Cortland Evening Standard, Friday, April 6, 1894.
THE ELECTRIC ROAD.
THE BANK PRESIDENTS SPEAK UPON THE SUBJECT.
All In Favor of the Road, but They Think Some Limitations Should Be Placed upon the New Company.
As the electric railroad seems to be the chief topic of conversation upon Main-st., and as the hearings upon a proposed change of power before the village trustees and town board occur to-morrow afternoon, The STANDARD has thought it would be a good plan to get the views upon this subject from some of the leading business men in town, and it has begun with the presidents of the several banks.
Accordingly a STANDARD man yesterday called upon Mr. Edward Keator, president of the First National bank, and inquired of him his opinion regarding a change of power and the proposed extension of the road. Mr. Keator said he would favor an electric road if put in under proper limitations and restrictions. This matter rests with the board of trustees. The trustees should prevent the road from erecting a common dirty pole to support its wires. It should be painted and be as unobjectionable in appearance as is possible. The road should be required to pave between the rails and from eighteen to twenty inches upon each side. It should be required to use a good steel flange rail and sink it even with or a little below the pavement. Mr. Keator would give his consent to the electric road running before his premises, but would put in a stipulation which would make it really a private contract between the road and himself. Then if the road failed to fulfill, the contract would become void, and the road would be compelled to go to the courts and secure the privilege and have the damages estimated. In his opinion the board of trustees should grant the franchise directly to the new company and make its contract with them and not with any company who purposes to assign its rights and privileges to another company.
A grave question to Mr. Keator was the matter of the town board granting a franchise to the company to cross the Port Watson bridge. This should be looked after with care. If a freshet should carry away that bridge as it had carried away several others before it, the railroad company could sue the town for damages and collect them if the bridge was not immediately replaced. Furthermore if the town were to furnish to the railroad company a bridge which was paid for by the taxpayers of the town, why not carry it another step and have the town furnish the company a road upon which to run its cars? It was a question in his mind whether that bridge was heavy enough for electric cars to cross.
The STANDARD man next called upon Mr. Wesley Hooker, president of The National bank of Cortland. Mr. Hooker favored the changing of the Cortland and Homer Horse railroad into an electric road, if done under proper conditions and limitations. He favored the extension of the road to McGrawville, provided the people along the line of the road want it, but should oppose the building of it through Tompkins-st., on the ground that it would be an injury to one of the best streets in the village and that there would be no adequate return either to the company for the outlay and cost of the building, or to the property owners in the matter of convenience, for there would be little traffic in that direction. It would be possible to get to the E. C. & N. railroad station and to the shops by a shorter route.
In granting permission for a change of power the railroad company should be required to pave between the rails and not less than two feet outside of them either with first-class stone or with approved asphalt. The company should not be permitted to erect a pole upon any man's premises without first obtaining his consent to the same. It would be possible to get a consent in every case. It might cost something to do so, but the railroad will be a permanent fixture and the company can afford to pay for what it wants. The time to settle and define and protect the conflicting rights of the people and of the road is when the franchise is granted. By so doing subsequent disputes and disagreements will be avoided. All points should be made plain in the paper which conveyed the grant of the franchise.
Mr. Hooker would wish to have the railroad company build and maintain its own bridge over the Tioughnioga river. He would favor requiring the railroad company to keep its tracks down to the level of the street. The reason for raising it above the level as it is now outside of the two villages is to keep the mud off the track. If the company paved between the rails and two feet on each side there would be no danger of mud. It would have been economy to the horse railroad to have done this at the outset. It would have saved labor and horse flesh if the horses had had a good track in which to travel.
The reporter next called at the Second National bank to see its president, Mr. Fitz Boynton, but that gentleman was in New York, and the expression of his opinions had to be deferred.
Mr. C. P. Walrad, president of the Cortland Savings bank, was found in his office. He invited the reporter into the bank parlors and when he had stated his errand Mr. Walrad said heartily that of course he favored a change to electricity. He believed in encouraging all changes along the line of improvement, and in these days horse power is too slow. Mr. Walrad thought that in some way the trustees should exercise a control over the electric road. That control must of course consist in making the conditions right when the franchise is granted. He knows that in some places the railroad company is required to pave between its rails and for a certain distance outside of them. Probably they ought to do it here. They would have to do it anyway on Main-st in Cortland where it is already paved. He should think they ought to do the same on any other street that the village should decide to pave later on. In Cortland the horse railroad company is required to keep its tracks clear, but that has usually meant scraping it back from the rails and leaving it in a heap for the village corporation to cart off.
If the road were extended throughout the village many people would then ride who now walk.
He had thought a good deal over the matter of the Port Watson bridge. He feared it was pretty narrow for an electric railroad and for the safe passage of teams besides. He would exceedingly like to see a railroad to McGrawville. It would help both towns.
Mr. Walrad failed to see the point of the opposition which he heard that Homer felt to the change to an electric railroad. If he wanted to go to Homer he should go whether it took him one hour or fifteen minutes. He didn't know as he should go any oftener if cars ran every fifteen minutes than if once an hour. If Homer people wanted to come to Cortland they would do the same. There are steam cars and horse cars now, and he didn't know as more people would come with electric cars than with horse cars.
He would require the railroad company to give bonds to complete the road upon all the streets for which they asked a franchise within a specified time.
RIOTING STOPPED AND MANY OF THE GANGS DISBAND.
Frick Employes Refuse to Strike and the Case Looks Hopeless For the Others—The Report of Eight Murdered Huns Denied—Strike May Be Called Off—A Big Meeting to Be Held Tomorrow.
UNIONTOWN, Pa., April 6.—A meeting of strikers was held at Dunbar and great weakness was shown. They were addressed by an English-speaking cokedrawer named Feeney. He told the foreigners that unless they stopped marching through the country and forcing men into their ranks the good people of the community would take up arms against them and would put them off the face of the earth.
About 500 strikers have been hanging around Dunbar all day. They have disbanded, however, and will not meet again. Reports received here show the strikers to be disbanding at every point, and the men appear completely subdued.
The authorities will not take any chances and will take every precaution to prevent a recurrence of Wednesday's doings.
Armed guards are on the inside and outside of the county jail, and citizens in every town in the region are walking around with guns and rifles in anticipation of trouble at any moment.
Should the strikers become demonstrative they will be shot down.
The people have concluded to take the law in their own hands and peace will be preserved at any cost.
Secretary Darby, who was included with the other officials in the general charge of murder, appeared at the jail here and wanted to talk to President Davis. He was placed under arrest by Deputy Matthew Allen and marched into the prison, but was not permitted to talk to Davis.
The strikers elected a new leader at a delegate convention at Scottdale, named Alexander Markey, who takes the place of President L. R. Davis, who is now behind the bars here under the charge of murder. The strikers are still making threats of breaking into jail here and setting those imprisoned free.
The community was startled by a report that the dead bodies of eight Huns had been found in the woods near Dawson. This report has not yet been verified, and Coroner Batton denies the rumor.
A massmeeting of all the strikers in the region will be held at Scottdale tomorrow. It is said the purpose is to consider the advisability of calling the strike off. The men believe they cannot win unless the Frick men strike. As the latter are satisfied that the wages, and working conditions are the best that can be obtained in the region, they will not support the strike if sufficient protection is afforded.
The Fayette county commissioners will apply to the courts to hold an extra session of court at once to try the strikers on the various charges against them.
This action is made necessary by the crowded condition of the jail, 150 prisoners being confined there.
There are not provisions for feeding and keeping that number.
They are compelled to sleep on the floor and their food supply is very short.
Strikers Headed Off.
MOUNT PLEASANT, Pa., April 6.— The meeting of strikers, announced for this place, was not held for the reason that no strikers were here to hold it. They marched out south as if to attack Morewood, while Sheriff McCann and his men were eating their dinners, but were headed off by a posse of deputies, called to that plant by a signal whistle.
Organized Gang of Thieves.
TROY, N. Y., April 6.—A sensation was caused here by the discovery of an organized gang, who have been robbing the freight cars of the Fitchburg and Delaware and Hudson railroads in Green Island and this city. One of the gang, Eugene P. McClure of the Thirteenth ward, has been apprehended and has confessed, so it is said. The railroad companies have lost thousands of dollars by their steals. McClure, in his confession to the police, implicated Bat Shea, under arrest charged with the killing of Robert Ross on election day, and also John McGough, also implicated in the Ross killing. Two police officers are also mentioned as accomplices of the thieves. More arrests will follow and some startling developments are expected.
A YOUTHFUL OFFENDER.
Thirteen-year-old Mabel Howard Sentenced to Rochester.
Chief Sager last night arrested Mabel Howard at Mrs. Hill's boarding house on Railroad-st., on a warrant for petit larceny sworn out before Justice Bull by J. W. Bennett of Cortland. The young girl, for such she proved to be, claiming her age to be thirteen years upon the 5th of next July, spent the night in the lockup in Fireman's hall. It appears that for two weeks she worked for Mrs. Bennett who lives in a house behind that of Mrs. Fannie Knight upon a new street just opened off of Main-st.
A few nights ago Mrs. Bennett discovered her wearing a black silk underskirt that belonged to herself. She directed her to take it off immediately and to pack up her possessions and leave the house. She did so. After she had gone Mrs. Bennett missed a number of other articles of wearing apparel, and concluded that Mabel had taken them. She was located at Mrs. Hill's boarding house and Chief Sager arrested her. It appeared that she told Mrs. Hill that she worked for Mrs. Bennett, but that the family were away for a few days and had sent her there to board in their absence and would settle her bill. Mr. Bennett was quite astonished this morning to find he had a board bill charged to him.
After the girl had left the house with Chief Sager last night Mrs. Hill began to look over her possessions and discovered that she couldn't find all that she ought to be able to account for.
At police court this morning Mabel pleaded guilty to stealing some of the things named from Mrs. Bennett and also the things from Mrs. Hill. Chief Sager took her in a cab to Mrs. Bennett's house where she found some of the articles which she was charged with stealing. She had secreted them, but didn't have an opportunity of getting them out of the house. The girl is very large of her age if she is not yet thirteen, as she says, and she seems able to tell many different stories with great ease.
Justice Bull sentenced her to the State Industrial school at Rochester and Chief Sager will leave for Rochester with her on the 6 o'clock train to-morrow morning.
—A survey has been made of the proposed line of the electric railroad between Cortland and McGrawville to admit of the making of a map of the same.
—The Alpha C. L. S. C. will meet with Mrs. Frank J. Doubleday, 44 Port Watson-st., Monday, April 9, at 7:30 o'clock. Strangers will receive a welcome.
—The contract for building the new Normal school building at Oneonta has been awarded to S. R. Barnes, Lewis & Wilson of Oneonta, the price being $126,891.
—The sale of seats for the "Ben Hur" entertainments will open on Saturday morning, April 7, at Wallace's book store. Sales will be limited to six seats to one purchaser. Tickets 75, 50 and 35 cents.
—Governor Flower has signed a bill changing the date of the annual school district meeting from the last to the first Tuesday in August. This will be better for the reason that as it now stands the meeting is only a day or two before the school opens.
—At a meeting of the local board of the Normal school held last night Prof. Cornish, and Misses Curry, Goodhue and Alger were permanently engaged as members of the faculty, subject to the approval of the superintendent of public instruction.
—A public meeting will be held at the W. C. T. U. rooms Sunday afternoon at half past 3 o'clock. Rev. Dr. Pearce of the First M. E. church will deliver the address. Subject—"Sabbath Observance.'' A praise service will be conducted by Mr. Waterbury.
—A rusty silk hat and a pair of gold-bowed spectacles were found on the walk in front of the store of I. Whiteson this morning. There was also an overturned dry goods box and a pool of blood. The hat and spectacles were committed to the care of "Judge" Bull.
—Robbie Cooper on Wednesday evening entertained at his home, 20 Railroad-ave., a few of his friends, it being his thirteenth birthday. Those present were: Mamie Smith, Jennie Ireland, Amy Gale, Mabel Withey, Lola Taft, Albert Wadsworth, Harry Gale, Floyd Briggs, and Willie Dennis.
TO BE DECIDED SOON.
Scranton Railroad Men in Town Arranging Details.
Messrs. P. S. Page and Horace E. Hand have been in town to-day making arrangements for the transfer of the stock of the Cortland and Homer Horse Railroad Co. to the new company. A STANDARD man this morning met them both at the office of their attorney H. L. Bronson. They expressed themselves as confident that arrangements could be closed up at once so that work could begin. This afternoon they have gone to McGrawville to meet the board of trustees of that village. They will be present at Fireman's hall at the hearing to-morrow before the town board and the Cortland village trustees.