Gay Banquet of Iowans
- Publication: Omaha World-Herald
- Date: 21 September 1898
- Publication Place: Omaha, NE
- TEI XML: transmiss.news.owh.18980921b.xml
GAY BANQUET OF IOWANS
Hawkeye Exposition Commission Inaugurates Festivities With a Jolly Fete.
Distinguished Nebraskans Guests and Rare Speeches Follow the Elegant Spread.
Lafe Young Is There From Santiago—Senators Allen and Thurston Talk—Judge Deemer and Others.
Today is Iowa day at the exposition, and in order to crowd as much entertainment and enjoyment into the allotted time as possible, the festivities incident to the occasion were commenced last night, and will be continued during today, with brief intermissions, until the appearance of the sun over the Iowa bluffs announces the approach of another day.
The occasion was inaugurated by a banquet at the Omaha club last night, the Iowa exposition commission being the host of the occasion and the honored guests being Senators Allen and Thurston and Representatives Mercer of Nebraska, the venerable ex-Governor Alvin Saunders, President Wattles of the exposition, Major C. E. Hambleton, secretary of the Illinois commission; Managers Lindsey, Rosewater, Kirkendall, Bruce and Babcook Adjutant General P. H. Barry of Nebraska, Adjutant General Byers of Iowa, Colonel McHenry and Colonel Wyman of Governor Shaw's staff, Secretary Wakefield, C. S. Montgomery and R. W. Richardson of the exposition, Mayor Jennings of Council Bluffs and several of the citizens of that municipality.
The banquet was held in the large hall at the club, the tables forming three sides of a hollow square. Meteor roses and delicate, lacelike ferns formed the decorations, the deep, rich red and delicate green forming a beautiful contrast on the snowy background of the linen. The menu was of that delicious and epicurean variety which is characteristic of the club, and the service was faultless.
Ex-Governor S. B. Packard, chairman of the executive committee of the Iowa commission, acted as the toastmaster of the evening. President Mallory being detained in Texas by private business. The speaking was interspersed with entertaining selections by the Dudley Buck quaruet of Council Bluffs, composed of I. M. Treynor, W. S. Rigdon, J. H. Simms and W. L. Thickstun.
When the cigars were lighted the toastmaster said the banquet was held in honor of the president and other officers of the exposition, and he introduced Senator Allen as a former Iowan, who had been loaned to Nebraska, and who had been largely instrumental in making the exposition a success.
Senator Allen reviewed the. events surrounding the inception and organization of the exposition and the struggle for recognition at the hands of congress, and spoke in the strongest terms of the gnat Importance of the exposition to the west, declaring that it would result in bringing together all sections of the country and binding the friendships thus formed. He said the people of Nebraska know no party lines where the common interests of all are concerned. but work together for the common good and he pledged the business men of Omaha the good will of the people of the state so long as the latter are shown the generous treatment that has been accorded them in the past.
President Wattles followed Senator Allen and spoke briefly of the history of the organization and carrying out of the expositron. dwelling upon the substantial support which had been rendered by the people of Omaha.
Senator Thurston was asked to respond to the sentiment "To Our Nation." He spoke briefly but eloquently, referring in well-rounded periods to the progress of the American flag over the seas and concluding in a brilliant peroration.
Ex-Governor Saunders spoke in an interesting strain of the early days he spent in Iowa, when the country now forming that prosperous state was a portion of Michigan, relating a number of most interesting reminiscences.
Judge Deemer of the Iowa supreme court spoke briefly on "The Judiciary," and At as followed by S. C. MacFarland, editor of the Times-Republican of Marshalltown and ex-speaker of the house of representatives of the Iowa legislature. He spoke of the part taken by the press of Iowa in aiding in the movement to have Iowa represented at the exposition, and declared that if the press had not taken hold of the matter there would have been no occasion for a , banquet such as was then In progress, He also talked of the progress which has been made in Iowa in the matter of news-papers in the last forty years.
Lafe Young, editor of the Des Moines Capital, bearing upon his clothes the dust of travel from the fever-laden district of Santiago de Cuba, was a late arrival on uhe scene and was at once called on to tell about his experience with the Fifth army corps, under Shafter. Mr. Young's talk was a mixture of the grave and gay; an eloquent description of the stirring scene in which he had so recently taken part and a humorous narrative of some of the brighter incidents of the campaign in southern climes. He paid a high tribute to the enduring heroism of the regular soldiers and to General Shatter, but he de-dared that if Shatter and all of the other be es a the battles been at the would have been won, just the same, so great was the determination of the troops to put into practice the art which they had been studying for the last thirty years.
Representative Mercer was the last speaker, being called on to toast "The Ladies." which duty was performed with gallant language.