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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 10, 1909)
THE OMAHA SUNDAY BEE: .TANTAKV 10. 1000.
Building: Greatest Sewer in the West to Drain Part of Omaha's Area
FTER thirty-five year of wait
Irg and e-aw1ng between
the various city engineer, city
council and contractor rf tho
Pity of Omaha, tht North
Omaha main aewer the largest
west vt Chicago I now being bnllt. tha
construction work being well under way.
Three city engineers, a doien counclla and
contractor almoin without number have
been connected with It from time to time,
and when flnnl tompletlon. of the big sewer
li accomplished one of the worat "hoodooa"
of the city will have been removed, much
lo the relief of the clty'a administrative
force and the varloui contractors who do
Ihe clty'a work.
Being of mammoth proportion, the con
struction of the newer la no email under
taking and the contractor, J. J. llanlghan
of Omha. .n given nine montha In which
to do the work, even though thet part of
the newer which he will build for tha city
1 hu 3.4W fet In length. The entire
J length of the sewer will be 4.500 feet, but
A. the Union Pacific Rollrna.d company la con
struct ng l.nno feet of thin. that part which
goe through lt holding on tha bottom,
where the railway shops are located.
C ntractor Hanlghcn began work on
Augusi. 8, last, and the contract call for
completion by May 1. l:m0, the coat to tha
city to be nearly .W),ooo. while the Union
Pacific will pay out over $65,000 for tha
construction of It part of the Bewer.
At it largest point the ewer will ba
eleven and one-half feet by twenty-two
feet, twice as large an any eewer hereto
fore built In Oninhn and larger than any
'-wer In the Twin Cities, St. Louie, Kahsaa
City, L)eiver, Seattle, Ban Francisco or
any other city weat of Chicago. Thia large
section of the eewer will extend from
Klghth street to Kleventh street. The next
section above will be somewhat smaller,
tapering auxin further up. The lowest
blrck, only, will be built on the cube order,
the other sections to be cylindrical.
Tho outlet of the sewer I a few rod
north of Casa atreet, on tha Missouri river,
the sewer from there extending a. short
distance west to the linn of the Union
Pacific, ahop grounds. This aection waa
completed early In the work. Through the
ahop grounds tha aewer will take a west
erly course to Ninth atreet and then aouth
1 westerly to Kleventh atreet, about four
f block, where the city again takea up the
From Eleventh atreet the aewer will be
laid under the alley between California
and Casa street to Thirteenth tTeet,
thence north on Thirteenth street to Cali
fornia street, west on California atreet to
Fourteenth street, north on Fourteenth
atreet to Webster street, west on Webater
street to Flfteenh street and north on
Fifteenth street to Izard atreet. At Izard
It will connect with tho "old Isard atreet
aewer, which In the past has vainly en
deavored to drain the north aection of the
city. The old Ixard street aewer ex ten els
east seven blocks from Fifteenth, where
the connection will be made, but this
lower section will be connected with the
new main aewer at Thirteenth and Cali
fornia atrecta by a small aewer, which has ,
also been completed. Some of the main
work ha also been completed, the con
tractor having practically finished that
part of the sewer up to California street.
Cullen, Fleeatedt ' & Co. of Chicago have
the contract for building the Union Pacific
section of the sewer and these contractors
r Alan nrnrTMuIn- wall with thnlv vnrlf
having completed about 400 feet of the
contract for 1,(60 feet of aewer. Thle work
must also be, completed by May 1 next.
Though the length of the Union Pacific
aection Is but a fourth of the whole, tha
cost will be nearly three-fourth as much
aa the clty'a section on account of tha
amount of bridging which the network of
switching tracks In the shop grounds re
p- quired. When tha excavations were made
under the tracka piling had to be driven
and . bridge built to hold fhem up and
keep tho weight from the pipe to be laid
Some bridging also had to be done under
railway tracka In the city's aection of the
work. Five railroad have trackage on
the bottoms above the Union Paclflo shop
ground the Illinois Central, the Chicago
A Northwestern, the Chicago, Rock Island
A Pacific, the Missouri Pacific and the
Belt line and these track all had to be
auatalned by piling. The cylindrical sec
tion of the aewer passes under the tracks
L and the cost of the bridging brings the
T" cost of this section of the aewer up to $60
) a foot. Other section of the sewer vary
In cost from $28 a foot to $21 a foot.
The oblong section of the sewer that
built on straight lines will ba of brick
and reinforced concrete. The floor and
walls will be of brick and the roof of re
inforced concrete. Steel "I" beams will
Speaker of the
f " Km, J I
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f chakulu u. fool or JOHNSON colntv.
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be placed at Intervals of two and one-half
feet, the concrete being between. The
cylindrical section will be of vitrified pav
ing brick, three and ono-half courses thick.
The entire Union Pacific section will be
of reinforced concrete construction, steel
"I" beams and a network of smaller steel
rod to be used to give great strength to
The North Omaha main sewer I a sewer
with a history dating back as far a 1873.
In that year R. C. Phlllpps, chief engineer
of the District of Columbia, drew plana for
It as well aa for a complete sewerage sys
tem for tho city. The plans were drawn
at the instigation of former United Stutes
Senator Millard, who wa then mayor of
Omaha. But a portion of the plans were
adopted the North Omaha sewer being left
Eight year later. In 1881, Andrew Rose
water, the present city engineer, wa ap
poln.ed to the position and he drew an
other aet of plana calculated to drain the
north aection of the city. These plans
were discussed pro and con and finally
laid on the shelf and nothing done until
1884. In that year a aection of the present
Isard street aewer waa built, the outlet
being in a creek near Fifteenth and Ixard
Aa forecasted before It was built, the
sewer was not largo enough to take off
allathe storm water of the section, and In
1891 tha city contracted to build tho now
famous (or infamous) double barrelled
sewer known aa the Izard street aewer.
City Engineer Roaewater waa then
stationed in Washington. D. C, but hap
pened to be in Omaha when the council
decided to construct the double sewer. He
went before the council, in the capacity of
a private individual, with the best wishes
of the city uppermost, and told that body
that the double contraption would never
do and that a mistake would be made if
It waa built. The council thought that a
double aewer would carry off a double
amount of aewerage, but thia the engin
eer showed would' not be the case on ac
count of tha extra friction. Nevertheless,
the sewer was ordered built and the con
tract let to Hugh Murphy.
Mr. Rosewater then told the contractor
to be on his guard while doing the work
for if a heavy storm came the rain would
plit the plpea. Mr. Murphy took the ad
vise given and filed with the council a
protest to protect himself. The protest
was refused. Luckily for the contractor,
though, he completed his work and the
sewer waa accepted before a storm came.
Lers than one month after this, how
ever, a terrific storm came and the rain
fell In torrents. The double barrelled
sewer waa split in a number of places,
manholes were lifted up throughout almost
Its entire length, and aa far weat as
Twenty-fourth and Cuming streets . the
PRETPAniNQ CONCRETE FOR THE BIO SEWER.
The storm damage waa repaired and new
suctions replaced those which were split,
but year after year following the aame
thing happened, though the damage In
later yeara waa not so disastrous.
In 1892, one year after the double Ixard
sewer was built. Mayor Bemls appointed
Andrew Rosewater city engineer again and
the city voted aewer bonds in the sum of
$1),000. The new city engineer then be
gan Investigating as to the best method of
relieving the congested sewerage condition
on the north side, the Izard aewer being In
tended to drain the large area of 5, C00 acres.
After looking over the ground thoroughly
he built two sewers with a fall lo the
north, the outlet being In a creek which
flows through Miller park, the sewerage
volume making the creek quite a re
sectable stream. Even with the building
of these two north sewers the Izard sewer
was still found to be too small and some
thing else had to be dune.
The old sewer was loo low and the grade
too flat to make the enlarging and ex
tending of It advisable, ao In 1904 the city
engineer drew plana for the building of a
new eewer to extend from Fifteenth and
Izard streets In a southeasterly direction
through the Union Pacific grounds to the
river, a route similar to that now being
taken by the big main. These plans wre
gone over thoroughly and finally accepted,
with some alterations, by the council and
approved by the railway officials.
Before the Union Pacific approved them,
however, several heated conferences were
held, by the officials of the road and the
engineer with the council.
Prior to the drawing of the last set of
plans the Union Pacific wished the council
to close a number of streeta and alleys on
the bottoms so that ia could enlarge Its
shops. Mr. Rosewater entered emphatic ob
jection to this, holding that the city should
not make the concessions asked for unless
the Union Paclflo would agree to give the
right-of-way through Its holdings for the
ewer and In addition to pay for the con
struction of that part of the section which
would pass through Its holdings.
Horace Burt was then president of the
road and he threatened to move the shops
from Omaha to Grand island If the council
would not close the atreet and alley, de
claring that he would never agree to a
contract binding the company to pay for
the building of that part of the sewer which
would pas through the shop ground.
Thia declaration did not disconcert the
city engineer and he called the president's
attention to the fact that practically all of
the land on the bottoms to which the
Union Paclflo holds title waa secured on the
explicit understanding and contract that '
In the event the ahopa were ever moved
from Omaha the title to the land would
revert to the city.
"If you want to move your shops tit
Grand Island and give the city a prop
erty valued at over 12,000,000, why, go ahead
and move," ald Mr. Rosewater.
President Burt aald no more about mov
ing the shops and in a few days he signed
the contract under which the road ia now
building its section of the sewer.
Following this the plans were changed
somewhat so as. to keep the aewer on
higher ground, the final adoption of the
plans being In 190$.
In 1907, under resolution of the city
council, the city engineer advertised for
bids for the construction of the North
Omaha main sewer. The lowest bid waa
made by James Jensen of Omaha for $123,
500. City Engineer Rosewater believed the
bid to be far too high and advised the
council to reject it and readvertlse. De
spite this advice the council accepted the
bid and voted to award the contract. Thia
then went to the mayor for his approval
and the city engineer wrote that official
advising him to veto the proposition, aa
tha price bid was excessive. Nothing being
heard from tha mayor, the engineer wrote
him again on the day of the next meeting
of the council and authorised him to de
duct from the engineer's salary the full
coat of readvertlslng for bid if the city
failed to aava at least $9,000 by such a
move. Thia second letter resulted In the
veto of the contract by Mayor Dahlman.
When It cam up In meeting of the council
that evening the members of that body
failed to pasa the contract over the execu
tive. Members of the council then declared
that they would never favor the building
f tha sewer, but in the spring of this
year owner of property in the northern
part of the city called upon the council
and demanded relief, allowing great loss
of property reaulttng from the Inadequate
yatem In their aection. Tha council could
not withstand these demand and au
thorised the readvertising of bid for the
construction of tho aewer. These bid
were opened on July C last and the pro
posal of J. J. Hanighen, the lowest, waa
for considerably lees than $97,000, or $23,500
leaa than the bid made by the lowest bid
der six month previous, and he waa
awarded tha contract.
The mouth of the big main aewer now
bolng constructed will b ten feet below
the bead, a fall of two and one-half feet
being maintained throughout about half
of It and a fall of three and one-half feet
throughout the remainder. Ita capacity will
be 7u.(juo.ooo gallons every twenty-four hour.
Oght small sawers now built will empty
Into tha North Omaha main. These are tha
Chicago aewer, two feet four inches; tha
California sewer, three feet six Inches; the
Izard sewer, eight feet five Inches, and
f:" smaller sowers. The contemplated
Burt street sewer, which Is planned to
extend west through the hill on Twenty
fourth street to Thirty-fifth or Fortieth
streets, will also empty Into the big main
now being constructed. The North Omaha
main sewer Is Intended to drain practically
three-fourths of that part of Omaha lying
north of Cuming atreet.
The first sewer construction on Ixard
atreet was In 1884, when an eight and one-half-foot
sewer was built for a short dis
tance on that street, the piping taking tho
place of a email creek which ran through
that aection of Omaha before tha growing
city compelled Ita displacement.
When the sewer was built a ravine ad
jacent to the creek waa filled and the four
story brick building of tha Woodman OH
work was built on this filled ground
Shortly after the completion of the short
sewer and the erection of the building,
a terrific storm broke early one morning
and flooded the entire north section of the
city. The water rushed down in torrents
where the old creek used to be and not
stopping for tho four story brick building
tore a hole fifteen feet In diameter In It
and went rejoicing to the river.
Naturally, when the storm abated con
First thing In the morning when tha
extent of the atorm damage was known,
the Board of County commissioners and tha
city council were both called together in
an extraordinary session. The commission
ers had previously decided to abandon a
bridge across the creek, but they resolved
that: "Whereas, it la Impossible to put a
bushel in a peck measure," or in other
words, to put a creek Into a sewer pipe,
they would not tear down the bridge. The
council talked all forenoon about the advis
ability of abandoning the whole North
Omaha sewer project, and Mr. Woodman
treatened to bring suit against the city for
damages to hts building.
The council tookno definite action and
Mr. Rosewater, who was then city engineer,
started out to make a thorough investiga
tion, for, aa he says, as he looks back now
to that day, when ho was a young man
practically starting out In hi career, he
was somewhat nervous. For If the damage
done by the storm had been his fault It ia
quite probable that he would not now be
city engineer of the city of Omaha.
But be that aa it may, the city engineer
made a thorough investigation and proved
to hi own satisfaction as. well as to the
satisfaction of the city council that he
was not at fault
The city engineer began at the Woodman
Oil worka and traced the awath of the
storm up to Fortieth and Farnam streets,
where the old county road was In the
early day. The land was low and a
high grade had been built for the road.
HE captain of a certain yacht
itr I had evinced an anxiety touch
I I lng a mishap to the craft that
tention of a fair passenger on
"What's the trouble, captain?" ask she.
"The faet is, ma'am," waa the response,
"our rudder's broken."
"Oh, I shouldn't worry about that," aairt
the lady. "Being under the water nearly
all the time, no one will notice that it's
gone." Harper's Weekly.
A Foolish" bbarrvance.
W. H. Singer, the Pittsburg millionaire,
who, on his golden wedding anniversary,
distributed $16,CO),000 among hla four chilli en
Impute a part of hi success to plain,
straightforward and frank dealing.
"Time and money alike are lost," said
Mr. Singer recently, "by the observance of
useless form and ceremony. Think of Dr.
"Dr. Jobson. you understand, was a
famous specialist. He had a rule It ex
pedited business that each patient must
divest himself of hi garments In an outer
room before 'entering the private office re
examination. Jobson grew very testy if litis
rule were disregarded.
"A man one day entered the doctor's
office, fully clad.
" 'I don't know what yen mean, sir!''
aald Jobson, angrily. 'All must remove their
clothing before coming in here to me. That
In my rule, and J'll request you to observe
"With a hasty apology tiie man withdrew,
lie returned in a few minutes with nothing
on. Dr. Jobson smiled.
" 'And now, sir, what can I do for you?
he said, graciously.
" '1 have called,' said the naked man,
'about that bill of Tailor Snip's. It Is a
long time overdue, Doctor.' "Minneapolis
Wit ike Bench.
The late Mr. Justice Day did not often
Juke, but when he did his wit was un
doubted. An undertaker was defendant
in a slander case, and in evidence auid
he left his card on the plaintiff. In rroas
examination he produced hi trade card,
with a telegraphic address. Mr. CrUne
asked him what he wanted a lek-grapnic
address for. "Oh," aald the Judge, Inter
posing, "I suppose It ia for the benefit of
people who want to be burled In a hurry."
A certain Chicago merchant died, leaving
to his only son the conduct of an ex
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This grade formed a pond on the west
which held about 6.000,000 gallons of water.
When the Btorm struck that early morning
the grade, gave away and the torrent of
water weighing about 40,000,000 pounda was
let loose from the hill, 150 feet above the
oil worka and come down like a Johnstown
flood, going through the four story building
like a battering ram, carrying with it wooden
paving blocks and debris of all sorts.
Mr. Woodman was president of the board
of public works at that time and as the
company waa negligent In not providing
for the carrying away of an Influx of water
when it built its structure across the old
ravine, and not the city, the threatened
damage suit never materialized.
One other sewer aside from the North
tensive business, and great doubt waa ex
pressed In Sf me quarters whether the
young man p'ossessed the ability to carry
out the father's policies.
"Well," said one kindly disposed friend,
"for my part, I think Henry is veiy bright
and capable, I'm sure he will succeed."
"Perhaps you're right," said another
friend. "Henry is undoubtedly a clever
fellow; but take it from me, old man, he
hasn't got the head to fill his father's
shots." Harper's Weekly.
'Ihe Groundhog" Senator.
Charles E. Wells, who lias been called
the groundhog senator of Wet Virginia,
becauso he oncu introduced a bill advocat
ing the changing of groundhog day from
lYbiuury 2 to July 4, wa staying over
night at the !rund hotel of a budding
West Virginia village not long ago. j
He was awakened In the morning by
heavy pounding on his door, and the voice
of the old man night clerk spying: "Five
o'clock! Better get up or you'll mis your
Mr. Wells didn't Intend to catch a morn
ing train and hadn't given any instruc
tions that he should be railed at the un
earthly hour of 5 o'clock, so he paid no
attention to the old man's early morning
greeting ami was aslor again almost Im
mediately. In about fifteen nilimu-s he was again
awakened by the iou:-.cl!hg on his door and
heard the voice of th? old man saying apol
ogeth ally. "Don't get up; I rapped on the
Preferred Them Soft.
Mm:'. Scmbilch, at one of the dinner in
New York that the unwelcome new of
her approaching retirement elicited, vi
vaciously related stories of the stage.
"I know," said Mine. Rerubrlth. "that
yoj have in America a tragedian who play
Hamlet behind a screen, selling I)
grocers after each pet forma nee, the fruit
and vegetable that have missed their
"This tragedian must be amusing, I re
gret hut I've never seen hlin. I have,
though. In Texas, seen Callo. ('alio sings
In falsetto the tenor role of Puccini'
"The public, especially in the 'star' song,
make a target of poor ('alio, and the after
noon I heard him sing, the creature wa
pretty badly bruised.
"In the inlJut. of his 'star' song, some
one hit him with a turnip. HI nose began
to bleed and he held up hi band for
silence. When the music (topped Callo
" 'Ladles and gentlemen, in the last act
your missile were chiefly egg. Egg are
messy things, they make one's costume
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EXCAVATION FOR TUB GREAT IZARD STREET
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RAILROAD TRACKS CROSS THE SEWER.
Omaha main has been completed during the
current year and two others are now in
course of construction. That which has
been completed la what la known a the
Bedford Place sewer, extending from
Thirty-fourth and Pinkney streets south
westerly to Bedford avenue. This cot
The sewers now being built are the con
crete storm water sewer on Forty-seventh
street and the extension to the Jones
Offerman Bros, of Pouth Omaha are
building the former which will extend
from Hamilton street to Military avenue,
a distance of ten blocks. This Is a four
foor sewer and will cost $12,000. The other
sewer will be 3,600 feet long and will ooat
so atiff and sticky; and its awfully odd,
but I wa Just about to remark, when that
turnip struck me, that I preferred turnips
to eggs only would It be asking too much
of you to boll them first?' "St. IouIh
General Sheridan used to take delight In
telling the following:
"A young man seated at dinner one time
said to his wife:
'Ellen, If you are good at guesaing,
here Is a conundrdm for you. If tiie devil
should lose his tall, where would he go to
get another one?"
"After aome time spent in guessing she
gave It up.
" 'Well,' sslJ he 'where they retail splr.ts.'
"Eager to get it off, she hastened lo a
lady friend with:
" 'Oh. Marian, I have audi a nice conun
drum; Joe Just told me of it. I know you
can't guess it. If tho devil should loso
his tail, where would he get another one? '
"Her friend Marian, having given it up,
" 'Where they sell liquor by the glass.'
"Marian couldn't see the point of the
Joke." Philadelphia Ledger.
1'rleat Resist tiravity.
The Rev. Philip Shredanovich of the
(iret-k Orthodox church of Buller, Pa.,
claim that he has perfected an Invention
by which he hope to conquer tte law of
gravity, which will make It possible for
man to 'navigate the air without fear of
tailing back to earth.
What will make the contrivance particu
larly interesting is the fact thut, according
to the inventor, it can be made t circum
navigate the world In a day by sailing hi
Ihe direction of the lotation of the t at til.
The pricat, In answer to his critics, said
yeterdai , "Wait until you know the secret
and you will not scoff. Small men are
not able to See higher than their noses
A I'olltieal Cs.aen -y.
The old saw say that "ixlltlcs make
strange bedfellows," and it Is likewise a
fact that the professional politician ia fre
quently moved by the "exigencies of tliu
rase" to acta that will not stand ?loe
scrutiny. Not alone Is this so In the prei
nt day, but it wa so "in the day of thj
When Hannibal Hamlin first b-gan hla
political career be wa once at a caucus
la llampcen, the only attendant besides
himself being a citizen rf very tall stature
and ponderoua build. Mr. Hamlin bad
some resolution to pas which began by
reprtsentiug that they were prcatnUd by
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about $40,000. It will vary in dimensions
from four feet two inches to eight feet in
diameter and is being built by R L Kenny
of Omaha. It will extend from Sixteenth
and Pacific street four blocks west
to Twentieth street thence south to
Center , street and thence west to
Twenty-first street and Lincoln avenue.
Both the Forty-seventh street sewer and
the extension to the Jones street aewer
are to be done by May 1, 1909. Tha forty
seventh street aewer 1 being built of con
crete while the other Is of brick construc
tion. With the completion , of 'these sewers.
Omaha will have a sewerage system . of
over 180 miles, the total cost being con
siderably In exceas of $2,500,000.
a "large and respectable" gathering of
voter, and he proceeded to read and
"vote" them on to tlus records of the
"Hold on," cried the other man. "Ws
can't pa that, for It ain't true,"
"What Isn't true?" demanded tha wily
"It ain't a large and respectable cau
cus," objected the other member of the
assembly. "There's only two of us."
"That's all right, brother; that's all
right," assured Hamlin. "It gees a read.
Jrst you keep allll. Thia is a large and
respectable caucua. all right. Tou'r largo
and I am respectable."
And the resolution "passed" without fur
ther demur. New York World.
The Emperor's Orderly.
Frenchmen of every rank and class dearly
love titles. The manager of a Paris in
surance company was decorated with the
Legion of Honor a few days ago, and the
clerks In the employ of the company
presented him with a piece of plats to
which their visiting cards were attached.
On looking over these he waa good deal
puzzled and amused by the visiting card
of the office "boy." an old soldier from
the Invalidea, who was employed to open
the office door from nine till four. Under
the man' name wa the title, "The Em
perors Orderly." He sent for tha old
soldier, who stumped In and saluted.
"Of what emperor are you the orderly,
and how?" he aaked. The old Invalid
drew himself up to attention.
"1 am the orderly of the emperor," be
said. "Napoleon, le Petit Corporal."
' But he la dead. He has been dead some
time," answered the puxiled manager.
"I dust his tomb for him," growled the
old soldier. London Express.
Helping; the Iloubtlag.
Bog Fitzsimmons, In the course of one of
the lessons in physical culture that ha has
b;e:i giving t) the poll a of Plalnvlew, N. J.,
paused and said:
"I don't take much atock In feint and
ti lt Us. I like best, open, straightforward
work, both In boxing and wrestling. With
tricks, as a rule, one only gives ons's self
away. It Is like the case of a beggar.
"A beggar, )ou must know, sat on a
cold and windy corner with a sign on h s
brtust, 'Deaf and Dumb.'
"Tao men passed, and one, a kind
hearted chap, slopped, looked at the beg
gar, and aald:
" 'I'd like to give this man something,
but how am I to know that h Is deaf
" 'Read the aign, sir,' tho Dec gar whls
jr4 cautiously." Roreueatar UenUd.
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