FROM PAGES PAST: 1946 -- Skeleton identified as man missing since Thanksgiving 1944

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 25, 1971

The Ark at the Sulphur Spring is opened for the season, and those who delight in Mrs. Carpenter's delicious ice cream, will make frequent pilgrimage to that place.

In 1871, the steamer Onondaga was an important part of transportation on Seneca Lake and links to railroad service in Geneva and Watkins Glen.

The steamers on Seneca Lake are now run so that the Magee, Capt. H.A. Wisner, just thoroughly refitted and refurnished, leaves Watkins at 4:50 a.m., and arrives at Geneva at 9:35 a.m. The Onondaga, Capt. M.J. Gilbert, makes sure connection with the train eastward at 4:20 p.m. at Geneva.

Mr. Jacob Meserole is making a fine improvement on his premises on Clinton St. He has added another tall story to his residence, putting the new story on the ground and raising the original portion of the dwelling above it. It has at the same time been much enlarged, and will now make a spacious and elegant mansion. Mr. Meserole has bought the adjoining premises of Mr. John C. Babcock.

100 Years Ago

May 25, 1921

Nearly fifty members of the Chamber of Commerce turned out on Wednesday last to assist in clearing the brush from the lot that will be used as a free camping site for tourists this summer. Business men, professional men, merchants, lawyers, chiefs, and politicians were among those present, and the result of their united efforts was a large open space nearly an acre in extent that will be appreciated by the "tin canners" who are freely invited to make use of it and its conveniences. It has been suggested that the site be named "Camp Taylor" in honor of the suave, energetic, and popular president of the Penn Yan Chamber of Commerce. Its location is on the east side of the lake directly opposite the row of cottages on the western shore. By the removal of the dense growth of underbrush a magnificent view of the lake may be had extending nearly to the end of Bluff Point. The camp site is high and dry, being about 30 feet above the water and is very level. A few large elms on the brink of the bank will shade the site from the hot afternoon sun and make it both enjoyable and restful. Running water, electric lights, and toilet facilities will be added at once.

The committee in charge of the signs advertising the "Red Jacket Trail" have placed the posts for the signs in position, and on Friday last, erected the signs between Penn Yan and a point three miles east of Elmira. Six signs, eight by twelve, have been erected, besides a number of smaller ones giving distances between points. Next week, more signs will be placed between Penn Yan and Geneva, also between Penn Yan and Canandaigua. The route designated as the "Red Jacket Trail" is the road between Canandaigua and Flint, Geneva and Flint, and from the latter place to a point several miles east of Elmira, taking in the picturesque route on which the villages of Dundee, Watkins, Montour Falls, Millport, and Horseheads are located.

On Wednesday night of last week, Sheriff Case Blodgett discovered a long wooden club under the mattress of each cot in the cell occupied by Gilbert B. Dean and George Dean, who have been confined there, charged with the murder of Jerome Conley since February. The clubs appeared to have been made from the legs of a heavy chair that had been broken up for that purpose. Sheriff Blodgett has made a practice of investigating frequently the interior of the jail where these prisoners and Kruger and Howard, charged with burglary, are confined, especially since some time ago when some wooden pegs were found in one of Kruger's compartments, evidently used to pry, bend, or loosen an iron bar in the bathroom. It is thought it was intended to use this bar, if it could be released, to pry or bend outside window bars and perhaps, with outside assistance, make their escape.

75 Years Ago

May 23, 1946

Identification of the male skeleton found in a ravine on the Robert McFetridge farm in Torrey last Saturday evening was completed by State Police about noon Wednesday when the mark of a fractured bone and leg measurements made the final convincing proof that the bones were the remains of William Joseph Owens. Mr. Owens had no home address, but often worked in the vicinity of Bellona, being most frequently employed by Dewitt Coffin. "The first break in the case came when we started to canvass the farms in the Bellona vicinity for missing persons" reports Trooper Frank Donovan of the BCI. Mr. Coffin came to Trooper Ryder of the Penn Yan station and told of a man named Owens who had worked for him in 1944 and who disappeared a few days after Thanksgiving of that year.

Barbara Hall, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Hall of Rock Stream, has earned the right to serve this year's class of the Dundee Central School as valedictorian. She maintained an average of 90.74 during the four years of her high school work. She has been accepted at the Brockport State Teachers' college and plans to enter there in September 1946. Salutatorian for the class will be Jean Cadwell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Cadwell, who has maintained a scholastic average of 89.59 during her four years of high school. She also has been accepted by the Brockport State Teachers' college and plans to enter this fall.

Professor H.A. Willman of the New York State College of Agriculture at Cornell University announces Aubra Chadwick and J. Kelsey Chadwick of Lakemont as winners in the 1946 photo cow judging contest. Aubra received an award of excellence with a score of 540 points and Kelsey an award of merit with 530 points in this contest in which there were 2,748 contestants from 44 counties participating. The Yates County team, which was composed of Fred Switzer of Penn Yan, along with Aubra and Kelsey scored 12,090 points and placed 16th in the state and was tied for second place in the district, which was composed of Wayne, Livingston, Cayuga, Monroe, Seneca, and Yates counties.

50 Years Ago

May 27, 1971

St. Mark's Terrace Senior Citizen Housing project in Penn Yan will open for occupancy July 1 announced The Rev. William Kirkpatrick, pastor of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and president of the Board of Directors of St. Mark's Terrace. Bernard F. Volland Sr. of Dresden was appointed as resident manager, and Melvin N. Morris of Penn Yan was named maintenance superintendent. Kirkpatrick said model apartments were being shown by appointment only, and 106 people have given pre-deposits of $50 and have priority numbers.

Officers of the Penn Yan Academy Senior Class were pictured; Kris Reynolds, President; Guy Christiansen, Vice President; Joan Archer, Secretary; Sharon Conrad, Student Council; Pat D'Amico, Treasurer; and Deb Rogers, Social Activities Chair. The class has been planning year end activities, including a picnic at Red Jacket Park followed by the annual Senior Banquet to be held at the Dresden Hotel June 4. Baccalaureate service for the class of 1971 will be held June 24 at Norton Chapel and the 113th Commencement of Penn Yan Academy will be held at 2 p.m. June 27 on the Academy athletic field. There are 245 candidates for graduation, making this the largest class to date.

Real Estate listings: Cobblestone Beauty: Approximately 140 years old, front entrance hall, wide window sills and deep-set door casings; oil low pressure steam heat; 12 rooms and 1 1/2 baths up. Basement has 7 rooms, huge fireplace; shower, toilet, and lavatory. House sets on natural rise; 2 story garage/shop on 2 acres. A really spectacular buy for $26,500. Liquor Store, stocked and equipped: Nice corner location with ample parking area. Attractive 3-year-old building. 20x20 with small office area; forced hot air oil heat. Between $22,000 and $23,000 gross income reported from part time operations. Exceptionally good buy at $24,000.