Half-Shire Historical Society
September 12, 2008
The 36th annual meeting of the society will be held on Saturday September 13, 2008 at 1pm. A lunch will be served starting at noon under the direction of Richland Trustee, Erma Schroeder. Election of officers and 4 trustees will be the chief item of business on the agenda, followed by the final consideration of updated bylaws.
In a previous column we discussed the career of Pulaski native son and State Appellate Justice Irving Hubbs, whose portrait graces the main courtroom at the H. Douglas Barclay Court House in Pulaski. This writer cited an article from Hubbs’ retirement dinner that mentioned he would go on to practice law in Pulaski with his good friend and former clerk Judge Clayton Miller. What was left out is the fact that both men joined the law firm of Merritt Switzer, which was located over the People’s Bank building which sits vacant now on the SW corner of North Jefferson and Park Streets.
Merritt Amos Switzer was born May 29, 1888, and served many years as an attorney in the Pulaski region. Switzer was married to the former Jean Muier, a native of Exeter, Ontario. Switzer was active in the Pulaski community and many of its civic organizations, his death on November 7, 1958 ended a distinguished legal career. Thanks go out to Mrs. Cameron Cox, daughter of the late Merritt Switzer, for sharing some additional insight into Judge Hubbs and his later career.
On Saturday September 6, the annual Salmon River Festival was conducted in downtown Pulaski. This year’s festival incorporated additional venues in the north Park, Court House, Masonic Temple and Pulaski Historical Society. Despite some gloomy and occasional wet weather many people enjoyed the day, and sales were brisk in both parks. Half-Shire Secretary George Widrig conducted an exhibit at the Court House which saw only a few people. We were disappointed in attendance there, and hope to better advertise next year. Thanks go out to Jerry and Lorraine Orton of Syracuse who came up with their terrific display of Grand Army of the Republic Memorabilia and material from the Woman’s Relief Corp.
Our member Julie Litts Robst is nearing completion of her most recent book in the Richland Township Cemetery series. The new volume is over 300 pages thick and will cover Willis/South Richland Cemetery on County Route 41 south of Pulaski. The book is anticipated to sell for $35 or $38 by mail. Details will follow in future columns.
The 2009 local views calendar is progressing well; the theme of Historic Bridges has brought forth some very good images of the past, with only one to find for Amboy left. We are in hopes of completing this in the next few weeks and having the calendar available for $7 at local vendors, or $9 by mail.
Research on the descendants of Richland Township Revolutionary War Veteran Thomas Taylor, Jr. has been a focal point for both Mary Lou Morrow and Shawn Doyle. Taylor who died in 1826 lies at rest in McClelland Cemetery just off Exit 34 of Interstate 81 south of Pulaski. Members of the Stewart, Higler and Hinman families claim descent from this honored veteran, and a better family tree is being worked on to trace out the line. Deputy Town Clerk Millie Newcomb has been particularly helpful in searching out the Vital Statistics and putting pieces together.
Half-Shire can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. 73 1100 County Rte. 48, Richland, NY 13144. Our website at www.halfshire.com has links for each township with additional approaches to offsite resources.
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