FROM PAGES PAST: 1871 -- Young woman stabbed after spurning man’s attentions

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

May 18, 1871

Thomas Connor, a young Irishman of this place, made an assault upon Nora Carrol last Sunday evening, which may prove fatal to her life. It appears that Nora, who has been employed two or three years past in the family of Mr. A. C. Gillett on Clinton St., declined the attentions of Connor, and this fact alone, so far as is known, excited him to the desperate act, which interferes at present with his liberty. Finding Nora in company with another young man, he approached her with a knife, with which he gave her a dangerous stab in her left side, and also a gash on the side of her head. No complaint was made until Monday morning, when a warrant was issued by Justice Lewis, and Connor was arrested by Constable Poyneer. He pled guilty before the Justice, and was consigned to jail to await the section of the Court. The girl is badly injured, and but faint hopes are entertained of her recovery. The knife entered her lungs and made a very bad wound. Connor has since withdrawn his plea of guilty. Nora Carroll is highly commended by her employers as an industrious and faithful girl. She is attended by Dr. J. M. Waddell, who expresses confidence that she will recover.

The Executive Committee of the Yates County Agricultural Society have not yet decided upon their new location for the Fair Ground. We understand they are somewhat divided between Mr. Kimball's ground and that of Mr. Cornwell. That of Mr. Cornwell is a handsome location and is regarded as cheap. That of Mr. Kimball is a trifle nearer to the lower end of Main Street.

On Monday at noon, the horses of Mr. Joel Ansley became frightened at the fall of an empty beehive and started down street without a driver at a lively gait. Beehives flew in every direction from the wagon. Striking a post near the hay scales, the wagon was upset, torn apart and became a total wreck. The horses brought up at Mr. Weaver's barn without much injury. Before this excitement had fairly subsided, a fire broke out at Mr. John Sisson's barn, near the school house. The school was dismissed, study being out of the question. The barn quickly burned to the ground. Some flying embers caught on the roof of Mr. E. Morgan's house across the street, which was soon put out without much damage. Cause of the fire, a burning brush heap too near the barn.

100 Years Ago

May 18, 1921

On Thursday afternoon as Mrs. Edgar A. Beers, of Glenora, was about to leave the house for a time, she happened to notice smoke issuing from between the bricks about the fire place. Mrs. Beers had placed her little girl, about two years of age, on a bed in an upper room for her nap, and just as she noticed the smoke, she heard the little one cry. She hastened to the room and found the child choking with the smoke that filled the room. Hastening down stairs with the little one, she called the telephone operator to spread the alarm of fire and in a few minutes about fifty residents of the vicinity were on the ground fighting to save the building. The fire was found to be located between the walls and the sheathing and it was necessary to chop holes in siding to reach it.

The director of the census has sent out the following in regard to the agricultural census for Yates County:

Farms: in 1920: 2.041; in 1910: 2,288

Total farm acres: 198,613 in 1920; 204,214 in 1910

Horses: 6,368 in 1920; 7,270 in 1910

Cattle: 11,012 in1920; 10,303 in 1910

Sheep: 26,213 in1920' 36,554 in 1910

Swine: 8,784 in 1920; 7,884 in 1910


Wheat: 416,123 bu in 1919; 293,255 bu in 1909

Grapes: 17,218,538 lbs. in 1919; 36,941,168 lbs. in 1909

James McClure, a telegraph operator at Earls, met with quite a serious accident on Friday. He had received a hand motor car to make business trips between Dresden and Earls. He was trying it out; the section car was giving him a push, when one of the wheels of his car caught in a frog in the railroad track. He was struck by the section car and was picked up in an unconscious condition; he was at first thought dead, but revived and hurried to the Geneva City hospital, where by examination it was found that no bones were broken and no internal injuries sustained, but very badly bruised about the face and limbs. It is thought that he may soon be able to come to his home.

75 Years Ago

May 16, 1946

”Our goal is 40 (radio cabinets) a day,"  explains John T. Andrews, one of the partners of Walkerbilt, speaking of an order of 5,000 radio cabinets for Stromberg-Carlson on its way from the Champlin Avenue plant in Penn Yan. Pictured here is the firm’s main plant on Lake Street in the 1960s.

The first delivery on an order of 5,000 radio cabinets for Stromberg-Carlson was started on its way from the Champlin Avenue plant of Walkerbilt Thursday afternoon. This is a new business in Penn Yan, and a new division of the cabinet work department of Walkerbilt. The handmaking of samples to show to the Rochester firm for selection was started in January. These were finally developed with an appearance sufficiently attractive to please the discriminating buyers. In March, construction on a basis was started. There have been problems of precise machine work, warping to overcome, acoustical complications, and other holdups of a mechanical nature. These have only now been solved. The long assembly line has at last begun to roll, and production has been stepped up to 10 or 12 cabinets a day. "Our goal is 40 a day," explains John T. Andrews, one of the partners of Walkerbilt.

The day nursery for children of bean pickers at the migrant camp near Dresden will be taken over by the state government this summer, according to plans revealed at a meeting of the Rochester Area Migrant committee, last week, attended by Roy E. Wheeler of the Comstock Canning Corporation, owner of the camp, and Mrs. Leon F. Wood, chairman of the Yates County Migrant committee. The day nursery, started here in 1911 by local church people in cooperation with the Home Missions Council of North America, inter-church social service agency, has been partially supported by government funds for the past two years.

David Griepsma, who has conducted a retail grocery store in Penfield for 15 years, has purchased the grocery and meat market of Leland Gyer, 124 East Elm Street, and is busy redecorating  and rearranging the store for an opening in the near future. Mr. and Mrs. Griepsma and two daughters, Helen Louise 7, and Betty Jean, 4, hope to move to Penn Yan from East Rochester as soon as they can find a house or apartment.

50 Years Ago

May 20, 1971

Penn Yan Academy students who have been selected to attend the annual American Legion Boys State June 27-July 3 at Morrisville are Norman Koek, Steve Eisenhart, Michael Hampsey, Richard Abraham, Frank Condella, Dan Simmons, Mitchell Wilber, and alternate delegates Michael Dugan and Bernard Borglum.

Jeanne Worth of Penn Yan was cited as "Best Female Newcomer" during the First Annual Golden Awards Night of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Drama Club in Rochester. NTID is the only national technical institute for the deaf. Initiated by Congress, NTID is located on the hearing college campus of Rochester Institute of Technology. Miss Worth, a hearing student enrolled at RIT, serves as a student interpreter for the deaf of the National Institute.

The Penn Yan FFA was recognized at the New York State FFA Convention at Canojoharie May 6-8 for a number of reasons. It was one of 23 chapters to receive the rating of Superior Chapter. This was the 11th time the Penn Yan Chapter received this rating. The chapter was also awarded two checks of $25 for placing first in Chapter Meeting Contest and Forum Contest. Jack Payne was one of 85 members to receive the Empire Farmer Degree. Attending the meeting from Penn Yan with Payne were Chapter President Klaas Martens, Chapter Vice-President David Henderson, Finger Lakes District 1970-71 President Ritchie Lent, and W.H. Giles, advisor to the Penn Yan FFA.