1875, 148 years ago
Utica’s population is growing so fast that it will need another hospital soon, said wealthy Utica businessman and benefactor Theodore S. Faxton. So he made it.
The three-story, 30-bed Faxton Hospital opened 148 years ago this week on the northwest corner of Perkins Avenue (later renamed Sunset Avenue) and Barstone Road. The hospital joined three other hospitals in the city: Utica State Hospital (first patient admitted in 1843), City Hospital (located on the southwest corner of Mohawk and South Streets, opened in 1858), and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital (the city’s first private hospital, opened in 1866).
When Ms. Faxton was told it would cost $44,524 to buy the hospital land and build the hospital, she said she would donate $50,000 to the project and the remaining $5,476 would be set aside for the maintenance of the building. Most of the equipment and furnishings were paid for by donations from parishioners of the city’s Protestant churches and others interested in the project.
Faxton’s initial medical staff included Chief Surgeon Dr. Alonzo Churchill. Visiting Surgeon Dr. Samuel Walcott, Visiting Physician Isaac Douglas, MD, Moses Bagg, MD, and William Russell, MD. The board of trustees consisted of William Bacon, Truman Butler, Moses Bagg, Edward Brayton, Samuel Campbell, Theodore Pomeroy, Henry Roberts, George Thomas, Nicholas Vedder, Robert Williams, and Faxton.
Faxton was born in Conway, Massachusetts in 1794 (and died in 1881 at the age of 87). He moved to Utica in his 1812, age 18, and got a job driving a stagecoach. By the age of 20, he had earned a reputation as the region’s most skilled driver. He and his wife Eileen Miller Alberson lived at 58 Lafayette Street (just west of Genesee Street).
His list of accomplishments is long, including operating and owning packet boats on the Erie Canal, the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, and being one of the founders and president of the Utica and Black River Railroad. He is the founder of the Utica Water Works Company. and owner of the Utica Steam Cotton Mill. He was a deeply religious man and led the commission to build the First Presbyterian Church on the northwest corner of Columbia and Washington streets. It is said that every pocket of his suit held the Lord’s Prayer.
Faxton Hospital is still alive and well.
100 years ago in 1923
state of harding
Observer missions have been inundated with hundreds of calls asking what President Warren G. Harding is up to. He was critically ill with ptomaine poisoning and pneumonia, but is said to be showing signs of recovery (he died a few days later, on August 2nd, at the age of 57).
1948, 75 years ago
Police ‘get tougher’
Utica police have launched a “get tough” campaign to crack down on drivers who speed or ignore stop signs and traffic lights. This is a result of public vigilance over the rising death toll and injuries from road accidents in recent months. Six people died on the streets of the city.
1973, 50 years ago
Michael M. Jezik, who lives on Floyd Avenue in New York Mills, is the president of the Copernik Memorial Society’s fundraising campaign, which raises funds to purchase a monument honoring Nicolaus Copernicus (Kopernik). He was a Polish astronomer who stated 500 years ago that the Earth was a moving planet revolving around the Sun, and that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe. (His statue is now on the corner of Genesee and Eagles Streets across from Fountain Elms.)
B’nai B’rith, Utica Lodge 1844, set up officers: Otto Grausz, President. First Vice President Harry V. Savett. David Kay, Second Vice President. Treasury Secretary Seymour Levin and Communications Secretary Gerald Ross.
1998, 25 years ago
Walter D. Edmonds, who died last January at the age of 94, left a working library and a vast collection of literary papers at Utica College (now Utica University). Frank Bergmann, Dean and Professor of English and German, is curating the material. “He has a very impressive collection of works about New York State, so we are very happy,” says Bergman. Bergman was instrumental in getting a series of Edmonds’ out-of-print works reprinted by Syracuse University Press. He also helped arrange two visits by Edmonds to Utica College, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate of literature. Some of Edmonds’ most popular novels include ‘Drums Along the Mohawk’, ‘Ellie Waters’, ‘Roma Howl’ and ‘The Boys of Black River’.
Cindy Krause is elected president of the Players of Utica. Other officers include Vice Presidents Dan Fujiro and Jane Metzger. Pat Cannon, recording secretary. Gemma Siringo, communications secretary. Treasurer Carl Austin and historian Carol Sowers. Jennifer Bennett received the organization’s Youth Award for being a “valuable youth volunteer.”
Ed Paparella of Utica has been appointed district governor of Rotary District 7150. Rotary districts are made up of 43 Rotary clubs from Little Falls to Auburn with approximately 2,000 members. He has lived in the area all his life and is now a Utica Head He is an officer of the Start, the NAACP, Cornhill He is an active member of the Community He is Four of His Change and is also the former Chairman of the Greater Utica He Way Fundraiser.
2013, ten years ago
Judge David N. Hurd of Rome, U.S. District Court for the Northern District, welcomes and takes the oath of 46 new citizens at a naturalization ceremony at the Alexander Purney Federal Building on Broad Street in Utica. He has presided over dozens of ceremonies and says it’s one of his favorite parts of his job. Peggy O’Shea, who heads the Community Foundation for Herkimer and Oneida Counties, was the main speaker.
Allmohawk Valley High School softball team members include Little Falls’ Amy Hart, Oriskany’s Ashley Luger, Cooperstown’s Nicole Kling, Whitesboro’s Melanie Crowther, Holland Patent’s Corey Bunal, Herkimer’s Lindsay Parrys, Hamilton’s Jess Welsh, Clinton’s Mariah Gibson, West Canada Valley’s Carissa Tasobek and New Canada’s Emily Aqua. It’s Viva. Hartford, Hamilton’s Rebecca Rodgers, Rome Free Academy’s Alex Kimmel, Camden’s Emily Smith, Oneida’s Emily LaSalle, New York Mills’ Carly Ziekan, Stockbridge’s Melia Beauvais, Cooperstown’s Maggie Hall and Adirondack’s Kylie Kaiding. Oneida’s Jenna Didio was named ‘Player of the Year’ and Cooperstown’s David Bliss was named ‘Coach of the Year’.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was the second U.S. president to be a member of the Disciples of Christ, a Protestant denomination founded in the United States in the early 1800s. Who was the first president to belong to that sect? (a) James Monroe, (b) James A. Garfield, (c) Chester A. Arthur, or (d) Calvin Coolidge. (Answers will be posted here next week.)
Answers to last week’s question: Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States from 1974 to 1977, graduated from the University of Michigan in 1935 and was a linebacker and center for the University’s football team. He was named its “Most Valuable Player” and was offered contracts to play professional baseball by the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. He turned down an offer to study law at Yale University.
“History of the Week” is researched and written by Frank Tomano. Please send an email to email@example.com.