FROM PAGES PAST: 1922: Children spared, pony killed in sledding accident

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

Jan. 4, 1872

1872: Keuka Lake grapes are ready for shipping. The Pleasant Valley Wine Company reported pressing 1,020 tons of grapes.

Ten hundred and twenty tons of grapes have been pressed by the Pleasant Valley Wine Company this year.

A band of English gypsies are sojourning in our county. There are about twenty of them — men, women, and children — and they live in covered wagons, and tell fortunes and trade horses for a living. They are now stopping near the farm of Augustus Stewart, on Flat Street, where they have been visited by a considerable number of our people who are curious to observe how the queer wanderers live. The male members of the tribe are very sharp. As first class vagabonds, they are an undoubted success.

The Excelsior Debating Club of Jerusalem will discuss the "Poorhouse Question" at the Dorman school house tomorrow, Friday, evening at six o'clock P.M. The public are invited to attend and participate in the discussion.

100 Years Ago

Jan. 4, 1922

Albert Knapton met with a very serious and painful accident Monday at 3:30 p.m. He had been engaged at times for several days in husking corn with a corn husker. While feeding the husker with his brother, Ray, in the mow and James Daines assisting, his left arm was drawn between the rollers. As soon as Mr. Knapton called for assistance, Mr. Daines, who was carrying the husked corn, rushed to the Titan tractor being used for power and released the clutch. This stopped the machine but not before the arm had been drawn between the rollers nearly to the elbow. Several neighbors came to their assistance, but it was a half hour before the arm could be released. Dr. John Hatch was called and he took Mr. Knapton to the local hospital, where at 5:30 the arm was removed above the elbow as it was so crushed and mangled as to be unrecognizable as an arm.

Rebecca and Mary, the young daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Pierce Harpending of Dundee, had a narrow escape from a serious accident last Wednesday morning, when they were out riding with their pony. They each had a sled hitched to the pony and were on their way to visit a playmate who lives on the state road west of the village. They had reached a place in the road between the home of Richard Fish and the Hillside Cemetery when a coupe came toward them at a moderate rate of speed on its own side of the road. When the children were very near to the car, the pony became frightened and ran in front of the auto and was instantly killed. Rebecca, seeing where the pony was headed, rolled off her sled and Mary was thrown clear of the track. When the driver of the car stopped, both sleds were under the machine, but both children escaped injury.

Four below zero Monday morning. It is said Seneca Lake was partly frozen last week, a very unusual occurrence so early in the winter. The south wind of Friday night broke the ice which had formed on Lake Keuka from Penn Yan nearly to Keuka Park.

75 Years Ago

Jan. 2, 1947

The Council of Rochester Regional hospitals, as part of its regular activities, has just completed a survey of the work and facilities of the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital of Yates County, and the area which it serves in an effort to determine the immediate community needs and the hospital construction necessary to fill such requirements. One of the six items listed as conclusions to be drawn from this survey is that "to provide adequately for the hospital needs of the area, it is recommended that a wing be constructed to add 20 beds, giving the hospital a total normal capacity of 58 beds."

Chief Machinist Mate Alan Douglas Simonson spent the Christmas holidays with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Simonson at Pulteney. He has now returned to his carrier, the USS Philippine Sea and will leave Norfolk, Va., Jan. 2 as a member of the Byrd expedition to the Antarctic. Seaman Douglas is one of the 1800 men assigned to the carrier. He is 23 years old and is serving his third enlistment.

The first of the new year is bringing several innovations to the Penn Yan Fire Department, both in housing and methods and extent of operations. Chief Wallace Washburn explains that the engine house in the business section is being fully renovated. The supply and storage room is being moved from the left to the right side at the rear of the building, and the whole interior is being painted. This change was planned primarily to make room for the installation of a new hose drier. Effective Jan. 1, the Penn Yan men will cover the Milo Fire Protection district, just recently established, an area that corresponds as far as possible with the territory covered by the Penn Yan telephone exchange. Arrangements are being worked out for the rest of the town to be covered by the Dundee Fire Department — that part of the town covered by the Dundee telephone exchange.

50 Years Ago

Jan. 6, 1972

He's No. 1! A photo on the front page showed Mark Hamilton, completely oblivious to the situation with his mother, Linda, and Chamber of Commerce President Milton Munson. The occasion? Mark, whose father is Grant Hamilton of the Keuka College public relations staff, was the first infant born at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital in 1972. He arrived on the scene shortly after 6 a.m. New Year's morning. Munson presented the new infant and his mother a $25 Savings Bond. Gifts were presented to Mark by various merchants in the community.

Christmas is for the children, and Santa, with the help of many individuals and organizations in Yates County, did not forget to visit 563 children in 153 low-income families here. Sleds, dolls, games, books and all kinds of toys and mittens found homes in Penn Yan and the surrounding area. In Penn Yan 282 children from 78 families were made glad on Christmas; in Branchport 24 children from eight families; Dresden, 27 children from seven families; from Dundee 124 children from 30 families; from Rushville-Middlesex area, 106 children from 30 families.

After many months of planning by a group of local volunteers, Meals-On-Wheels delivered its first meals to subscribers in Penn Yan beginning the week of Dec. 20. In the first two weeks of operation 48 meals were delivered. It is expected that the program will expand greatly as residents become aware of its availability.