As Guests of the Iowans



Exposition Authorities Tendered a Banquet at the Omaha Club.


Congenial Company Passes a Pleasant Evening and Listens to Some Wise and Witty Responses to Impromptu Sentiments.

The members of the Iowa commission to the Transmississippi Exposition were delightful hosts at a banquet given by them to the management of the exposition last evening at the Omaha club. The banquet hall of the club was beautifully decorated, great bunches of roses rising from the table, while red roses and ferns were intertwined across the white linen. Hon. S. B. Packard of Marshalltown, Ia., presided and seated with him at the head table were President Wattles of the exposition directory, Senator John M. Thurston, Senator William V. Allen and Congressman David H. Mercer.

Among the other hosts and guests noticed about the two long tables that extended the length of the banquet hall were: Allan Dawson of Des Moines, George W. McCoid of Logan, Frank N. Chase of Cedar Falls, S. D. Cook of Davenport, R. H. Moore of Ottumwa, John H. Wallbank of Mount Pleasant, J. E. E. Markley of Mason City, Owen Lovejoy of Jefferson and Captain J. F. Merry of Dubuque, all of the Iowa ex-position commission; Colonel Pratt, Major W. C. Wyman, Colonel Kemble and Adjutant General Byers of the Iowa National Guard; Adjutant Barry of the Nebraska National Guard; ex-Governor Alvin Saunders, Lucius Wells and E. C. Graham of Council Bluffs; Chief Justice Robinson of the Iowa supreme ! court, C. A. Cosgrove, Mitchell, Thode, J. C. Milliam, Editor McFarland of the Marshalltown Times-Republican, Judge Wright of Council Bluffs, Frank Merriam, Editor Lafe Young of the Iowa Capitol, Z. T. Lindsey, Edward Rosewater, W. N. Babcock, E. E. Bruce, J. A. Wakefield, R. W. Richardson and Judge Deemer.

Allen First to Speak.

In the opening post-prandial exercises Toastmaster Packard bade the guests welcome and announced that the banquet was given by the Iowa commission in honor of the president and other officers of the ex-position. When the cigars were lighted he introduced Senator Allen, who responded to the toast, "Congress and the Exposition," He reviewed the congressional, legislation that was necessary to secure the aid and participation of the government in the great enterprise from the time the bill was in, troduced until it was signed. He added: "The exposition is a grand thing to bring all parts of the country into close touch with one another. Had the north end the south been in close contact with each other thirty years ago a dreadful conflict would have been averted. The exposition is a grand educator not only of our generation, but for the more impressionable youth. I take pride in having been connected with its inception and its success."

After the banqueters had drank the health of the president of the exposition Mr. Wattles spoke briefly of the finances of the big institution. He said up to date the ex-position management had raised and expended over $1,300,000; the affair is entirely out of debt and has not been bonded for a single dollar.

A male quartet from Council Bluffs sang a timely selection and Senator Thurston brilliantly responded to the toast. "Our Nation." Among other things he said: "We do not know the boundaries of our country to-day, so the subject cannot but appall one who would reply to it. Had Dewey discovered one more Spanish fleet to follow, God knows where our boundaries might have ex-tended. Our present position has not been one of our own seeking. Whatsoever we have added, the world will acquit us of any desire for territorial extension. What we have acquired we have gained through a war in order that humanity might be relieved of the oppression of tyraiany on the western hemisphere. Whatever plans we may retain, there are no, people to whom the government of them could he better trusty than to the American people."

Something About Iowa.

Ex-Governor Saunders replied to the toast: "Early Days in Iowa." He said he went into Iowa when it was Michigan, was there when Wisconsin was formed, spent ten years in the territory of Iowa and lived six years in the state of Iowa. He helped to defeat a proposed constitution which would not have given Iowa its present broad boundaries and helped to frame the first constitution of that state. The quartet sang "Iowa" to the tune of "Maryland" and it was well received.

Judge Deemer responded to the toast, "The Iowa Judiciary," and said: "It has been suggested that the judiciary of Douglas county stands sponsor for the puny of all things on the Midway, but this is the first time the Iowa judiciary has been recognized on any exposition program." He said had it not been for Marshall and Miller no beautiful White City would have ever been built. From Marshall to Miller marks the distance between Virginia and Iowa, the one the old home of statesmen, the other the new, the same distance separating the colonies from the present glorious age.

S. C. McFarland, editor of the Marshall-town Times-Republican, made a splendid response to the toast, "The Iowa Press." Among other things he said: "Whatever the press may be in this instance, we find that Iowa would not have been represented at the Transmississippi Exposition and we should not be present at this banquet had it not been for the work of the Iowa press. The newspapers of Iowa brushed aside foolish sophistries of opposition and extended a cordial welcome to President Wattles, Manager Rosewater and Governor Saunders when they came to us for support of the exposition. There are 950 weeklies and seventy dailies published in Iowa, and their steady growth is one of the marvels of American journalism."

Lafe Young Was a Correspondent.

Lafe Young, editor of the Iowa Capitol, was introduced as a late arrival from Santiago de Cuba, and fairly captured the assembly with a pleasing narration of the incidents he encountered while acting as a newspaper correspondent with the Fifth army corps under General Shafter. He was especially enthusiastic in his praise of the fighting qualities of the regular soldiers and said no such heroism had been shown since the time when Washington's soldiers left their bloody footprints on the snow of Valley Forge. One-fourth of these regulars were black men, led by the south-ern general, Joseph Wheeler. He declared that the campaign could not have been fought better by any man than by Shafter, though the battle would have gone on had he and all the other generals been dead, because the spirit of determination was in the men.

The quartette sang "The Star Spangled Banner" and the banquetters joined in the chorus.

Congressman Mercer brought the banquet to a close with a felicitous response to the toast "The Blessed Ones—The Ladies." He told of the pleasantries of life due to women, and related amusing incidents of travel in which the fair six figured. He paid a high tribute to the host qualities of the American woman, and happily closed the after-dinner speechmaking.