Thursday, May 18, 2017


Part of the Schermerhorn block is shown in this 1897 advertisement.
Cortland Evening Standard, Wednesday, March 14, 1894.



It Started in the Carpet Room of Mager & Co.—Three Ladies Escape Through Back Windows.
   At 8:20 o'clock this morning as Mr. William Fenner, a Normal student, was on his way to school, while passing the Schermerhorn building on Main-st., he looked up the stairway and discovered flames upon the left side of the hallway on the second floor. At about the same time Mr. M. L. Decker, who was passing, saw smoke issuing from over the transom of the doors at the foot of the stairway. He rushed up the stairs and saw flames coming through the door on the left side of the hall which opens into the carpet, tapestry and cloak rooms of G. J. Mager & Co. Both gentlemen shouted "fire," and the cry was taken up on the streets. Mr. Decker rushed across to Fireman's hall, where he found Janitor F. A. Bickford, who rung the bell from box 333. A general alarm was afterwards given.
   Mr. Decker then hurried back and up the stairway, but the hall was then filled with smoke and it was impossible to get in.
   A STANDARD reporter was on hand before the bell struck and watched the entire fire and efforts made to extinguish it.
   The Orris Hose Co. were the first to get out their cart and were attached to the hydrant on the corner of Main and Railroad sts., when the Emeralds came up Railroad-st. and attached to the same hydrant. The Orris boys went to the rear of the building, via Court-st. The Hooks arrived on the scene and a ladder was immediately raised on the front of the building to the second floor. Water was turned on at the hydrant referred to so that both companies got water at the same time. The Orris stream was poured into the rear, while the Emerald stream was doing good work in fighting the fire in the carpet department of Mager & Co. The fire had gained such headway that it was impossible then to fight it in the hall.
   The Water Witch were the third company on the scene. They attached to the hydrant on the corner of Main and Court-st., and soon had a stream of water up the stairway. The Hitchcocks pulled in later, owing to the distance they had to come, but did gallant work at the rear.
   The Protective Police were on hand and with the assistance of a dray from Hitchcock's, Beard & Peck's wagon, Cartman Watkins and his dray and other vehicles which were pressed into service, the greater part of the stock of Bingham & Miller and that on the first floor of Mager & Co.'s store was removed to the stores across the street and to the old Democrat building on West Court-st. Glann & Clark locked their doors and did not remove any of their goods. A few burning rolls of carpet were removed from the second floor of Mager & Co.'s carpet department, but the greater part of their stock of elegant carpets, tapestry and cloaks had to be left to the mercy of the flames, smoke and water.
   The first that Mrs. H. H. Pomeroy, who occupies the south-east corner of the building as a dressmaking and millinery work shop, knew of the fire was when a dense cloud of black smoke poured into her shop before the alarm was given. Mrs. Pomeroy and two of her assistants, Misses Ella and Mary Woods, made an effort to go down the back stairway, but the smoke was so dense that they were nearly suffocated and had to give up this mode of exit. One of the young ladies thought of the outside door opening from the shop into the alleyway. There was no means of getting to terra firma through this door except to jump. The young ladies were frightened and did not wait for a ladder, but jumped. Miss Mary in falling struck her face and side upon a dry-goods box, sustaining quite painful bruises. The two young ladies were taken into Brown's pharmacy, where they were cared for. They then went to their home. Mrs. Pomeroy remained in her shop, nearly suffocated and the small excited crowd at the rear entreated her to remain a short time longer for a ladder. Mr. George Lovell, who is employed at the European Hotel on Court-st. succeeded in finding a short ladder. This was placed upon a pile of dry-goods boxes and Mrs. Pomeroy almost fainting from fright and suffocation came down the ladder.
   About twenty minutes after the first alarm Chief Peck ordered the steamer out. It was stationed at the old well hydrant on the south side of Court-st. near Main. The two streams, which were forced by the engine, were thrown into the rear of the burning structure. A telephone message was received at about the same time from Homer kindly offering assistance but, as there were already six streams deluging the building, Chief Peck thanked them for their offer but stated that the Cortland fire department could handle it. They did handle it and in an hour from the time of the first stroke of the bell every spark of fire was extinguished.
   The origin of the fire is an unraveled mystery and it becomes more and more tangled as investigations proceed. It is conceded by the location of the fire when discovered that it started either in the hall at the left and head of the stairs or in the carpet department of Mager & Co. At about the same time that the alarm was rung one of Mr. Mager's clerks went up stairs to open the carpet room. The front room was filled with such dense smoke that an entrance could not be made to it. It is the opinion of the firm that the fire caught in the hall and, there being only doors with glass panels to keep it from going into the carpet department, the heat soon broke the glass and it was only a question of a few moments before the goods were on fire. At 8 o'clock, twenty minutes before the fire was discovered Misses Mame Farrel, Ella and Mary Woods went up the front stairway, past the place in the hall where the fire first appeared. They smelled no smoke and saw no fire. At 8:10 o'clock Miss Farrel went down the front stairway and did not see any fire or smell any smoke. Ten minutes later all of that side of the hallway and part of the carpet room was a mass of flames.
   Two tramps were expelled from the Wallace building early this morning and some attempt has been made to connect them with the fire, but there seems to be nothing definite in this.
   It is next to an impossibility to give any correct estimate of the loss. The interior of the building is badly damaged, especially the second and third floors. The damage by fire and water to the stock of G. J. Mager & Co., will probably exceed $10,000. This is covered by $25,000 insurance placed with every agent in town. Bingham & Miller claim a loss of from $2,500 to $3,000, covered by insurance. Glann & Clark estimate their loss at $2,500; Mrs. Pomeroy at $1,200, fully covered. E. E. Mellon's law books and office furniture and supplies, valued at $1,200 are damaged by smoke and water about $500. This also is covered by insurance. The smoke somewhat damaged Pharmacist Brown's stock on the third floor. John L. Lewis lodge rooms were badly damaged by fire and smoke. The rooms are occupied by the Canton, J. L. Lewis lodge, Daughters of Rebekah, The Encampment, K. of S. F. & I., and the O. U. A. M, All their regalias, furniture, crash, and in fact everything were more or less damaged by smoke and water. A hole was cut through the floor, the crash [linen fabric] was ripped up and their elegantly furnished rooms are a complete wreck.
   Upon July 27, 1893, this same building was on fire.

Labouchere's Amendment to That Effect Passed by the Commons.
   LONDON, March 14—In the house of commons Mr. Labouchere moved an amendment to the queen's speech abolishing the power enjoyed by persons not elected to parliament—referring, of course, to members of the house of lords—to prevent bills from being submitted to her majesty, and he expressed the hope that, if necessary, her majesty, with the advice of the ministers, would use her power to secure the passage of this much needed reform.
   The division on Mr. Labouchere's amendment was then taken and the cheering which followed the announcement of the result lasted fully a minute.
   Some of the members acted in the most frantic manner. The waving of handkerchiefs and hats continued until the deputy speaker left the chair for a short interval.
   The division on Mr. Labouchere's amendment, looking to the abolition of the house of lords, occurred earlier than was expected, and many of the Conservatives were absent. The majority was composed of 73 McCarthyites and Parnellites, the remainder being Radicals.
   When the division paper was handed to Mr. Labouchere a tremendous cheer broke from the Irish and radical benches and the members standing below the gangway. Mr. Tanner was excitedly cheering and waving his handkerchief, while the government tellers looked pale, especially Chief Whip Ellis. All the ministers looked downcast, while Mr. Balfour smiled ironically.
   Mr. Kenny moved that amnesty be granted to prisoners who have been convicted in Ireland for treason. The amendment was rejected by a vote of 286 to 96.
   Mr. Balfour asked what the intentions of the government were in view of the vote on Mr. Labouchere's amendment to abolish the house of lords. He said that for the first time in the memory of the house an amendment to the address had been carried against the government.
   "Did it propose," he asked, "to treat the resolution with contempt, reverse it, resign or advise her majesty to dissolve parliament?" [Opposition cheers.]
   Mr. Balfour said he trusted that the government would be in a position to announce their intention today.
   Sir William Harcourt then agreed to the motion to adjourn.
   The prospect of the resignation of the cabinet is a general topic in the lobbies of the house of commons.
   It is expected that the cabinet will meet today to discuss this phase of the question.

Citizens Protest Against Granting a Certificate of Election.
   TROY, N. Y., March 14.—A large crowd gathered at the City hall, the attraction being the swearing in of Mayor-elect Molloy and the retirement of Mayor Whelan.
   The common council met and a certificate of election was issued to Mr. Molloy signed by the 14 Murphy aldermen, including Alderman Dunlop of the Thirteenth ward.
   The six Republican and five Whelan aldermen refused to sign the election certificate.
   A petition was presented by Alderman Smith from the citizens of the Thirteenth ward protesting against the granting of a certificate of election to Molloy on the ground of gross election frauds.
   The petition was laid on the table by the Murphy men.
   A contest is now on which is likely to become exciting and interesting to those interested in Trojan politics.

Women's Suffrage Convention.
   ALBANY, March 14.—At the session of the Women's Suffrage convention fully 2,000 people filled the assembly chamber floor and galleries. The speakers were Rev. Dr. Ecob, Mrs. Lillie Devereaux Blake of New York and Miss Susan B. Anthony. Assemblyman Ainsworth, who was booked to appear, did not speak.

The Village Election.
   The village election yesterday was a notable Republican success. The entire Republican ticket was elected, almost all the candidates by largely increased pluralities over 1893, notwithstanding that personal and ward disaffections and numerous stay-at-homes united to cut down the Republican vote. The pluralities for 1893 and 1894 are as follows:

   Democrats and Prohibitionists were confident and boastful that at least the Republican nominees for village president and trustee of the Fourth ward would be beaten, and the result was a large-sized surprise to them. Rarely has harder work been done against a Republican village ticket, or met by harder work in its support. The victory is therefore peculiarly gratifying, and will be no small discouragement to future Democratic raids and Republican bolting. Congratulations to all the successful candidates, and especially to President Tisdale, Trustee Doubleday and Union Free School Commissioner Brown who stood the brunt of the attack by the opposition!
   The Republican village committee, of which Mr. Enos E. Mellon is chairman and Mr. Dorr C. Smith secretary, have reason to be specially congratulated over the result of yesterday. It was only accomplished by a vast amount of hard work, in which every member of the committee had a share and in which its officers outdid themselves, They had also a backing of active and energetic workers, especially in the First and Fourth wards, whose services demand generous recognition.
That the Wilson bill in its present shape "comes near being a gross sectional steal" is the emphatic opinion of the friendly Springfield Republican. But was there ever a tariff for revenue only which was not framed by the South for the South in the history of our government? The tariff of 1846, which the editors of the Republican of that day so vigorously denounced, was stigmatized as a blow by the Southern slaveholders at free Northern labor.—Boston Journal.
It takes a strong stomach to stand the present Democratic congress. More Democrats than are willing to own it feel as Mr. W. O Blaney expressed himself at the recent New England Reform dinner. He said: "I am a Democrat. How long I can continue to stay so it is hard for me to tell. Never before in the history of the country has any party had such an opportunity to strengthen itself with the people; never before has any party made such stupendous blunders."
It is a fact which is not comprehended by most Americans that the amount of duties collected on foreign imports is actually less per capita in the United States than it is in so called "free trade" Great Britain. Moreover, the British tariff, measured by the method in vogue among our American "reformers," is twice as high as the "Chinese wall" McKinley bill.
The National Republican League committee knew what it was about when it described the present Democratic regime as a "tariff-tinkering, bond-issuing, debt increasing, treasury depleting, business-paralyzing, wage-reducing, Queen-restoring and un-American administration."
What a quarreling time of it the Knights of Labor have! The renowned cats of Kilkenny clawed each other all to pieces up to their tails, and the tails are supposed to be fighting still. Are the Knights of Labor, a few years ago esteemed such a strong and noble order, going to fight till only the tail ends of the different factions are left, and even then are these going to keep on with the scrimmage?

Gleanings of News From Our Twin Village.
   Regents' examinations in the following subjects will be held at the academy to-morrow: Greek Composition, U. S. History, Caesar, Physics, English History and Book-keeping.
   J. K. Emmet in "Frits in a Mad House " at Keator opera house this evening.
   The blustering storm and light fall of snow which visited this village last evening and still prevails effectually recalled the spring garments which have been gradually increasing in numbers during the past fortnight.
   The charter election held in this village yesterday afternoon, resulted in the election of the following candidates to office: Mr. E. J. Bockes, for president of the board of trustees, received 114 votes; Mr. Chas. H. Danes, for trustee, received 117 votes: Mr. Chas. C. Wakefield, for trustee, received 116 votes; William J. Watson, for trustee to fill vacancy, received 119 votes; Mr. E. W. Hyatt, for clerk, received 118 votes; Mr. Chas. S. Pomeroy, for treasurer, received 118 votes; Mr. John A. Flagg, for collector, received 110 votes. The result of the vote upon the resolutions was as follows: Resolution No. 1, for lights —yes, 65; no, 31; Resolution No. 2, for streets—yes, 92: no, 10; Resolution No. 3, for water tax—yes, 88; no, 9; Resolution No. 4, for walks—yes, 91; no, 8; Resolution No. 5, for contingent expenses—yes, 85; no, 28; Resolution No. 6, for fire department and hose—yes, 82; no, 20; Resolution No. 7, for stone crusher—no, 70; yes, 32. The election was a very quiet one there being but little interest shown by the voters as to the result with the exception of a few who were desirous of seeing what effect a stone crusher would have upon the streets of the village. They were doomed to disappointment, however, for the majority decided in the negative. It was the only resolution rejected.

Eligible for Appointment to Service in the Cortland Postoffice.
   The papers of the civil service examination held on Feb. 10, 1894, have been marked by the central board of examiners and the reports of the examination have been forwarded to the secretary of the local board of examiners. The following is a list of the successful candidates:
   For Clerk—Emily C. Ormsby, Frances A. Ready, Augustine Crawley, John L. Conrad, Leonard Wightman, Chas. F. McEvoy, Eugene B. Wood, Frank A. Cole.
   For Carrier—Louis E. Edgcomb, John W. Paige, Wilbur L. Wingate, Eugene Woodworth.
   These, having passed the examination above the required average, are eligible for appointment.
   In addition to the above the following having previously passed the examinations constitute the eligible list for the postoffice at Cortland, N. Y.:
   Clerk—George B. Freer, Thomas H. Clancy.
   Carrier—E. H. Toomey, Patrick Conway, Vincent M. Couch, John Drake, DeWitt Howard, Wm. H. Beach, Geo. S. Edwards, Luke J. McEvoy, Wm. E. Martin.
   When there is a vacancy to be filled, the board of examiners certifies to the postmaster from the proper eligible register the names of three persons graded highest of the sex called for, and from the three a selection must he made. Only three certifications of a name are allowed. No prediction will be made of the time or probability of an appointment. Each applicant by his examination decides his own grade and hence his own chances. Each name remains eligible on the register one year unless the person is sooner appointed. The time of examination is not considered in making certifications, as the highest in grade on the register must be certified first, although they may not have been the first examined.

   —"The Hustler" appears at the Opera House to-morrow night.
   —The members of Canton Cortland, No. 27, will hold a special meeting in the parlors of the C. A. A. club house at 13 Tompkins-st. at 7:30 o'clock, sharp, to-night.
   —A private dancing party will be given this evening in Empire hall. The committee are Messrs. L. J. Dudley and Stephen Alexander. The music will be furnished by McDermott's orchestra.
   —The ladies of the Foreign Missionary society of the First M. E. church hold a meeting this afternoon at the home of Dr. F. W. Higgins on Lincoln-ave. Tea will be served at 6 o'clock and the gentlemen are invited.
   —Do not forget the social and maple sugar festival given by the Y. P. S. C. E. of the First Baptist church to-night. Come and listen to the literary and musical program which will be rendered, and partake of new warm sugar. Admission free, sugar ten cents.
   —It has been found necessary to withdraw the books of what is known as the Coupon library from the list of books which The STANDARD is furnishing upon the coupon plan. The Arm Chair library, the Standard library and the Cassell library are, however, still furnished. Subscribers will take note of this and not send in any more orders for books from the Coupon library.
   —Mr. Fred A. Parker yesterday afternoon sold his interest in the bakery of Chaffee & Parker on Court-st. to Mr. Samuel Doud of McGrawville. Possession was taken Monday, but the transfer was not made till yesterday afternoon. Mr. Doud is the father-in-law of Mr. Chaffee and for the past two years, having retired from business, has lived at McGrawville. The firm will do business under the name of Doud & Chaffee.

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