Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, October 11, 1908, HALF-TONE SECTION, Page 3, Image 19

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Rural Free Delivery and Its Relation to Modern Social Development
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OME years ago Charlen W. Eliot.
SI president of Harvard university,
I wrote an easay which he called
fl Mrfl TO ltlt,... It It.
had reference to the citizens ot
the United StateB who dwell -In
the country. He did not mean that these
were neglected In legislative halls or In
the public press, but he pointed out that
between urban and rural residents some
thing of a separation more than geo
graphical had Brown up, an Intellectual de
marcation through which tho thoughts and
Interests of one group had become some
what different from those nf the other.
This Isolation he deplored, but did not ex
actly see the remedy.
President Eliot wrote before the rural
free delivery service of the Postofflce de
partment had flowered Into Its present
efficiency. When he penned his able essay,
a few tentative lines of service had been
thrown out, but tho able Bostonlan had
probubly not heard of them, unless some
of the mutterlngs always growled against
an Innovation hud penetrated his severely
furnished study. Since that day the serv
ice has attained tremendous proportions.
State by state, county by county, and post
office by postofflce, routes have been
added, until there are now 40,XO men and
women each day delivering mall to him
who lives far from the urban smoke and
the raucous noises of the city.
To enumerate the Influences and Insti
tutions which make for the betterment of
this United States would require publica
tion, perhaps, of several folios. To Say
which Is most potent for the public Veal
would Involve an hazardous moral judg
ment. But taking the country districts by
themselves, none will dispute the asser
tion that of new Institutions the rural mall
delivery is the best and greatest.
It Is a theme which tempts to rhetorical
flight. The dreary Isolation of the farm
er's wife, an Isolation not only of tho body,
but n-ure cruilly ytt, of the spirit, has been
ended a by a single music stroke. A
decpde or even five years asro her mental
pabulum was the "Fireside Companion,"
or at best a semi-weekly rtwspaper. When
a mld-wt stern mother saw her ytalwart
son tempted by hopo of a homestnid In the
virgin stHte ot the far west, she knew
that it would r-ot only be days and Ue.ys
before a letter wvuld cross the conltm-nt,
but even after it had come Into Iter own
county, she must wait a perhaps longer
time until some one could "hiti h up and
go for the mull." Meantime her husband
must occupy the long evenings of a wholj
week wondering for what oats aijd corn
were now felling.
Rural delivery has civilized and vivified
the whole countryside. It has made the
farmer a different man, lengthening his
perspective, bromdenlng his knowledge and
deepening his Judgment. The term "a
farmer," used as a reproach, has almost
passed from the vocabulary, for tho man
of broad acres now can often outshine his
city brethren In knowledge of affairs an I
has gained tho respect, Incidentally, of
thobe who admlro material fortune because
of his prosperity.
The men who have Been the Instruments
of thlB change which Is nothing short of a
social and economic revolution have been
the guests of Omaha the past week, and If
liny be skeptical as tu the truth of asser
tions above, he can ask those who met
these delegates as to what manner of men
they were. Let It be first remembered that
with hardly an exception they were country
bred men, met at home behind the plow
or In the hay field. But they do not stop
there. They showed a grasp of parliament
ary law which equaled that of the trained
presidents ot meetings, the mayors of the
United States who had preceded them.
They iTail a grip on the Interests of their
association which was broad In scope and
complicated In detail. They displayed an
enthusiasm for their work in Itself, which
would have led IrrestiMy to the conclusion
thst thoy worked well, had this not been
known otherwise. They put to shame
hundreds of other conversions by singing
"America" through each day. Singing It
"through." Everybody can sing the first
verse, half as ninny the second stanz;i,
'but these men knew It all and sang It with
unrlvalk;d fervor.
The rural letter carrier has had from the
start to contend with much more than ap
pears at first sight. It Is easily understood
that the bad roads of a great portion of
the United States have been a continual
handicap to him, that storms and dust and
a dozen other hardships of the kind are
encountered the greater portion of the year
and for days at a stretch. This Is easily
realizable. This, however, Is not all. The
service bus had to meet an obstaclo of a
less obvious kind, economic suspicion and
The wholesaler and tho country merchant
fought the service at Its inception and
fought It with all the political influence
and that Is a good deal which they could
bring to bear. In spite of this, the service
thrived. It proved Itself a necessity and
were It suggested that It should be done
away with, the twenty millions of Ameri
cans now served by the rural free delivery
men would unito in a heaven-shaking pro
test. Moreover the Jobber and the country mer
chant jno longer opposes the country post
man. Many of them have learned that
speedy communication between vender and
patron will hurt no one In the long run
and that the country merchant can now
make in many cases as speedy sales and
turn over his money as quickly as the city
The great question In which the rural
free delivery department of the postofflce
Is now Involved is but a part of this sam
proposition. Most men nowadays believe
that the parcels post, at least a special local
parcels post, such as advocated here by a
represenatlve ot the postmaster general, is
bound to come.
It may be recognized that the parcels post
Is a debatable proposition, that there are
several angles to it and that opposition
Is not altogether selfish. But whether It
comes on a universal scale or In modified
form, or not at all. jt is permissible to
dwell on what Its effect will be on tho
rural delivery service. Not1 allowing for
the extension of the 'service, a parcels post
of the limited kind proposed will add to
the Income of the department the first year
no less than J15.00O. It will make the serv
ice self-sustaining and will be, therefore, a
national economy of the sum mentioned.
The rural mail man will have his burden
Increased, but ho wishes It so for no other
reason than the desire that his department
may pay for Its keep and not be an expense
to the treasury of the United States. This
motive was expressed officially and In pri
vate conversation again and again during
the recent convention. The members of the
National Rural Letter Carriers' association
showed In this as well as In other ways
that they are citizens who, while they prop
erly watch their own Interest, place the
good of the government above selfish con
siderations, t
It Is unnecessary to say that the roads of
the United States are poro, so poor that
they cause an Immense loss every year, an
economto waste which mounts up In mil
lions and millions. There lsno easy way of
making them better. The way Is, In fact,
unusually long and hard. The problem had
seemed to many so hopeless that until the
spread of rural delivery hope of betterment
had been largely given up.
Within the last few years there has been
a change. Good road associatlons( good
road clubs have been forming everywhere,
the United States are poorer, so poor that
It is not necessary to ask who
Is responsible for V movement.
The rural letter carriers knowing the exist
ing evils better than any other living men,
have started the ball rolling and are still
shoving behind it. Thoy have seised on
that modern miracle worker, the King log
drag, and have Induced the farmers along
their routes to use It They have studied
the question In every way. They know all
about construction. They know all about
up-keep. They know the financial ques
tions Involved. They can and do tell others
and are making good road advocates In
every home they visit and that means all
the homes outside the cities on the United
States. If America ever has thoroughfares
equal to those of France, the credit will
be due the country letter carriers.
Curious and Romantic Capers of the Matrimonially Inclined
Wed to Enae Father's Mind.
EARINO on the eve of a trip
for Germany that he would
never see America again, John
Osterman of Woodhaven, Long
Island, Insisted that his daugh
ter, Miss Gertrude Osterman,
be married to John Zlpfel, also of Wood.
haven, before he and Mrs. Osterman left
for Europe, so that she would be provided
for In case they should never return.
Miss Gertrude and Zlpfel, who Is a well
known young German of Woodhaven, had
been engaged for some time, but the de
cision of the bride's father took them
both by Surprise and the arrangements for
the nuptials had to be made In a hurry.
The ceremony took place on the very day
that the old couple were to sail for Ger
many and It was held in Welskop's hotel,
on Jamaica avenue, Woodhaven.
Mr. Osterman gave away his daughter,
and then, with his wife, he was hurried
to the pier of the steamer on which they
were to sail, happy in the knowledge that
come what might his daughter would be
well taken care of. For some time before
the trip the .old man had a premonition
that he would never live to see America
again, and, although hla wife did not
share his feelings, she, too, believed that
It would be a good thing to have their
daughter married before their departure.
Elders Tie I'p.
A romance came to light In Media, Pa.,
In the marriage of a bridegroom 72 years
ot age and a bride of (0. The bride Is
from Georgia and her husband, W. C.
Jamison, is from South Dakota. They met
for the first time at the Hotel Windsor,
Philadelphia, their courtship having been
conducted by correspondence with the ex
change of photographs.
December and Mar.
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Bolton, the 39-year,
old groom and 70-year-old bride, who were
married at Bunnyslde, Mrs. Bolton's coun
try place, at Johnstown, N. Y., spent the
first day of their honeymoon on a long
auto spin.
The village and country folks are taking
the liveliest Interest In the newly wedded
couple, for Mra. Bolton, as Mrs, Anna G.
Ross de Peyster, has been prominent here
for generations.
The marriage was a great surprise to
Mrs. de Peyster's friends. Rev. W. W.
Klsworth, psstor of St. John's Protestant
Episcopal church of Johnstown, officiated,
and the bride was given away by a oousln,
William Herring of Philadelphia.
The interior of the house waa profusely
decorated with flowers from Mrs. de Peys
ters' own green houses. Only a few friends
of the couple were present at the ceremony,
after which a luncheon was served.
Mr. and Mrs. Bolton will remain In
Johnstown until October, when they . will
return to Mrs. de Peyster's apartment la
Euclid hall, New York.
Mrs. de Peyster's maiden name was)
Anna G. Campbell. She was the widow of
Mr. Ross when she married the late Colonul
Beekman ds Peyster. By the terms of her
first husband's will,, she receives an Income,
of $10,000 a year In trust.
North Platte Trade Boosters Spend Day Visiting Oshkosh Friends
FT'ER having passed around Cape
lloin willt one of John Jacob
Astot'a first I'aeit.c e.i till
tloiM. Robert SUiiut lift the
pariy ut Asiui'ia i n June
IMiJ, with iLspalclKM for Mr.
A st ur. Willie on errand, on October 3,
i t the tame year, ho ihsoovereil tliu North
l'li.tti' valley uid pupped down its entire
hni,', o. reacliiiitf Si. Louis on April Jt),
bi.Hn,- tile fi:st white rutin known to liavo
. t to .1 on loo virgin soil of tlila m.-oU. n
of Ntbruka.
Too in a i vlflclul record of this valley
is tl. . rip., it ut Cuptuln 1). E. L. Uonne
vilio. mi i.M.iir of Hie United States army
in (.o ...chotl uuty, who wl;li a company of
iiu n n. U tw iry wiisoi:, eu eied ih alley
liiiiiut l.laiid, on May 1. It ;J, mid
iu.lii near the Hint boundary of the
s.i.i near the mo'.-.lli of tne Laiaipie. river
fit May .'G.
Ce'.ivtil John t l-'reniot.t exploded the
upp ! I'latte valley, l.ntlr.g at the mouth
of iho Luraiuh iiv.-r, li. 1 .', but
liid l ot liavi tM- uiiy of tho portiii) in tiie
stall of Nebi us: u.
It was i v-niy-.-ev, n years la I r that the
I'lilun I 'at Ifie completed the first tra'ig
eontliii n;al raiiv.i In the United,
1 usMl... f:r....s;. a -.: I of tilH tel'litoiy,
pci ;.. i'" to ami tia'tio of the
Woilu in ii. ..!. ot i.i'I'i .' oi ll ii l:,!.Ua. inak
ti.K I '-.-u:, ii ". , f ir hundrid ot thous
and of now. h.iopy at., prosperous people.
On i, i is,, tho Union Pa
cific railroad completed untl opened for
trjftlc a railioad line, extending from
O'Falioii. on lis present main line, up the
North J'lutte liter to thu town of O.shkush,
throwing open to unaler development a
new uud productive c, tlon now only par
tially under cultivation. Like the uventgo
Nebraska soil, the surface of tliia land Is
composed of finely Kroiiicl roi k. whleli was
left ilepoHlted us the naj n- .M. il ages
ago, uud lias been enri, In d liy ,.. p.m. is nf
slit during the various evolutions which
I.Hve taken place Klnee. Its subso.l h of
material through which the water readily
percolates. Tills makes It tlllHb'.e
ufti r rain ceases. It also prevints damage,
from excessive moisture during that part
of the year when rainfall is heavy. It re
taining us u sponge much of the water
which would otherwise flow away. whVh Is
thu.i conserved for future needs. limine
I'.-.e cr ips sre apparently able to withstand
olrrni: , which other slates can not. The
e.iti'o valley Is susceptible of Irrigation,
uwiii,' to the lack of transportation faclll-
He the upper l'iatte valley has not been
subjected to the Intense cultivation which
It will ue.d, from now on. However, Its
richness lits mariiti-Hted Itself so unques
tionably that ti :o..d deal has already been
accomplished In the way of stock raising
and funning. Its rapid growth cow aa
tured. it Is only a question of a. short time
when Its wealth and population will add
much to Nebraska's resources.
The State fair In September last, at Lln-
iln, exhibited a creditable display 0f ag
I ' cultural jroducts which cun be success
1 tally and abundantly grown Iti this bcc-
tl n of the state. J'roduets Hju fr suc
cessfully grown In this luiltuil of the
I'n.ted States are found thriving here. In
cluding all the cereals, alfalfa, beets and
other vegetables and frulu. A scientific
analysis of the soli proves It high In the
nutrition which Is so essential to prolonged
fertility. The laik of transportation facili
ties having naturally caused the Inhabitants
tu devote moat of Utslr energies to slock
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raising, higher cultivation may now be an
ticipated; since the advent of the railroad,
large tracts have already produced crops of
corn, alfalf.i and sugar beets for market.
The far-tlghted 'and enterprising mer
chants cif the bustling city of North l'latto
huve long recognlzt-d the resources of this
Mi Hey and have hud their commercial am
bitions directed toward establishing them
selves early In this field, s.i that with the
opening of the l ew line by the I'nlon Pa
cific all preparations had been made for an
i iitl iisiuslle trade excursion to tho t own of
Oshkosh. On September JZ a special train
lift North Plane laden with about 1H
boosters, reinforced by a considerable! num
ber of people from Ilersliey, O'Fallons,
Lewellcn and Keystone, who were curious
to s.'e how their neighbors further up the
valley were faring. All were amply sup
plied with the advertising ma'ter and all
other paraphernalia which the Omaha
boosters consider essential to an under
taking of this kind. Some of the adver
tising matter was very elaborate, particu
larly a souvenir book containing a number
of colored photographic views of North
Platte. An excellent hand accompanied the
North Platters, rendering Instrumental
music and singing harmonically various
well known and unknown songs. Wherever
a stop was made the inhabitants wero
thoroughly rourded up and enlisted as sup
porters of North Platte's progressiveness.
As tl e train rolled along over the well
constructed branch line track of the I'nlon
rai if ic the landmarks brought to the minds
of the early settlers who were uboard tales
of historic and personal Interest, and as
Ash Hallow was pointed out t) the south
the following Lit of Interesting history was
The Overland Trail, which was followed'
by the "Forty-niners," the Mormons and
other western settlers, left the South Platte
river at a place called "California, Cross
ing," near the town now known as Me
geath on the main line of tho I'nlon Pa
cific, entering the North Platte valley
through Ash Hollow. Here the Iiidiaiis
wie wont to fail upon tho unwary traveler
and many an unmarked grave Is to be
tound In the canyon. In retaliation General
William S. Harney became Involved In his
alleged masscre, ambuscading some 3u0
Sioux Ind'ians with their squaws and pap
pooses in the hollow, exterminating them,
for wlilch he was afterward called to senti
mental account by tho eastern friends of
tho aborigines, to which "Old White Wolf,"
as the Indians called him, made answer
that "nits make lice."
There is no one thing that so quickly
brings the Impetus required to make a
community grow In prosperity and size
as does a railroad. Oshkosh, a town of
1.000 people, located on the North Platte
river In tho center of Deuel county, with
the opportunities now afforded by the
Union Pacific, will undoubtedly grow Into
a municipality of some Importance; in
fact, its citlxeiis have already become so
enthusiastic that they predict shortly
capturing from Chappell the county seat.
It was on this day well prepared to greet
and care for tiie friends from North
Platte, who are to aid them In their
endeavor to boom. The fatted steer had
teen slaughtered and roasted in order
that all might sample homo grown beef,
'ibis waa handed out grails In generous
chunks between overgrown buns, making
a sandwich of such thickness that the
jawbones of the hungry vituora wets
stretched to their utmost In endeavoring
to surmount and bite off an ample mouth
ful. The western love of physical prowess
was manifested In a spirited boxing
match, which was arranged for amuse
ment of the throng. A pugilist from
North Platte defeated tbe local champion
at the end of four rounds A horse meet
waa another feature of Interest, and some
excellent runners und trotters, as well
as the western bucker, had been gathered
in from the four corners of this hitherto
Isolated locality. In the evening fire
works were displayed by the North
Platte contingent, and dances arranged
lor the young folks.
Congressman Kinkald. Judge Grimes,
General Superintendent Park of the Union
Pacific and Rev. Selbert of North Platte,
spoke at the general assembly In the after
noon. It was with a feeling that much had
been accomplished towards establishing a
firm friendship and business relation be
tween Oshkosh and vicinity and the North
Platte people that the excursionists, tired
and satisfied, boarded their train and
started for homo.
An abundance of water for Irrigation la
assured in the upper Platte valley. The
river itself has a more uniform flow than
farther east, and la fed by a number of
fine streams, mostly on the north side,
the most prominent of which is the Bird
wood, discharging a volume of water suf
ficient to Irrlgute 60.OJ0 acres of land and
capable of furnishing water power Bur
manufacturing. The Otter creek, Black
Tail and Blue river are streams fed from
what la known as the lake country, having
a uniform flow throughout the entire
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