Cows wandering Albany Street in a photo from the late 19th century.
150 Years Ago
June 27, 1866 — If the privilege of pasturing cattle in our twenty five acres of street is of such value as to render desirable its allowance, at an annual cost of maintaining 2,500 rods of fence and 400 gates, is it unreasonable for our citizens who foot our sidewalks and the bills for constructing them, to demand that the cow owners shall send a man about, daily, with some instrument which may clean our walks with less cost than they are cleaned by shoes and dainty skirts? The public is long suffering in this matter, and bears with a great deal, if any possible charity results from indulgence, but it is full time that some consideration for the large number of property owners should be shown by the small minority who own the raiding street cows.
125 Years Ago
June 25, 1891 — Trouble At St. James’ Church- The long standing and deep seated troubles in St. James’ Roman Catholic church of this place, which for the past year or two have been a matter of regret to residents of Cazenovia, of all shades of religious belief, came to a head last Sunday morning, and the result would almost certainly have been bloodshed, had not officers of the law been present to quell the disturbance.
It is not the province of an undenominational newspaper to inquire into the details of a church quarrel, nor is it advisable either for the good of the church or the community at large, to revive a matter of difference which has estranged a goodly portion of a parish from its pastor for three or four years past. The details of this unfortunate dissention have been matters of civil and ecclesiastical investigation and are familiar to most of our readers.
In the matter of Sunday morning, last, we shall confine ourselves strictly to a statement of the actual occurrences as gleaned from witnesses from both sides, and shall leave the waring factions to point out the culprit or culprits, and decide the animus of the deed, through other columns.
It seems that when the Janitor, Michael Larkin, went over to the church about half-past nine, to open it for the 10:30 service, he found both the front and vestry doors securely fastened with heavy padlocks. The front door had a strap of iron across the junction of the two doors, which swing outwardly. Through holes in the ends of this iron strap, two “hitching rings” or heavy screweyes, had been screwed, one in each door, through one of them a second ring or link had been welded, and this link and the other ring fastened with a heavy padlock. The rear door was fastened in practically the same manner, a hitching-ring being screwed into the door, and another into the jamb, and the two locked.
The janitor informed the priest, Rev. J.L. Meagher, and he in turn sent Mr. Larkin for constable M. Moochler and deputy sheriff A. Lockman to help open the doors. This was about 9:45. The two went up to the church, where a crowd was already beginning to congregate, Lockman called for a crowbar, with which to pry out the fastenings, James Mulholland volunteered to get one, which he did.
The anti-priest element objected to this, and backing into the entry way declared that the door should only be opened with a key, and boldly accused Father Meagher of having it. Hot words followed, and hickory sticks, crow bars and axes were grasped menacingly. One man clinched another, but released his hold when one of the officers produced his irons and attempted to take him into custody. It was only by the cool headed endeavors of the officers that a free fight was prevented, in which it is safe to say, someone would have been roughly handled.
Finally someone suggested that the church might have been closed by the Bishop’s orders, in which case the officers would have no right to break in the doors. In order that they might ascertain the truth of the matter they went to the telephone office and telephoned to Bishop Luddon, who was found conducting service at Liverpool. He emphatically denied that the church had been closed by his order.
The officers returned to the church, to find that entrance had been effected by Father Meagher’s adherents. This had been done by wrenching off the lock, of the vestry door and then busting out the front doors from within. A fair size congregation staid to the services, which were deferred about an hour by the trouble.
The affair is considered a disgrace to the village by the people of all denominations and also largely by both factions of St. James’ church. The priest claims it to be an attempt to override his authority, while the opposites claim that the doors were fastened at his own instigation to create popular sympathy for him.
All sorts of rumors are afloat, the facts of which are difficult to determine.
Both factions are extremely bitter toward each other and it is feared that the end of the troubles has not been reached.
100 Years Ago
June 29, 1916 — Mr. Floyd Rose was in Detroit last week for Mrs. Kate Ledyard’s Dodge runabout and a Dodge touring car for Dr. C.E. Hamilton. The cars came to Buffalo by boat and Mr. Rose drove them from there to Cazenovia. While in Detroit Mr. Rose visited the Hudson and Ford plants. Mrs. Rose visited relatives in Syracuse during his absence. Dodge Brothers are turning out 330 to 340 cars a day and are producing about 25 per cent of the demand.
50 Years Ago
June 30, 1966 — Who killed July 4? That’s an interesting question, and certainly there is no one answer. At one time our Independence Day was one of the Big Three, along with Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, it’s just one day in the long week-end.
Time was when July 4 was the big day for the parade. The fire department, the town band and the high school band, the veterans’ organizations and as many citizens as could walk and benefit by their appearance were in the march. The streets were lined with all local citizens plus the farmers and their families from miles around.
After the parade the village park or square was packed for the political fireworks, and all the politicians had the time of their lives extolling the wonders of America and the village. After the air had cleared was time for either family or community picnics, and everyone ate until they couldn’t move.
As the saying goes, them days is gone forever. The parades come on Memorial Day, the flags are honored on Flag Day, the veterans and servicemen are given credit on Veterans’ Day (what the old-timers still call Armistice Day.) What is left for the Grand and Glorious Fourth?
In Cazenovia, we have only Bells of America Ringing for Freedom, and it lasts just four minutes. The rest of the day is just part of the mad rush to the seashore or the lake, where unbelievable piles of litter mark the passage of patriotic Americans.
Years Ago is compiled by Erica Barnes. She is a contributing writer for The Cazenovia Republican with a degree in history and communications from Flagler College. She compiles the column from the archives of the Cazenovia Public Library. It is written in the style of the time.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.