Friday, June 17, 2016


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, July 29, 1892.

A Crime Committed.

   ITHACA, July 20.—A colored woman named Martha Barber, who died here yesterday, made an ante-mortem statement charging a female physician of Cortland county with having performed a criminal operation upon her. Four or five days after her visit to the Cortland doctress the Barber woman gave birth to a still born child. At this time she was alone in a house on Green street, and with the hope of hiding her shame she placed the body of the child in a trunk, intending to dispose of it after she got strong enough to leave the house.
   She grew worse, however, and blood poisoning ensued. When she was told that she could not live she made a clean breast of the whole matter in the presence of Drs. Meany, Brown and Baker. The coroner, when made acquainted with the facts, called the attention of District Attorney Jennings to the case. That official is weighing the matter and has not decided whether the prosecution should begin here or in Cortland county. The deceased was about 38 years of age and was said to be a "grass widow."

It Was Hot.
   It is doubtful if the oldest citizens of Cortland ever experienced such hot weather as we have had in Cortland the present week. Yesterday forenoon the thermometer at Benton's lumber office near the S. & B. station, registered 115 in the sun. Nearly every day this week it has hovered from 85 to 95 in the shade.
   In some of the cities many lives have been lost and horses have died in the streets. On Wednesday there were fifty deaths from the heat in Chicago and more than twice that number prostrated. The hospitals were filled with patients suffering from sunstroke. The mercury stood at 92 and 94 in the shade and from 105 to 112 in the sun. In the busiest part of the city there were not enough horses to remove the animals that died from the effects of the heat. Five deaths were reported in New York, seven in Washington and sixteen in Philadelphia, besides many cases of prostration.

The Recent Thunder Storm.
   The thunder storm that visited this section last Friday afternoon was of unusual severity and considerable damage was done by lightning. The storm seemed to come from the north at about 5 P. M., and was accompanied by an almost continual roar of thunder, while bolts of lightning extending in every direction, [and] told how heavily the atmosphere was charged. The rain poured down in torrents, and streets in some localities were covered several inches. The shower lasted for about one hour, and did no serious injury, but the lightning played in every direction and did considerable damage, although nothing serious has been reported within the corporation limits.
   A large elm tree on Suggett avenue was shattered somewhat, and a Mr. Terry, who happened to stand in the doorway of his house watching the storm, was stunned for a moment from the flash.
   Alanson Hatfield was milking in his barn, which is located on the gulf road to Groton, at the time of the storm, was stunned for a moment and a bolt of lightning struck the gable end of the building [and] in its downward course struck Mr. Hatfield on the top of his head, and then passed down the right side of his head, removing a strip of hair about one-fourth of an inch wide, and finally stopping at a point under the chin where quite a deep hole was made. Mr. Hatfield fell to the floor from the effects of the shock, and was picked up by a friend who was standing near. Dr Reese was called and prescribed for the injured man. Aside from the loss of hair, Mr. Hatfield is none the worse off from the experience.
   Mr. Day's barn located about one-fourth of a mile north of the McLean road towards the brick school house, on premises known as the Pope farm, was struck and with its contents consisting of about forty tons of hay was burned. Two cows and four calves were saved, as were the horses.
   The two large farm barns of Mr. Wm. H. [Lotmer] one-half mile east of Dryden were struck and burned to the ground. A boy who was milking in the barn was knocked off his stool, and Mr. Lotmer ran for the door crying, "I smell brimstone." All of the cows were taken from the barn. A large quantity of new hay and some farming tools were burned. A barn belonging to Ed Robbins three miles west of Homer was struck by lightning and with all its contents destroyed. W. B. Stoppard's barn on Lincoln-ave., Cortland, was struck on the south end and the beams considerably shattered. Mr. Stoppard was in Tully at the time and no one knew that the barn had suffered any injury until he came home on Sunday morning and entered it.
   The barn of Truman Smith four miles from Groton was struck and with its contents consumed. Our Groton City correspondent gives an account of the damage done by the elements in that vicinity.
   On Tuesday morning last during the severe thunder storm, the barn of Mr. W. J. Hollenbeck on Union-st. was struck. The bolt struck the roof splintering the rafters and plates and passed down between two horses standing in the stable. One of the horses was slightly stunned but the other was uninjured. Mr. A. L. Bouton was looking out of the window of his room at the corner of Union and Owego streets and was knocked down by the same bolt. He was not seriously injured.

M. F. Cleary dressed in his fireman's uniform.
A Slick Sneak Thief.
   At about 10:30 o'clock last Sunday evening a sneak thief entered the house of Mr. M. F. Cleary on South Main-st , and made off with his vest, and a valuable gold watch and five dollars in money. About 10 o'clock Mr. Cleary went into his bed room and taking off his vest changed his watch and a five dollar bill to the pocket of his every day vest which he hung on a chair near the bed. A few minutes afterwards he had occasion to visit an out building in the rear of the home. While he was out of the house Mrs. Cleary entered the bed room in search of something and accidentally knocked the vest to the floor. She picked it up, took the watch out and held it up to her ear to see if it run [sic] after the fall and replaced it on the chair and joined the rest of the family on the front porch. In less than five minutes Mr. Cleary came in and went to get his vest as he felt the damp air. It was gone and a vigilant search failed to find it.
   Tuesday morning Mr. Cleary noticed a sort of path through an oat field that joins his lot on the rear. He got over the fence and followed the path a few feet, but finding nothing turned about on his track. Within about eight feet of the edge of the oat field and four or five feet from the path he saw something black, and on picking it up found it to be the lost vest. The watch and money were in the pockets but the vest had been pretty well soaked with rain.
   It is supposed that the thief stood on the south side of the house and saw Mrs. Cleary through the glass in the door as she took the watch out, and that as soon as she left, entered and secured the vest and crossing the garden jumped the fence, and hearing or seeing Mr. Cleary in the garden, flung the vest into the oats and made as good time as he was able through the fields. He evidently thought he was hotly pursued and concluded not to have the property in his possession if he should be caught. He was a pretty bold operator but most sneak thieves are.

A Shocking Death.
   Ithaca, July 22.— Charles [Giltner], a bartender at the Taughannock Falls hotel, attended a firemen's dance at Sheldrake, yesterday. Returning early this morning, he attempted to climb into a window of his sleeping room and fell into the Taughannock ravine, which is 300 feet deep. He was mangled to pulp and his body was not found until after daylight. Giltner was 38 years of age and single. Tragic deaths are characteristic of his family, his father and uncle both having suicided by cutting their throats.

Engineer Crane Killed.
   Norwich, July 27.Last evening about 11 o'clock occurred an accident on the N. Y. O. & W. railway near Rock Rift, which resulted in the death of engineer Crane of freight train No. 23, and the loss of considerable property as a number of freight cars were derailed.
   The section men were repairing the track and had torn up a rail. The signal flag was out and when this was discovered by the engineer, he blew the signal for down brakes, but owing to the heavy train, he was unable to control it. It ran off the track and the engine was capsized. Engineer Crane was pinned under it and it is supposed that he was killed instantly. Coroner McKenna of Hamden was summoned.

A Soldier's Disgrace.

   For proposing three cheers for the fellow who shot Frick, Private W. L. Iams of Company K, Tenth regiment, of Waynesburgh, was subjected to the most humiliating punishment last Monday at Homestead, Pa. Iams admitted his guilt and refused to apologize, the court martial ordered that half the hair of his head and moustache be shaved off, that he be strung up by the thumbs for thirty minutes, be stripped of his uniform, dishonorably discharged and drummed out of camp.
   After having his head and moustache shaved as directed, Iams was hanged up by the thumbs. For twenty minutes he endured his torture then he lost consciousness. Two surgeons ordered that he be cut down at once or he would soon be dead. He was cut down, and after the doctors revived him be was stripped of his uniform and given an old pair of overalls to wear. With only these and a shirt and an old hat he was led out of the camp to Swissvale Station to the tune of Rogues' March. There is great indignation over the matter throughout the State.

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