|A. P. McGraw corset factory and Cortland & Homer Traction Co. car #17 at McGraw, N. Y. about 1898.|
THE ELECTRIC ROAD.
THE MCGRAWVILLE BOARD OF TRUSTEES INTERVIEWED.
Granted the Franchise Under a False Impression—Thought They Were Giving it to the New Company.
Immediately after the publication in The STANDARD of last Thursday of the franchise granted by the McGrawville board of trustees to the Cortland and Homer Electric Co. to build and operate an electric railroad within the limits of that village, a report was heard that the trustees had taken that action under a false impression, believing that they were granting the franchise to the new Scranton company which has contracted for the purchase of the stock of the Cortland and Homer Horse Railroad Co., and which hopes to extend its line to McGrawville.
A STANDARD reporter yesterday afternoon called at the office of the Hitchcock Mfg. Co. and there found Messrs. C. B. Hitchcock, H. L. Gleason and Harrison Wells, all of whom are directors and officers of the Cortland and Homer Electric Co. The reporter stated the case and inquired if it was true that the Cortland and Homer Electric Co. had been endeavoring to obtain consents of property-holders to the building of an electric road, and if the company intended to build the road if the consents and franchises were obtained. The reporter also made inquiry in regard to the method of obtaining the franchise from the McGrawville board of trustees. The gentlemen told the reporter a number of things, but insisted in the beginning that they were not for publication. They said they were not yet ready to make any public statement regarding their actions.
Last night the reporter drove to McGrawville and called upon Mr. W. J. Buchanan, president of that village. In reply to queetions, Mr. Buchanan said: On Saturday, Feb. 17, Mr. H. L. Gleason, representing the Cortland and Homer Electric Co., called upon him and stated that he desired to meet the board of trustees of McGrawville in regard to the building of an electric road from Cortland to McGrawville, and he wished to secure a franchise from them for building it within the limits of McGrawville village. The trustees were quickly assembled and Mr. Gleason stated his case. He said that they had doubtless all read in the papers that a company was planning to build this road, and he appeared in the interest of that company. Though he himself was directly connected with the Cortland and Homer Electric Co., it was not the intention of his company to build the road, but his company was securing franchises and consents and the right of way for the new company to whom they expected to turn the whole thing over. A little changing of their power would make it available for motive power as well as for lighting, and they expected to sell the whole thing to the new company. McGrawville could then be lighted by electricity from Cortland, as well as be connected with it by an electric road.
The board were unwilling to take any action at that time, as they had not looked into the matter any, and finally Mr. Gleason said he would give them a a week in which to think it over, but he requested them not to speak of the matter to any one.
On Monday morning, Feb. 19, only two days later, Commissioner of Highways A. L. Shuler, who lives in McGrawville, received a telephone message from Mr. Gleason asking him to get the president and board of trustees together that day, as he was coming over a little later to talk over that matter further. Mr. Shuler notified Mr. Buchanan and he assembled the board in special meeting. Mr. Gleason was there and said that he was very anxious to settle that matter up at once. The Cortland board of trustees was to meet that night and he wanted to present the application for a franchise in Cortland. If he could secure the consent of the McGrawville board, he could use it as a lever upon the Cortland board. Mr. Buchanan said, we made all kinds of excuses why we should not take action at once, but Mr. Gleason was very urgent and finally we consented and signed the paper which has already been published in The STANDARD.
Mr. Buchanan added that after Mr. Gleason had obtained their consent he went to Commissioner of Highways A. L. Shuler to get his consent to the building of a road in the territory within his jurisdiction, between the corporation limits of Cortland and McGrawville. Mr. Shuler had informed him (Mr. Buchanan) that he understood from Mr. Gleason that he was acting for the new company, and that he would have signed the permission but for the fact that he was so soon to go out of office. Under the circumstances he thought it would be better for the new commissioner to sign it. Mr. Gleason pressed him, but he refused. He had, however, driven over to see Mr. E. C. Rindge, his successor, and urged him to sign it, and he understood that Mr. Rindge was about to do so, when he learned that Mr. Gleason was not the agent for the new company, and he had concluded to wait a little longer before he committed himself.
The reporter then said that he would like to meet the trustees, and Mr. Buchanan put on his hat and coat and went with him to look them up. In the course of fifteen minutes the whole board was assembled, the president and Trustees Samuel Doud, F. C. Topping, H. C. Johnson and G. H. Maricle. The ground of the interview with Mr. Buchanan was gone over and the other four approved and verified every word of it.
The reporter inquired how Mr. Gleason referred to the new company, to whom he said the Cortland and Homer Electric Co. expected to sell out. They replied that he spoke of it as the company of which we had read in the papers. Did he refer to it as the Scranton company, was asked. No, they replied, we can't remember that he did call it that, but we called it so to him, for we had no other company in mind.
Trustee Johnson said, Mr. Gleason said he hadn't a thing to do with this company which expected to build the road, he was only securing for them the right of way, and with that thought in mind he called particular attention to the word "assigns" in the franchise we gave. He said all the papers would be turned over to the "other company."
Trustee Topping said, he told us that the new company was the same one which is operating the Ithaca road. All the other trustees remembered this remark of Mr. Gleason. Trustee Topping continued, we even went so far as to ask him what the new company expected to call themselves and what would be the cost of a round trip ticket from Cortland to McGrawville, and to both questions he replied that he didn't know. All said that Mr. Gleason had impressed it upon them to keep this matter quiet.
The reporter then inquired if they would have granted a franchise to Mr. Gleason if they had known that he in reality did not represent the new company. They replied that all they wanted was an electric road and they didn't care who built it, but they wouldn't have granted a franchise to any company without expecting that this company or the people whom it represented did expect to build a road.
The gentlemen then said that the first intimation they had received that Mr. Gleason did not represent the Scranton company was when a representative of that company called upon them last Monday to arrange for a franchise for the Scranton company. The Scranton company was the only one which they had ever had in their minds.
The trustees said to the reporter that they didn't believe that the action they had taken in granting the franchise was legal or would hold water. As they understood it now, before a board could grant a franchise it must advertise the fact that this matter was under consideration and a time for hearing must be appointed, so that if any one had any objection to the project, they could have an opportunity to come before the board and state them. They had not done this at all, hence their belief of the illegality of their action.
THE ELECTRIC RAILROAD.
Rumors Connected With it—Interview With Mr. Page.
The electric railroad which seemed a certainty one week ago appears to-day to be doubt. It was generally understood then that parties interested in the Scranton and Ithaca company headed by Mr. P. S. Page would within a short time commence active operations in changing the road as it now exists into an electrical road and extending it to different parts of the town.
The negotiations for the purchase of the property of the Cortland and Homer Horse Railroad company were opened months ago by Mr. Page, and his attorney, Mr. Horace L. Bronson, obtained options on nearly all of the capital stock of that company. Recently those options having expired they were renewed or are being renewed as fast as possible. The legal papers necessary to a transfer of the old road to the new company have been drawn and so far as possible have been acted upon by the board of directors
There is a meeting of the directors of the Cortland company called for the 27th of this month which is being advertised in The STANDARD for the purpose of then making the final transfer, but within a few days unexpected complications have arisen which may defeat the contemplated sale.
It is claimed that the so-called Cortland and Homer Electric Co. of this place are endeavoring to procure a franchise from the board of trustees of Cortland village and have obtained one from McGrawville and are also seeking the consent of property-owners in these villages for the construction of an electric railroad on some of the side streets in Cortland and on the road between Cortland and McGrawville; and it is further asserted that these franchises and consents are sought for the purpose of disposing of them to the Scranton company and also to force the Scranton company to purchase the electric light plant which now furnishes lights to this village and Homer. If this is so it is certainly wrong. Such franchises should not be granted to any applicant unless in good faith they intend to construct a road and stand ready to give a proper guaranty therefor.
Rumors had also reached The STANDARD office to the effect that Mr. Page did not intend in good faith to purchase the Cortland road and also other rumors that he intended to purchase two thirds of the stock from the large owners and freeze out the other small stockholders.
In order to give the people definite information The STANDARD interviewed Mr. Page over the long distance telephone yesterday upon these subjects. First Mr. Page was asked if he in good faith intended to purchase the Cortland & Homer Horse Railroad company. He replied, "Certainly, and I am taking the necessary steps to perfect the papers and take the road and I intend to commence active operations in rebuilding the road just as soon as possible." Next we asked Mr. Page: "Do you intend to purchase two-thirds of the capital stock of the Cortland company and freeze out the rest?" The answer came promptly and clear: "No, sir; we intend to purchase every dollar of the capital stock of the Cortland and Homer Horse Railroad company and are willing to pay par therefor and have instructed our attorney in Cortland to keep all options thereon in force. Of course, we cannot compel parties to sell their stock and if any should refuse to sell they can retain their stock. We prefer to buy all of the stock and are informed that nearly all of the stockholders are willing to dispose of their holdings."
We asked Mr. Page how soon he expected to take possession of the road and to commence the work of rebuilding and extending. The answer was "At the earliest possible moment. We have made Mr. Horace L. Bronson our attorney and representative and he is authorized to employ men in getting the requisite consents of property-owners."
Mr. Page further stated that he and those associated with him had a controlling interest in the Ithaca Electric Railroad company and that they are also large stockholders in the street railroad system of Scranton, and other roads.
All the information which has come to us indicates that Mr. Page is responsible financially and is ready to give to Cortland an electrical railway system. Under these circumstances it would seem that every possible encouragement should be given him by our citizens and village officers. Mr. Bronson, the attorney for the Scranton people, [informs] us that they will not fight their way into Cortland for the privilege of depositing $150,000 here. If they are not wanted they will stay away and it will probably be a long time before Cortland has another opportunity like the present. So far as he has been able to get an expression from the business men in Cortland, Mr. Bronson says that they are practically unanimous in welcoming Mr. Page. In this sentiment The STANDARD cordially concurs.
Ice in the Hudson.
PEEKSKILL. N. Y., March 10.—The Hudson river from this place to New York is clear of ice. The river is still blocked with ice above the Highlands.
Corbett's Opponent Shows Up Well Beneath the Tape.
NEW YORK, March 10.—Peter Jackson, the colored pugilist, who is matched to fight Champion James J. Corbett, underwent the new customary "tape line" preliminary to the contest.
Dr. John W. Gibbs used the tape.
When the big colored fellow stripped in the presence of a dozen or more reporters, he showed unexpectedly good form.
The fact that the man measured 32 inches about the waist and only 33 1/2—an inch and a half more—around the abdomen, where a lot of fat was looked for, quite confirmed the impression that the first glance at the naked man gave.
Jackson's left arm, from the acromion to middle finger tip, measures 32 3/4 inches, and his right no less than 34 inches.
Peter's neck covered 15 3/4 inches of the tape, or three-quarters of an inch less than Corbett's. In chest development he also exceeds the champion. Naturally he measures 39 inches, or an inch more than Corbett, and when inflated he stretches 41 1/2 inches, or 2 1/2 inches more than the champion.
Religions in the United States.
Brillat-Savarin, who complained of the United States nearly 70 years ago because he said it possessed a hundred religions and only one gravy, would find if he lived in our time that his estimate in regard to religions was far too low, however we may have progressed in the matter of gravies. The census of church denominations for 1890 makes the number of different sects 140, not counting Islamism, which made its start in this country through Mohammed Webb after the census was taken. However, Apostle Webb's church is very small, numbering at present only himself, he not having made one single convert, so far as appears.
Of all the different sects, however, Mr. H. K. Carroll, who writes of them in The Forum, tells us that 76 have a following of less than 2,400 members each. One denomination that was on the record 10 years ago has quite disappeared in 1890, and that is the Sandemanians. Who were the Sandemanians anyhow? Most of the small sects are "chips off Methodism, Presbyterianism, Lutheranism and other well known bodies." There are 12 different kinds of Mennonites.
Mr. Carroll says the subjects about which warring church people argue have changed greatly. They used to be doctrinal points, such as free will, the federal headship of Adam, etc. Now nobody thinks much about the headship of Adam. Christian believers are exercised in mind in our time chiefly over the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures and the higher criticism of the Bible. Microscopic points of difference have shriveled in importance, and evangelical Christians are nearer a common ground of faith than they ever were before.
What Mr. Carroll calls non-evangelical Protestantism includes apparently the Unitarians chiefly. Of these non-evangelical Protestants there are 188,000; of evangelical ones, 18,870,000. In works of Christian charity and helpfulness to humanity Mr. Carroll finds that the evangelical denominations have made great advance, while their foreign missionary work has not lapsed or lagged. The membership of these denominations is everywhere larger than it was. They are full of life, and there is no sign of their decline in either material or spiritual strength.
◘ Probably some American citizens are ignorant of the reason why the bankers of New York turned at first a cold, deaf ear to Secretary Carlisle's appeal to them to subscribe for his $50,000,000 bonds, then changed their minds suddenly and in 24 hours took the whole loan. The reason was that they found out Secretary Carlisle was going to coin some of the silver bullion in the treasury and put it into circulation in case he failed to secure the loan. Rather than see the currency expanded by silver they took the bonds in a hurry.
◘ Is a current of the offscouring of Russian pauper Hebrew immigration pouring into this country by way of South America? A report to that effect is abroad. The Jewish colonization association that distributes Baron Hirsch's benevolent fund is finding out that the only people who are worth helping are those who help themselves, One of the colonies in Argentina, Mosesville, has been abandoned because the settlers are too lazy and shiftless to earn their living when ground and farming utensils have been provided, and the lazy and shiftless ones have been shipped to the United States, so it is said. But it seems very strange that there are Jews too worthless to earn their own living. That is not the kind of Jews we have in America.
Went too Far.
A well known Cortland young man intending to get what he thought to be a good joke on two of his friends a few days ago used the columns of The STANDARD to perpetrate it. On Thursday morning he saw a STANDARD reporter and gave him an item to the effect that Messrs. John Williams of Utica and M. Bowler of New York, together with their wives, all of whom were former residents of Cortland, were registered at the Central House. As the young man has frequently given the reporter tips and previously they have been all right, the latter did not question the item and on Thursday evening the item appeared in The STANDARD.
Upon investigation it proved that the item was utterly without foundation and it places Messrs. Williams and Bowler, two estimable young gentlemen who are working in Cortland, in a rather bad light to those who did not understand that it was a so-called joke. Guys and jokes are all right in their place, but The STANDARD is published for news, not for the purpose of placing innocent individuals in an unpleasant light to the community.
—The polls will be open next Tuesday from 9 A. M. till 4 P. M. only.
—The new West Side Dairy milk wagon appeared on our streets a few days ago.
—Mr. F. N. Harrington has sold his black mare to Mr. C. E Hurlick of Syracuse for $250.
—Lincoln lodge, I. O. G. T., will hold a masquerade social, Saturday evening, March 24, in Good Templars' hall.
—Baker & Angell's store is being revarnished and the woodwork is being otherwise dressed over. John Tuthill is wielding the brush.
—The large number of canary birds in the south window of the popular market of John O. Reid on Main-st. are attracting much attention.
—Dr. Cordo will preach at Memorial chapel on Tompkins-st. Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock. Residents of the vicinity are cordially invited.
—Rev. Geo. H. Brigham will lead the meeting at the East Side readingroom Sunday at 4:15 P. M. Singing will be led by Mr. J. B. Hunt.
—Next Tuesday evening Watkins Brothers will begin selling at auction the balance of their large stock of dry goods. The sale will continue until further notice.
—Oneonta had a great celebration when the news was received there that Governor Flower had signed the school bill and that the new Normal building was assured.
—The ladies' society of the Memorial Baptist chapel will give a new maple sugar social at the chapel, Monday evening, March 12, from 7 to 10 o'clock. Sugar ten cents.
—The students of the Normal have voted to adopt a button of crimson, the school color. The gentlemen will wear them upon the left lapel. The ladies will seek the most available place for bestowing them.
—The bills of the Forty-fifth Separate Co. have been audited, sent to Albany and allowed, but before payment a set of receipted bills for filing in the controller's office must be forwarded. All having bills against the company are requested to leave at once receipted copies with Lieut. Santee.
—The meeting of the Cortland County Agricultural association was called to order in Fireman's hall at 2:30 this afternoon by President Harrison Wells. Mr. E. E. Mellon was elected chairman. The report of the secretary and treasurer was being made by Mr. G. J. Mager as we go to press.
—About thirty of the friends of Miss Edna Doubleday made her a surprise last evening at her pleasant home on Pomeroy-st. The young people took refreshments, which were served at about 10 o'clock. Games were played and a most excellent time was enjoyed by all. Miss Doubleday expects to move next week to Truxton, which will be her home for the present.
Tea Table Talk.
An Englishman said to a Boston girl: "What do you do with all your vegetables in the United States?" She replied: "We eat all we can and we can what we can't."