|Car No. 16, Cortland & Homer Traction Co., in 1895.|
AN ELECTRIC RAILROAD.
A NEAR POSSIBILITY FOR CORTLAND'S IMPROVEMENT.
It will be a Great Convenience and a Great Benefit to Trade—What the
For several years there have been periodical rumors that electricity was to be substituted for horses as the motive power of the Cortland & Homer Horse Railroad Co. but these proved to be only rumors, as an interview with the management of the road in each case revealed the fact that they were living in hopes, but that the time for action had not yet arrived.
Several weeks ago this rumor again crept abroad and this time it came to the ears of The STANDARD that it was not all talk, but that there was a very large probability of a change in the near future. At the urgent request of interested parties, however, no reference has hitherto been made to the matter, as it was believed that it might prejudice the cause and perhaps interfere with negotiations which if carried through will mean no inconsiderable boom to Cortland and its industries. But matters have now progressed so far that there seems to be no further need for absolute secrecy, though many of the details are not yet to be made public.
The prospects of the change to electricity come from the possible, perhaps probable purchase of the railroad by a wealthy syndicate from Scranton, Pa. These gentlemen, under the title of P. S. Page & Co., now control the entire railroad plant of the city of Scranton, Pa., and also of Ithaca, and some other cities. We understand that it is their purpose to put electricity into the present plant, and then to extend the road to other parts of Cortland, taking in some of the principal streets, and continue it east to McGrawville. The freight traffic upon this division of the road would be large. At the other end it may go to Little York before long.
A STANDARD reporter called upon Mr. L. D. Garrison, the superintendent and manager of the road, and asked him some questions. Mr. Garrison was very guarded in his statements, and he said that there had been no transfer of stock as yet. It had been reported, however, that a syndicate had an option upon the road until early in the spring, and that there was a fair prospect that they would take the property. If so the line would be rebuilt and equipped with electricity. He knew nothing farther. He had received no orders from headquarters which bore upon the subject.
A representative of The STANDARD also called upon Attorney Horace L. Bronson at his office, and said, "Mr. Bronson, we find that you acted as attorney for P. S. Page & Co. in procuring options on the stock of the Cortland & Homer Horse Railroad Co." Mr. Bronson said, "Yes, I did."
"Have you any objections to giving us for publication the facts concerning the transfer and the putting in of a new electric line by the new company?"
"Personally I have none," was the reply, "but for prudential reasons I am not at liberty to state anything upon this subject. When the time shall arrive at which I can make a full statement upon the subject without prejudicing the existing negotiations, I shall be glad to do so. I will say, however, that in my judgment the time has arrived when an electric line in Cortland would be a paying investment and there can be no question but that such a road with the extensions which would naturally and inevitably be made to the old line would be one of the most substantial booms that can be brought to Cortland."
Though little could be extracted from either of these gentlemen it was evident from their happy and confident manner that this electric story is not talk only, and it seems probable that before the snows of another winter are flying in the air the horses which now draw the cars will be comfortably stabled, and that Oliver Wendell Holmes' "witches with their broomstick train," will be sending the cars flying back and forth between Homer and McGrawville, and that while Homer may be the northern annex to the city of Cortland, McGrawville may be the eastern annex.
It will need little argument to convince our Cortland readers of the great benefit which would result to this village from such an improvement as is above indicated. Homer and McGrawville would become by it practically part and parcel of this village so far as business was concerned, and property all along the electric line would greatly advance in value. Little York would be nearer to Cortland, so far as time is concerned, than Homer is now, and cars would run so frequently over the road that local and business relations between the communities which it bound together would grow steadily more close and intimate. The road would be both a great convenience and a great profit to the people it served, and the general wish will be that there may be no hitch in satisfactorily closing all necessary preliminaries, and that the change from horse power to electricity may be made with the opening of spring, and that the work of extending the line may be entered on as soon as the weather will permit.
There are 3,980 miles of electric railroad in this country.
CHARGES OF DISCRIMINATION.
Lehigh Men Growing Uneasy and Threaten to Strike Again.
ROCHESTER, N. Y., Dec. 14.—Uneasiness among the Lehigh men increases. Some alarming facts have been presented in a forcible manner to the men who returned to work with the expectation that they were to receive their old places at the same wages and who, they claim, were told that matters would move along in the same old rut.
An official circular was issued on Monday making a radical cut in wages on the Buffalo division. In this reduction it is claimed a decided discrimination was made against the strikers.
Next followed a proclamation of Superintendent Esser to the effect that all men over 45 years of age must go, but in this case, too, the order seems to be confined to the strikers only.
"If the Lehigh officers keep on," said one determined looking man at the station," the employes will be all out again within four days."
The men on the other roads seem to expect further trouble on the Lehigh and they will be brought into the strike next time.
Elmira Reformatory Investigation.
ELMIRA, N. Y., Dec. 14.—The reformatory investigation was continued, the time being almost exclusively given up to taking testimony of inmates of the institution. The board is working eight hours a day, and expects at this rate to conclude with the prosecution by Saturday. Mr. Brockway's attorney will then probably ask for an adjournment over the holidays before beginning their side of the case. Much of the evidence taken would have been rather startling had there not already been so much convict testimony to the same effect.
Dairymen Honor Governor Flower.
WATERTOWN, N. Y., Dec. 14.—The State Dairymen's association, in convention here, elected Governor Flower as one of its vice presidents.
Eight Thousand Destitute Miners.
DETROIT, Dec. 14.—The relief committee of wants of the Upper Peninsula miners reports that $100,000 is needed to keep them through the winter. There are 8,000 destitute.
Another Democrat Speaks.
◘ Hon. Charles D. Haines, Democratic representative in congress from the Rensselaer-Columbia district, says of the Wilson tariff bill: "It hits a blow at every industry of my district, and I prefer to take my instructions from the people rather than from the president. I have been told a number of times, within the last few days that if I vote against the bill the administration will defeat me for renomination. I do not care. The salary given me as a representative is not my sole dependence, and I can get along without it, but the people in my district cannot live without work, and if this bill passes it means that thousands of my constituents will be thrown out on the streets without employment. I am willing to leave my future with the voters so long as I do my duty toward them, no matter what the president says."
Mr. Haines is entirely correct in every statement he has made. There is no doubt that the administration will endeavor to defeat him next fall should he seek the nomination for congress again. The coercion of the people representatives is one of the first principles of President Cleveland's system of statesmanship.
◘ The Danbury hatters helped elect Mr. Cleveland, though they were protected in the McKinley tariff law satisfactorily. Their case was represented ably by Mr. Miles, representative of the Danbury district, and as a reward for his labor, they defeated him. They got the notion that they were not getting a large enough share of wealth. After Cleveland's election they rejoiced, and as times grew hard they thought Republican malice was the trouble. The manufacturers ran a while at a loss rather than close the mills. This was the time the leaders of the hatters thought best to pursue arbitrary conduct, and so they forced a lockout. If the Wilson bill—any edition yet published—becomes a law, the wages of hatters will fall about 25 per cent. They control Danbury, and have voted fifty thousand dollars of the property of the town for their relief. The general result will probably be the downfall of Danbury. The hats will be made abroad, and the Democratic hatters may migrate to Kansas.
◘ The Anarchist who threw the bomb in the French chamber of deputies seems to have been an admirable specimen of his class. He is described as too lazy to support his family, a vagabond and thief, who has been repeatedly convicted for petty crimes. That is the stuff out of which Anarchists are made.
◘ The changes in the duties on cotton and woolen manufactures reported by the Wilson bill are all increases. There was danger that even the Massachusetts Mugwumps would not support the measure unless New England industries were taken care of better.
◘ Secretary Carlisle is perfectly consistent in insisting that a duty should be put on sugar. This is an ideal revenue duty. But the Democrats are too great cowards to imperil themselves by putting up the price of sugar to the consumer.
◘ Men of American descent are piling up sand bags around their capitol in Hawaii for the purpose of defending it and their liberties against the efforts of President Cleveland to erect a monarchy over their heads.
—Mr. J. H. Ryan has recently sold and shipped to Mr. E. P. Humphrey at Glendora, Cal., one hundred grape cuttings.
—The Ready Workers of the Universalist church are requested to meet to-morrow afternoon at Mrs. Moul's on Greenbush-st.
—The regular assembly and election of officers of the Union Veteran legion will be held in their rooms to-night at 7:30 o'clock sharp.
—A conference of the Cortland Deanery was held at St. Mary's parochial residence at 11 o'clock this morning. Rt. Rev. P. A. Ludden of Syracuse presided.
—Do not forget that the City Band minstrels will repeat their excellent show at the Opera House Saturday evening for the benefit of the performers, who so kindly assisted them in making it such a success.
—James A. Barry, at one time proprietor of the Messenger House in Cortland, yesterday bought the Vanderbilt House in Syracuse. He has leased it for some time, but this new move is the result of some difficulties between the lessee and the stockholders.
—Mr. Henry Bates has presented to the collection of curios at Fireman's hall a piece of a bed cord made of the sinews of a whale which belonged to his wife's father's father's grandfather's father. It has been in the family for eight generations, is nearly two hundred years old and is apparently as strong as ever.
—An exchange tells of a woman who bought a new-fangled coffee pot from a peddler. In the evening she showed it to her husband, a hardware dealer, who told her he had the same thing in his store for half the price she paid. "Well," said she, "Why don't you advertise. Nobody ever knows what you have for sale."
—The King's Daughters will hold the regular meeting of the circle with Mrs. M. A. Johnson, 32 Groton-ave., Saturday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, at which time a special investigating committee will be appointed for each ward to assist in the local charity work. Let as many of the ladies be present as possible. Other work will be planned.
—Charles Howard, son of Mr. William Howard and grandson of Mr. Thomas Howard, died Tuesday night very suddenly at Whitney's Point. It was at first thought that he had been poisoned, but a post mortem examination revealed the fact that the young man died of ulceration of the bowels. The body was brought to Cortland on the 4:20 train yesterday afternoon. The funeral was held from the residence of his father on Pomeroy-st. at 2 o'clock this afternoon. The deceased was 16 years of age.