Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Steve Brodie.

The Cortland Democrat, Friday, September 13, 1889.

The Bridge Jumper Successfully "Does" the Falls.
   BUFFALO, Sept. 7.—A dispatch from Clifton, Ont., says Brodie and his party arrived there last might. It included Earnest Gerold, John Ledger, John McCarthy, William E. Harding and several newspaper correspondents. They put up at the Waverly hotel and registered under fictitious names to avoid suspicion. Brodie's suit was placed 200 feet above the Canadian falls last night ready for use. Inflated rubber tubes, ropes, etc., were also placed near the Maid of the Mist landing.   
   Brodie left the hotel with the party at 4 A. M. John McCarty and Ernest Gerold and Brodie went to a place 200 feet above the falls. Brodie stripped and had his body padded with cotton padding and then put on the rubber suit, which was inflated fifty two inches around the chest. The headgear was also inflated, while two steel bands protected his body.
   At 5:30 Brodie with his paddle entered the water. He caught the current, waved his paddle to Gerold and McCarthy, and a few seconds later was shot over the centre of the horseshoe falls, and luckily he was shot with lightning rapidity over the outside of one of the falling volumes of water and was quickly lost in the mist and foam.
   He was buried from view for nearly two minutes, when a black speck, covered with a thick white coating, was seen bobbing and jumping to and fro in the boiling cauldron of rushing, gurgling waters. In a short time Brodie was caught in the rushing waters and carried at a brisk pace toward the American shore, and then all of a sudden he was hurried toward the Canadian shore, where John Ledger and others had ropes ready to draw him from the water.
   Ledger was stripped and swam out 200 feet with a rope fastened to his waist while Harding held the other end on shore. Ledger, after several attempts, reached Brodie fastening the rope to the iron bands around his waist and then swam ashore and assisted in pulling the jumper in. On Brodie being lifted on the rocky shore he was quickly stripped; brandy was poured in small quantities on his temples, while he was rubbed and chafed, but he was insensible and blood oozed from his mouth, nose and ears, probably from the shock.
   For twenty minutes Brodie lay until ammonia was applied to his nostrils and he began to shiver and gesticulate with his hands. His injuries are confined to many bruises and a sprained back and ankle.
   NIAGARA FALLS, Ont., Sept. 7.—Brodie says after entering the river he weakened and would have given everything in the world if he could have got once more on terra firma. He attempted to swim ashore by using his paddles, whence swift current swept him back and turned his feet towards the brink of the cataract. When he saw it was impossible to get out of the current he felt the same as a man that was to meet death and prayed for dear life, and every sin he had committed was plainly before him.
   Just as he came to the brink he became unconscious through fright and remained so until he struck the water churned into foam at the base of the falls. The force with which he struck temporarily brought him to, and he then knew no more until he was lying on his rubber suit at the water's edge.
   John Ledger, who rescued him, is a member of the life saving crew at Brighton Beach, Coney Island.
   Chief of the Ontario Police McDougall arrested Steve Brodie at the Grand Trunk depot this afternoon, as he was about to take the 4 P. M. train for New York, for attempting suicide by going over the falls this morning. He will have a hearing before Police Magistrate Hill to night.

Prof. Merriam Has a Startling Experience in a Balloon at Fonda.
   FONDA, N. Y., Sept. 5.—S. J. Merriam, the aeronaut who made a hot air balloon ascension at the Montgomery county fair Thursday afternoon met with a serious accident, and which will result in his canceling further engagements for some time. When the balloon was let go, bystanders caught hold of the parachute in which Merriam was to descend, and it caught on a pole, almost throwing the aeronaut from his trapeze, as he was fastened to the parachute by a belt which encircled his waist. He finally descended, drifting about a mile to the northeast.
   When he commenced to descend the balloon struck a current of air and became unmanageable, turning bottom side up, Prof. Merriam hanging to the side of the balloon with one rope. This occurred when he was about a thousand feet from the ground. When the aeronaut reached the earth, he struck heavily on his left side, badly injuring his shoulder, and breaking his left foot, and otherwise injuring him. He was involved in the balloon [sic], but succeeded in fastening it to a tree to prevent its descending again. Friends living in the vicinity hastened to his assistance and soon afterwards his partner, C. E. Slocum, came after him in a wagon. The injured man was taken to the Snell House at Fonda, where he received medical aid. Merriam is 23 years of age, and he claims to be the youngest aeronaut in the country.

   While Harrison's mouth prates of civil service reform, his pen is busily engaged in making removals from office. Probably his left hand don't know what his right hand is doing.

   The Republicans propose to reduce the surplus in the Treasury by spending it, and Pension Commissioner Tanner is meeting with excellent success in getting rid of the people's money. Such a course is about as sensible, however, as it would be for a farmer to spend all his profits instead of paying his debts. A business man wouldn't last long if he adopted the same rule in transacting his own business that the administration is carrying out in conducting the affairs of the government.

   Commissioner Tanner has been compelled to hand in his resignation of the office of Commissioner of Pensions. He had already disgraced the service too long and his retirement will be welcomed by every one but those who were not entitled to receive pensions, but who expected to become the wards of the government through his profligacy. The people are perfectly willing to pay for the support and maintenance of deserving soldiers and their families, but they are not anxious to reward bummers and deserters.

Samuel S. Cox.
   Hon. Samuel Sullivan Cox died at his home in New York last Tuesday evening, of acute peritonitis, aged 85 years. Mr. Cox was born at Zanesville, O. in 1824, and was a son of Ezekiel Taylor Cox, a member of the Ohio State Senate in 1882. He graduated at Brown University in 1846 studied law and went to Europe soon after he was admitted to the bar. In 1853 he returned and became editor of the Columbus Statesman. In 1856 he was elected to Congress and has remained a member of that body ever since with the exception of two terms. Mr. Cox was in every respect a remarkable man and in his death the Democratic party loses one of its stoutest exponents. No man in the country was better informed on every subject and he was always ready at repartee or in debate. He was one of the most genial of men besides being a warm hearted and true friend. Even his political opponents were his personal friends. The funeral will be held to-day.

   Coal is cheaper in St. Louis than it is in any other large city in the country.
   There are move millionaires in Odessa, Russia, than in any other town on the continent.
   The great forest fires are still sweeping over the timber stretches in Montana and Idaho.
   H. H. Warner, of Rochester, has sold his patent medicine business to an English syndicate for 1,000,000 pounds sterling.
   Baldwinsville has let the contract for putting in waterworks; price $45,054. The contractors are hiring Italians to do the work.
   A Helena, Mont., dispatch states that the forest fires were quenched by a heavy fall of rain and snow Monday night. The snow was six inches deep at some places.
   Rennie Wolf, aged 17, of Ithaca, on Sunday swam across Cayuga lake and back without stopping, where it is a mile and a half wide. The time was two hours and forty minutes.
   There has been 160 sheep killed and mangled by dogs in the town of Scipio, Cayuga Co., within a short time, and during the month of August the town paid out $250 for damages caused by worthless curs.
   The house of James A. Burr, at Ithaca, was burned early Saturday morning with the contents. The house was a modern structure in good repair and worth about $3,000. It was insured for $2,500. There was also $500 insurance on the furniture.
   A harness-maker in Genoa, a few days ago, while standing hanging onto a loop suspended from the top of the room used to put a trace through while stitching, in some manner got his head into the loop and lost his balance. When found he was hanging from the loop, unconscious, but recovered shortly afterward. It was at first thought that he had attempted suicide.


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