FROM PAGES PAST: 1921: PY & LS Railway runs 28 trolleys a day

Yates County History Center

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

July 13, 1871

An Effective Liquor Law — A provision of the Excise Law gives to the wives of men addicted to drink the right to warn liquor dealers not to sell to their husbands, after which warning damages of $50 can be collected from those who disregard it. Thursday the first notice of this kind was served in Queens county on sixteen saloon keepers, by Justice Lawrence, on complaint of Mrs. Jones, of Flushing.—Middletown Press.

We were not aware that any such provision of law existed in this State. It is important that it should be generally known.

Regatta on Lake Keuka – A Regatta will take place on Lake Keuka on Wednesday next, July 19. The Silver Cup will be again contested for, and a second prize will be a fine oil painting by that excellent artist, R. LeBarre Goodwin. The sailing will all be visible from Carpenter’s Ark.

Temperance — There will be a large county Temperance Convention held under the auspices of the State Society tomorrow at one o’clock at the Baptist church in this village. We trust they will boldly face the greatest want of the Temperance cause today in Yates County — a good Temperance Hotel in Penn Yan.

A Magnificent Crop — Samuel Botsford Esq. of Jerusalem threshed his crop of Winter Barley last Friday and Saturday. From fourteen acres he had a crop of seven hundred and seventy-six bushels of excellent Barley. This is a yield of 55 1/2 bushels to the acre. We offer to bet a glass of lemonade that this is the best crop of Barley this year in Yates County. Mr. Botsford thinks the yield would have been one hundred more had not the drought affected some portions of his field at a critical period of its growth.

100 Years Ago

July 13, 1921

Dean Trial Begins Next Monday — The trial of Gilbert Dean for the murder of Jerome Conley will begin next Monday, July 18th. From the names of the 100 citizens published last week a jury of twelve men will be selected if possible. If a jury cannot be selected, anyone present as an onlooker probably can be called to serve. Contrary to published reports, this will not be a double trial. Only one of the Dean brothers charged with the murder will go to trial. This will be Gilbert Dean, the one who did the shooting which resulted in the death of Mr. Conley. It may be possible that the younger brother, George, will not be tried at this term of court. Judge Robert H. Thompson will preside. District Attorney Charles W. Kimball will be assisted by Calvin J. Huson. Spencer F. Lincoln, who will defend the Deans, will be assisted by Attorney Lewis Watkins, of Watkins. Sheriff Case W. Blodgett has been ordered by Justice Thompson to secure three or more officers or constables to assist him in bringing the prisoner or prisoners from the county jail to the court house.

Waiting for the trolley in Branchport, 1905

New Trolley Schedule — Twenty-eight trolleys a day of the Penn Yan & Lake Shore Railway will go through the Four Corners in Penn Yan; fifteen heading to Branchport and thirteen returning. The earliest leaves for Branchport at 7 a.m. and the last leaves at 10 p.m.

Raising the Liberty Street Bridge — Mr. McCormick, Pennsylvania division superintendent of the New York Central Railroad, was in Penn Yan Tuesday holding a conference with the town of Milo supervisors and some of the trustees of the village. The railroad officials are anxious to have Liberty Street bridge at the south end two feet higher than now. Some of the village trustees think this will be a considerable expense to the village to re-grade the street to adjust it to the level of the bridge and they oppose it. The state is repairing the bridge and it is up to the village trustees to establish the level. The tracks of the New York Central pass under the south end of the bridge.

Irish Republic — There will be a public meeting under the auspices of the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic in the Elmwood Theatre on Sunday evening at 7:45. An interesting program has been arranged. Addresses will be delivered by the Reverend Eugene Reagan of Buffalo and the Hon. Daniel Moran of Seneca Falls. Entertainment will be provided by Wm. Powers of Canandaigua, and Edward Ryan, tenor soloist, of Victor. Both Father Reagan and Mr. Moran are well known in Penn Yan as eloquent speakers, and an oratorical treat is in store for those who will attend the meeting. In view of the present negotiations between the British government and the representatives of Ireland, special interest will attach to this meeting. In the event that the Irish nationalist aspirations are realized during this week the program will assume the form of a celebration. There will be no admission charge or collection at this entertainment and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Letters Returned After Seven Years — In 1914, seven years ago, Drs. E. M. Scherer and E. C. Foster went to England for the purpose of taking a trip through Europe. The World War broke out and they were unable to take the proposed trip. While they were abroad Mrs. Scherer and Mrs. Foster wrote to their husbands addressing them at Amsterdam, Holland. These letters could not be delivered and were returned to Penn Yan last week unopened after seven years of absence. The only identification on the letters as to their home address was the postmark Penn Yan.

75 Years Ago

July 11, 1946

Dundee and Penn Yan Welcome 295 New York Berry Pickers — Tuesday evening of this week a special trainload of enthusiastic girls arrived in Starkey and Penn Yan – hot and dirty after their day-long trip from New York City but ready to wash, eat, sleep, and start berry picking Wednesday morning. A total of 330 girls were expected, but only 295 arrived, 175 being transferred from Starkey to Dundee and the others continuing to Penn Yan. Over the weekend plans were finally completed for these two largest work camps ever set up in Yates county one at Liberty Street Junior High school in Penn Yan, where 130 girls are being housed, and one at Dundee Central school where 200 girls now stay. These girls, all from the New York City and metropolitan area, are recruited by the New York State Educational Department. Manager at Penn Yan will be Alfred Reichert of Branchport who came to this vicinity from New Jersey where he was in the advertising business. Mrs. Charles Stratton, long experienced in the restaurant business as an owner, will be in charge of the kitchen, assisted by Mrs. Ray Valder and her mother, Mrs. Julia Platman, as well as several helpers. There are four supervisors, Miss Ethel Gottfried who came up from New York Sunday night to make sure everything was in order before the girls arrived; Mrs. Clara Brown of Penn Yan, and two who came with the girls.

Harry Gleason, formerly manager of the Grand Union grocery store at Dundee and more recently storekeeper for the New York Central railroad in this section, is in charge at Dundee. Individual farmers make their own arrangements for the number of workers which they estimate their crop will require and take care of their own transportation. In some cases, where growers of large acreages require 50 or 60 girls each day, the berrymen have contracted with school authorities for use of school buses.

Predicts 50 Years Occupancy of Japan Necessary — “It will take 50 years of our occupation to bring about the social change necessary in Japan,” Lt. Col. William Bailey told Penn Yan Rotarians at their weekly luncheon meeting in the Benham Hotel. “Our object is to teach the Japanese the fundamentals of American democracy, to create within them a desire for it so they will live in peace with other nations of the world.” The occupation of Japan has been quite peaceful, said Col. Bailey, who has returned to this country after four months of service in staff headquarters at Tokyo. The Japanese public was surprised by the surrender before our troops landed, but the only resentment an American soldier feels there comes from the young Japanese soldiers who are returning home undefeated from China. On the whole, he added, the people seem to welcome occupancy. Col. Bailey, graduate of PYA in 1931, and his wife, the former Marjory Brunt of Clinton Street and their three children are all packed and ready to head for Japan and his return to duty as soon as Uncle Sam gives the order.

53 Weddings! — There were 53 local weddings listed in this issue, a reflection of the return to peacetime. Bring on the Baby Boom!

Fire At Loblaw’s — A cigarette tossed into empty fruit containers at the rear of the Loblaw groceteria on Main street at 2 p. m. Friday started a lively conflagration and called the fire trucks through the heavy weekend traffic in the business section. While flames were leaping from the wooden stairway at the rear of the building to the roof and were licking at the side of the adjoining garage and storage building of Mervin Rapalee, a store full of customers, including many Lake Keuka vacationists, continued their shopping and search for bread and rolls, paying little heed to the smoke which blew through the store. Fire trucks gained access to the fire from the parking lot at the rear of the store and quickly subdued the flames, which did an estimated $25 damage.

50 Years Ago

July 15, 1971

Ready To Move In — The Penn Yan Senior Citizens Apartment complex, St. Mark’s Terrace, is ready for occupancy, and tenants will be moving in within the next week. The seven story structure of modern facade is the tallest building in the community. It contains 80 deluxe efficiency apartments and 30 one bedroom units.

Political Cauldron Boiling In Yates — Last week it was reported in this newspaper that the political activity was “picking up.” This week it can be reported that the political cauldron of Yates County is boiling, with a full head of steam, and it is still several months until primary time. Thomas Studders, Milo supervisor, and Elden Paddock, Jerusalem supervisor, last week announced their intention to seek reelection as supervisors and to seek election to the new county legislature. Also announcing his candidacy was Seaton Mendall from the town of Jerusalem, seeking the legislature post only. Studders and Mendall are Democrats, Paddock a Republican.

This week additional declarations of intent to run for the new county governing body have been made. John C. Clancy, WFLR radio station manager, has announced that he will seek election to the new county legislature from the Milo district. There are four legislators to be elected from Milo. Clancy will seek the GOP nomination, and he has also received Conservative Party endorsement. John Hollowell of RD2 Penn Yan has announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination as Supervisor and County legislator for the district encompassing Milo 7-Starkey and Barrington. He is a prominent dairy farmer and is the son of the late Fred S. Hollowell, who served as an assemblyman and state senator from Yates County.

Editorial: A Ring Full of Hats — A familiar expression in the world of politics is “John Doe has tossed his hat into the ring.’’ A person will formally announce his candidacy for a political position and thus the familiar quote about the ring will be heard. The change in the political structure of county government in Yates has resulted in some question as to whether the ring will be large enough to hold all the hats! In our opinion, this is a healthy situation. When people become concerned about government it means that people are no longer lethargic about what is going on around them ... it means that people are interested in good government ... it means that people no longer are going to allow, in the case of Yates County, the same “old guard" of nine men to decree the destiny of 19,000 people.

Slo-Pitch Softball — The Benton Bombers won two more games to sit atop the A-League with a 6-0 record. Benton continued their unbeaten ways by whipping Bordwell 18-6. Leading the Benton attack was Chet Anderson with four hits. Bob Weider, John Symonds, Bill Finnigan. Bob Laphier, and Joe Barrow all had three hits for the winners, with Bob Andrews of Bordwell’s having three hits for the winners. Benton ended their first round schedule undefeated as they squeezed by Dresden Hotel 9-6. Pete Graham and Charlie Beach led Benton with three hits each. Houle, Andrus, Fullager, and Hepinger all had two hits for Dresden. The win left Benton as the only unbeaten team in either league.