COUNTY COURT PROCEEDINGS



From Geneva Gazette 11 Mar 1848

Ontario Sessions - March Term

The County Court and Court of Sessions commenced on Monday last.  Judge Sibley presides with much courtesy and dignity; assisted by Justices Granger and Porter, who, in the quaint language of the Ontario Repository, were "duly elected to bear the judicial burdens."  The Court has already disposed of considerable criminal business.  In this department the several sections of the county are fairly represented.

Victor is represented in the line of gambling houses.  Lawrence M. Van Buren -- not John -- and Henry Morgan, both plead guilty and were severally fined ten dollars.

Canadice appears in the musical department.  Five tuneful gentlemen of that town plead guilty to indictments charging them with holding a concert near the of Isaac Stephenson, on a certain wedding occasion, commonly called a "horning," accompanying the dulcet strains of the human voice with divers bells, tin pans, horns, fiddles, squawkers, guns, pistols, &c, &c., and were fined ten dollars each.  Thus did they pay for attending their own concert.  Surely the managers should have had free tickets.

Phelps sent in a medical case.  George Bowen, M. D., late of Canada, of course a member of the Royal Society, and healer of all the ills that horse flesh is heir to, was found guilty of stealing the horse of Israel Nimms.  Phelps also supplied a case of forgery, in which the defendant was found "not guilty."

Seneca, as usual, was not behind her sister towns.  However, as she now supplies the District Attorney for the county, she is entitled to more than an ordinary share of the criminal business.  By the way it is due to B. Slosson, Esq.,  the District Attorney, to say, that he has acquitted himself well in the discharge of his duties as public prosecutor.  He summed up the case of The People vs. George Bowen in an argument at once chaste, lucid, legal and convincing.

All the Geneva rioters plead guilty, and were severally fined fifteen dollars, except Featherly, whose sentence awaits the issue of another trial.  Samuel is so fond of fun, frolic and good fighting, that it seems almost a pity he should not have the privilege before his trial, of going through the several towns of the county and giving the bullies thereof a specimen of "licking.  He is as good natured in all these things, and such an amateur in fighting, we cannot but hope the Court will show him some indulgence.  We have no doubt there are some in the county who ought to be licked, and we are pained to think that they will be deprived of the privilege of being accommodated, if we are deprived of Samuel's good society by a change of his address from the village of Geneva to the city of Auburn.

Canandaigua, meek, mild and gentle, only presents the case of trying a young negro for not killing a white man.  Had the youthful African made clean work of it, no doubt it would have proved a case of justifiable homicide.



From Geneva Gazette 15 February 1850

Ontario Court of Sessions -
This Court adjourned on Friday evening last, after a session of nine and a half days.  The Grand Jury found sixteen indictments, nearly all of them for the higher grades of offence such as bigamy, abduction, false pretences, burglary,  &c.

The Court tried and disposed of thirteen cases, as follows:

Christopher A. Mason,
of Farmington, convicted on three indictments, for burglary in the 3d degree, grand larceny, and petit larceny.  Sentenced to State Prison at Auburn, at hard labor, for five years.

William McLaren, of Phelps, convicted of petit larceny.  Sentenced to County Jail six months, and fined $25.

Wishill Walker, of Phelps, convicted of grand larceny.  Sentenced to State Prison three years and four months.

John Freeman, of Victor, tried on an indictment for perjury.  The jury disagreed -- 8 for conviction, 4 for acquittal.

Lorenzo D. Williams, of Phelps, tried on an indictment for perjury as a witness in Justice's Court.  The indictment charged that he was sworn "on the Holy Gospel of God."  The proof was that he was sworn by the uplifted hand.  Held a fatal variance and the jury were instructed to find the defendant not guilty.  He was accordingly acquitted.

Louis Baron, of Rochester, convicted on an indictment for being accessory before the fact to the burglary of Shepard's Mills, in East Bloomfield, being a second offence.  Sentenced to State Prison nine years, eight months and twenty days.

Samuel Hicks, of Cartersville, Monroe co., tried on an indictment for burglary of Shepard's Mills.  The proof failing to identify the prisoner as a participator in the burglary the Court directed his acquittal.

Stephen Cross, of Rochester, convicted of burglary of Shepard's Mills.  Sentenced to State Prison two years and four months.

Benj. F. Yerkes, of East Bloomfield, convicted of forgery at last term of Court, and of the above burglary at this term. Sentence for burglary suspended.  Sentenced for forgery to State Prison for two years and six months.

Manlius Card, of Rochester, convicted of burglary.  Sentenced to State Prison for two years and one month.

Hamilton McGregor, of Canandaigua, convicted of assault and battery.  Sentenced to pay a fine of $15.



From Geneva Gazette 16 January 1874

Court Doings -
The January term of the County Court and Court of Sessions commenced on Monday, Hon. F. O. Mason, presiding with Wm. H. Warfield and James M. Pulver, Esquires, sitting as associates.

The first case called in the Court of Sessions was that of The People vs. George W. Bridger.  This defendant was arraigned under an indictment for assault and battery committed upon one Alvin Aldrich, school collector in district No. 17, in the town of Phelps, while attempting to make a levy for the satisfaction of a school tax.  The prosecution was conducted by District Attorney Hicks, while Hon. Wm. H. Smith managed the defense.  Verdict of the jury guilty, with extenuating circumstances. Sentence not yet pronounced.


From Geneva Gazette 17 March 1882

County Court -- The criminal calendar has been disposed of as follows:

William Wilson, of Phelps, indicted for attempting to burn a barn, and Henry Martin, of Seneca, indicted for robbery, each withdrew his former plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty.

Patrick Ready, of Seneca, indicted for burglary and larceny, in stealing in 1877, property from the store of H. S. Schoonmaker, in the village of Orleans, consisting of revolvers, jewelry, etc., was arraigned for trial, and Frank Rice appointed his attorney.  The jury found the prisoner guilty.  Sentence deferred until Friday at nine o'clock.

The case of Peter E. Snyder, of Manchester, indicted for obtaining a quantity of timber for bolt heads by false representation, on trial.

The suit of Garret Van Sickle vs. S. K. Nester was tried and resulted in a verdict for plaintiff in the sum of $74.69.



From Geneva Gazette 1 Dec 1882

Court - A term of the County Court and Court of Sessions convened at the court house on Monday, Hon. Wm. H. Smith, County Judge, presiding, and Charles Ottley and George W. Freshour sitting as associates.

Martin Ingraham, of Canandaigua, indicted for burglary and larceny, withdrew his former plea not guilty, and pleaded guilty.  The court sentenced him to two years' imprisonment at Auburn.

Henry Lloyd, of Geneva, indicted for petit larceny, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to confinement in the State prison at Auburn for five years, and declared an habitual criminal.

Celeia Reynolds, of Canandaigua, indicted for bigamy, pleaded not guilty, and was recognized in the sum of $500, to appear at the next Court of Sessions for trial.

Michael Ryan, of Geneva, indicted for burglary and larceny, second offense, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment at Auburn.

Indictments against James Howe, of Geneva, Jacob Ruffer, of Victor, and George H. Drummond of Manchester, ordered to be dismissed.

The case of John Jones and Charles Wiley, who were indicted for burglary and larceny, it being claimed that they stole a quantity of wheat from Jacob Heech of West Bloomfield, was then tried. Edwin Hicks and Avery Hemenway conducted the case for the defendants, and the people were represented by District Attorney Armstrong.  It appearing that one of the jurors was not sworn, the trial was discontinued.

The case of Chester Salisbury, indicted for advising and procuring an abortion, was dismissed.



From Geneva Gazette 21 November 1890

The grand jury came into Court on Friday with nine bills of indictment, seven of which were open and are as follows:  
Milton Mosher, indicted for rape, committed in the town of South Bristol; George Muck, of Naples, indicted for breaking jail; William Ward and John Thompson, indicted for burglary 3d degree, charged with breaking into Skidmore's shoe store in this village; James Murphy of Geneva, indicted for burglary 3d degree; Warren Dennison, indicted for burglary 3d degree, charged with breaking into O'Malley's store in Geneva; William Andrews and John Blackmer, indicted for burglary 3d degree and grand larceny 2d degree, charged with breaking into and robbing the house of C. L. Crozier in the town of Gorham; Frank C. Madigan, indicted for poisoning animals belonging to Martin Wheatley of Canadice.  Canandaigua Times.



From Geneva Gazette 1 February 1895

The late grand jury found 12 indictments, seven of which were open, as follows:  Edward Planta, Geneva, burglary and larceny; Edward Cairns, Canandaigua, burglary and larceny; John Connors, Canandaigua, burglary and larceny; Michael Gaffeney, East Bloomfield, grand larceny; Michael Riley, Geneva, receiving stolen goods; Albert H. Coleman, Geneva, gambling; Anson E. Wood, Canandaigua, grand larceny.  From the very large number of witnesses from Geneva subpoenaed, the inference was general that at least a dozen indictments against our townspeople were probable.



From Geneva Gazette 1 November 1895

The late Ontario grand jury handed in six sealed and five open indictments.  The prisoners on the open indictments were arraigned as follows:  William Courtwright, assault, second degree, committed at Geneva September 23rd, upon the person of John Howard, striking him with a beer glass and cutting him with a razor; pleaded not guilty; bail fixed at $800. Martin Reddy, of Geneva, assault second degree, shooting Fall Brook fireman Frank L. Bunnell, October 23rd, pleaded not guilty; bail fixed at $500.  Daniel Pulver, grand larceny, committed at Manchester July 17th, stealing $46.25 from a fellow lodger named R. F. Bantleman, pleaded not guilty; Frank McQuillan and Frank James, burglary and larceny, two indictments, crime committed at Manchester August 4th, for breaking into James Jones' house and William Gilligan's barber shop, stealing small articles from each place; pleaded not guilty, bail fixed at $300 for each indictment.  The following persons who were locked up in the county jail to await the action of the grand jury were not indicted and were discharged from custody: John Cunningham and Martin Walsh, charged with burglary; Cornelius Sutherland, held upon a charge of assault committed at Fisher's; Charles J. Cramer, held to answer on a charge of perjury, alleged to have been committed at Victor; Dean Priest held to answer charge of assault.  Judge Rumsey also closed up the circuit court as there was nothing ready for trial.



From Geneva Gazette 15 May 1896

Indictments Found -
The sealed indictments on being opened revealed among others the following:

Frank C. Boehn of Manchester for violating excise law.

G. V. Sackett of Geneva for libel uttered against C. S. Codington.

M. J. Dillon
of the Geneva Times for libel on complaint of James Burns and John Harrison, two printers, and John F. O'Brien, a reporter, all formerly employed by Dillon.  On each Dillon pleaded not guilty, and was held to answer in the sum of $500 or $1500 on the three indictments. 'Tis reported that C. H. Wright has become his surety.



From Geneva Gazette 23 October 1896

Indictments at Canandaigua -
The Ontario grand jury found the following indictments at its recent session:

David Slyke, of Phelps, indicted for grand larceny, second degree.  He is charged with stealing a bicycle from H. F. Wisewell.

Frank Cobb, of Victor, a tramp, not the druggist, indicted for grand larceny, second degree, committed by stealing clothing from a hotel.

Frank Demorest, of Geneva, grand larceny in the second degree.  He is charged with stealing a pair of diamond ear rings from a relative.

Dennis Hallice, of Richmond, burglary and larceny.  Hallice is supposed to be the thief who stole two boxes of money from Frank Watrons, of Honeoye, last summer.

John B. Boyce, burglary and larceny, committed in the Town of Manchester.

James Shannon, jr., burglary, third degree, and larceny.  He is charged with stealing cider in the town of Seneca.

Eugene Soule, John Singsine, and Schuyler Beamish, of Geneva, indicted for robbery.  They are charged with the crime of holding up the proprietor of the Pre-Emption Park hotel in Geneva last summer.

Robert Putty and Edgar Hazard, indicted for rape committed in the village of Geneva.



From Geneva Gazette 22 October 1897

Indicted by the Grand Jury -
Wednesday afternoon the prisoners indicted by the last Grand Jury were arraigned and pleaded as follows:  James Phelan, manslaughter in the first degree, pleaded not guilty.  He will be defended by ex-Senator Edwin Hicks of Canandaigua.  William Ganz, of Canandaigua, indicted for robbery in the first degree, pleaded not guilty. William O'Brien, of Canandaigua, indicted for robbery in the first degree, pleaded not guilty.  John O'Connell, of Victor, indicted for assault, second degree, pleaded not guilty.  Dennis Melvin, of Canandaigua, indicted for burglary and larceny, third degree, pleaded not guilty.  Charles Hodge, of Geneva, indicted for burglary and larceny, third degree, pleaded not guilty.  A. H. Coleman, of Geneva, indicted for keeping a gambling house, pleaded not guilty, and was admitted to bail in the sum of $500. William Mensch, of Geneva, indicted for keeping a gambling house, pleaded not guilty, and was admitted to $500 bail.  These cases were sent to the County Court for trial.

Robert Abbey, of Bristol, indicted for selling hard cider to the tramps, who subsequently got drunk on it and then engaged in a brawl which resulted in the death of Thomas Collins, was also arraigned and pleaded guilty.



From Geneva Gazette 18 February 1898

Indictment Found by the Grand Jury -
The grand jury concluded its labors on Monday, its indictments being as follows:

Hugh Sweeney, of Seneca, indicted for assault in the second degree, committed on his father-in-law, at Hall's Corners, November 21, 1897.  Sweeney was arraigned and pleaded not guilty.  His bail was fixed at $500.

Joseph Parrish, the alleged leader of the Pine Plains gang of burglars, two indictments for burglary in the third degree and petit larceny, committed in the town of Seneca.  Parish, it will be remembered, is now serving a term in the Penitentiary for a similar crime.

Michael Kelly, indicted for assault in the second degree, was arraigned and pleaded not guilty.  Was held for trial.

Marion B. Nichols, four indictments for forgery; was arraigned, and pleaded not guilty.  Bail was fixed at $1000.  Nichols is charged with having forged the name of H. C. Robinson, W. T. Dana, A. W. Stevens, and W. J. Wilcox, on promissory notes of the amount of $36, $48, $80 and $84, the notes being delivered to the Bowker Fertilizing Company.  He is a prominent resident of the town of Seneca, and has borne an unblemished reputation.  He asks the public to suspend judgment until he has an opportunity to be heard.



From Geneva Gazette 20 October 1899

WORK OF THE GRAND JURY - Thirty-three Indictments Found -
After nearly two weeks' session the Grand Jury rose at Canandaigua yesterday afternoon, and reported thirty-three indictments, seventeen sealed and sixteen open as follows:  The People against Michael Houlihan, of Geneva, indicted for manslaughter, second degree; Patrick H. Farrell, of Canandaigua, indicted for petit larceny, second offense; George Holman, of Geneva, indicted for burglary, third degree; William H. Lamson, of Manchester, indicted for liquor tax violation; Michael E. McCoy, of Manchester, indicted for violation of liquor tax law; John Kennedy, of Bristol, indicted for assault, second degree; George C. Dorsey, of Geneva, indicted for arson, second degree; James O'Brien, of Seneca, indicted for mayhem; Anna A. Morgan, of Manchester, indicted for liquor tax violation; George Wilder, of Victor, indicted for assault, second degree; Frank Potter, of Geneva, indicted for grand larceny, second degree; Nathaniel Washington, of Geneva, indicted for burglary and larceny; Frederick J. DeAtley, of Geneva, indicted for grand larceny, second degree; Thomas Carrigan, of Geneva, indicted for assault, second degree; Edward Stanley, of Geneva, indicted for grand larceny, second degree.



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