Newspaper Page Text
. PACES 1 TO 4.
THE OMAHA DEE
Best & West
VOL. XXXVIII NO. Ji.
OMAHA. SUXDAV MoUXIXii, DECEMBER 1.1, IMS.
SINGLE COPY FIVE CENTS.
OMAHA CHRISTMAS SOCIAL EVENTS TWENTY YEARS AGO
How the Yotmgsters of that Tine and Their Elders Celebrated the Holiday Season with Dancirg and Feasting and Other Doings that were Considered Good Form for Christmas Observation.
INCE time ont of mind. he or
be who writes an account of
by-gone days la the west In
variably bestfns vita saying
something to the effect that
In theme days there wu less elaborate
pomp and ceremony, that there u
less fuss and fewer feathers, but it 1b
probable that occasions were eTen
Don pleasant than nowadays.
This ia beautifully sentimental, but
probably not true. Also, since time
out of mind people hare oeen lament
ing the good old days, which were not
a whit better, in the belief of some
not so good aa those of today.
Be all this as it may. it la certain
that Christmas day la Omaha twenty
years ago was a good Christmas, with
the spirit of Noel prevailing, with the
crisp evening air foil of revelry
making, with children rejoicing over
gifts from old St. Nick, with men at a
peace with one another and their
he.-j-ta full of kindliness.
There were differencea, of course,
from the present time. The storea
and shorn held out fewer attractive
gifts to the shopper; the churches had
leaa elaborate music twenty years ago;
the scenes of festivities were different,
for buildings, like men and women,
have their flood time of life. Ia pri
vate homes the Bokhara rug had
not displaced the then prized carpet
of Brussels; the character of tho bric-a-brac
waa somewhat different. But
the spirit of hospitality waa the same;
pretty girls were kissed under the
same kind of mistletoe; the barn dance
waa yet unfortunately unknown, bat
the trippers of the L. T. toe were
blissfully ignorant of this and enjoyed
the polka fully as much. Possibly,
also, a mazourka, while the lancers
green bay tree. It is likely that
at social affairs were Ice
Some Omaha "Kiddies" Who Attended the Christmas Party Twenty Years Ago
: , - V
V - . .?
- . -is
' i '-V.
I ' W
f ' i I
CARRIE If RV IS.
(Mrs. Carrie Pumi Kennedy.)
- - - v v-
(Mrs. Ediiij Dumont Smith.)
"New Tear's calling is pecnllnrly ,
an American institution and ia a r"lic
of the hoeyitaiity of the good old I
colonial da. It is to be hoped thai !
the custom will never die out, ts the
day is looked upon as a national uoli
day aad a fitting cU se to the Christ
mas festivities. Luckily the custom
promises to be perennial ia New York ;
City. l.Vlaa. it died Drre rnz
the great American metropolis, and
although other cities may uegct its
observance for a time, the Knii-k-'r-becktrs
will ever kevp its momury
"During the last year or Co the
custom has bea somewhat negVttd',
in Oa.aha owing to the remargin
influx of strangers. Now that ita hock-ty
hi-s reached a leflnire form, the
old social customs of a metropolis i. ra
being revived, aiuon them N"-'
Tears rai'Sa-j. The Eee iil waii"i;!y
puMlsh The n.-.mfS of ail ladies who
w!!l keep open hcuEe on Tu"il.iy.
Arccng iiicse who hae air-ady ,r.on
m.tite. that they will reeeive are the
"ilrs. D. A. T!:ona3 will k-'et
houpe at her rtsiience. 141 J ,ts
Twenty-first street, assisted bv the
dames J. Kaisey tad C. P. lA have r
"Mrs. E. 3. Clenhaus will Vr i
house at her residence, 2G13 C..
flourished like the
the staple refreshments
cream and cake. which
threaten. like the poor, to be ever with as. It Is certain, however,
that In the men's dressing rooms at parties quantities of cigarettes
were not laid out by the thoughtful host, but the punchbowl waa
just as effective.
They had a big assembly at the Millard la Christmas week in
the year of grace 1888, but the premier event of the week waa a
children's dance. For Christmas time is the time of all the year
for children. The account of this Juvenile party, published la The
Bee a score of years ago, reads as follows:
"Miss Ids, Isaacs gave her annual Christmas party to the chil
dren attending her kindergarten the Saturday afternoon after Christ
mas from 3 until 6. There were over fifty children present and
they formed a lovely picture as they marched together or played
games. Among the children present were Marian Haines, Mamie
and Susie Holdrege, Gladys Soman, Janet Rogers. Buby Gladstone.
Irene and Gertie Hospe. Carrie Purvis. Ella, Mae Brown. Marion
ConneU, Mabel Carter, Faith Potter, Ruth and Katie Wiley, Loretta east and will entertain Senator
a-brac for the parlor, are rented
for the one day's use. Women
frequently pay 7 to $100 for
things of this sort that grace a
single tea, reception, wedding
or ball, and then are carried
back to the store to be sold or
The general gossip column
announced that "Mr. and Mrs.
A. J. Poppleton will give a
dancing party for Miss Mary
Poppleton next Thursday even
ing." Mias Poppleton subse
quently' became Mrs. Myron
Learned. Other Items la this
column were as follows.
Mr. E. Rosewater, editor of
The Bee, has returned from the
Svlvus. Edith Dumont. Helen Hunt. Helen Cady, Rex Moo rehouse,
WUIle Galbralth, Aubrey Potter. Ralph Hammond. Harvey Clayton,
Dean Cady. Robbie Morse, Max Coe, Harry Montgomery, Earl Ster
ricker. Jay Fuller. Georgle Barker. Harriet Culley. Lottie Lally,
Mabel Hudson and Adeline Fagaa.
"At 4:30 a grand march was formed from the music room to the
kindergarten, where the 'little ones aat down to lunch at pretty
little tables decorated alternately with pink and blue."
Of these then children none are now very old. and this is the
saving factor tor woe to the unlucky wight who is careless in re
counting events of twenty years ago, when some of the principals
In the drama were then of what Is politely, but InbecUicaUy. called
of "uncertain age." All the girls, at least, mentioned above are
yet what can be called young without straining the conscience, or
what is equally unfortunate, if not so unethical, without meeting
Incredulity of readers. Some of them have married; others are
more or less definitely contemplating such a rash act and some have
left the city. Many of them have probably forgotten the party, but
all who chance to read the reprint will call it to mind with ease.
Jones of Nevada a day or two.
Mr. and Mrs. Kountze give a
dancing party January 3 for
their sons. Augustus and
C. C. George, Victor Bender
and John Barnard left for
Galesburg, where they will
spend the holidays.
Miss Mary Pratt (Mrs.
Charles Ogden) Is home from
St. Mary's school, Knoxrille, I1L
Miss Nellie Barns (Mrs. O.
T. Eastman) Is home for the
holidays from Notre Dame.
(Mr. and Mrs. Eastman re-
a . T"!"V Jf i -
C ' i
FAITH AND ATTHRET
ernor, Doraey B. Houck third.
Victor F. Museelman secretary
and R. C. Patersoa treasurer.
Mrs. J. J. Brown gave a New
Tear's reception la honor of
Miss Dean on New Vear's eve.
Ex-Senator and Mrs. Saun
ders returned from the east In
time to spend Christmas at
Hon. W. K. Cody tBuiTalo
Bill) was he holidav guest of
George Canfield, coming to
Omaha to witness a big Turkey
shoot on New Tear's day.
The Sunday after Christmas
the society editor, after the
fashion of society editors for
lo these many years, submitted
som remarks a bo at reviving
the custom of making calls on
New Tear's afternoon. Thus
it appears that this custom had
already lapsed into innocuous theless looked upon then as something extraordinarily wonderful.
street, assisted by Mrs. 3. B. Cr.u
Mrs. J. R. Simpson. Mrs. V.'iUIamr ;
Payne and Mrs. S. Doraey."
Two days befone Christmas twenty
years ago readers of The Bee were n-
livened with aa account of Christ v4 !
thirty-four years before that, or In )
1S34. as fellows: j ;
"The memcry of the oldest inhibit
tant in Omaha does not go tacic
any further than the year 1854 when ipea-ing of the city, and soi i
the 23th of December that year may be counted tae first ChrUiruairf I
dar in the citv. That was hut thirtT-lour rears ago. but there were! f
only a dozen or so little shanties, diiapidated structures which woul
not be allowed to exist ia the city toiiay, not even on lower Capi
avenue. Among the men residing in these wretched wrecks
houses were Dr. G-Kjrge L. Miller. Samuel D. Rogers. Alfred
Jones, A. J. Poppleton and their families.
"Christmas day in IS 54 was warm and pleasant. The tree?
were still in leaf, the grass was still green and the flowers wert
looming. i nere were no pacmiiz nouses aua every uaiii; pm ui
its own meat in good old Puritanical fashion. It was 'killing time1
and the men cut up the meat and stuffed sausage into miniature
flour sacks out of doors and promenaded around in their summer
"There waa no celebration that year. There were scarce; A
enough people In Omaha to celebrate. A few ladies, or rather fam-
Hies, as there were only a few ladies In town, entertained their;
neighbors. During the day the adolescent millionaires fired C
crackers and at night there was a small pyrotechnics! display.,
While the exhibition was not so grand as those given on the nigh
of Independence day now in the High school grounds, it was neve!
desuetude twenty yars ago,
and that convivial men no
longer were sampling uie
punch la a score of hospitable
homes. It Is always la order
in this connection to say if the
free drinkables were sometimes
taken too freely and that the
aforesaid convivial men some
times leaped nimbly from jag
The remarks on this theme
twenty years ago were as follows:
cently returned to Omaha from Evanston to live.) "There are some Indications that the time-honored custom of
The Pennsylvania Association of Nebraska met the night after keeping open house on New Year's day will be revived in Omaha
Christmas to nerfect oreanizatlon and to elect officers of the society. i.eain this season. A number of ladies have announced their Inren-
The big affair for grownups Christmas twenty years ago was cbariel r Manderson was elected governor. J. P. Bruner tlon of celebrating this dav in good old style and it is to be hoped
i .Un,hi, vither aome auite decollete gowns were worn or the ,, , . .. . . . . ..
uni ueuieuiiui governor, v . r. r. unmta secona lieutenant gov- uat me remainaer oi tne gentler sex wiu iohow weir example.
the Assembly. Either some quite decollete gowns
writer of the account la The Bee of that date overdraws the descrip
tion. It la to be hoped that the "diamonds" he or she mentions
were worn by the women present, though rumor hath It that dia
mond shirt studs were not la such terrible taste then as now.
The description of the Assembly runs as follows:
"The Assembly club held its second social of the season at the
Millard Friday evening. It was characteristically swell, the low
cut vest and the almost equally low cut dress being quite the fashion.
There was the usual blase of diamonds and an airing of expensive
toilets. The decoration with smilax was rather meager, but the
barrenness of ornament was possibly designed as sober setting to
show off the human butterflies who flitted hither and thither la the
dance. At the ordinary at a quarter to 11 all the guests were fed
at once Instead of in squads, as at the last party."
The list of married folk at this company la given below. The
names of girls present Is purposely omitted for the following reason
Onre a newspaper writer had for a daily task the getting up of a
Twenty-five Tears Ago Today" column. One day, when rather
hurl red. he carelessly copied the list of graduates from the high
school of this town, girls and alL Many of them were still "girls,"
and further deponent sayeth not except that there was about as
much doing as could be expected.
Those present at this old Assembly included Mr. and Mrs. Miner,
General and Mrs. Brooke, Mr. and Mrs. Sqnires. Mr. and Mrs. Colpet
jer. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Davis. Mr. anJ Mrs. Henry Yats. Mr. and
Mrs. WUl Millard, Mr. Swcbe, Dr. and Mra Lee. Mr and Mrs. Ring
wait, Mr. and Mrs. Darrow. Mr. and Mr. Hitchcock. Mr. and Mrs.
George Patterson. Mr. and Mra Will Poppleton. Mr. and Mrs. Harry
Lock wood. Mr. asd Mrs. N. Barkalow. Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wheeler.
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Peck. Mr. and Mrs. Garneaa, Dr. and Mrs. Bron,
Mr! and Mrs. Klrkendall. Messrs- John Wilbur. Barton. Patrick,
Cart Hamilton. Frank Hamilton. "Doc" Smith. Mr. Bartow. Mr.
McCabe, Mr. Squire and Prof. Gaynor.
Coder the heading. "Under the Mistletoe." a party la snnounced
la honor of Arthur Gulou and his classmate at Hobart college. Wil
liam Hilla This company was given on Christmas eve by Mr. and
Mrs. Bosche. and the statement is made that "one of the feat ires
of the occasion waa the sprig of mistletoe which hun; from the
chandelier, and every young lady who strayed under that bit of
foliage had to pay the customary penalty."
Evidently they were not so slow twenty years ago.
Mra Herman Kountze gave a reception a day or two before the
Assembly, which was accounted one of the leading events of holiday
time and which "In floral decorations surpasses anything of the kind
given yet this season." Assisting her were Mesdames Fred Davis.
Garneau. J. R- Ringwalt. Alfred Millard. Nelson Patrick aad Henry
There was no possible connection with the foregoing, but there
Charms Made from Animal Teeth
NTMAL teeth as amulets have been
popular from the earliest ages.
The natives living on Torres
strait take a crocodile's tooth.
paint it red and place In the hol
low part certain swong ocvated vegetable
drugs and then smear it ail over with fat
frcm a corpse. In the ' South Sea islands
many natives rejard the teeth of the sperm
whale with reverence, and it was the custom
at one time for the chiefs to wear them not
only aa charms, but aiso as an insignia of
their rank, aid the whalers used to make
considerable profit at times by extracting
these from the whales killed and bartering
them to the chiefs. The people of Ceylon
and Malabar used to worship the teeth of
elephants and monkeys. The peopla of
Benin. West Africa, believe elephants' teeth
bring good luck to the possessor.
To cure rheumatism one should carry
the last double tooth in the jawbone of a
hog In the pocket. The mountain Indiana
of Labrador believe that they can cure the
toothache by fixing a bear's tooth to the ach
ing molar, attached sometimes to a pair of
scisscra In upper Egypt the teeth of the
hyena are highly esteemed and are used as
amulets for young and old. The belief that
a badger's tooth sewn withia the waistcoat
brings luck at cards is quite ancient. The
rodent teeth of the beaver are regarded by
the Indians as potent charms.
Ia Handy, the capital of Ceylon, is to be
seen a magnificent temple, the "Maiigawa
Dalada" (temple of the tocth). which is one
of the wooden of the island. According to
the old tradition, when Buddha felt his end
approaching he commanded his disciples to
erect a large fuaeral pyre and cremate his
body, but afterward they should carefully
search the ashes, in which they would finl
waa probably many a smile over the fact that the day alter this re- acme relic of him which they were to pre
emption occurred. In the very same column of The Bee. right below serve. Whatever nation had pooseasion of
the account of the reception, waa aa article entitled "Rented this relic would prosper to the end of time.
Crandeur." This srtitle declared "that It Is not generally known, Buddha's body was faithfully cremated by
but nevertheless it Is a fact, that much of the display made at social the twelve, and when they searched the
entertainments is hired for the occasion. Cut glass and handsome ashes they found nothing but a tooth,
hired candelabra for the table, aad nia&o lamps, even high art brio- Inside the temple, at the bd of a flight
of steps. Is a curious round tower In which,
behind a strong iron grating, is to be seen
a miniature Buddhist pagoda about three
feet high and made of gold. In this Budd
ha's tooth is preserved. A kind of altar in
front of the iron grating is covered day and
night with red Mogra blossoms, which are
mostly brought by women as sacrifices.
The sacred relic Is well guarded from
profane eyes even here. A rectangular box
about fifteen inches long and seven or eight
Inches broad made of gold and all set around
ith uncut rubies of considerable sizA, con
tains another smaller box, which is orna
mented with the largest, and perhaps the
finest, pearls found In former centuries on
the Ceylon cout Inside this is still an
other box covered with a profusiua of uncut
gems sapphires, rubies, emeralds, etc., and
in this is aa immense sapphire hollowed out
like a cup in which, upon a golden lotus
leaf, rests the tooth of Buddha.
The tooth may only be exposed once
every hundred years, except when some
great calamity Is to be averted for in
stance. In times of great drouth or pesti
lence. Then it is brought out and exposed
with great pomp in front of the temple.
The strange part of this adoration, how
ever, ia that the tooth, which is about five
inches in length, is not that of Buddha at
all. according to a naturalist who was fortu
nate enough to see it some years ago. but
is the side tusk of a wild boar. It is sup
posed that during the course of the numer
ous bloody wars which have raged between
Ceylon and India during the last 2. Out) rears
ovtr the possession of this sacred relic the
original tooth was lost or destroyed and the
priests substituted the present one.
The tongues of animals have been and
are st'.'.l favorite amufe-ta. The tongue of
the vulture plucked out with iron and about
a man's neck in a new cloth will bring him
what he desires. A tongue cut from a liv
ing fox will ward off disease of ail kinds,
but as the person earrrtng'oae will surely
die If he happens to meet a fox at any cross
roads the charm la seldom used. Soma Isv-
"Mcst everybody around here in 1354 lived across the river la
Council Bluffs, and that city had quite a celebration with the words
'Christmas gift as a greeting, and consequently they captured about
everybody that went anywhere far from Omaha. Mr. William SnowJ
den had Just completed a large and commodious log hut on Tenth
street, and just south of Turner hall, and he gave a big dance. IC
was the first ball of any magnitude and was attended by about every-4
body. The bouse had not been entirely completed and there were-i
no doors or windows in place. Mr. Snowden was thirty-five years;
ahead of the style, for he had portieres at the doors in the form of?
quilts, and the same delicate fabrics at the windows, aad when that
dancers arrived they drew aside the curtains and walked directl
in on the scene of festivities. j
"It was the grandest and most enthusiastic gathering ever con
gregated in this city. Mr. Snowden had once more rushed the style1,
by having candies around the Inside of the bouse for light. And by!
that flickering light the dance went on and joy waa unconflned. . j
"Jim Ortoa was imported from Council Bluffs to furnish the
music, which he lid from an antiquated fiddle which he had brought!
with him from that cultured state of Indiana. A dance then popu-J
larly known as tha 'French Four was the first number on the pro-j
rram, and it may here be stated that the program consisted of ai
man with a large mouth and powerful lungs. When James tuned j
his violin and struck the first few notes Hon. Alfred D. Jones caught!
bis partner and led the crowd in the mysteries of the French Four.j
At the hour of midnight refreshments were served, and as there)
were no chairs or tables, the guests ranged themselves on cotton-t
Numbers of people keep In their pocket" wood benches along the aide of the cabin and devoured the repast, j
dians believe that If they do not bite off the
tip of the tongue of any wild animal they
kill they will not have good luck in hunting.
books a little bit of dried-up stuff wrapped
in a piece of tissue paper. Should you ask
what it is you will be told that it is the tip
of a beef tougue. It is carried for luck.
The Thlinkit Indian haman, or witch doctor,
when preparing lor his life work kilis a land
otter and cuta out its tongue, which he care-
Many of the participants were dressed in their common, eery-(
day apparel, but one young tenderfoot fresh from the effete esat.'
drew aside the portieres of the front entrance and blossomed before;
the astonished assemblage in a white vest and white kids. All the)
boys snd g:r:s thought it was an apparition.
"Aside from this dance of Mr. Snowden quite a number of young:
folk came over from Council Bluffs and went up to a farm ious
fully preserves and hides from the sight of that was near where the corner of Seward and Saunders streets la
Feathers of birds have from ancient
tzmea been uB-d as charms for good ur evlL
If the featatrs of a vulture be burnt the
smell drives away serpents. If the feathers
now. One of those young men, now an old gray-haired gentleman
who was present at this party, was saying the other day that they
played all the antiquated kissing games that were ever known.,
'Among them.' he continued, 'was "The Needles-eye," where youi
sing, 'The needle's eye, it does supply, the thread tnat runs so true."
of the right wing of a blackbird be hung up But there was another game that I remember most distinctly. It
on a red thread which has never been used
in tne middle of the house no one will be
abe to sleep In that house unul the wing
has been taken down. Sailors think It
lucky to carry a feather from a wren killed
on New Tear's day. The Scandinavians be
lieve that the raven has a certain white
feather on Its body which will endow the
man who can obtain possession of it with
all wisdom. This Is a matter, however, of ex
treme difficulty, according to the supersti
tious, as the bird when wounded always ex
erts its last strength to pick out and gulp
down this plume. Esquimaux use bunches
of feathers from the golden eagle aa charms
on their boaia
When a Navajo Indian wishes to bring
harm to an enemy it Is only necessary for
him to bury two bunches of owl or raven
feathers near the place where he sleeps or
lives, after presenting It to the six regions.
A third bunch of feathers Is buried near the
owner's fireplace la the kitchen to protect
him or her from invasion of enemies. Other
Indians place the green plumage of birds in
their medicine sacks for a charm against
disease. Ia the southwest is found a cock
known as the chaparral cock. The Indians
consider It a lucky fowl aad Us feathers or
was one In which we sang at the top of our voices:
I won't have none of your weevily wheat,
I won t have none of your barley. ' i
For 1 must go and get some dough and bake a cake for '
"There was considerable dancing and osculation connected with!
the game, which made It all the more interesting and entertalaingj
I liked these kissing games, and I guess all the boys did, and the
girls, too. There was another game we played this same night. It
was called measuring tape, where a boy and girl faced each other
and clasped hands. First they stretched their hands to the right
and then to the left, and every time they stretched they kissed. This
ess my favorite game. Figuratively speaking. I measured enough,
tape to last a large dry goods house a year.
" We had supper about 11 o'clock and then the boys and girls,
each of whom had brought some Chirstmas gifts, exchanged pres
ents, each youth selecting fcis own glrL I remember very well that
uiy girl gave me a baby's rattle, and I presented her with a horse
" 1 don't know how the other residents oX Omaha and xrtcinit
enjoyed themselves on this, the first Christmas evening la Omaha,
but it doesn't seem to me that I have had so nice and enjoyaale a
time since. Although this was but thirty-four years ago (fifty-four
now), there has ben a wonderful change, aad where the party just
alluded to took place are sow business houses aad residences for
miles around it. Then It was only the black, desolate prairie. !
" 'When the sixry-elghth Christmas day thirty-four years hence
draws around it is very probable that the business houses la Omaha'
will extend from Hickory to Seward streets and from the river to'
(Continued on Page Three.)
Thirty-eeenta and T in.min,
the thriving suburbs.
Fremont sad Nebraska Citj will be