The Cortland Democrat, Friday, July 17, 1891.
WHITE HOUSE RATS.
The Rodents Succumb to the Ferrets Put on their Haunts.
The White House is now about clear of rats. Two weeks ago no old barn was ever more infested with rats than the home of the President of the United States. During the night the gnawing of the rats in their efforts to make new openings, and their races between the walls and under floors made sleep well nigh impossible.
"There is not a rat in the upper portion of the house now," said Frank Hosmer, who has been employed to clear the White House of the pests. "I suppose we have killed sixty of them, though that does not represent the number that were here when the work began. Most of the rats have been driven out of the house into the garden by the ferrets, and have burrowed in every direction to find hidden places."
Yesterday afternoon Hosmer was watching a ferret as it went down one hole after another that the rats had made. It occasionally chased out a rat that was soon dispatched by the long-haired terrier that was keeping guard on the outside. The work has gone on so long now that the catches are few and a chase of several hours does not reward the workers with more than one or two rats. The ferrets would themselves kill their prey, but they are prevented as far as possible. When they have once sucked the rats' blood they are of little use for three or four hours, as during that time they lie dormant wherever they happen to have had their feast, whether in a rat hole or in the open air.
Their active chase has, however, the incentive of a feast of rat's blood to urge them on. They are not fed until their day's work is done. They are trained, and have a scent equal to that of any hunting dog. They will manoeuvre about the tunneling of the rats without a moment of rest for five or six hours, but at the end of this time their work for the day is done as if they go on a strike. No coaxing or any art known to man can urge a ferret to continue on the warpath after rats or anything else when it has become tired.
"The chief part of our work just now," said Hosmer, "is in clearing the garden of the pests and in stopping up every possible hole for them to get back into the house should any not be killed. The rat holes are well saturated with tar and a poisonous mixture that will make their feet sore should they ever attempt to pass through them, and it is safe to say that Mr. Rat will make himself scarce for a long time to come."
The chief means that have aided the rats in their manoeuvres about the White House have been the ducts laid for supplying fresh air and also for water and gas pipes. By these means they could travel wherever they pleased, but now their roaming grounds have been well stopped up.
Both stewards and cooks of the White House are now relieved that no longer chickens are found dead and eatables dragged from the table while being prepared.
The White House has been a sheltering place for rats ever since any one connected with it can remember. They have shown themselves to be too cute to be caught in the ordinary traps set for them, and find sufficient to eat without risking their necks between the steel wires of a trap.
The last rat fight in the White House took place during the latter part of Gen. Grant's Administration, when ferrets were used as at present. The pests gradually crept back, and were somewhat annoying during the Cleveland regime.—Washington Post.
France has 1,000,000 Socialists.
Chicago has twenty-nine parks.
The new copyright law went into force July 1.
Somebody says that if a little cornstarch is put into salt used on the table it will keep the latter from lumping, and the "shakers" won't get so much abuse.
A large corps of engineers are at work on the line of the extension of the E. C. & N. from Camden to Watertown, which indicates that the road will be built.
At New York anxiety is manifested as to the non-arrival of the steamer Eudymion, which is overdue. She was sighted July 13 with her crank pin broken, but declined assistance.
Ex-President Cleveland has promised Gov. Campbell to make 6 speeches in Ohio, of which one is to be made in Dayton and one in Cincinnati. The other places have not been decided upon.
Sarah Davis, colored, was buried in Indianapolis yesterday. She was probably the oldest woman in the United States. Her death return shows her to have reached the age of 133 years. It is authoritatively known that she was 116.
Charles Eustace of Marshall, Mo., while playing on the sidewalk at Kansas City Monday after a hard rain, slipped into the gutter. The water carried him into the sewer and he was drowned.
R. C. Duncan of Washington, D. C., who was recently acquitted, on the ground of insanity, of the charge of attempting to murder his wife in Wales, has been removed to Broadmoor asylum.
The cargo of a steamer that recently arrived at London from Auckland comprised 40,000 sheep and 2,000 beeves, all dressed and frozen. It was the largest cargo of the kind ever received there.
On Saturday last dogs attacked a flock of sheep belonging to William Nevius, a farmer residing about a mile from Oxford, and several were killed and others injured. One of the dogs was shot before he could escape.
Beverly Buckley, a well known Auburn negro, died in a cell at the Cayuga county jail some time yesterday morning. The result of his death is attributed to heart disease, but a coroner's jury will pass judgment on that point.
It is said that a Paris laundryman has discarded all soaps, sodas, and bleaching powders. He merely uses plenty of water and boiled potatoes, and can cleanse without employing any alkali, the worst soiled linens, cottons or woolens.
John NcNeil [sic], who was a resident of Oxford during last summer, was last week shot in the back by a woman of Seattle, Wash. NcNeil had refused to insure his life in her favor and the result was her deliberate attempt on his life.
At the Astor House Monday Acting Collector Couch directed the confiscation of the two dresses imported on La Gascogne November 13, last, for Mrs. William Astor. The dresses were held for undervaluation and have remained in the custody of the collector since.
A motion has been filed in the Supreme Court of Kansas for an order of attachment and arrest of Judge W. McKay, the Alliance Judge in the Twenty-fourth Judicial district, who disobeyed the orders of the Supreme Court by rearresting an agent discharged by the Supreme Court on a writ of habeas corpus.
The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western depot at Jamesville narrowly escaped being destroyed by fire Tuesday night. Fire was discovered back of the depot and near the ice house. It was thought that the building was doomed, but the people were aroused, and a bucket brigade being formed, the flames were soon put out. The damage to the freight was slight.
Michael Mood, a laborer in the brick yard at Breesport, has been sentenced to the M. C. P. for setting fire to the packing of wheels of cars on the E. C. & N. left at that station. The company were annoyed by the frequent heating of the boxes on cars taken from that place, caused by the oil-soaked waste being consumed, and put a U. S. deputy marshal upon the case who secured the arrest.
A breaking of glass attracted the attention of one of the hall boys at the Earlington Hotel, Richfield Springs on Saturday afternoon, to the elevator, where he found the boy who has charge with his feet through the window and his lifeless body squeezed between the top of the elevator and the ceiling of the first floor. No one knows exactly how the accident happened as no one was near at the time. It is thought that he carelessly started the elevator from the outside and then undertook to step in and slipped or in some way fell so that his chest was crushed when the ceiling was reached. He was a new boy who had just come from Richmond, Va., and was known only as Frank.
HERE AND THERE.
The Emerald [Hose] base ball club have new uniforms.
A good many citizens went to Syracuse, Tuesday, to see the races, and attend Barnum's show.
Joel Gillett has resigned the office of postmaster at East Scott, and Thos. J. Taft succeeds him.
Canton Cortland and the Cortland Fire Department will take part in the Knights of Pythias parade July 30.
A special meeting of the Woman's Relief Corps will be held Thursday, July 30th, for the transaction of business.
Coup's great show came to grief in Syracuse, consequently it did not appear in Cortland, last Monday, as advertised.
The furniture stores in this place will be closed at 6 P. M. every evening, except Monday and Saturday, until further notice.
A nine from Wickwire's factory beat a nine from the E. C. & N. car shops, Tuesday afternoon, on the car shop grounds.
Mr. C. Forrester, of Syracuse, has located opposite the E. C. & N. depot and began the manufacture of clothes reels and other novelties.
A lecture on "Beecher" will be given in the Universalist church by the pastor, next Sunday evening, at 7:30 o'clock. Everybody cordially invited.
The colored people of Homer and Cortland are making arrangements for a picnic and celebration at Floral Trout Park in this place, Aug. 21st.
The fourth annual meeting of the Central New York Veteran Association will be held at Sylvan Beach, August 15th. It will be a basket picnic.
The Presbyterian church social, which was to have been held at the residence of Mr. D. F. Wallace, this evening, has been postponed to Friday evening, July 31st.
The colors to be used in decorating for the K. of P. convention are blue, red and yellow. Flags and bunting will be on sale here in several places in time for the event.
Messrs. A. D. Wallace, C. T. Peck and Jerome Squires will represent the Republican club of this place at the State League Convention to be held in Syracuse, August 5th.
The Republican County Convention will be held in this village Aug. 26th. Candidates for county officers will be nominated and delegates will be elected to the State Convention.
Many of the St. Lawrence excursionists have reached home. Others will arrive by Saturday night. All report a grand outing and well managed trip at the hands of the E. C. & N. officials.
The "Jolly Three" give a select party in Wells' hall, Wednesday evening, July 29. Daniels' full orchestra. Dance tickets 50 cents. P. R. Ryan, F. M. Burke and F. E. Blanchard, committee.
Word has been received at Cortland that F. A. Bickford, local manager of the telephone lines, scored the biggest catch yet made on St. Lawrence river, he having hooked the pleasure boat New Island Wanderer, but failed to land it.
The E., C. & N. railroad company will run another excursion to the Thousand Islands Wednesday, Aug. 12th. Train will leave Cortland at 9:45 A. M., and coaches will run through. Fare for the round trip $4, good for ten days.
Last Tuesday Mrs. Albert Allen invited about fifty of her friends on an excursion over the E., C. & N. to Sylvan Beach. The party dined at the Forest House and passed the time pleasantly in dancing, rowing on the lake, and promenading.
A large number of people attended the free lunch and cooking exhibition which took place at Buck & Lane's hardware store, last Friday afternoon and evening. All who witnessed the work of the Monitor oil stove went home satisfied that the stove was a wonder.
About one hundred members of the Marathon, Homer and Preble Lodges visited Vesta Lodge, I. O. O. F., last Monday evening, and were handsomely entertained. An excellent supper was provided, and was soon dispatched, after which came song and story.
The regular semi-monthly mothers' meeting (west) will be held at the residence of Mrs. W. S. Southworth, 146 Tompkins street, on Thursday, July 30th, at 3 P. M. Subject, "Childhood; the sequel of babyhood: the introduction to boyhood and girlhood.'' All ladies are cordially invited.
A new potato pest has appeared. This new enemy makes the vines turn slightly black, as though they were frost bitten. One stage in the growth of the new enemy is a yellow colored fly and later on it appears as an ugly looking insect that has the appearance of being in part both a bug and worm, about half an inch in length when full grown.
The Grand Army Post, Women's Relief Corps and Sons of Veterans, of Cortland, will run an excursion train to Maple Bay, on Onondaga Lake, on Wednesday, Aug. 5th. Special trains leave at 8 A. M., reach home at 8 1/2 P. M. Tickets $1.00, children 50 cents, for round trip. Everybody invited to go. Homer and McGrawville Posts and Corps invited, and a grand good time expected. Maple Bay is a lovely place to picnic, and the grounds are in charge of an old soldier of the 157th N. Y. Volunteers.
Several of the heirs and next of kin of the late Mrs. Marcelia Peck, of Ohio, who reside in Marathon, are dissatisfied with the provisions of the will and it is understood that they will pool their issues and endeavor to break the will, on the ground that the testator, at the time the will was made, was incapable of making the same by reason of old age and failing faculties. The following beneficiaries of the will, it is understood, will contest: Charles G. Brink, J. L. Brink, Antoinette Carter, A. B. Johnson, Eugene Johnson, Mrs. Francenia Johnson and Mrs. C. J. Adams. If the will is broken, Marathon will not get the public library.
The third lawn party, given by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A., will be held at Miss E. C. Ormsby's on Court-st., Friday evening instead of Saturday evening of this week. This change has been made so that those who find it impossible to be present Saturday evenings may have the privilege of attending. Darby's orchestra will furnish the music, and it is hoped that a large number will be present.