1869, 150 years ago
Hamilton College is in "a prosperous condition," reports the Utica Observer. The number of students is 171 — 48 seniors, 46 juniors, 34 sophomores and 43 freshmen.
Eleven gentlemen compose the faculty, exclusive of the chairs of "Intellectual and Moral Philosophy" and "Natural Philosophy." The spring term will begin April 7 and commencement will take place July 15.
1919, 100 years ago
Proctor says ‘no’
Plans to erect a statue of Thomas R. Proctor on the Parkway in Utica is abandoned after Proctor objects to the project.
Last week, commissioners on the Park Board passed a resolution favoring a statue be erected "to honor our fellow townsman … who has bestowed upon his city and its people benefits in the form of parks, hospitals and private charities … and has provided gifts and happy times for the children of the city."
In 1908, Proctor and his wife, Maria, gave the city hundreds of acres for a park system, including more than 300 acres for Roscoe Conking Park and Horatio Seymour Park at Sunset Avenue and Burrstone Road.
Proctor, in a letter to Mayor James Smith, writes: "The chairman of the Park Board recently asked my consent to the placing of a statue of myself at someplace in the Parkway. I objected to this very decidedly and supposed that would end the matter. Shortly after, a resolution was adopted by the board is opposition to my wishes. It appears that there are a considerable number of subscriptions being sent to the board. Please return this money and assure the donors … that their good will is exceedingly dear to me and most thoroughly appreciated. Every man and woman in Utica has, during the past two years, been asked to contribute to various worthy objects connected with the recent war and the end is not yet. Under these circumstances, I cannot accept the very great honor."
1944, 75 years ago
More than 200 Ukrainian families in Utica observe Christmas with the singing of hymns and carols, the exchanging of gifts, the lighting of Christmas trees and the serving of special dishes following centuries-old recipes. The Rev. Joseph Bodnar, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church, at Catherine and First streets, celebrates Christmas Mass.
1969, 50 years ago
Utica Mayor Dominick Assaro assigns new duties to men in his administration. Chief Aide William Lucy will be urban renewal deputy director, Executive Secretary Joseph Karam will concentrate on matters involving the budget, finances and preparations for union negotiations and Chief Engineer Louis Critelli will organize the city’s takeover of garbage pickup.
In high school basketball, Junior Bob Devins scores 33 points — 25 in the second half — to lead Notre Dame over Lutheran of Long Island, one of the best teams in the state, by a 76-70 score. The Jim Klein-coached Jugglers go ahead for good with 1:29 remaining in the game when Brian Gaetano scores to give the winners a 69-67 lead. Mike Walsh scores 19 points and Rod Brooks adds 16.
Names in the news: Anthony Schepsis, who is installed as president of the Kiwanis Club of Utica, and Willowvale Fire Chief James Halligan, elected president of the Oneida County Fire Chiefs Association.
1994, 25 years ago
It’s no surprise that Stillwater in Northern Herkimer County is the coldest spot in the state this week when the temperature drops to 34 below zero — without the chill factor. It set the state record in 1934 when the mercury dropped to 52 below, again without the chill factor. The cold weather doesn’t bother Terry Perkins, though. The local forest ranger says, "It’s nice. It is so clear and white, with a deep blue sky. It really is beautiful, a picture postcard."
In high school basketball, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill defeats Chittenango 58-48 and is led by Kevin Thorpe’s 23 points. Meanwhile, Adirondack beats Lowville 48-42 with Jeremy Ruzanski scoring 15 points. Andy Gates leads Lowville with 13.
Names in the news: Dr. Joseph Giovannone of Utica, elected president of the Oneida-Herkimer Dental Society; and Harriet Morrison of Utica, elected president of The Friends of the Lutheran Home in Clinton.
2009, 10 years ago
St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church on Kossuth Avenue and Blandina Street in East Utica closes after 122 years. It was the first Catholic Church to be built after the creation of the Syracuse Diocese in 1886. The Rev. Msgr. Francis Willenburg, pastor, says the parish will merge with St. Anthony of Padua Church, a mile away.
I’ll name the cabinet members, you name the U.S. presidents who appointed them. (1) Secretary of State Alexander Haig, (2) Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, (3) Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, (4) Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, (5) Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. (Answers will appear here next week.)
Answer to last week’s question: Theodore Roosevelt was vice president and served the unexpired term of President William McKinley, who had died in 1901. Roosevelt then became the first president to be elected to a four-year term on his own. Later, three presidents did the same thing: Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman and Lyndon Baines Johnson.
This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. Email him at email@example.com.