The 14th Annual Middlesex Citizen Appreciation Day will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Middlesex Fire Hall, 5537 Water St.. The program is sponsored by the Town of Middlesex, the Middlesex Heritage Group, and the Middlesex Fire Department.
This year’s honorees include Lovell Adams, an early Middlesex entrepreneur and volunteer; George Spike, a native Middlesex man and long term Yates County Sheriff; and Bill Williams and Sabra Dunton, currently active volunteers. Honorees are selected for being longtime local residents who have made significant and productive contributions to the citizens and Town of Middlesex.
Lovell A. Adams was born Feb. 17, 1874 to Aiden A. and Lodema Rackham Adams. His first business venture in Middlesex was in the 1890s when he took over his father’s coal business. He later purchased the mill and handled feed, beans, hay, and all kinds of farm produce. He bought sheep from western sheep men and had them shipped to Middlesex by train.
“Love” gave land for a ball park and built a stadium near the current town barns in 1932. He was a charter member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, and had been a member of the Citizens Band in his young days. When the Middlesex Valley Central School district was formed, he was elected to the school board and served as president in 1940. He arranged for the purchase of uniforms for the school band. Love Adams died January 17, 1943.
George F. Spike was born Aug. 22, 1926 to Walter and Edith Spike. He attended and graduated from Middlesex Valley Central School. George served in the U.S. Army during WWII with an honorable discharge. He married Agnes Elwell of Middlesex in 1948.
In 1952, George began employment with the Yates County Sheriff’s Office. He and Agnes raised their three boys in Penn Yan. He served as a Deputy Sheriff for Yates County from 1952 to 1958, and was elected Yates County Sheriff in 1959. He served until 1981, being re-elected seven times. Throughout his life, he remained active with the Middlesex Hose Company, the American Legion, the N.Y.S. Sheriff’s Association, and was a charter member of the Penn Yan Lions Club. He remained an active hunter and fisherman. When George died in 1981, he was recognized as the “Dean of Sheriffs” in New York State.
Oliver (Bill) S. Williams III was born March 11, 1950 to Oliver Jr. and Shirley Williams. He graduated from Middlesex Valley Central School in 1968, Cornell University in 1972, and has done graduate work at Brockport and the University of Rochester. Bill married Lynn Hobart in 1968. They have three children and eight grandchildren. In 1972, he was hired to teach Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physical Science at the Middle School in the Brighton Central School district. He taught there for 34 years and retired in 2006. Bill has been a member of the Middlesex Ambulance since 1973, Friendship House since 2007, is a charter member of the Middlesex Heritage Group, served as Rushville Lions Club president in 1996, was the Lions Club District Governor from 2009-2010, served as N.Y.S. Lions council chairman, and has received the Lions International Presidential Leadership awards.
Sabra Dunton was born April 20, 1956 to Darrell and Donna Sage. She graduated from Marcus Whitman Central School and Finger Lakes Community College with a degree in Accounting. Sabra married Wayne Dunton in 1976. They have two sons and two grandchildren. She has been employed at Cooperage Copper, P &C, Widmer Wine Cellars, Dudley Poultry, and Valley View Medical Practice. Since 2007, she has worked for the Town of Middlesex, and has been active as a volunteer in many of its organizations, serving as treasurer for the Overacker Cemetery Association, president of the Middlesex Valley Sirenettes, treasurer of Middlesex Ambulance Corps, and Boy and Cub Scout Troop #43. She was elected to serve on the Marcus Whitman Board of Education from 1992-2001, and was Vice President. She has been a past MWCS Football Boosters treasurer, member of the Conservation Club and Friendship House Quilting president and past Friendship House treasurer. Sabra is the Town of Middlesex librarian and assistant to the Town Clerk.
The Middlesex Citizen Appreciation Day was first initiated in 1992. In 2004, a group of citizens including Town Board members, businessmen, and firemen, established the program as an Annual Appreciation Day. To date, a total of 37 citizens have been honored.
The Middlesex Heritage Museum is located in the Town Hall at 1216 Route 245 in Middlesex. It is open from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday.
What: Middlesex Citizen Appreciation Day
When: 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 7
Where: Middlesex Fire Hall, 5537 Water St., Middlesex