Saturday, April 25, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, January 17, 1890.


Memoranda of a Sufferer From the "La Grippe"—The Record of Events—Agonies of a Patient Put on Paper.
(From the Syracuse Courier, Jan'y 11.)
   I have the "La Grippe." Cold chills run up and down my spinal column; my head is immensely larger than at the close of a big banquet; every bone in my body aches as if each severally had run up against Professor Easterly; am hot and cold by spells alternating every 45 seconds; head is hot, nose runs and pulse trying to trying to beat the record. Shall I die? No, Deo volente.
   Propped up by pillows, wrapped in blankets, ice on head, feet immersed in hot water, dirty decoction in stomach, I have been absent from business four days. Bills from the store; bushels of correspondence and friendly calls are—have been unnoticed. The seat of my ambition is undermined; my nerves are strung like untuned harpsichords; the banging of doors, the heavy footfall or loud voices make painful discord to my sensitive ears.
   Beyond my diary, in which I have recorded my symptoms since stricken down, I have no pleasure in life. My minutes I have decided to give to the world. Should I die they are my last utterances; if I live—well no matter.
   Jan. 7, 3 P. M.—Have felt mean all day. Swore at my partner for suggesting that we take up a note long overdue. Kicked the office boy an hour ago for asking me where McGinty was buried. Wonder if I have the Grip. Have heard whisky and quinine recommended. Have five-grain quinine pills in my pocket. Will go out and get the whisky.
   Jan. 7, 7 P. M.—Got the whisky and got home. Some way the proportion of whisky to quinine was too large and the dose did not set well on my stomach. Am bathed in perspiration. All my bones ache. My head is splitting. Have sent for the doctor.
   Jan. 7, 9 P. M.—The doctor has just gone. He says I have La Grippe and must keep quiet. Quiet! Every nerve in my body is tingling. The doctor left a nasty decoction that I am to take every four hours. He says quinine must be stopped but whisky may be taken in moderation. Thank heaven all is not dark. Have just taken the first installment of the decoction—bah, will take whisky.
   Jan. 7, 9:10 P. M.—Took three fingers full of whisky and am going to bed. Have a Perfecto cigar in my mouth but it don't taste good. My wife is crosser than I ever knew her before. She just said it looked as if it were going to snow. What wisdom these women have. Have my feet in a pail of hot water, some ice on my head and am going to bed. Guess I'll be able to go down town to-morrow.
   Jan. 8, 9 A. M.—Never passed such a night in my life. Cold baked beans, hard boiled eggs or bushels of sauerkraut never could have made my dreams worse. Rolled and tumbled for hours before I got one wink of sleep, my body bathed in perspiration. In two minutes by the watch I had in my dreams died, dug my own grave, buried myself, gone to Hades and made myself acquainted with the surroundings and all the inhabitants. Had just returned to earth, heard my will read and was about to forbid the bans in the marriage between my widow and the next door neighbor when I woke up. Subsequently I searched all over the bottom of the Atlantic ocean for McGinty, followed Nellie Bly all around the earth two miles behind her, invented and patented a machine for shaving notes, planted the stars and stripes on the North Pole and conducted Skaneateles lake water to Syracuse. Couldn't eat any breakfast. The oatmeal stuck in my throat and beefsteak and crisp fried potatoes held out no inducement. All the strength in my body has departed. My head spins round like a top. Guess I won't go down town to day.
   Jan. 8, 10 A. M.—The doctor has just gone. He says I must stay quiet for two days. Jones next door has got the grippe [influenza] and four of my acquaintances on the block are down. There is a pain in my chest that I don't like. Pneumonia is said to be prevalent. Wonder what size coffin I would take. Pshaw! I won't dwell on such things. Have just taken my medicine. What's the matter with whisky?
   Jan. 8, 1 P. M.—Oh, how my bones ache! Want to walk around, but my legs won't hold me up. Tried to split some kindling wood but could raise the axe only high enough to dent the wood.
   Jan. 8, 3 P. M.—Can't read. The papers have nothing in them and the type in my favorite edition of Shakespeare dances up and down. Just saw Jones standing at the window with his hands in his pockets. Wonder if he feels as mean as I do; hope so, at least. It isn't time for my medicine yet. Guess I'll hit the whisky and lie down.
  Jan. 8, 9 P. M.—What a long evening it has been. My wife says I am cross; perhaps I am. Certainly feel mean enough to do anything. Hope I can sleep to-night. A little whisky may invoke the muse of slumber.
   Jan. 9, 8 A. M.—What in the devil induced all the cats in the neighborhood to congregate around the house last night and mock at me. The deep bass voice I know belonged to Jones' big Tom. If I ever get strength enough I'll fill his old hide with buckshot. Haven't touched water for two days. Can't see where all the perspiration last night came from.
   Jan. 9. 10 A. M.—See by the morning papers that the dowager mother of the Prince Idiot has just died with Grip. Thank heaven, it is no respecter of persons. Can't stand this staying indoors. Will bundle up and go down town.
   Jan. 9. 9 P. M.—Have had an awful time since I penned the above. Despite my wife's protests and tears I put on my overcoat, overshoes, muffler and gloves and started for the city. On the front walk I fell from very exhaustion and had to be carried into the house. Have been flat on my back ever since. All the contents of my stomach I turned over on account. The doctor has just gone. He says I am coming out all right and left me a tonic. Ye gods this "Grip" is no laughing matter. Will go to bed.
   Jan. 10, 9 A M.—Slept quite a little last night and feel much better. The fever has almost entirely left my body; my pulse has slacked down into the region of the normal. Have just braced my shattered nerves with two horns of whisky.
   Jan. 10, 12 M.—The doctor has just gone. Says I am on the highroad to recovery and may go down town if I ride both ways. Will I ride? I would fly to get out of this stuffy house. Feel so good guess I’ll take a drink with myself.
   Jon. 10, 7 P. M.—Rode to the store and dabbled a little in business. Went to the little place round the corner to keep up my nerve and saw all the boys. Twenty-nine of the 30 present had had the "grip," and the exchange of experiences was interesting. Am going to the store in the morning, so must bustle to bed.

   County Judge Eggleston has appointed Norman Harmon to be court crier in place of Joel Call, deceased.
   The Loyal Circle of Kings Daughters will meet with Mrs. W. J. Perkins, 14 Reynolds avenue, January 18, at 2:30 P . M.
   C. E. Boyden, of Marathon, has been appointed assistant postmaster of the Assembly. Marathon seems to have a mortgage on this office.
   Mr. S. M. Ballard received his commission as postmaster of this village last Monday morning, and at once assumed the duties of the office.
   The high winds of Monday last tore a wind-mill, on the farm of Walter Morris, three miles west of this village, in pieces. Hardly a splinter was left of it.
   The "grippe" has eluded the vigilance of the turnkey at the county jail, and several of the inmates are suffering from the effects of distemper. Quinine and whisky.
   The sale of seats for Keene's presentation of "Richelieu," in Cortland Opera House, opens at Wallace's Friday, January 17, at 9 o'clock A. M. Get your seats early.
   The following officers have been chosen by Cigarmakers' Union, No. 116:—President, Florence Sullivan; Vice President, S. J. Doyle; Secretary, John E. Galvin; Treasurer, John Burns.
   The Patrons Relief Fire Association of this county have added $65,000 to their risks within the poll year and their total insurance in this county at the present date is something over $1,025,000.
   Assemblyman Peck, of this county, has been liberally dealt with by Speaker Husted this year. Mr. Peck is chairman of the committee on Revision, fifth on the Judiciary committee, second on Codes and fourth on Rules.
   One day last week Messrs. Melvin & Chidsey sold their fruit business to Mr. E. A. Hopkins, and the latter disposed of the same on the same day to Dunning Bros., who will sell the same and put in a stock of groceries. Their store is located in the Churchill building.
   A bald headed gentleman residing in Sayre, Pa., has been using onion poultices on the bare spot for the cure of neuralgia. A little over a month after commencing to use the remedy he was surprised to find his baldness rapidly disappearing under a healthy growth of red hair. It is understood that red onions only were used in preparing the poultices.
   William Orton, an inmate of the County Alms House, left that institution last Monday evening. He is about 50 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches tall, wears full beard, tinged with gray, and had on black soft hat, sack coat and vest of dark material, and overalls. Thought to be slightly out of his mind. The authorities at the Alms house would be glad of any information concerning him.
   The bell for the new Presbyterian church arrived on Saturday evening last, via. the E. C. & N. road. It is 3 feet 6 inches high, 8 feet 4 inches in circumference at the top, and 15 feet at the bottom, and weighs 4,034 pounds. On its side is the inscription, "Presented to the First Presbyterian Church, Cortland, N. Y., in loving memory of Hannah Frary Blair, A. D., 1889.  'Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise—Psalm c: 4.'" The bell will probably be placed in position this week.
   The Eden Musee has been attracting many visitors during the past week and all who have examined the 20,000 curiosities on exhibition pronounce them wonderful as well as interesting. The entertainment during the evening is well worth witnessing. For two or three days the rattlesnake, which has a cage all by himself, was to all appearances dead and it was decided to put him in a glass jar to be filled with alcohol. Accordingly he was transferred to the jar on Tuesday morning and carried to a drug store where the operation of filling was to be performed. The atmosphere in the room was quite warm and the party having his snakeship in charge had to wait some little time. As the druggist was about to fill the jar, the snake gave him a knowing wink with one eye, which had the effect of stopping further proceedings. He soon gave such strong symptoms of being dangerous that he was taken back to his cage where he now is. The snake was simply dormant.
   Silas Baldwin held a golden wedding at Klocks hotel last week.
   Miss Ann Moss is working for R. Egbertson, whose wife is on the sick list.
   Miss Sadie Lyman has another week of vacation because of the sickness of Mr. Jones.
   George Klock has purchased the Cardiff hotel and will take possession in the near future.
   Franklin Briggs has been quite ill with the grippe. Doctor Johnson of Cortland, cared for him.
   Mr. and Mrs. John B. Briggs was called to Homer on account of the sickness of Mr. Fred Briggs and daughter.
   Mr. Franklin Jones, who has been complaining sometime is now confined to his bed, consequently our school did not commence on Monday last as was expected.
   The funeral of Mrs. Leticia Hobart was held at the M. E. Church on Thursday of last week. She died at Homer and was the mother of our highly esteemed citizen Mr. Seth Hobart.
   Your correspondent saw an article on Cortland's big cactus. The out of the way village of Preble can boast of a cactus measuring eight feet and six inches in height and about eight inches in circumference at the ground. This cactus is the property of A. Francisco. He has also a night blooming cereus of about the same height. 

   There is [sic] a few more cases of "la grippe" in the place.
   The telephone poles from East River, where they connect with Cortland as far as Cuyler are up. They are to continue to DeRuyter. So you see we are to have connection with the outer world soon.
   Died on January 11, at the residence of his parents in East Homer, after a long and severe illness, Bert Cushing, aged 25 years. The death of Bert falls with crushing weight upon the bereaved parents. He was an only child and the hope of their declining years. He has been stricken down in his fresh young manhood by a disease that baffled the skill of his physicians. Of sterling integrity and unblemished character he stood the peer of any young man in this community. His untimely death will be mourned by all and his bereaved parents have the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community. UNCLE SI.
   Died, January 8th, Mr. John Oakley, aged 78 years and ten months.
   Madame La Grippe is stopping in our town. She calls on the rich and poor, the old as well as the young.
   Mr. Dewitt Lane, who has been very sick for some time is improving.
   The wind on Monday done a good deal of damage in our town. It tore up two trees in the yard of Mrs. Ladd, and broke a tree in the yard of Mrs. Price, and when it fell, it went on the telephone wire and broke it down. 

   Mrs. Elias Fisk is in poor health.
   Charles Loop, jr., went to Freetown one day last week to consult Dr. Allen in regard to his health.
   F. E. Jordon, who has been confined to the house for the past three weeks with a species of "la grippe," is so as to be around once more.
   Dr. Neary was called to South Brookfield last week as counsel, to see Charles DeLong, formerly of this place, who is dangerously ill with pneumonia.
   We would like to know for whose benefit the mail carrier on the route between Taylor and Truxton, makes his three weekly trips, the public or to suit his own convenience. Of course we know it is hard travelling, consequently we do not expect him to make his trips on schedule time, but this should not serve as an excuse for him to keep the mail pouch at his house until the next day and then take it to Taylor arriving there after the Cortland stage has gone. Such neglect makes it very inconvenient for us many times. We have deposited letters in the Taylor Centre post office and if the mail had arrived at Taylor anywhere near in time our letter would have reached Cortland Wednesday. As it was it did not reach Cortland until Thursday. We hope our mail carrier will reform, so as to serve the public more acceptably. 

   Mr. Nicholas Cornell was in the place on business lately.
   Mrs. J. Holden, of Solon, is at her aunt's caring for her in her sickness.
   Mrs. Frank Underwood and daughter, were guests at Joseph Underwood's a short time since.
   Melvin Furber is on the sick list, also Mrs. Milford Brown and many others. It is hoped Mrs. Tripp is a little on the gain. Mrs. H. Lennon is no better; not much hope.
   If the proprietor of the Freetown store was looking to his own interest, he would visit this place and see that his property is not destroyed, and that certain parties hold their vigils in some other place than in his store, to the destruction of property and the disturbance of peaceful citizens and the sick in our midst. Out of respect to the wives and mothers I will withhold names.  

   As late as Monday of this present week honey bees were out looking for sweets, and peonys had begun to spring from the ground. The thermometer was at 73 dg.
   We are informed that Bentley & Johnson have purchased the stock of goods owned by C. O. Parsons & Co., and are to move into the building formerly occupied by the late firm.
   C. Eugene Boyden went to Albany Sunday evening where he expects to secure the appointment of Postmaster of the Assembly. Mr. Boyden has been a very energetic worker in the party, and as this is the first time he has asked for anything he will doubtless secure the prize, or at least something that will pay as well.
   A great number of Marathonians have been captured by la grippe and the hotels have had not a little boom thereby. Quinine and whisky seems to work well with some, and efforts have been made to have a certain physician recommend the "fire water" of one hotel as vastly superior to the others, but as yet the official notice has not been given.
  *   * [pen name symbol of local correspondent.]

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