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News of Otsego County

otsego county history

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

HOMETOWN HISTORY: April 8, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

April 8, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

Home & Vicinity – On Tuesday evening, George Ingalls of this village displayed a collection of gold coins, consisting of twenty-six one-dollar pieces, four five-dollar pieces, and one twenty-dollar piece, all bright and new.
What was particularly interesting was that the money was paid Mr. Ingalls for his services during the first year of the rebellion and which he has retained ever since.
The committee appointed to arrange a law-and-order league hope at an early day to make public their plan of operation. Since the movement was inaugurated, drunkenness has entirely disappeared from our streets on Sundays, and the dealers evince a disposition to observe the letter of the law – the bars being all closed on the Sabbath. It will be much better for all concerned if no further step is necessary.

April 1886

HOMETOWN HISTORY: April 1, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

April 1, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

The report of the Wilber National Bank of Oneonta gives some idea of the immense business interests which it represents. The surplus of $92,500 gives evidence of its financial prosperity and soundness, and its nearly $280,000 of deposit certificates (at three percent we suppose) shows a large amount of capital in the country which finds no desirable investment in business at this period of democratic prosperity, marked by financial depression and laborers’ strikes.

April 1886

COVID? It Could Have Been Worse

ALBERT COLONE RECOUNTS FAMILY’S STORY

COVID? It Could Have Been Worse

Editor’s Note: The COVID-19 pandemic has Albert Colone, founding president of the former National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, musing about the immigrant experience, when times were REALLY tough. This is the first of two columns on the immigrant experience of his grandparents, Frank and Lucia (Valentini) Colone.

AL COLONE

COVID-19, which hit America hard starting in early 2020, turned our worlds upside down. I haven’t been able to hug my grandchildren since early February 2020 on my last visit with them. So here we are hunkered down, adhering to the virus protocols, playing it safe and staying healthy.

So, what do you do to maintain your sanity?

I reflect on stories surrounding the trials and tribulations of my ancestors to understand the struggles they plowed through in their lives.

Remember, they were handicapped by not having all of today’s quality-of-life assets, no cell phones, computers, the luxuries of travel from automobiles to airplanes, prepared foods, safe housing, money and all of assets that we enjoy, and perhaps take for granted, today.

Do you hear where I’m going with this? Let me share with you some of the storied struggles of the early lives of my grandfather and grandmother.

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

HOMETOWN HISTORY: March 25, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

March 18, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

M. & L. Westcott, who are about to begin the construction of a four-story brick block to contain four stores on Main Street near the fire building, have arranged to open a new street between the proposed block and the residence of Dr. Hamilton, to be called Hamilton Avenue. The street will run from Main to Front Street and will be paved. As an easy grade can be obtained from the freight depot, it will doubtless prove a popular thoroughfare for teamsters and others. (Ed. Note: The area once occupied by Hamilton Street is today a parking lot)

March 1886

HOMETOWN HISTORY: March 18, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

March 18, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

Home & Vicinity – A meeting for the purpose of taking steps toward organizing a village law and order league was held at the M.E. Church on Tuesday evening, at which there was a good attendance. Prof. N.N. Bull was chosen chairman and A.L. Kellogg secretary. Short addresses were made by the chairman and by Rev. Mssrs. Allen, Lee, Gleason, Richardson and others, the sentiment of the meeting being that the law governing the sale of intoxicants must hereafter be respected. The license laws were read for the information of those present. The following resolutions were unanimously passed – Resolved: that the pastors of the village churches prepare and distribute 2,000 copies of a circular containing the points of law regulating the sale of intoxicating drink; and Resolved: that the pastors and five committeemen named by them be authorized to organize a law and order league. The committee consists of Geo. Reynolds, N.H. Briggs, George Kirkland, A.A. Whitcomb, and T.W. Stevens.

March 1886

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 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

HOMETOWN HISTORY: March 4, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

March 4, 2021

100 Years Ago

Oneonta & Vicinity – General Manager C.S. Sims of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad, said today that the purpose of removal of the headquarters of the Susquehanna Division, now located at the Delaware & Hudson building at Steuben and Pearl streets in Albany, to Oneonta, is to bring the superintendent of the division and his men in closer touch with the work. It will necessitate the relocation of about 15 men, including the superintendent, J.C. Rosenstalk, who recently succeeded F.H. Wait, along with several clerks, train dispatchers and time keepers. The Susquehanna Division is devoted mostly to the freight business. Between 35 and 40 trains pass over the road each way every day, including the freight trains from the coal fields and those carrying merchandise, which connect with the Boston & Maine railroad at Mechanicville for New England. Most of the freight trains are made up at the freight yards in Oneonta.

March 1911

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

BOUND VOLUMES: February 25, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

February 25, 2021

200 YEARS AGO

At a meeting of the inhabitants of the Town of Otsego, held at Captain Stephen North’s, William Sprague, Chairman and Isaac Williams, Secretary, the following nominations were made: William Sprague, Supervisor, George Pomeroy, Town Clerk; Ambrose Clark, Buckingham Fitch, Israel Loomis, Assessors; Buckingham Fitch, Israel Loomis, Postmasters; Hezekiah Loomis, Abraham Van Horne, William McCrombie, Commissioners of Highways; John H. Prentiss, Abraham Van Horne, Issac Williams, Commissioners of Schools; Stephen Williams, Constable and Captain, Ira Janner, Constant Sherman, John LaRow, Elijah Gardner, Constables.

February 26, 1821

BOUND VOLUMES: February 18, 2021

BOUND VOLUMES

February 18, 2021

200 YEARS AGO

Perjury – A fellow by the name of Herrrington was indicted and tried at the Court of General Sessions held in this Village (Cooperstown) on February 8, 1821, on the charge of Perjury, for having sworn in a vote for Governor at the last election, without possessing any freehold estate. He was convicted and sentenced to seven years hard labor in the State Prison. Thus, one man at least, has paid dear for the attempt to make Mr. Tompkins Governor.

February 19, 1821

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

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