Issued Every Thursday.
50 Cents Per Year.
O. Clate Silver, Proprietor.
The following was transcribed from The Savannah Reporter, Vol. I, No. 10, February 14, 1889. This small-format 4-page newspaper, published in Savannah, N.Y., consisted of a front page with serialized fiction story, two pages of local news, and back cover having local advertisements. Newspaper owner Oscar Clayton Silver, a.k.a. O. Clate Silver, had just turned 21 years old when he first published this paper. Below is a transcript of the news from the only known example of any issue of this paper as of 2006 (per the New York State Library's New York State Newspaper Project), which is in the collection of the Office of the County Historian of Wayne County, NY. Our sincere appreciation for being able to present this rare newspaper to the public goes to Peter Evans, Wayne County Historian.
Everybody was there: the rich, the poor, the big, the little, the great, the small and all tried to see who could get outside of the most food in the shortest space of time.
The bill of fare consisted of an endless variety of the good things of life, which go to satisfy the longings of a good appetite and an empty stomach; for empty stomaches are in order at donations, as they come but once a year, (we mean donations, not empty stomaches) and for a day or two previous most people live on a very light diet, in order, we suppose, to better enjoy the repast. The committee in charge, profiting by experience on other occasions of this sort, had an abundance of everything.
The chicken pie was all that could be asked for: pleasing to the eye and sweet to the taste; in fact just such chicken pie as one encounters but once in a life-time.
Of course some one had to upset their coffee - a donation would not be complete without this attraction.
But, donations, like continued stories, have an end. The end came; the people departed; the world wagged on; and everybody went about their usual duties this morning, as if nothing had happened. Rev. Jarvis received $64.75.
There are 12 first class artists in the Foster Theatre Company. They will be at Gregg's Opera House every night next week. Admission, 10 cents, Reserved Seats, 10 and 20 cents extra. Everybody will be there.
Persons having friends visiting them will confer a favor by handing in their names for this column.
--- Mr. N. C. Vought is able to be out again.
--- Messrs. M. A. & A. P. Smith were in Syracuse, Saturday.
--- Mr. & Mrs. L. C. Sherman were in Syracuse over Sunday.
--- Mr. Will Harmon is ill with inflammation of the lungs.
--- Mr. & Mrs. F. H. Brightman were in Phelps the fore part of the week.
--- Messrs. Loren Southwick and D. J. Cotten were in Syracuse yesterday.
--- Mr. J. B. Laird was a delegate to the Grand Lodge of A. O. U.W., at Syracuse, last week.
--- Mrs. E. W. Smith is in Phoenix this week, called there by the illness of her mother and sister.
--- Messrs. Elmer Le Fevre, of Weedsport, and Lou Peck, of Syracuse, visited S. S. Bibbens over Sunday.
--- Mr. James B. Wiley has been appointed to look after the burial of indigent soldiers, sailors and marines, in this town.
--- Mr. Bert Leonard was in town, Tuesday. He is now Secretary and Treasurer of a company that manufactures a washing powder, in Chicago.
--- Before this paper reaches our readers the marriage of Loren Southwick to Miss Nettie Wheeler, of Butler, will have taken place. We extend congratulations.
--- Prof. Charles G. Plumb is at present confined to his house with sickness, and is unable to perform his duties at the school. Miss Carrie Squier has control of his room during his illness.
The Foster Theatre Company open up on Monday evening, Feb. 18, for the entire week. Change of programme each evening. Ladies free the first night.
- This is St. Valentine's Day.
- Washington's birthday - one week from tomorrow.
- Our facilities for doing Job Printing are first-class.
- Cowen & Southwick will locate in Jordan about March 1st.
- We are sad to relate the serious illness of Mrs. S. B. Griffith.
- The Reading Circle met at Miss Maud Farnum's Tuesday evening.
- A select dancing party will take place at the Opera House on Saturday evening.
- Fried cakes and coffee were served at the Ancient Order hall last Saturday evening.
- Rev. B. I. Ives will lecture at the M. E. Church some time next week under the auspices of the Ladies Social Union.
- Horace Smith will occupy the house in which his brother now resides and Add. will move to the new house of Leslie Fenner.
- A good time is reported by those who attended the party at Ethan Calkins' last Friday evening; also at Miss Jessie Carris' the night before.
- There was a good attendance at the young people's meeting last Sunday evening. We are glad to record this fact and hope the future attendance will be still greater.
- A lecture by Rev. Copeland of Rochester, will be given at the Opera House tomorrow evening. Subject: "The First Battle of Bull Run." Let there be a large attendance.
- Quite a number of this place attended the Minstrels at Clyde, Tuesday night.
- Commencing tomorrow evening and continuing one week, a temperance organization known as the "Hamilton Helpers," will give lectures at the M. E. Church, under the direction of the Royal Templars. Good singing will be a special feature. Admission free.
- Parties are all the rage. Last Friday evening about thirty young people convened at the spacious dwelling of Judge Rising, by request of his daughter Bessie. Social games and good music were enjoyed by all present. A bounteous repast was served at 1 A. M., after which they withdrew to the capacious sitting-rooms, where stories, riddles and sailors' yarns were spun in great abundance.
At 4 A. M., the party bid adieu to their hostess, hoping to call again at some future time.
Mrs. Rosanna Squier died on Thursday, Feb. 7, 1889. She was born Feb. 6, 1827. Although she has not enjoyed good health for many years, she was usually well until Saturday before her death, and was not considered dangerously ill until Wednesday morning when she had a sinking spell, after which she failed rapidly until she passed away.
Her death is a great bereavement to her family and the four sisters who survive her. The funeral service was held at her late residence Sunday morning, Rev. E. Jarvis officiating. Fine singing was furnished by a selected choir. She was taken to Seneca Falls and interred in Restvale Cemetery, where her son lies who died less than a year ago. She had been a resident of Savannah for nearly thirty years.
Publisher Oscar Clayton Silver (1867-1931), son of Harvey O. Silver and Fanny Sergeant, married Catherine Verbridge, daughter of immigrants from Holland, Cornelius and Wilhelmina Verbridge. Oscar and Catherine had three children - Ellena Loraine, William and Donald Clayton. The Historian's Office cemetery list for Palmyra Cemetery on Vienna Street has the following:
Silver, Clate O. - 1867-1931
Silver, Catherine H. - wife, 1867-1937
I found his son Donald, born October 4, 1900, in the SSDI, having passed away in 1994, last residence Newport News, Virginia.
A profile of O. Clate Silver appears on page 102 of George W. Cowles' 1895 book Landmarks of Wayne County, New York, copy available for your viewing at the Office of the County Historian. At this time he was also clerk of the village of Savannah:
Silver, O. Clate - was born November 10, 1867 the son of Harvey O. and Fanny (Sergeant) Silver. The elder Silver was for many years a resident of Savannah, where he established, in 1886, the business now conducted by his son. His wife, Fanny, is a daughter of James Sergeant, who enjoys the distinction of being the first white male child born in Sodus. O. C. Silver received his education chiefly at the Sodus Academy, and married, November 29, 1887, Kate Verbridge, of Williamson, Wayne county. They have one daughter, Loraine, born July 28, 1891. In 1893 he assumed control of the business established by his father, that of furniture, undertaking and embalming, and has added a large line of general goods and bakery products. Mr. Silver is a man of enterprise, attending besides his regular business to the editorial charge of the Wayne County Dispatch (Savannah edition), and acting as special correspondent for some of the leading dailies, among them the New York World. Both himself and wife are members of the Savannah Methodist Episcopal Church.
In the 1880 Sodus census, Oscar was a clerk in his father's variety store and resided with his parents and four siblings:
Henry O. Silver, age 35, head
Fanny L. Silver, age 35, wife
Harvey D. Silver, age 14, son
Oscar Silver, age 12, son
Katie M. Silver, age 8, daughter
Hattie B. Silver, age 6, daughter
Willie W. Silver, age 4 months, son
Dealing with the public in a family-owned mercantile position at such an early age surely had something to do with his entrepreneurial spirit and starting a small newspaper shortly after his 21st birthday. One might speculate that he was an interesting personality, as he modified his given name to something with a bit of pizazz. There is much on line in the ancestry.com database and the LDS familysearch.org database about the families of both O. Clate Silver and his wife Kate Verbridge.
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