The Cortland Democrat, Friday, December 11, 1891.
WITH A HEALTH DOCTOR.
EARLY MORNING SCENES IN TENEMENT HOUSE DISTRICTS.
Half Starved Babes and Children That Live on Decayed Fruit and Nourishment That is Worse—Deadly Smells Abound and How They Are Corrected.
Twenty minutes in one of the districts of the summer corps of the board of health will enable any one to obtain an idea of how the tenement house people live. Imagine that you have accepted an invitation to spend twenty minutes with one of the summer doctors.
It is a hot August day, 8 o'clock in the morning. The air even at this early hour is stifling. Are you surprised to find life astir here? Remember you are in the midst of the poor people, who begin their day's labor at 6 o'clock. Entering our district, nothing escapes our eyes. See this stand on the corner piled up with fruit, beautiful to behold, suggesting a garden in the tropics. But what is that odor? And this wee newsboy— what does he want to buy?
Curiosity to see what the child is going to buy, also our duty impelling us to discover the cause of the odor, hold us a moment. We see that he buys two peaches for a cent, and then for the first time notice that the luscious heaps consist of piles of decaying fruit thrown promiscuously together—rotten pears, bananas and peaches; this rotten fruit selling at two and three for a cent. We mildly accost the owner and tell him such fruit is not wholesome; it ought to be thrown away.
He "doesn't care" about the unwholesomeness of the stuff. We then show our badge and make him throw it away. We pass on thinking that we have saved the lives of many children, an ounce of prevention being better than a pound of cure.
Pushing our way we proceed. It is really pushing our way, for the street is lined with mothers, each holding a baby in her arms, with another dragging on to her skirts. Some are sitting on the stoops, some in the areas and others on the curbstones; in fact they are all over. Suddenly we hear a pitiful wail from a little baby. We know what that means—it means that the baby is thirsty. The mother also thinks she knows. She gives it the breast. The poor baby, after clutching it eagerly and taking many swallows, releases it and again cries that same pitiful, forlorn wail.
Can any one be ignorant that nothing can quench thirst but water? Milk is a poor substitute. Here is a chance to give a private lecture, and presently we are telling the mother that the baby needs water to quench its thirst; the hot weather makes it sweat a good deal; it loses a great deal of water and so needs a great deal. A passing ice wagon furnishes a scrap of ice. It does one good to see how eagerly baby sucks it. This mother lives in a house where there are fifteen other mothers, and asking her to tell the others, we walk away feeling sure before night all these babies will be drinking water. We have told her to boil the water, put it on ice and then give it to the baby to drink.
Looking up and down the street we see that it is very dirty. Going over to investigate a pile of dirt, we see on its uphill side a pool of stagnant water which is almost green. Given a hot August day, a peck of garbage and the universal dust, and we have a germ breeding center. The people inhale this air all day and all night.
Looking around we see the houses that need us most—dirty, filthy houses. No wonder the people camp out in the streets all day—yes, and all night. We see a group of mothers and children standing at a hall door. They make room for us to pass. We stop to speak to them. Noticing a weary, white faced girl of about twenty years, and seeing a child clinging to her dress, we ask her about the baby, then about herself. She tells us that the baby is a year and a half old, still nursing. Asking her if she does not know that babies should be weaned at nine months, the answer we receive is, yes, that she knows, but it does not hurt it and it saves the cost of buying milk for the baby, for they are very poor.
DEATH IN THE CELLAR.
Out in the yard we notice a child about three years old, with an old man's face—this face being characteristic of ricketts, that disease now becoming so common among poor people. This little one is busy eating an apple skewered on a stick, and eating it as if it were its entire breakfast; not dessert or any relish, but its whole meal. In contrast to this one and other dirty children, three clean children attracted attention, and what a contrast!
Our twenty minutes is almost up, but we can hardly tear ourselves away from this gypsylike encampment. A last look at them forces a smile, as we see a German housefrau with her basket of lunch, blanket and knitting. She has evidently come from an upper story to spend the day on the sidewalk. In the hall we meet a pleasant faced, motherly woman; she is evidently the janitress. We ask her about the number of families in the house, children, plumbing, sickness, etc. We notice a distinct odor in the hall. We'll try the cellar. She lights us down there, and answers glibly all our questions. We are really ashamed to have suspected anything wrong in the cellar, but the odor is a danger signal, which says, "Take heed; danger!"
We look around the cellar; all clean and dry. We are just going to leave when we see a relieved look in her face, and suspecting at once something wrong, begin to pry about from end to end. Knocking on one end of the wall we find it not solid, but boarded up. We pull one of the boards out and discover the cause of the odor. There lies an underground lake, fed not by springs, but by an old leak in the sewer! This, at least, the authorities can deal with. We report the case at once.—New York Herald.
|The Hopkins Building. Warren, Tanner & Co. located on first floor.|
Be sure and see Denver, the wonderful trick mule at the Opera House, Friday and Saturday evenings.
The Cortland County Teachers' Association for the Second Commissioner District meets at Homer to-morrow.
Health officer W. J. Moore makes the following report for last month: Births, 10; marriages, 11; deaths, 10.
Last week Tuesday O. B. Andrews & Co. shipped 18,697 pounds of butter from Homer station to a dealer in Waverly.
Sager & Jennings, the druggists, have a Christmas advertisement in another column.
G. W. Ripley has leased Keator opera house in Homer, and is making arrangements for a series of good entertainments.
Don't fail to see Prof. Bristol's trained horses in the Opera House either this or to-morrow evening. Matinee Saturday afternoon.
On Thursday evening, Dec. 17th, 1891, A. A. House will give a social party at his hotel in Cuyler, N. Y. Happy Bill Daniels' full orchestra. Bill, $1.00.
Next Sunday afternoon there is a meeting appointed at the Pomeroy street store, beginning at half past 3, with preaching at 4 o'clock. All are cordially invited to attend.
Chas. Vincent, formerly of Cuyler, will give a holiday party at Bush's Hall in Fabius, Thursday evening, Dec. 24th, 1891. Chase's orchestra will furnish the music. Bill, $1.25.
The Homer Protective Police have elected the following officers for the ensuing year: Captain, C. H. Stevens; lieutenant, M. J. Coakley; secretary, C. L. Ellsworth; treasurer, W. H. Crane.
Now is the time to make application for trout fry, to be delivered from the State hatcheries next spring. Write to E. P. Doyle, room 56, Fulton Market Bank Building, New York city, for application blanks.
A special meeting of the Board of Managers of the Hospital Association will be held at the house of Mrs. Doud, 21 Tompkins St., this (Friday) afternoon, at three o'clock. It is desired that every member be present.
During the heavy gale of wind of last Friday, the fifty-foot smoke stack on the Cortland Omnibus and Cab Company's factory in this village was blown to the ground. It was put in place again the following day.
Last week Wednesday, the swing staging used by Henry Harrington and Frank Leroy, while at work on Hugh McDearmid's house in Homer, broke and both men fell to the ground. One of Leroy's wrists was broken and Harrington received several bruises.
The regular meeting of the W. C. T. U. will be held at the rooms (over Collins' store), Saturday, Dec. 12th, at 2:30 P. M. Consecration service from 2:30 to 3 P. M. A large attendance is desired, as the quarterly reports will be given by the officers and Sup't of departments.
Next Sunday afternoon, Rev. Mr. Sanford, pastor of the Methodist church of Homer, will address the gospel services at the rooms of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. A cordial invitation is extended to all. The services will begin at 3:30 o'clock, with praise and prayer.
A Catholic festival will be given at the Baldwin House in Truxton, Thursday evening, Dec. 31st, 1891. The committee of arrangements is P. J. Dwyer, Dan Twentyman, Will Daly, M. Dwyer and John Riley. Music will be furnished by Butterfield's orchestra. Full bill, $1.25.
Hiram Baker, who was arrested last Thursday evening on the charge of attempting to outrage the little Sullivan girl, plead not guilty before Police Justice Bull last Friday morning, and was held to await the action of the Grand Jury, bail being fixed in the sum of $1000, in default of which the prisoner was sent to jail.
Warren, Tanner & Co., the well known merchants, have rented the entire first floor in the new Hopkins block, and will take possession of the same as soon as it can be fitted up for their use. They expect to have ample room for their immense stock of goods, and all on one floor. Their business has entirely outgrown their present quarters, hence the change. They offer extra inducements in their new advertisement on second page.
Dan Gridley, who has been a frequenter of the courts, either as complainant or defendant, for some years past, and who for some time past has lived apart from his wife, went to the latter's house on Arthur Ave., last Saturday night, and undertook to enter, but failing in this, he commenced pelting the house with stones, and the glass in the windows were soon smashed. The police were notified, but Dan made himself scarce until morning, when chief Sager arrested him and brought him before Justice Bull, who held him to bail. Promising to return with bail at once the chief allowed him to depart, but Dan failed to show up. Monday morning Sager was informed that Dan was in durance vile in Homer, and he at once started for that place. Before he arrived, however, the prisoner had been arraigned before Justice Kingsbury and discharged. Sager got track of him, however, and overhauled him near Little York. Dan was brought home and is now taking a three months' vacation in the Onondaga penitentiary. The flowing bowl is Dan's greatest enemy.
The Tioughnioga Club will hold a reception on Tuesday evening next, in their elegant club rooms on first floor of the new Hopkins block. This will be the occasion of its opening. The rooms are handsomely furnished, and wear an air of exceeding comfort.
Orient Hook & Ladder company of Homer has chosen the following officers for the coming year: President, G. W. Downing; foreman, C. W. C. Richardson; first assistant, C. B. Davenport; second assistant, B. Wakefield; secretary, C. Stearns; treasurer, C. C. Wakefield; property clerk, Adelbert Maynard.
The press of advertising on our columns for the Holidays compels us to issue a twelve page paper this week, instead of eight. Among the new advertisers will be found the following: Westcott and Pruden, photographers; Whiteson, the clothier; Clark & Nourse, jewelers; J. E. Briggs, clothier, and gents' furnishings; J. A. Jayne, boots and shoes; Ed Robbins, cigars and tobacco; Grady & Corcoran, cigars, tobacco, wines, etc.; E. P. Halbert, groceries; C. E. Ingalls, dentist.
Spirits of some sort are bothering the employes in the Standard office. The pressman has only to point his begrimed finger at a gas jet to light the same and no one in the office dares to take him by the hand for fear of receiving a shock. The DEMOCRAT has for a long time suspected that the Evil One had some sort of mysterious connection with the Standard office, and recent developments have confirmed the suspicion, so that it would now seem to be a reality. Brother Clark, however, lays the trouble to electricity in the paper. Couldn't the electricity be laid with news?
Election of Officers.
At the regular meeting of Grover Post, No. 98, G. A. R., held in Good Templars' Hall, Dec 2d, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year:
S. V. Com.— Wm. S. Hoxie.
J. V. Com.—M. E. Corwin.
Chaplin—H. M. Kellogg.
Quartermaster—J. F. Wheeler.
Officer of the Day—W. E. Phelps.
Officer of the Guard—R. H. Moon.
Surgeon—J. R. Birdlebough.
Delegate to State Encampment—A. P. Smith.
Alternate—Geo. S. Hunt.