News from 1902 (June)

June 3 - While working on the Government Building at the Exposition grounds about 9 o'clock this morning, William Ericson, a laborer, missed his foothold, slipped and fell 40 feet to the ground. He turned a complete somersault in falling but landed with feet and arms outstretched. Though rendered unconscious and badly injured internally, it is said at the Riverside Hospital where the man was taken that he sustained no broken bones. Ericson is suffering severely from the shock and internal injuries, but it is expected that he will recover.

The man was employed with others in tearing down the building. Just how he lost his balance is not known, but it is thought he stepped on a loose board and toppled over the edge of the building before he could catch hold of anything to save himself. His fall was unbroken and for this reason his escape is regarded as unusually fortunate.

June 11 - Preparations for the installation of the Adam organ were begun in Convention Hall yesterday. Workmen are building the foundations on which the piers of the big organ will rest. The organ has been stored in the hall every since it was taken from the Exposition Temple of Music last fall. It will take all summer to install it in the Convention Hall.

"The organ will be in condition for its first concert in Convention Hall between Sept. 1 and 15," said Col. Ward, Commissioner of Public Works.

The two weeks' engagement of Victor Herbert's Pittsburgh Orchestra comes to a close this week. Nothing is booked for Convention Hall thenceforth except the commencement exercises of the high schools. Nothing will interfere with the installation of the organ. The Carl Strauss Opera Company had engaged Convention Hall for a season of opera to follow the Victor Herbert concerts, but this engagement has been cancelled. The opera company will come to Buffalo in the fall instead.

It is expected that the organ will be used for the first time at a great free concert, a sort of musical celebration of the event. It will probably also be used at popular Sunday concerts for solos and accompaniments.

June 16 - Interesting litigatin is pending in the Equity Term of the Supreme Court which is intimately connected with the Pan-American Exposition, and which will establish some new points in law. The litigation embraces five cases against the Pan-American Exposition and its heirs, the Fidelity Trust Company and the Rumsey estate on teh one hand, and the McEvoy & Sons and Thomas Brown, Exposition creditors, on the other.

Franklin D. Locke will represent the Fidelity Trust Company and J. Henry Metcalfe and Oscar T. Taylor the Exposition interests, while Ansley Wilcox will look after the Rumsey interests. August Becker will oppose Metcalfe and Taylor in behalf of McEvoy & Sons. Shire & Jellinek will oppose Ansley Wilcox and Robert F. Schelling in behalf of judgment creditor, Thomas Brown, who has filed a lien for $29,000 upon the Exposition real estate.

The McEvoy's attorney has a lien upon the Exposition buildings as personal property. Brown's attorney has secured a lien upon them as realty.

The Fidelity Trust Company foreclosed the second mortgage upon the Exposition belongings upon real estate procedure. Now the Exposition attorneys are obliged to argue that the Pan-American buildings are not real estate, but personal property, for if they are real estate the Rumseys will be obliged to pay Thomas Brown $29,000. On the other hand, if it be proved that the Exposition buildings are personal property, then the Fidelity Trust Company will be obliged to pay Timothy McEvoy & Sons about $8000, that firm having a lien upon the buildings as personal property.

Not only will the Rumsey estate be held responsible for Brown's claim of $29,000 if the buildings are declared real estate, but also other owners of the Exposition lands, including the Schoellkopf lands and Pierce estates and Mrs. Halloway. Should they win then the Fidelity Trust Company is bound to lose to McEvoy & Sons.

In behalf of the McEvoy judgment it is claimed that the mortgage held by the Fidelity Trust Company for the second mortgage bondholders was not filed as a chattel mortage covering personal property. If this be the case the McEvoy lien upon the Exposition buildings as personal property would hold against the Fidelity Trust Company. This issue will be determined in the foreclosure suit brought by the Fidelity Trust Company.

The attorneys for Brown claim that the Exposition buildings are realty under the statute of descent which rules that leases for buildings of more than three years constitute real estate and personal property for less than three years. The leases for the Rumsey lands for the Exposition were for four years, which fact renders them particularly liable if the contention of Brown's attorneys be true.

The Exposition property owners will maintain that a mechanic's lien does not cover real estate. Brown's attorneys will maintain that it does when the buildings are in the nature of an improvement, in which case the lien holder can collect against the owner of the ground.

Thomas Brown is the surviving member of the firm of Brown, Stabell & Griffiths, which excavated the Exposition lakes and canals, and laid the foundation for the asphalt pavements. Timothy McEvoy & Sons is the firm that installed a part of the plumbing.

June 16 - Nobody seems inclined to talk about the hearing given yesterday afternoon by the House Committee on Appropriations to the New York delegation regarding the proposed appropriation for the Pan-American deficit.

It has been generally understood, however, that it was not the plan and has not been to ask Chairman Cannon to put the lien into the General Deficiency bill, which he reported today. The hearing was simply to allow the matter to be explained to that committee. Such an item, even if Chairman Cannon had consented to put it in, would have gone out on a point of order that it was new legislation not authorized by law, and that would have been the end of this session.

The original plan will not be carried out and an effort made to have the item inserted as a Senate amendment the General Deficiency bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The point of order will not then be against the proposition, and it is believed if it once passes the Senate in that manner it will be possible to retain it in the bill as an agreement in conference.

The $600,000 which may in this manner be voted to the Exposition will be used, it is understood, in paying debts of the Exposition and not for the benefit of the stockholders.

June 17 - Harry Davidson died at the Riverside Hospital last night in consequence of a fall from the dome of the Horticulture Building at the Pan-American Exposition at 6 o'clock last evening. Davidson was employed by the Chicago House Wrecking Company and was at work upon the roof of the building. Nobody saw him fall but it is supposed he lost his hold on one of the rungs of a ladder attached to one of the four columns supporting the dome.

He was found terribly mangled at the foot of the ladder. One leg was fractured in three places, the bones protruding from the flesh. It was amputated at the hospital, but Davidson died in a few hours after the operation.

He was 16 years old and lived with his parents on Masten street.

June 21 - A bill carrying an appropriation of $613, 625,000 in behalf of the Pan-American Exposition relief fund was introduced Thursday by Senator Platt, referred to a select committee and favorably reported yesterday. Immediately thereafter the subject was referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, with Senator Hale in charge.

There is a strong probability that the Senate will tack an amendment on the Deficiency bill, and it is an even chance that the House will accept the amendment. President Milburn, who has aided materially in presenting this subject to Congress, was here Thursday and after consultation between Senator Platt, Mr. Alexander and Mr. Milburn the bill was introduced in the Senate by the Senator from New York. At his suggestion it was referred to the Select Committee on Industrial Expositions, of which Senator Burnham is chairman. Favorable action by the committee was necessary to get the item included in the General Appropriation bill. The committee yesterday morning favored the bill, and Senator Platt immediately enlisted the good offices of Senator Hale to take care of the Buffalo item in the appropriation bill.

Senator Platt and Mr. Alexander have made it clear that the bill does not reimburse the men who invested their capital in the Buffalo Exposition, but simply provides for the payment of certain amounts to certain persons for material and labor furnished and rendered to the Exposition Company. Mr. Milburn has submitted an itemized statement giving the names of the persons and partnerships interested, with accompanying details. The bill provides that all claims must be approved by the auditor of the State and other departments, showing the furnishing of such articles or service to the Exposition Company and the indebtedness.

June 27 - The House today disagreed to the Senate amendments to the General Deficiency Appropriation bill and sent the bill to conference. Mr. Alexander (N.Y.) asked if a separate vote would be allowed on the Buffalo Exposition amendment. Mr. Cannon replied that he had no power to prevent a vote, and it the Senate was in earnest in insisting on the Exposition amendments he had no doubt that the House would be called upon to act, for he frankly stated that, personally, he would oppose the acceptance of those amendments.

Messrs. Cannon (Ill.), Barney (Wis.), and Livingston (Ga.) were appointed conferees...

A joint resolution was adopted providing for the printing of 100,000 copies of the memorial address on the late President McKinley, delivered by Secretary Hay.


June 27 - At the last minute today the Senate inserted an item of $45,000 in the General Deficiciency Bill for the payment of the private physicians who attended President McKinley after he was shot. This was done, it is understood, with a view to avoiding discussion of a disagreeable topic, as the doctors has been subjected to a good deal of criticism. It is owing to this criticism, it is stated, that the item was not inserted in the house.

As the Government surgeons are excluded from receiving any part of the money it is inferred that the $45,000 is to be divided between Drs. M. D. Mann, Roswell Park, Herman Mynter and Charles McBurney, but in what proportion could not be learned.

June 30 - The once beautiful Pan-American Exposition grounds have not only lost their beauty and attractiveness, but are now the graveyard of many an object that this time one year ago was contributing its part to the grandeur of the most beautiful electric city that has ever been the privilege of nations to behold.

The Midway has completely disappeared, and the smaller Exposition buildings have all been removed. The next object of general interest to the public to disappear forever from the gaze of human eye is the beautiful Goddess of Light. The Goddess, if the plans of Mr. William Gordon Bennett of the Chicago House Wrecking Company do not miscarry, will make her descent tomorrow. The Goddess, if reports are correct, is like the heart and hand of a beautiful heiress, much sought after but not possessed. The many admirers of the Goddess have either been unable financially or otherwise incapacitated from meeting the essential requirements in order to become her owner. The Goddess, when she is displaced from her present position, will be allowed to fall to the ground, a distance of 485 feet. The fall will undoubtedly shatter her to pieces, as she is made of galvanized iron. Although 18 feet in height she weighs only about a ton.

The wreckers are demolishing the buildings as expeditiously as circumstances permit. They began about the 15th of May and if they continue at the present rate every building on the grounds will have been razed in about four months. There is an enormous quantity of debris on the premises which is being disposed of as rapidly as possible. The work of demolishing the buildings, considering the dangerous positions of many of the workmen when upon the roofs of the buildings, has not been attended with as many serious acccidents as one might anticipate. So far only two serious accidents have occurred. Errickson fell from the Government Building and H. Davidson fell from the Horticultural Building. Both of them proved fatal.

"To give an idea as to the progress we are making in removing the buildings," said Mr. W.G. Bennett, "we have razed the Government Building, the Horticultural Building, the Stadium, all stock barns, and all small buildings. We are cooperating with the city in reference to the opening up of Amherst Street, which I understand the contractor is to have completed in about a month. If, however, the opening up of Amherst Street could have been postponed for two months it would have considerably facilitated our work, in addition to protecting pedestrians from the danger of being hurt by falling timber from the adjacent buildings. The large steeples on the Electricity and Machinery buildings are liable to fall at any time.

"We are now working actively on the Machinery Building, the Electric Tower and Manufactures Building. We have about 500 men on the pay roll, and we are shipping stuff all over the country at the rate of about 10 carloads a day. All our orders come through the mail and are principally from farmers and manufacturers.

"We have no little trouble with souvenir hunters - especially on the Temple of Music where McKinley was shot. Visitors are willing to assist in tearing it down, and desire to keep parts of it as compensation for their labor - all of which we strictly prohibit. Notwithstanding the fact we have size mounted guards continually patrolling the grounds, considerable petty larceny goes on. When we catch an offender in this particular, we punish him to the fullest extent.

"Every person who desires to enter the grounds is closely questioned by John O'Mahoney, the gate keeper, whose bearing is as terrifying as the statue of an ancient warrior."

June 30 - In the House toay Mr. Cannon (Ill.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, called up the conference report on the General Deficiency Appropriation bill, which left in dispute the appropriations for the Buffalo and Charleston expositions, and $1,000,000 for the repayment of Hawaiian claims. The report was adopted. Mr. Cannon moved that the House insist and ask for a further conference.

Mr. Alexander (N.Y.) asked for a separate vote on the appropriation of $500,000 for the Buffalo exposition, and Mr. Finley (S.C.) for one on the appropriation of $160,000 for the Charleston Exposition. Mr. Alexander made a strong plea in favor of concurrence in the Senate Buffalo exposition amendment. He declared that the success of the exposition was assured when the assassination of President McKinley occurred. In previous expositions, he said, the receipts of September increased over those of August 55 per cent. At Buffalo the receipts decreased 7 per cent after the assassination.

Mr. Grosvenor said he waived every technical and legal objection to the appropriation. Mr. Alexander's motion to concur in the Buffalo exposition amendment was carried, 118 to 101.


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