The Cortland Democrat, Friday, February 9, 1894.
SHOT LIKE A DOG.
JAMES B. NICHOLS MURDERED AT CLYDE.
His Slayer Surrenders—Says that the Dead Man Slandered Him.
(From the Syracuse Courier.)
CLYDE, N. Y., Feb. 7.—Without a word of warning, and for no apparent cause, Fred S. Childs deliberately murdered James B. Nichols on the main street of this village this afternoon. Both men are members of the first families, and society is in a ferment of excitement.
The shooting occurred about 4:30 o'clock when Childs met Nichols on Columbia street, in front of Stoetzel's block. Not a word passed between them, and the people in the immediate vicinity had no intimation of what was about to occur until Childs drew a revolver from his pocket and leveling it at Nichols, fired. He was within a few feet of his victim. The shot took effect in Nichol's abdomen.
Nichols clasped his hands over the wound and staggered against the building, saying "Oh-h! Don't shoot."
Childs fired twice afterward in rapid succession. The wounded man sank to the sidewalk, dying almost instantly.
Childs coolly put his revolver in his pocket and walked to Police Justice Stow's, where he gave himself up. As he entered the office, he said: "I shot Nichols on Columbia street, and I suppose I killed him."
He added that Nichols had started stories about him and had applied an epithet to him that no man would tolerate.
William R. Taylor, a blacksmith, who was in the immediate vicinity when the shooting occurred, appeared before Justice Stow and entered a formal complaint, in which Childs was charged with murder in the first degree, and Constable Martin Wadleigh locked him up. Taylor recited the circumstances of the shooting as related above.
Several other citizens were with Taylor at the time, but so quickly did the shooting occur that no one had time to raise a hand to prevent it.
James B. Nichols, the dead man, was about forty-five years old, had a wife, and a daughter aged about twenty. His father used to be a [maltster] and commission merchant in this village. He died in September, 1886. leaving an estate valued at about $16,000 to his wife, his son James being a hard drinker. James' mother died last spring and left the property to her son's daughter with the provision that he was to have the use of it during his life.
About a year ago Nichols gave up drinking and since that time has been an esteemed member of society. His wife is the daughter of C. W. Reid, a wealthy real estate dealer, and belongs to one of the first families in Clyde.
Childs, the murderer, is the son of S. G. Childs, a jeweler on Main street. He is it twenty-five years old and unmarried. He has a reputation of being a hard drinker, but he appeared to be sober when he committed the crime.
Chunks of Wealth.
LEADVILLE, Col., Feb. 6.—In one hour last week one man took $7,000 worth of gold ore from the new strike at Farucum Hill, about twenty-five miles from Leadville. The gold was displayed at the Carbonate bank here yesterday. It was taken out in chunks. The specimens are the finest ever shown in the State.
The largest nugget weighed seventy-eight ounces, and was about seven inches in its longest diameter, and one inch in its shortest diameter, being irregular in shape. It was a beautiful specimen, being composed entirely of crystallized and flake gold.
The property is owned by John Campion and others of Leadville, who control 5,000 acres of almost virgin ground. Over $5,000,000 was originally taken out of one vein in this ground.
EDITOR DEMOCRAT:—The coroner's inquest that was concluded in the town Hall at Preble on the 24th inst., and inquiring into the cause of death of the late Mrs. Egbertson, who was found on the morning of Jan. 17 in the well on the premises of Charles Hartman in Preble, was reported in the Cortland-Semi-Weekly Standard of January 26, '94. The Standard reporter was present and purports to give the evidence as detailed by the witnesses. He states the Hall was very much crowded by both sexes who were eager to drink in every word. "The inquest was conducted by Coroner George D. Bradford of Homer, who pushed the affair with energy and questioned the witnesses with skill, but every one was somewhat disappointed when the jury finally brought in a verdict, which was in substance, that the deceased came to her death by drowning, and as to how she came in the well they said they were unable to state."
Now the reporter not only heard all the evidence on which to say how she (the late Mrs. Egbertson) came in that well, but he claimed to have written it down and he may refresh his memory from his written manuscript, and if he is able to answer that question he will confer a favor on the people of Preble and the coroner who held the inquest. The jury were sworn to render a verdict according to the evidence. There was no evidence to find on that question and the jury would not be justified to pass upon so important a matter without some. The reporter's criticism of the jury was not justifiable. He should learn one thing, and that is, if he reports a legal inquiry he should record the evidence in the language of the witnesses. He no doubt could get a statement more to his liking by dressing it out in language of his own, but in his change he made mistakes.
In the evidence of Patrick Galvin, he has Galvin say:—"Hartman then called and looked in cellar and woodshed, up in orchard and out in barn, and failed to get any response." Galvin swore, "Charley told me to look in the barn and in the orchard and I did." Again he reports Galvin as swearing, "Mrs. Hartman came down stairs about 7:30 and they had breakfast and then Hartman told witness that perhaps he had better go up to Mr. McNeill's and Mr. Cornue's and see if Mrs. Egbertson was there." What he did swear to was, "Charlie got through breakfast before Mrs. Hartman and me, and went out doors and soon returned and asked me 'where that piece of a rag came from out by the well,' and I said 'I drew it up by of the well,' and he said, 'may be she is in the well, I will go and see.' He went out and in a few minutes came in and said 'she was in there sure enough.'"
The reporter says, "It was perhaps a little unfortunate that nearly all of the jury were neighbors of deceased and may have refrained from asking questions," etc. He comments on the foreman of the jury being a witness, passing on his own testimony. If a person is called by the Coroner to be sworn, as a witness, I suppose he would not well refuse to be sworn, and the evidence of the juror does not appear to be material on the question to be decided by the jury. Some claim that the mixed audience was too much for the reporter and in the effort to attend to two things at the same time one must be neglected, and it is evident where the neglect came, but he will do better next time.
ONE WHO WAS PRESENT.
◘ The Wilson tariff bill with the income tax rider passed the House of Representatives last week and is now in the Senate.
◘ The McKinley bill which was to be the cure-all for all our financial woes is still in full force and operation and still the country is not prosperous. The "robber tariff" it was claimed, would furnish sufficient revenue for the needs of our country, but it seems to have failed even in this. It has been a success as a producer of panic only.
◘ The Republican papers all over the land have done their best to prevent the sale of the bonds soon to be put on the market by Secretary Carlisle. They have been preaching and praying for a financial panic in the hope that it would make votes for their party. The trust companies and banks have subscribed for the bonds in spite of the opposition of Republican editors.
◘ The Johnstown (Pa.,) Herald publishes the following interview with ex-Gov. Beaver (Rep): "To be candid I don't believe this depression in business is the result of Democratic policy. This wave of business depression was coming, and it is only the good fortune of the Republicans that the Democrats got in power in time to be caught by it. It is one of those periodical depressions that regularly effect [sic] the country and nothing could have averted it. I don't believe the Democrats or their policy have anything to do with it. It would have come anyhow, and if Harrison had been elected it might have been worse."
◘ The Court of Appeals has vindicated Governor Flower's opinion as to the unconstitutionality of the statute allowing women to vote for school commissioners. In the memorandum filed with this measure in April, 1892, the governor says: "I am not entirely convinced that the measure is constitutional, but the weight of legal authority seems to sustain its constitutionality, and I have, therefore, allowed the bill to become a law." This opinion is reinforced by the recent decision of the court in the Gage case, which arose in the town of Manlius, Onondaga county. The only resort for relief of female suffragists, as the court indicates, the Constitutional convention.— Kingston Argus.
◘ George W. Childs, proprietor of the Public Ledger, died at his home in Philadelphia last Saturday morning from the effects of a stroke of paralysis sustained on January 18. Mr. Childs was born in Baltimore, Md., May 12, 1829. In his earlier years he became a clerk in a book store in the Ledger block in Philadelphia and became thoroughly acquainted with the book trade. Later he published Dr. Kane's Arctic Exploration and the sale of these books was enormous. After publishing several other books from all of which he made large profits, he purchased the Public Ledger which was losing $150,000 per year for its owners. Under his business management the paper soon began to pay and for some years past has been one of the best paying newspaper properties in the country. Mr. Childs was a very charitable man and has given away thousands to public as well as private charities. Not Philadelphia alone, but the whole country mourns his death.
(From our Regular Correspondent.)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5, 1894.—Senator Voorhees, by virtue of his position as chairman of the Senate committee on Finance, has taken command of the Wilson tariff bill, which confounded its enemies by the large majority it received in the House last week. That no time will be wasted by the committee in reporting the bill to the Senate is made plain by these words from Mr. Voorhees: "We realize that what the country needs is repose, and believing that the passage of the bill will be in the interest of the country at large and will be soon followed by a revival of business activity, we shall do all in our power to have the bill disposed of at the earliest moment possible." Senator Jones, of Arkansas, is chairman of the subcommittee of the Finance committee that will have immediate charge of the tariff bill. He thinks the bill can be reported inside of three weeks. There is one very noticeable feature about tariff discussions here just know—the know-it-alls have ceased prophesying that the bill will be torn to pieces in the Senate. Another thing that is exciting comment is the strength of the income tax in the Senate.
The House discussion of the Hawaiian question, which will end to-morrow with the adoption of a resolution satisfactory to the democrats, brushed away a great many cobwebs and brought the question down to a common sense basis, to say nothing of having brought about the complete squelching of the clown of the House, Boutelle, of Maine.
The bond issue is now an accomplished fact, and the $68,000,000 which will be paid for them will be in the Treasury as soon as the bonds can be signed and delivered at the designated depositories. The opposition in Congress is quieted down so far as may be judged by outward appearances, although some of the populists are still bitter in their denunciations.
Chairman Wilson, of the House Ways and Means committee, is also chairman of the executive committee of the National Association of democratic clubs, members of which have been notified to attend a special meeting in this city on the eighteenth of this month. While it is not so stated in the call, the principal object of this meeting is to help to push the Wilson tariff bill through the Senate, by means of the organization of the association of clubs. In other words, the democratic clubs of the country will be asked to let the democratic Senators know that the Wilson bill meets their approval and should be passed without delay other than that which is absolutely necessary. It is hoped that the Finance committee will have reported the bill to the Senate by the time the club committee meets.
The House committee on rivers and harbors will grant no more hearings, as the time of the members will be fully taken up in preparing the bill. The bill will probably carry a smaller appropriation than for a long time, and few improvements except those already under way will be provided for.
The House committee on banking and currency decided by a vote of nine to eight not to report a bill for the repeal of the tax on state bank currency. That is supposed to end the matter for this session so far as this committee is concerned, but members of the House who favor the repeal of the tax may try to get it before the House as an amendment to some other measure.
As a specimen of the dodges that are being resorted to by those who are opposed to the government's printing its own postage stamps, that of bringing a committee here with a petition from the New York plate printers, setting forth the distress that would fall upon them should the government take this work away from them, is about the most transparent yet resorted to. The lowest private bidder for the work is a Philadelphia concern. So that the New York company is bound to lose the work, whether it comes to Washington, where it really belongs, or not.
The committee on coinage has favorably reported to the House Mr. Bland's bill for the coinage of the seigniorage in the Treasury and the issuing of silver certificates against it. Mr. Bland will endeavor to get the bill acted upon at once. It is understood that Secretary Carlisle favors the bill, and the general impression is that it will pass. The Sundry Civil Appropriation bill has been reported to the House. It carries a total of $32,291,382, which is $9,409,928, less than the same bill carried at the last session of Congress.
President Cleveland is being very much misrepresented concerning the nomination of Mr. Peckham to the vacancy in the Supreme Court. Having nominated the man he thinks fitted for the position, he, of course, would like to see him confirmed, but he has done absolutely nothing to influence the vote of any Senator, and has no intention of doing anything. His duty ended with making the nomination. It is a prerogative of the Senate to confirm or to reject.
HERE AND THERE.
Town meeting February 20th.
Lent commenced on Wednesday.
Easter Sunday comes on March 25th.
See Dr. McClellan's advertisement in another column.
F. A. Bliss has been appointed postmaster at Summer Hill.
The large ice-houses at Cuyler and Sheds Corners on the E., C. & N. are being filled with Little York ice.
Pathmasters should remember that their warrants, duly sworn to, must be returned before town meeting to the commissioner of highways or the town clerk.
There will be a Conundrum social at Fred Jennings, Hunt's Corners, on Thursday evening, February 15. All are cordially invited.—Marathon Independent.
W. S. Freer will give a Washington's Birthday party at his hall in Higginsville on Friday evening, February 23. Music by Daniels orchestra. Bill $1.25. Gentlemen are requested to bring ladies.
We understand that Messrs. Case & Bristol of Athens, Pa., have leased the store now occupied by Watkins Bros., and that they will open the same with a stock of dry goods about April 1st, next.
Messrs. J. D. Schermerhorn, Dewitt Messenger, L. A. Arnold and Henry Bliss caught twenty-eight fine pickerel and perch through the ice on Goodell lake last Saturday. The lake is located on the road from Homer to Tully.
The anti-license people met in Firemen's hall, last Saturday evening, and nominated John H. Phelps for Commissioner of Excise. Fifty-seven citizens signed a certificate of organization of the party which brings them within the law requiring fifty signers in order to insure the furnishing of the ballot.
Physicians say that they have traced cases of diphtheria in children to use of mouldy apples. Apples stored in cellars or elsewhere are invariably covered with mould or mildew—often invisible but just as real. This mould consists mostly of microscopic plants, including numerous species of fungi, all of which are more or less poisonous, and the apples should always be thoroughly wiped with a cloth, or pared, before being eaten.
Tuesday morning, Geo. H. White of Hubbard-st., swore out a warrant before justice Bull for the arrest of his 12 year-old son, Arthur G. White, for stealing five dollars. Chief Sager found the lad at the house of a friend on Park-st. At the examination the father said he was unable to control his son, that he was continually getting into trouble and this is not his first theft. The boy was sentenced to the Rochester reformatory, where Chief Sager took him Wednesday.