How about politics in 1949?

Associated Press news clip from a 1949 Enterprise

The last two weeks has had this space filled with local sports stories, mostly baseball.

But there was plenty of action in other fields, as witnessed by the stories in the August 1949 Enterprises, retrieved from the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.

This headline in the Aug. 2 Enterprise — in 60-point type — read, “VILLAGE MANAGER QUITS AUGUST 4.”

The story made it sound like a surprise to the mayor, Alton B. Anderson, and the village board.

The village trustees were not mentioned in the story, but some research found they were Irving Edelberg, Esq. (long-serving village judge), Carl H. Smith, William B. Currier and Arthur O. Buck.

Associated Press news clip from a 1949 Enterprise

Here are excerpts:

“A temporary acting village manager will probably be appointed this week to serve until a permanent one with engineering qualifications can be secured, Mayor Alton B. Anderson stated today.”

(The village manager form of government, a legal designation, was adopted in 1929. Saranac Lake officials decided that that position had to be filled by an engineer. The first VM was Wayne E. Timmerman, an engineer from Massena, who served from June 3, 1929, until July 1, 1935.)

“Millar Johnson, who has served as village manager since December, 1946, will cease active direction of village affairs on Thursday.”

(The story does not tell that Johnson followed Timmerman as VM and had served in that position from June 28, 1935, until July 28, 1941, and was reappointed in 1946.)

United Cleaners ad from a 1949 Enterprise

“The Village Board, it was disclosed at last night’s meeting, has received three applications for the manager’s position. None, however, it was understood, have engineering backgrounds.

“The application letters are from Frank Buck, Sr., of Saranac Lake, John D. Hall of Waverly, and Bruce Henky of Watertown.

“Mayor Anderson stated that a letter had been sent to the Conference of Mayors in Albany seeking a list of qualified men [or women?] available for the managership.

“The Conference has replied that there is nobody in the State available at the present time.”

(Turns out that Mr. Buck was appointed manager and served very admirably, as I recall, from Aug. 9, 1949, until June 25, 1957, when he retired. He was followed by Stanley Savarie, a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He has been the longest serving VM — from July 10, 1957, until he retired in April 1973.)

My good friend Dick DePuy, a retired New York State Police captain, shares with me a unique chain of positions: Dick from village trustee to village manager to chief of police, me from village trustee to village mayor to village manager.

Early Republican primary

“Only two contests, one for Franklin County District Attorney and the other for Harrietstown supervisor, will be decided by the Republican primary on September 6.

“A check of petitions filed with the Franklin County Board of Elections, by last midnight’s deadline showed that all other county and town position are being sought by unopposed candidates in the primary.

“Contesting for district attorney are Irving M. Edelberg of Saranac Lake and Robert A. Moore of Malone. Hayward H. Plumadore and T. Jefferson Newbold, both of Saranac Lake are contenders for the supervisor’s post.

“No Democratic candidates have filed their intentions. [It was pretty hard to find any Democrats back in the day.] Monday, September 19, is the deadline for County and Town Democrats to conduct caucuses for naming candidates for the November 8 general elections.

“Unopposed candidates seeking nominations for County offices in the primary include Ellsworth N. Lawrence, judge and surrogate; George B. Bradish, clerk; Fred C. Conrad of Saranac Lake, treasurer, and Frank N. Machabee, commissioner of public welfare.

“Uncontested offices in Harrietstown are being sought by the following Republicans; B. D. Yorkey, assessor for four years; Dennis Ducatt, assessor for four years; Gordon Vosburgh, justice of the peace and Frank Sheldon, justice of the peace.”