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Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, June 01, 1898, Image 1

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J. SIA 'IiLi sII .I.1) J UN E i 9 , - I - S1 / 1 . OM A I IA , 11 r- LDESDAY v 4 UYE F i , 1 89S-F1 HS rIt SECn ( )1. SL\t ( LIE ( , r O1 1V h tt V , L (1 ( LtI1 ti , r
-TORY Ol' ' TI11 : ' 4A1 POSITION I
Steps o Its Inception , Organization ,
Oonstruction and Realization , )
SIUp4 Iuluos Effort itequlred for ( ha
Crentlon of n Wonder CI ty lu the
Short Spnee of Lem Thnu
'I'veoty-One IRIIIIt116.
T NOON today , by the j
pressuru nt a button at l
the hand of Preehiellt
A1cKinluy , the nmChiu- I
y cry of the TrnI1s1111891e-
sippl mid international
ExpoSIUon at Omaha +
will be set Ut moti m nm i
for flvo months' Iv ;
1-- - structton and enter- '
tahnnent of the public.
The gates of the exposition ore opened lu
less than fifteen months from the day on l
width the site was selected and just thir-
tent months from the day mm ahlch the first
shovelful of earth was lifted. To the spec-
tutor It would seem that sonic long forgotten
magician had escaped from the dingy covers
of an ancient fairy tale and caressed the
bare expanse of blufTanti ) stubble with his
crentivo wand. At the potent touch palaces j
of art and Industry appeared as though
faahl011e11 from some low hanging cloud , f
their soaring domes and pinnacles resplendent
dent In the June sunshhle and their wide )
stretches of court anti pronnenade gorgeous
with the bloom and fragrance of Oriental
gardens , Even nature Is outdone by the
' persistent force and virility of the hustling
west. For since the last snow hake disappeared -
appeared the rugged bluff has been transformed -
formed Into a panorama of turf and follage
and Ilower that seems like the creation of a
dozen seasons.
To the ordinary visitor the Magic City on
the Missouri bluff speaks unit' of success
grandly and wonderfully achieved. The story
or1ts dilacullles and dlscouragenlents , of
obstacles surmounted and of storms successfully -
fully encountered is written only in the
recollections of the men who have given
nearly two years of their best effort , without -
out consideration or reward , to the consummation -
summation of this stupendous enterprise.
They succeeded In the face of conditions that
would have daunted less determined spirits.
Uorn in the midst of the greatest financial
and industrial depressison of recent years ,
when dollars were scarce and hope was stagnant -
nant , built up during a period when every
torwarrl step was a struggle against conditions -
tions that almost refused to yield , the exposition -
sition is at once illustrative of transmissis-
sippl resources and transmisslssippl grit.
I' Irst StIKge'Nthlal of the Yxposillon.
The exposition first appeared as a definite
proposition during the session of the Trans-
tnisSlssippl Congress him this city in November -
ber , 1895 , Some time previous to this the
idea had suggested itself to Edward Ilose-
water , editor of The flee , but the time had
not seemed opportune to put it into tangible
_ .L _
about to
form. But when the congress
convene It was decided that this would af
' favorable opportunity to test the
. lord a most
value of the suggestion. Mr. Itosewater corn.
ntunlcnted his idea to a number of leading
citizens , by whom it was enthusiastically en-
dorsed. After some further consideration it
was decided to bring the matter before the
congress 011(1 make an effort to secure Its
endorsement and co-operation. In accordance -
ance with this plan Mr. Rosewater made
the first public announcement of the scheme
in an editorial which appeared in The Bee
November 25. This presented a concise
exhibit of the rapid development of the
western country during the preceding tven-
ty-flvo years. Attontlon was called to the
inrportamt results ( lint had been secured
through the expositions at Chicago and Atlanta -
lanta , and the opinion was expressed that
the proposed exposition would result in equal
beneilt to the west , It would give a trenneu-
deus impetus to the westward trend of population -
lation and capital and advertise to the world
the resources and capabilities of the trans-
rnssisslppl ! country. In conclusion , It was
urged that Omaha was pre-emhteotly fitted
by reason of its central location to be the
theater of the enterprise and the hearty cooperation -
operation of Its citizens was pledged to make
the affair a success ,
While a few of the more conservative people -
ple were at flrat inclined to regard the Idea
w chimerical , it was unreservedly endorsed
by the progressive element. Omaha busl-
nese men saw in it s factor that would stir
the stagnant elements of trade and Industry
and the tranemleoissippi delegates recog-
aired the boundless possibilities that it offered -
fered of progress and development of the
whole western country. It required but
very little effort to secure their co-operation.
Two days after the editorial appeared lion ,
William J , Bryan , who was president of the
oongrese , brought it before that body in the
following resolutlon :
Whereas , We believe that an exposiUon
of all the products , Industries and clvlllza
- tion of the states west of the Mississippi
river , made at some central gateway
whore the world can behold the wonderful
capabilities of those great wealth produclugg
etatea , would be of great value , not only to
the tranemiesfsslppi states , but to all the
home-seekers in the world ; therefore ,
Resolved , That the United States congress
be requested to take such steps as may be
' necessary to hold a
, V ( ton at Omaha during the months of August ,
September and October , 1698 , and that the
representatives of such states and territories
in congress be requested to favor such an
appropriation as is usual in such cases to
assist in carrying out this enterprise.
Antlan of 'l'nursaalssisstppl CunrfresM.
The burst of applause that followed the
reading et the resolution was a sufilelent
Indication of its favorable consideration ,
The enthusiasm increased as Mr. Bryan
sdded a vivid word picture f Immense
sdvantages that the exposition would obtain
; the west , and his vigorous argument in
nm dr4sfl is
, p t JFCAHtA Or TmE DAY Y SPAltta Or TttC DAY w ti ,
9 i tiY , -
ft . vP 9 pre-
, ri C
f'j at
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, . , , ryq otl
priso was received with scarcely less favor ,
Following Mr. Bryan , Colonel John Doni-
phnn of St. Joseph , Mo. , George Q.
Cannon of Utah and Ifowell Jones
of Kansas spoke eloquently in favor
of the resolution. It seemed that
there was only one sentiment in the congress
gress for not a dissenting voice was raised
and the resolution was adopted by a rising
vote and a whirlwind of cheers that voiced
the splrit of the delegates.
Such a gratifying uuannnity ! : of opinion
was In itself a powerful encouragement to
those who had then to assume the tremea
deus task of organization and execution. It
also operated to crystallize the local senti-
meat , and within a few weeks the belief
that the exposition would be an unprecedented -
dented success was everywhere predominant
Some weeks were spent in planning the details -
tails of organization , and at a meeting held
at the Commercial club rooms January 18
the Transmissieslppi and International Exposition -
position association was formally organize'
and articles of Incorporation were adopted ,
They provided that the capital stock of the
association should be fixed at $1,000,000 , issued -
sued in shares of $10 each. The association
was authorized to transact business as soon
as $10,000 ! n stock was subscribed. A
board of eleven directors was specified , and
also twenty-five vice presidents , one of
whom should be from Omaha and one from
each of the transmisslssippl states and ter-
ritorles. The only change was made on the
suggestion of Mr. Rosewater , and this
amended the articles to provide that the
exposition should open in Juno and close ( n
November , instead of continuing only ninety
days , as originally planned.
The subscriptions of stock necessary to
permit the association to transact business
were taken In five minutes
from the time the articles were
adopted. The original subscriptions were :
E. Itosewater , $500 ; 1V. J , Connell , $500 ; J.
I1 , Evans , $500 ; Dan Farrell , jr. , $500 ; Lee-
Clarke Andreesen hardware company , $500 ;
W. It. Bennett , $500 ; J. E. Markel , $500 ;
Thompson , Belden & Co. , $500 ; Wllliaai
Krug , $500 ; Oscar I'Icknrd , $500 ; Metz Bros ,
Brewing compnny , $500 ; Frank 11. hibbard ,
$500 ; Dudley Smith , $500 ; Kelley , Stiger &
Co „ $500 ; John Ar Weaver , $100 ; A. Clem.
mens , $300 ; 0 , S , Ambler , $300 ; Z. T. Lindy
sey , $250 ; Lyman Richardson , $250 ; C. S ,
Montgomery , $200 ; L. 11 , Bradley , $200 ; I.
W. Carpenter , It. W. Richardson , W , If.
Itoherson , George N , flicks , M , It. DeLong ,
Euclid Martin , J , J. Gibson , J. E. I-Itt , helm
& Thompson , W , C. Bullard , 0 , C. Holmes ,
C , S. ilaywnrd and Johnson Bros „ $100 eacli ,
and Fisher & Lawrie , 0 , W , Wattles , J , A.
1Vnkefield G H Pnyne G A , Ralhhurn and
I , E , Burdick $50 each ; total , $10,650.
6'Irst Urge uaatlou of Corpurnlimi ,
The stockholders then met and elected
( ho board of directors , consisting of If. A.
Thompson , J. E , Mnrkel , J. II. Evans , G ,
1v , Wattles , 0 , Ii , Pnyne , C. S. Montgomery ,
R' . R , Bennett , I. 1v , Carpenter , Dan Farrell -
rell , Jr. , Dudley Smith and Charles Metz ,
The board of directors met at the Millard
hotel on ( ho following Monday and elected
as ofilcers G , W. Wattles , president ; J. E.
Markel , vice president ; John A. Wakefield ,
secretary ; hernmn Kountzo , treasurer.
No sooner had the organization been arr
compllshed that the necessity for securing
congressional recognition of the project bey
clone apparent. This would put the expo-
sitlon on a flan basis and be an important
factor in enlisting the support of states and
Individuals , In vieww of time general bust
11088 depression and the spirit of economy
that dominated all branclu's of iho govern-
moot the ditfculty of securing an adequate
appropriation was obvious , It was accotu-
hushed only after a long and porslsteut' '
campnlgn , which was successfully waged by
the Nebraska representatives at Washington -
ton with the assistance of ail the intluence
that could be brought to bear through un-
otnclal sources , Senator William V. Allen
introduced ( ho senate bill , which provided
for the recognition of the exposition by the
government , provided tor flue admission of
foreign exhibits free of duty and pledged
the government to expend not less than
$250,000 In arganlzlng and installing an exhibit -
hibit from the various government depart.
moats. The house bill , which was substantially
tially stmllar , was Introduced by Congressman -
man D , Ii. Mercer , and for tLd next four
months the promoters of the exposition
labored unceasingly to secure favorable con
alderatlon , It was found necessary to accept -
cept an appropriation of $200,000 , and the
sonata bill carrying this amount was passed
June lo , 1896 , it was signed by the president -
dent oa the following day , and the ucws
was received everywhere with jubilant satisfaction -
faction , It gave new impetus to the enterprise -
prise and encouraged its friends to renewed
effort. The event was celebrated by a big
street demonstration , followed by a mass
meeting at Jefferson Square , at which the
people were roused to additional enthusiasm
by stirring speeches and the music of a
dozen bands.
- This was preliminary totheset4ve prose-
cutlon of the task of securing subscriptions
and equlpplug the association for active
operations. The congressional appropriation
was to be available only after $250,000 of
the capital stock of the exposition hind been
subscribed , aid after a careful canvass of
rho interests involved time articles of Incorporation -
poration were anmeuded to provide for n
board of fifty directors , to he elected only
after $300,000 hind been subscribed. At the
time there were many who declared that
the idea of raising such a sum at that time
was preposterous. The presidential campaign -
paign was being hotly contested , the financial -
cial depression was at its lowest point , nod
even the most promising business openings
went begging , But the promoters of the
exposition refused to be discouraged. They
took oft their coats and went to work. So-
Ilciting committees were organized and
turned loose on time community. They worked
literally night and day , and subscriptions
Came slowly but surely. Sonic who hind iho
most to expect from the project still hung
back , but the vast majority of the people
came nobly to ( ho front. No one was lee
poor to take at least one share of stock.
The workingmenn and snail home owners
gave even more liberally In proportion that
the millionaires. The goal wns Sonn reached
and passed , and early ! n November it was
announced that the subscription list had
reached $330,000.
Itenrunlaatlou of Corpora , , .
The stockholders' meeting for the election
of the board of directors was called at the
Board of Trade rooms December 1. Tlml
voting occupied nearly all day nail when the
ballots were counted they indicated the
election of fifty men conceded to : eprusent
fairly all the interests that were concerned
In the movement as follows :
William N , Babcock , general manager of
the 1lnlon Stock Yards company ,
George F , flldwell , general manager Pre
mont , Elkhorn & Missouri Valley railway.
Jonas L [ irandels , senior member of tlna
firm of J. L , Brandeis & Sons.
James J , Brown , vice president Omaha
Loan nail Trust company.
Frank Murphy , rresldent Merchants , ' Na
tional bank , president Omaha Street Railway -
way company and Omaha Gas Manufacturing
company ,
Edward E , Bruce , president E. E. Bruce
& Co. , wholesale druggists.
Isaac Carpenter , president of the Carpenter -
ter Paper company.
John A. Creighton , capitalist , vice president -
dent First National bank.
Edward Dickinson , general manager of the
Union Pacific railway , ;
John ii. Evads , ptest.ievit National Bank
of Commerce , president City Steam laundry ,
fiat Farrell , Jr. , senior member firm of
Farrel & Co. , syrup refiners.
Frank ii. Hlbbard , one of the representative -
tive farmers of Douglas county.
Gilbert M. Hitchcock , president World
Publishing company.
George 1V. Holdrege , general manager
Burlington & Missouri Riverrailroad. ,
John H , Hussle , manager John llussie
hardware company , retailers ,
Walter S. Jardine , manager Omaha Mer-
chants' Express and Transfer company.
John A. Johnson , manager of Johnson
Bros' . Transfer line ,
Thomas Kilpatrick , senior member firm of
Thomas Kilpatrick & Co „ dry goods ,
Thomas L. Kimball , president Omaha
Union Depot company and president Union
National bank.
Freeman P. Kirkendall , member firm of
F , P. Kirkendall & Co. , wholesale boots and
shoes ,
Louis H , Korty , superintendent of telegraph -
graph , Union Pacific railway.
Herman Kountze , president First National
Dr. E , W. Lee , physician.
Zachary T. Lindsey , wholesale dealer in
rubber boots and shoes.
Charles W. Lyman , president Commercial
National bank.
Charles F. Manderson , general solicitor
Burlingtou & Missouri River railroad ,
Jacob E. Markel , proprietor Millard hotel.
Charles Metz , general manager Metz
Bros. ' Brewing company.
J , IL Millard , president Omaha National
C. S. Montgomery , member firm of Montgomery -
gomery & Hall , attorneys-at-Jaw.
Alfred H , Noyee , manager 0 , H , Hammond
Packing company , South Omaha ,
George H , Payne , president Fldeiity Trust
company ,
Willlam A. Paxton , president Paxton &
Gallagher , wholesale grocers and Paxton &
Vlerling Iron works.
Edwhi C. Price , purchnsing agent Swift
and Company , meat packers , South Omaht
Allen T , Rector , Rector Wllbelmy cem
gamy , wholesale hardware ,
Abraham L. Reed , president Byron Iteed
cotimpmniy , real estate.
Edward ltosewnler , president The Boo
Publishing company , Time lice Building company -
pany and editor of The Omaha Bca
Alvin Saunders , president Omaha Heal
Estate and Trust company ,
Arthur C. Smith , amember firma of M. E.
Smith & Co. , wholesale dry goods ,
Dudley Smith , general manager Steele.
Smith Grocery company , wholesalers.
henry A. Thompson , member firm of
Thompson , lemon & Co „ retail dry goods.
Curdon 1 ( ' . Wattles , vice president Union
National bank.
Jahn L. Webster , attorney-at-law ,
Charles F. Weller , vice president Richard.
son Drug company , wholesalers ,
Lucius Wells , of Deere , Wells & Co , of
Council Bluffs , la. , agricultural implements ,
John C. Wharton , attorney-at-law.
Robert S , Wilcox , manager Drowning ,
ICing & Co. , clothiers ,
Charles M. Wilhelm , treasurer Orchard &
1PIlhelm Carpet company.
Casper E. Yost , president Nebraska Telephone -
phone company ,
Fred 1L Youngs , president Printing Press.
men's union.
Later Fred M. Youngs was elected as
representing union labor to fill the vacancy
caused by the resignation of W. H. Bennett ,
and Allen T , Rector was chosen to succeed
Johu A , Wakefield after Mr. Wakefield had
resigned to accept the position of secretary.
Subsequently the death of Dan Farrell , jr.
left a third vacant' , which was filled by the
election at Tnomas Hocor of South Omaha ,
The form of permanent organization was
the next question that confronted the directory -
rectory , and as it was conceded that this
would have at important bearing on the
success of the enterprise It was given bag
and serious consideration. It was finally
decided to divide the work of the exposition
into seven departments , the heads of these
departments to constitute the executive
committee , which should have the active
management of the affairs of the association.
Under this plan the oflicers were elected , as
follows :
Curdon W. Wattles , president ; Alvin
Saunders , resident vice president ; Herman
Kountze , treasurer ; John A , Wakefield , eec-
Executive Committee-Zachary T , Lindsey ,
chairman and manager Department of Ways
and Means ; Edward Rosewater , manager Department -
partment of Publicity ; Gilbert M , Hitchcock ,
manager Department of Promotion ; Freeman
P. Kirkendall , manager Department of Build-
logs and Grounds ; Edward E. Bruce , manager -
ager Department of Exhibits ; Abram L.
Reed , manager Department of Concessions
and Privileges ; Wlllam ! N , Babcock , manager -
ager Department of Transportation ,
Later the Departments of Publicity amid
Promotion were consolidated under the management -
agement of Edward Rosewater.
The organization was completed by the
appointment of a vice president by each of
the twenty-four governors of the transmis , .
sisstppi states.
spllimm Subseripllon Lints.
By this time the subscrlption list had
reached the grand aggregate of 0120,000 , and
the proper certificates were forwarded to
the secretary of the treasury to show that
the requirements of the bill providing for
a government appropriation bad been corn-
plied with. In accordance with its provisions
the secretary of state at once took the
necessary steps to notify foreign governments -
ments of the international character of the
exposition and to invite them to participate.
The sundry civil appropriation bill which
passed the house February 15 carried a
$200,000 appropriation for the government
exhibit , which was to be immediately avail-
able. An effort was made to have the
amount increased to $275,000 in the senate ,
but owing to the necessity tor strict economy
in all national expenditures , It was decided
that to insist on the amendment would endanger -
danger the passage of the bill. Much to
the disappointment of the friends of the
exposition the bill was submitted to Preel-
dent Cleveland at the close of the session
nod be failed to attach his signature. It
.was nearly tbree months later before the
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Item was approved at
the extra session of
congress. Dy that time
the work of construction -
tion was Svell under
In the interval active
steps had been taken
to enlist the Interest
and financial assistance -
ance of the legisirm
hires of the transmis-
slssippl states. Abort
the mlddle of Febrn
ary a party of expn-
sltion representatives
was sent on ; t trip
through Kansas , Colo-
mAde : Ilnl other 1v'estern
states , Another party
visited Missouri , Arkansas -
kansas , Texas and Old
Mexico , and a third
Tvent north to do missionary -
sionary work at Duluth -
luth , St. Paul , Brunswick -
wick , I'lerre lord other
northern points. In
every instance their
efforts were hampered
by the spirit of economy -
omy ( lint the hard
times inspired , and al
first it seemed that the
co-operation necessary
to give the exposition
the scope contemplated
could not he secured.
The delay of the Ne-
hraska legislature in
making an appropriation -
tion was also a heavy
handicap , as the promo-
( ers had no satisfactory -
tory answer alien they
were asked how much
Nebraska had given.
But , as the people became -
came convinced that
the exposition was
bound to he a success -
cess , a more lib.
oral spirit ; ttevelopel. ,
Where legislative acv
( ion could not be secured -
cured private interests
came to the front , and
as the possibilities of
I'ItESill ' 'I' M'ICINi iY.
I'Itl m4llIN'r G. tV. lv.1'I"ri.i s.
'I'hp I'xeeutive Conuulttee :
ME3SIiS , LiNDSlV. : ltOS1:11'A'I'F.It.
ititl''IS , itiEi ) AND
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it t $
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ter t
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_ _ J * T. _ : : , _ _
the enterprise became more npparent the
interest in Its success spread all over the
transmisslssippl territory.
During the closing days of its career the
Nebraska legislature finally made an up-
proprlation of $100,000 , and although it had
open expected that a larger amount would
be provided , this served to insure a creditable -
able state exhibit and to assure other states
that the exposition had liberal support at
home. At the same time Iowa , Illinois and
several other States promised liberal appropriations -
propriations and the success of the enterprise -
prise was no longer ! n doubt.
Wurlc of Caastroctloa ,
While the Departments of Promotion and
Publicity were thus engaged In making the
exposltlon an issue In every corner of the
transmisslssippl territory , the actual cou
structinn was being pushed with characteristic -
istic energy. On April 22 , 1891 , the entire
population of Omaha and part of Nebraska
and Iowa turned out to celebrate Arbor day
by laying the corner stone wltlt time
elaborate exercises that marked the Inauguration -
auguration of time enterprise. A month hater
Limo nrchltects met in Omaha to review time
prelhnlnnry plans ( or the big buildlmgs , and
during the folhowimg sixty days time plans
were completed and the contracts let. By
midsumuuer the construction was in
progress nil around the main court and
the hulk of the grading had been coupleted.
At the fall election Douglas county voted
$100,000 in bonds , swelling the aggregate
resources of the exposition to the $1,000,000
umark ,
The exposition was now min longer a
promise , but a fulfillment that amounted tar
above the expectations of its most sanguine
promoters , it had ceased to be compared
with the expositions at Atlanta std Nash-
yule , and began to rival the World's fair
During January and February large delegations -
tions fromn other states were brought an
speclat trains to admire Its superh
.architecture aid to make many plrasaut
acquaintances with Omaha cltlzwls. So far
did the enterprise rise above what they
had expected that their enthusiasm was
Invariably beyond expression and they went
away timoreughly convinced that it would be
one of the greatest expositions that had
ever been spread before the people of this
continent ,
By early spring of 1898 the malu
buildings were practically completed and tin
lighter effects were rapidly taking form and
beauty. Facilities for the most elaborate
electrical Illuminations were Installed and
hundreds of groups of exquisitely modeled
statuary appeared In the manta court and
above the cortices at the buildIngs. Time
landacapo gardeners wrought wonders in the
transformation of the grounds Into gardens
that might fittingly surround the palace of
an oriental monarch and every sunrise saw
time vast lnclosuro invested with fresh
beauties. The Departments of Exhibits and
Cadceseloas were literally flooded withanun
precedented demand for space , Scores of
applications were rejected , and only those
exhibits which promised to add materially
to the attractions of the exposition were allowed -
lowed admittance. As the last weeks of
preparation passed the workmen labored
day and night and the finishing touches were
added under the glow of thousands of elec.
trlc lamps. Bulldiags sprang up like mushrooms -
rooms on the Bluff tract and back of the
main court , and the energy of a metropolis
seemed to be centralized on the grounds.
At the impulse of thousands of tolling hands
the big show hurried to completion. When
the bells struck midnight of the last
day of May the promise of the management
had been fulfilled. The Tranamiaeisalppl and
International Exposltlon is ready to recelye
Its guests , an Immortal monument to the
energy and resources of the Mighty weal
and a lasting inspiration for Its future ,
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