PAGES PAST: 1946: Subscription rate rises to $3/year

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

December 7, 1871

An exchange wants to know, since w-o-r-k is pronounced wirk, why p-o-r-k is not pronounced pirk? These queries are very irksome.

Will anyone who knows anything of the history of Yates County politics pretend that Cleveland received less than 500 Democratic votes? If so, we pity his benighted intellect. —Penn Yan Express

We pretend to know something of the history of Yates County politics, and however benighted we may be, will venture to say that, if Cleveland had received 500 Democratic votes in Yates County, he would to-day have been the Senator elect. The votes Cleveland did get were nearly all Republican votes, and were it not for the awkward look of the canvass, we should doubt whether a single hundred Republicans voted for the Tweed candidate. The fact is, the Republicans who voted against Cleveland are very scarce and growing more so every day. With a very few exceptions none can be found by the aid of the brightest lantern in the land, a few months hence.

ACCIDENT - Last Monday forenoon, as Judge Andrew Oliver was driving into town by way of Canal Street, one of his horse’s feet was caught by a spike in the railroad track, at the crossing, in such a manner as to hold the animal fast; and as the Judge was trying to extricate him, an approaching freight train struck the horse, killing him, and demolishing the buggy to which he was attached. The Judge escaped without injury.

100 Years Ago

December 7, 1921

GEORGE DEAN ON TRIAL FOR DEATH OF JEROME CONLEY OF MIDDLESEX: Attorney tor Defense Claims Young Man is Innocent and Declined to Plead Guilty to Lesser Crime. Dean Jointly Indicted With Brother for First Degree Murder. Jury Selected on First Day.

TRIAL JURORS CHOSEN: William Stowe, of Starkey; Ernest Sproul, of Starkey; R. Lee Edmonds, of Benton; Clinton Barnes, of Benton; Clarence Campbell, of Penn Yan; George M. Thayer, of Milo; Cornelius Post, of Milo; Albert C. Ansley, of Milo; Elmer J. Schofield, of Milo; Charles Matthews, of Jerusalem; Delos Bailey, of Barrington; Frank Crosier, of Benton.

Monday at 10 a.m. a special term of the Supreme Court was called, Hon. J. B. M. Stephens presiding, to try the case of George Dean, jointly indicted with his brother, Gilbert (the May term of the grand jury), for murder in the first degree. The full story of the shooting of Jerome Conley on Sunday, February 19, 1921, has been fully given in the Chronicle. How Conley was called from his home and after a fight, in which, both Gilbert and George took part, as against Conley, Gilbert drew a revolver and shot Conley twice, causing his death.

Judge Robert Thompson, who presided at the May term, called a special term for July, at which time Gilbert Dean was tried and found guilty of murder in the second degree. He was sentenced to Auburn prison for twenty years. At this trial Gilbert said that George had nothing to do with the actual killing of Conley.

Prisoner Escaped: On November 29 the sheriff of Chemung County notified the sheriff of Yates County that a prisoner, who was being taken from Elmira to the Monroe County Penitentiary, had jumped from a Pennsylvania Railroad train near Bellona. The Star-Gazette of that date said:

“Jumping through a window of a Pennsylvania train, Roy Fox, aged 23 years, of 153 Washington Street, escaped early this morning near Bellona, N.Y., while en route from this city to the Monroe County Penitentiary. Fox was sentenced yesterday afternoon to the penitentiary by Recorder Gardner, following his arrest on the charge of corrupting the morals of a five-year-old girl.

“Fox was sentenced to one year with a fine of $250 imposed. He was to have spent a day in prison for every dollar of the fine unpaid.

“In company with Deputy Sheriff Frank Garthwaite, Fox was placed on a Pennsylvania train early this morning, bound for the Rochester prison. Near Bellona Fox was given permission to go to the wash room on the train. He broke the window in the wash room and jumped to freedom.

“Deputy Sheriff Garthwaite immediately telegraphed Sheriff H. Edgar Chapman, who instructed the deputy sheriff to procure an automobile and search for his man. Two state troopers are assisting Mr. Garthwaite.

“Fox’s description is given as follows: Five feet, nine inches in height, blue eyes, weight about 155 or 160 pounds; dark brown suit, brown overcoat, checkered cap, khaki colored shirt, black necktie and brown shoes.”

Fine Record for Local Hospital: Since the temporary hospital was opened in September 1920, 15 months, 531 patients have been treated, 424 operations have been performed; of this number 106 were emergency eases. Many of these patients could not have lived to reach the Geneva or Canandaigua hospitals. With the limited capacity of this temporary building, many applicants were unavoidably refused treatment. If the subscribers of some $46,000 which has not been paid would promptly settle their obligations, a hospital of ample size could be constructed within a year. HAVE YOU PAID YOUR SUBSCRIPTION?

Notice: The Board of Directors of the Guertha Pratt Home wish to thank all those who kindly sent provisions, etc., to the Home for Thanksgiving, also to notify all those who sent canned fruit that the empty cans may be had if called for.

Christmas, the joyful time of gift giving, is near at hand. Kindly remember the old ladies at this time with some little gift. --Carrie E. Frederick, Secy.

Yates County Farm Bureau: During the past year the Yates County Farm Bureau has received 8,300 calls, more, it is said, than any other similar bureau in the country. It now has 1,200 members and leads all other counties in the state in membership in comparison to its population. The 1922 drive for memberships will begin soon.

Foreign Tuition: The Penn Yan Union School district will receive $9,432 from the state for tuition for pupils living outside the district, for the last year. This is based on an allowance of $50 per pupil. At the present time there are 225 nonresident pupils in the high school, and 71 in the grades.

The Academy receives more money from the state for non-resident tuition than any other school in the state.

This school is a great asset to Penn Yan. With 300 non-residents coming here to school daily, it means that the families of those students are interested in Penn Yan. With the large number of foreign students now attending school in this district, need for more room is felt.

If the present situation continues, this matter of more room will have to be taken up before many years.

75 Years Ago

December 5, 1946

That’s What the Man Said: “Because we are all being inconvenienced it is natural to want somebody punished for it, therefore the present attempt of the government to punish John L. Lewis is popular. But the government is just running into a worse mess; we have no facilities in this country for forcing half a million men to do any job they don’t feel like doing -- except going to war.

“The only solution to the recurring coal field strife is to get two things done. First, pay the miners a generous wage and treat them well. Second, CONVINCE them and their leader that they are getting fair treatment. Then they will mine coal. Both of these things are difficult to do, but they are not impossible.

“Any ‘settlement’ short of this may give some temporary relief and save some faces or pocketbooks, but it will not settle anything." — C. C.

Announcement: Beginning this week, the subscription price of the Chronicle-Express is $3.00 per year mailed to addresses in this community. Single copies are 10 cents. ... Increased costs make this change necessary. Since the last adjustment in subscription rates was made, the price of newsprint alone has increased six times.

The Chronicle-Express subscription rate rose to $3 per year effective Dec. 1, 1946, with rising newsprint costs cited as a prime reason.

Fewer Trains Now — Better Mail Earlier: With train service curtailed, it is even more important that Christmas mail be posted earlier. Local Post Office employees suggest that: 

• Letters and packages for distant states be mailed at once.

• Wrap parcels securely with heavy paper and strong cord.

• Address plainly on one side only, and give return address.

• If sealed, attach printed parcel post sticker allowing inspection, if necessary.

• Christmas cards with 1 ½ cent postage are neither forward-able nor returnable.

• Place Christmas stickers on back of envelopes only.

• Tie quantities of Christmas cards in bundles and drop in corner mail boxes to relieve carriers.

Send News to Chronicle Office for Radio Release: During the continuation of the strike which is preventing publication of Rochester papers, the three radio stations in that city are using local news over numerous programs, including all death notices. All the vital news items sent to this office will be revamped for radio use and forwarded immediately. Use of Yates county news over WHAM especially has been arranged for with the manager of that station’s news bureau.

Four-Day Search Reveals No Trace of Brother and Sister Believed Drowned In West Branch of Keuka Lake -- Saturday Alfred Slaughter Finds Canoe Used by Victims On Fatal Trip Home: Miles Slaughter, employee of the Keuka Lake Ice company, and his sister, Marian, have not been seen since they left Lakeside hotel on the west shore of Keuka lake between 6:30 and 7 o'clock Saturday evening, in a canoe, to return to their home across the branch on Bluff Point.

Marian, a graduate of Cornell University and returned only a few months ago from Red Cross service in Germany, France, and other European countries, wanted to make a phone call to Miss Barbara Graves at Geneva. That was the reason for the canoe trip to the hotel. The call made, the brother and sister started back across the lake, which was very rough, in spite of the warnings of the hotel owner.

Brother and sister had been invited to dinner Saturday night at the home of Mr. and Mr. Clifford Orr of Bluff Point who live just across the road from the Slaughter cottage. When the young people did not show up, the Orrs investigated and found the gas lighted under a kettle of water and kerosene lamps burning They turned out the gas but left the lamps until they burned out. Cars owned by Miles and Marian are still at the cottage.

Miles is about 30 years old, Marian about 27. They are the children of a famous surgeon of Darien, Conn. The family has spent the summers at the Bluff Point cottage since the children were very young.

During the forenoon planes from the Penn Yan airport piloted by Oliver Goodrich and Marvin Allison carried the searchers above the rim of the lake in a hunt for traces of the boat or clothing that might have washed ashore. When nothing was found the tedious task of criss-crossing the water was taken up in an effort to locate the bodies. The water in the West Branch, where the accident is assumed to have occurred, is so deep that this work proved futile.

Alfred Slaughter of Gilbertsville, the other brother of the family reached Penn Yan Monday. It was he, with Gordon Smith, who found and identified the canoe which Miles and Marian had used. Minus paddles, the canoe was found at Boyd’s point, at the end of the Pulteney road, pulled up on the beach stern first. So far the identity of the person who found the canoe and pulled it ashore has not been learned.

Dragging operations near the end of the Bluff and on the West branch were begun Tuesday afternoon and continued Wednesday. The weather is so cold that the men are able to keep at it for only short periods at a time.

50 Years Ago

December 9, 1971

Estimated 25 School Students Use Drugs: Investigator Richard Hudson of the Yates County Sheriff’s Office told the Penn Yan Rotary Club Tuesday that there are an estimated 25 high school students here involved in varying degrees with drug abuse.

He said that some of these undoubtedly are involved only to the extent of what he referred to as a “weekend kick,” but said that practically all drugs with the exception of heroin are known to have been used by students of high school age in the community.

There is no proof that any of these drugs were actually bought, sold or used within the school. Hudson said that so far this year there have been eight arrests in connection with drug abuse in the county. In 1968, he said there were no arrests made in the county for drug abuse; in 1969, one; 1970 two; and so far this year, eight.

Carl Thompson, school superintendent, when asked to comment on Hudson’s statement about use of drugs by the school students, said “in checking, we find this estimate may be conservative.” He did not elaborate, other than to refer to them as “abusers.”

Hudson urged those in attendance at the Rotary meeting to report any incident which they may see or hear of relating to drugs: “You may inform us by letter and you do not have to sign the letter. For God’s sake, don’t withhold some vital information just because you do not want to become involved!”