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TOL. XL. NO7. 91. NEWBERRY4 S. C.. FRIDAY JU"NE 17. 1904 TWICE A WEEK. $1.50 A YEAR
HUNDREDS PERISHED BY FIRE ID WITER EXCURSION STEAMER BURN ED TO WATER'S EDGE. One of The Most Appalling Disas ters in The History of New York. New York.June 15.-One of the most appalling disasters in the hstory of New York. fragic in its immensity, dramatic in its episodes and deeply pathetic in'the tender age of most of its victims, took place today in the East River, at the entrance to Long Island Sound, wihin a short distance of the New York shore, within sight of thousands of persons, the majority oft whom were powerless to minimize the extent of the catastrophe. By the burning to the water's edge of the General Slocum, three-decked excursion steamer, the largest in these waters, six hundred persons, the majority of whom were women and children, were burned to death or drowned by jumping overboard or by being thrown into the whirlpools by the lurching. of the vessel and the frantic rush of the panic-stricken pas sengers. It is the season of Sunday-school excursions in New York Bay and Long Island Sound, the latter one of the mcst picturesque bodies of water in the country. Great preparation had been made for the seventeenth annual excursion of the Sunday-school of St. Mark's German Lutheran church, the congre gation of which is drawn from the dense population of the lower East and West sider. and the General Slo cum had been chartered to carry the excursionists to Locust Grove, one of the many resorts on Long Island Sound. The number of excursionists on board today is variously estimated at from 1.500 to 2.5oo. but according to an official statement issued by the Knickerbocker Steamboat company, owners of the Slocum. the number of passengers was 873, that being one third of the vessels licensed capacity. The fire broke out in a lunch room on the forward deck. The blaze was caused by the overturning of a pot of grease. The excursionists, but a few mo ments before in the full enjoyment of an ideal summer's day on Long Is land Sound. were driven to the after part of the steamer to escape the heat flames and smoke that were constant ly increasing. Policemen and deck hands aboard the boat struggled hard to quiet the panic, but their efforts were in vain. The wild disorder in creased. as frantic mothers sought their children, who had been at play about the decks. The steamer's whistle was blowing for assistance and tugs and other nearby craft answered to the call. Before any of the boats could reach the burning steamer, however. the frantic women and children began to~ jump overboard. The current was strong and there are many whirlpools in the channel. The boats that always abound in the vicinity picked many persons from the water. but these were only a small number of those that were seen struggling in the swift current. These small boats rescued all those'I in the water whom they could reach., but many persons struggled and sank before any help could reach them. In the wake of the Slocum as she hurried up stream was a line of little black spots, marking the heads and bodies of those who had sought to escape the roaring furnace on the ship by throw ing themselves overboard. The Slocum got within fifty feet of the nofthwest point of North Broth ers Island asnd there stopped in the .h allow water. A Day of Gloora Yesterday. New York, June 16.--About two hundred and fifty yards from the New York shoe. off the place knowvn as Hunt's Point. the upper part of a pad die box. two smoke stacks, a flagstaff. and twisted. bent iron work lie, the remnants of the ill-fated steamboat General Slocum. It is a temporary and hideous monument of the scene where nearly a thousand persons. most of whom were women and children. lost their lives in fire and water. Today therF are grave murmurings and charges that the horrible sacri fce of life was needless. and that the officers of the boat, though brave. ad mittedly erred when they drove the vessel a half mile before beaching her. There is also the charge that the life belts were rotten and unservice able and that the construction of the upper works of the boat was faulty, inasmuch as they were all of wood so as to give free sweep to the flames. Today all is gloom and the people refuse to be comforted, for five hun dred homes have been visited by the Angel of Death, while as many others contained loved ones burned'and oth erwise injured. Crepe. some white and 'some black, hangs from many doors today, and the death emblem is constantly being added to. 539 Recovered at Noon. New York, June 16.-Up to noon today four hundred and sixty-nine bodies had been received at the mor gue, and seventy more were on their way there aboard the city tug "Fidelity." This brings the list of recovered dead up to 539. There have been i65 identifications up to the noon hour, and permits for tre removal of these bodies have been granted. Early Yesterday Morning. New York. June 16.-Up to 8.3c o'clock this morning four hundred and eighty-nine bodies of victims of the disaster on the steamboat Gen eral Slocum had been recovered. Eight bodies in one group were picked up on North Brothers island. The divers at dawn resumed their work in the sunken hold. They have by their efforts added to the ghastly horror, which steadily grew during the night. The total number of dead, it is now estimated, will reach at least eight hundred. Some estimate that the list will go as high as one thotisand. Grief-stricken crowds thronged the morgue and the vicinity of St. Mark's church and the shores near the wreck all night last night looking for loved ones. One mother who indentified the burned body of her child at the mor gue this morning tried to jump from the pier on which the body lay. She was restrained with difficulty from uttering the serious charges made by the supervisor that thc steamboat was supplied with rotton life preservers. The authorities are investigating thcse charges. Among the bodies identified at St. Mark's church last night was that of Mrs. Anna Haas, the wife of the pas tor of the church. Dr. Haas is among the rescued. He his wife and daughter got outside the rail of the Slocum before the steamer beached. He cannot say whether they jumped or fell or were pushed into the water. He sank and when he rose he found scores about him figh?ing for life. He failed to find his wife and daughter. With great effort he kept afloat and was about to give up in despair when a man on one of the tugs picked him up. Of the scores he saw about him when he rose, one by one sank. The following telegraphic message from President Roosevelt has been received by Pastor Haas: "Accept my profound smypathy for yourself. your church and your con gregation. (Signed) "Theodore Rooeelt."' THE OIISSIONERS TO CITY GOUNCIL PROPOSITION TO IMPROVE THE PLANT. The Cost of the Desired Improve ments-No Action By Coun cil As Yet. The following communication from the board of commissioners of pub lic works was received by city council at its meeting Wednesday night. Council postponed action on the whole matter: Newberry, S. C., June 3d, 1904. To the Mayor and City Council of Newberry. S. C. Gtntlemen: We. the commission ers of public works. beg to submit for your most careful consideration the following: The water works system here is as reliable for fire protection as any other town in its class, but recent events have proven that too many precautions cannot be taken and that the system can never be too well pre pared for an emergency, and to this end we would suggest certain changes in our system. With the daily average height of water in the standpipe we have suffi cient pressure to cope with any fire which might occur in most any part of the city, but an emergency might arise whereby it should become nec essary to have greater pressure at the hydrants than that afforded by the water in the stand pipe. In order to increase the pressure, the valve at the 'base of the stand pipe must be closed and the force pump started. This will .ncrease the pressure in every part of the pipe system to as high a point as may be necessary up to 125 pounds per square inch, and will be maintained as long as the pump is kept running. With the pump in operat?on and this main valve open the pressure at the hydrants is not materially increased. the greater volume of water flows along the main pipe and up in the stand pipe. simply accumulating water in the stand pipe and not i - creasing appreciably at the time the p- essure at hydrants. The stand pipe being located quite a good distance from the power house. it would be impracticable for the en gineer in charge to leave the station to close this valve, and even if any one was at hand at the it instant would require some ten minutes. or more per haps, for him to run and close it. So you can readily understand that some other method of closing this valve must be adopted. A valve directly connected to an electric motor and operated from the switchboard at the power house is nearest to the iceal which we can 'get. Simply c.osing a switch at the power house will start the motor and in perhaps thirty seconds the valve is closed, and reversing the switch, the valve is again opened-a very neat, simple. reliable arrangement. This valve with all necessary machinery or equip ment~which will have to be made will cost about $8oo.oo. Now this electric motor must have electric current to operate it and our present electrical equipment will hardly operate it successfully. since it is too small for the work required of it now. The proposed addition to ,our electrical equipment will be just suited successfully to operate this valve. Our electric lighting plant also is in such condition as to require im mediate attenttion. Our alternator, or house lighting machine, has connected on its cir cuits nowv nearly 2,000 lights. and it will only carry without danger s,ooc lights. There is serious danger that duing the heavy lighting season this winter this machine will be compelled to carry more than it can do and com pletely wreck it. thereby causing un told inconvenience to our numerous patrnse and -an enormous and waste ful expense to the city. Our street lighting system also is as unsatistactorv to us as it is to the citizens generally. and the dyna mo being loaded to its fullest capac ity. it is impossible to make any of the much needed extensions or addi tions to the number of lamps which we would like to make. The proposed new typ. of -street lamp is in general use all over the country. Its light is better diffused and has not that blinding glare which characterizes the open arc (our pres ent type), its light does not flicker, and is almost as steady as the light of an incandescent lamp, and above all other reasons, it is much less ex pensive in operation. There are many other reasons why this change in our plant should be made and be made at once. The board. from the revenue de rived from the sale of wa!ter and lights from July ist. 1903. to June 1st 1904. at the increased rate to patrons, have bought and paid for a complete deep well pumping outfit. an air compressor. and all necessary piping and equipment at a cost of $1.525.00. and on July ist expect to have on hand $i.5oo.oo in cash. (This includes $6oo we had on hand June 30th, 1903, before the raise in rates went into effect.) With an enlarged new up-to-date electrical . equipment and an engine, we are positive that we can serve thi city and all our present patrons with, much better service at at least $r.ooo. oo a year less expense. as well as enabling the board to increase the present number of lights very mater ially. and with this increased light ing ipcrease the revenue therefrom. Our superintendent estimates that the cost of this equipment will be about $5.ooo.oo for electrical equip ment, and a new engine about. $2,ooo. oo. The board has every reason to believe that they can arrange terms with the manufacturers whereby they can get this apparatus by making a cash payment and having them carry the balance for terms of oie or two years at 6 per cent. Now, our proposition to you is this: That if you will authorize the board to make these purchases and will give the manufacturers from whom we are to buy this equipment such securities as they require that we will, out of the income from the sale of water and lights, make the cash payment and guarantee to meet each time payment with the interest thereon as they become due. ' This debt can be paid in three years or possibly sooner and the sooner this equipment is installed, the sooner will the city of Newberry be placed as regards its public works, on an equal footing with any town in the state. -an the sooner will the rates be lowered and the debt for same be paid. Very truly yours, James McFntosh. C. E. Summer, WV. F. Ewart, Commissioners of Public Works. Big Oil War. Augusta. Ga.. June 16.-There is ai big fight on here between the Stand ard Oil Co. and the People's Oil Co.. in which the Standard Oil people, have forced the price down to three cents a gallon in thousand gallon lots. This oil sold five days ago for four teen and a half cents. Forty thousand dollars worth was sold yesterday. Clemson College Scholarships. All applicants for the scholarships will apply to the County Superinten dents of Education, who will give full information concerning the terms of the law and the conditions required for entrance to the College. The examinations will be held in July, before the County Boards of Educations. P. H. Mell. President. I STEPHEN D. LEE IS GOININDER-IN-CHIEF SUCCEEDS THE LAMENTED JOHN B. GORDON. The Old Soldiers- Have Been Having A Glorious Time In Nashville. Nashville. Tenn.. June 14.-Under every condition tending to a success ful reunion. Nashville today officially welcomed the United Confederate Veterans and their friends constitu ting a host conservatively estimated at 30,000 people. The exercises of the day took place in the tabernacle and every bit of space was taken long before the vet erans were called to order by Gen. W. Gordon. of Memphis. commander of the Tennessee division. It was the first convention in the history of the organization that the Sons of Veter ans sat with their fathers, and the cheers from the throats of the young er generation at almost every expres sion by those who took part in the strife 40 years ago made it plain that the spirit of '61 would be perpetuated in generations to come. After General Gordon had called the veterans to order. Chaplain Jones delivered the invocation. Governor J. B. Frazier welcomed the delegates to Tennessee in a splendid address. Twice he started to hAs seat only to be recalled and urged in behalf of the veterans. After Col. A. S. Williams, mayor of Nashville. had extended the city's welcome. Gen. Gordon brought for ward Gen. Stephen D. Lee as the per inanent presiding officer and com mander-in-chief. Gen. Lee's appear ance was the signal for a remarkable outburst of enthusiasm. Cheer after cheer greeted him. Hats. canes, hand kerchiefs and coats went into thedair n all parts of the auditorium and the gallery added its vociferous voice to the demonstration. The band took up the spirit .of the occasion and Gen. Lee was kept bowing from side to side for several minutes. Hon. Thomas M. Owen. of Mont gomery. Ala., commander of the Ala bama division. Sons of Veteransj spoke in response to the welcoming for the Sons. He was heartily ap plauded. General Stephen D. Lee was on Wednesday chosen commander-in chief. and Louisville, Ky., was named as the place of next reunion. CoL 0. L. Schumpert. Col. 0. L. Schumpert, was appoint ed South Carolina's representative on the committee on resolutions. RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. Port Arthur Harbor Open Again Several Engagements Re ported.. Rome, June 16.-A telegram from Tokio reports that the Russian squad ron, including the cruiser Novik, has estroyed all the Japanese prepara tions for landing troops and stores ear Lung Wang Tung, for the at :ack on Port Arthur from the east. The presence of the cruiser Novik outside Port Arthur indicate that the entrance to Port Arthur is clear. London. June 16.-The Tokio cor respondent of the Reuter Telegram company says that in a fight at Tel ssa. near Fort Chow, the Russians lost five hundred killed and three hun red taken prisoners. They also lost fourteen guns. The Japanese casualties are placed t one thousand. "What do you consider the hardest cene you have ever acted?" "It is difficult to say off-hand," an wered Mr. Stormington Barnes. One of the most difficult was the cene in 'The Merchant of Venice' re ently when I had to refuse thousands >f imaginary ducats when I didn't iavethrty eal cents in my pocket."