FROM PAGES PAST: 1922: Civil War Veterans honored by Rotary

Yates County History Center

The Chronicle-Express -- Consolidation, January 1, 1926, of the Yates County Chronicle (1824) and the Penn Yan Express (1866); the Rushville Chronicle (1905) and the Gorham New Age (1902)

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

June 6, 1872

A hand-tinted photograph of American Falls at Niagara in the late 19th century.

A Geological Talk About Niagara -- Before the lecture began on Tuesday evening last, Prof. Gunning gave his audience a little talk about Niagara. Ten years ago, he said, he had stood on Prospect Point and looked searchingly at the American Falls. Within a few days he stood there again, but what he saw did not answer to the image his mind had carried for ten years. The rim of the precipice is more indented. Here and there a mass of rock has fallen, leaving a notch, the beginning of a little horseshoe. The great horseshoe itself had changed. At the point of deepest water and deepest green the curve is deeply notched. Any observer whose knowledge of the falls covers only a few years will see that they are receding.

We find an old river bed, filled with drift, between the whirlpool and St. David's. The fall began not at Lewiston, but St. David’s. Perhaps 200,000 years for the entire history of the fall would not be above the demand. We think of this as long and, our wonder is that the falls are so old. But he who looks with a geologic eye thinks of the time as short, and his wonder is that the falls are so young. The upper lakes are old. Geologically, the lake era is very old. It was dry land long before the Alleghany mountains were lifted up. The river which drains it should be old. And yet the Niagara, perhaps, is only 200.000 years old! How shall we account for the drainage of the lakes through so many millions of years not registered in the channel of Niagara?

The speaker drew a section of the upper lakes, and showed that the Niagara River at the head of the rapids is only 30 feet higher than the face of Lake Michigan. A barrier more than 30 feet high, across the Niagara plateau, would throw the waters of Lake Erie back on Lake Michigan and, the drainage would be through the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Western geologists have found an old river channel from the Lake to the Illinois, end the speaker drew sections of a great barrier which once stretched across the plateau. The old river bed in Illinois and the broken ridge across the Niagara plateau account for the extreme youth of the falls.

100 Years Ago

June 7, 1922

Yates County's Civil War veterans gathered by the Civil War monument in 1922. One hundred years ago, these veterans were invited to a Rotary Club luncheon as part of the Memorial Day commemoration in Penn Yan.

Veterans as Guests -- One of the interesting features of the Memorial Day exercises in Penn Van was the Rotary Club luncheon, to which all Civil War veterans in this vicinity were invited. About 27 of the veterans availed themselves of the opportunity of enjoying the good fellowship which prevails at every Rotary gathering. Several of the old war songs were sung and each table was decorated with the colors. Chairman Calvin Russell called upon each of the "vets” for brief remarks, all of which proved interesting to a high degree. The soldiers gave a resume of their war records together with a recital of amusing incidents connected with their, military service. It developed during the course of the talks that the first man of the veterans now living, to enlist in the Union army from Penn Yan was John Durham, who gave a vivid account of one of the engagements in which he served in Virginia. The honor of being the oldest veteran in Yates County belongs to Phineas Tyler, of Penn Yan, who will soon celebrate his 90th anniversary. Amasa Church, of Penn Yan, who is said to be 75 years old, is the youngest veteran. At the close of the luncheon the Rotary Club voted to extend an invitation to the old soldiers to be present each year at the Rotary gathering on Memorial Day.

The following members were present: S. M. Whitbeck, Joseph Tetor, Leroy Tobey, Mr. Hogan, James Greenfield, Cassius Lester, W. M. Seaman, James Soles, George W. Hobart, John W. Durham, John Magee, Wm. M. Barrow, Frank M. DeMunn, James O’Connor, John McGough, John M. Dutton, George Greening, N. C. Shepard, Phineas Tyler, George B. Barden, Charles W. Morgan, Amasa E. Church, Melville B. Miller, Henry C. Drakeley, John Houghtaling, George Cook, Mr. VanHorn.

The following Civil War veterans have answered to the last roll call since Decoration Day, 1921 (with their burial place):

  • Roderick D. Tapper, Co. K, 15th Engrs., Lake View.
  • Stephen B. Dunton, Co. D, 42d Pa. 4nf., Lake View.
  • Charles H. Dunning, Co. B, 126th Inf., Lake View.
  • Daniel Cook, Co. B, 148th Inf., Dundee.
  • Clark W. Reynolds, Co. C, 44th Inf., Italy Hill.
  • „ Edwin A. Wilklow, Co. D, 3d Mich. Cav., Lake View.
  • Ellis B. Sayre, 26th Ind. Battery, Canandaigua.
  • Barrett A. Boyd, Co. K, 15th Engrs., Voak.
  • George R. Reynolds, Co. D, 126th Inf., Italy.
  • Ansel Brace, Co. B, 126th Inf., Dundee.
  • Edward B. Lanning, Co. I, 15th Engrs., Montour Falls.
  • Wm. J. Pool, Co. A, 126th Inf., Benton.
  • Wm. H. Smith, Co. E, 26th Inf., Lake View.
  • George P. Harrison, Co. D, 33d Inf., Lake View.
  • Henry L. Klice, Co. E, 101st Inf., Italy Hill.
  • George W. Beyea, Co. I, 1st Vet. Cav., Dundee.
  • James B. Travis, Bat. B, 3d Art., Benton.
  • John D. Scott, Co. D, 50th Engrs., Dundee.
  • Wm. H. Miller, Bat. B, 3d Art., Dundee.
  • John E. Slocum, Bat. D, 14th Art., Second Milo.
  • Jesse Parshall, Co. G, 18th Inf., Lake View.
  • David Kennedy, Co. H, 102d Inf., Italy.
  • John Harris, Co. A, 126th Reg., Lake View.

Portrait of Red Jacket -- A prized portrait of Red Jacket, painted by Hart, is in the possession of Dr. L. W. Bellows, of Waterloo, according to information received by the Finger Lakes Association, which is collecting historical data relative to the lake country once ruled by the mighty Iroquois. The painting of the famed chief of the Senecas is over five feet high and three feet wide and shows Red Jacket wearing the red suit given by a British officer, the suit which gave him his name. He is shown holding a tomahawk and wearing a medal awarded by George Washington in 1792 for valuable service rendered the American cause. Red Jacket was 26 years of age at the time of the Revolution, first allying himself with the forces of the British and later shifting to the side of the Colonial soldiers. His orations, like those of Logan, for whom a monument is erected at historic Fort Hill in Auburn, once sounded through this continent.

The Scott Bros. Garage Burglarized -- When the Scott Bros., of Gorham, arrived at their garage May 30, they saw at once that the place had been visited by thieves or a thief. A window had been raised to gain entrance to the blacksmith shop which they operate in connection with the garage, and a glass in the door leading to the office had been cut out, enabling the thief to reach in and unhook the door. The cash register had been ransacked, but as it contained no money he was not rewarded, but four inner tubes were missing and other little things. A clue was found and suspicion directed toward Ernest Betts, aged 17, in the employ of Edward T. Hershey on his farm. It was known that he intended to attend a dance at Cottage City at night, and the sheriff had no trouble in locating him there about 11 o'clock. He was taken back to Gorham and confessed to the crime. At his hearing before Justice Southerland at Gorham Friday morning, he was held for the grand jury on a charge of burglary, third degree. Mr. and Mrs. Hershey had always considered the boy honorable previous to this time.

Penn Yan Board of Education -- At a regular meeting of the Board of Education held Monday evening:

  • Miss Alice Stevens, whose home is at Greenville, N.Y., was elected as teacher in English. She is an Elmira College girl.
  • Miss Marion Reusswig, of Utica, has been selected for teacher in Spanish. She is a Wells College graduate.
  • Miss Dorotha Griffith, of Rochester, was chosen as teacher in history. She is a Rochester University student.
  • Miss Cordelia Hewes, of Bergen, was selected as teacher in biology. She is a Rochester University student.
  • Miss Florence Nicholas was selected to teach the third and fourth grades at Lake street school. Miss Nichols has had eight years’ experience as a teacher. While she is a Penn Yan Academy graduate and considers this her home, she has been teaching elsewhere and is now at Calicoon, N.Y.
  • Miss Marie Landon will remain as teacher in French. She has had a flattering offer to teach elsewhere.
  • Miss Beatrice Horton has received an offer of $2,0000 per year from the Mount Vernon High School. It is hoped she will remain in Penn Yan. Miss Horton is making a record as an unusually able teacher of music.

75 Years Ago

June 5, 1947

Former Village Treasurer Indicted On Nine Counts -- Auditors Say Village Funds Missing Since 1928 Exceed $26,000 -- Ernest B. Reed, 70, of 242 East Main St., treasurer for the Village of Penn Yan for 21 consecutive years, was committed to the Willard State Hospital for observation immediately following his arraignment before Judge Maurice McCann Thursday. The defendant was indicted by the Yates County Grand jury on charges of falsifying village accounts and the misappropriation of funds exceeding $26,198. Through his attorney, Paul R. Taylor of Penn Yan, the prisoner pleaded not guilty to all nine charges carried in the indictment. The attorney requested committal of the defendant in the state hospital for observation to determine if he is now capable, or of sufficient mental ability to defend himself against these charges. Mr. Reed began his work as village treasurer in 1921 and was succeeded in the office by William B. Manley in August, 1945. The nine counts in the indictment against the former treasurer cover only the five-year period from March 1, 1941, to August 1945, under the statue of limitations controlling the case. The indictment accuses the defendant on nine charges. The first is for the village fiscal year of March 1, 1941 to Feb. 28, 1942, when he “failed to account for and misappropriated to his own use the sum of $1,824.28,” this being money which he had collected. The second, third, and fourth charges are all alike except for different sums of money at different times. The other five charges give specific amounts received from persons for the payment of taxes, which were never credited to the persons named, either on the treasurer’s books or on the tax roll. The ninth count, and last one, accuses the prisoner of receiving $102.05 from Charles Kelly for payment of village taxes for 1943 on property at 20 Main street, with no credit given for payment. The indictment closed with the statement that all of these transactions and acts listed in the several charges are connected and "constitute parts of a common scheme and plan.” The second part of the auditor’s report went back to March 1, 1928, and stated that moneys not accounted for until Aug. 31, 1945, total more than $26,000.

Seneca Fishing Is Good, for Wallets or Lakers -- When it comes to wallets, Seneca Lake just has no use for them. It gives them right back. Ed Hoerscher of Montour Falls, fishing in front of his cottage at Finch’s point just east of Himrod Monday, used his landing net to retrieve what he thought was a floating tobacco pouch and discovered he had landed $114 belonging to Charles Lewis of Penn Yan. Mr. Hoerscher is the mastermind who produced the very popular rainbow trout rig for fishing in Catherine creek, complete, if you recall, with radar attachment for the location of all game wardens within five miles. He is not alone in recovering wallets, however, for it was on Sunday that Frank Dart of Corning lost his pocketbook containing an amount even greater than that lost by Mr. Lewis. Unaware of loss, he scooped up a floating wallet on his return trip across the trout bed off Finch’s point — and behold, it was his own. Lawrence Cook, Rochester, fishing in the boat with Mr. Dart, doesn’t have that much confidence in deep Seneca. He tells tall tales of things retrieved from the city garbage dump in Rochester, but then he is boss up there. Here, he leaves his pocketbook in his other pants.

50 Years Ago

June 1, 1972

The Saga of Silver -- An old friend of the Knapp family of Keuka Park, and their friends is now resting on the hill top. “Silver” a one-year old Shetland pony, was the special friend of five-year old Bill Knapp, and his friends. Young Knapp showed “Silver” in many horse shows, where he won prizes consisting of cowboy shirts, hats, metal horses and books, plus approximately 50 ribbons. The Shetland pony cantered, galloped and participated in such events as barrel-cutting and races. Perhaps the youngster and his pony enjoyed most the Veteran’s show at Bath, where he and “Silver” appeared annually. The youngster would talk with the veterans while the pony performed tricks. Eventually, the youngster became a college student, but on his trips home he always remembered his boyhood friend, “Silver” with extra goodies. At the age of 24 “Silver” lost his eyesight and became quite feeble, and in his own interest, “was put to sleep.”

Democrats Plan Benefit for McGovern -- A benefit showing of the Charlie Chaplin film, ‘The Great Dictator” will be presented Wednesday (June 7) evening. Proceeds will be in support of the candidacy of Senator George McGovern for the Democratic nomination for president. The outdoor showing of the film will be at the Phil Africa residence, five houses to the south of Keuka College Chapel, Keuka Park. Wine, a cheese board, soft beverages, and popcorn will be available from 7:30 pm with the film presentation at nightfall. Tom Studders of Penn Yan, Democratic candidate for the Assembly and Joseph Luppino of Romulus, Democratic candidate for the state senate, will attend the session to discuss their candidacies. Senator McGovern’s views will also be aired. A donation will be requested from all who attend the evening’s events. In case of rain the film will be shown at the Keuka Park Community House

Penn Yan Twirlerettes -- Three members of the Penn Yan Twirlerettes traveled May 7 to the Jewish Community Center in Binghamton to compete in a baton contest. Their winnings were: Kerry Walton; first in twirling two batons, first in T- Strut, third in solo and third in military march. Cindy Vanaman; fourth in fancy strut, fourth in two-baton, fifth in basic strut, fifth in military march, and sixth in best appearing in a military costume. Kathy Walton; third in advanced military march, fourth in T-Strut, and fifth in best appearing in a military costume.