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Cuba, NY in the News

News stories in various newspapers about Cuba, New York, compiled by Vivian Karen Bush.

Newest articles are added at the top.


The South Side of Main Street, from Palmer's Block to Orchard Street, n Ruins!


From the Cuba True Patriot Extra of Wednesday Morning, the 10th inst.

Our village has again been visited by a most destructive fire. About 2 o'clock this (Wednesday) morning, the rear portion of the large new building owned by Robert Wasson, and occupied by Langley & Eason, dry-goods merchants, on the south side of Main st., was discovered to be on fire. The alarm was immediately given and our citizens were promptly on hand, but in spite of the most strenuous exertions the flames rapidly spread east and west destroying all the buildings on that side of the street from Palmer's Block to and including the Western Hotel.

The buildings were all of wood and burned like tinder. Luckily there was no wind blowing at the time or the destruction would have been far greater.

From Langley & Eason's dry-goods store the fire rapidly spread, communicating to Otis' large building, occupied by Brooks & Shepard, clothing merchants on the front ground floor, and by Mr. C. Otis at a residence in the rear. Mr. Otis' elegant photograph gallery was on the second floor. From here the flames lapped on to Gordon's Banner store, and that was quickly enveloped in the devouring element. This building was owned by Joseph Palmer, Esq., but was occupied on the ground floor by the Assignees of I. B. Gordon, and on the second floor by T. M. Talbot, dentist.

At this point the progress of the fire was arrested by the high, thick brick walls of Palmer's Block. Palmer's Block was at one time considered to be in imminent danger, but by tearing down portions of the awning, and spreading carpets over the exposed wood work, it was saved.

On the west of Langley & Eason's the fire first caught into the building owned by Geo. Banfield, and formerly occupied by Ira Griggs as a cooper shop. An attempt was made to tear down this building, but the rapid spread of the flames drove away the workmen and rendered the attempt futile.

An attempt was next made to tear down W. H. Johnson's barber shop, the next building, but the fire surged onward, forcing the men back, caught in the residence of Mr. Johnson nearly adjoining his shop, leaped with almost lightning rapidity to the Western Hotel, and the entire side of the street was a mass of roaring, crackling fire.

All the buildings burned were of wood, and they melted away before the insatiable fire demon like dew before the fierce sirocco's breath.

Every exertion was made by our citizens--even the ladies worked with a will--but all was unavailing. The fire-fiend had been aroused and would not down at no man's bidding until everything combustible within its reach was destroyed.

Mr. Langley & Eason saved none of their goods, and even their books were destroyed. They were insured for $4,000, which does not begin to cover their loss. Miss M. J. Kirkpatrick, who had her millinery store in with Messrs. Langley & Eason, lost everything. This is the second time within the past six months that Miss K. has suffered by fire, her store having been destroyed in December last. Her goods were insured for $1,500, we believe.

A part of the upper floor of Gordon's store was occupied by Miss Gordon as a residence with a dress-making establishment attached.

A good share of the goods of the different stores, with the exception of Langley & Eason's and Miss Kirkpatrick, were saved. Mr. Scoville, of the Western Hotel saved a good share of his furniture. He had but recently purchased the hotel of Mr. P. Roberts, and as the building and furniture was uninsured, the loss falls heavily on Mr. Scoville and Mr. Roberts. Mr. Brooks & Shepard's insurance policy expired the day before, and had not been renewed. They saved a large portion of their goods, but quite an amount of summer clothing was not secured. Their loss is from $1,500, to $1,800. Besides the goods lost by Messrs. Langley & Eason, some $600 worth of clothing belonging to Mr. Chas. Howell, their clerk, lost some $50 in money which he had in a satchel in the store. Mr. Otis' building was also uninsured. He is one of the heaviest losers.

The following is a list of the sufferers together with their insurance, so far as we have been able to ascertain:

There is do doubt but that this conflagration, which leaves Cuba this (Wednesday morning) with ruins far more extensive than were ever seen here before, was the action of a scoundrelly incendiary. The fire when first discovered was in the hall-way to the rear stairs in Langley & Eason's store. It is also stated that it was noticed that, the rear door to the store was found open, but with the thousand conflicting stories in relation to the mater it is impossible to find out whether such were really the case or not. One thing, however, is certain. The fire broke out in the hall-way, which is separated from the main body of the store and far away from the stove.

It is said that on several occasions at a late hour of the night, a man had been suspiciously skulking in the rear of the building which formed the row, and one night last week Mr. Eason, on opening the back door to his store, found a man standing on the steps, who immediately ran off upon finding himself discovered. Mr. Eason's suspicions were aroused, and he remained upon the night in question watching the store. Mr. Eason usually sleeps in the store, but he is at present in new York purchasing new goods.

It is hoped that the rascally incendiary who, for the purpose of plunder, or to gratify a feeling of revenge, thus brought destruction upon a portion of our village, may be bro't to justice and receive the punishment he so rich deserves.

--Since the above was written we learn that Messrs. Langley & Eason's loss on goods, over the insurance, is about $1,000, but Mr. Langley's individual loss is larger than was stated, as some $800 worth of Charts, nautical instruments, etc., was destroyed. Mr. L. was formerly a Captain in the Navy.

Mr. Clark Otis, as before stated is one of the heaviest losers. His building was new, and was erected at a great expense. It consisted of an elegant and well-arranged photograph gallery, an excellent store, with a residence attached. The building was insured to within three or four weeks past, but Mr. C. had neglected to renew the policy.

The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. V, No. --, April 12, 1867.

New Store in Cuba - Mr. Moses Michaels has purchased Mrs. J. J. Ashley's stock of millinery and dry-goods and has added to it one of the largest and best selected assortments of dry and fancy goods every brought into the place. The old stock will be sold at cost, while the new one will be disposed of at prices that will astonish people in this section. Call and see Michaels' new and rich goods. - The Cuba True Patriot Vol. V. No. 2, July 5, 1867

THE CAYUGA CHIEF." -- E. R. Hatch, of this town, is agent for the sale of this model Mowing Machine. The Chief has been before the farming public for six years, and its popularity has been constantly increasing. It has lately been improved in many essential points, and is now claimed by the manufacturers to be the best mower in the United States. Farmers wishing further particulars should call on Mr. Hatch and examine the machine.

Mammoth Strawberries - On Saturday last Mr. C. S. Wyckoff, of this town, quietly walked into our office and presented us with a lot of Strawberries that looked so rich and luscious that we were afraid they would dissolve before our eyes. They were of such extraordinary size that we were tempted to measure three of the largest. We did so and found that the united circumference of the three measured twelve and one-half inches! We can assure our friend Wyckoff that they were heartily discussed.

Alfred University

The reputation that this institution is so justly acquiring, and the benefit that it is bestowing on surrounding communities render it an object of interest and not only to those interested directly in the great work of education, but to individuals engaged in every business or avocation in which man gains a livelihood.

It is with pride we notice the number of students which Cuba has afforded to this institution, and the creditable manner in which they have conducted themselves. We believe that nine have been in attendance the past year from our town, six of whom were appointed to position on different Anniversary Programmes of the Lyceums. R. A. Waterbury delivered the Salutatory of the Orophilean Lyceum- subject, "Our Country's Strength." G. W. Haight delivered the Valedictory, having for his subject "The Grandeur of Mind." Cuba was represented on the programme of the Ladies' Atheneum Society by the Oration of Miss Adelia Freeborn, on "Though and Action," and also the Valedictory Address by Miss M. E. Setchell-- subject, "What is Dark on Earth is bright in Heaven." Miss Sarah L. Waterubry, together with Miss Florence A. Bard, of New Hudson, represented the Atheneum Society on the Anniversary Programme on Commencement day. H. J. Swift, formerly an Alfred student, read a poem before the Orophileants, entitled "Footprints on the Shore," which elicited commendation. Miss Mary M. Campbell, a former graduate, was on the programme of the Ladies' Alfredian Society, and delivered a very interesting oration.

Although a few other towns may rival Cuba in the number of representation, yet we think none can boast of a better stray of talent than is here presented. May this reputation be sustained, and as Cuba now surpasses any other town in the county in the amount and activity of its business, so may it be celebrated for the moral and intellectual superiority of its society. C.L. [Source: The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. V, No. 3, July 20, 1866]

Cuba Depot

A few weeks since we noticed that the Erie Railway Depot at this place was being materially enlarged and made more convenient in order to accommodate the rapidly increasing business at this point.  Since then the repairs have been completed, and the Cuba depot is now conceded to be the best arranged and most convenient of any on the line.  The telegraph office, in particular, is deserving of mention.  Under the supervision of the operator, Mr. R. Talcott, it has been fitted up and furnished, and the walls embellished with numerous beautiful engravings, until it presents more the appearance of a young lady's boudoir than a telegraph office, were it not for the incessant "click, click" of the instruments.

--In this connection we would say that nowhere on the line of the road can more gentlemanly and efficient employees be found than at this station.  Mr. Maxon, the Agent, has held the position for a number of years, with credit to himself and honor to the Company; Mr. Briggs, the Baggageman, is always on hand; while Mr. Talcott, as an Operator, has no superior. [The Cuba True Patriot, VOL V, NO 15, Friday, October 12, 1866]


Cuba has been visited with one of the most destructive fires that has ever occurred here.  Almost half- past three o'clock this morning, (Tuesday the 18th,) fire was discovered in the carriage shop of C. M. Bruce, on Main street.  The fire was first seen by a gentleman who was on his way to the Depot to take an early train.

The alarm being immediately given, our citizens rushed to the spot, and with characteristic energy went to work fighting the destroyer and saving property.  The buildings in the immediate vicinity were soon cleared of everything movable.  Every exertion to check the flames proved unavailing, until four buildings were destroyed.  The blacksmith shop of Olive & Chamberlian, on the west [crease in paper] Bartholomew, on the east, were very soon enveloped in flames, and then the extensive Millinery and Fancy store of Miss Kirkpatrick, which was partially torn down for the purpose of preventing the further spread of the flames, was devoured, as if in mockery of the feeble opposition of the crowd present.  Next east of this is the building occupied by Dr. Ashley as a residence, and also Mrs. Ashley's Milliner shop and Ashley & Fobes' drug store.  The well-directed efforts of the citizens, together with the snow on the roof, saved this building, with but a slight scorching.  The occupants of this building did not fail to show their appreciation of the effort put forth in their behalf.

We understand the buildings and contents were all insured, to some extent, but not sufficient to cover anywhere near the whole loss.  We noticed in the "line of battle," quite a number of ladies, doing efficient service against the fiery destroyer.  They never stand idle, where there is an opportunity to do good.

Incidents -- While the fire was at its height, a young man went up a ladder, even when flames were sweeping across the narrow space between Miss Kirkpatrick's and Ashley & Fobes', and poured on water till the danger was over. He must have had an iron nerve.

We have not time to name over those who rendered efficient service. It is enough to say that nearly all worked like tigers.

After all the danger was passed, we are informed that one young man, who, by the way, had scarcely lifted his finger to assist in work, had to "make a few remarks," being impelled to do so, probably, by the liquor he had put into himself. Elevating his voice, and shouting through his nose, he declared that "--- was REsponsible for the fi-i-ire," &c.-- People soon were disgusted by his senseless twaddle.

[The Cuba True Patriot, VOL V, NO 25, December 21, 1866]

Cuba, N.Y.

We copy the following entire, from the Elmira Advertiser, although our extreme modesty tempts us to clip off the closing paragraph. We opine is from the pen H. D. Hackley, the go-ahead canvasser of the Advertiser:

This is a lively, pretty, little old town which is quietly and steady growing every year. The general business appearances indicates "go ahead." No place on the line of the Erie Railway can beat Cuba for natural advantages. During the present year many valuable improvements will be made; buildings are going up all over town, and to meet the increasing demand for more building lots, four new streets will be opened this summer. They have a well organized fire department--Russell Smith, Chief Engineer; W. P. Stevens, Foreman No. 1 Engine; J. Hallack, Assistant; Jasper Palmer, Foreman Hose Co; D. Stevens, Assistant.

E. & W. Agate, Malsters and Brewers, turn out 74 bbls. fine ale per week at Cuba, and their Brewery at Pittsford has double the capacity. Messrs. E. & W. Agate are reliable business men that have the confidence of the public.

Smiths' Driving Park is attracting a good deal of interest. Russell Smith, one of Cuba's progressive business men, is now grading and has it partly fenced. It is one of the finest driving parks in the state, designed to be opened on the 4th of July, at which time there will be a trot. So bring your fast horses, and go to Cuba and while there stop with our friend Maj. L. J. Reynolds, owner and proprietor of the Cuba House, who has the pleasing faculty of making his guests at home.

F.G. Stebbins is editor, owner and proprietor of the Cuba True Patriot, a live, wide-awake vigorous Republican paper, which on the 20th of the present month closed its sixth volume. Stebbins is the veritable Editor, who it will be recollected presented himself at the Provost Marshal's Office in Elmira, at the first draft in 1862 (when 300,000 men were called for) a drafted man from the town of Cuba as "coming, Father Abraham, ninety-seven pounds strong." [The Cuba True Patriot, Vol. VII, NO. 1, June 26, 1868]

Fire at Cuba

Early Sunday morning a fire broke out in the hardware store of C. M. Goodwin, Cuba.  This burned together with the wagon and black-smith shop of A. Bates, the paint shop of J. F. Parker and the marble works of W. H. Bartholomew.  The fire company saved the millinery store of Mrs. A. A. Colwell, but the contents of the store were all removed and much injured.  Scott's hotel and the houses of L. A. Reynolds and L. N. Stevens were damaged slightly.  All were partially insured except Mrs. Colwell.  The firemen did good work.  [Friendship Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 51, January 26, 1881]

4th of July Celebration

Upwards of five thousand people made a goodly crowed at our sister town of Cuba on Monday last when the anniversary of the National Birthday was celebrated with the usual rejoicings.  There was an oration and the customary reading of the Declaration of Independence, innumerable refreshment stands, abundance of mild hilarity, a few serious drunks, a large consumption of lager and something stronger and plenty of playful pleasantness, but the chief interest of the day centered in the gathering of fire laddies from the differing localities.&nbps; Wellsville furnished five companies, the Howard, Jas. Macken, and Emerald Hose, the Brooklyn and Genesee Steamer Co.; Olean had three companies on the ground, the Fountain and the Citizens Hose, and the Pioneer hook and ladder Co.  Bradford sent her famous "Era" Hooks; Salamanca was represented by her newly organized United Protective Hooks and Cuba had the Rescue Hose and Rescue Steamer Cos.  All the companies made an excellent appearance and the parade was as fine as one as has been seen for many a day in Western New York.  All displayed excellent discipline, even the Salamanca boys who were only uniformed a few weeks since.  The Hose race was between the Howards of Wellsville and the Fountains and Citizens of Olean.  The first named were a trifle the fleetest of foot but the Fountains took the pitcher for the general excellency of their work and were warmly applauded for their deserved success.  The Citizens also did well but they are a trifle light and not quite familiar with the work.

Considering the size of the crowd excellent order was maintained and C. M. Rude the Marshal of the day, with his aids, Edwin Bishop and C. Davis, are entitled to great credit for their efforts in carrying out the programme, despite the unpleasant weather during a part of the day. H. J. Swift was the President of the day and discharged his duties with his accustomed tact.

Cuba can congratulate herself on the grand average of success which crowned her efforts to celebrate the Fourth of 1880.

[Source: Friendship Chronicle, Volume 1, Number 22, July 7, 1880]


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