Scandalous Heart Balm Suit Accused Ridgeway Native of Impropriety

Vol. 5, No. 38 I do not love thee! – yet, I know not why, Whate’er thou dost seems still well done, to me: And often in my solitude I sigh That those I do love are not more like thee! – Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton Did you know that until 1935, an individual could file a lawsuit against their sweetheart for “breach of promise to marry?” Although both men and women could initiate such a lawsuit, “Heart Balm Statutes” commonly provided a jilted lover with an avenue for seeking financial reparations against their darling gentleman. Sweeping reforms in the

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Jeddo Merchant Lived Double Life in Chicago

  Vol. 5, No. 37 This photograph, taken some time in the 1860s by an unknown photographer, shows Philetus and Eliza Bates of Jeddo; an inscription on the reverse reads “Bates and wife, storekeeper at Jeddo.” The Bates family was well known in Ridgeway near the Niagara-Orleans County Line thanks, in part, to Philetus’ father. An early settler of Orleans County, Orlando Bates constructed the first mill at Jeddo Creek and the location was quickly referred to as “Batesville” in honor of its pioneer founder. On the surface, the life of Philetus Bates appears relatively uneventful. An obituary published in

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Remains of Medal of Honor Recipient Returned to Medina 71 Years Ago

Vol. 5, No. 26 Of the five Medal of Honor recipients from Orleans County, John E. Butts of Medina was the only county native who received the award posthumously for his heroic actions near Cape La Hague, France. The son of Jerry and Anna Hogan Butts, John was born August 4, 1922 at Medina, New York. As a young man, he attended the St. Mary’s parochial school, joined Boy Scout Troop 25, and played right guard for the Medina High School football team before enlisting with the New York National Guard on October 12, 1939. When Company F of the

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“The Mother of All Storms”

A Hough 100 Loader removing snow on East Shelby Road, February 3, 1977. Vol. 5, No. 5 A couple feet of snow, sub-zero temperatures, and forty mile-per-hour wind gusts make for an unbearable week of Western New York weather. Although for many long-time residents of Orleans County, these winter storms are dwarfed by the fierce Blizzard of ’77. Growing up in Western New York, the “Great Blizzard” as I will call it, is the stuff of legend. Over eight feet of snow accumulation in some areas, peak wind gusts topping out at sixty-nine miles-per-hour, and snow drifts reaching thirty or forty

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Free Silver Candidate Attracted Attention at Knowlesville

Vol. 4, No. 43 Amidst the Gilded Age, American workers experience a spike in perceived prosperity as average wages rose above those in Europe and immigrants flooded into the United States. Yet, as the name suggests, the Gilded Age provided the outward appearance of growth and success while a run on currency, closing banks, and overextended industry led to a severe economic crisis extending from 1893 to 1897. The appointment of receivers for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad on the advent of President Grover Cleveland’s inauguration indicated a serious and extended financial situation looming on the horizon. The issues facing

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