The Cortland Democrat, Friday, February 7, 1890.
License in its Relations to Politics and Public Interests.
The Democratic caucus took a step in the right direction when it put in nomination Mr. Philip Sugerman for Commissioner of Excise. He correctly represents the position of the democratic party on the subject of license to sell intoxicants, which is, that licenses should be granted for the sale of liquors only in places appropriate for the business and to persons properly qualified therefore, and the number of licensed liquor dealers should not exceed the reasonable requirements of the community.
Heretofore the nominations for the office of Commissioners of Excise have been made by the liquor dealers on the one side and by the prohibitionists on the other, and as a result we have had liquor sold clandestinely and without license or drank in club rooms where drunkenness and excess have prevailed in the seclusion thereby afforded. For the development of confirmed and habitual drunkards the club room provides the greatest facilities, and club rooms universally flourish in populous communities where no licenses are granted.
When the liquor dealers nominate and elect the Commissioners of Excise we have gin mills established at the doors of our public schools and churches and under the eaves of our private residences. The correct thing to do is for the people to nominate and elect Commissioners of Excise who will administer the law in a conservative manner and restrict the evils of the traffic as much as possible.
The republican party have always straddled on the subject and have with characteristic hypocrisy pretended to favor temperance or license as the occasion apparently required to gain the greatest number of votes. The temperance element of the party being constantly deceived by the public professions of their party leader and organs and disappointed by their acts and in harmony with this hypocritical policy the republicans have for years omitted to make any nomination for the office of Commissioner of Excise. But why should the democratic party follow their example and thereby play into their hands? The democratic party has uniformly declared against sumptuary legislation and the attempt at making men temperate and virtuous by statute as a conspicuous failure.
In short the party has advocated a conservative, impartial and practical license system and policy with which the nomination of Philip Sugerman for Commissioner of Excise is in the most complete harmony. Unless the nominee for the office of Commissioner of Excise is such as to command the confidence of the conservative license voters a commissioner adverse to granting license is sure to be elected at the coming town elections so that those liquor dealers who desire license have no alternative but to support the democratic nominee. The sooner they recognize this fact the wiser their conduct will appear.
It is idle to suggest that the subject of license should be kept out of politics. The prohibitionists and Liquor Dealers Associations have thrust this question into politics, both local, state and national, and he who shuts his eyes to this fact acts like a simpleton. It is one of the live practical questions of the hour and never will be settled until the conservative and sensible electors assume control of it. The fanaticism of the prohibitionists and the greed of liquor dealers should no longer be suffered to have control of a subject so important to the welfare of the people and so intimately connected with the public good.
Democratic Town [Cortlandville] Ticket.
The following ticket was nominated at the Democratic Town Caucus, held in Firemen's Hall last Thursday evening:
Supervisor—Geo. C. Hubbard.
Town Clerk—Frank E. Plumb.
Justice of the Peace—E. DePuy Mallery.
Commiss'ner of Highways—Daniel Burt.
Overseer of the Poor—J. S. Larabee.
Inspectors of Election— Dist. No. 1, Jas. R. Schermerhorn; Dist. No. 2, Charles E. Sanders; Dist. No. 3, Chas. H. Gaylord; Dist. No. 4, Oliver H. Delevau; Dist. No. 5, Adolphus E. Hitchcock; Dist. No. 6, Jerome R. Hathway; Dist No. 7, Eugene Gates.
Constables—Burdett Richardson, Levi R. Butler, W. S. Freer, John J. Houghton.
Game Constables—Burdett Richardson.
Commissioner of Excise—Philip Sugerman.
The ticket is an excellent one in every respect and will command the confidence of voters of all parties. Mr. Hubbard, the candidate for supervisor, is President of the Cortland Manufacturing Company and is a superior business man. Taxpayers of this town may rest assured that their business will be promptly and correctly transacted if Mr. Hubbard is chosen. We hope to see the Democrats of this town at the polls in force. They can elect some part if not all of the ticket if they try.
The candidates are all good, competent men and are well known to be such by all of our citizens. Give the ticket your undivided and hearty support. R. F. Randall, Geo. H. Smith and Ed. Fitzgerald were appointed Town Committee for the ensuing year.
Death of John S. Samson.
Mr. John S. Samson, a well known and highly respected citizen, died at his home in this village last Saturday, aged 83 years. He was born in Cuyler, then [moved to] Truxton in 1806, and after living in several other towns in the county, came to this village in 1850.
In 1855 he was elected sheriff and discharged the duties of the office to the satisfaction of all. In 1861 he was appointed Assistant Doorkeeper of the House of Representatives at Washington, a position he filled acceptably for fourteen years. He was an honest, thrifty citizen and had many friends and few if any enemies. He leaves a widow, a daughter, who resides west, and two sons, Isaac S., and J. Melvin, who are residents of this village. The funeral services were held on Wednesday.
The Cortland correspondent of the Syracuse Herald gives his reasons for the dull times that merchants in this town have experienced for the past year and undoubtedly he is correct. He believes that the early closing of the places of business has much to do with it. Mechanics and laboring men as a rule, work until 6 o'clock, when they go home for supper and it is 7 o'clock at least before they leave their homes to appear on Main street. By this time nearly every business place is closed and he could not make purchases if he desired to do so.
Farmers who reside near this village, work all day and come to town in the evening to obtain necessary supplies. The first time they come and find the stores closed they are vexed and the next time they have goods to purchase they go to Homer, or some other village where the early closing movement does not prevail. While it may be partially true that farmers can come in the day time to trade if they choose to, many times they don't care to do so and no one can compel them to do their trading at a time that inconveniences them.
Mechanics have absolutely no time during the day to make their purchases and many supplies are purchased elsewhere and of traveling salesmen.
If our merchants desire to hold the trade of the citizens of this place and vicinity, they must give their customers every opportunity possible to purchase. The reason for early closing has been charged to the fact that the overworked clerks demanded shorter hours. In these "piping times of peace," it is the man that works that succeeds and as a rule it is the proprietor of the store that does the hard work. His labors are not ended when the shutters are put up, and his shoulders are loaded with the entire responsibility of the business. The clerk has no responsibility whatever, except to perform the duties assigned him, and when the store is closed he is free to go where he listeth [sic]. When he comes to go in business for himself he may properly complain of being overworked.
There is another thing which hurts trade here and the business men themselves are mainly to blame for it, A good many of the business men in this place buy goods to be used in their homes, in Syracuse and New York instead of patronizing their neighbors. We know of men who are in trade in Cortland, and who rely mainly upon the trade of people in this village and vicinity for a living, who purchase a large share of the clothing, hardware, furniture, groceries, dry goods and other necessaries used in their families in Syracuse or New York. The dry goods dealer purchases his groceries in large quantities in New York whenever he makes a trip to that city to replenish his stock, and the grocer buys his dry goods and clothing in the city when he purchases goods for his regular trade. They do this under the mistaken notion that they can save money by so doing and have a larger stock to select from.
The retail merchants in Cortland, as a rule, carry as good an assortment of goods and sell them at as reasonable prices as do the retail dealers in the cities and many times parties can save money by purchasing at home. There are those who imagine that goods purchased in Cortland are not quite good enough for them and they consequently go to the city and purchase an inferior article at a high price, and come home thinking they have done a grand stroke of business. If the money that is annually spent in New York and other cities, by citizens of this place, that might more properly have been spent here, could be collected in one pile, the aggregate would astonish everybody by its proportions.
But the worst feature of this going abroad to trade has not yet been noticed. The fact that some of our business men purchase supplies abroad, leads people who are not in trade themselves to think that there must be a great saving, and they make trips to the cities where they spend the money that should be spent here. If the Cortland Board of Trade would bring this matter up in their next meeting and the members bind themselves to buy their supplies at home, we think they would find it would be a move in the right direction and that it would help the trade of all. It certainly would set a good example and we doubt not it would increase the tendency among all our people to spend their money at home. There is too much cash going out of town and too much credit remaining. Buy your supplies at home and keep the cash here.
New Law Firm.
Hon. O. U. Kellogg and D. W. VanHoesen Esq., have formed a partnership for the practice of the law with offices over the First National Bank. The senior member of the new firm has long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the best lawyers in Central New York, and it is not too much to say that the reputation has been justly earned. Mr. VanHoesen is very bright young man, full of energy, well educated, and thoroughly reliable. He was recognized as a sound lawyer long before he was admitted and was often trusted with important business transactions. The new firm is a strong one and the DEMOCRAT sincerely wishes Messrs. Kellogg & VanHoesen success.