Wednesday, May 6, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, February 21, 1890.

He is Feeling Quite Well, Thank you—He has Just Caught Sight of that Heretofore Noisy Republican Bird, but we don't Believe he will Catch Him.
   The result of the town meetings held in this county on Tuesday must be exceedingly gratifying to the Democrats. For the second time in more than thirty years, the town of Cortlandville will be represented in the Board of Supervisors by a Democrat. The result was brought about mainly by the active work and energy of the Cortland Democratic Club, an organisation that bids fair to make a decided impression upon the political prospects of this county if it continues as it has begun. The editor of the Standard lays the defeat of the Republican candidate mainly to the active work and organization of the Club. The Board of Supervisors will stand as follows:
Cuyler—Henry Howes, R.
Cincinnatus—T. E. Dye, D.
Cortlandville—Geo. C. Hubbard, D.
Freetown—Horace Martin, D.
Harford—J. C. Edmunds, D.
Homer—A. H. Bennett, R.
Lapeer—M. W. Parker, R.
Marathon—Myron N. Pierce, D.
Preble—Seth Hobart, D.
Solon—Henry Kelly, D.
Scott—E. W. Childs, R.
Taylor—O. P. Miner, R.
Truxton-Peter D. Muller, D.
Virgil— W. A. Holton, D.
Willett— William Greene, D.
Democrats 10, Republicans 5.

[John S. Samson Obituary.]
   Died, in Cortland, February 1, 1890, John S. Samson, aged 83 years, 1 month and 11 days.
   Mr. Samson was a descendant of the renowned Pilgrim, Capt. Miles Standish, of the seventh generation. His forefather, Isaac Samson, was born in 1660. In the year 1686 he married Lydia Standish, a daughter of Alexander Standish and a granddaughter of Capt. Miles Standish. Lydia was also a granddaughter of the no less renowned Pilgrim, John Alden, of the Mayflower, 1620. Peleg Samson, son of Isaac and Lydia, was born November 12, 1700 and married Mary Ring in 1722.
   Capt. Simeon Samson, grandfather of the deceased, was born in August, 1736, and married Deborah Cushing in 1759. On the breaking out of the Revolutionary War the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts appointed him their first naval captain. He commanded the armed brigantine "Independence,'' which was built under his direction. In this vessel he captured and sent in five prizes, one of which was the "Roebuck." Shortly after this, in 1777, he was himself captured by a British cruiser, commanded by Capt. Dawson, after a severe and bloody conflict. The intrepidity and skill which he exhibited were applauded even by the enemy. After his captivity—which was spent at Fort Cumberland—May 11, 1780, he took command of the armed ship "Massachusetts," a large vessel belonging to the State. In this he captured the British flag-ship "Trial" and many others. He retired March 12, 1781, and lived but a short time after he returned to his home.
   George W. Samson, son of Simeon and father of John S. Samson, was born December 27, 1781, and married Hannah C. Shaw in 1804, and died in Homer, February 4, 1868.
   John S. Samson, the deceased, was born at Plymouth, Mass., December 21, 1806. He came with his father's family to Homer, Cortland county, in 1812. He was named after his mother's father, Capt. John Shaw, of the Revolutionary army. In 1850 he moved into Cortland village. In 1855 he was elected Sheriff of the county and filled the office for three years, with credit to himself and the party that elected him. He was an assistant door-keeper at the House of Representatives for 13 years. In June, 1869, he was appointed by the U. S. Government Sergeant-at-arms, accompanying the Committee of Ways and Means to California. The committee was sent there to investigate Custom House frauds. After visiting many places on the coast he returned home.
    In 1875 he retired from political life and devoted his last years to the care of his real estate [Samson block] in this village. He was for many years a stockholder and a director in the National Bank of Cortland, and always took a prominent part in every movement calculated to benefit the people of the community in which he resided. He had contributed liberally towards the building of at least five churches and was a regular attendant upon divine service throughout his long and active life. In 1838, be made a profession of religion, and in 1883 sold his home, where the Congregational church now stands, to that society, and became a charter member of that church, of which he was thereafter a liberal and faithful supporter.
   Mr. Samson was an honest man in every sense of the term and his friends were many. He was frugal without being penurious and generous where assistance was deserving and would be appreciated. His familiar figure will be sadly missed by all the older citizens of this village as well as by the younger ones, who had learned to respect him for his genial disposition and pleasant manners.
   His age rested lightly upon him, for while he had arrived at much more than the number of years allotted to man, he looked at least twenty years younger and his intellect was as bright and his step as firm as ever. He was temperate in all things and this probably accounts for his green old age. His last words were "Good will to all—now let me depart in peace."
   He was twice married. His first wife was Catherine Schermerhorn; his second wife, Jane R. Palmer, who survives him. He also leaves three children, Mrs. Mary Whitney, Isaac S. Samson and J. Melvin Samson, four brothers and two sisters. He retained his mental faculties until the very last.
   A memorial window will be placed in the church where he was accustomed to worship.

Chautauqua Literary Circle.
   At the semi-annual election of officers of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle held last week at the home of Mrs. Graves, the following officers were chosen for the ensuing half year:
   President—Mrs G. H. Squires.
   1st Vice President—Mrs. Willets.
   2d Vice President—Mrs. Clark.
   Secretary—Miss Anna Hawley.
   Treasurer—Mrs. Sell.
Strangled to Death.
   Last Thursday evening, Spencer, the 13-year old son of Harvey Lewis, of Harford, was found dead in his father's barn, by his elder brother Fred, with a strap about his neck which was tied to a joist pin. The body rested on the knees and the strap held the body partially suspended.
   The boy was about the house until 3:30 P. M., when he disappeared and was not again seen until his father and brother, who had been away from home, returned at about 5:30, when Fred started out to search for him but he could not be found. After looking in all other places without success, Fred finally went up stairs in the barn where he was found as above stated.
   Coroner W. J. Moore of this place was notified and with Dr. Angel visited the place on Friday morning and summoned a jury. The inquest threw no light on the manner of his death, but it is supposed that he was experimenting or playing with the strap and became suffocated and helpless. He was a very bright and cheerful boy and it is not believed that he intended to commit suicide. The jury found a verdict in accordance with the above facts. The funeral services were held on Sunday morning and interment made in Virgil cemetery.

The shell of University College after the fire.
Loss Over Half a Million Dollars.
   TORONTO, Feb. 14.—Toronto University was burned to-night. The loss is estimated at over half a million dollars. Preparations had been made for the annual conversazione, at which 2,000 people were expected to be present, and it was just before the guests commenced to arrive at 7 o'clock, that the fire broke out.
   The building is not supplied with enough gas jets, so that on special occasions it is necessary to light up with lamps. Two men were carrying up stairs in a rack half a dozen lighted lamps. One man got flurried and let go his hold. The lighted lamps fell and broke, the oil spreading all over the stairs and down upon the already heavily oiled floor.
   All the buildings were destroyed. The library, worth one hundred thousand dollars; the museum with its invaluable specimens and curiosities; valuable documents of Dr. Wilson, President of the University, the chemical apparatus, mathematical instruments, furniture and utensils were all consumed. One domestic was severely but not fatally burned.
   The property was insured in twelve companies for one hundred and sixty four thousand dollars.
   There were 400 lamps in the various halls, and these doubtless contributed in no small degree to the rapid spread of the fire. There was no fire alarm in the building and the nearest fire hydrant was a thousand feet from the building.
   The three thousand pound bell in the main tower of the University, when its frame work burned away, fell crashing through the huge stone tower, the great tongue sounding as it fell.
   The university was built in 1860. Sir Adam Wilson, president of the university, is almost heart-broken. He was carried from the university grounds physically prostrated.

   The next annual meeting of the State Grange will be held in Elmira.
   In the past year the A. O. U. W. of this State paid claims amounting to $659,000.
   During 1888 the United Sates exported 400,000,000 gallons of petroleum.
   The Masonic fraternity has just purchased a site at Chicago for the proposed $2,000,000 temple.
   A harvest machine that cuts and husks corn in the field has been invented by a Genesee county man.
   The store of ex-Superisor Henderson in Otisco was closed by the sheriff last Monday, on executions amounting to $1,000.
   Should Senator Platt succeed in killing the World's fair bill, he would damage the sales of New York City at least $500,000,000.
   A theatrical performance for the benefit of Mrs. James G. Blaine, Jr., came off in New York yesterday. The benefit netted about $4,000.
   Last Friday Michael F. Nagle a well-to-do shoemaker of Canastota, went on a spree while his wife was away, and to-day committed suicide with a razor.
   E. B. Ball, the nearest living relative of George Washington, occupies a stall in the south corridor of the Pension Building at Washington, where he sells cigars and fruit to the clerks. He is nearly 80 years old, and bears a striking resemblance to the Father of his Country.

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