Friday, January 30, 2015


    About 9:30 Monday night occurred the death of Mrs. Burt Hurlburt at her home on the Richard Tillotson farm, on the direct road to McDonough in that town.  She was thirty-two years of age and death was caused by liver and stomach trouble.

   Mrs. Hurlburt was born in the town of Greene and she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Dutcher, who now reside in McDonough.  In her immediate family Mrs. Hurlburt leaves her husband and two small children, one a girl of two years, another a boy of seven months, for whom great sympathy is expressed.  She is also survived by her parents, two brothers, Floyd and Clarence Dutcher of McDonough and four sisters, Mrs. Susie Miller, Misses Mabel, Viola and Bertha Dutcher of McDonough.  The funeral will be held at 10 o'clock Thursday morning at the house, and interment will be made at Sylvan Lawn cemetery, Greene.




Master Richard Tillotson Engulfed by Quicksand at Homer

   Mr. and Mrs. Richard Tillotson, son and daughter recently visited at the home of Mr. and Mrs. D. D. Newton at Homer.  While there Master Richard strolled on the banks of the pond back of the Newton place and encountered a perilous adventure that ruined a suit of clothes and came very near ending seriously.  The Homer Republican in mentioning the adventure states:

   The mud bank near the edge of the pond looks as if it would sustain one's weight and the boy confidently walked out upon it.  Suddenly he sank in the mud so deeply that he could not extricate himself.  He sank deeper and deeper and in alarm cried out lustily for help.

   Fred Van Denburg of North Main street, was working in a field not far away and heard the boy's cries and hastening to his assistance and found him waist deep in the mud and quicksand.  He quickly procured a board and placing it on top of the mud walked out to the boy.  The board sank a foot or two under his weight but he succeeded with some difficulty in pulling the frightened boy from his perilous position.  His clothes had become plastered with mud from head to foot in floundering about in his efforts to extricate himself.  He was with good reason much frightened and most thankful to be rescued from his dangerous position.



   An interesting relic of the past is an ancient kettle of unique pattern and unusual proportion which hangs from a tripod in the garden of W. A. Lull at New Berlin, and is filled with blossoms and vines.

  It has not always been in such pleasant surroundings.  It has had a history.  In the year 1660 the kettle was brought from England by Benjamin Lull, great-great grandfather of W. A. Lull, who settled at Byfield, Mass.  The family afterwards removed to the Butternut valley several years before the Revolution.  The Indians became very hostile and threatening and Lulls, father and five sons, hastily buried the old kettle with other household treasures and following a trail by blazed trees, they fled through the forest towards Albany, which they reached in safety.  It was many years before they returned to the Butternut valley, and several of the sons served in the war of the Revolution.  When they did make their way back to the old home it was impossible to find the buried treasures.  After nearly a century, in the year 1876, a member of the Lull family, while plowing in the field, struck the old kettle.  It has been a cherished relic in the family since that time and for some years has been in the possession of W. A. Lull.

Thursday, January 29, 2015



Was Visiting His Son at that Place When Summons Came.  Had a Long Pastorate and Was Greatly Beloved.
(July 10, 1907)

   This community was shocked last Wednesday to learn that Rev. C. B. Parsons of the Baptist church had died suddenly at the home of his son, James S. Parsons of Earlville.  Mr. Parsons had only started on his vacation the previous day and expected to be absent a month.  He had not been in good health for some years past and the few weeks previous to his death had suffered much distress from stomach troubles.

   Mr. Parsons left Oxford last week Tuesday for Clifton Springs, stopping in Earlville enroute.  While his family realized that he was a very sick man, none of them had the least thought that the end was so near.  He was cheerful himself and had been benefited before at the sanitarium, he was looking forward to speedy improvement again.  It was not until about 9 o'clock in the evening that alarming symptoms were noted.  He suffered great pain until the next morning when the end came at 8:45.  Even at that time Mr. Parsons did not realize that death was so near as he gave directions to communicate with the sanitarium at Clifton Springs and to hold his room until he was able to travel.

   Mr. Parsons had enjoyed an exceptionally long pastorate in this village.  He came here from Geneseo April 1st, 1892, and has served the Baptist church continuously since then, completing fifteen years last April.  His work as a pastor speaks for itself.  The church raised during his pastorate for all purposes, approximately $25,000, $3,800 of which was for the various benevolences.  He has welcomed into the church 301 persons, 201 of whom were received by baptism.  The membership in 1892 was 240, and now is 303.  Incidentally it may be mentioned that he married 148 couples.  His congregation, like most county congregations is scattered, and yet there are few churches better organized and working in unity. The relations between him and his people were the most cordial and affectionate, and by the people of the village he was highly esteemed and by those who knew him intimately he was greatly beloved.  He took up the work of interesting Andrew Carnegie in getting a pipe organ for the church several years ago, and the beautiful organ now in the church is the result.

   Curtis Burroughs Parsons was born at Shelby, Orleans County, N. Y., May 21, 1841.  He graduated from Rochester University in 1862 and from Rochester Theological Seminary in 1870.  He was ordained and served his first pastorate at Farmer Village, N. Y., 1870-74.  Subsequently he held pastorates at Nunda, 1874-76; Dunkirk, 1876-82; North East Pa., 1882-84; Knowlesville, N. Y., 1884-85, Geneseo, 1885-92, and since that time has been pastor in this village.

   Mr. Parsons is survived by his wife and two sons, James S. Parsons of Earlville and Lewis Parsons of Scranton.

   The funeral was held Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock in the Baptist church.  The stores and principal business places were closed during the service.  The several clergy of the village and Rev. Lewis Halsey, D. D., of Clyde, assisted Rev. J. A. Hansen of Greene who was in charge of the service.  Mr. Hansen read several selections of scripture.  Rev. Frederick A. Lendrum of the Methodist Episcopal church offered prayer.  The choir sang, "Asleep in Jesus."  Rev. Theodore W. Harris of the Congregational church read the scripture.  Rev. Charles D. Broughton of St. Paul's church read a poem from Whittier, "In Peace."  Miss Halsey sang as a solo, "He Knows."  A sermon was delivered by Mr. Hansen, followed by the choir singing "Peace, Perfect Peace."  Dr. Halsey made a short address, and Mr. Lendrum pronounced the benediction.  Interment was made in Riverview cemetery.

   Mrs. Parsons will continue to make her home in Oxford.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

 By Rev. J. A. Hansen

Dedicated in friendship's admiration to the memory of the late Rev. C. B. Parsons of Oxford, 
N. Y., who died July 3, 1907, sixty-six years of age.

Reared in the temple A Beautiful Youth,
Based like a mountain on God's Holy Truth.
Capped like the Alps in their unthawing snow,
All of his currents from piety flow.
None of the sowing that curses the ears;
Pure, clean, sixty and six "Beautiful Years."

Called to the temple, A Beautiful Priest,
Most like the Master, 'mong brethern the least.
Sped by a heart of unceasing motion;
Held his orb like a Sun of Devotion.
None of the hirelings' and heartrending fears;
Love, faith, sixty and six "Beautiful Years."

Strong in the temple, a Good Manly Man,
Firm as Gilbraltar to liberty's clan.
Calm as the eve tide and silent like night,
Tempestuously defending the right.
None of the courting that bows before jeers;
True, brave, sixty and six "Beautiful Years."

Missed in the temple, Sympathetic friend,
Clarion prophet faithful to the end.
Like Transfiguration's master of prayer, 
Stilling our tempests and our sorrows share;
None of self seeking that serves without tears;
Kind friend, sixty and six "Beautiful Years."

Alive in yon temple, Beautiful Soul,
Named with a new name from heaven's own roll.
He in the shadow of Calvary did hide-
Transported from earth with Christ to abide.
All of that sweetness that heaven endears,
Saved, Eternally "Beautiful Years."

                                            -Greene, N. Y., Aug. 7



By Natalie Whitted Price

Did Gran'ma ever tell you about the
patchwork quilt
That lies across the sofa in her room?

It is made from scraps of dresses that
she wore when she was young,
And some of them were woven on a loom.

Sometimes when it is raining and I
can't play out of doors,
She lets me spread it out upon the floor,
And as I choose the pieces I'd like 
to hear about,
She tells me of the dresses that she wore.

It isn't just the dresses that Gran'ma
tells about,
It's the things that happened when
she had them on.
And almost ev'ry piece that's in that
dear old patchwork quilt,
Holds the mem'ry of a sorrow or a song.

Oh, things were very wonderful when
Gran'mama was young,
You ought to hear her tell about it all,
The ladies all were beautiful, the 
children all were good,
And the men were all so gallant and so tall.

She calls the quilt her mem'ry bed,
and ev'ry little piece
Is a flower blooming in its scented fold.
There are red ones for the roses and
blue for "don't forgets"
And yellow ones for sunflowers of gold;
There's one she calls sweet lavender,
that smells like babies' clothes.
And one of purple like the sunset skies,
I never ask about these, or the gray 
one like the rain,
For when I do dear Gran'ma always cries.

My Gran'ma told me once that life is
just a patchwork quilt,
Of births and deaths and marriages and things,
And that sometimes when you're
looking for a lovely piece of red,
You only find a knot of faded strings,
But she says that red is redder when 
it's by a piece of brown,
And gray is not so gray by sunny gold;
Oh, I hope I'll have a lovely patchwork
quilt like Gran'mamma's,
To show to little children when I'm old.


August 5, 1890

   Peter H. Parker of Coventryville has received from Governor Hill the appointment of Assistant State Dairy Commissioner.

I did some research on the purpose of the State Dairy Commissioner and found the following:


   The office of Commissioner of Agriculture was created in 1893.  This officer is appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.  The term of office is for two years and he receives an annual salary of $3,000.  He is especially charged with the protection and advancement of the dairy interests of the State.  A large appropriation is annually made by the Legislature for his use, and he employs lawyers for the prosecution of persons who sell oleomargarine for butter, or who sell fraudulently any other imitation dairy product.”

   Peter H. Parker, of Coventryville, was one of ten Assistant Commissioners appointed in 1890 to assist the New York State Dairy Commissioner with his required tasks.  In addition to Mr. Parker, four cheese instructors and one department chemist were also appointed.

   On September 30, 1892, the State Dairy Commissioner submitted his written report to the New York State Legislature and it was signed by Josiah K. Brown, Commissioner.

   Here is the entire report that was filed by Peter H. Parker for his work as assistant to the commissioner.

“Report of Peter H. Parker.

Hon Josiah K. Brown, New York State Dairy Commissioner, Albany, N. Y.:

Sir.--I have the honor to submit my second annual report as assistant dairy commissioner for the sixth division, comprising of the counties of Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Tioga and Tompkins.

The Sixth Division

   The sixth division is one of the first in importance among the great dairy sections of this State.  Not only are its dairymen engaged in the manufacture of large quantities of butter and cheese, but over 1,000,000 cans of forty quarts each, are yearly shipped to swell the milk supply of the city of New York; nor must we forget that the flourishing inland cities of Syracuse and Binghamton draw almost their entire supply from this division, and also that scores of villages that dot its valleys receive their supply from the same source; and in the last six months the city of Philadelphia has been receiving, over the Lehigh Valley railroad, a portion of its milk from this division, and, altogether, it is safe to estimate that we yearly ship, directly to the consumer, nearly 2,000,000 cans of milk.

   The whole number of milk cows in this division at the present time is estimated at 250,000.  At the estimated value, by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1890, of twenty-eight dollars per head, the total value of these cows would be $7,000,000.

   The great milk-shipping railroad – the Delaware and Lackawanna, the Ontario and Western, the Delaware and Hudson, and Erie – pass through this division, and nearly 4,000 cans of milk are shipped daily along the lines of these roads to New York; nearly one-fourth of the milk supply of that city is furnished by the seven counties of this division.

   The above statistics, which have been compiled with great care, will show the importance of this division as a great center of the milk-shipping business; and such has been the development of this industry in the last six or eight years, that I may venture to assert at no distant day (owing in a great measure to its railroad facilities) almost the entire milk production of this division will be required by the great cities within its reach.

The Work

   The labor of controlling the quality of the great amount of milk produced in this divison for manufacturing and shipping purposes has been performed to the best of my ability with the small force of experts at my command.  There are a few factories we have been unable to reach, and a large number which have been visited but once during the year; but, while we have not been able to stop all adulterations or catch all the rogues, we find, as a result of our work a better quality of milk, which is steadily increasing, and that the influence of the Dairy Commission is being felt in every portion of this division; and I wish to state at this time, that I believe that this improvement is due to the police supervision of the Commission.  I have reached this unavoidable conclusion, from a close observation of the results of the work of the small but earnest force of men under my direction; the utmost watchfulness and vigilance is required at all times and places to prevent adulterations, not only by the producer but by the shipper, for such is the cupidity and dishonesty of unprincipled producers and dealers, that the only safety to the consumers of dairy products in this State is in the faithful discharge of the duties of the employes of the Dairy Commission.

   I am aware that it has been claimed that, with all the appropriations made for the work of the Dairy Commission, ‘it has brought no substantial benefit or increased prices to farmers.’  I think the claimant must have forgotten that the law which created the Dairy Commission, says: ‘It is for the purpose of preventing deception in the sale of dairy products, and to preserve the public health.’  This is the work laid out for the Commission and it can do nothing else.  However, it is an established fact that this ‘police supervision’ has stopped seven-eights of the adulterations of the dairy products in the State, and, by its power alone, holds in check a certain class that seeks to palm off upon the people its adulterated products.  Is anyone prepared to say that the price of pure dairy products is no better than the price of adulterated products?  If not, we must admit that the Dairy Commission has been of some benefit.

   The truth is, experiment stations and the Dairy Commission follow different lines of work, in the main.  The experiment station ‘is for the purpose of educating and informing the farmers of the details and economies of their industry.’  It is the teacher--by its experiments it becomes a great and necessary educator in the different branches of farming.  But, while it may teach the farmer how to produce better milk, better butter and better cheese, it cannot compel him to make honest products; nor can it guard the people of the State against adulterated dairy products.  This is the distinctive work of the Dairy commission—to stand between the producer and the consumer—and the Dairy commission with its police supervision obeys and enforces the law.  Remove this police supervision from any section of the State and adulterations will increase.  Blot out the wise statutes that created the Dairy Commission and in less than one year the State would be filled with oleomargarine and deluged with adulterated milk.  Could an experiment station, with all its force and all its power, stem such a tide?  No!  But the Dairy Commission, with its intelligent police supervision, could and would.

   The experiment station and the Dairy Commission were organized to accomplish great and good results.  Closely associated in their work they should labor together until they can give the dairymen of our State the highest prices, the best products, and to the people the best and purest food.

The Standard

   After working two years, I am more and more convinced of the necessity of raising the standard of milk in my division, from August first to at least January first of every year.  I believe the present standard is too low.


   We have found several lots of oleomargarine in this division but none has been sold in violation of the law, with the exception of one case, which occurred in Binghamton.  The offender steeled by paying $100.


   One case of this disease occurred in my own town, which was referred to the health office, and, after a careful examination, the animal was killed.  A post-mortem examination developed the fact that it was tuberculosis, and of the most dangerous kind.  Several other cases have occurred in my division, which have been referred to the different boards of health.


   In regard to our vinegar work, under chapter 515 of the Laws of 1889, we found a large number of parties selling vinegar that was below the standard, and in many instances these parties were ignorant of the quality of the vinegar they were selling.  After prosecuting several flagrant cases, it seemed to have the desired effect, and to-day we think there is but very little adulterated vinegar upon the market in our division.

   Of all the great and good results that have followed the work of the Dairy Commission, both to the producer and the consumer, the credit alone belongs to our worthy and efficient Dairy Commissioner, Josiah K. Brown, who has spared neither pains nor thought in working up this commission to the high standard which now exists.”


Monday, January 26, 2015


Clot on the Heart Fatal to Local Woman Following Recent Operation.


   The many friends of Mrs. Alice F. Dunne, wife of James E. Dunne of Mechanic street, were saddened Thursday morning to learn of her death which occurred at the Chenango Memorial Hospital about 5:30 o'clock from embolism.  Mrs. Dunne underwent a major operation at the hospital Saturday, Dec. 14, and was recovering rapidly.  She had expected to come home Sunday.

   Funeral services will be held in St. Joseph's church Saturday morning at 10 o'clock with the Rev. Edward X. Kiely officiating.  Burial will be made in St. Joseph's cemetery.

   Mrs. Dunne was born in the town of Smithville April 5, 1873, the daughter of Michael and Mary Ann McCune Flanagan.  Her education was obtained in the Smithville schools and later in St. Mary's Convent, Binghamton.  She was united in marriage to James E. Dunne Sept. 5, 1900, and they immediately started housekeeping in the place on Mechanic street which has remained their home since then.

   Mrs. Dunne took part in many of the activities of the community.  She was a member of the Republican county committee, representing the first district of Oxford; a member of St. Joseph's church and the altar society, and a member of the Garden club of Norwich.

   In 1927 she started the Aldun Gift Shop, operating it through the holiday buying season in various stores in town which happened to be available.  For the past two years she has conducted the shop at her home on Mechanic street.

   Besides her husband she is survived by one daughter, Miss Aileen Dunne of Oxford; one son, James M. Dunne of Norwich and three sisters, Mrs. Peter J. Connolly and Mrs. Maurice McNamara of Albany, and Mrs. Harry Wilke of London, England.




   Announcements have been received here of the marriage Wednesday, July 15, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Robbins at Smithville of their daughter, Letra, to Maurice J. Church of Oxford, son of Mrs. Fannie Church, and proprietor of the Church Lumber Company.

   The Rev. Ivan N. Cash, pastor of the Baptist church of Smithville, performed the ceremony using the ring service.  The home was attractively decorated in pink and blue, using delphineum, coreopsis, gypsophilia and pink and blue larkspur.

   The bride wore a gown of pink silk organdie and carried a bouquet of pink roses and sweet peas.  The matron of honor, Mrs. Norman Wallace of Syracuse, sister of the bride, wore a gown of blue crepe and carried a bouquet of white sweet peas.  Norman Wallace was best man.

   A reception was held following the ceremony at the bride's home, after which Mr. and Mrs. Church left for a ten-day trip through New England to Bar Harbor, Maine.

   Mrs. Church is a graduate of Adams high school and Potsdam Normal.  She has been a member of the faculty of Oxford Academy for the past ten years.  Mr. Church is a veteran of the navy and following the death of his father, the late Charles Church, he assumed control of the Church Lumber Company, which he has successfully operated.

   Those from here who attended the wedding were Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Seymour, Mrs. Fannie Church and Miss Etta Amos.


Saturday, January 24, 2015


   Celia M. Lindsey, wife of Leonard G. Lindsey, died at her home on Taylor street September 8, 1918, aged 77 years.

   Mrs. Lindsey was born in Rockdale March 21, 1842, and was the daughter of Norman Ford and Eliza Launt his wife.  Her early life was spent in Rockdale followed by a few years in Norwich.  The family finally removed to this village where she was married to Leonard G. Lindsey in 1869.  Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey, soon after their marriage, removed to Kansas and from that state to Springfield, Mo., and then returned to Oxford where they have resided ever since.

   Mrs. Lindsey has been a member of the Episcopal church for about fifty years.  She has been an invalid for a long time, suffering much from her malady.  From early summer she has been growing worse and for the most of the time spent the days either in her bed or an easy chair.  During the last illness of her sister, Mrs. Samuel Shapley, whose death occurred last July, Mrs. Lindsey was unable to go to the sister's home next door to her own.

   She is survived by her husband, and a nephew, Herbert F. Bush of Evart, Mich.

   Funeral services were held at her home on Wednesday afternoon, Rev. J. Winslow Clarke officiating.  Burial was made in Riverview cemetery.


   The names of persons in Chenango county who reached the age of 100 years, or over, together with the date of death, from 1847 up to the present time, is as near as we have been able to ascertain as follows:

Widow Huldah Smith, Smyrna, July 9, 1847, aged 103.
Mrs. Elsie Phillips, Columbus, Jan'y 13, 1852, aged 103.
Dr. Benj. Yale, Guilford, Jan'y 16, 1853, aged 102.
Bernard Casey, Smithville, March -, 1856, aged 104.  Buried in Oxford.
Mrs. Amy Wightman, Otselic, March 7, 1859, aged 102 years and 11 months.
Record Wilbur, Coventry, Jan'y 29, 1862, in his 100th year.
Mrs. Susannah Bonesteel, German, March 4, 1864, aged 100.
Hannah Benedict, of Plymouth, died at County House in Preston, Nov. 28, 1865, aged 108.
Elizabeth, relict of James Harrison, Smithville Flats, Aug. 23, 1869, aged 102.
Susan Sannick, Norwich, Feb. 24, 1870, aged 100.
Joel Robbins, Sherburne, April 1, 1870, aged 101.
Mrs. Charity S. Blackman, North Pitcher, March 16, 1871, aged 100.
Mrs.---- Gardner, Plymouth, May 19, 1872, aged 100 years, 3 months and 22 days.
Mrs. Samantha Sherman, of Norwich, died at County House in Preston, Dec. 27, 1872, aged 102 years, 3 months and 15 days.
Anna G. R. Bacon, Sherburne, Oct. 2, 1875, aged 102 years, 2 months and 18 days.
Dallie Villemain, Pharsalia, April 20, 1876, aged 112 years and 11 days.
William Lovee, County House, Preston, Sept. 21, 1880, aged 100 years, 5 months and 20 days.
Barbara, relict of James Brookbanks, Oxford, Nov. 19, 1881, aged 100 years and 5 months.
Mrs. Anna S. Hungerford, Coventry, Mar. 24, 1883, aged 100 years and 3 months.
Wheeler Dyer, Pitcher, June 27, 1884, aged 100.
Mrs. Anna Johnson, Plymouth, April 16, 1885, aged 100 years and 16 days.
Mrs. Jerusha Latham, Norwich, Aug. 18, 1885, in her 100th year.
Samuel Livingston, New Berlin, Sept. 10, 1885, aged 101 years, 3 months and 8 days.
Judah Wright, Columbus, Nov. 2, 1885, aged 100 years and 6 months.


     The Oxford Times omits from its list of Chenango county centenarians published last week the name of Isbon Robbins, who died in Norwich April 22, 1`853, aged 103 years.--Telegraph

     Also was overlooked the name of Mrs. Eunice Yale of Guilford, who died April 7, 1860, in her 100th year.


(Jan. 6, 1877)

   As was predicted, Sapaho Hose Co's concert and hop seemed to meet the hopes of all.  Dickinson's Orchestra gave an entertainment of much merit from a well chosen programme.  Among many notable point were the skillful handling of Trombone and Piccalo by Messrs. Breman and Stevenson.  The imitation of the sound of a locomotive was well calculated to startle one on the track.

   A well filled hall attested the general appreciation Binghamton's famous musicians.  Not a small delegation was from Norwich, and a most agreeable representation too, which has Sappho's warmest thanks for coming, with hopes that nothing occurred to interfere with their enjoyment but that their pleasure in participating was equal to that of the company in receiving them.

   As to pecuniary results they were quite satisfactory.  Dancing was continued until about 2:30 a.m.  On the whole this was considered at least equal to any entertainment given here of that character within the recollection of the participants and it is hoped that arrangements can be made to have others during the Terpsichorean season.



(Feb. 1877)

   The entertainment given by Crystal Hose Company of New Berlin, last Thursday evening, was one well calculated to gratify its members.  The hall was prettily decorated with pictures and evergreens.  Costumes in abundance were furnished by a Syracuse gentleman, so that no one could complain that he had "nothing to wear."  Richardson's Orchestra, of Hamilton, provided music for the evening.  The grand entree of the masked ones took place soon after nine.  

   Very few dressed in character, but the costumes seemed to be selected according to the ideal of the grotesque, inherent in each.  The red men of the North, and the black man of the South were represented.  There was much variety in the disguises, several of which were unique and attractive, some grim and forbidding.  Two stately ladies dressed alike, nearly all in white, called, "the twins" made rather a queenly appearance on the floor, and were graceful dancers.

   The part of the room allotted the masqueraders was well filled, while a large number of spectators crowded the space reserved for them.  Supper was provided at the hotel of Mr. Beers, and partaken of about midnight, directly after the unmasking.  Then the dancing became general, and ended at 4 a.m.  Many were present from other towns.  Something like eight-five numbers were sold.

   The young lady, now famous, who made such havoc among the members of Dickinson's Orchestra, when it came near losing its head, was a participant, though not en masque.



Thursday, January 22, 2015


 (Jan. 1877)

   Friday evening last found Mr. D. S. Dickinson with his musical satillites, in their jolly trip of swinging around the circle, at the attractive village of New Berlin.  The well known magnetism of Dickinson's Orchestra was bound to ensure a full hearing from the intelligent and music-loving coterie, of which this place can boast.  Fixed attention and frequent responses from the happy people, that filled every seat, gave emphatic testimony that this famous orchestra fills the public heart.  The performers in their various specialties were, as ever, excellent, the trombone, piccolo and cornet solos received that hearty recognition which has come to be stereotyped.  The masterly execution of the leader upon his violin, served well to harmonize the rich strains of the other instruments.  Taken as whole, the concert will rank among their best exhibitions; and this after nearly a week's continuous exertion, is good evidence of the sustaining power of the troupe.

   When the seats were removed and the decks cleared for action, their appeared upon the floor such a galaxy of feminine intelligence, grace and beauty as few villages, of the geographical extent of New Berlin are found to possess.  Even the leader of the orchestra acknowledged that his resolution, to confine his attention and both eyes strictly to his notes, was often tottering even to its fall.  Especially was he a martyr to this impulse of diverson when the petite blonde, Miss D., swept past in the waltz.  This tendency of the leader was so marked in the view of his fellows as to call forth sympathy for "our martyred president."

"Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand
And the sound of a voice that is still" - in New Berlin




An Honorary Degree Conferred
 (Nov. 1885)

   The many friends of the Rev. B. F. Bradford will be glad to learn that the Trustees of Drury College, at Springfield, Mo., by an unanimous vote of the Board, at a recent meeting, conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

   All who best know Mr. Bradford, will regard this proceeding on the part of the Trustees of that Institution, as a fitting act of recognition of the acknowledged ability and worth of this devoted and excellent man and minister.

   To the members of the Congregational Church and Society of this village, whom as Pastor, he has so faithfully and acceptably served for several years, this intelligence will be specially gratifying, while to the Reverend gentleman himself, this mark of well deserved distinction, must prove peculiarly gratifying, from the fact that his life-long friend and co-worker in the ministry, the Rev. Dr. Morrison, has become the successful President of this College, one of the younger, but among the most flourishing Institutions of learning in the West.


(Died, Dept. 19, 1886)

   In another column will be found the simple notice of the death of the accomplished and beloved young lady whose name heads this article.  It is an announcement that will bring deep sadness to all who were privileged to know her, and one that deserves more than a passing notice.

   She was the daughter of Dr. Enas L. and Aleinda Ensign and was born about twenty five years ago in McDonough, where her girlhood was passed.  A graduate of Norwich academy and for several years a resident of our village, she was especially well-known in our social and musical circles.  For some time she was a prominent member of the Congregational church choir.  Her voice, a contralto, of surpassing richness and power was often and gladly heard in local musical entertainments, and her attendance was ever welcomed at our best social gatherings.  Indeed the pure and lofty soul that shone from her beautiful eyes made her very presence a benediction.  She was married in the Congregational church in this village, September 10, 1884, to Mr. Frank N. Barney, a leading business man of Syracuse.  This union was one of unbroken happiness until so rudely severed.  During the present summer Mr. and Mrs. B. have spent their time at their summer residence on the shores of the beautiful Keuka lake.  During the season Mrs. B. has not been well and has seemed to be slowly sinking from some unknown cause, not easily diagnosed by local physicians, and about five weeks since Mr. B. took her to Rochester for medical advice.  Here she was taken with septic fever at the city hospital, and although every effort the best skilled physicians could suggest was put forth to save her, in the dawn of the quiet Sabbath she bade adieu to earth and her loved ones, and her spirit took its flight to the Angel Land.  Her remains were taken to her father's residence in Oxford, where her funeral was held at one P. M., to-day, (Tuesday), Rev. Mr. Upton of the Congregational church of this village, whom Mrs. Barney requested to do so, officiating.

   The Congregational choir with which she so sweetly sang for so long a time also attended, and accompanied her remains to the beautiful cemetery in this village for interment, where they were also met by many of our citizens who joined in parting tribute to one they loved so well, and, who sympathize so deeply with the afflicted ones.  Here she sleeps the

"Sleep that no pain shall wake,
Night that no moon shall break,
'Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect calm."


   On Thursday evening, occurred in Oxford a very happy social event that has been the topic of society gossip and expectancy in Oxford, for some time past.  The occasion was the marriage of Miss Emma E., daughter of B. M. Pearne to Wm. M. Miller, a prominent citizen and well known Oxford merchant.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. H. N. Payne, of the Congregational Church, at the house of the bride's father at 7:30 o'clock.

   The house with the aid of friendly hands had been decorated with a profusion of flowers and everything possible done worthy the occasion.  Among the guests present were, G. H. Perkins, partner of the groom, and wife, Hon. S. Bundy and wife, Hon. E. B. Prindle, and Mrs. H. G. Prindle, of Norwich; Rev. Stephen Bush and wife, of Waterford; Mrs. Harmon Hubbard, of Cortland; Miss Sarah H. Hubbard, of Vassar College; Miss Nellie J. Pearne, of Cortland; Miss Clara Pearne, of Philadelphia; Miss Hattie Arnold and Wesley U. Pearne, of Middletown, Conn.; Miss Libbie R. Bundy, of New Haven; Mr. Hatch of Owego; and a wealth of gifts testified the good will and affection of the friends of the happy people.  Mr. and Mrs. Miller left on the 8:30 P. M. train for New York, whence on Saturday they are to sail for Europe, upon a tour of several months duration.  They enjoy the company of W. R. Mygatt, Esq. and wife, and Miss Mai Mygatt, as far as New York.  The heartiest well wishes of all go with them.

Monday, January 19, 2015



   The Chenango Union says: Ira Scott, of this village, has handed us a copy of the Chenango Patriot, published at Oxford, April 2, 1811, by John B. Johnson.  Its news columns are mainly filled with news from Europe, nearly two months old, and from New York, of two weeks previous.  A meeting of Federal Republicans was called at Erastus Perkins' hotel, April 10th, to choose delegates to a general meeting of Federal Republicans, to be held at Sharpe & Miller's Hotel, in Norwich.

   Its advertising columns are well filled with mortgage sales, in which Runyan & Tracy and Garnsey & Buttolph appear as attorneys; Sheriff's sales by Isaac Foote, Jr., Sheriff, and William Munroe, late Sheriff; Livingston's Land, by Jacob Morris, Butternuts.  

   Ransom Rathbun advertised dry goods, groceries, crockery, hard and hollow ware, and would take clean house ashes and all kinds of grain in exchange.  Abijah Lobdell, Jr., called attention to his elegant assortment of dry goods, and a general supply of groceries, among which were sherry and Malaga wines, brandy, Holland gin, spirits, loaf, lump and brown sugars cigars, long and short pipes, etc.  He also kept hardware and crockery, books and stationery, and paid cash for pot and pearl ashes, black salts and fur.  

   Levi Blakeslee, of New Berlin, kept a general assortment of goods kept in a country store, including whisky.  Ransom Rathbun advertised for fifty tons of broken case iron ware, for which a dollar per hundred in goods would be given.  Morris, Truman & Co., carried on carding and clothing, and advertised for two apprentices to learn the business.  David M. Waring manufactured ladies' and gentlemen's boots and shoes.

   The cards of R. Monell, of Greene, and Harry Starr, of Sherburne, attorneys at law, appear.  One advertisement reads:  "The highest price given in cash or Philadelphia snuff, for any quality of linen and cotton rags, (from one pound to 500,) at the Chenango Patriot office."

 An Interesting Reminiscence and Inquiry

BERKSHIRE, N. Y., Nov. 26, 1889

   Benj. J. Lossing in his Pictorial History of the New York and Erie Railroad speaks of a French colony settled about 1780 up the Chenango river as follows:

   "Some distance up the Chenango river a colony of French settled in 1790.  Talleyrand visited the spot in 1795 and took his private secretary from that place.  The colony was afterward broken up and scattered."

   I have long had a desire to know more about that little band of French pioneers on Chenango's side.  Where was located that little French colony which so much attracted the curiosity of the great eccentric Talleyrand and his private secretary from the banks of the wild but charming Chenango?  Is there anything, relics or tradition, remaining to show the curious traveler where that little villa was nestled, how far up the river and how far from the banks of the Chenango?  What broke up the settlement and scattered the settlers?

   "Talleyrand has left memoirs which are not to be published till 1890."  Will those memoirs mention that almost classic spot?                                                          

                                                                                                   Louis P. Legg


    OXFORD, Sept 15.-(Special.)-The great September flood, the greatest ever known in this part of the state, at this time of the year, has caused much damage to garden and field.  Many corn and potato fields have been overflowed, and the potatoes that had before began to rot, in some instances are expected to be made worse by this last extraordinary visitation.  The farmers and gardeners have been the sufferers and losers, with few exceptions.  The handsome boat house, with pleasure boat and all appurtenances, belong to John Miller was swept away and entirely destroyed.  This building had but recently been improved and beautified at an expense, including original cost, of nearly $1,000.


(DEC. 15,  1885)

   A cable dispatch from Paris, published in the daily papers, tells of the death in that city on the 9th inst., of Mrs. Julia B. Newberry.  The announcement will be received with sincere regret by many here, where she was held in pleasant memory.  Mrs. Newberry was a daughter of the late James Clapp, and a grand daughter of Benjamin Butler, both of whom died some years since.  She was born in this village May 12, 1818.  The family residence was on Washington Square, and gave place nearly thirty years ago to St. Paul's Church, which now occupies the site of the old house.

   The mother died early in the present century, leaving besides the subject of this notice an elder daughter, Mary D., and sons, Benjamin, James and Nicholas D.  The two last only, now survive.  There are those still living in our village who will recall the elder sister, excellent and beloved in her life, and who faded away regretted by all who knew her, nor can they forget the bright girlhood of the younger at the Academy, and the charms of person and conversation which in after years were a delight to the home circle and in society.

   She was married Nov. 22, 1842, to Walter L. Newberry and removed to Chicago.  A son of the marriage died here in early youth when she was visiting her old home, and his ashes repose in the cemetery.  The husband died on the ocean while on his passage to the other side to join her.  Two lovely and accomplished daughters met death in a foreign land, leaving the mother the sole remnant of the family.  For some years past Mrs. Newberry had lived abroad, occasionally returning to her native land, when she always sought the scenes and associations of her girlhood in our village.

   Mr. Newberry gathered a large estate, valued at $5,000,000.00, or more, and left a will very peculiar in some of its provisions.  The widow did not accept those made for her, and upon a settlement secured large property for her separate estate.  It is said that by the terms of the will, about $2,500,000 will now become operative for the erection of a building and the establishment of a library to perpetuate the family name in Chicago.  The balance of the estate will go to the collateral heirs of Mrs. Newberry.

   Mrs. Newberry had indulged the hope and often expressed her purpose to again visit the scenes of her childhood, but a barrier more implacable than the ocean has been placed between her cherished plans and their realization.


FROM THE ANNALS OF OXFORD Compiled, Edited and Published by Henry J. Galpin, 1906.

   JULIA B. Clapp, born May 12, 1818, in Oxford; died December 9, 1885, while residing in Paris, France; married November 22, 1842, Walter L. Newberry of Chicago.  She was an active member of the Episcopal Church, and a memorial window to her memory is in the American church in Paris.  

   She was known and respected for liberality and benevolence, as well as for her talents and social acquirements.  She left a fortune of over $3,000,000.  Mr. Newberry died November 6, 1868, at sea en route for Havre to join his family, then in Paris.  Naturally austere and taciturn, he repelled all offers of friendship or acquaintance on shipboard, and thus among strangers he sickened and died.  He escaped the usual burial of those dying at sea by the interference of a gentleman from Unadilla, N. Y., who knew him and who assured the captain of the vessel that the relatives of the deceased would meet any expense accrued in keeping the body.  A cask of Medord rum that formed a part of the cargo, it is stated, was brought into requisition.  Mr. Newberry's body was placed within it, and when the cargo was discharged the cask was re-billed to Mr. Newberry's friends in Chicago by the Unadilla gentleman, who was ignorant of the fact that Mrs. Newberry was then in Paris.  The cask left for America on the next steamer and in due time arrived at Chicago on a freight train.  The friends who had been notified of the shipment of the body, it is further stated, took charge of the cask, still containing the body, and buried it in Graceland cemetery.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


(Dec. 31, 1879)

   Last week we copied a notice from an Elmira daily announcing the sudden death, from heart disease, of Rev. Benjamin F. Balcom, near Corning, Steuben county, N. Y.  A letter from his brother confirmed the sad intelligence, and was followed in a few hours by a postal card announcing that on the next morning Rev. George Balcom of Cawker City, Kansas, had died from hernia after a protracted illness, so that Dec. 20th and 21st, 1879, must be a day of sad memories to the relatives and friends. 

   Benjamin F. Balcom was born at Oxford, Jan 10th, 1810, and spent his early years in this town and Greene, but the great pine woods of Steuben county offered strong inducements to all lumbermen, and he with his family left here to make a home in an almost unbroken section of that county, and his strong right arm and indomitable industry soon cleared the way and he lived to see beautiful homesteads taking the place of the woods which fell swiftly before the axe of the pioneers, while the wolves and panthers were driven to see safer localities, out of range of unerring marksmen.

   George Balcom, the youngest of nine children, was born at Oxford, in February 1823, and lived in this county most of the time until within the past fifteen years.  Neither of these brothers evinced in early life any desire to enter the ministry, but both of them entered upon the work soon after conversion.  Benjamin was not a settled pastor, but widely and favorably known, was often called to attend funerals, or officiate at weddings and kindred occasions among his townsmen, and carried the same earnestness and will to do good to the service of his Master.  George took a wider field, and traversed a great potion of the North and West in his mission as an evangelist.

   Hon. Ransom Balcom, late Justice of the Supreme Court, died Jan. 6th, 1879, in Binghamton, and was brought to Oxford for interment.  Mrs. Calvin Cole, sister of these three, died April 1st, 1879, in Oxford, and is buried near her brother, and Benjamin is buried in Steuben county, while George sleeps the last sleep in the historic soil of Kansas, where he leaves a widow and the three younger children, a son residing in New York.

   Two brothers, Lyman, of Painted Post, and Uri T., of Chicago, and two sisters, Mrs. Pearsall, of Owego, and Mrs. Rhodes, of Fond du Lac, Wis., are the survivors of this family, and may truthfully say:

"And we on divers shores now cast,
Shall meet when life's dark storm is passed
Safe in our Father's home at last."


   On the 19th day of March, 1833, just fifty years ago; Jefferson Finch, Orrin Howard and Sidney Howard, then of Columbus, drove into Norwich to see the execution of George Dennison for the murder of Rueben Gregory, on the night of September 30, 1832, in the town of Columbus.  Mr. Finch now lives in New Berlin, and is 79 years old, O. Howard 68, and S. Howard 65, both of South Edmeston, Otsego county.

   The day of the 19th, of March, 1833, was clear and warm, the snow melted rapidly.  The military companies formed into a long square in front of the jail, about 11 o'clock A. M., the sleigh, containing the coffin, in the centre.  The prisoner sat on the coffin robed in white, and Grant B. Palmer late of Columbus, owned and drove the team to the gallows.  Amos A. Franklin was Sheriff.  The band played the Death March and moved with slow and solemn tread.  Dennison made a speech on the gallows attributing the trouble to whiskey.  Elder Bogue, made a long prayer, and the fatal drop fell a few minutes past 1 o'clock P. M.  Ten thousand people were supposed to be in Norwich that day and more than at any other one time before.  A half century, with her fleeting years, has passed away, and the scores that were living then have passed away also; but these three men have stood the shock of time to see a new generation and note the great change in Norwich, in the county, and in the country at large.  This was the first execution in the county.  Cook and Vanderlyn were attorney's for the prisoner.  Dennison was buried at Columbus Quarter.  No stone or monumental cross tell where his ashes lie.                                                                      


A Valuable Relic
 (Aug. 25, 1885)

   Mr. Ira Truman, of East Guilford, called at our office Friday and showed us the Indian tomahawk that was plowed up on his farm in May last.  It is more of a curiosity than we supposed, a valuable find and should be shown to an antiquary, that its origin might perhaps be traced.  The tomahawk is brass, engraved and of neat proportions, and with an iron cutting blade welded to it, the whole about 8 inches in length, and the head forms a pipe, a hole leading to the socket and connecting with the handle that was once therein and an-answered for the stem.  It is claimed that the welding of brass and iron cannot be done now days and is a lost art.  It is thought that the tomahawk from the engraving is of Mexican make, and it is possible that it was a present to some noted chief, perhaps Brandt, or some of his followers who roamed in this section.  It is in a good state of preservation, with the exception of the iron part which is rust eaten, and were its history revealed no doubt startling tales could be told of this country in the days long before a white man ever saw it.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015


East Masonville, N. Y.
March 22, 1931

   Mr. Editor,
      Dear Sir:  I was quite interested in the execution of George Dennison in the last week's Oxford Times as I have heard my father tell of it as he was there when a boy of about 12 years.  He was close up where he could see and hear everything and told of the muddy roads and the awful, awful crowd that came to see him hung like a dog.

   He also had a list of verses that Dennison composed while in the Norwich jail.  I can only recall the first verse which was something like this:

   "Behold in prison you may see
A man deprived of liberty,
From Columbus hence he came,
Dennison is his wretched name."

   My father was Job Willcox who was born some where in Preston, March 21, 1821.  When a small child his parents moved to East Hill, Oxford, on the farm now known as the Phillip Moore farm where he grew to manhood.  In 1852 he emigrated to Fremont, Sullivan county, where he was a lumberman and farmer for many years.  During his later days he returned to Oxford, his old hometown, and is now sleeping in the old Willcox lot in Riverview cemetery.

Very respectfully yours,
N. E. Wilcox



Reporter Describes in The Anti-Masonic Telegraph Scene As 12,000 People Witness the Death of George Denison for Murder of Columbus Resident

   About five years after the founding of The Anti-Masonic Telegraph, from which the present Chenango Telegraph originated, this county's first hanging, a penalty for murder, was enacted.  On March 19, 1833, George Denison was hung for the murder of Reuben Gregory, who resided in or near Columbus.

   Intensely dramatic, the hanging was witnessed by a crowd estimated to number 12,000 people.  The hanging of Denison was the first in this section of the country, and according to newspaper accounts people started arriving in Norwich to witness the hanging twenty-four hours before the scheduled hour.

   The swift striking of justice in this county, nearly 96 years ago, as compared to the present speed of the law is easily compared with that crime.  Denison is alleged to have committed the murder on the night of September 30, 1832, and five and a half months later he paid the supreme penalty with his life.  The crime was committed while Denison was under the influence of "ardent spirits,"  He left his work in New Berlin on September 29, 1832, journeying towards Columbus to visit his wife and two children.  Stopping at several taverns along the way he was soon under the influence of intoxicating drinks.

   Appeals from the governor failed to commute the sentence from hanging to life imprisonment and Denison went to the scaffold, content in his own mind that he was not guilty of premeditated murder and would not have committee the crime if he had been sober.

   Rather elaborate ceremonies marked the hanging of the man.  Just previous to his death he read a last message to the vast audience assembled.  Newspaper descriptions, taken from The Anti-Masonic Telegraph of that day tell of the sobbing of women while hundreds of the thousands gathered to view the hanging fainted.  Completing his last words to the public, Denison said: "I have said it, and I now say it again, that I am not guilty of wilfully taking the life of one of my fellow beings, I have done.  Farewell.  I freely forgive all men and hope to be forgiven."

   The newspaper, following the execution, described it as follows:

   "On Tuesday, pursuant to his sentence, George Denison was executed in this place for the murder of Reuben Gregory.  The evening previous the people began to pour into our village from all quarters and continued to do so until 12 o'clock (m.) on Tuesday, on which day for several hours the public square and all the roads and by-paths leading to it seemed to be one living, human mass.  The crowd of persons to get to the jail was great, but the military, under the command of Colonel Hugston, performed their duty correctly and promptly.

   "At about half past 11 o'clock the prisoner, robed in white, was conducted from his cell by Sheriff Franklin and his two deputies to a sleigh drawn by two horses and in which was his coffin, which had been stationed within a few feet of the outer jail door to receive and take him to his place of execution.  In this sleigh he took his seat wilfully and even cheerfully by the side of his coffin.  Near him and in the same vehicle sat Mr. Brown, deputy sheriff and jailer.  The procession, under the escort and protection of the military, moved to the place of execution in the public square.

   "Arriving at the foot of the gallows, the prisoner sprang from the sleigh unaided, and firmly he ascended the gallows and took his seat on the bench, his feet resting on the fatal drop.  On his right sat Deputy Sheriff Brown and on his left Deputy Sheriff Perkins.  On an adjoining scaffold were several clergymen, the sheriff and some other officials.

   "An eloquent and highly appropriate prayer was made by Rev. Mr. Sprague of Sherburne after which the prisoner rose and standing on the fatal drop read his last address to the public.  He was firm and had the greatest self-command throughout.  Concluding he again took his seat.

   "Following him addresses were made by Elder Swan and Rev. Mr. Brogue of this village, Rev. Mr. Sprague of Sherburne, Rev. Mr. Birdsall of Coventry.  The speakers dwelt with earnestness on the pernicious and fatal effects caused by the use of ardent spirits, an example of which they called upon the assembled crowd to witness before them.  During the address of one of the clergymen the prisoner asked for a quid of tobacco and coolly put it into his mouth.

   "After the conclusion of the addresses, the sheriff adjusted the rope about Dennison's neck, fastened it to the hook above, drew the cap over his face and took leave of him by a shake of the hand.  A prayer of 20 minutes' duration was given by the Rev. Mr. Brogue, after which the ill-fated Denison paid the penalty of the law at precisely half past 1 o'clock."


   The social evening of the East Side Literary Club held on Monday evening at the home of Mrs. Fred Eccleston proved most enjoyable.

   A character social was held and many interesting personages were present.  The ones creating the most humor were "Jiggs and Maggie."  Others were Carrie Chapman Catt, Florence Nightingale, St. Nick's wife, the Woman in the Shoe, Gipsy Queen, Minnehaha, and a number of colonial dames.  The guessing contest was won by Mrs. Bessie Stratton.

Delicious refreshments, consisting of a molded fruit salad covered with whipped cream and cherries, rolls, coffee, lemon sherbet and cake, were served.  The quests were all greatly pleased at the evenings entertainment.


   After attending Alberta's funeral, I was presented with four photo albums that Alberta put together while growing up in Brisben and Greene.  I want to share the photos and will be adding them in several postings since there so many.  I will scan each page and include the names that Alberta wrote for each image.  You can click on the image to enlarge or save it.  I think Alberta would be pleased.




(Click on the image to enlarge and save or to read the names)