Friday, May 29, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, March 28, 1890.

Robert Griswold on Trial for the Murder of Dennis O'Shea—Selecting a Jury.
   Wednesday morning an adjourned session of the Circuit Court and Court of Oyer and Terminer and special term of the Supreme Court opened at the Court House with Hon. Walter Lloyd Smith Justice presiding. The adjourned and extra panels of jurors were called—eight failing to respond—and seventeen presenting excuses were dismissed. Before calling the calendar the District Attorney and counsel for defense in the Griswold case announcing themselves in readiness for trial, the Court gave notice that no civil cases would be taken up but the case of the People vs. Robert W. Griswold, indicted for the murder of Dennis O'Shea, of the town of Preble, would be tried. District Attorney Bronson is assisted by County Judge J. E. Eggleston in behalf of the People, and Franklin Pierce aided by Hon. O. U. Kellogg conduct the defense.
   At 11 o'clock the Sheriff was instructed to bring up the prisoner who soon appeared in a rusty black suit, standing collar, white tie, and white high hat. Long confinement has tended to whiten his complexion.
   It was exactly 11:45 when the first juror John Kirkup, a farmer of Homer, took the stand, was examined, accepted and placed in the jury box. Two other jurors were excused in quick order and Henry Dockstater seemed to be the eligible candidate for chair No. 2, when the Court ruled that from the juror's evidence he appeared incompetent. William Patterson, of Taylor, did not suit the prosecution, and J. S. Lord, farmer, aged about 54, of Homer, who had read several newspaper accounts, heard insanity talks, which failed to impress or prejudice his mind, was given a seat in the box with Mr. Kirkup as juror No. 2, after which the Court was adjourned until 2 P. M., at which time Adelbert W. Ingersoll of Willett, 40 years of age, without prejudice or knowledge of the case sufficient to form an opinion for or against, was assigned a seat next to Mr. Lord. Frank W. Mason of Truxton, had heard of the shooting; but not the insanity feature of the case. Evidence being elicited that he has been a resident of Onondaga county for two months past entitled him to be excused.
   Harmon Kinney of Cortland, Frank Sticker, of Homer, John Monroe, of Solon, Henry Shell, of Preble and John McDairmid, of Truxton, who was the first clear, full-voiced juror to state that he knew none of the parties; would not consider a man to be insane because he shot another, were all challenged by the prosecution and excused.
   Edgar Parker, of Lapeer, a farmer of 43 years who stated that he had conversed with one who had seen the prisoner since his incarceration, but expressed no opinion, and with another who said Griswold was out of his head was accepted as the fourth juryman, and Wilber Holmes, of Cincinnati, aged 51 years, was assigned to the fifth chair, he having stated that he had never seen the prisoner previous to his appearance in Court, and that he did not view the plea of insanity as a cause to bias his verdict. Three jurors were then excused—Enoch J. Holdridge, of Harford, on account of age—and Henry Heath, of this town was next accepted by the people but excused on behalf of defendant. Possibly his views regarding the "watch in the hat" as a bright advertising scheme [Mr. Griswold used to repair watches and wore a top hat with a watch tacked on it—CC editor], caused the result.
   The sixth chair was assigned to Judson Hill, 33 years old and a mechanic of this town, precisely at 4 o'clock, making one half the jury.
   For the first time during the day a healthy smile spread over the face of the prisoner when juror Hickey, of Truxton, testified that he knew Mr. O'Shea and family, and had an individual opinion of defendant. Two or three other jurors failed of acceptance and Merritt Smith, of Taylor, aged 28 years, took seventh place at 4:38.
   No further selection was made prior to adjournment although seven jurors were questioned. At six o'clock Court adjourned to Thursday at 9 A. M.
   Thursday forenoon was consumed in the further effort to obtain a jury. Thirty-five men were examined between the opening hour of the Court and the noon adjournment at 12:27, resulting in the selection of the following four: Wilber Sanders, a farmer of this town, age 44 years; Henry Knickerbocker, age 56, of Cincinnatus; Joseph H. Lyon, age 56, of Cuyler, and George Moore, of Virgil, age 49 years, thus leaving but one vacant chair.
   After dinner twenty five examinations occurred before the final juror was chosen. William Young, of Marathon, farmer, being the twenty-fifth one examined since the opening of Court, was sworn in at 3:44 o'clock and the remaining panel discharged. The case of the people is being opened as we go to press.
John Kirkup, Homer.
J. S. Lord,         "
Edgar Parker, Lapeer.
Wilbur Holmes, Cincinnatus.
Judson Hill, Cortlandville.
Merritt Smith, Taylor.
Wilbur Sanders, Cortland.
Henry Knickerbocker, Cincinnatus.
Joseph H. Lyon, Cuyler.
George Moore, Virgil.
William Young, Marathon.
Adelbert E. Ingersoll, Willett.
   Deputy sheriff Ryan Green is again at the Court House, walking about with the aid of a crutch and stick.
   The old witness box has been removed and a new platform of the height of the first step to the Bench extending nearly to the south end of the stenographer's desk, was built Wednesday night, thus bringing the witness in full view and greatly aiding the taking of testimony. This change is in conformity with an order of the Court now sitting.
   The Court holds the reins with a firm hand, is decisive in rulings, prompt in discipline and maintenance of order—essential elements in making the case doubly interesting.
   A young man sitting near the bar Wednesday afternoon was suddenly seized with a fit and carried out of the room by two officers.

   As the DEMOCRAT was ready to go to press last week Thursday, word was received that Mr. Norman Chamberlain was not expected to live through the day. The particulars associated with the last hours of one of Cortland's widely-known, most active and upright citizens are as follows: For some months past deceased had been seriously afflicted with Bright's disease with a tendency, as recent investigation shows, to paralysis, yet Mr. Chamberlain continued about the discharge of his manifold duties even up to the accident which hastened the end.
   Wednesday afternoon last, about 2:00 o'clock, contrary to the wishes of the family, he walked out into the wood house, lost his balance and fell, sustaining internal injuries which caused paralysis. After the fall he moved about the house, ate supper and in the evening complained of severe pain in his limbs and back which increased until midnight, when he spoke the last words and became unconscious, remaining so until Thursday afternoon. Hemorrhage set in shortly after he became unconscious and continued more or less violent until death, which occurred in twenty-four hours after the accident.
   The funeral services were conducted from the family residence Sunday afternoon, the Rev. A. N. Damon, pastor of the Homer Methodist church officiating, in consequence of the necessary absence of the Baptist clergymen of both villages.
   Norman Chamberlain was born in Berlin, Otsego county, N. Y., on the 24th day of July, 1817, being the eldest of a family of 16 children, only four of whom are now living—two brothers and two sisters—Mr. W. C. Chamberlain, of Dubuque, Ia., Mr. Wells A. Chamberlain, of Grafton, Lorain county, O., Mrs. S. S. Halliday of Litchfield, O., and Mrs. Rev. W. E. Ryan, of Medina, O.
   When nearly 20 years of age Mr. Chamberlain came to Virgil where, on November 15, 1838, he was married to Miss Angeline Hotchkiss of that town. Three children were the fruits of this union, only one, Charles S. Chamberlain now residing in California, still living. About the year 1853 deceased removed to this village and entered the employ of his brother as clerk of the old Eagle Hotel, the site of the present Messenger House, from which position he next entered the employ of the hardware firm of S. D. & A. Freer.
   In the month of May, 1857, his wife died and on October 28th of the following year he united in marriage with Miss Kate Jordan, of Ohio, formerly of Brookfield, N. Y., who with two sons, Will A., of Buffalo, and Fred. N., of this town yet survive the husband and father.
   In 1861 Mr. Chamberlain entered into partnership with H. F. Benton, conducting the hardware business for five years, when the firm of Chamberlain, Smith & Co., was organized and enjoyed a prosperous business on Port Watson street. After the fire at the foundry some years ago, the brick hardware store was erected and Mr. E. P. Slafter was taken in as a member of the firm of Chamberlain, Slafter & Co.
  During the year 1881, deceased retired from mercantile pursuits and subsequently moved to the pleasant home north of this village.
   For years past Mr. Chamberlain has taken an active interest in the local institutions of this community. He was one of the charter members of the Cortland County Agricultural Society; a member of the original Local Board of the Normal School holding the position of secretary of the Board at the time of his death; a director of the Cortland Savings Bank since 1869 and also trustee of the Cortland Rural Cemetery for the past fifteen years and Superintendent for the past two years.
   In politics he was a firm Democrat and held the office of Supervisor of this town in 1867, the duties of which office he discharged with signal ability. As a citizen he won the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact, whether in business or social relations. He was unassuming in demeanor, but firm in his views of right and wrong. A most, excellent citizen has gone but he has left many pleasant memories to be cherished by his many friends.
   At a meeting of the Local Board of the Cortland Normal School, held on Monday, March 24, 1890, at the office of R. H. Duell, the following resolutions were adopted:
   Resolved, That the members of this Board have received with deep regret, intelligence of the death of Norman Chamberlain, who for twenty-one years has been a member of this Board, and for fifteen years its secretary.
   Resolved, That we sincerely sympathize with the bereaved family of our late associate and friend, in their great loss, coupled with the assurance that while they mourn the loss of a husband and father, he has left behind him a name honored and respected by this entire community.
   Resolved, That the members of this Board regret the loss of an associate who with kindness, coupled with manly courtesy, discharged the various duties of his office, and whose memory will be cherished not only by the members of this board, but by all others connected with the Cortland Normal School, to whose interests he gave untiring devotion.
   Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of our deceased associate, and published in the newspapers of this village.
   At a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Cortland Savings Bank, held on Monday March 24, 1890, the death of Norman Chamberlain, for a long time a trustee of this bank, was announced, and therefore it was
   Resolved, That we deeply sympathize with the bereaved family of our late associate and friend Norman Chamberlain, sincerely deploring the loss to them of a devoted husband and kind father.
   Resolved, That in his death the community has lost a useful and a respected citizen, this bank one of its most steadfast and intelligent supporters, and the members of this board an esteemed and valued friend.
   Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be engrossed by the Secretary, and signed by the officers of this board and forwarded to the family of Mr. Chamberlain, and that a copy thereof be published in the village papers and entered upon the minutes of this board.
   R. H. DUELL, Pres.
   C. P. WALRAD, Treas.
   BENJ. L. WEBB, Sec.

Fine Horses.
   Hon. L. J. Fitzgerald and T. H. Wickwire, of this place, are in New York this week, attending the sale of Senator Leland Stanford's high blood horses from his Palo Alto stock farm. The N. Y. World says Mr. Fitzgerald paid $1000 for a bay two-year-old colt by Clay, by Edith Carr, dam Clark Chief. He also purchased the bay mare "Piedmont," price $750. We understand Mr. Wickwire also purchased a fine one, but we have been unable to learn full particulars.

Bridge Bandits.
Newburg Terrorized by a Band of Robbers.
   NEWBURGH, N. Y., March 23.—The "bridge bandits" have for some time been the terror of those who live in the southwestern section of this city. Several murders committed have been traced to them, and they have pillaged many freight cars and ransacked many a house. About twenty-five young toughs compose the gang and many tramps join the freebooters on their raids along the Erie road. The gang congregates at the Quassaick Bridge, and have a system of signals, spies, sentries, etc. If an officer approaches the signal flag is displayed on Bummer's Hill, and the toughs scatter in every direction. Erie road detectives have endeavored to break up the gang, but they have been unsuccessful.
   Made bold by success the robbers' raids have been made of late in daylight and yesterday the first two members of the gang were caught. Friday, the police captured two more of the robbers, one of them being Mickey Welch, who has just served a term at Albany and who has a brother at Sing Sing. The officers had trouble bringing their prisoners to jail. The toughs formed a line on a side hill and fired several shots at the police, who returned the fire. One of the balls fired by the bandits struck Welch in the leg. All policemen have been appointed deputy sheriffs to enable them to make arrests anywhere in the county.

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