Wednesday, April 8, 2015


S. S. Knox

The Cortland Democrat, Friday, November 8, 1889.

The [Election] Result in the County.
   The result in the county is not quite as satisfactory as good Democrats could wish. Judge Knox is beaten by 138 votes. A little more work in each town would have brought about a different result.
   Judge Knox has reason, however, to feel proud over the splendid run he made against such great odds. The republicans carry the county by nearly 1300 majority and yet Judge Knox would have been elected by a handsome majority had the Democrats pulled straight.
   A majority of the saloon and hotel men, regardless of politics, worked against him and there were traitors in the ranks who were not specially identified with the liquor interests. It is a little singular that the hotel and saloon men expect the Democrats to practically abandon their entire ticket at the February elections, to the end that the candidates in favor of granting licenses may be elected, and when their votes and work is required in the fall they are as a rule found to be opposed to those who assisted them in the spring.
   The Democratic party receives no benefit whatever from acting with the hotel and saloon men, while it lays itself open to the charge of being the liquor party and suffers considerably from this fact.
   Probably as good a way out of the difficulty would be for the Democrats to nominate candidates for Commissioners of Excise at their caucus, and run this ticket in connection with their regular town ticket, and let the liquor interests run their own ticket and elect it if they can. Men should be nominated who will not grant licenses promiscuously.
   The Republicans spent a good bit of money to elect their candidate for County Judge while the Democrats had none to use. Judge Knox made a splendid fight and should have been elected. He has made the best Surrogate the county has ever had, within the recollection of the writer. To those Democrats who stood by him in the fight and to those Republicans who gave him their support, he returns sincere thanks.
   We hope Mr. Eggleston will prove be as honest and capable an official.

Death of William N. Brockway.
   William N. Brockway, one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of Homer died at his home in that village October 24, 1889. He was born in Cortland June 6, 1829 but passed his early years in Groton and Cincinnatus. When he was twelve years old the family moved to Homer where his father engaged in business as a cabinet maker. Before he was of age he became the manager of the business and very soon was at the head of a large and lucrative establishment.
   In October 1860 he married Miss Edith Mine of Preble.
   In 1875 Mr. Brockway commenced the manufacture of wagons and to this business he brought the same rare tact and business sagacity that he had exhibited in the furniture trade and it was a success from the start. With only moderate means to start with, he soon overcame every obstacle and for some years past had been making money rapidly. His wagons found a ready sale everywhere and they stood high in the estimation of dealers.
   Something over a year ago his health failed him but his courage and energy stood by him and kept him about his business when many other men would have been in bed. He had a kindly disposition and made many friends who were sincerely attached to him.
   He had undoubtedly done more for Homer than any other of her citizens and his loss will be keenly felt. The business had been so thoroughly systematized, however, and the several members of his family are so thoroughly familiar with every department of it, that it will go on as usual.
   The funeral services were held at the family home on the 27th ult., and were conducted by Rev. W. A. Robinson, assisted by Rev. A. N. Damon. Mr. Brockway leaves a widow and four children to mourn his loss.

An Important Case.
   One of the most important cases ever tried in Cortland County, and one which very materially affects the manufacturing enterprises is the case of Ellen I. Ballard, administratrix, vs. Hitchcock Manufacturing Company, which was tried for eight days at our last Circuit, with Judge Forbes presiding, and a jury.
   The defendant, the Hitchcock Manufacturing Company, one of the largest wagon and sleigh works in the world, on the 30th day of May, 1887, had an explosion of a boiler that destroyed some $14,000 worth of property, killing three persons, employes [sic] of the Company, and injuring three others.
   The substantial facts in the case were brought out before the coroner's jury and the Company and its employes were exonerated from all blame. An action was, however, soon commenced and the defendants not desiring to be annoyed by suits made every effort possible to compromise, which it is believed would have been affected had not the plaintiff's counsel interfered to prevent.
   The case was finally brought to trial in January, 1888, and after several days duration the plaintiff obtained a verdict for $4,000.
   The evidence disclosed the fact that the boiler which exploded was a new one, only about two years old, and had been bought with the greatest possible care, of a reputable firm, B. W. Payne & Sons, of Elmira, N. Y. That during the lifetime of the boiler it had been cared for by competent engineers and firemen, and was frequently inspected by steam boiler inspectors, whose duty it was to look after this boiler, and pronounced by them to be in good and safe condition and well cared for, and was called by the defendants the best of the five boilers they were using.
   That if there were any defects about the boiler it was in the quality of the iron or imperfect workmanship, which could not have been discovered by the defendants without taking the boiler apart and substantially destroying it.
   The preponderance of evidence clearly establish these facts and the defendants not being satisfied with the verdict appealed to the General Term where the case was carefully reviewed, the court holding substantially that defendants were not required to take the boiler to pieces to discover the defects of workmanship or quality of the iron, and the case was consequently sent back for a new trial.
   The second trial was held in October last, and occupied eight days of the Court's time and resulted in a verdict for the plaintiff for about $2,050, about one-half what it was at the first trial.
   The facts as set forth were more fully and if possible more clearly established than in the former trial and the Judge, in his charge to the jury, and in the trial of the case showed the greatest fairness, closely pointing out the errors of the former trial.
   The question which so materially affects the manufacturing interests is whether the employers are to be responsible for the lives of their employes where the preponderance of evidence discloses and proves no carelessness nor negligence on the part of defendants or their employes.
   If this doctrine is to be established it must drive the manufacturer and everyone who is responsible that employs help out of business and close the doors of our factories.

This Time a Horse is Roasted to Death in New York.
   NEW YORK, NOV. 4.—An electric light current this morning roasted a horse to death, threw the driver to the street and knocked a police sergeant senseless. The deadly current was carried to its victims through a telephone wire [from] a pole carrying numberless wires [which] stands on Fourth avenue near the corner of Twenty-eight street,
   About 4 o'clock this morning one of the wires, a telephone line, fell to the street and formed a loop across the down track of the Fourth Avenue Railroad. Soon after it fell Thomas Whalen, driver of a Herald delivery wagon, came along. The horse stepped on the wire and instantly came to a halt, and sprang aside and fell.
   The jolt to the vehicle threw Whalen to the street, and when he arose he received a shock which threw him prostrate into the gutter. Regaining his feet again the driver undertook to raise the horse, but as soon as he touched the animal another shock went through him. He then comprehended the cause and lay still.
   Citizens attracted to the scene noticed flashes of blue flame emitted from the prostrate animal. The flashes came from all parts of the horse's body, and the smell of burning flesh was perceptible half a block away. Whalen was assisted to his feet but the horse was given a wide berth.
   One man ran to the Thirty-fifth Street Police Station and reported the matter, and Sergeant Albert McDonald and Roundsman Thomas Cassidy hurried to the scene. They saw the horse still emitted sparks and, calling out the Reserves, a guard was established at points sufficiently far from the roasting animal to warn all wayfarers away from the fatal spot.
   Sergeant McDonald undertook to find the deadly wire, and in making a turn around the wagon came in contact with it in the darkness. The wire struck him on the forehead and he fell to the pavement senseless as though he had been shot. Roundsman Cassidy went to the rescue of his comrade, and when he caught hold of the sergeant's leg he received a shock which compelled him to release his hold. A second effort was more successful, and soon after being carried to the sidewalk the sergeant slowly recovered his senses. His head was covered with blood and above his brow was the imprint of the wire, while beside was a gash evidently occasioned by the fall. He was dazed and almost helpless, so that he was obliged to go home.
   About 5 o'clock, up to which time the horse continued to roast slowly, it occurred to some one to send to the Manhattan Electric Light Company's shop in West Twenty-fifth street. Foreman Knight and two linemen visited the scene wearing rubber boots and gloves and found the deadly wire on the end of which the horse's body lay. They pulled it down from the pole and travel was resumed after the horse had been dragged off the track. A deep furrow was bored in the animal's back. Efforts made to find the point where the wire crossed the electric transmitter were of no avail.

   Mahogany is largely used for railroad ties in Mexico.
   Last year $104,000,000 worth of woolen goods were imported into the United States despite the tariff.
   Dougherty's mince pie factory at Port Byron now employs eighty hands, with jobs open for more.
   Nearly $2,000,000 worth of diamonds were taken from the Kimberley (South Africa) mines in August.
   The late James McKechnie, the Canandaigua brewer and banker, left an estate of $1,000,000, mostly to his widow.
   Cow's hair is now used in making carpets. The process is described as a cheap one and the product as an improvement on the woolen article.
   The total amount of money in circulation in the United States, October 1st, is estimated at $1,405,013,000, or an average of $22 per capita.
   The Chautauqua Literary Circle met at the residence of Mrs. C. F. Thompson last Tuesday evening. Some very valuable and interesting curios, the property of Miss Elizabeth Hatheway were on exhibition, among them a piece of Marble from the house of the Maecenas, also a piece from the Coliseum at Rome, two Roman Lamps, three glass Roman tear bottles that had become iridescent from age and one Greek tear bottle of pottery. Also a jug of the oldest Etruscan ware used to hold wine and which was put in the tomb with an urn filled with figs. A brick from the ancient walls of Rome with the cement attached [sic]. The art of making this cement is said to be lost. A piece of bas relief, from the palace of the Caesars, three pieces of marble from Hadrian's villa and a piece of inscription from the Appian way [sic]. Several photographs of statuary and ancient cities were also exhibited. The circle gave a hearty vote of thanks to Miss Hathaway for the privilege of inspecting these interesting relics.

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