Webster Museum
Christmas 1940-1945 Tidbits from the Webster Herald

Only One Plate Attached to Autos For Next Year

December 19, 1941

When owners of automobiles and trucks apply for their license plates for the year 1942, they will receive but one plate. This is to be attached to the rear of their automobile or truck, and this plan is being carried out in the interest of defense by conserving steel.

You are asked to save the 1941 plates that you remove from your car. No definite plan has yet been made for collecting of these old plates, but some plan will be worked out. Save your plates and watch the Herald for information as to what you will be asked to do with them.


Many Gift Boxes Go to the Men In Service

December 19, 1941

After the federal authorities completed the task of demolishing the illegal still on North Avenue in Webster, they turned over some old smashed kettles, old pipe and some coke, with the request that it be disposed of and the proceeds used for some good cause. This property netted the sum of fifty dollars.

A couple of Webster citizens had a few sessions discussing what best to do with this fifty dollars and both agreed that it should be used in some way for the men in defense training. As there are approximately seventy of these men from this community, it was realized that fifty dollars was not sufficient to do what it was planned to do. four organizations in the Town of Webster were asked to contribute something to this fund and through their generosity the amount was increased to eighty-five dollars.

It was then decided to pack a box of gifts for every man in the service who went from Webster and community and these boxes went forward to them by mail early this week.

Classified Ads

December 20, 1945

Have your tire recapped with knobby treads for winter driving. Finn’s Servicenter, Main St. Webster

Harold Klick

Local Soldier Puts On Kilt Like Scotsman

December 22, 1944

Pfc. Harold W. Klick, stationed somewhere in England, spent a recent furlough in Scotland and satisfied his curiosity on just how the “Ladies from Hell” feel in their short skirts.

In England for the past 15 months, Pfc. Klick is the son of Frank H. Klick.

Chatanooga Choo Choo Leads Again

December 26, 1941

Although it doesn’t quite agree with the popular radio presentation, WHS students have their own conception of a hit parade.

Students of all tastes and from all classes cast their vote for a favorite song producing some interesting results.

  1. Chatanoogo Choo Choo
  2. Elmer’s Tune
  3. I Know Why
  4. Concerto-Tonight We Love
  5. Stardust
  6. Shepherd’s Serenade
  7. Why Don’t We Do This More Often
  8. I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire
  9. Time Was
  10. Two In Love


Family in Webster Receives Glad Tidings of Great Joy

December 24, 1943

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Welch and family of Webster have cause for rejoicing this Christmas time. True, they share the unfortunate results of war, as their son is held at a Japanese internment camp, but a message of joy and hope came to them last week in the form of a letter from that son, the Rev. Leo J. Welch. The parents, brothers and sisters have waited many anxious months for some word from Rev. Welch. In fact, it was almost two years from the time they received his last letter until the one came through last week.

Santo Thomas Internment Camp
Manilla, Philippines
September 12, 1943

Dear Father and Mother:
I am very well. May god grant that you are too. I am saying Mass every day as are also the other fathers. They too re well. We are carrying on some of the works of sacred ministry. Last month I baptized ten children. The last message I received from you was your telegram for Christmas 1941. This is my first message to you since then. Give my regards to my brothers and sisters and their families, also to Uncle Henry and Sister Camillus etc. Do not worry about megs we are all right here. Keep up your trust in the Good God who knows and loves us wherever we be. I pray for you continually. In my mind, I often see you present at Mass and extend to you my blessing. May God bless you all.

Your loving son
Leo J. Welch, S.J.

They’re In The Service Now

December 22, 1944

F.H. Bertch SC
November 29, 1944

Dear Folks:
I wish to thank the Cheerio Club very much for the nice box that was sent to me for Christmas. It arrived in a very appropriate time and its contents were of great use to me. That writing paper came in very handy too. There still is not much change where I am. It is the South West Pacific no matter how you look at it. I’ll sure be glad when I get home so that I can see all of my friends and also some snow. I miss the old town very much. I also get great enjoyment out of the Webster Herald which reaches me off and on. No matter how old it is, it still is good to hear about home folks again. I want to thank you again for the Christmas package, and it makes a person feel good to think that the folks back home are thinking of you.

Yours truly,
Francis Bertch

A Tribute To Those Who Sacrificed Their Lives For Us

December 22, 1944

The following list of those who were killed in action or who died in service up to December 1 is the latest compilation prepared by Cottreall-Warner Post of the American Legion. A list of those who were prisoners of war in Germany is also included.

Cpl. Robert Avery, Marines, Saipan, June 1944.
Sgt. William D. Burke, Army, forced down in Mediterranean after bombing Turin, Italy, November 8, 1943. Declared dead, November 9, 1944.
Pvt. Thomas Collister, Army, Africa, June 1, 1943.
Pvt. Raymond J. Conrow, Army, France, July 11, 1944.
Pvt. Everett Garling, Army, accident in Hawaii, April 15, 1942.
Pfc. James Hendricks, Army, accident in Alaska, August 11, 1943.
Lt. Alan Hermance, Army, missing in action, Germany July 26, 1943. Declared dead August 25, 1944.
Pvt. Edward Hollenbeck, Army sickness in England, April 26, 1944.
Capt. Verner Ogi, Army, Africa.
Lt. John Pfeifer, Army, accident, California, September 20, 1942.
P 3/c Robert Read, Navy, Pacific, September 15, 1942.
Pvt. Robert Scaver, Army accident, California July 22, 1944.

Prisoners of War in Germany
Lt. Everett Schieven
Lt. Donald Austin
Pfc. Rolland Witt


2019 Christmas Tree Contest

Decorating begins Saturday, November 30th
At the Webster Museum

Once again, artificial trees will be placed throughout Webster museum by the end of November, awaiting decoration by creative minds and hands. Webster's scouts, families, clubs, organizations, groups or individuals should plan to register as soon as possible, as there are a limited number of trees.  Trees may be decorated using exhibit placement theme, organization theme, or any other family-friendly idea.

The winning tree is determined by public vote and there are two categories: adult and youth.  A $25 prize is awarded in each category.

Trees may be decorated on Saturday, November 30 from 2:15-4:15 p.m., Tuesday, December 3 from 2:15-4:15 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m., and Thursday December 5 from 2:15-4:15 p.m.  Most but not all trees have lights and all but one have access to electricity/extension cords.

Voting begins on December 7 during Webster's annual Christmas in the Village event and ends on December 31. 

Trees will be registered to callers in the order that calls are received.  

Please call Kathy at (585) 313-3709 and leave a message with name and phone # to return the call.  

Please be prepared to supply the following information when we speak:

Caller's name, phone number and email
Decorator's name, phone number and email
Date/time plan to decorate
Special requests (location, lights, etc)
Questions you may have


Apples to Apples

The Webster Museum Display Case
At the Webster Public Library

We skipped the card games and biographies of Steve Jobs and decided to focus on the item that in many ways put Webster on the map...the apple. A bit of a visual history is now on display at the Webster Public Library.

Mary Pantas 1928 - 2019

History and a Cup
Forever a part of the Webster Museum

You could feel the joy in the air when Mary stopped by the Webster Museum. She was kind enough to join us in September for our Motoring open house and in May for History and a Cup. Here at the museum, we're fortunate to have reminders of Mary all around us. She is dearly missed!

May 8th 2019: Mary Pantas: YouTube Watch Now

May 15th 2019: George Baker YouTube Watch Now

May 22nd 2019: Wayne Wolfe YouTube Watch Now


Dear Webster Museum

Notes from Webster Students

A selection of letters sent to the museum following student visits.

Share and Inspire
share and Inspire
Share and Inspire

Do you have a skill or collection you would like to share?

If you're available between 2:00-4:00 pm Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays we'd love to have you! It's a great opportunity to share what you enjoy and maybe inspire and educate others.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more.

The Cunningham Automobile

100 years ago it was possible to buy an automobile that was built in Rochester, NY. Possible, but expensive. James Cunningham, Son and Company produced some of the most expensive vehicles available at the time. The Cunningham Automobile was a handmade, high performance vehicle that rivaled the likes of Rolls Royce.

Cunningham's clients included Cecil B. De Mille, George Eastman, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Marshall Field, William Randolph Hearst, Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford, and the Wrigley brothers.


Voices of History

Library Case

Old Time Radio

Until 1922 there was only silence.

Rochester's initial attempts to break that silence didn't go entirely as planned. It's first commercial radio station (WHQ) closed after only a few short months thanks in part to the steel superstructure of the Times-Union building that housed the radio station's antenna and muffled its signal. Luckily the expertise and equipment that put WHQ on the air was passed on to George Eastman who founded WHAM with the assistance of Lawrence Hickson in July of 1922.

The voices of Rochester radio soon became familiar friends, relied on for news, weather and entertainment.


Jack Benny | Our Miss Brooks | Stay tuned, more to come...


Overview | Orson Wells | Stay tuned, more to come...


Winston Churchill | Stay tuned, more to come...


Boris Karloff | Commercials

A small glance at the Civil War

New to the Webster Museum

Thanks to the many talents of Tom Pellett, the museum now has a miniature diorama portraying a battle during the American Civil War.

Richard Brookins: American St. Nick

December 9, 2017

It was truly an honor to have Richard Brookins and his family at the museum. Though Mr. Brookins didn't arrive by army jeep or wear the vestments of St. Nickolas, his appearance brought a lot of joy to those in attendance (and maybe even a tear or too).

The simple desire to bring joy into the lives of children during a horrific war, became something far more.

A few photos from the afternoon are now online.

Raising Monarchs

The story of Webster extends beyond its businesses, homes and roadways. One of the things that makes Webster the place "where life is worth living" is its nature and the many parks, woods and trails that are open to explore.

With that in mind, here is a small look into the world of another kind of Webster resident, the Monarch butterfly.

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