Monday, March 2, 2015


Alex Mahan's residence, 91 North Main Street, Cortland, N. Y.

Mahan's Piano & Organ Store, 11 Court Street, Cortland, N. Y. (sorry, no photo of the maestro himself.)
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, May 31, 1889.

Mahan's Music Festival.

   Great is the enthusiasm manifested at Mahan's 15th annual music festival. Never in the history of the fifteen years since it first came into the mind of Alex. Mahan to organize a musical convention, has there been so great an attendance and so much earnest enthusiasm as at the present one. Already there are nearly four hundred singers in attendance and in the two days that remain at the time of this report, many more are expected.
   There are singers from far and near, some coming as far as the southern portion of Pennsylvania. It is quite a novel sight just to look in and see the sea of faces extending from the front of the platform of Cortland Opera House, diagonally upward until stopped by the rear wall and the lifted curtains.
   Dr. Palmer has never given better service at any festival than he is doing at this. He is giving the chorus real hard work to do and they are finding out that this is no play spell. One feature of this year's chorus drills is the time which is now given to the practice of sacred music. It is more than a drill in music for Dr. Palmer spends quite a little time in remarks after the style of a lecture, interspersed with the singing. Probably at no former festival could singers spend their time so profitably as now.
   It is a pleasure to notice so many of the better singers of Cortland and vicinity taking part in this festival.
   Mrs. Shepard is giving great satisfaction at the piano. In addition to her playing she has sang the leading soprano in some of the choruses, showing herself a fine artiste in vocal music as well as instrumental.
   The first matinee was given Wednesday afternoon to a good attendance. The following is the programme:
Mr. L. F. Stillman, Director of Matinee.
1. Chorus—Blessed is the People......Righini.
2. Tenor Solo—Marguerite……Watte.
Mr. M. D. Murphy, Jr.
3. Violin solo—5th Air Varie…… Danela.
Miss Nellie Mulligan.
4. Waltz Song—Speak, Love ...... Arditi.
Mrs. C. A. Phelps.
5. Soprano Solo—The Alpine Rose…… Sieber.
Mrs. L. R. Murphy-Pomeroy.
6. Piano Solo—Tarantelle…… Whitney.
Mrs. Martha Dana Shepard.
7. Contralto Solo—Love's Old Sweet Song……Molloy.
Miss Clara Dutton.
8. Part Songs—‘Twas on a Bank of Daisies……Hullah.
                     —The Blue Bells of Scotland……Scotch.
   Each part was warmly received. Mr. Murphy never sang with better effect than in his rendering "Marguerite," Miss Nellie Mulligan won the hearty sympathy and generous applause with her violin solo.
   Mrs. Shepard and Miss Dutton received hearty encores.
   Miss Dutton has improved much since her appearance of last year and while she did not respond to her encore of to-day, will sing again at Friday's matinee. Mrs. C. A. Phelps showed a very fine voice, fairly well cultivated, and aside from some evident embarrassment at the first, gave good satisfaction.
   The great days of the festival will be today and to-morrow. The programmes for the two matinees and the two concerts are about completed. The great attractions are Prof. and Mrs. Tred, who arrived Wednesday evening, the Mandolin Quintette, Mr. Chas. D. Kellogg, the wonderful warbler and whistler, and the Mundell Sisters, who arrived Thursday morning.
   Prof. and Mrs. Tred sang with the chorus and the practice last evening, and was received with marked favor by the chorus.
   And now it alone remains for the people of Cortland to go and enjoy the feast which has been prepared and from what we hear, there are indications that the Opera House will be filled to overflowing [over 1,000 patrons—CC editor] at the remaining matinees and the great concerts.

A. Mahan, Smith’s History of the Town of Cortlandville 1885:
   Books, Stationery, Musical Instruments, etc.The first store in Cortland devoted to the exclusive sale of books, stationery, wall paper and kindred goods, was that of the Apgar Brothers, which was opened in the Taylor Hall block about the close of the last war. The business was moderately successful, and in 1868 was sold to A. Mahan, an enterprising young man who had been engaged in the produce business in Virgil for several years previous. Mr. Mahan is a man of exceptional business capacity and under his enterprising and discreet management the trade of the establishment was rapidly extended and the range of stock enlarged. Musical merchandise was added, and subsequently sewing-machines and other specialties. In 1870 D. F. Wallace entered the firm where he remained a member until 1874 , the business meanwhile becoming largely increased. In the year last the firm divided their interests, Mr. Wallace retaining the book and stationery branch and Mr. Mahan taking the musical merchandise and sewing-machine interest into the new building which was erected on Court street, Nos. 9 and 11. During the ten years since that date, he has devoted his best energies to the building up of a large trade in musical instruments, sewing-machines, etc., which he has extended throughout central New York. He is also a member of the firm of F. A. Bickford & Co., dealers in guns and sporting goods, in the same building. Mr. Mahan's business and his general character as a citizen is fully recognized by the community, as evidenced in their selection of him as president of the village for the year 1883, an office which he filled with the most satisfactory results. In 1881 he erected one of the finest residences in the village, in spacious grounds on North Main street.

A Successful Fair.
   The Emerald Hose Company's fair closed on Monday evening last. On Thursday evening Orris Hose Company presented the Emeralds with a handsome silver ice pitcher and goblet. The presentation speech was made by Mr. J. E. Eggleston and the response was made by Mr. M. F. Cleary on behalf of the Emeralds.
   On Saturday evening the hall was crowded full of people to witness the distribution of prizes. The presents were awarded as follows: W. Bell, suit of clothes; Ella Dexter, one dozen cabinet photographs; Will King, pair of robes; Dan McBraiarty, harness; B. D. Shirley, oil stove; Peter O'Brien, landscape; Allie Gillett, pair custom pants; Patrick Dowd, new market; Harrison Wells, silk hat; G. Bugby, pair shoes; Geo. McKean, cake basket; Willie Bates, silk umbrella; Will Murphy, picture; J. Davern, rug; Mame Dowd, stand; Lizzie Welch, ice-cream freezer; A. Garvy, ten pounds tea; G. W. Woolston, banjo; Will Boyle, set terracotta; Jerry O'Leary, meerschaum pipe; Prof. Pritchard, picture; Schermerhorn and Graham, twelve cabinet photographs; Burdette Howard, glass globe; W. Kavanaugh, glass water set; J. P. Lodge, carpet sweeper; H. A. Dresser, sack flour.
   The contest for the plush couch resulted as follows: C. H. Riley, $144.74, C. H. Drake, 50 cents; contest on shoes, Miss Kittie Lathe $48, Anna Schuester $25; on tricycle, Miss May Kennedy, $84; Miss Libbie Cowley, $40.
   There were several articles that were left over on Saturday evening and these were disposed of on Monday evening as follows: W. A. Wallace, stove; D. Rob Reilly, buggy; Molley Barry, cutter and hanging lamp; Chas. Wood, plush chair; B. Burns, plush rocker; C. H. Drake, satin parasol; J. H. Ashworth, silk umbrella; Willie O' Connell, silver vases.
   The boys added a handsome sum to their treasury after paying all expenses, and have the satisfaction of knowing that they gave those who attended the full worth of their money. Every entertainment was especially good and the hall [Taylor Hall] was filled each evening.

The Riding Club.
   If anyone were asked how many equestrians there were in Cortland the answer might be "A dozen at the most.'' But the riding club now has on its rolls the names of over sixty, all of whom enjoy and indulge in the sport.
   At the meeting on Friday it was agreed that as many members as possible should meet every Saturday at 2 P. M. at the Soldiers Monument, and take a ride to be announced by Captain Webster Young, or Lieut. E. F. Jennings. The first ride will be a short one, to Blodgett Mills and return, and will take place June 1.
   A considerable number have signified their intention of joining the overland excursion beginning June 10. Capt. Young would like the names of any who can go.
   The following names were added to the list of members: Hon. R. T. Peck, Col. C. Clark and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. L. S. Watkins, Frank Peck, Fred Peck, D. F. Dunsmore, G. Bligh, Mr. and Mrs. A. Mahan and daughter, A. Sager Jr., Seymour Jones, Mrs. J. H. Hoose and daughter, Miss Clara L. Smith, Mrs. J. F. Maybury, Miss M. L. Roberts, Miss Scudder, Miss Mary Rogers, Mrs. E. M. Hulbert, Miss Belle Atkinson, Mrs. Silas Sherwood, Miss Ella Schutt, Mrs. C. E. Selover, Miss Lena Patrick, Miss, Bertha Powers, Miss Louise Tanner, Mrs. Webster Young, Miss Nellie J. Pearne, Miss Sarah A. Saunders, Mrs. Floyd Hitchcock, Floyd Stoker, Fred Harrington, Chas. Wickwire, H. Wells, Jr.

A Great Man in Town.
   There was a much larger crowd than common in and about the Messenger House last Thursday evening, and businessmen and citizens generally stopped on their way to and from tea to ascertain the cause of the assembling of so many people. They were at once informed that the circus was caused by the arrival of that great and good republican statesman, Jim Belden, of Syracuse, who it was understood had come to parce out the pert [post?] offices in this county.
   The crowd was principally made up of candidates and their backers, and if there was a town or post-office in the county that was not represented it may be put down as a mistake. The leaders of the party, notably, Messrs. Clayton H. Buell, W. H. Clark, Wesley Hooker and a few others, were invited to the great man's room and held long interviews with him while the candidates and lesser lights were forced to cool their heels in the waiting room and to finally return home, only to renew the siege the next morning.
   The candidates for the post-office in this place were all on hand with two or three exceptions. Several republicans in town have openly and publicly stated that they could name the next postmaster of Cortland, but when asked to do so have declined. It is said that the matter has been already decided, and if this is true, the men who have been let into the secret are guilty of great cruelty to their neighbors in withholding the facts. If it was certainly known who was to have the place, those who are now permanently fastened to the anxious seat could be released and relieved from their uncomfortable situation.
   Judging from the anxiety manifested by some of the candidates, if they should be dropped next December, after living on hope all summer, the consequences might and probably would be quite disastrous. Candidates for the post-offices in other towns were here and pressed their claims whenever an opportunity offered.
   Emerald Hose Company discovered an excellent opportunity to transact a little business on their own account, and on Friday sent a written invitation to Mr. Belden to visit their fair. When Jim Belden fails to note an opportunity to do something for himself it will be an exceedingly frigid day. and last Friday was not that kind of a day. He regretted his inability to attend, but enclosed a check for $50, which we presume was equally as acceptable as his presence would have been.
   If Jim Belden wasn't a very wealthy man, he never would have been a Congressman, and of course there would never have been any need for the citizens of this county to come and go at his beck. It only adds one more testimonial to the old saying that money accelerates the speed of the female equine.
   Belden left for home on Friday evening, and the candidates are anxiously waiting for results.

Isaac Hall, While Insane, Hangs Himself in a Barn.
(From the Marathon Independent, May 29.)
   As we go to press information reaches us of the death, by hanging, of Isaac Hall of Freetown, which sad event occurred yesterday, the body being discovered last evening.
   Deceased resided just a little north of the corners at Freetown. He was a carpenter by trade, and well known as an upright, honorable man and citizen. He was a member of Marathon Lodge, F. & A. M. Some years ago he had serious nervous trouble, brought about by excessive use of tobacco, and since that time has had occasional periods of flightiness. In fact, it was only a few days since that Dr. Reed told a friend that watch should be kept, or he would make way with himself.
   Mr. Hall left home about 1 o'clock, remarking that he thought a walk would do him good, as one had some days before. From that time until his body was found, we have no information of his movements. His wife became anxious over his extended absence, and a search party was organized. Joseph Underwood, one of the party, entered a barn on a farm owned by Dr. Allen, and formerly occupied by Eugene Watrous of this place, and the body of Mr. Hall was found hanging to a beam, suspended by a bed-cord. He was dead when found. Solomon Robinson cut the body down, and it was carried to the home of the deceased.
   Charles Dickinson drove to this village, and summoned Coroner Trafford, who took charge. The inquest will be held at 1 o'clock this afternoon.
   Mr. Hall was about sixty-six years of age, he leaves a wife to mourn his untimely demise. There is no doubt but that his death was the act of an insane person, as no other motive can be ascribed. The funeral will be held on Friday.

   An artist has left his mark on the show windows of Beaudry’s store.
   New ties are being put in on the track of the Syracuse & Binghamton road.
   The third annual temperance picnic will be held at Floral Trout Park, July 4th.
   Stone Brothers have nearly completed the repairs on their foundry in Homer, and have commenced work again.
   The contract for building a coal trestle and store house for the Excelsior coal yards in this place has been let to Mr. J. T. Keenan.
   Joseph Bushby, of this place, and Cicero Phelps, of Homer, have purchased the Wilber & Blany meat market in Homer, and have taken possession.
   The 45th Separate Company have a tennis court in the armory, where the boys propose to while away the hours when the country is at peace with all the world.
   The ladies of Grace church will give a strawberry festival at the residence of L. J. Richardson, No. 16 Monroe Heights, on Wednesday evening, June 6th. All are invited to attend.
   Wickwire Brothers, of this place, have entered Greystone in the 2:25 class to be trotted at Binghamton, next Tuesday, and Dot Wick in the 3:00 class to be trotted on Thursday. R. R. Van Bergen has entered Hector C. in the 2:40 class to be trotted on Tuesday, and in the 2:36 class to be trotted on Wednesday.
   Those citizens who planted gardens early and failed to cover the tender vegetables Tuesday night, now wish they had planted late. The frost was a danced sharp one.
   Twenty drops of carbolic acid evaporated from a hot shovel will go far to banish flies from a room, while a piece of camphor gum the size of a walnut held over a lamp till it is consumed will answer the same purpose.
   The firm of Gage, Hitchcock & Co., of Homer, has been dissolved. Mr. Coleman Hitchcock now owns a one-half interest in the real estate and machinery. We understand the members of the old firm intend to engage in some new manufacturing enterprise soon.

Pleasant Beach, Onondaga Lake. [Advertisement]
   Syracuse, N. Y., the king bee of Summer resorts, easily reached. Cars from city every 15 minutes. Bicycle, sailing, rowing running races, day fireworks,
beautiful hotel overlooking magnificent sheet of water, grove and one thousand  rustic chairs, stretch of beach one-half mile as hard as asphalt, base ball game daily, champion clubs. Grand opening Memorial day, May 30th. Music by Otto Dresser for concert or dancing. For full information apply to or address Alfred E. Aldridge, sole owner, 116 East Genesee St., Syracuse, N. Y.

   MADISON.— O. M. Knox and Harvey Lindsley, of Oneida village, have each lost a valuable horse within the past week, from epizootic which seems to be prevalent here as in some other parts of the country. Six or eight horses have died from that disease in the vicinity in the past few days. The animals are often sick only four or five days.
   TOMPKINS.— The condition of Mrs. Geo. Small, of McLean, who was so badly burned, last week, while engaged in burning worms' nests from apple trees, is considered more favorable.
   Miss Carrie A. Dean, a young lady residing on Chestnut street, Ithaca, who has been subject to epilepsy for twenty-one years, has become violently insane. On Tuesday Drs. Brown and Morgan were called to examine her mental condition, and as a result she will be removed to an asylum. 

   The farmers are nearly all through putting in their crops. The average of potatoes will be about half of that of last year. Flax is more than double and scarcity of seed kept many from sowing. Oats will be one third more. Meadow lands are very poor especially on hill farms. The hay crop will be the shortest for years. Sowed corn is the only thing that will help out the fodder crop.
   On Sunday we met our old friend and brother correspondent, H. C. Goodwin, (who is now residing near Alfred Center) at his old home on East Hill. By invitation we both dined with Mrs. Giles Corl. Mr. Corl is in very poor health with heart trouble. While Mr. Goodwin can see so as to write he cannot see to read, a double and blurred sight preventing. Age has not otherwise grasped him with a heavy hand.
   School Commissioner Van Hoesen visited the school taught by Miss Rexa A. Perkins in the Kellogg district last week. He remarked the contrast of the last term when the scholars conversed aloud, went around the room or out of doors at their own option.
   The milk depot is shipping over sixty cans daily.
   Dick Savage, the section boss is putting in a large quantity of new ties. He manages to keep his section in better repair and with less extra labor, than any other on this division [D. L. & W. R. R.].
   ULI SLICK. [pen name]

   A large and commodious cooler has recently been placed in Brown's hotel.
   John McCaw has recently placed an addition to his residence on Cemetery hill.
   The Climax Road Machine Co. are shipping quite a number of machines daily. They seem to take the cake where other machines fail when tested with them.
   Our new [fire department] steamer had a trial on Friday and Saturday of last week and from all accounts proved very satisfactory to the trustees, it doing all the work promised.
   *   * [pen name symbol]

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