Research by appointment​: 
Call 315-735-3642​

Robbie Dancy                 Sister Maureen Denn          Joseph T. Fraccola                  Jim Moran

2022 Richard W. Couper Living Legends

Dr. David A. Brown      Charles F. Cleveland          Beatrice DeSantis           Peter Gansevoort               Bonnie Woods 

2022 Historical Hall of fame & Living Legends!

Joseph T. Fraccola (New Hartford)

Joseph T. Fraccola proudly served his nation after he was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1968. A Vietnam War veteran, Joe received the Purple Heart for wounds received during an enemy rocket attack on June 7, 1969.  He returned home and became an active veterans advocate and integral to his community. Fraccola worked US Postal Service for more than thirty-six years where he co-chaired the Utica Post Office Veterans Committee and petitioned Congress to rename two local post offices for local soldiers killed in Iraq. In 2004 he reactivated the local CNY Chapter 490 Military Order of the Purple Heart and helped establish the 22nd Congressional NY District as a Purple Heart Congressional District, becoming the first district in the nation. Fraccola was a ten-year rider for the Ride for Missing Children. He was a participant in laying a wreath at the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” and was highly involved with the Oneida County WWII Veterans Trip Committee, sending over 850 veterans to visit the WWII Memorial in DC.

Sister Maureen Denn (Utica)

Sister Maureen Denn, CSJ is known in her community and beyond for her selfless compassion and desire to better the lives of anyone in need. She attended The College of St. Rose in Albany, majoring in history, and taught high school before discovering her true passion. She went on to serve as chaplain and pastoral care counselor in the Mohawk Valley Health System for nearly 30 years, retiring in 2012. She has been at the bedside of countless patients and their families working very closely with medical staff to provide the best support possible. Sister Maureen also worked in funeral ministries and has conducted workshops and retreats on stress, and the care and spiritual needs of dying patients and their families. Always an active volunteer, she served on several boards and councils including Hospice Care, Inc. Staff Support; Bereavement Counseling and Pastoral Care Committee; Faxton Hospital Bioethics Committee; and the Samaritan Counseling Center board. Sister Maureen was honored as the 2014 Grand Marshall of Utica’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and received the Health Friends of the Year Award in 2010.

Robbie Hamlett Dancy (Utica)

Mrs. Robbie Hamlett Dancy exemplifies the work done by leaders of the African American community that is historically overlooked and undervalued. She is a force behind the community’s recognition and understanding of the importance of African American history. Under Mrs. Dancy’s guidance, the Juneteenth celebration has expanded in the last few years to encompass the entire community. Working with the NAACP Utica/Oneida County, she has partnered with local businesses including Bank of Utica and Excellus BCBS, and local organizations such as the United Way and Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, to create a three-day community celebration attended by thousands of people. Dancy has received numerous awards for her service to the community including the Utica/Oneida County Branch N.A.A.C.P. Outstanding Volunteer Service Award, Mid-Utica Neighborhood Preservation Corporation Award for Education and Service, the New York State Assembly Women of Distinction Award, and New York State Comptroller Outstanding Service Award. Mrs. Dancy grew up in Utica and is a graduate of Bennett College.

Jim Moran (Vernon)

Jim Moran was known as “The Voice of Vernon Downs” and called the horse races for more than 40 years. Moran grew up in Springfield, MA, and attended Springfield College before moving to central New York where he became sports editor for the Oneida Dispatch. He started calling the races at Vernon Downs four nights a week in 1964 and two years later started calling the races every night. In 1975, he became director of publicity at the track and continued calling the races.  He has served as chairman of the board and president of the North American Harness Racing Publicists Association and alternate president of the Harness Tracks of America. Moran has been honored by numerous organizations. He received the Harness Horse Association of Central New York Golden Pen Award and was inducted into the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame. In addition to his work at Vernon Downs, he announced basketball and football games at Hamilton College and coached youth sports.

The Oneida County Historical Hall of Fame has inducted five individuals to its class of 2022: community leader and Utica’s first Black dentist Dr. David A. Brown, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Charles F. Cleveland, political pioneer and public servant Beatrice “Bea” DeSantis, Revolutionary War hero Colonel Peter Gansevoort and Bonnie Tamer Woods, community ambassador and founding member of Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen. The Hall of Famers were inducted alongside the 2022 Richard W. Couper ‘Living Legends’ class: cultural leader Robbie Dancy, spiritual advisor Sister Maureen Denn, Purple Heart recipient and veterans advocate Joseph T. Fraccola, and “The Voice of Vernon Downs,” Jim Moran. Biographical information is below.

The Historical Hall of Fame was started in 1946 to honor and celebrate past,
local individuals of note. The Living Legend category was added in 2001 to
celebrate current people of merit. Past inductees are leaders, pioneers, and
advocates who achieved prominence that reflects credit upon our community
and made contributions that improved life in Oneida County or enhanced the
cultural and social value of the region. 


The 2022 inductees were honored during the annual Historical Hall of Fame and Living Legends Awards Celebration held on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, and join all inductees in the Hall of Fame Exhibit on display at 1608 Genesee Street.

Historical Hall of fame Class of 2022

NEWS

​​​​​​​​Oneida County History Center

Closed for Thanksgiving
November 24 & 25, 2022 

Research by appointment​: 
Call 315-735-3642​

Hours of Operation:

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 

Closed for Thanksgiving

November 24 & 25, 2022 

Hours of Operation:

Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

​​​​​​​​​Oneida County History Center