Friday, May 5, 2017


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, March 2, 1894.

The Confessed Murderer Executed at Sing Sing—Details of Some of His Deeds as Related by Himself—Drowned a Young Girl.
   SING SING, N. Y., Feb. 26.— Matthew Johnson, the West Indian negro who murdered Emil Kucklehorn of New York city on December 9, 1892, died in the electric chair at 11:33 A. M. to-day. When he was strapped in the chair he said: "I say good-bye." His only friend, the Rev. Daniel Weisher, replied "Good-bye." Then the doomed man said, "God be with me." A few seconds later he was dead.
   Johnson surprised his guards and Warden Durston by his marvelous coolness. This morning he said to Warden Durston: "I did the deed, and I am willing to go." A week ago he confessed the crime to the Rev. Mr. Weisher.
   Johnson is the only man electrocuted here who has spoken in the death chair, except Carlyle Harris. His voice was firm and even. When Johnson had been placed in the electrical chair, Warden Durston gave a signal and Electrician Davis turned on the current of 1,740 volts. The form in the chair jumped upward, straining at the straps as the current passed through it.
   Dr. John Wilson Gibbs, who acted as official time-keeper, nodded his head at the end of three seconds, and the current was reduced to 400 volts. It was kept at that for forty-five seconds and then shut off entirely. The doctors expressed the opinion that the man was killed by the first shock.
   Johnson admitted a day or two ago that he had committed two other murders for which he was never tried, nor, so far as he knew, even suspected.
   He said that some twelve years ago he was intimate with a married woman named Lizzie Frazer, at Key West, Fla., and on one of his visits to her during the absence of her husband, he wished to get her ten-year old daughter out of the way. He accordingly took her a few yards away from the house to the dock and pushed her into the water. The girl was drowned.
   He left Key West and went to a place on the west coast of Florida called Chokaliska. While there he worked as a charcoal burner. He got into a quarrel over a woman with Samuel Kellogg, another charcoal burner, and killed him. He then came north and never heard of the Florida murders again.
   Johnson said that his father, Jeremiah Johnson, his mother, his three sisters and his two brothers, live in Key West. He wrote a letter to his father yesterday bidding him good-bye and telling him that he had made peace with God and was certain that he would go straight to Heaven.

Cornell Students Cause the Death of a Colored Woman—Many People Suffer from the Effects of Chlorine Gas.
[From the Ithaca Democrat Feb. 22.]
   For nearly a fortnight there has been a more or less friendly or bitter contest between the Freshman and Sophomore classes of Cornell University and the usual students foolishness of forcing milk and vile compounds down one another's throats, has been in progress. Even students quietly riding on street cars have been pulled off, rolled in the snow and forced to drink vile mixtures.
   The Freshman banquet came off on Tuesday evening at the old Masonic Hall, and this was a signal for a general pandemonium, and while the Freshmen banqueted, there was riotous proceedings without, in which eggs and other missiles were freely used.
   The Freshman banquet was about half through when a curious odor pervaded the banquet room, and a strange stupor began to fall upon the banqueting Freshmen. "For some time," says the Cornell Sun, "no one was able to discover its source. The waiters and several of the students were thrown into agony by its noxious effects and were forced to leave the room. Finally it was discovered that the gas was entering the caterer's room through a glass pipe carefully fitted into a hole bored in the floor. Upon immediate investigation it was found that this glass pipe was connected by rubber tubes with jars of poisonous chlorine gas placed in the room below, and it was removed."
   But it was not removed until many students were prostrated, and several had to be carried out. Had the hole been bored into the main room instead of the caterer's room, the most fatal results would have ensued. As it was, Mrs. Jackson, a colored woman was so suffocated with the poisonous gas that she died, and her daughter for a time was thought to be past recovery, and several students were so seriously poisoned that it was at first supposed they could not recover. On Wednesday morning Coroner Brown summoned a jury which viewed the body and the inquest was adjourned for further investigation.
   ITHACA, Feb. 23.—There will be no more "rushing" at Cornell.
   Tuesday night's affair, which resulted in the death of Henrietta Jackson and the serious illness of students Thomas McNeil and W. F. McCulloch, was in all probability the last of the series of college boys-pranks that was rapidly bringing disgrace upon the University.
   The firm stand taken by President Schurman in his statement yesterday awakened the students to a full realization of the disrepute into which pranks are bringing the students, and to-day they voluntarily decided upon a course of action that is commended by the faculty and by the citizens of Ithaca in general, when they decided to put an end to "rushes."
   At a meeting of the students this afternoon arrangements were made for a massmeeting [sic] to be held at noon Monday to draw up resolutions to do away with all future ''rushing.'' There was no dissenting voice, all the students present seeming fully impressed with the seriousness of the situation Tuesday night's escapade was the second within a short time that has ended disastrously and the students are as anxious as the faculty to put a stop to practices that injure the life and health of the victims of what are classed as college jokes.
   All uncertainly as to the perpetrators of the deed is likely to be ended by next Thursday, if not before, as Coroner Brown is understood to have in his possession information of a sufficiently conclusive character to warrant the arrest of at least one student. The name of the student the authorities will not divulge for the present.
   One very important discovery made by Coroner Brown this afternoon and one that promises to lead to the positive identification of at least one of the men who are wanted by the authorities was the discovery that the rubber tubing used in conducting the fatal chlorine gas into the freshmen's dining room was bought of a plumbing firm in this place and that the man who sold it claims to be able to identify on sight the person to whom he sold it.
John Y. McKane.
It is charged that marked ballots were used by the republicans at the charter election held in Syracuse last week, and there is some talk of contesting the result. Boss John Y. McKane of Gravesend has been sentenced to spend six years in Sing Sing for frauds of a similar character. If the republicans of Syracuse have been up to their old tricks, using marked ballots, they should receive the same punishment for their crimes.
Congress seems to be making haste rather moderately. The tariff bill hangs fire and is not likely to pass the Senate for some time to come. The tariff seems to be a local issue after all. In Pennsylvania where coal and iron are kings, the people favor a high tariff on these products, while the great wool growing state of Ohio wants a high tariff on wool. On the other hand the localities that have no coal, iron or wool to sell, favor admitting these articles free. A high tariff does not always keep up prices however. Wool has not been so low in years as it is now under the McKinley high tariff. The coal and iron barons have become rich from the sale of these necessaries and if removing the tariff will benefit the laboring men it should go. But the Senate is causing great injury to the people by its inaction, and it should act promptly.
While the Republican Senate is in the mood of investigating charges of fraud in connection with elections, the DEMOCRAT begs leave to suggest, that an investigation of the frauds committed by the Republicans in the recent charter election held in Syracuse, would be in order. These charges are not made by Democrats alone. The Journal and Standard, two of the leading Republican dailies of Syracuse, charge the supporters of Kline with using money openly and boldly in the purchase of votes, while the Evening Herald, another strong supporter of the Republican candidates, says that the Amos people used cash in corralling floaters with much success.  Here is a loud call for an investigating committee and unlike most of the other cases the proof seems to be ample and easily obtained. Here is a prospect of securing results that would warrant an inspection.
The Democrats of Cortland county have a right to feel proud over the result of the Town elections held last week. While some of the adjoining counties gave gains to the republicans in the board of supervisors, Cortland county held her own and came near doing much better. Freetown elected a republican supervisor by 2 majority and in Harford 9 more votes would have elected John C. Edmunds, the democratic candidate. It is not too much to say that a few stay at-home democrats are responsible for the defeat of Slocum and Edmonds in these two towns. Solon is naturally a democratic town and with the proper effort should and would have elected a democrat for supervisor. If the democrats in these three close towns would work as hard for victory as the republicans in the same towns do to save themselves from defeat, the board of supervisors would be pretty sure to stand 8 to 7 in favor of the democrats every year. We hope our friends in these towns will do better hereafter.
Ex-Governor Russell argues, with great force, that the business distresses from which the country suffers are altogether due, in so far as they are influenced by political action, to existing Republican legislation which the country has condemned, and not to impending legislation intended to carry into effect the people's will. He says: "There has not been a year from the close of the war until 1888 in which tariff reduction was not promised and impending. The war tariff itself was passed with a pledge that it should be reduced when the necessity for a war revenue was over; but never did the anticipation of tariff reduction cause panic or business distress. Not until our revenue fell off and gold was exported, and the gold reserve impaired, and silver purchases enormously increased—all acts directly chargeable to Republican legislation—not until then was confidence destroyed."
The republican Senate has supplied several investigating committees with roving commissions to look for alleged frauds committed by democrats in democratic cities. We have been unable to learn that anyone has asked for any of these investigations, but that makes very little difference with these gentlemen, because they consider that they were elected mainly for the purpose of doing all in their power to injure the democratic party. If they find the slightest irregularity committed by a democratic inspector they will set up a tremendous howl about it, while they over look the gravest crimes committed by republican officials. These tours of the state are pleasant little excursions for the members of the committee and the state pays the bills. More or less eminent republican lawyers are employed and the compensation allowed them is frequently more than they ordinarily earn in private practice through the year. Such unnecessary waste of the people's money should be stopped. These investigating committees have always proved to be a farce.
The Republicans are talking now of nominating Hon. Levi P. Morton for Governor. Levi has a barrel, which is a strong qualification for the average Republican candidate.
The latest Paris bomb-thrower's real name is Emile Henry, and he is thought to be one of an Anarchist gang which plotted in London to terrorize Paris.

   There is no danger of an ice famine.
   The Cortland Hospital is in need of more towels.
   Good apples bring high prices in this market.
   The intermediate department of the Normal has a new piano.
   The Celtic Daughters have decided not to have a banquet this year.
   The R. R. Commissioners report for this town will be found on our third page.
   Beard & Peck delivered a large load of furniture to parties in Otselic Tuesday.
   The Cortland City band will give a concert in the opera house soon after Easter.
   Don't fail to see the Robin Hood opera company in the opera house, on Saturday evening.
   Mrs. O. H. Green has sold her lease of the boarding house at 143 Main-st. to Mr. E. R. Johnson.
   Town Clerk Alger may hereafter be found at the office of Jerome Squires in Union hall building.
   Wickwire's works are running night and day to keep up with orders. They are working a larger force than ever before.
   A new map, issued in the interests of bicyclists, shows every road in this state and denotes its condition, whether level, ridable or otherwise.
   The Cortland steam laundry is doing a very large business. Prompt delivery and good work gives good satisfaction and always brings large returns.
   The law provides that a "person or corporation cutting ice in or upon any waters within the boundaries of this state for the purpose of removing the ice for sale, must surround the cutting or opening made with fences or bushes or other guards sufficient to warn all persons of such cuttings and openings."
   There is no use walking the floor with a felon, says a gentleman who has had some experience in that direction. Wrap a cloth loosely around the felon leaving the end open. Pour gunpowder in the end and shake it down until the felon is covered. Then keep it wet with camphor. In two hours the pain will be relieved and a perfect cure will quickly follow.
   A defective flue caused a fire in one of Nicholas Starr's eighty foot green houses last Friday night. It was extinguished after two hours hard work with the assistance of neighbors. Nearly all the young shoots in the house, besides a large quantity of lettuce, which was about ready for market, was destroyed either by fire or frost before the damaged portion could be repaired. Mr. Starr estimates the damage at from $400 to $500. The houses are located about one mile south of Cortland and just west of the Virgil road.
   March came in like a lamb.
   Mr. W. S. Copeland has purchased Hon. L. J. Fitzgerald's entire interest in the Cortland Water Works Company.
   A large apple crop is predicted for next season. The prediction is based on the fact that a dry fall causes light foliage. To have a large crop the production of leaves must be small.
   Mr. E. C. Palmer of McGrawville has sold his stock of general merchandise to Messrs G. H. Maricle and Holland C. Johnson, who will continue the business at the same location under the firm name of Maricle & Johnson.
   A large party of young people were coasting on Court House hill last Monday evening. The bobs crossed Main street, after running down Court street. One of them came in collision with a sleigh passing on Main St., and Edward Winter had a gash cut in his scalp.

   A DeRuyter man has 400 cords of wood in his wood yard.
   The State Board of Health in its report of 1893 shows over 6,000 deaths by grip.
   A court of inquiry to investigate the loss of the Kearsarge is to sit at Brooklyn Navy-Yard when the men arrive home.
   Carlo Thieman was attacked by three lions in Col. Boone's show at the Midwinter Fair in San Francisco. He will probably die.
   Massachusetts employers were accused of cutting wages for the purpose of making the Wilson bill odious. Nevertheless there are evidences of a general industrial revival throughout the country.
   Detectives in Lyons, who have had years of experience, insist that Clarence Tier h as returned to Wayne county his native place and is responsible for the series of robberies that have been taking place all over the county. Tier was born in Clyde. Several years ago he came through Lyons disguised as an agent for a Detroit electrical supply house. He interviewed several prominent parties with the avowed purpose of selling his wares, but returned the same evening to relieve them of their wealth. The detectives are satisfied that he has been up to some of his old tricks very recently. He will doubtless be heard from again at an early date. Tier is the most adroit and incorrigible thief in the country.—Cayuga Chief.
   January and February of 1816 were warm and spring-like; March was cold and stormy. Vegetation had gotten well along in April when real winter set in. Snow and sleet fell on seventeen different days in May; in June there was either frost or snow every night but three; the snow was 5 inches deep for several days in succession in the interior of New York, and from ten inches to three feet in Vermont and Maine. July was cold and frosty; ice formed as thick as window glass in every one of the New England states. August was still worse: ice formed nearly an inch in thickness and killed nearly every green thing in the United States. In the spring of 1816 corn, which had been kept over from the crop of 1815, sold for from $5 to $10 a bushel, the buyers purchasing for seed only. On May 10, 1839, snow fell to the depth of a foot in Jamestown, Va., and was piled up in high drifts in most of the Northern States.— Boston Journal.

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