A sizable donation earns Colgate University its name: This week in Mohawk Valley history

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1891, 132 years ago

A generous gift

There is joy galore on the campus of Colgate University for James B. Colgate — a trustee and a wealthy financier — has donated one million dollars to the school. He is the son of William Colgate, a pioneer in the field of soapmaking (and founder of what became the Colgate-Palmolive Company). He and his family have given millions to the university through the years.

It was founded in 1819 by 13 men who had established the Baptist Educational Society of the State of New York. In 1849, the school name was changed to Madison University (it is in Madison County) and in 1890 — in recognition of the support from the Colgate family — the name was changed to Colgate University.

1923, 100 years ago

Conkling Park Zoo

The Roscoe Conkling Park Zoo has two new tenants. They are female and male elks from Yellowstone Park in Wyoming and are gifts to the city from Utica Lodge No. 33, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

In the early 1900s, many homes in Utica did not have showers and bathtubs so the city’s bathhouse was a busy place. It was on the south side of Jay Street, just west of Mohawk Street. It was run by the city and heavily patronized for more than 50 years. It had 19 showers for men and six for women. There was no charge and people could bring their own soap and towels or rent towels. Later, when most homes had showers and bathtubs, the steadiest patrons were men who worked in foundries and mills in both East and West Utica.

1948, 75 years ago

VFW officers

Michael J. Foley, of Rome, is elected commander of the Mohawk-Adirondack Counties Council, Veterans of Foreign Wars. Others elected include: Clifford J. Evans, of Utica, senior vice commander; Thomas Newcomb, of Oneida, junior vice commander; Harold Reed, of Boonville, chaplain, and Louis Zoekler, of Utica, and Mario Pellaso, of Rome, trustees.

1973, 50 years ago

Symphony conductor

Fritz Maraffi, currently the musical director of the Rome Festival Orchestra in Rome, Italy, is appointed conductor of the Utica Symphony Orchestra. He also will teach music at Mohawk Valley Community College. He has a degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati, a bachelor's degree in English from Oberlin College and one in violin from Oberlin's Conservatory of Music.

More history:Utica's first school opens, cutlery company makes pocket knives

More:Chicago Pneumatic to build $3 million factory in Frankfort: This week in history

Looking back:Week of remembrance, unity and tending horses

Whitesboro's board of education makes five new appointments: Robert W. Brien, principal of the Main Street School; Paul Liddell, acting principal of the junior high school; John Pickett, acting junior high assistant principal; Mario DeMarco, chairman of the Social Studies Department, and Wilbur Black, industrial arts chairman.

The Utica Stamp Club celebrates its 50th anniversary.

1998, 25 years ago

Potentate named

Norman W. Jeche, of Whitesboro, is named potentate of Ziyara Shrine Temple. He retired from the Niagara-Mohawk Power Corporation where he was a regional marketing specialist.

In high school hockey, Eric Miller scores the winning goal in the opening minute of the third period to lead Proctor over Whitesboro, 3-2. Proctor also gets goals from Justin Ruddy and Mike Sangiacomo. Goalie Jerry Sangiacomo has 26 saves. Jeff Bostic and Anthony Gentile score for Whitesboro and Goalie Ben Schoen has 20 saves.

Lynne Mishalanie, of Yorkville, is named "woman of the year" by the Business and Professional Women's Club of Utica. Her Utica Monday Nite project has been a tremendous success. She was born in Utica, raised in Sauquoit and earned a master's degree in guidance counseling from Syracuse University. She currently is director of the Domestic Violence Research Department at the YWCA of the Mohawk Valley.

Frank Gruenewald is president of the board of the Faxton Hospital Foundation. John Storey is vice president and Carol Gilberti is secretary.

2013, 10 years ago

Sea lion adopted

Zoey, a baby sea lion at the Utica Zoo, has been adopted by members of Girl Scout Troop 600 in Utica. They collected bottles and cans for several months as part of the zoo's Adopt an Animal program. Among the scouts who participated are Emmalee Minns, Holly and Brianna Ruggiero, Francesca and Felice Sardina-Boisen, Madison Griffin, Megan and Grace Novak, Emma Ferguson, Brianna Scalise and Taylor Smith. Deb Griffin and Jackie Smith are troop leaders.

Trivia quiz

Did President Abraham Lincoln have brothers or sisters? If so, name them. (Answer will appear here next week.)

Answer to last week's question: Five U.S. presidents served in the Navy during World War II and took an active part in that war.

John F. Kennedy commanded a torpedo boat in the Pacific and earned a Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart for his heroism in rescuing members of his crew after their boat had been rammed by a Japanese destroyer.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was a lieutenant commander who received the Silver Star for gallantry under fire when the patrol bomber in which he was flying was attacked by the Japanese.

Richard Nixon was lieutenant junior grade who served in a naval air transport unit in the Pacific and was promoted to lieutenant commander before the war ended in 1945.

Gerald Ford earned 10 battle stars aboard the light aircraft carrier, USS Monterey.

George Herbert Walker Bush was the youngest pilot in the Navy — age 18 — when he earned his wings and flew a TBM Avenger bomber. His plane was hit during a bombing mission, but he was able to deliver his bombs on target before bailing out. He was rescued and went on to fly 58 combat missions and earn the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals.

Jimmy Carter attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis during the war and graduated in 1946.

This Week in History is researched and written by Frank Tomaino. E-mail him at ftomaino221@gmail.com.

This article originally appeared on Observer-Dispatch: Where Colgate University got its name: Mohawk Valley history