Thursday, January 15, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, February 1, 1889.

The People vs. Hugh O'Neil.

   On the 14th day of February 1884, the wagon shop at one time occupied by the Cortland Wagon Company, on Railroad street in this village, was discovered to be on fire, and notwithstanding the efforts of firemen and citizens was burned to the ground. The fire was first seen a few minutes before 11 o'clock P. M. The buildings had been occupied from Nov. 21, 1881 to that time [Feb. 14, 1884] by the O'Neil Wagon Company, which was a co-partnership concern, composed of Hugh O'Neil, Hugh Duffy and L. J. Fitzgerald. A few days prior to the fire the business had been sold to the Springville Wagon Company, organized at Springville, Erie county and the material and machinery was being or was about to be shipped to that place.
   The stock, material, machinery, etc., in the building was insured for $20,000 or thereabouts. Mr. O'Neil adjusted the loss with the insurance people at $10,000. Some of the stock had been removed before the fire and a small portion had been saved.
   At the June term of the Oyer and Terminer in 1885, the grand jury found an indictment against Hugh O'Neil for arson. The case came on for trial at the February term of Court in 1886, and after a trial which lasted several days, the jury brought in a verdict of guilty of the crime alleged. The Court thereupon sentenced the defendant to 5 years in Auburn prison.
   The defendant appealed to the General Term where the judgment was affirmed. He then appealed to the Court of Appeals, which Court handed down a decision on Monday last affirming the conviction. This ends the case so far as any revision of the judgment is concerned and defendant will undoubtedly have to serve the sentence.

Proposed Presbyterian Church.
   The Presbyterian Church:—The first steps toward the organization of the Presbyterian church of Cortland were taken on Nov. 25, 1824, when a meeting was held at the court house in Cortland, at which Daniel Budlong was chairman and David Joline was clerk, and at which a committee was appointed to report a constitution and by-laws for the projected enterprise. On Dec. 2, 1824, a second meeting was held at the same place, at which the society was formally organized under the name of "The Presbyterian Church and Society of Cortland Village." At this time six trustees were elected, as follows: William Elder, William Randall, Prosper Cravath, Salmon Jewett, Moses Kinne and Lemuel Dada. This was but the society.
   The church was organized on April 16, 1825, with six members, as follows: David Joline and his wife Lucetta, John A. Freer and his wife Rachael, Eliza Dudley and Persis Avery. The first elders of the church were Lemuel Dada, David Joline and Gardner K. Clark. In April, 1826, steps were taken toward the building of a church edifice, and the trustees were appointed a building committee. A lot was secured from Jonathan Hubbard on the present site of the church [same location—CC editor], and pledges were made amounting to a little over $3,000, payable one-third in cash and the remainder in stock and grain. The builder was Simeon Rouse. The church was dedicated Jan. 1, 1828, and continued as the place of worship for the society, though twice repaired and enlarged, till June 2, 1889, when the last service was held. The following day the work of tearing it down began preparatory to the erection of the present very handsome and commodious edifice of stone, which was constructed at a cost of about $48,000, and which was dedicated May 28, 1890. The auditorium has a seating capacity of 1,000, and the Sunday-school room in the rear of about 450.—Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland, 1899.
photo credit, Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland
Proposed Presbyterian Church, corner Central Avenue and Church Street. Cortland Democrat, Feb. 1, 1889.

In Memoriam.
   Mrs. Emma C. Utley, wife of David Utley of Blodgett Mills, N. Y., departed this life January 9, 1889. aged 37 years. Her last sickness was of less than a week's duration but was a period of intense suffering.
   For two or three years she had been in poor health, but had so far recovered her usual strength as to be able to attend to all her household cares and had also been frequently to render loving services at the bedside of her invalid mother at Little York. Her last visit to the paternal home having been the 11th of December when the five sisters made a beautiful birthday surprise for their father.
   New Year's day she was in usual health and the loved ones of the happy home circle little dreamed that in one week they would gather around her death bed. She was suddenly taken with typhoid pneumonia and lived only five days after the physician was summoned.
   She was the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Wheeler of Little York. A portion of her childhood had been spent at Blodgett Mills to which place she returned after a few year's absence, to finish her life work near her girlhood home. Loved by all, her sudden death cast a dark pall over the entire community. A very large congregation assembled at her funeral. The pastor said, truly, that she had not a known enemy. Her life was one of love. Her death comes with crushing weight to the bereaved husband, who was deeply devoted to her; and upon her only child Minnie, of eleven years whose grief has touched all hearts; and this sudden bereavement has also cast its great wave of abiding sorrow over the home of the aged parents and four remaining sisters, to whom she was so warmly attached.
   But alas, until the Eternal re-union all must say farewell to "dear Emma," dutiful daughter, devoted wife, tender mother, loving sister and faithful friend. Farewell.
   * [pen name symbol]

Attempted Suicide.
   Last Monday Miles Robinson, a respected citizen of this place attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself. About 11:30 A. M., A. H. Vunk, who resides on Mr. Robinson's farm in Marathon called at the latter's house on Church street [Cortland] to see him with reference to the farm. Robinson came to the door in his shirt sleeves and after a short talk, Vunk went to where his team was standing and Robinson went back in the house, as Vunk supposed to put on his coat. Two or three minutes afterwards Vunk heard the report of a pistol and Mrs. Robinson rushed to the door and said that Miles had shot himself. Vunk and several neighbors ran into the house and found Mr. Robinson lying on the floor unconscious, the blood streaming from a wound in his head, and Mrs. Robinson also lying on the floor in a swoon.
   Drs. Moore, Dana and Angel were soon on the spot and probed for the ball, which had entered the right side of the head just over the temple, but did not succeed in finding it. The pistol used was a 22 calibre.
   Mr. Robinson had complained considerably of late of feeling unwell and had had severe pains in the head. No cause for the act other than temporary insanity can be assigned, as he was in comfortable circumstances and was devoted to his family. Only a few moments before he committed the act, he had been conversing pleasantly with his son who is a clerk in Warren & Tanner's store. On regaining consciousness he said he had no recollection of shooting himself and did not know why he did so unless it was to relieve the pain in his head. Although the wound was more serious than at first thought to be, his physicians think he will recover.

   Wickwire Bros. have secured letters patent on a positive shuttle motion for looms.
   A bill has been introduced in the Legislature fixing the legal rate of interest in this State at 5 per cent.
   The members of Excelsior H. & L. Company and their friends gave Chief Engineer John W. Phelps a surprise last Friday evening. A handsome hanging lamp was presented to him, after which refreshments were served.
   Mary Haight, of East Homer, has brought an action against Harry Hull, of Homer, in which she asks for $3,000 damages. She claims that he is the father of her child. Hull says that it is a case of blackmail, and will defend.
   According to law, grocers have no right to sell drugs of any description; two prominent grocers of Poughkeepsie were arrested last week and fined for selling Epsom salts and paregoric, on complaint of the local druggists' association. Goshen Democrat.
   Monday's child is fair of face, Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child has toil and woe, Thursday's child has far to go, Friday's child is loving and giving, Saturday's child works hard for his living, but the child that is born on the Sabbath day is happy and lucky, and wise and gay.
   Last Tuesday afternoon H. C. Harrington’s horse turned the corner of Owego and Tompkins streets a little short, spilling the driver out into the cold, cold snow. The cutter righted itself and the horse ran up Tompkins and Main streets at a lively gait. Just before reaching the Cortland House, John Morris caught the horse by the bit and stopped it. No damage was done.
   The Oswego Machine Screw Co., of Oswego, have moved to this place, and will hereafter do business under the name of the Cortland Machine Screw Co. They have moved their machinery and effects into a part of the Cortland Wagon Company's shops on Railroad St., and will commence business at once. They will employ about thirty hands at the beginning, and expect to increase their force soon.
   According to an enumeration taken last week, the thrifty village of Marathon contains a population of 1,164.
   Twenty-four couple [sic] of Cortland people went to Higginsville [one mile south of Blodgett Mills--CC editor] last Tuesday evening, to a dance given by W. S. Freer. They report a splendid time.

   The following letter from the Secretary of the State Board of Health to the Board of Health of Cortland, explains itself:
ALBANY, JAN. 29, 1889.
   To the Board of Health:—Smallpox has broken out in the Onondaga county poor house, and has assumed a threatening aspect there. It also exists at the penitentiary at Syracuse, at Lyons, Wayne county and other parts of Central New York.
   You are urgently advised to institute general vaccination of all people within your jurisdiction, and to keep a special lookout for all tramps.
   LEWIS BALCH, Secretary and Executive Officer of the State Board of Health.
   Public vaccination can be had at the office of Dr. W. J. Moore, health officer in Sager block from 1 to 4 o'clock every afternoon.

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