One Hundred Years (+) Ago at the Village Board

One Hundred Years(+) Ago at the Village Board, July-August 1918
(Summer Recap 4)

July 1
Tax rate set at $1.60 per $100 assessed value, to total $36,780.08.
Treasurer’s report read and accepted.
Assessments for street improvements remain unpaid on Mohawk Ave. and Schon-o-we and Ballston Street, also for the sidewalks on Third Street. These will be included on the annual tax levy as well as corrections for 1917 errors.
The Street Commissioner is to build a cement sidewalk and driveway in front of the Village Waterworks property on Second St., and charge to the Water Fund.
Payroll and bills approved.
$5100 in Refunding Water Bonds were issued and sold to Geo. B. Gibbons Company.
A copy included of the Treasurer’s report about unpaid paving and sidewalk assessments.

July 15
A petition from residents of First St. who want a surface sewer in the 1919 budget. Referred to finance committee.
Board of Fire Commissioners to choose a contractor for construction of automatic fire alarm system in the village.
Request from Mrs. Charles Zach for street lights on Wyman St. Referred to Light Committee.
Committee to be appointed with President as chairman to look into the subject of necessary machinery for better maintenance of roads and report to the board.
Payroll and bills approved.

July 24, Special Meeting
Action related to the $5100 in Refunding Water Bonds.

August 5
Payments related to Special Street Funds and transfers from general fund to specific funds.
Action related to Special Street Fund payments and loans.
Payment to the Schenectady County State Highway Repair Fund ($333.13).
Village Clerk to purchase one service roll of honor book at cost of $13.
George Keefer, driver of the village team, informed the Street Commissioner he must have more money because of the increased expense of living. Board will give him more money and also vacation time. They will offer $80 per month for service, vacation not to exceed 2 weeks, approved by Street Commissioner.
Petition from the residents for Catherine St. to be covered with gravel. Left to the discretion of the Street Committee.
A delegation of residents of Harwell asked the board to enter a protest before the Public Service Commission against the increase of streetcar fare from 5 to 10 cents between Tower 9 and Schenectady on the Fonda, Johnstown, and Gloversville RR. Various people spoke and the President said a representative of the village would attend the hearing and present the protest.
Sewer Committee to construct Sanitary Sewer on Wallace St. as extension of current sewer, not to exceed $300. Clerk to purchase necessary materials. Pay on arrival of bill to save the 2% allowance for ten day payment.
New ordinances:
Parking of automobiles and other vehicles on both sides of Mohawk Ave. from westerly line of Collins St. to 75 feet west of Ballston Street and both sides Ballston St. between Mohawk and John St. between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. is prohibited.
During other times, no parking for more than 30 minutes, parallel with street curb and not more than 6 inches from curb, at least 5 feet from the rear of any other vehicle.
Street railway cars must stop outside this zone to discharge or pick up passengers.
There will be a $25 fine and a disorderly conduct violation, and the person violating the same shall be a disorderly person.
The new ordinances must be advertised and posted for 2 weeks.

[Missing pages here, as minutes for the meetings of Aug. 19 and 23 were approved in September. These transcriptions are from the scanned copies of the minutes; so pages could have been dropped while compiling them.]

Wages of laborers in Water & Sewer Dept. increased from $2.50 to $2.75 per day and $3 to $3.25 for special work, effective Sept. 1.
Payroll and bills approved.

August 30 Special Meeting
The charge to the Town of Glenville for use of the Village Hall as a polling place for the 5th election district and for storing voting machines and booths is $50 per year.

 

Signs of Spring

A few tiny signs of spring at the Flint House, and an almost last view of the other side of the creek, which nearly disappears once the leaves all come out.

 

March Mystery Tool Answer

This is an antique ginseng hoe. Ginseng is a North American medicinal herb which grows in the woods. Used for so long and in such quantities, and selling at high prices, its harvest now is restricted by law in most states. Ginseng hoes come in several styles, and you can buy a new hoe just like this called a double hoe in gardening catalogs.

Mystery Tool for March

Time for another look in the Mystery Tool box. You might use this in the woods, but it’d work in the garden too. Answer tomorrow.

February Creek Levels

The water level of the creek (some maps call it Reese Creek) in front of the Flint House depend on how much ice is in the river. When there is an ice jam, the water spreads over the farmland on the island and fills up the creek until all is level. After the ice clears, the creek goes back to the usual depth several feet below the field. The Flint House sits much higher than the island, so the water didn’t reach the level of the house even in 2011 during hurricane Irene.

 

Happy Birthday Scotia, from “History Walks with Scotians”, 1964

History Walks with Scotians
by Frances Anderson Sloan
(published in the Scotia Journal Feb. 20, 1964)

[Frances Sloan was Village Historian from November, 1959 until she died in May, 1965.]

Happy Birthday, Scotia!

Sixty years ago Scotia was finally incorporated as a village.
We have traced our development from the first settlement in 1658, through our years as the fourth ward of Schenectady, our separation from that city in 1820 to become Glenville. We now come to the incorporation of Scotia as a village within the Town of Glenville. It all began in 1901 when Mr. Charles P. Sanders and a group of civic minded Scotians decided to push for the incorporation of our village. We are fortunate to have thirty-six original documents pertaining to the more than two year struggle, given to the village by Mr. Glen Sanders.

Mr. C.P. Sanders appeared at a hearing before the supervisor of Glenville, December 4, 1901 to present the territory to be included and a list of names of over three hundred inhabitants. The incorporation of Scotia as a village was voted at an election held January 4, 1902 in the Good Templars Hall in Scotia. This incorporation was vigorously opposed by Miss Katherine M. Sanders, daughter of Jacob Glen Sanders and Jane Ten Eyck Sanders, who lived in the Sanders home on East Sunnyside Road. It was also strongly resisted by the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad which owed a section of highly taxable tracks. The petition to become a village had remained in the clerk’s office without appeal till the time for appeal had expired. It was later discovered that the tax agent of the New York Central, whose identity was not then known, had examined the papers.

However, an appeal from the election was taken in February by James Collins and David Maynard at the request and interest of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad Company. Over Mr. Sanders’ signature is the statement that “The said county Judge of the County of Schenectady, after taking testimony for several days and hearing S. W. Jackson, counsel for the appellant (the railroad company) decided that the election was sustained. Thereafter an appeal was taken from the decision to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court State of New York. The appellate division on the 9th day of July, 1902 decided that the decision of the County Court thereon should be affirmed.” What a bitter battle each side fought to establish its aim!

Sues Town Clerk
The Railroad sued the town clerk, James J. Hoyt, Jr. because of some supposed irregularity in showing the territory to be incorporated and because the territory was more than a square mile in extent. The state law of 1897 in reference to villages prescribed that a village was to incorporate territory “not exceeding one square mile.” Miss Sanders joined in this complaint. There was a summons to Hoyt to appear, 8 pages of complaints against him and one page affidavit that “The area is greater than one square mile.” A sheet of figures, apparently those of a surveyor, upholds this contention because the figures show that Scotia was 1.39 square miles. We must remember this was when the section from Sacandaga Road was Reeseville.

A notice of retainer by the citizens promoting the village, signed by Charles P. Sanders and dated July 16, 1902 carries a name for the Glen-Sanders home never before found by your historian. It was “Glen Place” and seems a very good title for the house. Before you dismiss the account of the struggle to found Scotia as a bit of a bore, let your imagination bring to life the determination, the continual thought of the keen minds on both sides. The justly famous firm of DeRemer and Angle, the fine Jackson family of lawyers, and the eminent squire of Scotia, Charles P. Sanders fought with every ounce of their being. They were gentlemen with all, and known to each other. There are letters back and forth, adjusting an error in the amount of the judgment against the railroad, and as late as March 1904, a letter from Samuel Jackson to C.P. Sanders requested “a call at my office within a couple of days to see if we cannot agree upon a settlement of the case.”

Sanders fought for Scotia
Mr. Sanders fought devotedly for Scotia, withstanding the attacks made by his opponents again and again. Every decision was in favor of Scotia and every time the railroad lawyers appealed. At a special term of the Supreme Court action was ordered referred to Honorable Judson S. Landon as sole referee. (You may remember his account of the Republican nominating convention in Chicago, 1860, when as a youth, he represented Schenectady at the time Lincoln was first chosen. The youth of 20 had become a most respected Judge by 1903.) Judge Landon appointed May 3 for trial action before him after which he rendered the following opinion. “The claim of the plaintiff is that the proceedings for the incorporation for the village of Scotia are void because the territory sought to be incorporated exceeds one square mile. The contention (question) is not whether the incorporation would exceed one mile, but whether due provision had been made for a legal hearing and whether the railroad, being a taxpayer, had brought up the area in the hearing as an objection so the supervisor might decide whether the proposition for incorporation complies with the statute in fact as well as in form.” (From the above quoted material they had not done so at the time.)

“It follows that the complaint must be dismissed on the merits, with costs.” Another hand written account directs that the Defendant recover from the plaintiff “the sum of one hundred and ninety dollars and seventy five cents.”

Again the railroad appealed and a final hearing was to be held at the September, 1904 term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the old Convention Hall at Saratoga Springs. According to the documents both Miss Sanders and the New York Central and Hudson Railroad were to bring action against Mr. Hoyt, Scotia Clerk. The material Mr. Glen Sanders gave the village did not contain any evidence as to whether the trial took place or whether settlement was out of court, as requested in the above mentioned letter from the Railroad attorneys to Mr. C.P. Sanders, but as result of this prolonged, bitter struggle Scotia was born.

Mynderse first president
At first Scotia had a President and Board of Trustees of three men. Dr. Herman Mynderse had played an important role in the struggle and became the first President. At this time Scotia had 3,000 inhabitants. It was a progressive place and in 1906 established water and sewer systems. The First Reformed Church was proud to be the first such building to have electricity, running water and a paved sidewalk. Dr. Mynderse remained as President until 1910. In 1907 there were four trustees on the board which number has remained until now, with the exception of the last part of 1963 until our March, 1964 election.

Dr. Mynderse was followed by Messrs. John Miller, William R. Williams, John E. Gillette, Augustus H. Lasher, Arthur B. Laurence, Harry Christian, Robert E. Doherty, A. C. Spitzer, Adson J. Haight, John Sible, William N. Turnbull, R.F. Berning and E.E. Campbell. In 1923 the title of President was changed to that of Mayor. The political party of the mayors for five years could not be ascertained because the party is not designated in the official records, but the fifty-five years of office holding by mayors whose political affiliations are recalled show some interesting facts. No mayor seems to have filed his expenses for campaign as a Democrat but the Independent non-partisan title usually indicated Democrat leanings. Of the 55 years accounted for, there have been four mayors registered as Independent-non-partisan. Mr. Berning was Mayor for only a few months but the other three totaled twenty-six years; Dr. Mynderse, 6; Mr. Spitzer, 8; Mr. Sible, 12.

Eight men were registered Republican and served for 28 ¾ years. With the exception of Mayor William Turnbull (16 ¾ years) no one of them has served more than two years so far.

Fifty years ago, according to Judge William Nicoll, we had “no saloons and no paupers and no police.” The years have indeed seen change. We have grown, though not so populous as the optimistic plan of 1931 hoped we should be. We have the great challenge of the foresight and daring of the first settlers as well as the dogged devotion of those who sought our development. Do we accept the challenge or does our heroic story end here?

 

 

One Hundred Years Ago at the Village Board, January-February, 1919

One Hundred Years Ago at the Village Board, January-February 1919

Jan. 6
Sewer bond of $2000, bid accepted.
Dudley Hill Toll reappointed as Acting Police Justice for a year.
School taxes paid on the Village Water Works, Glenville District 10.
Mr. Schuler will have the names engrossed in the Certificates of Appreciation to be issued to those returning from service in the War, not to exceed $15.
Water Committee to purchase a Senoscope & Tungsten Magnetic needle, not to exceed $20.
Payroll and bills approved.

Jan. 20
Resolutions related to sinking funds and bonds, sewers and fire department.
Treasurer reported the list of unpaid taxes, and they will sell an interest in the described property for the amount of unpaid tax, in accordance with statute.
Discussion Special Street Fund bond.
Horses are to be purchased at an expense not to exceed $450.
Payroll and bills approved.

Feb. 3
Street Fund finances
Payroll and bills approved.

Feb. 17
Property taxes to Glenville for Village property are due—water dept. $27.39, sewer dept. $9.43.
President authorized to buy a pair of chestnut sorrel horses from Neil F. Ryan for $600.
Also approved: a pushcart for $12 and a pair of collars for the new team. The team of black horses now belonging to the Village will be disposed of.
Payroll and bills approved.

Feb. 28
Street fund finances
Payroll approved.
Bills approved. Also to pay Sylvester Cornell for 50 feet of Sanitary Sewer in 5th St. ($39.76) and the Village will take over the sewer. The Water Fund will transfer to the Sewer Fund $100 for lumber removed from the sewer disposal plant to be used for building at the Water Dept.
The Health Fund will transfer to the General Fund the surplus at the end of the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 1919: $241.08. From the surplus in the General Fund, transfer of $1131.49 to the Street Fund and $34.56 to the Sewer Fund.

 

Scotia, Nebraska

Scotia, Nebraska

I took a short detour off the highway (summer 2017) to drive through Scotia, Nebraska. It’s about 170 miles west of Omaha, rolling farm country, near the North Loop River. I drove through in the late afternoon after businesses were closed, so wasn’t able to check out the Heritage Center.

Scotia was founded in the 1870s, named after the homeland by an early settler, Samuel Scott. It became the county seat in 1874, but later lost that designation to Greeley, due to population changes related to the new railroad lines (very brief summary). Scotia is home to a chalk mine, the only one in the state for over 50 years. Chalk was shipped to Omaha for processing into 71 different products, from blackboard chalk to paint. Some early buildings in Scotia were built of chalk blocks, and one is still in use today. It’s a bit smaller than our Scotia, with a population of just over 300, but it is a Village also.

For more, see http://casde.unl.edu/history/counties/greeley/scotia/index.php

 

 

One Hundred (+) Years Ago at the Village Board, May-June, 2018

Summer Recap 3   (I’ll get them all in, eventually.)

One Hundred Years Ago at the Village Board, May-June 1918

May 6
Business related to the Street Fund
Clerk to purchase 36 tons of stove & egg coal and 17 tons of stove & chestnut coal, divided between the two local dealers W.R. Brown and J. H. Buhrmaster.
The Fire Commissioners asked if the John Miller Hook & Ladder company can use the lower floor of the building on Ten Broeck St. as additional rooms. Referred to Water & Building Committee.
Street Commissioner to be instructed to place guard rails on the approaches to the Washington Ave. bridge over the outlet to Collins Lake.
Hearing on Ballston St. sidewalk petition:
E. A. Curtis is in favor but needs some time
J. J. O’Connell is opposed—doesn’t want to invest more money
R.L. Hoffman, Heber Williams, E.L. Lockrow in favor—safer to walk to the car [trolley] stop without walking in the street.
Hearing closed.
Motion: Petition was received from more than half the property owners on the NW side of Ballston St. for sidewalks. Hearing completed and petition granted. A cement sidewalk 5 feet wide, 6 inches in from the curb, the inside elevated at a ¾ inch grade, will be installed per all Village regulations, at the expense of the owners, and completed before Aug. 15, 1918. Anyone refusing to pay will have the amount added to their tax bill.
Motion: the question of writing a Village Ordinance preventing the use of ashes on village streets is referred to the Village Attorney.
New ordinance approved to require the Fire Department to inspect all properties as often as necessary, at least once a year in outlying districts and twice a year in closely-built properties, to identify and have corrected any fire hazards. A fine of $25, plus $25 for each additional day, for not complying within 10 days.
There will be a hearing on June 3 about a change of grade on First St. between Vly & Center.
Payroll and bills approved.

May 20
Village Attorney to attend hearing about taxes in Albany.
Water Committee to get the Venture Meter at the pumping station working.
Pay Ellis B. Edgar $875.04 due on sewer contract.
Financial items related to bonds & notes.
Payroll and bills approved.

June 3
(Pages appear to be missing in this digitized copy)
Payroll and bills approved.

June 17
Bids for Scotia Refunding Water Bonds opened and read. Sold to George B. Gibbons & Co.
Street Commissioner directed to construct concrete crosswalks across Huston and Lincoln Streets at their intersection with First St.
Building Committee to make changes and repairs at the Engineers Residence not to exceed $100.
Pay Boston & Maine Railroad Co. for freight on the sprinkler tank and water pipe.
Clerk to purchase fittings for Water Department.
Payroll and bills approved.