

Federal Census Totals for Otsego County 21,636 (1800); 38,802 (1810); 44,856 (1820); 51,372 (1830); 49,628 (1840); 48,638 (1850); 50,157 (1860); 48,967 (1870); 51,397 (1880); 50,861 (1890); 48,939 (1900); 47,216 (1910); 46,200 (1920); 46,710 (1930); 46,082 (1940); 50,763 (1950); 51,942 (1960); 55,421 (1970). The 1970 total is a preliminary figure.  (Editor’s Note:  Census 2020 is underway, but the latest Census figures put Otsego County’s population at 60,244.)

May 27, 1970

25 YEARS AGO

Bernie Nonenmacher of Edmeston has been named Cooper Country Crafts June Artist of the Month. Nonenmacher contributes two very different crafts to the cooperative. She does black and white historical sketches and also constructs real fur-covered stuffed animals. Nonenmacher began drawing when she volunteered at the local museum. Taking many of the old, faded photographs, she tried to reconstruct how some of the older historical buildings might have looked. She has saved many historical scenes from extinction by converting the photos to black and white sketches.

May 31, 1995

10 YEARS AGO

Cooperstown Central School is planning two programs – on safety in schools and on cultural diversity. Parents and community members are invited to both. Dr. James Gabarino of Loyola University, Chicago, an author and expert on violence among children, will deliver a lecture on June 2. Funds for the event have been provided by the Clark Foundation and the Heilig Foundation. A panel discussion titled “Broadening the Horizon: Reconciliation across Differences” will also be presented June 8. The event is co-sponsored by the Cooperstown School District, the Village of Cooperstown and the Oneonta Branch of the NAACP. Panelists are Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Ph.D and Cooperstown Graduate Program Director, Grace C. Olmstead, SUNY Oneonta, Dr. William S. Walker, SUNY Oneonta and Dr. Regina Betts, Vice-President and Political Action Chair of the Oneonta NAACP Branch.

May 28, 2010

BOUND VOLUMES May 13, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

May 13, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

It is said that the death of Tamaahmaah, King of the Sandwich Islands, has caused so much dissension among his successors and officers, as to threaten a revolution and civil war. The old King left upwards of $150,000 dollars in specie. The death of this venerable Indian Prince at the present time, is a cause of serious regret among the friends of Christianity in this community. He was very favorably disposed towards the propagation of Christianity among his subjects and their consequent civilization; and last fall, it will be recollected, an interesting Mission family, from New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, sailed from Boston for Owyhee, accompanied by several natives who have been educated at the Cornwall School, in Connecticut. (Ed. Note: Among the missionary party was Betsey Stockton,

then a young woman of African and Caucasian descent. Although Betsey was the daughter of a slave mother who belonged to the Stocktons, she was raised within the family and considered to be a Stockton. Betsey’s father has never been identified. Betsey received an extraordinary education within the Stockton family whose library was among the largest private collection in early America. In 1826-1827, having returned from the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii),  Betsey resided in Cooperstown as a teacher with a Stockton-related family.)

May 15, 1820

175 YEARS AGO

Affairs at Washington seem steady-handed and without
excitement. The new reign appears to inspire general confidence throughout the country, nothing doubting that every relation of the great Republic will be looked to with care and molded for the honor and prosperity of the whole Union. The aspect of things in Texas there among the people, is clearly favorable to annexation, and it is believed that no foreign influence will be effective in controlling the action of the Texan Congress at its June meeting.

May 12, 1845

150 YEARS AGO

Local – We took a trip around the lake last week in the little steamer “Mary Boden,” on the invitation of the
“Commodore.” This is no “half-fledged bantling” but a fully developed steamboat. Small it may be in size, but complete in its appointments with engine and boiler, pilot house, cabin and locker (not Davy Jones’s), all in the regular way. The boat, with a party of about 20, including a delegation from the Cooperstown Band, left the anchorage at about half past eleven on Thursday last. After running a few times back and forth in front of the village, we made the tour of the lake, returning to the moorings a little after two o’clock. Thus was successfully inaugurated the first steamboat on Otsego Lake.

May 10, 1870

125 YEARS AGO

Constance Fenimore Woolson’s Grave – In the English Protestant Cemetery and but a few feet distant from the tombstone of the poet Shelley, lies a marble slab over the grave of the well-known authoress. The inscription on the stone is: “Constance Fenimore Woolson 1894.” No laudatory epitaph of high-sounding words is required, for her writings and a beautiful life have reared for her a most fitting monument, which will outlast bronze and marble, which are perishable.” It was the hope and expectation of Miss Woolson to spend the closing years of her life in Cooperstown.

May 16, 1895

100 YEARS AGO

F. William Gruby was released from the county jail on Friday night after a son paid the alternative fine of $25. Gruby was adjudged in contempt of court by Justice of the Peace Vanderwerker and was given the choice of paying a $25 fine or being a guest of Sheriff B.F. Van Zandt for a month. Gruby was hailed before the Justice for his failure to provide recompense to various families to whom his children had been farmed out by Miss Hazel Foster, Otsego County Agent for The Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

May 19, 1920

75 YEARS AGO

EM 3c Stuart O. Howe, age 19, whose wife Ruth Howe, lives in Portlandville, helped take a new yet unidentified cruiser into battle for the first time against the Japanese according to a delayed dispatch from the Pacific. Her guns sent two Japanese bombers crashing into the sea not far from Japan. The Captain of the newly baptized cruiser spoke from his station on the bridge to the men at their battle stations. The planes of returning U.S. airmen speckled the sky as they maneuvered for landings. The Captain’s words were proud: “Objective realized….losses of task aircraft light….damage to the enemy severe.”

May 16, 1945

50 YEARS AGO

Thomas Troeger of Cooperstown, a senior at the Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, has been called as assistant minister of the New Hartford Presbyterian Church. Mr. Troeger, a graduate of Cooperstown Central School and Yale University, will graduate from Colgate-Rochester later this month. He has worked as student assistant during his seminary career at several churches in the Rochester area. He is married to the former Merle M. Butler of Whitesboro. The Rev. Richard Manzelmann has announced that
ordination ceremonies are scheduled for June 14 at the New Hartford church.

May 13, 1970

10 YEARS AGO

A door to a window on 19th century Cooperstown history opened the other day for Roverta Russaw of Morristown, Tennessee, great, great, granddaughter of Joseph Thomas “Joe Tom” Husbands. According to Village Historian Hugh MacDougall, Joe Tom “was a well-liked and somewhat nostalgically remembered character.” Joe Tom was born into slavery in 1808, the property of Joseph Dottin Husbands, the British Colonial Secretary in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was brought to Hartwick from New Jersey in 1815. For 60 years he served his Cooperstown and area neighbors as a handyman, gardener, cook, boatman, fisherman, hunter, tour guide, story teller, musician and entertainer. He was also the Christ Church sexton. His descendant, Roverta Russaw was shown around the village by Hugh and Eleanor MacDougall.

May 13, 2010

BOUND VOLUMES April 30, 2020

BOUND VOLUMES

April 30, 2020

200 YEARS AGO

A Law Case (Leesburgh, Virginia): An action to recover damages for a breach of promise of a marriage contract was tried in the Supreme Court before the Hon. Judge White. The circumstances attending the case were of a very interesting nature, and excited a lively feeling on behalf of the plaintiff, whose character was proved to have been correct and exemplary. She was the daughter of a widow in a humble station of life, who had brought up her daughters in paths of piety and industry. The attentions of the defendant were proved to have been for many years devoted to the plaintiff. But, after having sipped the dew of her beauty, he refused to consummate a promise which he made in the sweet and tender language of a verse from the “Wisdom of Solomon.” The case was forcibly and pathetically pleaded by the plaintiff’s lawyers, and the jury did honor to themselves and their country, and gratified the moral and manly sentiments of their fellow citizens, who received their verdict of five thousand dollars for the plaintiff with the liveliest satisfaction.

May 1, 1820

175 YEARS AGO

A Goat in Church – A he-goat, with whom we had many a butt and pull, once entered the village church during service, and passing to the pulpit stairs, entered the place always to be found in old-fashioned churches, between the pulpit and the Deacons’ seat. He there laid down quietly, until nearly the close of a long prayer such as the Rev. Mr. F. (not a regular pastor) was accustomed to make. “Dick” seemed to partake of the general weariness of the congregation at “long prayers,” and rearing his fore feet upon the communion table, he looked up beseechingly in the face of the minister and sent forth a loud “baa!” If there was a long face in church it was out of our sight, and the prayer soon wound up.

May 5, 1845

150 YEARS AGO

Death of Dewitt C. Bates, Esq. This gentleman, so long and actively identified with the legal profession of this county, and with the interests of Cherry Vallley, died on Monday last, after a brief illness, aged about 62 years. Mr. Bates was a self-made man who commenced the study of law when nearly half his years had been numbered. His progress overcame obstacles and difficulties which might have discouraged one of less determined will and perseverance. He was a gentleman of marked peculiarities, and many estimable qualities of heart and head; a most devoted and faithful friend, a firm and unyielding opponent. He was a good lawyer, and one of the best advocates before a jury of any legal gentlemen in this county. He had the reputation of being one of the best District Attorneys the county had for many terms. To Mr. Bates’ exertions and influence, more perhaps more than any other man, Cherry Valley is indebted for its railroad.

May 5, 1870

125 YEARS AGO

The Leatherstocking Falls Farm lying north of Cooperstown on the lake was sold at auction last Monday to Charles I. Thayer, for $4,255. There are 78 acres in the farm, more than half of it tillable, a number of Pine trees, a small wood lot, and it has a frontage of about 85 rods on the lake. It brought at least $700 more than was generally expected, and is worth more to Mr. Thayer, who runs the home farm adjoining , than it would be to almost anyone else.

May 2, 1895

100 YEARS AGO

The Forest of the Dozen Dads: A short time ago Floyd S. Barlow, the forestry exponent of the Otsego County Improvement Association, formed a local corporation for the purpose of planting a tract in timber as a form of endowment insurance for the children of the incorporators. The “Forest of the Dozen Dads” has secured a tract of land about three miles from Cooperstown and with Claude Bliss as Manager, the tract has been planted and will be cared for. The incorporators are C.E. Stone, L.J. Gross, R.D. Spraker, Frank Stevens, R.H. Van Scoik, Earl Chase, C.H. Blencoe, and Claude Bliss, all of Middlefield, with Floyd S. Barlow and Harry M. Parker of Cooperstown.

May 5, 1920

50 YEARS AGO

Activity is humming for the July 27 Hall of Fame Day. The Expos, from Canada, will be the first major league team from outside the United States to play in Cooperstown. As representatives of the National League, the Expos will play the American League entry, the Chicago White Sox at Doubleday Field. Tickets in the outfield reserve section are available at $2.50. In the morning, at 10 o’clock, the public is invited to ceremonies outside the Hall of Fame Library without admission charge. Lou Boudreau, Earle Combs, Ford Frick and Jesse Haines will be inducted into the Hall of Fame with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn presiding and Hall of Fame President Paul S. Kerr as host.

May 6, 1970

25 YEARS AGO

Wednesday was the first day of practice for a group of local residents who volunteer as members of the Leatherstocking Base Ball Club (LBBC). Now in their tenth full season the LBBC team demonstrates how “Town Ball,” an early form of baseball was played under the 1858 Massachusetts rules. The game is demonstrated at the Village Crossroads site on the grounds of The Farmers’ Museum. “Elizabeth Warner, an employee of The Farmers’ Museum and I were the founders,” Heitz explained. “Our mailing list has about 50 names and we probably go through the summer with about 60 people participating. The Haney brothers, Tim, Bruce and Craig have been longtime of the LBBC.

April 30, 1995

10 YEARS AGO

Joy Shearer, an American Cancer Society “Hero of Hope” from St. Lawrence County, will be keynote speaker when the Cooperstown/Northern Otsego Relay for Life opens on May 21 at the Cooperstown Dreams Park. Cancer survivors will take the first ceremonial lap around the track, with caregivers joining in on the second lap. There will be a hair-cutting event to support partner Pantene Beautiful Lengths efforts to provide real-hair wigs for women fighting cancer. The fund-raising goal is $90,000

May 6, 2010

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103