It Will not Down.
Something over a year ago the American Telephone and Telegraph Company applied to the board of Trustees of this village for a franchise permitting them to "construct, operate and maintain its lines of poles, wires and fixtures upon, over and along" certain streets of the village. The board promptly granted the franchise with power of revocation, which was the proper thing for them to do. The company accepted the franchise and after keeping it about a month returned the same and asked for one without the revocation clause. They procured the signatures of several of our business firms asking that such a franchise be granted, and appeared before the board with counsel, to push their suit.
The Trustees after carefully looking into the matter, decided that they ought not to grant the franchise without the revocation clause. Their action met with the hearty approval of all citizens who have posted themselves on the situation and it was supposed that the question had been settled for all time, but it seems like Banquo's ghost it will not down.
Recently the company made another application for an irrevocable franchise and the same is to be presented to the board at its meeting next Monday evening.
This company owns the long distance telephone, which all admit would be desirable to have in Cortland, although the present rates are so high, it is doubtful if many of our business men could afford to use it except in cases of great emergency; but do we want it bad enough to put the village in the hands of the company? The patent on the telephone expires in 1893, when the royalty of $14 per year on each machine in use, will also expire and where ever there is competition, the price for the service ought to be reduced by that amount. In the large cities competition will undoubtedly reduce the price still less, but should this company secure the franchise from Cortland that they desire, with 40 wires strung from each and every pole, what chance would there be for another company to enter and compete with them?
There would not be business enough for two companies and the American would have our citizens at their mercy and could continue the high price notwithstanding they would be released from paying the heavy royalty on their machines.
The Empire State Company has been doing business here for the past eight or ten years. They did not obtain a franchise when they came nor have they ever needed one. Why does the American or Long Distance Company require an irrevocable license unless they have some object in view that they have not yet disclosed? If such a franchise was not [inimical] to the interests of the village and greatly to their advantage they would be able to give some good reason for requiring it.
The trustees should remember that when they grant this company an irrevocable franchise, they place the village in the hands of the Telephone company, but with a revocable franchise they reserve some rights to the village which will undoubtedly prove valuable in the near future. Is it worthwhile to lose so much to gain so little? Should the party asking for favors be allowed to dictate terms? Must the village corporation come down when the private corporation says "stand and deliver?"
The village corporation is asked to put the private corporation in a position to levy a tax upon them for their own profit. The village cannot limit the amount of that profit, because they have put it out of their power by granting an irrevocable franchise. If they must have an irrevocable franchise the board should require them to fix a lower price for their service. The franchise submitted by the Telephone company asks for valuable privileges but they promise nothing in return.
The time is not far distant when the labyrinth of wires now strung about the streets will become a nuisance and the citizens of this place will require that they be put underground. If an irrevocable franchise is granted to this company is there any power on earth that could compel them to bury their wires? The trustees should look into this question with some care before they give away the people's rights in this matter. The trustees are only the agents of the people and they should remember that "public office is a public trust."
Late last night a report reached Cortland that Mr. D. H. Bosworth formerly of Cortland but now a druggist of Marathon had attempted suicide and at last hearing was not pronounced out of danger. It appears from the story that Bosworth, although a married man, became infatuated with a woman of Marathon, who bears a questionable reputation. Ever since an escapade of Bosworth's last spring, his wife has been suspicious of his fidelity, and when she yesterday found a letter of a compromising nature from the woman in Bosworth's coat pocket, her anger knew no bounds. She declared that she would shoot her rival on sight.
Deeply dejected by the complications which he had become involved in, Bosworth went to his room and locked himself in. This was at twelve o'clock yesterday. Becoming alarmed at his prolonged absence friends broke in the door of his room a couple of hours later and found him unconscious from the effects of a large dose of belladonna taken with suicidal intention. Dr. Elisha Winters was called and gave emetics, and at last reports the man was vomiting freely, but not yet pronounced out of danger—Standard, Oct. 8.
Tuesday morning Hon. A. P. Smith received the following dispatch which explains itself:
ALBANY, N. Y., OCT. 6, 1891.
A. P. Smith, Atty.
Crandall against Barron. Order affirmed and judgment absolute rendered against appellant with costs.
GORHAM PARKS, Clerk.
It will be remembered that in the year 1885, Mr. Lucien S. Crandall brought an action against Mr. James Densmore of Brooklyn for alleged libel, placing damages at the sum of $100,000.
The case was tried at the Circuit in this place, and was stubbornly fought on both sides. Jury rendered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the sum of $10,000 and costs—a total of about $11,000. Defendant's attorney appealed to the General Term and a divided Court reversed the former verdict. Plaintiff then appealed to the Court of Appeals, where the case was argued last summer at Saratoga, and that Court handed down its decision Tuesday morning, as above stated. Messrs. J. & T. E. Courtney of this place were the attorneys for the plaintiff and they were assisted on the trial by Hon. J. E. Eggleston of this place and Hon. W. P. Goodelle of Syracuse.
A Mr. Patterson of Brooklyn was attorney for Mr. Densmore, but the case was tried by ex-Judge A. P. Smith of Cortland and Mr. E. Delehanty of Brooklyn. Judge Smith had the entire management of the case from the trial to the present time and is properly elated over his victory.
Robinson Family Picnic.
The Robinson family to the number of one hundred and thirty held a family reunion and picnic at the residence of Jas. R. Robinson in Lapeer last Saturday. The tables were set in the orchard grove near the house and a right royal dinner was enjoyed. Messrs. T. L. Corwin and S. L. Woods were called out and each made remarks appropriate to the occasion. Dancing to excellent music was indulged in by old and young and the time passed pleasantly. Alanson Robinson was elected president for the ensuing year and Wm. Tarble's grove in Freetown was selected as the place of rendesvous [sic] next year. All speak highly of the excellent entertainment furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Robinson.
At 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon, October 3, 1891, a pleasant event was celebrated at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. E. Dupuy Mallery, 67 Maple avenue extension, in which the principals were Rev. C. E. Hamilton pastor of the Homer Avenue M. E. church, Mr. Joseph D. Freer and Miss Caroline Talbet. Mr. Freer is a popular young man of Cortland and was employed as a carrier at the post office under the administration of President Cleveland. The bride is also a resident of Cortland and highly spoken of by a large circle of acquaintances. The DEMOCRAT extends a hearty greeting to Mr. and Mrs. Freer, who will return to Cortland to reside after taking a bridal tour.
There are only two [voter] registration days, October 17th and 24th.
The Homer Wire Fabric Company started up Monday after being shut down for some weeks.
The State Agricultural Society will hold a Farmers' Institute in Marathon, January 15th and 16th, 1892.
Health officer Moore makes the following report for September: Deaths 16, births 18, marriages 4.
Messrs. Beebe & Harris, proprietors of the Model Market, have a new advertisement in another column.
The welcome rainfall of Wednesday, brought a sudden termination to the draught of four weeks in Cortland county.
Mr. E. E. Mellon has purchased the stock of boots and shoes of Mrs. P . Wright, and the same is being closed out at cost prices.
At a business meeting of the Presbyterian church society held Monday, Messrs. William S. Copeland and Chester F. Wickwire were re-elected to the office of trustees.
Secure course tickets now for the first opera house entertainment in the Y. M. C. A. course, Fosters New York Stars, Nov. 6th. For sale at the book store of Havens & Mead.
The good nature of pedestrians will be continued if fallen leaves be removed from the sidewalks, and the appearance of private or public grounds will not be injured thereby.
Messrs. G. F. Monroe and F. H. Bates have opened a livery and sales stables in the rear of Hotel Bates, 26 Church street, and have some neat and tasty rigs, which they are ready to let to the public at fair terms. The new firm are well known young men.
Last Monday, as two men were driving east on Port Watson street, their horse became frightened at the cars on the S. & B. track, and ran against a hitching post in front of Geo. C. Hubbard's house. Both men were thrown out, but escaped injury. The wagon is in need of repairs.
The carpenter work on the enlargement of the Cortland Desk Company is completed, the roof covered with tin, and a large force of workmen has already been employed in the manufacture of the output of this factory. As now constructed, the manufactories in the first ward are very creditable.
Superintendent of Public Schools Col. F. Place has received a reply from Superintendent of the Census Porter, dated September 30th, 1891, answering the inquiry as to the number of people recorded as residing within the corporate boundaries of Cortland at the time of the census enumeration in 1890. The exact population is placed at 8,590.
The Homer correspondent of the Syracuse Herald says: "Two narrow escapes from serious accidents occurred at the railway station Monday. Mabel, a little daughter of Henry Miller, was walking on one of the railroad tracks as the noon freight train was switching cars. She stepped onto a track on which some cars were coming behind her. She seemed unconscious of any danger, but was seen by the conductor of the train just in time to be caught up from the rails as the cars passed along…. Miss Horan, daughter of John Horan, went aboard the south-bound vestibule train yesterday morning to see some friends off. The cars were under motion before she got off. She jumped, but in some way her dress caught on the step, dragging her under the cars, she just escaping the wheels. Had she moved she must certainly have been crushed. She was helped on to the platform no worse except some bruises and a severe fright."