AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF HIRAM BOARDMAN MORSE
Is part of: MORSE FAMILY CHIMNEY ROCK PARK COLLECTION
|Title||Autobiography of Hiram Boardman Morse|
|Creator||Hiram Boardman Morse|
|Alt. Creator||Chimney Rock Park, Inc.|
|Subject Keyword :||Hiram Boardman Morse ; Todd Morse ; Chimney Rock State Park, N.C. ; Chimney Rock Park ; Morse family ; state parks ; mountaineering ; Lemuel Raymond Morse ; Anna Maria Boardman ; Lucius Morse ; Hiram Boardman Morse ; recreation ; automobile races ; genealogy ;|
|Subject LCSH :||Morse, Hiram
Morse, Lemuel Raymond
Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock Hillclimb (Automobile race)
Automobile racing -- North Carolina - Chimney Rock -- History
Carolina Mountain Club
|Description||Photograph album, and loose photographs, autobiography, and ephemeral material from the Morse Family who began the well-known western North Carolina recreation area known as Chimney Rock Park [now Chimney Rock State Park].|
|Publisher||D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804|
|Type||Text ; Images|
|Relation||Chimney Rock Postcards: Chimney Rock Park , Chimney Rock, N.C. : Chimney Rock Park, [199-?]  p. : ill. (some col.), ports. ; 25 cm UNC Asheville Special Collections ; Souvenir Of Western North Carolina : Chimney Rock Section, Asheville, N.C. : Asheville Post Card Co., [193-?] 1 sheet ( p.) : chiefly col. ill. ; 80 x 14 cm., folded to 9 x 14 cm. and tipped in cover 11 x 16 cm Appalachian State University Appalachian Collection ; Davis, Anita Price. Chimney Rock and Rutherford County. with Barry F. Hambright. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, c.2002.; Chimney Rock Postcards: Chimney Rock Park , Chimney Rock, N.C. : Chimney Rock Park, [199-?]  p. : ill. (some col.), ports. ; 25 cm UNC Asheville Special Collections ; Davis, Anita Price. Chimney Rock and Rutherford County. with Barry F. Hambright. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, c.2002 ; Edward R. Vogel. North Carolina's race to the clouds and the evolution of a motorsports event : a history of the Chimney Rock Hillclimb 1956 to 1995. Senior History paper for UNC Asheville, November 2001 [Includes archive of research material on Hillclimb] ; Carolina Mountain Club, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville.|
|Coverage||1943 ; Asheville, NC ; western North Carolina|
|Rights||No restrictions. Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.|
|Citation||Hiram Boardman Morse Autobiography, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville.|
|Processed by||D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections staff, 01/14/08,|
|Box||Page||Item I.D. #
"Meredith Baker Morse
|Hiram Boardman Morse, photograph|
In the latter. part of 1943 my son, Lucius Boardman Morse, asked me to write an historical sketch of my life. The lives of our ancestors do not usually afford much interest to their descendants, for it's life of the future and not the past that fills the minds of men. This is properly so, for the pathway of the living engrossed the individual; individual in his effort to climb and in his need to take no false step. However, I have yielded-'.V; to my. son's request and shall briefly touch upon what-seems to be the more important events of my life.
There was issued in about the year 1850 a Morse book of genealogy. About the beginning o£ the present century the, Morse Society was, formed in New York City, a social group of Morses and it was at one time planned to prepare another volume of family history, but the plan fell apart and today there is no historical book of the Morses, except the volume prepared about 1850, a copy of which I do not possess. As to the ancient origin of the family name, however, I am fortunately in possession of an interesting clue. In a trip to Europe, taken by my good wife and myself in the year 1932, we returned to New York from Liverpool aboard the English boat "Olympia." On the boat's library table was a small and old leather-bound Chamber's English dictionary. My ' brother Lucius' second, wife, Betsie, some years before, at Tryon, North Carolina, had purchased a small ornamental tile upon which was pictured a walrus head and above it the word Morse. This curious ornament caused me to turn the old pages of the Chamber's dictionary to the word "Morse" where, following italicized letters indicating Norwegian origin
|of the words the
definition was given; "Seal; walrus.". While the old 1850 book of Morse
genealogy had traced the early family back to about 1525 in eastern
England, I, became convinced that the earliest Morses were Norwegians, who
were called by the name of the sea life they successfully hunted. The
Norsemen of old frequently raided the eastern coast of England, and it is
known that many of these raiders ultimately settled on that coast. A later
trip to Europe in 1939, when we spent the Summer in Norway, taught me the
honesty, intelligence and sincerity of the Norwegian people, so that I
have no apology to make for my present belief in an ancient Norwegian
origin. In this connection, the book of Boardman genealogy, which I
inherited from my mother, who died in 1900, is annotated by me in pencil
and gives many genealogical facts relating to my mother's family, which I
made from memory about the time of her death.
I was born on my father's farm, two miles from Forsythe and ten miles north of Decatur, Illinois, on November 10, 1864. Asahel Underwood Morse was my twin brother. We were born late at night, I recall my mother related to me. My father had ridden horseback to Decatur, ten miles away, to secure a physician for Mother. Another ten miles of horseback ride in the dark and mud to reach the patient was made, so that my mother's parturition was concluded in the early, morning hours of November. 10. Asahel was born before I and, as is usual in such cases, he became in later life a man of larger physique than I.
From my mother, Anna Boardman Morse, I learned, a great deal about the various members of her family and not a little about my father's family. My mother was born in Granville, Ohio in 1834, the only daughter of Hiram.
'Boardman whose wife was Susan (Mower) Boardman.
|Boardman died in rather
early life of "Asiatic cholera, which had gained a foothold on our
continent. Susan Mower Boardman, his wife, lived for many years
with my parents at La Crosse, Wisconsin and on the farms in Illinois. I
remember. very - clearly when on a summer day, in Macon County,
we brothers were called into the house to be present as she .
breathed her last. She was a woman of. high character. Her daughter was my
own mother, .Anna Boardman Morse, a woman whose fealty to the doctrine of
righteousness never >; faltered. She lived Only to the age of sixty-five,
and passed away at St. Louis in the -year 1900.-:; My mother had two
brothers, Samuel and Lucius. About 1858 Hiram Boardman, who-had become
the wealthiest man of Granville, Ohio, traveled Iambus to the Ohio river
and made its way by boat down Cairo, Illinois, and then up the river
to Alton, where: he rode horseback to central Illionois, and selected and
purchased government Lands for his three children. Each child,
was given 320 acres of land, at a cost of $1.50 per acre. Samuel's
land was located near; Lincoln, Illinois; Lucius' land was near
Springfield, Illinois1, and Mother's : land was in Macon County, fourteen
miles northwest of Decatur; Illinois. .
The farm near Forsythe, where I was born, was a rented farm, to which my father and his family had moved in about the year I860 from La. Crosse, Wisconsin, where my father was unsuccessful in the practice of law-and in the lamentable "wildcat" banking in those days. As Macon county came to be better settled my father and my family moved out to my mother's half section of land northwest of Decatur, and my father at once purchased the half section of land lying north of my mother's land,: paying; the Illinois Central Railroad ten dollars per acre for the land. Upon this farm of 640 acres, or-
|been called in as an
expert to solve the problems.
But my parents, who were both graduates of a small college at Granville, Ohio, did not neglect the schooling of their children. The neighborhood was settled largely by Yankees from New Hampshire. They were intelligent and enterprising. A good school was located in our school district, two and three-quarters miles away, and at this school we were given good education, so far as country schools afforded. After the first summer term of school I remained home to work on the farm. Asahel was a little behind me in his studies, so that he was given one more summer term than I. The five and one-half miles of walk to school and back were accepted as a matter of course, but to this day I have not forgotten the mud and snow and bitter cold of the winter sessions. Despite the big warm tippets Mother and Aunt Mary (my father's maiden sister who nearly all her life had lived with us) had knitted for us,, we often reached home crying from cold. I remember one bitter cold morning I was sent a quarter of a mile away to a semi-circular straw stack, so planned to provide the animals protection from the northwest winds, to drive, the milk cows to the barn where they were milked. I could not face the northwest wind and ran backwards all the way to the straw stack. On my return my father reported that the mercury in the thermometer had frozen at 9 degrees below zero!
My father, Lemuel Raymond Morse, was born at Norwalk, Ohio, in 1829. His father was Asahel Morse. The latter was a Baptist clergyman who followed a circuit, thus preaching at different places each Sabbath day. It was said of him that he traveled horseback, with saddle bags fastened to the back of his saddle, in which bags he carried, his Bible and clothing. My father's mother Was Lucy Raymond, a fine
|old lady, who died when
I was too young to remember her. My father's farm near Forsythe, Illinois,
I have stated, was a rented place. He and my mother did not at first move
from La Crosse to her farm in Macon County, because it was quite removed
from any settlement. In 1867 the locality had become occupied by the New
Hampshire settlers, so that neighbors were to be found in that part of
Macon County. The family then built the small frame house, previously
referred to, and took up their abode upon the farm, where my brain for the
first time began to register passing events. I can remember much of the
early life there. When I began to ride the corn planter I began to dream
of the years ahead of: us^ Our house and buildings were located on the
south half of the square mile of land, but on each of the north quarter
sections a tenant house had been built. Of the four brothers the oldest
one, Raymond, declared he was to sometime. possess the northeast 80 acres
which he liked because; it was nearest to a railway station. Asahel, my
twin, wanted the 80 acre tract lying west of Raymond's choice. I was to
have the next 80 acre tract west and Lucius, six years younger than I, was
mentally allotted the remaining1 still westerly 80 acres, which was looked
upon as the least desirable land but fronted on a public highway. These
boyish partitions of the farm left intact the south 320 acres where the
home place was located. That part of the farm was to remain occupied by
our parents indefinitely. All this was the dream of Raymond, Asahel and
myself. Lucius was still too young for such day-dreams.
"We four brothers were not without, all diversion. At country school one winter the teacher, a Mr. Miller, had been almost a professional baseball player and was particularly a wonderful ball pitcher. So we all played real baseball,
|and all other outdoor games we knew. At home, we boys occasionally went hunting. In the early Spring the fields of corn, attracted ducks, brants and geese by the millions, until the-sky at times seemed darkened by their numbers. It was one stormy wet morning that a field near the house was filled with ducks. Asahel grabbed an old single-barreled shot gun and crept up behind a hedge fence. Taking good aim he blazed away at the ducks, and a few minutes later presented seven dead ducks as the trophy. When Asahel and I were seventeen years old we were sent one winter to school at Valparaiso, Indiana. This school was in fact a preparatory school for college. It was owned and conducted by H. B. Brown, an enterprising man who had sought to serve the children of the then poor farmers of the great middle west. He did this successfully. The tuition and board were both very low in cost, and much good service was extended to the large number of young people who attended the school. It was here that I first attended classes in Latin. My first experience in this dead but important language came from my father, who had studied both Latin and Greek at Granville, Ohio. At the last two winter terms of country school, as a result of special arrangement, I had studied Latin and had recited to our pastor, R, M. Sargent, whose parsonage adjoined the school-house yard! At Valparaiso I became able to read Caesar and Virgil quite well, and all my life have experienced the .value of improved diction; based upon the Latin tongue-: When eighteen years old I was sent to the Illinois State University, at Champaign for two out of the three terms of school. I took practically all of the course of the freshman-year, but because I was still a bit short of Latin the University would not matriculate me. The course at Champaign ended my|
|training at college. In
the summer of the same year I attended a teacher's school led by the
Superintendent o£ Schools for Macon County, in the hopes that I might
secure a place as schoolteacher for the winter which would follow.' I
passed all examinations but was given no school. In November of that yea$,
while yet not nineteen years old, I received a letter from the
Superintendent saying that the big boys of a school near Niantic, about
nine miles away, had "run out" the girl teacher, and that I could have the
school i£ I wanted it. I did want it, and as soon as possible thereafter I
was on the job at the school. The two bad boys soon became unruly, and
they were so big I knew I couldn't 'lick" them into obedience: .-So I
called on two of the three school board trustees and stated my case. I
wanted the privilege of saying to these" .boys, that they must either
behave or be dismissed from school, and the .privilege was granted me. I
then kept the two boys in after, school the next night, and conveyed the
pronunciamento to-them. A new light penetrated the. boys. and I had
no more trouble with them. Before the next school year began a letter from
the three school trustees came, offering me the school for the winter;
but my ambition had run far ahead of school teaching and I declined the
The regent of the University of Illinois, Doctor James M. Gregory, had found his second wife in my neighborhood, an older sister of a school boy friend of mine, R.Wright Allen. Doctor Gregory had a few -months before, been appointed as one of the three civil service commissioners, at Washington to whom had been entrusted the task of civil service reform, following the period, after, the; Civil War when federal office-holders held unrighteous sway there. I learned that Dr. Gregory would address the people of Harristown, five miles away, upon the subject of this reform. The night
|was dark and rainy. I
rode horseback, but on my return home I could no longer distinguish the
road and dropped the rein so that the more sure-footed animal might pick
its way, where I could not see to do so. Once the good horse walked into
the roadside ditch, but its sloping sides insured against harm. Dr.
Gregory talked interestingly of the great reform he had been appointed to
help administer. To secure employment in the City of Washington one's
political friend could no longer give aid. From that time on, only those
who had passed the board of examiners' educational test could hold federal
clerkships at the country's capital. The prospect fired my boyish
imagination. At least I wanted to take the examination and if possible
have my name placed upon the eligible list. But winter slowly, melted into
spring and no word came of any meeting of-the board to, examine applicants
for-public service. But one hot day, in August, 1883, when: I was still
nineteen years, old> I -stood atop a • stack where forkfuls of hay were
pitched;-up-ft) me from wagons alongside the stack. A letter from
Washington had come to me telling when the board of commissioners would
meet, at Chicago, 185 miles away, to examine applicants for government
clerkships. Could I go ? My plea received approval from my father and
mother, and a few days later. I. sat among other applicants at Chicago
answering as best I could the many-questions put to the class of
applicants. The names, of those who, succeeded in the examination, we were
told, would, be, placed upon an eligible list at Washington, where all new
appointments to clerkships would be made.
The summer, gave ,way to fall and then winter came. I thought surely I must have failed to pass the examination, and tried to convince myself that I should not have expected
|to pass it. In February,
just after I had passed my twentieth birthday, Asahel and I were sent to
Springfield, Illinois, to visit the Lucius M. Boardman cousins there. A
telegram came from my father saying I had been appointed to a
clerkship in the War Department at Washington at $1,000 per year and
directed my immediate return home. As soon as a new suit of clothes could
be made by my Aunt Mary I left for Washington. The delay made me late at
the War Department, but my excuse was accepted and I was given a desk.
Prior to this moment the horizon of my vision was lifted little beyond the farm in Macon County. Now. the vista opened wider and wider, into a new and almost unthinkable world. I recall that I did not at once evolve any plan beyond . the clerkship, where three hundred men were examining the civil war hospital, regimental and company books and returns for military and medical histories of soldiers of the Civil War who had applied to the Commissioner of Pensions for pension relief; But within a few weeks after entering the service I learned that all the war record books were to be re-labeled, for convenience sake and to insure accuracy of examination. A. messenger attached to the office of the chief of the division was directed to carry the loads of books from, and to their places, and I was given the task of pasting these thousands of labels upon the books I was furnished white gowns to work in. As a farmer's boy I had been taught to work and ask no questions. I kept the messenger busy carrying books from and to the shelves.. When I had finished not a single/book out of many thousands had been badly or wrongly labeled. A few days after: returning to. my desk the same messenger announced that the Chief of the Division wanted to see me in his private office. I was terrified! What could I have done to merit punishment? The Chief turned
|to me, with the words:
"Mr. Morse, never before in the history of the War Department has any
clerk been promoted from $1,000 to $1,200 per year until he had served at
least one year. I have made a special request of the Clerk of the War
Department that you be at once promoted to $1,200 per year, and the
request is granted." I had done the labeling job well and was rewarded for
On arrival at Washington the good wife of Dr. Gregory helped me find a boarding house and taught me what the small signs in the windows meant. However, I soon called on the family of William Richards, a cousin of my mother, who was employed in the Treasury Department, and a little later was invited by the family to board and room at their house, which I did, much to the satisfaction of my mother, who felt I would, be safer there. I remained there, at 16th and Massachusetts avenues, while I continued to live in Washington, The daughter of the family, Janet E. Richards, was a talented person, who later became a successful lecturer on current topics in Washington and in several of the eastern cities of' the United States. She was older than I and her influence import me was most important.
Almost from the beginning at Washington I began to plan for the future. I can scarcely recall any period of my life when I did not so plan and, indeed, may not my accomplishments, have grown not so much through accident as through foresight and resolution ? First, my father had been a lawyer and I enrolled almost at once in the classes of the Corcoran School of Law. :The classes were at night, so that Government, clerks might attend. This law school later became the law department of the present George Washington University, at Washington. My certificate of graduation is still among my papers and effects as is also my certificate of
|admission to practice
law at Kansas City. Also, during my two years and eight months at
Washington I went to night school to study French. The teacher was a
native Frenchman and I made good progress, though I never became as well
grounded in French as in Latin. Beyond these accomplishments at Washington
I saved eight hundred dollars in cash. During most of the time spent there
I had kept constantly in mind the thought of greater advancement.
Washington became a school of much thought for me, but not a curb of
desire or ambition.
In the fall of 1887, when I was not quite twenty-three years of age, I resigned my position in the War Department, in quest of greater opportunity. William Richards had a close friend in Washington who was a patent attorney. I had more than once called at his house in company with Janet E. Richards, my second cousin, who did much to make my life, pleasant: at Washington. This patent attorney, whose name I cannot recall, had a client named M. J. Amick, who had invented a :gas pressure regulator, placed upon gas -. meters to prevent the unnecessary flow and consumption o£ gas. This was a few years before electricity had begun to supplant gas for lighting purposes. Mr. Amick Omaha was hilly enough to create a need for gas pressure regulators and, after conferences, I left for Omaha to engage in the business of renting these regulators. At Omaha, however, I found the city did not rest on hills and in valleys and I soon departed for Kansas City. There -I 'found the city's topography ideal for gas pressure regulation. Raymond and Asahel, who had left the farm the year prior and had taken up government lands in southwest Kansas, had been unable to raise crops in that semi-desert locality, and both joined me at Kansas City. I put them to work in my newly-found
|enterprise, but Raymond soon left for Fort Smith, Arkansas, to engage in the real estate business. I therefore agreed upon an equal partnership with Asahel, although I had furnished the business and about seventy per cent of the small capital. We sought out boarding house keepers chiefly, for their boarders were prone to waste gas. The regulators were placed on the gas meters for a month and the bills for gas with and without the regulator were compared. We almost invariably showed a substantial saving, which was divided equally, one-half going to us. But at the end of the first month, after the meters had been read for the purpose of billing customers, the Kansas City Gas Company discovered our governors. I received a sharp notice from the gas company that there was a state law against attaching, any device between the gas meter and the house riser (pipe), and that our governors must be removed within thirty days. I wired Mr. Amick at Washington and he at once came to our aid. We went to a brass worker, who made fittings for the thirty regulators we had installed and within the thirty days we had re-attached our governors to the house risers instead of the gas-meters. But all this had run us very low in funds. The sum of "about one thousand dollars which we had was practically gone. It was a trying period. We roomed nearby and ate at a very cheap restaurant where we could purchase ten cent breakfasts and fifteen cent dinners. But we worked long hours and hard, and finally the tide turned in our favor. At; the high point, some two and one-half years later an income peak of more than $250 per month had been reached and for more than five years was maintained, as shown by a record of receipts still in existence. Out of this income several hundred dollars were sent me at St. Louis in aid of the publishing business there.|
|When the gas regulator business began to be profitable Asahel became its manager and I opened a law office in .Kansas City. I was a stranger in a strange city, however, and only a trifling practice came to me. About that time I formed the acquaintance of George P. Scott, who had a somewhat varied experience, and we opened a law and collection office. Business conditions in the West were bad, and we did considerable suit and collection business for wholesale merchants of the city. Finally, Mr. Scott conceived the idea of a sheet, printed on one side, containing information for business houses from the courts and other public offices. At the close of the first year's partnership with Mr. Scott and three years after I had arrived at Kansas City the partnership with Scott was terminated. However, the little,- sheet gotten out by us, printed on one side, Clung close to-v my memory. 1 reasoned that if such a sheet were useful in the business community why should not a full-fledged court and business newspaper be profitable? The field at Kansas City was the logical one for me to adopt in furtherance of such plans, but a short time before the dissolution of partnership with Mr. Scott I had observed that a firm known as Smith and Winsborough had begun to publish such a small daily newspaper as I had in mind, so that so far as entering the publishing business in Kansas City was concerned I could not consistently consider it. The small daily newspaper referred to later became the: present-day Kansas City Daily Record. In terminating the partnership with George P. Scott, the latter owed me $300, for which he gave me his note. I later sued upon this note when Scott appealed to a higher court and furnished an appeal bond with a trust company as surety on the bond. Later on the trust company paid me the $300.|
|About that time, the
fall of 1890, my father having leased his farm in Macon County, I was
delegated to represent him in dealing with his agent at Niantic, Illinois.
In one of the trips to Niantic-1 stopped off at St. Louis to investigate
the field for such a newspaper as I had in mind, when to my great surprise
I learned that the second issue of the St. Louis Daily Record had been
delivered that morning. I went at once to call on the publisher, Charles
H. Van Buren, and good naturedly complimented him on having accomplished
what I had come to St. Louis to do. We parted good friends, for the lack
of any reason to the contrary. Three months later, in 1891, on return from
another trip to the agent of my father's farm in Illinois, I stopped off
at St. Louis to make another call upon Mr. Van Buren,. who I had
previously learned was the grand; nephew of Martin Van . Buren, one of
the. early presidents of the United States.
Again to my surprise I learned that Mr. Van Buren lived in Washington, D. C., where he possessed another such publication, and that he was not in St. Louis at the time of my arrival, I conceived the idea that the young man in charge of the newspaper at St. Louis was not as competent as he should be and I went across the street to the old Planters Hotel, where I. had stopped and where I wrote a letter to Mr. Van Buren asking him if he did not want me to take over the conduct of his newspaper. I explained to him why I thought -myself fit to undertake the work. I received a prompt .reply to my letter in .the form of a telegram asking me to meet him '-on 'a -certain clay at St. Louis. We met and talked all the days of Saturday and Sunday, and on Monday morning, January 12, 1891, I took charge of the newspaper as the owner of a one-half interest in the publication. A short time thereafter I paid twelve hundred dollars to Mr. Van
|Buren for this interest.
In order to make this payment my father sent me one thousand dollars.
Since I was still an equal partner with my brother Asahel in all of our
business ventures, half of this sum of money was in reality derived from
my father through Asahel. In 1899 I asked of Asahel a dissolution of the
partnership that had existed since our business association in the gas
governor business at Kansas City in 1886. I had married in the fall of
1898 and felt that what estate I might earn in the future should be shared
by my wife and our possible children. This proposal was opposed and some
unfortunate bitterness arose. However, it was later proposed that an offer
of terms should be made, and Asahel's lawyer drew a proposed agreement
that upon the payment by myself to Asahel of $25,000, I would retain
the interest in the St. Louis Daily Record and he .would retain the
gas governor business at Kansas City and the paper and twine business
there, which Asahel had entered into about 1896 and was actively engaged
in at that time The terms of dissolution were agreed to and a short time
thereafter the $25,000 were paid to Asahel by me. I am happy to say that
the harsh feeling over the matter was of short duration and that it did
not mar our subsequent lives.
I have just referred to my marriage in 1898. On October 5 of that year Olive Beatrice Bell, of St. Louis, and myself were married at the residence of her father, William Southwood Bell and her mother Laura Jane Bell, at 4420 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri. We first met at the Central Congregational Church. Later I attended a church fair where Olive Bell (I have always, called her Beatrice) was presiding over a counter of sort. I am a little short-memoried about what it was she presided over but long-memoried about the impression she made on me. She
|declares that she cast
no glances, much less no side-glances, at me and doesn't know why, a few
days later, I called at her home, 4420 Washington avenue, and invited her
to go ice skating with me. Of course a skating pond in Forest Park on a
cold winter day wasn't very inspiring for romance, but in less than two
years thereafter she told the clergyman of that church that she would
stand guard over me and I agreed to invest her with all the goods I
possessed, and so we struck out upon a long and resplendent journey.
My purchase of an one-half interest in the St. Louis Daily Record gave me an opportunity which I had longed for during the prior years. I was sure there was a field in the large .cities for a daily newspaper that would cover court news and other public record and financial news for the bar and business community., Mr. Van Buren's conception of the publication did not agree with mine. He desired only a limited coverage of news, that would interest real-estate dealers and bankers. I was not erroneous in my conviction. A survey was recently taken of the paying subscribers of the Daily Record, when it, was found that only fourteen per cent of the paid circulation was among lawyers while eighty-six per cent was among business houses. Of course it is true that in law offices one copy of the newspaper will generally serve all lawyers in the off ice, but, there are after all many more subscribers among business houses than there are individual lawyers in the city. I had also felt that such a daily newspaper would be particularly useful and suitable for the publication of public notices, because the newspaper's paid circulation was particularly among classes most interested in such notices. Besides, the newspaper's practically complete coverage among lawyers would inspire notice and widespread protection to all people of the city, since the clients of lawyers
|comprise an almost complete lexicon of the city's population. When I joined Mr. Van Buren in the ownership of the: newspaper I could visualize the future type and scope of the St. Louis Daily Record but lack of abundant means kept me from more than gradual improvement of its news content. However, as its newly-made manager I began at once to cover more of the news field, and in the course of several months had' so covered that field that both the judges of the courts became confident of the newspaper's good purposes and the lawyers, one by one, ceased their daily visits to the court rooms to scan the "clerk's minutes of proceedings and the dockets for motions and the setting of cases .for argument or ;: trial. The St. Louis Circuit Court, early in the history of the' Daily Record, had issued a rule of court which would insure i the Court's consideration in case the lawyer and his client' were misled by an erroneous publication in the Daily Record -or by an omission of the Court's orders, but it-required a few years of observance under this rule of court before the lawyers felt safe to rely upon the newspaper's conduct and the Court's good purposes. While other courts of the city have • not issued similar rules of court, all federal and state courts are well served by the Daily Record and there is general reliance upon the newspaper for faithful service to both the bench and bar. At the present time the newspaper serves thirty federal and state courts and divisions of courts, all being courts of record, including the ^.United States Supreme Court at Washington, the Missouri State Supreme Court at Jefferson City, the Federal District Courts and Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting at St. Louis, the State Court of Appeals sitting at St. Louis, and the State Circuit Courts of both the City of St. Louis and the County of St. Louis, besides covering the institution of suits in the Justice of Peace Courts|
|of St. Louis City. The
proceedings of all these courts, except the last named courts, for any one
day appear in the Daily Record of the next succeeding week-day. The
telegraph is used when needed to provide prompt and efficient service to
the readers of the newspaper. Of course the court news of the newspaper is
quite apart from the commercial and financial news and the carefully
selected news from syndicates and other edited sources. It might suitably
be noted here that at the present time the Daily Record Company employs
nearly sixty people in the conduct of its business.
From January, 1891, when I became an associate of Charles H. Van Buren, who founded the newspaper, to May,1937, I was at the head of the business of publishing the St. Louis Daily Record. In 1936, after two or three years of preparation, the. Daily Record Company began the construction of the office and plant building at 1004 Market Street, St. Louis. I had engaged the services of Mauran, Russell, Growell and Mullgardt, an outstanding firm of architects, with whom all details were discussed.. The ground upon which the building was to be erected must be of certain. divisions, in order that the building might be planned suitably for every need. Accordingly, the tract at Tenth and Market streets, being 60 by 95 feet in size, was acquired and a three-story and basement structure planned. This gave four floors for use, each floor having suitable space on the west or "dead" side for toilet rooms, storage, elevators and stairways.. A partial fifth floor was constructed to contain the air-conditioning' plant, which supplies all four floors with filtrated air either warmed or cooled according to seasonal need. It was the first building in St. Louis to be completely air-conditioned when built. The building is of steel and concrete, and of course fireproof. All floors are
|constructed to support
very heavy machinery, while the available space not at present needed can
be leased until expansion of the newspaper's needs requires such space. It
was planned that the occupation o£ all of the space by the publication
would permit the issue of a daily newspaper large enough to supply the
need of five million people. At present about one-third of all floor space
is occupied by lessees. The factor of good appearance was not overlooked.
The two upper stories are faced with sawed Indiana Bedford limestone,,
while the first story is faced with dark Minnesota granite, five inches
thick and polished. The corridors contain light marbles. The large private
office, occupied by the President and Chairman, is finished in
cabinet-made walnut paneling from floor to ceiling and suitably
furnished. Off the private office are two small rest and toilet rooms. The
cost of the land, the building and equipment was a large sum, as in all
newspaper properties and plants, but not out of proportion to the present
and possible future needs. To have built only for present needs would have
displayed much lack of vision and fore-thought.
The close retrospective thought that must be contributed in any attempt to delineate one's past history tends to bring into bold relief the misfortunes and trials of one's career. I was not always free of mental strain'' and depression. The period from October, 1887, when I left Washington, to the Spring of 1897, at St. Louis, a span o£ nearly ten years, was filled close to overflowing with poverty and threatened disaster. In Kansas City on many occasions I wiped away the tears that could not be held back. .At no time did I possess means from outside sources to afford me aid and support. At St. Louis it had become too evident that the Daily Record could not supply the public need and continue to operate
|out of income from
circulation and commercial advertising alone. I had sought to publish
notices of foreclosure of real estate, but only an occasional advertiser
would entrust his notice to the columns of the newspaper. At last,
however, on September 14, 1894, a suit in equity based upon the validity
of a foreclosure notice published in the St. Louis Daily Record was filed
in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis by attorneys Phillips,
Stewart, Cunningham and Eliot, and the lower court, on January 12, 1895,
declared the publication valid. This suit was appealed to the Missouri
Supreme .Court, but. for more than two years thereafter that court held in
its bribe a decision in this matter. I was discouraged and bewildered.
For ten long years I had striven for a place in the world, but fate seemed
against me. It was a decade of hope, but fear kept haunting me. Was I
destined to fail, and must I begin the battle of life over again? Where
would I go and in what avenue of adventure might I find success? I had
reached the age of thirty-two, and to begin life again might prove only a
tread-mill where the light of day would not shine upon my foot-steps.
But I kept on with my task. I had somehow managed to live and I would not abandon all hope. I boarded at 2702 Pine street at one time, and I remember very clearly that I walked home one night because I could not muster up five cents with which to pay the streetcar fare. The Daily Record's pay roll was almost never fully met at Saturday night and on several occasions only the generosity of a very good friend enabled me to pull through. A biographer might omit what I have written of trial and mental suffering, but no sketch of my life would be replete without the chronicle of these years of deep economic and spiritual depression.
|But the ocean tides do
not move always in the same direction may ebb and flow. In the Spring of
1897, the Supreme Court at Jefferson City handed down an opinion, in the
case of Kingman vs. Waugh, that the advertisement of the sale of real
property in the St. Louis Daily Record, in order to satisfy debt secured
by deed of trust on. such property, was valid and sufficient. It was Shepard Barclay, Chief Justice, who wrote the court's opinion. There was
no dissenting opinion from any member of the bench..
Why had the honorable court slept upon the case for more than two long years? I do not know, but my thought was that the court deemed it unwise to approve the validity of the notice in the Daily Record at the time because the court felt that the newspaper might later prove unworthy for such notices or that it might pass out of existence. But the newspaper kept on improving its service to the public and steadily gaining in the estimation of the community, so, that the court at last was ready to give to the newspaper its stamp of approval. The court's favorable opinion was the turning point in my hopes and ambition. Almost immediately the public-responded to the court's actionist, and notices of foreclosure came unsolicited to the newspaper. Besides, the public concluded that other notices would also be valid when published
The Daily Record, and state corporation notices, federal bankruptcy notices and notices of sales of personal property to satisfy liens came frequently- to the office of the newspaper. The added income from these public notices, but particularly the income from foreclosure notices (trustee's sales as they were called) gave to the newspaper for the first time in its existence an income in excess of its needs for bare continuance. For the first time since I had left the
|farm in Illinois in
February, 1884 did I become conscious of having carved out by my own
effort a place of scenery where , I might stand. The effort had required
thirteen years to accomplish, but my time and patience and activity had
not been improvidently used. .
The State Supreme Court's decision in 1897 gave hope and impetus to my efforts. But in three instances during the present century, however, the St. Louis Daily Record has also been benefited by statutory enactments. The statute of chief importance was enacted in 1923. The state laws theretofore had operated to preclude the Daily Record from carrying in its columns any of the legal or public notices from the .Circuit and Probate Courts. In that year the legislature ' passed a law which provided that in cities of 100,000 or more such notices might be validly published in any daily newspaper of general circulation therein which" had been published at least one year. Frank X. Hiemenz, who afterward became a substantial stockholder of the Daily Record Company, was instrumental in urging ,this measure to passage. The Circuit Court of St. Louis as well as the Probate Court of St. Louis moved promptly thereafter in recognition ,.• of the newspaper as a suitable medium for the public notices pf those courts. The added income from such notices enabled the publishers of the Daily Record to secure important syndicated; news services and to devote more than a page per day to carefully edited news upon subjects closely related to legal, commercial and - financial interests. Many tributes came from business arid professional men to the publishers of the newspaper for its enterprise in these matters.
In 1941 the office of the Daily Record prepared a measure for the legislature that sought to clarify the 1923 statute and give to the board of judges a freer hand in qualifying
|newspapers that were manifestly entitled to qualification. This proposed act was approved by the legislature and became a law. In 1943 a draft of a comprehensive corporation law was presented to the legislature by an influential group once, Kansas City lawyers. This proposed law, after a long period of discussion and amendment by the legislature, was perfected finally to include the provision that notice of all meetings of the stockholders of any corporation should be given, in cities of 100,000 population or more, by notice published in a daily newspaper for at least nine times prior to any such meeting, unless waivers by all stockholders of. ;•• such notice should be received. At least two of these three .x legislative enactments referred to have measurably added v to the newspaper's income and all of them have served to-' '• improve the publication's usefulness and prestige. Not v much else need be related concerning the newspaper, unless, to recount the doctrine that "what's worth doing is worth doing well." It is an established rule that n.6 one in the Daily Record office shall pass judgment upon whether an item of public record news is important enough to be: published. The published list must be a complete list. The City of St. Louis publishes once a-1 week the "City Journal," in which is given certain activities of the metropolis, such as minutes of the Board of Aldermen, minutes of the Board of Public Improvements - and other city activities. The Journal is sold to those who wish to subscribe for it and, since the City has chosen to proceed in this manner, the Daily Record does not duplicate in its columns the public record news which appears in the City Journal. To the extent indicated the Daily Record lacks complete coverage of public record news. An offer was once made to publish this news in the Daily Record without charge to the|
|ran across what the
pioneers in the last decade of the 1700s called Chimney Rock. All of the
readers of this autobiography have seen or heard of this granite mountain
monolith and precipice. It is beautiful, but since 1902 when Asahel and
myself were persuaded to buy and improve the property, it has yielded no
profit that has not been plowed back into the property. It has therefore
not been dividend yielding and consequently disappointing, though the
years to come may possibly tell a different story. The property of near
700 acres of mountain terrain is incorporated under the name of Chimney
Rock Company. Through various transactions about two-thirds of the stock
of the company have passed to the Morse Investment Company. The
remainder is held by Inez Rutt Morse, widow of my brother Asahel U.
Morse, by Lucius -B. Morse, and by Norman A. Greg and his wife,
Beth Richards Greig. If not yet profitable from the .viewpoint of professional auditors, the property has come to be cherished through pride in
Then for a period in the 1920s and 1930s of about seven years. I-saved what I could but made no investments. During that time I laid down rule after rule to guide me in the use of funds. Since that time I have made no mistakes, and for many years past have lost not penny in investments, nor during that time have I purchased a single security that has failed to yield income from the date of its purchase to the present time. The Daily Record, I may add, has not always been profitable, and inroads upon its net invested capital have in several instances been unavoidable, but there has been enough backlog to take care of the publication's needs and to help it ride out its financial storms. The newspaper has never sought to curtail its news service on such account or shirk its responsibility to the public. While it lives it must
|carry on and fulfill its
obligations to its readers.
When Olive Beatrice Bell became Mrs. Hiram B. Morse, in the fall of. 1898,1 had only shortly before that time become able financially to assume the duties of such relationship. No man without adequate income for two is indeed warranted in asking a women to share his lot. If he is employed by others his salary or wages may be all that is needed to justify marriage, but I was making my way on my own account, and I could not afford to marry. When we were married, however, we took a trip that lasted for three weeks. We first went to the famous Hygeia Hotel, Old Point Comfort, Virginia, and later to New York City. While at Old . Point I hired a sail boat and insisted upon my bride going with me. I thought I knew how to sail a boat. Perhaps I did, if I were on an Illinois pond, but not so in the strong wind and tide flow of Hampton Roads. Luckily I had taken with us the owner of the sail boat, and just as we were on the point of capsizing, the young man yelled to me to drop the main sail, when the boat righted up and the boatman crept into reach of the sail and tiller and brought us in to shore. It was a thrilling event for the tourists who were watching us from the hotel plaza but an embarrassing moment for the groom of the boat party. On our sea voyage from Norfolk to New York we awoke in the morning off Cape Hatteras, attempted to eat breakfast, but gave up before reaching the dining room. A ^feat^storm from the northeast was careening the ship. Finally, alone, I went up on the top deck and managed to throw an arm around a pole on the windward side of the boat. At that moment the boat, having ridden an high wave, tilted forward into a deep trough and the sea water dashed twenty feet over my head. I was blinded but held to the pole. As I turned back to go
|below the pilot laughed
at the land lubber's experience. It took me two hours in the engine room
to dry my clothes, and I concluded that I knew something about land
locomotion but not anything about the sea. However, our honeymoon trip was
the first of forty delightful pleasure trips we have together taken during
our forty-five years of married life.
In 1899, the year after our wedding year, we visited Montreal and went down the St. Lawrence river to ancient Quebec. At Montreal the citizens speak either English or French, but at Quebec the language was almost entirely ;French. We rode about the city in a one-horse and two-: wheeled vehicle, fashioned after the old Roman chariot. The : driver took us to the plains of Abraham where the English general, Wolfe, defeated the French and helped put an end to the French and Indian War, which in the 1750s threatened the territory; lying north of the Ohio river. It was at Fort •Duquesne, now Pittsburgh, that Washington, during that war, was sent with troops to drive the French from that locality, already claimed by the American colonies. In the years that followed, except the two years in which our children were born and the t^o years in which I built the two homes at 5388 Waterman avenue and 6219 Westminster Place and one other year during the second World War, we enjoyed generous trips during' each'of the years that passed. We visited the East; and far West,- the North and South of ' our own country ^tKe. better part of southern Canada, Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands, and three trips abroad. We made twelve trips to the. Pacific coast.
Olive and Beatrice visited Europe after the latter's graduation from Vassar College. Olive's and my first trip abroad , together was the Mediterranean trip in 1928, when .Beatrice accompanied us. • We stopped at Gibralter, Algiers, Monte
|Carlo, Nice, Athens,
Constantinople, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Cairo, Alexandria and left
the boat at Syracuse .on the southeast corner of Sicily. It is interesting
to observe . that at only three or four cities of the Mediterranean are
there found wharves and docksfor boats. The ancient method of lightering
ashore still prevails in almost all ports of the Sea. A stairway is swung
down at one end, almost to the water's edge, and a power boat is lowered
to the stairway's lower end. Sailors stand by to safely deposit the
traveler from the base of the stairs to the small boat and the latter
often runs onto a sandy beach to unload.
The Rock of Gibralter is owned by the British. It is honey-combed with tunnels, and troops can live for many months if not years in the great caverns of that towering mountain of natural masonry. Great pools of fresh water are maintained. Courteous sailors are ever ready to guide strangers through. But if your brain is really in good working order you will observe that the guide hasn't told you anything except about a few old rusty guns that point to the Spanish terrain, through openings made in the Rock. You followed strictly the guide and he just meandered through a iEew very old passageways-in the Rock. Perhaps three hundred yards to the south are said to be great guns, pointing across the Strait,- whose shells will sink. any vessel twenty-five miles away, day or night. All the nations of the world know about this, and in itirne of war the "British supremacy at Gibralter is respected. Algiers has its natiye..: quarter and its modern French locality. In the latter you.: can easily imagine a section of Paris; Athens took-'me/back to a free translation of Homer's Iliad, which our teacher in Latin was wont to regale us with, when I.was a pupil of seventeen years at Valparaiso, Indiana. The skcred hill called Acropolis, upon
|which rests the
Parthenon, showed the spirit and fortitude of the early Greeks. The marble
for this structure, in giant blocks, was quarried ten miles away beyond a
deep ravine and a considerable mountain stream. How the Greeks, five
hundred years before Christ, accomplished this transport of giant blocks
of marble is a secret, forever locked in the bosom of the past.
Constantinople is the heart of modern-day Moslemism. But the present-day people are alert to their future and Turkey has very much promise among the leading nations. Our boat lightered ashore from the sea of Marmora, which is a widening of the broad and deep stream of cold and clear water that leads from the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea and 1 thence to the Mediterranean. The volume of this flow of water can be better appreciated when it is understood that the great Danube river, rising in the lofty mountains of Switzerland, as well as three large rivers of Russia, all flow into the Black Sea, itself a majestic sea for commerce. Turkey will never yield up the Bosphorus and Dardanelles but some day this mighty channel for. commerce may be opened to the world upon payment to Turkey of a slight fee based upon the tonnage of vessels/using it, I am prone to hope. We visited a museum which1 is near .the old palaces of Turkey's rulers. It-way. very heavily guarded by armed men. All manner of gejns.w,e.re there, jewels fastened to garments and precious stones, set .into plates of ^solid gold. The contents of the museum were .valued at $400,000,000. A little farther away was a cliff .that sloped sharply to the Bosphorus, and down this cliff .went the discarded wives of the rulers of that country, sewed in bags to make sure their destruction.
At Nazareth we were shown the location where Joseph and Mary lived, of course without qualification. On the
|road to Jerusalem we saw
on an hilltop the walled city of the Copts, which is said to be the oldest
extant branch of the Christian religion in the world. This religion is the
prevailing one of the Abyssinians, who occupy the mountains east of the
Nile River in Egypt and whose population, now free and independent, is
about 300,000 people. This country had been held by Italy but was restored
to its rightful owners in one of the first acts of the World War No. Two.
At Jerusalem we saw all that tourists are shown. The Wailing Wall, now a part of the ancient walled city, is where the devout Jews lament the fall of Solomon's Temple, of which this wall is believed to be a part. However, besides ; the devout at the Wall we saw begging women, against whom we were warned not to give money, lest we be literally, torn to pieces for more money. We visited the splendid temples of more recent years, we were pointed out the spot -: where Christ was said to have been buried before the resurrection, and we trod the business streets of this ancient city, where at night time it is unsafe to go. At Bethlehem, six miles to the south, we caught more than a glimpse of the Dead Sea, 1200 feet below sea level and perhaps twice that below Bethlehem. A large church occupies the spot where Jesus was said to have been born,, and the -manger is pointed out. This church, in turn, is presided over by devout Roman Catholics, Armenians and Greeks, all Christians and finally all willing to minister in. him at this, sacred .spot.
Cairo, Egypt, was our next place to visit. We crossed the Suez Canal by ferry and there boarded a. train for Cairo. Of course the massive pyramids and sphinx will ever command the amazement of all visitors. As well, also, did we ride the camels about these wonders and were glad when the jerky ride was ended. But I fell in one morning with a
|Catholic priest from St.
Paul, Minnesota. He, like myself, wanted to visit the famous Mohammedan
University in Cairo. The great building was all encircled with broad, open
spaces, and these spaces in turn opened upon great interior spaces, for
the weather of Cairo is mild and artificial heat or even much protection
is not needed. Everywhere on the ground sat teachers with legs crossed
and in the same manner sat the pupils about their teachers. Only two
things are taught these pupils, how to count foreign monies and to
repeat the Koran. The first would require little time to become proficient. The
Koran must be memorized, and students spend years and often their lives in
this pursuit. My good friend from St. Paul and I agreed that no such
religion would stand against the sway of modern intellectuality. We were
in Cairo four or five days. We met some friends there, the Adreons and
Bacons of St. Louis and New York, who helped us pass the time pleasantly. At the hotel in Cairo our daughter,
Beatrice, received an huge bouquet of flowers from her fiancé, Ned
Washburn. It later developed that five dollars for flowers had been cabled to Cairo and that the florist
there sent a large bouquet and a basket of flowers to Beatrice's hotel,
and explained: that the remainder of the flowers had been sent to an
hospital and hoped this would be satisfactory! While waiting, for the
train conveyance I paused to note the contents of a jeweler's showcase in
the hotel. The Owner had followed my eye and at once laid before me
the beautiful' piece I had observed. To easily rebuff the jeweler I
explained that I did not have with me the money needed to buy the piece.
He promptly assured me that I might take the jewelry with me and remit
to him on reaching home. He then asked where I lived. When told, he turned
to a small book and read from it the names of
|two St. Louisatis, whom
I knew very well, to whom he had sold jewelry! At Alexandria, where we
took a boat bound for Syracuse, Sicily, a strong wind was blowing and the
Egyptian pilot refused to take the boat through the difficult passage to
the open sea. But the boat was British and the Captain, angered by the
delay, directed the ship's pilot to take the wheel. The northwest wind
bumped the vessel repeatedly against the docks, but the Captain knew the
job better than the Egyptian pilot, and by dusk we were in the open sea
headed towards Syracuse.
Our boat arrived at Syracuse the second evening there-after, at dusk. We lightened ashore, holding fast our two, light bags and were directed to the baggage room about 1,000 feet along the shore, where we soon found one of our two heavy bags. We waited an hour for the other heavy .bag and had given up seeing it again, when through the dark came a porter with the bag. By nine o'clock at night we were in our hotel room. The next morning we awoke to the noise of Italian voices in the narrow street below. There was a herd of nanny goats there and women living in the flats across from our hotel windows. would put into small buckets a coin or two for milk; When the buckets were let down by string. The herders milked the requisite quantity of milk from the udders of the nannys and up went the buckets to the housewives above. Plenty of germs but no waste activity there!
Syracuse was founded by the Greeks five hundred years before Christ. For nearly five hundred years after Christ it was ruled by the Romans. In order to do justice in our travel to this famous city we engaged the services of a driver and two-wheeled vehicle for the entire day after our arrival. At the north end of the present city we saw an ancient moat
|which was used by the
Greeks before the time of Christ. An invading army would proceed slowly
down into the moat, without knowing its character, when great volumes of
water would be turned into the moat and the invaders drowned. An unlimited
supply o£ water was had from the melting snow upon Mt. Aetna. For more
than a mile we followed an open stone viaduct, built by the Romans, and
this water today is used by the people there for modern city drinking and
other purposes. In the afternoon of that day we were taken to an
amphitheatre, built by the Greeks before Christ. Here actors and speakers
from the stone rostrum addressed the multitudes seated upon stone benches
carved out of a side-hill of rock. The Greek public was entertained and
enlightened. An hour later we stood in an open elliptic Colosseum, built
by the Romans many centuries later. Here the Romans were entertained by
the agonizing cries of Christians as wild beasts were unloosed from the
caverns below to devour those early followers of Christ. This was the
contrast between the civilization of the early Greeks and the barbarity of
the later Romans.
Our next visit was to Taormina, one of the most beautiful spots of the, world. From the train stop on the eastern side of Sicily we were driven up two thousand feet to the city. The pictures of the sea, of the mountains and of the great volcano, Mt. Aetna, in the heart of Sicily, can never be erased from-the memory. We saw Stromboli at night, when the red flare streamed to the sky and we stood at the very edge of restless Mt. Vesuvius when liquid lava seethed and almost burned our faces, but the majesty and beauty of Mt. Aetna surpassed both the others. From Rome, the ancient city that sat upon seven hills, we visited Florence, Milan and Venice. Florence was beautiful, nestled in high
|mountains and filled with artistic triumph. We lingered on the famous bridge in the palace of the Doges, who were the ancient rulers of the city. At Venice, the very old city built .on piles to protect its people from attack, we crossed the bridge of sighs, where the dungeon prisoners caught their last glimpse of daylight as they passed to the great block where their heads, severed by the executioner's axe, rolled into the Adriatic Sea. Milan is famous for its great cathedral, where scores of life-size statues adorn the exterior of the cathedral. It has been during this World War No. Two a city of great manufacture of war implements and supplies. A few days later we were in Paris, on our way home. -,••••' Our second trip abroad was made in 1932. Olive and. I spent a few weeks in northern Italy. We were a week at the famous Villa d' Este palace on the bank of Lake Como, where Queen Caroline of England beautified the grounds. We followed the chain of beautiful lakes around to the north of Como and finally entered Switzerland, where we spent most of the summer. . We visited Lucerne and Inter-laken. We took drives to places of beauty, and one day went up the cogwheel road nearly to the top of the great Jungfrau. On the way up we passed one, of the great beauty spots of the world, at Lauterbrunnen. Here a great river, rising in. the snows of the mountain of Jungfrau, throws itself over a thousand foot precipice. On leaving Switzerland we spent the first night in Mainz, Germany. I wandered into a small and old church yard. There I found the grave of the first man to make movable type, Johannes Gutenberg. As a newspaper publisher this incident was of great interest to me. Here lay the remains of the man whose genius surpassed his estimate of what he had wrought. The world wilt ever be indebted to this man. At Mainz we|
|took passage the next
day on a boat down the Rhine liver to Cologne, Germany. The river was
lined with great manufacturing cities and was literally crowded with boats
of commerce. We stayed a night and day at Cologne before entraining for
Amsterdam. At Cologne we saw the famous cathedral, one of the most
beautiful in the world- This cathedral has recently been badly damaged by
a war bomb, but may hopefully later be restored. We visited Amsterdam, The
Hague, Brussels and thence to London. The tulip fields of Holland were
striking in color beauty. At Brussels we :drove south one day about
fifteen miles to old Waterloo, where Napoleon was outwitted by the
English, who over-night had dug a deep ditch into which the chargers of
the French army plunged as they raced to attack the British. At Waterloo
a great monument stands, erected by the women of Belgium and France, not
to the memory of those who fell in battle, but to the cessation of war
and the ending of the sexual crimes committed by the armies of men
against defenseless women. The monument is sodded for an hundred feet in
height, and none but women carried the soil and sod to its very, top.
In England we visited the Shakespeare country, with its mementos of the famous playwright, and a few days later we visited Windsor Castle, in foothill country northwest of London, where English royalty goes to rest and recuperate, quite remote from the ceaseless turmoil of Great Britain's capitol. As we left the hotel Royal Palace, Kensington, at the western end of famous Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and had actually boarded the train for Liverpool, Olive gasped the words, 'I left my jewelry under the pillow." I was calm but moved fast. I telephoned the cashier of the hotel and told where and to whom to send the jewelry
|and to insure it in the
sum of $700. I paused long enough to learn the jewelry was in the hotel
safe, then by fast walking caught the train for Liverpool and home. I
should add that I later sent the Royal Palace Hotel a suitable bill of
exchange for reward to the honest bedroom maid and others.
Our third and last trip to Europe was made in 1939. I had for years felt that I wanted to spend a summer in Norway and Scandinavia. Olive and I reached London during the latter days of June. We had on earlier trips to London become familiar with the sign and office of a Norwegian travel bureau in Trafalgar Square. We stated to the gentle- .-' man who waited on us that we desired first to visit the North Cape by boat, then to visit the most beautiful mountains and'--, fjords (fe-ors) of Norway, that we wished to spend three days in each of the three capitals of Scandinavia and one day, in Visby on the Baltic Sea, that we must return to London and Southampton to catch our boat on September ,1,. and that all of the remaining time we desired to be sent to a delightful hotel in one of the most beautiful valleys of Norway. The gentleman, stepped into an adjoining room and at once returned with two native-born Norwegians, who knew every square foot-of Norway. We were told that the coupon books for us would be ready .for us in two days' time. The two young men never "missed a cog," we paid for the coupon books in advance, handled riot a dime on the trip and were, at Southampton the evening before we were booked to leave on the French Line for New York.
The boat trip to North Cape on the beautiful "Stella Polaris," was in itself a delight. The boat turned into havens where trained reindeer swam around the boat. At Molde we went ashore and high up on the island to see school children dance their native dances in the open, and at one point
|we went ashore to follow
a mountain stream that flowed from the base of a mighty glacier that had
its origin eight thousand feet higher up, in1 a great ice-covered mountain
range that glistened in the sunlight. The Norway coast is sharp and
rugged. The rock formation is black and igneous, continuing in from the
sea coast some fifty miles, I observed, before a trace of yellow and
disintegrating limestone could be seen. This black rock is one of the
primeval rocks and never disintegrates. The coastal vessels often pass
almost within touch of the mountains, with sea water directly under them
perhaps five hundred to a thousand feet deep. Such formation gives rise to the deep arms of the sea in Norway, called fjords. At one point, after a day's journey out of Bergen, by rail
and two-wheeled one-horse vehicles, we stopped at a delightful inn for the
night. Before breakfast the next day I strolled past and below the inn
and spied what seemed to be an inland lake. On return the hotel clerk said
the water was the terminus of a fjord. I asked how far it was by the
brackish water; to the open Atlantic Ocean. He replied it was one hundred,
and seventeen miles! Almost all Scandinavians, one soon learns, speak
good English in their responses to Americans. This is because they must be
taught that language during their last year of school.
Our boat reached the North Cape at about eleven o'clock at night; We had long since crossed the Arctic Circle and so in such summer time, the sun did not set. At midnight its dull mass dipped lowest in' the north but at midday it was still not High nor a very brilliant orb. Perhaps one-half of the boat's passengers, lightered ashore to climb the twelve hundred feet to the pinnacle of that great cape. Olive was not able to make the trip, so I climbed with others. Enough patronage comes to the place to warrant flights of stairs to
|aid the climbers over
the bad spots. At the top were three frame houses, built to care for
travelers' needs, so we were soon eating and warming ourselves. It was a
romantic picture on the great mountain top, only a comparatively little
way from one of the tops of Mother Earth.
Our resting place of two weeks and two days, which had been allotted to us by the touring bureau in London, "was at the village of Olden, Norway. It was near the head of a fjord and back of us the valley extended for twenty-five miles to three glaciers that poured their melted ice and snow into a deep clear stream of beautiful water that flowed deep and strong past the hotel. We drove up to the chief; glacier, Brixdall, one day. On the way we observed how the valleys were farmed. Each farm ran back from the central road to the mountain side and each owner of the land possessed the mountain side back of the farm. Only a few hardy vegetables are grown, besides fruit and the grass, in the valleys. When Spring comes the cows are driven up the mountain side, where they are. herded on leaves and bits of native grass. At morning and.night the herder stables and milks the cows and sends the. buckets .of milk by trolley down to the valley, when it is' sent .to. the creamery. When cold weather sets in the cows are returned to stables in the valley, where the women and girls have in the meantime made hay from the rapidly growing grass. The flowers of the valley were luxuriant, and the hotel waitress kept us supplied.
On the train from Oslo to Stockholm I. Was seated with a Swedish clergyman,: I expressed the fear that Josef Stalin, political head of Russia, might prove to be a great tyrant. The newly-made friend differed in his estimate of Stalin, and thought he was a great idealist. Since then, in the tremendous improvement of the Russian people known to
|have been accomplished
by Stalin, I have adopted the Swedish clergyman's views. This gentleman
told me much of the people of Sweden. They are all well educated and
trained in the life work they have chosen to follow. Lumber is one of the
important crops of Sweden, and the product finds a ready market in all the
countries south of it. It requires about eighty years to mature a tree for
lumber, and no tree on public or private lands in Sweden may be cut down
until a government inspector has marked the tree for the axe, and the tree
owner must have agreed to plant another tree where the matured tree stood.
Both Oslo, Norway's capital, and Stockholm, Sweden's capital, are
attractive cities, but at Stockholm we enjoyed unusual operatic performances at the beautiful theatres. The city is built considerably
upon islands, connected by splendid bridges 'and driveways. We thought the
city was properly looked upon as one of the most beautiful cities of
By boat we were a day and night reaching the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Visby: is the chief city and place of interest in this Swedish island. Visby was one of the ancient Hanseatic cities of Europe. These were a group of cities in the middle ages in which the merchants aided each other in procuring and marketing the finer goods of the 'eastern hemisphere. In the middle ages marauders waylaid and robbed the caravans which transported such goods and the merchants-were obliged to arm themselves and band together to save their property and.trade. Visby was located on Gotland Island, and since it was well protected by the water of the Baltic Sea, the city in the middle ages grew in population, to 55,000. In more modern .times the trade routes ceased to be dangerous and Visby, having little population of its own, dwindled to about 5,000 at the present. Of
|course fire and
marauders did their part in destruction and Visby is now noted for its
many ruins of great churches.
Copenhagen is only a few minutes by boat from the southern end of Sweden, and is in the center of beautiful parks and drives. While there we were attracted by a newspaper's bulletin board telling of the impending war. We remained there the three days allotted for us in Copenhagen, Denmark's capitol, and went west across the North Sea to Norwich, England. A train for London awaited our boat and by midnight we had passed through London by bus and were at the splendid Southwestern Hotel at Southampton. We were delayed an hour by cutting out empty coaches, for London's use the next day in sending out of the city, three million women and children. Our French Line boat did not dare venture across the English Channel to pick us up, so the American Legation secured for us crowded quarters on the Empress of Britain, leaving for Quebec the next day. This great vessel now rests at the bottom of the sea, thanks to a German torpedo! When off the south coast of Ireland the Athenia was sunk by a German submarine off the northeast of Ireland. But our boat kept on its course, although it zigzagged all the way across to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We had not thought the great World War Number Two was so near us, or this last of our three enjoyable trips to Europe would scarcely have been made.
The three European trips were the highlights of our travels. Of all the places Olive and I have visited, however, the one Olive cherishes the hope she may again return to visit- is the Hawaiian Islands. The climate, the flowers and the Surf lend great charm to visitors. When the boats leave for the.-'United States, :the passengers are almost covered with leis of flowers; and as the great ship moves slowly
|away from the pier the
native Hawaiian band plays its sweetest strains of music, to a listening
boatload of visitors whose cheeks are wet with tears.
The story of my life has been briefly but substantially told. It has dealt with my trials and joys, for these are essentially the things that enter into all of our lives. I could not omit my affairs of business, for through them I sought to attain a place in the world. The story may not have entirely ended with this recital, but the recital itself is ended.