Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, January 10, 1890.

Our Public Officials.

To the Editor of the Cortland Democrat:

   In a recent number of your paper, you did a great public service in calling to the attention of taxpayers the action of  the Board of Supervisors in this county occupying unnecessary time and in prolonging their session to an undue extent. Just at this time, when the people of this town are groaning under a load of taxation, and our farming community is paying at least one-fourth of its profits for taxes, it may be well to call the attention of the people [to] some of the methods by which public officers heap burdens upon the town and the county. I am told that the Overseer of the Poor in this village expends more money in caring for the poor in this village than is expended by all of the other Overseers of the Poor of the county combined.
   An examination of the bills of the Justices of the Peace of this village will show, I think, an expense nearly equal to that of all the other Justices of the Peace of the county combined.
   Hundreds of men are arrested and brought before these justices upon accusations of various crimes and it is safe to say that not one in five is either held or punished.
   The constables, the magistrates, and the turnkey smile at each other at the meaningless farce and pocket their fees. It is but recently that a man was arrested for vagrancy, taken before one of our magistrates and discharged upon the accusation, and then immediately re-arrested by the same officer who first arrested him simply for the purpose of the fees and taken before the other magistrate. Every man who knows anything about the way our county and public offices are run, knows full well that from constable up they are joined in a conspiracy to plunder the town.
   Nor are our county officers better. I am credibly informed that the Superintendent of the Poor of this county takes cattle from his own farm, causes them to be butchered and used at the County House, and then pays for them in checks drawn by himself as Superintendent of the Poor and payable to his own son. Now, Mr. Editor, you are a lawyer [Benton Jones of the Democrat and William Clark of the Standard were both lawyers—CC editor], won’t you inform your readers whether the Superintendent can do this and make the payment therefor a legal charge upon the county.
   Every term of Court sees a large number of deputy sheriffs summoned from every part of the county to its attendance. You can't get into the Court House without stumbling over two or three deputy sheriffs. Everybody knows that two are summoned where one is needed. And everybody who has been around Court knows that their principal business is to play cards in the lobbies, swap lies and bet on juries.
   Now, Mr. Editor, won't you tell your readers where the sheriff gets his authority to summon these deputy sheriffs and make their fees a legal charge against the county. It was but recently that a Supreme Court Judge, sitting at our Circuit, caused constables to be summoned to take charge of a jury in a murder case upon the ground, as stated by the judge, that there was no authority in law for entrusting juries in the hands of deputy sheriffs while deliberating upon their verdict.
   Is this good law, Mr. Editor? And if so, please tell us whether a tax can be collected to pay for such illegal fees.
   Now Mr. Editor, I have not exhausted the subject of squandering public funds, but I will stop here and give the remainder of my attention to our immaculate District Attorney, who seems to be driving a thriving business in using his office to extort money out of people.
   I have in my possession one of his inimitable letters, mailed to a gentleman at about the date thereof, of which the following is an exact copy excepting therefrom the name of the person to whom it is addressed.
Cortland, N. Y., June 5th, 1889.
   Mr. Boies has left with me for collection an account against you of $42. As I understand Mr. Boies the transaction upon your part when the credit was obtained is such that a prompt settlement by you, before legal action taken, will be the part of discretion. If you do not adjust the matter Mr. B. will prosecute this civilly as well as criminally. Shall assume if not paid this week that you elect to let the prosecution go on.
   Now Mr. Editor, I will not ask you for the law governing the offense of sending such a letter. I have looked it up [and] the statute is in the following words:
   "A person who, knowing the contents thereof, and with intent, by means thereof, to extort or gain any money or other property, or to do, abet, or procure any illegal or wrongful act, sends, delivers, or in any manner causes to be forwarded or received, or makes and parts with, for the purpose that they may be sent or delivered an letter or writing threatening,--
   "1. To accuse any person of a crime; or *** is punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years."
   I commend the District Attorney to the examination of this statute and suggest to him that he had better have the Grand Jury at the coming Court act upon the case.
   In truth, Mr. Editor, have we not reached a fine condition of affairs when the criminal prosecuting attorney of the county is found writing this kind of letter? This is sufficient for our District Attorney at present, unless his inconsiderate friend W. H. Clark shall appear as his defender, when it will perhaps be necessary to disclose fully a few facts well known to certain parties in this village.
   In conclusion, Mr. Editor, let me say that I hope you will continue to agitate the question of the Board of Supervisors and their very unworthy conduct. No farsighted editor will put himself upon the side of the office holder and the office seeker as against the people.
   Our present danger in town, county, state and national affairs, arise from a hoard of ravenous office holders and office seekers, "very hungry and very thirsty." Things will grow worse before they become better. Parties will arise upon this very issue within a few years and an indignant people, wearied by the continued robberies of these petty politicians will sweep them into the obscurity to which they belong.
   Dated, Cortland, January 7, 1890.

Lehigh Valley and E. C. & N. R. R. depot. Cortland Chair & Cabinet Co. at far left.
Cortland Chair and Cabinet Co.
   One of the most important business enterprises in this place is carried on by the "Cortland Chair and Cabinet Company." It is very likely that only a small number of the residents of our village have any correct or adequate idea of the extent of the company's works, the amount of business that they are doing, or of the variety or elegance of the articles which they manufacture.
   The buildings are located just across the track opposite to the E. C. & N. depot where many see them, but they are not so large and imposing in appearance as to attract a great deal of attention, and very many who see them do not at all realize their extent or the magnitude of the business carried on there.
   There are in all five separate buildings or apartments. The office and stock building is nearest to the depot and most conspicuous to the view and therefore most likely to be entered first by any one visiting these works. There the visitor may find finished specimens of all the different articles manufactured by the company, and begin to get some idea of what they are doing. And he at once sees that the old cheap camp chair, which used to be made in such large numbers by Mr. L. S. Hayes, has been left far behind and has developed into a large variety of elegant and beautiful chairs, suited to the office, the drawing room, or the parlor of the best furnished houses.
   In the line of chairs he finds fancy floor rockers, spring rockers, antique oak colonial rockers, finished and upholstered in beautiful style and material and yet sold very cheap considering their beauty and elegance. And besides the chairs the visitor sees a large variety of oak and mahogany tables and fancy cabinets in beautiful patterns, highly polished and fitted to be an ornament to any room.
   The company was incorporated in 1889 with a capital of $80,000, to succeed the business of the Hayes Chair Company and is virtually an enlargement of that establishment. The buildings are four hundred feet in length and are filled with a full complement of machinery of the latest styles, much of which was invented and manufactured especially for this company. Their trade for the past few months has increased so rapidly, that additions to the buildings are contemplated in the near future.
   When running at full capacity they employ nearly a hundred men, yet with all their facilities for turning out work rapidly, they were unable to fill all the orders last year. Their shipments go to every State in the Union and also to almost every country on the Continent and the very flattering reception the goods have met with encourages the company in its sanguine view of the future. The factory and shipping rooms being immediately alongside the tracks of the E. C. & N. railroad gives extra good facilities for shipping.
   Good wares always find a ready market and the Cortland Chair and Cabinet Company, being aware of this fact, are making the very best to be found anywhere.

Death of Joel Call.
   The many friends of Mr. Joel Call, will be pained to learn of his death from pneumonia, which occurred at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Arthur B. Nelson, in this village last Thursday. Mr. Call was for many years successfully engaged in farming in the town of Truxton, where he was universally respected and esteemed for his business integrity and excellent business qualifications. He had been Justice of the Peace and represented his town in the Board of Supervisors for several years. His wife died some years ago and for the past few years he had made his home with his daughter in this place.
   Mr. Call was a democrat of the old school and was ever faithful to the principles of the party and its candidates. Short funeral services were held at the house in this place, on Sunday day morning, and the remains were taken to Truxton, where services were held and interment made. The members of Homer Masonic Lodge, of which he was a member attended in a body and many members of Cortlandville Lodge were also present.

[The Cortland Democrat, Friday, January 10, 1890.]
   At a regular meeting of the Cortland Democratic Club, held at its rooms Tuesday evening, January 7, 1890, the following resolutions were adopted:
   WHEREAS, It has pleased God to remove by death our beloved associate and fellow member, Joel Call; therefore be it
   Resolved, That while we bow to the will of God, who "doeth all things well," we deeply mourn the loss of our beloved brother, and recognize, that in his death we have suffered the loss of a tried and true friend, a man of ability and sterling integrity, possessed of a high moral character and one whose wise counsels were ever a blessing to our club and his fellow-men.
   Resolved, That in his life as a democrat we find an example of fidelity and faithfulness to party principles which extended over a period of fifty years, and the lesson taught in his life upon earth will ever be looked up to as a synonym of all that is right and just.
   Resolved, That we tender to his afflicted family our heartfelt sympathy in this their hour of deep bereavement.
   Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be forwarded to the family of deceased, to the Cortland DEMOCRAT for publication, and that the same be engrossed upon the minute book of club.
   F. E. PLUMB,

The Rev. Father Kelly of Oneida Answers What He Supposed to be a Sick Call and is Knocked Down in the Darkness and Injured.
   ONEIDA, Jan. 2.—Another attempt was made on the life of the Rev. James Kelly yesterday morning. Father Kelly answered the street door bell and was struck at by an unknown man with a bar of iron. Father Kelly drew back quickly and was only slightly wounded. On October 13th an attempt was made to poison him by putting arsenic in the wine he drank at the altar that day. According to the story of yesterday's assault, Father Kelly was aroused about 8:30 o'clock by a summons at his door. He hastily drew on his clothing and descended to the hallway. In answer to a query the stranger outside said that the priest's services were desired at a death-bed, and asked to be admitted.
   Father Kelly unbolted the door and opened it cautiously to get a glimpse at the stranger. At this juncture the latter threw his weight against the door, forcing it inward and gaining a partial entrance to the hall. At the same time he struck Father Kelly a hard blow on the head with a heavy instrument. The forcing of the door had prepared him for the attack, and the fact that the priest saw the blow coming and dodged probably saved his life. If the weapon had struck him squarely his skull would have been crushed. As it was, the blow was a glancing one and made an ugly scalp wound.
   Father Kelly grappled with his assailant and cried "murder!" The assassin by an effort disengaged himself and took to his heels. In the scuffle he dropped his weapon. Father Kelly, weak from the loss of blood and the shock, sank to the floor. There the frightened housekeeper found him lying across the doorway in a pool of blood. A doctor was at once summoned and the wound dressed.
   Father Kelly says he cannot identify his assailant. This last attempt strengthens the opinion that there is a fixed determination on the part of some person or persons unknown to wreak vengeance on the pastor of St. Patrick's church. The motive is a mystery, but will probably have a solution before the week has passed.

Serious Accident on Monday to Geo. Lincoln.
(From the Marathon Independent.)
   George Lincoln, who is employed at trucking by G. W. Webster & Son, was the victim of an unfortunate accident on Monday last. He was standing on the top of a carload of pea coal, on the coal dump at the depot, preparing to dump the same. In loosening the pin that held the trap in the bottom of the car in place, it got the start of him, and the trap flew open and precipitated him into the bin below, through the coal, which covered his body nearly to his arm-pits.
   In the car with him was an iron bar, pointed at each end. One end of this struck upright in the floor of the bin, and he came down with full force upon the other end of it. The bar penetrated the flesh to the bone, and then tore itself loose and followed his body beneath his underclothing, until be stopped in descent.
   He was imprisoned in the body of coal and had to be dug out. The wound he received is quite a serious one, and a little variation in the angle at which the bar struck would have proved fatal to him. He is now at Mr. Webster's house, where he is being made as comfortable as possible.



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