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News of Otsego County

tom heitz history column

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

HOMETOWN HISTORY: May 6, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

May 6, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

The wretches who flaunted the red flag and hurled dynamite with fatal effect in Chicago Tuesday evening are not to be confounded with the honest workingmen there, or anywhere else, who seek to better their condition by agitation within the law. They were anarchists – cranks whose proper place is the lunatic asylum. Your anarchist is against all order, all existing institutions – the law, the schools, religion and the Ten Commandments. If this does not qualify him for the insane asylum then his proper place is the state prison. The country has tried ridicule long enough. It is time the anarchist was summarily wiped out. It will not be a difficult matter. Anarchism is a foreign plant with very little hold in American soil. Were it not for dynamite it might be left to die of itself. But unfortunately, that invention makes even one anarchist formidable.

May 1886

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

HOMETOWN HISTORY: April 29, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

April 29, 2021

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

110 Years Ago

Since spring is here interest revives in the national game, and at Gildersleeve’s and other centers of baseball interest there is talk in plenty of what’s doing and speculation as to what later will be done. A worthwhile team in Oneonta in 1911 is assured. At Elm Park considerable improvements to the grounds have already been made. Though the diamond itself has always been pretty good, the outfield has been rough and uneven – a condition which it is now proposed to remedy. The field has accordingly been ploughed, and later will be leveled and rolled, making a park surpassed by few in the state for ball purposes. There is need too of a new and larger grandstand, but it is not likely to be built this year. “Bobby” Vaughn, whom everybody in Oneonta recalls as a Stamford boy and the manager of its club two years ago, is doing good stick work this season with Montreal. Vaughn is under contract to the New York Americans, but is farmed out to Montreal. His
many friends expect to see him “breaking in” with the big leagues.

April 1911

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

HOMETOWN HISTORY: April 22, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

April 22, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

Richard Rice, a character generally known throughout the counties of central New York as “Dicky” Rice, died at Mt. Vision on Sunday, at the residence of Mr. Harrison, after about a week’s illness. For a period of about 30 or 40 years Mr. Rice has been a familiar figure throughout this section of the state as astride his trusted charger, he has wandered aimlessly about, volunteering adjuration and scriptural advice to all with whom he came in contact. Mr. Rice was known to be a harmless, inoffensive old man with a shattered intellect, and he usually found a resting place in any house where night overtook him. He had a great penchant for Bible study and could quote from the Bible by the hour from a singularly retentive memory. Mr. Rice was born in the northern part of the county in 1802. He studied medicine with Martin Gardner at Portlandville in 1838, practiced for awhile, was taken sick and became mentally unsound, and has since been a wanderer. His horse, his companion for the past 18 years, has been taken in charge by the poor officer of Laurens.

April 1886

HOMETOWN HISTORY: April 15, 2021

HOMETOWN HISTORY

April 15, 2021

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

135 Years Ago

Home & Vicinity – Wm. McCrum has bought the house and lot on Centre Street at the head of Dietz Street from Wm. Peck. Mr. McCrum owns a plot of several acres north of Centre Street and it is his intention to open a street through it, thereby throwing upon the market about 20 building lots, some of them most desirable. The new street will start from Centre Street, a few rods east of Dietz Street, running directly through the center of Mr. McCrum’s property.
A change in the school law requiring one-half of the public monies to be divided among the districts equally causes the amount to be distributed much larger in the rural counties this year than formerly. As a result, every school district which furnished a public school the required number of weeks received for that purpose this year $66. The balance of the school money is apportioned according to the school census and attendance, as formerly.

April 1886

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

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

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

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

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

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

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