Cortland Evening Standard, Friday, October 25, 1895.
Its History and Some of Its Well-known Teachers.
A day or two ago The STANDARD had occasion to look up the date, for the Industrial Edition, of the erection of the well-known old Cobblestone schoolhouse that stood so long on Church-st., and which was torn down in April, 1893, to make room for the handsome residence built that season by Mr. A. S. Burgess, who had purchased the lot. Remembering that at the farewell exercises in the old schoolhouse held on April 14, 1893, just before the school moved into the new Central building, Mr. John Tuthill, Jr. of 23 Duane-st. gave a history of the school accurately compiled from reliable statistics, we borrowed the essay to secure the date of its erection, which proved to be 1844. The essay as a whole is so excellent and gives so good an idea of the earlier educational facilities of Cortland and record of the teachers in this particular school that we take the liberty of publishing it entire without even asking the writer's permission. It is as follows:
In 1844, Cortland was a village of about 1,000 inhabitants, and, although smaller than Homer, which was her rival at that time, she claimed and held some note for her schools until the year 1840.
At this time Homer academy, with its representatives from nearly every state in the Union, came to the front, and took the head among the academies of the Middle states. Attendance became somewhat limited in 1849, due to a bill passed at that time for the endowment of public schools.
What might be considered as the pioneer school of Cortland was built near the site now occupied by the Messenger House. After this, no schools of any importance were erected until 1828. In April of that year the Cortland village seminary for young ladies was incorporated with Miss Jane Ingersol of Springfield, Mass., as preceptress, assisted by Mrs. Brewster, Miss McDonald and Miss Dutton. By paying the sum of $10, any one could become a member and could vote for trustees. This event was soon followed by the founding of a school for young men.
The Cobblestone next came into existence in 1844, and was considered one of the best schools in Cortland, until outrivaled by the Normal. The lot upon which it stands was bought of Mr. Mead Merrill by Messrs. George Stile, J. J. Adams and James S. Leach, who were the trustees of district number nine.
The contract was given to Col. Johial Taylor, who let the mason-work to Royal Gilbert for a sum not sufficiently great to pay his expenses. The benches were made of pine, and were arranged around the room with a narrow board for a seat. When reciting the pupils' backs were turned to the desk, but when ready to study, the pupil would rise, and step over the seat, which act was often attended by some little unpleasantness.
In the second part which is a wooden structure and which was erected some few years after the stone portion, the seats which would accommodate two at a desk, were placed in four rows. If those desks could now be brought to light, what stories they might tell through their carvings and rude decorations. Could not some clever mind discover a new science, by comparing these carvings with the lives of the persons who have gone from school life into "The world's broad field of battle, and out of life's hard school into that of the unknown?" Could not their characters be traced from these rude works of mischief and recreation? Would not these characters show that while the pupils were carving out the present, they were also with the help of another hand still more powerful, chiseling out their destiny in the unknown future?
In the index of a man's life and works, is not the influence exercised over him in school one of the greatest marks in his character and destiny? The truth of this assertion has been proved by those who have become great men, and still speak of lessons learned in school.
The Cobblestone schoolhouse appears to have first been built to accommodate the younger pupils in the district, who did not attend school at the academy. Before the building was finished school was held in the basement of the Universalist church with Miss Annice Austin as teacher. And when the Cobblestone was completed, the pupils proudly marched in double file from the church to take possession. Then again, when the Normal was completed and incorporated in 1869, the pupils, perhaps with envy, joined in celebrating the opening of their rival by parading with the other schools.
The old academy was now abandoned, and those parts of its appliances and necessaries, that were not well enough preserved to be used in the Normal, were sold to the other schools. Mr. Isaac Seaman, then trustee, bought the old seats for the Cobblestone. These, having a framework of iron, were the first patent ones used. Three years ago when the higher grades from the ward schools were consolidated in this building, single desks were provided, whose style was quite in contrast with other fixtures not so modern.
If its walls could speak what tales they would tell; of the events of local importance, of the affairs of moment to nation, of the growth of the town—its evil and its good, of the doings of its teachers and scholars, of the battles fought by them with self and temptation, and, of how former pupils praise and revere the lessons early taught them within these walls.
The last event of any importance which the Cobblestone has witnessed, and in which its pupils participated occurred on the 21st of October, 1892, on the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America. The rooms in the school, due to the ingenuity of the feminine division were beautifully decorated with evergreen, flags and bunting. In this celebration the old age of the Cobblestone was respected and its representatives were given the lead in the line of march.
Among the many teachers who have distinguished themselves in connection with this institution may be found the names of the Misses Eda, Mary and Abby Palmer, Miss Cora Viele now Mrs. Dr. Goodyear, Mrs. M. A. Rice, Miss Elizabeth Hibbard, and Miss Caroline Palmer now Mrs. Fairchild of this place.
Mrs. Fairchild tells us that she taught for a number of terms in about the year 1854 and '55, [teaching xxx] pupils and no assistant; and that she taught nearly 48 weeks in the year including every other Saturday. Other names familiar to many are those of Dr. James W. Hughes, the Misses Melvina Todd, Corinthia Kelsy, Eliza Austin, May Knapp and Florence E. Bennett, now Mrs. Dr. H. A. Cordo.
Since the Central school has been in progress the property on which the Cobblestone stands has been sold to Mr. A. S. Burgess. This action will be regretted by many, as the building will probably be destroyed, and thus the only monument of the pioneer schools of Cortland will cease to exist; but even though it be demolished, its fame and existence will long remain in the memory of the teachers and pupils both of the past and present. This structure, when erected, was considered a fine one for those days—but, as others of greater beauty sprang up about it, it became the object of jeers and sneers from the passersby:
"Smile, if it pleases you, at old fashioned ways,
The lessons we learned, have served not to tell.
We've a smile and a tear for old-time days,
And the dear old schoolhouse we loved so well."
"When lessons and life are over at last,
May the roll call find us conscience clear,
And the Master smile a loving, 'Well done!'
As low at His feet we answer, 'Here.'"
Young Woman Dies In Buffalo of Peritonitis.
EVIDENTLY A PERSON OF WEALTH.
Dr. Harper Arrested, Charged With Criminal Malpractice—Authorities Believed to Be In Possession of the Name of the Author of Her Trouble.
BUFFALO, Oct. 26.—Miss Annie Cavanaugh, a handsome young woman of evident wealth and refinement, died yesterday at the boarding house of Mrs. Blanchette at 176 West Huron street, as the result, it is charged, of a criminal operation performed upon her by Dr. J. G. Harper, a practicing physician of this city. Dr. Harper has been placed under arrest on the charge of murder and has confessed to committing an operation, but claims that such a step was necessary as an attempt to save the girl's life.
Miss Cavanaugh came to Buffalo from Cardinal, Ont., her home, last Monday and went to The Genesee. She was accompanied by a lady friend. She was visited there by Dr. Harper, who afterwards engaged rooms for her at Mrs. Blanchette's boarding house.
Wednesday the girl gave birth to a child about 6 months old. Blood poisoning followed, and she died at 9:30 yesterday morning. A Roman Catholic priest was present at her death.
Miss Cavanaugh's clothing gives evidence of wealth and her features of refinement. Around her neck was a well worn scapular, a sign of the religion of the girl. She had also several Catholic medals, one of them bearing the French inscription "Bonne St. Anne, priez pour nous" (Our Lady of St. Anne pray for us). She also had a Grand Trunk ticket from Buffalo to Toronto, evidently the return half of the ticket.
An examination of the woman's effects brought out a pocketbook which was marked with the name "H. E. Leacy, Cardinal."
The name of the girl's lover, the man who was responsible for her condition, has not been learned. The district attorney says that a name has been given to him, but that he does not consider himself at liberty to make public as yet.
After the girl's death Dr. Harper endeavored to have the body buried without any disclosures being made.
Undertakers McDonald & McShane were summoned, but the suspicions of the latter were at once aroused by the appearance of the girl and they took it to the morgue. Here an examination was made and the cause of death established.
The district attorney was immediately notified and the arrest of Dr. Harper followed. Dr. Harper is himself a Canadian, having come to this city from Barre, Ont., where his father is a clergyman in one of the local churches. It is also interesting to note that the Blanchettes, who keep the boarding house on Huron street, are a Canadian family, all the parties, therefore, who are mixed up in the tragedy, being Canadians.
When Dr. Harper was taken into custody he wept like a child. His condition, in fact, verged on hysteria, and it was feared by the police that if left alone he would take his life. The prisoner says his fee was $100, which was paid to him by the girl directly.
Too Much Even for Democrats.
Even the Democratic New York Times cannot endure British greed and insolence towards Venezuela. It says: "We could not with indifference see a European power, not even England, invade a South American state, and, on no better title than the highwayman establishes to the traveler's purse, rob her of a sixth part of her territory. If a sixth, why not a half? Why not the whole? What is the limit of tolerance?"
The "limit of tolerance," so far as the American people are concerned, will be clearly marked out on the assembling and organization of a Republican congress. Both Grover Cleveland and Lord Salisbury will then hear something of more than passing interest, and England will be apt to find out what the Monroe doctrine means to true Americans. The Honorable Joseph Chamberlain is hurrying Maxim guns to the front in order to consummate his steal of American soil before the friend of Sackville West and England can be called to account for his lack of loyalty to the principles of the Republic he misrepresents.
But, after all, who could expect a president who was not in evidence when the nation needed defenders, and who sent a substitute when he was drafted, to care very much for such a "theory" as the Monroe doctrine or such a "condition" as exists in Venezuela.
◘ The story of the railroads of America is one of increasing debt and of decreasing dividends generally. We have now 180,000 miles of tracks. The alleged capital of the roads altogether is put by Poor's Manual at rather more than $5,000,000,000. Where the money could come from to pay dividends on all this stock, much of it watered and papered stock, is a question well worth considering by those who are tempted to put money into railroad properties. Great as this amount is, the aggregate of the funded debt alone, not counting floating debts, is $665,000,000 more than their united capital. The fearful load of debt increases year by year. Last year it became 1.71 per cent greater than it was the year before. Only 35 per cent of the American railways are at present paying any dividends at all, and those dividends amount to only 4.8 per cent.
◘ France, too, has its liquor question. The note of alarm sounded by Zola in his novels in regard to the appalling increase of drunkenness in France in the present generation has been echoed by the medical profession throughout that country. The new excise law which was passed some time ago proposes to remove altogether the tax on such drinks as wine, beer and cider. At the same time the process of rectifying alcoholic spirits is put under rigid government inspection. It does not occur at all to anybody in France apparently that it is possible to get along without any drinks containing alcohol, as so many people in America undoubtedly do and thrive on it. The utmost stretch of the French imagination conceives only that a man may get on without drinking whisky or brandy, compromising on wine, beer and cider. It was believed that encouraging the drinking of these preparations by taking the government tax off them was a temperance measure. The law to this end was prepared with the approval of the French Academy of Medicine. Perhaps in the course of another 25 years the French will find out, as so many Americans found out long ago, that even wine and beer are not habitually necessary to health and happiness.
|Gen. Nelson Miles.|
Old Campaign Banner.
In 1844 Homer had the greatest political mass meeting that was ever held in this county. There were over 15,000 people present. Cassius M. Clay and Congressman Morgan were the speakers, Jedediah Barber gave the white silk, and twenty ladies of Homer embroidered a banner that was to be given to the town that brought the greatest number of Whig voters to the meeting, in proportion to the number in the town. Cincinnatus brought every man in the town but one, and he was sick in bed, and was awarded the banner, which has since been kept there by Mr. George Osgood, who prizes it very highly. He has loaned it to a few days to the police court museum. The banner is five feet square and in the center is a picture of Henry Clay, and over it, "The Farmer of Ashland," and below, "His doctrines, reduced to practice, are the only guaranty of liberty and prosperity."
No Notification Here.
An item is going the round of the papers to the effect that "President Sloan of the D., L. & W. has just issued an order to the trainmen and conductors instructing them that they must hereafter prohibit all card playing on board passenger trains. The order has gone into effect. It is being rigidly enforced. There is considerable kicking on the part of drummers especially. It is claimed on the lower division there is considerable gambling going on on passenger trains, hence the order."
Inquiry was this morning made of Station Agent W. E. Wood and of the conductors on the north and southbound passenger trains at 10 o'clock and none of them had ever heard of such an order.
— One tramp who said he was from Chicago slept at the police station last night.
—The St. Vitus dancing club hold the second of the series of parties in Vesta lodge rooms to-night,
—The C. L. S. C. meets at Mrs. F. J. Doubleday's, corner Port Watson and Church-sts., Monday evening, Oct. 28.
—Tuesday evening, Oct. 29, will be the first production of "The Dark town Fire Brigade" at Emerald Hose Co.'s fair.
—A meeting of the trustees of the Y. M. C. A. will be held in the parlor tonight at 8 o'clock. It is requested that every trustee be present.
—Postmaster Wilson of Marathon is to use the wrecked safe for a horseblock in front of his new residence as a souvenir.—Whitney Point Reporter.
—A party of thirty young people enjoyed themselves at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Horace Lathrop, 44 Crandall-st., last evening. Refreshments were served and dancing was engaged in.
—The Normal football team has a game scheduled with Binghamton at Cortland Nov. 9 and a return game at Binghamton Nov 16. The boys are negotiating for a game at Whitney Point, Nov. 9.
—Harry A. Rounds of Cortland, aged 13 years, has been adjudged insane. The examining physicians were Drs. A. G. Henry and E. A. Didama. An order has been issued by Judge J. E. Eggleston committing him to the Binghamton State hospital and an attendant is expected here after him to-morrow.