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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (June 28, 1908)
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High Water on the
' '. . ' ' f . : -
ptS.. ' ! ,::;:'
IB Mlsnourl river always wu
erratic, perverse and unaucount-
abla for lta moods, and never
have these features f Its per-
verslty been moro manifest than
during the last two weeks when
It has been crawling up from a fourteen-
foot stage to nineteen feet and one and a
half Inches, or a foot above the danger
tage. It reached the stage of rneteen
and one-tenth feet Thursday, June ffi,
which Is the highest stage of the river
since 1881, when the gauge marked twenty
three and eight-tenths feet, April 24 of
that year, which la the highest recorded
, th, -i , ,.-h Th ir
part of the city was flooded badly at that
tlme and the bottoms where the Union
metric shops and the smelting work.
stood then, as now, were Inundated. The
next highest stage was In 1&09, when the
river gauge at the Douglas street brldtro
showed eighteen and five-tenths feet. The
result of that flood was that th river run
Into Cut-Off and Florence lakes, doing
considerable damage, and flooding the low-
lands both on the Nebraska and Iowa
sides of the river, doing Immense damage
to orops. about 150 feet In length, and twenty fe t
The present rise Of nineteen and one- t,am, Wth compound ojiglnes, stern
tenth feet Is remarkable from the fact whoeier and Is strongly built. The hull Is
that aside from sncroe,chlng In Cut-Off of gteei The boat is of a peculiar construc
tors sad the Florence lake dams danger- tlon the bow, which Is a s!iovel-nos
ously close has not succeeded In breaking -nape, the bow being of heavy steel and
through Into either lake, and aside from aittlng low in the water. This bow Is utll
causlng considerable anxiety to the oamp- jBei tts a ram to work up under snsgs,
re at Cut-Off lake and hustling them out thus lifting them so that they can be
to pile up a few bags along the top of the grappled by the heavy cables and then
dam one or two nights, no especial Incon- drawn out of the water or sand bars by
venlence has resulted. Neither has there powerful derricks operated from the snc
been any serious damage to crops along gnfl room of the vessel,
the rlvor bottoms exoept In a few Isolated The snags are almost InvarlanVy deeply
cases In this locality. Another peoullar embedded In ths sand, and thus form a
feature of the present rise In the river Is basis for the slit to Bottle and form sand
that the significant rise has been between bars, which have always been the bane
Bloux City and Omaha, and while the river cf Missouri river navigation It frequently
gauges showed the river to be falling above happens that the snags have to be blown
Bloux City and below Omaha, It kept up a up Wth dynamite and ths fragments after
slow but steady rise at Omaha until the wards pulled out by the cables. When the
maximum of nineteen and one tenth feet snags are lifted out the roots are sawed
had been reached before It gave any signs off and towed to the banks, where they
of receding. rapidly sink and assist In forming the re-
No one teems to be able to give any tan- vetments along the banks. The rest of
glble reason for this freakish rise at the snag Is cut Into smaller lengths and
Omaha, or how at the 1899 stage of eighteen allowed to float down the river,
and one-half feet the river broke Into Cut- Tne James B. MaPherson Is almost con
Off lake, that with a rise of nearly a foot tantly In commission during the navlga
mor in June W It did not bree,k into the t)on ,eason. gnags are constantly appear
laks or seriously flood the bottoms. The lng through the frequent rieee and falls
only plausible solution Is that by constant of th, rlveP gomo o( thes8 may hava
filling In of ths banks along the bottoms, been mb.djad tn the river for scores of
has caused Uia ourrent to scour deeper and year ,t ,B nfVPr known when or
thus keep the river tractable and within wher they mly .ppear hence )t Ia nece8.
reasonable bounds. sary for the Bnag boal , ,n COIiBtant
There are few prettier sights than that of c0mmlg8,on. rhere are three of such boats
a mighty river In full flood, and the Mis- Qn Missouri, one operating from Bloux
sour I Is one of the mighty rivers of the
world and during tie lost week ha. been
a sight worth ser.lng. It was ve:ltaby
... v, ... .v,,.
plesdtng Its right as a navigable stream,
and rolnoldvnt with this pleading tho
son left Sioux CKy. Monday morning for
Omaha, arriving here Tuesday noon. The
boat had a stormy trip aid was compelled
to lay up for the night about fifty miles
from Omaha on account of the storm.
There was no announcement of the Ooming
Golden Wedding Anniversary
R. AND Una IRA SLKEPRR
were married st Belolt, Wis.,
on June 11, ISM, and on June
11 of this year celebrated the
fiftieth anniversary of their
union at their home in David
fry, .Nb. The event waa made one of un
utual pleasure for all. but to no one was
It of more concern that to the hale and
hearty old folks, who look back on half a
century of wedded happiness with great
satisfaction. Mr. and Mrs. Sleeper came to
Nebraska In 1871 from Wisconsin and set
thd In Webster county. He plied his useful
trade of blackamltbing aud prospered. Ten
USk JkMO JU1& J3UL. sLXK?
of thn boat and when tt wai flrt righted
off Omaha coming through the draw ( f the
Illinois Central bridge It presented an at'
trac - tlvo sluht as It RllileU on tlie angry
curivnt and Into the big lake formed by
the bend of the river between the Illinois
Contra! bridge and the smelting works,
The boat made a graceful turn m that It
,oul1 c""" (1"wn to the lading under the
Iug!a. street bridge with Its bow up-
Just a couple of newspaper men were at
the bridge when the first steamboat of the
season rut in at Omaha. They tendered
thelr '"vires In catching the cables that
the boat might tlo up. The steamboat re-
malned l the maha Undln unttl Th"r"
day evening when it went on down to knn-
- and w111 rfturn t0 maha about
The James n. McPherson Is one of the
largest steamboats on the Missouri. The
boat Is officered by Captain K. H. McFi.r
V nd. with Oeinrge V,. Keith ns pilot.
Hoth are old rlvor men. The crew consists
of about a dozen men, including the engi
neer and assistant engineer and is used for
removlng gnagg from tho Missouri river
v.,, .. rMt Bir.. r-itv it
City to Fort Benton, another from Kan-
g James B.
..... . , . . , .
McPherson. which operates between Kan-
sas City and Sioux City. The work for
this district is under charge of Captain R
" Bohul of th vernment engineering
Captain E. II McFarland of the James
B. Mcl'hersop has been a steamboat cap
tain for ovor thirty years, and has been
steamboating on the Missouri and Missis-
years ago they moved to David City, whars
they still reside, living in comfort and with
the respect and confidence of their neigh
bors. Five children have blessed their
union, and five grandchildren were among
the celebrating party at the golden wed
ding. The Mason uf I'uvld City, desiring
to show their esteem for their honored
brother, gave him a reception on the oc
casion and made him a very handsome
present. Mr. Sleeper Is 71 and his wife is
67 years of age, showing fiat the early mar
liases of their day sometimes panned out
very well Indeed.
- t i
KM OJJ" DsVVIO CITT. KEU
slppl for nearly thirty-five years. He en
tered the government sei-vlce In 1881, and
has been thus employed since that time.
He Is regarded us one of the best men
In the government service, and the neat
and cloanly appearance of his boat bears
evidence to that fact. The main saloon of
the McPherson Is an neat as a parlor and
la handsomely furnished. It Is used as a
dlrjtng room for the crew and the table
equipment Is as Inviting as that of an
The saloon occupies about the fourth of
(Continued from Page Two.)
Negroes of Kanalbar.
The bulk of the population of Zanzibar
is made up of Africans. The Arabs are the
nabobs, the Indians the traders, but the
black men do the work. There are on the
Island altogether lie.iAiO or more negroes
of various tribes.
There are more Swahllls than any other.
They are fine looking, black people. Tho
men and women are straight and the young
girls In their long, white cotton gowns
are quite handsome. Many of the men
speak a little English, and my guide knows
enough to tell me about the city and its
people. They are the most efficient of the
natives of Central Africa, and are employed
by traders to cary goods to all parts of the
continent. I find the thatched villages of
the negroes along the roads as I drive
about the country- They work the plan
tations taking care of the clove trees and
gathering the crops.
This city should be a center for our trade
movement toward the conquest of East
Africa. It Is the warehouse of this coast
and Its business la several times as large
as that of any other port on this side of the
continent. It naturally belongs to the
United States, for we were the first to open
up Its foreign trade. As far back as 1K34
Uncle Sam established a trading consulate
at the court of the then sultan of Zanzibar
and we then began to send In cotton goods
and hardware for distribution over the east
ern part of the African continent.
The work of that time la still In evidence.
American cottons are known every win re.
They are considered the best made, and if
our exporters would uih them they could
crowd out the poorer goods from India,
Kngland and Germany. Ths other nations
fight American goods, snd they do every
thing they can to destroy our trade. They
are studying the wants and tastes of the
natives and are making patterns to pleuse
them. The most active merchants at pres
ent are the Germans, who are selling a kind
of cotton known as kangas, used feS
women's dresses. A kanga Is a square of
calico about two yards long by a yard and
a half wide. It Is printed In bright colors
and two kangas form a complete dress for
a woman. One goes around the waist and
the other about the body under the arms
or ovc-r the shoulders. There is a change
1st il.. fashions of thus colloids f ro n time
to time, and the women want the new
styles an! colors as soon as they cume.
IU-re In Zanzibar I see some which have
paiierns of playing cards and otl.eis which
are covered with animals, and especially
lions or leop.-mls. They cost about 10 cents
a pair. I understand there is a demand
for flanml kangas printed In colors. There
undoubtedly would be a large sale tor
American kangas If the patterns were right.
American Goods Stild by Foreigners
The t ulk of the American goods brought
Into this part of the world Is through
Europeans. There are some American
firms, but the most of the profits of our
trade go to outsiders. There is a man at
Marseille named Klein who Is doing an
enormous buslneas in American cottons
thoroughout eastern Africa. He has a
bran ah bouse bare and etiS at lionbasa.
-"" . - ; jr . .
L. . :
SUNDAY BEE: JTTNE
8. S. JAMES B. MTHURSON, &NAQ TULLEIt.
THE OMAHA BMFXTKRY DURING THE
the length of tho boat, and on either side
are the offices and cook galleys and sev
eral state rooms. Around the upper deck
are the general state rooms for the officers
and crew and such privileged visitors as
may occasionally take a trip on the boat.
Everything about the boat Is In first class
order and the McPherson could go Into
commission at once as a passenger packet
with but very llttlo improvement.
Captain McFarlnnd observed: "There Is
very little I could say of special Interest
In my own career as a steamboat officer.
and his agents are traveling through
Abyssinia, Uganda and German Kst
Africa. He has his cotton made to order
In America in pieces of forty-two yards
each, and he brings a shipload of about
4,0o0 tons across the ocean every year.
I met one of Klein's agents on Lake)
Victoria, This was a Kuraslan who had
Just come from Illsmarckhurg on the south
ern end of Lake Tanganyika, and was then
cm his way to Mombasa. He had gone to
Irfike Tanganyika to investigate the con
fiscation of $20,000 worth of Ivory tusks
by the Belgians.
Klein trades a great deal of American
cottons for Ivory. The elephants' tusks are
carried on the heads of porters down to
the coast, or they arc brought to Iako
Tanganyika and sent to Mombasa by the
Uganda railway. The Ivory In question
had been bought In German Fjist Africa,
and the porters were taking a short cut
through the Congo territory to got It to
the coast. While on the way they were
captured, and the Helglnn officials claimed
the Ivory on the ground that the porters
were smuggler. Klein's agent succeeded In
getting the Ivory back, and It Is now com
ing here to Zanzibar across country on the
heads of porters. It will be transferred by
boats at the seacoast and brought here for
How Ivorj la nought.
I asked this young man as to tho selling
FT e-Ms I1',""' V-" PMmsjsefwe,)w H ss.ne'M.i. I .M . ieersspWvM.istf,e ii wssiii i sw i I'm p ,t, .m j m ,
hmmrAMi: : vy--
DELEGATES TO THE DISTRICT CONVENTION OF BROTHEIUIOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN AND ENGINEM.CN. TAJCEN AT TUB CUT HJUitt
.WHliN XJXEX CAI.I.r.D OU MAl'UW JvAliLMAN,
the Government Snag: Boat
i . .. . " '
FLOOD OF 111.
It is about like that of all river men who
have boen on the river for any length of
time. Tli ere Is a good deal of sameness
to the life. I do not see why Omaha people
havo so long delayed taking up the mat
ter of the navigation of the Missouri. It
is navigable from St. Louis to Fort Uentnn.
There Is Just as much water In the river as
there was thirty and forty years ago,
when steamboats were constantly on the
river and made lots of money for their
owners, as well as affording one ef the
most delightful methods of travel. I hope
prices of Ivory. He tells me that the or
dinary price In the Interior for a tusk of
18i) pounds is about 1 rupees, or $-10. At
Mombasa the same tusk would be worth
MOO or JMK. The ivory varies in price ac
cording to locality, and that which Is worth
16 cents a pound on Lake Tanganyika will
sell for $2.66 a pound at the sea const. In
buying Ivory of the natives the current
money Is American cotton sheeting, which
is turned in at tho rate of 10 cents a yard.
The same cloth sells In Europe for about
4 cents a yard. The European and Indian
cloths are cheaper, and the traders try to
put them In Instead of the American. Mnny
of these rlothB come from Bombay. They
are so thin one can see through thorn. The
German cloths are little better.
Our goods are known as Amerlcanl all
over East Africa, and they are the only
kind that really sell themselves. This man,
Klein, keeps a big stock of Amerlcanl at
a number of Interior trading stations. Hn
has a branch office at Tahora, which lies
about midway between here and Lake Tan
ganyika, where he has now something llko
$I0,UI0 worth of Amerlcanl on hand. This
gives one un Idea of the extent of the
trade. Indeed, the demand is such that I
do not hefcit ite to advise our American cot
ton factors to study the market and to send
their agents to Africa to investigate the
possibility of building up a big business
in colored cotton and pclnt goods.
FRANK G. CARPENTER.
Who Move the Commerce of the World
CAPTAIN E. It
yet to see thp day when you peopl,o along
the Missouri shall never bo out of slfiht
of a steamboat. There is plenty of work
for the steamboats to do."
George G. Keith, the pilot of the Mc
Pherson, has been steamboatlng on tho
Missouri since 1X67. Captain McFarland
gave It out confidently that Mr. Keith
piloted the Ark onto Mount Ararat. Mr.
Keith Is an Interesting character and
knows more about the Utg Muddy than
probably any man alive toduy. He said:
"Oh, I do not know how mar.y trips I have
made up the Missouri to Fort Bpnton, hut
It has been a great many. Tlmt was of
course In the old days. I have been on
the Missouri all this time, for when navi
gation ceased on the Missouri I went back
to the Mississippi und piled between St.
Louis and New Orleans. Hut I liked the
old Missouri best. Most of my life hus been
Ieiit on the river and It Is sort of a part
of me. In tho early days we had many
exciting experiences on the river, espe
cially above Omaha. Of course when I
started In there was might little of Omaha.
We dtd not always make a landing here.
Bellevue was a bigger and more Important
place. The Indian agency was there and
we had a good deal of freighting to do
"We saw many Indians, though they never
particularly bothered us. We had two pas
sengers killed once by Indians. That was
up at the mouth of Milk river. Some In
dians came up to whore we were tied up
In tholr buffalo boats. These boats were
build round and of buffalo hide. The In
dians could manage them all right with
their big paddles, but It was all day with
a white man If he tried one of the things.
One of the Early Fish Stories
NE day," said an old fisherman,
fa I I was out fishing under the
I trees on the banks of Lik
been rather unsuccessful, buy
ing landed only a few small fry.
"I was about making up my mind to
pack up my traps and start for camp, when
I felt a strong pull on the line that nearly
took me off my foet. 'Here's a good one,'
thought I, rnd I played out the lino and
reeled In for half an hour or more, till
flnully I could see the beauty through the
clear, limpid water a few feet away.
"Then I lifted the pole with excitement
over my catch. Hut I was rather too
utrinnoiis. He rose In tho air, hut some
how the line parted about a foot from the
hook und the momentum carried the fish
hlnh among the branches.
"Just at that moment he gave a gasp
and when his Jaws came together they
pripped a small branch like a vise and
there he hung by his teeth twenty-five feet
above me, suspended In the air and glis'.en
inr? In the sunlight. 'What a beauty,' I
declared, nnd determined he should still be
mine, so I begin climbing the tree nnd
worked my way out on the brunch. Inch
He might as well try to ride In a tub.
These two passengers got Into one of these
buffalo boats and started down the river.
They could not manage them very well,
and they drifted over toward the opposite
shore Into a sort of creek that came In
there and thut waa the lust we ever saw of
them. We waited there for them for a
day or two, but could find nothing of
them, but later heard that the Indians had
killed and robbed them.
"Tho country up around Cannon Ball and
below Ulsmarck used to be alive with buf
falo. We could kill them from the boats
at they came down the rlvor to drink.
The country was Just black with them.
There were also vast herds of antelope
and deer and we occasionally suon bear
along the river.
"We brought a good deal of corn down
the river. A cargo consisted of about
10,X sacks. Most of our freight from the
upper river country was buffalo hides and
meat. Wo frequently had as many ns 500
bales of buffalo hldus on the coat. There
were about forty hides to the bale. Some
times we had as many us 600 hogs on the
boats going up the river. We used to cure
our own buffalo meat, by Just hanging 1
In strips over the deck rails and then cov
ering It with mosquito bars.
'Yes, I believe the Missouri la navigable
as well now as It was forty and fifty
years ago. And I pretty near know.
There is Just as much water in the rlvir
now as there was then. All you folks need
to do here now Is to put some boats on
the river and set them going. You will
get tho freight and passengers, and the
government will take care of the snags'
and sand bars."
"When about to reach out to grasp the
prlzo I heard a sudden flutter of wings
and an enormous hawk durtrd down, seized
the prey and was off In on instant. To
say that I was disappointed Would be
putting it mildly, but there was nothing to
do but descend to the ground, and I did
so with a sad heart and saw my prize
disappearing In the distance.
"I went slowly toward the camp, dis
couraged over the day's work. My partner,
Cam, who was gottlng the dinner ready,
said he had a surprise for mo and when
the time camo he brought on about the
finest specimen of a trout that I had ever
seen, excepting mine, of course.
"He asked me how I liked his fish and
I told him I was charmed with It. Th"n
he suld: 'I hooked that fellow In rather a
curious ay. I was sitting here on the
rock, smoking my cigar, when a big hawk
flew over my head, and, grabbing my gun,
I brought him down. And whnt do you
think! You will never believe me, but that
hawk bad, wound around his leg, a plecfl
of fish line and on the end was the speekled
eauty you Have Just eaten, fresh ou of
ttie water and without a scratch on him.'"