Monday, March 6, 2017


Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, December 26, 1893.

A Brief Sketch of the Life of This Vigorous and Well Preserved Old Gentleman.
   We publish to-day a fine picture of Mr. Hosea Sprague of Homer, who will on Thursday, Dec. 28, 1893, celebrate the one hundreth anniversary of his birth. He is believed to be the oldest man in Central New York and is at this writing nearly as hale and hearty as he was a half century ago. Mr. Sprague was interviewed by a STANDARD reporter a few days ago and gave the following history of himself: He was born at Brimfield, Mass., and spent the early days of his life at that place. When twenty-two years of age he moved to Coleraine, Mass., and in 1821 he again moved to East Homer, N. Y., and resided with his sister, Mrs. Samuel Sherman. He moved to Homer in 1853 and has since that time lived almost a retired life in his present home. In this same year he was married by Rev. Thomas K. Fessenden to Miss Ann H. Hobart, who is still alive at the age of 83 years, is well and strong and promises to reach the century mark as her husband has done.
   He voted for the first Republican president and has kept up this good practice ever since, always voting the straight Republican ticket, except on one occasion when he was ill and could not go to the polls. At the last election he helped to swell the Republican majority in this state. He was not drafted in either the war of 1812 or the civil war, and did not serve. Both his father and mother nearly reached the century mark. He shaves himself yet and this is more than many Homer young men who are seventy-five years his junior do, and laughingly he told the reporter that no one wanted to take hold of him even now, as he thought he was a pretty good wrestler yet. He never used tobacco in any form.
   Last summer he took care of his garden at the rear of his home, and he says he expects to do the same next summer. There were eight brothers and sisters in his family, three older and four younger, and he has outlived them all. He had a severe attack of the grip three or four years ago, but he stated that he could still get around about as fast as any one. The reporter remarked that he hoped Mr. Sprague would live another hundred years. As he was about to depart the old gentleman cordially invited him to call again, and this closed an interview with one of the oldest and best preserved men in the United States.

He Causes a Sensation In Church by Denouncing Cornelius Leary.
   ROCHESTER, Dec. 26.—A special from Mount Morris says:
   There was great excitement at St. Patrick's church at 12 o'clock mass. It was caused by some remarks made by Rev. Charles Flaherty, who for the past 10 years and up to less than a year ago, had had charge of this church, but who was removed after his trial and conviction for criminal intimacy with a young girl of his parish.
   Father Flaherty was granted a stay and the motion of his counsel for a new trial will be argued before the general term in January.
   St. Patrick's church, which is the largest country church in Western New York, was crowded to overflowing. After mass had been said by Rev. James H. Day, who now has charge of this church, and while the usual Christmas offering was being taken, Rev. Charles Flaherty passed up the center aisle to the altar rail, and facing the congregation spoke in substance as follows:
   "One year ago tonight I was at this altar as your priest, while tonight I am convicted and under sentence to a condemned man's cell. There is a man in this church tonight who was instrumental in my conviction and the man is Cornelius Leary. This man came here tonight with no sacred intention, and why he is here I do not know. It is the sentiment of this congregation that he leave this sacred edifice."
   At this point cries of "put him out," or words to that effect, and hisses were heard throughout the congregation. Cornelius Leary arose in his seat and said in substance: 
   "If Charles Flaherty or any of his friends attempt to eject me from this church, I will leave work for the coroner in the morning."
   No attempt was made, however, to put Mr. Leary out.
   Father Flaherty continued speaking, saying: "Mr. Leary harbored Mary Sweeney (the girl who made the charges that resulted in his conviction), for several weeks previous to the trial, schooling her in what to say in order to bring about my conviction."
   The congregation was in a high state of excitement but under the influence of Father Day, were soon quieted and left the church with no further demonstrations.

A New Club House.
   The new Cortland Athletic Association on Saturday evening leased of Mr. C. E. Rowley, the old Randall house between Tompkins-st. and Clayton-ave., to be used as a club house. It took possession Christmas day. The result will be that this association will have the finest club house in this part of the state. It is almost an ideal house for this purpose, its location is central; its rooms are large and spacious. Its large basement, nearly seventy feet long, will be just the place for a bowling alley and will afford ample room for the storing of wheels [bicycles.]
   Across the whole front of the house extends a large room which is to be devoted to billiards and pool. Tables will be put in this week. Back of this are two rooms, the south of which has an open grate. This will be furnished as a parlor, and the north one as a card room. These three are the only rooms now to be furnished except the gymnasium in the third floor, which will be fitted up at once. More of the house will be furnished next spring when it is the intention to get a family to come in who can run a restaurant and hoarding table. A number of the large airy and desirable rooms will doubtless be rented to members of the association who can then live entirely in the club house.
   It is a rule of the association and is embodied in its constitution that no liquor can be carried into the club house, no games can be played there on Sunday, and no gambling will be allowed at any time. The club has now thirty-six members, and its prospects are good for many more. The spring will see fine croquet and tennis courts laid out.

Central and South America.
   Eighteen hundred and ninety-three closes ominously for the cause of republicanism in Central and South America. For more than 60 years the people of these two Americas have been trying to govern themselves, and the experiment is apparently as far from being a success as it was in the beginning. Nicaragua had her semiannual revolution in July. She not only had a revolution, but also a war with Honduras on her hands. The rebels were successful by the middle of September, and after a form of election General Santos Zelaya was installed as president. Zelaya will be president for five years, always with the saving clause—if he is not overthrown by revolution.
   Though president in name, Zelaya is really a military dictator. So is President Vasquez of Honduras, and the two will fight it out between Honduras and Nicaragua. Two of the other Central American states are involved in the brawl between Nicaragua and Honduras. Barrios, president of Guatemala, has promised to help Honduras in the war, while Ezeta, presidential dictator of Salvador, will aid Nicaragua. So the political pot boils and seethes in Central America. Good, old- fashioned, decent heathenism, such as existed in that part of the country before Columbus discovered America, would be better for the common people of Central America than this state of things. Of course, every complication in which Nicaragua is involved will affect injuriously the Nicaragua canal and its prospects. It is time the United States government laid its hand on the making of that canal.
   A standing cause of irritation and temptation to revolution likewise is the law prohibiting a president to stand for re-election, a law in existence in all the South American republics. It was thought by the legislative bodies passing the law that it would prevent presidents from proclaiming themselves dictators and holding the reins of government permanently. But it did not say in so many words that a vice-president raised to the presidency should not succeed himself. Therefore when Peixoto succeeded to the Brazilian presidency on the resignation of Fonseca, he tried to get himself elected president after serving out Fonseca's unexpired term.
   The Brazilian congress would not have this, and that is the main cause of the trouble in Brazil. First the state of Rio Grande do Sul revolted from the central government, then the navy, with Admiral Mello at its head, joined the insurgents. Peixoto is plainly wrong in his construction of the law, for a vice-president becomes the actual president in case of the death or resignation of the person elected president. If Peixoto had one spark of patriotism—one might almost say of common decency—he never would have set up his preposterous claim to be re-elected. But even after he had done so that was no sufficient cause for a revolution such as has been distracting this vast and beautiful country and disturbing the commerce of the world for the past six months. Apparently all the South American leaders of any class care for is their own self-seeking ambition, always excepting the high-minded patriot Salvador de Mendonca, minister of Brazil to the United States. The next presidential election in Brazil takes place in March.
   In the Argentine Republic four states have been in revolt since June. The president of Argentina is an old man, Saenz-Pena. The shallow brained, jealous little political leaders in the four States thought he was too much under the influence of his son, Dr. Pena, a prominent member of the Modernista political party, so they up and rebelled. It is impossible to say which side will whip, and really it does not make a particle of difference. But suppose our people should start a revolution every time some of them do not like a president?
   Meantime a revolution probably is on the point of outbreak in Peru. The decline in the price of silver has made the mines of Peru unprofitable. So it has those of the United States, but we would never think of going to war about it. Peru, however, is different. Ex-President Pierola is taking advantage of the hard times to foment political disturbances, which he hopes will put him at the head of affairs again.
   Such is the state of the Central and South American republics up to date unless a new revolution break out before this gets into print, which is quite possible. The South American states are a steady, awful warning to us of the United States.

Arachis Hypogaea.
   In France they call it pistache de terre. It is sometimes known also as the ground pea or groundnut. The Germans name it sweetly erdnuss. In the southern part of the United States it is recognized under the familiar name of goober, but most of us know it as the peanut, which we are at once extremely fond of and ashamed to be caught eating. At the same time this universal favorite is not a nut at all, but belongs to the bean and pea family.
   The present year there will be produced in America of this underground pea nearly or quite 3,000,000 bushels. In spite of that, however, we still import peanuts from abroad. On the west coast of Africa they are raised in enormous quantity for the European markets. The superior chocolate preparations for which we in the United States pay such high prices because they are imported and warranted "pure" are largely made of ground and roasted peanuts. They know how to do these things in France.
   In the northeastern part of North Carolina peanut culture has become so profitable that it has actually rooted out cotton and taken its place. The average yield of the crop is 35 bushels to the acre, but in northeastern North Carolina it frequently reaches 125 bushels to the acre. Add to this, the fact that many planters there have from 190 to 200 acres down in peanuts, and the amount of earth bean food that North Carolina supplies to Americans, young and old, can be guessed. It is claimed to be a good brain food. Six months are required for the crop to come to perfection, and corn ground fertilized by land plaster is the kind demanded. It will only come to perfection in the southern states.
   The peanut is a botanical freak. It starts off apparently like any other well conducted bean or pea, growing on a vine. But as soon as the pods are formed they become ashamed of themselves, so to speak, and duck down underground, hiding in the earth while they ripen. If one is forced to stay outside the soil, it will not come to perfection. The pods pull the vines downward and curve them toward the earth. Besides the extremely valuable peanut oil, used as a table oil, there has been invented a peanut flour for the use of fat people who want to get thin and must give up eating bread and potatoes. The nuts contain neatly 50 per cent of oil.
   We would be glad to know if any of the Bellamy colonies that have been started in various parts of the country have survived for five years. The latest has gone into operation in the Cherokee strip. Its members will live on the cooperative plan, even to the extent of having a co-operative kitchen and diningroom. Its progress toward failure or success will be watched with interest. If it does succeed, it will be the first secular co-operative colony that ever did prosper. That at Topolobampo, Mexico, yet survives, with chances about equally mixed as to its continuing on from year to year. And yet a co-operative colony may succeed by and by. The central idea is such an unselfish as well as scientific one that in some shape it seems as though it ought to be worked out.

   —Messrs. Gillett & Ingalls have sold their handsome and valuable [trotting] stallion to Mr. W. C. Wood of Pennsylvania.
   —A bunch of pansies fresh and beautiful were picked by Mrs. George W. Edgcomb from a bed in her yard, at 10 North Church-st, on Christmas day.
   —Mr. J. D. F. Woolston had upon his dinner table Christmas day some fresh lettuce picked that morning in his garden from some late sown seed that had been covered up by the snow, but which began to thrive in the spring like atmosphere.
   —"Fourteen days on Horseback in the Holy Land" to-night, by Dr. Pearce; in the First M. E. church. Prof. Guion will illustrate with his fine stereopticon.
   —At Mrs. H. Griffith's boarding house on W. Court-st. yesterday 56 dinners were served, 25 of these being extra from the regular boarders, who were not all there. Mrs. Griffith also received 18 more orders for dinner and was obliged to refuse them, as she could not serve so many.
   —During the week previous to Christmas 2020 Christmas packages were mailed from the Cortland postoffice as compared with 2222 for the same corresponding days last year. Last year upon the three days following Christmas 370 packages were sent out from Cortland. This year it will fall far under that. The package business on this first day after Christmas has practically amounted to nothing.
   —A special meeting of the Tioughnioga club will be held this evening, at half past 7 o'clock at the club parlor, for the purpose of discussing the advisability of organizing for the relief of the needy poor of our village. It is desired that every member of the club be present, so that a full expression of its members may be had, and that action may be taken at once.

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