The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, January 25, 1902, Page 10, Image 10

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Miss Louise Jones, of Milwaukee,
niece of Mrs. Henry C. Payne, will live
with the new postmaster peneral's
family at "Washington. It is expected
that she will cut a dashing figure in
"Washington society. She is about
twenty-five years old and very beautiful.
pearl buttons an&
"Cbcir Origin
Fished from the mud banks of Ar
kansas by nondescript unfortunates,
shipied to Nebraska, turned into but
tons by skilled convict laborers and
finally retailed in the markets of the
wofld, is a brief history of the career
of the "clam shells" which are now
being imported from the south. This
is but a small part of the story, how
ever, from a commercial point of view.
In Arkansas and Mississippi 12,000
persons make a living by shell fishing,
to say nothing of the host of laborers
employed in the button factories
throughout the country.
In Lincoln thirty-two men are em
ployed at present in button making.
Unfortunately these "are bound to la
bor for a term of years" and are tem
porarily not the masters of their own
destinies. Whether or not the calling
of button manufacture will ever become
a mammoth industry in the state is
doubtful. In other portions of the
country the factories are flourishing.
The same state of affairs may exist
here when button-making has out
grown the stigma of convict labor.
Shells are Imported from Arkansas.
The shell fisheries grew out of pearl
diving and, strange to say, the former
is now the more profitable of the two.
In Tennessee there are large fisheries
in the region of Memphis The White
and Black rivers in Arkansas are the
principal scenes of the search for these
marketable gems are realized by the
denizens of the mud banks.
Many thousands of dollars in fine
pearl fisheries each year. The shell
men make much more and from their
calling the element of chance is, to a
greater extent, eliminated.
First the pearl fever spread. The
best prizes were garnered In at the
beginning and then the fishers either
went into shell collecting or departed
looking for other fields to conquer.
The more sensible of the pearl fishers
were soon convinced that it was a
great deal better to save the shells af
ter they had been examined for pearls
and sell their collections to the button
factories which soon began operations
in the vicinity of the White and Black
rivers. Shells sold at from Jo to 7 a
ton and the figures approximately rep
resent the market price today. The av
erage shell fisher could clear from $1.50
to $2.50 each day and, in addition, grat
ify the gambling desire by keeping his
eyes open for the always expected gem
that was to lift the mortgage on the
The soft, oozy banks of mud along
the Mississippi were soon exhausted
and the Arkansas and Tennessee pro
ducts were shoved on the market In
stead. These were found to be fully
as good and, some claim, better than
the Mississippi shells, so the industry
The hunters are an indiscriminate lot
and all sorts of men, women and chil
dren are found in their ranks. For the
women are always present and some
times the children are as enthusiastic
as their elders. The fishers are super
stitious and it is commonly thought
that children will bring good luck. So
the little fellows are instructed to find
and open shells all the time keeping
Juvenile but wary watch for the ever
expected pearls.
Sometimes there are a thousand peo
ple working In one mud bank, picking,
digging and opening the shells. They
watch each other with jealous eyes all
the while for, of course, it is the usual
thing for some lazy good for nothing
to find the pearl of great price and be
come rich by one lucky cast. For the
spirit of the patrons of Monte Carlo
is abroad among the pearl fishers and
their occupation is an absorbing and
exciting one. Each of the adventurers
is constantly erecting an extensive row
of "air castles" to be realized when his
"lucky streak" comes.
J. M. O'Hara, a dealer and pearl ex
pert of Memphis, claims the honor of
starting and promoting the industry.
Seven years ago, according to his ver
sion, he engaged In the pursuit and
helped create the pearl excitement. He
the distinction
button factory
also clamors for
starting the first
The shell fishing industry Is sure and
profitable; requires no previous train
ing, and demands no capital. The sup
ply is declared to be Inexhaustible in
both Tennessee and Arkansas. The
past year was one of the most profit
able for the shell fishers and button
manufacturers and it is asserted that
the coming year will surpass the pre
ceding one in respect to prosperity in
hese lines.
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Ticket Seller Whafs this you're giv
ing me for money?
Patron That's a $1,000 Carnegie steel
bond; isn't it good enough for two
seats in the dress circle?
T. S. No; the Washington people
won't take 'em. Pay cash or get out
of line.
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Tourist There's a worm in Hawaii
that eats hardwood and destroys all
the pianos.
Blifkins We have a piano where
can I get one of those worms?
m fifi74sii r.Ti
Absolute Perfection
Is often claimed for Shoes
that are simply stylish.
Our Mannish Shoes are
not only perfect in style,
but in every detail, being
the most serviceable lot of
Shoes ever brought to the
city of Lincoln.
Perkins & Sheldon Co.
',' . . If you Want First Class Service Call on Us . .
TfC -fl f -f ! ' WE D0 WE SELL WE CARRY
A ldllolCl ' Piano and Fur- all grades of a fine line of Car-
uiture Moving
riages & Buggies
PHONE 170.
1400 O Street . . . Open all Night
Lowney's and Allegretti's Chocolates
Rudge & Guenzel Co. 4 Rudge & Guenzel Co.
Rummage Sale
Beginning Monday we will place on sale all our
slightly damaged, shop-worn, and discontin
ued samples of Furniture at prices that will make
Quick House Cleaning. Some pieces have been
Reduced as much as 60 per cent.
Many pieces 40 per cent.
None less than 25 per cent.
Read Sunday's Journal for a partial list of pieces, and
prices of Bed Room, Dining Room, Parlor, and Library
Furniture, Rugs, Lace Curtains, Remnants of Carpet.
New Arrivals
A choice assortment of Indian Pottery, Pueblo. Navajo ware, 20c to $3.00
each; Navajo Rugs, 8.00 to $100.00.
An imported order of celebrated Sarreguemines Cooking ware, Individ
ual Handled Baking Dishes, Shirred Egg, Scalloped Oyster Dishes, and
regular size Dishes, 12c to $1.00 each.