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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

One Man’s Contribution to the War Effort

by Rob't E. Yott
Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved by the author.

As we enter the third year of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, I feel it appropriate that remember one of the many veterans of Steuben County, whose tireless efforts helped to preserve the Union; Major John Stocum.

John Stocum was born in Pultney, Steuben County, on April 27, 1825. That same year his father drowned in the Conhocton River. Alone and penniless, John moved to Bath in1840. Here he learned the cabinet making and undertaking trade. In February of 1847 Stocum, a member of the First Presbyterian Church married Elizabeth Metcalf of Bath. Together they had at least three children; John L., James D. and daughter, Osie (nicknamed Kate.) When his son John was old enough he joined his father’s business. The Directory of 1854 shows Stocum and Son had a warehouse located on the eastern edge of Pioneer Cemetery on West Steuben Street. In 1858 Elizabeth died. Stocum remarried in June of 1860. His new wife Susan B. Townsend of Elmira gave birth to Frank and Ruby.

In 1852, Stocum had joined the local militia, the 60th Regiment, 27th Brigade, New York State Volunteers and served as the orderly sergeant. When its commanding officer, Captain Levi C. Whiting, was promoted to major, Stocum was commissioned captain by New York governor Myron H. Clark. Stocum served in this capacity until 1858. He also served as watchman for the village of Bath from 1853 to 1857.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Supporting Good Habits: The Rockefellers, the Sisters of Mercy, and Higher Education in New York State


by Eric Martone
Copyright © 2013.  All rights reserved by the author.

On Sunday, May 20, 1962, a collection of New York State and Catholic Church dignitaries made its way to Dobbs Ferry for the dedication ceremony of Mount Mercy-on-the-Hudson, a magnificent new complex comprised of over 80 acres overlooking the Hudson River for the New York province of the Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters had already moved into the unfinished facility during the fall of 1961, but the stress of moving and construction delays had prevented a proper dedication ceremony. That time had finally come, and all of the individuals involved in this massive undertaking now had a moment to bask in the glory of their accomplishments. The complex, which had cost more than $6 million to build at a time when the national average price for a house was less than $20,000, included eight impressive brick buildings “of contemporary architecture”: the provincial house, a residence for student Sisters, a faculty residence, a residence for senior Sisters, a chapel, Our Lady of Victory Academy, a parish elementary school, and Mercy College.[1]