Class of 1996
Steuben County Hall of Fame
Arba Martin Blodgett was born May 7, 1869, in Riker's Hollow near Ingleside in Steuben County. On August 18, 1897, he married Minnie R. Alderman at Thurston. A graduate of Union College, he was one of the founders of the Normal School that preceded Northside High School in Corning. Mr. Blodgett was associated with Northside school for 36 years from 1897 until 1933, and was principal there from 1909 until his retirement. In his early years at the school he would drive out to farms to encourage parents to send their children to Corning high schools.
The Northside school built in 1927 was named the Arba M. Blodgett School in 1954. The school is known today as the Northside-Blodgett Middle School.
Mr. Blodgett was an enthusiastic supporter of Arbor Day, and the students who referred to him as "The Professor," called his annual tree-planting celebrations at the school "Arba Day."
The Blodgetts' first son, Lewis Alderman Blodgett, born in 1898, became a teacher and school principal. Their daughter Elsie taught English in Corning, and her twin brother Harold became a Walt Whitman scholar and professor emeritus of English at Union College.
Mr. Blodgett was 87 years old when he died January 7, 1957, at the home of his daughter Elsie B. Ludlum in Nassau County. Son Lewis died in 1967, Elsie in 1991, and Harold in 1994. They are survived by children and grandchildren, many of whom carry on the education tradition of their great-grandfather.
Stanley M. Clark was born in the Town of Urbana on March 3, 1917. When he was very young his family lived on a farm at Kanona for a few years. Later they moved to Hammondsport where his father worked for the Bath and Hammondsport Railroad. Stanley found his first employment on Long Island, but he soon came back to Hammondsport to work at Mercury Aircraft.
In the 1940s he started a boat livery along West Lake Road and there he began to make fishing lures. This venture expanded into a small machine shop which he moved to a location along highway 54 at Hammondsport in the 1950s. This business, Clark Specialty Company, Inc., manufactures telephone booths and other metal products. Clark built at his plant the Keuka Maid, a 500-passenger dinner boat, that he launched on Keuka Lake in 1988.
Following the success of his tour boat, Mr. Clark organized a railroad to take over the freight service of the Bath and Hammondsport Railroad between Hammondsport and Wayland, and to establish passenger service between Hammmondsport and Cohocton as the "Champagne Trail Excursion Train." At the same time he built the Cohocton Valley Farm Museum at the Cohocton terminus of the line, and a restaurant at the Bath station. The initial run of the train and the opening of the new farm museum was on July 7, 1993.
Stanley Clark died August 6, 1995. He is survived by his son, John Clark, and by his wife, Ruth Clark.
Konstantin Frank was born on July 4, 1899, in Odessa, Ukraine. He directed grape culture experiments and taught at the Odessa Agriculture Institute from which received a doctorate in 1941.
With his wife and three children he fled the U.S.S.R. to Austria during the Second World War. They immigrated to this country in November of 1951, and Dr. Frank was hired as a laborer to do hand hoeing at the Geneva Experiment Station.
Frank spent his spare time comparing the climate of the eastern United States with that of the Ukraine. He decided that his successful experience growing vinifera grapes there could be duplicated here by raising vinifera varieties grafted onto cold-hardy native American grapes.
Charles Fournier hired Dr. Frank in 1953 to become the director of grape research at Gold Seal Winery. Frank tested many combinations of European vinafra grapes grafted onto different American rootstocks to select vines that would reliably yield grapes for Gold Seal's commercial wine production.
With his family he established a vineyard and the Dr. Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars in Pulteney to produce wines from their own vinifera grapes.
Konstantin Frank died September 6, 1985. His wife Eugina succeeds him. The winery continues operation under the management of son Willi, grandsons Eric Volz and Fred Frank, son-in-law Walter Volz, and with the support of daughters Hilda Frank Volz and Helen Frank Schilling.