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Down the Decades

November 21, 2023 Edition

Compiled by Lee Hermann, Muse, & Ruth Huggler
Posted 11/21/23

130 Years Ago - 1893

  George H. Smith, the newly elected county judge and surrogate of Sullivan County, is 29 years of age. For one so young, he must be considered extremely fortunate. In …

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Down the Decades

November 21, 2023 Edition


130 Years Ago - 1893

 George H. Smith, the newly elected county judge and surrogate of Sullivan County, is 29 years of age. For one so young, he must be considered extremely fortunate. In 1889 he ran for district attorney against M.H. Couch, the man he has so singly beat in this election, and was defeated by a majority of over 700. He accepted his defeat philosophically and this year he is called by the people to take the office of the most dignity and power in the county.

Charles Clinton Lundington, nephew of the Monticello Lundingtons, was one of five picked men who with rifles and revolvers guarded a shipment of $5,000,000 in gold by Wells Fargo Express Company from San Francisco to New York City recently.

The question of building a new county jail will come before the board of supervisors before it adjourns.

District Attorney D.S. Hill wants the Board of Supervisors to appropriate a sum of money for the employing of a detective to work up the Halliday murder case, claiming that the evidence now at hand makes it impossible to convict the murderess. The board, however, does not appear to be in favor of making such an appropriation.

It is no secret that Liberty has for some time been wishing for the county seat, though no open steps have as yet been taken in that direction. If the board decides to build a new jail, Liberty will no doubt offer big inducements and make a strong fight to have it located there.

George H. Neumann, proprietor of Neumann’s Hall at Callicoon, will hold his first annual Thanksgiving Ball on Thursday, November 30.

R.H. Wales found a curious relic on the shore of Kenoza Lake which proved to be a whale oil lamp. It was entirely of iron, not unlike a good sized padlock, with an upright handle, an aperture opposite the wick and a part of the top lifting to pour in the oil. It was “one of the lights of other days.”

120 Years Ago - 1903

Ben Brown, undertaker at Mileses, dropped dead at the home of his brother-in-law, Peter Dorr, as he entered the Dorr home. The Dorr farm was his birthplace. He had come to Jeffersonville earlier in the day with John Baer to see Dr. MacDonald. He was 55 years of age. Seventeen years ago he leased and conducted the Jeffersonville House for a short time. Since then he has run a saloon at Hankins.

The eighth semi-annual banquet of the Delaware Valley Society at the Hotel Marlborough in New York City, on Wednesday, November 18, was attended by nearly a hundred members. Rufus C. Maltby, P.C. Staib, F.J. Pansing, Augustus Lieb, Joe H. Krenrich, George Erff, W.V. Staib, Wm. Knell, John Scholl, Fred Staib, Fred Hessinger, S.E. Wenzel, Henry Manny, Frank Kellam and William Lieb were among those attending.

An attempt was made last week to set fire to the Pleasant Valley schoolhouse in District 10, Town of Fremont. The stove pipe had been disconnected in the attic and dry pine sticks whittled to shavings soaked with kerosene fastened along a wire ten foot long and had been left down the stove pipe to near the stove and the upper end of the wire was fastened to the roof. The teacher, Miss Lydia Duttweiler of Swiss Hill, started the fire Thursday morning, the burning of kerosene at once filled the schoolhouse. Frederick Horning, one of the students, quickly climbed into the attic and with a pail of water Miss Duttweiler handed him, quickly extinguished the blaze.

Contractor Miller has begun the carpenter work on the new Masonic Hall.

110 Years Ago - 1913

The jury in the Richard Harms case, tried for the attempt to burn down his hotel, the Mansion House at Liberty, returned a verdict of guilty on Wednesday. Judge Thornton sentenced him to state prison for not less than three years or more than five years and six months.

One night a couple of years ago, the old Liberty school house was mysteriously burned down after a proposition to build a new school had been voted on and defeated. While the cause of the fire was pretty generally understood in and about Liberty at the time, no public utterance bearing on its origin had been made until recently.

At the Harms arson trial at Monticello last week, Harms swore that he had been asked, “I suppose you know about the burning of the school house.” Harms answered that he didn’t and was told that on the night the proposition for the new school was to be voted on, it was all arranged that if the proposition was voted down the building was to burn. The gang was celebrating at the Liberty House, waiting for the fire alarm. The proposition had been defeated and the building burned as planned.

Dr. Victor G. Bourke, who came to Livingston Manor from Brooklyn a year or so ago, and Miss May White were married by Father O’Carroll November 19.

Richard O’Meara died at his home in Acidalia, November 18, aged 44 years.

Joseph Moser and Amanda Muth of Obernburg were married at Obernburg on Thanksgiving Day.

The frame for the new bank building in Jeffersonville, entirely reinforced concrete, is completed.

100 Years Ago - 1923

Miss Jennie Sommer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Sommer of North Branch, was united in marriage with Fred Kolbe of Brooklyn, on November 4, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Jamaica, L.I.

Peter D. Schmidt of Callicoon Center and Miss Elsie Schwartz of Obernburg were united in marriage at a nuptial mass at St. Mary’s Church, Obernburg.

Emily M. Baim, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Baim, and Robert Norris, both of Briscoe, were married November 12 at Stevensville.

Charles August Schmidt, aged 73, a resident of this township for nearly all his life, died at his home on the Youngsville road on November 15. He was born in Baden, Germany, and at the age of 9 came here with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Martin Schmidt, who settled at Buck Brook. On September 6, 1870, he was united in marriage with Josephine Wagner. Twenty-nine years ago he bought the Secord farm on the Youngsville road. Surviving him are his widow and eleven sons and daughters.

90 Years Ago - 1933

A benefit performance of “An Irish Rose” by Roscoe Players, under the auspices of the American Legion, filled the Masonic Hall on Thursday night. Stanley Hoffman of the school faculty, who has been coaching this village’s band, provided the music with his band and did a fine job. Clem Bauers’ Roscoe Players did well. Gordon Schoonmaker went over big as the big-hearted priest. Brother Bob (Jimmy Fitzgerald) made a fine parlor sheriff. Laddie (Burdell Sherwood) wanted to be a tough hombre to please his selfish-minded lady love (Margaret Stewart), Madolyn Barnhart, as the Irish Rose, was sweetly timid. Mrs. Frank T. Griswold furnished the comedy as Mrs. Donovan, even with the love scenes with Grizzly Adams (Millard Bury). Betty Knickerbocker, the priest’s little ward, brought a pleasant climax when she threw a blanket over the massive form of the sleeping priest on the couch as the curtain went down.

Col. Frederick Stuart Greene, State Commissioner of Public Works, conferred at Albany on Monday with highway officials to continue work during the winter to provide jobs for hundreds of unemployed men. A $75,000,000 program has been approved tentatively – 75 percent to go for labor and 25 percent for materials.

The Liberty and Monticello post offices are again proposed as federal public works projects to cost respectively $75,000 and $58,100. The site of the Liberty building has not been determined but the Monticello site has been purchased – the former Lefferts-Hembdt place.

Frank M. Anderson, formerly of Monticello, executor for the estate of his mother, has been ordered by Surrogate Cooke to make a compulsory accounting. This was ordered on application of R.C. Williams and Co. of New York, a creditor in the amount of $35.

Mrs. Emma Kreim has contracted to purchase the 80-acre farm of the late Walter Townsend at Birch Ridge in the Town of Bethel.

The “Mary Brown Guidance Shelf” has been established in the local school library. This was established in loving memory of Miss Brown who left a legacy of $500 to the school. The income is used to supply books for the shelf.

Arthur Francis Lawrence died suddenly in Arthur Buddenhagen’s garage in Hortonville. He had just tightened the lugs on a wheel after putting on a tire when he fell over backwards. He was 54 years old, the youngest son of George Lawrence and Alida Pendell and was born at Kenoza Lake.

Emma, aged 22, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Steele of White Sulphur Springs, died November 7.

Dr. Osmer J. Wilkin and Mrs. Jane Wilson of Seneca Falls were married on Wednesday at the Seneca Falls M.E. Church.

80 Years Ago - 1943

Two officials of the Farmers Union, Raymond Knack and George Rosenberger, both of Hortonville, argued before the Board of Supervisors Friday that, regardless of affiliation with the Farm Bureau, farmers in this county should have equal rights to any benefits from the farm extension services in effect here.

Mrs. Theron Taylor yesterday sold the Arcadia, refreshment place at Kenoza Lake, to Theodore Rittershausen and Jesse Abel, with immediate possession given. The Arcadia was built in 1921 by Mrs. Taylor’s husband. Mr. Rittershausen bought the Murray drug store a few years ago and leases the building.

Warren W. Hess and Miss Alice E. Meschner were married November 15 by Rev. John E. Straub at the Callicoon Center parsonage.

Miss Katherine Jean Stewart and J. Thomas McCoach were married Thanksgiving eve at the Methodist parsonage by the Rev. William Harvey.

The bowling alleys were reopened last Saturday night by Victor Vincent of Callicoon Center, lessee, who is making every effort to make it attractive for the lover of bowling.

70 Years Ago - 1953

Phyllis Levine, 16-year-old daughter of Attorney and Mrs. Hyman Levine, appeared on Channel 5 TV on the New York Times Youth Forum of the Air on Saturday, representing the Liberty High School where she is a senior.

Libby Manzo displayed excellent form in defeating Walter Brown, a clever solid punching lightweight in the semi-final 8-round bout at the Eastern Parkway Arena in Brooklyn.

Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hess left Saturday for Florida for the winter.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Hughes rented the Schreier house on Jefferson Ave., recently bought by Theodore Rittershausen, and will move into it on December 1st.

The Associated School Board met last week at the Jeffersonville Central School. Members from Callicoon, Roscoe, Livingston Manor, White Sulphur Springs, Youngs-ville and Jeffersonville attended.

Miss Lillian Braun Moller, aged 61, died at her home at Hurd Saturday morning. She had been an invalid since 1954 when she underwent an operation.

John Schaefer, 67, died in his automobile on his way home from a successful deer hunt Friday. He and his son had left their Black Lake home to hunt deer. They had successfully loaded up the deer and started home. On the way he was stricken with a heart attack and died in the auto. John was the son of the late Anthony Schaefer who was born on the place where Mary Wilfert lives. The family had a tannery below Jeffersonville where the Kaplan family now have a rooming house.

Rosario Leonard of Brooklyn was killed by a stray bullet while sitting in his car resting after walking the woods looking for deer near Narrowsburg. A bullet from a high--powered rifle shattered the windshield and entered his right temple. Another hunter was killed by his own gun near Barryville and a third in another accident near Woodridge, it is reported.

60 Years Ago - 1963

Miss Bernadette Greier, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Greier of Flushing, L.I., became the bride of Carl DeSantis of Richmond Hills, L.I., at a Nuptial Mass performed Saturday, November 16, at St. Mary’s Church in Obernburg.

On the occasion of the fifteenth annual dinner of the Sullivan County Historical Society at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Callicoon, the Very Rev. Liguori Muller, OFM, Rector of the Seminary, presented to Dr. Richard K. Greenfield, president of the Sullivan County Community College, a scroll worded as follows: “The Trustees and Faculty of St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary send cordial greetings and best wishes to the Sullivan County Community College as it begins its service in the cause of higher education. May your labors in the dissemination of learning be long and fruitful.”

George Rosenberg of Swan Lake has been elected president of the Associated Cooperative Fire Insurance Company of Sullivan and adjoining counties.

At a Nuptial Mass performed  on Saturday at St. George’s Church, Jeffersonville, Miss Mary Shaara became the bride of Joseph Seidl. The Rev. Valerian DeRome, OFM, officiated at the double-ring ceremony.

Miss Emily Simora of Youngsville was acclaimed the best of the elementary grades by an audience of over 300 at the Talent Night held last Friday night at the Jeff School auditorium. Miss Simora performed a tap and song rendition of “The Life of a Sailor Boy.” An organ solo by Karen Krantz won top honors for her in the upper grade group.

The deer hunters are out in full force and the count is mounting. Among those who were reported to have their buck are Lawrence Hauschild, Dick Hofer, Lee Andrews, Nelson Snyder, John Gargullo of Ten High; Gene Doetsch, Paul Newham, Mike Erlwein, Allan Hauser, Earl Kinney, Allen Sommer, Kay Loughrey and Bud Meyers.

Dr. Carl Maisel, 83, a longtime summer resident of Jeffersonville, died Tuesday in Newark. He is a former president and chairman of the Schering Corp., pharmaceutical manufacturers.

50 Years Ago - 1973

Mrs. Margaret Goodrow, one of 200 tourists who visited Moscow and Leningrad early in November in a cultural tour sponsored by an International Students Association, will speak Sunday morning on Religion in the USSR. She will describe her impressions of the churches in Russia, after attending services there and speaking with pastors.

The Starrucca Viaduct, located at Lanesboro near Susquehanna, Pa., one of the earliest major links between the Eastern Seaboard and the midwest, has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It is important to us in this region because of the association with the Persbacker family, more particularly Jacob Persbacker, who was foreman of a mason crew selected to repoint the stonework of the structure in 1902. The structure was built in 1848 when railroading made its appearance in this area. The viaduct has a span of 1040 feet and carries two tracks 100 feet above the creek bed. It cost  $320,000, making it the most expensive railroad bridge of its time. Still in active use after 125 years, its pier footings (19x40 feet) are of plain concrete, perhaps the first use of structural concrete in a U.S. bridge. James P. Kirkwood was the engineer of the construction effort.

Katie Wilcox, 80 years young, was honored on the occasion of her birthday at a meeting of the Tri-Towners.

At the Liberty-Loomis Hospital, it was a boy, Michael William, to Mr. and Mrs. William Davis of Roscoe, Nov. 9; a girl, Hannah Nell, to Mr. and Mrs. John Hosier of New Kingston; on Nov. 10, a girl Amanda Meredith, to Mr. and Mrs. Burr Bowers III of Roscoe; Nov. 11, a girl, Sandra Dawn, to Mr. and Mrs. Earl Kortright of Parksville; Nov. 12, a boy, Ryan Joseph, to Mr. and Mrs. Barry Foster of Livingston Manor; Nov. 15, a girl to Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Bivins of Liberty; and Nov. 16, a girl to Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Butler of Liberty.

40 Years Ago - 1983

Six young men were elevated to the rank of Eagle Scout in a Court of Honor held Saturday at the Woodbourne Firehouse. They were James B. Wynkoop, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Wynkoop; Dean S. Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alton Hall; James A. Bogert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Bogert Jr.; Dale D. Carlsen, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Carlsen; Vincent P. Lenox, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Matanis; and James B. Schulte, son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Schulte.

Liberty Police Chief Larry Barnes has tendered his resignation, effective December 1, and will be replaced by Walden Police Chief Edward A. Bisley. Chief Barnes will locate in Bath.

Miss Lori Doetsch, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Doetsch of Callicoon, and Peter Dolce of Centerport, L.I., were married on October 1 at the Holy Cross Church in Callicoon. Rev. Anthony Moore and Rev. Kim Bosley officiated at the ceremony.

Karen Marie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John K. Lowe of Beach Lake, Pa., became the bride of Joseph D. Dalesky, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Dalesky, also of Beach Lake, at the Berlin Bible Church in Honesdale on October 29.

Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Wagner of North Branch were surprised at a 60th anniversary party in their honor held at the Lone Pine in Callicoon Center. The Wagners are the parents of two daughters, Alice and Joy, who hosted the party. . . Mr. and Mrs. James Elliott of Woodridge celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving Day at the home of their son, Richard, mayor of Woodridge. . . Mr. and Mrs. Barney Frank of Freehold, N.J., formerly of Monticello, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In his youth, Mr. Frank was a member of the Monticello High School’s DUSO basketball champions.

Helen Luckey of Kenoza Lake and Lil Gabriel of Mongaup Valley led the 4-H leaders in years of service at a dinner held in their recognition at the Villa Roma in Callicoon. Both of the ladies have been active volunteer leaders for 24 years. Lena Ruth has 23 years and Catherine Royce has been helping the young people at 4-H for 20 years. Altogether, the leaders who were honored have a total of 313 years of service. Awards were also given to leaders with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,  8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 years of service.

30 Years Ago - 1993

Thunder View Farm in Grahamsville ranked as eighth largest in registering the most Angus beef cattle in New York, having recorded 10 head of Angus with the American Angus Association during fiscal year 1993 which ended September 30.

Highland Supervisor Andrew Boyar, Democrat, has been tapped by his fellow Democratic supervisors to be their chairman for the next two years. Boyar won his sixth two-year term November 2 and will replace current Board of Supervisors Chairman Walter Sipple, Republican.

Retired Chief Justice of New York State Court of Appeals Lawrence H. Cooke, was named Catholic of the Year by the Sullivan County Vicariate Council on November 13 at the Parish House on St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Forestburgh.

The new Community Bank, being erected in the Jamesway Plaza in Monticello, is expected to be ready to open for business on December 6.

Nellie Cypert, 86, a lifelong resident of Hasbrouck in the Town of Fallsburg, cast her ballot November 2 at the first regular election known to be held in the historic 200-year-old Stone House.

Monticello Fire Department and Papa’s Pantry in Claryville are the official weigh-in stations for the heaviest/big rack contest sponsored by the Sullivan County Democrat. Big rack deer may be registered at either of the above places or at the  Democrat office or Rod’s Taxidermy, both in Callicoon, or Jack’s Sporting Goods in Fosterdale. A first place prize of $100 is offered to hunters from Wayne County, Pa., and Sullivan County bringing in the heaviest buck or doe during the regular firearms season. A second place prize of $25 will be awarded the runner-up. In the biggest rack contest, the prize is $75 first place plus a free mounting, courtesy of Rod’s Taxidermy. The runner-up prize is $25.

Fire destroyed the staff building at the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake in an early Monday morning fire. Between 125 and 150 firemen from Monticello, Liberty, Fallsburg and Woodbourne fought the fire for hours to keep it from spreading and brought it under control by late morning.

Freed hostage Terry Anderson, held for seven years by Shiite Muslims in Beirut, will speak of his experiences during that time when he appears at the Sullivan County Community College on December 8. His appearance is co-sponsored by the Jeffersonville Lions Club and SCCC. Anderson, 46, has emerged as a powerful advocate for human rights and political change since his return to the U.S. His book, “Den of Lions,” is being optioned by NBC for a movie.

Jennifer Sue Stewart and John S. Losurdo, both of Clearwater, Fla., were married October 16 in Dunedin,  Fla. She is the daughter of Craig Stewart of Callicoon and Susan Stewart of Otto, N.C.

20 Years Ago - 2003

A north wind swept through Sullivan County last week, leaving destruction in its path, ripping down power lines and dropping trees right and left. At the worst point Friday morning, more than 8,800 customers were without power, according to a NYSEG spokesman.

Lumberland’s recent advisory referendum proved that the public does want to keep the town constables.

Four generations of the Durkin family gathered recently, Patricia and Mary Durkin of Callicoon Center; Mary’s 16th great-grandchild, Ella Shea Morales, and Angela (Durkin) and Rico Morales, Ella’s proud parents, of Baltimore, Md. Ella’s proud grandparents are Patricia and Anthony Durkin of Callicoon Center.

BIRTHS: A boy, Trevor Griffin Babcock, was born September 29, 2003, to Jennifer Brown and Bryan Babcock of White Lake... A boy, Connor Joseph, was born October 2, 2003, to Nancy and Joseph Kauloski of Jeffersonville… A girl, Ciara Michelle, was born October 2, 2003, to Tammy and Christopher Cain of Wurtsboro… A boy, Nathaniel Archer, was born October 3, 2003 to Jeanine and Frank Conklin of Liberty… A boy, Ryan James, was born October 7, 2003, to Stephanie and Joseph Gotthardt of Bloomingburg.

Former Roscoe Central School soccer standout Danielle Austin helped the Ithaca College women’s soccer team win two recent postseason games.

Anna Weisman of Monticello will turn 100 next week. Weisman is a former manager of Hammond & Cooke’s clothing shop at Kutsher’s Country Club.

10 Years Ago - 2013

The Town of Neversink now has a long-awaited cell tower on top of Thunder Hill. Officials from the town and AT&T gathered at the town hall in Grahamsville to celebrate the advent of 4G service. 

The fight against cancer was put in high gear Saturday night as nearly 470 people attended the first ever “Ride 2 Survive Sullivan County Dinner Dance.” Hosted by the Villa Roma Country Club in Callicoon, the inaugural event was so successful that it almost outgrew the hotel and conference center’s main dining room – in its first year. The brainchild of breast cancer survivors Kara Passante and Glorianne Ellison, the event was designed to raise awareness about cancer as well as raise money to help defer the cost of traveling to chemotherapy and doctor’s visits.

Three Sullivan West HS seniors recently cleaned up a cemetery whose last burial took place even before their parents were born. Ryan Graham, Kenny Abplanalp and Gavin Owen teamed up for the project, part of the 15-hour minimum  community service requirement in teacher John Ogozalek’s Economics class. Town of Callicoon Supervisor Tom Bose told Graham about the Quick Cemetery at the corner of Callicoon Center and Earl Myers Roads. Starting in early October, armed with chain saws, hand tools and their own muscle power, the trio completely cleared the plot and took nine dumping trailer loads to the Town of Callicoon Barn. The earliest recognizable gravestone dated to 1852 and marked the grave of Jacob Quick. The most recent was dated 1961.


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