Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey talk. Many of Cortland's politicians try to imitate these sounds:  
Cornell Labs--Wild Turkey Sounds 

Turkey Facts-DEC

History of Thanksgiving Day

If you have time, pull up an empty chair and read about an unusual wild turkey hunt. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


The Cortland Opera House was located on the north side of Groton Avenue. The Cortland House Hotel stood next to it at the corner of Groton Avenue and Main Street. (Grip's photo: looking west from Groton Ave. and Main St.)

The Cortland Democrat, Friday, April 24, 1891.

Concerning Licenses.
   The board of trustees at their meeting held last Monday evening, decided to charge circuses and all field shows a license fee of $25 for each exhibition. At the Opera House and in all other public halls a fee of $1 will be charged when the admission is 25 cents or less, two dollars where the price of admission does not exceed 75 cents and three dollars where it exceeds that amount.
   If the rule is strictly adhered to, a circus or menagerie would be required to pay the sum of $50 for the privilege of giving the usual afternoon and evening performances.
   The price fixed by the board is exorbitant and will probably result in keeping this class of entertainments away from town, or if they do come they will be forced to pitch their tents off the corporation, and the only party in this section that will reap any benefit from the action of the board, will be the horse railroad company.
   We have heard former trustees favor the high license system on the ground that it was desirable to keep circuses out of town, because it was charged that they carried away more money than they left. In many cases this is undoubtedly true, but there is another aspect of the question which should receive the attention of the board. While the members of the board may be able to take trips out of town and spend their money in witnessing entertainments in other cities, the laboring man, as a rule cannot afford to do so, and the only opportunity he and his family have for recreation is when entertainments come here.
   Again the trustees may not care to attend circuses, unless they are provided with complimentary tickets, but this does not prove that others are of the same way of thinking. These entertainments are as a rule harmless, and are heartily enjoyed by hundreds of people, who are not able to go abroad in search of amusement, and their wishes should certainly be consulted. We think the board should recede from the position taken and fix the fee for circuses and other field shows at a reasonable sum.
   A few years since, several public spirited citizens of this place, put their hands in their pockets and contributed liberally of their means for the purpose of building an Opera House that would be an ornament to the town, and which would provide opportunities for the citizens to witness good entertainments without being obliged to go to some of the large cities to do so. Not one of the gentlemen referred to, ever expected to receive any dividend from the money invested and they have not been disappointed. As a business investment it was a monumental failure, but the structure itself is an ornament to the village and it is the only comfortable place in town available for holding many local meetings and entertainments. Notwithstanding this fact, the board of trustees propose to charge the stockholders of the Opera House Company a fee of from $1 to $3 for every entertainment given in the building. The companies that furnish the entertainment always require in their contracts, that the city license shall be paid by the manager of the Opera House and if this is not agreed to, the company refuses to sign and will not come. So the license fee voted by the trustees simply takes so much money out of the pockets of the stockholders, after they have paid quite handsomely to furnish an amusement temple for the benefit of the people. There is no justice in such action and we doubt if the board would have taken the action they did, if they had understood the situation thoroughly.
   The DEMOCRAT has reason to know the fact that the manager of every local entertainment, whether it is for the benefit of a church or other institution, invariably insist that the Opera House must be rented for that particular entertainment for less than it costs to warm and light it, on the ground that it is a local affair, and as a rule their requests have been granted. The only entertainments the Opera House company can rely on for a revenue sufficient to meet the interest, taxes and expense of running it, are the foreign ones and now the village proposes to tax these.
   The Opera House company pay taxes on their building and now the trustees propose to tax them for the privilege of doing business.
   The trustees ought not to insist on the payment of this tax, until such time as the Opera House will pay the expense of running and keeping the same in repair. If the board are desirous of taxing somebody, let them charge a license fee for the swindling patent medicine concerns that make night hideous with their alleged entertainments on the street corners almost every night during the summer season. Here is an opportunity to charge a round sum and if it drives them out of town, no one would be injured by their departure.

A Wife-Shooter Convicted.
   SYRACUSE, N. Y., April 22.—Wilbur F. Barker who, on January 10 last, committed a murderous assault upon his wife, was convicted of assault with intent to kill in the court of sessions this evening. Barker's wife had left him because of cruelty, and taken her baby with her. She secured a position as teacher in one of the public schools. On the morning of January 10, Barker went to the house of Mrs. Barker's sister, where she was staying, stole the baby and went to the school house and shot his wife five times with a 38-calibre pistol. Three of the balls passed through Mrs. Barker's neck, but she recovered and testified against her husband. She is a young woman and Barker is forty-eight years old. She was his third wife, and the marriage is a secret one and was opposed by her family. Sentence will be pronounced in a day or two.

Burglars About.
   Last Monday night burglars entered C. F. Thompson's market at No. 21 Railroad street, through the door of the hallway that leads to the second story, and after taking what money there was in the cash register, they passed through the door from the market into the grocery department adjoining, and rifled the cash register in that department. It is not known whether they carried off any goods or not, but they secured what money there was in the cash registers amounting to $5.60.
   The door through which they affected an entrance was locked from the inside and the key had been tied to the knob of the door, to prevent any one from pushing the key out and unlocking the same. This key had been stolen out of the door sometime during the day before. The burglars locked this door from the inside and passed out of the rear door of the grocery department.
   Three Italians who were in the store Monday were arrested on Tuesday and taken before Justice Bull and searched, but as no evidence could be produced to hold them they were discharged. The search disclosed the fact that one of them carried an ugly looking dirk on his person. This is the third time burglars have affected an entrance to Mr. Thompson's store within a few months but on each occasion the loss has been small.

Evading the Law.
(New York Mail & Express.)
   The steamer Oregon left Liverpool a few days ago with over five hundred passengers, and when she arrived at Portland, Me., yesterday she had only fifteen on board, having touched at Halifax and landed the others at that point, in order to avoid the new emigration law, which imposes a per capita tax of fifty cents. All of these emigrants will find their way across our border by rail, and in view of the possibilities opened up by this method of evading the laws, other nations will be quick to take advantage of the same.

Austin Corbin.
The New York Central May Take in the Elmira, Cortland & Northern Railroad.
(From the New York Sun April 23.)
   The Vanderbilts may get one of Austin Corbin's railroads, after all. If they do not it will not be Mr. Corbin's fault, as it was when they were after the Lone Island Railroad. Mr. Corbin saw that if they got the Maxwell and Graves holdings he might be easily sidetracked in the Long Island management. So he went in with his friend Mr. Charles Pratt and checkmated the Vanderbilts by putting the big block of stock into his own pocket.
   But Mr. Corbin wishes the Vanderbilts well and he has shown it by offering them another railroad—the Elmira, Cortland and Northern. Unfortunately it is not so choice a lot as the Long Island Railroad, and this time Mr. Corbin is waiting on the Vanderbilts. Mr. Corbin has made several visits to the Grand Central Station. He offered the Elmira, Cortland & Northern to the New York Central for the guarantee of the fixed charges. He offered to throw in the $2,000,000 of capital stock, it is said. The funded debt is $2,448,689, and the annual fixed charges are $115,980.
   The Vanderbilts have not given an answer yet, but they are thinking seriously of taking the road, from the fact that they appointed a delegation of officers to inspect its condition. General Manager J. M. Toucey and Chief Engineer Walter Katte left last night for Canastota, and the officers of the Elmira, Cortland & Northern will show them about to-day. Whether the Central takes the road or not will depend largely upon how much it will cost to put the roadbed in condition. If it is in good condition, very likely a bargain will be reached.
   It extends from Elmira to Camden, 139 miles, the road proper being 118 miles from Elmira to Canastota. The Canastota Northern, which extends from Canastota to Camden, is leased. The road has good connections at Elmira with the Lehigh Valley, Erie and Northern Central, and passes through Ithaca and Cortland, crossing several other roads. It taps the lake regions and furnishes a valuable route for reaching the summer resorts, besides a link for a north and south route into the mining regions of Pennsylvania.
   Mr. Corbin offered the road to the Lehigh Valley people at the time that there was so much agitation about parallels in northern New York. The Lehigh Valley could have had it by paying the fixed charges, and it came near taking it for two reasons. One was that it might have used a section of the Elmira road as a link in its Buffalo extension, which would be shorter than the present surveyed route. Again, the Lehigh Valley had its eyes on Northern New York, of which the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg had so long had a monopoly.
   Mr. Corbin realized that the Elmira, Cortland & Northern, of itself, would never become a great road, since it practically began nowhere and ended nowhere. For several years past it failed to pay its fixed charges. Last year it came out $6,339 ahead. To put it on its feet it was necessary to extend it, and the northern outlook was most promising. Mr. Corbin canvassed the territory of the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg with his proposed parallel scheme and all the countrymen flocked to his standard. The Watertown people offered to give him the right of way and help him build the road. Along came the New York Central with a second scheme to parallel the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg.
   Mr. Corbin thought that his time had come. If he could only get the Central to help him build the Camden, Watertown & Northern there would be a boom for the Elmira, Cortland & Northern without much expense. The Vanderbilts refused for the reason that they wanted the Rome Watertown & Ogdensburg, and they didn't really intend to build.
   Then followed an interesting game of bluff in which the New York Central said its parallel would be completed soon after the frost was out of the ground; Mr. Corbin said that his extension would go through regardless of the Central, and the Rome Watertown & Ogdensburg declared that it would build two parallels to the New York Central. The outcome has been that none of the new roads was built. Nevertheless all will be happy, including Mr. Corbin, if the last deal goes through.
   The question is, "What does the Central want of the Elmira, Cortland & Northern?" One purpose is to shut out further parallel into the territory of the Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg, which it must protect in order to enable it to pay the high fixed charges which it guarantees. If the Central did not take the Elmira road several other companies might think of snatching it up, and there would be trouble. The Central, if it gets it, will use it for tapping the coal regions. In connection with the Beech Creek road and the Oil City extension it would furnish a short route to the West from northern New York points.
   NEW YORK, April 22.—It was stated to-day that Austin Corbin had offered to sell the Elmira, Cortland & Northern Railroad to the Vanderbilts and that Vice-President Webb, Engineer Katte and Superintendent Toucey have started on a trip of inspection over the road. The Vanderbilt representatives, however, deny having any intention of making the purchase. Austin Corbin says the road has not yet been sold.
   General Superintendent Toucey and other officials of the Central road passed through Cortland over the E. C. & N. road Wednesday morning in a Central observation car and stopped off at the station in this village, and after inspecting the same, together with the car shops, left on the special train for Elmira. The train was in charge of Superintendent A. Allen of E. C. & N. road.

Killed by an Engine.
   At about 11 o'clock last Friday morning Jay, the seven-year-old son of Leonard Hugenin, of 189 Port Watson-st., was run over by a freight engine on the switch near the cattle yards south of the D. L. & W. station, and so severely injured that he died about 1 o'clock in the afternoon. The pay car going south had stopped at the water tank to take water, and the boy stood on the track in front of the train. When the pay train started, he stepped off the track and over on the switch, evidently not noticing the freight engine that was backing down on the same, and which was too close upon him to avoid the accident. His left leg was cut off near the thigh and the right leg was horribly bruised and crushed. There were several severe bruises about the head.
   His father who is in the employ of Messrs. Maxson & Starin, was soon upon the scene and Dr. Bennett was called. The little fellow was placed upon a board and carried to his home, and although everything was done for him that was possible, he died at 1 o'clock. He was unconscious from the time of the accident. The funeral was held from the home of his parents Saturday afternoon.
   This unfortunate accident ought to serve as a warning to the young boys who make a practice of hanging around the stations, but it will not. Their parents certainly ought to take the matter in hand and see that their boys are anywhere else, and they should not find fault, as many of them do, with the officers at the stations, who try to drive the boys away.

Monday, November 23, 2015


State Normal School at Cortland, N. Y. (View is from Courthouse Park looking south. The buildings were bordered by Greenbush, Port Watson and Church Streets.)

The Cortland Democrat, Friday, April 17, 1891.

The Normal School Appropriation.

   Mr. Peck's bill making an appropriation for the State Normal School in this village, of $55,800, provides that the money shall be expended by the local board of managers in making an addition to the present school buildings, for gymnasium, offices, recitation rooms, normal study hall, library and drawing room, society rooms, and cloak and toilet rooms. The plans and specifications for same are to be first approved by the local board, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Comptroller.
   The further sum of $16,000 is appropriated to be expended by the local board in making repairs on present buildings and additions thereto, to consist of new windows for recitation, teachers, society rooms and laboratory, for changing the present library on first floor and large recitation room on second floor into study halls for primary and intermediate apartments, on the first and second floors and science lecture room on the third floor; for the addition of toilet and cloak rooms for boys and girls, and the rearrangement of present partitions to provide for recitation rooms and for repairing the walls, floors and roofs of said present building.

The Central School on Railroad Street (Central Avenue) opened in April 1893.
The Central School Building.
   Mr. Peck's bill authorizing the board of trustees of this village to issue bonds to the amount of $30,000 for the purpose of purchasing a site and erecting a central school building thereon, contains the following provisions: The bonds are to be signed by the President and clerk, and are to be of such denominations as the board shall determine and bear interest at the rate of four per cent. One thousand dollars to be due October 1st next, three thousand dollars shall become due and payable on the 1st of October in each of the years, 1892, 1893, and 1894 and the balance, $20,000, shall be issued as ten, twenty-year bonds payable in not less than ten nor more than twenty years from date of issue.
   The bonds shall be sold at public auction to the highest bidder at not less than par value, such sale to be advertised in two of the village papers in each week for four weeks prior to sale.

   Peck's oleomargarine bill has become a law.
   The Normal Baseball club will have new suits.
   The [State] Legislature will probably adjourn on the 30th inst.
   Thos. White opened his new hotel in Homer last Monday.
   Capt. Hoyt secured nine recruits for the regular army in Norwich, and is now recruiting in Binghamton.
   The C. L. S. C. will meet with Mrs. Sell, No. 7 Homer Ave., next Monday evening, April 20th.
   The Normals will play the Syracuse University Base-ball Club on the fair grounds, Friday, April 24th.
   Mr. W. A. Locke has sold the Dryden House in McLean and has purchased a large hotel at Smithboro, Tioga county.
   W. F. Saunders, of Homer, has exchanged his house and lot on North Main street, in that village, for Burns Brothers' livery stable in Syracuse.
   The penalty for selling tobacco or cigarettes to boys under 16 is a fine not exceeding $50; imprisonment in the penitentiary not to exceed six months, or both.
   The 185th Reg't, N. Y. V., will hold their twenty-seventh annual reunion in the armory in Syracuse, June 11th. General Chamberlain is expected to be with the boys on that occasion.
   The contract for carrying the mails from the post office to the D. L. & W. station has been let to D. H. Thornton. John Garrity has performed this service for more than twenty years past.
   Look out for parties who are about selling grain and seeds, requiring part cash and an order. The order turns out to be a note in many cases. Better still, sign nothing with strangers and deal with your home merchants.
   Mr. E. L. Phelps, of McGrawville, came the nearest to guessing the number of tacks in the jar in the show window of Mr. F. D. Smith, and was awarded the Red Cross cook stove. His guess was 13,540. That was the exact number.
   Burgess & Bingham, the clothiers, have a jar full of corn in their store, and they offer a round trip ticket to New York with a week's hotel expenses while there, to the customer who guesses the number of kernels in the jar or the one who comes nearest to it.
   Parties who desire to train or speed their horses on the grounds of the Cortland County Driving Park this season, must call on F. N. Harrington, the secretary, and procure a card of admission, as this will be necessary in order to gain entrance to the grounds.
   The familiar gray uniform of letter carriers will soon disappear, and a new shade of cadet blue will take its place. The contract for furnishing two suits each to the 10,070 letter carriers throughout the country at $15 without hat or cap, has been awarded to a Baltimore firm.
   The Normal School appropriation bill is in the hands of the Governor, and it is expected that it will be signed this week. The money appropriated will be available at once, and work on the new addition will probably be commenced in a few days. The plans were drawn by Messrs. Fuller & Wheeler of Albany, and are completed.
   Mahan's 17th music festival will be held at the Cortland Opera House, June 1st to 5th. He has an unusually fine array of artists this year, comprising Miss Clementine DeVere, the celebrated soprano; Mrs. C. F. Walker, soprano; the Hatton male quartette; Mr. John C. Bostelmann, violin virtuoso; Dickinson and Beman's festival orchestra; Mrs. Martha Dana Shepard, pianiste and accompanist; Dr. H. R. Palmer, conductor.
   The regular semi-monthly meeting of the W. C. T. U. will be held at headquarters, over Collins' store, on Saturday, April 18th, at 2:30 P. M. The work of the department of White Shield and White Cross will be presented. An interesting program has been prepared. A history of the work will be given by the county superintendent, Mrs. James S. Squires. Methods of practical work will be presented and discussed. All ladies, young or old, members of the Union or not, are earnestly invited to attend.
   The entertainment given by the Syracuse University Glee and Banjo clubs, in the Opera House last Friday evening, was attended by a large audience. The entertainment was given under the auspices of the Cortland Wheel club, and was eminently satisfactory to all who attended. The stage was literally trimmed with bicycles, and the effect produced was decidedly novel and striking. The music was excellent in all respects. After the entertainment the clubs were entertained by the wheelmen at their room in the Democrat building.
   A large force of stone cutters and masons are at work on the foundations for T. H. Wickwire's new house, corner of Tompkins and Owego streets.
   The April number of the Hub, published in New York, contains some handsome illustrations of the Cortland Wagon Company's offices and their output.
   Mr. David F. Wallace has exchanged his house and lot on South Main street for the handsome residence of the late Judge Duell, on Church street, and will have possession to-morrow.
   The Ladies' Social Circle of the Presbyterian church gave a tea at the residence of Mrs. E. M. Hulbert on Court-st., from 2 to 5 P. M. yesterday. Darby's orchestra furnished the music and light refreshments were served. The jug counted out $41.
   Geo. B. Gage, of McGrawville, was arrested last Saturday, charged with not supporting his wife. On Monday he was taken before Justice Parker, of that village, and on his promise to contribute to his wife's support as soon as he could find employment, the prosecution was dropped.
   Papers have been served on Charles W. Smith, proprietor of the Journal of this place, in an action wherein Coroner Geo. D. Bradford charges Mr. Smith with libel in connection with his report of the inquest in the case of Ione Barber. The plaintiff claims damages in the sum of $5,000. Franklin Pierce is attorney for the plaintiff.
Knights Templar.
   Cortland Commandery K. T. No. 50, held their annual conclave in their asylum in this place last Friday evening and elected and appointed the following officers:
   E. C.—Geo. L. Warren.
   Generalissimo—Dorr C. Smith.
   Capt. General—Edward M. Seacord.
   Prelate—Henry T. Dana.
   Treasurer—James R. Schermerhorn.
   Recorder—William A. Wallace.
   Trustee—John W. Suggett.
   S. W.—Arthur B. Nelson.
   J. W—Harry C. Gray.
   St. Bearer—Charles S. Bull.
   Sword Bearer—Wm. Pierson.
   Warden—D. E. Call.
   1st Guard—P. Meulendyke.
   2d " —John W. Suggett.
   3rd " —Curtis L. Kenney.
   Sentinel—M. A. Rice.

[Paid Advertisements.]

Large and most attractive stock of Haines Brothers, Hallet and Davis, Sterling, Newby & Evans, Kimball, Shaw Piano Co., and others in English oak, walnut, mahogany and rosewood, carefully selected with reference to perfection of tone and touch, as well as beauty of case. Any one interested in pianos will find an instrument to suit at Mahan's Music House, No. 11 Court St. (2w4)

Several car loads from different makers of renown, both east and west, are contracted for the spring and summer trade. Some of them have arrived. The line includes the old favorites, A. B. Chase, Story & Mark, Packard, Sterling, Estey and others, in new designs of cases. Not only extremely handsome, but of the best quality made. Prices to suit all, at Mahan's Music House. (2w4)

SECOND-HAND STEINWAY, CHICKERING and other good makes of square Pianos at $50 and upward at Mahan's Music House, 11 Court St. (2w4)

Emily Dickinson.
(From the Boston Transcript.)
I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was laid
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
"For beauty," I replied.
"And I for truth; the two are one;
We brethren are," he sighed.

And so, as kinsmen meet at night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our tombs.

Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister
And an orchard for a dome.

Some keep the Sabbath in surplice;
I just wear my wings.
And instead of tolling the bell for church,
Our little sexton sings.

God preaches, a noted clergyman,
And the sermon is never long;
So instead of getting to heaven at last,
I'm going all along!