The Marathon Independent, Wednesday, February 20, 1884.
[Edgar L. Adams, Proprietor and Editor.]
THREE BLOCKS AND A DWELLING BURNED.
GARRISON BLOCK, UNION HALL BLOCK AND OTHERS GONE.
A fire broke out in Cortland last night, which destroyed the Garrison
Block, Union Hall Block, Wickwire Block, and the residence of Mrs.
Thomas Keator. We are unable, owing to the wires being burned, to give any particulars as to the origin of the fire. The whole of the east side of Main street from the Dexter House to Dickenson & McGraw's store is in ruins.
HOME AND HEREABOUT.
—Town meeting over.
---Friday is a legal holiday.
—Winter's backbone is busted.
—Protective fire police have been organized in Homer.
—Chief of Police O. U. Burgess entertained a tramp over night last week in the incarceration cottage.
—Cornelius Brown has the longest parsnip on exhibition in the corporation. It measures 3 feet and 9 inches in length.
—Complaints has been made to us of eaves dropping and window peeking on the part of certain young people, on a recent occasion, on Cortland street, if any one should happen to be caught at such disreputable business, they will find that the law does not look upon such an offense very lightly.
---The Engine "Fred E. Chambers" which plunged into the river at Whitney's Point last Thursday was successfully raised last Sunday. The spot is but a few rods from where, a number of years ago, Engineer Patrick Cannon was thrown from the track into the river. He was caught in nearly the same way, as was Engineer Adams, but he managed to pull his feet from his boots and to swim ashore, thus escaping a like fate.
—D. Eugene Smith of Cortland, will lecture at the M. K. Church in Killawog, on Friday evening next, on "Ireland and the Irish" for the benefit of the Ladies Aid Society of the church. Mr. Smith is a very entertaining speaker, and a rare treat is in store for the citizens of our neighboring village.
—Did you get a valentine?
Cortland, Feb. 18, 1884.
The burning of O'Neil's wagon shop Thursday night was witnessed by a very large crowd. The fire bell rang about 11 P. M. and soon the firemen were on hand and two streams of water soon pouring upon the building.
The fire was first seen by Augustus Ryan, who lived in the house just east of the shop, and seemed then to be in the room just back of the office, where oils, paints, varnishes &c, were kept. It soon broke through under an outside stairway. The smoke, dense and black as it was, pouring from the burning room of oil, paints &., was almost blinding and kept men from approaching that part of the burning building.
Of course the fire spread rapidly and a fearful contest waged between firemen and fire for about two hours, sometimes it would seem that the fire was under control, then shouts would go up from the multitude, then again the fire would burst anew in another place, and so on until about 1:30 o'clock when the Homer engine arrived, and with their united efforts the fire was extinguished about 4 o'clock A. M.
The roof of the main building fell in. The sides remain standing, partitions nearly all standing though charred and badly burned. Much damage done to bodies, gears, wheels and other parts of wagons ready to put up which were burned and some only charred badly. The back shops did not burn at all. Augustus Ryan's goods were hurried out of his house and the little old house torn down by the Hooks. Insurance on stock about $35,000, building about $9,000.
HORRIBLE R. R. ACCIDENT—ENGINEER THOMAS ADAMS KILLED.
(Whitney’s Point Reporter.)
As coal train No. 35 north was coming up the track Thursday morning before 6 o'clock, following the New York night express from Chenango Forks, and when at the Gulf Bridge, about two miles below this village, they encountered a land slide a few feet the other side of the bridge, which threw the engine from the track, and it went down into the river, taking the tender, Engineer Thomas Adams, and Fireman C. W. Adams, his brother, with it, besides a number of coal cars.
The track is built upon the bank of the river here, and the river was so swollen and roily, that the engine and tender were nearly buried in the flood.
The engineer never left his engine and was drowned, or killed by being crushed under the tender. At 8 o'clock a reporter of this paper, accompanied by Chas. H. Emens, was on the ground of the wreck, and at that time nothing had been seen of the engineer, but while there his hat was seen floating upon the water, and Mr. Emens and others with an iron hook, soon ascertained the locality of the body, which was partly under the tender, on the bottom of the river. One of his arms was secured and the hand brought to the surface, where it was fastened. His brother objected to tearing the body from under the car, preferring to wait for the wrecker which had been telegraphed for at Cortland, and which when arrived would remove the car from the body.
The fireman, C. W. Adams, who retained his presence of mind, only remembers the last thing of his brother whistling down breaks, and reversing the engine, when in an instant it went down the embankment. He was thrown out of the cab and landed in the river, and struggling was rapidly thrown against one of the coal cars which he grasped and saved his life.
Both the brothers are residents of Great Bend, Pa., and the engineer leaves a wife and two children to mourn his sudden demise.
It appears the section boss is sick and has been absent a week. Wednesday night Barney Denning and others went down by this bridge where a land slide often occurs in wet weather and remained with Pat Holloran, who was watching the slide, till after 10 o'clock and then left him therein the shanty just below with a watch and lantern, and it appears that he had just been out the shanty when the N. Y. Express passed, but when the coal No. 35 came along he was in the shanty. And it is probable that the land slid down on the track after he went in and after the express passed. A night watchman there needs to be at that place in such weather as this before the arrival of every train, and if this caution had been followed poor Engineer Adams would not have lost his life.
That it is a hard place and a very responsible one is most true. C. W. Adams says that the last words his brother said was at Chenango Forks, which was that if it continued to rain as it did then, that they should have trouble with land slides. The Conductor on the train was C. J. Waldron who says that he heard the engineer whistle down breaks once and that was all.
The body of Engineer Adams was recovered about 1 P. M., and brought to Chas. H. Emens' undertaking rooms in this village.