Memorable Christmas gift

RoyHodgeby Roy Hodge

Even by my family’s gift giving standards, I received an unusual but welcomed Christmas gift this year. When we had finished our family gift exchange on Christmas Day, Jeff said he had one more thing in the car. He came back with what looked suspiciously like one of the large binders we had used to store weekly copies of The Fulton Patriot. That’s exactly what it was.

The binder was wrapped around all the pages of the 1901 issues of The Fulton Patriot, which at this point of 100 years plus are individual, well-worn and torn sheets of that year’s papers. It seems that the file came to me through a somewhat involved route from the Fulton Public Library after the pages were transferred to microfilm – as many years of Patriots have been.

Any and all of those issues may be viewed on microfilm at the library.

The tattered pages that I have spread out on our kitchen floor — I figured that would be the easiest place to clean up all the scraps, pieces and fragments that I will end up with — are from Jan. 2, 9 and 16, 1901. Crawling around on my hands and knees, I am discovering bits of 112 year old history from those pages.

A boxed notice on page 1 of the January 2, 1901 issue states that, “The subscription price of The Fulton Patriot for this date is reduced to One Dollar a Year. See article on page 2.” That article explains, “With this number The Fulton Patriot commences its sixty-fifth volume at the commencement, also, of the twentieth century.

“We desire to return thanks to the patrons of this paper in the year past and to assure them that in the year upon which we have entered, we shall aim to make The Patriot one of the best papers in Oswego County.”

The article continued, “We also wish to call the attention of our friends to the fact that with this date the subscription price of The Patriot is reduced from $1.25 to ONE DOLLAR a year, making it one of the best papers for the money that is published…”

Information on page 2 states:  “The Fulton Patriot is issued every Wednesday morning from the office of the undersigned, 117 Oneida Street, entrance through the Post Office Lobby.” Frank M. Cornell was the publisher.

117 Oneida St., on the corner of Oneida and Second streets, is the same address that I worked from for many years as a member of the Patriot staff. Urban Renewal eventually forced a move of our facilities to a former private home and at that time, the location of Foster Funeral Home at 186 S. First St. in a pleasant area near the Fulton Public Library, Fulton’s U.S. Post Office, and the Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

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