Greater America to People of Omaha



Management of the Exposition Gives a Complete Statement of Its Present Status.

Requests the Business Men to Take a Hand in Pushing Along the Project Already an Assured Success.

The following address was issued yesterday by the management of the Greater America Exposition:

Omaha, April 15.—To the People of Omaha: The gates of the Greater America exposition will open July 1, closing on November 1. The exposition management has pursued its work quietly, but effectively, and it is import-ant at this time that public interest in Omaha toward this great enterprise should be so thoroughly aroused that practical results, obtainable only through the co-operation of individual citizens, may be secured. In less than ninety days the exposition gates will be opened, and it is important that every citizen of Omaha shall immediately appoint himself a committee of one to advertise this exposition in every possible way. The exposition management requests that the business men of Omaha shall cause to be printed on their envelopes the seal of the Greater America exposition.

From this day every letter that goes out of Omaha should inclose some printed matter calling attention to this great enterprise. Every Omaha citizen who leaves the city should make it a point to have something to say to the people of the town he visits concerning the great exposition to be held in the city of Omaha during the summer of 1899. In every possible way individual citizens having at heart the best interests of Omaha should exert themselves toward giving the widest possible publicity to this enterprise. While the management is making all essential provision for advertising through the press, the practical results to be obtained through cordial co-operation of individual citizens are so important that the necessity of this co-operation should be clearly understood by all Omaha people.


It is true that at one time there existed a difference of opinion concerning the advisability of entering upon this enterprise, but the management takes it for granted that now the existance of this exposition is a fact. individual opinions will be buried, and that there will be a harmonious and forceful effort on the part of all Omaha's citizens to contribute to the larger success of this important enterprise. Whatever individual opinion may have been, Omaha is today confronted by the fact that within its borders a mighty exposition is to be held during the summer of 1899. This exposition has been made possible by the energy, industry and devotion to Omaha's best interests of men who believe that this city should lose no opportunity to keep itself conspicuous before the world. This situation commands for itself the the cordial recognition of every good citizen of Omaha. This enterprise, already assured of considerable success, is enitled [sic.] to the hearty co-operation of all, the people of this city.


It will not be out of place at this time to suggest for the consideration of practical men that the plant now in possion [sic.] of the exposition management was constructed at a cost of $1, 100, 000 and that the opening of the gates on July 1 will have been accomplished at an estimated expenditure of $100,000. The insignificant expenditure necessary to be made in order to obtain the plant makes it possible for the management of this exposition to put even more substance in the exhibits features than was given to those features for the exposition of 1898.

Further reference to the financial condition need not be made. It may be said, however, that the finances are in good condition, and as an illustration of this fact it may be added that for the purchase of the buildings and grounds, for fire protection, for brick and gravel contract, for fire insurance and other essentials, including the pay roll, the cost has amounted to $40,000, every penny of which has been paid. This sum does not, however, include the amount estimated for the purchase of the government building.


It is important that the people of Omaha should understand that the exposition of 1899 is, in feature, to be changed entirely from that of 1898 It will be an exposition far broader in its scope than that of last year. The government building at the exposition of 1898 attracted widespread attention and provided an important educational feature because at that time this country was emerging from its war with Spain, and every feature of armament and equipment, both in the navy and army was represented in the government exhibit.

No one who inspected that exhibit will ever forget its spendid [sic.] features, and the impression became deep because every detail of that exhibit was associated with the current history of the country. The relation to general attention of the Government building at the exposition of 1898 was similar to the relation which the Greater America exposition will, as a whole, occupy. If the details of war were the most attractive to the public mind in 1898 the details of the products of our new possessions, of the life and habits of the people of those possessions will be attractive in 1899.


Keeping in close touch with the current history of this country this exposition will, as a whole, provide an educational feature broader in its scope, more intense in its attractiveness, more thorough in its detail than was afforded by the exposition of 1898. To the men, women and children of this constructive period in the affairs of nations, the exposition of r899 will reveal more truths, dispel more fictions and provide more information than could be procured by a two years' course of reading. Entirely apart from the local consideration of the advantages of this exposition, its educational features are so important at this time to all people seeking for accurate iinformation that this enterprise finds ample justification for its existence in the very fact that it provides the American public with an opportunity to acquire, at small expense, a large fund of essential information, Without such an exposition the greater part of the American people would be deprived of this enlightenment for at least a period of several years.


The exposition of 1899, in its dominating features, will be distinctly colonial and tropical. To this end every possible effort has been made to devise and carry out practical plans with intelligent and forceful results. Through the kindness of the national authorities, the exposition management has secured facilities for the transportation from our new possessions to Omaha of people, products and things of interest pertaining to our dependencies.


So faithfully will the colonial feature of this exposition be adhered to that this feature will be distinctly represented in the decoration of the exposition grounds, every character of tropical vegetation, animal and vegetable production including birds, being conspicuous in the arrangement and details of these grounds. Landscape gardeners have already been engaged to carry out the plans in this particular. Mr. Ulrich of New York City, the distinguished landscape architect who prepared the grounds for the 1898 exposition, has been engaged to superintend this work. His plans embrace the decoration of the buildings. They also provide for a broad avenue to be marked by large palm trees brought to Omaha from the islands of the sea.


Not only will this exposition present a complete representation of what these islands produce, but a most interesting feature will be a full line of manufactured goods, showing the character of things produced from the outside world. In this display the manufacturers of the United States may obtain in a comprehensive way an idea of what these islands have to sell and what they purchase.


The management is represented in the colonies by an ample force of men, operating under capable superintendents. Mr. C. E. Llewellyn has been sent as a special commissioner to Cuba and Porto Rico. He is provided with every facility for carrying out the purpose of the exposition management in regard to exhibits from these islands.

Mr. W. W. Umsted has been chosen as a special commissioner and is en route to Hawaii. Mr. Umsted has been provided with every facility for accomplishing the purpose of his mission, and with the co-operation of the United States authorities will procure the best exhibits from that new and interesting territory of the United States.

Mr. Henry F. Daily is now in Manilla, engaged in the work of collecting exhibits from the Philippine Islands. He has been provided with ample means and authority by the exposition management and has the practical and effective co-operation of the government of the United States in his work of collecting exhibits in the Philippines. Upon his return to the United States, Mr. Daily will be accompanied by a large number of Filipinos, selected from the various islands.


Aside from the colonial features of this ex-position, the general exhibits departments will be of exceptional interest. While the management has had little difficulty in securing exhibits such as were presented at the 1898 ex-position, it has directed its best energies particularly to securing what is termed "live exhibits"—machinery in motion, producing finished products. This feature has been directly in charge of Mr. I. N. Simpson, who has accomplished success in this respect even beyond the best anticipations of the manage-lent. Already Mr. Simpson has secured applications sufficient to fill Machinery Hall. At this time there is now contracted for four times the number of live exhibits that were displayed at the exposition of 1898. Among the applicants for space is the large concern of J. B. Colt of New York City, manufacturers of projectile and signal service apparatus. The Union Metallic Cartridge company, which is the greatest of all, has been prepared at great expense for the Paris exposition. This will be shown here, and will be taken direct from Omaha to Paris; Munson Bros., Utica, N. Y , with a complete model flouring mill. The Wolf Company, model flouring mill complete, is another feature. These "live exhibits" are the strongest that have ever been I produced in the west, and the work is not yet over, but renewed efforts are being made to add to this remarkable exhibition a great many more "live exhibits," which will make it one of the best the country has ever seen. In addition to this there are a large lumber of applications for "dead exhibits " Contracts for many of these have been closed. These exhibits will be of an interesting and attractive character.


Crowning all exhibits and fixing the standard of the character of this exposition is the collection which has been won through Art Director John R. Key. Mr. Key has secured the great work of Verst Chagin, the famous Russian artist, which is now on exhibition on the continent of Europe through all its capitals. This collection embraces 157 pictures of Napoleon's campaign in Russia, and his retreat from Moscow. This collection is renowned, and embraces pictures of the re-treat said to be most realistic, in the common judgment of artists, that has ever been produced by anyone af [sic.] this generation. Director Key has also secured the co-operation of the art institute of Chicago, whose manners have agreed to allow their representative Miss Hallawell, who has been collecting paintings for the Chicago art institute in Paris Dr fifteen years, to forward to the Greater America exposition all paintings gathered by her up to the opening day. These will then be sent to Chicago. In addition to this Director Key has practically consummated arrangements with the great art exhibition at St. Louis, whereby the Greater America exposition can obtain one of the greatest collections that has been seen in the western country. It is around this high standard of fine art exhibits, already assured, that efforts will be made to build, and build wisely for the best attainable results


It is a matter of pride and gratification on the part of the exposition management that it is able to announce the conclusion of arrangements, a contract having been entered into, whereby there will be displayed in the government building the widely known collection of Gunther's war relics and paintings, known as "Gunther's museum of Chicago." This exhibit is of great historical interest to the people of the country. Added to this is the voluntary proposition of General A. W. Greeley, the famous Arctic explorer, now at the head of the United States signal service, for the loan of several hundred pictures and photographs of people and towns and cities of the islands, which have been taken by his corps. These pictures are to be brought to Omaha, to re-main here during the exposition. This, together with other important matters in Washington, is especially in charge of Mr. William E. Annin, a well known newspaper correspondent.

So far as other provisions in regard to art is concerned, that of music has taken the lead in the exposition. Every effort is being made to produce music that will be worthy of our people and of the exposition. A large number of thoroughly equipped bands are under consideration to be selected from.


Agricultural and horticultural interests will be well provided for. Arrangements have been practically consummated with the state board of agriculture to present here not only a state exhibit in the broadest and best sense, under the skillful direction of the president of the board and Secretary Furnas, but also representations from adjacent states, which are intended to cover an interstate exhibit. This will, we think, equal anything that has been produced in any part of our country in its history. Efforts are also being made to secure an irrigation exhibit in practical operation.


Apart from the live stock show, which will also be in charge of the state board of agriculture, a horse show is contemplated. This is now being organized on a basis that we have reason to believe will produce excellent results. Connected with it will be a race track, not for racing in the ordinary sense of the word, but for the exhibit of animals. The arena will be devoted to the display of saddle horses, carriage horses, together with all features that come under the bead of a horse show.


The Indian congress is an assured fact, and will be presented in a better form than last year. The committee will profit by the experience of the Trans-Mississippi exposition management by making selections not of half-civilized Indians to show the progress on their part, but of blanket Indians mainly, and these will include, we believe, the Navajoes, with their blanket manufacture, all of which will be approved and supported by the government of the United States through the commissioner of Indian affairs.


Negotiations are completed and contract signed for a museum representing the Philip-pine islands, which comprises the finest collection that has ever been brought to this country. This will be one of the most instructive and interesting museums ever presented in the United States.


The amusement section of the exposition, always interesting and never tiresome, is being developed rapidly and on a broad and comprehensive scale. The Midway will again be the resort of the amusement-loving people, and they will be given further opportunity to see the life, customs, costumes and manners of the various countries of the world. The famous Cairo Street will be there with its population of natives of the orient in all their oriental splendor. The Chinese Village will present a very unique attraction, and opportunity will be given to see even more marvelous performances of those presented by Ching Ling Foo and his assistants as the Trans-Mississippi exposition. A Filipino Village will show to the people the natives in their mode of life, their amusements, their huts, their methods of manufacture; also the water buffalo and other strange animals from these islands. Opportunity will also be given to see the natives of the Hawaiian islands and of Cuba and Porto Rico in their native costumes, life, amusements, etc. Among other concessions contracted for is the cyclorama of the famous battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain; the "Old Plantation" on a somewhat enlarged and more elaborate scale; an Electric Scenic Theater of the War, in which the central feature will be "Hobson Sinking the Merrimac;" two moving picture theaters, in which will be shown the latest and most interesting war pictures, including many of the land battles of the present war; also an elaborate scenic theater, to be known as the "Enchanted Island; or, A Midnight in Hawaii;" a Roman Theater and Tepidarium, in which will be presented an elaborate water carnival and some of the interesting and Roman athletic and gladiatorial contests. Two illusion con-tracts have been entered into. These illusions will be far superior to those shown last year. In addition to the number of concessions above mentioned, several others have been granted, making a total of twenty-six concessions on file in the department. Confidence in the possibilities of the exposition is being displayed to a remarkable degree by concessionaires, and interest has already been awakened among amusement people from San Francisco to New York.

This is a very moderate showing of the work already accomplished. While the management entered upon this task with the importtant [sic.] advantage of having obtained at a nominal cost the magnificent plant, created at an original expenditure of $1,100,000, it has been neccessary [sic.] to contend against several disadvantages and some embarrassments. Obstacles have been overcome, disadvantages have been surmounted, and, at this day, the management of the Greater America exposition, to be opened July 1, 1899, is in a position to appeal for the united and cordial co-operation of Omaha citizens, with the assurance that the great enterprise to which this co-operation shall be extended will reflect the greatest credit upon Omaha, upon Nebraska and upon the west in general.

There is much work yet to be accomplished. On its part, the management pledges to the people of Omaha the most earnest, painstaking and practical effort. In return for this service the management will confidently depend upon the hearty co-operation of every citizen of Omaha in the effort to speed the progress of this creditable enterprise.


President Greater America Exposition

DUDLEY SMITH, Secretary.

C. J. SMYTH, Chairman. J. B. KITCHEN,




Executive Committee.