Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

The Chronicle-Express

Consolidation, January 1, 1926, of the Yates County Chronicle (1824) and the Penn Yan Express (1866); the Rushville Chronicle (1905) and the Gorham New Age (1902)

The Yates County History Center’s volunteers have gleaned these entries for your enjoyment from their digitized newspapers. You can access them at the free site For more information about the YCHC, visit

150 years ago

Dec. 22, 1870

The Phelps Citizen deplores the erection of a Wine Cellar at Naples, and predicts it will be quite otherwise than a benefit to the place. It is no use to contend against fate. A wine cellar they will have, and wine the people will drink. Our day and generation will hardly see much improvement in that respect. So we very much fear. Perhaps they will learn by and by through headaches, stomach distress and general demoralization| of body and soul what they will never learn by the most earnest exhortations men or tongue.

100 years ago

Dec. 22, 1920


Body of Edward Ellis Is Found in Geneva Harbor. Been Missing a Month.

The body of Edward “Rip” Ellis, of Dresden, was found floating in Seneca lake near Geneva Sunday afternoon by Charles Laine, who was rowing. The body is believed to have been in the water a month, but was well preserved. The body was taken to Devaney’s undertaking rooms and Coroner Frank H. Snyder called and the body identified by William H. Stapleton, who knew Ellis as a carpenter working at Long Point.

Ellis has lived in and about Dresden all his life. He was a good mason and carpenter and of late years stayed in the homes of people for whom he worked. He has no known relatives. He is about 50 years of age.

The last time he was seen alive in Geneva was about a month ago. At that time he fell in the lake near the Long pier. He was taken to the Bishop boat house, where he was given dry clothes by Wallace Bishop and allowed to stay in the boat house while Mr. Bishop went up street. Upon his return Ellis was gone, and since that time nothing was seen of him until his body was found Sunday.

Dec. 22, 1920


Dundee Girl Who Married Penn Yan Boy Arrested in Virginia City with Her Male Companion.

Charles Townley, 22, of Rochester, and Peggy Harris 23, of Penn Yan, were brought to Rochester yesterday from Petersburg Va., where they were placed under arrest when caught driving a stolen taxicab. They are charged with grand larceny, first degree. Their capture brings to a close an amazing story of holdup, robbery and flight, the route of which lay through Geneva and Penn Yan and from there southward.

The episode, which really beats many movie stories, began on the night of November 15th, with a call upon the American Taxi Company from a Rochester hotel, to take a party to Geneva. Robert Couglin, a driver for the taxi company, responded to the call, driving a sedan valued at $3,000, and found two men and a woman waiting to make the Geneva trip. From this city they went to Penn Yan and here the driver claims he was threatened with a gun and forced into the rear seat of the machine, while Townley, the man just apprehended, drove the machine into Pennsylvania, the quartette getting free gasoline and meals by skipping away in the machine without paying. When Townley and Garrett, the other man, quarreled at Gettysburg, Coughlin made his escape and notified the police, and the arrest of Garrett followed. Coughlin was released on the strength of his story, and Garrett has been waiting in jail since that time. The police have been searching for Peggy and Townley since.

Dec. 22, 1920

Community Christmas Service 

The second community Christmas tree Friday evening was a great success. Harold Tuthill, the prime mover in this service, speaking for the Johnson-Costello Post, said he hoped this would be an annual event.

It would be difficult to estimate the number of people present, but a thousand or more would be a safe guess. The Christmas tree was brilliantly lighted in red, white and blue and gaily decorated. There was just enough snow in the crisp air to give the proper setting to the tree. The band played and a male chorus sang Christmas carols.

The arrival of Santa Claus in a taxi was all that was necessary for the kiddies to give vent to their suppressed feelings. Santa, with his helpers, stood on a platform and as they passed gave each child a box of candy, an orange and a ticket to a matinee at either the Sampson or the Cornwell Theatre. To keep four hundred or more anxious children in line was some job, but no serious accident happened. The candy and oranges, left were sent to the Guertha Pratt Home, Memorial Hospital and County Home.

75 years ago

Dec. 20, 1945

Two Plead Not Guilty to Charges Of Abandonment

One more of the sealed indictments returned by the November grand jury has resulted in an arrest, this time of Edgar Osterhout, 30, of Hallstead, Pa., on a charge of abandonment. Arraigned before Judge Maurice McCann he entered a plea of not guilty through his attorney, Albert J. Rubin, and was admitted to $300 bail on condition that he pay $10 a week until the date of his trial for the support of his minor children, now living at Branchport, RD.

There still remains one of the sealed indictments on which no arrest has been made. Erwin Butts, 22, of Stanley was arrested Friday by Sheriff Jay Fitzwater on a bench warrant issued by District Attorney Homer C. Pelton charging abandonment of his wife. Arraigned before Judge Maurice McCann Saturday, Butts pleaded not guilty and was released on his own reconnaissance on condition that he pay $10 a week for the support of his wife.

Dec. 20, 1945

Brink - Henderson Collision Covers Highway with Beans Deputy Sheriffs Busy with Accidents Over Week-End

Mrs. Bert Brink, 53, of Himrod is in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial hospital suffering from shock, cuts, lacerations, and bruises, received about 8:30 Tuesday morning when the car which she was driving and a truck operated by Howard Henderson, 39, of Milo Station collided on the Penn Yan-Himrod road, about a mile and a half from Penn Yan.

According to Deputy Elmer Parshall, who investigated, Mrs. Brink had already been to Penn Yan and was returning home with several bags of coal in the car, driving along a straight stretch of road far over on the left side or the road. Mr. Henderson, on his way to the countyseat, blew his horn trying to attract her attention and at the last moment, trying to avoid a head-on crash, pulled over to his own wrong side of the road.

The Brink car smashed into the right side of the heavy truck, which was loaded with 150 bushels of beans, turning both vehicles around. The car was completely demolished and half the platform was knocked from the truck and other damage done. Mrs. Brink was taken to the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial hospital where she was treated for shock, numerous bruises and cuts about the face, legs and arms. Mr. Henderson’s son, Erwin, 17, riding in the truck, suffered head injuries.

Dec. 20, 1945

In Service on Land—Sea—Air

The fighting may be over, but so long as there are any of our young men and women in uniform and away from home, they will be eager for news of their friends and home-town. The Chronicle-Express is eager to publish items of interest concerning them and is now permitted to print addresses and reveal the location of ships and outfits. With censorship a thing of the past, we hope that servicemen, friends, and parents alike will help us keep the “Land Sea, and Air” column a newsy weekly letter from home. - Editor.

Lt. Glendon T. Tierney and Major Harry D. Fox from Penn Yan have received their honorable discharges from Fort Dix.

RM 1/c Robert Fox of 219 Clinton Street arrived home Tuesday night where he plans to enjoy a 30-day leave.

Richard Dale, ARMC, 3/c, is enjoying an eight-day leave with his wife and infant son, Don, on Lake Street and with his mother, Mrs. Betty Dale of 300 Main Street. Dick, who has been in uniform for 2 ½ years, returns with his squadron to Florida. Though he has not yet been called upon to serve outside this country, he has been in radar, radio, and gunnery. His brother, Bob, seaman, second class, is in Guam and another brother, Wesley, firemen first class, recently was released from a west coast hospital after an attack of malaria. Wes believes he may be given duty at Sampson.

Dec. 20, 1945

Seen and Heard

Fourteen babies arrived in the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial hospital during November. There were eight deaths during the same period. While the hospital averaged 35 patients per day during the month, at one time its facilities were completely taxed in caring for 50 patients. For the first time in months the hospital showed a slight gain in operations - 19 cents per patient day.

50 years ago

Dec. 23, 1970

College Dropout Cause

Much of the flunking out and disaffection of college students is caused because the school was chosen for the wrong reason, according to Washington, D.C. College Placement Bureau Director Loren Pope.

Students usually choose a college on the basis of what they have heard about it from family and friends and the impression the college representative makes, Mr. Pope explains. "It’s the effect of the brand name and of the salesman—not very reliable criteria for most.

"College selection is the one major consumer area of our economy where there is no consumer research and evaluation,” Mr. Pope continues in the article, "though picking a college should be more important than choosing a car or a kitchen appliance.”

He advises parents to recognize the scholastic limitations of their children and encourage them to apply to colleges that have student bodies of the same general academic achievement. "It is not wise,” Mr. Pope concludes, "to push for a toodemanding college with the oft-made argument that this youth is a ‘late bloomer.’”

Dec. 23, 1970

New Food Coupon Issued

A new $5 food coupon will soon be issued to participants in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Stamp Program. The new coupon, maroon in color, will be used along with the present 50-cent and $2 coupons.

The $5 coupon is being introduced to improve the operating efficiency of the Food Stamp Program, which has been greatly expanded during the past year. A family of four, for example, now gets $106 worth of food coupons each month. Food buying bonuses paid to the 8,800,000 people taking part in the program in October totaled $125,800,000 - five times the bonus payment in November, 1969, before the program was improved.

The new, larger-denomination coupon will reduce the number of coupons needed to operate the program. It will also make handling of food stamp coupons more practical and convenient for the participants in the program, for the offices which issue the coupons to participants, for the retail food stores that take the coupons in trade, and for the banks which redeem them.

A vintage holiday image