FROM PAGES PAST: 1871: Without liquor licenses, hotels in Penn Yan close

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

The Chronicle-Express: Consolidation, Jan. 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

June 22, 1871

'The Glorious Fourth' – The people of Yates and adjoining Counties are hereby informed that the “Glorious Fourth" will be celebrated in Penn Yan this year in a manner never surpassed, under direction of the “Boys in Blue" of Post Sloan, G, A. R., assisted by patriotic citizens.


President — Major M. S. HICKS.

Marshal — Capt. J. S. Reed.

Header — Major-Gen. Eli Long.

The Oration will be delivered by the eloquent Rev. THOMAS K. BEECHER, of Elmira. Music by SCOTT'S FULL BAND, Of Rochester, will positively be here on the great day and delight the people with superb and thrilling melody. Also, Maj. Judd's Martial Band. One attractive, comical and screaming feature of the procession will be “THE BUMMERS' BRIGADE 1," representing the dashing and grotesque Foragers of Gen. Sherman’s Army as they appeared on their “March to the Sea,” and at the Grand Review in Washington. Humorous Special Orders will be promulgated to these motley “lambs.” THE CAR OF LIBERTY will appear in line, containing Young Misses costumed to represent the 37 States of the American Union. The Procession will form in front of Bush’s Hall at precisely 10 o'clock a. m. and march to Court House Square, where the Oration will be pronounced, and other exercises will occur.

After which, the “Brigade” will appear in “Dress Parade." At 3 p.m. a spirited REGATTA on Lake Keuka, and an amusing TUB RACE. And in the evening, a Fine CONCERT, with tableaux, at Bush's Hall, and a brilliant display of FIREWORKS, after which, an INDEPENDENCE BALL, with music by Scott’s Grand Orchestra. Plenty to eat, supplied for all the multitude at Bush's Hall during the day, and ample fodder for horses at the Fair Ground.  Come out and Celebrate. Give one day to Liberty and Rational Enjoyment!

By order Com. of Arrangements

HARD FROST – We learn that there was frost last Friday night in Chubb Hollow, hard enough to kill the tender vines. In some other places the frost was vigorous, but we have not learned of other localities where any essential damage was done.

ARTISTS – Two New York artists are now at Watkins, sketching there and thereabouts for pictures, Capt. James Hope and Mr. Bispham. Capt. Hope has a $10,000 order, and is making a fine picture of Rainbow Falls in the Glen. Belonging to the Pre-Rafaelite (sic) class of artists, his work is very painstaking and laborious, and his picture when finished, will be as perfect a transcript as an accomplished artist can make it. 

The Photographic Art Gallery of Mr. Tomlinson, at the Arcade, contains many fine specimens of the work of that artist, clearly proving him to be thoroughly accomplished in the delicate manipulations necessary for first-class work. Mr. T. keeps himself well informed of every improvement in his favorite art.

The Benham Hotel on Main Street in Penn Yan, as it appeared in the late 19th century.

PENN YAN HOTELS CLOSED – There is trouble in Penn Yan, growing out of the fact that all the hotels there are closed, because they cannot procure licenses. Trade is falling off; and the people who visit the village, go about the streets like strangers in a strange land. If any man in the State deserves a license, it is Nelson Thompson, of the Benham House. Under his management it has been well kept in every respect. He does not harbor rowdies nor drunkards. He has never sold to those who become intoxicated. His house has always been orderly, clean, and supplied with every requisite of a first-class hotel. The Benham has been the favorite resort of many people, who now stop at Canandaigua, Watkins, and wherever they can. Mr. Thompson closed his house completely on Monday, discharging all his boarders and all his help, with a view to keeping closed until another season. The absence of the accommodations afforded by the Benham House is beyond all question a serious loss to our village. Mr. Thompson is a good provider and has well furnished tables, and is in all respects a hotel keeper that would be a credit to any town. We regret that he feels constrained to close up. In saying this for the Benham House we do not propose to disparage the other houses of the village, all of which have been well kept, and all did a good business while they were kept open. The suspension of that business is of course a detriment, which only the opening of a good Temperance House can atone for. And unless a good Temperance house comes out of this crisis, we shall inevitably glide back, sooner or later, to the old condition of things. A place like Penn Yan cannot well subsist very long without public houses; at all events it will not.

100 Years Ago 

June 24, 1921

FOUND DROWNED IN LAKE KEUKA – William Conklin’s Body Hooked By a Fisherman – Last Friday night, about 10 o’clock, while Mr. and Mrs. Karl Mallory were fishing for bass near Stony Point, on the east shore of Lake Keuka, they brought the body of William Conklin, of Penn Yan, to the surface, their hook having caught in his clothing.

Mr. Mallory did not know what was coming up until he reached out from the boat to loosen the hook. He took hold of the man’s arm and then saw the head. He was about 50 feet from shore, and attempted to tow the body in but the hook broke. Going in to shore, he marked opposite the spot, then took Mrs. Mallory to the Shutts cottage, where they were stopping. He and Clarence Lebbon put some heavy hooks on a line and in a few minutes recovered the body. After taking it ashore, they came to Penn Yan and notified Coroner John Hatch and Officer Michael Moses, who brought the body to the Dugan undertaking parlors, on Liberty street.

The appearance of the body indicated that it had not been in the water long. Mr. Conklin was seen on the street Friday morning. He was fully dressed when found, and it is presumed he waded out from the shore, as no boat was found. The water was only about ten feet deep where the body was recovered. A watch in his right trousers’ pocket had stopped a few minutes after four, but it started running again as soon as it was wound. A few cents was found on his persons.

For many years Mr. Conklin was employed on the Lake Keuka steamers. Since they stopped running he had not been employed much of the time.

School Board President Johnson’s Address to the Penn Yan Academy Class of 1921 – "In three respects, Commencement Day is different from the other days of the school year. It marks the end of your connection with Penn Yan Academy — it is the one time in the year when you are privileged to see what manner of persons comprise the Board of Education, when it makes its yearly official call and by its diploma recognizes your completion of the required courses of study – and it is the occasion on which you are compelled, by an almost cruel custom, to listen to such advice as the President may see fit to give upon the subject of what the graduating class owes to the world." He concluded, "The supreme thing which education demands of you is service — something done to assuage the griefs of your fellows and to lift the loads which press down the world. Than this there is no more sublime word in our language. The one perfect Teacher of all time forever linked service with greatness. In proportion as the spirit of service becomes a fixed principle in your life and dominates it you approach the divine and fulfill the highest purpose of your being. You have seen the vision and I trust you will not be disobedient to it.

75 Years Ago

June 28, 1946

49 SOLDIERS DIE IN SERVICE – War Department Compiles Record For New York State – The War Department of the United States has compiled a list of the dead and missing veterans of the Army in World War II for New York State, by county.  The following list from Yates County is included. Out of a total of 49 dead or missing, 24 were killed in action (KIA), 4 died of wounds (DOW), 17 died, non-battle ((DNB) 4 determined dead under Public Law 490 (FOD).  The list of honored dead:

Pfc Floyd D. Baker—DNB

Pvt. Philip W. Barr—KIA

S/Sgt Donald H. Beebe—FOD

Sgt Gerald C. Bixby-KIA

Sgt. Anton Christensen—DNB

2nd Lt. John Colmey, 3rd—DNB

Pfc. Barlow C. Coon—KIA

Sgt. Oscar F. Crevelling—FOD

Sgt. Lyle A. Daggett—DOW

Pfc. Kenneth H. Davis—KIA

AV/C Thomas J. Dee—DNB

T/5 Norman L. Fancett—DNB

Cpl. arl B. Finger—DNB

1st Lt. George S. Fitch—DNB

Pfc. Ward D. Fleishman—KIA

Sgt. Arthur Fontaine—KIA

T/3 Olaf R. Frederiksen—DOW

S/Sgt. Earl L Frost—KIA

Pfc. Carl E. Goodrich—KIA

Pfc. Fred W. Goundrey—KIA

WO/JG Andrew F. Hill—KIA

Pvt.. John H. Hill—KIA

Pvt. William H. Hoskins—DNB

2nd Lt Douglas V. Jolley—DNB

Pvt. Lyle W. LaFave—DNB

Pfc. William H. Laws—KIA

2nd Lt. Benjamin W. Lowell—KIA

Pvt. Larue C. McLain—KIA

S/Sgt John H. McConnell—DOW

Pvt. Carl A. Nicholas—DNB

2nd Lt. Phil R. Miller—KIA

1st Lt. Glenn W. Northrup—DNB

T/4 Richard A. Palmatier— DNB

Sgt Harris C. Pickett—KIA

Pvt. Donald R. Pinneo—KIA

Pfc. John C. Rapalee—DNB

FL/O Kenneth E. Reed—KIA

T/Sgt. Wilson A. Riche—FOD

Pvt. Albert H. Robinson—DOW

2nd Lt. James F. Ruddick—KIA

Pvt. Edmund W. Scism—DNB

2nd Lt. Erwin W Simmons—KIA

Pvt Robert L. Skinkle—DNB

Pfc. Howard D. Sorensen—KIA

Pvt. Orlan K. Stewart—KIA

S/Sgt. Lester W. Travis—KIA

Pfc. Claire W. Wells—KIA

Pvt. Robert H. Wilcox—DNB

S/Sgt. Clarence E. Wren.—FOD

This list does not include those who served and died in the Navy.

Disabled American Veteran training – Stuart A. Cody Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Cody, of Penn Yan, RD 4, will be the first Yates County man to receive training for National Service Office for the Disabled American Veterans when he graduates in August as a member of the 7th Class. Cody received his appointment from the 11th Congressional District in the State of California on the basis of scholarship from the San Francisco Regional Veterans Administration Area.  He was attending San Jose State College at the time he was appointed.  Cody was graduated from Penn Yan Academy in 1937 and attended Cornell University. He enlisted in the New York National Guard October 9, 1940, and was inducted into Army service with the 209th Regiment, Coast Artillery. He served with a Medical Detachment in the North African, Sicilian, and Italian invasions before being hospitalized for injuries and malaria, and was returned to the States in September, 1944.  He was attached to the Penn Yan Academy faculty before going to California in June, 1945.

New Ideas Presented on War Memorial – At a meeting in Penn Yan last Friday night, it was decided that Yates County should have a War Memorial and a partial committee was appointed to make a survey of needs of the communities and the county as a whole and investigate toe various projects suggested and the costs. This committee  is to report its findings at another county  meeting to be called on or before Aug. 1. The idea of a memorial in honor of those who fought and died in World War II is something which should receive the most careful consideration of all persons, and any such memorial should represent largely the wishes and desires of those who actually took part in the war. Some of the people attempting to promote a War Memorial are in favor of a tremendous project to be located in Penn Yan, the county seat, of course, and others favor a more moderate course. Everything has been suggested from a large building for mass meetings including smaller meeting rooms for county-wide use, to the draining of the swamp outside of Penn Yan for a county park.

50 Years Ago

June 24, 1971

Wine Museum Founders Honored at Program – It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon last week on Bully Hill when dignitaries of the wine industry and members of the Finger Lakes Wine Museum came to pay tribute to Greyton H. Taylor and Walter S. Taylor, founders of the only wine museum in America. Mr. John Sheldon, of Sheldon & Christopher of Rochester, was guest speaker, presenting Mr. Walter S. Taylor with a plaque to mark the occasion. The art world also converged on the museum to view the some fifty pieces of art work collected to portray wine country impressions. The winners of the show were, Mr. John Fell, of Elmira, for best of show; Ralph Hall, of Branchport, and Jeanne Parker, of Fairport, for second place; honorable mention - Carol Ayers, of Penn Yan, and Eleanor L. Bowen of Rochester.

Greyton Flanagan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Graham Flanagan and grandson of Greyton H. Taylor took part in the annual ceremony of planting the grape vine. Guests at the affair came from as far away as Washington, D.C. — Mr. William E. Garrett of the National Geographic magazine.

Leaders of the Band – The Dundee Central School Scotsmen band is having an outstanding Spring marching season. Leading the crack musical organization are: Beverly Best and Sheryll Benedict, co-captains of the color guard, at left, with Band Director Curtiss Chase; and at right, Drum Major John Dombroski with head majorette, Connie Beilis. On the table are the many trophies captured by the band recently.

DCS Scotsmen Band Thrives on Trophies – The 112-member Dundee Central School Scotsmen Marching Band have the unique distinction this marching season of capturing a trophy in every event they have entered. So far this year they have participated in one parade and three competitions. At the Dogwood Festival in Dansville, the band received a trophy of participation. At Springville, the color guard took Class B honors, the band a third place in Class B parade and second place in Class B concert. At North Syracuse, the band’s color guard took third place in open class competition; the band a first in Class A parade and first in Class A concert competition. At Gorham, the musical unit took first place in Class B parade, third place in Class B concert, and the color guard was judged first in Class B. In their North Syracuse appearance, the occasion being the annual Lions Club Festival of Bands in that community, the band received a $100 check from the N. Syracuse Knights of Columbus, who marched behind the Scotsmen in the parade. The band received a letter of commendation from the KC organization with the check. Curtiss Chase, band director and music department chairman at Dundee, is concluding his employment there. He has  accepted a position as head of Auburn High School instrumental music department, and will assume duties there in the fall.