Friday, March 18, 2016


Theodore Stevenson. Photo credit, Harris, Grip's Historical Souvenir.
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, October 30, 1891.

The Assignment Filed last Monday Morning—The Preferred Creditors.
   Last Monday morning Theodore Stevenson of this village executed an assignment of his property for the benefit of his creditors which was filed in the County Clerk's office at 9:35 o'clock. For the past twenty years, Mr. Stevenson has been extensively engaged in the insurance and real estate business in this village and was considered a pretty successful business man. He was very active and was one of the hardest workers in town, and owned a large number of houses besides several valuable vacant lots. He also owned a large number of shares of the capital stock of the Cortland Top and Rail Company, the Howe Stove Company, the Homer Wagon Co.,Limited and the Cortland Desk Company. He was president of the first named company, vice-president of the Stove Company and a director in the Homer Wagon Company. In fact he may be said to have been the founder of the first named company. He favored all improvements to the village and always lent a helping hand to further the interests of the town.
   Last winter he had a severe attack of the grip from which he suffered all summer, and had only fairly recovered his usual health and vigor, when he was taken seriously ill with a liver trouble about four weeks ago, and has since been unable to leave his bed. Many of his houses have been empty for a year past owing to his inability to give his personal attention to business. It is believed that had he enjoyed his usual health the past year, he would have been able to weather the storm which surrounds his business affairs.
   Messrs. Phillip Sugerman and Thos. F. Brayton of this village are the assignees. The assignment covers all of his real and personal property.
   In addition to the wages of his employes he prefers the following creditors:
   Westchester Fire Insurance Co., $300.
   Bowery Fire Insurance Co., $50.
   Commercial Union Fire Insurance Co., $125.
   The Grand Fire Insurance Co., $70.
   Firemen's Fire Insurance Co., $60.
   Orient Fire Insurance Co., $40.
   Peoples' National Bank of Salem, $499.
   Peoples' National Bank of Salem, $397.
   Peoples' National Bank of Salem, $278.
   Peoples' National Bank of Salem, $310.
   The National Bank of Cortland, $2,064.
   The Second National Bank of Cortland, $581.
   Pillip Sugarman, $510.
   The First National Bank of Cortland, $1,000.
   The Chemung Valley Bank, Horseheads, $165.
   R. B. True & Co., Syracuse, $450.
   Hannah Rose, Cortland, $175.
   The exact liabilities are not yet known as the schedules are now in course of preparation and the same may be said of the assets. If the property sells for anything like its full value, it is thought that the assets will pay the liabilities and possibly leave a surplus. His last inventory taken in January last showed his real estate to be valued at $179,650 on which there were mortgages to the amount of about $75,000. He considers that his outside real estate has shrunk 15 to 25 per cent within the past two years. The homestead belongs to Mrs. Stevenson. Mr. Stevenson expects to be out in a few days and will then give his undivided attention to his insurance business and will push it for all it is worth.

Theodore Stevenson, Grip’s Historical Souvenir, page 164:

A Story of Wrongs and Misfortunes—How a Crippled Orphan Lost His Patrimony.
   The father of Wakefare Parker died while he was an infant leaving him property valued at about $2500. Disease deformed him and rendered him decrepit at an early age, and on attaining his majority all his little patrimony was lost through the instrumentality of Jerome Squires, except $147, which he had to resort to law to recover.
   The records of this county show that Dann C. Squires, the father of Jerome, was the special guardian of Wakefare Parker, and before his death had invested a portion of his ward's money in the Atwood mortgage. After his father's death Jerome became his administrator; he soon after failed in business leaving his creditors in the lurch. His father's large estate rapidly disappeared in his hands, together with the trust funds belonging to Wakefare Parker, leaving the other heirs of his father's estate to resort to a bitter and fruitless litigation to recover their shares and a deficiency which his bondsmen were obliged to make up to creditors of the estate.
   At this juncture of affairs Jerome entered the law office of W. H. Warren, where a wicked scheme appears to have been hatched to cover up the absorption of Wakefare's little patrimony, which took form as follows, as was disclosed by the accounting before an auditor appointed by the Surrogate of Cortland county which Jerome was compelled to make. This accounting showed that about $2,000 had been paid by Jerome to apply on the debts of Wakefare's mother, though what right existed to pay a mother's debts from an infant son's money was never made to appear and stands out as a bold and defiant violation of law and justice.
   Next as administrator of the estate of Dann C. Squires, he assumed to assign and transfer the Atwood mortgage, which represented the investment of this unfortunate minor's money, made by his special guardian, to William H Warren, who immediately re-assigned it to Jerome Squires, who then commenced an action in his individual capacity to foreclose this mortgage with W. H. Warren, who was at that time easily imposed upon, as his attorney. The property was sold upon this foreclosure, Jerome received the money and claimed upon the accounting that he had loaned it out upon notes which he produced, which were worthless. He also claimed he should be allowed the money he had paid to apply on the debts of Wakefare's mother as paid for Wakefare's support, which claim for some inscrutable reason appears to have been accepted. The auditor points this out in his report, but dismisses it by saying it was not contested. The auditor further reported that Jerome Squires had no title to this Atwood mortgage, no right to foreclose it and no right to loan out the money received from the sale of the property which was held to be a trust fund in his hands and subject to the control of the court having jurisdiction of infants' estates.
   The man responsible for this iniquity is the republican candidate for District Attorney, who, if elected, would be required to act as Surrogate in the absence or disqualification of the Surrogate as frequently happens.
   Is he fit for such a trust? No. Make your votes to record this no, with emphasis.
   LAPEER. [pen name]

A Chicken Pie Supper.
   A chicken pie supper will be served in the parlors of the Presbyterian church next Monday evening, Nov. 2, from six until eight o'clock. All lovers of this good old dish should be present, as the ladies have taken great pains to have the pies as well as the rest of the supper unusually good. Supper 25 cents.

   TOMPKINS—There were 1,500 students registered last Friday.
   There are 174 women registered in the various courses of Cornell University.
   Extensive repairs are to be made on the steamer Frontenac, which is now on the dry dock near McKinney's.
   A pumpkin was grown in the garden of Mrs. B. Beardsley, at North Lansing, which weighed 53 pounds. The seed was sent from Washington, D. C.
   A lighted lamp became unmanageable in the Southworth Library in Dryden last Saturday evening, and caused a little commotion through fear of an explosion or its setting fire to something before it could be gotten out of doors.
   A couple of students being on the lake about 3 miles below the pier, on Wednesday evening were capsized and would probably have been drowned but for the assistance rendered by Mr. John N. Gee, who lives near the Estey cottage.
   Mrs. Nancy A. Owen was one hundred years old, Sunday, the 18th inst. Mrs. Owen was born near Tully. She came to Ithaca when about thirty years old, and has resided here seventy years Her oldest son, if living, would now be seventy years of age. Her son John, with whom she resides, is sixty-one. The old lady is in quite good health and walks about with the aid of a cane. Her memory is but little impaired and she talks interestingly of events in her long career. Her sight is so well preserved that she reads ordinary print by the aid of glasses.
   Lottie Brock, aged 17, who since last February has been employed at Mrs. [Tailby's] boarding house in Ithaca, left the house while the family were at breakfast, and was not seen again until she was discovered at the bottom of Cascadilla ravine, just above the bridge, by H. G. Wolcott, a student of the class of '94, who was attracted by hearing a moan from the unfortunate young lady. He secured assistance and she was taken to the armory where it was found that her arm was fractured and her spine injured, and her case was pronounced critical by the several physicians. It is supposed that Miss Brock jumped from the bridge with suicidal intent. Miss Brock came from Spencer, where her father resides; she had been gloomy for some time. She is spoken of as a girl of excellent character. In the afternoon she was removed to the house of her sister, Mrs. Butts on North Plain street, where she died on Sunday.

   The candidacy of John A. Nichols, for Senator of the Twenty-fifth district, gains strength daily. The better Mr. Nichols becomes known throughout the district, the more friends he has, and the larger will his vote be at the polls. The taxpayers of Onondaga County, especially, are waking up to the vital importance to their interests of having a Senator, for the next two years, from this County. They see in
Mr. Nichols a plain business man, largely interested in the prosperity of the District, who, if elected, will truly represent the District's business interests. Mr. Nichols' nomination was originally recommended by the Convention of Farmers and Grangers. It appeals with equal force to all classes of the business interests of the County and District. Let every voter who has the interests of the District at heart be sure that his ballot bears the name, FOR SENATOR, JOHN A. NICHOLS!

   John A. Nichols, the Democratic candidate for State Senator in this district, is a farmer by occupation and not a professional politician. He did not buy his nomination and is not all things to all men.  His word is as good as his bond and he does not swear off his taxes. He is an honest man and deserves the support of all good citizens.
   The Cortland Standard takes us to task for publishing that "Peter D. Muller owns a few shares of stock in the National Bank of Cortland and that is all" and then publishing the bank's advertisement on another page containing a list of the directors of the bank, Mr. Muller's name appearing in the list. Does the fact that Mr. Muller is a director in the bank invest him with any more shares than he actually owns? Five shares would make him eligible to be a director and he is no more a banker by being a director than if he owned five times the amount of stock and was not a director. We insist that there was no inconsistency as between the article and the contents of the advertisement. In commenting upon the subject the Standard is pleased to say "It is rarely that even a Democratic editor will play the fool to such an extent as to publish a lie on one page and the proof that it is a lie on another page of the same issue of his paper." Our neighbor is entirely correct in this statement. Such pleasantries are usually indulged in by Republican papers only and if we had been trespassing upon the particular prerogative of the Standard in this regard we would tender an ample apology, but we are not guilty of the charge. In this connection, we beg leave to commend the editor of the Standard to a careful consideration of the 22nd verse, 5th chapter of the gospel according to St. Matthew.
   In November, 1888, the Republicans of the good old town of Virgil held a celebration over the Republican victory. In the procession which paraded the streets there was one banner that created considerable merriment in the ranks of the spectators. The inscription alluded to the fact that the Democrats had taken passage for Salt River. What caused the hilarity with reference to that particular banner was the fact that the word steamer was spelled "Stemer" and Steve Jones was the stemer that was carrying the banner and he failed to appreciate the joke, because he did not know his spelling was being criticised [sic].
   The Homer Republican wakes up about once a year and has something to say. This week it gets off its couch long enough to take the DEMOCRAT to task on a grammatical blunder. It will return to its slumbers at once, but we promise to awaken it again in November, 1892, if nothing serious happens before then. We make no charge to its readers for this service.
   Stephen K. Jones, Esq., the Republican candidate for County Clerk, is a resident of the town of Virgil. In the spring of 1890 he was elected town clerk of his town on the Republican ticket. He was re-nominated in the spring of 1891 and was defeated by a majority of 40 votes, notwithstanding the fact that the Re publican party have a majority of from 80 to 130 votes in that town. If his own neighbors consider him incompetent to perform the duties pertaining to the office of town clerk, what will their decision be when he asks for the more responsible office of County Clerk?

Cortland Democrat,from "Battle Pieces" by Herman Melville.


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