Saturday, January 24, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, March 15, 1889.

To the Editor of the Democrat:
   SIR: When the law creating Union Free School District No. 1 of Cortland went into effect, and the Board of Education named therein began its management of the schools, it was decided to erect, in different parts of the village, such school buildings as would furnish those localities with suitable primary schools, and, whenever the needs of the village should require, to recommend the construction of a Central High School for which the primary schools would be the feeders.
  With the above plan in view the schools on Owego, Schermerhorn [Grace] and Pomeroy sts. were built and equipped. At present one room in each of the above schools is used for first grade pupils only. Last spring the primary room at the Pomeroy-st. school was so crowded and so many more were clamoring for admission that the Board of Education found themselves compelled to provide more room. Accordingly they refitted and equipped the school-house at Port Watson st., which had for several years been unused, employed an additional teacher and opened a school therein. That school was filled at once, and still there is not room in the Pomeroy-st. school for all who desire to attend and who ought to be in school. The same is true of the primary rooms in each of the other schools, they are filled to overflowing, with more asking to come in.
   The Board, therefore, clearly see, that in the near future two rooms must be devoted in each school to pupils of the first and second grades, and in that case only two rooms will remain to accommodate the six remaining grades —there being now eight grades in each school. To crowd more than four grades into two rooms would be simply impossible. What shall be done then with the seventh and eighth grades, now numbering more than 100? Can they be taken at the Normal? That school is full already. Shall they be deprived of school privileges? Cortland cannot afford to let such a stigma be put upon her fair name.
   The Board therefore believe that the time is ripe for the Central High School, and have requested the trustees to submit that question to the people. This is a decision which has not been hastily reached. It has been discussed at almost every meeting for the past two years, being forced upon the Board by the inexorable logic of a growing population. They believe it to be their sworn duty to provide ample school facilities for all the children under their jurisdiction. They have, therefore, requested the Trustees to submit the question of a Central High School to the people for their decision, feeling that it could not be deferred another year.
   Should the resolution authorizing the Trustees to issue bonds of the village for the erection of a Central High School be ratified, the Board of Education will select a suitable site, centrally located, and build a brick or a brick and stone edifice which will be substantial and well adapted to the purpose for which it is designed, and will represent as much actual value for the money expended as possible. 
Superintendent of Schools,
Cortland, N. Y., March 11, 1889.

For School Commissioners.
   The following nominations for School Commissioners were made by the ladies at their caucus on Friday last: Mrs. Jas. S. Squires, Mrs. Fidelia Coffin, Mrs. Kate Scott Sanders.

From Honduras.
   Dr. S. J Sornberger who went to Honduras in January to inspect the mines of the San Rafael Mining and Milling Company, returned home Thursday morning looking hale and hearty, and feeling in the very best of spirits. He reports a very pleasant trip and although he was seasick both going and coming he considers himself well paid for the time and money spent.
   Dr. Sornberger reports the company's affairs in excellent condition and the work on the mines progressing favorably. He examined the company's property thoroughly and reports that it is even better than represented by superintendent Foster. We shall be able to present further facts in next week's issue of the DEMOCRAT.

Something of a Sprinter.
   A few days since, Mr. Lennox Johnson [age 44] and Mr. Thos. Welch, had a friendly dispute on the subject of pedestrianism, which finally culminated in the assertion by Mr. Johnson that he could run from the Messenger House [corner Port Watson and South Main--CC editor] to the Port Watson bridge in five minutes. A wager of twenty dollars a side was soon made which was afterwards increased to twenty five, a stakeholder was chosen and the money put up, and Friday afternoon last was fixed as the time for the trial to come off. At the hour appointed the parties put in an appearance with their referees and time keepers, and Johnson stripped to his shirt, teed the mark ready for the word which was promptly given and away he started in the snow path, the referees following in cutters. 
   Johnson carried his watch in his hand and timed himself. Just before arriving at the E. C. & N. crossing he discovered that the five minutes was nearly up and that he was a sure loser, consequently he gave up after making about two-thirds of the distance. The money was promptly turned over to the winner. Johnson has arrived at the conclusion that it is a good long stretch from the Messenger House to the Port Watson bridge.

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