FROM PAGES PAST: 1921: Fire destroys Beach's Garage

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

November 16, 1871

Editor Stafford Cleveland’s Defeat — The defeat of Stafford C. Cleveland, Republican candidate for Senator in the Ontario district, is the work of canal robbers whose robberies he has resisted and baffled. They were thwarted in their raids on the Treasury, and they have watched their opportunity for revenge. Such a defeat will elevate Mr. Cleveland in the esteem and confidence of his fellow citizens. It will not aid the tools that accomplished it, nor the larger politicians who gratified petty factional spite by encouraging them. ~ N. Y. Tribune

The kind words of friends are not without their value, but when a fellow gets beaten, he don’t feel exactly as though he had thereby been “elevated in the esteem of his fellow citizens,” especially when so many of them are worshippers of power.

Bad for Cleveland — Among the events of the election which we are sorry to record is the defeat of our old friend Cleveland of the Yates County Chronicle, who was the Republican candidate for Senator in the twenty-sixth district. He was beaten by about 1,000 in a strong Republican district. The disaffection must have been rather deep seated down in Yates and Ontario counties to make such a thing possible. We observe that Mr. Cleveland takes his misfortune philosophically, but sometime or other he will be likely to make things hot for his adversaries.—Rochester News Letter.

Benton Runaway — Viloria Newland, aged 11 years, a bound girl to the subscriber, left his service Oct. 13, 1871, without his leave or knowledge, and without any cause or provocation, and has remained absent ever since. All persons are strictly forbid harboring her or trusting, her on my account, as I shall pay no debts of her contracting. JAMES DORMAN —- Benton, Nov. 12, 1871. NOTE: Viloria Newland is listed in the 1870 federal census as a “Domestic Servant.”

Bush’s Hall — Wednesday Ev’g, Nov. 22. One Grand Concert by the World-renowned Artist, Madame Anna Bishop, whose triumphs In every part of the globe stamp her as one of the greatest living artists, and who has sung before more nations and people than any other singer who ever lived. Mrs. E. J. Deceeve, the celebrated contralto. Mr. J. R. THOMAS, the well known Baritone and Composer, author of most of the songs now popular throughout the country; AND MR. T. M. BROWN, PIANIST. It is seldom that such a concert visits us, and we have no doubt the opportunity will be appreciated. NOTE: Bush’s Hall was above where Longs' Cards and Books is located today on Main Street, Penn Yan. It later was the Cornwell Opera House.

100 Years Ago

November 16, 1921

Washington Naval Conference — The nine-nation naval disarmament conference opened in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 12. President Harding gave the opening address. A 10-year naval holiday in naval construction involving a tremendous scrapping of ships belonging to the United States, Britain, and Japan will be proposed to the conference by Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes. NOTE: A top advisor to the conference was Penn Yan’s Frank Schofield who then held the rank of Captain in the Navy and who had also been a top advisor to the Versailles Peace Conference after the Great War a few years earlier. In early November, he received official word from Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes that he was being appointed to serve as “an Expert Assistant to the American Commissioners representing the Government of the United States at the Conference on the Limitation of Armament to be held in Washington.” Schofield was on the team of eight experts from the Navy Department with included Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and Admirals Moffett and Coontz.

1921: Mr. Beach is the local agent for Ford and when he acquired the old Central House Hotel, he also took over the barn behind, which was used as a storage and repair shop and was destroyed by fire.

Fire at Beach’s Garage — The Central House barn, two stories and a basement, used by Merrill Beach as a garage was badly gutted by fire early Sunday morning, The structure is in back of the Universal Building. An alarm was turned into the fire department and Chester Leach was the first on the scene. He broke a window near the main entrance with the idea of opening the double doors so that a number of automobiles could be removed, but the smoke and gas drove him away. The fire department responded with its usual alacrity and three powerful streams made short work of the fire, although the building is almost a total wreck. Mr. Beach is the local agent for Ford and when he acquired the old Central House Hotel, he also took over the barn which was used as a storage and repair shop. There were four new Fords, three second hand machines, two bodies, and a quantity of extra parts destroyed besides a complete set of tools in the repair shop. NOTE: The Universal Building, earlier the Central House Hotel, today houses the Once Again Shoppe on East Elm Street in Penn Yan.

Academy Quintet Gets Good Start — The PYA basket ball team has begun the season in the most auspicious manner winning from Franklin Academy a week ago in Penn Yan by the score of 28-12 and repeating the performance in Prattsburg on Friday night when they won by the impressive score of 29-6. In the latter game, the most spectacular work was done by the guards, Ramsey and Evans, completely smothering every attack Prattsburg sent down the floor. Prattsburg’s lone field goal came after an attempt from a foul in the last two minutes of play.

75 Years Ago

November 14, 1946

Walkerbilt Establishes Profit Sharing Plan — Walkerbilt, Penn Yan woodworking firm, has inaugurated a permanent profit sharing plan for employees and 162 checks were handed out with the regular pay envelopes on Nov. 8. This profit sharing setup was made retroactive to July 1 and from now on dividends will be given the workers every four months. Individual shares will be determined by a point system based on earnings during the period for which the dividend is estimated and on the length of service which the employee has with the Walkerbilt organization. Under this plan each $33.33 earned will be valued at one point; each full year of service one point; dividend rate 50 cents per month or $2 for each point. A minimum share will be $3 for each 40-hour week worked.

Rev. Rogers Gives Armistice Talk — In spite of a cold drizzle that prevented the annual Armistice Day parade of veterans, A sizable crowd gathered at the Courthouse park to hear the Rev. Hiram Rogers , rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, deliver the Armistice Day address. “At the end of World War I,” the speaker said, “Christian statesmen backed what was called the League of Nations, emphasizing the fact that this is ONE WORLD. A handful of selfish and envious politicians killed this world brotherhood child before it became clothed with the necessary power to function as a living thing.” Pointing out that even though the allies had won the war, the lack of cooperation between nations lost the peace and made possible World War II. The minister declared that “We now have been given another opportunity. The destiny of civilization is being molded at the meetings of the United Nations." In conclusion, Rev. Rogers emphasized that “If our country is to accept a place of leadership in the world of the future, a regeneration and rededication must arise in the soul of America.”

Elmwood Theater — There is a great double-feature playing this week: “The Big Sleep” with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall (The Picture They Were Born For! Their kind of love-madness; Their kind of madly exciting screen mash.) The second feature is “If I’m Lucky” with Vivian Blaine, Perry Como, Harry James, and Carmen Miranda (The musical that’s lucky in love!)

50 Years Ago

November 18, 1971

Penn Yan Express Buys New Equipment — The recent enactment of the state of New York’s twin-trailer law, which will permit the operation of 55-foot doubles on all conventional highways except in the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties, has embarked Penn Yan Express, Inc. of Penn Yan, on a speeded-up equipment expansion program. Robert L. Hinson, President, announces tne placement of orders for 75 23-foot “mini-trailers” and 25 diesel tractors with delivery of the first units just received and put into immediate service. This new combination will consist of a low-tilt cab tractor specifically designed to perform over the road and city pickup and delivery and a wedge-type nose configuration trailer which will have an additional loading capacity of 135 cubic feet per trailer. Also the design will require a much smaller turning radius which is ideal for congested traffic areas.

Deer Season Tragedies — One hunter was accidently shot while hunting in the town of Jerusalem. A stray deer slug entered his back, just missed his heart, and came out through his left chest. Other members of his hunting party rushed him to Soldiers & Sailors Hospital where he underwent extensive surgery. A second hunter, hunting near Italy Hill, told his friends to go ahead and he would join them shortly. His group returned to the cars soon and found the man lying in the field just off the road. He was taken to the local hospital by Prattsburg ambulance and pronounced dead by Dr. James Benedict, a Yates coroner. He apparently suffered a coronary attack.

Cable TV — Penn Yan Cablevision advertised that you can now take your pick of 11 channels! There is more to see on Cable TV!

Chronicle-Express Moving — The local paper announced that they are moving their offices from 1 East Main Street to 138 Main Street, formerly Tilton’s Book Shop.

Penn Yan Boats Expanding — Penn Yan Boats Inc. approached the village Monday night with a request to purchase land for expansion of plant facilities. The boat firm plans construction of a 100 x 280 foot building with a walkway. No lake frontage is involved in this planned expansion, officials noted. The firm offered the village $11,000 for the former Habberfield property which adjoins the plant and which the village obtained under a parks acquisition financing with state funds. If approved by the Parks Committee, the purchase would be subject to application to the state Department of Parks and subsequent state legislation. The boat company also offered to sell the former Board Co. plant at Liberty and Keuka St. Extension to the village for $3,000. The park committee will also study this proposal