FROM PAGES PAST: 1946: Hall murder case goes to jury

Yates County History Center
Barn dance advertisement from 1946.

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 21, 1871

THE RAILROADS OF THE WORLD - There are now 124,115 miles of railroads in the world; at the close of 1869 there were 118,559 miles. Of the increase, 5,556 miles, about one-half, or 2,746 miles, were in the United States, while in the previous year we had built 5,000 miles of new road. At the present moment the lines actually built in this country greatly exceed 50,000 miles in length. This, it will be seen, is about four-fifths of the amount credited to all the European nations. Our railroads about equal in length the roads of Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Austria and Spain combined, and are more than six times as long as those of all other countries in Europe. In all our States railroads are now constructed, as well as in the territories of Wyoming and Utah. In all the other territories except Arizona and Alaska, lines are “projected.” The New England States have a mile of railroad in operation on every 15 1/8 square miles; were the whole country covered with a net of railways at this rate, we should possess about five times as many as we have now, or about 250,000 miles. The proportion of railroads and area in the Middle States would, if uniform over the whole country, give 300,000 miles of road; and the proportion in Ohio would give more than 350,000 miles. Note: Presently, there are approximately 140,000 miles of railroad track in the US.

WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE IN WYOMING - The Democratic members of the Wyoming House of Representatives have passed the bill taking the right of suffrage away from the women of that Territory. They have only one reason for doing so, and that is, that the women have apparently mostly voted the Republican ticket. At least, the first Wyoming Legislature was unanimously Democratic, and that Legislature gave women the right to vote. At the very next election, a Republican Delegate to Congress was elected, and it seems as though no other cause could have produced so great a change in the Republican strength is so short a time. Hence the Democrats are “going back” on their pet. We remember well when the Democratic press of the country scolded and cut up all sorts of antics, because the Republicans conferred on colored people the right to vote, it being supposed that the colored people would vote with the Republican party; but the Democratic members of the Wyoming Legislature are doing that which no Republican would over dare to propose, and that is, taking away the privilege of voting from a certain class, because said class votes the other ticket. — Denver (Colorado) Springs.

RAILROAD LEASE - It is now stated that the Northern Central Railway Company has leased the Canandaigua and Watkins branch of this route for 99 years, thus giving the control of it as long as those now living will be likely to be particularly interested in its management. They talk of building a track of their own from Elmira to Watkins. There has been talk that by an arrangement between the companies, a third rail would be laid over the line to make a track for the Erie cars, and that both companies would thus run over this route. We presume that project has been abandoned.

CHRISTMAS OYSTERS - Merry Christmas is coming, and with it many good things. Among these will be a Christmas Festival of Oysters, and other luxuries, at the M. E. Church at Bellona on Monday evening Dec. 25, 1871. The benefits are to be appropriated to Sunday School and church purposes. A general invitation is given to come and share in the enjoyments of this social occasion. By order of Committee. Bellona, Dec. 13, 1871.

100 Years Ago

December 21, 1921

COLLEGE AND NORMAL STUDENTS -  Where local students are attending college or Normal school (The figure indicates the class of which each is a member). Most of these students are home for the holidays. Alfred University, Alfred — Ann Houghtaling, 2. Albany State College — Eleanor Gamby, 4. Beechwood, Philadelphia, Pa. — Barbara Tobey, 2. Bucknell, Pa. — Peter Kinyon 2. University of Chicago — Leonard Sanderson, 4. University of Buffalo — George Kinnie, 4; Lauriston Scherer, 4; Leverett Davis, 3. Cornell University — Gwendolyn Brown, 2; Cornelia Lerch, 4; Lucile Wyman, 3; Fenton Windnagle, 4; Wesley Morgan, 2; Sidney Ayres, 2; Howard Campbell, 1; Edson Moshier, 1, Kenneth Bullock, 1; Norman Hunt, 1. Elmira College — Beth Cole, 4, Hazel McDermott, 2; Esther Fox, 2; Elsie Reed, 1. Keuka College — Mary Comstock, 1; Marjorie Comstock, 1; Lulu Comstock, 1; Muriel Hurlbut, 1: Ruth Norton, 1; Ruth Johnson, 1; Dorothy Taylor, 1; Elsie Jorgensen, 1; Tillie Thompson, 1. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. — Clayton Wells, 3; Ralph Excell, 2. University of Notre Dame, Ind.-  — John Meehan, 4; Justin Hyland, 4. Oberlin College, Ohio — Carroll Daniels, 4. College of New Rochelle — Eleanor Hyland, 3. Russell-Sage College, Troy  — Ethel Townsend, 3; Margaret Purdy, 3. Syracuse University — Harold Wood, grad; Carrie Beck, 3; Lynn Wood, 2; Elsie Welker, 2; Cyril Winkworth, 4; Kenneth Winkworth, 1; John Smith, 1; Lois Gardner, 1; Marion Bodine, 1; Herbert Williams, 1; James Evans, 1; Paul Thayer, 1; Chester Evans, 1. Geneseo Normal — Mildred Swann, 1; Leona Sisson, 1: Helen Tuthill, 1, Ethel Orr, 1; Mary Beauchamp, 1. Brockport Normal — Sabra Ross, 1; Isabel Barry, 1; Inez Seamans, 2. Oneonta Normal — Doris Coats, 2.

KEUKA COLLEGE NOTES - The entertainment "Lighting the Christmas Candles" was given Friday evening. It was a beautiful ceremony, carried out in splendid spirit, and it reflected great credit upon those who participated. The proceeds of the evening, over $40.00, will go to the aid of needy students in Central Europe. It is expected that the program will be modified and repeated in several of the home towns of the students during the Christmas vacation, and the proceeds will be given for the benefit of Madras College in India.

ALLEGED STABBING FRAY - A man named Andrew Cannon, who works for Miss Jennie Baker near Himrod, claims he was stabbed Saturday night near the corner of Seneca and Main streets. According to Cannon’s story as related to an officer he, with a companion, had been imbibing of diluted Jamaica ginger. They walked to the corner where some derogatory remarks caused Cannon to knock his companion down. In return the man is alleged to have stabbed Cannon in the breast twice with a pocket knife. He was taken to the office of Dr. George Stevenson, as he claimed he was faint from loss of blood. Dr. Stevenson culled Dr. Matthews as the man appeared very weak from heart trouble. The physician found two stab wounds, both superficial. He was taken to the Hayes house. A warrant will probably be served for the arrest of the Keuka Park man who is alleged to have wielded the knife.

WIND STORM DOES GREAT DAMAGE. PENN YAN ESCAPES HARM - Yates County and Western New York, and in fact the whole state, was visited by terrific winds Sunday. The storm struck Penn Yan about 2 o’clock Sunday morning and brought with it a decided drop in the temperature and torrents of rain. Telephone wires were blown down in all parts of the county and the effect of the storm was seen on dead trees, signs and unstable roofs and chimneys. No great amount of damage has been reported from this county, but in some places in the state the wind did much damage. The Chronicle’s Dundee correspondent says: "Considerable damage is reported in this vicinity from the high winds of Saturday night and Sunday. Large limbs were broken from a number of trees in the village and some trees were broken off. A tile wall at Goble Brothers’ mill was blown over and the blow pipe was blown down. Several hours were required to clear away the damage enough to start the mills. The wall will have to be entirely rebuilt. At the farm of Kendrick Johnson, between this village and Watkins, the barn roof was blown off, and at the Charles Chadwick farm, northeast of Dundee, the roof of a shed 40x50 feet was picked up and carried about thirty feet across the road and landed in a field with such force that the roof was imbedded in the ground to a considerable depth, while the roof of the main barn was started from its place. It is reported that the garage on the Myron Tuttle farm, in Barrington, was picked up and carried away, leaving the automobile standing unharmed." The telephones are out of commission in every direction, and this report cannot be confirmed.

NIAGARA RUNS WILD - Never has such a volume of water poured over the brink of the Niagara cataract as did today. The waters of Lake Erie crowded into the Niagara river by the tremendous gale caused such a flood' that miles from the source of the river the water was swirling deep where usually only a few scant inches race along. Such floods poured over the precipice that the pool at the bottom quickly showed the results and the dock of the Maid of the Mist was submerged. The flood surged itself out through the rapids and the whirlpool, and the Maid itself fell into the broad reaches of the lower river at Lewiston.

75 Years Ago

December 19, 1946

HALL MURDER CASE GOES TO JURY THURSDAY MORNING - All testimony of rebuttal witnesses in the Hall murder trial was completed Wednesday forenoon. The afternoon was given over to the summation of the case by District Attorney Homer Pelton, who conducted the prosecution for the People of the State of New York, and Attorney George Skivington, who represented the defendant, Kenneth R. Hall. “You must consider whether the people have proved to your satisfaction that this boy intended to kill his wife,” Attorney Skivington admonished the jury in his closing statement. He pointed out that the defendant had testified that he could not remember what had happened after he had left the summer kitchen at his mother-in-law’s home. We do not know if this was insanity or an intense emotional upset, the defense attorney explained, but if he didn’t know what he was doing that night, then he cannot be guilty of any crime and you must acquit him. He told the jury if the people had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to kill his wife, then he could not be found guilty of the charge of murder in the second degree. The court will tell you, the defense attorney stated, that if you acquit him of the charge for which he was indicted, you may consider whether or not he is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree. Although he had been allowed an hour by the court in which to sum up, the defense case was finished in 40 minutes.

INFORMATION -Penn Yan Post Office Lobby open, daily and holidays, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; 8 to 8:30 p.m. Stamp window open daily 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Money order window open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Saturdays when it closes at 12 M. Public Nurse Hours Public Health Nurses in office, 12 Arcade building, phone Penn Yan 760. 9-10 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Hospital Calling Hours Daily, 2 to 4 and 7 to 8 p.m. No callers under 12 years. Library Hours 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; 7 to 9 evenings; daily except Sundays and legal holidays.

PRIVATE PLANE - John Fullwood has received the first privately owned plane in this section, the machine having been delivered to him last week from Port Jervis, where he and Mrs. Fullwood and their son, Thomas, motored over the previous weekend to purchase it. The machine is one that has been used and reconditioned. It is a Fairchild, 90 h.p., 0X5 with Curtis motor, and carries three people. “Fully” flew an airplane in the early days of aviation between 1920 and ’28, flying at Geneva, Buffalo, and in Florida, but has not flown a private plane since then. He is now one of the students at the Rushville Flying field, and expects to have his private license soon.

LT. STEVERSON GRADUATES - Second Lieutenant James W. Steverson, son of the Rev. and Mrs. Orvis J. Steverson of the Potter Methodist parsonage, graduated from officer candidate school at the indoctrination division, Air Training command in San Antonio, Texas, in ceremonies at the Post chapel Dec. 7. Overseas a half year in the African-Middle Eastern theatre, he was a weather forecaster for the Air Transport command. Prior to entering the service he attended high school at Corning and entered the service in July 1940.

50 Years Ago

December 23, 1971

ERINCOURT EXHIBITIONS - Recent events and exhibitions al Erincourt Gallery’s new address, 127 Elm Street, have proved to be quite successful. Donna Hayes, a new exhibitor from Walworth, New York, recently had a collection of oils and photographs — November 1st through 31st (sic) — She is working on her BS degree in Art Education at SUNY in New Paltz. Some of her works are still on display at the gallery. Most of her landscapes, done in a modern professional style, were done in the Catskills and Adirondacks. She has recently exhibited in Ontario, New York with quite some success. On Nov. 28th, The Gallery displayed the works of the Penn Yan Arts & Crafts Guild — their first Annual Pre-Christmas Show and Sale. The Exhibit will run through the 21st of December. Twenty-seven members of the Guild very kindly lent their works for this exhibition which was in memoriam to Fanny Hunter Hall and all proceeds of the sale have been turned over to the Rushville Clinic. On December 22nd through January 15th, the Gallery will display the works of Bill Madden . A retrospective exhibit of 46 paintings loaned by his wife will be on display. They are all for sale. Mr. Madden was the founder of the Penn Yan Arts and Crafts Guild and his works were quite well known in the Penn Yan Area.

GYPSY MOTH CONTROL IS VITAL PROJECT - The urgent need to control the gypsy moth, the most destructive forest pest known in the Eastern United States, has led to a cooperative research program between the N.Y. State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, and the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Last year the larvae of this pest defoliated almost one-half million acres in New York State. According to Prof. Joseph L. Saunders and Richard A. Goyer, co-directors of the Cornell project, the gypsy moth has infested most of New England and eastern New York and is presently moving westward across the State. Evergreens can be killed by a single defoliation, they noted, and susceptible hardwoods, such as oak, birch and apple trees, can be killed by two successive attacks of the gypsy moth. “The Cornell research project, which is just getting underway,” Saunders said, ‘‘will focus on saving the ‘high value’ trees of urban areas, small parks and recreational grounds. We will avoid using conventional sprays that may injure urban environments." To do this the Cornell entomologists will examine a series of systemic pesticides that can be injected into individual trees or the soil beneath them. The technique will not be suitable for forests. “Our first studies will test whether an experimental pesticide is transferred from the point of application to the susceptible leaves,” explained Saunders