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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • 3 to join Steuben County Hall of Fame

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  • An advocate for senior citizens, a farming businessman and a railroad developer will be inducted this year into the Steuben County Hall of Fame.
    Warren A. Thompson, of Bath, Sarah A. Curtis, originally of Hammondsport and currently living in Florida, and the late Samuel Hallett will be inducted during a ceremony in April.
    The three inductees were chosen out of 25 nominations received by the Steuben County Hall of Fame Selection Committee. The county Legislature approved their selection during a meeting Monday.
    According to Eleanor Silliman, committee chairwoman and Steuben County historian, those inducted into the Hall of Fame must have done something notable for the county.
    “They were all born in Steuben County this time, but that’s not necessary,” Silliman said. “They can be born other places as long as they’ve done something substantial for Steuben County.”
    Their achievements were highlighted Tuesday in a historical society press release.
    Born and raised in Addison, Sarah A. Curtis, 77, became the first female commissioner of the Steuben County Department of Social Services.
    In 1973, Curtis established the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) - which promotes productive aging by providing senior citizens with the opportunity to volunteer throughout the community. Over the past 40 years, the program has contributed nearly 3.5 million hours of service in Steuben County.
    A 1942 graduate of Savona High School, Warren Archie Thompson, 89, spent eight years in the U.S. Army Air Corp as second lieutenant and aircraft maintenance officer before returning home to the family farm on property known as Eagle Valley in Steuben County. While managing the family farm, Thompson became involved in government surplus, allowing him to finance the acquisition of 21 properties in the county, known today as Thompson Farms, according to the press release.
    Samuel Hallett was born in 1827 in Canisteo. He was a railroad developer during the early years of the country’s rail system.
    Hallett’s business enterprises include partial ownership of Hallett & Co. Bank in New York City, as well as partial controlling ownership of railroad later known as the Kansas Pacific Railway.
    Hallett also built a large, 20-column mansion in 1854 in Wayne known as the “Hallett House” or “The Aisle of Pines;” the mansion burned to the ground in 1974, according to the historical society.
    He was shot and killed by a railroad investor 149 years ago.
    Thompson, Curtis and Hallett will join the 129 other Steuben County Hall of Fame members during an induction ceremony April 26 at the Bath Country Club.
    Tickets are $12 per person, and reservations must be made by April 16; call 664-2199 or email historian@co.steuben.ny.us.

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