REPORT OF THE ROYAL CIRCLE OF KING'S DAUGHTERS ON CHARITY WORK OF THE ORDER.
To the Loyal Circle of King's Daughters of Cortland:
Your superintendent of the department of "Local Charity" respectfully submits the following report. During the year 1891 assistance was given to 88 families of whom 17 were those of widows or women dependent upon their own labor for support. In other families their small earnings proved insufficient to meet the demands of sickness. The aid furnished has consisted of food, clothing, sewing and money. A full and accurate report cannot be given, as in one ward where considerable was done and duly reported at the regular meetings, no permanent record was kept. Over 100 articles of clothing, mostly women's and children's, were distributed by the general superintendent and 96 articles by the superintendent of the third ward, Mrs. Susan Holden. Many of the donations of clothing have been generous in quantity and excellent in quality, and, coming as some of them have from persons not connected with our Circle, have been an expression of sympathy with our work and confidence in its administration exceedingly pleasant to us. There has been expended from the treasury, for the relief of the destitute sick, the sum of $15.00 besides small sums contributed by individuals. Provisions have also been furnished by some of these and in some instances members have given personal care where it was needed.
Believing that self help is the best help the Circle has in this, as in preceding years, aimed to assist the poor to become self supporting and this has been done mainly through the Employment Committee.
While imposing a heavy burden upon the chairman, Mrs. Lyman Jones, it has become an important adjunct to our charity work, and from a small beginning, intended to benefit merely the poor of our own village, has grown into an Intelligence Office not only for this, but for neighboring towns. During the past two years work has been found for 147 women, 119 domestics, 14 laundresses, 9 nurses and 5 seamstresses. As many of these were, by the nature of their work, engaged for short times, the kind office had to be repeated several times during the year. To such as were able to pay, a small fee has been charged, but to very many of the number her services have been given gratuitously.
It is gratifying to us to know that our local work has had the hearty approval of the Overseers of the Poor of our town, whose official position enabled them to judge of its necessity and efficiency and to whose counsel and ready co-operation much of its success is due. Most of the names of the worthy poor on their lists are to be found also on our list of beneficiaries.
In addition to these are the names of those whom pride restrained them from asking assistance and whose privation, great as it was, only became known through accident.
Those having this work in charge have ever endeavored to practice a discriminating charity and careful inquiry has been made regarding every application for aid. If in a few cases assistance has been given to people of questionable antecedents or intemperate or improvident habits it has been at the request of other organizations, or because little children, innocent of their parents' sins of omission or commission were suffering for the comforts of life.
A doubt of the necessity of our work is sometimes implied in this question, asked in a rather incredulous tone, "Have we really any poor among us who could not help themselves if they tried?"
Ours would be an exceptional town if with a population of 9,000 inhabitants there were none so unfortunate as to require at least temporary aid, even though they may have been always temperate, industrious and economical.
The reputation which Cortland has gained for business enterprise and prosperity has attracted considerable numbers from adjacent towns, who have come hoping to get remunerative employment for themselves and educational advantages for their children. Some of these brought little besides their household goods and large families. If they fail to find the desired work or if sickness, accident or death comes they are quickly reduced to want. Intemperance too plays its usual prominent part in the poverty of the town though very few receiving aid from us can trace their misfortunes to it, even indirectly.
If there are any in our circle, or out of it, who believe relief has been bestowed where it was not needed, or has exceeded the requirements of the case, we cordially invite them to visit the family or families and investigate for themselves. Were they to do so, we believe they would come away, wishing with us that it had been more rather than less.
The work of this department has been greatly interrupted by sickness in the families of those immediately in charge of it and by want of funds. To the many who have assisted by contributions of money, food, clothing or labor we extend grateful thanks. With a re-enforced corps of assistants and a replenished treasury we trust that the report for 1892 will show corresponding increase in results.
JULIA E. HYATT,
Supt. of "Local Charity."
Court of Appeals Decision.
A few years since Randolph Beard erected a handsome new brick building on the site of the old wooden structure immediately south of the Dexter House in this place. According to his deed, as he understood it, the old building did not cover all his land on the north side next to the driveway between it and the Dexter House, and when he commenced the erection of the new building, he decided to cover all the land belonging to him and the walls were constructed to that end, thus making the driveway narrower. Mrs. L. Dexter, the owner of the hotel, claimed that while he owned the land, she was entitled to four feet seven inches more driveway and that by building thereon it would reduce the width of the driveway that much, consequently she forbid the work. Mr. Beard took counsel in the matter and was advised that he owned the land and could build as he desired so long as he left sufficient room for the passage of teams. Mrs. Dexter brought an action of ejectment asking the Court to require him to remove so much of the building as encroached on the original passage way. The case was tried at the Circuit [Court] here and Mrs. Dexter secured a verdict in her favor. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals, which on Tuesday last handed down its decision in favor of the plaintiff. The amount of land in controversy is a strip only four feet seven inches wide, but the amount of costs will be considerable, and if Mr. Beard is compelled to take down the north wall of his building it will be quite an expensive job. J. E. Eggleston for plaintiff and Duell & Benedict for defendant.
Cortland Desk Company.
The stockholders of the Cortland Desk Company held their annual meeting in the offices of the Company on Squires-st. last Tuesday afternoon when these directors were chosen: Jas. S. Squires, D. G. Corwin, W. J. Elsom, E. D. Barker, J. D. Keeler, Ira J. Crandall, J. C. Seager, B. B. Jones, A. L Cole.
The directors then elected the following officers for the ensuing year:
President—Jas. S. Squires.
Vice President—W. J. Elsom.
Secretary and Treasurer—E. D. Barker.
The report of the Treasurer for the past six months, showed that the affairs of the company were in excellent condition and that the business outlook for the future is most promising.
Order of Iron Hall.
Last Saturday. Mr. Arthur Holt, accountant for Lodge No. 213 order of the Iron Hall, Cortland, received warrants amounting to nearly $4,000, to be paid to charter members of the order. This order was organized in this place seven years ago, the 22 of November last, and previous to this date members have drawn nearly $8,000 on account of sick and disability benefits. According to the constitution of the order, the grand lodge was entitled to 90 days time to pay the above amount, but the same has been forwarded within sixty days.
Order of the Iron Hall: http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20110930/NEWS/109300367
King's Daughters, Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland, pages 26 & 27: http://tcpl.org/local-history/documents/county-history-CNY/Grips_of_Cortland/grips012-027.pdf