Sunday, May 21, 2017


Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, March 20, 1894.

Superintendent Brockway Found Guilty of "Cruel, Brutal, Excessive, Degrading and Unusual Punishment of the Inmates"—The Board of Managers Condemned and a Recommendation to Abolish Them.
   ALBANY, March 20.—The state board of charities handed in its report on the Elmira reformatory investigation and it is against the board of managers. After detailing at length the findings in the evidence the investigating committee concludes as follows:
   First—That the charges and the allegations against the general superintendent, Z. R. Brockway, of "cruel, brutal, excessive, degrading and unusual punishment of the inmates" are proven and most amply sustained by the evidence, and that he is guilty of the same.
   That the general superintendent in punishing convicts by blows across the face by the paddle, and the handle thereof, not because of any offense committed by them, but because they happen to turn the heads, often for the purpose of pleading for mercy, is guilty of needless cruelty and gross inhumanity.
   That the general superintendent permitted and encouraged officers and keepers to strike, kick, beat and otherwise practice brutality upon the inmates, when in his presence in the bathroom, and that, therefore, said officers and keepers were encouraged to exercise brutality upon the inmates elsewhere and when not in his presence. We, therefore, find the general superintendent guilty of the charge of "permitting, countenancing and encouraging brutality on the part of the officers and the keepers."
   Second—That corporal punishment, as practiced in the reformatory, be prohibited by law.
   Third—That the general medical supervision of the reformatory is inadequately provided for, and that the appointment as physician of a relative of a member of the board of managers should not be tolerated.
   Fourth—That the law governing transfers of convicts from the reformatory to state prisons should be amended so as to prevent a recurrence of the hardship and injustice proven to have existed in the management of the reformatory in this respect.
   Fifth—That the laws authorizing the rearrest of paroled inmates of the reformatory should be amended so as to prevent the reincarceration of such prisoners except upon proper judicial inquiry.
   Sixth—That the system of employing convicts as officers, keepers and monitors, if continued in the reformatory, should be amended so as to prevent the recurrence of such abuses as are shown to have grown up under the present method.
   Seventh—The present board of managers of the reformatory, which is composed of but five members, a number so small that it admits of no divided responsibility, should have known of the existence of the facts, as disclosed by this investigation, and the evidence shows that they knew little or nothing about them. They were requested by the governor, at the beginning of this inquiry, to suspend the general superintendent pending the same, which they did under protest. When the prosecution had closed their side of the case and the testimony for the managers was only half submitted, they proceeded to reinstate him by a formal vote and resolution, declaring their continued and enduring confidence in him. Thus they have assumed direct responsibility for his cruelties and inhumanities for which they were before only morally liable. At the same time they have apparently gone out of their way to offer a wanton insult to the executive.
   Eighth—That the maximum number of convicts to be confined in the reformatory should not exceed 1,000.
   Adopting these conclusions the state board recommends as follows:
   1. The appointment of one or more resident chaplains to the reformatory, whose duty it shall be to perform religious services under such regulations as the board of managers shall prescribe, to attend to the spiritual wants of the inmates and generally to perform such other duties, consistent with their profession and calling, as will promote the contentment, welfare and morality of the inmates.
   2. That an experienced and properly qualified physician should be required to reside in the reformatory.
   3. That the mangers and general superintendent be prohibiting to any office in the reformatory any person who is related to either of them by consanguinity or affinity within the third degree.
   4. That the parole system in vogue at the reformatory be retained, but with such amendment of the law as will permit the fact of alleged violation of the conditions of parole to be judicially determined by a court of record, and that the return to the reformatory shall be in the discretion of the court.
   5. That no convict shall be transferred from the reformatory to a state prison until he shall have had a hearing before a court of record, which said court shall have full power and discretion to determine whether or not such convict shall be so transferred.
   6. That the trial court shall determine and fix in the sentence the maximum term for which the prisoner may be imprisoned in the reformatory, or in the reformatory and state prison if subsequently transferred thereto, the prisoner retaining the privilege of earning his freedom in a less period, as under the present system. The trial court to have full discretion to commit to the reformatory or to state prison as shall seem most expedient.
   7. That the law prohibiting its use in state prisons should be so amended as to extend to and include all state reformatories; or that if the use of corporal punishment is to be continued in state male reformatories it shall only be administered upon the judgment of the majority of the board of managers, sitting as a court, after opportunity to the accused to be heard in his defense and to be confronted with his accusers. That said judgment shall determine the character of the punishment to be administered; and if by paddling the number of blows shall be stated; that the punishment shall be administered by a subordinate officer of the institution designated for that purpose by the board of managers only and who shall not be the general superintendent and that at least two members of the hoard shall be present to witness each case of punishment. That the board of managers shall record in a book kept for that purpose a full and clear statement of their disposition of each case of corporal punishment brought before them. That the judgments of punishment of the board of managers be published to the inmates in general orders by the adjutant of the reformatory regiment, or in some other general and suitable manner before the punishment is inflicted.
   It is further recommended that the physical condition of each inmate under charges which may result in his corporal punishment shall be ascertained by the physician and reported to the board of managers sitting as a court before judgment of corporal punishment is pronounced against him, and that the said physician shall be present at the time the punishment is inflicted. That at the time of punishment, if by paddling, the person of the prisoner be so protected by a stout leather jacket that no unnecessary injury may he done him; that he be properly secured and not hoisted in any manner from the ground.
   8. The board earnestly renews the recommendations heretofore repeatedly made in its annual reports to the legislature, and in the reports of its standing committee on reformatories against the further enlargement on any pretext whatever of the accommodations of the state reformatory at Elmira and as earnestly recommends the immediate establishment and organization of another reformatory for men, to be located in the eastern part of the state, where it will be convenient of access from the metropolitan district of New York and Brooklyn.
   9. The government of the state reformatory has been confided to a board of five managers, a number so small as to impose special individual obligations upon them and quasi-executive functions.
   After reviewing the work of the special committee in its inquiry into the affairs of the state board of managers, the report continues as follows:
   The board holds the managers primarily and morally responsible for the various grave abuses found to exist within the reformatory and strongly recommends their immediate removal. Failure to remove the managers would impair the future usefulness of the reformatory, and, construed as a condonation of  negligence and maladministration, might be expected to produce far reaching and unfortunate results throughout the state.
   10. While the investigation by the special committee has clearly proved that the general superintendent of the state reformatory has been guilty of numerous acts of injustice, inhumanity and cruelty to the inmates of the institution confided by the board of managers to his absolute control, and that his tendency toward such injustice, inhumanity and cruelty is continually increasing, yet the state board considering that the general superintendent is the appointee of the board of managers and responsible only to them, abstains from making any special recommendation in his case.
   11. The reformatory should be preserved as such under its present state supervision, and should not become part of the prison system of the state. It should stand with the Eastern reformatory, now projected, and the three reformatories for women already established intermediate between the juvenile reformatories on one hand and the state prisons on the other.
   To transform the reformatories into state prisons would be a public misfortune.
   The object of the state board in making the foregoing recommendations is to preserve the state reformatory as such and to destroy the abuses which have grown up within it.
   The state board is of the opinion that these abuses are of a comparatively recent origin in the history of the institution.

Robert Ross.

Two Men Testify to Having Seen the Prisoner Struggling With the Murdered
Man, and One Claims to Have Seen the Fatal Shot Fired—Others Saw the Shooting But Could Not Identify the Man.
   TROY, N. Y., March 20.—The Robert Ross murder inquest was full of sensations. McGough was identified by two witnesses as the man who shot Ross.
   Edward Copperly had voted in the fatal district. He had heard somebody say while at the polling place, "Here comes the repeaters." Two of them voted and then he saw Cleary fighting at the door with Hayner. Shea helped him and pulled out a revolver, saying: "I use this, too."
   "I saw Robert Ross," he continued, "trying to knock a revolver out of a man's hand. That man was the prisoner McGough. Ross had neither a club or pistol in his hand. They went over the embankment together. Then I saw McGough fire at Ross. I picked up a club from the place where they were first scuffling. I went back to telephone for the ambulance, believing that Ross was shot."
   Joseph Shaw, an employe of General Joseph B. Carr, was a witness of the tragedy. He said: "I saw Shea, McGough, Cleary and others start a row with Hayner and a general fight occurred. Shea struck Hayner twice full in the face. I heard several shots fired. When the crowd cleared I saw McGough in the open running away and Ross lying on the ground bleeding from a wound in the head."
   This second testimony to the effect that McGough fired the fatal shot, caused excitement in the courtroom.
   "I saw a revolver." witness continued, "in the hands of McGough. I did not see Shea with a revolver and I did not see him again after I saw him hit Hayner."
   The crossexamination failed to shake, the witness' testimony on any point.
   Emil Klagers was at the polling place when the trouble began. He testified as to the preliminary fight the same as the other witnesses. Relating the murder, he saw nothing until he found Robert Ross lying in the gully and Boland and a man struggling. Boland had a revolver and fired. A lot of men were running away.
   "You did not see Shea fire?"
   "No; I only saw Boland fire. At the time Mr. Ross was sitting on the ground, evidently wounded."
   Harmon Simmons first saw Robert Ross after he had fallen on the top of the embankment. He was not wounded. "Just then," witness continued, "a man rushed by me from behind and shot Mr. Ross. He only fired one shot. I only saw his back. I turned my attention to helping Ross. I could not identify the man who fired the shot."
   Witness saw Boland with a revolver and saw Thomas Keefe with a brick. Boland said: "Put down that brick or I will shoot you."
   William Cashman, a Democrat, testified. "I was at the massmeeting and heard Sam Morris say, 'Go to the polls with sticks in your pockets and get your rights. It is the only way you can.' Rev. Mr. Sweitzer also told them to go to the polls prepared to fight for their rights. John Ross also advocated the same course."
   "Where do you work?"
   "I worked at Bussey McLeod's foundry until after the fall election."
   "Why did you leave?"
   "My boss said I was a repeater and I told him he was a liar."
   "You are not a repeater?"
   "No, not on your life," said the witness in an injured voice.
   "You said that the people at these meetings were told to protect their rights. Who were they to protect themselves from?"
   "Why, I suppose they meant Mr. Shea and Mr. McGough and other gentlemen in the ward."
   "Why should anybody object to such gentlemen as Mr. Shea and Mr. McGough?" asked the district attorney with sarcastic emphasis.
   "I don't know why, but they didn't protest against me," replied the witness amidst loud laughter of the spectators.
   Witness had been a poll clerk. He had known Shea for nine years and had lived in the house with him. He also knew W. McGough and has known him for a long time.
   This closed the testimony for the day and a recess was taken until morning.

Edison working on Kinetoscope.
The Kinetoscope.
   Edison's latest wonder is the kinetoscope, a device which faithfully records and reproduces all the motions of an object—doing for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear. In inventing it, Edison found it necessary to secure a device for taking as many pictures in a second as the retina of the eye takes, else there would be a jerky motion as the eye followed from one picture to another. His experiments showed that the average human retina was capable of taking 45 or 46 photographs in a second and communicating them to the brain. This number would record every motion and every change of facial expression. The problem, therefore, was to get a machine which would take 46 pictures a second, giving ample time for each exposure. Edison found that with proper conditions an exposure of one-sixtieth of a second yielded a perfect photograph. He then figured out that the time between exposures was limited to one-185th of a second, during which the gelatin plate of the photographic apparatus must move along with great rapidity. The photographic machine, or the kinetograph, was the difficult part of the invention. Having secured the photographs, it was necessary simply to provide a mechanical machine for exhibiting the pictures.
   Thus far Mr. Edison has developed a toy similar to the nickel-in-the-slot phonograph machine, but this is not the object he is aiming at. He proposes to mount the photographs on glass plates and throw the pictures on a screen by means of a magic lantern, A large number of spectators might watch the moving picture. He will combine the phonograph with the kinetoscope, so that while the figures are in visible motion on the curtain, their words may be heard plainly by the audience.
   When these things are all accomplished, as they will be sometime, it will be possible to catch every gesture of Chauncey M. Depew, for instance, delivering an after dinner address, and every inflection of his voice, and to exhibit both to admiring audiences one hundred years hence. It will be possible to see and hear grand opera by stereopticon.
   The invention has been largely a work of sentiment on Edison's part. He does not believe that there is much money in it, but he thinks it will be important in science and history. A great man will never die if his pictures and speeches are saved by the kinetograph and phonograph.

   —The insurance on the Schermerhorn building was paid last night. It nearly covers the loss.
   —Five insurance adjusters were busy nearly all day wrestling with the damaged stock of G. J. Mager & Co.
   —No one should forget the lecture at Normal hall to-morrow evening by Dr. Lewis Swift upon "The Problem of the Heavens."
   —The regular communication of Cortlandville lodge, No 470, F. and A.M., will be held to-night. The third degrees will be conferred.
   —The mothers' meet (west) will be held at the house of Mrs. Frank Kinsman, 13 Park-st., March 22, at 3 P. M. It is desired that there should be a grand rally of old and new members.
   —Secretary Richardson this morning received entries for the athletic contest at the armory March 30, from the following organizations: The Twenty-sixth Separate Co. of Elmira, the Forty-first Separate Co. of Syracuse, the Syracuse Athletic association and the Syracuse Y. M. C. A.
   —The twenty fifth anniversary of the Woman's Foreign Missionary society of the Methodist Episcopal church will be celebrated by the W. F. M. S. of the Homer-ave. M. E. church to-morrow evening at 7:30. An interesting and instructive program has been arranged. Every one invited.
   —Cortland people who delight in squandering large quantities of saliva upon postage stamps will be grieved to learn that the last of the Columbian stamps of the denominations of one and two cents each were closed out this morning. A few Columbian stamps of larger denominations yet remain. The large postal cards are also no longer to be issued and the stock of these at the Cortland office is nearly exhausted.
   —Forty-four members of the Onondaga County Bar association arrived in Cortland from Syracuse at 1:45 this afternoon by a special train of two coaches. They came to attend the funeral of Mr. M. M, Waters. They were met at the station by Attorneys B. A. Benedict, John Courtney, Jr., John W. Suggett, W. C. Crombie and Edwin Duffey of the Cortland County Bar association who escorted them to the funeral.
   —About twenty rifle shooters of this village met at the jewelry store of Mr. W. G. Mead last evening and organized under the head of "Cortland Rifle Club." A range has been located near Cooper Bros. machine shops and a Standard Creedmoor target will soon be erected. Their object is to attain some degree of proficiency in the art of rifle shooting, which can only be acquired by systematic target practice. A list of officers and members will be published later, together with a notice of regular meetings.

Action Taken Upon the Death of M. M. Waters.
   At a meeting of the Cortland County Bar held at the office of the surrogate in Cortland village on the evening of March 17 and called for the purpose of paying respects to the memory of Merton M. Waters, Esq., Hon. J. E. Eggleston was chosen chairman and B. T. Wright, secretary.
   After the organization of the meeting, on motion of A. P. Smith, the chairman was requested to appoint a committee of five on resolutions. The chairman appointed as such committee, Judge A. P. Smith, Hon. O. U. Kellogg, Geo. B. Jones, Esq., I. H. Palmer, Esq., John Courtney Jr., J. Dougherty, L. Bouton, R. Champain, W. D. Tuttle and J. E. Eggleston. All spoke in the highest terms of the learning, ability and achievements of the deceased as a lawyer, of his great worth as a man, and especially of the esteem in which he was held by the bar throughout the state, of the respect entertained for him by the judiciary.
   After the speeches the resolutions which were as follows were unanimously adopted by a rising vote:
   WHEREAS, It has pleased Providence to call from our field of labor, our fellow worker, Merton M. Waters, therefore
   Resolved, That his long and faithful service of over thirty-eight years at the bar and his eminent ability and uniform courtesy make this gathering much more than a pro forma expression of our regret at his departure.
   Resolved, That we who know him best, who have for so many years met him as an associate and an opponent, are best qualified to speak of him as a man and a lawyer.
   Resolved, That, as one of the oldest and most successful members of our bar, he challenges alike our esteem and admiration. Beginning at the lower round of the professional ladder, nearly forty years ago, he has by an energy and industry which should be a stimulant and inspiration to every person entering the profession, arisen to a height alike commanding and enviable. He has illustrated to his acquaintances in the profession that success does not depend so much upon opportunity and surroundings as it does upon a determination to succeed, aided by industry and an intelligent, persistent and determined effort. Mr. Waters illustrates the truth of the saying, that Providence helps those who help themselves. They live longest who live to the best purpose.
   Resolved, That the sympathy of the Cortland Bar is hereby extended to the widow and son and daughters and other relatives of the deceased, and that as an evidence of such sympathy we will attend his funeral in a body.
   Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be presented to the village papers for publication, and also to the Bar association of Onondaga county, of which he was a member, and that the president and secretary of this meeting engross and sign a copy thereof and present to the family of the deceased.
   A. P. SMITH,
   I. H. PALMER,
   On motion of Mr. Dougherty, it was resolved that the bar meet at the surrogate's office on Tuesday at 1:30 P. M. and proceed in a body from there to attend the funeral of the deceased.
   The following persons were, upon motion, appointed a committee on floral offerings, viz., D. C. Smith, T. E. Courtney and George S. Sands.
   On motion, the secretary was instructed to inform the president of the Bar association of Syracuse of the time and place of funeral and express a desire that that association might be largely represented at the funeral.
   The meeting then adjourned till Tuesday at 1:30 P. M.

   The Onondaga County Bar association met in the general term room in Syracuse yesterday afternoon to take action upon the death of M. M. Waters. President W. P. Goodelle spoke in highly eulogistic terms of the place held by Mr. Waters, of his quiet coming to Syracuse twelve years ago and the eminence which he has since gained. He said he was always courteous and always generous, and did not stoop to any tricks of the profession. Every feeling held toward him was of the kindest consideration. Mr. Goodelle expressed some of these feelings in his short remarks and asked for the pleasure of the meeting.
   Harrison Hoyt moved that a committee of five upon a memorial be appointed. This was carried and President Goodelle named Harrison Hoyt, John McLennan, M. E. Driscoll, William M. Ross and Charles H. Peck as that committee. The committee reported the following:
   "Again the bar of Onondaga county is called upon to pay the last tribute of respect to one of its members, who, by a long, arduous and blameless professional career, has earned our best eulogy.
   "Merton M. Waters, born amid humble surroundings, and with little, aside from his natural abilities, an indomitable perseverance and an honest heart, won his way to the front rank in the profession. His zeal and untiring industry, his devotion to the interests of his clients, all too early 'loosed the silver cord and broke the golden bowl,' while he was yet in the zenith of his powers. As a trial lawyer he was keen, skillful and brave, but it was in the appellate courts where he found the keenest enjoyment and highest rewards of his professional life, and it may be truly said that few lawyers in Central New York were listened to with more respect by courts of review than was our deceased brother.
   "Of a generous and forgiving nature he harbored no animosities, no contest so embittered him that his better nature failed to reassert itself at once.
   "To the younger members of the profession he was ever ready to give a patient hearing, and a well considered opinion on any question, asking no reward except the satisfaction he felt in doing a young brother a favor.
   "As a lawyer he abhorred and shunned all tricks, shams and subterfuges and so won the respect of bench and bar.
   "As a citizen he was honest, upright and zealous in all that promoted the best interests of society.
  "To the learned and conscientious lawyer, the upright citizen, the steadfast friend, his associates inscribe upon their records this memorial and point to his life as one to be emulated.
   "To his bereaved family we extend our deepest sympathy.''
   Other members of the association also spoke of Mr. Waters in the most favorable manner.

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