1868, 150 years ago
Long, fast and loud rings the bell atop City Hall in Utica. It seems to be saying: “Seymour, Seymour, Seymour.”
The announcement that Horatio Seymour, former mayor of Utica and governor of New York, has been unanimously nominated by the Democratic Party to run for president of the United States in November is first bulletined in front of the Western Union telegraph office at Genesee and Liberty streets at 1:30 p.m. Within 20 minutes, the news thunders throughout the Upper Mohawk Valley as cannons are fired from Rome to Utica to Little Falls. In Clayville, a 25-gun salute is fired and conservatives in communities such as Oriskany Falls, Clinton, Waterville and Boonville bring out their old six-pounders to celebrate.
Never has Genesee Street presented a more spirited appearance as it does in the evening with music, fireworks and mini-parades. Most stores are kept open until an unusually late hour. Many Republicans, too, although not fully persuaded to become a Democrat, rejoice that Oneida County has been so pre-eminently honored.
A man visits Seymour’s country home in Deerfield as soon as he hears the news and takes a tall, straight and handsome hickory sapling from the grounds there. He returns to Utica and plants it in front of the Utica Daily Observer building on Lower Genesee Street. The newspaper has supported Seymour through the years.
1918, 100 years ago
Major General John E. McMahon of Cornelia Street in Utica is appointed commander of the Fifth Division, U.S. Regulars of the Third Army Corps now on the battle front in France as the World War continues to rage. He is an 1886 graduate of West Point (and a classmate of Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe).
1943, 75 years ago
Chairman of chaplains
The Rev. William Pugh, a native Utican, is named chairman of the General Commission on Army and Navy Chaplains and will visit Protestant chaplains now serving World War II zones in Europe and the Pacific. A Presbyterian minister, he preached in Utica’s Moriah Church – at Park Avenue and Dakin Street – last April during the centennial celebration of the Presbytery of Utica.
1968, 50 years ago
It’s show time
Sites in Oneida County will be the setting for an upcoming movie starring Liza Minnelli, Wendell Burton and Tim McIntire called “The Sterile Cuckoo.” It is based on a novel written by John Nichols, a 1962 graduate of Hamilton College. Locations being considered include Hamilton College, Rome, Clinton and Sylvan Beach. Shooting will begin in September and crews from Paramount Pictures have begun to reserve rooms in Rome and Trinkaus Manor Motor Lodge in Oriskany.
In Oneida County American Legion baseball, Utica Post 229 sports an 8-0 record with players that include Al Smith, Brian Gaetano, Mike Soscia, Bill Wrape, Gary Zaino, Tom Sardelli, Chuck Lusky, Craig Fallon, Ray Goppert, Kevin O’Donnell, Dave Hall, Joe Maloney and Daryl Barnum. They’re coached by John Raymer.
Nearly 500 attend a dinner honoring Leslie “Duke” Roemer, who has retired after many years as Utica’s recreational director.
Joseph Roach and John Kane are co-chairs of a German Day picnic at the Mayfair Park in Marcy sponsored by St. Joseph-St. Patrick Church.
Frank P. Zatwarnicki is elected president of the New York Mills school board.
1993, 25 years ago
Exit 33 on the Thruway is enlarged by the Thruway Authority as it expects more traffic with the Oneida Nation opening its new Turning Stone Casino near Verona. A toll booth and a traffic lane have been added for a total of three booths and four lanes.
Two area doctors are honored as “outstanding teachers” by the St. Elizabeth Family Practice Residency Program. They are: Dr. Fred Talarico, a cardiologist, the Distinguished Faculty Award; and Dr. James Bramley, an infectious disease specialist, the Golden Apple Award.
The Marcy Planning Board approves Wal-Mart’s plans to build a huge distribution center at Chaminade and River roads. It will serve 150 stores in New York and New England. Groundbreaking will begin in a few weeks.
In American Legion baseball, New Hartford defeats Lee Post, 12-7, behind the hitting of Dan D’Accurzio and the pitching of Brian Grady and Paul Abbass. Top hitters for Lee are Tim Roy, Andy Imler, Joe Artigiani and Mark Strange.
2008, 10 years ago
Little Falls Police Chief Gregg DeLuca is honored by a large crowd gathered in Knight’s Inn. He has retired after 25 years service.
The first and only U.S. president born in California was (a) Herbert Hoover, (b) Richard Nixon, (c) Warren G. Harding or (d) Ronald Reagan. (Answer will appear here next week.)
Answer to last week’s question: Two presidents were born in New York City: Theodore Roosevelt on Oct. 27, 1858, at 28 East 20th Street, and Donald Trump on June 14, 1946, in the borough of Queens.
This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.