PAGES PAST: 1971: Police chase ends with car wrecked off Second Milo Road

Yates County History Center
Special to The Chronicle-Express

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 30, 1871

Open-sea access: Access to the open sea was not gained from the Pacific, but from the Atlantic. Peterman, the celebrated German geographer, telegraphed in regard to it: “I just now received the information that Payer and Weyprecht's North Pole expedition had returned safe and very successful, to Tromsoe. They made, with a small sail vessel, the very important discovery of an open sea east of Spitsbergen and Kingkar-island, which, according to their opinion, extends probably to the great open polar sea, near the new Siberian Islands. The most favorable route to the North Pole lies right up in the midst between Spitzbergen and Navigasemlia, which confirms the view for which I contended so many years.

"The discovery of Payer and Weyprecht is a triumph of German science.”

Payer was the second officer in command of the other German expedition which wintered last year near East Ireland.

What the outsiders say: At the recent session of the Board of Supervisors of Yates County the publication of the Session Saws was awarded to the Yates County CHRONICLE, of which Mr. Stafford C. Cleveland is editor. Whereupon the Penn Yan Express, a Republican paper which bolted the nomination of Mr. Cleveland for Senator, raises the point that this is “mysterious and inexplicable,” on the ground that Mr. Cleveland has just been repudiated by the Republicans of Yates County at the polls, and that the award of patronage is in violation of the expressed will of the party. This is all wrong and unsound. In the first place the expressed will of the party was that Mr. Cleveland should receive its vote for the office of Senator. This expressed will was observed by the great mass of the party, whose vote in every county of the district Mr. Cleveland did receive. Even in Yates, where the defection was headed and where it was greatest, Mr. Cleveland received more than two-thirds of the whole Republican vote. The canvass shows that about 800 Republicans out of 2,600 voted against him.

Journalism: The little hamlet of Victor, Ontario County, is to have a newspaper. A second weekly has been started at Port Byron, Cayuga County (a place about the size of Dundee.) And we have heard or read a rumor that some aspiring genius proposes to inflict a new “elephant” upon Dundee, where the people are well and substantially served by our friend of the Record. Such superfluous papers serve only the double purpose of taxing too heavily small populations, and crippling the luckless wights who start them.

Lake Keuka: We learn that the Steamboat Company of which Ex-Sheriff Crosby is the principal member has purchased of Capt. Allen Wood the Steamer Youngs, and all his franchises on the Lake, consisting of docks, landing places and other property. This consolidates the Steamboat interest on the Lake; and with the new boat now in process of construction by Mr. Springsted at the stave yard in this village, Commodore Crosby will open the next summer campaign under the most favorable auspices. Capt. Wood has built up a fine business on the Lake, and under the new company the business cannot fail to be largely increased by reason of the added and elegant facilities the new company will offer. We congratulate the Commodore on the prospects of success which attend his steamboating enterprise.

100 Years Ago

November 30, 1921

NEAR EAST RELIEF FREE “MOVIE”: Free Showing of “Alice in Hungerland” at the Elmwood Theatre Sunday evening. On Sunday evening, December 4, the Near East Relief will present a moving picture at the Elmwood theatre. There will be two shows, at 7 and at 9 p.m. Admittance is free and all are invited to attend. No collection will be taken up at the performance, which will be in the nature of an instructive entertainment. The story deals with the adventures of a little American girl, the Alice of the story, whose father was a worker in the Near East. The child becomes inspired with a desire to go and see for herself the tangled circumstances of the people for whom her father worked so hard. She stows herself away on a boat that is going to the Near East laden with American supplies. After various, exciting adventures she finally, reaches her father in Constantinople. From there she goes over the Black Sea to Batum and then into the interior, to Tiflis, Alexandropol and Erivan. And in these places she sees sights as incongruous as any seen by Alice in Wonderland, and these signs are underlaid with the tragedy of being real. Alice is back in her comfortable home in America now living the normal, protected life of the average American child, but her adventures in “Hungerland” live again in the moving picture which the Near East Relief is presenting all over the country in an effort to bring home to the American people the pitiful and heartrending conditions in Armenia and the Near East.

Apply for citizenship: The following applications for citizenship in the United States will come before the equity term of the Supreme Court, to be held in Penn Yan beginning Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1921: John Ernest Engelhardt;: place of birth, Germany; residing at 467 Court Street, Penn Yan. Karl Frederick Schuler; Germany; resides at Middlesex. Albert Edward Joyce; England; residence, Potter. Giovanni Polletta; Italy; residence, Penn Yan. Jens Ole Larsen; Denmark; residence, Penn Yan. Jens C. Jensen; Denmark; residence, Penn Yan, R. D. 7. Chris M. Larsen; Denmark; residence, Penn Yan, R. D. Chris P. Anderson; Denmark; residence, Himrod, R. D.

Number of dogs in Yates County given as 1,337: A total of $504,486 has been collected in New York State for licenses for dogs between July 1 and November 12, 1921. Of this amount there was turned over to the treasury of New York state $47,918.90, the remainder being remitted to county and city treasurers and a part turned over to police pension funds. The number of dogs in each county of this Congressional District are as follows: Yates 1,337, Wayne 3,382, Cayuga 3,615, Ontario 3,574, and Seneca 1,576. The total number of dogs in the entire state is 263,330. The dog licensing law was enacted for the purpose of encouraging the sheep industry, and provision was made that in case of attacks by dogs on sheep or other domestic animals, the owner would be entitled to file a claim for damages, to be paid by the state. During the period, between July 1, 1921, and November 12, 1921, 420 claims were filed for damages alleged to have been done by dogs amounting to $15,441.10.

75 Years Ago

December 5, 1946

No Heat in Penn Yan School After Hours, Says Education Board: Starting “right now,’’ which was Tuesday, the Board of Education of the Penn Yan public schools announces a curtailment of all activities outside of the regular school class schedule which would require extra heat in the buildings. Faced with a problem not of their making, but one “forced on them by John L. Lewis,” the board decided that their first consideration was to avoid as far as possible any interruption of the regular school schedule and classroom work, and second to safeguard the physical property of the school district, the buildings and equipment.

So it was decided that the buildings will be heated only during regular school hours. Any physical activities not requiring heat may be continued after 3 p.m., when the heat will be turned off. The school’s superintendent, Clayton Rose, has been instructed to notify the board immediately when the stockpile of coal gets down to 25 tons in order that the remaining fuel may be used to safeguard the school buildings during the cold weather of the coming months. Specifically this means, explained Mr. Rose, that we will attempt to continue the intramural athletics for boys and girls and junior varsity and varsity athletics for the boys. When there are games scheduled to be played in the local gymnasium they will go on as planned. The gym and auditorium will not be heated, however, and patrons are advised to wear clothing suitable for sitting in the cold.

Train Service Cut; Mails Will Be Late: “John L. Lewis Has Been Here — Not Kilroy” reads a sign in the window of the Rapalee Drug store — illuminated by three red oil-burning lanterns, the only display lights permitted under the brown-out orders issued Monday by Mayor Roy E. Wheeler in compliance with state regulation.

The Pennsylvania railroad, because of the coal strike, has taken off half of the trains serving Yates County, which means that mall deliveries, already slowed down by early Christmas mailing, will be more difficult because only the south-bound night express and the northbound morning express are operating. For this reason material for the Chronicle Express should be mailed as soon as possible, and deliveries of the paper by mail may be delayed.

Comes the Brown-out, Mayor Wheeler Warns Electricity Users: Mayor Roy E. Wheeler announces that in concurrence with orders issued by Acting Governor Joe Hanley Monday morning for the conservation of coal during the present emergency, Yates County will observe brown-out conditions similar to those imposed, during the war. This means that there will be no outdoor lighting by business concerns, neon signs, theatre marquees, etc., falling under this ban. Street lights will use only one bulb. Home owners and private individuals are asked to restrict the use of electricity just as much as possible. Coal supplies in Yates county now will last only a few weeks even with the most rigid rationing.

Dresden Mother Murders Young Daughter: Murder and suicide followed each other in swift sequence at the home of Fred Eldred near Dresden Tuesday evening when Mrs. Eldred shot her 13-year-old daughter and then sought respite from her remorse in the cold waters of Seneca Lake. According to the story which the father told District Attorney Homer Pelton and investigating officers, he had gone to Penn Yan to get his daughter after school — this was a daily trip as the girl never went on the bus which carries the children from the area — and returned home shortly before 5 o’clock. During the forenoon until about 1 p.m. the other daughter of the family, Mrs. Burton DeLooza of Potter, had been there, helping pick chickens and make other preparations for Thanksgiving.

When father and daughter reached home, he left the house to do the chores at the nearly Campbell chicken and turkey farm. When he returned Mrs. Eldred had already started preparations for the evening meal and while it was cooking, and the father sat down in the living room to wait, the girl, Barbara Jean, suggested to her mother that they play hide-and-seek, a game which they frequently used to pass away the time. Mother and daughter went upstairs and after several minutes of quiet the father hear a strange sound which he did not identify, at first. He felt alarm, however, and started up the stairs, which are broken about halfway up by a landing.

As he turned on the landing, his wife, standing at the head of the stairs, shot at him. Her weapon was a .12-gauge shotgun which was kept in an upstairs clothes closet. The shot struck Mr. Eldred lightly in the upper right arm, ripping his jacket and shirt and tearing a big hole in the wall of the stairway. Dashing on up the stairs, he followed his wife as she backed away from him into the bedroom and wrested the gun from her grasp, as she was hurriedly trying to reload the weapon. Looking about for his daughter, he saw her lying across the bed, apparently dying or dead.

Rushing downstairs to the telephone he tried to call a doctor. Mrs. Eldred came down the stairs and approached him, but he was busy with the operator and didn’t speak to her. She left the house. A few minutes later, after he had contacted Dr. Allen Holmes at Penn Yan and was explaining the urgency of the situation, Mrs. Eldred came in again, apparently wanting to tell him something, but in his hurry he did not speak. She left the house for the second time and that was the last he saw her alive.

After Dr. Holmes arrived and found that the child had been killed instantly by the shotgun blast which had entered her back at close range as she was apparently leaning over the bed, he summoned police officials. Search for the missing woman was started. The terrain between the Eldred house and the lake is very rough and rocky and the search, in the deep darkness of the rainy night, was difficult. The stretch of land, about a quarter of a mile in extent, ends in an abrupt, high bank at the edge of the water. It is impossible to pass along the bottom of this bank without wading.

Deputy Parshall undertook this unpleasant task when a careful search of the higher ground resulted in no trace of the mother. As he groped his way through the water, about two feet deep and rough from a brisk easterly wind, he stumbled over an unseen obstacle. Flashlights quickly revealed that the deputy had inadvertently discovered Mrs. Eldred’s body. It was lying face down in the fairly shallow water, continually washed toward the shore by the force of the waves.

50 Years Ago

December 2, 1971

A 16-year-old from Penn Yan was hospitalized with injuries suffered when his car left the Second Milo Road, jumped a ditch and smashed into a tree, while the teenage driver was being chased by a Yates County sheriff's deputy.

Police Chase Ends With Car Wrecked: Sixteen-year-old Lyndell J. Gilbert of Milo Center Road, RD 2, Penn Yan, was hospitalized with injuries suffered Sunday night when his car left the Second Milo Road, jumped a ditch and smashed into a tree. Gilbert was being chased at the time by Yates County Sheriff’s Deputy Jan Scofield. Gilbert was admitted to the Penn Yan hospital suffering from facial injuries, chest lacerations, and multiple contusions and abrasions. Gilbert was ticketed for being an unlicensed operator, driving an uninsured vehicle, driving an unregistered vehicle, and failing to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle. Gilbert was being chased by Scofield, who said he started to follow the unlicensed car on the Penn Yan-Himrod Road, then proceeded on the Chubb Hollow Road to Second Milo Road where the accident occurred. The car was demolished. Gilbert was taken to the hospital by Triangle Ambulance.

$4.3 Million Budget Faces Mr. Taxpayer: Based on the total assessed valuation in the county of $51.9 million, the property tax levy would figure out to about $14.90 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. The county, beginning January 1, will be governed by a 13-member legislative board. This will replace the previous nine-member county supervisor board. By establishing the new board, personnel services in the legislative function will increase due to salaries for the additional members. A salary of $2300 per year has been proposed for the legislators, with an additional sum delegated to the chairman.

No matter how you look at it, Yates County taxes will increase 100 percent for the 1972 fiscal year according to the tentative budget released this week.

A proposed budget calling for total appropriations of $4,310,219, (excluding interfund items) will be aired at a public hearing to be held Wednesday, December 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the court house. The appropriations are $457,031 higher than the 1971 total of $3,853,188.

Total estimated revenues and appropriated cash surplus amounts to $3,534,524, leaving a total of $775,695 to be raised by real estate tax levy. Last year’s total revenue estimate and cash surplus appropriation amounted to a figure equal to the appropriations figure, due specifically to sales tax revenues. This year, sales tax revenues are used up in the increased cost of government.

USAR Unit Lends-A-Hand: The work of the 770th Engineer Company was quite evident in the Village of Penn Yan during the unit’s most recent drill, as they assisted in two community projects.

One detachment of Army Reservists was busy in front of the Yates County Courthouse, adding a fresh coat of “Army Green” paint to the cannons and other military hardware on display.

Another group spent the weekend helping to renovate new quarters for the Penn Yan Volunteer Ambulance. The new volunteer service will begin operation next January, operating from the old No. 2 firehouse on North Main Street. Ambulance volunteers have been busy refurbishing the old building, and the reservists assisted in the general cleanup, removing old wallpaper, and the installation of a new ceiling. Lieutenant Jack Sloat, who is also involved with the new Ambulance Service, supervised the reservists’ contribution.

Lieutenant Fred J. Pirelli, Commander of the 770th, said “This is part of our continuing effort to cooperate with the community of which we are a part.”

Pancake Day on Dec. 10: Set aside Friday, December 10 for the Third Annual Pancake Day at the Masonic Temple in Penn Yan. This year’s event will be in honor of Eva Durham. A delicious meal of apple juice, pancakes and syrup, sausage, scrambled eggs, coffee, tea or milk will be served from 11 a m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. until all are served. Father William Cosgrove of St. Michael’s Church in Penn Yan is ticket chairman and tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. Ticket prices are $1.25 for adults and 75 cents for children under 12.

Miss Sue Goodrich, Chairman of the event, reports that the generous donations of food and money by County organizations, businesses and individuals will assure all the proceeds of the event going to the Yates County Unit of the American Cancer Society to help in the fight for “A Cure For Cancer In Your Lifetime."