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News of Otsego County

hometown history

HOMETOWN HISTORY: February 25, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

February 25, 2021

150 Years Ago

Editorial: The Temperance Question – We are ever ready to do all in our power for the advancement of that noble virtue – Temperance. A virtue, without which, man is not certain of a foothold to life. There is no evil that drags such countless thousands to poverty, unhappiness and early graves, as drinking intoxicating liquors. We have good laws – which provide that no liquors can be sold. What we need is MEN. The recent action of certain “Good Templars” in this place, met with our disapproval – and we believe very justly. In the first place, if societies desire to elect strict men, let them hold a caucus in the ordinary manner, and make temperance an issue – it is a commendable one. The instigators of the “third party” did not do this, but instead put out a ticket which had no advantage over the Republican ticket. It was not one whit better, although it was very good.

February, 1871

HOMETOWN HISTORY: February 18, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

February 18, 2021

150 Years Ago

Learn All You Can – Never omit an opportunity to learn all you can. Sir Walter Scott said that even in a stagecoach he always found somebody that could tell him something that he did not know. Conversation is frequently more useful than books for purposes of knowledge. It is therefore a mistake to be morose and silent among persons whom you think to be ignorant, for a little sociability on your part will draw them out, and they will impart wisdom, and will be able to teach you something, no matter how ordinary their employment. Indeed, some of the most sagacious remarks are made by persons of this description respecting their particular pursuit. Hugh Miller, the Scotch geologist, owes not a little of his fame to observations made when he was a journeyman stone mason, and working in a quarry. Socrates well said that there was but one good, which is knowledge, and one evil, which is ignorance. If there is a moment’s leisure, spend it over a good book or in instructive talking with the first you meet.

February 1871

HOMETOWN HISTORY: February 11, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

February 11, 2021

150 Years Ago

Home & Vicinity: It is fortunate for people desiring to locate in Oneonta that plenty of desirable building lots are in market at reasonable prices. Buyers can take their choice as to streets and localities. E.R Ford, T.D. & H. Watkins. S. Huntington, S. Wood, C.L. Michael. H. Wilcox, J.H. Peters, H. Baker and S. Parish all have good lots ready for purchasers, many of them finely located. All of these men are ready to sell lots for cash or on time, and we hear of sales every week, most of them for immediate occupation. This is the true policy for the speedy growth of the village.
It is now the universal rule with newspapers that the name of an author should accompany his communications. It is required as a guarantee of good faith, and not for a public or needless use
of the name.

February 1871

HOMETOWN HISTORY: February 4, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

February 4, 2021

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – Donnati’s Great Comet will be again visible in the year 3858. Those who wish to see it may cut out this paragraph for reference. (Ed: 1,837 years hence as of 2021)
H.P. Skinner has done another good thing. This he has placed a large and attractive street lamp in front of his store door. Call in for he won’t skin[er] you on a deal.
Morris Brothers pay more for freight every week than all the other merchants in town – and everybody seems to be doing a good business. They frequently pay $1,500 and $2,000 a week.
Mr. Wallace, a gentleman in attendance at the Teachers’ Association last week, is the “school teacher” who E.P. Weston in a 50 mile walk at Cooperstown last fall. We are glad he is satisfied with teaching and not ambitious for pedestrian honors.
Sleep – Every man must sleep according to his temperament. Eight hours is the average. If he requires a little more or a little less he will find it out for himself.

February 1871

HOMETOWN HISTORY: January 28, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

January 28, 2021

150 Years Ago

In the Village of Oneonta during the year 1870 the mortality was as follows: Total number of deaths: 9; of which 5 were women, 1 man, 2 boys and 1 girl. Ages: Under 1 year and under: 2; between 1 and 5 years: 1; 15 and 20 years: 1; 30 and 40 years: 5. Diseases: Bronchitis: 1; Cancer: 1; Consumption 1; Dysentery 1; Hemorrhage of Lungs 2; Killed by Cars (Railroad) 1; Scarintina 1. Deaths to population: Eight-tenths of one percent.
In reference to the Musical Convention held at Schenevus recently, Miss Emma Gates of Oneonta had probably the fullest and best cultivated soprano voice of any of the female singers present. Her delineation is broad and fluent, her execution full of delicacy, and her rendition of impassioned music – “vehement.”

January 1871

HOMETOWN HISTORY: January 21, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

January 21, 2021

150 Years Ago

Local: The coal bill of Bissell & Yager, for the month ending January 1, amounted to nearly $5,000.
H. Sessions fell from a scaffold on his house a few days since, from which he received quite severe injuries.
E.R. Sabin, T.N. Derby and George Bond have each drawn a silver watch from prize candy packages.
We learn that L.J. Emmons and E.G. Bixby contemplate moving to Kansas during the Spring or Summer.
S.M. Ballard has sold one-half interest in the Susquehanna House to A.C. Lewis of Cooperstown, the firm hereafter to be Ballard & Lewis.
The Round House is now completed. The work was inspected Tuesday and accepted by the company. Men are now working on the water tank. In a few days everything will be in readiness
for engines to take water while standing in the stalls.

January 1871

HOMETOWN HISTORY: January 7, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

January 7, 2021

150 Years Ago

Local: Most of the wells in this village are dry. Housewives therefore grumble.
Charley Freiot has just received a large and splendid assortment of stereoscopic views.
N.I. Ford wishes to say that he will sell his house and lot on Centre Street. It is centrally located and will be sold cheap.
More than 70 houses have been built, enlarged and repaired in our village this past year. We hope to herald more than double that number the coming year.
George Bixby has sold his house and lot on Dietz Street near the bridge to H.J. Cummings of Burlington, at $2,000. Mr. C. will come here to reside in Spring. Mr. Thompson, who recently purchased the old M.E. Church, was busy last week moving it on the lot purchase of Bixby. Mr. T. will arrange the building for two families.

January 1871

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 31, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 31, 2020

125 Years Ago

Congressman D.F. Wilber of Oneonta did not vote for the Dingley Tariff Bill. Neither did he vote against it. Mr. Wilber’s position on the bill was explained by him as follows: “I represent a district which is strongly protective in its tariff views and I myself am a radical protectionist. As such I could not bring myself around to support the Dingley measure. It is a bill for revenue rather than protection. I cannot endorse a 15 percent increase of Wilson-Gorman duties throughout all the schedules except those devoted to wool and wood and their manufactures. The basis of such action is wrong. I favored a Bill framed along McKinley lines. What I want is a thoroughly protective measure on the lines of the McKinley measure of 1890. Any Democrat who favors tariff duties for revenue only might have voted for the Dingley Bill without violating his principles. I cannot compromise my protective views with Mr. Cleveland to that extent.”

January 1896

80 Years Ago

An Oneonta boy died a hero Friday afternoon of last week in a futile attempt to save the life of a seven-year-old playmate who had plunged into icy Neahwa park pond. Victims of the first tragic accident to occur at the park pond in 12 years were Charles Wood, aged 11, son of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Wood, and Darwin Johnston, aged 7, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Johnston of West Harpersfield. Dr. Norman Getman, Otsego County coroner, pronounced both boys dead at 4:50 p.m.

January 1941

25 Years Ago

Citing economic reasons and low ridership, Pine Hill-Adirondack Trailways has decided to eliminate its weekday bus route traveling from Utica, through Cooperstown, to Oneonta on January 10. Weekend runs will continue, however. Paul Provost, vice-president for the Kingston-based company, commented, “It’s a lack of passengers. There are less than six passengers a day on that portion. The majority are between New York City and Oneonta, obviously. Somedays we are leaving Oneonta with two or three people. This is strictly an economic move. Trailways receives a state subsidy of $2.7 million and was asking for an additional $500,000 according to Michael Fleischer a NYSDOT spokesperson. “Adirondack wanted additional state subsidies because the ridership was fairly low,” said Diane Carlton, Director of the Planning Department for Otsego County. The ridership averages are based on total annual numbers which rise during the tourist season.
“I see a lot more people getting off the buses in the summer,” Carlton said.

January 1996

10 Years Ago

In ceremonies at the Otsego County Courthouse, State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, was sworn in for a 13th term, and Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr. was sworn for his second term. In remarks, Seward noted a lack of “stable and responsible leadership” in Albany in recent years. “I love New York,” he said, “but our state is crumbling.” Drue Quackenbush, an Oneonta High School student, sang the National Anthem and led the audience in “America the beautiful” at the end. Also sworn in was Judge Brian Burns who warned of growing problems with heroin drug addiction.
“Stay-at-home moms are being arrested for selling it and for using it,” said the judge.

January 2011

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 24, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 24, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – The walks in some parts of our village have been made very slippery by boys sliding and skating on them. A bad practice!
Now is a good time to provide yourself a nice scarf or warm overcoat. Anything of this kind can be bought cheaper in Oneonta than any other place short of Albany.
All ye who are troubled with mice should call at the store of Moody and Vosburgh, and purchase a “Novelty Mouse-Trap.” The construction of this trap is such that it would be fun to sit up nights and watch the little pantry robbers as they slide in under the gate.
Miss Mary Burton lost a valuable gold watch from her chain last Thursday evening. The loss was first discovered while in attendance at Washburne’s show. Search was made that night in the street from Mr. Burton’s residence to the Hall with lanterns, but without success.

December 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 17, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 17, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – A singular worm was found in an apple by Sable Hudson which we have seen and examined. It measures 7 inches in length, is nearly white and when taken from the apple its body was about the size of a small knitting needle. How did it get there? The worm will be sent to the State Entomologist at Albany for an examination.
J.W. Carpenter is now pleasantly situated in the fine rooms over the bookstore, opposite the Susquehanna House. He has received a thorough instruction in the
business, and is competent to attend the most difficult cases, in extracting teeth and making of plates.

December 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 10, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 10, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – Next year will witness the erection of more buildings in Oneonta than in any previous year. It has surpassed the expectations of the most sanguine, but we look for greater improvement next year. Many only await the opening of spring to begin the erection of business houses and residences.
Mr. Peter W. Swart, so long and well known in this town and vicinity, died quite suddenly at his residence on Monday night. Mr. Swart, though in quite feeble health was able to be about and was at the village only a few days ago. He was a man of much kindness of heart and very highly esteemed as a friend and citizen.
About 1 o’clock Monday morning a fire was discovered in the back part of Mendel’s stone building on Main Street. It was next the walls of the house, near the chimney, and directly opposite a partition, and probably caught in some manner from the chimney. When discovered the fire had made but small progress and with the help of a few citizens was quickly extinguished. If the people of Oneonta and especially those on Main Street value their lives and property, they should see that something is done in the matter of a fire engine.

December 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: December 3, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

December 3, 2020

150 Years Ago

Home and Vicinity – L. Goldsmith is enlarging his store by adding on several feet in the rear. Remember S. Brownson’s Singing School at Music Hall, next Saturday evening. As we go to press, track laying is in progress at the crossing below the village. Wm. McCrum has the frame up and nearly enclosed for a new house on the new street east of Broad Street. Bronson has the frame up and nearly enclosed for the new house of J.P. Van Woert, on Dietz Street. The frame for W. Mickle’s new house on Center Street has been raised and will be rapidly enclosed. H. Houghton has commenced a new house nearly opposite the residence of W.H. Shellman on West Street. The new stone walk laid on Main Street shows enterprise and good judgment on the parties who have energy enough to put them down. The new book store is open for public inspection and patronage. Call and see its neat arrangement and carry home a few choice books.

December 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: November 26, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

November 26, 2020

150 Years Ago

Highway Robbery – Early last Wednesday morning Mr. Moak, driver of the Schenevus Stage, was accosted by a suspicious looking individual near the Russel Bridge who asked for a tobacco chew. Mr. Moak said he did not use the weed, whereat the robber demanded of Mr. M. his money and the mail bags. His request was not acceded to by our modern John, who dismounted from his coach and struck the would-be highwayman with a stick of wood from an adjacent woodpile. The scoundrel dropped and the faithful guardian of the mail bags went his way rejoicing. Work is progressing slowly at the round house during the present cold weather.Lester and Theodore Emmons and Wm. H. Strait have purchased a lot containing 40 feet front and 100 feet back on Broad Street of E.H. Ford, on which they will erect a machine shop for the manufacture of the celebrated Firkin Head Cutter, and a general repair shop.

November 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: November 19, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

November 19, 2020

150 Years Ago

Oneonta Local: J.P. Van Woert is preparing to erect his house on Dietz Street. H.M. Brownson is the builder.
A.G. Shaw has sold his home to J.M. Watkins for $4,000. Mr. Wells, 0n Centre Street, intends to build a very superior house. S.M. Ballard has bought the house of Dr. Reynolds on Chestnut Street. J. Alger has purchased a lot of Isaac Peters, and intends erecting a house soon. McDonald & Brewer have the frame up for A. Morris’s new house on Walnut Street. John Dewar has bought a house of N.I. Ford, and moved it on a lot in the rear of T.J. Gildersleeve’s.
J.H. Ostrander’s new house, which is nearly completed, improved the corner above the creek on Dietz Street.
Stephen Bull’s fine house presents a very picturesque appearance. A portion of it can be seen so far up the road as J.W. Jenks’s. The Brewer Block is nearly completed. Six nice homes are thus offered for sale or to rent. Rents will not be less than $250 per year and at that price the owners will not realize more than ten percent on cost. If a few more houses could be built so as to rent for about $150 it would be a good thing. In a few years Oneonta will be the largest town in the county, and houses will be needed.

November 1870

HOMETOWN HISTORY: November 12, 2020

HOMETOWN HISTORY

November 12, 2020

150 Years Ago

Oneonta Local: The first snow of the season fell here on Sunday, October 29. There was a heavy thunder shower on Thursday morning last – the sign of a hard winter.
Conductor R. V. Humphrey is preparing to build a new house on his lot opposite James Cope’s on Elm Street. The cellar is already completed for a new house.
The person who borrowed or took a copy of French’s Gazetteer of New York City from this office will confer a special favor by returning it at once. We want to use it.
D. Morrell has bought 13 acres of land of Brewer & McDonald south of the creek road adjoining James Walling’s farm, at $100 per acre. It is well worth the money.
A new street has been opened from Main Street to the railroad near Mickel & Moore’s Foundry, and W. McCrum is erecting a new house thereon. He expects to erect another on the same street next spring.
H. Houghton has bought Perry Bennett’s lots on West Street – 11 acres at $850. The raspberry plantation on it will more than pay the interest and taxes on the place, but it will soon be wanted for building lots.

November 1870

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