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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (April 29, 1906)
April 29. 1906.
THE OMAHA ILLUSTRATED BEE.
How Omaha Welcomed and
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"-' If III w j n u J, . I -
TUTS WOMAN SAVED A FRAMED CERTIFICATE BROUGHT FROM THE OLD
iUFV V. . AM alnlr4 nt Mft San
ll Franclco refu(?e pulled !nto
Omuh& people at the Union t
Uon to greet them than the de
tachment numbered. Part of the waiting
throng was there to assist In feeding the
tt-sngers, but fully half were mere on
lookers. They testified to the Interest
which Omahans, In common with the rest
of the country, had in the Tactile coast
horror. At every opportunity Omahans
chatted with the homeless troops and asked
them many questions. The conversations
at times were deceptive and an onlooker
might have got his San Franciscans con
fused with his Omahans. Not a few of
tha latter appeared to be able to spin a
better descriptive narrative of tha dreadful
nights and days than those who had
actually experienced the terror and misery.
Most of the. refugees doubted that Ban
Francisco would ever rise again; every
Omahan was sure the town would be built
grander than ever before. All of which,
tt la presumed, went to show that tha
local folk study the newspapers.
Omaha's Boaatr' Vnstlated.
The kindness bestowed upon the refugees
was not strange from the dwellers In a
city that within a few days raised J26.000
in cash and sent a doien carloads of cloth
ing, bedding and food, contributed direct
by the cltisens In small lots, to the suffer
ing multitudes on the coast Tet the sleht
of the givers and the beneficiaries was a
study In modem sociology hard to coun
terpart. On one side society women snd
stage hands vied with each other to see
which could render the most good; on
the other stood men and women who had
lost every material thing, tney naa in me
world, many without so much as a dime
In their pockets, and most of them In
clothing they had worn for a week with
out opportunity for change or bathing.
The shoulders of the refugees drooped, but
their spirits were not sullen or rebellious.
Some were proud and needed urging to
make them partake of the bounty. Others
looked upon It as a matter of fact but all
were equally expressive of thanks and good
Hard. Lack and Lone; Ride.
A tall, intelligent looking man was ex
plaining , some of the horrors he had wit
nessed. He was surrounded by a group
of women all such as be who could talk
fluently were so besieged while waiting
In lines to take their eastbound trains
and held out his hand to illustrate a point
he was telling. His fnce held 'a heavy
stubble of beard. . He looked at his hand
and discovered It was the color of mother
"Look at that hand." he exclaimed. Jerk
ing it back quickly. "I haven't once
thought about washing up since before the
eartbquttke, but I don't believe I could
have done very much In that line on the
Nearly every one at some time or other
has put In a night in a common coach on
fx-,, . v
a train. With dry and dusty weather and
windows that have to be opened to keep
the car cool, he knows what he felt like
In the morning. These people after two
days" partlclpancy In one of the most shock
ing and terrifying calamities the modern
world has known had ridden under such
conditions the long way half across the
continent. They were lit subjects for so
licitous care and local history will take
pride In being able to record that they re
ceived such treatment In Omaha.
Not True San FrsaeUesai.
Making allowances for the necessarily
seedy appearance of the refugees it Is
true that they came a long ways front
being representative people of San Fran
cisco. Tha reporters talked with many la
the crowds and usually inquired the busi
ness or occupation of the refugee addressed.
Afterwards the newspaper men agreed that
it ' was largely the classes who had lived
In the Golden Gate city but s short time,
or who move abouW requently from place
to place In search of new rcenes and sen
ations, who were hurrying east Nearly
all of them were going to their old home
or places of former rendezvous. A great
many headed direct for their nearest rela
tives and only here and there could be
found a man who declared he was going
back to San Francisco as soon as he could
raise a stake. The California metropolis
has always been a great place for muslo
and musicians of all sorts troiA high to
low. It was remarkable how many of the
refugees carried with great care man
dolins, guitars, violins, 'cellos and other
Instruments. They had been earning their
living producing muslo and constituted no
very stable or deeply rooted part of the
population. Others were tailors, carpenters,
laborers, teamsters, clerks and of similar
sorts. Numbers spoken to remarked that
they had lived In 'Frisco less than a year.
These in the same breath declared they
would never go thore again. But a few men
Operations of the Qreaf Hudson Bay
(Copyright 1906, by Frank O. Carpenter.)
-.IINNIPEQ, April 24. (Special Cor
lAy I respondence of. The Bee.) I had
I I ft. Inn h laut n1-ht with
man who handles the biggest
combination of capital In British
America, I refer to the Hudson Bay com
pany, whose sphere of operations reaches
from the Icy shores of Labrador to the
Klondike and from the United States to
the Arctic ocean. Its territory Is two
thirds as large as our own country and
more than half as big as the continent of
Europe. This company has been doing
business there for more than two cen-
.turles. It has controlled much of the
country, not only as merchants, but po-
Utlcally, and Its agents have had power
of life and death,
Today it has stations scattered, all over
HUDSON BAT STEAMBOAT tT TITE sfACKETZXB.
. it f
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KKFUOfiES TROM SAK ffSAiVCISCO MOVING FBOiJ. TRAIK TO LUNCH TENTS AT UNION STATION.
- . - ,
v-At 'rO-. : V
who had owned business Institutions looked
at the matter differently and expressed an
Intention of returning when possible.
His Business All Gone.
"AH my advertisers and subscribers are
burned out; I have only the keys left' to
my office. What use was there of me stay
ing?" asked the proprietor of a prosperous
publishing business before the disaster. He
said he had concluded that It would be far
better for him and his family to go else
British North America and its traders are
moving on Its every stream, lake and river.
gathering furs for shipment to Europe. It
is doing one of the biggest mercantile busl-
nesses of the continent Its department
stores are scattered throughout Canada
mw lumm in m nean oi ine wuas.
This company has Its own factories In
England and the Dominion. It makes a
Urge part of the goods it sells. It owns
flouring mills and steamboats, and almost
all the Canadian Indians are tributary to
It No one knows how much the instltu-
tion has paid out In dividends. It has been
making fortunes for its stockholders right
along since It was Incorporated by Charles
II In 1S70, and its stock today Is away
The American manager of this institution
la Ui. C C. Chlpman. He is a Nova Sco-
Fed Refugees from San
TUB OMAHA WOMEN WHO HELPED FEED
GROUP OF THE SAN FRANCISCO SUFFERERS.
where and make some money before trying
to go back to the coast.
The survivors were a remarkably humble
and easy lot to handle. ' To facilitate mat
ters the police lined them up in rows when
they detrained. Every man and woman
carried luggage, if they happened to be
possessed of any, and waited patiently their
turn to enter the lunch tents. It was nec
essary to take their names and destinations
to arrange for the free transportation the
railroads provided eastward, and there was
considerable delay both ' before and after
tlan. who has held dlplomatlo positions In
jVttawa and London, and who for the past
fifteen years has been commissioner of the
Hudson Bay company. I met him first In
his offices back of the great Hudson Bay
stores In Winnipeg, and afterwards spent
an evening with him at his house here.
Mr. Chlpman is quiet and unassuming.
Like all Hudson Bay men. he Is rather
reticent in speaking about the company,
and it was only repeated questions that
brought out the information that follows.
He Is a man of great organising ability
and is notably successful in the handling
of men. Bald he: .
"The Hudson Bay company has had an
active business existence of more than
230 years. Its history Is well known. It
started In the times of Charles II and has
practically managed the greater part of
British North America from then until
the taking over of the government of the
northern wilds by the Canadian Dominion.
It would take book to tell its history,
and, indeed, several books have boen pub
lished concerning it.','
"What la the capital of the company, Mr.
Chlpman, and who are Its stockholders?'
"The capital stock is l.QJO.CCu, or S5.000.
.000. The corporation Is an English one and
the most of the shares are held In England
and esecially In London. The stock Is not
a speculative one and the company does
not encourage dealing In It. We would
rather not have them rise and fall. In
deed the shares are not listed anywhere ex
cept on tue London Stork exchange. Most
of the holders do not care to sell and much
of the stock has r.ot changed hands for
generations. It Is what might be called a
strongbox security-something that la sure
to pay its dividends year after year."
Hndson Bay Posts.
"What Is the present field of the Hudson
Bay company? I suppose It has been
greatly restricted within recent years?"'
"No, that Is not so," replied the Hudson
Bay commissioner; "our field is practically
the same that It has always been. We
have about 260 trading posts scattered here
and there throughout British North Amer
ica. They extend from the Atlantic to the
Pacific and from the United States boun
dary to the mouth of the McKentle river."
"But how can the company control such
a vast territory, Mr. Chlpman?" I asked.
"We have the country as carefully or
ganised as any wholesale dealer organises
the territory of his trade. The wilds of
British America are divided up Into dis
tricts and subdlstrlcta. Each district has
Its ablaf trader, with subordinate traders
they were fed. But not a complaint was
The first day, when some of the most
prominent and best known women of the
city worked In the tents from early morn
ing until late in the afternoon, the wind
blew clouds of dust ael chunks of dirt over
everything. A cup of coffee .placed on the
tables In. the tents had a coating of debris
Inside of two minutes. The local women
were so begrimed that they looked like
refuKees themselves. But the Callfornlans
tackled the coffee, sandwiches and frul
under him. The under traders report to
their chiefs and the chiefs report to me
and I report to the directors at London,
Everything is controlled from London and
the directors theVe know Just as well as I
do what Is going on all over the country.
We give detailed reports of the conditions
at every post. Our system is thorough and
at the same time It is so simple that we
can tell Just what the trade Is, what goods
are needed and what skins we may ex
pect. We can estimate the demands and
supplies from year to year."
"Nevertheless, the posts must be widely
"They are," replied the commissioner.
''Some are hundreds of miles apart and
some are thousands of miles from our head
quarters here In Winnipeg- We have In
spectors who visit the posts every year or
imlS iT . i.i
if V:-. '
ITALIAN WHO WAS INDIGNANT BECAUSE HE HAD PAID HIS FARE WHJLB
OTHERS RODE FREE.
placed before them as though it were
served In the daintiest of dining rooms.
Some scribbled their thanks on the paper
Sick and Wounded fsrfd For.
The refugee trains carried their quota of
sick and wounded. It was necessary to es
tablish a hospital tent In charge of County
Physician Swoboda, the Visiting Nurses' as
sociation and volunteer physicians. Chil
dren were born on the trains and not a few
of the survivors had cut and crushed feet,
wounds of other kinds and many had fallen
sick from exposure and nervous excite
ment. The hospital tent was a badly
needed affair and its occupants found plenty
to do. Cots and resting places were pro
- vlded and the right kind of aid adminis
tered. Another need that forced Itself upon
Mayor Zlmman, who was the active leader
In caring for the refugees, was that of
women and children for clothing. As
soon as this condition became apparent
quantities of garments were sent from the
tores at the city hall. This. enabled many
of the women and children to change
filthy and ragged clothing for better ap
parel. The city hall relief depot, also,
had 'a considerable amount of home canned
fruits. Jellies, etc., and some of these were
sent to the hospital tent to be given to
travelers not able to eat the heavier foods.
Chance Meeting; at the Depot.
One of the most Interesting things seen
at the Union station was the meeting be
tween an aged father who had been through
the affair at San Francisco and a son
who had come on from Brookvllle, Pa.,
to search for the former. Telegrams had
miscarried and the son, Edgar Deertng, bad
become so worried that he started for
California. Chance worked It so that the
father. John Deerlng, was on the first train
of refugees via the Union Pacific. There
were glad shouts and laughter and tears
so, and we know exactly what Is going on
Department Store Business.
"But, has not your buslnes changed
greatly within recent years?"
"In some respects, yes," replied the com
missioner. "Although the most of It Is
managed Just as it was generations ago.
The Hudson Bay -company has always been
known as 'ancient and honorable.' It now
adds the word progressive to Its titles. Its
great changes came with the settlement of
the northwest. When the railroads were
first built across British North America the
laborers found that the only places they
could get tobacco, clothing and other sup
plies were at our posts, nils started their
(Continued on Page Seven.)
GROUP OF HUDSON BAT &ttIAKB,
when the two embraced heedless of the
There were comparatively few children.
This fact again bore out the conclusion
that It was not the dyed-in-the-wool resi
dent San Franciscans who left the city
so hurriedly. Most of the children aboard
the trains were babies In arms, usually the
first and only child of .the parents.
There was a phaso to the situation, too,
that had pathos In the fact that many
Omaha people were at the trains to Inquire
about relatives who lived in the stricken
city and who had not been heard from.
These searched among the refugees looking
for familiar faces and asking many ques
tions. They were not able to learn much
more than they have from the newspapers.
Many Instances of direct personal charity
were witnessed. Several women serving
In the lunch tents gave their hats and
other bits of attire to refugees of their
sex who needed them worse than the origi
nal owners did. A well known society girl
tied an expensive veil under th chin of an
ancient, dirty and formidable-looking old
dame. Children had more milk than they
could drink In several days. The local '
women tried to find out from their sisters
what they most needed and perform the
Tobacco for the Men.
Richard Harding Davis has feelingly de
scribed the highly beneficent effects of to
bacco upon men weary and hard-pressed
and the maie refugees fairly wept with de
light when Robert Cowell, Market Master
Gerke and others passed among them dis
tributing pipes, smoking and chewing to
bacco. These were boons to be craved for
and Immensely enjoyed on the dreary rides.
Not a few of the travelers fended ani
mals, birds, dogs, cats and the like. One
. woman had a cage of canaries. A French
tailor and his wife bestowed more atten
tion on a rat terrier than they did upon
themselves. One man had three small
dogs and when asked If they were trained
animals replied that they were trained to
eat and that was about all.
The couple that carried the most baggage
was an old Italian, once owner of a Divi
sion street fruit store, and bis wife. It
looked as If they had enough stuff to
start housekeeping and they carried It
about in packs. Giuseppe had paid for
their fare to the seaboard on the way back
to the lesser terrors of Vesuvius and could
not help but talk about It with feeling
when everyone else on the train rode free.
His wife was mute, but sympathetic.
All of the refugees were willing to talk
yards but so far as could be ascertained
none was able to contribute much new to
the general story, which all agreed could
not be described in Its utter confusion and
terror. Most of them were empthatto In
declaring the military authorities during
the fires had been rash and wanton to an
unnatural degree. All had dreadful tale
to tell of shootings and the Incidents that
came close to plain murders. Tet they
agreed that stern measures were necessary.
There were some negros, but no Chinese
or Japanese among the refugees passing
" -it .
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