SULLIVAN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
HISTORY MAKER AND HISTORY PRESERVER AWARDS
The individual biographies are original script from the Award Ceremony Programs, which were distributed at the time the awards were made.
To preserve the integrity and meaningfulness of the award, no editing has been made to the original script.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2004
Max Yasgur (12/15/19~02/09/73)
A history maker is hard to define. Some earn that reputation after a lifetime of dedicated service. Others earn the distinction based on a single courageous act. The man we honor this year is best remembered for one event, but he also earned a reputation for excellence and dedication throughout his life.
Max Yasgur was a dairy farmer in Bethel who suddenly found himself in the middle of the controversy about a rock concert. By standing by his convictions and fighting for the youth with whom he did not always agree, Max brought the most famous concert event in American history to Sullivan County and thereby dramatically influenced the County’s self-perception and future.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2006
Novelist and Screen Writer
Andrew Neiderman was born in Brooklyn, but at an early age his family moved to Sullivan County in the Catskills area of New York. After attending public schools in Fallsburg, he graduated from the State University of Albany where he received his Master’s degree in English. For the next twenty-three years he taught at Fallsburg High School. He is remembered not only as an outstanding teacher, but as a department chairman, faculty president, county teachers’ association president, director of dramatics and wrestling coach. He was appointed historian for the Town of Fallsburg and wrote the Sesquicentennial History of Fallsburg Township. Also, during this time, he married the former Diane Wilson of Fallsburg. They have two children: Melissa, a teacher in the Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage, California and Erik, a co-captain of a Lear jet who flies for a charter company out of French Valley, also in California. He and his family live in Temecula. The Niedermans have three grandchildren.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Preserver Award 2003
Bee Schoch has written no books, but in her quiet way she has created a valuable legacy for all those persons interested in the preservation of our county’s history.
Bee has deep roots in the life of this county. She is descended from William Van Keuren who in the 19th century gave land for the Van Keuren Cemetery in the Town of Bethel. She was born in 1923 in Mongaup Valley. Her father was a carpenter and there were scores of friends and relatives to pass on the stories, handed down from generation to generation, to an impressionable young girl. However, before becoming involved in county history, Bee’s practical nature decided that she needed a profession with some security and she, therefore, took up the study of nursing at the Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and eventually returned to the county and worked at the Monticello Hospital. After the Second World War she met and married Fred Schoch who had lost a leg in Italy. Their marriage was a close one and despite his disability, Fred lived until 1998, long enough for the two of them to celebrate their fiftieth Anniversary. Their family included two children, Wilhelmina (Mimi) and Robert, six grand-children and six great grand-children.
Sullivan County Historical Society History Maker Award 2003
Alice and Russell (Rusty) Hodge
Let us think back to our youthful days when our bodies had reached their peaks of strength and endurance. If we had tried our hand at Track and Field events, how closely would we have measured up to the following?
40 Yard Dash: 4.2 seconds
100-meter Dash: 10.2 seconds (world decathlon record)
100 Yard Dash: 9.3 seconds
Long Jump: 25' 4 ½"
Shot Put: 61' (American Decathlon Record)
High Jump: 6' 5"
400-meter Run: 47.8 seconds
110-meter High Hurdles: 14.5 seconds
Pole Vault: 15'
1500-meter Run: 4 minutes 12 seconds
Sullivan County Historical Society History Preserver Award 2002
John Conway is a man of many talents. He has tried his hand at different jobs and has been successful at all of them, but he always returns to an early love: Sullivan County history. In reflecting on the direction his life has taken, he senses the important role that his father played in developing his mind. His father ran a gas station in Monticello, but found time to be a voracious reader and books such as Quinlan’s “History of Sullivan County” occupied a prominent place on his shelves. His father passed on to John a love of knowledge and the expectation that every day should include some new learning experience. Also, he encouraged John at an early age to begin accumulating his own books and to build his own library.