Construction of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition 1897-1898
The following notes are from the scrapbook of Mrs. John Wakefield, which is on microfilm at the Omaha Public Library. The scrapbook contains much more than these few selections, as it begins in November 1895 and continues through December 1898, but these will give you an idea of what was taking place in Omaha as the Exposition was being planned and built. These notes are only excerpts, so please go to the scrapbook for the complete story. Also be aware that not all of the stories shown became fact, as they often changed their minds and many of the more bizarre Midway applications were rejected. Although there are eight scrapbooks, only volume eight is notated in these selections, for it is the only one "out of sequence". Use the date and then the page number reference to find articles on the microfilm.
It is also possible (and desirable) to look up the articles directly from the newspapers, as we have indicated wherever possible, which newspaper to reference. Mrs. Wakefield often "edited" the newspaper account by cutting it down, and left some articles out completely. Going directly to the newspapers will give a more complete story. Be aware however, that she often "back dated" the articles a day, so it may actually have appeared in the newspaper the day after she shows it in the scrapbook. Also, the page numbers referenced are the pages of the scrapbook and not the page number in the newspaper.
Nov. 25, 1895 The first volume is full of letters, newspaper articles and testimonials for the
Exposition and Omaha from all over Nebraska and the country, including most of the western states.
Nov. 27, 1895 The Trans-Mississippi Congress adopts a resolution to pursue
an exposition in Omaha.
Feb. 23, 1896 The Council Bluffs Nonpariel prints a map of the proposed Exposition
location in north Omaha. (Pg. 21)
March 18, 1896 Don't imperil the Exposition by voting against Reed for the Republican
nomination for president of the U.S. He is speaker of the House and (may
retaliate). (Pg. 51) (From the Council Bluffs Globe)
May 3, 1896 The prospect of the Expo is already bringing a revival among the trades.
To Omaha's workmen it is the embodiment of hope, pleasure,...and prosperity.
SWH Carpenters, upholsterers, iron workers, wood workers already getting demands for
their services by prospective hotel keepers and boarding houses... (Pg. 77)
June 7, 1896 Fate of the Expo Bill now uncertain...and hangs by a thread...
DB It may not pass this session. (Pg. 92)
June 10, 1896 Exposition Bill finally passes...a sure thing now...
WH (Pg. 95)
June 20, 1896 (Interesting cartoon of Congressman Mercer, reflecting his frustration as Expo
WH Bill is held up by various methods and a short history of the bill.) (Pg. 114)
June 23, 1896 (Battle for location of Expo site now begins in earnest.)
South Omaha says it wants the Expo site nearby...at Riverview Park. Fear it might
go to fairgrounds, as men who secured Omaha as the place for Expo are heaviest
stockholders in Race Track Association. (Pg. 120)
June 26, 1896 Military and Civic Parade in Omaha to celebrate passage of Expo Bill and
awarding to Omaha as Expo site...Omaha a blaze of red fire...thousands turn
out...booming guns and fireworks. (Pg. 130)
July 16, 1896 Stock selling very rapidly...employees of Carpenter Paper Co. set the pace.
WH (Pg. 140)
Aug. 18, 1896 Advantages of Miller Park. (Pg. 149)
Sept. 18, 1896 Northside plans to secure Expo for Miller Park...has already secured leases for
EB 400 acres adjoining the Park to the south. (Pg. 154)
Sept. 22, 1896 The South Side Improvement Club has been offered 148 acres of land adjacent DB to Riverview Park for the Exposition site. (Pg. 155)
Sept. 24, 1896 (List of subscribers of Expo stock.)
EB (Pgs. 157 & 160)
Nov. 30, 1896 Sites for Exposition--Five sites prominently mentioned: East Omaha, Elmwood
Park, Miller Park, Riverview Park and Hanscom Park. The East Omaha site refers
EB to a tract lying between Cutoff Lake on the south and Florence Lake on the north.
It has about 1000 acres available...offers level ground...is dotted with Trees... plentiful water supply. It is less than 3 miles form the Downtown Post Office. A paved street (16th) already extends almost to the site and a new bridge across the Missouri River makes accessible from Iowa. Council Bluffs favors this location. The Elmwood Park site is 215 acres about 3 1/2 miles west of the Post Office. The State Fair Grounds are located directly south of the park and would be used. The Miller Park site has 80 acres four miles from the Post Office, but two street car
lines run nearly to the park. No natural water available for lakes, but a large water main is nearby. Leases obtained for an additional 400 acres surrounding property. The Riverview Park site contains 66 acres and is only two miles from the Post Office. It is very hilly, but leases secured for 300 acres North, West and Southeast of the park. The Hanscom Park tract is 200 acres west of the public park, bounded by Center on the south, Pacific on the north, 33rd Street on the east and then extends west to the county road in rear of county hospital. Mostly level, sloping slightly to the west. It is only two miles from the Post Office and has access from all directions on paved streets. (Pg. 169)
(Ed. Comment: Note this list does not include the site ultimately chosen)
Dec. 4, 1896 List of nominees and official vote count for Board of Directors. (Pg. 176)
Dec. 1896 How they brought the Exposition to Omaha...
SWH (article from 10/20/1929 inside front cover of volume 2)
Dec. 23, 1896 Dept. of Promotion begins active operations... (pg. 1)
Dec. 30, 1896 May compromise both Miller Park and Riverview Park...may be cast aside and
the "Poor Farm site" (Hanscom Park) chosen.
(from the South Omaha Tribune) (Pg. 4)
Jan. 10, 1897 Location bids referred...East Omaha proposition submitted by John Creighton;
SB Elmwood Park submitted by the Omaha Fair and Speed Association; Miller Park
submitted by David Christie...; Riverview Park by F.K. Darling; and "Poor Farm
Site" (Hanscom Park) by W.J. Connell. (Pg. 9)
SWH Not much interest in site taken for the T/M Expo...The World Herald advertised a
voting contest...,but only 200 voted. A coupon in the paper had only to be cut out
and brought in to World Herald Headquarters. Miller Park received 95 votes,
Riverview Park 27, Hanscom Park 17, East Omaha 12 and New Fair Grounds 9.
Jan. 20, 1897 Chicago experts Alexander and Schrader inspecting sites offered for Expo.
WH Monday went to Miller Park and Hanscom Park, and yesterday went to Riverview
Park. (Pg. 8)
Jan. 22, 1897 Locating the Expo-Why Miller Park should be chosen. 1) It has sufficient room
to make a credible showing of (agricultural displays)..2) Accessible by all Railroads
EB running into Council Bluffs (and other railroads into Omaha)...and a beautiful
boulevard and paved streets leading to the entrance...3) only place water can be
had without great cost...reducing the risk of fire and can furnish ample water for
lakes and fountains... 4) 400 acres available free of cost, requiring no grading...
5) because it is desired by our citizens to make some of the buildings permanent
and that only can be done on public property. If this is done, an offer has been
made by F.W. Parker to donate to the city, his collection of world wide curiosities,
estimated to be worth $30,000...6) Sentiment of the people is for this site...
(Pg. 26 Vol. 8)
Jan. 28, 1897 Space for veterans...Expo to have a department for the Grand Army of the
DB Republic. No other Expo has made the G.A.R. a special feature...will be a strong
attraction for all old soldiers. (Pg. 35 & 37)
Feb. 7, 1897 Chicago engineers favor Miller Park...believe it is best suited to an Exposition...
SWH 2nd choice is Elmwood Park... (Pg. 45)
Feb. 10, 1897 Site not yet agreed upon...contest between Miller Park and Hanscom Park...
EB (Pg. 51)
Feb. 11, 1897 Miller Park to be site of Exposition...28 votes to 22 for Hanscom Park...
EB (Pg. 53)
Feb. 14, 1897 Expo Buildings...it is decided there should be nine main structures as follows:
SWH #1 Agriculture, Horticulture & Forestry, #2 Mines & Mining; #3 Manufacturing &
Liberal Arts; #4 Fine Arts; #5 Electricity & Machinery; #6 Auditorium; #7 Nebraska;
#8 Grand Army of the Republic (GAR); #9 Silver Palace... (Pg. 59 & 60)
March 1, 1897 Material to be used undecided...probably "staff", a form of stucco, same as
EB used at the Chicago World's Fair, but it is certain some of the buildings will be
permanent. (Pg. 90)
March 5, 1897 Change of Expo site possible...Old Fair Grounds may be selected...many in
EB favor of location closer to business center of city… (Pg. 97)
March 6, 1897 Movement on foot to change site of T/M Exposition. Advantages to bringing the
WH big show nearer to town...will cost $50,000 to $100,000 less to prepare site...gate
receipts 100,000 to 200,000 more. (Pg. 97)
March 11, 1897 Opening of the big show must be postponed for a year, perhaps two...No funds
available now, one of the reasons. (Pg. 102)
March 12, 1897 A flyer distributed saying the following: NO EXPOSITION...if site is relocated...
it will result in the loss of thousands of dollars in permanent improvements to the
parks of the city… (Pg. 104)
March 18, 1897 Fair site will be changed...danger of disreputable surroundings will be
EB avoided... some friction in management... (Pg. 107)
WH Riverview Park is best location... (Pg. 28 Vol. 8)
WH Exposition will be located at the old Fair Grounds and adjoining ground. It is
superior to Miller Park, which is four miles from the city...The new location will
solidify the city, as scattering is a great evil in Omaha...It will also keep the
crowds in town... (Pg. 28 Vol. 8)
March 30, 1897 Experiment being held on grounds by "puddling" to determine if ground will hold
WH water or a cement basin is needed. Puddling is wetting the clay at the bottom of
the excavation until it forms a thick paste. (Pg. 32 Vol. 8)
April 1, 1897 Architects submit plans for arrangement of main buildings and
EB the general plan of the grounds. (Pg. 115)
April 7, 1897 Pinkney Street is closed. (Pg. 117)
WH A "Spectatorium" or theater will be the first constructed. It will be situated just
west of 20th on the Kountze Tract and will made so it can be converted into a
permanent building. (pg. 34 Vol. )
(Ed. Note: The auditorium was not the first built and was much smaller than
April 8, 1897 Construction of the 8 ft. high fence that will surround the exposition grounds
EB is begun. The Omaha Parks Dept. commits to spending $30,000 in 1897 and
another $30,000 in 1898 to improve the grounds. (Pg. 118)
April 11, 1897 The mystery surrounding the mysterious airship, which has
EB caused the veracity of many reputable citizens to be
questioned, promises to be cleared up within a few days
through the medium of the Trans-Miss. Expo. Either this is a
fact or a stupendous hoax to be perpetrated on the Exposition
authorities. In the first mail yesterday (4-10), Sec.
Wakefield received a letter dated at Omaha...The letter was
signed A.C. Clinton, and read: "To the Exposition directors:
My identity up to date has been unknown, but I will come to
the front now if you guarantee me 870,000 sq. ft. of space.
I am the famous airship constructor and will guarantee you
positively of this fact in a week. The airship is my own
invention and as I am an Omaha man, I wish it to be an Omaha
invention. It will carry 20 people to a height from 10M ft.
to 20M ft. I truly believe I have the greatest invention and
discovery ever made. Will see you April 17 at the headquarters. (Pg. 119)
(Ed. Note: Mr. Clinton never showed, although there were
numerous airship sightings across Nebraska in 1897.)
April 22, 1897 The cornerstone for Arch of States is laid. (Pg. 123)
April 24, 1897 The grading and excavating is expected to begin today,
WH although it is very wet... (Pg. 41 Vol. 8)
April 29, 1897 Grading is begun on the lagoon. It will require the removal
of 80,000 yards of earth. Work is to be completed in 40 days.
EB Planting of trees around outside fence is begun. (Pg. 125)
May 1897 Numerous meetings held with the architects to perfect building designs.
June 3, 1897 Work is begun on 24" sewer system to drain canal. Pile
WH driving and grading on east end, which is to make an approach
for viaduct over Sherman Ave, is almost complete. (Pg. 140)
June 8, 1897 Contract for Chinese Village is awarded. This is first
EB contract awarded for the midway. (Pg. 142)
June 16, 1897 The new "Umbrella Ride", which is expected to rival the Ferris Wheel
EB at Chicago in 1893, is now assured as one of the rides. Cost is $50,000.
359 feet high, 250 feet in diameter. It will be anchored in a stone foundation
30 feet deep, 75 feet square, 40 feet in diameter. It will have 16 cars, each
lighted with a different color electrical light. R.E. Sherman of Chicago is the
inventor. (Pg. 145)
(Note: This is the ride shown in the early drawing by Austen.)
June 17, 1897 Plans for a Temple of Beauty, where the most beautiful women
EB in every country would be placed on exhibit, was rejected, as
the building design was deemed too plain. (Pg. 145)
June 19, 1897 Birth places of Lincoln and Jefferson, now on display in
Nashville, offered to Exposition. (Pg. 62 Vol. 8)
June 20, 1897 Application received for a concession to be called "The Old Plantation.”
SB (Pg. 147)
June 21, 1897 Excavation of the lagoon is almost done. Next question is
EB will it hold water! Testing to de done. (Pg. 148)
June 22, 1897 Contract for grading the Bluffs Tract given to Van Court &
EB Winn for removal of 15M cubic feet of earth, (@ .0875), and
plowing and leveling ($375.00). Dion Geraldine, General
Superintendent of the Expo, suggested a subway be built at
20th Street under the MOPAC railroad tracks. (Pg. 149)
June 23, 1897 Dept. of Exhibits was notified by White Star Lines that they
EB would erect a pavilion similar to the one at Chicago in 1893.
A representation of the upper decks of an ocean liner
including salons, staterooms, etc. (Pg. 150)
(Note: White Star Lines built the Titanic.)
June 24, 1897 Contractor continues to have problems with the artesian well.
EB The drill has broken again. (Pg. 151)
June 26, 1897 A Russian Village, complete with at least 12 active trades,
EB was offered to the Expo. No other exposition in this country
has ever had one. (Pg. 151)
June 29, 1897 Fifth application for Streets of Cairo received. Others
EB applications are for a concession called "Moulin Rouge
Parisian Concert Garden" and "Cripple Creek in Omaha", which
would reproduce a typical western mining town. (Pg. 154)
July 5, 1897 "Staff is a mixture of plaster of paris, hemp fiber and a
DB small quantity of cement. It is made in large slabs and
nailed in place like a board.
July 6, 1897 Bids opened on construction of Administration Building. 8
EB bids received. An Omaha firm, Briggs & Cushman, is awarded the
carpentry work ($5713.00) and a Chicago firm, Smith & Easton,
is given the staff work ($2800.00). Total cost $8513.00
(Pg. 157 & 159)
July 7, 1897 Nonotuck Silk Co. applied for space for an exhibit of silk
EB manufacturing. Included was to be a huge dragon that will be
fed silk cocoons and from its tail will be drawn finished
thread, ready for winding on spools. (Pg. 160)
July 9, 1897 The general public has expressed misgivings about the
EB stability of the Administration Arch, being 150 ft. high but
only 50 ft wide. Cottonwood logs will be driven 30-40 ft. into
the ground to anchor it, making any danger of overturning minimal.
July 13, 1897 Pamphlets with cuts of the buildings are being prepared.
EB The Devil's Dance, an electrical device showing some wonderful
antics played by the subtle fluid at the command of his
satanic majesty in order to terrify two coy maidens who have
been enticed into his cave in a huge mountain, has applied.
It presently is at Coney Island, N.Y. Designer is A.E.Tice.
EB An application received to operate the world's smallest railroad.
EB Contracts will be opened on July 20th on the Manufacturing &
Liberal Arts Buildings. (Pg. 165)
July 15, 1897 Pile driving the foundation of the Adm. Bldg. will be complete
EB by the 16th. It will be completed within 4 months, although it
could be done in 2 months, but there's no hurry. (Pg. 165)
July 16, 1897 Auditorium plans ready. Situated just west of the Arch of
EB States, 136' x 246', 2 stories. Statuary will be freely used.
At each corner will be life size figures representing music,
dancing, etc. Surmounting will be a statue of heroic size
representing Fame. Interior is arranged along the lines of a
Greek Theater...4000 capacity...around the sides 12-15 large
rooms, 20 ft. square, for meetings, dressing, etc. (Pg. 167)
(Ed. Note: This did not get built! See August 8th)
EB A.W. Barnard offers to build an airship for the T/M, similar
to one he has on display at the Nashville Expo. now. Cost
would not exceed $5000 and it could be used as advertising by
traveling from one city to another. (Pg. 167)
EB Geo. Knapp, custodian of the Liberty Bell, offers to secure it
for the T/M, together with the Columbian Flag, J.P. Jones Flag
and 23 other flags. (Pg. 167)
WH Actual work of erecting the city has commenced. The foundation
for the Administration Building will be completed by tonight.
(Pg. 75 Vol. 8)
July 17, 1897 Thousands of people visit the construction site every day.
EB Competition in schoolwork to be shown at the T/M will be
divided into 6 classes. (Pg. 169)
EB The Des Moines Incubator Co. has applied for an exhibit.
July 20, 1897 The Horticulture, Dairy and Apiary Buildings will be located
EB on the Bluffs Tract. (Pg. 171)
(Note: The Dairy and Apiary Bldgs ended up on the North Tract)
July 21, 1897 Plans for the Arts building unveiled. Will be located east of
EB the Arch of States. Mach. & Elec. Bldg will be surmounted by
statuary symbolizing the contest between intellect and brute
force. A man of athletic proportions is seen wrestling with a
wild animal, which is overpowering him. The central group of
statuary is a quadriga symbolizing the victory of intellect
over brute force. The man is standing in a chariot driving
four wild animals which are completely subdued. (Pg. 171)
EB Ten bids received for Manufacturers building. Total Cost
$50,000 - Estimates had been $75,000. Two Omaha firms will
do the work. (Pg. 171)
July 25, 1897 Drawings of Manufacturers Building completed. It will be at
SB east end across from the Mine & Mining Building, its companion
building. Styles will be harmonious, every line reflecting
the famous Temple of Erectheion at Athens. (Pg. 174)
(Note: It ended up beside the Mines & Mining Building)
July 26, 1897 It has been suggested that the music stand be constructed near
EB the edge of the bluff, so a larger number of people might
gather around it, and that it be constructed in a manner new
in this area. Sounding boards at the back of the stand which
will throw the sound back over the tract instead of being
dissipated over the muddy waters of the Missouri. This plan is
presently being used at a public park in Philadelphia with
great success. (Pg. 175)
July 28, 1897 The Nebraska Commission has decided to ask the architects of
EB the state to submit plans for a state bldg. They plainly say
they don't know exactly what they want, except that it must be
a credit to the state and not cost over $16,000. (Pg. 178)
EB The acceptance by the city council of the deeds conveying
Kountze Park to the city completes the transaction that will
give the city a new public park. The new park will consist of
11 acres. It forms the center of what will be the main court.
The Park Board has set aside $30,000 to beautify the area...
among the improvements by the Park Board will be a bridge
across the lagoon at 20th St., which will be permanent in
nature, it being the intention to retain a portion of the
lagoon as a permanent improvement. The Arch of States will be
constructed of permanent material as after the Exposition is
over, this beautiful arch will remain as an entrance to the
park and a landmark that can be seen for miles. It will be
constructed of terra cotta or gray sandstone. (Pg. 178)
EB An application has been received to operate a cyclorama at the
Expo. We are offered the choice of the Battle of Gettysburg,
Battle of Lookout Mountain, Battle of Waterloo, Custer’s Last
Fight or Monitor & Merrimac. (Pg. 179)
July 29, 1897 The Agriculture Bldg. will be one of the most richly decorated
EB structures on the grounds. The architecture is of the
Corinthian order, modified as are all of the main buildings,
by the French Renaissance...The colors used in the decoration
of the various ornaments will be the rich greens of foliage,
corn color, red of the poppy and the color of fruits.
The Mines Bldg., the mate of the Agriculture Bldg., is of the
Roman Doric order with a suggestion of the French Revolution.
The center pavilion will be surrounded by a group of four
large figures, representing gold, silver, copper & iron,
kneeling at the feet of Commerce to whom they are tendering
their precious stores. The corner pavilions will be surmounted by
statuary typifying the baser metals, tin, lead, etc., which are found
in the Trans-Miss. states. Like the Ag. Bldg. it will be elaborately
decorated with color, using the tints produced by the various metals.
July 31, 1897 The Courier Newspaper of Lincoln says the Administration Arch
is a most unsatisfying, fragmentary piece of architecture. It
looks like the first 2 or 3 stories of a church steeple...with
the tower part cut off and the spire set onto the dismembered
portion...it is like no other arch ever made. As an arch it is
a failure...a spiritual spire is out of place...It would not
matter if it were an architectural success, but it is very ugly.
August 1, 1897 Manager Kirkendall said last night that he will soon shoot the
SB artesian well at the Expo grounds, the nitro-glycerine having
arrived. The plan is to put a heavy charge at the bottom of
the well and explode it...to form a large chamber that will
serve as a reservoir and add great force to the flow of water.
SB Dept. of Publicity Manager Rosewater brought a huge stack of
clippings and sketches from newspapers around the country to
show how the Expo and the City of Omaha have received more
advertising than the Chicago Fair at the same stage of
development. In response to a query as to what the real
estate interests of Omaha might expect during the next year,
he said he was confident there would be a material improvement
in values. This would not all be due to the Expo, but it is a
stimulant and had already attracted more attention to Omaha
that any other enterprise conceived before. (Pg. 181)
Aug. 4, 1897 Council Bluffs has completed their T/M organization.
EB The work of leveling the Bluffs Tract is progressing as fast
as 2 grading machines and about 25 teams can accomplish it.
EB A drawing showing a birds eye view of the grounds is
progressing rapidly and should be available in black and white soon.
EB The plans for the Auditorium will be the next issued by the architects.
It gives promise of being one of the most attractive on the grounds.
EB The architects have completed the drawings for a poster for the Exposition.
A drawing of the Arch of States will be done in red, white and blue.
Aug. 7, 1897 The (Fine) Arts Bldg. will be fire proof. The framework will
EB be of wood like the other buildings, but the wood will be
covered with a fireproof material similar to staff.
EB Manager Rosewater reported that on Aug. 16, the Chicago
Times-Herald would devote an entire page to the T/M.
EB Plans for the Machinery building will be completed today. Bids
for the Auditorium and Mines buildings will be opened today.
Aug. 8, 1897 Mines & Mining Building contracts awarded to two Chicago firms
SB for $50, 940. 110 work days required. Bids for the Auditorium
rejected as they were over the $35,000 estimate.(Bids $50,000)
Aug. 11, 1897 M.J. Dowing of Omaha is trying to transport the home of Frank
EB & Jesse James to the Expo. (Pg. 187)
Aug. 12, 1897 An effort is being made to bring parts of the old Battleship
EB USS Omaha for exhibition, and for the permanent keeping in the
city library. The ship is now in use in California and it is
thought the figurehead of the bowsprit and the large 12 foot
eagle at the rear of the vessel could be obtained.
Plans for the Nebraska Building are decided. (Pg. 188)
Aug. 14, 1897 Wattles wants to have a large body of Indians, representing
WH all the tribes in America, brought together at the Expo.
EB The electrical section of the T/M promises to be one of the
most remarkable exploitations of the progress which has been
made in electrical science that has ever been placed before
the public. The exhibits will make a collection of the most
interesting & wonderful inventions of the electrical age.
Exhibits will illustrate uses of electricity in agricultural
work, long distance transmission of power, mining, electro-
metallurgical processes and long distance telephony. In
addition will be search lights, high frequency apparatus,
apparatus for domestic use and the method of transmitting
intelligence by hertzen waves. (Pg. 190)
Aug. 16, 1897 Workers began making the staff that will cover the buildings.
EB A building 77' x 53' was constructed just outside of the fence on the
south side of Pinkney, west of Sherman Ave. The one story structure
with a high space in the center, will mold the statuary and the staff panels.
The work of putting in the (vertical) piling for the lagoon is
progressing. Work commenced at the Northwest corner Saturday
and continued along the north bank. At noon today it reached
a point at the east side of 20th St. Two rows of piling are
being put in, being driven about 8 ft. deep...the second row
being about 8 ft. back from the edge...2 inch planks will be
built between the piles forming a water tight embankment to
keep the water from soaking into the sides of the lagoon. The
bottom of the lagoon is covered with a thick layer of black
dirt which was mixed with the clay of the bottom with a
pulverizer and then rolled by a 12 ton steam road-roller. East
of 20th street the bottom of the lagoon is as level as a floor
and as hard as the roller can make it. (Pg. 197)
(Note: That area still does not drain properly. Water will
collect after a storm and remain for several days.)
Aug. 17, 1897 Pile driving for foundation of Manufacturer's Building will be
EB completed in a few days. Lumber for the superstructure is
being unloaded now. Small models of the statuary groups and
single figures are being made. (Pg. 197)
Aug. 19, 1897 Location of the buildings being changed due to demand for more
EB exhibit space in Manufacturer's Building. A Liberal Arts building will be
added directly west of the Manufacturers building, of which it is an annex,
where the Arts building was going to go. The Arts building will be moved
to the site where the Auditorium was going to go. (Pg. 1)
(Note: These are still not the final locations and the
Auditorium plans have been severely downgraded.)
EB A gigantic umbrella ride is to be erected on the Midway by
R.E. Sherman of Chicago. Safety concerns have been raised.
It will rise 350 feet into the air. Each rib of the umbrella
will carry a car holding 20 people. When the cars are raised
they will slowly turn in a circle so passengers can get a
panoramic view of the grounds. Costs will be about $80,000.
(Note: This ride was not constructed) (Pg. 1-2)
Aug. 21, 1897 The giant umbrella will have a center cylinder made of steel
45 feet in diameter and arms 115 feet long, making the whole
WH diameter at the top...275 feet. The foundation for the tower
will be solid masonry 25 feet deep, 40-50 feet in diameter.
It will have 20 arms or ribs that will be raised and lowered
by steam. It will lack only 30 feet of being twice the height
of the New York Life Building. (Pg. 80 Vol. 8)
SB Switzerland has sent a letter of inquiry about a presence at
the Expo. George Kincaid of O'Neill, NE., who was appointed
commissioner to Alaska for the T/M, is unable to reach there,
because of the rush of people to the Klondike region (looking
for gold). He has returned home, but will try to get there
again in the spring. (Pg. 3)
Aug. 23, 1897 Staff work will begin on the Administration building this
EB week. First point will be on the interior arch. The models
for the various brackets and capitals are made of clay...which
when dry is coated with a shellac varnish...from which a cast
mold will be made. The molds are made of gelatin mixed with
glue, giving a pliable mold of sufficient firmness to give
form to the stucco, but with enough elasticity to allow it to
be drawn away from the stucco without injuring the cast.
EB The establishment of this stucco work in Omaha has resulted in
developing a new Nebraska resource in a most unexpected
direction. The modeling for the intricate artistic forms
required the use of very large quantities of modeling clay,
which was going to be brought in from the east coast at
considerable cost. Before ordering the eastern clay Mr. Bonet,
who is in charge of this work, determined to do a little
investigating. He and a local resident searched along the
Missouri River looking for suitable clay, free of grit and yet
fine enough when dry to form a smooth surface. Working north
from Ames, several samples were taken, none suitable. They
then tried down river, following the bend of the river beyond
east Omaha. Near the East Omaha bridge, the driver detoured
around a large bed of gumbo, expressing disgust for the
"infernal stuff". Mr. Bonet leaped from the wagon and picked
up a lump of the gumbo, which was still moist. He worked it
with his fingers, smelled of it, broke it up and tested it in
numerous ways. Excellent, he proclaimed, this will make the
very best modeling clay! He ordered a wagon load of the
despised gumbo to be brought to his workshop at Sherman Ave.
and Manderson St. At the shop it is wetted down with water
from the river, then a stout man with a club pounds it and
kneads it, after which it is laid in the sun to dry. Then it
is put through another course of kneading until it has the
consistency of putty and is perfectly smooth and free from grit.
Aug. 24, 1897 It is probable that the plan of mixing color with the staff
EB will not be carried out. Color was to be added to the water
that is mixed with the staff, but because the staff must be
mixed in small quantities, due to the fact that it sets so
quickly, different shading would be produced, giving the
buildings a mottled appearance. The architects are reluctant
to yield on this however, so experiments are being made with a
cheap water color paint, which may be used to give the
buildings the desired tint.
EB Tests are also underway at the U.P. shops with a compressed
air apparatus for spraying the paint on. (Pg. 5)
Aug. 25, 1897 First application for space in the Education section is from
Stromsburg for 200 feet of space. (Pg. 5)
Aug. 26, 1897 Bids on the Mach. & Elec. Building opened. Cost will be
EB $43, 548.00 Low bidder was Hamilton Bros. of Omaha. Time
required is 120 days. (Pg. 7)
Aug. 30, 1897 The second building on the grounds, the Manufacturer's
EB Building, is well underway. The pile foundation is complete
and part of the superstructure has been constructed.
Aug. 31, 189 7 The putting in of the sheet piling that will line the lagoon
EB like a tight board fence, was commenced this morning. The
planks are of pine, 3" thick-12" wide, tongued and grooved in
the ends. The joints are covered with white lead before the
planks are put in place and they then are driven closely
together forming a watertight joint...it has not been found
necessary to use cement at the bottom of the piling as was
first thought might be required. (Pg. 8)
Sept. 1, 1897 The Auditorium will be supplied with an organ...29 ft. high,
EB 27 ft. wide, 10 ft. deep, handsomely finished in oak. It will
be built by M.P. Moeller of Hagerstown, Md. at no costs to the
Expo. (Value $5,000) (pg. 8)
Sept. 3, 1897 Design of Horticulture Building completed. Plans for Liberal
EB Arts Building are well underway...it will be a dignified
structure of classic design...with a high stylobate surmounted
by an order with columns in pairs. There will be no central
motive, as in the other main buildings, but will be
characterized by strong corner pavilions, accentuated by
pediments bearing appropriate motives. (Pg. 9)
EB Lake Manawa Railroad Line is considering building a new bridge across
the Missouri River and laying new track directly to the Expo grounds.
EB There are 20 Million people living within 500 miles of Omaha.
Sept. 5, 1897 The second application for space at the Education Exhibit is
SB from West Point, for 100 feet of space. (Pg. 11)
Sept. 6, 1897 England has appropriated money for English firms to exhibit at
EB the T/M. Major Henry Romeyn says he will try to secure a
profile of the Nicaragua Canal for exhibit at the Expo.
(Note: Before the Panama Canal was started plans were to build
one through Nicaragua.) (Pg. 11)
EB Traffic to the Expo will use Sherman Ave. & 16th St. lines...to
avoid the Dodge Street hill. (Pg. 12)
Sept. 9, 1897 Another airship proposal has been received. O.G. Newton of
EB Trenton, Mo. offers to build one for the T/M. He enclosed a
photograph showing two rectangular frames which intersect one
another at right angles. A small platform rests on the point
where the lower sides intersect and on this is placed the
motive power, consisting of a small motor...which will be
operated by compressed air or electricity. At the extreme
outer ends of the upper side of the frames are placed wheels
resembling turbine water wheels. There are four of these and
they are constructed of steel tubing covered with cloth. The
wheels are 25 feet in diameter and are operated by means of
shafting. Running above the engine is a rod having a universal
joint at its upper end and to this is attached another wheel
which may be used as a propeller or rudder. When the machine
is in the air and rotation of the wheels is stopped, they act
as parachutes and the craft slowly descends to the ground. He
has a working model and will construct it right on the T/M
grounds for $300.00. It weighs about 500 pounds. (Pg. 12)
EB The German Bureau of the Publicity Dept. has issued a 16 page
pamphlet in German. 5000 will be sent to leading German citizens
and German newspapers in the country...A smaller version will
be sent to all leading German speaking countries in Europe.
EB The Publicity Dept. is also getting out a large edition of the
original pamphlet for use at the Iowa State Fair. Demand for
the pamphlet containing the cuts of the main buildings has
been so great that a second edition with a blue and red title
page has been issued. (Pg. 12)
Sept. 10, 1897 Dept. of Concessions is negotiating with a number of parties
EB for the Shooting the Chutes ride. A group of local people and
a Brooklyn, N.Y. man among them. (Pg. 13)
EB The latest application received is for the operation of a
mechanical novelty called an "elevated cycle railway". The
plan...shows a double track of single steel rails suspended
about 14 feet above the ground on cross arms attached to posts
much like a trolley line. On the rails are operated bicycles
constructed so the wheels are above the riders heads instead
of beneath the rider. The machines, each carrying two riders,
are propelled much as a normal bicycle...they could be used to
transport people across the grounds. (Pg. 13)
EB Work on the foundation piling for the Mines & Mining building
progressing slowly, being only about 1/4 done. (Pg. 14)
EB John Hallett of South Dak. has applied for a concession to
operate...his watercraft on the lagoon. Originally designed as
a coastal defense vessel, he will transform his engine of
death & destruction into a harmless merry-go-round...his
vessel resembles a tub, perfectly round...fitted with a
propeller devise so arranged that it may be whirled about in
the water or propelled in any direction. (Pg. 14)
Sept. 11, 1897 Exec. Committee...discussed the delay in construction of
SB Manufacturers Building, which is four weeks behind schedule
due to a scarcity in railroad cars to ship the lumber from Wisconsin.
Sept. 13, 1897 An application has been received from England to exhibit
EB incubators for babies...they are fed from reservoirs at the
side of the machines while complicated apparatus serves to
keep the temperature and air in them at the proper level.
EB The Publicity Dept. has issued another pamphlet to be used as
an enclosure in letters. Its size allows it to be slipped
into an envelope without folding. The title page contains only
a print of the Expo seal, while the back of the last page has
a picture of the Adm. Arch...among the 24 pages are pictures
of six of the main buildings. (Pg. 16)
Sept. 14, 1897 The Manufacturers Building is beginning to loom up, erection
EB of the uprights having been commenced this morning. The first
portion to rise above the ground was the circular dome which
is the main entrance. The foundation piles of the Mine &
Mining Building are about 3/4 complete. About two more days
are required before main construction can begin. (Pg. 17)
EB Permission has been granted in Wash. D.C. to bring 400
"Celestials" into the country to work the Chinese Village at the T/M.
The village will include a joss house, theater, restaurant, bazaar, etc.
They must return to China after the Expo however. (Pg. 17-18)
Sept. 15, 1897 Carpentry work on the Administration building almost complete.
EB Staff work is continuing, about 60 tons will be required to cover it.
Sept. 16, 1897 Publicity Dept. is working on an entirely new pamphlet. Demand
EB so great it is difficult for them to keep up. (Pg. 19)
Sept. 17, 1897 Gen. Manderson received a letter from the Navy Dept. agreeing
EB to send the bell and billethead of the old Battleship Omaha,
although not permanent loan. (Pg. 20)
Sept. 19, 1897 Liberal Arts Building carpentry contract goes to the Omaha
SB firm of W.H. Parrish. Worktime required is 90 days. Six of the
main buildings are now bid. All will be completed by Feb. 1, 1898.
EB The Publicity Dept. has issued the following amounts of advertising (by state):
NEBR-580,175; IOWA-197,125; SO. DAK-77M; ILL-167,375;
COL-94,150; CAL-90M; MO-77M; MONT-64M; WASH-54M;
UTAH-54M; ORE-12M; IDAHO-12M; OHIO-26M; WISC-9350;
AR/NMEX-27M; PENN-42M; NY-85M; MINN-46M; TEXAS-46M;
KANSAS-43M; WYO-38M; ARK-39M; LA-10M; MICH-9M; NO.DAK-4M and misc.
127,250 for a total of 2,033,375 words. (Pg. 108 Vol. 8)
Sept. 21, 1897 Pile foundation of Mines Building now complete, frame work
EB commenced. A friendly rivalry has been instituted between the
contractors for the main buildings, and a hot race is on to
see who will be the first to finish. The race promises to be
between the Mines and Liberal Arts buildings...the Manufacturers
and Mach. & Elec. buildings being dark horses. There will be fully
700 carpenters, plus laborers and helpers. 300 on the Mines and Ag.
buildings and 100 to 150 on each of the others. (Pg. 22)
EB The Council Bluffs T/M committee ordered 1000 circulars pushing
the Bluffs as the site for the 1898 Union Veterans Legion Convention.
Sept. 23, 1897 The fund for erection of the Girls and Boys Building is
EB growing and the outlook for raising the entire $5000 is most
promising. Plans for the Government building have been
received from Washington D.C. (Pg. 23)
Sept. 28, 1897 Montgomery Ward will commence work on their building about
EB Oct. 15. They have offered to donate to the Expo the back
cover of one of their catalogs, which is distributed all over
the country, especially the west. (Pg. 27)
Sept. 29, 1897 The landscape gardeners, under Rudolph Ulrich, will begin work soon.
(Pg. 118 Vol. 8)
Sept. 30, 1897 The Omaha Park Commission decide the work of propagating
EB plants for the decoration of Expo grounds next year should be
begun at Hanscom Park Greenhouses at once, and that any plants
to be purchased from local florists should be purchased now,
so they have time to propagate before winter sets in. They
also instructed that 4 or 5 carloads of trees recently
purchased in Brownville, be set out on the boulevards and
parks as required. Also a large number of evergreens were to
be raised at Hanscom Park for transplanting later at the Expo.
They accepted two large oleanders from Mrs. J.E. House to be
used to adorn the Expo grounds. (Pg. 28)
EB Construction really being pushed...at Mines Building all the
joists are in place...2/3 of the flooring laid...dome of the
Manufacturers Bldg. is nearly complete and framework rapidly
going up...piling for the other buildings still slow to arrive
and holding up construction...Administration building is under
roof now...highest pinnacle has been completely covered with
the roofing material to be used on all the buildings...a new
material known as rubberoid, having a surface which glitters
like silver in the sun, the millions of mica particles which
cover the surface reflecting the rays of old sol. It should
be completed within the next 10 days. (Pg. 28)
EB Art Director A.H. Griffith has issued a circular giving notice
of the plan and scope of the Art Exhibit. He proposes to show
sculpture, paintings in oil & water colors and also the modern
reproductive processes. Available space will allow only 1000
paintings...mural paintings & sculpture as applied to
architecture being especially desired. (Pg. 28)
Oct. 2, 1897 The Lady Board of Managers recommended some of the decorative
SB works of art to adorn the grounds be secured in permanent
material, so they may remain as permanent ornaments in the
city parks after the Expo closes. (Pg. 29)
SB The contract for the Shooting the Chutes ride was awarded to
the Omaha Chutes Co. (Pg. 29)
SB It was proposed to hold an Ice Carnival during the winter.
SB The umbrella ride is to be to the Trans-Miss what the Ferris
Wheel was to Chicago and the Eiffel Tower was to the Paris
Expo. It has been examined by engineers and pronounced
perfectly safe and feasible. Work on this giant toy will
begin within 30 days. (Pg. 29)
Oct. 4, 1897 The bottom of the lagoon is now completely covered with water.
EB Work on the foundation piles for the Nebraska Building began this morning.
EB Locating the Umbrella...it will be west of Sherman, 300 feet
north of the south line of the old playground tract.
Oct. 5, 1897 Delayed material finally arriving...foundation piles for the Machinery
EB & Elec. Building are being driven in...plans for the Arch of States complete.
Oct. 9, 1897 More lumber arrives daily…Manufacturers building going ahead
EB finally. The entire front has been raised and a fair idea of
the height and other dimensions may now be seen as the central
dome is far enough along to denote its general appearance...
Half the piling for the Machinery building is in...Pile driver
started on the foundation of the Agriculture Building this
morning...Eight carloads of lumber for Liberal Arts Bldg. on
grounds and piling lumber is on the river headed here.
Water on the lagoon is about a foot deep on upper end now.
Oct. 11, 1897 Numerous amusements are planned at the Expo grounds this
EB winter. Omaha...has never before attempted to have any
extensive or organized movement over an extended period
involving winter sports. A winter carnival will commence on
the grounds as soon as the weather supplies the necessary ice,
probably early January. By that time the buildings will be
practically completed and their beauty will add to the scene.
Carnival exercises will be held at night and the main court
will be brilliantly lighted. The lagoon will be filled to the
top...giving the impression of a winter scene in St.Petersburg,
Russia. A huge toboggan slide, starting over Sherman Ave. on
the east end, with a 350 foot chute to the ice and then 1000
feet ending at 20th St...a ski chute will be constructed with
a view of breaking the record of 104 feet for a long jump...2
or 3 curling rinks at the west end. The portion of the lagoon
west of 20th will be devoted to general ice skating. At stated
intervals bal masques, where skaters are obliged to appear on
the ice in costume, will be given in the manner which made St.
Petersburg celebrated around the world. Weather permitting an
Ice Palace, illuminated by electricity, will we erected on the island
20th St...ice bicycle races...ice floats like the Aksarben parades...
EB An illustration of the proposed Agricultural Building is a
feature of the Cornbelt, the monthly of the Burlington Railroad.
Oct. 12, 1897 Bids on the Fine Arts Building opened. Carpentry work was
EB awarded to Hamilton Bros. of Omaha. Time required 90 days.
EB Visitors barred from grounds without permission. (pg. 41)
EB C.H. DeZevallos, president of the company that operates the
Giant Seesaw at Nashville, is in town to negotiate operating
seesaw at T/M. (pg. 41)
Oct. 14, 1897 Luther Stieringer, who has been engaged as consulting
EB electrical engineer, says he intends to return east at once and
make preliminary plans for the electrical effects at the Expo.
Oct. 19, 1897 Lagoon damaged by sewer pipe break near 24th St.
EB Bids on the revised Auditorium plan opened. $11,053 total cost.
EB Steps have been taken by local Order of Good Templers to
prevent the fountain of wine exhibit proposed by California.
Rev. Staples of Grace Baptist Church protested such a demoralizing
exhibit as a fountain of wine or any other intoxicating drink. (Pg. 61)
Oct. 21, 1897 The lagoon will have to be drained to make repairs to the
EB sewer line which broke for the second time. (Pg. 64)
EB The birds eye view by Austen has been sent to an establishment
where half-tone cuts will be made. (Pg. 64)
EB Piling for the Machinery & Elec. Building is being driven as
fast as possible. The south wall will be raised tomorrow.
Oct. 22, 1897 The Executive Committee of the Council Bluffs T/M Society has
EB decided upon a novel and strikingly original scheme, and if
carried out will result in the erection of what will
undoubtedly be one of the most attractive buildings on the
grounds. They decided to build an immense wigwam. The plans
call for a circular conical building 50 feet in diameter,
3 stories high, the apex of the cone nearly 100 feet high,
costing just over $2500. The ground floor will have 2000
Square feet, 1600 on the 2nd floor. The timber frame will be
covered with planking and the outer covering would be
galvanized cloth wound around from bottom to top. The
windows are to be circular in imitation of Indian war shields
and the doors made to resemble the architecture of the
original Pottawatomies. The entire building will be filled
with exhibits from the city and county. Another suggestion was
made that the building be made so it could be easily
dissembled and moved to Fairmont Park later. Its sides
covered with galvanized iron would make it a permanent and
valuable acquisition to the park. It should be one of the
more striking features on the grounds. (Pg. 65)
Major Moses Hardy, U.S. Commissioner to the Paris Expo in
1900, will have an agent at the T/M to select among the best
exhibits...material for the U.S. exhibit there. (Pg. 65)
Oct. 23, 1897 Contracts for staff work on the Arts & Auditorium Building
EB awarded. It is proposed to furnish power in the Machinery
Building by means of electricity, doing away with the
transmission by means of shafting or similar contrivances.
EB Contract for the use of the lagoon for an Ice Carnival approved.
EB The cause of the constant breaks in the sewer line are due to
the 12 ton roller used to compact the lagoon bottom. A pipe
for filling the lagoon...will be placed in the bottom just
east from the island at 20th St... (Pg. 66)
Oct. 25, 1897 Temporary bridges will be built across the lagoon half way
EB between 20th St. and the east end and at a point near the west
end. The iron permanent bridge at 20th St. will be 50 feet wide.
EB Mr. Walker is now engaged in laying out the color scheme for the court
of honor and determining details which are to make the T/M different from
all the former Expo's held in this country. The main buildings will be
decorated in colors which will make one harmonious whole and add greatly
to the artistic effect of the main court. (Pg. 67)
EB Photocrome Co. of Detroit has applied for exhibit space.
(Ed. Note: This the Company that made the stereo view cards)
EB The Dept. of Buildings and Grounds has moved its headquarters
to the Expo grounds and will be found in the white cottage on
the Bluffs Tract opposite Lothrop Street. (Pg. 67)
Oct. 26, 1897 The sewer is fixed and water is flowing back into the lagoon.
EB The artesian well, using 2" pipes, constitutes the only source of
water, so some time will be required to fill the lagoon to the top.
. (Pg. 67)
EB The Chicago office of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul
Railroad has requested several hundred pamphlets, which it
will distribute through its traveling passenger agents.
Oct. 27, 1897 Gen. Preston, Director of the U.S. Mint, is especially anxious
EB that the T/M Association...complete its design for the medal
...which is to be provided to exhibitors and the medalette
which shall be struck during the Expo. He said they are still
manufacturing medals for the prize winners at the (1893)
Worlds Fair, due in great part to the failure of the Directory of the
Chicago Expo to adopt a design until nearly the close of the Fair.
Oct. 29, 1897 Two locations are available for the "Big Teepee". One at 20th St.,
EB a block north of the Dept. of Concessions, and the other
at the SE corner of the grounds near the state buildings
(Bluffs Tract). It is being considered to change the diameter
of the teepee to 100 feet from 50 feet. (Pg. 71)
Oct. 31, 1879 The Lady Board of Managers has designated Friday Nov. 5 as a
SB "Rally Day" when special attention will be given to collecting
contributions of school children across the state to the
Building fund for the Girls and Boys Building. (Pg. 73)
Nov. 1, 1897 The amusement street has not been formally named. There's a
EB standing offer of $10.00 for the best suggestion, but the locality has
generally been alluded to as the Midway, and there seems to be no
disposition to change it. New attractions for the Midway...will equal
the amusement feature of any other exposition ever held in this country...
There will be no remote corners as at the Worlds Fair (in Chicago).
A pleasing feature will be the viaduct across Sherman Ave at the north end.
This viaduct will be constructed as to avoid the impression that the visitor is
passing over the viaduct. The approach will be gradual and it will be lined
on either side with small booths, which will shut out the view of the street
and convey the impression of still being inside the grounds. These booths
will be filled with dainty wares of various kinds. (Pg. 74)
EB A contract has been awarded for a most interesting concession. It will be located
at 20th St. across from the Chinese Village. This will known as Cripple Creek and
will be an almost exact reproduction of the famous mining town of recent times.
The town will be shown as it was...before the fire. It will occupy 150,000 Sq. Feet
that will be transformed into a mountainous region with towering peaks on every
side. The buildings will be...exact reproductions of the grotesque
buildings which constituted the central portion of the town...50 to 60 buildings...
to add to the realism, "mud wagons" and freight wagons will do business in
town...stagecoaches...trains of burros will pass through town at regular intervals.
This concession...was the most popular midway attraction at the California
Mid-Winter Fair. Pg. 74)
(Note: This attraction did not get built.)
EB The roof is going on the Mines Building...all the foundation piles for Agriculture
Building should be driven by tomorrow night…the bottom of the lagoon is
covered with water from mirror west end) to 20th St. (Pg. 74)
EB Holes 10 feet square and 5 feet deep for the large trees that
will line the main avenue on the Bluffs tract have been dug. It
has been found necessary to erect a heavy wire railing along
the roadways on the Bluffs tract to keep people and teams from
trampling the newly seeded grass. (Pg. 74)
EB Detailed drawings of the lagoon bridges at 20th St. are being
completed. They will be constructed 50 feet wide so they will
answer for wagon bridges in Kountze Park after the Expo. The
railings will be of dainty ornamental ironwork...the bridges
will be 8 feet above the water. (Pg. 75)
Nov. 2, 1897 The Girls and Boys Building will be for the convenience of
EB children who visit the Expo. It will be a pretty little affair
with...a restaurant...sand piles and a shallow pond where the
little tots...may play. A model nursery and crèche will
furnish mothers with a place where they may have their little
ones taken care of while they inspect the grounds. Shares,
entitling the shareholder use of the building, are 5 cents each.
EB Work on the Machinery building at a standstill waiting for a
carload of iron...construction work on the Auditorium will
begin as soon as excavation work for the stage and parquet is
done...must dig down 7 feet and move 1500 yards of earth
first...to avoid delays the foundation piling for this
building will be of cedar rather than cottonwood. Staff work
on the Manufacturers Building making good progress.
EB The Birds-eye View should be ready in a few days.
EB Contract for the Gov't Building awarded to a Nashville firm
for $43,937.00. It was accomplished only by scaling down the
size by taking off three bays on each side. This may knock out
the life saving station unless Congress allocates more money
during the winter. (Pg. 75)
Nov. 3, 1897 Water mains on Kountze completed and will be tested tomorrow
EB or Friday, so that the trenches, which are interfering with
construction, may be filled.
Nov. 5, 1897 Council Bluffs T/M Committee discussing what sort of Expo
EB button, which will be sold to raise money for the wigwam, will
be selected. The design most favored was a bronze medallion
showing an Indian head. If enough can be sold, C.B. won't
have to allocate funds like Douglas Co. had to. (Pg. 78)
EB Iron for Machinery Building arrived...walls of Nebraska
Building are up and they have commenced putting on the
sheeting. This work is being done in a more expensive manner
that the same work on the other buildings. In the latter case,
8" lumber is used with boards 8" apart and lath for plaster
is nailed to these strips. In the Neb. Building, sheeting is
close together with no space between. Strips will then be
placed over the sheeting and the lath fastened to the strips,
necessitating even more lumber.
EB The upper part of Manufacturer's building beginning to assume
a finished appearance...main cornice complete...ornamental
finish above cornice on west wing in place...(inside)
plastering on west wing well underway...covering of the columns
of entrance dome is being put on...roof being put on outer
portions. Foundation piles for Liberal Arts Building are
nearly all driven and floor being laid as fast as piling
complete. Administration Building is being given final
touches...staff work almost complete...doors & windows ready
to go in. Driving for piles for colonnades in front of
Agriculture Building almost complete...floor almost finished
and work on superstructure will begin early next week. Sides
on Mines Building being sheeted...almost complete on north and
south sides and roof is being put on the galleries...main
entrance being framed, but no staff work done yet. Water is
lagoon is only 6" below where it was before. (Pg. 78)
Nov. 6, 1897 A friendly rivalry has sprung up among the public schools to see who
EB contributes the most to Girls & Boys Building fund …Central leads so far.
Nov. 7, 1897 From Edward Rosewater, Publicity Dept.:
SB As to the birds eye view palmed off on Harpers Weekly by
Walker & Kimball, the less said the better. It was made in a
great hurry last summer, was at sight pronounced by me in
concept faulty and unusable. In spite of the rejection of this
sketch, Mr. Walker forwarded it to Harpers. Instead of being a
great advertisement for the Expo, it belittles the enterprise
and magnifies the architects. Compared to the official Birds
Eye View (by Austen)...the sketch that appeared in Harpers
does great injustice...to the Expo. Up to this date no
magazine articles about the Expo have appeared, but that is
due to (the actions) of certain parties. Early last spring, when we were
about to negotiate for magazine articles, Mr. Walker made an urgent request
that precedence be given...to Century Magazine. This article was to have
appeared in the August issue (but did not), and it was agreed by Mr. Walker
and myself that no other magazine be supplied with sketches or articles until
after the Century article. We are still holding back for Mr. Walker, but we will
wait no longer... (Pg. 80-81)
Nov. 8, 1897 The T/M will have a miniature Railway, complete in every detail, that
EB will be the smallest railway system ever built for the actual carrying of
passengers and freight. It will consist of an engine & tender, 6 observation
cars and a box car...being 30 feet in length. The engine will weight 300
pounds, (compared to a normal engine weight of 60 tons). The cylinder will
be 1 1/2" in diameter and 2 1/2" in length.
They will have 4 drive wheels, each 8" in diameter. The length of the
engine & tender will be 6' 7 1/2". The engine will carry 6 gal. of water in the
tender and 5 gal. in the boiler, which will furnish steam for 2 hours. The
engine is so small...the engineer cannot ride in the cab...so a flat car is
coupled behind...for the engineer to ride on. He manages his iron steed by
reaching over the tender. The observation cars are...flat cars with canopy
tops...each can carry four children or two adults. The train will haul the
passengers along a line which will be an exact facsimile of one of the
most celebrated scenic routes in the west. This feature will be obtained by
means of paintings after the manner of a cyclorama. Bridges, culverts, tunnels
and all the other things which go into a mountain railway will be provided in
detail...In addition, Mrs. P.J. Fallon, formerly of Council Bluffs, will be the
superintendent, the only female railway superintendent in the world. (Pg. 82)
Nov. 10, 1897 The Wisconsin Building will fill a double purpose - it will
EB serve as headquarters for Wisc. visitors and also a monument
to mark Wisconsin's 50th year in the Union. It is designed
along classic lines and instead of following the free lines of
the Renaissance adopted for the buildings of the main court,
it adheres closely to a more sever style of pure Grecian.
EB The work of planting trees on the Bluff tract is going on
rapidly. A large group of willows and dogwood bushes have been
hauled to the grounds. The willows are being set along the
Sherman Ave. fence, but no disposition of the dogwoods yet. The
large trees which are to flank either side of the main avenue
extending from the Grand Plaza to the Horticulture Building
are being transplanted. These trees are about 35 feet in
height. They are being planted in double rows, close enough
to form an arch over the walk. (Pg. 84)
Nov. 11, 1897 Due to fine weather work on the buildings is booming.
EB Manufacturer's Building is bustling...roof now going on...huge
trusses, which form the inside support of the galleries are
being placed in position...the east wall and portions of the
south wall have one coat of plaster (interior)...entire
interior will be covered within a few days...staff on outside
going on rapidly and staff work should be completed by the
time roof is on. Piles for the (Fine) Arts Building finally
arrived and are being driven in...east side is done already.
Mines Building will be ready for staff work soon, but none of
the others...Work on the Gov't Building will begin soon.
The Nebraska Building has been covered with sheeting to the
cornice line...trusses for the roof & dome are being framed.
Floor of Agricultural Bldg almost complete, work on north wall
commenced. Liberal Arts Building floor 2/3 done...work on
south wall commenced. (Pg. 85)
EB Erection of the toboggan slide for the winter carnival commenced...
the platform from which they will start will be just in front of where the
entrance tower leading to the viaduct will stand. (Pg. 85)
Nov. 13, 1897 Great feeling among the people of Omaha that the buildings
EB cannot be completed in time,...but the contractors confident they will be ready.
EB Plans for the great wigwam completed. J.C. & W. Woodward
architects. It will be 75 feet in diameter, 100 feet high, 5
full stories (not 3). The tree top or boughs that will
protrude from the apex will come out through a central orifice
that will be used for ventilation purposes. Immediately
beneath the point where the boughs cross will hang a huge iron
pot, that will be conspicuous from all points of view. It
will be suggestive of the method used by the original redmen
to prepare the daily meal. The pot will be filled with a
compound that will send forth volumes of smoke throughout the
day...suggesting food is on and visitors welcome. The outer
covering of vulcanized cloth will be given a finishing coat of
aluminum bronze paint, which will (give it) a brilliant
silvery color. The windows will be...in the form of Indian
war shields and from a distance look like huge rawhide targets
fringed with paleface scalps. There will be two doorways and
in the center...will spring the grand stairway. (Pg. 86)
EB Art Director Griffith will make an extended trip starting this
month,...to Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, England, France
and Germany seeking art treasures for the Expo. (Pg. 87)
Nov. 15, 1897 Dome of the Nebraska Building going up...trusses in place. The
EB roof will be put on at once and the inside plastered. As the
outside is tightly covered with sheeting, a coat of plaster on
the inside will make it a good storeroom for the grain & other
material which will be stored there until it comes time to
decorate the building. (Pg. 91)
EB Captain Morett of the Venetian gondolas at the Nashville Expo, is coming
here, having secured the...contract for the T/M. He and his gondoliers are
going to row their boats here through the Rivers Cumberland, Ohio,
Mississippi, Missouri. They started yesterday from Nashville and hope to
arrive by Dec. 15th. They erected a small cabin over each to keep out the
wind and rain as much as possible. The Italians, used to more balmy
weather, don't look forward to the trip with much pleasure (due to the cold).
(Note: By early January they had only made it to Cairo, Ill. The rest of the
trip was made aboard a train, finally arriving in mid January.) (Pg. 91)
EB A relief map of the United States, constructed on a gigantic scale and
covering about 50 acres, is the suggested way...to show...the American
Indian Exhibit at the T/M...upon which suitable delegations of each type,
with appropriate houses, utensils, burial structures, etc., can be set down
in various sections corresponding to the land they occupied...A large
teepee form building containing collections of weapons, dresses,
ceremonial things, etc. should be built. (It) should be sufficiently high to
have a lookout station at the top...with a birds-eye view of the camps.
Nov. 16, 1897 East end of the lagoon is covered with a thin layer of ice,
EB maybe 1/2" thick, reaching almost to 20th St. (Pg. 92)
EB Excavation work for the Auditorium nearly done. Grading for
Girls & Boys Building commenced, not much work required.
Work on Bluffs tract progressing...walks and drives being made.
Planting of large trees along main avenue nearly finished.
Nov. 18, 1897 First fatal accident on the grounds. William Morrow, age 36,
EB a carpenter working on the Mines Building, fell 17 feet to his
death this morning. He had just been transferred from working
on the Administration Building today.
Nov. 19, 1897 Roof going on the Manufacturers Bldg...big trusses spanning
EB the central portion being raised...this portion should be done by
Monday (22nd)...plastering on the galleries, south & west walls
finished and now working on north walls...windows ready to be put
into place…staff workers are nearly finished with main part of the
building...About 1/2 of the roof trusses in place on the Mines bldg...
roofing following closely as possible. Expect to commence staff work
at once as outside is ready for lathers. Driving of foundation piles for
Auditorium commenced. Material for Arts Building not arrived yet, but
has been shipped. Administration Building is now in the hands of the
finish carpenters. The stairway leading to upper portion nearly complete.
Ground in front of Machinery Bldg. is being cleared and the bases that
will support the colonnades being set in place. This must be done so
concrete floor in the colonnade may be laid. (Pg. 95)
EB The flow of water into the lagoon was stopped yesterday for
testing. The water level fell one inch, meaning a loss of
200,000 gallons in 24 hours due to seepage and evaporation.
EB A.F.Turpin, who will construct the Moorish Palace, arrived
today from Nashville with 36 people, who will be employed in
the show, which largely consists of wax figures. (Pg. 95)
Nov. 20, 1897 Articles of Incorporation of the Afro-American Company filed.
EB Purposes are to maintain and operate at the Expo an Afro-
American village where...antebellum days...progress that has
been made...A site on the upper end of the Bluffs tract
opposite the Streets of Cairo has been selected. (Pg. 96)
EB Space has been allotted in the Gov't Building as follows:
Agriculture Dept.-3823 Sq. Ft., Treasury Dept.-3380 Sq. Ft.,
State Dept.-945 Sq. Ft., Post Office Dept.-2175.87 Sq. Ft.,
Fish Commission-5027.75 Sq. Ft., Navy Dept.-3303.63 Sq. Ft.,
National Museum & Smithsonian-3406.37 Sq. Ft.-Interior Dept.-
4006.37 Sq. Ft., War Dept.-3303.63 Sq. Ft., Working Post Office-315 Sq. Ft.
EB The revolving lens, which will occupy the center space of the
building, is 25 feet high and shows the manner in which modern
lighthouses are equipped with changing lights. (Pg. 97)
Nov. 23, 1897 No machinery requiring steam will be installed in the Mach. &
EB Elec. Building, as the only motive power will be electricity.
An electric motor will be supplied for each exhibit. All exhibits
requiring steam will be installed in the Machinery Annex
located on the north end of Bluffs Tract near the power plant.
EB There will be no selling of goods in any of the main
buildings, except for the Liberal Arts Building.
EB Omaha schools have contributed $1600.00 so far for the Girls &
Nov. 24, 1897 The roof of the Administration Building is being painted a
EB deep green. The ribs of the roof will be painted a brilliant
gold...and the ornamental work will be gilded. (Pg. 102)
EB The roof going on the Manufacturers building rapidly...2/3 finished...
rubberoid going on...posts for walls of the Liberal Arts Building in place
and the heavy timbers which will support the roof being raised. Trusses
for the dome of Nebraska Building all in place and workmen are putting
on the sheeting of the dome and the windows in the dome's base.
Auditorium piles being driven...north wall started this morning...Roof trusses
for Mines & Mining Building in place and roof sheeting being put on. (Pg. 102)
EB The Dept. of Exhibits has adopted a new policy towards state
exhibits, where each T/M state will be allotted exhibit space in the
main buildings based on the population, running from 200 to 1000 sq. ft.
Nov. 26, 1897 The first touch of icy winter blasts has slowed work on the grounds…
EB 15 degrees and a biting wind. A thin layer of ice covered every stick of
timber...and a mantle of snow on the ground. Work on the slick roofs
was particularly difficult...too cold for plaster work. (Pg. 103)
EB The Dept. of Publicity has issued a new pamphlet for use by the
delegation to Texas. 16 pages with a frontpiece showing a
half-tone of the official birds-eye view. It also contains a
list of 51 conventions to meet in Omaha next year. The Dept.
Is working on a new 20 page pamphlet. (Pg. 103)
Nov. 27, 1897 Wind goes down...conditions more pleasant...center pavilion of the
EB Machinery Building being raised, it being the last section of the walls
to be completed...diagonal sheeting being put on and roof trusses
being framed. Foundation piles for the Arts Building were not driven in
far enough, requiring all to be trimmed at least 4-5 feet, many 8-10 feet.
Some had to be reinforced with a second pile. (Pg. 103)
EB Ice on the lagoon is thick enough for skating, but too rough.
Nov. 29, 1897 The Stoumer Distilling Co. of Germany has applied for space to
EB exhibit its "Health Whiskey". (Pg. 104)
EB Little or no wind today...roofs of Manufacturing and Mines
Buildings nearly complete, needing only the skylights...
windows going on Manufacturers Building...trusses for roofs of
Machinery, Liberal Arts and Agriculture Buildings being framed
...began driving foundation piles for Gov't Building this morning.
Nov. 30, 1897 Meeting held to discuss ways to encourage colored people to
EB attend T/M. Mines Building is the first to be equipped with
the translucent fabric used for covering the skylights. The
fabric is flexible, being a patent composition which is spread
over a brass wire netting of small mesh. It is a rich amber
color and sheds a soft light. From the floor it has the appearance
of stained glass. Architects say it is better than glass.
Dec. 1, 1897 Temperature 0 with brisk wind, but this does not slow work...
EB windows on north side of Manufacturers Building in place...
sheeting of roof completed and ready for skylights...lumber for
Arts building still not found. (Pg. 105)
Dec. 2, 1897 The Mines Building will be the third to be covered with staff.
EB (Pg. 109)
Dec. 3, 1897 Design for Montana Building approved at a cost of $10,000. Second
EB shipment of half-tones of birds-eye view received by Publicity Dept.
Montgomery Wards has devoted two full pages to the T/M in their catalog.
EB Driving of piles for Gov't Building is about only work, as a
fresh blanket of snow covers the ground. (Pg. 107)
Dec. 5, 1897 New regulations for grounds until the gates open June 1.
SB Persons desiring to make photographs will be required to get a
special permit...Visitors must keep out of the buildings (for
safety reasons)...passes required for admittance...no smoking
or open fires on grounds. (Pg. 113)
Dec. 6, 1897 Among the largest and most pretentious of the features on the Midway
EB will be the Moorish Village with its domes, minarets and pinnacles. Travelers
and students of architecture will recognize much of the beautiful detail from
the Alhambra and other familiar monuments from Granada, with bits of
Cordova and other Moorish Mecca’s. The Moorish Palace is in the form of
a mosque, with a large central dome and corner spires. Beyond this will be
the Moorish House, correct in all details, both interior and exterior. Then
come shops with eastern rugs and metal trinkets. These shops will be
arranged in a cul-de-sac...where everything American will be shut from
view and to his ears will come the call of the muezzin from the Streets of
Cairo. The first building in the village will show several optical illusions.
In the palace will be displayed a series of tableaux and figures in wax,
illustrating history, art, science, drama...together with a Chamber of Horrors
and a Devils Cave. In the last building will be the Moorish Mystic
Maze, a confusing, intricate and elaborate arrangement of mirrors where
the bewildered visitor will see himself in all places, on all sides and in all
directions; where, walking in any direction he pleases he will see crowds of
himself approaching, scores of himself going away and dozens of himself
walking with him. (Pg. 114)
EB There will be an Indian Village, inhabited by representatives
from four Pueblo tribes, including the Moquis...with their snake dance.
EB A serious accident was avoided this morning, when the upright
stringer of one of the pile drivers on the Gov't Bldg. slipped
and fell. A dozen workmen below it barely had time to escape.
EB The heavy central truss for the roof of the Machinery & Electricity Building
was raised this morning with the aid of a windlass, a dozen workmen, and
a pair of horses. Workmen today finished the framework of the four corner
domes of the Nebraska building and adorned them with flag poles...now
working on the big central dome. (Pg. 114)
Dec. 7, 1897 A dispatch to the Bee says there is a movement in Missouri to
EB have a Kansas City Building at the Expo. (Pg. 115)
EB Warm weather permitted swarms of workmen on the buildings...Nebraska
Building has reached its top most point, as the dome is almost complete...
work on staff for Machinery Building begun this morning...white coat on the
Administration building almost completed...five carloads of lumber for the
Fine Arts Building finally arrive, but only contain roofing lumber. Pile driving
on north half of Gov't Building done and first of big supports for outside walls
put up...work on 2nd story of Auditorium begun...roof of Mines Building about
finished and work commenced on Northwest tower...truss work for Agriculture
Building complete. (Pg. 115)
Dec. 8, 1897 Visitors now barred from Liberal Arts Building as a stranger walking
EB inside yesterday missed by just a few inches of being hit in the head and killed
by a piece of falling lumber...roof trusses completed and first will go up this
afternoon...Almost all the staff is on the Manufacturers Building and skylights
almost finished...interior plastering will be finished by tomorrow. Roofing
commenced on Agricultural and Machinery Buildings...staff being put on the
Machinery building. (Pg. 116)
EB The outside cover of the current issue of "Campbell’s Soil Culture” is
adorned with good representations of the Gov't and Agriculture Buildings.
EB The first picture of the Moorish Village was unveiled today.
EB The Exposition has greatly increased the amount of mail handled through the
Omaha Post Office. During the last year, the Expo postage bill was $6000.
Dec. 9, 1897 Lord Linton of England, who owns a considerable bit of real estate
EB in Omaha...has agreed to loan his art collection, known as the "Stuart
Collection", which includes more than 50 works by the masters.
EB Visitors are not very numerous, as the warm weather has caused
a sea of mud. The first flag on the grounds was flying from
the top of the Nebraska Building this morning. (Pg. 117)
EB The toboggan slide is almost ready.
Dec. 10, 1897 Colder temps have eased the mud problem by freezing the ground
EB Workmen commenced putting tar paper on the roof of the Mines Building...
interior is nearing completion...railing being put on the balcony...walls lathed
and almost ready for plasterers. Roof of Manufacturers Building covered
with tar paper...window casings in...Wall…girders for north half of Gov't Building
are up...working on beams for flooring...piles still being driven in south half.
Working on corner pavilions and roof of Agriculture Building. Roof girders for Machinery Building will be in place by tomorrow. (Pg. 118)
Dec. 11, 1897 Dept. of Concessions reports that of the 4500 lineal feet
EB available on the Midway, 1559 feet are already taken.
EB An electrical scenic theater, similar to the one at Chicago, will be erected.
Dec. 12, 1897 Last weeks snow storm has hastened work to enclose the
EB buildings. Machinery & Electricity Building is nearest
completion...roof now covered with rubberoid...window casings
almost in...hanging doors. Agricultural Building covered with
sheeting...will start on skylights...rubberoid being put on
Mines Building...half the girders on Liberal Arts Building in
place, remainder by tonight...work finally started on Fine
Arts building...working on floor...flooring for south half of
Government Building begun. (Pg. 122)
Dec. 13, 1897 Nebraska delegation to Texas returns...one of the features of
EB the trip was the singing. There were several songs and yells,
with verses constantly being added to suit the city or
occasion. One of the most popular was to the tune of "A Hot
Time in the Old Town Tonight", and was in part:
Houston city, all dressed up in red
Sent us a message, and this is what is said,
Hark, O Hark, O don't you hear us call,
Come down here and we'll open up the ball.
And you will be our meat or we'll have no meat at all:
There'll be a hot time in Houston tonight.
"Say, O Say, this Texas town is gay,
And we're all right for the fellows say
That we're the hottest crowd that ever came this way:
There'll be a hot time in Houston tonight.
"O when you get deep waters for your boats,
We'll send you all our corn and wheat and oats.
And while we burn cobs, you can burn bank bonds:
There'll be a hot time in Houston tonight.
"Away up north we're fixing up a scheme,
To make a show to beat you're wildest dream,
And when you hear the Trans-Mississippi eagle scream,
There'll be a hot time in OUR town that night.
"Now recollect in eighteen hundred and ninety eight,
That Omaha will give it to you straight,
And if you'll come our way before it's too late,
You'll have a hot time in OUR town that night.
The song that elicited the wildest applause however, was to "Dixie".
"Away up north in Nebraska Fair,
Heard a welcome sound in her breezy air,
Come away, come away, come away to Dixie land.
"We want near harbors, deep and broad,
This long haul business is a blasted fraud,
Then Away, then away, then away to Dixie land.
"We will send our hogs and corn down here,
A million cars every year,
Then away, then away, then away to Dixie land.
"We like this shipping plan so well,
It beats the Railroads all to ----,
Then away, then away, then away to Dixie land.
"It costs so much, this long flim-flam,
Our corn and wheat ain't worth a ----,
Then away, then away, then away to Dixie land.
"O Dixie dear, come to our state,
In eighteen hundred and ninety eight,
Come away, come away, come away from Dixie land.
"For the Trans-Mississippi portals wait,
To welcome every sister state,
Then away, then away, then away from Dixie land.
"We're way down south in Dixie, away, away,
In Dixie land we'll take our stand,
And sing our song to Dixie,
Away, Away, we will sing our song to Dixie." (Pg. 119)
Dec. 14, 1897 Heavy snow slows work...work on Fine Arts stops due to lumber
EB delays. Work on Gov't Building restricted to 8 hours per day,
because statutes of United States provide that on Gov't work,
8 hours constitutes a days work. Roof going on Liberal Arts
Building...last trusses for Machinery Building raised today...
sheeting going as fast as possible. (Pg. 123)
EB Bids on Arch of States ($18,000) and lagoon bridges ($16,000)
and potted plants required. 80 large trees (mostly Canadian
Poplars), 200 small trees and 500 shrubs for Kountze Park
Tract and 500 trees (mostly Maples) and 1100 shrubs for the
Bluffs Tract. (Pg. 124)
EB Council Bluffs schools will also raise money for the Girls & Boys Bldg.
Dec. 15, 1897 A fountain, 12 feet in diameter, will be placed in the center
EB of the rotunda of the Nebraska Building. Rubberoid going on roof.
EB Canada has selected a site near the Nebraska Bldg. to construct its bldg.
Dec. 16, 1897 The Nebraska Commission and Park Board discussed the Arch of
EB States. It was the desire of the executive committee that the
Arch be made of stone contributed by the T/M states, each
state contributing one course of stone, thereby making it
truly an arch of the states. Mr. Rosewater suggested Nebraska
build the foundation and lay the first course, and then say to
the other states, "Nebraska has prepared the foundation for
the arch typifying the unison of the states in the great
Trans-Mississippi region. Now come with your stone and build
upon this foundation a memorial that shall endure for generations..."
EB Approval was given for the design of a stock certificate as
submitted by Rees Printing Co. They will be ready in about
two weeks and sent to all who have paid their subscription in full.
EB Capt. Edward Kemys, noted sculptor of wild animals & Indians,
is in Omaha to discuss the permanent statuary plans.
The Manufacturers building is entirely enclosed now.
Dec. 17, 1897 The Bureau of Advertising has issued...a dissected map of the
EB U.S., each state being on a separate piece of cardboard, which
is expected to increase interest of (children) in the Expo.
Omaha is designated by a red star, which draws attention to a
footnote reference to the Expo. A big demand for them has
arisen in the smaller towns in the state and Omaha school
children are beginning to call for them too. The Bureau has an
idea that they may will make attractive Christmas presents.
EB 3" to 4" of snow on the ground must be cleared before work can continue.
EB Convention of Colored People during Expo being discussed.
E.R. Overall of Omaha, President... (Pg. 128)
EB Mr. Sherman has arrived to begin erecting his mechanical
novelty (Umbrella Ride). J.H. Robbins of Chicago is
conferring about building a miniature RR. A contract has been
let for Haggenbacks Trained Animal Show. (Pg. 128)
Dec. 18, 1897 Plans for the electricity system and lighting were unveiled.
EB There will be no unsightly lines of wiring upon poles in front
of the main buildings to disfigure the court. Lines and poles
will be placed in back of the buildings and all the wires
necessary for the arc lights and incandescent circuits will
be placed underground in conduits. Immense numbers of
incandescent lights will be used to accentuate the design of
the buildings, bringing out their striking features.
EB Bids for the Horticultural building opened. About $30,000.
Missouri plans to have it's own building at the Expo.
Dec. 20. 1897 The Expo grounds presented an animated appearance yesterday.
EB Many enjoyed the skating, others experienced the feeling of
falling off a house furnished by the toboggan slide...the noise of
the workmen’s hammers added to the gay shouts of the merry crowd.
Dec. 21, 1897 Inventor Sherman announced that the iron for the foundation and
EB framework of the giant umbrella is ready to ship. Work will begin by Dec. 27th.
(Ed. Note: This ride was never built, and was replaced by the Giant See-Saw,
but no article was found to explain why. Possibly the cost was too high.)
EB Design of the souvenir medal has been determined. The reverse
side will bear an American Indian mounted on a pony in the act
of spearing a buffalo, suggestive of life as it was then.
Above this scene will appear the inscription Trans-Mississippi
and below 1848. The obverse however, will be one of the most
interesting features. The most prominent object on this face
will be the profile of a women’s head in bas relief. Above inscribed,
Souvenir and below, Omaha 1898. The women’s head is to be a
characteristic type of the women of the T/M region...A composite
picture of the 48 most beautiful women in the T/M region. Two women
from each state and territory will be selected and from their photographs
the composite picture will be made by George A. Rockwood of N.Y.,
inventor of composite photography. (Pg. 134)
EB Work started on the Illinois Building. It will stand across Pinkney St.
Dec. 22, 1897 Group statuary for Machinery & Electricity Building will be as
EB follows. Five principal groups...the SW and NE group being
identical and the NW and SE group being identical. The former
will represent the primitive struggle of man with untamed
brute force. It shows a lion attacking two men, who are barely
maintaining life and are using such brain power as they have
in the early ages. The ram without such brain powers is shown
dead. The latter group represents the intermediate stage
where man, endowed with intelligence, conquers brute force,
symbolized by the lion, assisted by the hound. The man is able
to protect his family...the hound co-operating with the man,
symbolizes the dawn of organization. These groups are 12 feet
high. Evolving from this, crowning the center of the building,
rises the principal group. Here man, in later, more mature
development, possesses intelligence and wisdom, takes the
same lion and makes the lion do his bidding. At the side of
the driver are two figures carrying standards, symbolic of
machinery and electricity. The triumpher is in the Norse type
and carries the magic hammer of Siegfred, by which the
mechanical wonders are produced. This group is 24 feet across,
20 feet deep and 16 feet high. On the four intermediate pedestals
are eagles designed to symbolize the etheral quality of electricity.
EB Despite temperatures near -10 degrees, staff men are still working.
EB The African-American exhibit on the Midway will be divided
into two sections. The north half will show ante-bellom days,
complete with a plantation and cotton field, log cabin. The
south half will illustrate the progress that has been made
since the extinction of slavery with a restaurant...examples of
drama & opera...showing their mechanical ability and ingenuity.
Dec. 23, 1897 Another railroad trip to the South is planned. It will go to
EB St. Louis, Memphis, Little Rock, New Orleans, Mobile, Atlanta,
Birmingham, Jacksonville, Savannah, Augusta, Chattanooga,
Louisville, Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Terra Haute,
Bloomington, Springfield, Keokuk, Davenport and Des Moines.
Dec. 24, 1897 The international collection of over 300 dolls of Mrs. Elizabeth Horton
EB of Boston will be exhibited at the Girls & Boys Building. The dolls come
in all shapes & sizes, representing the various kinds and conditions of
dolls petted, caressed and punished by the rising generations of mothers
in every section and nationality. Some are in native costumes...rag babies
to dainty wax creatures...Chinese...Dutch...African...the frozen north.
Dec. 25, 1897 It is probable that silk looms will be in operation in the
Manufacturers Building...weaving silk bookmarks as souvenirs.
Dec. 27, 1897 Dept. of Concessions is closing a contract for a Wild West Show.
EB Today is children’s day on the grounds...the toboggan slide is busy...
not enough sleds to go around, so some sit on boards, some just sit
down on the ice...but most only once, as it is not much protection...
EB The Gov't Building is returned to its original size as more money has
been authorized by Congress...floors of Fine Arts Building nearly complete.
Dec. 30, 1897 The grounds a sea of mud 2" deep...keeping visitors out.
EB Nearly all the buildings under roof now (except Govt. & Arts
Buildings)...rubberoid and gravel roofing complete on north side
of Agriculture Building...and being put on Machinery, Mines,
Liberal Arts and Manufacturing Buildings. Walls of Fine Arts
Building nearly all in place...side walls and end of south wing
of Gov't Building up, but work is very slow. (Pg. 144)
EB Paxton & Gallagher have issued a very nice souvenir pamphlet
that they are sending to their customers. (Pg. 145)
Dec. 31, 1897 An application has been received for a ride called “Rolling the Roll”
The ride features immense tubs 7 feet in diameter which ride on a
track on the order of a switchback. The tub is rolled over and over and
over with lightning speed, on a track built on a sharp incline 75 feet long.
Springs on the far end throw them back to the start. The ride is very
popular back east. (Pg. 146)
Jan. 2, 1898 A reproduction of the Mormon Tabernacle in Utah onyx will be a
SB feature of the Utah exhibit. The onyx will vary in color from pure
white to shades of lemon and orange yellows. The roof will
be hallowed from a single block. Their new silk industry
will be prominently displayed also. (Pg. 148)
Jan. 3, 1898 The T/M will not only differ from other American Expositions
EB in the respect of color, but also the character of the
ornamentation as well. The decoration of each building will
indicate at a glance the general character of the exhibits
within its walls...The Machinery and Electricity Building will
freely use various articles used in these arts...cog wheels
with pinions around the front and ends...miniature incandescent
lamp shapes on the spandels over the lower windows...resistance
coils and tools...The entire building will be a series of
yellow tones, growing more intense as they reach the top,
culminating with golden statuary (on roof). The Agriculture
Building will liberally use cabbage heads and other
agriculture products as well as animals. The panels above the
principal columns represent a bulls head gracefully festooned
on the side with garlands of wheat, vegetables and fruits...
names of the patrons of agriculture, who have made notable
contributions...the great semi-circle entrance will be richly
decorated in color. On either side will be figures
representing "the Digger & the Sower"...The spandels & arches
will be relieved by festoons of corn, beets, tomatoes,
radishes, potatoes, apples. pears, peaches...Above them Ceres,
goddess of Agriculture. Medallions of different barnyard fowls
and the American eagle appear frequently, and the keystone
arch over the main doorway bears a monster gobbler in an
attitude of defiance. Characteristic statuary with the central
mass being crowned by a group representing "Prosperity
supported by labor and industry"; to the side of this a
smaller group representing the Zodiac and the seasons...and
favorable winds. (Pg. 149)
EB Fine weather...a large group of plasterers on the M/E
Building...north wall complete, scaffolding removed...nearly
all the staff in place...working on the columns which support
the roof and galleries...Mines Building similar...Ag. building
ready for staff...east section of Fine Arts building in
advanced stage...side walls almost complete and ready for
roof...west section starting to assume shape. (Pg. 149)
EB Foundation piles for Illinois Building completely in...
Jan. 5, 1898 Iowa State T/M Commission feels there is a danger the Council
EB Bluffs enterprise is assuming a character out of proportion to
the state exhibit and hinted it would be better for the two to
...merge. 5000 buttons received to raise the money for the
teepee and being sold for $1 each. (Pg. 150)
Jan. 6, 1898 Most of the foreign exhibits will be put in the Liberal Arts Building.
EB An application received from Rell Beidler of Mt. Pulaski, Ill.
to operate a submarine car, with glass sides, constructed to
run on a track along the bottom of the lagoon. (Pg. 151)
(Ed. Note: This ride was not built.)
Jan. 7, 1898 Nebraska Building ready for staff work and plasterers. Work
EB commenced yesterday on the superstructure of the Illinois Building.
. (Pg. 153)
EB The November & December issues of "The Nineteen Hundred",
official organ of the Paris Expo of 1900, devotes a full page
to a serial story relating to the T/M, containing the same
material found in the brochures. (Pg. 153)
Jan. 9, 1898 The San Francisco papers are giving considerable space to the T/M.
SB The Women's Bureau will issue a special paper for Washington’s
birthday, with the proceeds to go to the Girls and Boys Building fund.
Jan. 10, 1898 Decoration for the lagoon...the sheathing which encloses the
EB water in the lagoon will be covered to the waters edge with an
artificial stone coping, just above the surface of the water.
This stone will be curved inward to form a recess in which a
row of incandescent lights will be placed. The lights will
outline the lagoon, stairways and approaches to the bridge and
cross the water along the lower edge of the bridges.
EB The Expo has been advertised in numerous newspaper, magazines
and periodicals in the U.S., Germany and France. 4,861,375
words have appeared in the United States alone this year.
There have been 60,000 letters sent and 200,000 pieces of
advertising matter distributed. (Pg. 156)
EB There are only three states or territories where there seems
no likelihood of having an exhibit or some representation at
the T/M. They are Alaska, Arizona and Oklahoma. (Pg. 156)
Jan. 11, 1898 A new cut of the Gov't Building has been issued. It shows it
EB as it will appear from half way down the lagoon. (Pg. 157)
EB Pictures for the prettiest girls in Nebraska must be a profile
view. Entries will be accepted until Feb. 1. Hundreds have
already been received. Judge Neville of North Platte
announced he will have all the pictures displayed in the
Nebraska Building...He believes this display will have a strong
effect on immigration to Nebraska, especially among the men of
the East, and as a result the matrimonial market will
experience a wave of prosperity...It should also arouse the
patriotism of Nebraska women, especially those living in a
state of single blessedness. (Pg. 158)
EB The Dept. of Publicity is issuing cuts of the main buildings
3" wide to the Railroads for use in their brochures and
folders. These cuts are in great demand and being used by
Railroads across the country. Advertising matter issued by the
Publicity Dept. is being distributed by all but one of the
Omaha lines. They also are issuing an album of views where
only one page is devoted for advertising for the business
ordering the copies. (Pg. 158)
Jan. 16, 1898 Missouri proposes to build two buildings at the Expo...
SB (Pg. 162)
Jan. 17, 1898 Machinery Building is nearing completion and should be the
EB first one...Manufacturers and Administration Buildings have
been nearly complete for several weeks, but are not...Mines
Building has staff on west wing up to the cornice...central
pavilion remains untouched...Carpentry work on Agriculture
Building nearly finished...staff work will commence this
morning...now hanging doors and windows...Carpentry work for
Liberal Arts Building has been finished for 2/3 weeks, but
waiting for staff contractor, as original one is trying to get
out of contract...Fine Arts Building roof trusses being raised
...east gallery nearing completion...long timbers for west
section just arrived after being three months in transit...
side walls of wings of Gov't. Building partly sheeted...
carpentry for colonnades from Administration Arch to Mines
and Agriculture Buildings nearly finished. (Pg. 164)
EB Illinois building making good progress...main walls in place.
Heavy timbers for Horticulture Building just arrived and work
on the superstructure will begin at once. (Pg. 164)
EB The Omaha Ministerial Union is pushing for the Expo to be
closed on Sundays. The Exposition board has declined to meet
with them on the subject. (Pg. 164)
EB Leslie's Weekly February 3 issue will contain an article on the Expo.
. (Pg. 165)
Jan. 19, 1898 The Dept. of Publicity has printed several thousands slips, in
EB a size suitable for slipping into ordinary business envelopes,
with cuts of the main buildings on one side and a brief
message on the Expo on the other... (Pg. 166)
EB Music for the Exposition... (Pg. 166)
Jan. 20, 1898 Montana is the first to have picked its maidens for the
EB composite picture. Miss Harriet Elenear of Dillon and Miss
Leonora Robinson of Bozeman. Workmen started putting staff on
the Agriculture Building today. Members of the local curling
club are enjoying the ice on the lagoon. (Pg. 167)
EB The "Jewelers Weekly", oldest and most influential in the
trade, devotes two full pages of the Jan. 12 issue to the T/M.
Jan. 21, 1898 Denver is going to have its own building. (Pg. 168)
EB The Gov't Building is making rapid progress...construction is
up to the cornice line all around and work on covering the
roof commencing...trusses for roof of central portion being
put in...Work on driving piles for colonnades from Gov't
Building to Fine Arts and Agriculture Buildings about to begin
A 8 foot pile will support each column. Bids on bridges for
lagoon opened...eleven bids received. (pg. 168)
EB Council Bluffs estimates the Expo will bring in almost $1
Million dollars. It is expected that 3000 to 5000 will stay
in the city during the Expo.
Rent to hotels, boarding houses, lodging places, etc.: $600,000
Street car fares: $150,000
Personal expenditures: $200,000
Missouri has submitted pictures of its two ladies, but no names given.
Jan. 22, 1898 J.M. Hickey of New York has applied for the privilege of
EB operating a revolving observation tower, 150 feet high, with a
large car that surrounds the tower, and revolves as it is being raised.
Jan. 23, 1898 The contract for the two steel bridges over the lagoon awarded
to an Ohio company for $9350. (Pg. 171)
SB Several German language papers, covering Germany, Austria and
Switzerland, are devoting a great deal of space to the T/M.
The Berlin Sculpture Gazette even has a special correspondent in Omaha.
Jan. 24, 1898 Swindlers are going around Omaha collecting $5.00 from private
EB homes wanting to be put on a list of potential rooms for rent.
No such group exists. (Pg. 173)
EB Architects have completed views of the Transportation and
Implement Building in a style known as "medieval half timber
or Swiss farm architecture". (Pg. 173)
Jan. 27, 1898 Carpentry work on colonnades east and west from Administration
EB Building completed and staff work on west side nearly finished
...North wing of Gov't Building under roof shortly...trusses
for south wing being raised...iron for columns supporting dome
being placed in position... (Pg. 177)
Jan. 28, 1898 Sales of Council Bluffs pinback button lagging. A second
EB button, several times larger, with a relief of wigwam ordered.
EB Executive Committee has switched names of two buildings. The
building in the SE corner will be the Mines & Mining Building
and the larger building on the north side of lagoon will be
the Manufacturers Building. The change was necessitated by the
great number of applications for space in the Manufacturers
display. The Liberal Arts Building had been designed to take
some of this space, but it also was not sufficient to meet the
demand. Had applications for 25% more space than the two
buildings combined. This will allow for expanding a wing
towards the north along 20th St. if necessary, although no
definite plan exists to do this... (Pg. 177)
Feb. 1, 1898 The Denver Building will be in the form of a Greek Cross, with
EB a high central dome. (Pg. 184)
EB Live exhibits will include four acres of land for model
irrigation; fifty Chinese artisans making ivory articles,
paintings; potters and workmen of plaster of Paris; button
making machinery in operation; manufacture of maple syrup
and candy; gasoline laundry machine; an electric plow;
preservation of fruits and vegetables by sterilization;
incubators for babies and chickens; manufacturing of acetylene
gas; lapidarists; glass, wood and metal engravers; machines
for making barb wire, nails and a boot making plant.
Feb. 2, 1898 The Women’s Bureau has rejected the idea of exhibiting the
EB pictures of Nebraska women in the composite picture contest...
EB Cold weather stops outdoor work...carpentry work on Mines
Building is complete...a few finishing touches on staff and it
will be complete...interior finished and ready for occupancy.
EB Machinery Building is nearly as far advanced and could begin
installing exhibits in next ten days...staff nearly all in
place on Manufacturers Building...center dome of east wing of
Fine Arts Building entirely framed and being covered...
skylights nearly complete...staff men starting on Auditorium
...Steel columns for dome in place for Gov't building and
roof on both wings being covered. (Pg. 185)
Feb. 4, 1898 It has been suggested that illustrative postcards of Omaha be
EB issued. The February issue of the Trans/Missouri Official
Railway Guide has the seal of the T/M in red, white and blue colors.
. (Pg. 187)
Feb. 6, 1898 Another railroad trip...second trip to Southland...sixty
SB businessman, 20 from Omaha and 40 from various points in state
will compose party. Will visit Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky,
Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. (Pg. 190)
Feb. 7, 1898 The February 4 issue of the New York World has devoted over
EB three columns to the T/M and has cuts of the Gov't Building
and the Birds-eye view. (Pg. 191)
EB Pick the prettier girls...The Minnesota Times has suggested
that two composite pictures be made. One from the 24 Eastern
girls and one from the 24 Western girls...and display the
divergent types. What characteristics and differences will
they show... (Pg. 191)
EB Not an Omaha fair...The Lincoln News delivers the following
regarding the habit among people outside Omaha...of referring
to the T/M as the "Omaha Exposition" or "Omaha Fair". With
all due credit to the spirit of Omaha's citizens...it is not
for Omaha alone. The scope of the Exposition is Trans-
Mississippi. It's spirit and results mean more than Omaha.
For the good of the fair itself, let it be called the
Trans-Mississippi Exposition. (Pg. 192)
Feb. 8, 1898 Sunday closing...it is an outrage to demand the closing of the
EB Expo from a Biblical and religious standpoint. Such doctrine
is non-biblical, absurd and ridiculous. While we endorse good
moral reasons to close on Sundays, we defy the argument that
it is the church duty in such affairs...What ever is done, do
it from a right stand point... (Pg. 193)
Feb. 11, 1898 The Fountain of Wine a fake...a joke perpetrated a year ago
EB by Expo officials visiting California, has come home to plague
them...Petitions were circulated among all the temperance
groups in the country protesting this wholesale destruction of
the young men and women of the country...To exclude this awful
exhibition before it wrecked thousands of homes...It may be
stated...that nothing of the kind is contemplated, no
application has been made, none is likely to be made, and no
such exhibit will be made in Omaha in 1898. (Pg. 1)
EB Another flying machine...F.M. Groves of Evansville, Ind. has
offered to construct and operate a flying machine at the Expo.
It is a cigar shaped balloon made of silk and inflated with
gas. Suspended from the balloon is a car for passengers and
three 30 pound engines. At either side of the balloon is a
large propelling wheel, like the wheels on a sidewheel steamer
and at the rear a propeller screw. The striking feature of
this machine, different from any other flying machine, is a
shell, which covers 3/4 of each of the side wheels. The
inventor claims by shifting this shell...he can cause it to
ascend, descend, go ahead or back. He has a working model only
but claims it will work in winds up to 20 MPH. (pg. 1)
EB The railroads of the country are advertising the Expo...The
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway has issued a
folder with eight pages on the T/M; the Wabash Road devotes
two pages in its latest folder; Chicago & Northwestern is
about to issue several hundred thousand vest pocket memo
books with several pages on the T/M; B & M Road is about to
issue a wall map showing its lines flanked by half-tones of
the buildings; MOPAC is preparing to issue a pamphlet on
the Expo; Rock Island and Milwaukee Roads have applied for
pamphlets and posters... (Pg. 2)
Feb. 13, 1898 Sec. Wakefields health showing signs of the mental strain.
WH He is constantly tired...hair becoming streaked with white...
thousands more applications than there are spaces to fill...
and each one must be handled. (Pg. 4)
Auditorium Building improperly constructed and may not be safe
SB ...certain portions (the gallery) weak and unequal to support a
large crowd...changes have been made that might cover the defect…
(Pgs. 5 & 7)
Architects have completed plans for the two restaurants which
will stand at east end of south viaduct. (Pg. 7)
Feb. 14, 1898 Big trees on Bluffs Tract not planted properly...Ulrich's
EB directions ignored...done in a careless, slipshod and ignorant
manner...will be lucky to live through the summer. (Pg. 5)
EB Documents of various kinds have been disappearing from the
Office of Buildings and Grounds...plans for the piling for the
north viaduct over Sherman Ave. stolen this time... (Pg. 5)
Feb. 15, 1898 Executive Committee has ordered plans for an annex to the
EB Manufacturers Building, where the foreign exhibits will be placed.
EB Executive Committee authorized the printing of the following
items: 2000 Season card passes; 2000 invitations or letters of
transmittal; 13000 Term card passes; 2000 Term Press passes;
500,000 Special Day passes; 1,000,000 Concession Revenue
stamps; 5000 photo commutation tickets; 15000 one trip passes;
1,000,000 single admission tickets, 500,000 single admission
night tickets; 300,000 single admission children tickets;
3,000,000 concession tickets; 500,000 restaurant checks.
EB The design of the cover of the "Hatchet", the special children’s paper
to be issued on Washington’s Birthday for the Girls & Boys Building fund...
shows twenty small oval scrolls arranged in a large oval...These are
intertwined with cherry blossoms and in each oval will appear the head of
"Somebody's Darling"...Just what will appear in the center is undecided.
BATTLESHIP MAINE BLOWS UP IN HAVANA HARBOR
Feb. 16, 1898 Statuary of Gov't building...Two groups represent fountains,
EB emblematic of rains which produce moisture for the ground. The
signs of the Zodiac will be on other groups, the central group
will represent prosperity, labor and integrity,...on the end
pavilions groups representing the seasons...and favorable winds…
Feb. 18, 1898 Agreement finally reached with Omaha Water Co. on supplying
EB water to the lagoon. Dept. of Concessions has awarded a contract
to Henry Willard for a cafe on the Midway with a vaudeville show.
EB Prof. Kimball called a meeting to organize the Exposition chorus.
Feb. 20, 1898 Pleasant weather...Mines Building ready for exhibits...
SB Machinery Building will be also in a few days...Manufacturers
and Agricultural Buildings almost complete...outside of
Auditorium will be finished in a few days...Fine Arts Building
ready for staff...roof finished and skylights in place...Gov't
building under cover except for central dome area. (Pg. 17)
EB The "Hatchet" planned for Washington’s Birthday may be delayed,
as the darling babies won't cooperate with the photographer...
EB Washington and Oregon are the only two states with no plans
for an exhibit, although Oregon is considering one.
Feb. 21, 1898 Superintendent Hady of Exhibits Dept. says it may be necessary
EB to extend the annex to the Manufacturers Building as much as 700 feet.
EB Night and Day will be a pyramid 140 ft by 140 ft 100 ft. high.
Inside will be a labyrinth...leading to Dante's Inferno...then
ascending to a Heavenly Cafe...waitresses will appear as
angels, with wings and flowing robes...Cosmopolis...will be a
reproduction of the Parthenon, in front of which will be given
celebrations of Olympic sports...also streets representing
prominent cities of the Old World, including Paris, Seville,
Malta...it will have shops and vaudeville shows. (Pg. 19)
(Ed. Note: This became the Streets of All Nations. The
modern Olympics were started in 1896)
Feb. 27, 1898 Exposition water mains connected to the Omaha Water Company...
SB giving the grounds protection from fire. (Pg. 26)
Feb. 28, 1898 St. Louis introduced a bill in Congress to hold an Exposition
EB there, sometime in 1903 to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase.
March 2, 1898 The two Nebraska Beauties have been selected.
EB (Pg. 30)
March 9, 1898 "Pigs in Clover" game revived in behalf of the T/M.
EB Horticulture Building about ready for staff workers.
EB J.B. Sawhill, Omaha Civil Engineer, has been engaged to make
an official map of the grounds. (Pg. 37)
March 10, 1898 Rinehardt gets photo concession...beating out a dozen of the
photographers. The official photographer is given exclusive
EB rights to sell...all kinds of photographs within the grounds,
except tintypes, which will be done on the Midway, and those
of people. He is required to have them available by July 1.
Representatives of newspapers and periodicals are exempt from
this rule. Amateurs will allowed to use cameras 4"x5" or
smaller, but no tripods, and will be regulated by Rinehardt.
Ever since the gates were closed to visitors not in possession
of a ticket or pass, The Concessions Dept. has had control of
cameras on the grounds. A few permits for amateurs were issued
but since March 1, none have been issued and none will be.
EB Plans for the German Village drawn and building operations
will commence in the near future. (Pg. 39)
March 11, 1898 It is assured now that Missouri, Arkansas and Denver will have
EB their own buildings. Possibility good for New York, Florida,
Massachusetts, and Canada. (Pg. 40)
(Ed. Note: Of these six only New York constructed a building)
EB The Colored Women’s Association of Omaha has applied for jobs
in the Girls and Boys Building. (Pg. 40)
EB The Park aboard has allocated their 1/3 share ($5000) for
permanent statuary...provided others do also... (Pg. 40)
EB Special prizes will be awarded to the Council bluffs school
children who sell the most "Teepee" buttons...bicycle, gold watch...
EB Clemet Chase has issued a 16 page booklet, bound with a
ribbon, containing photogravures of the T/M...He also has
issued a series of 16 souvenir cards, on the style of post
cards, with the main state buildings on the back. (Pg. 41)
March 12, 1898 Contracts for the Wisconsin Building, Japanese Tea Garden and
EB Giant SeeSaw awarded. (Pg. 41)
March 13, 1898 Contract for Dairy Building awarded...construction begun on
Streets of Cairo.
SB Summary of changes at Kountze Park in the last year amazing...
first stakes for graders were driven March 18, 1897.
SB The "Hatchet" will go on sale Monday, March 14...25,000 copies will be sold.
SB Plans are being made to illuminate the city streets during the Expo.
. (Pg. 45)
March 14, 1898 The Minnesota Commission has selected a site for its building.
March 15, 1898 Only Council Bluffs men and material may be used in the
EB construction of the "Wigwam"...construction will begin in April.
EB Arkansas adopts a plan for state building...a reproduction of
mansion built by (Conf.) Gen. Albert Pike in 1843. (Pg. 47)
March 16, 1898 All the brick for the walks and drives was made here in Omaha
EB . ..it will be a dark cream color. (Pg. 47)
EB The grandstand for the old racetrack is being torn down,
except for the west half, which will be moved to serve as
seating for the Wild West Show.
EB Work was commenced on the Pabst Building...piles driven for
the Implement Building...Smokestacks for power house being
hoisted into place. (Pg. 49)
EB The east end of the lagoon had to be drained to enable the gas
company to lay a gas main across it along 20th Street.
March 17, 1898 The Board of County Commissioners refuses to agree to its 1/3
EB share ($5000) for permanent statuary. (Pg. 49)
EB Bids received for 20M yards of sod for Bluffs Tract...aquatic basin
80 feet in diameter, with smaller basins, 25 feet diameters, on each side.
March 18, 1898 A full size copy of the statue "Winged Victory of Samothrace"
will be sent to Omaha.
EB The Pan American Expo will have a Submarine.
March 20, 1898 Wyoming has submitted a photo of Mrs. M.A. Adams of Sundance,
SB Wyoming for the composite picture. (Pg. 52)
SB The residents along Sherman Ave. are planning ways to spruce up the area.
SB The statuary for the Administration arch completed...Drawing
of the Missouri Building will be available in a few days...
(new) plans for the Arch of States completed and bids will be taken.
March 21, 1898 Bids for painting the interior of the buildings were opened.
March 22, 1898 Plans for the fountain by Luther Stieringer in the Mirror end
EB of the lagoon were unveiled...called the Nautilus...50 foot
high column...thousands of jets just below the water surface
...will not be seen when not in use...great heights in ever
changing variety...At night, electric beams of brilliant
colors will be thrown upon the water from an invisible source.
EB Pictures of the New Mexico and Nevada ladies for the composite
picture received... (Pg. 56)
March 23, 1898 Plans are being made to restore the Lincoln Funeral Car for display.
EB S.D. Kramer of Chicago writes that he is about to publish a
march entitled "Salute to Omaha", and asks the privilege to
call it the official march. (Pg. 57)
EB First exhibits arrive but interior painting not done in any of
the buildings, bids opened on Arch of States and International
Hall...construction about to begin on Cyclorama...400 foot
diameter...45 feet high... (Pg. 57)
March 24, 1898 A large lithograph Birds-eye-view was just issued, but it is
EB not for general distribution...most will go to railroads...and
be sent to every nook and corner of the country. They are in
such a way that they will be preserved. (Pg. 58)
March 25, 1898 Pictures of a Texas woman for composite picture received.
EB Miss Ida May Archer of Austin. (Pg. 58)
EB Denver has raised $4000 of the $6000 needed for its building.
Massachusetts will introduce bill to erect building modeled
after old Court House. (Pg. 59)
March 28, 1898 A snow storm has stopped all outside work on the Midway.
EB Lighting for Exposition-Stieringer plans effects grand in
conception, almost magical. (Pg. 62)
EB Work commenced on Pabst Pavilion, Cyclorama, Shooting the
Chutes, Wild West Show, Cosmopolis and Mystic Maze. (Pg. 62)
March 29, 1898 The Auditorium was unofficially dedicated, to the surprise of
EB Expo officials...with a performance by H.C. Barnabee of Boston
...He sang "Palm Branches" from the stage and pronounced (the
setting) good... (Pg. 71)
The Band Stand is being designed.
March 30, 1898 Bids for the Girls and Boys Building opened...plans for Bemis
EB Bag Building unveiled...Work on Montana building commenced...
Tobacco Building will be built just south of Pinkney Street.
EB Workers are preparing to decorate the interior of the Gov't
Building...main walls will be covered with maroon colored
burlap, on which will be painted a decoration of white and gold.
EB The latest issue of the "Northwest Lumberman" has an article
on the Expo. (Pg. 72)
EB Pictures of California's beauties received. (Pg. 73)
March 31, 1898 The latest application to the Midway is by Prof. John Albert
EB ...who proposes to install a glass tank 25 feet high, filled
with filtered water, where he and his boys will disport
themselves in many ways, making aerobatic feats and other
startling & amazing feats beneath the water. (Pg. 61)
EB The end of the building is in sight...Moorish Palace nearing
completion...Shoot the Chutes, Pabst Pavilion, Wild West Show,
Big Rock, Cyclorama, and Cosmopolis under construction
...Midway will be extended south along 20th street towards the
main court. (Pgs. 73-74)
April 1, 1898 A telephone line, directly between Omaha & Wash. D.C., will be
EB set up for the opening day ceremonies between the President
and Exposition. (Pg. 68)
EB Statuary for Agriculture Building being hauled to grounds.
April 2, 1898 The concrete piers for the iron bridges over the lagoon being
EB prepared...problems with driving the piles...lagoon drained,
but excavation for piers keeps filling with water. (Pg. 69)
April 3, 1898 A gold mine exhibit will be in the gallery of the Mining
SB Building...people will descend 500 feet to a gallery showing a
typical gold mine being worked...then descend another 500 feet
to the bottom of the shaft. The earth beneath the Expo
grounds will be honey-combed with passages showing various
mining techniques. (Pg. 70)
(Ed. Note: There was a gold exhibit, but no shaft was dug)
SB First consignment for Art Exhibit received from Bradshaw, Nebraska.
SB A small fire broke out near the Moorish Palace. A pot of tar
boiled over and set fire to several barrels of tar nearby...
volumes of smoke, but no property endangered. (Pg. 70)
SB The steam pile driver working on the foundation for the bridge
piers took a tumble into the lagoon yesterday, damaging
several parts. A horse drawn pile driver will replace it.
April 4, 1898 Work commenced on the Montana and Ligget & Meyer Buildings.
EB Chicago Tribune on April 3 contains a full page on the Expo.
April 5, 1898 Line drawings of the east end of the lagoon completed...cuts
EB available soon. (Pg. 65)
April 6, 1898 A contract for printing the official programs awarded. It will done
EB weekly. Finishing touches being put on exteriors of main buildings.
April 7, 1898 Bids taken on the Arkansas Building...sales of buttons with a
EB picture of the building being pushed. (Pg. 66)
EB Mrs. L. Bowser of Norfolk given contract for building a sod
house...sod will be brought from Rock County. (Pg. 66)
EB Foreign displays will include Mexico 3M sq.ft., Russia 1M sq. ft.,
Italy 1M sq. ft., Denmark, Switzerland 600 sq. ft., France
4M sq. ft., Austria, China, Canada 5M sq. ft. and Great Britain.
April 8, 1898 The first proofs of the composite picture by George Rockwood
EB of New York received. (Pg. 68)
April 9, 1898 It is estimated that 80% of visitors will come within a radius
EB of 250 miles of Omaha... (Pg. 74)
EB Advertising costs by Omaha Bee in behalf of the Expo are $3200.
EB Council Bluffs asks for the help from the County to pay costs
of the Wigwam. (Pg. 75)
(Ed. Note: This is probably why it is called the Pottawatomie
County Wigwam, not the Council Bluffs Wigwam.)
April 10, 1898 The main court buildings will be painted an "Old Ivory" tint
SB with bright colors to bring out the architectural adornments.
SB Work commenced on the Georgia Building. (Pg. 77)
April 11, 1898 Missouri Building designed by L.C. Buckley & Bro. of St. Louis
EB McClures Magazine is sending a special artist to the Exposition.
EB Model of the "Maine" being crated up for shipment to Omaha.
EB Massachusetts has decided it is too late to construct a building.
EB Change in the nature of the wigwam. It should be a "comfort
house" with a stairway and elevator. (Pg. 78-79)
April 12, 1898 Outline for color scheme...Agriculture Building will be most
EB elaborate, entrance in warm rich colors...gold bronze freely
used...dome of Mines Building will have panels richly colored
and ribs gilded...Fine Arts Building will be done it faded tones
that will not detract from the contents...Administration Building
in colors and gold...Machinery Building ornaments will be picked
out in bright colors...colonnades in tones harmonizing with adjacent
buildings and domes of pavilions gilded. (Pg. 78)
EB The losses of St. Louis Banks by a man named William Elliot,
who was representing the Expo, was made good by management.
Mr. Elliot forged drafts in the amount of $400. (Pg. 78)
EB Afro-American village plans...will be on east midway opposite
the Moorish Palace, 21 buildings covering 170 ft. x 170 ft. tract.
EB Florida has decided to construct a building, not to exceed $3000.
Contracts were awarded for selling...sea shells...Buffalo horns...
April 13, 1898 Plans were proposed for a temporary hotel, housing about 2000
EB people. It will be covered by staff or corrugated iron for
about $95,000. It would be four stories high and cover the
entire block from 18th to 19th, Dodge to Douglass.
EB The Executive Committee has decided to issue commutation
admission tickets well below normal cost. Booklets containing
100 single admission, non-transferable coupons, can be
purchased for $20.00 until May 1. Each booklet must have the
buyers photo on the inside and coupons void if detached.
EB A contract was awarded for putting pay telephones on the grounds.
April 14, 1898 Two statuary groups, representing the Red man and White man as
EB they were known on the rolling prairies..., will be placed on
large pedestals on the incline at the east end of the lagoon.
An Indian Chief and his pony will be carrying a dead elk and a
typical western cowboy with his bronco. (Pg. 82)
EB Each building will have space for plumbing for public
convenience. No decision has been reached on whether to
charge a nominal fee for use... (Pg. 82)
EB Wigwam plans under revision...may add an elevator... (Pg. 82)
April 15, 1898 Four carloads of exhibits for Gov't Building received...total will be
EB about 300 carloads...negotiations for a Hawaiian Village in progress.
April 17, 1898 Mr. Rinehart was given the right to regulate the use of hand
SB held cameras. (Pg. 85)
SB Contract awarded for "A Trip to the Klondike"...passengers
will enter a railway station, purchase tickets, enter a
railcar that will appear to start at a rapid rate, but the car
does not move an inch...by means of mechanical effects scenery
will appear and disappear, tunnels passed through, mountains
crossed...with rapidly falling temperatures passengers will be
furnished heavy fur coats...will then alight in the frozen
regions of the Klondike... (Pg. 85)
SB Concession awarded to Mr. Von Szinnyey to issue official
certificates of visitations, engraved...with name, address,
photo...certifying attendance. (Pg. 85)
SB Coal exhibit planned...effort to have exhibit built inside wigwam.
SB Thomas Lipton of Chicago was awarded a concession for a East
India Tea House.
SB Concessions Dept. has authorized about 20 kiosks about the grounds.
. (Pg. 85)
SB C.E. Bickford of Nebraska City authorized to operate
concession representing New England Bean House. Waiters will
conform to fashions in New England during colonial days.
April 19, 1898 Construct will begin on Bemis Bag Building...a row of cats
EB heads, the company trademark, will form cornice and at
entrance two cats will stand guard, instead of lions. Bemis
is in the burlap business. (Pg. 87)
EB More trouble about Wigwam...new bids must be submitted.
EB An Arkansas representative is in town to see to the
construction of their building. (Pg. 88)
EB A woman glass blower has secured space in the Girls & Boys Building...
Oregon has forwarded a picture of Miss Amelia Savage-Reilly of Salem.
April 20, 1898 Construction of the Denver Building assured...Interior of
EB Gov't Building will be completed within 24 hours...Building permits
issued for German Village, Wisconsin Bldg. and Onyx Soda Water.
April 21, 1898 All bids on Wigwam rejected...Work turned over to Commission
EB President Graham and other parties... (Pg. 90)
EB Afro-American Village reorganized and name changed to Old
Plantation. Awarded to Thomas Hoctor of South Omaha and J.P.
Finley of Omaha...will show an old Virginia plantation.
EB The Moorish Maze is the largest of its kind...containing 100
mirrors with a palm garden in the center. (Pg. 91)
EB A new version of the Austen Birds-eye-view in color has been completed...
showing all the changes including the state buildings in the correct places.
EB The Passenger Dept. of the NW Railway is making preparations
to bring here a party of newspaper reps from along the line
running west from Omaha.
EB Changes wrought in a year...Kountze Tract was a flat piece of
ground surrounded by a fence. Nothing was growing on it except
wild grass and weeds. Bluffs tract was a bare piece of ground
on which last year a corn crop was raised. (Pg. 91)
April 22, 1898 Thirteen workers have arrived from Arkansas to work on their
EB building. 350 pounds of gladiola bulbs sent for Horticulture
display...1000 Mays...1000 Mabels...balance finest varieties
known...beds of American Beauty and Bride Roses... beds of
verbena, pansies and cannas selected. (Pg. 91)
EB The outside of the Courthouse will be decorated and illuminated by June 1.
EB Will war effect the Exposition? (pg. 92)
April 24, 1898 The Cyclorama picture has arrived...in a box 50 feet long...
SB 13,100 lbs. The building for it is complete except for painting.
WAR IS DECLARED WITH SPAIN
April 25, 1898 Farmers are planting early crops, so that they may mature and be
EB ready for exhibit...about two weeks to a month earlier than normal.
EB Space Girls & Boys details...Girls Room..., Mothers Room...,
Nursery..., Boys Room..., upper floor will contain a restaurant,
which will be conducted under strict temperance lines.
. (Pg. 94)
EB With the exception of the Fine Arts Building, the main
buildings are practically finished and exhibits being
installed...carpenters working on the Arch of States, will
begin staff work next week...terraces in front of Agriculture,
Manufacturers, Liberal Arts, Fine Arts Buildings sodded.
Promenades at top of terraces extending along front of
buildings macadamized and graveled...gray brick is being paved
around the lagoon and red brick around the mirror...walks
through colonnades macadamized.
EB A topographical map of Douglas County, 10 ft. x 20 ft.,
showing all streams, railroads, farm houses, villages, etc.
will be shown at the Expo. (Pg. 94)
EB Work on lower portion of Fountain being pushed...piers for
bridges completed. As soon as fountain base completed, water
will be turned back on. (Pg. 95)
EB Marking with paint on floors of main buildings for exhibitors commenced...
April 26, 1898 Construction will begin on Photographic Building. It will have an
EB amateur section, where supplies kept and a darkroom for loading provided.
EB Administration Arch is being painted a pale ivory as an experiment
experiment. If successful main buildings probably treated same way.
EB The Tower of Neptune will be 48 feet high.
April 27, 1898 Apples for Nebraska display kept in cold storage since October
EB in excellent condition...firm and tasty as if freshly picked.
EB It has been decided to paint the state buildings the same color
as the main court, a pale cream color that preserves the staff.
EB A contract was awarded to Mrs. S.C. Dooley for operating an
April 28, 1898 Construction of Iowa Building about to commence...a mosaic
EB floor being laid in rotunda of Illinois Building...Wisconsin Building
getting staff...Montana Building enclosed...Georgia Building taking form.
EB Art designs for Douglas County display. (Pg. 97)
April 29, 1898 Construction of Teepee underway. (Pg. 100)
EB 31 cases of pictures in route for art exhibit...22 from New York,
7 from Chicago and 2 from Nashville. (pg. 100)
April 30, 1898 Ticket books of 100 not selling well...50 ticket booklets
EB being prepared, will be available until May 20. (Pg. 102)
EB A rumor is being circulated that the Expo will be delayed on
account of the war...there is no foundation for that rumor.
EB Henry Roltair was granted a concession for a electric theater
where will be shown (moving pictures) of the wreck of the
Maine and Havana Harbor. He will operate this instead of the
amusement feature "Night and Day." (Pg. 102)
May 1, 1898 Wigwam space staked out...some lumber on the grounds. A force
SB of men at work under the direction of Chairman Graham...In a
race with the Iowa Building. (Pg. 103)
SB Received word from Tacoma that Washington will have a Building.
May 3, 1898 Parts of the dome in the Nebraska Building fall off...
May 4, 1898 Cyclorama picture being hung...50 ticket booklets go on sale.
WH (Pg. 109)
May 9, 1898 Arch of States is the only main building still under construction…
EB bridge trusses arrive...Horticulture Building nearly complete...
May 11, 1898 Kansas and New York buildings commence construction...
Neptune statue in place.
May 13, 1898 Four carloads of sod arrive from Dodge County (not Rock
EB County) for building the Sod House. It will depict the days
of pioneers on the western prairie. (Pg. 123)
May 15, 1898 "Visions of Art" building commenced...a huge dragon with open
SB mouth, spreading wings 65 feet long...glittering eyes that
roll and change hue. It is an exhibit of living pictures.
May 18, 1898 Preparations begun for Washington State Building. It will be
EB the most expensive state building costing $25,000, measuring
50 ft x 100 ft. The material is now on the road. (Pg. 131)
EB The sod house is under construction by Ad. Morrison of Newport
and Mrs. Bowser's son. It will be 24 feet x 16 feet x 8 feet
...Mrs. Bowser will reside there during Expo. (Pg. 131)
EB After May 22, all gates will be closed to anyone without a
ticket. At present admission is charged only to the main
court at 10 cents.
May 21, 1898 Lagoon damaged in five places by heavy rains, sheet piling is
EB floating in the east end...leaks in roofs of all main
buildings...worst in Gov't Building...Giant See-Saw settles
several inches. (Pg. 137 & 142)
May 22, 1898 Sylvia Snyder of Council Bluffs one of Iowa's two most
beautiful maidens. (Includes her picture) (Pg. 141)
May 23, 1898 Construction of Oregon Building about to begin...directly
EB south of the Montana Building. It will be octagon in shape...
30 feet square, in form of a tower 50 feet high. (Pg. 143)
May 24, 1898 Lt. Dorothy Mauer, from the Salvation Army, took a hatchet to
EB a statue, protesting nudity...She and Lt. McCormick, who stood
guard, located a ladder to scale the fence, then she walked
along a 12 foot plank, that was 25 feet in the air. She
approached a statue...and attacked it furiously. When it was
changed to suit her ideas, she began on a similar statue and
was making good progress, when she attracted the night
watchman’s attention. She managed to chop off an arm and one
leg before being stopped. She claims the objectionable statue
is visible from the Salvation Army home at 20th & Pinkney.
May 26, 1898 Management and citizens at war...access on 20th Street was
EB closed off...so locals broke down the fence with axes.
Management had it repaired, but they just broke it down again…
May 27, 1898 Construction of Minnesota Building commenced...
EB "Ainslee Magazine" has an article on the T/M. (Pg. 151)
May 29, 1898 There will be elevators to the galleries in the main buildings
SB for those unable to climb the stairs.
SB "Godeys Magazine" has an article on the Expo. (Pg. 155)
SB Details of new organ in Auditorium...29' x 27' x 10' deep with
2255 pipes and 37 stops. (Pg. 152)
May 30, 1898 It has been decided to charge $1.00 for each hand held camera,
EB but no tripods...or professional quality cameras. (Pg. 157)
May 31, 1898 A Court Order was obtained to restrain...local inhabitants
EB from tearing down the Exposition walls blocking the streets...
OPENING DAY - JUNE 1, 1898
These notes compiled by Dave Wells for the Omaha Public Library in 1997-98.
History of the NE G.A.R. Posts History of the NE S.U.V.C.W. History of the NE L.G.A.R. History of the NE D.U.V.C.W.Allied Orders Indexed by Town Allied Orders Indexed by County