Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, April 21, 1907, HALF-TONE SECTION, Image 17

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    The Omaha Sunday Bee
For all the Newe
in Wtft
Life Story of a Bride and Groom Who Pledged Their Troth in Omaha, the First Couple to be Wedded la the Struggling Village on the Edge of the Western Wilderness, Fifty Years Ago
THE luck that Judge Wakely 'wished' on the five-dollar
gold piece banded him after the marriage ceremony
and which he handed back has certainly come to pass,
for here we are fltty years afterward, all three of us
still living, happy, healthy and surrounded by our
children." '
This Is the firmly expressed conviction of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob
King, who were married in Omaha April 24, 1867, at the home of
Experience Estabrook, then located at the present Junction of Tenth
street and Capitol avenue. The groom had been employed by Mr.
Estabrook ever since he had arrived In the rettlenient nine months
before the day of the wedding. That wedding was an event In
Omaha. The living room of the Estabrook home was decorated suit
ably and the ceremony was performed by Judge Eleazer Wakeley,
who had arrived Just four days before to assume his duties as terri
torial Judge. The wedding was his first official act. The day was
Sunday; the weather was balmy and springlike. The neighbors and
friends gathered In such force as to tax the rapacities of the house
and some were compelled to remain outside. Judge Wakeley In deep
and impressive voice pronounced the ceremony. When it was over
there were congratulations and best wishes and a few tears Bhed by
some of the women in accordance with time-honored custom. And
then it was that the groom proudly handed the Judge the $5 gold
piece. It was a hsndsome fee, for gold pieces were extremely scarce
in Omaha in '67, and this particular one had been saved by the
young man for months for this express purpone. The Judge' took It
and, turning at once to the blushing bride, said: "I give this gold
to you. I know that you are better than gold. May both of you
bare a long and happy life," And the groom responded feelingly:
"The same to you, Judge, and Ood bless you."
A cheer greeted the couple as they came out from the house.
Those without had been busy decorating the buggy which was wait
ing for them there, the buggy In which they were to take their wed
ding trip to Woodbine, Ta. And many honest, sturdy men shook
the groom's hand and many good, noble,, brave womenklssed the
bride before they reached the buggy. Away they went down toward
the ferry, followed by the hurrahs of the people and with the old
hoes dangling behind tke vehicle. They drove npon the ferryboat
and were taken across. Some Indians at the landing On the Iowa
side grinned at the dress of the two and at the shoes hanging be
hind. Even the redman comprehended the nature of th occasion.
They had their wedding breakfast' in Council Bluffs, at that time
called Kanesville, and then drove- all day through the unsettled
country. Compare a trip like this, says Mr. King, with 'the modern
wedding trip. They were utterly alone. Today the young people,
desiring each. other's company, are besieged by prying eyes of hun
dreds from the time they leave the minister in the streets. In the
train, at hotels, everywhere- Mr. and Mrs. King believe theirs was
the Ideal honeymoon, with none but prairie dogs, gophers and the
birds to disturb their peace.
Came From Afar to' Meet Here '
Kismet! Fate seems to have had a hand in bringing these two
people together and uniting them In a marriage that has endured
the storms of life for fifty yearB. Mrs. King, whose maiden name,
was Christina Chrlstlensen, was born in Denmark. Her parents
died when she was a child. She came to America at the age of 18
fears, landed at New Orleans and proceeded up the river to Western,
Mo., where she worked for a time as a dressmaker. She arrived in
Omaha July 20, 1856, Just thirteen days after her future husband.
Mr. King was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, September 3, 1831.
Ills boyhood was spent In various parts ot the east, where he worked
on farms. When he was 25 years of age his' uncle decided to go
west and consented to take his nephew with him on condition that
be work on his farm for one year. They drove across Illinois and
Iowa" with an ox team to Magnolia, la., where the uncle decided ta
go into partnership with another man in a general store. This re
leased young King from his contract and he resolved to push n to
Omaha, of which he had. heard great things. ' '
He arrived here July 7, .1856, and found a town of shanties and
ttnts, but with apparently more people than the number ot houses
would Indicate. Ho was a young man with nothing but his two
bands, good health and a hopeful spirit, but these things were as
good as money in those days. He began looking around for work.
Tho first day he called on the governor and had three meals of
cheese and crackers. One da he met a man In the barber 3bop who
Inquired: "Can you milk?" That was young King's "long suit,"
and he told the Inquirer so. The man was Experience Estabrook
and he Immediately offered King work. The young man accepted
and worked at the Estabrook place, Tenth and Capitol avenue, from
that time until after his marriage.
"They treated me like a brother," says Mr. King, reminiscently.
"I remember Experience and one instance of the way he trusted me.
J hadn't been there but about ajnonth when one day he asked me
to go' over to Iowa and buy up potatoes and hogs and other pro
visions. Just as. I was leaving he hands me a roll of bills. 'Here's '
50,' he says, and I put them In my pocket without counting them.
Well, I found later there was 60 in the roll. When I got back I
gave him my accounting of what I had bought. 'There's too much
money here by 110.' he saya. 'No.' I says, 'that's your money. vIt
Isn't mine.' Iliad a hard time making him take It. You read a lot
about bad men and gambling in those days. Well, the stories are
true, but the good people were so good that they trusted each other
lot more than they do today."
j Experience With Claim Club
Prior to this time Mr. King had had an experience with, that
terror of early settlers, the Claim club. He and Henry Porter went
down to Sarpy county and took 160 acres each, a short distance west
of Bellevue. They were required by law to live on it five days and
build a house worth a certain sum. They had built their house and
were living there when on the third day about twenty men appeared
from Bellevue and notified them that they were "claim Jumpers"
and would have to come to Bellevue to answer to the charge. The
head of the Claim club in Sarpy county at that time talked to the
men when they were brought Into the settlement. It was a Satur
day night and It waa decided to allow the two men to go home to
, appear Monday morning, when, the members of the Claim club
notified them, thy would have a trial. King and Porter secured a
lawyer in Omaha and on Monday morning went to Bellevue, each
armed with a pistol and a big knife.
"I've had 2,000 Indians camped around me, but I was never half
as frightened as I was there in Bellevue among the C!alm clubbers,"
ays Mr. King. "I knew it was either a Inillet, the Missouri river
or clear out for us. "The 'court' was held In the dining Zoom of
the hotel and It was crowded with as tough a lot of fellows as I ever
saw.. The court announced that a Jury would be selected and the
r ease heard, and that if we could prove we had any right to be there
we could stay on the claim. Well, we waited until they had selected
a 'Jury.' It was made up of twelve of the toughest -of the lot. If
I'd had twelve deadly enemies in the world I would have expected
Just as much Justice from them as from that outfit. Well, we knew
it was no see to wait for the 'trial.' We called for oer horses, the
court not making any objection to our leaving In the middle ot the
ease. We mounted and, without our lawyer, rode away and back to
Omaha." '
Mr. King claims to have an especially good view of early hap
penings in Omaha by reason of the fact that he was always a work
ing man and waa not limited by the horizon of any one profession.
He shatters several commonly accepted facts of the early days. For
example, ne aeciares that A. O. Jones, who has the reputation ot
beln the first postmaster of Omaha, was never really postmaster
at all.
"There wasut any United States mall brought to Omaha In those
days." he says. "But every night someone would go over the river
; . - - .- ' - ''.'' , ; , - .v. t - v- ;V. $ L, J
X i'A''j- . r: . ; Jfflfc&w$m: 'V 4
Omaha and Pawnee Indians were camped around them.. The pio
neers had little worth stealing, and the red men were not In a mood
for killing, so they were unmolested. Five years later, when they
had taken up another claim a short distance away, the two pioneers
and their children were at the new house half a mile from the first
dwelling one day when cl ;ht big Indian bucks appeared at the door
and begged something to eat.
"I was alone In thft house with the children," says Mrs. King,
"and I recognized some loaves of bread they were eating. It was
mine. I also recognized a blue and red tablecloth one of the warriors
of the i
ng. It
and would bring the mail along the next morning. But we couldn't
tell where to get the mall always when a different man brought it
every day. In the morning we would go around asking if anyone
knew who brought the mail over. So we' arranged that whoever
brought it over should give it to A. D. Jones. They did that and
we always hunted him up when we wanted to get our letters. He
used to carry them around in his hat. Many a time I've got a letter
out of that big hat of his. . But he never received a salary and was
not appointed by Uncle Sam." ' j
Mr. King was employed ta the building of the first state capitol
on the site now occupied by the high school. This building would
have been located In Bellevue, he says, had it not been for the sud
den death of Governor Burt. While Cuming was acting chief execu
tive he sent word to Washington that Omaha had been selected as
the arte for-the capitol and congress appropriated $100,000 for a
building. Much of this money, saya Mr. King, was dissipated and in
the end the city had to issue scrip to .finish the capitol.
Bricks Like. Eggs
Mr. King was employed in' hauling brick for this building from
tho brick yard of Bovey ft Armstrong, the contractors, which then
stood on the present site of th- Union Pacific shops.
"Those bricks were Just like eggs," he says. "It was scandalous
to put such bricks in a building. They "would break and crumble
while we was pitching them off the wagon and piling them up. The
bead men were watching out for' inspectors from the east, too. I
remember there was one of the bosses that could swear a blue streak,
and they had it arranged that when the men from the east come out
he should hang around, and If they examined the bricks he should
pYetend that they were not up to the standard. I remember ouce
when the men came up to where the building was. This fellow came
along and looked at the brick and began cuBslng and swearing and
kicking the bricks around. The scheme worked and they were al
lowed to finish tho building with them bricks, though the lower,
story began to crack before they got the upper stories built on. And
it wasn't long before they had to put an iron band around the whole
building to keep it from falling apart."
Returning now to the young people on that novel honeymoon
trip to Woodbine, la." They came back again to Omaha within a
week and prepared to carve a place for themselves out of the new
country. They stayed at the Estabrook home for a time and by
frugal and industrious habits saved enough by the fall of the year
of their marriage to build a comfortable hoiree next to the Estabrook
homestead. Therethey lived until the following spring. Then the
desire for a farm life returned to them again. With millions of
acres lying aroundthey saw no reason why they should not have a
share of it in accordance with the law of the United States. They
resolved to go to a part of the country where the Claim club would
not molest them.
Yv'lth two horses, a wagon, some farm implements and a few
household utensils they pushed bravely into the west, drove three
days and finally selected a place in what Is now Colfax county.
There they built a tiny house and set to work making a home. They
were strenuous days for both, and especially for a little woman who
had ventured into the wlld3 with her husband. At one time 2,000
tablecloth. I pointed to them, but they shook their heads. Then
they ran away immediately. I called Mr; King and we hurried to
the house on our other clnlm. We found they had ransacked the
whole place. They had taken nil the children's clothes and some of
tny wedding Jewels. I had to buy some Indian calico to get along
on until I could get some cloth from Omaha."
Experience With Hostile Indians , .
In 1864 the Kings moved to another farm seven miles east ot
Genoa.' Shortly after their arrival aud within three miles ot their
borne occurred the murder of several men who were cutting govern
ment hay. Adam Smith, Pat Murray and several others were in tho '
party. They were working one afternoon when a small band of
Indians appeared. A string of horses was tied near where the men
were at work. Mrs. Murray was the first to notice a movement
among the horses and Bhe called the attention of the men to it.
They examined them and found the rope had been cut. They tied
them, and soon found the rope cut again. Then they found an In
dian in the weeds. Upon being discovered the Indians made an
attack. The men were unprepared, but Mrs. Murray and a boy did
good work for the defense. The boy crawled under a haycock, and,
watching his opportunity, ran to the fort a few miles away and aum
mned aid. Tne woman pulled arrows out of the body of one ot the
men and probably saved his life, though she waa badly wounded
by arrows while so engaged.
The next morning Mr. King went down to the scene of the fight.
On the way he was met by two naked Indian bucks. One drew his
bow at him, but as the white man did not run'he became friendly
and told ot the fight. Mr. King picked up part of the scalp of Smith,
who bad been killed. The Indian apparently had cut off more than
he wanted and had then cut it in half and left part ot it.
Soon after this the two pioneers returned again to the city and
Mr. King took charge of ten grading carts for the Union Pacific
railroad. He claims to be the oldest employe of the Union Pacific
road now living In Omaha. They lived for ten years in Papllllon
after returning from the farms In the Platte valley, and while there
Mr. King was Justice of the peace for several years.
Mr. King has been active in Masonry for many years. He baa
been grand tyler of the grand lodge Ancient Free and Accepted
Masons in Nebraska for more than thirty years. He has been grand
sentinel of the grand chapter of Royal Arch Masons. He was tyler
of Capitol lodge No. 8, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, tyler of
the grand council No. 1 and sentinel of the Scottish Rites Masons.
During tbo-week Mr. and Mrs. King will celebrate the fiftieth
anniversary of their wedding in Omaha. Around them in their home
at 823 South Twenty-second street will be gathered their children
and grandchildren. There are six children, as follows: Lucene
Albert King, Butte, Mont.; George Franklin King, Papllllon, Neb.;
Winfleld Scott King, South Omaha; Mrs. Caroline A. Reed, Los
Angeles, Cal.; ,Mrs. Alice Maxfleld, Sarpy county, and Marcus L.
King. Omaha.-
These with most ot the eighteen grandchildren will be gathered
at the celebration this week. And the Judge who tied that nuptial
knot will be there and possibly one or two other survivors. And
they will recall again those pleasant faces In the Estabrook home
that Sunday morning fifty years ago; they will recall the kind words
and the gold piece, and the cheers of the people as they drove away,
and the honeymoon trip and the many events of the fifty years that
have rolled between then and now.
Weidensall's Long; Trip Through the British Isles
VISITATION of the British Islands was
consecutive and consumed the time from
the 13th of November to the 5th of De
cember, 1906 twenty-two full days
and Included th following crtles: London, Bir''
mingham and NeW Castle-on-Tyne, England; Edin
burgh and Glasgow, Scotland, and Belfast and
Dublin, Ireland. I paid a second visit to London
later, when I spent the time from January 9 to
29, 1907. All this time I under the effects
ot the grip or Influenza, which had taken hold of
me in Paris January 4.
London, England, situated on the Thames
river, with a population ot 6,000,000 Inhabitants,
Is the largest-city in the world, and dopbtless the
most cosmopolitan city in existence. If Is made
up ot many small towns that have grown together
into one great city. Notwithstanding its great
ness, it has not the splendid symmetry of Paris,
France, and while it has very many beautiful
places, it can never be made so beautiful as a
whole as the French city. It has a good system
of subways for pasenger transportation and the
best managed omnibus and motor system for city
surface passenger travel in the world. All parts
of the city have central squares, or' places with
special names, as Victoria, Charing Cross, Picca
dilly, Ludgate, Westminster, etc., as stations to
and from which one can go by omnibus, 'motor,
subway or steam car, which makes travel through
the great city 'easily understood. The Thames
river is spanned by a number of magnificent stone
bridges. There are many fine squares and parks
in London, but Its boulevards and avenues are
not so fine as those of Paris and other continental
cities. London has many large and splendid
buildings, public and private, and haa very de
sirable residence districts. It has also many effi
cient public institutions for the good of the people,
including the neglected, the wayward and the de
generate. If it would require weeks to study
Paris, as I have stated of Paris, it would require
months to'study London equally well.
Tho very great majority of the population ot
London is evangelical in belief. While there is
much dissipation In London, the standard of mor
ality is much higher than In Paris, France, or St.
Petersburg, Russia. It will be possible to make
the merest mention of some ot the things referred
to above. Bridges across the Thames: The
Westminster. Waterloo. Black Friar. London aud
Tower. Parks: Chapman Commons, Hyde park.
KenHlngton Gardens, St. James park, etc. Public
buildings: Buckingham palace. St. James palace,
Royal Albert hall. Bank of England, . Mauslon
House, houses ot Parliament, British museum.
National Picture Gallery, Windsor Castle, London
tower, etc. Churches; St. Paul's cathedral,
. Westminster Abbey, St. Martln'a, Metropolitan
tabernacle (C. U. Epurgeon'a). 1 might add that
London is full of monuments and statues the
Albert memorial. Lord NeUon's column, Trafalgar
square, statue ot William Tyndale the martyr; one
of Queen Victoria, Gladsone memorial. Marble
arch, etc.
Birmingham, England, is a large city twenty
one miles in circuit and has a population of more
than 500,000 inhabitants. It is chiefly noted for
its great iron and steel buisness. A city that Is
foremost in iron and steel Industries Is bound to
be a progressive community and most helpful to
the country in which it is located. It may be fit
tingly called the Pittsburg of tbf British Isles.
Almost all kindspf manufacturlntTare now carried
on successfully. "The system of small masters
(or employers), so rarely found at the present
day, still holds its own In the manufacturing of
Birmingham." "Wages are higher than in most
of the manufacturing 'towns in tho north of Eng
land." Birmingham lsxmoBt conveniently connected
with the great centers of trade by railroads and
canals, by which its manufactured articles are
distributed in every direction. It has attractive
streets, squares and handsome buildings. Aa
samples of streets, Corporation street;" of squares, '
Victoria square, and of buildings, the town-hall,
the Council and Art gallery, the General hospital
and I can add the splendid Young Men's Christian
association building. Birmingham is the home
of the great English tariff reformer, Hon. Joseph
New Castle-on-Tyne, eight miles . from the
mouth of its river, is a progressive city of 250,000.
inhabitants. The tides in Nthe river make the city .
a port for large sea-going vessels. For a long
time New Castle has been noted as the home ot
coal. At least to take coal to New Castle would
have been regarded as a huge Joke or an exceed
ingly foolish thing to do. However, where there
Is much coal there is much manufacturing. Much
manufacturing affords much paying work, which
In turn produces much wealth.
Ne Castle-on-Tyne is a large shipping and
shipbuilding center. On the river In the city are
many large shipping houses and lower down the
river are enormous shipbuilding docks. At one
of these docks the large new Cunard steamer
Mauritania has recently been launched, said to be
the largest passenger vessel in the world. New
Castle has many other things of great Interest,
but I stall mention only several of them: The
great pivot bridge across the Tyne, the old castle
and Black Gate, exceedingly interesting. Its cen
tral square is very attractive, with the handsome
grey column and the Young Men's Christian asso
ciation building.
Edinburgh, Scotland, the capital of Scotland
and the former residence of the Scottish kings,
has a population ot nearly 300,000 lnhabltanta.
It is a most noted place, whether considered from
an ancient or modern aspect. The old city, with
its castle on the highest point, down to Holy Rood
palace, Holy Rood abbey and along High street,
which contains many old historic buildings of all
kinds, public and private, including St. Giles cath
edral and John Knox's home, is full of interest.
The eld castle affords the finest panoramic view
of the city and surrounding country. The Holy
Rood palace and abbey are Intensely interesting
in themselves and In their history. John Knox'a
house occupies a conspicuous place. It has rooms
of special interest which were occupied by him and
are full of personal relics of the great reformer
carefully preserved and kept where he was accus
tomed to use them. "The most picturesque and
striking building in the old town of Edinburgh Is
the historic Cathedral of St. Giles No ecclesias
tical edifice in the kingdom has passed through
so many vicissitudes and still survives its dignity
and grandeur." The new city, according to its
size, haa perhaps more things of interest than any
other city in Europe. The general postofflce, the
Royal High school, one of the finest specimens of
pure Gieek architecture; the university', the Na
tional Observatory, the charming Princess street
gardens, in which are the statue of David Living
stone and the superb monument of Sir Walr
Scott. In a single picture some idea may be
formed of the wonderful beauty and charm that
characterizes much of Edinburgh. "Looking
westward, the visitor sees one of the finest sights
ot the city, and the one which comes first and goes
last when the mind reverts to the Edinburgh visit
.one of the finest promenades in Europe it
would be difficult to find anything to surpass it In
any country. Standing at the postofflce, you see
Princess street stretch out a mile In length,
guarded on the left by the castle overlooking the
gardens, while Scott's monument, in its majestic
grace and beauty, with the classic buildings of the
Royal institution and the National gallery behind,
present a picture with scarcely an equal."
Glasgow Is a large and Important city, with a
population of about 800,000 inhabitants. While
it does not possess the exquisite charm and beauty
of Edinburgh, it is not without these character
istics in large measure. It is rather to be classed
as a commercial and manufacturing city, aud in
these it excels. In the language of another:
"Glasgow, the commercial metropolis of Scotland,
is the second city In the United Kingdom and
sends several members to the House of Commons
to watch the interests of its 800,000 Inhabitants.
It is picturesquely situated op either bank of the
Clyde, about twenty miles from the sea, and Is the
most important seaport in Scotland. It yields to
Liverpool only in shipping, approaches Manchester
In the cotton spinning. New Castle in the coal; ex
ceeds the Thames and the Tyne In the iron ship
building and equals the Merthyr v and Wolver
hampton with Its, iron furnaces; while the indus
try of its inhabitants have converted the shallow
Clyde into a broad and deep dock for many ot the
largest merchant ships lined with nearly alx
miles of quay created at a total cost. of about
8,000,000. In addition to all this, it was the
-birthplace of the steam engine James Watt'a in
vention having been perfected here."
Belfast Ireland, is the chief commercial city
of Irelaud. It is located on the river Lagan, about
twelve miles from the Irish sea, and has a popula
tion of about 300,000 inhabitants. Its inhabl- '
tanls are largely of Scotch-Irish and mainly Prot
estant. It haa many churches and is well supplied
with higher educational institutions. There are
three bridges across its river, the Queen's bridge
being the principal one. Belfast is the main depot
ot the Irishlinen trade and the principal center ot
thai trade in the British Isles. There are also
large shipbuilding yards. At one of them one ot
the two largest new ocean liners haa recently been
launched. It is about the same size of the Mau-
rltanla on the Tyne.
Belfast has, it is said, the largest linen manu
factory and the largest tobacco manufactory in
the wcrld. It. has some fine buildings the new
city hall, large, convenient and graceful; the Corn
exchange, Ulster hall and museum. White Linen
hall, the Albert Memorial monument and the
Young Men's Christian association building.
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is a city of poe
slbly 300,000 inhabitants, chiefly Roman Catholics.
"Dublin haa been Justly vclassed amongst the most
beautiful cities of Europe. Situated on the River
Anna'Llffey, which, running east and west, prac
tically divides the city into equal parts. Its pub
lic buildings are numerous and of great architec
tural beauty and its streets and squares are very
Among its finest buildings are: Trinity col
lege, the Bank of Ireland, formerly the Parlia
ment house; Dublin castle, the General Postofflce,
the Custom house and the Four Courts. The St. Pat- .
rick's cathedral, a Protestant cathedral, In which
Dean Swift is burled, is a most interesting edifice,
and the Roman Catholic cathedral, in Marlboro
street, said to be the counterpart ot the St. Mary
Majoris In Rome, Is of very great beauty. Sack
ville street Is one ot the finest street of the king
dom; on it is the magnificent monument of Daniel
O'Connell, the statue of Sir John Grey and the
Nelson column. Besides these, there are other
fine streets and squares the Phoenix park, cov
ering an area of 1,750 acres, naturally and beau
tifully timbered, with splendid drives and walks
all through It, is Dublin's most noted park. It
was in this park that Cavendish and Burke were
(Continued on Page Four.)