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Mark Simonson

October 12, 2013

Infrastructure, social growth made news in October 1888


On Oct. 16, Daily News subscribers read, “A number of complaints have been forwarded to us of the miserable condition of the board sidewalk on Grand street, between Main and Division, and the absence of all evidences of a walk east of Division. The muddy season is upon us and the residents of that part of the village should be entitled to relief. We feel sure the Board will give this subject attention as soon as their attention is called to it.”

On a construction note in the late part of October, “The foundation of Doyle & Smith’s cigar factory is completed and ready for the timbers.” The 1889 Oneonta Directory showed that this was located at 32 Broad St., an area now occupied by the Clarion Hotel. The directory also showed Doyle & Smith employed between “40-75 hands.” Cigar manufacturing was quickly becoming Oneonta’s second largest industry, behind the D&H Railway.

While Oneonta’s infrastructure was growing in October 1888, so were the educational, social and clothing style trends of the time.

“The winter term of school taught by Mrs. Sergeant at her home, No. 13 Centre street, opens Oct. 15. For the convenience of those who are unable to take the day course she has decided to establish an evening course from 7 to 9 o’clock. Mrs. Sergeant is well known as a pains-taking and competent instructor and should have a large school.” What the courses consisted of was not published.

“An enthusiastic meeting was held last evening at F.E. Green’s music store,” it was reported on Oct. 20, “to organize a private dancing club. About thirty of our young men who have joined the club will be officered by an executive committee, a secretary and treasurer.”

Finally on Oct. 20 it was learned, “The tendency toward masculine attire goes on among the gentler sex. Suspenders are the latest adoption made by women from the male wardrobe. Just how the suspenders are made available by their new friends is not explained, but it is said that they fill ‘a long felt want.’ Women have adopted men’s collars, waistcoats, suspenders and canes. If they will take off their hats when they enter the theatre, all will be forgiven.”

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Mark Simonson

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