Hometown Heroes from Central New York Honored

State Senator Patty Ritchie’s traveling exhibit of Hometown Heroes from Central New York and Northern New York who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their service in America’s armed forces is going on display at the Half-Shire Historical Society, 1100 County Route 48 in Richland Hamlet.

On Thursday there will be a free public opening and reception from 6 until 8 p.m.

“Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are associated with more than 45 individuals who have received our nation’s highest military honor,” said Senator Ritchie. “Unfortunately, most people are not aware of these local heroes who in many cases risked everything for our nation.”

“The Half-Shire Historical Society takes great pride in presenting this display of Medal of Honor winners, including some of  our own Oswego County heroes,” said Half-Shire Historical Society President Shawn Doyle.

As part of the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln establishing this award,  Senator Ritchie developed a traveling exhibit to help build awareness of the many heroes from local communities who received the award “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.”

“Too many of these heroes have been forgotten. We in New York State can proudly point out that one in four of the 3,500 recipients are from New York State,” Senator Ritchie said. “That’s why I’ve introduced legislation to pay tribute to New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming some of the bridges and overpasses of our state in their honor. You can learn more about my Heroes Highways bill by visiting www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.”

The heroes in the exhibit include:

Civil War hero Dr. Mary Walker of Oswego Town, the only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Civil War heroes Privates James and Allen Thompson, two brothers from Sandy Creek, who refused to surrender despite being heavily outnumbered.

World War II hero Staff Sgt. Curtis Shoup of Oswego and Scriba who destroyed a German machine gun nest during the Battle of the Bulge.

Private Neil Bancroft of Oswego who carried water to the wounded under fire at “Custer’s Last Stand.”

Civil War hero Sgt. Frederick Randolph Jackson of Smithville led his troops in the attack against Fort LaMar despite his wounds from a cannon.

Civil War hero Alaric Chapin, who was born in Ogdensburg and lived in Pamelia, helped lead the attack on Fort Fisher.

Civil War hero Captain Dayton Clarke of DeKalb fought a desperate hand-to-hand combat as he led his troops on a charge against Confederate forces.

Civil War hero Private James Flanagan of Louisville helped save a wagon trail from Confederate raiders.

Civil War hero 1st Lt. John Rutherford of Waddington shot a Confederate officer’s horse and convinced a superior force to surrender.

Civil War hero William E. Johnston of Morristown who was known as President Lincoln’s drummer.

Civil War hero Private Joseph Lonsway of Clayton who swam across a river under fire to help his unit capture a Confederate artillery position.

General Newton Martin Curtis of DePeyster, the hero of Fort Fisher, who was shot four times and lost an eye leading the attack on the Confederate defenses.

Sgt. George Eldridge of Sackets Harbor who helped battle the Kiowas during a desperate battle on the Little Wichita River.

Afghanistan war hero Sgt. Jared Monti of Fort Drum who gave his life for a wounded companion.

The exhibit is now on display at:

The St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s Silas Wright Museum in Canton.

The Jefferson County Historical Association’s Museum in Watertown.

Future displays include:

Oct. 27 at the Annual Fun Day at the Walker House Museum in Madrid, New York.

For more information, visit:

The Half-Shire Historical Society’s hours are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Directions to Half-Shire Historical Society, 1100 County Route 48, Richland (315-298-2986)

From Pulaski:
Take County Route 2 (Maple Ave.) east into the hamlet of Richland (5 miles)  at the “T” in the center of Richland, turn left (north) and go about 500’ – the building is on the right.

From Camden/Rome:
Take State Rte. 13 west to Pineville Hamlet (just past Altmar) turn right at intersection of County Route 48, head north, crossing the steel bridge over the Salmon River. Once in Richland Hamlet (about 5 miles) turn right onto County Route 2 and then left to resume on County Route 48 north. 500’ on right is the structure.

From Watertown:
I-81 south to exit 36, Pulaski. Take a left at the top of off ramp. Travel 5 miles east on County Route 2;  at the “T” in the center of Richland, turn left (north) and go about 500’ – the building is on the right.

From Syracuse:
I-81 north to exit 36, Pulaski. Take a right at the top of off ramp. Travel one mile until the first left turn, cross river and go around the transfer station, turn right, on to Centerville Road, then left on to Peck Road. At the end of Peck Road turn right onto County Route 2 and enter Richland hamlet. Turn left at the “T” and building is 500’ on right.

Closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,  however, appointments may be available upon request for these days.

Contact Doyle at (315) 298-3620 or (315) 532-5919  for an appointment.