|No. 5 is Cortland Top & Rail Co. on this 1894 map segment.|
THE TOP AND RAIL CO. AFFAIR.
An Injunction Prevented the Sale of Their Property This Morning.
The sheriff's sale of the Cortland Top & Rail Co. was advertised to come off at 11 o'clock this morning at the office of the company on Elm-st. There was considerable of a crowd present, including the most of the directors, the representatives of the different persons and organizations [sic] having filed judgments against the company, the sheriff and a STANDARD reporter of course. Just before the hour of 11 arrived Mr. Horace L. Bronson, who was in the crowd, stepped forward and with a pleasant smile upon his genial countenance, introduced himself to the sheriff [and] to all the directors and representatives of the banks, etc. and presented each with an injunction order and the other papers necessary to restrain the sheriff from selling the property of the Top and Rail Co. This was a bomb shell in the midst and it is needless to state that the sale did not take place, but was postponed for one week at the same time and place.
Mr. Bronson appeared as the representative of the Cortland Harness and Carriage Goods Co. in a suit then and there begun against the Cortland Top and Rail Co., Limited, the First National bank of Cortland, George Bennett and John Bennett doing business as the Chemung Valley bank, Philip Sugerman, Dudley G. Corwin, Adam Kinley, William Kinley, Charles Kinley, Irving H. Palmer, B. B. Martin, E. H. Doubleday, Thomas F. Brayton and John Miller, sheriff of Cortland county. This is an action in equity to set aside certain judgments obtained by the Kinleys and the Chemung Valley bank, aggregating about $30,000 which the plaintiffs allege were obtained fraudulently and are void and they have moved to set aside. The directors are made defendants on the ground that they have exceeded their corporate authority and have made themselves personally liable to the creditors of the corporation. John Miller, the sheriff, is made a defendant because of the levies which he made on the executions on the Kinley judgments and others.
The papers were served this morning, and the summons and complaint in each instance were accompanied by a copy of the injunction order, absolutely enjoining and restraining each of the defendants from selling any of the property of the Cortland Top and Rail Co., and from taking any further steps to collect the judgments which have been obtained, and in fact tying up the whole affair until the further order of the court.
This injunction order was granted yesterday by Hon. Charles E. Parker, justice of the supreme court at Owego. Previous to the service of the injunction order the plaintiff, on claims aggregating $2,500, attached all of the Cortland Top and Rail Co.'s stock, and the action just commenced is supplemental to this and makes all of the defendants parties to it. Kellogg & Van Hoesen appeared for the First National Bank of Cortland; Reynolds, Stanchfield and Collins of Elmira appeared for the defendants Kinley, and DeWitt C. Curtis of Elmira for the Chemung Valley bank. With the well-known ability of these lawyers on both sides it may be freely predicted that a suit has been commenced that will engage the attention of Cortland people for some time.
Another judgment was this morning filed in the county clerk's office against the Cortland Top and Rail Co. by Hon. S. S. Knox, acting for Buck & Lane. The amount of this judgment is $318.87. This is the eleventh judgment against them and the total sum represented is $37,388.65.
A reporter for The STANDARD called upon Mr. H. L. Bronson and asked him some questions in regard to the probable outcome of the matter. He replied that as the attorney of record for the plaintiff it would not be proper for him to discuss the legal features of the case, but he could say that an action had been brought against the Cortland Top and Rail Co. to set aside several judgments obtained by the Kinleys and the banks, and that an injunction order had been served with the summons and complaint restraining the defendants from disposing of the property of the corporation.
Mr. Edward Keator, president of the First National bank, was interviewed and said that the bank will either modify the order or Mr. Brewer, if the injunction is sustained, will be called upon to give a bond for double the amount of the whole judgment.
Mr. D. W. Van Hoesen of the firm of Kellogg & Van Hoesen, when asked what the next move would be, said that one of the two courses referred to by Mr. Keator would be followed. It was a matter which needed a little looking up, and he could not say at once which one would be the better.
The Whole Story.
An item appeared in the STANDARD of last night to the effect that the suit of R. F. Randall vs. C. J. Coleman was tried before Justice Dorr C. Smith yesterday morning and a judgment was given to the plaintiff for the full amount claimed $18. We were so informed and the item was true as far as it went, but it did not tell the whole story. On Feb. 8 the plaintiff filed his claim for property damaged at the fire of the Cortland Steam laundry and in his bill of particulars fixed the amount claimed at $27.03. The defendant filed a claim for this property with the insurance company for $17.32. The plaintiff was unwilling to settle for that amount and sued to recover $27.03.
Before the case was tried yesterday the opposing lawyers agreed upon the sum of $18 as the value of the property claimed, the plaintiff was put upon the stand and swore that the property was worth this amount. No defence [sic] was entered and a verdict was given for $18, which was really the amount claimed when the case went to trial, but which was less than the amount claimed when the issue was joined.
A Handsome Wheel.
The Hickory bicycle of Dr. E. M Santee has lately been in the hands of the artist, Mr. Edward Moran, and has come out as pretty as a pink. The doctor has procured a new frame for it and Mr. Moran has painted the wheels a marine blue. The spokes have been striped with hair lines of light blue and black and have been touched up with peacock blue. Bands of gold and of silver leaf surround each spoke at intervals which will present a very pretty effect when the wheels are in rapid motion. The polished nickel frame adds materially to the appearance. The machine is now on exhibition in the window of the office of Mr. E. B. Richardson, bicycle agent, in the Wickwire block on Railroad-st.
A Series of Mishaps.
There was a bib sociable over at McGrawville last night and a party of Cortland people attended. The company consisted of Misses Edna Miller, Carrie Sanders, Lena Rindge, Lena Edgcomb, Dora Wagner, Lulu Thayer and Nettie Stanton, and Messrs. Louis Swift, M. R. Chapin, Ralph Davis, C. H. Fenner, H. A. Stanton, J. T. Bates, E. A. Northrup, Arthur Knapp and H. N. Chapin. Six couples of these drove over in a large sleigh. Just as they started when rounding the corner of Main and Railroad-sts., one of the horses got a leg over the tongue of the sleigh and the team kicked themselves loose from the sleigh and started to run. They were quickly caught by a crowd of passers. A new sleigh and team were procured and the rest of the ride was uneventful. One couple went in a cutter and upset on the way. The lady is rather lame today, but otherwise they were all right. Two gentlemen went in a cutter and upset on the way over, breaking both the shafts of their cutter. They mended up, however, and proceeded. All had a good time.
A Veteran and Trusty Officer.
Long service and frequent re-elections to any office make a very substantial and unmistakable tribute to the worth and efficiency of the office-holder, and this is specially true of the Republican nominee for justice of the peace in this town, Mr. Wm. R. Biggar. "Squire" Biggar has been a justice for many years, and has commanded to an unusual degree the confidence and respect of the community in which he lives. Conservative, judicious and careful, possessing excellent sense and always intending to do the just and equitable thing between parties coming before him, re-nominations have come to be a matter of course with him and re-elections equally certain.
THE O’DONNELL CASE.
WITNESSES TESTIFY IN THE DEFENDANT'S BEHALF.
Homestead Citizens Take the Stand and Swear That O'Donnell Acted In the Capacity of Peacemaker on the Day of the Riot—The Defendant's Attorney Presents His Side of the Case—Mrs. O'Donnell Called as a Witness.
PITTSBURG, Feb. 17.—The defense in the O'Donnell case was opened yesterday by Attorney Cox. He said that the defense would admit that there was a riot at Homestead and also admit the language of the commonwealth that it was a most dastardly and unfortunate affair. They will offer no justification for the acts of the parties assembled there, but they will justify Hugh O'Donnell's presence there and the presence of any other man concerned who was there to preserve peace. The defense, will show, he said, that O'Donnell's entire time was taken up in keeping the crowd back and urging the people to cease rioting.
In the afternoon he exhorted the rioters to cease their murderous work; was the first man to offer protection to the men on the barges and for many weeks after bore on his body bruises received in his endeavor to protect the poor Pinkertons from the infuriated mob.
A number of witnesses were then examined and their testimony in brief was that the defendant had advised the people to keep away from the river bank and I ordered them to stop firing.
ASKED THEM TO GO HOME.
Dr. Purman of Homestead testified that O'Donnell came to his house at about 5 o'clock in the morning on the day of the riot with three wounded men. A big crowd gathered around and O'Donnell went out and asked them to go home and not go to the mill again. Later he saw the defendant urging some strikers to go home. One of them said: "You leaders are all d—d cowards. You have sneaked away from the mill as soon as the trouble began." O'Donnell turned to the man and said: "There are no leaders in this business. You men are all acting for yourselves." The men were quarreling with O'Donnell because he wanted the fight stopped. A number of witnesses corroborated Dr. Purman.
President Garland of the Amalgamated association said that he asked O'Donnell that afternoon if the fight could not be stopped, and the defendant said; "God knows; I have been doing my best to stop it all day and can't.
Just then a man passed them carrying a gun. O'Donnell stopped him and urged him not to go to the shore, as the fight should stop.
The man replied: "Many of our friends have been killed by those men, and they are still shooting at us. How are we going to stop it?"
Mrs. O'Donnell testified that her husband left home about 4 o'clock that morning. After several other witnesses had been called court adjourned.
HUGH O'DONNELL NOT GUILTY.
PITTSBURG, Feb. 18.—The jury in the case of Hugh O'Donnell, the Homestead strike leader charged with murder, returned a verdict this morning of not guilty. The jury was out all night. O'Donnell, when brought into court, was a trifle paler than usual, and he scanned the faces of the jurors rather anxiously as they filed in, but they were expressionless. He was ordered to stand up and the verdict was read. As he heard the words "not guilty" a wave of color spread over his face, and his eyes became fixed for a moment and he tottered as though about to fall. Recovering himself O'Donnell stepped from the prisoner's box, embraced his wife and niece.
The Homesteaders present were all greatly pleased with the verdict. O'Donnell was taken back to jail and an application for bail will be made. This ends the Homestead trials until the March term of court. It is possible that all the other cases may go over until the June term and the Homestead men now in jail will be admitted to bail.
The arguments for new trials in the Dempsey and the Anarchist cases will be made on Monday and then Homestead will sink into comparative obscurity for a time.—Cortland Standard, Feb. 18, 1893.