Sunday, August 15, 2021

Citizens, Safety, and Civics The Hallmark of School 60 - The “Ontario School”

School No. 60

Modern in Every Particular and is Ably Conducted by 

Principal Elmer J. Cobb


Children Playing Outside School #60 in it's Early Days (Built 1897-1898)

    Buffalo Times - Feb. 16, 1902  Public School No. 60 is one of the new schools. It is located on Ontario Street and called after the street, “The Ontario School." The membership of the school, although now quite small, is steadily increasing and the principal anticipates a very much overcrowded school within a few years. The school is thoroughly heated and ventilated by a most complete system and always is  kept in excellent condition by the janitor.  
 The principal of the school is Elmer J. Cobb. He has been prominently connected with schoolwork since he graduated from the Cherry Creek, N. Y., Graded School, in 1881. Mr. Cobb was born in Cherry Creek. After graduating from school there he became teacher of the district school. He entered the Fredonia Normal School and  graduated from there in 1888. He was appointed principal of the Brocton  Union School in 1888, from there he  went to the Dayton Union School as principal, became principal of No. 29 School in Buffalo in 1897. From there he went to School No. 60 where he has been since 1898.
Students Posing at Front Steps of School #60

   The teachers employed in the Ontario School are as follows: Miss Eleanor F. Wood, ninth grade; Miss Rachel Turner, eighth grade; Miss Josephine L. Doyle, seventh grade; Miss Ada Seekings, sixth grade; Miss Isabella M. Thomas, sixth grade; Miss Christine Bernard, 5th grade; Miss Bertha A. Batty, fourth grade; Miss Augusta F. Kopf, fourth grade; Miss Mary E. Sweitzer, third grade; Miss Emelin A. Glasser; third grade; Miss Mabel B. Toppins, second grade; Miss Cora L. Millington, second grade; Miss Ellen C. Holweis, first grade.

Elmer J. Cobb
Buffalo Times - April 24 1927  There is a section of Buffalo which, in a large measure,  owes its growth and development to a public school. That is the Riverside district, and School No. 60 at Ontario and Saratoga Streets, of which Elmer J. Cobb is principal in the school.  He opened the Ontario St. school thirty years ago, when that part of the city was almost a wilderness.
   Immediately he began putting into practice an idea all his own for training children to become valuable citizens. Here is what Mr. Cobb learned when he commenced: Of the 1600 boys and girls who have been graduated from the school, not one is known to have a criminal record. Nor has one been in court even on a minor charge, according to the principals records. And a majority of the graduates have settled in the Riverside district and now comprise its most influential citizens. and here is what Mr. Hartwell, superintendent of schools, said recently after a visit to No. 60:
  Hartnell's Tribute.  "Riverside school is like a wheel, the hub of which, is good citizenship. And that, after all, is one of the main purposes of all schools. Of what use is all learning if we cannot make our boys and girls fundamentally good?" The work of making future citizens begins in the kindergarten in the Riverside school and continues until the child is graduated from the ninth grade.  For this house of learning goes beyond the eighth grade and overlaps into the ninth, which is regarded and first year of high school work.  
Class Photo about 1905

   Here is Principal Cobb's system:  A few days after school opens in September each year the grade teachers give a short talk about public meetings and civic affairs then before the public. Each teacher proposed that every class should have a club which shall hold meeting and be a part of the general patriotic society of the school.  Officers are elected by popular vote and they run things for the year.  

Student From Above Class Photo

 When the children have grown enthusiastic, the teacher suggests that they organize a little citizens club and elect officers. Meetings are held once a week and business is conducted according to parliamentary rules. And here is the first question put by the president to the other pupils:  "What is the first duty of all American citizens?" And the answer is: It is the duty of all good American Citizens to love their country, to obey its laws and to respect its flag. The idea behind these clubs, as Mr. Cobb explained it is to get the children thus early in life to realize their duties and responsibilities as citizens early in life.  At the same time it gives them a working knowledge of civic life and adult organizations, so that when they grow up they can readily take their places as leaders in their respective communities.

Teachers' Council

  Another organization of the school is a students' council, and it is composed of a boy and a girl from each class of the seventh and eighth and ninth grades. Every Monday it meets for one half hour and listens to reports from the different committees-Safety, building and Grounds, and for the general good of the school.  There is a
Patriotic Celebration Behind School 60 - 1918
View along Saratoga St.
safety patrol, made up of 10 boys, headed by two captains, who assist the traffic policeman at each assembly and dismissal of the school.  Each boy is armed with summonses, which he hands to each erring pupil whom he discovers violating any of the traffic laws. The summonses are investigated by the Traffic Committee of the school, and offending lads and lassies are hailed before the tribunal to explain.  On habitual offenders, severe sentences are handed out; for instance, one repeater for jay-walking was sentenced to write a 500 word composition on the dangers of jay-walking.  To learn the result of letting the children to run things themselves, Mr. Cobb this year made a survey, and learned that there had not been a single accident involving pupils of his school during the entire year, including the long summer vacation and during Christmas and Easter. Truly, a record to be justly proud of. 
   Principal Cobb said that the last spoke in the wheel of good citizenship which he has brought to the Riverside School is that of bringing the parents of his pupils in the closest contact with the work being done in the classrooms.
  "Twenty-five years ago," said he, "this section of Buffalo was almost a wilderness.(1902) Early in the Spring, I gave the children packets of seeds and instructed them as to how they should be sown. And I told I would give prizes to those who should first bring things to me which would be the product of the vegetable seeds.  You'd be surprised at the result of that experiment.  They brought samples of everything and my office was actually littered with the goods.  It almost made me a bankrupt to keep my word and give them the promised prizes. 
Class Photo About 1905

Parents Make Gardens

    That experiment was well worthwhile, however, for the parents of many of the pupils perhaps moved by what the youngsters had done, began to make gardens and so our district has grown into one of the very finest parts of Buffalo."  
    Mr. Cobb did not tell the writer what the people of the section think of him nor how he is regarded there. But one of the teachers suggested that we ask him to show the ring given to him thee years ago by the citizens of the Riverside district in appreciation of his work. Reluctantly he showed the gift, which bears the inscription that it was given to Principal Cobb because he is an educator, a patriot and a friend.
   The original school was built in 1897, when Edgar B. Jewett was mayor and Henry P. Emerson was superintendent of education. The first registration numbered 495, and there were ten teachers. The registration at present(1927) is 1,375 pupils and there are 48 teachers besides the principal. Last year there was a graduating class of 90, and a like number is expected to be graduated this coming June. The school has all the modern equipment, including gymnasiums for boys and girls, domestic science and domestic arts classes, a swimming pool and etc.

A substantial three-story rear addition to School #60, was built in 1922 which included an auditorium.

September 1921 view showing rear of School 60

November 1921 - View from Troy Place

November 29, 1921 - View from Saratoga St.

January 30, 1922 - View From Saratoga St.


Wednesday, May 26, 2021


Thank You to all the Veterans This Veterans Day

 Imagine this scene for just a small contingent of 36 soldiers who were the first to come home after the war in 1919 

The First 36 Soldiers to Return Were Greeted by Thousands!
  Buffalo gave a dramatic, joyful welcome to her first contingent of returned soldier heroes yesterday when thirty-six members of the 102nd Trench Mortar Battery, the old Troop I, came proudly home after several months in the war zone. They reached Buffalo on February 5, 1919, only a small band, but welcomed by thousands. From the time their train reached the station at 10:30 o'clock yesterday morning until the last dance had been finished at the Knights of Columbus service club last night, Buffalo poured forth its tribute to the lads who have brought glory and honor to the city. 
   The troops reached the city on a special train over the New York Central, and, when they detrained, a clamorous, insistent throng of relatives, friends and admirers rushed past the station guards, brushed a cordon of police aside and gave them a greeting that must have been in strange contrast to the scenes through which they passed during the great conflict. The men of the 102d battery fell into line for their march of triumph through long lines of eager, welcoming thousands who flanked Main Street for blocks with a solid mass of humanity.  With heads erect, eyes alight with vigor and health and their faces tanned to a ruddy glow the thirty-six men tramped through Main Street to the accompaniment of hand clapping, cheers and the shrieking of hundreds of whistles. Flags fluttered from every point of vantage and automobile sirens joined in the pandemonium of welcome. It was a scene that was strangely reminiscent of the peace day celebration, when cheering thousands poured through the downtown streets and cheered until they could no longer articulate.

  Members of the 92nd Division of African-American troops return home from WWI. Scene is on Exchange Street shortly after leaving the NYC Terminal. For a full detailed account of the organization & fighting campaigns of the famous Ninety-Second  as recorded by the division's official historian, Click Here. 

  Yesterday's march through Main Street brought out thousands who gave full vent to long pent emotions. Mingled with the cheers and the cheery, 'God bless you,' of the crowd which lined the sidewalks and overflowed onto the pavements could be heard, now and then, the stifled sob of a man or woman as the scene brought to their memory lost ones who will never return. Factory whistles began their shrieking salvos of welcome at 9:55 o'clock, the time the train bearing the men was scheduled to arrive in the city. For more than fifteen minutes they continued their lusty welcome for the heroes. 
  The soldiers were met at the station by a delegation composed of Colonel Newton E. Turgeon, chairman of the citizens' committee named by Mayor Buck in charge of the reception of homecoming troops, Councilmen Charles M. Heald, Arthur W. Kreinheder and Frederick G. Bagley, City Clerk Daniel J. Sweeney and Chairman Frank A. Darn of the Board of Supervisors. Their escort consisted of a detail of mounted police, a band, and a detachment of the 74th Regiment under command of Captain Ansley W. Sawyer. The line formed on Exchange Street and the route of march was Exchange Street to Main, to Tupper to Pearl. 

27th Division Returns to Buffalo - view at Main & Genesee Streets at 10:30 a.m., April 1, 1919, when the 108th Infantry and 106th Field Artillery (old 74th and 65th) came home from France. Wounded Men in autos.

Exchange Street was a seething mass of human beings, each apparently intent upon being first to greet the soldier lads. As the column reached Main and Exchange streets hundreds of belated welcomers rushed from the lower end of the main thoroughfare and literally surrounded the returned heroes. Their progress through Main Street was repeatedly interrupted by enthusiastic friends who disregarded the Police escort and rushed into the street to grasp their friends by the hand to extend their heartfelt greetings upon their safe arrival home. 

  A stirring scene was enacted at Pearl and Tupper streets, where relatives and friends of the men gathered in large numbers to greet them with all the cordiality and happiness they have been hoarding for weary months. The motor corps girls drew the curtain on this touching scene when they snatched up the men in waiting automobiles and whisked them away to the 74th Regiment Armory, where they received the official welcome of the city and what's just as important-their first feed in the home town in many months.

Memorial Day 2022 

With all the due respect we need to show our veterans as in the above story, Memorial Day is set aside for those who did not have the warm feeling of a walk down Main St. to cheering crowds, clapping hands and music.  Their welcome home was more somber and private, if they were able to return home at all.  There were no shaking of hands,  pats on the back or embracing hugs for these men and women.
(click on picture)
To them we must pay homage with pictures, memories, prayers and tears. It seems so little for those who gave so much but in this physical world, that is what we have to offer. Our  gratitude for your service and sacrifice for this country and free nations around the world is boundless.   You will always be missed, and you will always be remembered.  Thank You....and to the families of those who we remember on Memorial Day, may you find peace, along with the strength and support you need to carry you through life.  God Bless.  

Jerry M. Malloy

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Knight's of St. John Storm the City of Buffalo


10,000 Visitors From All Parts of the Country Expected Here This Week For Their Convention



The Knight's of St. John Arch at Main & Clinton Sts.  Buffalo, N.Y. 1906

JUNE 25, 1906
  Thousands of Knights of St. John from various sections of the United States are here. They came in a steady stream of glittering uniforms all yesterday, last night and this morning to Buffalo to attend the first biennial and 27th annual convention of this popular Catholic fraternal organization. Their convention opens at the Teck Theatre with a large attendance of delegates from many states of the union. Supreme Secretary M.J. Kane, estimated last night that fully 5,000 men, carefully drilled and uniformed, would pass under the handsome welcome arch at Main and Clinton streets in the parade, and as this army will be greatly swelled by the delegates and ladies, the number of strangers to arrive today will be close to 10,000.

 The Knight's Arch photo is from the collection of Joseph
Schneggenburger, Buffalo,(1872-1960),German sculptor & 
artistic plaster worker. He may have been the creator of the arch
  Buffalo was ready for the Knights. A large majority of the business places along Main St. and other business streets were early decorated handsomely with flags, bunting and Knights of St. John Insignia. Headquarters had been opened at the Lafayette Hotel and there the delegates and their ladies registered, received their handsome badges, and soon were ready for the day's events. The local Knights had the 74th Regiment Band on duty all yesterday and last night, and again this morning, meeting each incoming delegation that came in by train or boat and escorting them to their headquarters.
  The hotels have nearly all expressed an outward welcome in one form or another. A hotel on West Huron St. has all its balconies outlined in colored lights and draped with yellow and white bunting and the Lafayette Hotel is well adorned with red, white and blue bunting. The large department stores also have draped their fronts lavishly. The Hens & Kelly Company has elaborate decorations of yellow and white bunting, flags and shields and long strings of tiny flags stretched vertically down the rows of windows. The Hengerer building is very attractive with its spread of yellow and white and red, and its big white bow stuck with small flags, over the middle lower windows.  The majority of the buildings along the street have at least a flag in recognition of their guests. 

 The big public feature of the convention, the parade, is scheduled to take place this afternoon, starting at 3 o'clock. The parade will move through Genesee and Franklin streets to the Terrace, thence to Main, to Genesee, to Michigan, to Broadway, To Emslie, and then countermarching to Ellicott Square, where it will be dismissed.
   The big arch at Main St. and Court is, however, the most striking object on the line of march. The 5,000 colored electric lamps which outline the structure and the words upon it will be lighted for the first time tonight.  Beneath the bow of the arch, the word “Welcome” is spelled in electric lights and surmounting the whole is the large Maltese Cross of the order, in red, white and yellow and illuminated by a thousand lamps.

Who Are the Knights of St. John?

   Following the end of the Civil War, there existed a real need for physical and spiritual healing. The Knights of St. John was formed in 1873 in Buffalo, New York, USA with the formation of two Local Commanderies under the 2nd Regiment of Buffalo, New York. In 1879, these many organizations, including the Knights of St. George, the Knights of St. Paul, the Knights of St. Louis, and the Knights of St. John met to form a greater society of Knights. They met in Baltimore, Maryland and formed themselves into the Roman Catholic Union of the Knights of St. John, later shortened to the Knights of St. John. 

  The Order was officially incorporated in the State of New York on May 6, 1886 and took as its mission: “a filial devotion and respect for the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, a sense of honor, love of truth, courage, respect for womanhood and a indiscriminating charity motivated by love of GOD.” They sought to care for spiritual, social and physical needs of their members and neighbors. In the pattern of the Knights of the Crusade, they cared for the victims of the war by forming a Widows and Orphan Fund.  In 1992, the name of the Order was officially changed to the Knights of St. John International to reflect the global structure of the Order.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Making Faster Fruit

 Fruit by Trolley

Suburban Trolley Service from Nearby Farms 

has been put in Operation.

Peaches From Olcott

First Car brought 350 baskets 38 miles in two hours.

Revolution in Fruit and Garden Truck business.

September 5, 1901

   Three hundred and fifty baskets of freshly picked peaches were brought by trolley from Olcott Beach to Buffalo Wednesday night. The car reached Buffalo at 1 o’clock in the morning, and shortly afterwards the fruit was unloaded at the Elk Street Market.  This marks an important epoch in the history of the fruit and garden truck business of Buffalo. The trolley car systems are certainly destined to revolutionize the hauling of the products of nearby farms into the city.  To the officials of the Buffalo Railway Company is due the credit for successfully working out this plan, which affects every householder in Buffalo, or will in the near future, as soon as the scope of the work is extended.

Street railway car designed specifically for the transport of fruit and
fresh market produce. Sign on car: Lockport & Olcott RY

   In the near future there will be an end to hauling of big farm wagons through Delaware Ave., Main Street, Niagara Street, Seneca Street and other main thoroughfares all night long.  The transporting of fruit and garden truck to Buffalo from farms in Erie and contiguous counties has been a serious problem for some time past. Transportation by local trains has been a most unsatisfactory method even where the rates charged have not been prohibitory. The result has been that nearly all fruit and garden truck had to be brought into the city in wagons. It has always been necessary to start these wagons early in the afternoon or evening, depending upon the distance required to be traveled.  During the many hours which the fruit was on the road it necessarily accumulated dirt and dust. the result of this has been that Buffalo housekeepers have not had as fresh and sightly looking fruit and garden truck as they should have.  

    On the other hand the passing of the wagons along the streets at night has long been a nuisance.  Take, for instance, Delaware Ave.  The street is cleaned up early in the evening for the next day, but all night farm wagons pass over the street so that by daylight the next morning the street is littered up.  Officials of the Buffalo Railway Co. took all these things into consideration, and determined to put an end to the trouble by establishing a nightly suburban trolley service for the handling of the products of farms within 40 or 50 miles of Buffalo. Nothing was said about the scheme, and consequently nothing was known of it except by those directly interested in the operation thereof. 

    At 11 o’clock Wednesday night a special trolley car was loaded at Olcott Beach with 350 baskets of peaches. The car was built especially for this purpose in the shops of the Buffalo Railway Company. It is equipped with a motor and closely resembles a closed trolley car.  It has a capacity of 600 baskets of peaches, and is closed so that all the contents are perfectly protected from the dust of the journey.  The run of about 38 miles to Buffalo was made in two hours over the tracks of the Lockport & Olcott, the Buffalo & Lockport and the Buffalo Railway lines. The entrance into Buffalo was via Main Street, whence the car was taken to Perry Street and over to the commission house of Charles Richardson at 58 and 60 West Market Street. This morning the commission men on the market were extremely jubilant over the successful inauguration  of the suburban trolley car delivery of farm products, and asserted that it would prove of the inestimable benefit not only to themselves but to every householder in the city.

   Inquiry at the offices of the Buffalo Railway Company this morning elicited the fact that the system has been permanently adopted. It was stated the another car would be put in service tomorrow; that a number of similar cars are now in the process of construction at the company’s shops, and that by next week several of these cars will be in successful operation.

Elk Street Market, Buffalo N.Y.

       Officials of the Buffalo Railway Co. promise that they can give a rate for transportation which will enable the farmers and fruit producers throughout Western New York to bring their products to Buffalo in a much better, quicker and more economical manner.  Instead of 12, 15 and 20 hours being consumed in the journey, all the products from the farms can be gathered late in the day, loaded after dark, and reach Buffalo Markets between 1 and 3 in the morning, fresh for the consumers.  Furthermore, this system will be in strange contrast to the transportation of produce by railroad from points not easily reached by wagon. All who have had anything to do with the handling of fruit and garden truck sent by train know the extremely stale and bad condition of most of it by the time it has been handled and re-handled before it reaches its destination.   
   As the Buffalo Railway Co., or the main organization, International Traction Company, controls all the suburban lines  in and  around Buffalo, the company is prepared to offer great inducements for the transporting to Buffalo of all products of farms many miles from Buffalo in almost any direction.  The officials promise shortly, the cars now being constructed will be completed and will at once be put into daily service.