April 1994

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Class of 1994

Steuben County Hall of Fame

John and Phyllis Martin, Zeno Spencer Selleck, Alice Tully

John and Phyllis Martin

Phyllis and John Martin met when graduate students at the University of Chicago, were married in 1953, and came to Corning and Steuben County in 1958, when John joined the original faculty at Corning Community College as a professor of humanities and the director of the library. In 1972 he became deputy director for administration of the Corning Museum of Glass, and had much to do with the successful salvaging of most of the books and artifacts of the flood-ravaged Museum.

In 1973 Phyllis Martin took over as head of the Storefront Museum of the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society, and in 1976 she became the director of the Benjamin Patterson Inn project of the Society which involved first restoring the historic building, then furnishing it as in Ben Patterson's time, when it was a stopping place for travellers and a community meeting center. In following years, the DeMonstoy Cabin, the Browntown School House, the Robert Star barn, and a carriage shed and blacksmith shop were added to the Museum complex. The Martins devoted much of their energies to this project until Phyllis retired as director in 1991.

Now, they are writing books together. In November 1993 their book on local history, The Lands of the Painted Post, appeared, following its publication in the spring as an English-language textbook for college students in Japan. The Martins have a long association with Japan beginning in 1964. Last year their book, Nara: A Cultural Guide to Japan's Ancient Capital was published, and this spring their latest book, Kyoto: A Cultural Guide to Japan's Imperial Capital will be available. Together with their children, they made their first trip to Japan in 1967. They have visited the folk museums of Japan and many of the decorative-art and craft museums in Europe and this country. The Martins are a team. They have two sons, Scott and Todd.

Zeno Spencer Selleck

Zeno Spencer Selleck was born May 24, 1893, in Risingville, New York. His parents were Elizabeth Spencer and Edwin D. Selleck. Zeno finished Haverling High School in Bath in 1911 and went on to graduate from the University of Buffalo Medical School in 1915. He interned at Arnot-Ogden hospital where he met and married Bertha Artley, a nurse from Elmira. Dr. Selleck first practiced in Campbell, then moved to Bath in 1916. He served as a first lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps in 1917 and 18.

After the war he returned to Bath and became associated with Dr. H. J. Wyn-koop and Dr. Douglas Smith in the Bath Hospital. He was later co-owner of the hospital with Dr. Wynkoop, and following the death of Dr. Wynkoop, kept the hospital operating for several years until it was taken over by the Village of Bath. Dr. Selleck was mayor of Bath at one time.

He was a fellow of, and an examiner for, the American College of Surgeons, and during his career he was surgeon for the Erie Rail Road, and coroner for Steuben County. Dr. Selleck attended surgical clinics in this country and abroad to improve his techniques, and he always encouraged others to improve their skills. Dr. Selleck furnished money for the school of nursing associated with the hospital, and he helped to finance the training of some of the students.

His general practice extended over a wide area and he travelled to his patients homes, by sleigh if necessary, oftentimes without remuneration. Dr. Selleck is remembered for his care and kindness to his patients and colleagues. His wife, who founded the Girl Scouts in Bath, died in 1974; he followed in 1977. Their three children are still alive: Mrs. Nellie Conley in Bath, New York; Mrs. Alice Jean Robinson in Kenmore, New York; and Zeno Edwin Selleck in Centre Harbor, New Hampshire. There are 9 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.

Alice Tully

Alice Tully was born in Corning, New York, on September 11, 1902. Her parents were Clara Houghton and William J. Tully. As a young girl she attended a private school in New York City and saw her first opera when she was eight years old. A piano recital by Josef Hofmann inspired her to devote her life to music and singing. At seventeen she began serious music lessons and went to Paris in 1923 to study to become a singer. Her Paris singing debut was in 1927, and her first American opera performance was in New York City in 1933, but she continued to live in Paris until the second World War.

During the war she earned an aircraft pilot's license and joined the Civil Air Patrol. She also worked as a Red Cross nurse's aide. Following the war she gave up her own singing career, and became a supporter of many musical and cultural institutions: The Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Juilliard School, The Chamber Music Society, The Morgan Library, the Alliance Francaise, the Toscanini Memorial Archives, and the Spoleto Festival. She was the principal donor for the construction of a chamber-music hall in Lincoln Center that is named for her. She did stipulate that she should have oversight about the design of the hall, and she did monitor the acoustics of the auditorium, the choice of colors used for the carpets and furnishings, and such details as spacing the rows of seats for the audience to have comfortable leg room.

On September 11, 1969, Miss Tully's 67 birthday, Alice Tully Hall opened. Eighteen years later a party including a music program was held at the hall to celebrate her 85th birthday.

Miss Tully was famous for her private musicale entertainments that combined memorable music and fabulous food. She lived for many years in an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York City. Alice Tully died there on December 10, 1993.

The Steuben County Hall of Fame was started in 1976 by the Corning - Painted Post Historical Society,

and is now sponsored by the Steuben County Board of Legislators. The 1994 inductees will be recognized

at a Presentation Program on April 30, 1994, following a luncheon at 1:15 p.m. at the Tally-Ho restaurant

in Kanona, New York. The cost of the luncheon is $10 for adults, $5.00 for children. Please send

payment by April 23 to Richard Sherer, Steuben County Historian, 7984 Route 54, Bath, NY.

The reception begins at 12:30 p.m.

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