Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, September 15, 1892, Page 9, Image 9

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    FHE D B
Etory. of the Invention of the Magnetic
0 "Tologiap'a Ericfl ; Told.
Early Exp3riancea and Rapid Ez'.oasion of
' " - the Telegraph Lines.
Old Timers and Surviving Armj Tolog-
rapheis Meet in Omaha. x
Onmlin Urcctft Tlirm with Opnu A rum
hki'tcho * < ( Noted Ti'lncr-ipliors Itt
inlnlsccncc * ( if ( )1 < I Tlmrft mill
tli Army hurvlou.
Tno members of the Socloty of the United
B'lUes ' Military Telegraph Cores anil of the
Old Tlmo Telegraphers association urs now
holding their annual reunions in Omaha.
Thojo f ontlomon nro the planners in cnoof
the most wonderful inventions of the ages.
They nro epoch milkers , and Omaha has
opined Its heart and its arms in n warm wel
i come bcfltlluc the honor of entertaining so
remarkable and distinguished a body of mou.
Yostcrdny the visitors were shown many
i.ttonllons , concluding with u banquet at tha
Mlllard last night , and the survivors of the
nrmy telegraph sorvlco held their annual
business mooting. A rnporl of these pro
ceedings will bo lound clsawhero In this
iin'rlnieiiti : | ill Hurly I'ivoills tor <
OriMvnril liy Ceiilni.
The various stops by which the magnetic
Iclutraph was evolved forms ono of the most
Interest ing chapters in Uio history of scion-
ttho roscnroh nnd achievement , and the date
of its successful operation marks an epoch
in the progress of the world. Llko all great
nchlcvemunts , it. was not compissed in uduy.
Generations xvcro born and passo.1 away
nftcr its llrst incnp'.lon , each adding its mite
to the already cxluing knowledge of tlio
electrical science , before tha initial discov
eries of G.ilvnni und Volti , of Oersted and of
Ampere \vero merged into that , mir.iclo of
Human Ingenuity , the toleirraph ol today.
The history of the oloctrio telorapu maybe
bo said to huvo hud its beginning a llttlo over
n century aeo. That electricity existed as nn
element liua boun known many years before ,
. .but the discoveries of Galvar.l in IT'.iU und of
Volta In 1830 Mrs ; btoaght to light the princi
ple from which aubsiquont ingenuity has
ovolvca the telegraph of today. Ualvnni
Uoinonbtnitod that electricity could ho prod -
d u cod by the chemical action of aclJs upon
inctnls. und too galvanic battery still cxibts
to immortalize his achievement.
With the discovery of galvanism the
Bclenco of clcolrology oinorgaJ from the
shadows of obscurity and Incredulity
nnd came to be regarded as an element of
practical utility In the scientific world. But
its subsequent development was slow and
Etc. laborious. la 1800 the discovery of ( Jalvanl
was conllrmed und brought into moro promi
nent notice by thu researches of Volta , and
torn. the discovery ot oleotro-matrnollsm by Prof.
Oersled In 1810 was a step of no lltllo im
portance toward the utilization of thu elec
tric current as a voulclo for human thought.
An litirly Attoinpt.
The discovery of I'rof. Oersted was practi
cally demonstrated bv M. Ampere , nn emi
are nent French physicist , who invented an
electro-magnetic tolepr.iph in which ho used
as many wires ns there wcro loiters In thu
nlpnabot and broke nnd restored the circuit
by keys arranged much the sumo as the key
board of . But M. '
a piuno. Ampere's inven
; ith tion was purely experimental and was never
brought to practical uses. 'I he power to cm-
ploy a single wire by using the earth
to completetho circuit and of
mnklng the magnetic current record
Its ulterancos in distinct characters
was left to n future generation to discover.
The possibility of transmitting the electric
current ever long distances was demonstrated
by I'tof. Joseph Ilonry of Princeton collcso
UilBUl. und two years later Weber , n Gor-
innn electrician , fauna that a copper wire
strung from stcoplo to steeple over the city
of Goltinuen requited no insulation.
In 1637 the Hist attempts were made to
npply olecttlcal .scicnco to practical pur
poses. In July of that year n registering
dcctro-mngnolio tclcgrnpli was constructed
between Munich nnd llogcnhauscr. liy which
n n line f ribbon was passed under a deflected
nccdlo by clockwork and received the Im
press of dots ntul dashes which represented
the letters of thu alphabet. About the sumo
tlmo a patent was granted to Cocko und
Whcatstono in Encland for a simitar Inven
tion. Hut it was reserved for Amcilcan in
genuity nnd ontorpnso to mcrgo tbo discov
eries of the past Into the most subllmo
ochlovomont of modern sclunco and togivo to
tbo world an invention that would changotho
cnllro social , commercial and sciontilio com
plexion of the ago.
Tliu Worlt oT Murxc.
The name which moro limn all others Is In
timately associated with the history of the
telegraph Is tlial of Samuel Findlay Brccso
Worse of Now York. I'rof. Morse waf born
ntCtiarlcstown , Mass. , April ID , 17'Jl. ' Ho
was educated at Yule college and took bis
degree In 1H10 ,
Ills tlrst ambition was to Become an artist ,
nnd the year after his graduation ho went to
London to stuuy under Honumln ] West. Ho
relumed to America In Iblfi and tollowod his
profession for some yours , at the snino tlao
developing an ardent pnssicm for scicntlllc
eiudles. 1) Hi-Ing this period ho founded the
Njitloal | | Aendomy of Design In Now Vork
nnd was Its president a number of yours.
In IB'JD ho again visited Kuropo , and It
jiorv- " was on his voyage- homo thrco years later on
aole f-"J ! tliu puckotsblp that ho conceived the Idea of
tint recording telegraph wtilch boars his namo.
Krom the moment that thut idea bnd bcvu
Biirccusfully canlad out bis triumph was
M complete. Ho wont frequently abroad nnd
win received like a prince ( intend of u plain
American citizen. Ho was made n member
of most , of the learned societies of both con
tinents and was prmuntod with the decora
tions of numerous orders.
I'rof. Mono In described ns a man In whom
simplicity und energy were tbo pruuamlnani
irults. Ho was generous In hU disposition
nnd loyal in his friendship ! . On Juno 10
1ST ! , ho was piosontnt the unveiling of a
1C bronze stutuo of himself ut Central Park
NuwCYorlf , and till Init uppeurunco In pubilo
vu uHhO'Unvellins of thu Hta'uoof Hon-
liuiiln Franklin In New i'ork In the follow
ing January , Hu died In New Yoric cltv
AMllU'.lh7J | , mid wu followed to his grave
liy many of the most Illustrious porsoimcs ; ;
of the ate.
. . lloeliinniKi ut thw .Mo mo Sjntrin ,
The tlrst attempt of Prof. Morse to prac
tlcullv demoiutrato his idou was In the uul
veraity of New York in 1633. Savontooi
hundred foot of wire were strung uround thu
room and connected with a rudely con
Urncteu recording inucnluo. Tuo export
proved tbo practicability of the tele
rnph , nnd the next few yours wcro spent In
lorfectinjr the invention.
It was not until 1MI that the llrst electro-
mupnctlc telost'iiph line was established In
ho United States , It Mat forty mlles In
ongth , extruding from Haltitnoro to Wash-
nclon , nnd was built bv government aid ,
Jn Muy 27 , 1841 , the words , "What hntti
jlod wrought , " wuro limbed over the wire ,
nd the tirst tolegruph message had been
uccessfully transmitted. A sloes company
vns then formed , of which Amos Kendall
vas president. Other Inventors , among
vhom were Uain , Hotiso nnd Hughes , pai
nted tclograph systems , which dlf-
cr d In some icspects from
hat of I'rof. Morse , nnrt suhirquent Im-
irovomonts in electrical ai > , > llinco3 have
irought the tclograph to lu present perfoc-
Two dnyi after the opening of the line bu-
wccn v\ashlngtoi : nnd Uiltlmore , wbon the
democratic n < itlonnl con veil lion ut Baltimore
nominated Jatnus K. 1'olK nnd Sitai Wright
or president nnd vlco president , Vail , the
operator nnd electrician ni Daltlmoro. sent
ho new ? of Urn nomination to I'rof. .Morse.
\ \ ho was holding down the Washington end
of the wire In the cnpllol. I'rof. Marso
irotnplly carried the dispatch to Slla-t
Wriuht. then a United States senator from
Now York. Senator Wright later In the
Iny sent n telegram to BMtlmo-o , or rather
florae sent It for him , declining the nomiua-
lon , but the Intelligent dumocraltc conven
tion , thoroughly imbued with the doubt *
and skepticism ot Unit duv about the fact of
: clucrn | > uy , was too Incredulous to credit the
truth of tbo dispatch , und upnotntad n corn-
nlttco to co to Washington and vjrlty it.
They returned the next d.w with Mr.
Wright's written nnd formal declination ,
and til ? ronvontlrvi subsequently nominated
Mr. Dallas for tbn view presidency.
Itaplil ( ironth ot tlio Tctugriipli.
In 1SI. > n line w&s complqtod between Now
York und Wilminston , Del. , but the gup ba-
twren Wilmington nnd Baltimore was not
tiled In until Into In lijtii , und lor some time
lows of hiutlos In Mexico was wired from
Washington to Ualtlmcr , then taken by
mail to Wilmington anil llicnco wired to Now
York , or rather to Jersey City , for there was
novlro coaimunichtlon between Jersey Ci'y
nnd thij mctropalls of the now world until
lain in ISIS. In 1S4'1 ' lines from New York
o Hnston nnd fiom Albany to Quffalo were
built nnd It was not until ISlTthat Now York
nnd Albany and Philadelphia and Plttsburg
wcro connected. vVashington had extended
its wires south only us tar as Petersburg ,
Vn. , late In 1817 and Now Orleans was
reuchud by the coast line in 1830. Enrlv in
ISIS Chicago , then u barg with onlv 'JO.OOO
nliatiiUnts , was ( list favored with telegraphic -
graphic communication with the furuwiw
east. Cincinnati roacnco out to St. Louis
in 1S48 , nnd In the winter of 1S4S-19 n line
was completed from Louisville to Now
Orleans. Hoston shook hands with Portland ,
Mo. , St. Johns and Halifax In IS51.
This epitome of early nroL'ross carries the
ilcetrla telegraph ever Its llrst six years of
oxlstenco in this country , nnd two years
liter , in 1852 , whoa ttmru was quite a"n ox-
tmisivo network of wires uxtondlog from
Halifax to Now Orleans nnd from Now York
to St. Louis the wildcat dream of telegraph
niiiilneers and electrician- ? was only to estab
lish communication between the Atlantic
and Pncillc coatls. Henrv O'Kmlly , ono of
the most energetic and pjrs vering of telc-
praph projectors in thoie oarlv days , urged
congress bv tnomorlilt in ISVi to uiuibllsh
lelegruphiu und letter mad communication
with the Pacillccoast.
As late ns IS.Vi the Idea of connecting
America with Europe by ocean cables was
regarded us uttcrlv absurd , but tlu Borinif
sea route was talked of bv electricians ns
feasible. What was then considered 111 ab
surd is now nn accompli lied , caiv , cheap
fact , and what was thought feasible the
licrlnir sea or land route has been aban
doned after a costly but unsuccessful at
tempt to roach Europe via Alaska and
In ISoO there were morothanflftydiffercnt
companies In operation In the United States ,
and competition v/as so sharp bolwi'cn New
York and Boston thut messages of tun words
were sent for ' . ' 0 cunts , wnllo at the same
date the rates from Now Yorlt to Now Or-
ieuns were ? J.-IO for ten words for both com
merciol business Mid press dispatches. The
press , after the first telegraph lines wcro put
in operation , soon began to use- them for tbo
transmission of news. The expanses were
heavy , nnd tha blunders of the telegraph
inanv , consequently the dispatches wcro
brief and frequently unintelligible.
I'reas PUpatuIics ,
Tbo Baltimore Patriot was the llrst
newspaper to use tbo telegraph , the Mor > o
line batwcon Washington and Baltimore , to
obtain news in the winter of IS 11- ! . " ; . I n the
foil of 18111 news dHUitchu ? wore sent to
nowsoupars between Now York and Wash
ington , but it was an irragular , uncertain nnd
slow service , and continued so for live or six
An amusing Incident , illustrative of thu
cnlororiso and of the dilllcultlos pressmen
had tooDntoiid with , happened In Ibh. The
whig convention met , at Philadelphia that
year , and the Now Yjrkirs deter
mined to get tbo news of tno noml-
natio&s at tbo earliest poislblo mo
ment. Jersey City was the northern
end of the line , and dispatches had to
bo curried over the ferry to Now Yoric city.
But the Now York press mon , in order to
gain time , devised a plan to flag the nnir.o of
the presidential nominee across tbo river.
There were two leading candidates General
Tnvlor anil Henry Clay ono of whom was
sum to pot the nomination. ThodNpluy of
n white llae on the Jersey City side meant
Taylor's nomination , or n red Hag , Clay's.
The reporters who davhod this scnomo
know nothlnc about a similar system of flag
ging stock cxuhaugo news from Now York
to Jersey City , add so It happened that when
the prosn reporter who was stationed on
Corilunatstraat pier saw a whlto flag wav
ing in tha hands of a broker nun on the Jersey
soy City dook he hastened to the telegraph
o til res nnd nominated General Tavior
throughout the north und east , nnd hundreds
of BUOS were fired that night by whlgs to
cPletirato the ovont. As a matter of fact ,
however , General 'Jaylor was not nominated
by tha convention until the noxl day , nnd so
it turned out thut this was not what news
paper mon would call a take It was a scoop ,
though , nnd n queer one , too , Tno Now
York reporters had only scooped
themselves , for they hud to repeat
peat tuo sumo news the next day.
WAK ori'itiK < ui'iiiiiiit.
limy unil Successful Ciircuruf HU Olil Tlinn
Mr. George C. Maynard , now an electrical
engineer \Vnstilticton , IX O. , commenced
telegraphing on tba Speed line at A up Arbor ,
Mil. ( IKOIKli : COI.TON MAY.VAltl )
Mloh. , when bo wu llftoon year * old. Ilo
served at operator , messenger , batterymai
und line repairer while tbo one , rusty , No. I
wire of thu Erlo & Michigan oampany developed
oped Into the oxtcnilvn nnd substantial sys
tem of the We.torn Union , and took a hand
at railroad toleKrupblng oil the Mlcbigai
Central. Tbo war called him into the mill
tary telegraph corpit whcro bo served a *
Ipher operator , being ono ol tha most vol
uble men In the Wur ortlcc.
Sub' eqii"ntly ho became chief oparator of
ho Western Union nt Winhlnpton , ami in
b U ho went to the signal onico to organize
ho weather reporting scrvlco. Two yoiw
ator ho resigned from government omoloy to
engage In buslticis ns constructor of tolo-
grarib llnoi ntul In gouor.ii electrical business ,
vhich ho still continues. Hn nsslstcd G ra
il u in Hell In bis early telephonic work and
Inco that time has boon lamely Interested
n the telephone business , at well as oloctrln
lent and kindred enterprises.
Hols n prominent writer on telegraphic
subjects nnd roproionu the Electrical II-
view in Washington. Last year ho was proi-
dent of the Old Tlmo Telegraph a sociatlon
nnd Is now the f ccretary of the American
Association of Inventors of whioti the in
ventor of the Galling gun Is president.
: V AIU : viriit.vss. : :
r\v I'lonoori In tin ! , M iiljr.i Kovoliitton nt
rcoo. .
George M. Dugan of Jackson , Tenn. , super
ntcndcntot telegraph forthti Illinois Centra
railroad , Is onu of tha oldest telegraphers in
continuous service In tbo world. He learned
the art In 1S."JO , almost ut tba very boglnninc
of the business , und Isor.o of tha bait known
nnd mr > st popular men in tba service.
ciuiii.r.s TAYI.OII ,
Charles Taylor , manager for the Western
Union at Frankfort. ICv. , Is nn old timer with
a very wide acquaintance. Ho has bnd an
extensive experience in various important
positions and' is very popular among mem
bers of the service.
J iiisr IN I > INVIK. :
A Votcr.iu lu liuth thu K.ittpru unit Western
B. F. Woodward [ of Denver entered the
Philadelphia oftlco of the Atlantic & Ohio
Telogiuph company in ISVJ , when there wus
no railroad in Pennsylvania west of Hunt
ing-ton. In 1S5I ho was sent to Pittsburg.
Tbd Western Union line was extended to
that city from Cleveland in Ibo5 , and six
months later Mr. Woodward was mndo
manager for that company.
Ho volunteered in ISOi for service In the
military telegraph , und after a month at
Washington wns commissioned cipherer at
General Peck's headquarters at Suffolk. Va. ,
the advanced post of the Army of the Pete
mac. In tha following sprin ? ho reslgtiod
with tha munition of going to California , but
Hiboard at Onialu parsuadnd him logo to
Denver to take chnrgo of nn onico for u linu
about to be built to tha' . place.
Tbo metropolis of the new e'dorado ' was
200 miles from the tulograph and clamorad
for a line. E ( ward Crcighton raised u sub
scription of over $ JOOOJ , and the line was
opened October 10 , Ib03. The tuilff on ton
words wnsi ! .10 toCbloigo , f 9.10 to Now York
nnd j'J.'J.'i to Boston. In u stiort lima Mr.
Woodward was given an assistant in tlio pur-
son of Samuel Reynolds , afterward of tbo
linn of Ko.vnolds Bros. , shoo manufacturers
at Ulicu. N. Y. . now wealthy und retired.
In Ib07 Mr. Woodward retired from the
Western Ur.ion und organized the United
States & Mexico Telegraph company , which
built lines from D.-nvor to Cheyenne and
SanU EV. It wns subsequently absoibed by
the Western Union , unil Mr , Woodward be
came superintendent of the latter for Colorado
rado and New Mexico , lu 1875 ho was up-
pointed tclccrnphlo superintendent of tha
Denver & Hio Grundu railroad and con
structed the most perfect system of railroad
wires then In tbo country. Ho retired from
this position In 18SI , nnd slnco then has
glvon bis whole tlmo to private Interests ,
having been Idontlllod with many of tbo
notable enterprises of Denver.
The Uoclclt'4 of Tlielr llo.u'ts uro Warmed
by ftmnlnUcciiriH.
One of the most pleasant features of tha
reunion of the old time telegrapher * is tbo
revival of old memories tbat have slumbered
since days long gor.u br. Sim ? of tbo old-
timers have beou participants in many
scenes , stirring , humorous nnd pathetic , and
many are the uxporloncoj called to mind by
thoslehtof the old familiar faces.
Among the men who nrrlvoJ yesterday
was Colonel W. I ) . Wilson of Philadelphia ;
superintendent of telegraphs lor the Penn
sylvania road , and W , J. Dzaly of New
Yorlt. Colonel Wilson taught Mr. Doaly the
Morse alphabet thirty-five years ago. Mr ,
Doaly thought ho was not cut out lor an
operator , but his tutor was convinced that
bo wus and finally saw him begin
ai the bottom of the ladder , Mr.
Dealy Is now the Now York manager
of the Western Union.
William Wlluy Smith , now manager of the
telephone company ut Kansas Cltv boL'an
Ufa as u telegraph operator In 1SVJ. Amontr
Ins early experiences wns the following ,
which ho related to a group of his old com-
radoi ;
"In tho'.10's ' I
wus employed by the New
Orleans .t Ohio Telegraph rompany nt Louis
ville , und wus assigned to the Notv Orleans
wire. On Thanksgiving day I was loft ulono
In the oillco , tno other operators having
cleared their ' .vires of business und gone.
The morning being cool I hud pulled my
chulr up to tnostovf , and with my clip of
paper on my knee wns receiving from Now
Orleans , my Instrument being some ton feet
awuy. A gentleman , a stranger to mo ,
found bis way Into the room , and stood
watching me. Pretty soon I had finished ,
und golnir to my table gave Now Orleans the
sign ' 0,1C.1 and 'Good Morning. ' Then tbo
gunllmnun asked mo whutl hud boon doing
while tilting ut the stovo. I replied : 'I was
rncolvlng from New Orleans , ' Said ho :
'Can you do that so fnr away f I answered :
'Certainly , the room Is quiet.1 Then ho
nsked 'Arc tor I' Isold
: you our now oporn :
'I am now hero , but hardly know whom I
belong to.1 After a few tnoru questions ho
left without tolling mo rvho lie wus , I
learned aftui wards that It wus Dr , Norvla
Green , president of tbo company I was then
working for , and now prosulant of tbo West
ern Union , I had made u hit. Tbo doctor
bad uot seen it uooo before , und thought I
was n wonder. Any of the men could have
doao as I did , bat ho did hot npnrbclito u. "
Among iho chnr.ictor * who ate known to
every old-timo operator is Boenrdu' , or
"Bogy" ns bo Is morn commonly known.
"Bojyu Is n typical spodmen of the genus
tramp , nod there Is scarcely n tclornphor
In tno United Slntes who' "bus tn > t nt some
time encountered .pirn. "Boity" bus stolen
moro rides , tramped moro miles nnd per
formed more ubiquitous trials than nnv man
In Iho country. His , is nn lim
it ml , nud hU clieok U always on draft.
Whllo JcssoBunncllof Now Yorlt wasdlnlnc
nt the Mercer last evening , a porter entered
nnd hinded him n soiled nnd ctumplod bit of
paper. Ho unfolded U nud deciphered Ibo
following : '
" ' 7J' I'm broke sohd "
, me f I , Boov.
Tbo request wns honored ut once , nnd n
quartet of veterans who had boun waiting
oulsldo tbo door received thu slmoteon , and
went outstda to tmvo'n drink and n laugh on
J. tt. Bunnoll , who Is nt the head of n big
electrical supply housn lu New York , wns
found by a reporter In coaipany with J , J ,
Dickey nnd Captain Palmer ut the Omahn
club. During iho
lat : war , Mr. Bun-
i ell was stntloaed
as operator ut the
headquarters Of
GoncraMMcClollatt. '
nnd Burn ides tint '
til ISO , when ho ,
wus ordered west
and served rcspecT
lively at the head
quarters of Hoso- ,
oranz. Thomas nnd
S h o r m n n. "Thi ,
old war telegraphers - V
ors now In yourJ {
city , " said Mr. I
Bunnoll , "nro men *
lancing in ago- J. it. IIUXXKI.L , ISO ! ,
from 47 to ( Ki years. lu the o stirring days
they were nearly all yery young man , from
It ! up to'J3or . *
" 1 can understand1 now , nt this Into day ,
why the commanding generals , gravbnircu
men , ns many of them ; were , exercised such n
peculiar interest In us , ' Wo were all boys' ,
were lads , ns were the bonn and slnoiv of the
great army that put down Iho rebellion
and preserved the union. Why , I have boys
of my own now , older than we were when
doing our perilous work in the field. I have
only 10 close my eyes and look back IhroUgh
tbo dim vista of all these intervening years
and Iivo over Ibosa old days. J cannot refrain -
frain from adding that it Is a source of un
alloyed gratlllcation to know loday thut a
fair number of thosp youthful war teleg
raphers have become tnoro or less promi
nent in this busy commercial world of ( ours.
They are to bo found In the railroadstlnanco ,
journalisms and manufacture nud ' have
Rotten along well , Mr. Uoscwalcr of tour
city being a brlght'tjnd shining example.
When I remember Mr. Uosewaler he.wus
on duty in the secretary of war's olllce. "
When Wire * Wcro KrYetohpd Across the
Mlixoiirl < i'nMitits. .
It Is possible that * Gjorgo Gardiner ot
Omaha , line rebalror foij the AVojtern Union ,
Is the old.'st man in , America in length of
continuous service lu nil department of the
business. On NovemioT irt lSOl , ho wns
cmploved ov Manager' B. Hiso-.vator of tha
Atlantic & Puolllu Telegraph comoany , nnd
ho UU3 continued u-ilh'tjlmt company und its
successor till tha present.
For two years Mr. GirdinQ V then n , young
man , cleancd.battcric iid carried massages
ns well as repaireif lices } nnd when bo was
out of town anolherboy jyas unpaged to act
as mojsanger. which quite forcibly Indicates
the change In the teloirnph business of
Omaha. There was'onlv ono line west , and
Iho young repairer liau'luruuletlon ni fur as
Columbus. " " There being-tio railroad , bo had
to make his trips by wagon or'on horsooack ,
and tha Insulators of these davs wcro so un-
wieldly that ho could carry but two on ono
side of bis saddlebags.
From the east came one wire , which
crossed the Missouri 'nt ' u narrow point
about a milo and n' half north of Paruam
streot. On either sido.of Ihn river was a
must 100 feet high , and the single WHO was
stretched from ono to tbo other. Several
years later musts 12T feet bi h wore substi
tuted , end they carried 'ten ' wires. At ono
lime it was intended to. use a cable and ono
was bought and brought to Omuha. It Wns
never laid because the .channel of the river
shifted so often It was thought it , vould beef
of only temporary sorvlco. The Great West
ern co'mpuny sunk a cablu in thu river about
ISOd , but it never worked. When tbo fas.
Union Puciflo bridge was completed Ihe
telegraph company sought to siring its
wires across ibo river ou that structure , but
It only succeeded after oVycar's light.
To the south ihera was onu vlro along the
highway known ns the ' road. This
was maintained until two or three yours ago ,
although it was necessary to use teams in
keeping It in repair. The oillco , when Mr.
Gardiner entered tbo dcrvice , wns on thu
second floor of tbo bulldin ? at Fourteenth
and Farnnm streets , now occupied by Van
Colt'H juwelry store , und later it wns moved
to the rear of the second floor of iho Hcllman
block ut Thirteenth nnd Farnnm. The busi
ness has increased so greatly that Gardiner's
work Is now almost wholly In the city , ana
bo has to have assistants * lo keep lha Omuha
lines in order.
Ills Ollleo Mailo Too Warm JlyAu Unuvl-
eoinu MiL'll ,
Mr. William II.
Woodrlng , general
manager of ibo
Kansas City Elec
trical works , was
born in 1811 , in
Pennsylvania. Ho
begun telegraphy
In Frcoport , III , , In
1855 , first us a
messenger , but
/ > < wus soon promoted
* ' .vt V I tonnoporatorshlp.
Ilo wns manager of ibo tfllco ut Hock Island ,
at breaking out of lha wir , but rajignnd and
enlisted as a private sojdlcr In Iho Thir
teenth Illinois iufmitrj , Hu sorvcd with
the rcplmcnt In thu'lioldl until March , 18U2 ,
when ho was detailed'onf the order of Major
General Hallcclc wlth.ordow to report for
duty to the superintendent o ( military tele
graph , Major George II. iSmltb , nt St. Louiii.
Wooarlng wus seat to ijobauon , Mo. , but in
three months was prdwod to Sprlngllold ,
Mo. , where ho remainedawo years at mili
tary headquarters , I
In January , ISM , , tbo [ town was attacked
by a largo forca nt ( ho ohamy under General
Marmaduko , Into yovornbr ot Missouri. Mr.
Woodrmg uud bis nsslstantu armed them ,
selves and assisted In repulsing tbo enemy ,
doing duty in the forts , rltlo pits , and bohltid
Iho sheltering shade rcos , within short
mubket range of tha attacking pnrty. Tbo
engagement lasted serci ) hour * . Ono of the
assistants , Henry J , Ilriffes , was killed while
In the r.ct of llrinif bis last ourtrldco at the
rebels , who had runchodja point within itoo
yards of tbu buadquartors building.
Woodrlnu returned to ( ho onico uvery hour
during the battle to report by telegraph to
department headquarters ut St. Louis.
Going to tbo oftlco at 'duslc , ' ho bad quite a
lively experience , rjtiells wcro Hying in
close proximity to headquarters when ho got
thoro. Ilo was lu tbo act of lighting a
bracket oil lump whun a shell crushed
through the side of tha bullalne , passing
within a few feet of bis head. U struck tbo
brick fireplace , bounded back and rolled be
tween bis font and tbo wall. Ho hurriedly
disconnected hU inftrurnonU and took them
to the quartermaster's supply building , four
blocks' away , and there opened a tempo
rary ofllco. Tha onuiny soon uftor cut
and destroyed the wires ( or many mllou.tlius
proventlng further voroniunlc-atlou with St ,
Louis. , '
Thu next Oay tbo general In command gave
Wood ring an escort of twenty-ono nun und
Instmctca him to proceed eastward along the
telbcrapi road until ho could open communi
cation with St. Louis. The enemy had re.
treated over ttilt roud and lu order to ob
struct iho wny ns much as possible stretched
the cut wires across it , fastening them to fences
nnd trees on cither side. The party only
traveled tun miles thut evening. Cnmpint ;
nt noon the next Ony , twenty-live mUo.i Out ,
the escort , composed of state tnllitia , hold n
consultation and nil but ono man dcMod to
return to Springfield , Woodrlng called for
volunteers to accompany him. Hob Bates ,
his repairer , nnd ono soldier responacil ,
Thov reached the picket line nt Lebanon
after dark nnd at uexdqunrtcrs were cordially
received. After A hasty supper WooJrlng
sent hli dispatches and received tlio hearty
congratulations of all the operator * alonu the
line , tboy bavlttg heard that Sprmcllcld had
surrendered. The sergeant In command of
the escort on returning to Springfield wus
nrnistcd , cadrimarilalcd for cowardice and
reduced to tbo ranks.
lu June , lblt ; , Woodrlng revisited Illinois
on n furlough ot thirty dnvs and returned to
Sprincllold with n charming young bride.
The following year ho wns sent to Fort
Smith , Ark. , whcro he remained until Sep
tember. In October , in company with three
other good operators , bo was sent to thu De
partments of Washington nnd the Potomac ,
which were in creat need of operators dur
ing tba siege of Petersburg and Kichmoiul.
Woodrlng served In tha War department
onico nt Washington a short time and was
sent thence to Fortress Monroe , the main re
pealing station between Grant's hoadqunrtcrs
nnd Washington.
Ho returned to St. Louis In November , 1SOI ,
and went nt o-co 10 Sprluglleld , III. , where
bo wns mustered out , Having been In the
government servlco tbrconnd one-hulf years ,
In January , 1S05 , ho was appointed manager
of tbo telegraph ofllco at Kt. Joseph , nnd
wns chief operator of tba Kansas City ofllco
from 1S7S to IbSO. Ho then loft the telegraph
scrvlco to engage In other pursuits.
Mr. Wondrlng has several war rellos.nmong
them the nncxplodod shell which was thrown
into the ofllco ut Springfield. Ho had several
nnrrow escapes from being captured by
bushwhackers In his travels through tbo
southwestern part of Missouri unattended
by nnnoa escorts. These outlaws were very
thick and frequently captured wagon trains
and travelers , burning the fonner and ruth
lessly murdering thu latter.
Scut ( tie News of tlio llnttlo Above the
Jesse II. Bunnoll volunteered for the tolo-
graphlc service early in IbOl , nnd one of his
first stations was nt Annapolis , but ho was
soon sent to Hampton , Va. When McClel-
lan concentrated his army at Yorktown -
town and proposed
moving on to Richmond
mend by water
Bunnoll was the
operator nt his
be n d q u n r tor ,
which had boon es
tablished on noard
the steamer Com
modore. In > ester-
rlny's ' BIB : nppearcd
the slorv of Ibo
v o u n p operator's
Intelligent nnd ho-
role service at , iho
.1. H. iii-XNKi.1. ISO ) . baltlo of Gaines'
Mills , by which the federal nrmy wus saved
from defeat.
Ho wus attached to McClollan's command
until Iho summerof 1W13. when ho wns
transferred to Ihrt headquurlors of Hosocrans
ot Tennessee , whiiro his "aetivo , intolll-
gent nud fenrleis" work under flro was
olllelully commended by Colonel Van
Duser , superintendent of telegraph.
Hu was at Chattanooga when Iho battles
of Lookout mountain und Missionary
Rldgo were fought , nnd he had the satisfac
tion of scndmg-out the news oven if ho did
have to woHt day and night. Ilo accompan
ied Thomas In his campaign ngcinst J. E.
Johnston , and throughout his scrvlco was
considered ono of the best men in the corps.
Important Part < > T an Omuli.i Man In West
ern Cuiittriictlnn.
Mr. J. J. Dlckoy of Omaha , district super
intendent for the Western Union , has had
an active career covering moro than one-half
the telctrrapblo period. Hollvcd at Ottawa ,
111. , In 18. > 9 , nnd the famllv residence was
npxt door to thatof Judge Caton , who was
tha builder and owner of the Illinois & Miss
issippi company's lines. The judge
lived a milo or two out of town
and had an instrument ut his home ,
on which ho called up the men alone
tco line as occasion demanded , or ordered
his groceries from downtown. Young
Dlckoy. frequently dropping Into the neigh
bor's bouse , learned thourtof ' sending ana
reading messages , nud tho'Judgo got Into the
habit of using him for.jmergonclaBending
him out to 1111 vacancies temporarily.
The younir man was studvlng law at the
tune , but ho got married and found the law a
poor support. Thereupon , in 1 03 , ho took
up telegraphy ns a buslnois und was given
tbo onico at Bluu Island , now
n Chicago suburb. Hu salary
was tbo munificent sum of ? . ' ! > a
month , but when bu was promote 1 to tno
Peru ofllca It was increased to )5 ) , which
was considered u treat advance. For u year
ho u&ea the Morse register , which all opera
tors omployiid In these days. It was thought
beyond human skill to road uiossacs bv
sound , and the railroad oftlcluls particularly
objected to any experiments of thut kind on
the ground that It was not sale or reliable.
Mr. Ulcuoy not only acted as duy and night
operator , but tlckot and express agent , and
ho also handled freight and kept his line in
repair half way to the next olllc-i on oltbor
side of him.
Later ho was transferred to Ot'.owawhere
ho became auditor and gonnral bookkeeper
for the Caton lines besides running the local
In tboso days there wcro a number of telegraph
graph companies , and these east of the Mis
souri entered into u compact known as tbo
"six-party contract1 by which they divided
the territory to prevent competition , The
Now England operated east ot New York ,
the American In Now Yorlt. tbo W .atom
Union in Ohio und Indiana , tbo
Illinois & Mississippi In Illinois , Iowa
and a part of Missouri , the South
western in the south and the North was turn
In Wisconsin and Minnesota. West of Omaha
were the lines of Edward Crelghton of this
ulty and out on tbo coast wiii stilt auothor
company , but the latter two were not in the
compact. In bending a message from Uokton
to San Francisco It was curried by the Now
England to Now York , by the American to
Cleveland , by tbu Western Union to Chicago
cage , by tbo Cuton line to Omaha , by tbo
Crelghton line to Salt Lake und thence by
tue.coast company to its destination. Each
company hud u local tariff und bad to trans
fer the message to the next in lino. As u con-
bcijuenco II u tcli'L-ram was sent to Califor
nia und uu answer roculvod insldo of u week
It was considered prulty good tlmo. Tbo
cost of ton words from Now York to Ban
FrancUco was llvo or six dollars.
MDlckoy remained at Ottawa until 16117.
when tha Wvstorn Union hud absorbed ull
the eastern lines and iccured a perpetual
loato of the Cuton property. Ho was trans
ferred to Chicago ut chief clerk for tbu
Western Union superintendent , and In
August. IbUD , ho was unpointed superintend
ent of the Union Puolflo telegraph sysUiin ,
which at that tlmo handled commercial busi
Subsequently tha Union Pacific formed
nnulllMica with the Atlantic & Pud lie , nnow
line that had reached Chlraco , nnd for a con
nection between that city aim Omaha they
used another line Known ns tha Great West
ern. This arraneamcnt coatlnuod for several
year * , and Mr. Dlckoy became superintend
ent of construction for tbo Atlantic & Pa-
cilia In tha west , In nJdltlon to his other
duties , But In 1S7. " > Uio Western Union ab
sorbed tbo Atlantic & Paclllo.
Jay Gould and his friends began tha con
struction of the American Union ns a rival
of the Western Union , nnd Mr. Dlckoy had
chureo of Its construction west of Chicago.
About 1S31 thi > Union Paclllo brnka Its *
friendly alliance with the Western Union and
throw out tbo latter's wlros. It formed n
now compact with tbo American Union , and
n bitter war followed for a year. Goulu
quietly bought up n controlling interest In
the Western Union , when the rival commer
cial companion wcro consolidated. Mr.
Dlckoy was uinOo superintendent , of the con
solidated lines , and also continued tils posi
tion with the Union Pacltlo until 1SS'3 , slnca
which time ha bus given his whole time to the
Western Union.
Whan ho came to Omnha In ISO' ) the Western
orn Union employed six operators and bed
savcii or eight wires. Now theio arc over 10J
operators nnd moro than 100 wires. Tbero
nro mom clerks In the superintendent's
ofllco today than tha entire force in these
days , and tbo business ofllco ulono has
twice ns many employes. In IktlO , the
tariff on ten words from Omaha wai f-'t to
San Francisco , f'J.fil ) to Now York , $ I.'J. " > to
Chicago , and ? 1.V > to North Platto. Today
it is To , 60 , 3. ) and -10 cents respcctlvclv.
Now It costs $1 for ton words sent across the
continent as against $5 f > 0 thlrty-lhroo years
ago. At that tlmo there was but onu
through wire to Sun Fratuiisco. Today
there uro twonty-llvo from different points
on tbo Missouri.
In 1S.19 wages of operators ranged from
$ -3 to $50 n month. The higher figure was
paid to the agents of the chief stations , nnd
they were expected to turu switches , handle
freight and repair tolacrnph linos. The In-
cnnibo in the business advanced tba salaries
of tbo operators , and west of Omaha In
18(511 ( , whore the men had to Iivo on sagebrush
brush , they ranged from 190 to $140. These
were probably the highest salaried men of
these days , und there wcro not many of
thoin. The mon in the Western Union's
Omahn ofllco today receive from $50 to tSO.
It will be seen from this sketch that Mr.
Dlckoy has been u must Important factor lu
tuo development of the telegraph system in
the west. Hn has constructed or recon
structed most of ttiu lines of the great Union
Pacillc system , nnd ho built many hun
dred mlles uotwoan Chicago and the Mis
souri. Slnco occoming identified with the
Western Union ho hns constructed a vast
network west of tno Missouri. Ho is now
superintendent of an ompiio extending from
the river to the gr.'at bait Like , nnd from
the Klo Grande to South Dakota. Hi dis
trict takes In thirteen states and territories
m wbolo or in part.
itosi : I.-KO.U THK IAMCS. :
Cnrrcr of n < Jr 'iit Ittillrimil Miiimgcr Who
itrxati as mi Operator.
Mr. Marvin Hughut , prosldont of the
Chicago & Northwestern railway bystcm.
is an oldtlmo telegrapher. He began at the
ago of 14 in the scrvlco of the Now York ,
Albany oc Buffalo Telegraph company at
Auburn nnd Albany , N. Y.
In 1654 bo wont to Chlc.ioro and took a key
In the o 111 co of the Illinois & Mississippi
Telegraph company. Two years later he
was placed In charge of the telegraph svbtein
of tbo St. Louis , Alton & Chicago railroad
( now Chicago & Altonwith ) ofllco at Bloomington -
ington , III. , nnd in addition was raado train
master. In 1SIV2 he took charge at Centralin ,
111. , of tbo southern end of the Illinois Cen
tral , but In two years ha was cjlleil to
Chlcazo u-i general suporintcn.lent und he
continued In that ofllco until February , IbTU.
when ba bccamu assistant general manugor
of the MilwaukeeSt. - . Paul.
At tha tlmo of the great Chicago lira ho
\va-t general manager of the Pullman Paliico
Cur company , but immediately thereafter
XNUS appointed con oral superintendent of ihc
Chicago & Northwestern railwuv. He wus
appointed general manager in 1STU and elect
cd second vlco president in ISS'J. Ho was
chosen president of the Chhngo. Kt. Paul.
Minneapolis & Omaha railway In ISS'J , presi
dent of the Fremont , Elkhdrn & Missouri
Valley in 1SSI , president of the Chicago it
Northwestern in 1SS7 , nnd president of the
Milwaukee , Lake Shore & Western In 1891.
In 1SS ) ho was elected ndlroctorof tbo Union
Pacillc. He still fultllls tbo uutlo * of these
Working Ainoiiir Komulim of Mnnllpoi unil
VtitliMV Tutor Victim * .
L ) . W. Smith was nt General Terry's head
quarters on Folly Island during tha oper
ations In front of Charleston In Ibli3 , n hot ,
sandy anJ unhealthy locality. In order to
got water for drinking purposes It wus cus-
toinary to sink n
barrel In the sand
anil USD wmuoo/.eu
up through the
Vtantl. This HOOP
bccumo Intolor
, nnd on clean-
the well out
ffi'S o\\u \ \ day the elbows
( eloton wcro
discovered stick
ing up through tlio
bottom. It was
then remembered
that tbo Charles-
ion authorities had
bcon In the hublt
of usmg Folly and Morris Islands for quur-
an tin Ing smallpox and jellow foyer pnllcnts ,
which accounted for u great uinpy human
bones found thereabout.
Thu federals had a web of wires end cables
connecting their works nnd the several
Islands , n-d It was a part of Smith's duty to
frequently Inspect tbo line on Folly and
Morris Islands , In doing this ho was exposed -
posed to thu tire of tbo enemy's guns in Fort.
Surntor , and ho wns subjected 10 iho iid-
dlllonal misery of rldlngun old crowbalt thut
under no circumstances would go fuslur
than a dccorus dress pnru'lu cantor. If urged
bo look lo Hiving an exhibition of bucking
und ariisilo obstinacy , and U would ba ex
pecting too much of human naluro not to
think that tboso rebels found him u most invit
ing tnrgot undersell circumstances. Smith's
only satisfaction was In iho fact mat hn
might get some credit for balng cool under
lire. Fortunately he escaped Injury , but
only to succumb to malarial foyer , from
which ho rallied after tbu fturgoons had
git en him up for dead.
In the full of IblM Mr. Smith was invited
to Washington by lha cbluf of the signal
corps , who wus scheming to have the tolo-
gruph corns absorbed by bis own. Ho pro
posed lo commission Smith If ho passed tbu
examination , have him select a num
ber of export oporutors and or-
gunlzo a telegraph department in tbu
slxnul corps , builth bad boguu tulo.
graphing as fur buck as 18.V ) , had been u sup
erintendent for several your * , had con-
ilruuled lines , bad u wlJo ucqualntauco
among operators nnd wni well qunllflod foi
the trust , but the .loud of the military tele
graph corps nipped the scheme lu the bud ,
Smith continued to no valiant service till
the close of the war nnd was at Webster , W ,
Va. , when the news of the proildonl's asin .
tinulton passed over his wire.
A Vutritin Almuu ; VetcmnV.
C. W. Hammond of Su Louli , supormten-
lunl of telegraph for the Wubash Uailrond ,
jogan h\s tclogrnpbiocarcoroarly in lha'ftO' * ,
making him ono of the oldest votornns. Ho
, vas for years superintendent of the SU
Louts Uro alarm system , being the llrst man
n America In charge of u system of that
tlnd , nnd served with distinction in the mili
tary tclogruph corps.
rito.ti I.OWT.ST ituuxii.
An Oiniilin ItiillriKiil Mutineer \Vlui lias
ClliuUril Mi'aillly Up\\nnl.
Edward Dickinson of Oiiituii , asslstnni
general munngpr of the Utilon Pacific rail
road , is another gentleman of high position
who has risen from the ranks by force ot
merit. Ha was born nt Cumberland , Md. , in
K10 nnd at ibo ago of 13 bo-an his caroar at
Cleveland , O. , as n mos onitei boy in the
freight onico of the C oveland & ToloJo rail
way. After two years of this wont ho bo-
carao nn operator and went In'o the emplov
of the Atlantic & Great Wcstefn for six
years- , three as telegrapher nnd clerk , ono ns
assistant train dispatcher and two us triln
bapgngo master und express messenger.
Mr. Dickinson came west in lb"l , when ho
was culled to Omaha us train dispatcher of
the Union Paclllo. At the end of two years
ho wns mndo cbiof train dispatcher of the
Wyoming division with headquarters nt
Lar.imio. His masterful qualities leeolvcd
de.oivcd rccoenltlon , and In lt > 73 he was np-
polnlod suporintondcnt of the Laramlo divi
sion. Five years later bo was uirain promoted
meted , being appointed general su
perintendent of the Wyoming divl-
sous. In lbS5 ! bo took another stop
upwards , becoming nsslstaut general su
perintendent fur the whole system , and two
yours later ho was advanced to the general
superintendenoy. In 1839 ho was made Ron-
cm ! maiiaL'cr of tha Missouri division , com
prising the lines is Nebraska and Kansas.
By ono of the numorouH changes of man
agement in tbo Union PaciUc Mr. Dickinson
wns retired In 18UO , but botoro It was gener
ally known ho hud been tendered nnd had
accepted the position of general superintend *
out of the transobio divisions of thu Balti
more & Ohio with headquarters ill Chicago ,
A year la'or ' ho was called back to the Union
Pacillc nud madu assistant general manager.
Proposed u Telegraph Corps with 11 Mili
tary Oriiiiil/.ttloi.
.Major George II. Smith was borr nt Nor
wich , N. Y. . In 183i. : Ho prepared at tha
.ocul ncndemy , but oir <
cumstincas took him nt 17 Into a d'li ? store
In 18. > 3 the Utlcu & Oxford tclecr ph roaoad
the town and the
voang man was
persuaded to RO to
LJtica and learn to
operate. Alter get
ting lome Knowledge
edgeof the new
art he returned to
Norwich to intend
a small book store
lie had there , but
bo put nn instru
ment nt his store
in connection with
the telegraph Hoe
and soon learned
10 ouorato and to
road by sound.
In 1S.TT ho constructed a line from J'crro
Hnuto to St. Louis and ho been mo iho m mm-
ger of the consolidated onico in the Inlt or
city. Ha bad had four years expcrlnnco In
that position wbnn the war broke
out nnd was well acquainted with
the Missouri Held. Ho early foresaw tha
value of the telegraph to tha army and pro.
nosed to General Fremont the organization
of n telegraph corps on n military basis. Thin
was partially curried out , us explained also-
where. when the authorities at
Washington disbanded ttiu battalllon
and Smith was iipnolnted captain
and assistant quartermaster to act as super
intendent of telegraphs In tbu Department of
Mibsourl under General Staler. Later ha
wns given chnrgu of Ilallecu'b great depart
ment west of the Mississippi. Major Smith
rcBk'iicd uftur two years of scrvlco , during
which ho rendered tha federal nnin ines
timable assistance.
lleraiui ) n ( iruitt T < ; : | : llullilor In the
Captain 'William G. Fuller was born in
South Carolina of New England parents in
1527. Ho entered n factory a L'owoll , Mass. ,
at 19. hut eooii nftor shipped on the Unltod
States steamur Mississippi and tuoU part
in the naval opor
tlons during ilia war
with Mexico. On
his return homo ho
began the study of
tclatrrapliy. and In
1818 he got bis Ural
portion as operator
at Cincinnati on ilia
Now Orleans &
Ohio lino. Six
yours later the com
pany failed and
when reorganized
Fuller was inadt
superintendent of
the division I )
tweon Cincinnati
and Wheel In IT , Mo
constructed several llnoi of 'telegraph
In the succeeding yours , and ut the open
ing of the war wai Huparlntundont of an
Independent uysioiu utonv thu Marlulta &
Cincinnati and thu Uulllmoro ( * c Ohio rail
In May , 1301 , ho volunteered for the mili
tary lolcKraph sorvlcu und was muilu inun -
gor of tlio governmotit tclegraphi on tbo
Baltlmoro & Ohio bouvoon U radon and
Parkorshurg. After consiructlnt ; A number
of linen throughout that in foiled country , ho
was In December transferred to Kentucky ,
where ho followed the armies with now line *
and rendered Invuluablo service. EUowbor *