The Otego Historical Association
6 River Street  PO Box 127
Otego, NY 13825


The following are snippets from early newspapers about Otego and some of its residents.

The new Briar Creek Road, half way between Otego, and Wells Bridge, connecting Route 7 with the Rootville community a distance of 6 ½ miles has also been completed and is open for use. Published Sunday October 26 1934 Utica Observer Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen


A reunion of the Bundy and Shepard families will be held in the Otego House, Otego on Wednesday, June 18. Some 20 or more years ago the families named were accustomed to hold biennial gatherings, and at some of them as 150 of the kindred of these families were present. For the past 19 years, however, none have been held and it is owing to the efforts of Dr. S. G. Bundy of Otego that the custom is being renewed this year. Published Richfield Springs Mercury 1913 in either June or July Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen


Mrs. Lucinda M. brown, who died last week in Otego from old age, was in her 94th years. She had lived in Otego about fifty years. Mrs. Brown was born on June 23, 1834, and was probably Otsego County’s eldest resident. Published Richfield Springs Mercury Thursday May 3 1928 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen


Bert Topping has sold his property on Main Street in Otego, known as the Blakely property to DeWitt G. Terry, who has immediate possession. The Topping family intend to locate in Oneonta, where he is employed as foreman in the Delaware & Hudson shops. During their residence in town they have gained many friends who will regret their leaving Otego. Published Richfield Springs Mercury 1925 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen


John A. Elderlin, and aged and respected resident of the town of Otego, hung himself in his barn, about three miles north of that village early Friday morning. Published Richfield Springs Mercury 1907 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen


Otego Man Commits Suicide Merritt Gifford, Aged 30 Found Behind Chicken House With Brains Blow Out – Had Disappeared Merritt Gifford, a young man of thirty years, was found at the rear of the chicken house on his place in Otego Tuesday evening, with his brain blown out as a result of a bullet from a rifle. The Oneonta Star says he was found by The Troopers Cadwll and Drum of the Sidney troop shortly after his suicide. Then engine of the Ford sedan, in which he had driven into the yard of his home was still warm. Gifford, who was employed by the Huddleston-Walton Bakey in Oneonta, disappeared about 7:30 o’clock Monday evening and was not seen again until he was found dead at 6:45 o’clock Tuesday evening. Soon after his disappearance the fact was reported to Captain Fox of Troop C. Sindey and troopers Cadwell and Drum were detailed to the case. They searched all dangerous corners of the highway and finally returned to Gifford’s house. They drove into the yard without seeing anyone and went to the house which was empty. When they came out, they saw Gifford’s parked car in the yard. Investigation revealed him lying dead behind a chicken coop. Coroner Norman W. Getman was immediately called and with the aid of the troopers began an investigation. It was found that the deceased had been in a higly nervous and depressed state for some time. It is believed that brooding over various matters he had become mentally unbalanced. A second rifle was found in his car and it is thought that he had originally gone away from home with the intention of committing suicide but had returned without getting up courage or for some other reason. There were powder marks and a severe burn on his forehead from the discharge of the rifle.
Sometime ago a threatening letter had been sent to him, and the man who sent it was arrested and fined. A careful investigation was made to ascertain the whereabouts of the author of the threatening letter and it was found that he had been out of the village of Otego for two weeks. The deceased is survived by his wife and by one child, a boy about five years of age, and by his parents Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Gifford of Otego. Published Richfield Springs Mercury Thursday February 16 1928 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen


Otego Lad Accidently Shot by Brother Burton Miller, nine years old of R. D. 3, Otego lies in a critical condition at the Fox- Memorial hospital, Oneonta. He and a brother were “playing” with a loaded .22 caliber revolver shortly before 9 o’clock Saturday morning at their home when it was discharged by the brother. The bullet entered Burton’s chest from the front on the right side and passed his liver and out through the back of the chest. The lad was rushed to the hospital in a private car and there he was attended by Dr. L. S. House. The abdomen was opened to see what damage had been done by the bullet on its way through the lad’s body and to release the blood in the abdomen. Dr. House being assisted by Dr. Marx and Augustin. His condition was reported as fair from the hospital early Monday morning and it is hoped that he will survive. Published Thursday June 12 1930 Richfield Springs Mercury Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Famous Air Pilot Down Near Hunter Monday’s Oneonta Star relates that Captain Harry Krom, U. S. air pilot, who, with Byrd and Bennett, and the famed flight over the North Pole, spent the weekend in Otego. Flying from Chicago to Boston, he became lost in the fog Friday afternoon and wandered for three hours over parts of Otsego and Delaware counties, until he ran out of gas and was obliged to make a forced landing near Hunter, breaking a wing of his plane in descending. He was traveling alone with the exception of his Alaskan husky, or wolf dog which has appeared in some of the popular films. Being obliged to reach Oneonta for mail
connections, he was brought here by C. W. Enderlin of Otego. Needing undisturbed quiet and rest, he remained for the weekend at Mr. Enderlin’s pleasant home near Otego, where he recovered comfortably from his fatigue and attended church services in Otego Sunday. Captain Krom’s home is in Pasadena Cal., but he spends very little time in that state. For the last five years he has been continually in the United States government service, spending much time in Africa and South America. One of the especially thrilling episodes of his work was a perilous investigation of the volcano of Santiago and adventure which he hopes never to repeat. This last Winter he has spent in the United States. Captain Krom was Colonel Lindbergh’s first aviation instructor, he having given that young air-craft enthusiast his first 35 lessons in flying. He also once rescued the famous
novelist, Zane Gray, from an agonizing death on the great western plain when his car had become disabled by desert sand. As soon as Captain Krom’s plane was repaired, he was to proceed on this flight to Boston. Published Richfield Springs Mercury Thursday March 28 1929 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Fred M. Shepherd has sold his farm in Otego known as the Redding Farm to Henry C. Anderson of Ulster county, who takes possession of the premises April 1st. Consideration $20,000. Published March 3 1921 Richfield Springs Mercury Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



C. M. Conklin vacated Hotel Breffle at Otego last week. The hotel is now closed, which leaves Otego without a hotel, which is a condition that has not existed in many years.
It has not been so very long ago that the town supported four hotels and all enjoyed a paying business. Published Richfield Springs Mercury 1919 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Frank Anderson has sold his farm, consisting of 150 acres, located in the Susquehanna river valley near Otego, together with the stock, tools and farm machinery on the place to Geo. A. Goble and gives possession June 1st. Mr. Goble has for a few years past occupied the Maynard homestead farm in Upper Bovina Published Richfield Spring Mercury 1919 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



William Birdsall, a native of the town of Otego and for many years one of its leading citizens, died Saturday after a long illness, aged 82 years 10 months and 4 days. The deceased was born on the farm where he died and at the age of 15 accepted a clerkship in Binghamton. A few years later he engaged in the lumber business in Elmira remaining until 1840, when he became connected with a similar business in Albany, where he lived
for about 30 years. Published in the Richfield Springs Mercury May 22 1902 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



John Williams, 69 years of age, was on his way from Otego to Oneonta last Friday afternoon, when as he approached the Crandall railroad crossing, about two miles this side of Otego, he saw a train coming and stopped his horse. As the train drew nearer the horse became frightened and in spite of Mr. Williams’ efforts to restrain him started forward and reached the track directly in front of the locomotive. The engine struck the wagon and demolished it throwing Mr. Williams in the air. He landed on the pilot, and here he was found when the train was stopped by Engineer Hand. He was brought to his home at the corner of East and Spruce Streets in this village, where it was discovered that his injuries were of a very serious nature. He died from the effects of them on Tuesday evening. Published Richfield Springs Mercury Thursday October 18 1888 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



C. S. Williams of Otego N. Y. Injury of foot caused by dropping a firkin of butter on it.
Cost of  $10.00 Compensation paid $10.00 U. S. Accident Insurance Co. of Syracuse Published Syracuse Daily Curier 1866 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Mt. Vision news Mrs. Williams of Otego is a guest of her sister Mrs. W. W. Cutter Published Richfield Springs Mercury Thursday June 18 1891 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Fred M. Shepherd, the well known stock dealer of Otego was in Franklin last week and contracted with L. G. Warner for a memorial at a cost of 1500 to be erected in the cemetery at Otego replacing a former monument placed there. Mr. Shepard’s ancestors were early settlers in the town “locating at Shepherd’s Corners, below Otego from whence it derived its name. Published Richfield Springs Mercury Thursday March 27 1924 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Fred Shepard, one of the hustling stockmen of Otego, shipped from that station within ten days nearly $5000 worth of choice stock. One shipment contained 110 head. Published Richfield Springs Mercury 1909 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Mrs. Carlton Smith and Miss Smith of Otego visited Mrs. Smith’s parents, Rev and Mrs. S. G. Bundy, Sunday and Monday. Published July 26 1906 Springfield Mercury Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



H. J. Patrick made a business trip to Otego Tuesday of last week, and Mrs. Smith and granddaughter accompanied him and visited at Rev. S. G. Bundy’s. They returned Thursday evening. Published Richfield Springs Mercury August 19 1909 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen



Rev. and Mrs. Bundy are with their daughter, Mrs. Carlton Smith, at Otego for a few days and making the acquaintance of their new grand daughter. Published Richfield Springs Mercury January 24, 1907 Contributed by Rene' Treffeisen

Otego Historical Association
2009 - 2010