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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (June 29, 1919)
THE OMAHA SUNDAY BEE: JUNE 29, 1919.
' . -: - i
Scheme Devised by Board of
Trade Based On Govern
ment Insurance; Ask Fed-
era! Aid. ,
- London, June 28. (Correspond
ence..' of The Associated Press.)
British merchants have devised a
far-reaching scheme, based to a
great extent on government insor-
ance? for capturing the trade of non
bolsEevtk Russia. They want to
put their goods into "White Russia
befora the Germans have a chance
to do so but, apart from agricultural
machinery on which the United
States already hat the call, England,
by this plan, could be far ahead of
any other nation.
The department of overseas trade
of the board of trade which is a gov
ernment institution with a cabinet
member at the head, has prepared
bill for submission to Parliament
set wide a found of $125,000,000 to
finance the insurance on the trans?
portation of British goods into Rus
sia.; Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland, head
of the overseas trade board, has
f beeiT selected to pilot the . bill
through the Commons,
The bill provides that merchants
halt be furnished with commercial
Information regarding Russia; that
regular sailings shall be arranged;
that goods shall be insured and that
banks shall be enabled to make ordi
nary., advances to, traders. Banks
. could also issue warrants, against
collateral security of insured goods
and the warrants would be valid for
purchase of British goods. They
would have a fixed value in British
Sponsors of the scheme point out
thatJthe government probably would
make a profit as was done through
the war risk insurance scheme. That
netted the government $85,000,000
Big Apple and Pear Crop.
North Adams, Mass. Farmers in
this section predict an unusually
heavy -yield of apples and pears this
ty, "v.v- ts , , . , , . V'-y " ' - f" - "
The above view shows the activity
that is taking place at Twelfth and
'Douglas streets.; , ;";;v t-i
- Ct ambers-O'Neill, wrecking eon
tractors "i, for the Skinner Pack
ing company, are nearing the end of
their work in wrecking the old
Metropolitan hotel and the building
formerly occupied by the Skinner
frodiic department, as siowa
r . . .i . - zr7&s - - -- , - r M;--r? " v 'I w- ?t v'
.yg 1 5
Last Vestige of' Kearney's Boom Days
Vanishes With Wrecking of Cotton Mill
Dream of Eastern. Financiers to Make "Half Way City" Manufacturing Metropo
lis Nearly Forgotten as Landmark is Replaced by Corn Fields Tourists-Will
Miss Pleasing Rambles Through Show Place of Lincoln Highway.
By BESS FURMAN.
Every tourist, who, feeling the
lure of the road a,id the call of Col
orado's cooling breezes, has follow
ed the Lincoln Highway westward,
remembers the old cotton mill, two
miles west of Kearney. Every coast-to-coast
wanderer has wondered at
the huge, dilapidated factory, oddly
incongruous in its surrounding corn
and alfalfa fields, and has carefully
stored its decrepit lineaments in
kodak book or memory archives as
a momento of the Half-Way-Place,
1,733 miles from Boston, 1,733 miles
Weary tourists will no longer
dine in the sha'de of the old cotton
mill, no longer climb its rotting
staircases to its queer old tower to
view the surrounding landscape, no
longer explore its donjon depths.
The old mill is being wrecked for
salvage, and when it is tourist time
again, -not vestige of it will remain
to tell the story of its final succumb
ing tovthe long-encroaching corn
fields. Long Dead Dream.
To nocturnal travelers the old
ci'tton mill is a thing of (enchant
ment, a thing of cavernous openings
aud gloomy shadow, ghostly looking
in the summer moonlight' which
flickers in reflection from a tiny
window pane here and there (mira
culously preserved from sling-shooting
small boys) like a phosphorous
glow from the face of a Hallowe'en
goblin. And indeed, the long-abandoned
building is a ghost, the ghost
of a dream long dead, yet preserving
in its huge outlines the dignity of
Some 30 years ago, a group of men
saw a vision. Easterners all, they
would build an eastern metropolis
on she plains of Nebraska. That
vision, insofar as it ever materializ
ed, was known as the Kearney boom,
a never-to-be-forgotten experiment
in Jiigh finance, when hearts beat
above. The architects of the build
ing are H. C Christensen company,
Chicago, '-III," and Harry Lawrie,
The ground is 99x132 and is all
enclosed in a most convenient way
to protect the public during the con
struction of the new Skinner Prod
uce building, which will be nine
floors, the building covering, the en
tire ground area.
This product building- will fco
The old cotton mill as it appeared during the time it was
in operation. '
high with enthusiasm at the near
realization" of the dream.
Huge business enterprises were
launched daily, and many of them
carried to completion. Paper mills,
oatmeal mills, factories, civic build
ings, public utilities of every sort,
even to a street railway system,
were in operation in an incredibly
short time. Real estate changed
hands hourly at fabulous prices.
And the most stupendous and long
est enduring of all the boom day en
terprises was the cotton mill.
Some idea of. the size of this ad
venture in high finance may be
gained from the fact that over 4.000,
000 brick were used in ' its con
struction, not to mention 100 car
loads of stone. And the floor space
amounted to 89,587 square feet.
s The Cumnocks Arrive.
It was a gala day in boom times.
There were many such. The crowds
which thronged the sidewalks were
in a furore of excitement. A jubi
lant procession, bearing a banner
triumphantly aloft, marched down
the city street, a banner announcing
to the wildly cheering populace,
"The Cumnocks Have Come."
For weeks the metropolitan daily
had been publishing the rather de
pressing information, "The Cum
nocks come not," but those eastern
capitalists had actually arrived and
were ridingf in state behind the
banner-bearing citizens in a coach
tJ., n y In - "
pushed to completion and will be
the most modern and efficient that
has ever been constructed. The
produce department of the Skinner
Packing company has been moved
temporarily to ths old Kirschbraun
creamery on Howard street, during
the construction of this new project
The first floor of this new building
will house tht up-towo wholesale
and four, if you please.fand the es
tablishment of the cotton mill was
Within 90 days, the citizens of
Kearney raised by poular subscrip
tion the subsidy of $250,000 request
ed by the company, a sum which
represented the donation of a sum
equal to $50 from every tman, wo
man and child then residing in the
city, this in spite of the fact that
other enterprises were demanding
subsidies.- But what did the towns
people care for expenses? The
boom was on I
The Bubble Bursts.
In a few years, the bubble burst,
but in those few years the cotton
mill phantasm had been wrought in
brick and cast iron and heavy tim
bers. And, perforce, it continued to
operate. Strangely enough, when
madness and suicide were stalking
through the streets of the stricken
city, in the gloomy days which fol
lowed the collapse of the boom, the
cotton mill was doing a prosperous
business. Its 500 employes were
producing a muslin equal in quality
to "Lawrence Double L,'-or "Fruit
of the Loom." Its entire product
found a ready market in China. Had
it not been for the labo situation
the old cotton mill would in all
probability be operating yet. As it
was, it enjoyed ten halcyon years of
No doubt the mulatto girls from
market of the Skinner Packing com
pany and the offices of the produce
The two top floors will be used
in feeding poultry, picking poultry
and candling eggs. .
The intervening floors will be
cold storage and the large basement
will be used for dry cold storage
and wifl contain the ice machines.
The produce department of the
Skinner Packing company was es-
Wallingford in Real Life Avenged Pal
Murdered in Sinking of the Lusitania
London, May 28. Behind the
grim, .gray walls of the Ohio state
penitentiary the correspondent last
saw him, a convict skull cap partly
covering his prematurely gray hair,
cheap, prison steel-rimmed glasses
shading his keen flashing brown
eyes, and a gaudy prison gray jack
et falling clumsily from his massive
square shoulders. '
"One of the smoothest forgers and
cleverest 'con' men in the world."
That was his reputation among the
convicts and penitentiary guards.
"He's a college graduate," Bob
Miles, penitentiary Bertillon expert,
told me when I was making one of
my daily rounds as penitentiary re
porter for a Columbus (O.). news
paper. "He's swung big deals that
have often run up into five figures,
and he can out-Wallingford J. Ru
Gradually I learned to know him
(Earl Wright we'll call him, because
that Isn't his real name), but it was
a long time before I could break
through that barrier of reserve he
built around hiself. He wouldn't
Outcrooked Two Crooks.
One day, though, he let slip the
name of a pat His face lighted up.
"Hes. a real partner and pal," he
said. "We've swung many a deal, he
and I." Then he waxed reminiscent
and smiled. "I have to laugh the
way we turned the tables on a couple
of crook Chicago lawyers who tried
to trim us "two 'poor boobs' out of
our 'western gold mine.'" Then he
closed up. '
"Telf us about it."
"Nope, nothing doing. I might
want to use that stunt again with.
Harry. That's my pal's name. It's
never been worked before nor since,
and you can bet we had it fixed so
that the Chicago lawyers won't say
any more about it. Boy, how we
the cotton mills of the south, the
French from the cotton mills of
Canada and the lean Yankee mill
workers wearing the baggy overalls,
drooping moustaches and siff hats
of the time, added a picturesque bit
of color to the Nebraska landscape,
as they stood in the doorway of the
low company houses huddled close
to the big mill.
tablished less than one year ago and
it has met with a phenomenal suc
cess. It is hard for one to realize
the great volume of business and
monetary value that the produce
business amounts to in this section.
In this department alone the Skin
ner Packing company will do a vol-
lume of business of many million
uuuis per innum m poultry, outter
and eggs. -This
building will contain over
got to those babies for $25,000, I
don't rnind telling you, but further
than that I won't go." Again he
laughed aloud. .
"But that's, not as funny as the
one Harry and I had all framed for
kidding an Ohio county out of the
land on which the court house was
built. 1 I can't tell you about that
either, but it fell through though not
because of any fault of ours.
"However, I will tell yob how
Harry and I plucked a wealthy old
village wise guy for $10,000 and got
away with it.
"He was the village Rockefeller,
who oassed around the collection
box on Sunday and spent the rest of
the week foreclosing mortgages on
widows and orphans and generally
trimming the poor- under-dogs of
Showed "Tightwad" Something.
"One of the most vaunted boasts
of this gray-whiskered old porch
climber was, 'None of them city
slickers nor confidence men could
ever put anything over on me.'
"Our1 mouths watered when we
heard of this bewhiskered village
Croesus and Harry grinned, 'Boy,
prepare the cleaners for this bird.'
1 "I wrapped adhesive tape tightly
around the finger joints and elbow
of my right hand and arm, and with
a leather glove over the hand you'd
have sworn it was an artificial arm.
A few specks of gray rabbit fur
sprinkled in my eyebrows and a
change of glasses was all the dis
guise I had.
"As soon as' we blew into this
small Ohio town I breezed around
to the office of the izar' with an
attractive real estate proposition in
a nearby town and a spiel about
paying all his expenses if he would
meet me the next day in that town
to look over the proposition.
"When I said free expenses the
old boy's eyes gleamed with visions
of a good hotel and fine feeds for
nothing,and he snapped at it. While
handing him this line of gab I took
careful lotice to see where he kept
his check book.
"That night we saw him from our
hotel window hopping down to the
railroad station for- his "appoint
ment" with me. Next day about
noon, when his stenographer was
out at lunch, we jimmied our way
two and three-fourths acres of floor
space and the plant of the Skinner
Packing company on the South Side
contains over 11 acres of floor space.
Both are owned by the Skinner
Packing company, and it gives the
company a great combination to do
business efficiently and profitably
and give superior service to the
Partridge-Thomson Company have
into his office and I got to his
check book. '
"Harry stayed in the office while
I went over to the bank. There, in
full view of the cashier, I endorsed
the check very laboriously with my
'artificial arm.' x
"The cashier looked at the size of
the check and smiled an apology.
There's no question but what this
is all right, but we don't know you,
CaHs Up "Whiskers' " Office.
"Oh, that's all right, I know you
must be careful of all these forgers
and crooks," I came back at him
amiably. 'But just call uphis of
fice. I know it's a large amount
land one must be careful.' Again I
M J J . 1. - 1, , l
smuea, ana tne jong-oeaKea, lop
eared cashier grinned with me as he
politely excused himself to call up
Old Whiskers' office.
"Of course Harry answered the
phone, and not only O. K.'d the
check, but gave a complete descrip
tion of me, laying particular em
phasis on my artificial arm.
"The cashier came back smiling
and asked me how I wanted the
money. Of course we had our get
away fixed and blew with the money.
I was, then about 25. For weeks af
ter we saw and laughed over police
advertisements for a forger, about
40, with gray hair and an artificial
arm. . v. -
"TJiey never got on to us on that,
and nobody to this day knows the
inside of it but you, Harry and my
self." v . -
Wright then told me of other
stunts in many of which the money
run up into five figures that he and
his pal had worked. "Harry is out
side working hard now to get me
out," he said once. "He'd do any
thing for me. He's a real partner
and pal and I'd go through -hell for
He often dwelt on his great love
and friendship for his pal.
Then came the sinking of the Lus
itania. That day on my rounds
through the penitentiary I saw
Wright in his cell, his head bowed,
his eyes dim, and a newspaper
crumpled in his hand. He pointed
to the story, and in the bold face
type list of dead was the name, of
his pal. "
"I'm going to France to kill Ger-
the contract for the. excavating and
will start at once. Work on the
building will be pushed snd the
building completed as soon as pos
sible. Other -buildings going op in this
section are as follows:
Simon Bros., wholesale grocers,
northeast corner Eleventh and
Dcdge streets, 132x154
Gordon, Van & Storage, Ninth
Worst Londitions in .
Poor District Veiled,
iueen Mary 1 ranks
London. The queen's eoncern
for the welfare of her people was
exemplified in a striking manner
when she summoned Lieut. Col.
W. J. Lewis, mayor of Bethnal
Green, to Buckingham palace to ob- -tain
first-hand knowledge of the
housing conditions in the poorer dis
tricts of his borough. ,"-.'' -
He told the queen that over, a
long series of years the Bethnal
Green authorities had been en
deavoring to act.- He quoted the
death rate in one part of the Bethnal p
Green area as being three times
higher than the average mortality
for London, while as to the densitv
ot oonuiatlon the ooroucrn had 41 v
inhabitants to the acre, as against
the acknowledged health standard 1
The London county council had v
Green did not approve. The Brady .
street area, as he had explained, was
the worst, and the council's scheme
did not deal with the worst part
The queen examined the plans
carefully and with interest, and
acu many tjucauuua uuuui luc
properties and the people who have
to live in them. At one point in
the mayor's story her majesty ex
"It is pretty clear to me - that
when I have visited the poorer dis
tricts I have been taken mainly to
the highways and not to the by
ways." The mayor described another set
of properties known as "back-to-back"
houses. Only the front of .
each cottage was open to the air.
mans as soon as I get out," he said.
"I'm going to make good to Harry
in this, so help me God. I'm going
to avenge my pal. I'm going to kill
That was four years ago.
Today he came into my office here
"'I've made good to Harry," was
his first greeting. .'
And as proof of this there, shown i
from his British sergeant major's
tunic were the ribbons of the Pis- ,
tinguished Conduct Medal and the
Military Medal two of Britain's
highest military honors.
and Davenport street four story -addition,
Farrell & Co.; northwest corner . ,
uin,nA?od5? stor- "
les, 00x132 for first n;t
floors, 126x132, being erected for '
them by Gordon-Lawl
New addition iust completed on '
the Gordon-Lawless building. '
Iten Biscuit company going to
build s. story sddition, 132x3
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