Homeville Museum names 2021 Cortland County HOF inductees

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Homeville Museum — a component of the CNY Living History Center — in conjunction with the Cortland County Historical Society have named the official 2021 Cortland County Hall of Fame selectees.

Here they are in chronological order of birth:

Sgt. Llewelyn Norton (1837-1914)

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A native of Scott, New York,  Norton fought with the Union Army’s 10th New York Cavalry.

At the Battles of Little Sailor’s Creek in 1865, he charged the line and captured two Confederate soldiers. For his actions that day, he was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

He died in Homer, New York in 1914 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

John Forshee (1883-1974)

Forshee was born in Willet, but lived most of his life in Cincinnatus, learning the trade of tinsmith from his father using his grandfather’s patented tinsmith tools. He worked his trade into his 30s, but left the trade until returning in his 80s.

He was well known for such items as candle molds, pans, cups, cookie and donut cutters and even candelabras and thimbles.

His pieces are works of art and his tools are on display in the Cooperstown Farmers Museum. He was the subject of a PBS Special titled ‘Inheritance’. A segment of it is found on Youtube titled ‘Tinker: John Forshee.’

Nellie Randall (1892-1983)

Randall immigrated to America from Scotland in 1909 and settled in Homer.

She ran restaurants in Homer, Tully and Skaneateles.

However, she was best known for being in charge of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dining rooms during World War II, serving President Roosevelt, General Marshall, Admiral Nimitz and many others.

William J. Dwyer (1895-1958)

Born in Truxton, NY, Dwyer attended Cornell University where he earned a Civil Engineer degree.

He joined the US Army’s Engineering Reserve Corp in 1917 and served in Europe with Company K of the 23rd Engineers. In 1919 he returned home and to his job with the State Highway Department.

Dwyer was the Cortland County Superintendent of Highways from 1921 until his death in 1958. In 1951, he started to lay out plans for Little York Park that the county had acquired in the 1930’s. The park was renamed in his memory in 1959.

Francis (Fritz) Mullen (1923- )

Mullen was born and raised in Cortland, NY. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII, completing 32 missions in Europe as a top turret gunner in the B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress, including during the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944.

In 1947, Fritz joined the family business, Mullen Office Outfitters, and worked there until he reluctantly closed the Cortland institution in 2018, after 105 years in business.

Fritz has been a member of the Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans.

“We are tentatively planning an Induction Ceremony on May 22 at 1:00 pm for the 2020 & 2021 Selectees. Look for more details once our plans are finalized on the Homeville and CNY Living History Center’s websites and Facebook pages.

As with every previous year, there were many more deserving individuals nominated than selected. Four of the five 2021 honorees had been nominated in at least one previous year. Well-deserving people may not always be selected in their first or second year on the ballot.

Also, many great people with compelling stories are yet to be nominated. We gratefully recognize Joe Cortese, Evan Faulkenbury, Kate O’Connell and Marsha Powell for serving on this year’s selection committee.

Thank you to the many people who nominated individuals and described their contributions at all levels of historical impact- from their villages to the international arena!” – Kim Walsh, President of Homeville Museum

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