A look back in time

Happy New Year

by Diane Rockall

January 1918, one hundred years ago, World War One was showing no sign of let up, and on January 3 in the local paper, the American Red Cross asked all Americans to help feed starving women and children in France and Belgium. The article maintained that American and Canadian agriculture had great responsibility.

As is still true today, many stores were offering January sales. In Stockbridge, stores included Dancer’s and Schmids’ . Glasgow Brothers of Jackson and many others also advertised. The U.S. Army was seeking a carload of horses five to nine years old, 61 to 66 inches tall and weighing 1050 to 1400 pounds. The Army requested “No light greys.” Pick up was scheduled for Jan. 11 at J.A. Smith Livery in Stockbridge.

Jan. 17’s edition reported the worst storm in years had hit the area the previous Friday and Saturday. Thermometers registered 22 below zero. Snow piled up making traffic impossible. The train east from Jackson rolled in two hours late.

Hiram Barton died at his Lyndon home Friday night. L.M. Milne was called but unable to arrive before Sunday afternoon after a gang of men assisted him in shoveling his way in. Churches canceled their Sunday services, and on Monday crews of workmen began shoveling the roads.

In 1941, America entered WWII  joining with Allies  already fighting, (1939 to 1945), and 50 years after WWI was embroiled in the Vietnam war. Donald Runciman returned home near the end of January after one year of service in Vietnam. Also in January of 1968 Stockbridge Basketball won the Chelsea Holiday tournament and the team’s acceptance of the award made the front page of the Town Crier.

Police Chief Charles Sharpe announced plans to tighten traffic control. Township Supervisor Ted Fay announced plans to open a new library in February with formal dedication planned for spring. John Henry Hoffman, born October 6, 1876 in Waterloo, died at age 91.

Unadilla’s 80 residents rallied to save their landmark Unadilla Community Hall owned by the Unadilla Presbyterian Church. The hall was built in 1873 by a Methodist Episcopal Congregation. Four students, Mark Hartsuff, Debbie Glenn, Yvonne Hardt and Linda Dusyinski were selected to All State Band. Sixteen-year-old Boos Products of Unadilla was highlighted as a family business that made tools and fixtures as well as production work, including the manufacture of filtering instruments, hydraulic valves and cylinders. The Stockbridge Jaycee branch announced its dissolution.

Twenty five years later in 1993 in January the Town Crier reported the village of Stockbridge was interviewing and conducting contract talks for a prospective town manager. John Dancer and Lois McGauley were presented with clocks for their 40 years of service to Stockbridge State Bank. Dancer resigned January 1 but remained board president. McGauley planned to continue as assistant vice president.

Ron Fillmore announced 80 artworks would be shown at the Township Hall Winter Art Show with proceeds to benefit the new library. The show was Monday January 11 to Saturday the 16th. Exhibitors paid a 25 percent commission on any works sold to the library. The Panthers Basketball team won the Citizen Patriot Holiday Classic in Jackson.

Property tax assessments skyrocketed an average 11 percent, puzzling area residents. The village board and Stockbridge Development Authority planned an industrial park development. Four accidents in Unadilla were blamed on a bad storm. The Jan. 19 paper reported that Rudolph and Wilma Kaczmarek bought the restaurant and sausage house from Hans and Helen Klockes. The Klockes purchased the former Prescott Locker Plant and 1972 and converted it with the help of their two children Christel and Hans H, into a German Sausage House. In 1976 they added a new building, which became the restaurant. Renovated several times since, it is the current Back Street restaurant.


Diane Rockall

Diane is a member of the Stockbridge Community News Board of Directors. She currently writes the above column, posts the weekly Police Blotter and also posts death notices and obituaries  when information is made available to the Stockbridge Community News. She and her husband moved to Stockbridge early in 1997 after  almost 14 years in Northville.  She is originally from Detroit where she lived until 1980. 

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