Cortland Evening Standard, Wednesday, April 12, 1893.
SUICIDE AT VIRGIL.
EDWARD W. SMITH HANGS HIMSELF IN A HAY MOW.
Despondency the Cause— A Standard Reporter Helps to Cut Down the Body—Details of the Unfortunate Affair.
Word was received in Cortland yesterday about noon that Edward
W. Smith had committed suicide at his home about four miles south of Cortland. Coroner W. J. Moore and a STANDARD reporter started in a buggy at 1 o'clock for the scene of the suicide. After getting out of town the roads were in such wretched condition that the horse could not be driven faster than a walk, and it was a tedious drive over the hills, but the coroner and reporter at last arrived on the scene. In company with some neighbors they went to the barn just back of the house, where the crime was committed.
WHAT THE CORONER FOUND.
The coroner and reporter at once proceeded to investigate. By climbing through a hole over the manger the hayloft of the barn was reached and the body was found still hanging by the rope. Appearances indicated that Mr. Smith had climbed to a large scaffold of hay in the south part of the barn, had tied the rope to one of the rafters just above it, then around his neck and had slid off the scaffold to the mow below, where the hay was not so high. One foot still remained on the hay. The hands were clenched and his cap still remained on his head. The tongue was swollen, so that it protruded from the mouth. It was a sickening spectacle.
After looking the body over it was cut down by the coroner and STANDARD man and with the assistance of a number of neighbors who had also climbed to the loft. The body was then placed upon a board and then was lowered to the ground through an outside door and was taken into the house. Coroner Moore, The STANDARD man and Mr. E. E. Price, who was present, prepared the remains for Undertaker E. A. Crain, who had been summoned from Virgil.
THE SEARCH FOR THE MISSING MAN.
The deceased had arisen about 5:30 o'clock in the morning and had gone to the barn. As he did not return to the house in a half hour, as was his habit, his wife called their son William, who built a fire and then called to his father. He received no answer and went to the barn in the rear of the house. On looking into a platform wagon which stood there he made the discovery that a rope which was used as a tie strap was missing. He searched in vain for it. The young man was afraid to investigate farther alone as he suspected all was not right.
Accordingly he went to the residence of Emmet C. Lang whose farm adjoins theirs. Mr. Lang promised to come down immediately. His son Frank T. accompanied the frightened son who preceded Mr. Lang. As soon as the boys reached the barn Frank Lang climbed to the hay mow and there made the horrible discovery. Appearances indicated that he had hung there between two and three hours. The body was cold and, as there was no chance of life, it was decided not to cut it down till the coroner could be summoned. Mr. Farnham Wood, who was passing on his way to Cortland, was informed and summoned Coroner W. J. Moore.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE CRIME.
Saturday the deceased came to Cortland and arranged his business. He paid several debts, one of which was to Mr. Duane Howard for phosphate. He told his wife Monday that if anything happened to him he wished that she would send his little girl for his brother James in Harford to take care of. He also told her to keep the farm in her hands and that a pension which he was expecting to receive every day would keep her from want.
He sawed wood all day Monday and was apparently as well as ever. The neighbors state that there have been times when he appeared to be deranged. He contracted a disease in the army and has been ill with dyspepsia for four or five years past. His relatives were unable to get him to take any medicine, as he had got it into his head that he could get nothing that would help him. It is supposed that he was overtaken by a fit of despondency and decided to end his days.
It was a sad home that the coroner and reporter visited. The wife was just recovering from an attack of pleurisy, having been ill for the past six weeks. She was completely overcome by grief and could not be comforted. The bent, gray haired brother of the deceased felt such deep grief that tears could not relieve his sorrow, and the little daughter was sobbing piteously.
SKETCH OF THE DECEASED.
The deceased was born in Virgil, July 22, 1837. He married Miss Elizabeth Marshal in 1868, who survives him. Two children were the result of this union: William, aged 21 years and Betsy Libbie, aged 12. He also leaves several brothers— Perry of Syracuse, Nelson, who is in the county alms house, James of Harford, Yelray [sic], who lived with him, Lyman of Dryden and a twin brother Edwin, who resides near Skaneateles. He also had four sisters, but they are all dead.
His father's name was Joseph Ackley Smith and he came to Virgil from Orange county. The deceased served eighteen months in the war and is a member of the G. A. R. post at Virgil. When in the war he contracted a disease and has been endeavoring for a long time to get a pension. His attorney, Mr. L. P. Hollenbeck, was about to be successful in getting the pension. Helms worked his present farm of forty acres for the past twenty-three years, and has always been known as a sober and industrious man.
When the body was searched, only a knife, a tobacco pouch and pocket book, containing $1.07 was found on his person. Coroner W. J. Moore decided that an inquest was not necessary, as it was plainly apparent that he died by strangulation and by his own hand.
A Birthday Party.
Yesterday Miss Matie Whiteson was eleven years old. The event was celebrated by a most delightful gathering of a few of her little friends at the palatial residence of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. I. Whiteson, on Lincoln-ave., from 4 to 8 o'clock.
Miss Matie received them in a very cordial manner and the little people were soon enjoying themselves to their hearts' content. At 5:30 all were invited to the dining room, where a delicious and elaborate supper had been prepared. Mrs. Whiteson had been assisted by Miss Julia Sugarman in preparing the table decorations, which were very beautiful, and consisted largely of potted plants and cut flowers. These, with the snowy table linen, the glittering glass and polished silver made a very brilliant effect. Each guest was presented with a dainty boutoniere, tastily tied with ribbon. After supper Miss Elsie Grant presided at the piano, and for half an hour dancing was indulged in. Games of various kinds were then resumed until the hour time for going home. It was a very happy company of little people that bade their hostess good night.
Miss Matie was the recipient of a number of handsome presents from her friends. The guests were Misses Grace and Annie Walrad, Grace Keeler, Lillian Bayes, Maude Stevenson, May Cramer, Helen Hendrick, Sadie Sugerman, Susie Tompkins and Leslie Francis of Cortland and Bertha Simmons of Fulton.
|Author and artist Palmer Cox pictured with his creations on a cigar box label.|
PALMER COX'S LITTLE PEOPLE APPEAR IN CORTLAND.
A Splendid Entertainment—Nearly a Hundred Children Take Part—An
Enthusiastic Audience—To be Repeated To-night.
Nearly every seat was occupied in the parquet to a point far back of the posts, and all the front of the balcony of the Opera House was packed last night with an enthusiastic audience assembled to see and hear the presentation of the celebrated Brownies play. And every one was delighted. Children are always sure to please an audience, but children dressed and "made up" as the Brownies and their associates were last night, and as full of antics as these little people were, fairly convulsed the audience at times, while the children in the house seemed entirely driven crazy. It was often as funny to hear the remarks from some of the youthful spectators as to see what was going on.
The play itself was written by Mrs. Ollie Chamberlain of Newport News, Va., and the manuscript had to be purchased from her. It was presented through the kind permission of Mr. Palmer Cox, the celebrated artist of New York and the author of the Brownies. Mr. Cox has himself dramatized the Brownies and is to put a company on the road in a few weeks to give the play. He has the exclusive control of anything appearing on the stage under the title of the Brownies, and only permitted the play to be given here because, at the time he learned of the plans, preparations had been so far advanced and he was assured that this was only a local affair to be given in aid of a church. Then he consented to its presentation and wished it all success. The Ladies' Aid society of the Presbyterian church, under whose auspices the entertainment was given, extend to him their hearty thanks for his kindness.
The entertainment was a success from first to last, and in the beauty of its conception, the artistic effects of scenery and costume, and in the excellent acting of all taking part, deserves only words of heartiest praise. The introduction was a Japanese fan drill, participated in by sixteen young misses, who entered with a pretty dance step, and with a swaying motion of the body and a graceful wielding of fans that was very fascinating. They went through all kinds of intricate figures and movements, keeping perfect time to the music, and executed the whole with a precision resulting only from faithful work and constant practice.
At the close of this scene the curtain rose disclosing over fifty Brownies in fantastic costume and in every conceivable attitude and posture. They sang with nice effect the pretty song "We are Brownies every One." written for the occasion by Prof. W. B. Leonard. After music by Mangang's orchestra the play proper begun [sic]. The fairy queen entered and signaled her followers to come to. The stage seemed filled with gauzy sylphs floating about in every direction. There was a [talking] dialogue and some singing and then wee Margaret Turner, the smallest fairy in the company was led forward to the tall king of the Brownies to be his queen. Some one remarked to his little morsel of royalty last night that there were two queens present, the queen of the Brownies and the queen of the fairies, and the answer was flashed back instantly, "Well, there is just this difference between us, the other queen hasn't any king, and I have."
To follow the outlines of the play would be useless, but it was intensely enjoyed by all. It closed with a beautiful tableau in which all persons taking part appeared. The colored lights thrown over them added much to the effect. Tonight at the close of this tableau, Westcott, the photographer, is to take a flash light photograph of the stage.
The work of preparing this entertainment has been almost unspeakable. To train these eighty-five young people inside of three weeks to do their parts so well has been no slight task. The whole arrangements have been in charge of Mrs. Wm. B. Cole. She has been ably assisted, however, by her mother, Mrs. F. D. Smith, Mrs. J. D. Sherwood, Miss Clara Keator, Mrs. Esther Johnson, Mrs. W. A. Stockwell and Mrs. A. B. Nelson. Mr. F. D. Smith has throughout the whole time officiated in any capacity assigned him, from small boy to do errands to scenery shifter and stage manager. Miss Leah Wallace and Mr. Harry M. Butler have played all accompaniments during the time of practice and during the entertainment. Messrs. J. G. Jarvis and Bert Hakes were the artists who so skillfully adorned the faces of all those taking part and helped so successfully to conceal their identity.
The caste was as follows:
King of Brownies— Leroy Clark.
Queen of Brownies— Margaret Turner.
Grand Mogul— Fred Hardy.
Duke of Fiddlesticks—Leon Hardy
Earl of Tricks— Hugh Jennings.
Count of Pie—Arthur Moore.
Chinaman —Paul Parsons.
Brownies— Leroy Finn, Lynn Shoals, Walter Bull, Burney O'Neil, Willie Jones, Jesse Salisbury, George Moore, Charlie Clark, Walter Davey, John Greenman.
Captain of Cavalry—Willie Stoppard.
Cavalry—Harry Etling, Romaine Stoker, Walter Bartholomew, Ned Butler. Floyd Relyea, Charles McSweeney, Harold Taylor, George Davey, Charles Grady.
Foragers— Harold Collins, Fred Shoals, Rob Brewer, Tom Clark, Harry Crombie, Ned Boynton, Frank Straat, Harry Weatherwax.
Vassals—Harry Clark, John Morgan, Arthur Tanner.
Canucks—Vernon Perk, Carl Beard.
Clowns—La Bre Ingraham, Harry Gale, Grover Cleveland.
Dutch man —Ted Clark.
Uncle Sam—Harry Walla, Jere Wickwire.
Indians—George Hollister, Ted Brewer.
Queen of Fairies—Sarah Sherwood.
Fairy Prophet—Edith Bull.
Messengers—Grace Allen, Hattie Benedict, Jennie Allerton, Grace Wallace.
Fairies—Florence Brown, Bessie Van Brocklin, Flossie Cleveland, Marisa Wells, Wilhemina Newkirk, Addie Duffey, Carline Van Brocklin, Helen Turner, Cora Edgcomb, Louise Butler. Mabel Richards.
Japanese—Louise Wallace, Grace Dunbar, Rosamund Robinson, Mabel Brewer, Bertha Powers, Winona Brandenstein, Mabel Fitzgerald, Kittie Mitchell, Emma Allen, Fannie Mantenye, Grace Pierson, Jennie Newkirk, Maud Kinney, Nettie Clark, Bessie Benedict, Pearl Owen.
Y. M. C. A. Election.
The directors of the Y. M. C. A. have elected the following officers for the ensuing year:
President—J. W. Keese.
Vice President—H. T. Bushnell.
Secretary—J. R. Ingalls.
Treasurer—Charles H. White.
MR. M. D. BUCKAGE is in town getting recruits for the Ninth Infantry of the U. S. He is from the same regiment that several Cortland boys joined at the enlisting bureau here last winter.
MRS. E. BUTTERFIELD is taking a week's vacation from her place as saleslady at Kellogg & Curtis'.
MR. FRANK DIX of the H. M. Whitney company leaves for Chicago Monday, where he has accepted a place as second mate on one of the steamers of the Goodrich line which plies the great lakes.
DR. F. J. CHENEY and Mr. Wm. H. Clark, the principal of the Normal school and the chairman of the local board, left on the late train last night for Brooklyn, where they will to-day visit Pratt Institute with the idea of securing two teachers for the school to succeed Miss Margaret H. Hooker, teacher of drawing, and Miss Mary L. Webster, teacher of English, Science and Latin, both resigned. On their return they will visit the Normal college at Albany.
MR. JOHN C. SEAGER, of the coal firm of Holden & Seager, is having much trouble denying the fact to his numerous friends that he is the John Sager mentioned in The STANDARD of Monday as being fined $25 for illegal trout fishing. We will say for him that he is not that particular John Sager. Mr. Seager says that when he is not too busy he is always too tired to go trout fishing in times when it is legal, to say nothing about the season when it is illegal.
[We copy articles as they were printed, past rules of grammar included—CC. editor.]
[We copy articles as they were printed, past rules of grammar included—CC. editor.]