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The Washington herald. (Washington, D.C.) 1906-1939, January 26, 1913, New Orleans Edition, Image 2

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045433/1913-01-26/ed-2/seq-2/

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New Orleans and the Panama Canal
lis II n Till ZI M.
"erretar Manager New Orleans Pro
ric-io I mon
W th the I'anama Canal 1 "so miles
dre h to t c south nean r bv (TO miles
than New "iork in stan ling as th"
nearest great Ameni in seaport to
C !on New Orleans has Icon putting her
house in order for fifte. i vcars m ml
van e t reap the reward of its nitunl
advantages How this has been done is
fin example of en lc i atriotlsm and far
sighted vision that even New "i ck
w th ts preponderating influenee Ins
found neresarv to follow, for New Or
leans r all the seaports of the I nited
States w s the first to take possession
w th 1 r solute hand of i s pi eat llar
b jtilttlis anil the extent ami char
a ter f its nunicnpnl) owned water
fr-n and he t railroid switching ter
minals is a monument to the sagacit)
of the men who had the spirit and
audaeity to take time bj the forelock
and prevent the control of its jrrcatcst
aset as a seaport. b) private interests
few weeks ago New ", ork announeed
that it would expend $ A M" twv In the
aeuislt n of its own water front t r
minals a d t i huge sum will ro to pav
f"r on e 'mill part of its (Treat liar
bor frontag In New Orleans lie- citi
lens pronounced against private eontrol
fifteen vears ago and refused further
to lease its wharves to sin h interests.
The laws of the State said its river front
must ever belong to the people. And
it alwa)s has been owned bv the people
But for manv vears private interests
leased from the mtiniripalit) until peo
ple saw t e folic of a pollcs that per
m tted the monopolv f its greatest
as et terminated the lease and entered
into a period of ilium ipal monopolv in
which ever) citizen is a direct stock
holder From that date the port facil
ities at New Orleans took an upward
turn and toda with an expenditure of
only some J4 IS 000 the wharves of the
elt aro coered with modern steel fire
proof sheds to protect cargo and the tax
on s ipping has been reduced to a minl
n ym for tie do k board is operated
not for profit but to sere all comers
on an equal basis and at a minimum
cost In this manner was taken the first
ftep to prepare New Orleans as a sea
port to profit by her proximity to the
Panama Canal
I'nl.lc Brit Railroad
I jt that was not all W hen the mer
chants and exporters found that rail
road and shipping terminal facilities be
hind the wharves were needed to com
plete the conjunction. the) determined
upon another venture which, as In the
case of all innovations, was hooted at
1 the skeptic and fought bj the pri
vate transportation interests These lat
tei honestlv thought the) saw a real
menace to their and the cil s best in
terests but to-daj the Public Belt Rail
road of New Orleans running with dou
ble tracks immediately behind the pub. ,
Culebha Cut, Empire. View Looking North from West
wharves and reaching b switch ard
sp ir to minufact ring pants shipping
t iblUhmtnts warchou -s and tapping
i 1 railroads has come tile re gardc-cl bv
nt railroad- themselves as their chi f
- ifeguard from cingesticn and the e
t rt'on of lines mor acivaiiUK ousi) sit
uated So adnnrahlo has the utilltv been
lnndlei Iv a non sTlar'fd mtnsiuii
c mposed of delegated representatives of
f ur commerei il eve hanc-s an 1 those
-il pointed it lirge that even the switch
i u chirge is absorbed in the rile and
wKi!e its b t cars of usefu ness ire
Mill ahe-ad cf it the loibllc Kelt Rail
r id Ins proved a public lenefactor to
the c uninerce of New Orleans
These two the piiblirl) owned and op
crted wharves and the publiclj owned
and operited belt riilroad ihnth for
in env vears In actual operation from the
fe tindaiioii upon which r st ttie future
rii m lopment and securitv of the port of
N.w Orleans More extensive still how
e er ire the pi ins of tho'e wh-i vs
on has not been restricted to the mere
present ctmg upon the authoritv given
I v a constitutional amendment to the
Mate laws a
(.rent Pnlillc Warehouse
is abo it to be hullt to be operated bv
and in conjunction with the public
wharis Ihrougn the dork board These
plans ce nleniplato tile erecton of an Im
mense pi bli warehouse on the harbor
front for the storage of general com
moditv but principalis for the storage
of cotton Galveston, in recent jears
has T-tlv outdistanced New Orleans in
the export of the chief staple of the
I nlted Mates. even though New Orleans
remains the largest spot market the
seaport market where cotton is stored
and held for advantageous release and
shipment Galveston with the enormous
Texas rop and a railroad commission
which stands for Texas first last and
all the time behind her, has become
one of the great export cities of the
world The economic essence of com
merce however, does not lie in the
transit commodity, but In Its handling
and storage The cotton that comes to
Galveston Is not seen in that cits and
its enormous olume is principal!) a mat
ter of figures more than dollars and
strategic advantage for the owner of the
cotton It comes in cars to shlpside is
loaded and carried to Liverpool and
Manchester and Hamburg, there to he
stored and held for the use and ad
vantage of the foreign spinner Under
the New Orleans plan of municipalli
owned warehousing the cotton will lie
held In an American e itv b the Ameri
can ewner who ma thus await the
most advantageous moment for selling
In the meanwhile the expense of han
dling and storage will go Into the pockets
of American business interests and
American wage-earners instead of being
transferred gratuitously and without
good reason Into the pockets of alien
and foreign interests
l'ublltl OtvuiiJ l.luhterakc s p Ic-r.
Still another great public utility is on
the cards (or New Orleans, and while
these plans have not been adopted, they
ultimately will be Reference is had to
i svstcm of municipally owned harbor
inteiage opratd as a part of the
I iblV lt.lt Kailroad just as the public
warihojse i-v-Um will It operated b
th puh'lc dok board
The New Orleans plan will differ from
that In New lork and other ports onl
in tint it will lie owned bv the publi
and operated not for protlt, but to re-
du e the port and handling charges to
a minimum New Orleans has. on both
sidts of the river, somi. thirtj miles ot
harbor frontage, ever) foot of which will
ultlmatels be covered b municipal sheds,
backed by municipal belt railroad, termed
by municipal lighters, and facilitated b
municipal warehouses, the two presently
operating branches of which have al
nad demonstrited their unquestioned
title to precedence as the most success
full) publiel) owned port facilities on the
American continent
I'nre Public VAnler.
Not content with providing the shipping
of the world with economic utilities, the
people of New Orleans decided they
would direct!) benefit ever) one of its
ii dividual unit human and otherwise,
ard voted to t ix themselves $.") C1 000 for
a publklv owned s)stem of water, sew
eiage ind drainage For the first it had
the vast and inexhaustible, volume of the
Mississippi River itself to draw from
or a untur) or so New Orleans had
drurk either the rain water from sur
face cisterns or tanks or the mud water,
bought from a private monopol) at out
rageous prices and filtered privately and
at private expense Two vcars ago the
great municipal filtration plant was com
pleted and put into operation with a
capac tv of SnotOOCO gallons per daj The
mudd) Mississippi still forms the source
of sjjplv but when it rushes with force
from the taps of private householders, it
is as clear as costal and as pure as
in) water in any clt) In the world Not
onl) that, but It Is actual!) 60 per cent
cheaper than the old mud-water supplied
at low pressure by the private monopoly
The citizens of New Orleans to-da) en
jo not only what is ecjual to the best,
but I erhaps the cheapest water in the
I nited States Not onl) has the exist
ence and use of this pure clean publicly
owned water proven a boon to public
health, for typhoid is almost unknown
In Kew Orleans and the death rate Is
reducing annually, but it has caused
an economic saving In the cost of fire
hazard both to the Insurer in the form
of reduced loss and to the Insured In
reduced premiums I-ormerlv the mud
cloggLd the fire hjdrants and made the
work of the fire department abortive
Now the Initial pressure alone frequently
obviates the necessity for auxiliary en
gine energ)
Drainage and Scneranr,
Corollar) to the water arc the drain
age and sewerage s) stems, both potential
In the matter of health, and entering
into the business economy of the clt)
Ten vears ago not a cellar or basement
existed in N"ew Orleans The soli was
too moist Nor were there tall build
ings To-lay ever) new sk) scraper has
its cellar a double Illustration of the
virtue .of drainage for the subsoil has
I een dried out and both cellars and
heav) buildings are a matter of common
construction now
Sewerage of the most modern and im
proved t)pe adds Its quota to health and
happiness and under the law modern
sanit ir) connections are computsor) ind
the sewerage which formerly went Into
cess pools polluted the earth and spread
disease, is now carried off and emptied
into the Mississippi River, far below the
cltv, fort) feet beneath the surface, and
where the river is some two hundred
feet In depth
Commercial Exploitation.
In dealing with the forgoing publicly
owned wharves belt railroad ware
houses lighterage, water drainage, and
seweiage mv object was to clearlv point
out where New Orleans had lall the
broad foundation for commercial su
premacy hv suppl)ing the fundamental
facilities through which her economic
development will come These facilities
h-ve prepared the wa) for the Individual
'and private interests which will use
New Orleans as a base of operations for
the expansion of their self Interest In
which the community as a whole, will
take Its share
Within the past ear three events of
the utmost significance have come to
pass and which demonstrate the fact
that there Have been some to qulckl)
realize their oppiirtunlt), and as quick
ly take advantage of It The Texas and
Taclfic Railroad part of the great Gould
s)stem has acquired some twenty
squares of ground in the warehouse dis
trict of New Orleans. Just behind the
wharves and belt railroad and is now
spending upward of JlOOnoonn In great
terminals supplementing Its private ter
minals In Jefferson Parish, a few miles
up the river This railroad did not sec
but foresaw the handwriting on the wall
and the words New Orleans Is the Mis
sissippi alle) Gatcwa) to the Panama
Canal ' were spelled out in largo letters
Thus did the vision of great railroad
operators concentrate upon and deter
mine an Important economic fact and set
about with preparations to capitalize
their forsight
The other indication of significance Is
the innouncement onlj Just made that
the enormous exporting firm of W R.
Grace & Co , perhaps the largest of its
kind in the world had opened in New
Orleans for the' purpose of developing
more extensively Its already large trade
in Central and South America, for, with
New Orleans in easy reach of the west
coast of these two countries a large
part of that business now done out of
han Francisco will be handled out of
New Orleans
Still another feature of great signifi
cance Is the big strides being made In
the reclamation and development of the
wet lands of Southern Louisiana, partlc
ularl) In the immediate vicinity of New
Orleans With some lOOOO.ouO acres ot
reclalmable marsh lands the richness
of which is made up of the richness of
soils from thtrt)-slx Mates in the Union
which have built up the Mississippi
delta, the reclamation of Louisiana lands
JANUARY 26, 1913
is one of the economic features of mod
ern times Lands ma) be reclaimed and
put on the market for an average ot Ji
an acre and sold for S100 and up, and
will grow crops twelve months In the
)ear Ioulslana has nearlv 5 000 miles
of navigable waters and, as most of
them are located In the lower section
of the State, the reclamation of lands,
with Its necessar) canalization brings
navigation with It as a natural corollar).
and transportation b) water, cheip and
safe from the farm to the market And
backing up this pioner work comes th
announcement Just made that a syndi
cate known as the Iauislana Company,
composed of bank presidents and capital
ists of New Orleans has been organized
for the purpose of putting settlers on the
lands an enormous highlx financed
thoroughl) practical scheme of legitimate
exploitation and colonization and devel
opment. which wlh give to New Orlean'
th it immediate suburban population
which Is necessary to its upbuilding and
which In selling Its products to and
through New Orleans, will create n vast
Iv augnic nted market for the manufac
tured a tides of the citv
Thus have I endeavored to show that
New Orleans at ever) point has taken
advanced steps to capitalize her propln
qult) to the Panama Canal, from mu
nicipal ownership of public utilities, to
private actlvit) In making the best vise
of the courageous foresight of her
Criminal Sheriff, Parish of Orleans.
The office of criminal sheriff of the
Parish of Orleans has been intrusted
to efficient hands n Matthew J Long,
whose successful career here and pre
vious public service have most thor
oughl) demonstrated his abilit) to fill
the position The growth and Increased
Importance of Orleans Pansa have
added to the amount and details of the
duties falling on her officials, and
rendered it absolutel) necessary that
only conservative men of experience and
proven capacity be intrusted with the
duties of administering her affairs It
Is general!) conceded that Sheriff MatJ
then J Long the criminal sheriff of
the Parish of Orleans, Is one of the
most popular citizens of the Third
Ward He was born March 5. lo5,
and was educaTed at St Joseph's and
St. Mary s Colleges, finishing his studies
at the Jesuit College The sheriff was
engaged among the cotton houses for
quite a few )ears When he reached
mans estate he took an active part In
the politics ot the regular Democratic
party. He has been honored with sev
eral public service positions from time
to time Under John Fltxpatrlck's ad
ministration he was a wharfinger and
held the same position under Peter Far
rell He served for four scars as one
of the port commissioners He Is ' an
Elk. and a member of the Knights of
Tme Excavatoajn.toe-
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Mayor of New Orleans
Martin Behrman has spent his entire
life In New Orleans He rose from
the ranks, and can compare his success
favorably with any other man of his
He began his political career when he
became a member of the school board
manv sears ago Since then he has
served consecutively , as clerk of the
City Council, assessor. State auditor, and
Mayor. He was elected chairman of the
Board of Commissioners when New Or
leans adopted the commission form of
government, on December 1, 1911.
Lorn In New lork the son of Henr)
and Fredericka Behrman. he was
brought to Kew Orltahs at the age of
one vear. He managed! to secure a good
education, and fluently speaks German
and French When quite soung he be
gan his career as a retail clerk. He
was later a representative of a whole
sale house, and has served In various
other capacities since
He married Miss Julia Collins, of New
Orleans in 1SS7 The) have two ch l
dren, William Stanley, and Mar) Helen.
Mayor Berhman has alwa)s been ac
tive In fraternal circles and club Ufa
of New Orleans. Ills membership Is now
claimed by the Elks. Knights of Co
lumbus. Druids. Moose. Buffolos Wood
men of the World southern lacht Club
New Orleans Progressive Un on and
other similar organizations The fea
ture of Mr Behrman s political career
has been his persistent fight for munici
pal and civic improvements.

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