Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Cortland Central School. Photo from Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland.

Cortland Evening Standard, Saturday, March 4, 1893.

Details of Its Building—Description of the Plans—Evidences of Faithful Work by the Board of Education.
   The outlines of the new central school have now become very familiar to almost every resident of Cortland, but it is probable that comparatively few have ever been inside its doors and realize what a fine building has been erected in the midst of this village, and how perfect are all of its arrangements.
   At the village election in March, 1891, an appropriation of $30,000 was voted for the issuing of bonds for the purchase of a site and the erection of a new central school building into which the students of the higher grades in the several ward schools could be gathered. The bill which was at once introduced in the legislature empowering the village to issue these bonds was left in the deadlock in the legislature that year and it was not until last year that the bonds could be issued and the money was available. The board of education upon whose shoulders rested the responsible task of building the school consisted of Messrs. D. F. Wallace, F. W. Kingsbury, F. E. Whitmore, L. D. C. Hopkins, E. F. Jennings, C. F. Brown, H. A. Dickinson, E. F. Squires and F. D. Smith, and the result clearly shows that the work was in good hands. Throughout the labors of the year the superintendent of schools, Col. Frank Place, has been in some degree associated with them.
   The first matter to be settled was that of a site. Various lots were offered, and strong were the efforts brought to bear upon the board by interested parties to prove that each individual site was far superior in every respect to all others. But the board of education canvassed the matter thoroughly, and kept their own counsel. Some lots in their opinion were not large enough, others were too expensive, and too large a share of the appropriations would be consumed in the purchase of a site and not enough would be left for the building itself, others were not central enough. At last the present site which had been in their minds to some extent all the time seemed to all the members to present the greatest number of points of desirability, and it was decided upon. It consists of nearly an acre of land fronting on Railroad-st. [Central Avenue] and was owned by Messrs. L. J. Fitzgerald and A. F. Tanner, and the sum of $9,500 was paid for it.
   The next point was the procuring of suitable plans. Messrs. Kingsbury, Jennings and Smith were appointed a building committee, and these gentlemen at once began the study of schoolhouses in general. Sometimes accompanied by Mr. Wallace, the president of the board, and by Col. Place, they visited a number of the most modern and best constructed school buildings in neighboring cities. The drawing of the plans was entrusted to Mr. N. Dillenbeck of Syracuse, an architect who has made the planning of school houses a specialty. The contract for the erection of the new building was let for $21,415 to J. D. Keeler & Co. of Cortland, a firm whose name has come to be a synonym for good work. Ground was broken in July and the building was commenced.
   All of the mason work was under the direct supervision of Messrs. Beers & Warfield, who form the "Co." in the firm of J. D. Keeler & Co. The building is 88 by 92 feet in size, two stories high, with a basement and a large and well lighted attic, which in case of need can also be finished off to furnish additional room. The foundations are of rough dressed Berea sandstone from Ohio. The building itself is of brick which came from the brickyard of Horace Hall of Homer. In the construction of the building 575,000 bricks were used. The mortar was colored and the whole building has been stained a dark red. The slate roof was put on by Cashman & McCarthy of Syracuse. The plumbing and gas fitting was done by L. R. Lewis of Cortland, and is a most admirable job. The oiling and varnishing was done by A. Loucks, all being subcontracts of the original contract.
   The building is entered by a broad flight of stone steps, which lead up to a portico. Over the entrance in large letters overlaid with gold leaf are the words "Central School, 1892." The visitor finds himself in a vestibule 5 by 11 feet in size which connects directly with the main corridor and which opens into it through broad swinging doors, the upper part of which are of beveled-edge French plate glass. As the building is arranged, a corridor nineteen feet wide extends directly through from front to rear. At the north end of this corridor there are two entrances for the pupils to the east and west, the front entrances being intended for the use of the teachers and visitors. Upon each side of the hall there are two recitation rooms 25 by 39 feet in size, 12 feet high and abundantly lighted.
   In the front rooms there are eight large windows, five on the side and three in front. In the rear rooms there are six large windows, five being on the side and one in the rear. These rooms are entered from the corridor under broad arches which add much to the attractiveness of the appearance. The doors leading into the two rooms on each side of the corridor are placed near together and are under the same arch. Next the door of each class room is a large cloak room for the use of the pupils of that particular room.
   Three broad staircases lead to the floor above, which is an exact duplicate of the first floor with the exception of the fact that the front part of the corridor over the entrance is separated from the rest by a partition partly of glass to form a room 12 by 19 feet in size for the use of the superintendent of the village schools and as a meeting place for the board of education; while in the rear over the two rear entrances are two small rooms to be used as libraries for the different grades. From each room a speaking tube goes to the superintendent's office. The third floor will for the present be left unfinished, but, though it runs into the roof, it is so arranged that, when the time of need comes, it may be cut into recitation rooms and be finished up. It is lighted by thirty windows large and small.
   All of the floors are of one-inch maple and are waxed, and they are all deadened as to sound by wool-deadening felt. All of the rooms and corridors are wainscoted four feet high with Georgia pine. The ceilings are of spruce and are varnished. In the corridors on each floor are four stationary marble wash bowls.
   The basement which is nine feet high, like each of the floors above, is divided into four rooms. The floor is grouted and finished with Portland cement. The building is heated by four furnaces furnished by the Smead Warming and Ventilating Co. of New York and the Smead system of ventilating and of dry closets is used. This system of ventilation is warranted to warm the air in the rooms and change it entirely every thirty minutes and is considered by experts to be one of the most perfect systems known. The Smead company in the contract which they made guarantee that they will be able to furnish thirty-five cubic feet of warm pure air each minute to each person in the room. Near the rear of the lower corridor there are two registers connected with a small furnace below, which will be run in winter for the express purpose of affording a place where the children may warm their feet.
   The work on the interior of the building is nearly completed. Since work began there has been an average of about fifteen men employed constantly though at times it has run as high as twenty-five. One particular excellence of the architecture of this building is that when the time shall come, as it undoubtedly will in future years, that more accommodations still will be needed, it will be possible to erect in the rear of this building another one similarly arranged and connected with it by the extension of the corridors. Neither will interfere with the other, as far as lighting is concerned, nor will the new structure be an unsightly addition tacked upon the older building. There is plenty of room on the lot for the addition when needed.
   A portion of the furnishing of the school has arrived and is ready to be set up, but the appropriation made did not allow for the complete furnishing of the building, nor for grading or walks, and it is for these purposes that the board of education this year ask for the additional appropriation of $6,000. There can be little doubt that it will be voted. Certainly if any one is in doubt as to how he should vote in the matter, the best thing he can do to convince himself of the worthiness of the object is to take a look at the outside and inside of this structure, which rises as such an ornament to our village and which when properly finished and furnished and equipped will be so complete in all its appointments.
   McGrawville, March 3. — Albert Finn of Solon passed away to the ever increasing "silent majority" Feb. 28, aged 44 years. Rev. E. J. Brooker of this place officiated at the funeral services yesterday.
   William Shuler is very ill.
   Mrs. Woolsey is very ill and her recovery seems doubtful.
   The sad news reaches us that little Lee Chrysler of Polkville is very close to the valley of shadows with scarlet fever. The dreaded disease is in town also. Lee Maybury's son is very ill with it at the home of his grandmother, Mrs. Castle. Ira Wavle's little girl, and Lizzie Burdick are also sick with it. The primary of the school is again becoming depopulated, as many parents fear contagion.
   A. P. McGraw, Mrs. Harvey Frink, and little Charles Rowe are on the sick list.
   With all the bad news comes an item of good news heard from Elmer Norcott at noon to-day. He is doing nicely and another operation will be performed Monday.
   Mrs. D. E. Ensign will lead the Christian Endeavor meeting at the Methodist church next Sunday evening.
   We are sorry Nick was so engaged that one item at least did not appear in Friday's paper. Next Tuesday evening, March 7, a conundrum social in the interest of the Methodist church will be held at the residence of C. B. Warren. The supper will be served on the European plan. Also the mystic art gallery will be for the first time open to the public. Gems of art from all parts of the world, studies from the old (and new) masters. Come everybody and enjoy one of the best social events of the season.
   Miss Eliza Johnson has gone to her home in Lisle, where she has engaged to teach school.
   Examination at school next week.
   To-morrow Grover Cleveland will be set up in the high chair of the nation.
   Mr. John H. Kelley, who has been recently admitted to the bar at Albany, was home over Sunday.
   We wish that everyone who has not done so, and many who have would refer to Tuesday's, Feb. 28, edition of the STANDARD, and read from page 4 the article entitled "What Becomes of Them," by "One Who Knows." We believe there is no part of Cortland county that is free from the abuse of animals. People calling themselves human do not wait for them to get old and useless here before abusing them. The frozen bit is thrust into the quivering, sensitive mouth, they are left unblanketed for hours while their master "smiles" in a saloon. When old and useless they should be mercifully shot, and not given away. Oh, shade of Black Beauty, may your teachings be remembered. Earnestly,
   NEMO. [pen name of local correspondent.]


   —Village caucuses to-night from 8 o'clock.
   —The Celtic Daughters give a banquet March 16.
   —A school for newsboys was organized in Syracuse Thursday night.
   —Miss Valantine Meager has opened a dressmaker's shop at her home at 16 Woodruff-st.
   —Mrs. Lumden's free lecture to ladies at the Universalist church Monday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.
   —The trustees of the House of the Good Shepherd at Syracuse have decided to erect a new hospital for surgical cases, which will accommodate 250 patients. It will cost about $30,000.
   —The funeral of Mr. Frederick H. Wilcox will be held at the home of his grandfather, Mr. H. J. Messenger, on the corner of Reynolds-ave. and Union-st. on Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock.
   —A "slush muggin" furnished a sleighride to a number of young people last evening. They are quite popular in the cities, but the craze has only just struck Cortland. It manifested itself last year in a slight degree.
   —Owing to various hindrances the canvass for the Home Department work is still incomplete. So far as finished, the names have been handed to their respective schools. An effort will be made to finish the canvass, secure lesson helps, and distribute them before the first of April.
   —Edwin C. Kenney of McGrawville, N. Y., and late of company K, 157th regiment of New York Infantry Volunteers has just been allowed a pension under the old law at the rate of $4 per month from the date of his application and in the future. L. P. Hollenbeck of Cortland, N. Y., is his attorney.
   —Hudson Davis of Cincinnatus, who was late a member of Company F, 7th Regiment of New York Artillery Vols., has just been restored to the pension rolls and allowed an additional pension whereby he receives about $825 arrearage and $8 per month in the future. L. P. Hollenbeck of Cortland, N. Y., is his attorney.
   —The Syracuse Standard recently quoted from the Boston Herald a two-column article upon the remarkable adventures of Miss Deborah Sampson, the Revolutionary spy. It is very interesting, particularly as this remarkable young woman, who so long passed for a man, traced her lineage to the same origin as some families in this county.
   —It is reported that a woman living over in Hector attempted to throw a pail of water out of a second story window not long since, but the stream froze before it reached the ground and its weight pulled her out of the window, and she was blown clean over Cayuga lake before she struck the ground. The pail or ice has not yet been heard from.—Ithacan.
   —Much wonder was created this morning by the sight of a handsome lady's shoe standing in a prominent show window in Cortland in a place where shoes are not usually wont to be displayed, and having beside it a large placard upon which was the word "Lost." The owner came along in the course of the forenoon and claimed her property.
   —Dr. W. H. Price of Syracuse, a clairvoyant, was yesterday arrested on a warrant sworn out by a member of the Onondaga Medical society for practicing without a license. This society is making a determined effort to bring all no-licensed practitioners to justice. Dr. Price is over eighty years old and claims to have practiced clairvoyancy for more than forty years.
   —The Ithaca Journal says that every pauper before being allowed to enter the new county house was compelled to take a bath, receive attention at the hands of the barber and don new attire throughout. A few of the men protested and two were so scared at the prospect of getting into the bathtub that they ran away. One poor man remarked as he climbed into the tub, "I know it will be the death of me."
   —The Cortland Omnibus and Cab Co. has this week made an addition to the paint room on the second floor of the main building, by which the room is increased about one-third in size. Two partitions have been removed and some rooms formerly used for the storing of stock have been added to the paint room. The store room has been moved to the new building purchased last summer and moved down from the site of the Central school.
   —Mr. G. J. Mager received this morning from Mr. L. D. Graham of Titusville, Florida, a former resident of this village, a palmetto brush, manufactured by the Palmetto Brush Co. of St. Augustine, Fla. It is entirely vegetable, a solid block cut from the palmetto tree, the pulp forming the back of the brush and the fibers, the bristles. It is another of nature's wonderful productions, and with Yankee ingenuity combined, supplies a very useful article for the household. The brush may be seen and examined at G. J. Mager & Co's. store.
   —The locomotive on the 6 A. M train on the D., L. & W. this morning broke an eccentric strap about two miles north of Preble and had to send back to Cortland for help. The locomotive on the work train which was at the yard here started to the assistance of the train, but between Homer and Little York broke its equalizer spring. It was fixed, however, in about twenty-five minutes and the locomotive proceeded. It drew the train back to Preble and there got in front of it and took the train and disabled locomotive through to Syracuse, arriving there about two hours late. This is the second time within three weeks that the same train has had the same accident in almost the same place on the road.

What the Presidents Died Of.
   Rutherford B. Hayes was the only occupant of the White House to die of heart disease. Washington expired of pneumonia, John Adams of natural decline, Thomas Jefferson of chronic diarrhea, James Madison and James Monroe of natural decline, John Quincy Adams of paralysis, Andrew Jackson of consumption. Martin Van Buren of asthmatic catarrh, William H. Harrison of pleurisy, John Tyler of a bilious attack, James K. Polk of chronic diarrhea, Zachary Taylor of bilious fever, Millard Fillmore of natural decline, Franklin Pierce of inflammation of the stomach, James Buchanan of rheumatic gout, Abraham Lincoln assassinated, Andrew Johnson paralysis, Ulysses S. Grant cancer, James A. Garfield assassinated, Chester A. Arthur Bright's disease. Mr. Hayes was one of the three Methodists to become president, Johnson and Grant being the other two.—Columbus Journal.

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