Cortland Evening Standard, Friday, February 9, 1894.
DR. DIAMOND DICK.
HE SUCCEEDED IN PRACTICING LARGELY UPON INNOCENTS.
Now He Has Gone and Left Many Mementoes Behind Him in the Form of Hosts of Unpaid Bills.
Arthur Lane, alias Dr. Diamond Dick, who has been practicing upon
Cortland innocents for the past two months, has flown to an unknown clime and in all probability will never again place his foot upon the soil of Cortland.
He came here December 1, with his family and endeavored to make strangers think that he was a member of the Four Hundred. His family consisted of his wife, nurse, two children and an Indian clerk. The entire family boarded with Mrs. Mary Smith of 40 Greenbush-st. and when the "doctor" engaged board he stated that he desired to pay for his board every day, and he did so for two days, and then his good intention failed and the third day and ever since the money for his board bill has failed to materialize. He will be remembered by those who did not know him by name from his strange appearance, as he had very long hair which was done up like a woman's, and he was always accompanied by an immense St. Bernard dog which was the admiration of the town.
A man traveling under the name of John Stewart Gordon arrived in town about a week after the doctor came and boarded for the first week at Mrs. Smith's. "Diamond Dick" stated that this was his partner, and developments show that he had every appearance of so being. Gordon represented himself to be a man of means, and claimed to have a brown stone front and property at Toronto, Can.
The two men rented the vacant store in the Churchill building and for a time gave nightly entertainments, at which the doctor would throw knives and daggers at his young and pretty wife and gave similar other such exhibitions in order to get a crowd out. The result was that quite a large number of bottles of the "Herbs of Life" medicine were disposed of. Then he began practicing upon unsuspecting patients and a short time afterward his office practice became so extended that he moved into the office in the Schermerhorn building, formerly occupied by Dr. E. A. Didama. His patients were mostly said to be very young girls, with whom he is alleged to have held long conferences in his private office.
After the first week Gordon secured board with Mrs. Lue Hamilton at 21 Greenbush-st. Mrs. Hamilton stated to a STANDARD reporter yesterday that she never liked the man and that, when she asked him for his board he said that he had telegraphed at two different times for $400, but that each time for some reason he had failed to get it. She said that she had frequently caught him in petty falsehoods and that he had told her that their game was to catch suckers.
When Mrs. Smith asked "Diamond Dick" for the pay for his board he stated that he had considerable money out, which he could not collect at present, but that it was perfectly good. He gave her his note for thirty days to the amount of fifty dollars. This came due February 2, but he had it renewed for another thirty days with a face value of $100. His wife left for Jackson, Mich. about two weeks ago. Her husband pretended that she took $50 of his money with her and claimed that he did not know that she was going. She took a large share of their goods, but the balance were quietly packed up and were shipped to Jackson, Mich., last Friday and Saturday.
"Diamond Dick" and Gordon did not return to their boarding places Saturday night and early Sunday morning they drove to Homer, where they took the 6 o'clock train for parts unknown. It is thought that they went to Jackson. Mr. Smith learned about 11 o'clock Sunday morning that they had skipped and he telephoned to the police in various cities to head them off, but it was too late.
A copy of a telegram to the Dr.'s wife was found after they left which read, "Am in serious trouble. Send $50 immediately. Doc." As a result he received from her through the United States Express Co. last Thursday $40 in money.
Robert Otto had a property note on all their furniture, which amounted to nearly $150, so that he was safe but "Doc's" board bill at Mrs. Smith's amounted to $72.80, while Gordon owed her three dollars more for board. "Diamond Dick" owed his Indian clerk about $50 and smaller bills around town amounting to about $25 more. His Indian clerk says that he came here from Binghamton, where he traveled under the name of Dr. DeMarr.
Gordon owed Mrs. Hamilton $11 board. When he had been there two weeks and he owed $8, he paid five dollars of it, but that was all that he paid during his stay. Among his other furniture he got a bedroom suit, for which Mrs. Hamilton paid him $10 in money and was going to give him credit for $8.50 in addition in board. After they had departed Robert Otto came and took all their furniture.
At one time when a young lady was in his office it is stated that he gave her an exhibition of his wealth and pulled out rolls of bills of large denominations from his shoes, hat, pockets and numerous other hiding places.
The most fortunate man who had dealings with the herb doctor was Mr. James R. Schermerhorn, in whose building Diamond Dick had his office. The man on Jan. 1 rented the office of Mr. Schermerhorn for a year. Mr. Schermerhorn required him to pay a month's rent in advance. When Feb. 1 came Mr. Schermerhorn was out of town. Before he returned to collect the February rent his tenant had departed, so he lost only two or three days' rent.
No warrant has as yet been sworn out for the arrest of the doctor and his confederates.
A False Alarm.
Shortly after 1 o'clock this afternoon the firebell began tolling off a number of boxes, the most prominent of which was 123. The firemen reported promptly at the engine house but did not know where to go. The nearest telephone to box 123 is at the Jones Manufacturing Co. A STANDARD reporter telephoned to the company's office and received a reply to the effect that there was no fire in that section of the town. Then it appeared that the bell was striking 412, and the whole department started at full speed for the location of this box, at the corner of Greenbush and East Court-sts. A great crowd of people were on the street and all followed on a run.
Arrived at this corner the companies halted in a bunch looking for fire, but as none appeared, all came back to Main-st., where after roll call, they were dismissed.
Mr. F. A. Bickford [engine house janitor and handyman—CC editor] blocked out the bell and made various tests, which proved that one of three things was the cause of the alarm. An insulated wire must be broken in such a manner that the wind would blow it so that the connection would be alternately made and broken, thereby ringing the bell, or a wire was near enough to the ground so that the wind would blow it on and off the snow or else some one was tampering with the system. Mr. Bickford started in a sleigh about 1:45 o'clock to examine the eleven miles of wire. He had not discovered the break up to the time of going to press.
For Flash Light Photographs.
The first photographer in Cortland to attempt flash light work was Mr. M. De Ver Westcott, proprietor of the "Picture Palace." That was some five years ago. Since that time he has continually been experimenting along the line of flash light work, securing better and better effects as the years have passed. Lately he has completed a new machine of his own invention and has applied for a patent upon it. He has exhibited it to some of the leading photographers of New York City and all pronounce it unsurpassed. By its use photographs can be made quite equal to those taken in the day time. When the pressure on the bulb opens the shutter of the camera, twenty-five gas jets, in a surface six feet square, simultaneously explode each their little powder cup and produce a light stronger than daylight. A particular feature of this machine is that the gas is constantly burning and a focus can be obtained by its light. The device for throwing the powder into the light is very ingenious, pneumatic pressure operating a lever which raises the cup over the flame.
Mr. Westcott claims that this invention will work a revolution in photography. He also claims that his machine can be put on the market for $50 while those at present in use cost $100. Several New York parties want to take hold of the machine to manufacture it for Mr. Westcott, but that gentleman may manufacture it himself.
The Jones Manufacturing Co.
At the annual meeting of stockholders of the Jones Mfg. Co. held at the office of the company yesterday afternoon, the following directors were elected for the ensuing year:
President—B. B. Jones.
Vice-President—A. L. Cole.
Secretary and Treasurer—E. E. Lakey.
The reports of officers for the previous year showed that the company was in a prosperous condition, and the outlook for the future is good.
"There was a time," the parson said,
"Before these days of sin,
When ladies wore one-button gloves
And dresses to the chin.
But now they've changed all that again,
The style is different—bless us!
They button gloves up to the chin
And wear one-button dresses."—Brooklyn Times.
—Annual inventory is being taken at Brogden's drug store.
—At the union revival services this evening at the Presbyterian church Rev. W. H. Pound will preach.
—Mr. F. N. Harrington has sold his chestnut gelding for $200 to Mr. Ridgeway Rowley of South Cortland.
—Mr. William D. Riley has sold his fine carriage horse to Mr. Measreau of Binghamton. Consideration $500.
—Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Coville served refreshments at their home at 2 o'clock last night after the dance of the Vesta lodge.
—A citizens' meeting will be held at Fireman's hall to-night for the purpose of nominating an excise commissioner who will be favorable to license.
—Let your children go to the matinee to-morrow afternoon at the Universalist church and see the beautiful and educating World's Fair views. Price only 10 cents.
—The delegates appointed to the convention of the County Sunday-school association from the First Methodist church are Mr. Isaac Edgcomb, Mr. E F. Jennings, Mr. H. L. Gleason, Mrs. Frank Doubleday and Miss Mira Haskins.
—Mr. C. R. Rood of this village received yesterday from Mr. M. Stanley Bierce of Auburndale, Fla., a lemon weighing thirteen ounces, and measuring twelve inches around one way and eleven the other. This is bigger than a Cortland county egg.
—Several people have already sent in orders by mail for the Shepp's Holy Land and have asked us to forward the pictures to them. As the advertisement reads, these are delivered only at the Standard office. We cannot mail them to our subscribers, as the bill for postage would be very large for the great number of people who are calling for them. Any person who presents these coupons and ten cents at the Standard office will there receive a single number of the Shepp series, either the World's Fair, the Sights and Scenes of the World, or the Holy Land.
Badly Banged Up.
William Sheridan went on a tear yesterday afternoon and between 6 and 7 o'clock pulled into Stevens' saloon on North Main-st. He was well-loaded with whiskey and began abusing nearly every one in the place. A window light was broken in the skirmish and Sheridan fell or was knocked down several times.
Officer Jackson arrived on the scene, but the man was so intoxicated that one of Garrity's drays was summoned to take him to the cooler. His face was one mass of cuts and bruises and they bled profusely. He was washed up and then sunk into a drunken stupor.
When taken before Justice Bull this morning both eyes were blacked and swollen so that he could hardly see out of them, while the cuts and bruises appeared even worse than last night. Justice Bull thought that the man had been punished enough and accordingly discharged him.