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Source: A History of Buffalo
Source type: book
Document type: book chapter
Document title: “In the Era of the Railways: 1851-1908” [chapter 3]
Author(s): Larned, J. N.
Volume number: 1
Publisher: Progress of the Empire State Company
Place of publication: New York, New York
Year of publication: 1911
Part/Section: 1
Pagination: 62-96 (excerpt below includes only pages 86-90)

Larned, J. N. “In the Era of the Railways: 1851-1908” [chapter 3]. A History of Buffalo. Vol. 1. New York: Progress of the Empire State, 1911: sect. 1, pp. 62-96.
excerpt of chapter
Pan-American Exposition; Pan-American Exposition (financial outcome).
Named persons
Frederick Almy; Frank Burkett Baird; A. L. Benedict; George K. Birge; Herbert P. Bissell; Karl Bitter; George Bleistein; John M. Brinker; William I. Buchanan; Newcomb Carlton [misspelled below]; John M. Carrere; George Cary; William A. Coffin; Frank A. Converse; Walter Cook; David T. Day; Conrad Diehl; W. Caryl Ely; August C. Esenwein; Samuel J. Fields; Edwin Fleming; Henry Montgomery Gerrans; Charles W. Goodyear; Edward B. Green; Harry Hamlin; William Hengerer; William H. Hotchkiss; John Galen Howard; John Hughes; Charles R. Huntley; Joseph. T. Jones; Frederick C. M. Lautz; Henry Cabot Lodge; William McKinley; John G. Milburn; Edwin G. S. Miller; Thomas M. Moore; J. H. Murphy; Robert S. Peabody; Selim H. Peabody; Henry J. Pierce; Robert Cameron Rogers; Theodore Roosevelt; Henry Rustin; John N. Scatcherd; Robert F. Schelling; George F. Sever; George F. Shepley; Carleton Sprague; Thomas W. Symons; Frederick W. Taylor; Charles Yardley Turner; Rudolf Ulrich [first name misspelled below]; George Urban, Jr.; John B. Weber; Algar M. Wheeler [first name misspelled below]; Ansley Wilcox; George L. Williams; Timothy L. Woodruff.
This chapter includes a photograph of the Milburn home as an unnumbered plate facing page 91, accompanied by the following text: “This house, which was built early in the development of Buffalo, was occupied and owned from 1884 to 1904 by John G. Milburn, the leading attorney, and a close friend of President McKinley. When the President was shot on September 6, 1901, he was taken to this house, where he was tenderly cared for until his death on September 14th. Mr. Milburn removed to New York about 1904, and afterward parted with the house.”

From title page: A History of Buffalo: Delineating the Evolution of the City.

From title page: By J. N. Larned, with Sketches of the City of Rochester by the Hon. Charles E. Fitch and the City of Utica by the Hon. Ellis H. Roberts.


In the Era of the Railways: 1851-1908 [excerpt]

     The project of an All-American exposition of arts and industries, to promote trade and social relations between the countries and peoples of North, South and Central America, and to be held on the Niagara frontier, was conceived and urged in 1896 by Captain John M. Brinker, of Buffalo. A number of enterprising capitalists and business men became interested in the scheme, and a Pan-American Exposition Company was incorporated in June, 1897. In the following September the directors of the company selected Cayuga Island, at La Salle, about two miles from Niagara Falls, for the site of the proposed exposition; but prospects of war with Spain and other discouragements brought a halt in the undertaking and it went not much farther at the time. The idea, however, was kept alive. [86][87]
     When the war with Spain had come and gone, Mayor Conrad Diehl, of Buffalo, was induced to revive the proposition, as one which our city should take in hand. He did so in a special message to the Common Council, which called out an effective response. A new company was incorporated, originally capitalized at $1,000,000, but having that amount raised quickly to $2,500,000. The company was authorized to issue bonds to the amount of its stock, and both stock and bonds were taken, mostly at home. Appropriations of $500,000 and $300,000 for National and State exhibits were obtained at Washington and Albany, and agencies for wakening interest in the enterprise worked actively in other parts of the Union and abroad. Cayuga Island was discarded as a practicable site for the exposition, because of inadequate railway facilities, and the use of large grounds on the northern edge of Delaware Park, with some use of the Park and its beautiful lake, was obtained. The Spanish style of architecture for buildings was adopted as appropriate, in view of the extent to which the Spanish-American peoples were expected to participate.
     When all preparations were in working order, the organization of chief officials of the Pan-American Exposition was as follows:
     President: John G. Milburn.
     Secretary: Edwin Fleming.
     Treasurer: George L. Williams.
     Directors: Frank B. Baird, George K. Birge, Herbert P. Bissell, George Bleistein, John M. Brinker, Conrad Diehl, W. Caryl Ely, H. M. Gerrans, Charles W. Goodyear, Harry Hamlin, William Hengerer, Charles R. Huntley, John Hughes, William H. Hotchkiss, J. T. Jones, F. C. M. Lautz, John G. Milburn, E. G. S. Miller, H. J. Pierce, John N. Scatcherd, R. F. Schelling, Carleton Sprague, Thomas W. Symons, George Urban, Jr., George L. Williams. [87][88]
     Executive Committee: John N. Scatcherd, Chairman; George K. Birge, Conrad Diehl, Harry Hamlin, Charles R. Huntley, J. T. Jones, Robert F. Schelling, Carleton Sprague, Thomas W. Symons.
     Director-General: William I. Buchanan.
     Commissioner-General and Auditor: John B. Weber.
     Director of Concessions: Frederick W. Taylor.
     Board of Architects: John M. Carrere, Chairman; George F. Shepley, R. S. Peabody, Walter Cook, J. G. Howard, George Cary, Edward B. Green, August C. Esenwein.
     Director of Color: C. Y. Turner.
     Director of Sculpture: Karl Bitter.
     Director of Works: Newcomb Carleton.
     Landscape Architect: Rudulf Ulrich.
     Chief of Building Construction: J. H. Murphy.
     Chief Engineer: S. J. Fields.
     Chief of M. and E. Bureau: Henry Rustin.
     Director of Fine Arts: William A. Coffin.
     Superintendent of Electric Exhibits: George F. Sever.
     Superintendent of Graphic Arts, Machinery, etc.: Thomas M. Moore.
     Superintendent of Liberal Arts: Selim H. Peabody.
     Superintendent of Ethnology and Archaeology: A. L. Benedict.
     Superintendent of Live Stock, Dairy, etc.: Frank A. Converse.
     Superintendent of Horticultural and Food Products: F. W. Taylor.
     Superintendent of Mines and Metallurgy: David T. Day.
     Superintendent of Manufactures: Alger M. Wheeler.
     As happens generally in such undertakings, the appointed day for opening the Exposition, May 1, 1901, found much [88][89] incompleteness of preparation for it, but mostly in matters which general managers cannot control. Some States and some foreign countries had been late in their building undertakings, and great numbers of exhibitors were unready to make use of the space they had engaged. Something of this tardiness was due, without doubt, to the dispiriting effects of a wet and cold spring. The opening of the Exposition to the public took place, nevertheless, on the appointed day, but the formal ceremonies of its inauguration were postponed until the 20th. Exercises held then in the Temple of Music included addresses by Vice-President Roosevelt, Lieutenant-Governor Timothy L. Woodruff, of New York, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, and Mayor Conrad Diehl; with noble poems read by Robert Cameron Rogers and Frederick Almy.
     The United States Government interested itself most heartily in the Exposition, and realized most perfectly in its finely organized exhibits the instructive main purpose in view. Every department of the government contributed something interestingly representative of the functions and public services it performs, or of the national resources and activities over which it presides. The three buildings of the group in which these exhibits of governmental work were arranged became the centers of a more substantial attraction than any others on the ground.
     Thirteen of the States of our Federal Union were represented by handsome buildings under official care. The fine permanent building of New York State, in marble, on public park grounds, is now the property of the Buffalo Historical Society. The New England States were joined in the erection of a beautiful building for their common use. The other States represented by governmental buildings were Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Porto Rico, alone, of the outlying possessions [89][90] of the United States, presented exhibits in a building of its own. Other American countries which contributed admirably, not only to the Pan-American display of resources and products, but to the housing of them, were Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
     That Buffalo was benefited by the Exposition will hardly be disputed; but in immediate financial results it was not a success. A late-coming spring and a singularly unfavorable state of weather throughout most of the months following were blighting in themselves; but the fatal stroke came in the awful tragedy of the assassination of President McKinley, which occurred on the 6th of September. While holding a reception in the Temple of Music, on the Exposition grounds, the President was shot by a Polish anarchist, who approached him in the passing line of people, with a pistol hidden by a handkerchief in his hand. Death was not immediate; there were eight days of suffering, heroically endured, while the country was thrilled with hopes and fears. Death came on the 14th, and Vice-President Roosevelt immediately took the oath of office as President, at the residence of Mr. Ansley Wilcox, who was his host at the time.
     To many thousands of people the Pan-American Exposition is a delightful memory; but it was not thronged as it needed to be for an immediate repayment of its cost. The total admissions were 8,120,048; the total revenue from admissions $2,406,875.80. The total expenditures upon it were $9,447,702.93; the total income, including payments on capital stock and proceeds from the sale of bonds, was $8,869,757.20. The loss to stockholders ($1,643,203.50 in amount) was entire. First mortgage bonds were paid, but nothing was received by the holders of the second issue, of $500,000. Towards the payment of unsettled accounts, which amounted to $577,945.73, a Congressional appropriation of $500,000 was obtained.



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