Friday, July 21, 2017


Cortland Evening Standard, Wednesday, September 5, 1894.

Synthetic Food.
   Another thing that is enough to make one want to live till the year 2000 is the method by which the people of that time will make their food. If what the chemists tell us is true, there will be no more milking cows or tilling the soil. There will be no more destruction of crops and fruits by the potato bug, the curoulio, the white scale or the black knot, for there will be no more fruits or crops. Manufacturers will have learned to make food by chemical process, food as delicious as the most luscious of California cherries and apricots, and it will not spoil when the railroad men go on strike.
   There will not be cows any more or Texas steers. Pastures will be occupied by people instead of pigs. Children in place of lambs and calves will gambol upon the green. There will be no slum populations any more. The chemist has already analyzed the constituents of leading articles of food. He knows to a dot just how much nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus and other elements go to make apples, flour, butter and pears, not to mention a beefsteak or lamb chop.
   The next step will be to put these elements together as nature puts them together. This is the magnificent problem on which the scientists are now at work. In the laboratory of organic chemistry the brave student will force nature to give up her most jealously guarded secrets. We shall have chemically made meat, milk and oils. They will be much better and purer than they are as at present, manufactured by the physiological processes of animal life. There will be no infection of tuberculosis, no inflammations, poisons or weakness, to be imbibed in the meat, butter and milk we use.
   The great French chemist, Berthelot, told a newspaper correspondent recently that he had made already the various fats that are found in milk. Milk sugar has been made, too, and now it only remains to produce artificial casein. Eggs will be manufactured undoubtedly and turned out fresh laid every day from great factories in which there will not be the cackle of a hen or the smell of an incubator. Clean, happy, deft-handed men and women will operate the wood and metal hens at will. And nobody can rob henroosts any more, for there won't be any henroosts.

Science in Agriculture.
   It is well known that the entomological section of the government agricultural department has practically rid the country of the potato bug and the corn chinch bug. The potato-eater was sprayed off with paris green and london purple. The corn bug was downed by cultivating an infectious fungous growth in his insides. The destroyer of the grape phylloxera in California and next in France is another of the favors science has conferred on agriculture. It has been found that the way to fight insect pests on plants is to cultivate other insects that prey on them. That discovery alone is one of the most valuable made in the interests of farmers in the nineteenth century.
   A unique achievement in this field is the acclimatization of the Australian ladybird in California. The parasite called the white scale bug was ruining orange grove after orange grove. It spread so rapidly that it would soon have taken the citrus fruits of the whole United States. It was then that the Vedalia cardinalis, which is the scientist's name for the insect known as the Australian ladybird, was introduced into the orange orchards. It made a clean sweep of the white scale and continues to do so.

   The following information has been condensed from the reports of crop correspondents for the week ending with Saturday, Sept. 1, 1894:
   Light, scattering showers and in a few instances quite good rains occurred on 29th and 30th over central districts of the state, but as a rule the drouth has not been relieved by a drop of rain. Vegetation makes no progress at all, corn is curling and dying without properly maturing, and late potatoes must soon have rain or they will be worthless in many counties. The drouth has probably done more injury to hay than any other crop as its effects will not be confined to this season alone. In the southeastern counties, where the drouth is most severe, it is claimed that it will take two years of normal weather for meadows to return to the standard condition. Owing to grasshoppers and the drouth there will be no second crop of hay in many localities also of southwestern counties. Corn and buckwheat are in many places damaged beyond recovery, and corn is being cut to save the fodder.
   In Rensselaer county corn fields on southern hillsides are about destroyed. In central sections where farmers were able to work the soil nearly all of the fall seeding is over with, but in many counties little has been done as it is almost impossible to plow. Potato blight seems to be somewhat increasing; digging is well under way with reports of general light yield, excepting in the extreme north along the St. Lawrence where both yield and quality are reported fine.
   The most favorable reports upon all crops come from the St. Lawrence regions where grain is turning out well, oats are good, and even apples are reported a large crop, Hop-picking has begun. The crop seems to be of very good quality and yield. Bean-cutting has begun. Early beans are fair, but late ones are poor on account of the drouth. Peppermint is turning out well.
   Fruits are reported to be generally fair in sections bordering on Lake Ontario. Favorable reports on apples come from Washington, Wayne and St. Lawrence counties. In northern Dutchess they are abundant on the hills but scarce in the valleys. Grapes are coming on well but will not be nearly as large a crop as last year. Sprayed grapes, as with other fruit, are turning out by far the better. Peaches are doing fairly on Long Island, but the crop is estimated only 2/3. Pears seem to be abundant everywhere.
   High winds accompanying the storm of 25th did some damage in Cayuga Co., and buckwheat was badly lodged in north Niagara Co. by storm of 29th. Light frosts are reported on morning of 27th but no injury. Forest fires are doing considerable damage and all the week the sun has been almost obscured by dust and smoke.

A Lively Description of a Splendid Trip.
   To the Editor of the Standard:
   It was a delightful and instructive trip from Chicago to the famed Lake Geneva, near Milwaukee. A few days were spent there and the journey resumed to St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the Twin Cities never appeared more interesting. A night was spent at the mammoth Hotel Lafayette, amid the inextricable chain of rivers, bays and lagoons known as Lake Minnetonka, one of the loveliest and most fascinating spots on earth. A brief visit was made to the falls of Minnehaha, now a mere rivulet, and the journey was resumed via the Northern Pacific. It was an overland train, composed of emigrant, sleeper, day coaches, first and second-class Pullman sleepers. It was cool and pleasant as the train sped rapidly onward through the broad prairies of Northern Minnesota, and night cruelly shut out the lovely scenes.
   A stop was made at Fargo, N. D., about 1 o'clock A. M. and the dawn revealed a fine city, blessed with substantial buildings, a college, and all that goes to make a lively and wide-awake town. From Fargo the trip was resumed in the caboose of a long freight train, and from the lookout tower, we saw the wonders of the great wheat belt. On every hand were immense fields of wheat, in the shock, as far as the eye could reach and this view continued for fifty miles. It was in the Red River valley, a very rich and fertile tract. Threshing was going on merrily at many places and scores of teams drew the wheat to the machine, and conveyed the grain to cars on the sidings. The straw is burned as soon as the machine gets away. We saw the great Dalrymple farm, near Fargo, which comprises 32,000 acres, and it was rich with vast crops of wheat.
   Passing the wheat belt, we entered the sand hills, or rolling lands westward, which extend to Jamestown. This is an inferior soil and devoted more to general crops and to grazing. Jamestown, like Fargo, is a beautiful, thriving place, 343 miles northwest of St. Paul. A stop over night was made there, and then we journeyed southward in the James or "Jim" River valley. This is an interesting place, shut in by low ridges of hills, devoted largely to general crops, and to grazing. The valley broadens out gradually until it joins the great prairie in South Dakota. From Oakes, North Dakota, to Yankton, the country is mostly prairie, comprising much good arable land. Places like Aberdeen and Huron showed evidence of thrift and prosperity, and a vigorous healthy growth. The farm buildings were of fair character. Grain is the chief product of the regions traversed, yet herds of good stock and horses were frequently observed. The wheat crop is excellent both in quantity and quality. Oats and barley were fair. One man made a "dead strike" by raising 100 acres of flax, which will yield 10 bushels to the acre, and the local price therefor is $1 per bushel.
   But corn is an utter, miserable failure everywhere in this locality. I saw good corn in Ohio, in the Ohio valley, in Indiana, and Michigan, and in Illinois, but in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakota's, it is all burned up, and is being cut for fodder. It looks like pop corn, and this is my experience in seven states, comprising a journey of 2,500 miles. Surely the farmers will have a hard time of it in their severe latitudes this winter. Some whose crops are ruined are earning means of subsistence in the harvest fields of the wheat belt.
   The many arms of the North-Western line completely ramify the northwest territory and extend as far west as the Black Hills and Wyoming, and wherever trains bearing the letters "C. & N. W. Ry." appear you will find a excellent road and good equipment and service.
   About Yankton is some of the finest farming land in America, a broad alluvial plain, so to speak, adjacent to the Missouri river, You can see countless haystacks extending over a vast area, and well-tilled and highly productive fields of grain.
   Yankton, much resembling Fargo, is one of the oldest and finest towns of the state, having some 6,000 inhabitants. It was formerly the capital of omnes Dakota. Many fine buildings, well-paved streets, good water and all that, is the story. A fine college, comprising several large and magnificent edifices and an observatory adorn the bluff above the town. The Missouri at this point has a bed of one and one-half miles and a broad sheet of water much wider than at Omaha below.
   The Republicans held a rousing State convention here last week and resolved firmly, jointly and severally, to macadamize the Democrats and Populists, "Pops," and from all the circumstances I opine that they will do it, as per contract.
   A severe drought prevails everywhere and crops are almost ruined, except in the wheat belt of the Red River valley. The atmosphere is so hazy that the sun is scarcely visible. Yet the heat is not oppressive. In North Dakota, it was delightfully cool and invigorating. The nights are invariably cool.
   Yankton, S. D., Aug. 27, 1894.
   [We were unable to find biographical information about George A. Benham using a Google search or other means. A. B. Benham, a retired farmer, lived at 90 North Main Street, Cortland, during the time names were collected for the 1889 City Directory. David Benham, a contractor and builder, lived at 22 Arthur Ave., in the same year. Less than a month after this letter was published, a local newspaper item established the fact that George A. Benham wrote promotional travel articles for the railroads—CC editor.]

Photo copied from Grip's Historical Souvenir of Cortland.
Hosts of New Students Present Themselves.
   The Normal was opened this morning for the fall term. The building looks very fine indeed with the handsomely decorated walls and there were many expressions of approval from all sides. Normal hall was filled nearly full at chapel exercises at 8:45 this morning. Upon the rostrum were Dr. Cheney, Prof. Bardwell, Prof. Banta, Miss Roe, Miss Robinson, Miss Trow, Miss Goodhue, Miss Curry and Miss Alger. The entire assembly arose and joined in singing "Work for the Night is Coming." Dr. Cheney read an appropriate selection from Proverbs and offered a short prayer, and the term was opened.
   The doctor then made a few remarks appropriate to the opening and gave some notices of appointments and then requested the new students to rise. It seemed as though the whole assembly stood upon their feet. The number of new students was astonishing. They were sent to the largest recitation room in the building to begin their examinations, but it would not accommodate them and they had to be divided between two large rooms. There were considerably over 150 new ones in all. Nearly 100 of these will enter upon credentials. Others are upon examination and as yet it is too early to tell how many will be successful in passing them. Examinations will continue until to-morrow noon and in the afternoon it is the intention to pass the classes as usual and assign lessons for the regular work on Friday.
   An unusually large number of graduates and former students were present at chapel this morning.
   One gentleman whose business is in the educational line which carries him into every college, university, Normal school, union school, academy and advanced school of every kind and description in this and adjoining states, was present at chapel exercises this morning. He was speaking to a STANDARD man of the fine condition the school is in at present, as regards building and equipment and teaching force. He made the remark that he had been in all the principal laboratories of this state and that the laboratory of the Cortland Normal school was unquestionably the finest in the state with the single exception of that at Cornell university and also possibly that of the University of the City of New York. It was far finer than that of any of the other Normal schools. And, continued the gentleman, the Cortland Normal is fortunate in its director of the laboratory and instructor in chemistry. He is an A1 man. "I know his work and have seen the work his pupils have done outside. He is thorough and practical."
   Had this gentleman been speaking of the instructor in any other department, he could doubtless have said just about the same thing, for the faculty is one to be proud of. But a compliment from this man means something.

Sewer Notes.
   A mile of sewers was laid in month of August, a gain over amount laid in July. There are now 1,800 feet laid on Owego-st., 680 on Park-st., 700 on Pendleton-st., 850 on the upper end of Port Watson-st., 1,550 on the lower end near the bridge, and 4,400 at the outlet, making a total of nearly 10,000 feet.
   Any one who desires to connect with the sewers while they are being laid in front of their houses can do so by speaking to one of the inspectors. The work will be done for seventy-five cents per foot.

   —Grover Conger, aged nine years, was sent to-day to the Orphan's asylum at Syracuse.
   —Members of the Tioughnioga club should not forget that the annual meeting occurs at 8 o'clock to-night.
   —The members of the county Bee Keepers' association with their families are picnicking to-day at Floral Trout park. About thirty are present.
   —The brick schoolhouse is being thoroughly cleaned throughout with new paint and paper preparatory to having school begin next Monday Sept., 10. D. P. French is doing the work.
   —A surface cock on the corner of Port Watson and Greenbush-sts. was broken this afternoon. It took about half an hour to repair it and during this time the city water was shut off from Port Watson-st.
   —All members of the Cortland fire department will meet in full uniform at 1:30 o'clock, sharp, to-morrow afternoon to join in the Odd Fellows parade and the annual review and inspection. Chief Peck desires every member to appear.
   —The work of putting the streets in normal condition is being rapidly pushed by the electric railway company. The actual work of laying the track will be resumed in a few days. The poles for stringing the wires are being distributed along the line.
   —Miss Inez Mecusker and a strong company presented "The Prima Donna" at the opera House on Monday evening. There was a large audience and they fairly laughed themselves tired at the funny jokes and the bright sayings. There was little plot to the play, but there were many specialties and they were all good.
   —Mr. E. D. Wood, manager of the Wickwire Roller Mill Co., was yesterday engaged with a gang of men, a plow and a scraper in deepening the bed of the river just below the mill so that the water would run off more freely and would not back up and clog the wheels. A good job was done. The dam has also been undergoing repairs during this low water.

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