Thursday, December 18, 2014


Advertisement in Cortland Democrat, October 19, 1888.

Burgess Store, 33 Main Street. (Photo credit, Grip's Historical Souvenir)

H. F. Bingham, (Photo credit, Grip's Historical Souvenir)
Grip’s Historical Souvenir of Cortland (1899):
   A. S. Burgess, one of the leading merchants of this village, began business in Cortland on Sept. 11, 1884, when he and D. H. Bingham started a clothing store in the Garrison block. After three years Burgess & Bingham leased the store in the four-story brick block at the corner of Main and Railroad streets, where they carried on business until the fall of 1893, when the firm was dissolved, Mr. Bingham retiring from all connection with the business and Mr. Burgess continuing to carry it on, as will be shown, on a larger and more extensive scale.
   About a month prior to the dissolution the firm bought this property, the most centrally located in the business section of the village. In 1895, when it became plain that more room would be required to accommodate the growing business, Mr. Burgess purchased Mr. Bingham's interest in the building, and the following year built in the rear a four-story addition, making the store nearly a third larger, providing a ground store area of 25 x 105 feet, and giving an additional entrance as well as an ample rear light from Railroad street. With so much extra room at his disposal, Mr. Burgess increased the scope of his business by putting in men's and boys' shoes, so that he is able to outfit men and boys from head to foot, giving them liberal range in making selections from ready-to-wear and made-to-order clothing, a full assortment of gentlemen's furnishings, hats, caps, trunks, traveling bags and dress suit cases. There are 2,000 square feet of room for the display of trunks and overcoats in the basement, which is finished up with steel ceilings and side walls, and is as well lighted as the first floor. 
   On April 1, 1897, Mr. Burgess opened a clothing store in the thriving village of Marathon, under the management of J. G. Barnes, which not only carries the same line of goods as the Cortland store, but in addition thereto a full stock of women and misses' shoes. On Dec. 1, 1897, he established a general clothing store in the Clark block, Homer, which is being successfully conducted by J. B. Latimer, along the same lines as the other two stores.
   Mr. Burgess was born in Solon, Cortland county, N. Y., May 31, 1863, and his first experience in trade was that of a salesman for W. S. Peck, Brother & Co. of Syracuse, N. Y. He held that position for three years and then came to Cortland to establish the business in which he has achieved marked success. On Feb. 9, 1893, he was married to Miss Minnie F. Mager of this village.

   Bingham & Miller succeeded F. N. Harrington in the gentlemen's furnishing, clothing and merchant tailoring business, conducted by the latter for twenty-two years, in January, 1894. At that time and for several previous years the business was carried on in the next store south of the one now occupied by this firm. Trade increased to the extent that the accommodations were found to be insufficient. It was also desired to add a line of hats and caps and greatly enlarge the stock of gentlemen's furnishing goods, so on April 1, 1898, the firm moved into its present quarters, No. 43 Main street.
    Two floors were fitted up and the store on the ground floor was decorated in an attractive and tasty manner. The scope of the business comprises high grade, best quality clothing ready-made and guaranteed in quality and fit. H. W. Post, a well known and competent cutter, has charge of the custom made work which recommends itself to Cortland people, to whom he has catered a great many years. On the second floor he occupies very convenient quarters devoted to the merchant tailoring department, and also on the same floor are kept in stock a large line of trunks and traveling bags from which selections may be made, in a variety of styles, and prices.  
   H. F. Bingham was born in Solon, Cortland Co., June 28, 1868. In 1884 he went into the store of Burgess & Bingham as a clerk and in 1889 engaged with W. S. Peck & Co. of Syracuse as a traveling salesman, a position which he occupied until 1894 when he came to Cortland to go into business. He was married to Fannie Henson of Elyria, O., Aug. 10, 1893. He is a member of Masonic lodge and commandery and is a shriner.
   John M. Miller was born at East Homer, Cortland Co., Dec. 9, 1870. When 20 years old he left the farm and came to Cortland, occupying the position of clerk in Burgess & Bingham's store for two years. On Jan. 1, 1895, he married Miss Lena Stevens of Cortland, who died Jan. 1, 1900, just five years to a day from the date of the marriage. Mr. Miller is a member of John L. Lewis lodge, I. O. O. F., and the Tioughnioga club. He is also a member of Orris Hose and has been the foreman of that company two years.

Burgess Clothing Signs:

Archie S. Burgess Memorial:

Harold Powers Burgess Remembers Cortland, 1985 print edition, available at the Cortland County Historical Society.

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