Step Back in Time features community news from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

May 17, 1986

Oneonta Dress Co. employees said Friday that their loyalty, skilled workmanship and willingness to work together may have convinced a Japanese firm to hire 90 dress company workers for a new raincoat manufacturing plant, to be located in the Pony Farm Road Industrial Park.

Employees said their loyalty to the company is inspired by President Joseph Creighton, whom workers described as fair and generous.

"This may sound corny, but we're a very close-knit group, like a family," said Ellen Morrell of Oneonta, who has worked for the dress company for 11 years. "He's not like a boss, he's like a fellow worker."

This week, the County of Otsego Industrial Development Agency announced that a Japanese partnership plans to build a 32,400-square foot factory in the industrial park. The company will be known as Sanyo Sewing America, and 90 workers from Oneonta Dress Co., along with Creighton, will be hired for the new plant.

Creighton is negotiating with a group of investors for the sale of the dress company, which employs 150. Once the sale is completed, the new owners would hire 90 other workers to replace the ones moving to Sanyo Sewing America.

Sanyo executives said they decided to locate in Oneonta chiefly because they were impressed with the quality of the work force.

50 years ago

May 17, 1961

When a woman has her mind made up ... you know how it is.

Well, it's the same with young ladies.

Six-year-old Jill Ann Quick saw President Kennedy on television. She liked what she saw. So she thought she'd write and tell him.

But it was a little more difficult than that ... especially for a six-year-old.

She had to print the letter ... make the envelope ... draw a stamp ... and get someone to mail it for her. But the youngster overcame all the hurdles and received an answer from the White House.

A kindergartner, she is the daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Bruce Quick, 178 West St. She proudly displayed her "White House" letter, signed by Ralph A. Dungan, special assistant to the president. It reads:

"Dear Young Friend,

"The president has received your letter and deeply appreciates your friendly thought in writing him. He asked me to express his thanks and extend his best wishes."

How the letter got to President Kennedy in the first place is a mystery to Mrs. Quick.

As far as she knows there was no legitimate stamp on the envelope ... only the one Jill drew.

Jill asked her mom frequently if the letter was mailed. Her mother was tardy mailing the letter but one morning in exasperation she said, "Okay Jill, let's go out and put it in our mailbox."

Needless to say the letter did get to the White House. Whether or not the mail carrier who picked up the letter put a stamp on it is still a mystery.

Jill asked her mom every day and finally the answer came from the White House.

Incidentally, this is the first letter the youngster every wrote.

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