State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today welcomed former Fulton Mayor Muriel Allerton to the state capital, where she was honored as a New York State Senate Woman of Distinction for years of exemplary service to her community.
â€œMuriel came to Central New York close to 50 years ago and over that time has certainly made her presence known,â€ said Sen. Aubertine. â€œShe truly is a woman of distinction and a pioneer in this community as the first woman mayor of Fulton. She stands out in the ways she has given of herself to so many in the Fulton area as a volunteer, as an advocate, and as a friend.â€
â€œAnyone who knows Muriel, knows well how deep her compassion, loyalty and commitment run,â€ the Senator added. â€œShe is the type of person who makes friends for life shopping at the corner store and can convey a wealth of experience in the advice she gives. Itâ€™s an honor to recognize Muriel today in Albany as a 2010 Woman of Distinction.â€
Born in 1919 in Guttenberg, N.J., Muriel took a job at Cooper Union in New York City during World War II and attended New York University at night, where she worked as editor of the school newspaper. There she met her husband Joe, with whom she moved from Westchester to Fulton in 1963 when he took a job at the former Nestle factory.
In Oswego County, she worked as a free-lance journalist and joined striking reporters in 1981 to form the Daily Messenger to â€œgive the community another voiceâ€ and the paper lasted four years. When asked to fill in for a few days as the mayorâ€™s secretary in Fulton, she ended up working in that post for 9 Â½ years where she learned about the city and got involved in the campaigns of friends, before being asked to run for mayor herself in 1987.
At age 67, she was elected the first woman mayor of Fultonâ€”at that time, the only woman mayor in Central New York and one of just six in the stateâ€”and served two terms. Throughout 50 years of voluntary community service, she helped form the Fulton Soup Kitchen, the Fulton Historical Society, worked with the Red Cross, the United Way, and the Salvation Army.
At age 90, not even a hip replacement has slowed her down as she continues to be an active member of the Professional Journalists and Communicators, formerly the Oswego County Press Club, the Fulton Community Revitalization Corporation, Neighborhood Watch and the Fulton Empire Zone Board.