1867, 150 years ago
Will a former mayor of Utica become the next president of the United States? It’s possible.
Newspapers are beginning to mention two Uticans as “possible and proper” candidates of their parties in the presidential elections next year. One is a Republican living on Rutger Street, the other a Democrat living on Whitesboro Street and in his summer home in Deerfield.
Republican Roscoe Conkling has become a leader in the U.S. Senate, despite having been a member for only a few months. The Washington Chronicle writes: “No new senator has ever made in so short a time such rapid strides to a commanding position in that body as has Roscoe Conkling.” The Chicago Republican says: “Conkling, the youngest senator on the floor (he’s 37), is already the leader of the Senate.” Civil War Gen. Ulysses S. Grant is expected to be the Republican presidential candidate next year, but some newspapers say Conkling will make a better president.
Democrat Horatio Seymour has the support of many in his party. Seymour, however, says, “I am not and cannot be a candidate for the presidency. I can do battle with more vigor when I am not a candidate for an official position.” But many continue to urge him to seek the nomination.
If the two Uticans are nominated and face each other in November 1868, the presidential campaign will be one of the most exciting – and strangest – in American history. Conkling – mayor of Utica in 1858 – and Seymour – mayor in 1842 – are brothers-in-law, Conkling having married Seymour’s younger sister, Julia. Seymour opposed the marriage, saying Conkling would be more interested in his political career than his marriage.
1917, 100 years ago
The Oneida Lake Yacht Club – inactive for years – reorganizes, inviting “lovers of water sports” to join. The reorganization committee is headed by Edward A. Boyle, of Utica, and Segmund Mittenmater, of Rome. The committee has its first meeting in the Rustic Tavern at Lewis Point.
1942, 75 years ago
Hollywood in Utica
Movie stars Ann Rutherford and Charles Laughton sell nearly $240,000 in war bonds at a rally in the Hotel Martin on Bleecker Street (later renamed Hotel Hamilton). They are among many movie stars touring the country raising money to support the military fighting in World War II. Rutherford is best known for her role as Polly Benedict in the popular “Andy Hardy” series starring Mickey Rooney. Laughton has starred as Capt. William Bligh in “Mutiny on the Bounty” and as Quasimodo in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
1967, 50 years ago
Utica’s public schools have three new principals. They are: Robert R. Quinn, assistant principal at Utica Free Academy; Delores Preston at General Herkimer School, and Jerome Sacco, now heading night school classes.
Universalists in Dolgeville mark the beginning of the 75th year of their First Universalist Church.
Utica now has a Public Employment Relations Board and Mayor Frank Dulan appoints three members: Rabbi Abraham Eckstein, Monsignor William J. Taylor and the Rev. William C. Wood.
1992, 25 years ago
Hazel and LeRoy Scheidelman, former owners of Scheidelman Wholesale Grocers, contribute “at least one million dollars” to establish a “Good News Foundation of Central New York.” Its purpose is “to provide the ‘good news’ of Jesus to all people” by establishing grants to innovative programs”. Their daughter and son-in-law – Elizabeth and John Droz – will be executive directors of the foundation. They say it will operate in harmony with, but independent of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.
In high school football, New Hartford defeats Central Square, 24-13. Nat Madden runs 176 yard on 15 carries and scores four touchdowns for the Don Edick-coached winners. Frank Carcone and Dan D’Accurzio star on the offense and the defense is led by Mark Andre and Chris Amrhein.
Meanwhile, Camden defeats Mexico, 10-6, and is led by the play of Adam Meyers, Jim Nobis and Alex Stevens.
Thirteen executives are “on loan” to the United Ways of Greater Utica and Kirkland during its fund-raising drive. They are: Sal Convertino, George Crocket, Christine L. Fenton, Don Johnson, Enessa Carbone-Betro, Jasmine Malecki, Marge Marable, Fern Lorento, Terry O’Bryan, Kathy O’Connell, John Porn, Ellie Wertimer and Richard Wright.
2007, 10 years ago
The Rev. James L. Griffin celebrates his 25th anniversary as pastor of St. Matthew’s Temple Church of God in Christ, on Washington Street in Utica. The church was founded by his grandfather, the Rev. Matthew Blackshear.
Brian J. Howard is the new executive director of the Oneida County Historical Society (today the Oneida County History Center). He has a bachelor’s degree in history from SUNY Potsdam and a masters in museum science from Texas Tech.
Name our last seven vice presidents who served with Presidents Carter, Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump. (Answer will appear here next week.)
Answer to last week’s question: Millard Fillmore, 13th president from 1850-53, is the first president to remarry after leaving the White House. His first wife, Abigail, died in 1853. Fillmore married Caroline McIntosh in 1858. The second president to remarry after his term expired is Benjamin Harrison, president from 1889-93. His first wife, Carioline, died in 1892. Harrison married Mary Dimmick in 1896.
This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. E-mail him at email@example.com.