Michael Milmoe

Michael MilmoeFor most of Mike’s adult life he owned, published and edited weekly newspapers. These include3d the Chittenango-Bridgeport Times and Clinton Courier. But most of the people in this area associate Mike with the Canastota Bee-Journal. This newspaper was the heart of the printing and publishing business created for the Canastota community by the Milmoe family and its employes for 101 years. The printing service survived and is marking 127 years in the community with a Milmoe owner, son Patrick.

Mike is the son of Frances and Wheeler Milmoe. He was born on January 17th, 1932. The family lived on West Hickory Street at that time. For many years his mother taught typing and stenography at Canastota High School. Wheeler, in addition to owning the business was an Assemblyman for 18 years and state Senator for six years.

Mike attended South Side, Spencer Street, Chapel Street schools, as well as the High School on Peterboro Street, now an elementary school and the only one still standing of those he attended. Mike’s middle and high school years were during World War II and its aftermath. In 5th grade Mike was excused early on school days so he could go to the shop and help with the printing production since two printers were serving in the military. The Bee-Journal sent a free newspaper weekly to all those from Lenox who were away at ward and Mike also helped his mother type soldiers addresses each week so the papers might be mailed out. Businesses in town and many clubs and individuals donated to a fund to cover some of the cost.

Entering high school in 1945 Mike became busy in offerings at CHS. His free time was spent inMilmoe Graduation athletics, dramatics, editing his class yearbook and socializing. By junior year Mike had won starting positions in football, basketball and baseball which provided grist for many fond lifetime memories. The 1947 football season was highlighted by an unbeaten and untied season and the 1949 baseball season resulted in the team becoming the informal sectional champions.

After high school Mike entered Cornell University, participated in Freshman football and baseball and worked on the Cornell Daily Sun, initially as a member of the sports staff and later as Sports Editor. Mike earned his diploma, a BA in 1953.

In the same year as a ROTC 2nd Lieutenant he reported for duty at Fort Dix. After armored instruction at fort Knox he was assigned to lead a Reconnaissance platoon for a tank battalion in Hanou, Germany followed by a short tour as officer in charge of the US Press Center in Frankfort.

Back home as a civilian Mike began full time duties at the Canastota Bee-Journal and became immersed in community affairs. These included Lions Clb, Chamber of Commerce, Canastota Development Corporation, 150th and 175th community birthday bases. Mike became active in NY Press Association as a director and the paper was honored with Blue Ribbon newspaper status by the National Newspaper Association each year there was competition, receiving more than 60 awards and plaques for newspaper excellence. In 1981 the Bee-Journal was judged 2nd place general excellence among 2500 newspapers under 4,000 circulation. Mike served as President of the NY Press Association in 1974.

Two of Mike’s favorite community efforts have been Canastota Canaltown where he served over 20 years as a director and two years as treasurer since its inception 25 years ago.

Mike served as a 25 year director of Oneida Savings Band and is presently director at Chittanango State Bank. He also served two terms as a Village Trustee in Canastota.

Mike Married Marijane Commiskey on June 25, 1960. She was a long time member of the Canastota faculty and the couple have six adult children and 17 grandchhildren, ages 3 to 26. All of their children graduated from Canastota schools. Mary lives in Clinton, Ct., Kathy in Manlius, Anne in Manlius, Patrick in Cazenovia, Michael in Orindo, CA and Jack in Boxford, MA.