White the object in writing Past and Present has been, primarily, to show the rise, progress, and wonderful latter growth of the beautiful village of Cortland, its attractions as a place of residence and the advantages it offers as a location for manufacturing enterprises, I have also endeavored to present such historical data as would form a brief, but complete and connected history. Few can appreciate the difficulties of this part of my task; much of its history is lost; the connecting links are broken; a few years earlier the work could have been done more satisfactorily; a few years later it would be attended with still more difficulty; such as I have been enabled to glean, however, is presented with the belief that it is substantially correct, and has been verified wherever possible. Necessarily condensed, it is also somewhat fragmentary, and much of the matter rightfully belonging in Part I, will be found in the sketches in Parts II and III. But if to the older inhabitants Past and Present recalls incidents that have almost passed from their memory and leads them to supply the missing links, so rapidly being forgotten; or if the illustrations of the success uniformly attending the establishment of manufacturing enterprises in Cortland, and the description of its beauties, attracts the attention of other enterprises in search of a suitable location for mechanical industries, of the capitalist seeking a profitable investment, or of the man of leisure desiring a charming home in a delightful locality, with the most beautiful surroundings, this work will not have been in vain, and it will have served its purpose.

D. M. K.

    Cortland, N. Y., August, 1883.





ying on a broad and level plain, in the picturesque valley of the Tioughnioga, at the confluence of the east and west branches of the Tioughnioga river, surrounded by high hills through which debouch five rich valleys leading North, South, East, and West, the pretty village of Cortland is a worthy rival of the most beautiful town that adorns the great Empire State.

    Covering an area of two square miles, laid out in irregular squares, with wide and even streets, uniformly shaded by rows of maple, elm or pine trees, and lined with pretty cottages, elegant mansions or handsome business structures, Cortland, especially in the summer time, presents a most attractive appearance. Main street, the principal business thoroughfare, commencing at the foot of the South hills, and running due north for nearly a mile and a half, then diagonally northwest until it meets Adams street and forms the Homer road, contains many neat residences, and is lines, with the exception of that portion devoted exclusively to business, with beautiful maples. But even that portion is not entirely devoid of foliage, for right in its heart, set not more than ten feet apart, is that row of noble maples fronting the old brick mansion of the Randalls, and its acre or move of gravelled walks winding through beds of beautiful flowers, rare shrubbery and stately old trees, separated from the public walk only by a low, time-stained wall of stone, with old fashioned high arched gates of iron. And both north and south of this "oasis," are many structures of brick and iron which in architectural appearance and proportions would do credit to much larger cities, and are occupied by enterprising merchants. Then one block east, and running parallel, is Church street, with its extraordinary width, that is not sufficient even, to prevent the majestic trees, full grown many a year ago, from casting their shadows clear across; and here are the churches, the old and the new side by side, the more costly and elegant Congregational edifice, erected in 1882, along side the old fashioned cobble-stone church of the Universalists, erected in 1837; the old frame church of the Presbyterians, built in 1828, between the modern and expensive structures, with their heavenward-towering spires, of the Baptists and the Methodists; and here, too, near the site of the old Cortlandville Academy, is the tasteful monument erected in 1876 to the memory of Cortland's fallen braves, and which stands like a sentinel on guard in front the attractive grounds of the Normal School, extending east to Greenbush street, and laid out in tortuous paths, with well kept lawns, neatly trimmed shrubbery and growing trees adding largely to the appearance of the pleasing school buildings. Still further east extends new streets to the banks of the Tioughnioga, where is heard the hum of machinery in busy manufactories, and are springing up pretty little cottages, while in the southeast is Blodgett's unique park, with its trout ponds, and myriads of "speckled beauties," fountains, romantic lover's retreat, and wonderful maze and all the other delights and surprises the genius of this self-taught landscape gardener has furnished. And on the west side of Main street looms up Monroe Heights, on which are built one fine residences, and which in time will doubtless be terraced and form a most delightful spot; starting at the corner of Main and Port Watson streets, and running diagonally southwest, Tompkins street, with its handsome dwellings, beautiful lawns and abundance of shade-giving trees, forms a favorite place of residence, while a rippling brook winds its way around the Heights and meandering through the meadows mingles its limpid waters with the Tioughnioga, which, entering on the north, skirts the base of Benham's hill and being joined by the East branch goes murmuring along the Eastern borders of the village to help swell the current of the Chenango, which in turn lends its assistance to the Susquehanna and thus journeys to the sea. And when the surrounding hills are covered with their wealth of foliage and the trees throughout the village are full in their leaf, no panegyric, however glowing, could more than do it justice.

    The village does not present the rural aspect one would naturally expect, however, the horse cars traversing Main street, the smoke curling upwards from its numerous factories and the hum of their machinery dispelling such an illusion; and in the evening, when the streets are lighted by gas and thronged with promenaders it is, indeed, a busy, bustling little city.

    Cortland is situated in the western part of Cortland county, of which it is the capital, on the lines of the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York, Utica, Ithaca and Elmira, and Cazenovia, Canastota and DeRuyter Railroads, and is forty-three miles south of Syracuse, forty-three miles north of Binghamton, seventy miles northeast of Elmira and eighty-two miles southwest of Utica, and has a population of about 6,000 inhabitants.

    The early history of the village if rather vague and meagre. Prof. Charles W. Sanders, of New York, the well-known author of "Sanders Series of Spellers and Readers," who was born here, very kindly furnished the following as his recollections of its earlier days: "The beautiful, enterprising and flourishing village of Cortland, situated about midway between Binghamton and Syracuse, began to be settled in the early part of this century. It was formerly a part of the town of Homer which was ten miles square, divided in the centre. Homer and Cortland being only about two miles apart, a spirit of rivalry sprang up between them, which resulted in their separation April 11, 1829. Among the earliest settlers were four brothers--Solomon, John, Jonathan and James Hubbard, Samuel Crittenden, Eber Stone, John Morse, Moses Hopkins and Mr. Watson. As so many valleys centered around Court House Hill, they predicted that near the base of that hill was the place to locate a village site, and some of them climbed the trees on that hill in order to ascertain the most probable, convenient, and eligible spot. Mr. Hopkins selected the west side of the hill, and located west of Otter creek. Mr. Morse purchased the land east of South Main street, now owned by Randolph Randall, and Mr. Watson settled at Port Watson, from whom the place takes its name. Solomon Hubbard, for whom the writer worked for two summers, owned all the land both sides of Tompkins street, from the house formerly owned by Roswell Randall to Otter creek, embracing the cemetery grounds, and those on which such elegant palaces now adorn the village. Besides these he owned nearly all the land one mile south of Tompkins street, between Owego and Main streets, embracing lands now owned by Randolph Randall as far east as Pendleton street. Jonathan Hubbard, father of Jonathan Hubbard now living in this village, in 1798 purchased all the land lying between Main and Greenbush streets, and from Port Watson street north as far as the river. He also purchased a few acres below, near that river, on which he erected a mill in 1804 [1802-3?]1 One of his children was born in that mill. He also built the first frame house in the village on the northeast corner of Main and Court streets, which was demolished over fifty years ago, the boys making a bonfire of the rubbish. He was the wealthiest man in town. He died in 1814. At that early period the forests were plentifully stocked with wild deer, and the rivers with fish. The deers were so "unacquainted with man," that they were easily taken and furnished food for the early settlers; but bears and wolves made sad havoc among the young cattle, sheep, and swine that run at large in the woods. Among the first merchants of Cortland were two brothers, William and Roswell Randall, who commenced business in 1810 [1812?], and Mr. Asahel Lyman, who commenced a little earlier. These merchants kept such articles as were in demand in a newly settled country, and were obliged to transport their goods by teams from Albany over the Cherry Valley turnpike, and thence to Cortland. Mr. Lyman, after carrying on business several years, erected the 'Old Brick Store,' now standing opposite the Cortland House. It was built in 1817, of brick manufactured about two miles from the village by Truman Doud. Messrs. William and Roswell Randall established business on the corner of Main and Port Watson streets, opposite the Messenger House. In exchange for their goods these merchants were obliged to accept such commodities as the country produced. Among these, ashes were a staple article, which they converted into potash or pearlash for New York market. Two, smoking, seething, hissing distilleries were kept in constant operation, converting the grain into whisky, which, except what was consumed here, was transported down the Tioughnioga river in arks built at Port Watson, thence down the Susquehanna to Harrisburg, and other large places. The Court House and jail were located on Court House hill (Monroe Heights.) John Keep was the first Judge of the county, and at that time owned a house now occupied as the County Pool House. The jail was seldom destitute of tenants, not so much by those who had contravened the laws of the country, as by those who were so unfortunate as to be unable to pay their depts. The jail limits extended one mile from the jail, and the debtor was not allowed by law to go beyond that, except on Sundays, when he had the right to visit his family and friends, but must return before sunrise Monday morning. The principal lawyers in the village at that time were Oliver Wiswell, Henry Stevens, Nathan Dayton, and Samuel Nelson. The latter, for many years, was Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. He died at Cooperstown in 1872. There were three hotels, or taverns, as they were called, one kept 'by Danforth Merrick, on the site of the Cortland House, one on the northwest corner of Main and Court streets, kept by Joshua Ballard, and one on the site of the Messenger House kept by Nathan Luce. The three physicians of the place were Drs. Budlong, Boies, and Goodyear. The first religious society in Cortland was formed in 1801, and soon after they erected a house of worship opposite the turn of the road leading to Homer. The society was called 'The Baptist Church of Christ in Homer.' Rev. Alfred Bennet was its honored pastor for many years, and in 1824 it numbered nearly 700 members. It was then divided into three societies, constituting the Baptist Church in Homer, the Baptist Church in Cortland, and the Baptist Church in McGrawville. The next religious society organized in Cortland was that of the Methodist. They erected the first house of worship (?) in the village in 1820. Rev. George W. Densmore being the pastor at that time. That house has been removed, and a commodious and elegant brick edifice now occupies the original site. Soon after the Presbyterian society erected their present house of worship, which continues in good repair to this day. The village now contains seven elegant church edifices, that are well filled every Sabbath with intelligent congregations. One of the chief causes of the prosperity of Cortland must be attributed to the lively interest the people have always manifested in the cause of popular education. Beside its excellent public schools, the Old Academy, though receiving no revenue from the State, was, for many years, a successful rival of Cortland (Homer) Academy, and now the Normal School is not surpassed by any for its excellent system of instruction, and its efficient and competent corps of instructors"

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Unfortunately, there are no available means of fully tracing the early history or verifying the facts and dates given, but such others as I have been enabled to glean are presented with the belief that they are substantially correct. The township of Cortlandville is not wholly embraced in this sketch, however, but only that portion--lots 64, 65, 66, 74 and 76 on the county map---originally comprising the village of Cortland.

    The pioneer settlers of the village were Jonathan Hubbard, and Colonel Moses Hopkins, who came in 1794, and located, Hubbard on land now in the heart of the village, and Hopkins on lot 64. It was a wild but picturesque country, forming a part of Homer township, Onondaga county, which had just been organized that year from Herkimer county, and had not as yet attracted any settlers. Homer had been settled in 1791, when Herkimer county was formed from Montgomery, by Amos Todd and Joseph Beebe, "the first of the noble pioneers who planted the standard of civilization in the Tioughnioga Valley. Previous to 1791, the territory now comprised within the county of Cortland was known to the whites only by charts and maps, and though forming a constituent portion of the State of New York, was regarded, on account of its location, of but minor importance." 2

    And these hardy settlers lived not a life of pleasure, except that which comes from industry and contentment, for their homes were simply rude houses built of logs and poles. They were followed in 1795 by Thomas Wilcox, who also located on lot 64, and Reuben Doud, James Scott, John Morse and Levi Lee, these four settling on lot 75. About this time, too, Dr. Lewis S. Owen, who is said to have built the first frame house in Cortland county, came from Albany and settled on lot 66, but afterward removed to Homer. Enoch Hotchkiss, Samuel Crittenden and Eber Stone came about 1796-7, the first named locating on lot 75, and the two latter on 66. In 1798 additional settlers were found in Samuel Ingles and his son Samuel Ingles Jr., who also located on lot 75, and then there does not appear to have been another until about; 1802, when William Mallery located near Court House Hill (Monroe Heights) and John A. Freer, father of Anthony and S. D., Freer (the latter still a hale and hearty man of business), settled on lot 74. The building of a grist mill in 1802-3,3 by Jonathan Hubbard, must have added considerably to the importance of this settlement, yet I do not find trace of another settler until 1805, when Nathan Blodgett came from Massachusetts and located on lots 65 and 66, and then again there appears to be a blank until John Ingles and Edmund Mallery settled on lot 74 in 1808. The names of Gilbert Budd, Jeremiah Chase, John McFarlan, John M'Nish, Archibald Turner, John Stillman, Elisha Crosby and Lemuel Ingles, appear about the same time, however, but when they came and whether they settled here during the earlier years or not, I am unable to say, but Lemuel Ingles seems to have engaged in mercantile pursuits and to have been the first tradesman in the village.

    The southern portion of Onondaga county was being settled quite rapidly, and as the distance these settlers were compelled to travel in their attendance upon court, in Syracuse, was from fifty to sixty miles, over almost impassable roads, and requiring the loss of considerable time, a petition was presented for the division and erection of a new county by the name of "Courtlandt," which was granted by an act passed April 8, 1808. "Cortland county was named in honor of General Peter VanCortlandt, a gentleman who was extensively engaged in the purchase and sale of land. It is bounded on the north by Onondaga county; east by Madison and Chenango; south by Broome and Tioga; and west by Tompkins and Cayuga. Its area is a fraction over 500 square miles, and contains about 320,000 acres, forming a portion of the high 'central section of the state.' Its northern boundary lies on the dividing ridge which separates the waters flowing into Lake Ontario and the tributaries of the Susquehanna River. The surface of this county is much diversified, and may be appropriately divided into rich valleys and fertile hills. The territory comprised within the boundaries of Cortland county is comprised of four whole and two half townships of the Military Tract, or lands granted by the State of New York to the soldiers of the Revolution."

    The act of April 8, 1808, authorizing the erection of Courtland county, provided that the courts "should be held at the school house on lot 45, in the town of Homes." This was merely a temporary arrangement, however, to continue only until a site was selected and a court house erected. The little towns of Homer, Cortland, Port Watson and McGrawville "were equally interested in securing the location of the public buildings, and the good citizens were, apparently, equally certain of success." The locating commissioners, Joseph L. Richardson, of Auburn, Nathan Smith, of Herkimer, and Nathaniel Locke, of Chenango, after examining the various sites, decided upon "a commanding eminence west of Cortland village," which caused much bitter feeling, the people of Homer and Port Watson becoming very much excited upon learning of the decision--so unfavorable to their own peculiar interests. And to William Mallery the credit is given for securing the public buildings to Cortland, the location of which here has proven so beneficial. The court house and jail---a pine and hemlock structure---were erected in 1810, on the brow of the hill which was afterwards known as Court House Hill, but has since been christened Monroe Heights. John Keep was appointed Cortland county's first judge on the 3d day of April, 1810, and during that year His Honor opened court in the new "seat of justice," and it is not at all unlikely that the witnesses and jurors congregated in the evenings at Samuel Ingles' tavern, which had been built on the site subsequently occupied by the Barnard block (now Sager & Jennings and Dexter House), and at Lemuel Ingles' store, to talk over the events of the day.

    A school house---the first---stood on the present site of the Messenger House, and in 1811 the first church was erected by the Baptists, (who had organized in 1801,) in "the present limits of Cortlandville, about one-half mile south of the old court house." Already were the beneficial effects derived from the location of the public buildings in the village beginning to be felt, and about 1812 the Randalls, William and Roswell, were attracted here from Madison county and engaged in the mercantile trade. In 1813 another religious society---the Universalist---was formed, and on 19th day of May, 1814, Cortlandt village postoffice was established in a front room in the house where W.R. Randall now resides, Oliver Wiswell being the first postmaster. And during this year, too, was established the first newspaper, the Cortland Republican, a four-page (four columns small pica type on a page) paper, printed on a 12x18 inches sheet of brownish-white hand-made paper, and edited by Benjamin S. and David Campbell.

    It was at about this period that the first manufacturing industry was established---a nail factory---in the little old wooden building in which for the past fifty years Horace Dibble has carded wood on the same old machine which had served his predecessor nine or ten years, and was even then second-handed.4 Goodwin's "Pioneer History" makes mention of a William Sherman, who came to Homer in the Summer of 1815, and "soon after, he erected a machine shop for the manufacture of nails--the first of the kind in the State of New York--the machinery being so arranged as to feed, but, head and stamp without assistance. On the head of each nail was stamped the letter S. Four-penny nails were then worth twenty-five cents per pound." I am under the impression, however, that Sherman began manufacturing nails in this building, which was erected by a man named McClure about 1816, and had a saw mill in the rear, run by the same water privilege, and that he subsequently removed the machinery to Homer, where he continued to manufacture nails for a number of years. Mr. Dibble states that when he passed through Cortland in 1821, nails were then being made here by Sherman's machine, and I have now in my possession several nails with the letters W and S stamped on their heads, which were with some difficulty drawn out of the clapboards covering the rear of the old building, by me, a few moments before these lines were written, and which there is every reason for believing were among the first nails manufactured by that machine.

    Both Cortland and Homer were growing with some degree of rapidity, the latter perhaps leading, and the strong rivalry between them let to the establishment, in 1817, of the Repository, a weekly newspaper, by Dr. Jesse Searl, and then occurred one of those recriminating newspaper fights which the editors of this day have not as yet outgrown. Roswell Randall was then postmaster, with the office in his store on the southwest corner of Main and Port Watson streets, and the leading members of the bar were Oliver Wiswell, Henry Stephens, Samuel J. Baldwin, Townsend Ross, Edward C. Reed and Augustus Donnelly. In 1821 the Methodists, who had formed a class in 1804, when the first Methodist meeting was held at the house of Jonathan Hubbard, built a church on Church street, and the fact that there were three religious societies in the village, indicates that it was making progress.

    "The mail was brought from Syracuse by a four horse stage, the horn announcing its arrival being tooted vigorously from the upper end of Main street to the post office door. The arrival of one mail and the departure of another were the only enlivening events of the day. The postoffice of that time was a very small affair compared with the one at present, as persons were considered lucky who received one letter a month, and in order to get that had often to pay as high as twenty-five cents," Samuel Nelson, then a young lawyer who had located in Cortland about 1817, was postmaster from May 11, 1822, until succeeded by Charles Lynde, a village storekeeper, Jun 2, 1823, and here laid the foundation of Chief Justice Nelson's successful public career.

    The year 1823 was marked by the erection of two buildings which now for the landmarks of an almost forgotten age. It was during this year that the two story brick building on the corner of Main and Court streets, now occupied by the Savings Bank, was erected by William Randall for his store, and from a cherry counter then placed in the building. Lewis Hannum has made a very fine violin. And it was then, also, that the old mill 5 which ruined the health and fortunes of several good men was erected by Nelson Spencer for a paper mill. In tracing the history of this old mill the following interesting letter, in answer to my request for information, was received from Mr. James H. Sinclair, local editor of the Chenango Union, who passed his boyhood days in Cortland:


D. Morris Kurtz, Esq. : Dear Sir.---Your favor of the 23d inst. was duly received and a pressure of business will, I trust, excuse the delay in replying. While I regret my inability to give you anything like a satisfactory sketch of the old mill---my "Mecca" still, when I visited Cortland---I will gladly give you what information I can. When the mill was built I am unable to say. It was erected, I am quite sure, by Nelson Spencer, who was distantly related to the Randalls, of Cortland. Early in the spring of 1832 or 1833---the former year, I think, my father, Thomas Sinclair, in company with John J. Speed, both of Ithaca, purchased the property--Spencer having failed in business---and father at once removed with his family to Cortland, and took charge of the job of refitting the mill, which was at the time a very demoralized condition. From my recollection now, the buildings must have been a dozen or more years old. Nothing, I believe, but coarse paper had been made there, and the machinery was of the most primitive kind. Paper had been made by the hand process---the pulp dipped from a vat, in a seive-like frame, forming the sheet by gently shaking---a tedious process, and one requiring a skilled workman. At that time there was quite a settlement of dwellings clustered around the old mill, which had been and were afterwards occupied by employees and their families; and there was also a store, owned and run on a small scale by the mill owner. Nearly all of these buildings have gone to decay. The new firm of Speed & Sinclair refitted the mill throughout and put in a machine for making paper, but without driers. They made fine paper a specialty, and their goods stood foremost in the market. It was a busy little hamlet and a pleasant one. My father died in the spring of 1841, and for some time after that the business was leased to the employees in the mill. About the year 1847, Daniel Bradford, who was engaged in bookselling in the village, purchased the property, and conducted the business of paper making. Here I am at a loss to give you dates, as I had then left the place; but I think the next purchaser was Stephen D. Freer, still of Cortland, who converted the old establishment into an oil mill. After a time he disposed of it to a Mr. Spear, (I think that was his name,) who continued the same business for some years. Then it went into the hands of the Messrs. Cooper, who converted it into a foundry and machine shop, and are still, I believe, its proprietors.    *    *    *     Thanking you for your kind offer of a copy of the pamphlet, when issued, which I appreciate, and trusting that its publication will meet your expectations and those of the public, I remain,       Yours truly, nbsp;      J. H. Sinclair"

    The principal event in the next six years was the granting of a charter to the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad, in 1826, and the consequent hopes of rapid improvement to which the scheme gave rise, and despondency at its failure to be carried out. "It was most evident that the Tioughnioga River, as a commercial highway, could never be available to any great extent, and that other channels of communication must be provided in order to encourage enterprise and reward adventure. State roads had been laid out, and were measurably improved; and the county had been cut up into gores or townships, while each of these was made to resemble an imperfect checker board, being variously marked out by 'bridle paths,' or to say the least, very undesirable roads. The Erie canal, commenced in 1817, and completed in 1825, established a more direct line of communication with Eastern cities. Previous to this, the heavy goods of our merchants were brought up to Albany by way of the North River; were then conveyed by land to Schenectady; then through the canal at Little Falls; then through Wood Creek, Oneida Lake, Onondaga River, and the Tioughnioga, or were transported by land and carriage from Albany or Utica. Cattle were usually driven to the Philadelphia markets; potash was sent to New York or Montreal; wheat was shipped on rafts and arks down the Tioughnioga and Susquehanna to Baltimore. Internally shut out from the natural advantages or the more remote benefits of artificial communication with which other sections of the country were blessed, the citizens located on the rich flats of Cortland, Homer and Preble were made thrice joyful in their exultations of success. The toils, the sacrifices, and the cost of building a railroad had not, however, been fully considered or counted, and hence the active projectors were doomed, like the inexperienced alchemist, to see their golden dream fade away." Considerable improvement had been made in the village during these years, however, the Presbyterian society, which had been organized in 1824, having built in 1828 the frame edifice still standing on Church street; William Randall erecting in the same year the mansion on Main street, now occupied by Randolph Randall, which has not in the least changed in appearance, except it be in the marks of time; the female boarding seminary, which Oliver W. Brewster conducted for a number of years in the old frame building then standing on the north-west corner of Main and Court streets, which had formerly been occupied by Eb. Hopkins as a tavern, and in which music and the languages were taught the young ladies, many of whom were attracted here from a distance, and then after a time converted into a tenement house, and finally removed to its present site, where it is occupied by Smith & Kingsbury's hardware store, also being opened this year; and the population somewhat increasing. John Lyndes, a physician, had succeeded Charles Lyndes as postmaster in December, 1824, and kept the office at his house, about half-way between Cortland and Homer, until he was succeeded, July 28, 1825, by Roswell Randall, who removed it to his store in the old Eagle block, opposite the Messenger House corner.

    The bitter feeling engendered between Cortland and Homer by the success of the former in securing the public buildings in 1810, and which had been kept alive and fanned into a flame by the newspapers of the rival villages, culminated in 1829 in the division of the township, Cortlandville township being formed from the southern part of Homer. The village then contained about 400 or 500 inhabitants, with the usual complement of stores and taverns, and had as manufacturing industries the paper mill of Nelson Spencer, the wool carding and cloth dressing mill of Martin Merrick, who purchased the nail factory for this purpose when William Sherman removed that enterprise to Homer, and the pottery of Sylvester Blair, which had just been established by him on the North side of Court House Hill.6

    Time passed on, on its never returning journey, and the village made progress slowly but surely, another accession to its manufacturing ranks being received in 1832 in the establishment of a small foundry and machine shop by Daniel Larned,7 on Port Watson street. The community was evidently a religious one, and gave freely of their means, to the cause of the Lord, for in 1833 it is found that the Baptist society built a new edifice on Church street. But as an offset to this Danforth Merrick had built the Cortland House the preceding year. Canfield Marsh was the postmaster, having succeeded John Lyndes on the 28th of July, 1830, and keeping the office in his store in the old wooden building which stood on the present site of Union Hall block, where he was a manufacturer of and dealer in hats and caps, and Rufus A. Reed was the editor of the Republican and Eagle, a consolidation of the Cortland Republican and Homer Eagle, which occurred about 1832. "Mr. Reed's printing office was in the second story of what was once known as Elder's store, but in 1836 the three story building now known as the Keator block, on the corner of Main and Port Watson streets, was erected by Webb & Edgecomb, merchants, and the Republican office was removed to the corner rooms in the third story of that structure. The second story was occupied by Horatio Ballard and Dr. A. B. Shipman in front, and J. Depuy Freer in a rear room over what is now the drug store of G. W. Bradford. Of Mr. Ballard there is no present need to speak; but the mention of the name of "Depuy Freer will call to the minds of your older inhabitants an excellent lawyer and genial man, whose comparatively early death was greatly regretted." 8 During this period, also, was published the Cortland Advocate, a Democratic or Jacksonian paper, edited by Henry S. Randall, which succumbed in 1838.

    The location of the Court House on the hill appears to have become, for some unknown reasons, objectionable (although it would seem that a more desirable site could not be chosen), and the old structure was accordingly condemned, and pronounced "unsafe," and about 1837 the brick building, with its stone jail in the rear, on the corner of Court and Church streets, was erected, the deed of the land on which it stands bearing date February 18, 1837. In this year, too, the Universalists built their church, and it was about this time that Charles W. Sanders first issued his "Sander's Speller," the press work being done on an ordinary hand printing press in the Republican and Eagle office and Daniel Bradford doing the binding. Two years later---the first week in September, 1839---the Cortland County Agricultural Society which had been organized in 1838, held their first exhibition in the school building afterwards occupied by the Cortlandville Academy, and November 14, 1839, Richard Scouten, proprietor of the old Eagle "tavern," then a two-story building, succeeded Canfield Marsh as postmaster, and as he kept the office in his "tavern," there were doubtless many callers for "mail."

    The exciting Presidential campaign of 1840 was then approaching, and the Democrats, being without an organ, a stock subscription was secured, and in the spring of 1840 the Cortland Democrat was issued, with Seth Haight and Henry W. Depuy as editors and publishers. Among the older of the Democratic leaders in the village at that time were Joseph Reynolds, Henry Stephens, Roswell Randall, William Bartlit, J. Depuy Freer and Anthony Freer, and among the younger were Horatio Ballard, Henry S. Randall, Frederick Hyde, Henry Brewer, William H. Shankland, James S. Leach, William P. Lyndes, Andrew Dickson and William B. Allen. The Republicans or Whigs, more properly speaking, numbered among their leaders, Rufus A. Reed, Oren Stimson, Harry McGraw, John J. Adams, Tercius Eels, Gideon Babcock, Joel B. Hibbard, Danforth Merrick, James C. Pomeroy and Daniel Hawks. In the meantime the Republican and Eagle was reorganized under the name of the Cortland County Whig, with Harmon S. Conger, "a young Lawyer of ability and ambition," in editorial charge, and "the Democrat and Whig kept up a weekly fusilade of wit, and as much argument as could be expected under the circumstances."

    The post-office appears to have been knocked about like a shuttle-cock at this time, Joel B. Hibbard succeeding Richard Scouten as "P. M.," February 24, 1841, and transferring the office from the "Eagle Tavern" to his store on the opposite corner of Main and Port Watson streets. His term was very brief, however, be being succeeded, a couple of months later, (May 15, 1841), by Tercius Eels, a merchant whose store was in the long, low, white building, then on the present site of the Garrison Block. Then on the 14th of May, 1842, Danforth Merrick was appointed, and removed the post-office to the "Cortland Tavern," but on September 6th of the same year, Andrew Dickson was appointed his successor, and the office again was located at the corner of main and Port Watson streets. As the incumbents were all of one political faith, these frequent changes would seem to indicate that the postmastership was not the desirable position it now is.

    The Cortlandville Academy was incorporated in 1842, occupying the district school building, (to which additions were constantly being made), then standing on the present Normal School grounds, and "Cortland and Homer were two as refined and intelligent communties as could be found in the State. Two academical institutions and excellent common schools throughout the county, to furnish the former with students, had raised the standard of culture high. A change in the farming methods at this period, by largely increasing the dairy interests, gave rapid advancement and prosperity to the agricultural population. The farmers grew in wealth; their homes and surroundings improvement, and the wooded hills rapidly appeared as rich pastures or cultivated fields." The county was increasing in population and productive resources and renewed efforts were made to revive or obtain a new charter for the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad, but for the time being proved futile.

    Soon after the Presidential contest of 1844, the Cortland County Whig was removed to Homer, leaving the Democrat the sole representative of Cortland's interests, and it was in the office of this paper, in 1845, that D. R. Locke, who as "Petroleum V. Nasby" is now so well known in both hemispheres, entered as an apprentice to learn the "art preservative." About 1846 the Liberty Herald was established by James W. Eels and Nathaniel Goodwin. It "was the sensation of the day. It was printed in the room of the Elder building, vacated by the Whig office. John Thomas was the editorial writer, and editorials filled the little sheet of a temper and language that made vivid the clanking chains of the slave, and created the illusion that one could hear the blood-hounds bark and the crack of the slave-driver's whip!" The paper passed through several hands, including Rev. Samuel R. Ward "the eloquent black orator and preacher," and finally, after a hard struggle of a few years, suspended. Apart from these incidents there was nothing of importance to chronicle until the revival of the railroad project in 1848-9, when "meetings were called in various sections, and the people were ably and eloquently addressed with reference to the propriety of immediate action in behalf of the laudable enterprise." Books were opened for subscriptions, and in 1850 sufficient stock was subscribed to warrant the making of surveys, and in 1852 the work of grading the road was commenced.

    Cortland had become a village of nearly 1,500 inhabitants, and applied for a village charter, which was granted the 5th day of November, 1853, and on the 3d day of December the first bank was opened by William R. Randall, with Jonathan Hubbard as cashier. The principal business firms were J. W. Sturtevant & Co., J. S. Squires, S. E. Welch, W. O. Barnard, Daniel Bradford, William Fish, James Van Valen, Cloyes & Todd, Anthony and S. D. Freer, Henry Brewer and John McFarlan, with D. C. Dickinson as one of the leading manufacturers, he having begun manufacturing boots and shoes in 1850, and then employing about twenty workmen. Jehiel Taylor had succeeded Andrew Dickson as postmaster, April 18, 1849, and Henry G. Crouch, now editor of the Kingston Argus, and from whose interesting reminiscences of "Cortland Journalism" I have liberally excerpted, was the editor and publisher of the Democrat. But although Cortland had made considerable progress, Homer was somewhat in the lead, and was considered the leading place in the county.

    Eighteen hundred and fifty-four was a year long to be remembered! For it was in this year that the completion of the long-talked-of and much-hoped-for railroad project was witnessed. And the memory of James M. Schermerhorn, "to whose unremitting and laborious exertions the company are mainly indebted for the final completion of the road," and of the Hon. Henry Stephens, its first President, and also the other citizens of Cortland and Homer who so nobly lent their assistance, should ever be kept green by the people who are now reaping the benefits of their public spiritedness and enterprise. The Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad was formally opened to the public on the 18th and 19th days of October, 1854; and they were gala days, too! An excursion party went over the road, and "the train consisted of twenty-seven cars, which were crowded to such an extend that it was impossible for only a portion to be seated. The display at the various stations presented a somewhat truthful conception of the joy of our citizens. From every church that had a bell went forth a joyous welcome; cannons were fired; and bonfires and illuminations signalized the auspicious event." Cortland received what was then considered a "boom," and it is learned that during 1855 Randall's bank transacted a business amounting to $4,810,685.25, and that the amount paid out by James VanValen, J. D. Schermerhorn, James S. Squires and J. A. Graham, for butter shipped by them, exceeded $249,000, while the amount of freight shipped from Cortland station over the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad from April 1, 1855, to March 24, 1856, was 5,883,190 pounds, or a little more than 2,941 tons! "Comparisons are odious," but the reader's attention is nevertheless called to the freight shipments from Cortland in 1882.

    It was during the winder of 1853-4 that the Cortland Rural Cemetery Association was incorporated, and on the 11th day of August, 1854, the beautiful grounds lying on the north side of Monroe Heights were dedicated by the Rev. D. W. Bristol, of Ithaca. And it will be noticed that as the population of the village increases the number of its churches are also increased, the Catholics building a chapel on Washington street in 1855, and the Episcopals erecting an edifice on Court street in 1859.

    Fairs were held by the Cortland County Agricultural Society yearly, and although regular grounds and buildings were not possessed, and the exhibitions were held on the common or in the school buildings, Cortland supplying the location one year and Homer the next, they are said to have been highly successful, interesting and instructive, and probably more interest being felt in the event than there is now-a-days. But the society purchased the land now owned by them in the northern part of the village in 1858, a trotting track was laid, exhibition buildings ere erected, and in 1859 the first county fair was held on permanent grounds. Hiram Crandall was postmaster, and the village again boasted of two newspapers, the Cortland Gazette, published by C. Parley Cole, and the Republican Banner, which had just been established in 1858, by E. D. Van Slyck and Peter H. Ba___on. The Gazette was Democratic in politics, and the successor of the Cortland American, published as a Know-Nothing organ a couple years by Edwin F. Gould, who had purchased the Democrat of H. G. Croach in 1855 and changed its title, but in 1861, Mr. Van Slyck the editor of the Banner, desiring to go out as a volunteer with the Seventy-sixth Regiment, sold his paper to Mr. Cole, who consolidated the Gazette and Banner, and conducted it as a Republican paper. And to the war of the rebellion Cortland sent its full quota of the brave souls who offered up their lives that the Union might be preserved.

    The opening of the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad had, it is true, given somewhat of an impetus to the growth of the village, but up to this period it was only of that character which sometimes attends localities possessing resources and advantages not yet fully understood or developed, and forces them along almost against their own volition, and in 1861 it only numbered a little more than 2,000 inhabitants. It is not unfrequently that the destroying element---fire---proves decidedly beneficial in its effects upon the future of a community; and example often leads to the greatest results. Such, at least, may be said to have been the case with Cortland. In January, 1862, a fire broke out in the old Eagle Hotel, and destroyed the entire block on the corner of Main and Port Watson streets, which included the buildings occupied by Henry Brewer's harness and J. McFarlan & Co.'s furniture establishments. For a year the blackened ruins lay in grim contrast with the pretty greensward on the opposite corner, but on which today stands the magnificent Standard Block. Then H. J. Messenger, at that time in the full tide of prosperity, commenced the erection of the fine hotel building now bearing the name of the Messenger House, and Messrs. Brewer and McFarlan also began their work of re-building. Upon the completion of the Messenger House, in 1864, Mr. Messenger commenced the building of Taylor Hall block, which, when thrown open in 1865, was the first public hall in the village, as it was, also, the first building of really large proportions erected. And although the progress then made may be partly attributable to the effects of the war, it is acknowledged that to the example set by H. J. Messenger is Cortland indebted for that progress which followed. "Let honor be given where honor is due."

    The introduction of gas in the village in 1863 by the Cortland and homer Gas Company, which had been organized in 1861, was an evidence of progress, as was also the organization of the First National Bank in 1864, the Savings Bank in 1866, and the Cortland National Bank in 1869. In 1866 the Methodists built a fine new church on the site of the old structure, and in 1868 the Catholics erected a new church on North Main street. But the crowning event of this decade was the institution of the State Normal and Training School, which succeeded the old Cortlandville Academy, and was erected on the grounds occupied by the Academy since 1842. The following brief sketch of the State Normal and Training School was kindly furnished by Dr. J. H. Hoose, the accomplished Principal: "This school was instituted under Chapter 466, Laws of 1866 of the State of New York. The building and property were deeded to the State by the Corporation of Cortland Village, in 1868, the valuation being not far from $100,000. Hon. Abram B. Weaver was State Superintendent of Public Instruction at that time. He appointed in December, 1868, to constitue the Local Board, Hon. Henry S. Randall, Dr. Frederick Hyde, Hon. R. Holland Duell, Hon. Horatio Ballard, Norman Chamberlain, Charles C. Taylor, Henry Brewer, William Newkirk, and Aaron Stafford. Mr. Randall became President. His first official communication to the Board was to the effect that self-devotion to the school as a State trust, and harmony and unanimity in counsel and purposes should characterize the proceedings of the Board. Mr. Stafford died in 1872, and Mr. Robert Bruce Smith was appointed to the vacancy. Mr. Randall died in 1876, when Dr. Hyde became President, and Mr. J. S. Squires was appointed to fill the place. Mr. Ballard died in 1879, and Mr. J. C. Carmichael was appointed to the vacancy. The policy which was inaugurated by Mr. Randall has been steadily followed by all those who were in the Board with him; the school has prospered ever since it opened, which was on March 3, 1869. It has sent out about 400 Normal graduates; nearly 2,400 Normal students have been connected with it. It has three courses of study: An elementary English Course, of two years; an Advanced English Course, of three years; and a Classical Course, of four years. The last year of each course is devoted to professional work, theory and practice. There is a large school of practice connected with the Normal school, embracing ten grades of thorough course of study, beginning with pupils when they are of legal school age, which is five years old, and graduating when they are fifteen or sixteen years old. Students must be sixteen years old in order to enter the Normal School. Dr. J. H. Hoose has been principal of the school since its opening in 1869."

    Always well represented by newspapers, from which such an excellent idea of the character of a community can usually be formed,---of its sluggishness or thrift, of its backwardness or its enterprise,---these years had not been an exception to the rule. The Democrat had been reorganized in 1864 by H. G. Crouch and M. P. Callender, who conducted it until 1868, when it was sold to Benton B. Jones, and successfully continued by him. In 1867 Frank G. Kinney established the Cortland Standard,--a 32-column Republican paper, which was well received and met with success, and the Gazette and Banner was still published by C. Parley Cole. But upon the death of Mr. Cole in 1869, his paper was sold to W. H. Livermore, who changed its name to the Weekly Journal. Mr. Kinney's health failing in 1872, he sold the Standard to Wesley Hooker, who also purchased the Journal, and consolidated them under the title of the Standard and Journal. Horace A. Jarvis succeeded Hiram Crandall as postmaster, the 16th of March, 1861, and held the position for seventeen years, his term not expiring until July 13, 1878, when the present incumbent, James A. Nixon, was appointed.

    The old charter of 1853 had been repealed, and a new and special village charter granted April 28, 1864; a new era of prosperity had set in; the village began to grow more rapidly, more business houses were established, more dwellings were erected, and the sister village of Homer, which had previously led Cortland in progress, was in turn being led by her younger rival. The opening of the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad from Ithaca to Cortland, in 1872, conferred additional facilities and advantages upon the village, and it steadily increased in population and in importance as the marketing centre for this section. Many improvements were made, the Baptist congregation in 1872 erecting a new church on the site of their old edifice at a cost of $32,000; two new manufacturing enterprises were started; in 1874 the work of grading the streets was commenced; in 1876 the antiquated structure which had been occupied as the County Clerk's office since 1819 was removed, a handsome building of fine properties erected in its place, and Main street otherwise improved. And during that year a writer described it as being "one of the most beautiful and healthy towns in the Empire State," but "it is chiefly noted for the location of the Normal School."

    But the history of the past ten years is a familiar one---how in 1872 Fitzgerald & Kinne began manufacturing platform spring wagons on what was then considered a large scale---how from this beginning has sprung the great Cortland Wagon Company, the most extensive manufacturers of platform spring wagons in the world;---how in 1874 the Wickwire Bros. bought an old hand-loom and began weaving wire cloth---how C. F. Wickwire invented power looms, and they have become the largest manufacturers---save one---of wire cloth and wire goods in America;---how in 1877 C. B. Hitchcock came to Cortland a comparatively poor man---how in six years he has built up a business from $4,000 to $500,000 a year and became the largest manufacturer of cutters in the world;---how other manufactories, which have proven equally successful, sprung into existence, within the last few years, and where in 1874 there were only two utilizing steam power there are now nearly a score;---how in the past two years there were 450 new buildings erected and the village increased 2,000 in population, and where in 1880 there were 4,000 there are now 6,000 inhabitants;---all this is familiar and leaves but little more for me to say.

    The success the Cortland Wagon Works and Wickwire Bros. Wire Works had met, awoke the latent energies and stimulated the enterprise of the people, and from 1877 dates the new epoch in its history. New Manufacturing and other enterprises were started; new buildings commenced in various parts of the village; the Canastota, Cazenovia and DeRuyter Railroad was completed to DeRuyter in 1878, giving another outlet; still greater success attended the industries established, requiring the employment of larger numbers of workmen; prosperity reigned and the census of 1880 showed a population of 4,050. Then Cortland began to grow as it had never grown before; its people were fully awakened to the possibilities of their village; another factory was built, more workmen were given employment, and in 1880 there were forty-three new buildings erected. During the year 1881 was witnessed increased activity in all branches of trade and manufacture, the older factories were enlarged, new ones established, and one hundred and seventy-five new buildings were erected. The year 1882 was a repetition of this, only on a larger scale, two hundred and seventy-five new buildings being erected, the Second National Bank established and a horse car railroad, connecting Cortland and Homer, constructed. And a census taken in the Winter of that year showed a population of 6,000, while an idea of the volume of the business transacted may be obtained from the statement that during 1882, 67,812 tons of freight were handled at the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad 9 station, and 42,614 tons at the station of the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira Railroad---a total of 110,426 tons, which does not include the immense quantity of butter, eggs and poultry, shipped by express.

    Eighteen hundred and eighty-three has come and is rapidly passing away, but is leaving traces of unprecedented prosperity. Three hundred new buildings have been erected, or are contracted for and being built this year, new streets are being opened, ground has been broken, and the work of building commenced for a new factory in which a large number of workmen will be employed. Efforts are being made, and will doubtless prove successful, to secure the location here of the Utica, Ithaca and Elmira railroad shops, with their hundred or more employees, other enterprises are in prospective, the industrial and commercial interests of the village are in the most highly prosperous condition---and it is no longer "chiefly noted for the location of the Normal school," but is noted for its wagon, carriage, sleigh, wire goods and other manufactories.

    Cortland is spreading out on the North, the South, the East, the West; it is dotted with busy manufactories, handsome business structures, fine residences, churches and public schools; "Excelsior" is the motto, "Progress" the watchword, "Thrift and Enterprise" the tokens of success; it is probably growing more rapidly than any other town in the East to-day, there is every indication of a continuance of this growth, and just as it is now the most "beautiful, thriving and prosperous village," it will undoubtly soon become one of the largest and most beautiful cities in Central New York.

    And here let me parenthetically mention an industry of which there is probably but little known, but that will yet, small and insignificant as it is in comparison with the large industrial establishments, confer a great a reputation upon the place---the manufacture of violins. In the third story of one of the business blocks on Main street, Lewis Hannum is patiently weaving out for himself---with "his hand for a shuttle and his brain for a loom"---a name as the maker of the finest violins produced in this country. Following Guarnerius in modeling and Straduiarius in grading, he produces a result that is making his violins the favorite with the best violinists in America. He commenced in 1875, and had made during that time fifty-two violins, which already command large prices, and will increase in value with age.

    As a place of residence Cortland offers many attractions---attractions that are equalled by few localities in the interior, combining many of the advantages secured in larger cities with all the delights and pleasures of a rural life. The climate is decidedly healthy; the atmosphere is clear, pure and invigorating, and it is entirely free from all malaria, fever or ague. A never-failing supply of water is obtained at slight cost by means of driven wells; the water in the rivers and brooks is clear as crystal, and every brook is a trout brook. It is surrounded by a fertile country noted for its dairy and food products, and abounding in fine drives, picturesque and beautiful scenery. Every branch of mercantile enterprise is represented in the village, enabling the residents to avail themselves, at home, at reasonable prices, of every requisite to the comfort, convenience and enjoyment of life. Seven religious denominations--Baptist, Methodist, Congregational, Universalist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Catholic--are represented by large congregations and churches. There are five district schools within the corporation limits, and tuition is free in the Normal School to all village residents, text books also being furnished students free. Three first-class newspapers are published weekly---the Cortland Standard, a thirty-six column folio, edited and published by William H. Clark, who succeeded Wesley Hooker, in 1876; the Cortland County Democrat, also a thirty-six column folio, edited and published since 1868 by Benton B. Jones (with exception of a brief interval), and the Cortland News, a thirty-two column folio, established in 1880 by Buell & Lansing, but edited and published since 1882 by Frank G. Kinney---all in a prosperous condition and representative weekly journals. The village is well supplied with hotels, the Messenger House being one of the finest hotels in the interior of the State, first-class in every respect and conducted on a scale of liberality that gives it a high rank among the best hotels in the country; three other very good hotels are also possessed in the Dexter House, Central Hotel, and the Cortland. Horse cars traverse the entire length of Main street and connect it with Homer, that pretty little village of about 3,000 inhabitants, just two miles north. It is illuminated with gas of a fine quality, has an efficient volunteer fire department, with a steamer, hook and ladder truck, and full equipment of the most improved apparatus, housed in Firemen's Hall, (erected in 1875), and every ready to respond to an alarm, while fire wells are scattered throughout every portion of the village, ensuring an exhaustless supply of water. On the north side of Monroe Heights is that beautiful terraced city of the dead---Cortland Rural Cemetery, with its winding drives, and elegance of lawn and shrubbery---one of the most attractive spots the imagination could conceive. A handsome iron bridge will in all probability soon span the Tioughnioga, Elm street be continued to the apex of Salisbury Hill, and here amid terraces and lawns, with a scene of unsurpassable loveliness spread out like a panorama before them, be erected some of the most charming homes in the land. Blodgett's Park, with its trout ponds, perplexing maze and other wonders in land-scape gardening affords a pleasant resort for a day's rest or recreation, while a scheme is in contemplation to throw a dam across the Tioughnioga river, near the confluence of the East and West branches, making it navigable for nearly a mile, and form on its bank a public park. From Benham's Hill on the South, Randall Hill on the North, Salisbury Hill on the East, or Monroe Heights on the West, a magnificent landscape of rich and varied beauty is presented to the view, and with all its attractiveness of location and surroundings, its churches, educational institutions, beautiful shaded streets, elegant public and private grounds, pretty cottages, handsome residences, stately mansions, and massive business structures, a more delightful place of residence could not be desired.

    As a location for manufacturing enterprises, Cortland certainly presents advantages that cannot be ignored. The uniform success of the manufactories established here within the last ten years, and which is truthfully set forth by sketches of the more prominent factories, in Part II., and not in the least exaggerated, conclusively proves that it does possess facilities and resources that must and will eventually make it a manufacturing centre of still greater importance. Their wonderful success has been attained within a very few years---ten years the longest period---and this, too, when Cortland was as yet unknown, and without the advantages or the facilities now possessed, and with but little capital but indomitable pluck and energy, backed by ability and enterprise. And if such unparalleled success can be attained under such circumstances, what could not be accomplished now by a combination of greater capital, with the facilities and resources now offered, and the prestige given to Cortland by its manufacturers? The transportation facilities are unexceptionable, the railroads display the most friendly spirit, and manufacturers are given the benefit of special rates that place them on an equality with, if it does not give them advantages over, competitors in any locality. The Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad connects at Binghamton with the New York, Lake Erie and Western, Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroads; at Syracuse with the New York Central and the West Shore roads; the Ithaca, Ithaca and Elmira connects at Elmira also with the Erie and Delaware, Lackawanna and Western, and at Freeville with the Southern Central, and the Cazenovia, Canastota and DeRuyter Railroad also connects at Canastota with the New York Central---thus giving a choice of shipment over five of the greatest rival lines in the State. "New railroad enterprises already on foot, and which give promise of speedy and successful completion, hold out a prospect of enlarged shipping facilities and reduced freights, increasing the profits of manufacturers already established here, and offering stronger inducements for the location or origination of new ones." The village is governed by a President and Board of Four Trustees, who, seeing the advantages that accrue from the establishment of manufacturing enterprises, wisely pursue a policy of liberality towards manufacturers that cannot fail to prove mutually beneficial. The taxes are very moderate, and inducements are held out to manufacturers desiring to locate, in both land and taxes, that are worth the most careful consideration. Water is free! At a depth of fifteen or twenty feet a sub-stratum of water is struck, in any part of the village, that, when a driven well is sunk, rises in the pipe to within a few feet of the surface, affording an exhaustless supply at the simple cost of driving the pipe---a cost so slight that this water supply forms no inconsiderable item in a manufacturer's favor. Gas sells at $2.50 per 1,000 cubic feet. The telegraph and express facilities are equal to the needs of a city of large population. Three National Banks and a Savings Bank afford banking facilities of an exceptional character. The surrounding country may be described as rich valleys and fertile hills, furnishing every variety of food product. The dairy business has increased to an unparalleled extent, H. Wells, Ives & Schermerhorn, E. M. Hulbert and A. VanBergen having purchased and shipped last year $350,000 worth of butter. The citizens are alive to the importance of securing other industries, contributing liberally of their means and lending their assistance to promote their welfare and the welfare of the community, and enterprise in search of a suitable location for the establishment of manufactories or for the investment of capital in mechanical industries, has, therefore, but to investigate the resources and advantages of this village to be convinced that every essential to success is either on the spot or within easy and direct assess.

    Although Cortland's growth has been exceedingly rapid during the past few years, it is not due to speculation, nor has it been the spasmodic or mushroom growth that has characterized some towns in the West and in the oil country. Its population has been drawn by the demands of its manufactories for labor. These manufactories are not conducted simply as a speculation, but, as a rule, by young men desirous of building up for themselves a permanent business. Their capital was small, but their earnings were invested in the business each succeeding year, and their capacity enlarged and increased by this means until they have attained their present prominent positions. The secret of their success lies partly in the utilization of labor-saving machinery to its utmost limits, and reducing the manufacture of their products to a system. But they have won success on their own capital, and there is probably but few manufacturing centres in the country to-day which stand on a sounder basis. And growing thus rapidly, growing thus soundly on a solid, substantial foundation, who can say that the day is far distant when Cortland will meet Homer on the north; the banks of the Tioughnioga be lined with factories, the pretty cottages of their workmen filling up the entire space between; that fine stretch of land lying along South Main street be dotted with fine business structures or handsome residences; Monroe Heights covered with stately mansions, and the village stretch out on either side into a city rivalling any of the beautiful cities that now adorn the southern or central part of the Empire State?

1 - See sketch, "The Cortland Mills," Part II.
2 - Goodwin's "Pioneer History."
3 - See sketch, "The Cortland Mills," Part II.
4 - See sketch, "Horace Dibble's Wool Carding Mill," Part II.
5 - See sketch, "Cooper Bros. Foundry and Machine Shops," Part II.
6 - See sketch, "The Tioughniogian Pottery," Part II.
7 - See sketch, "The Cortland Machine Company," Part II.
8 - Reminiscences of "Journalism in Cortland County," by H. G. Crouch, in Cortland Standard, May 3, 1883.
9 - Failed to report. Estimated from the smallest month's receipts.
You are visitor since 28 Aug 2011 -- thanks for stopping by!

There were 3774 visitors to our previous host from 17 May 2005 to 28 Aug 2011.

Last updated: 28 Aug 2011
This page is maintained by Tim Stowell.

© 2005-2011

Past and Present
Town of Cortlandville
Other Towns
Cortland Co, NY Site