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Down the Decades

Jan. 2, 2024 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 1/2/24

140 Years Ago - 1884

The principal subject discussed at a meeting of the Sullivan County Teachers Association held at Young’s Hall, Liberty, was that of teachers’ wages. A committee …

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Down the Decades

Jan. 2, 2024 Edition


140 Years Ago - 1884

The principal subject discussed at a meeting of the Sullivan County Teachers Association held at Young’s Hall, Liberty was that of teachers’ wages. A committee was appointed to draw up a definite scale of prices for the different schools based on the number of children and the assessed valuation of each district. Interesting papers were read by J.J. Dillon of Callicoon and V.N. Powell of Bloomingburg.

The tannery of Hammond at DeBruce will close next year for want of bark.

The store of Thomas Crary Co. of Parksville caught fire last Saturday.

Captain Griswold of Sundown recently bought his first cookstove. His cooking previously being done by the fireplace. The captain is about 70 years old.

A new mail route has been established running from Claryville up the West Branch of the Neversink to Big Indian Station on the Ulster and Delaware R.R. There are to be two offices on the Branch. 

Wm. Deckelman of Hankins Depot died very suddenly at his residence on December 22, 1883. Mr. Deckelman was one of the first settlers in the Town of Fremont. He came to this country in 1843 and was 62 years old. He leaves a wife and two married daughters.

130 Years Ago - 1894

Theron Potts of New Paltz Normal is spending a few days at his home at this place.

W.E. Doughty has suspended his studies at Cortland to spend the holidays at his home here.

George Wormuth and Miss Maggie Tiedman were married in New York City. The ceremony was performed in sign language as the young couple are deaf mutes. Mr. Wormuth is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Wormuth of Fosterdale.

Miss Hannah Manion of White Sulphur Springs and Lawrence McGrath were married at Ellenville on December 21 by Rev. Hayne.

Dr. F. Cook of New York delivered a lecture in Harmonie Hall on Saturday evening on the manner of life among the people of the Arctic regions.

The Village of Liberty decreed last week that there shall be no more “speeding” of horses within the village limits and that no one shall be allowed to throw ashes in the street.

Charles Quick spent last week hunting near Youngsville and shot 18 partridges in three days.

Jerome Terwilliger and William Becker ran onto a bear at Mongaup Pond near DeBruce last week while on a fishing expedition and shot him. The bounty on a bear is $10, the meat is worth $10 and the pelt between $30 and $40. The bear had seven bullets in it.

120 Years Ago - 1904

The marriage of Estelle Julia Lawrence, principal of the Youngsville School, and Dr. Romanus John Curran took place at high noon at the home of the bride’s mother on December 24. It is believed that Dr. Curran will set up in Youngsville for the practice of his profession.

Henry Manny and bride of Grays Run, Pa., after spending a couple weeks of their honeymoon at the home of the groom’s father, Felix Manny of Youngsville, left to visit relatives at Hankins. They were married December 9.

Loughran, the little son of Loughran Terwilliger, formerly of Callicoon Depot, drank kerosene oil out of a bottle and was none the worse for it.

Robert McPhillamy of Sheridan, Wyoming, is visiting his mother and brothers in Liberty for the first time in 19 years. He is the oldest of a family of twelve children, eleven sons and one daughter. Mr. McPhillamy has a large cattle ranch in Wyoming.

This epitaph is taken from the Kenoza Lake Cemetery. The young man was killed in the bark woods and this “poetry” composed by his sweetheart was put on his tombstone:

At noon ‘twas well

But night can’t tell

The same concerning me

For life had fled

And I was dead

By the falling of a tree.

Philip Bietz, Ralph Bird and Miss Emma Grouten, violinist, cornetist and pianist of the Apollo Orchestra, are engaged to furnish music for the dance at Steinhausers, Callicoon, tomorrow night.

Editor - Record:

You are mistaken in last week’s issue when you say Rev. E.E. Pinney organized the Fosterdale Church. There was a church at Fosterdale that worshiped in the schoolhouse before Rev. Pinney entered the ministry. The church building was erected and paid for through the efforts of Rev. O.D. Ramsey some three or four years before Rev. Pinney came to the charge. The charge has special reason to feel grateful to Rev. Pinney, for to him they are indebted for the comfortable and pleasantly located parsonage.

The project to build five miles of state road between Monticello and Liberty at a cost of $25,525 to the county and the same to the state will die in the Board of Supervisors, as it properly should. To make a speedway of what is now a comparatively good road would not be practical.

Briscoe wants a creamery. The farmers are shipping about 30 cans of milk every day and they say they would keep more cows if there was a creamery there.

110 Years Ago - 1914

Mrs. Mary Becker, mother of Lt. Charles Becker, died Friday at the home of her daughter and had not been informed of her son’s recent arrest and conviction. She believed he was confined in a sanitarium suffering from rheumatism.

Melchior Kohler, a resident of this section for over 40 years, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. William Weber, on a farm at North Jay, Maine.

Before adjourning this week, the Board of Supervisors prepared and adopted a new county highway which was added to the map, to run from Jeffersonville over Hust Hill to Callicoon Center and through the gulf to the Rockland town line, a distance of nine miles. This road will be built in its turn.

Charles Messner of the mercantile firm of Young, Messner and Dodge, died at his home Saturday night.

Ambrose Brochu, Liberty druggist, died at his home at Liberty. He had been associated with Roger Sears and bought him out. He was married to Nellie O’Keefe of Parksville ten years ago. Three children and his wife survive him.

George N. Wolff, a former Callicoon boy, last week was nominated for the office of assistant appraiser of the Port of New York City by President Wilson.

100 Years Ago - 1924

Rev. G.H.C. Hasskart of Ridgefield Park, N.J., former pastor of the First Lutheran Church of Jeffersonville, is mourning the loss of his wife whom he married several months ago. She claims he hypnotized her into marrying him.

The trial of William F. Miller, a druggist of Monticello, on a charge of selling liquor without a prescription will be held this week in New York City. Miller was arrested after he is alleged to have sold two pints of whiskey in his store for $10 to two federal agents in October. Attorney Elmer Lemon of Newburgh, a former Bethel boy, will prosecute that case for the government.

Mrs. Fred Hick of New York spent Christmas here with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Eagin, motoring up with Mr. and Mrs. Edward Strain, who spent the holidays with his mother at Acidalia.

90 Years Ago - 1934

The December number of the “Rumor,” Jeffersonville High School Journal, is out and on the newsstands. The school has been issuing a paper for five years now, but they have kept it to themselves and only recently let the public in on it. Each member is increasing in good looks and contents and reflects credit on the staff, which is at present as follows: Editor-in-Chief Mildred Duttweiler; Assistant Editor-in-Chief Mary Parluck; Literary Editor Philip Markowsky; Assistant Literary Editor Barbara Bossert; Sports Editor, boys, Gerald Berman, girls, Helen Abel; Business Manager Rita Hick; Staff Artists Franklyn Nise, Lillian Moulthrop; Staff Typist, Anita Newkirk; News Reporters, Alberta Klaus, Stephen Sedletsky; Class Reporters - Seniors - Lillian Moulthrop,  Juniors - Evelyn Weber, Sophomores - Irving Shapiro, Freshmen - Louise Hubert; Faculty Advisor Christine M. Sohl.

Mrs. Mary Klingman, aged 77, died December 16 at the home of her son-in-law, William Krum. Mrs. Klingman was a daughter of John Boxberger. Her husband, Karl Klingman, died in 1900.

The will of Martin Hermann, considered one of the wealthiest men in Sullivan County, was admitted to probate last week. He left $5,000 to Herbert C. Persbacker. Life use of the estate was given to the widow. The estate was left in the care of Fred H. Starck and Grover M. Hermann, a son.

Harold Leave and Simon Sattinger, who have leased the Ben Yaeger garage the past two years, have now purchased the garage and run it under the name of Public Service Garage.

Alpheus Townsend of the Electric Shop has taken a lease of the Rapke Building and will move his shop there from the Wagner building.

The Presbyterian Church formally issued a call to George Wendell Jung to serve it as pastor. He will succeed Rev. Charles W. McClure who has served the church the past five years.

Mr. and Mrs. Clinton G. Robertson took over the White Sulphur Springs firehouse for a big celebration in honor of their golden wedding anniversary. Mr. Robertson was a son of George and Lydia Robertson who lived where the White Sulphur Springs House now stands. White Sulphur Springs was formerly called Robertsonville, named after his family.

80 Years Ago - 1944

Philip L. Kespert died suddenly on December 24 in a New York Hospital. He had undergone an operation on December 15 and was making a good recovery. He was sitting up when he suddenly slumped over and went into a coma. He was born on East Hill, a son of John Kespert and Abbie Fritz and followed the trade of painter and paper hanger. He was married in 1921 to Pearl Wilson.

Casper Fischer, 74, for many years a resident of Fosterdale, died December 23, in Monticello. Mr. Fischer was born in Switzerland and came to this country at an early age. He was married to Emma Stewart who survives him.

Mrs. Anna Myers Maas, a teacher at Cochecton Center, served a roast chicken dinner at noon December 12 to her 18 students as part of the Christmas party. After the dinner, Santa arrived with Christmas tree and gifts.

Mrs. Emily L. Cuccia, nurse in the Jeffersonville and Callicoon schools, has resigned and her position will be taken by Mrs. Anna Todd.

70 Years Ago - 1954

Ralph Huter, 16-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Huter of Bethel, who has been ill with polio the last four months, continues to show very slight improvement at Mt. Sinai Hospital. He is in the hospital’s respiratory center. The youth can breathe on his own without mechanical aid for three minutes and 46 seconds.

Libby Manzo of Jeffersonville has been matched to fight Joe Morrell of New Orleans for six rounds at Madison Square Garden January 8.

Bea Manchester of Liberty, active in Legion Auxiliary work and well known as an employee in County Treasurer Arch Armstrong’s office, was injured in an auto accident on Route 17, a mile west of Monticello.

It is estimated that the connecting quickway, linking parts of Sullivan County with New York’s mighty Thruway, will reduce the traveling time to 90 minutes between Sullivan County and New York City.

Cyrus W. Blade of Liberty observed his 25th anniversary of employment with the New York State Gas and Electric Co.

Donna Graham, a student nurse at Vassar Hospital, Poughkeepsie, was home for the holidays. She recently received a $100 scholarship from Youngsville businessmen, given to a member of the graduating class who entered the field of higher education.

60 Years Ago - 1964

Evelyn Hoering, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Hoering of Jeffersonville, who studied in Munich, Germany, received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in German at Wayne State University’s mid-year commencement exercises, Sunday, December 15 in Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

From a bulletin of the Big Ten Conference Student Association Wisconsin Badget, Pete Kutschera learned Friday that he was being offered one of twenty leadership grants presented annually to outstanding leaders on the campuses of the universities of Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He was cited for his “unusually competent organizational abilities and sincere willingness to promote humane ideas among the universities peers.”

A second burglary in Jeffersonville within two weeks took place Saturday night at the Richfield Service Station and netted the thief approximately $170. The service station is owned by August Segar. Ferndale State Police said that the station was entered by drilling holes through the floor of the storage room.

50 Years Ago - 1974

The premises of the Liberty Steam Laundry, located at Church and Maple Streets in the heart of the downtown section of Liberty, exploded into a torrent of flames on Wednesday afternoon of last week shortly after a man was allegedly seen running from the property about 2:30 p.m. More than 100 firemen from several surrounding communities came to assist. Monticello dispatched its aerial truck to the scene. Traffic in Liberty was all but paralyzed when vehicles were diverted from South Main Street during the height of the blaze. The nearby Presbyterian Church was threatened by the proximity of the intense fire but escaped unscathed thanks to heroic efforts by firemen operating under Liberty Assistant Fire Chief Jack Kinne.

A daughter, Maria Noelle, was born December 17, to Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. White of the Beechwoods at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale.

Mrs. Lucy Karadontes of Jeffersonville has been cited by the U.S. Army for her efforts on behalf of students.

40 Years Ago - 1984

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Heins of Milanville, Pa., recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They were married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Narrowsburg on November 20, 1943.

An outstanding judicial and civic-minded man, regarded by many as one of the best judges in the State of New York, Sullivan County Judge Louis B. Scheinman of Woodbourne, died Tuesday, December 20, in Syracuse of heart failure. He was 61. Among the noted cases over which he presided was the 1982 retrial of reputed underworld hitman Harold “Kayo” Koningsberg for the two-decade old murder of a North Jersey teamster boss near Kerhonkson. The post will be filled by a gubernatorial appointment by Gov. Mario Coumo which is expected to be made early next year because of the heavy case load in Sullivan County.

John E. O’Brien Sr. of Middletown, former director of the Dairymen’s League District #4 for more than 30 years and former supervisor, councilman and magistrate for the Town of Wawayanda, died Monday, December 19, at his home. He was 85 years of age.

After 31 years of service, Dr. Sydney P. Schiff will close his office in Liberty as of December  31.

The thorny problem of deciding on a weighted voting system for the Sullivan County Board of Supervisors is still undecided and is expected to be decided shortly.

30 Years Ago - 1994

One hundred twenty-two students received degrees at the 4th mid-year commencement exercises at Sullivan County Community College.

Frank Michalski of Fosterdale shot a tan and black coyote, one of three chasing deer which he was hunting. It weighed 43 pounds.

Eldred Carthart of Mountainville, hunting on the Cherokee Hunting Club grounds in Bethel, shot a 10-point buck with a 70-inch rack.

In a review of the happenings of 1993, the Sullivan County Democrat cited the visit of “First Brother” Roger Clinton in April to mark the first day of trout fishing at Junction Pool... A late-winter snowstorm dumped upwards of two-feet of snow on Sullivan County... Joseph White, a former reporter for the Democrat, won a Pulitzer Prize in April for his indepth articles on General Motors which appeared in the Wall Street Journal... 1993 marked the passage of the Sullivan County Charter to initiate a new form of governmental operation. Linda Green De Carlo was hired to shape the county’s future... The Bethel Town Board and Sullivan County struggled with the task of assessing the merits of various proposals, which have now come down to two with just eight months left before the 25th anniversary of the Woodstock  Music  and  Art  Festival... Monticello native Judith Kaye received the nod as Chief Judge of New York State, replacing Sol Wachtler, after the Senate confirmed her appointment by Governor Mario Cuomo in March.

Maria E. Montesi, daughter of George and Mickey Montesi, and James Ruef, son of Barbara and Jacob Ruef, all of Hasbrouck, were married November 6 at the Woodbourne Reformed Church.

Don and Dottie Cox of White Sulphur Springs celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 6.

20 Years Ago - 2004

Father Paul Osborne, the last in a long line of Franciscan priests to lead St. George’s and St. Francis’ parishes in Jeffersonville and Youngsville handed over the reins to a Diocesan priest during Sunday’s Masses. Because of dwindling numbers in the brotherhood, the men in the simple brown robes who have overseen births, weddings and Masses in many of Sullivan County’s churches for the past century are beginning to say goodbye. In their stead will be priests of other orders.

Teens from the area, with the guidance of Oliver King, have built a 10-foot-long “origami peace crane” that is in the running for the record of the largest origami crane ever assembled. King, a mentor with Teen Link to the Community (TLC) in Monticello, contacted the Guiness Book of World Records, and they are currently researching the history of origami constructs.

The Woodbourne Reformed Church is now listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. Permanent settlement of the area did not pick up until the turn of the 19th century, when the heirs of Thomas Beckman, who claimed a large portion of the land between the hamlets of Neversink and Woodbourne, began selling farms to pioneers. The church’s congregation organized in 1802 in nearby Hasbrouck. The church was built in 1827 but burned down in 1836. The group constructed a new house of worship in 1837 and added a new tower and facade in 1849, which can still be seen today on Route 42 in Woodbourne. Some of the early leaders of the congregation are buried in the nearby cemetery, with grave markers dating back to 1837.

10 Years Ago - 2014

Legislator Gene Benson’s expected challenge of Legislature Chairman Scott Samuelson never materialized during yesterday morning’s reorganizational meeting. And Benson, a Democrat, ended up losing his vice chairmanship to Republican Kitty Vetter.

“I think two parties leading Sullivan County is an important thing,” Vetter said after a majority of legislators voted in favor of her candidacy. “... It’s reaching across the aisle to make positive change.”

Marine Lance Cpl. Vaughn Schlott, son of Bonnie and John Schlott, Blind Pond Rd., Narrowsburg, is in training to become a military working dog handler and is a student in the Handler’s Course in Texas with the 341st Training Squadron, Department of Defense Military Working Dog Program.

It was 25 years ago this week, on New Year’s Eve in 1988, and Sullivan County’s first radio station was about to make a little bit of history. That Saturday morning a couple was married – and their reception was on the air as part of WVOS radio’s regular programming. The Saturday morning show was known as John Conway’s Saturday Brunch. It had been airing on Saturday mornings since February of 1980, when it made its debut on WSUL, and had moved to WVOS in September of 1988. Such was the case on Saturday morning, December 31, 1988. That week’s show dealt exclusively with wedding trivia, and included a bit of a twist. During the second hour of the show, the usual format would be preempted for the actual wedding of the show’s host and its producer, newspaper reporter Debra Keator. No one could remember an actual wedding ever having taken place on Sullivan County radio before. — Retrospect column


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