News of Otsego County


Bound Volumes 10-21-21

Bound Volumes


Among a list of letters remaining in the Post Office at Cooperstown, Otsego County on September 30, 1836 were those addressed to: William Averill, Dr. P. Besancon, Oren Bliss, Harvey Clark, Alfred Clark, Caleb Clark, Morris Cooper, Richard Cooper, Isaac G. Davis, Mrs. C. Holbrook, Ira Ingalls, Miss M. D. Ingalls, Miss C. Kellogg, Peter Olendorf, Elias Parshall, Ticklar Stockwell, Mrs. Sally Smith, Samuel Taber, John G. Wright, Cyrenus Warren, Miss Sabina Wood, Peter Youngs and Miss Chlotilda Yale. John B. Prentiss, P.M.

October 17, 1836


Wanted for our sick and wounded soldiers and prisoners at Richmond, blankets for single beds, quilts of cheap material, knit woolen socks, woolen or Canton flannel bed gowns, wrappers, undershirts and drawers, slippers, small pillows and cushions for wounded limbs, delicacies for the sick, &c. A strong appeal is made for the above articles. Will the ladies of Otsego respond? Articles will be received at Miss Loper’s and forwarded to the proper committee.

October 25, 1861


Miss Constance Fenimore Woolson has rented for the autumn and early winter a part of an old stone villa on the hill called Bellosguardo, outside the Roman gate of Florence, Italy. In the same villa reside Miss Greenough, sister of the sculptor, and Mr. Francis Booth, of Boston, with his daughter and son-in-law Frank Duveneck, the painter. Miss Woolson’s quarters have an old garden in front of them and are very romantically situated. Across the western end of her reception room is a broad parapet, just elbow high, to lean upon, and from this parapet the distinguished novelist gazes upon the most beautiful landscape in Italy — the valley of the Arno westward, with the strange outlines of the Carrara Mountains at its end, and the river like a silver ribbon winding down toward Pisa and the sea. Not far distant is the smaller villa where Miss Woolson’s great-uncle, James Fenimore Cooper, spent two summers with his family sixty years ago.

October 23, 1886


The death of Charles C. Rummer of Goodyear Lake, former custodian at the Cooperstown Post Office, occurred last Tuesday at his home following a heart attack which suffered while mowing his lawn. He was 73 years old. Mr. Rummer had lived in Cooperstown for many years where he was employed in the post office for 19 years until his retirement in 1958. He moved to Goodyear Lake six months ago. Mr. Rummer was an ardent fisherman and was an authority on fishing in Otsego Lake. He was born in Binghamton on August 30, 1888, the son of Daniel and Jane Rummer and was married to the former Miss Grace Wells on September 11, 1911 in Cooperstown. Her death occurred on June 21, 1957.

October 18, 1961


Another attempt to organize a union is presently taking place at The Otesaga summer resort hotel. The reasons for the attempt to organize focus in part on an apparent lack of insurance coverage, no real benefits for employees, no vacation benefits, and the breakdown of money that employees receive from the 15-percent gratuities figured into the bills paid by those staying at the hotel. The organizing effort is led by Rick and Janet Cornell under the aegis of the Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders Union, Local 471, in Saratoga Springs. The Cornells also hope to establish job security and receive better treatment by management.

October 22, 1986

Hometown History 10-7-21

Hometown History

125 Years Ago
Home & Vicinity – The surroundings at the railroad shops have been given a cheerful appearance this summer by neat grass lawns, laid out under the direction of master-mechanic Howard. Until cold weather made their removal necessary, the lawns were studded with blooming plants, contributions in good part of the employees who took a lively interest in the effort to give a cheery look to the naturally somber appearance of the shops. Next year still more lawns are to be laid out.

Health officer O.W. Peck makes the following report for the month of September: Births 12, deaths 14, marriages 6. Five cases of diphtheria and 16 of typhoid fever have been reported as against 3 of diphtheria and 4 of typhoid fever in August. Four cases of diphtheria have proven fatal.
October 1886

Bound Volumes 10-7-21

Bound Volumes

Artimesia Norton, daughter of Mr. George Norton of Hartwick, 13 years and 4 months old, did, on the 27th of September, 1811, spin five runs of good woolen yarn, on a single-geer’d wheel in 11 hours and 26 minutes. The reel measured, in circumference, two yards, two inches, and ¾ of an inch. Industry rather than silver and gold, constitutes the riches of a country.
October 5, 1811

Hometown History 9-30-21

Hometown History

135 Years Ago
The much anticipated Oneonta Agricultural Society sponsored wedding at the Oneonta Fair, scheduled for last Saturday, between Mr. George Lee of Scranton, Pennsylvania and Miss Sykes of Binghamton did not come about as advertised. However, the society secured another couple, Albert H. Jeffrey and Mary E. Sickler, who reside near Schuyler’s Lake in this county. Promptly at one o’clock on Saturday afternoon, when the bell at the judges’ stand announced the coming of the bridal party, nearly everybody on the grounds directed their steps toward the grandstand where the ceremony was to occur. There were probably not less than 8,000 people to witness the ceremony. Before A.B. Richardson proceeded with the ceremony, he asked that order and decorum prevail. His request was complied with, for during the entire ceremony, no unseemly act or remark was noticed.
September 1886

Bound Volumes 9-30-21

Bound Volumes 9-30-21

The Navy – There is a question of great importance in the future policy of our government, which we think, Congress will be compelled to decide. Shall the United States complete and maintain a Navy? It is a question which has never yet been fairly met by the national legislature; but which ought no longer to remain in suspense. If we are to have a Navy, in the name of our country’s honor,
let it be placed on a more respectable footing than it now is.
September 28, 1811

Editorial: Oh deer!

Oh deer!

The bright, beautiful Harvest Moon, come to shine on our tired fields and woodlands, has passed. The leaves have begun to turn, the temperatures are dancing about, deciding which way to go, and we are, this very week, heading into the New York state hunting season, a few months of search and shoot for the many hunters of our county. They hunt not only white-tailed deer, but also other fur-bearing and feathered animals: bear, coyote, fox, opossum, weasel, bobcat, small game, migratory game birds, waterfowl, wild turkey, and they hunt with bows, crossbows, muzzleloaders, handguns, shotguns and rifles.

Last year in Otsego County, 3,088 white-tailed bucks were taken, 2,627 does, and 709 fawns, with 253,990 white tails taken in all throughout the state – the most on record – up from 224,190 in 2019.
Deer hunting is not new, although as a sport it is relatively young. Artifacts found in Germany reveal evidence of hunting 350,000 years ago, while the cave paintings in France date from 30,000 years ago. It was during the mid-Paleolithic period (the Stone Age) that early man developed the tools — of stone, bone and wood — to kill, and the age of the hunter/gatherer improved upon that of the previous gatherer/scavenger.

Bound Volumes: September 23, 2021

Bound Volumes
September 23, 2021

Domestic Difficulty — Elopement — Whereas my wife Polly has refused to live with me and behaved herself in such a manner that I do not think proper to live with her — I therefore forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on my account as I will pay no debt of her contracting after this date. John Pringle, Jun.

Absconded — From my father’s house and this country, the above-named John Pringle, Jun., with my Snuff Box and Handkerchief pin, and every small article my father gave me that he could lay his hands on. Johnny, do not fear that any person will trust me on your account, when you have twice fled your country in the night.

I was 15 years old when I married you — I hope no other young girl will be deceived by you as I have been.

The Old Badger: The badger takes flight with the aviators

The Old Badger
The badger takes flight with the aviators

First published in The Freeman’s Journal on Aug. 16, 1978.

TonyYackey – that’s not a name that falls easily from one’s lips. However, it is a name that fell frequently from the lips of Cooperstown residents during the summer of 1919.

Lt. Tony Yackey was a decorated aviator, an honored veteran of the air war in France and one of the convalescents at the Army Hospital here. Tony was from Detroit and Tony was tough. He was brash, adventurous and “called ’em as he saw ’em.” His speech had not yet been refined.

Bound Volumes September 2, 2021

Bound Volumes

Taken Up – By the subscriber, on the 26th, near Lippitt’s Mills in Hartwick, a chestnut-colored horse, about ten or 11 years old, with white hind feet and a few white hairs in his forehead, and a white spot on the left side of his lower jaw — shod all round. The owner is requested to prove property, pay charges and take him away. Seth Hacket, Hartwick, August 28.
August 31, 1811

Bound Volumes 8-26-2021

Bound Volumes 8-26-2021

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

The Great Western Canal – To save expense in the execution of this great national work, Mr. Fulton has invented a machine for digging or removing earth by means of horses, or a steam engine. A steam engine of eight horses’ power, and rendered portable, will do the work of 150 men. The wages of 150 men may be estimated at 120 dollars a day – four men can attend the steam engine 12 hours whose wages will be $6. Two cords of wood at a cost of $2 bring the total to $8. This gives an economy of $112 a day, or for 300 days which the machine would work in a year, the saving in expense would be $32,000 – and five of these machines which would cost about $30,000, would economize about $168,000 a year.
August 24, 1811

Huntington hosts anniversary party
Huntington Memorial Library gave out plants, cupcakes and drinks as part of their centennial celebration. (Kevin Limiti/

Huntington hosts anniversary party

By Kevin Limiti • Special to

ONEONTA — The Huntington Memorial Library in Oneonta celebrated its centennial anniversary Saturday, Aug. 7, with an outdoor celebration at Huntington Memorial Park.

Cupcakes on top of books, free drinks provided by Stewart’s and plants were given out at the celebration.

The library turned 100 last year. However, because of COVID, the celebration got delayed. Mayoral candidates Mark Drnek and Len Carson were also on hand, with Drnek providing the PA system for the event.

Drnek, whose ward covers the Huntington Library, said that the library was a “quality of life thing.” which is a key part of his platform and one that he hopes will attract people to the city. He said he is hoping to use “targeted marketing” to attract people from metro areas.

“There’s nothing more quality of life than what the library does,” Drnek said, who mentioned the library hosting a car show on the same day. “It doesn’t seem like a library kind of thing to do. It’s an outreach kind of thing to do.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Discuss history of Manzanar Camp 07-07-21

Discuss history of Manzanar Camp


HISTORY DISCUSSION – 7 p.m. Explore the personal stories of Japanese American incarcerees during World War II. First learn about some of the people Ansel Adams met while taking his pictures of the camp at Manzanar, the listen to local resident Liane Hirabayashi as she discusses the effect the camps had on her fathers family. Free, recommended donation $10. Auditorium, Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit

Bound Volumes: July 1, 2021

Bound Volumes

July 1, 2021

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


Celebration of Independence at Hartwick – An assemblage of 1,200 republicans, at 10 a.m. took place, at the house of Philo West, in the Town of Hartwick, and a procession formed by Capt. Calvin Comstock, officer of the day, which marched to the meeting house, escorted by Captain Baker’s and Captain Bowen’s companies of militia in the following order: Officer of the Day, Clergy, Orator, Civil Authority, Militia Officers. The Declaration of Independence was first read, and a sermon appropriate to the occasion was delivered by elder Bostwick, and an oration by Dr. Comstock. The procession then returned in the same order to Mr. West’s, where they set down to an excellent dinner prepared for the occasion. After dinner the young people performed a number of dialogues, &c. to the great satisfaction of all present, after which they retired to their respective homes. Not a jarring sound was heard during the day, nor was anyone known to be intoxicated.

July 6, 1811

Bound Volumes: June 10, 2021

Bound Volumes

June 10, 2021

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


Advertisement – Just received and for sale at the Book Store of H. & E. Phinney, The Christian Soldier: or Heaven Taken by Storm – Shewing the holy violence a Christian is put to in pursuit after glory. By Thomas Watson, Minister of the Gospel.

June 8, 1811

MOYNIHAN: To Explain COVID-19, It’s Back To The Future

To Explain COVID-19,

It’s Back To The Future

To the Editor

There should be no more name-calling or evasions from one who lost the popular vote in 2016 by three million votes and in 2020 by seven million. His policy: “The Covid will just go away” – complete with a presidential hand signifying bird flight.

Instead, national policy is now to be founded on observation and science instead of theories from pre-germ mythologies. Intelligent action instead of ignorant reaction—or policy paralysis—arrives.

Just in time.

It’s worthy of observation that a clueless Specimen 45 imitated French professors who met in 1345. These Paris experts “observed” that a conjunction of planets, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars, caused a Black Death—also called the Bubonic Plague.

While no count of fatalities is final or completely accurate, about 25 million died, and from a much smaller world population, many times less than the present crowd approaching 8 billion. Centuries later, patiently working scientists’ discovered that infected fleas thriving on rats spread the disease.

However, National Leader 45 reverted to earlier theories of infection. Diseases strike mankind? Can’t see ‘em? Where are they?


Masks are not necessary to prevent exhaling or inhaling disease—it simply continues to move “in mysterious ways.” Nor was distribution of vaccines in a rational and competent manner necessary.

Instead, we should imitate Parisian scholars of 1345.

Past policy: just look at the planets.


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