Old News – First Woman in Congress

Jeanette Rankin was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1916. She had a career before being elected as a social worker. In 1917 she was one of the few in the House to vote against going to war against Germany. Maybe because of that, she was not reelected in 1918. She did end being elected again to the House in 1940. After that term she went to India where she studied the pacifist teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. She died in 1973 at age 92.

The newspaper article from 1916 is wrong on one point. It says that her father was a banker. He was a rancher.

Rochester, NY

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1916




Miss Jeannette Rankin of Montana, the woman congressman elect, is a source of pride to the National Suffrage association, inasmuch as she was for a number of years one of its most valued organizers and the standard bearer who carried her state for suffrage.

Miss Rankin led the fight that won the ballot for her sex in Montana in 1914, and it was expected that for this reason, if for no other, she would get the vote of every member of the sex in that state regardless of party affiliation.

As soon as it was learned that Miss Rankin had won, telegrams from all parts of the country showered upon her at her home in Missoula. Prominent suffrage leaders sent messages saying that her election was significant of a great victory for the women of the country.

Jeanette Rankin is a member of a well to do banker’s family of Missoula. She is small, slight, with reddish brown hair, and is about thirty-five years of age. She is a graduate of the University of Montana and makes her own clothes – stunning ones, too – and her hats. She is also an excellent cook.

1925 Webster HS Yearbook

reveille-1925I uploaded the 1925 Reveille yearbook for Webster High School. In that year there were 36 seniors graduating.; up from 21 the preceding year. This issue includes pictures of all grades from Kindergarten to 11th but those pictures don’t have any names of the students listed. There are pictures of all the usual activities and sports. One unusual pictures is of the girl scout organization. Also some local ads.

This yearbook is twice the size of the one for 1924. Most of extra pages are because this was the last year in the original high school. So they asked all the classes for updates on the former students. The first class in the original Webster High School in 1881 only had two graduates; Stella Peacock and George Curtice. They would marry and by 1925 Mr. Curtice had already died. There were a few other early years when there would be only one student graduating. Naomi Hoffman’s picture was included on the same page as Mrs. Curtice as she was the youngest member of the class of 1925.

I have more yearbooks from the 1920s and 1930s for Webster High School but not a complete run. Both the Rochester Public Library and the Webster Public Library have good collections of Webster High School yearbooks.

Top Songs of 1966 – #34

The next song to hit the top of the record charts in 1966 was definitely the strangest song of that year. “Winchester Cathedral” was a song written by Geoff Stephens from Britain. It was intended to sound like a vaudeville song from the 1920s. Rudy Vallee was famous in the 20s for doing his vocals through a megaphone. The same effect was done for “Winchester Cathedral” by having the vocalist cup his hands over his mouth. The song is credited to The New Vaudeville Band but it was entirely done with session musicians. After it became a hit, there was a group put together to tour and sing the song. The video below has them performing on the “Hollywood Palace” TV shows.

The song won the 1967 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary (Rock & Roll) Recording in spite of it not being a rock and roll song. It would eventually be covered by Rudy Vallee, Frank Sinatra,Lawrence Welk and others.

On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Winchester Cathedral” hit the top for the week of Nov. 27 – Dec. 3. It was then knocked down by The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations.” It then regained the top spot for the weeks of Dec. 11 – 24. On the Cash Box record chart, the song was at number one for the week of Nov. 20 – 26. It was then knocked off the top by The Supremes “You Keep Me Hanging On.” then the song regained the top spot for the weeks of Dec. 4 – 17, 1966.

Genealogy for Christmas

wrapped-christmas-giftsIf you are thinking of buying genealogy gifts for this Christmas, then there are many kinds of items on sale this weekend. There are deals on software, hard drives and online storage, DNA test kits, books, etc. I have found that the best place to find the most bargains at GeneaBloggers. Thomas MacEntee updates his list of deals every day. Note that some of the bargains are for only this weekend while others continue until Christmas.


Ever once in a while I re-visit Fulton History and search again for my family to see if I missed anyone. I was searching for my great-grandfather, Frank Nicholson, when I saw one article that might be for him. There are a few people with the same name throughout New York State at the time he lived. The article was in the Homer (NY) Republic in 1886. My Frank Nicholson didn’t live any where near there but I noticed that it said he lived in Hunts, NY. That is a tiny hamlet in Livingston County and my Frank Nicholson did live there for about 25 years. The article was about NY State people that were granted patents. My great-grandfather was a carpenter for his whole life so I wondered why he would have a patent.

The US government has a website to search patents but I couldn’t find Frank’s patent on there. A better place to search patents is Google’s Patent Search. When I put his name is the search box, it found 474 hits. I just read through the first couple of pages of hits and decided to add to the search. I added “Hunts” to the search and only got 13 hits. Frank’s patent was the 6th one down on the list of hits. That is his patent below. I don’t know why he would spend money on a patent for a fancy bag holder. I would think that it was the kind of item that wouldn’t need a patent as anyone could make a similar item.

I never suspected that Frank would have had a patent. Maybe some person in your family  might have a patent too.


Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #8

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he writes about the house we now call the Stone-Tolan House. Part of the original structure was built in 1792 and then added on to up to about 1830. It is the oldest structure still existing in Monroe County. The property was purchased by the Landmark Society from the last occupant, Miss Ellen A. Tolan. The Society has restored the house and also the barn which now serves as an orientation center. It now is open as a museum.

This old tavern building is still standing at 2370 East Ave. as a private residence. It was built in 1790 by Orringh Stone, a brother of Enos Stone Jr., being the first tavern between Canandaigua and the Genesee Falls. Opposite, across East Avenue, at the corner of present Council Rock Avenue stood the Rock and Old Elm. The rock is still there with a bronze on it. This tavern located on the main trail leading from Canandaigua to the Falls and the west, the tavern and the rock became known to travelers in the Genesee Country. Many noted persons stopped there including Louis Philippe, later King of France, Aaron Burr and Lafayette. You would never guess by looking at this house from the street that it is so old. The one above was started over 20 years before there was any Rochesterville and the marvelous part of it is still being occupied and is good condition.

Old News – Bowling

Bowling teams were spring up all over the area in the early 1900s. At that time they would have boys as pin spotters that would have to set up the pins by hand after each frame. Chances are that this bowling alley in Fairport only had one or two lanes.


Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1916


This evening will mark the opening of the bowling season of the Samitary Can Co. teams on Filkins’ alleys. The first two weeks bowling has been very satisfactory completed. The league was made up of twelve teams of seven men each and from these men who competed, it has been decided to form a permanent league of ten teams with five men on each team and two alternates, bowling Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings of each week.

At the formal opening D. B. De Land, superintendent of the Sanitary Can company, will inaugurate the season by rolling the first ball. The “Menders” of the can making machine shop, headed by Harvey Hart, will bowl the “Pressers” of the press department, guided by “Heine” Fett and the “Rotaries” of the double seamer section of the Lock-seam department will battle under the leadership of “Bean” Lockard against the “Maxams” or the bench men of the D. S. machine shop with Nelson in the lead, who says “Maxams expects every man to do his duty.”

1916-11-22-adAfter tonight two teams will bowl every Wednesday night, and on Thursday and Friday evenings four teams will bowl excepting on the 13th week, when only two teams will bowl. A prize will be given each week for the highest score made by individual bowlers but no one will be allowed to win more than one prize and at the end of the season a suitable prize will be given to the team having the highest average.

The Herald expects to print every week the scores of the various teams and also the name or number of the teams which will bowl that week. Watch this paper for the weekly results.