Newspaper Page Text
dttlon which must necessarily surround
these closets as long as they were bo
located. Realizing the Importance of
such conveniences, and being con
vinced that some provision for them
must bo made boforo the pwrmunent
work on the State house was completed,
the commission sought to provide a
different, more convenient and safer
locality in the building for these
closets. These new closets were not
contemplated when the question of
completing the State house came be
fore the general ussembiy, nor were
there any plans, specifications or con
ti act relating thereto; but the commis
sion believing that out of the appro
priation enough had been saved to in
stall these necessaries, made,such con
tract with reference to thenri as justi
fies us In courting the most rigid In
vestigation. At the time the fixtures
were installed there was no sewerage
system in the city of Columbia, und no
municipal regulations covering details
which though adopted for the sake of
uniformity and governmental regu
lation are but arbitrary. Since this In
stallation there has been no complaint!
of the presence or suspicion of the ex- I
Istence of sewer gas. and the location i
of the closets Is such that If the pres
ence did actually exist there could be
nt) detriment to the heulth or lives of
the occupants of the rtiatc house.
This determination on the part of the
committee to make this arrangement
was most fortunate, as subsequent
events proved, for the discovery was
about that time made that the old
water closets* had been silently and un
suspectingly venting their gases
through secret and unknown flues in
tin- brick walls of the building into
the offices upon the lower floor and
spreading disease and death among the
State's employes. The commission of
sanitary experts appointed by Gov.
II? yward, while criticizing some do-i
ails of the new work, ordered the old !
closets peremptorily and immediately i
removed from the building, and in this
demand Mr. Edens, the sanitary In- >
spector of Columbia, Joined. The grates!
or lire places in several of the offices
wire directly connected with these!
closets 'ami had to bo hermetically!
sealed until the old work was removed
from the building.
The condemned closets had been In
btailed at great expense to the State
under the direction of the commission
which erected the "splendid ten thous
and dollar steel colling" in the main
lobby, nearly 15 years ago, hugely un
der the supervision of Senator Mar
shall, who was then secretary of state.
We desire to impress upon you the
fact that you have not been put in pos
session of any evidence or statement as
to the apparent condition of the State
house upon the day when the accept
ance was made and the final install
ment paid to the contractor. We.
therefore, inform you that when the
work was accepted and the money puld
a personal inspection by special com- ,
mltteo of the commission was made
and the roof with all of its accessories,
appeared in perfect condition, and
every stone laid under the contract
was free from cracks or apparent de
fects, and this notwithstanding a test
period of nearly or quite a month had
elapsed from the date when the build
ing was tendered, during which period
we wer,- satisfied that a sufficient test
had been made. During said period!
there were several precipitations of!
rain, notably on the 12th day of May.
1002, when the rain began to fall about i
2 o'clock in the morning and continued
untit about 7 of the same morning,
during which time nearly an Inch of
water fell. Rain followed again on
tia? 14th. falling during the night, and
on the 16th, when In 21 minutes H-4 of
an Inch <if rainfall was registered.
Under this severe test the roof ap
peared lo be perfect as far as protec
tion from water is concerned. This
statement is made on official informa
tion given us by the United States au
Wc confess with the utmost candor
that in some respects, particularly as
to the roof and the floor lights, we have
not been altogether pleased with the
result of the work. Hut these at the
worst are not as serious as would have
been blunders involving the construc
tion of the stone work, and other more
permanent portions of the building,
which has come up to the full measure
of tin- expectation of the commission.
It is well to remember, however, that
we arc too prone to dwell upon that
which has not come fully up to our
expectations, while ignoring the fact
that tills man probably succeeded in
in ire Important matters where another
would have been subjected to Just
We have scrupulously avoided, either
In this communication or in any of the
steps lending up to the opportunity
which has been accorded us by your
honorable body to Set ourselves right,
in making our cause common With that I
Of either the architect or contractor,
anil have endeavored to divorce our
selves insofar as possible from them.
First of all, though out of oftlce, wc
are in a measure servants of the people
and of the general assembly, and if
that tribunal deems the,State to have
sull'erod Injury from either, our first
duty Is to the State.
However, it is but Justice to say that
wo have found the contractors in all
their dealings with us honorable busi
ness men, whom wo believe to lie above
suspicion of wrong doinK, and who
sought to live up to the true intent and
meaning of their contract with the
Wo desire It understood that wo do
not claim that it is impossible that im
positions havo been practiced upon
this commission by the architect or
contractor, for if any vital defects ex
ist In the building or serious mistakes
can be shown to have boon made, these
must have been the outcome of the
commission having been misled, but we
do assert In the most positive mnnner
that the findings and the conclusions
contained in the report of the Joint in
vestigating committee are not sus
tained by the evidence therein con
tained, and if they are ever sustained
it must be by evidence produced before
another tribunal. Whether this com
mission or any of Its members were
ever designedly or unintentionally im
posed upon or deceived by either arch
itect or contractor, it con only be
proved out of the mouth or mouths of
such member or members, unless it be
conceded that the members would com
mit perjury in order to hide the facts.
\V. would remind your honorable'
body that this commission has not!
deemed it to bo Its duty to go Into the
newspapers to defend tMe course of the
majority, and that as but one side j
has heretofore been presented to the
public, we realize that It Is but natural
that the conclusion should bo drawn
? that there has boon but one sldo to the
question, ff. with all the facts before I
you. you should conclude that the one
man has boon always right and the j
nine men always wrong, we can but
pload in extenuation that we have done
the beat w*? coula tor the State, "tin
awed by influence, and unbrtbed by
gain." In this report wo havo endeav
ored to state tho facts fully, candidly
and fairly, "nothing extenuate and
naught set down In malice."
AH of which Is respectfully sub
M. TJ. McSwceney.
('.. Duncan Bellinger.
lt. H. Jennings.
J. Harvey Wilson.
Robert J. Oantt.
W. J. Johnson.
Columbia, 8. C, Koruary 19, 1904.
Having taken up the official duties
upon, the commission at tho expira
tion of the term of tho Hon. W. H.
Tlntmerman. my predecessor, I had
nothing to do with the election of the
architect or the awarding or tho con
tract, but ns to all the facts relating
to tho actions of the commission, end
tus opinions expressed herein with ref
erence to those facts, expressed In the |
above report I am in heuity accord
with the report of tho commission, and
with the limitttttons ubovo expressed I
have signed myself us u responsible
member of tho commission.
It. 11. Jennings.
Under ttie resolution passed by the
general ussembly of South Carolina,
allowing the members of the .State
houBc commission to tile such state
ments as they respectively desired Ue
make, 1 submit the following:
That in the election of architect to
make plans and spoolllentums for tic
completion of the work on the State
house 1 did not vote for Mr. MUburn
j for reasons satisfactory to myself. In
I the acceptance for the completion Mc
! Ilvuln-l'nkofer Co. was the only one
I that came within the limits of the ap
propriation, and It resolved itself Into
j the acceptance of the same or a pOBt
i ponement of the work until the pro
I visions should be made by the State
legislature. When l went out of office
as State treasurer my connection with
the commission ceased, and 1 am In no
way responsible for the completion or j
acceptance of the work of the con
tractor. 1 did not pretend to have any |
knowledge of architecture, und could ,
therefore have easily been Imposed
upon as to the beauty and the llnlsh of |
Very respectfully submitted,
W. H. Tlmmerman,
Personally appeared G. Duncan Bel- i
linger, who being duly sworn, says:
That in the late fall of the year 1!H)3. j
upon casually meeting the Hon. J. O.
Patterson, a member of the joint In-i
vosttgating committee, and ascertain
lug accidentally from him that he tiad \
just returned from Columbia where
he had been in attendance upon said
committee, I asked hiin if the com
mission w-uuld be accorded a hearing i
before his committee. In reply to this'
Mr. Patterson staled that Mr. Aldrich
was the chairman of the committee
and advised me that If such request |
was made of the chairman it would
be granted. Deponent referred to reft- I
sons mutually known to bim ami to |
Mr. Patterson why such request would j
be unpleasant to deponent, upon which
Mi*. Patterson assured me that
lie would himself notify the chair
man of the desire of the members of
the commission to be heard. This con- i
vernation occurred in the town of I
Barnwell on a Saturday night, within
UO feet of the paling of Mr. Patterson's
Subsequently and before the OCCftS
ion next to be referred to in the same ,
town, and near the same locality, I |
recalled to Mr. Patterson our previous
conversation and asked him if the
right which we had demanded would
be accorded to us, and he assured me
that It would, and that tie had spoken
to ttie chairman on the subject and the
probability was that the Illness from
which Mr. Aldrich was then suffering
was the reason why I, and other mem
bers of the commission had not been
notified. I again impressed upon him
that this request was made on behalf
of all of the members of the commis
These are the occasions to which I
referred In the communications which
1 recently published concerning this !
request made upon Mr. Patterson, and ?
at that time I had no reference- to any j
Other; but his published statement, |
said to have been in defense of bis,
conduct. While explaining upon the J
floor of the house of representatives, |
the injustice done by his committee
to members of our commission recalled
to me another ami third occasion when
this demand for justice was repeated.
In the city of Columbia, on the night
of the 17th of December, just passed, |
?nie of my partners, the Hon. I,. W.
Haskell, who Is a member of the house
of representatives, and myself went by '
appointment to the Columbia hotel to!
meet some clients from the city of
Augusta, with whom we conferred un- ;
til about 12 o'clock. After this confer
ence and when about to leave the hotel
we met Mr. .1. (>. Patterson, who re
quested us to go to his room, as he 1
would have to sit up to catch a late
train. While In this gentleman's room j
the subject of the investigating com- I
mittee arose and I learned accidentally .
that a meeting of this committee had
ibeen very recently held. Becoming
thus convinced that the promised hear- '
Ing was in a fair way never to be ac
corded to us, I most earnestly attemp
ted to impress him with the determin
ation on the part of some of us to
appeal to tho legislature- were we so I
unfairly treated as not to be accorded !
an opportunity to be heard. Again I J
received empty promises and vain as
surances. A very recent conversation
with Mr. Haskell warrants me In the
assertion that he was present and re
calls that the request was most earn
Duncan Bellinger. ?
Sworn to before me this, 18th duy of
February, 190-1. J. t. Gnntt,
Notary Public, S. C. j
State of South Carolina?County of
Personally appeared W. J. Johnson,
who being duly sworn, says that dur
ing the present session of the legisla
ture the deponent had an intimation i
that the commission for the comple- !
tion of the State house were going to I
be severely criticised by the committee I
appointed to investigate the several
reports of the commission. That the
deponent immediately looked up Repre
sentative Hnwlinson, who was a mem
ber of the investigating committee, and
Informed him of what deponent had
heard, and further informed him that
if the reports of severe arraignment
or criticism were true that the com
mission had a right to be heard, and
that an opportunity should be given
them. That Representative Rawiin
son assured deponent that there was
nothing In the rumor and that the com
mission would not be harshly criticis
ed and that his committee had not
fully made up Its report; that they
would have another meeting and all
the members of the old commission
could he heard; further stated that it
was his impression that all the mem
bers of the commission had been In
vited to attend their meetings; de
ponent Informed hhn that none of the
members of the commission had been
Invited to any of the meetings so far as
deponent know, certainly deponent
had not been.
W. J. Johnson, i
Sworn to before me this, lxth duy of,
Lewis W Haskell. ?
Notary Public for S. C.
State of South Carolina?County of
Personally appeared before mo A. H.
S-ats, who being duly sworn, says:
That he Is u reporter for* The Daily
Record, a newspaper published at Co
lumhla; that in company of Lewis
Kohu, at that time reporter for The
News nnd Courier, he applied at the
agricultural committee room In the
State house, where he heard the legis
lative committee investigating the
work oh the State house was in ses
sion, for permission to report the evi
dence and proceedings; that depon
ent was told by one of the members of
jjjj SJ^JU"*** tnnt tho meetings were
A. H. Seats, i
?i&^frfi to and ?Ubeerlbed before me, !
this Kith day of February, 1904.
A. C. DoPnss. I
' exhibit d. j
.e-UiV; . lVo0d' beln* Su'y sworn.
riif**k*iJYtLi,? J^'nt l.? tne agricultu
*V#iHtT>In,tt*^roon' wh?w ?he investi
mT , 5.^ .m'.ti,M<!0 Wft* hi.aewdon. *urt
thfilf- W?? any news of the
1.11 UQ,til,i' lo b(> published at that
time, and that he was told by a mom-?
I her of the committee that there wan
Lewis U. Wood, Jr..
i Sworn to before me this 10th dav of
i Februury. 1'JtM.
E. O. DePass, (L. a.)
Notary Public for South Curollnu.
State of South Carolina,
Personally appeared before me D. H.
Means, who being duly sworn says
' that he was summoned to produce cet
i tain records of thu commission for the
completion of tho state house and to
testify before the "joint committee to
'consider the several reports of tho
j commission on the completion of the
; State house and facts relating there
j to," which committee was meeting in
; the agricultural committee room of
the house. That he entered tho room
and was about to be examined when
another witness was announced as
present whereupon deponent was in
formed that he was excused until the
I said committee had finished with said
other witne?ss. That deponent then
withdrew and waited In another office
in the State house until after the de
parture of said other witness when
deponent was again summoned to ap
pear and testify. That during his ex
amination by said committee while de
ponent was endeavoring to put In what
ho considered necessary or proper qual
ifications of "yes" and "no" answers
deponent was interrupted by the chair
man With the statements "answer tho
question," and "you need not go in to
thut at all."
That just after the examination was
completed the chairman of the com
mittee requested deponent to nay noth
ing of what had transpired during Ills
examination by said committee.
That during deponent's examination
by said committee Senator J. (J. Mar
shall was present.
That some time subsequent to depo
nent's examination by suhl joint com
mittee ex-Attorney General o. Duncan
Hellinger, handed to deponent a let
ter written by said Q. Duncan Bellin
ger to ox-OOv. M. B. McSweeney, tinted
Dec. 2'_\ 1903, of which the following
Is a copy:
Columbia, S. C, Dee. 22, 1003.
Hon. M. B. McSweeney. Hampton C.
H., 8. C.
Dear sir: In reply to your communi
cation 1 write to say that 1 recollect ,
than oh May 31, 1902, when you wore !
governor and 1 attorney general ,of|
South Carolina, 1 received from you a
letter of dale May 31, 1902. a ciirbon
copy of which is to be found nt pages
110 and 141 of volume of "Public Land
Letter Hook, New Series. No. 1 to 200."
of Which letter the follOWlllK is ? copy,
"Columbia, s. c. May 31, 1002.
"Hon. G. Duncan Bellinger, Attorney
General, Columbia, S. C.
"Dear Sir: You are familiar with the
action of the commission for the com
pletion of the State house at meeting
May 23, 1902, to-wit: 'Resolved that It
appears to the commission for the com
pletion' of the State house, Hint the
.work is satisfactory and that the con- j
tract has been substantially perform
ed.' The above resolution was upon
the question as to whether Mcllvatn
Unkefer company has performed their
contracts for the completion of the
State house, and subsequently the com
mission ordered the balance due Moll- 1
vain-Unkefor companv on their said
contracts to be paid. Mcllvaiti-Unke
fer company now desire that tho surety I
bond for $50,000 given by them to
the commission for tho faithful per
formance of their said contract be by
me surrendered to them the said con
tractors. No action was by said com- j
mission taken authorizing or directing
the surrendei of said surety bond. Is j
such action necessary or am 1 author- '
Ized, upon the action already taken by
the commission to endorse upon said 1
surety bond the resolution of commis
sion as to contractors' compliance
with, or performance of contract, and
surrender said surety bond to the said
"Kindly give me your official opin
ion upon this matter and oblige,
"M. B. McSweeney,
"Governor and Chairman."
"P. S.Mr. Unkefer informs me
that until surrendered his surety bond (
is costing him $2/>.00 per month."
Upon receipt of this letter from you
I recollect that 1 gave you orally my j
Official opinion, as attorney general,
thut as Bald action of said commission
was final and conclusive as to said con
tractors having performed their con
tract (to secure the performance of
which said surely bond had been given
to you as c hairman of said commis
sion), said contractors were entitled to,
the return of tho bond; and further
action by the commission being un
necessary, 1 advised you to surrender
said bond to the contractors with nn
endorsement thereon signed by you '
which I dictated.
G. Duncan Bellinger.
That at the request of said OX-Qover
nor M. B. McSweeney deponent pnsted
the original of the foregoing letter,
written by ox-Attorney General G j
Duncan Bellinger to ex-Govcmor M.
B. McSweeney, in the back of the min
ute book of tho commission for the
completion of the State house, so as to
preserve in writing the evidence of the1
reasons and circumstances under
which said M. H. McSweeney while
governor surrendered said bond to said
contractors, Mcllvaln, Unkefer Co.
That subsequent to deponent's ?nid
examination the secretary or ntcno
grapner of said committee requested de
ponent to give him access to tho rec
ords of the commission, for the com
pletion of the State house, for the mir
pose of said secretary's comparing and
verifying with said original records
?nid secretary's copies of portions
thereof, to be used in said Joint com
mittee report. That at this time de
ponent rolled the attention of snld clerk
or stenographer to said original letter
from ex-Attornoy-General Bellinger to
ex-Governor M. B. McSweeney, pasted
as before stated. In the back of said
minute book, and requested said clerk
of said committee to lake a copy of said
letter and show it to the chairman*
of said Joint committee, thinking that
snld chairman might desire to use said
letter, hh it contained a statement by
ex-Attorney General Hollinger of im
portant facts hi reference to the sur
render of the said bonds to the said
contractors to M. H. McSweeney, up
on which matter deponent had been ex
That salrl secretary or stenographer
of said Joint committee did innke and
take with him a copy of said letter,
Which letter did not appear in said
Joint committee's report to the legis
D. H. Means.
Sworn to before me this 16th day of
Lewis W. Haskell,
Notary Public for Soutli Carolina.
State of South Carolina?County of
Persona'ly appealed before mo, Joe
B. Garfunkol, who, belog du'y ??vorn,
says that ho was summoned as a -Wit
ness by the committee InvestlRatlng
the work upon tho State house, and
that when he appeared and gave h!s
testimony Senator J. Q. Marshall was
presont In the room. Deponent fur
ther swears that he was present In tho
State house when tho contract for the
work on the State house was let, and
knows that it was the general under
standing among the bidders that the
Junk removed from tho building in
doing the work provided In the plans
and specification"* of Frank P. Mllburn
would go to the contractors: deponent
Is peculiarly qualified to know this
fact because he wished to buy this
Junk, and talked about It to every one
of the bidders whom he met.
.Deponent furthor swears that prior
to. tho letting of the contract for th?
: work he had died with the commission
an application to buy the said Junk,
but was informed that he must apply
to the contractors for the purchase of
j same. That Mr. Unkefer told the
deponent two or three days after the
I contract was awarded that the com
mission had referred to him the appli
1 cation deponent had made to buy the
Deponent further swears that he is a
dcah-r In, and familiar with the market
value of old iron and other junk, and
that he made an estimate of and of
ten'.I the highest market price for the
old Iron it was necessary to remove in
placing the dome oh the building; that
he regarded the said old iron worth
less for any other purpose than junk
and had he secured sunn! he would
have immediately shipped It off as
such; that the contractors secured a
j higher price from other narlles for a
; portion of this old iron than deponent
I would have paid for it.
Deponent further swears that he ex
amined the celling removed from the
main lobby of the State house, while
It remained on the State house
grounds; that saht celling was galva
nized iron, and worthless, even as Junk;
that the contractors gave it to the de
i ponent, but he would not haul it off,
and In turn gave it to the usylum for
That he did not testify to the facts
above when being examined before the
! investigating committee because the
1 questions were not asked hin?.
j. D. oarfunkel.
Sworn to before me this 15th day of
February, 190-1. D. W. McDaurln,
Richmond, Va.. Feb. 4. 1904.
Robert J. Gantt, Capitol Building:
In my capltol bid I figured on all old
material being my property.
YV, A. Chestermnn.
Savannah. Qa? Feb. 19,1904.
; Robt. J. Cantt:
I In making up bid for contract on
, capltol there, contractor was to have
; all old stone. Iron and other material
I on the premises,
J. 10. Burgess,
I (Of Stewart Contra, tin;; Company.)
BEQUEST FOR OPINION.
Newberry, S. C, Aug. 9, 1901.
Hon. Q. Duncan Bellinger, Attorney
General, Columbia, S. <'.:
Dear Sir: Pursuant to the permis
sion of the commission charged with
the completion of the State house, I
have the honor of asking your opinion
upon a question which has arisen about
the ownership of the old material.
The facts appear In the paper here
with submitted, and the contracts and
The papers submitted consist of a
partial draft of a report of the com
mittee and a copy of the letter from
The minutes referred to com..ins the
statement of Mr. Unkefer, one o? the
The committee desires your opinion
under the terms of the contract and
the circumstances of the case upon the
question where the ownership of the
old material rests, whether In the con
tractors or the State.
Awaiting your reply, I am,
Very truly yours,
Ceo. s. Mower. Chairman.
ATTORN KY GKNF.RA1/S OPINION.
Executive Department, Office of the
Columbia, S. C, Aug. *J6. 1901.
Hon. Geo. s. Mower, Chairman, etc,
Newberry, S. C.
Dear Sir: I have before ine your let
ter relating to the question of the own
ership of what is known as the "old
material" in connection with the con- i
traet for the completion of the State
1 note that you say that the commit
tee desires my "opinion under the
terms of the contract and the clrcum- j
stances of the case upon the
question where: the ownership of the
edd material rests, whether In the con- |
tractors or the State."
I, have ttie tumor to reply as follows:
As I gather them the admitted facts
The only pertinent reference in the
plane? specifications or written contract I
? of the use or ownership of the "old ma
terial" in quest ion Is to he found In '?
the specifications, in the following
words; "The successful contractor will
be permitted to use all old material
? that Is now on the ground, and such
j parts of the present roof that conform ,
I to these plans and specifications; but It
Is understood that the marble now on |
j the grounds is not included. This only ,
covers the granite columns, balusters, j
I old iron, bracing, granite, etc., In the
! I'Oof that Is suitable, ami the proper
' size that Is called for. If In doubt con
' suit the architect on this subject bo
' fore making n bid."
2. Before bidding on tho work Mo
i IlvalnrUiikefer company, us well as
Other competitive contractors, called j
Iupon the architect, F. P. Milhurn, for
!nn Interpretation of the clause quoted,
concerning which they wer?' in doubt,
I ;i. The nrchitei t Informed tho eon
: tractors "that the contractors bidding
for the work would get such "old mu
j torlal,' and wouur be permitted to use
such old parts as would conform with j
! the new plans ami specifications."
i (See Mllburn's letter. July 31, 1901.)
4. Acting upon the interpretation \
' given by the architect, Mellvnln-Unke- i
fer company, after making allowances
I for what was conceived to be the I
j value of the "old material" to them.
I put In their bid for the contract, and j
1 was duly accepted by the commission, j
5. one Mr. Ourfunkel, n junk dealer,
'submitted to the commission a proposl
1 tion to buy the copper ami old Iron i
! then in the old roof, and the conunis
I slon, upon accepting Mcllvaln-Unkofer
' company's bid, ordered that the com- j
I munlcutlon of Mr. Garfunkel be turned
j over to the successful bidding con
tractor, upon the ground that the Bald
? "old material" was at the disposal of
I the latter.
I The clause quoted for the speclfica
? Hons bears internal evidence of con
i scions ambiguity, ami the conflicting
linierest is susceptible of various In
terpretations. It is easy to conceive
I that the bidding contractors could |
claim with a show of reason, the title i
j to the "old material" in question, and;
j inasmuch as the paper containing the
I clause was prepared for and in behalf!
j of the commission, and the law would, |
las l understand it, construe the con-1
j tract strictly against the commission j
i and in favor of the bidder, for one ren
: son. ui ? mg others, that in cases of ;
doubt, the construction by the con-j
, tractors must be given the benefit of
the doubt. Inasmuch as the conunis
j slon, as the author of the specifica
tions, must suffer, if either party must,
on account of ambiguity.
But I think thet up to n very recent
date It had been the understanding on
all sides that the contractors should be
! the owners of the old material, and
j the facts as found seem to me to pre
clude any other conclusion.
Tho statement of Mllburn. the archi
tect, sneaking on behalf of the commis
sion, the known conduct of the con- i
. inn tors, based upon Mllburn's inter
pretation, the acceptance <>f the bid
? based upon the supposed ownership by
i the contractors of the "old material." !
? and the declination to treat with a pro- ?
j posed purchaser for the sale of the old
material, and the reference of his bid !
j to Mcllvninc-Unkefer company, all i
estop the commission from claiming
ttie "old material" in question.
Hoping that this will meet with your
I approval, I am,
Very truly yours.
(Signed) a. Duncan Bellinger,
Attorney < loneral.
Upon motion of Mr. Mower the opin
ion or the uttorm y general was ap
proved by a vote taken viva voce, Mr. j
Marshall voting against it.
Columbia, S. <:.. Feb. 1G.I001.
This cert I lies that in the fall of 1901
1 bought from J. B. florfunkel, for the
use of the state hospital for the Insane, I
tor the amount of ??'>.oa a lot of gal
van I zed iron railing and that ho
threw in as worthless, a lot of metal :
celling, which he said we might have
for hauling off. The ceiling is now ly
lug in a rubbish heap In the back yard |
of the hospital.
.1 W, Babcock.
THE ANSWER OF ARCHITECT FRANK P. M1LBURN.
In Detail the Man Against Whom Charges Were Made
Replies to His Accusers in the General
REPLY ok KRANK P. M1LBURN,
ARCHITECT, TO REPORT OK IN
VESTIGATING COMMITTEE, RE
LATING TO THIO WORK ON THE
To tho Public:
I will be glnd for you to consider my
reply to so much of tho report of the
investigating commlttoo, recently made
to the legislature, as seems necessary
at this time.
In tho first place, tho committee,
composed of chosen representatives of
the people, "all honorable gentlemen,"
In their desire to vindicate the author
of the minority report of one mem
ber of the old eapitol commission, have
gone beyond tho authority given by the
concurrent resolution under which they
acted. Ry that resolution they were
directed to report to the next session
of the general assembly "such, facts und
recommendations in reference thereto
as they may deem advisable." And
yet these "honorable gentlemen" go
out of their way to Inject into their
report Wholly unwarranted and Im
proper conclusions, which are neither
"facts" nor "recommendations," but
libellous and indiscriminate rellcctions
on numerous State officers and repre
sentatives, as well as the architect and
contractors. "Miserable fraud," "mon
st -aus swindle" and "malefactors!"
Sl h gratuitous expressions are as
fnl .o as they are uncalled for by tho
But, that this committee was more
bent on vindicating the one dissenting
member of the eapitol commission than
carrying out the suggestions of tho
legislature. Is evidenced by the fact
that they did not "employ nn archi
tect," as was suggest od by the authori
ty given in the concurrent resolution,
but paid $15.00 a day for a "contract
or," who says he has been "superin
tendent of constructing of tho United
States eapitol for four years."
But further still, this committee was
directed to consider tho ' several re
ports of the commission for the con
pletlon of the State house," with au
thority to summon witnesses, etc.
They seem to have considered only tho
one minority report of Senator J. Q.
Marshall, made in February, 1903, and
examined witnesses only in support of
that, minority report, without calling
a single witness in support of tho re
port and notion of sovon honored citi
zens and officers of the State, who dif
fered with Col. Marshall, and who are
ns wide awak" to ?*m Interests of tho
State as ho or ?.ne itu^nbors of this in
vestigating committee, and who havo
always depended moro upon witnesses
in t his State, wheso standing and cred
ibility arc known to them personally,
than a foreign importation who Is
recommended by the superintendent of
the federal eapitol building, and was no
doubt novor before heard of In South
But let us glance at tho procedure of
this Investigating committee. When
they select Inelf expert he is brought
to Columbia and shown tho general
plans and .specifications upon which
contractor* were invited to bid for the
work: but not the plans showing the
modifications nor the detail drawings
foe Actual work. He examines tua
building in the light <>t" these original)
general plann and specifications.
And yet no one of tlx1 seven gentle
men of the eapitol commission, who
honestly differed with Col. Marshall,
was called, no*' was I asked to show
him the modilied and complete speci
fications and detail drawings under
which the work was actually done.
It appears that on a Friday in May,
1903, before this investigating commit
too was to take testimony, as remem
bered by tho chairman, the chairman
of tho committee called at my office,
during n v absence from the cilv. and
left a vci bal message with one of my
draughtsmen about the meeting, at
which the expert from Washington
would give his testimony, and that I
COUld be present, in- send any com
munication if 1 desired. Hut 1 never
received the message, and, in fact,
never heard of the incident until best
Friday, tho L2th Inst. in this connec
tion I beg to submit the following
"To Whom it May Concern:
"This Is tO certify that I am in the
employment of Frank P. Milburn, ar
chitect, in the capacity of engineer and
draughtsman, and was during tho last
"That once when Mr, Milburn and
Mr. Heister were out of the
Office, Mr. Milburn being out of the
city, a gentleman called, and icnre
sentlng himself to bo a member of
the State house Investigating commit
tee, stated In effect that said commit
tee would shortly (as 1 understood, the
next day) huvo a session, und asked
that 1 hit Mr. Milburn know, and also
[ get word to Mcllvaln. Unkefer com
pany I promised to let Mr. Milburn
know, and also MoTlvntu, t'nkefer com
pany if we COUld; that I thought we
had their address In the office.
"That upon the return of Mr. Heister,
who is chief draughtsman and assist
ant to Mr. Milburn, I told him of what
had taken place, and supposed he would
communicate with them, hut i never
mentioned the matter to Mr. Milburn
until Feb. I-, J90i.
"(Signed) 'Ceo. F. Kepler."
"To WhOm it May Concern:
"I hereby certify that I am now,
and was last year chief ilraughtsmnu
and assistant to Mr. Frank P. Milburn,
"That I havo read the foregoing cer
tificate of Mr. Ocorge F. Kepler, hut
havo no recollection of ever hearing of
the conversation therein referred to,
before Feb. 12. 190f. If Mr. Kepler is
Correct In his recollection of stating tho
matter to n*? I did not tuko it. in suffi
ciently to h,.,w\.i; \y mind, and I am
sure that I never mentioned the mat
ter to Mr. Milburn.
"(Signed) 'Michael Heister."
After this hearing, at which Is now
appears that several w itnesses wero ex
amined. I learned of it from the nows
papers and common rumor; but nover
knew anything of the purport of the
testimony, although I heard that Col.
Marshall was present, und that tho
sessions were behind closed doors. Un
til my return to this city last Friday,
when t got hold of a copy of the report
?the committee having never honored
me with a copy?l nover knew authori
tatively fit the reflections on the work.
After keeping the testimony, and
their proceeding!! Beeret, as l believe,
from May to December, more than six
months, I received a note from the
secretary of the comndttee, dated
Barnwell, S. C. Dee. 7, 1903, but mailed
in Columbia, nib December, giving me
un opportunity to appear before the
committee. If t desired. Having heard
of ttie proceedings In May, at which 1
was told, und believed, Col. Marshall
had been present. I deckled, without
having counsel, that I had best not
appear unless the committee desired my
presence, I had been guilty of absolute
ly no wrong, or conscious neglect of
any duty to the Stale, but had given
my best efforts to assist the capltol
commission in the discharge of its du
ties and the proper expenditure of the
State's money, hence I had nothing to
explain away. I tut knowing that I had
modified and detailed drawings in my
office not on file in the Suite house,
I offered to place my office records at
the disposal of the committee. In this
connection 1 see that my note to the
committee has been termed "curt." l
wish to disclaim any such intention;
and If it is, 1 regret it. and plead In ex
tenuation the fact that I began tie
struggle for bread early in life, and had
not the opportunities of collegiate edu
cation enjoyed by some members of the
But In Justice to the capltol commis
sion, which with one exception ap
proved my work, as well as to myself
and family, 1 wish to say something in
regard to the specific findings of the
investigating committee, In tlie order
First. As to the charge that
the plans and specifications tiled with i
the secretary of slate were not suitable
1 believe this was the first objection
made by Col. Marshall after my elec
tion as architect, and was fully con
sidered and passed upon bv the capltol
commission in the year 1900, Mr. Mar
shall alone dissenting. At that time
the commission had before it letters
from four of the most prominent con
tractors and builders of this section
of the country, who, after studying,
those plans carefully to base upon,
them bids for a viM-y huge sum of
money, secured by a heavy bond, had
bid lipon this work. Some of these
gentlemen were personally known to
members of the commission, and their i
statements were to the effect that the
drawings and specifications were plain j
enough to make an Intelligent bid. that |
the plans and specifications were fully
understood, nnd were proper for good ,
work. The opinion of such well known
contractors and builders as (Jude & I
Walker. J. W. til shop & <''<.. W. A.
Chesterman and Nicholas Ittner, com- |
monly known as "Honest Nick." must
outweigh the opinion of Mr. Marshall
and the Washington "expert" with any
Second. That the contract fixed the
old work on the completed portion of
the building as the standard.
This is not true. There Is nothing in
the plans and specifications which
could be so construed except, perhaps,
the word "prototype," on one of the
general drawings, and this was intend- ;
ed to apply only to style, outline, form,
shape; and was not Intended to apply
to the classification of the workman
ship. Inder each of the headings of
the various cdasses of work the same
was fully outlined, giving the number
of cuts to the inch lor the different
parts of the Work.
In this connection. I may say that
it was not Intended to make the stone
cornice in one piece, for instance. The ;
small appropriation tor the whole work
necessitated great economy, and ,
tin; scab- detail drawings show that It
was to be built up of several members,
as It was done, instead of the more ex
pensive one-piece cornice.
Referring to sheet c of the general
drawings where the note before re
ferred to is found. It will be seen that
the work is to he the same only when
U has its prototype 111 tin- old building.
That it does not mean lh.it the cornice,
for instance, is to be Identical with the
?.hl work, y?u have only to see sheet
of those same drawings, where the
cornice Is distinctly shown to be built
Up of several pieces.
Third. That the State at a great ex
pens.-, in the neighborhood of (10,000,
had splendid st. el celling In the main
lobby, which tin- contractors look
and converted to their own use. where
by the Stale lost in the neighborhood '
l ie- plans and specifications required
the contractors to cut a circular open- i
illg into the ceiling lor the inner domo. I
When the ceiling was cut, and It was
thoroughly examined, It was found to
lie galvanized iron. In a bad condition
and difficult to work Into shape, es
pecially as it contained celling lights |
no longer of use. The conti actors said
It would require special workmen and
considerable loss of time to patch it
up, and would not then be as satis
factory as a new celling, which could ?
lie gotten in less time, and enable them
to be ready for the meeting of the 1
legislature, although the new celling
would cost them more. After full In
vestigation of all the facts and con
ditions, I decided that it was to I
the interest of the State to aceepl t/le '
proposed change, and I approved tho
celling they used, which harmonizes
perfectly with the design of the cell
ing under the- balcony around the main |
lobby, which was placed there under ,
Mr. Nlernsee's supervision. As both
ceilings are in the same lobby and are'
seen at the same time, harmony is es
sential. Neither the cornice nor cove
mouldings in this lobby were interfered '
With, but the new ceiling was used only
In the field or body of the ceiling
through which the dome Is cut. The j
contractors thought they ought to have
extra for this new celling, but I would
not allow it, and the State got the !
new ceilings without cost.
This Item shows the fearful mistake |
the Investigating committee made in !
not examining farther into the real j
facts Instead of giving so much weight |
to that minority report. They would i
have the public believe that ft was a '
"steel celling," costing in the neighbor
hood of $10,000. when the records in the |
secretary of states office show that all
the ceilings and cornices, steel beams, |
nnd skylights In the rotunda, or main 1
lobby, and the Ceiling over the senate1
lobby together, cost only $7.898. on the; !
2d of May, 1889. Any well Informed '
man will know that the cornice actual
ly cost much more than the celling.
The public must In charity put this I
blunder of the committoe down to
neglect and ignorance, or convict them
of deliberate misrepresentation in'
making the statement that "on this;
Item the State lost in the neighbor- 1
hood of $10.000."
Let the public guess why Mr. Munt
advanced the Idea that the contractors
removed this celling that they might
hoist into position the large steel box
girders that support the dome! The
fact is, these heavy steel beams Mid
girders were raised from the outside
wall, a id not through tin main lobby.
Hut not content with trying to arouse
public indignation over the alleged loss
to the State, they atten.pt to injure!
character by charging that "the con
tractors bodily took and carried away
and converted to their own use this
Valuable and beautiful part of the old
building." The cold fact Is. and they1
either know It. or could have learned it !
by reasonable, fair and impartial In- i
qulry, that this old celling that was!
removed from the- rotund- lobby was i
never sold or used by the. .rV tors
but was given to Mr. Oarrunk?*? if he
would remove It from the grounds. 1
nnd he In turn gave it to Dr. B ibcock I
on the same condition, and this "vnl- *
nable and beautiful." this "t-plendld
Steel celling." now lies in a rubbish I
heap In the back yard of tho State in
natlc asylum, a silent but unimpeach
able witness of the outrageous libel
which this Investigating committee has
spread upon the records of the legisla
Fourth, That by, tho omission of twoj
I inner columns from the front portico
I the contractors made a profit of $3,400.
and the estimated loss to the Stute is
Thut the public may fully understand
! this matter, I wish to call attention to
the fact, that when called to this work
:i found a partially completed building,
i much valuable stone and marble on
hand, and an appropriation wholly and
I admittedly Insufficient to complet ? the
! building as originally designed. tVhen
\ made the plans, it was to utilize all
the very expensive columns then lying
Ion the ground, and considered lit for
use, that largely induced me to pro
Vide for two Inner columns on the front
j portico, it turned out with this work,
ias is generally the case in remodeling
old, or partially completed buildings,
that many modifications and changes
became necessary, and were made with
the consent and approval of the com
mission, as a rule Col. Marshall being
the only one dissenting. In hoisting
these massive columns Into position,
one of them broke by its own weight
when being removed from its position
on the ground. An examination set
tled beyond question that there was a
defect in the stone, which then showed
an old crack about two thirds of tho
way through. It was generally be
lieved and conceded that the loss fell
upon the State. The matter was
promptly reported. I was of the opin
ion, and am still, that it was then best
to omit the two inner columns, because
there would be more Moor space, be
cause the architectural features would
be Just as good, because with slight
changes (omitting a wood truss and
substituting steel trussed perllna) the
strength of the structure wouMl not
be impaired in the least; because it
would save much time in completing
tho work, and because it would save
rather than cost the State anything.
The contractors offered to furnish a
new column for $2,000, necessitating
several months' delay; or, piece the
broken column for $f>00, causing a de
lay of one month, or change the plans
and omit the two columns,, causing no
delay, and deduct from the contract
price $600, which it was shown by an
itemized statement would be saved to
the contractors by the change. With
all this Information before the com
mission, after full consideration. It de
cided, by a vote of 5 to 3, to change
the original plan and omit the two
columns, thus saving to the State $600.
without detriment to the work, and
giving these columns to tho State for
Mr. Hunt talks about "the stone lin
tel and brick work on top of these col
umns." The specifications never called
for any such thing. And yet this will
ing witness, unable to condemn the
sufficiency of the "bracing and anchor
ing." goes out of his way to suggest
carelessness in "u great portion of the
construction throughout this building."
Again, this "government" witness
says the two massive square pillars,
under the portico, "now perform no
duty at all." Any sane person can see
for himself that these piers, originally
constructed principally to support tin
two inner columns, since the change
support much of the portico. And it
was to get such .a witness that the In
vestigating committee passed over so
many southern architects and con
tractions of known ability and Integ
Fifth. That the new leaf work on
the capitals Is not as fine as the old.
it being impracticable to get the
stone for this new work from the old
quarry, a stone was selected which
matched it exactly, and the same ac
cepted with the bid of tin/ contractors,
the only slight difference, and which
is not appie, lable, in the work on the
capitals, Is due to the fact that the
Pacolet granite is a trifle softer and
therefore not suceptlblo to quite so
high n finish.
Sixth. That lintel stones should ex
tend from columns at the rear of tho
portico to corresponding front columns,
where there are sheet iron boxes paint
ed to resemble grange.
That Is just according to the plans
and specifications, first-class galvan
ized iron being used, which was as
good as could be afforded with the ap
propriation, and answers every pur
In reference to the glass floor 'which
leaks in rainy weather. I beg to say it
does leak, and I regret it.. In my ef
fort to give all the light possible to
the offices and passageways below, I
selected this style of floor light, which
is suitable for the place. Unfortunately
there Is but little full, and yet I gave
it all l possibly could to connect with
the granite work and the height of the
second Moor doorway entering the lob
by. This is no fault of mine;
it is one of the troubles en
countered in remodeling or adding to
a building. The chief trouble, how
ever, with the portico floor is that
to accommodate the legislature, it was
laid just before the meeting of that
body ami was walked on and abused
before the concrete and cement mate
rial s. t sufficiently. The natural con
sequence was that it was damaged and
still presents a bad apnearance. An
Inspection of the rear portico floor,
which was not so used and abused, will
substantiate this contention.
As to the celling of the portico, I do
not know of any material more suit
able for such ceilings. It is made from
the same class of material that was
removed by the contractors from the
main lobby, although not the same de
sign. I wonder if the gent lemon of the
Investigating committee know that tho
portico celling in the main entrance
to tin' United States eapitol at Wash
ington was common plastering, and
that leaks from the roof caused some
of it to fall.
Seventh. That the roof is a "tar and
gravel" roof, unsuitable, and leaks
It is not a tar and gravel roof, but
is of the very finest quality of asphalt
and crushed quartz, and there Is no '
doubl about its answering the purpose
for at least ten years, as tin' roof con
tractors gave a guarantee for ten years
against leaks and material wear and
tear, This same class of roofing is on
the following buildings in the city of
Washington, i). c.:
Atlantic Coast Uno office building,
Southern Railway Office building, Iowa
department house, Raleigh hotel. RUSH
department house. United Stales Cen
sus building, government printing
house, ami many others too numerous
It Is a matter of profound regre'. I"
me that the roof leaks. I have done
' verythlng in my power from the first
to remedy it. it is a well known fact
that much more expensive roots than
this have proved unsatisfactory. The
government postoffice at savannah,
which has a tile and copper roof leaked
badly. The United States pOStOfflce at
Augusta, which also has an expensive
roof, leaked for years.
In this connection 1 submit the fol
Columbia, S. C, Jan.. 1R, 1004.
Mr. Frank P. Milburn, Architect, Co
lumbia, s. C:
Dear Sir. Referring to our conver
sation in regard to the State house,
will say that a short time after the
State house work was finished the
Charlotte Roof and Paving company
telegraphed me to go there and exam
!nC tie- roof and make tho same sat a
t. dory If I could. I wont on top of the
building and was somewhat surprised
to thul that some one had torn the
flashing loose at several places between
the main roof and the bnse of tho dome
f< i several feet, allowing the water
Mowing off of tho dome and the base
to run down into the rotunda bolow.
The work wan well flashed around tho
dome nnd counter dashing was put
Into the Joints not In the wnv it Is
Ul ually .lorn , vie,: by putting the flash
Iftg Into tho Joint and turning It up,
hut by cutting Into the Joint nnd ex
tending the tin back into the Joints
and bolting it with rods, nuts and
washers, and it was Impossible for it
to get out unless some ono had torn