This Week in Mohawk Valley History

This Week in Mohawk Valley History

1867, 150 years ago

Lecture series opens

The woman’s suffrage movement in Utica gets a boost when Theodore Tilton, well-known abolitionist and editor of The Independent newspaper in New York City, opens the Winter Lecture Series in Mechanics Hall with a talk on “The American Woman.”

The Utica Morning Herald says, “Woman’s rights in Utica has never before had half so able an advocate upon the lecture rostrum as Mr. Tilton. The ladies in the audience must have felt the lecturer to be their earnest champion.”

The hall (still standing at Liberty and Hotel streets) is crowded with men and women who applaud loudly when Tilton says, “Women should have a voice in framing our laws. There is no reason why the franchise should belong to a Francis, but not a Frances. Jefferson said ‘governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,’ and yet there is not a single statute upon our books made by the consent of woman. Taxation without representation was unjust and tyrannical said the founders of our country, yet today women are taxed, but not represented.”

The cheers grew louder when Tilton concluded, “I predict that boys and girls who went to school hand in hand 20 years ago, will 20 years hence go to the ballot box arm in arm.”

1917, 100 years ago

North Utica

A new section of North Utica – created when the city annexed a large section of the town of Deerfield last April – gets more fire protection this week when Combination 10’s LaFrance chemical and hose rig is placed into service. It’s housed in Firemen’s Hall, a frame building at Deerfield Corners once used by the Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department.

1942, 75 years ago

Utica says ‘no’

The state suggests that cities abolish all but urgently needed traffic lights as a means of saving gasoline and rubber needed by the military during World War II. Its argument is that stop-and-go at traffic lights wastes fuel and causes wear on tires. Joseph N. Sullivan, Utica’s public safety commissioner, says, however, that it would be unwise to eliminate traffic lights since they are necessary for proper traffic control. He adds that he is in favor of any movement to save gasoline and rubber, but eliminating traffic lights would create traffic hazards.

1967, 50 years ago

Thanksgiving activities

Historic Fort Herkimer Church – on Route 5-S just east of Mohawk –is filled with Thanksgiving Day worshippers, including Protestant, Catholic and Jewish clergy. They hear the Rev. Merle O. Brown, of the United Methodist Church in Herkimer, say, “Religion is greatest when conditions are at their worst. We may forget to give thanks when all is going well, but the great times of thanksgiving and looking up to God have been in the dark hours, for we find in God our cause for hope.”

Meanwhile, students throughout the region are busy preparing Thanksgiving Day baskets for the needy. Members of John F. Kennedy High’s Key Club donate canned goods and turkey to the Salvation Army. Students include Richard Rella, Michael Swiecki, Chris DeBrango, Richard Guy and Michael Betrus.

Members of the Youth Civics Club at St. Anthony’s School collect 15 boxes of food. The eighth graders include John Vesnaver, Philip Graziano, Frank Curriere, Russell Lupi and Vincent Puleo.

1992, 25 years ago

GE deal

General Electric Aerospace is sold to the Martin Marietta Corporation for $3 billion. It is not known how the sale will affect the 1,650 GE employees in Utica at the French Road plant, the Materials Acquisition Center in the Utica Business Park and at the Broad Street plant.

In high school football, Vernon-Verona-Sherrill defeats Notre Dame 21-10 to win the Section III, Class B championship. Quarterback Dan DeBlois runs for a touchdown and passes for another. Tailback Steve Mercier rushes for 88 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown run. The defense is led by Adam Young, Mike Davis, Steve White, Matt Esch, Ryan Rossi, Dan Williams and John LaGrange.

More than 200 attend the Faxton Charity Ball at Twin Ponds, sponsored by the Faxton Hospital Foundation and the Faxton Volunteer Council. Dale Saenz and Christine Sakati head the organizing committee. Money raised goes to the hospital’s critical care unit.

2007, 10 years ago

Whalen Park

The Community Park in Ilion is renamed the David P. Whalen Community Park in honor of the park’s late caretaker and supervisor. Friends at a renaming ceremony say that Whalen spent many hours caring for the park and always thinking of ways to make it better.

In high school hockey, Sean Grogan has three goals and three assists and Chet Galinski adds a hat trick to lead Westmoreland over Proctor, 9-4. Matt Hammell scores twice for Proctor.

New Hartford’s Mike Zalewski scores the tying goal with 4:03 remaining in the third period and the Spartans and Rome Free Academy skate to an overtime 3-3 tie. Joe Betar and Jason Fitzgerald score New Hartford’s other goals. Dan Malta makes 21 saves. T.J.Reilley scores twice for Rome and Ryan Shenk adds the third goal. Rich Metzger has 26 saves,

Trivia quiz

Only two U.S. presidents had “Franklin” as first names. Name them. (Answer will appear here next week.)

Answer to last week’s question: Zachary Taylor, 12th president of the United States from 1849-50, was the first president who had never served in the Continental Congress or the U.S. Congress.

This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. E-mail him at [email protected]

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