Tuesday, December 9, 2014


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, September 28, 1888.

State's Prison for Life.

   Last week the case of John Dingee, charged with the murder of Jerome Perrington, near German Corners last April, was put on trial at Norwich. The case is of interest to many residents in the east part of this county, for the reason that the place where the crime was committed is near the east line of the county, and both of the principals had lived in Willett and were well known in that vicinity. 
   The circumstances of the crime charged, an account of which appeared in the DEMOCRAT of May 4th, are: John Dingee, with his wife and three children, reside in a small house about two miles south of German Corners. Dingee was jealous of his wife, suspecting her of infidelity in being criminally intimate with Jerome Perrington, a farm hand in the employ of Seymour Laflin, residing about three-quarters of a mile from Dingee's home. He charged his wife with being unfaithful, and she denied the charge.
   On Saturday, April 28th, Dingee told his family that he was going to Willett to visit his brother, and would not return until the next day. The same evening Perrington stated to the Laftins that he was going fishing, and dug some bait. About two o'clock Sunday morning Dingee, who had not left the neighborhood, approached the front door of his residence and found it locked from the inside. Passing to the side of the house, he heard his wife remark: "He's come! You better get out." 
   Looking through the blind of his bedroom, he saw a lamp burning dimly, and on the bed sat his wife, in conversation with Perrington. Again going to the front door, he demanded admittance, proceeding to break open the door, when his wife admitted him, having first assisted Perrington to escape from a rear door. When accused of her unfaithfulness by her indignant husband, she denied it, stating that Perrington had forced an entrance to the house, and had attempted to take undue liberties with her, which she was resisting when Dingee put in an appearance.
   Dingee went to the hotel of Alden B. Eccleston, at German Corners, on Sunday morning, and borrowed a revolver of the proprietor, to "shoot a little four-legged animal,'' as he said. He went at once to the house of the Laftins, where he found Perrington shaving himself, and high words followed between the two. He accused Perrington of being in his wife's bedroom the night before, at the same time moving towards him. In spite of efforts by members of the family to separate the two men, Dingee drew the revolver and fired. Perrington staggered into the wood shed and expired instantly. 
   Dingee at once left the house, went home, and telling his family that he had shot Perrington, kissed his children, and said he was going to give himself up. He afterwards surrendered himself to Deputy Sherriff Burnap, was brought to Norwich Tuesday morning, May 1st, and lodged in jail. He was indicted by the Grand Jury, which was in session at the time, and has been in confinement since. 
   The jury brought in a verdict last Saturday of murder in the second degree, and the court sentenced the prisoner on Monday to imprisonment in Auburn prison for the term of his natural life. The prisoner's counsel will take an appeal.

Charged With Infanticide.
   Last Wednesday Coroner Bradford held an inquest on the body of an infant that is said to have died under suspicions circumstances at the house of Almon Henry, who resides on the road leading from East Homer to Preble. The jury, after a thorough investigation found that "the child died by suffocation as a result of criminal carelessness or intent on the part of the mother, Mrs. Julia Congdon."
    Mrs. Congdon is the wife of Maurice Congdon, who was tried and convicted at the Court House in this place last winter and sentenced to several years confinement in Auburn prison, on the charge of incest and child murder [reference to his teen-aged daughter and her baby—CC editor.] After the verdict found by the jury Coroner Bradford issued a warrant which was placed in the hands of Deputy Sheriff William Shirley, who arrested the woman and conveyed her to the County Alms House where she will be kept until she is able to go to jail. She was employed in Mr. Henry's family.

Wants a Divorce.
   Willis P. Stone, of Syracuse has brought an action against his wife, Margaret A. Stone for an absolute divorce. A few days since a reporter of the Syracuse Times interviewed Mrs. Stone whose maiden name was McCarthy and here is her version of the trouble:
   "Willie and I were married about five years ago," said she. We ran away from Syracuse into Pennsylvania, and were married by a protestant clergyman. Shortly after the ceremony I discovered peculiarities about my husband which I do not now care to talk about. We lived along together, returning afterward to Syracuse. In order to quiet the religious scruples of my people, we were again married by Father McManus of New Milford, on October 27, 1886. A short time after this second ceremony I discovered that Stone had a wife and child living in Cortland. The woman's name was Nettie Priest. She, on learning of her spouse's marriage with me, at once applied for an absolute divorce in Cortland county, which was granted. Later she married again, and is now living with her husband in South Otselic. Willis has never provided for my support and I have had to rely entirely on my own exertions. My father, John McCarthy, a machinist employed in the Binghamton shops, can tell you of this man's villainies. He contracted debts in my father's name, and then ran off and let my father pay for them. Yes, it is true I am married to Sullivan Patterson, and am living with him. My attorneys, Waters & McLennan, have informed me that I had a right to get married again, as the first marriage was null and void."

Barn Burned.
   At about 8 o'clock last Sunday evening a large barn on the farm of Mr. E. C. Kinney, two miles northwest of this place, was burned to the ground together with all its contents. The barn was a new one 40x114 feet, with underground stables, and was undoubtedly one of the largest and best in the county. There were 75 tons of splendid hay in the building, two or three mowing machines, besides a lot of other farm tools, 400 bushels of oats and a large crop of buckwheat, which bad just been harvested. A stack of oats, estimated to contain 500 or 600 bushels stood near the building and was also consumed. In fact nothing was saved.
   The barn cost $3,800 and was insured for $2,000, and there was an insurance of $750 on the contents, which will not begin to cover the loss. He had made arrangements to sell the hay to parties in this place for $10 per ton, the purchaser to take the hay at the barn.
   Mr. Kinney loses over and above insurance on contents, about 1,000 bushels of oats besides the straw, the buckwheat and $400 or $500 worth of farming utensils. Two years ago the house on the same premises was burned and rebuilt.
   The fire was caused by a refractory cow which Mr. Kinney was trying to fasten in the barn. Being unruly she had a poke on and she whirled around suddenly, the end of the poke striking a lighted kerosene lantern, which exploded on a pile of hay setting it on fire. Mr. Kinney attempted to put the fire out by stamping upon it and was quite severely burned in the unsuccessful attempt. The loss is a severe one.

Run Over by a Work Train.
   James Carroll, of Marathon, aged about twenty-four years, fell from a car at Stiles Station, near Syracuse, last Saturday morning and was so badly injured that he died soon after. He was a brakeman on the Delaware, Lackawanna &Western work train. The body was taken to the station in Syracuse, where it was placed in charge of Undertaker McCarthy, and Coroner Billington was notified and viewed the remains. The body which was badly mangled, was shipped to his parents in Marathon on Saturday afternoon.

Killed by the Cars.
   Last Friday afternoon, as the local freight train was switching cars on the side track at Whitney's Point, Frank, the nine-year old son of Chas. Davis, was struck by a bumper of one of the cars and killed almost instantly. He and two or three other boys were playing about the station and Frank was trying to see how many times he could run between a car that was standing on the switch before the train that was backing up reached this car. It is thought that his clothing caught in the bumper of the standing car and held him until the car attached to the train struck him.

   The Homer National Bank building is being raised one story.
   The Cortland Corset company are moving into their new building.
   The Homer G. A. R. have leased the third floor of the new Brockway building in that place.
   Warner Rood, of this place, and E. A. Williams, of Homer, have rented Keator Opera House in the latter village.
   The Homer & Cortland Gas company are putting up an addition to their works between the two villages. The building is of brick, and the walls are nearly up.
   The gas company are taking up the old mains between this village and their gas works and putting down larger ones, which it is believed will supply the village with plenty of gas.
   [The Homer-Cortland Gas Light Company was established in 1858 and established a plant near today's C. N. Y. Living History Museum at 216 South Main Street. The company was incorporated on October 13, 1860. The company provided coal gas for street lighting and to residents and businesses in Homer and Cortland. A principal office was located at 22 Railroad Street, and James Schermerhorn was president of the company (1869). On May 27, 1918 the company merged with New York State Gas & Electric –CC editor.]
   Geo. I. Crane, Esq., of McLean, sowed five acres of oats last spring that yielded, when threshed, last week, 570 bushels. They are of the white Sweedish [sic] variety, and weigh 40 pounds to the bushel, struck measure.
   Mr. L. R. Hopkins [credits: two Cortland school houses, the Watertown Opera House and the Cortland Opera House—CC editor], of this village, has secured the contract to build the addition to the Normal School at New Paltz. He is to receive thirty-three thousand, seven hundred dollars for the job. Mr. Hopkins is a first class builder, and the job will be well done.
   Girls, read this: "A leading medical authority states that the habit of chewing gum is the greatest possible destroyer of female beauty, destroying the contour of the cheeks and chin, and deadening the lustre of the eyes, as well as doing a great many other disagreeable things."
   The Syracuse Driving Park Association will hold their fall meeting on Oct. 2d, 3d and 4th. Over 80 flyers have been entered and the meeting cannot fail to be a highly successful one. The fast horse Greystone, owned in this place, is entered in the 2:30 class which will be trotted on Thursday. The running races will be especially interesting.

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