Friday, May 20, 2016


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, April 22, 1892.

A Desperate Fight for Freedom—A Physician Quelled the Riot.
   AUBURN, April 17.—Ward 6 of the State asylum for Insane criminals in this city has been the scene of many a desperate revolt among the inmates in days gone by, but the most exciting of the long series occurred Friday, when a quartette of reckless New York crooks attempted to overpower the attendants and escape.
   Four insane desperadoes, brandishing razors, held at bay a small army of doctors, attendants and workmen, threatened to kill the first man who approached them or intercepted their passage to freedom.
   There were fifty patients in the ward at the time of the uprising, which occurred at a time when only four attendants were present. One of the convicts, Edward Meredith, who has a very bad reputation and has been active in every trouble which has taken place, approached Daniel J. Lucie, the head attendant, and feigning a severe headache, asked for some bay rum. Lucie went to his medicine chest in another room, followed by the scheming villain, who knew there were also several razors in the chest. Stooping down to unlock the chest, Meredith struck the head attendant a savage blow on the back of the head and he fell forward to the insensible. The weapon used was a bag made of stones, which the cunning Meredith had picked up on his airing the day before, and which he had stuffed into one of his stockings, making an ugly instrument of attack.
   At the moment the blow was struck three of Meredith's companions, who were in the secret, rushed into the room and together they pillaged the chest of the razors. Waving these in their hands, they made a formidable appearance as they sallied forth to capture the asylum.  The other attendants who heard the disturbance rushed forward to seize the men, but they managed to elude their grasp.
   An alarm was sounded, and in a few minutes twenty keepers, attendants and workmen had assembled to quell the riot. When the mutineers discovered that their effort at escape had proved futile, two of them threw away their razors and capitulated, but the others with demonical ravings refused to surrender.
   Dr. Courtney grasped a heavy oak chair, and holding it high above his head, threatened to crush the rebels if they did not lay down their arms. Slowly the men retreated until they arrived at an open door, through which they jumped in hopes of escaping by this means. But this action proved fatal to their plans. No sooner had the men entered the room than Dr. Courtney turned the key in the lock, and they were prisoners. Then a parley took place again about a surrender, but the convicts persisted in refusing.
   A garden hose was obtained and, opening the door carefully, a stream was played on the imprisoned men. Still they refused, when it was decided to use the large hose attached to one of the fire plugs in the building and drown the men into submission. Just at this juncture, Dr. Allison, medical superintendent, appeared on scene and the heroic measures were abandoned. The doctor expostulated for some time with the men, until finally they agreed to give up, and then they came forth as penitent as one could wish. They were placed in close confinement. Lucie was the only one seriously hurt in the affray, and he will recover.

George Davis Goes West to Grow Up With the Country and Mrs. Widger's Fifteen-Year-Old Daughter.
   Last fall Mr. and Mrs. Widger resided with their four children in the city of salt [Syracuse]. The son, Albert, is the eldest of the children and is said to be an industrious young man. Carrie is fifteen years old and rather large of her age, and Ella and Emma are eleven and seven years of age, respectively.
   The parents evidently did not live together harmoniously, for in the early part of the winter Mrs. Widger had her husband sent to the penitentiary for assaulting her and he still resides at that more or less popular resort. In her lonely situation the wife was impelled to seek comfort and consolation elsewhere than in the arms of her husband, and she is supposed to have found a supply sufficient for her needs at a mission of the Salvation Army sort, that was attracting the attention of citizens of that city in December last.
   There was still another attraction at the mission in the person of a devout worshipper named George Davis, and a strong affinity sprung up between the two. Davis was not long in assuming the vacant place in the forlorn woman's household that had been caused by the involuntary detention of Mr. Winger in another part of the city. Mrs. Widger concluded on securing a divorce to the end that she might become the lawful spouse of Davis, and it is said that steps in that direction had been taken.
   In March last, Davis succeeded in inducing the family to move to Cortland and they located at No. 18 1/2 Maple-ave.
   Last Monday morning, Davis told Mrs. Widger that he was going to Binghamton to collect money due him from a fraternal order in that city. He also told her that he had found a place for Carrie to work in a respectable family near the E. C. & N. station and that if the girl would pack her satchel, he would carry it and accompany her to her new home. Davis and the girl left the house together.
   Later in the day Mrs. Widger grew suspicious and went to the house where Davis said the girl was to work and was informed that she had not been there. At the D. L. & W. station she was told that Davis had secured a pass for Binghamton, on the ground that he had been an employe of the road and had received an injury to his hand, also that he had begged enough money of employes to purchase a ticket for the girl for the same destination and that the two left on the 10 A. M. train.
   The woman took the 3 P. M. accommodation for the parlor city, but she arrived too late, for the couple had just taken the train for Elmira. She was without funds but she managed to get home on the 4:30 P. M. train on Tuesday and at once swore out a warrant for the arrest of Davis on the charge of abduction. The warrant together with photographs of the runaways, and a few hundred copies of the Cortland Daily Journal were at once sent to the chief of police of Elmira. If the warrant fails in its mission, it is expected that the Journal extras will bring the rascal up with a round turn.
   The warrant has failed so far, but great results are confidently predicted when the Journal comes to get in its wonderful work. Why this distinction against the Daily Standard should be permitted by the officials, is something no fellow can find out.
   Davis' part in this escapade is almost beyond comprehension, as he always appeared to be a devout christian. Prayers were said before meet and regularly in the morning and before retiring in the Widger-Davis family. He is said to have worked the Y. M. C. A. Association [sic] in Binghamton for money to pay the girl's fare to Elmira. The two youngest girls were taken to the County House on Tuesday.

Death of Mrs. B. E. Miller.

   The sudden death of Mrs. M. Linda Miller, wife of Burnett E. Miller, which took place about 10 o'clock last Tuesday morning cast a gloom over her many friends and acquaintances in this village. Although her health had not been good for the past year or two, her friends had no idea that there was any immediate cause to apprehend the result which followed. Her death is attributed to heart failure.
   She was the youngest child of the late James A. Schermerhorn, and was 38 years of age. She was married to Mr. Miller [June 4, 1881?], and leaves besides her husband, three children surviving her. Her only sister, Mrs. James M. Milne, is spending the winter in Florida, and her brothers, James R. and A. M. Schermerhorn, reside in Cortland.
   A telegram has been received from Mrs. Milne which states that she would be in New York on Thursday, and that she would telegraph from there again. The funeral will probably be held on Friday or Saturday and will be private.

Run Over by the Cars.
   Last Saturday morning, Mr. John E. Mereness, for the past four or five years a contractor in the blacksmith shop of the Hitchcock Mfg. Co., left town for Oneonta on business. On Monday his sister, Mrs. G. N. Scrafford of No. 9 Pendleton-st., received a telegram from her sister in Little Falls.  A press dispatch from the latter place, says that Mereness attempted to board an east bound freight train Saturday evening and fell under the wheels, receiving injuries from which he died about midnight. Deceased left no family, his wife dying a few months since and he lost his only child two years ago.

Orris Hose Fair.
Immense Crowds in Attendance—The Evening Entertainments Give Excellent Satisfaction.
   The rooms on the third floor of the Garrison Block have been handsomely decorated by the members of Orris Hose Company and with the tastefully trimmed walls and the elegant booths erected in different parts of the hall, the place reminds one of the stories of fairyland. The fair was opened to the public on Tuesday evening and before 8 o'clock every available inch of space was occupied and even standing room was at a premium. At 9 o'clock Mr. Dorr C. Smith introduced Enos E. Mellon, Esq., who delivered a brief, but very appropriate address in behalf of the hose company. Immediately after the minstrel performance look place and the songs and witticisms were highly appreciated by the audience. The old songs and stage gags were conspicuous because of their absence, and the boys were highly complimented upon the originality and genuine excellence of the entire minstrel program. Mr. Bert Rood made a good interlocutor and the end men, Mr. Bert Sager and Dr. G. A. Tompkins, were much better than the average professional. The bear act by Messrs. Bert Sager and Frank R. Fitch was laughable, and the slugging match between Floyd L. Perry and Ernest S. Coville, governed strictly by Marquis of Queensbury rules was decidedly breezy and interesting. The three little angels with diminutive wings and in small clothes gave a decidedly good burlesque on cupid's minuet, as seen at the recent Kirmess held in this place, and was heartily applauded. Dancing to the music of Mangang's orchestra followed and was enjoyed by a very large number of those present.
   On Wednesday evening the company produced a German farce entitled "Hans Von Smash." which was very funny and was well received by the large audience present.
   On Thursday evening a concert was given. Those who took part were selected from Cortland's excellent home talent and it is not saying too much to pronounce it one of the best that Cortland people have listened to in some time.
   On Friday evening the minstrels will appear in an entire new program, which bids fair to be of unusual interest.
   Saturday evening after the regular entertainment the prizes will be announced.

A Stubborn Walk-Out Settled.
   SENECA FALLS, April 14.—The moulders' strike having been adjusted, the unemployed moulders at the Goulds works and Rumsey & Company's, went to work this morning. The walk-out included about thirty men, and has been maintained seven months. The union has disbursed about $1,200 during the strike.

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