Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Village telephone poles in 1899 photo, intersection Main and Clinton Streets. Photo from Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland.

Cortland Standard and Weekly Journal, Friday, December 30, 1892.

The Telephone Question.

   Dec 29—A STANDARD reporter called on the committee who were appointed at the meeting of the telephone subscribers and users some weeks ago, for the purpose of ascertaining what success and encouragement the committee were meeting with. He was referred by the committee to Mr. E. E. Mellon, their attorney. The reporter accordingly called on Mr. Mellon at his office and asked if there was anything new to be said on the subject.
   Mr. Mellon said that the committee had secured the signatures of ninety-five per cent of the telephone subscribers in the village of Cortland, and that before to-night they would have the signatures of all but three or four; that the committee had been assured that the subscribers would stand firmly as a unit in defending what they consider their rights in this matter; that the work of the committee was now nearly completed, and that they had notified the Empire State Telephone company of the action taken, but had received no reply and did not expect any until perhaps some time after the first of January.
   The company have received the final decision of the people of Cortland as to what they will do. It now remains for the company to decide for themselves whether they will allow the price to remain as it has been for the coming year, or will remove their poles and lines from the public streets and from the village of Cortland. The telephone subscribers must not use their phones after midnight of Dec. 31, 1892, if they desire to avoid the payment of the advanced price for the coming year of 1893, as such use after Dec. 31, 1893, will fix this liability and could be construed as making a contract with the company for the year.
   “I hardly think,” said Mr. Mellon, “that the company would attempt to enforce a contract of this kind, yet it is unsafe to take any chances. The committee have made arrangements to notify all subscribers sometime during the day on Saturday, as to what course each subscriber will pursue. One thing is certain that unless the company give us some assurance before midnight Saturday night that they will continue the telephone service at the old prices, every telephone in the village of Cortland will be disconnected and cut off, so that there will be no chances taken of incurring any liability by the use of the telephone for a single day. There is nothing for telephone subscribers to fear in this matter, nor is there any inconvenience to be suffered, as all are in the position of having agreed to discontinue the use of the instrument unless we have the rates as heretofore. And it is probably only a question of a few days when the telephone company will say that they have made a mistake in the action they have taken, and finding that the people are determined, and that it is a matter of right and of the protection of the people for which the committee is working, they will restore the old rate. The committee have found the most hearty co-operation and support from the banks, manufacturing establishments and every one whom they have visited and talked with in regard to the subject, and there has never been a time when the entire business community were so firmly united in a move as they are in this.”

Banquet to Mr. Edward M. Mills.
   Dec. 29—Some of the personal friends of Edward M. Mills tendered him a farewell banquet at the dining parlors of Mr. George O. Squires last evening. The company began to assemble about 8 o’clock and the time was parsed socially until 9:30, when they were ushered into the dining room, where a sumptuous feast had been prepared in a style even surpassing that for which Mr. Squires has made himself so favorably known. At the close of the meal, cigars were passed around and the guests remained seated at the table, telling stories, relating thrilling experiences which some of the gentlemen had passed through in days gone by, and calling up reminiscences of the pleasant times that they had spent in the company of Mr. Mills, the guest of the evening.
   The whole affair was a great success. Mr. James Dougherty was the prime mover and had charge of the arrangements, and great credit is due him for the pleasant time which all enjoyed. At 11:30 o’clock the company broke up, all wishing Mr. Mills great success in his new field of labor and regretting very much that he was to leave Cortland. Those present were: Edward M. Mills, James Dougherty, D. D. Lovell, H. A. Dickinson, N. L. Miller, John O'Connell, Harry Doud, Will Grady, E. E. Mellon, L. Percival Hine and Thomas Phalen.

A Pleasant Banquet.
   A few of the many friends of Mr. Ed. M. Mills, local editor of the Standard, gave him a banquet on Wednesday evening at Mr. G. O. Squires' Restaurant. Mr. Mills leaves Cortland in a few days to join his brother in Ithaca in business. An elegant supper was served, after which toasts were given and responded to. The evening was very enjoyably spent, and the party broke up at an early hour.
   Those present were: Messrs. James Dougherty, E. E. Mellon, Henry A. Dickerson, Harry Dowd, Nathan L. Miller, John O’Connell, Will Grady, D. D. Lovell, Thomas Phalen, L. Percival Hinds.
   Mr. Mills made many friends while here by his uniform courtesy and gentlemanly conduct. As a chronicler of local events he has few equals, and his department of the Standard has been carefully and cleverly edited. The DEMOCRAT is sorry to lose so deserving and able a member of the profession, but Mr. Mills thinks, and he undoubtedly is correct, the other line of business furnish better opportunities for success in life. The DEMOCRAT wishes him success in every undertaking.—Cortland Democrat, Dec. 30, 1892.

A Christmas Reunion.
   Dec. 27Following a custom of almost twenty years continuous use, the Warren family, or such members of it as could be present, gathered yesterday at the home of Mr. George L. Warren to celebrate Christmas day with a reunion dinner. The dinner was elaborate and well served. Beside Mr. and Mrs. George L. Warren and daughter, Miss Lelia M. Warren, those present were: Mrs. Harriet Warren, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Brownell, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Bushby of Cortand, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Warren, Mr. and Mrs. Hartley Alexander and Miss Claribel Warren of McGrawville.

Christmas Tree at County House.
   The Christmas dinner for the inmates of the Cortland county alms home was served last Saturday afternoon, but the Christmas tree and the distribution of presents was postponed until Wednesday afternoon at 8 o’clock when a number of guests and friends were present.
   The tree presented a very pretty appearance. The arrangements were under the direction of the W. C. T. U. Each one of the inmates, about sixty-five in number, received some useful present, and in addition each one had an orange and a bag of candy. The delight of the recipients can hardly be imagined. Supt. Angel in a very happy manner expressed to the members of the W. C. T. U. the thanks of the inmates and also of those in authority at the alms house for the thoughtfulness and kindness manifested upon this day. Mr. T. Mason Loring then arose and in his own expressive style presented to Rev. S. J. Parmiter, the minister who has officiated at the alms house during the past year, a handsome cap and pair of gloves. Mr. Parmiter responded in words of thanks and also made some other remarks suitable to the occasion.
   Among those present were Superintendent Almon W. Angel and wife, Rev. and Mrs. S. J. Parmiter and daughter, Mrs. A. J. Bentley, Mrs. Ezra Bentley, Mrs. C. Cotton, Miss Baker, Mrs. Daniel Burdick, Miss Belle Burdick, Miss Sophia Watson and Messrs. T. Mason Loring, A. W. Gates, Taylor Gage and D. H. Doubleday.

Maxson & Starin had a similar train trestle for coal cars as shown here at Seager's coal yard. It was located on the D. L. & W. Railroad. Photo from Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland.
Drop in Coal.
   Dec. 27—A gondola car loaded with coal was shunted over the end of the trestle belonging to Maxson & Starin this morning and crashed to the ground a distance of some thirty feet spilling the coal and smashing both car and trestle. It was at about 9 o'clock just after the coal train had pulled in and six cars for Maxson & Starin were taken out by the engine to shove them up on the trestle. It was a heavy load and twice the engine was unsuccessful in pushing them up the steep grade. The third time a long start was taken and the cars came up at top speed.
   Mr. P. P. Crain, the bookkeeper for the firm, concluded that it would be safer for him to be outside than in the office, which is under the trestle and got out when he heard the cars coming. The engine shunted them up to the level stretch over the coal shutes and shut off steam. The brakemen locked the brakes and under ordinary circumstances the cars would have stopped. 
   The wheels were icy, however, and the brakes did not take hold. The cars did not slacken their motion in the least. The three brakemen jumped for their lives. The forward car crashed through the heavy dead blocks and braces and tilted over. The rear trucks stayed on the track, although torn from the car. The body of the car lodged in the props and braces, which back up the trestle, and the bottom was crushed in several places.
   The front trucks and the dead blocks were thrown forward about thirty feet. The steel rails were snapped like pipe stems and heavy beams were crushed into splinters.

A Literary Contest.

   Some days since the STANDARD published an editorial description of the “Missing Word Contests” by which certain English newspapers had created such great sensations. To assist in enlivening the Holiday season, the publishers of Frank Leslie’s Weekly have concluded to inaugurate in America the latest English fashion.
   Here are the terms of the contest: Each person who wishes to try to supply the missing word in the paragraph that will presently follow, must cut out the “Missing Word Coupon” from Frank Leslie's Weekly, and with name and address, and the missing word plainly written in the proper blank spaces, send the same to the office of the publishers, together with twenty-five cents in postage stamps or currency. On the lower left hand corner of the envelope enclosing the coupon and entrance fee should be written “Missing Word Contest.”
   The total of the entrance fees will be divided equally among those who correctly supply the missing word. This coupon will be printed every week in Frank Leslie’s Weekly until the close of the contest. The result of the contest will be announced in the issue of February 10. No contestants will be permitted to enter after noon of February 1.
   This is the paragraph, which is a quotation from a writer well known to every reader of English literature. “He knew, besides, that his powerful friends, who would have interceded for him, had his offence been merely burning a house or killing a neighbor, would not plead or stand by him in so pitiful a concern as the slaughter of this wretched—"
   All who have sent in the missing word of the former paragraph offered by the weekly for guesses, are privileged to make another trial without paying another entrance fee, or at their option to withdraw their entrance fee. Competitors may make as many attempts as they choose, but each attempt must be made on a coupon taken from Frank Leslie’s Weekly, and accompanied by the entrance fee of 25 cents. Frank Leslie’s Weekly is for sale by all Newsdealers.

An Electric Mail Car.
   An experiment has been made in St. Louis which promises great improvements in city and suburban mail delivery. A regularly equipped postal car has been placed on one of the electric street car routes there. It is attached overhead to the trolley wire, and has a motorman and conductor like an ordinary street car. But it is shaped like an express or postal car, with doors at the sides. Inside are mail boxes and hooks for mail pouches. There are also two postal clerks busy in sorting, stamping and distributing mail, precisely as the postal clerks on the long railroad routes do.
   The car starts out with mail for suburban delivery. There are stations along the road where carriers are waiting for mail designed for their routes. At the same time they have collected the mail on their routes, and they give it to the clerks in the car. These sort and stamp it. That for delivery at stations along the car route is at once, after stamping, handed out again at the proper station.
   It will be seen that by means of this postoffice [sic] car letters intended for city delivery will not go through the routine of being first taken to the general office, stamped and then sent out again by carrier. City letters can be delivered in half an hour, and all letters can he speeded to their destination with a saving of some hours.

Panama Canal Scandal.
   The third republic of France in its darkest days never passed through such a peril as it is enduring now. The true significance of the revelations suddenly sprung upon France is that the thing is a royalist conspiracy to overturn the republic. Nearly half the people of France were pecuniarly interested, either directly or indirectly, in Panama canal investments. Their money was lost, and they are likely to side with anybody who proposes to disgrace and punish those who lost it. With the peculiar French temperament, when aroused and infuriated, they would even let the French republic go down in their desire for revenge on the rascals who betrayed them.
   The charge specifically brought before the French parliament by M. Delahaye was that five years ago, in 1888, when the Panama project was on its last legs and already hopeless, the late Baron Reinach paid out among 150 senators and deputies of France no less than $600,000 to buy their votes in favor of the Panama canal lottery loan bill. Editors were also bought up right and left, society people were heavily paid to talk up the canal, and altogether not less than $1,000,000 was paid in various forms of bribery. One editor, it is said, got $100,000.
   It is, however, with the specific charges in the senate and chamber of deputies that the government is concerned. Members of parliament are squealing like rats in a trap. One wept when the charge was brought against him. Others whine about “needless tortures inflicted upon unconvicted men.” When in the United States the notorious whisky ring was unearthed, with its black taint touching in some cases men high in office and public confidence, President Grant gave one memorable order, “Let no guilty man escape.” If the French government has the grit and steadfastness to arrest and punish every scoundrel in the Panama case, even though he be an ex-member of the cabinet itself, then the third republic will come out stronger than ever it was before, founded upon the rock of integrity. If it can weather this storm with credit and honor, then indeed will it have good prospect of permanency.
   Meantime behind the accusers stand the enemies of Francethe ceaseless royalist and Bonapartist plotters, who brought about the present crisis. Royalists’ money purchased the incriminating Panama canal proofs. Their ingenuity devised the bomb which has burst upon the republic.

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