March 1989

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The Prattsburgh News


Bill Treichler

The February 1, 1989, publication of the Prattsburgh Community Historical Society features Florence Hotchkin who was 100 years old on February 28th. Miss Hotchkin was born on West Hill in Prattsburgh. She taught school for 35 years and has always enjoyed writing. Several of her poems and two pictures are in the article.

The News also reprints a letter written in 1923 from Charles D. Bean to Leona Bancroft. Mr. Bean was born in 1863 and lived until 1938. For many years he practised law in Geneva. The letter is full of wonderful reminiscences of Prattsburgh when he was growing up.

His family was among a number of families who spent their summers in Prattsburgh and winters in New York City. His father owned land around Prattsburgh and when the Kanona and Prattsburgh railroad was built he gave a right-of-way through his Wheeler farm to the new railroad. The stop at the farm became known as Bean's Station.

Charles Bean, Jr., remembered in his letter, the names of many of the families in Prattsburgh. He also recalled the Fourth of July celebrations, the circuses, his boyhood friends and the pleasant social events, but most of all he remembered the glorious Prattsburgh girls and lamented, "When I think of the many beautiful and accomplished girls who lived in Prattsburgh years ago, it makes me feel terribly sad that I was a bachelor."

He also related the story his Sunday School teacher, Miss Lydia Higbie remembered. She gave Charles and his friend Austin Parker, two boys in her class, each twenty-five cents telling them to invest it in anyway they chose and to bring her the proceeds the following Sunday. "When the time came Austin had fifty cents to his credit and for his industry received many words of praise. I came in without a cent, not even the original quarter. After considerable urging I was induced to explain where the money went. 'Austin and I flipped,' I said, 'and Austin won.'"

There are other good tales in Mr. Bean's entertaining letter in The Prattsburgh News, the publication of the Prattsburgh Community Historical Society. Members receive the newsletter. Individual membership is $5.00; family membership, $10.00.

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