The Oneida County Historical Hall of Fame, begun in 1946, has named five individuals to its 2019 inductee class: Spanish American and World War I veteran Sgt. Charles Adrean, Utica Mayor Boyd Golder, Jewish community advocate Libby Sherman Kowalsky, broadcast personality and Holocaust survivor Julian Noga, and "the father of college hockey," Albert Prettyman. The Hall of Famers were inducted alongside the 2019 Richard W. Couper ‘Living Legends’ class: Congressman Sherwood Boehlert, retired Observer-Dispatch publisher and president Donna Donovan, beloved bakery and restaurant owners Segean and Mary Ann Karam, jazz musician Monk Rowe, and Oneida County Legislator Ed Welsh. Biographies for each inductee are below. 

This year's inductees are being recognized for their service as community leaders and advocates, and for their efforts in furthering the region's industries, culture, and educational opportunities. They were honored at the History Center's annual Historical Hall of Fame and Living Legends Awards Banquet at the Hart's Hill Inn on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. 

2019 Telethon Raises $29,326!

NEWS

2019 Dr. David and Carolyn Ellis Historical Hall of Fame Inductees


Sgt. Charles Adrean (1877- 1918)

Utica native Charles Henry Adrean was born in 1877.  He joined the National Guard after high school and served in the Spanish American War.  He rose to Corporal and Sergeant before receiving an honorable discharge at the age of 40 for purposes of entering the U.S. Army during World War I.  He joined the 107th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Infantry (Orion) Division, which shipped out to Europe in May 1918.  Adrean was gravely wounded in combat and died of his injuries on October 1, 1918.  He was one of 437 men of the 107th Infantry to lose his life, out of a total of nearly 3,000 men.  He was awarded the U.S. Army’s Distinguished Service Cross for his gallantry, the highest award for valor short of the Medal of Honor.  Today he is remembered as the namesake of the Adrean Terrace housing complex next to the State Armory on Culver Avenue.  American Legion Post #625 in Utica is also named in his honor.  Charles Adrean was 41 when he lost his life and is buried in St. Agnes Cemetery on Arthur Street in Utica.

Boyd Golder (1892-1978)

Boyd E. Golder was born in Utica and graduated from the Utica Free Academy.  He attended Union College and received his Master’s Degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  He served as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.  Golder was mayor of Utica from Jan. 1, 1946 to Dec. 31, 1955 during the city's "loom-to-boom" era, which were the years that most of the city's knit goods mills relocated to the south and were replaced by such firms as Chicago Pneumatic, General Electric, Bendix Aviation, Sperry UNIVAC, and Mohawk Airlines.  Thus, he led the city in its transition from a mill town to a light electronics-machine-manufacturing town.  He was a charter member of the Utica College Foundation Board, and was instrumental in getting the state to locate the College of Applied Arts and Sciences in Utica in 1946 (today MVCC).  Golder was a member of the Kiwanis Club for more than 60 years, active in the Boys State program, and a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Utica.

Libby Sherman Kowalsky (1872-1959)

Libby Sherman was born in Poland and immigrated to Utica at the age of 13. She married Wolf Kowalsky and the couple had four sons.  Libby was known as the pioneer woman of the Utica Jewish community and was the leading unofficial social worker in the area.  She was instrumental in establishing the Charles T. Sitrin Home, which originally opened as a 6-bed facility for convalescent Jewish men and women in 1951.  She helped organize the Bikor Cholim Society, a society for caring for the sick, and served as the organization’s first president.  She was a member of the Hadassah, Zionists Organization of America, New Israel Club, Council of Jewish Women, Sisterhood of Temple Beth El, Miller Street School Auxiliary, St. Elizabeth Hospital Guild, and the Red Cross.  She received a letter of commendation from President Eisenhower in 1958 for her years of community service. Libby passed away in 1959 and is buried in the House of Israel Cemetery in Whitesboro.

Julian Noga (1921-2014)


Julian Noga was born in Szczucin, Poland on July 31, 1921, and relocated with his family to Austria after the Nazis invaded his homeland.  He survived 4 years in the Flossenberg concentration camp before marrying Frieda Greinegger, also a Holocaust survivor, and immigrating to New York Mills in 1948.  Noga owned Lincoln Jenny Memorials, and was the founder and president of the Kopernik Association.  He served as president of the Polish Community Club, was an honorary member of the PLAV Edward Bator Post #21, and president of the White Eagle Association.  He was dedicated to sharing his story to any who would listen.  He started a weekly radio broadcast on WIBX called “Polonaise,” which kept Polish traditions vibrant while capturing his love for his homeland.  The program aired for 24 years.  His memoirs were translated for the first New York State Education Department curriculum guidelines and he provided testimony about his experience for the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.  Noga lived in New Hartford, NY when he passed away at the age of 93 on October 10, 2014.

Albert Prettyman (1883-1963)


Albert Ira Prettyman was born in Virginia, but had a significant impact on hockey and Central New York.  Prettyman brought ice hockey to the Utica area in 1917 and helped make the village of Clinton one of most passionate hockey towns in America.  A major figure in collegiate hockey, he was the head of Hamilton College’s Department of Education and coached 25 seasons of ice hockey with a winning percentage of .643.  He also coached 27 seasons of other sports, including football, basketball, baseball, track, tennis and golf.  He founded the N.C.A.A. ice hockey rules committee in 1925, and served as its ice hockey rules committee chairman for 18 years.  He served on three Olympic committees, and led the American Olympic ice hockey team to victory, wining a bronze medal at the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany. Prettyman passed away at the age of 80.  After his death, the American Hockey Coaches Association called him "the father of college hockey," and said, "During his active years, there was no more respected name in hockey circles the world over than that of Albert I. Prettyman."

Hall of Fame & Living Legends Class of 2019

Platinum, Gold, & Silver Sponsors

​Oneida County History Center

The Oneida County History Center raised over $29 ,000 during its 14th annual telethon held on Thursday, March 21 from 6:30-8:00 pm. The telethon, hosted by Joe Kelly and Sharry Whitney (Mohawk Valley Living),  was broadcast live on WUTR-TV from the History Center’s main gallery and encouraged community members and organizations to call in and pledge; $29,326.00 in new memberships, membership renewals, and donations were received.  Thank you to the many individuals and organizations who showed their support. 
 
This special event is one of the History Center’s largest annual fundraisers and is used to support our ongoing efforts to promote and preserve the history of the greater Mohawk Valley. The investment made by the community is vital to the organization and serves to support educational opportunities for students of all ages, free public programs, exhibits, collections maintenance, and much more. 
 
The first 40 callers who pledged $40 or more are eligible to receive a limited-edition Oneida County History Center water bottle.   Thanks to Oneida County Tourism for sponsoring this special incentive.  Winners will be contacted within the next week and will have 60 days to pick up their bottles at the History Center, located at 1608 Genesee Street. 
 
Several organizations, businesses, and individuals were recognized during the broadcast as part of the ‘Historical Star’ board and special check presentations. The History Center staff, volunteers, and board of trustees would like to extend a special thanks our Platinum, Gold, Sliver, and In Kind sponsors.

Platinum Sponsors 
Adirondack Financial Services; Bank of Utica; Chris & Virginia Kelly; Northwestern Mutual Utica; Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig; Staffworks Inc.

Gold Sponsors
Caruso McLean Investment Advisors;  Coleman B. Harding;
The Melva Max Family; Richard Williams; UFA Alumni Association

Silver Sponsors
Leigh Baldwin, LLC

In Kind Sponsors
Northland Communications; Oneida County Tourism; Saranac Brewery; 
Symeon’s Greek Restauran; WUTR
2019 Richard W. Couper Living Legends Inductees

Sherwood Boehlert (Utica)

Utica native Congressman Sherwood Boehlert dedicated much of his life and career to public service and the community. He served in the United States Army from 1956-1958, and attended Utica College, graduating in 1961.  He served at the local and state level prior to his election to the US House of Representatives.  Positions held include staff for United States Representative Alexander Pirnie of New York from 1964-1979, Oneida County Executive from 1979-1982, delegate to the New York State Republican Convention in 1980; and delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1980.  Congressman Boehlert served 12 terms as a Republican in Congress from January 3, 1983-January 3, 2007.  He was active during his tenure and held many leadership positions including Chair of the Committee on Science, Chair of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, and Co-Chair of the Northeast Ag Caucus.  The National Journal deemed Congressman Boehlert the “Green Hornet” and featured him as one of the dozen “key players” in the House of Representatives.  Time Magazine recognized Congressman Boehlert as a “power center” on Capitol Hill, and Congressional Quarterly named him one of the 50 most effective members of Congress.

Donna Donovan (New Hartford)

Donna Donovan was head of the Observer-Dispatch for 23 years and has served the community in many capacities.  She attended Syracuse University and received a dual B.A. in Public Communications and Spanish.  Early in her career she worked as a reporter with The Courier-News in Bridgewater, N.J. and as the editor at the O-D and the Daily Press.  In 1984, she moved to Sioux Falls, S.D. to work as president and publisher of state’s largest daily newspaper, the Argus Leader.  She was the first woman in that role.  She returned east to become the president and publisher of Vermont’s largest daily newspaper, the Burlington Free Press and vice president of the Gannett Company’s East newspaper group.  She returned to Utica in 1991 as the president and publisher of the O-D.  She retired from the ​O-D in 2014.  Outside of her journalism career, Donovan volunteers at the Stanley Theater, the Boilermaker, and as a eucharistic minister and lector at her church.  She has served on several boards including the United Way, the School and Business Alliance, EDGE, the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Utica Development Association, and the Resource Center for Independent Living Foundation.

Segean & Mary Ann Karam (Whitesboro)

Segean and his wife Mary Ann Karam have been fixtures for the local Lebanese community and the Utica area.  Segean, along with his two brothers, opened Karam’s Bakery and Restaurant at 137 Campbell Avenue in Yorkville, in June of 1975.  Since then, Karam’s has grown and become not only a valued meeting place in the Utica community, but a place where everyone is treated like family.  Much of the homemade, natural food served at Karam’s comes from secret family recipes passed down from generations.  Seagan was born in Sarine, Lebanon, and Mary’s family ran the former Karrat’s on Seneca Turnpike. Segean and Mary Ann have run the business for around 45 years.  They are both very hands-on and frequently on-site.  They have grown the business considerably and now run an 80-seat restaurant, bakery, and grocery store that is famous throughout the region.

Monk Rowe (Clinton)

Monk Rowe is a multifaceted musician with a knack for giving back to the community.  He performs jazz, blues, rock & roll, and classics at music venues throughout Oneida County, and is also a talented educator, historian, composer, and author.  In his position as director of the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College, a project he has directed since its inception in 1995, Rowe personally interviewed over 300 jazz artists to preserve their unique and significant oral histories.  He writes original work and commissioned arrangements for a variety of ensembles including the Utica Symphony, the Fredonia Alumni Jazz Ensemble, and the Allegria Trio.  Rowe gives back to the community by frequently presenting educational-based performances and lectures.  He has presented programs at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers, the Jazz Education Network, the International Society of Music Educators, and numerous historical associations, schools, community centers, and libraries.  He received a SAMMY Award for Outstanding Music Educator in 2018.  Monk Roe is a vital asset to the community and brings an engaging charisma to all his endeavors.

Ed Welsh (Utica)

Ed Welsh has impacted the greater Utica and Central New York areas throughout the past thirty-five years. His mantra is “Helping others is the best any of us can do as human beings.”  Welsh worked for AAA Northeast for 34 and served as the company’s executive. He shared his expertise on WIBX radio’s Car Talk program and is a nine-term member of the Oneida County Board of Legislators.  Welsh has built a strong bond with the Central Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired (CABVI).  He is very passionate about the organization and has been involved for twenty-five years, serving on the board of directors and as chairperson.  He will soon become the president and CEO of this vital community asset.  Further, he has shared his time and experience with the Utica Tower Corporation, the Revolutionary Trails Council for the Boy Scouts of America, Utica’s Engine 11, the Madison Oneida BOCES Rosetti Education Center, and the Civil Air Patrol Utica Composite Squadron.  Welsh has made it a point all his life to assist those who need direction and is a significant contributor to the Oneida County community.