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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Hon. William Jennings Bryan in Lafayette.

The Hon. Wm. J. Bryan, he of silver tongue passed through Lafayette Tuesday afternoon en route to Houston, where he delivered one of his brilliant lectures.

Word has been received here about noon that the ex-candidate would be on the afternoon train and a crowd of about 200 enthusiastic admirers of the Boy Orator, were on hand to give him a rousing cheer and wish him God speed. During the 20 minutes that the train stops here, Mr. Bryan was invited to go on the freight platform north of the tracks to which he replied "all right, if it is like the Chicago platform," there he made a few pertinent remarks and was presented with several bouquets, the two handsome pieces presented by Clerk of of Court E. G. Voorhies and the beautiful bouquet of little May Triay being (unreadable words).

He was presented with a silver spoon inscribed with "Good Luck," in accepting the gift he said he had been the recipient of about 40 horse shoes which had evidently lost their potent charm. As the train pulled out three rousing cheers and tiger were given for the next President.

Lafayette Advertiser 1/23/1897.

Arrives on the Afternoon Train and Delivers His Famous Lecture at night. 

Eugene V. Debs, the most popular leader of the laboring classes in America, and who, next to William J. Bryan, has the largest personal following in this country, arrived in Lafayette on the afternoon train yesterday. He was met at the train by a number of gentlemen and escorted to the Crescent Hotel where he registered. He was introduced to a large number of people with whom he chatted very pleasantly.

Mr. Debs spoke last night to a crowded house at the opera. Owing to the lateness of the hour we can not say as much about the lecture as we would like. He was given a flattering ovation by the audience and was greatly applauded throughout his lecture.
Lafayette Gazette 1/27/1900. 

At Falk's. - Billy Kersand's big mouth attracted a large audience at Falk's Opera House last Sunday night. The show was a good one, and we believe all who attended laughed for their moneys worth. 
Lafayette Gazette 1/27/1894.

Archbishop Chapelle will pass through Lafayette en route to New Orleans on February the 9th. A brilliant reception will be given to him at New Orleans, by the clergy and laity. Our people should turn in mass and greet him here at the depot.
Laf. Adv. 1/29/1898.

Archbishop Chappelle, of New Orleans, will pass through Lafayette on February the 8th. Laf. Adv. 2/5/1898

Speaks to the People of Lafayette on "Money and Morals."
 Last Saturday evening one of the most intelligent and appreciative audiences ever assembled in Lafayette listened to the most distinguished statesman that has visited our town deliver a lecture, expressed in the purest language and the most beautiful sentences. Mr. Watterson spoke for nearly an hour and a half and the most respectful attention was given the lecturer during the whole course of his talk. Mr. Watterson was introduced by Chas. D. Caffery, who said that an introduction on his part was hardly necessary as Col. Watterson had been so intimately connected with the public questions of the past quarter of a century, still it gave him pleasure to welcome him among our people. Mr. Caffery's short address was graceful and appropriate and was a pleasant salutatory to the evening's entertainment. We could hardly do justice to Col. Watterson in any report, though we would reproduce his lecture verbatim, as his personal magnetism and his wonderful fluency of language added greatly to the charm which he has over his audience.
He asked - who had not thought of the good he would do if he had plenty of money, how he would minister to the wants of his friends and to the needs of the poor. Money was relative. The man who had ten millions of dollars cut a very poor figure by the side of the man who had a hundred millions, while the poor beggar who only a measly million was regarded by these as a kind of pauper. There were men living in the great money centres who contrived to eke out a scanty livelihood of fifty thousand a year. These men could not imagine how any man could get along with less than twenty-five thousand a year. Money was not only relative; it was full of illusions and delusions.
Money was the great material affair of life. It was the pivot about which all other affairs revolved. It was the one thing universally used and abused. All men affected to hold it lightly, but secretly worshiped it. He was sometimes disposed to thank God that to him it had been at all times an instrument and not an end, and that with debts paid, he would well be himself as a gold mine for any further good that money could do him. He never knew what it was to be thoroughly unhappy until he had a good income with a number of wants. It was a good thing to have plenty of money and honestly obtained, and it was a still better thing if that money be honestly applied. There must have been many a rich man gone to heaven, men who had served God and loved their fellow men and given freely of their store to the poor. He did not think that money was a positive bar to salvation, and that it was sin to try to obtain it. It did harm in more cases than it did good. How few the instances where the possession of money had enlarged the mind and amplified the soul. It was his belief that the world had been much misled by some of its accepted maxims.
There was no maxim that appeared in so many languages and put itself in such a variety of phases as that which urges us to persevere in all things. Perseverance would divert any man from the uses for which he was born. Perseverance might be misdirected and so become vicious. Labor might be misapplied, and so be wasted. Even where success was attained, somehow it failed to bring what was expected of it. His argument was that people were constantly fixing their hearts and hopes upon the possession of some of the tangible things of life, such as office, money, an establishment or a wife. and thinking that success therein meant success in life, and failure therein failure in life.
Success in life was happiness, and the successful man was the man who believed his own wife the best woman in the world and the cottage that he called his home the sweetest place on earth. Men in their places were the men who stood. Essential as the material things of life were under right conditions to happiness and comfort, they did not always attain the desired end. Happiness was a grace of the heart and the mind. He did not believe that every man who had been short in his accounts was necessarily a scoundrel. He did not believe that every refugee need to be a thief at heart. On the contrary, he believed if the truth could be got at it would be found in many cases that there was an honest effort to repair the harm done. It always seemed to him that the worst were those men boomed as pillar of the church and masqueraded as the acme of perfection. Hypocrisy was the homage vice paid to virtue. It was also the mask behind which pretended virtue attempted to palm off her fancied jewels. Every country has its virtues and its vices, its crown of glory and its crown of thorns. Find out a nation's sins and you find out a nation's danger. The real danger sprang directly from the relation of money to the moral nature of the people.
Americans had no great aristocratic titles, and the money standard naturally became the simplest and readiest of all standards. How ready we were to overlook the sins of the rich, to forget how they got their money. What a struggle it was in all the great centres to obtain money. Humble poverty seemed to have become one of the lost arts. The genius of the nation was not engaged in honest works, but in money-making. We could not carry any money away with us when we went hence. There was often more happiness to be had over the coining of one kind thought than could be extracted out a million of money. It was true that that people who were relatively and collectively the poorest in Europe were the happiest in the world. He meant the people of Switzerland.
 Lafayette Gazette 2/12/1898.

Mr. Bernstol Schroder, who left Copenhagen in August 1901 on a tour of the world, arrived in Lafayette Thursday. He is traveling handcuffed and wears a badge with Reporter for Police Gazette written on it. The tour is being made on a wager. Laf. Advertiser 2/14/1903.

Tom O'Chilktree. - Col. Tom O'Chiltree, the famous yarn-spinner and ex-congressman from Texas, passed through Lafayette on Wednesday night's train. Ike Broussard happened to be on the same train and we expect to hear some wonderful stories.
Lafayette Gazette 2/16/1895.

C. P. Huntington Passes Through Lafayette.

A special passenger train passed through Wednesday having on board President Huntington and other high officials of the Southern Pacific. Superintendent Owens accompanied the party as far as this place, where they were joined by Superintendent Mulvey. Mr. Owen boarded train No. 20 for San Antonio where he goes to meet his family who have been in that city for several weeks.

 Lafayette Gazette 2/17/1894. 

Joe Jefferson, the inimitable Rip Van Winkle, is now adjourning with his family at his magnificent country home near New Iberia.
Laf. Adv. 2/17/1894.

A special passenger train arrived here at 11:20 a. m. Tuesday having on board president C. P. Huntington, his first assistant H. E. Huntington, and other officials. Laf. Adv. 2/17/1894.

Wells Goodhue, proprietor of "National Finance," a financial journal published in Chicago, was an agreeable caller at our office Thursday.
Laf. Advertiser 3/1/1905.

Distinguished Visitors.

 Several distinguished persons passed through Lafayette this week and honored the Southern Pacific station with their presence just a few minutes. Mme. Bernhardt, known to fame as the "divine Sarah," and the great Coquelin, who were on their way to New Orleans from the Pacific coast, paid Lafayette a visit, but as their stay was necessarily short they failed to "drop in on" the local press. President Hays who is said to receive an annual compensation of $55,000 to shape the destinies of the of the Southern Pacific system, Mr. Julius Kruttscnnitt, Mr. Van Vleck and other big guns of the railway circles spent one night at the station occupying some of the company's finely equipped cars. The Gould party passed through a few days ago on its way to Texas.
Lafayette Gazette 3/2/1901.


The magnificent car conveying President McKinley, the members of his cabinet and several ladies, to the Pacific Coast, passed through our town last Thursday night at 10:55. A goodly number of our people congregated to the depot to endeavor to catch a glimpse of the head of the nation, but as he had retired, no one ventured to disturb his dreams, so the train quietly pulled out, and we did not get a speech nor a handshake. Lafayette Advertiser 5/4/1901.


Last Wednesday at 4:30 p. m. President McKinley arrived in the Crescent City. The most elaborate preparations had been made for the reception of the chief executive and for weeks past the ways of entertaining him had been an absorbing topic of conversation. Particular attention paid to the banquet given him at the beautiful St. Charles Hotel, and the reception, by the Louisiana Historical Society, at the Cabildo, was a notable event. A Boat Trip on the palatial steamboat, City of St. Louis, was also a feature of the entertainments as were the military displays of the various companies who took part in the different receptions. The people of the metropolis of the South, with the governor of the State of Louisiana at their head, greeted the august visitor with a hearty acclaim, and tendered him welcome, friendship and hospitality to the utmost of their ability. 
Lafayette Advertiser 5/4/1901.

Just Passing Through.

There passed through here last Monday on train No. 20, forty-two dark skinned fierce looking Africans, natives of the kingdom of Dahoney, on their way to the fair in California where they will be placed on exhibition. There were twenty-eight men, fourteen women, and two Amazons or women warriors. They had in their car woolen idols. musical instruments and implements of warfare. One of the party was a prince by the name of Cuahjua Aguavi, son of the ex-king Behauzin. The men as the women were profusely bedecked with ornaments of iron, brass, copper, ivory and glass beads. These Africans will remain in California until the close of the Fair when they will be sent back to their country, according to the agreement made with their king. It was through the courtesy of Mr. Pene, an agreeable old gentleman who had them in charge, that we were able to obtain the above information. Lafayette Advertiser 5/26/1894. 

 The above mentioned Fair was the World's Fair of 1894 in San Francisco, California. I found this article from the website sf-Found, a site about San Francisco's history: 

"Chicago's 1893 Fair commemorating Christopher Columbus' Discovery of America (one year late) was nicknamed "The White City". That title could well have served its sister world's fair, The California Midwinter International Exposition, San Francisco, for the nation's second world's fair in 1894 was actually for white people only. To be sure, there were other "colored" people at the Fair, but they did not enter through the admission gates. The Midwinter Fair, as other popular events of the Victorian Era in San Francisco, contained within it the cultural mindset of its 19th century creators.

The consensus of the era regarded all other peoples than Western European whites as curiosities to be displayed, studied and comprehended. Any level of ethnic, racial sensitivity in that era's thinking was on the brink of social consciousness. Equality as a precept toward all people on the planet was still a long way down the road. At both world's fairs, there were days honoring special events or people. At the Columbian Fair, Frederick Douglass mildly scolded the exposition management for having ignored the American Negro. He made that assessment on Colored Peoples Day, August 25, 1893. On May 2, 1894, the Midwinter Fair celebrated Colored Americans Day. Some black city dwellers took exception to this "needless drawing of the colored line."

  Commensurate with the prevailing mindset of the times, black men (women were another whole story) were excluded from the white mens labor movement in the city. That prohibition kept them out of the trade unions which in turn meant they could not erect a building at the Midwinter Fair. The blacks could not show their building talents at the Fair. Oh, yes, there were black men skilled in the building trades back then. The white mens labor movement had formidable problems of its own developing the cohesion among white men to fight for justice in the workplace. The white organizers reasoned not to include black men or women (of any color) at least because neither of these groups had the right to vote and therefore commanded no political clout.

 The various ethnic and racial groups on display at the Fair were there for visitors' curiosity and ideally for educational purposes. Along the spectrum of displays, at best these groups would inform. At worst, they were seen as specimens or freaks. A front page story of a local paper read: "Trouble among the Freaks" referring to unhappiness among the Javanese, Arabs and Egyptians at the Fair.

 Former California Governor Pio Pico, who served twice at that post, was invited to the Columbian Fair. He indignantly refused fearing he would be on "display". White Americans had at least two strikes against them according to the Governor. It was American law that had validated an American claim to his vast land holdings in Southern California leaving him less than affluent in his old age. Sensing the Gringo mindset of the Fair, the Governor knew his California heritage including Native American, Afro-American, Mexican, and Spanish that produced his Mulatto appearance would make him a good candidate to be gawked at like a geek in Chicago. He would have none of that.

 The 1894 Midwinter Fair gave the White American family an opportunity to stand at the threshold of the world, peek in at others, try their foods, watch their cultural rituals, and hopefully move close enough to hear what the rest of the world had to say."

--Mae Silver


Barth, Gunther, Instant Cities New Mexico, 1988
Daniels, Douglas Henry Pioneer Urbanites Pa. 1980
San Francisco History Room Archives, Midwinter Fair Files
San Francisco Examiner May 19, 1893; front page

From the Lafayette Daily Advertiser of November 11th, 1959.

 Paul Harvey, nationally known newspaper columnist will be in Lafayette Dec. 6 where he will make two addresses.

 Harvey, whose columns appear in the Daily Advertiser, will address a South La. Institute assembly in the morning and a  Blue Key national honorary fraternity at noon. The assembly, open to the public, free of charge is set for 9 a. m. in the SLI men's gymnasium. The luncheon will be held at noon at Oakbourne Country Club under the auspices of the SLI Blue Key chapter. The public is invited. Tickets may be purchased from the assistant dean of men at SLI; any Blue Key member; or the following businessmen; Alex Stirling, Tom Pears and Francis Delhomme.

 The news analyst is being brought to Lafayette under the co-sponsorship of SLI and the SLI student body.

 Harvey's syndicated column has grown faster than any other began during the last 20 years and his three books were best sellers.

 Thoroughly schooled in broadcasting since he was 15 years old, Harvey is an old radio hand. He was still in knickers the first time he announced on station KVOO in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 In junior High School he collected a series of medals for winning oratory and debate contests. He became champion orator of Oklahoma.

 "I made such a nuisance of myself around the studio that they had to put me on the payroll in order to limit my hours," he says.

 For a time in his early radio career Paul Harvey managed a radio station in Salina, Kansas, also "announcing, selling, and sweeping out at night.'" He did news broadcasts in Oklahoma, City, and then went to KXOX in St. Louis, as special events director.

 Harvey went to Hawaii for special broadcasts when the Navy concentrated its fleet in the Pacific in 1940. Subsequently, he was director of News and Information for Michigan and Indiana before his enlistment in the Air Force. He received a medical discharge in 1944 and headed for Chicago.

 From then on his rise was meteoric.

 When he gave his famous obituary of President Roosevelt on April 13, starting with "A great tree has fallen..." one station received 10,000 requests for reprints.

 Lafayette Daily Advertiser 11/18/1959.

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