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Published Monthly by the Nebraska State Historical Society
Associate Editors
The Staffs of the Nebraska State Historical Society and
Legislative Reference Bureau
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q All sustaining members of the Nebraska State Historical
    Society receive Nebraska History without further payment.

q Entered as second class mail matter, under act of July 16, 1894, at Lincoln, Nebraska, April 2, 1918.





   Since 1896 Nebraska has been on the world's political map. Just now it is the home of two possible presidential candidates - William J. Bryan and John J. Pershing. Historians of future centuries are sure to search Nebraska records for material on the great movements - civil and military - of this world epoch. A home for the Nebraska State Historical Society is the first need to preserve these records.

   Constitutions are great historical landmarks in the annals of the state. The story of their making has more human interest than the documents themselves, for it discloses the actual conditions existing when the constitution was made. A most important part of Nebraska history is that of its constitutions. Three volumes of the Nebraska Society published in the period, 1906-1913, contain - so far as known the debates and proceedings in framing Nebraska constitutions. These three volumes have about six hundred pages each. They are an in valuable commentary on the first fifty years of Nebraska statehood. Discussions in them, by the most distinguished men in our civil history, are important, to every Nebraska scholar and lawyer in the present period of framing the constitution which will be voted upon next November. The supply of these volumes of Nebraska constitutional history is small. They sell at $1.50 each, and the proceeds go into the Historical Society's publication fund.

   Dr. Melvin R. Gilmore, curator of the North Dakota. Historical Society, has just published in the thirty- third annual report of the American Bureau of Ethnology results of his investigations in the field of native American food and medical plants. These investigations were begun in Nebraska when Dr. Gilmore was a staff member of our Historical Society. Several summers were spent by him with the Omaha and other Nebraska tribes getting at first hand the Indian names and uses of our native plants. A most valuable chapter upon Nebraska history and botany is his thesis published in volume XVII of our reports. The historical aspects of the study are fairly complete. The practical results are small. Dr. Gilmore recommends the seeds and tubers of the Nelumbe water lily and the familiar plains turnip or tiepsin of the Sioux as worthy of development for food. There are, in fact, several wild food plants of Nebraska most promising - three especially so - the buffalo berry, the sand cherry and the tiepsen. When one considers how meager were the wild beginnings of the cultivated plants of Europe and Asia which now furnish food for the world, the wild plants of the plains seem worthy of the highest efforts of Nebraska horticultural genius.

   Many requests come in for the early publications of this Society. Sometimes these come from Nebraska citizens, sometimes from libraries and collectors outside the state. Volumes III and IV, first series, cannot now be supplied. They were published in 1892, Professor Howard W. Caldwell, editor. The secretary will be glad to pay three dollars per volume for them to fill out a few sets. Will members go over their bookshelves and send us any spare volumes of these issues they may find?

   The Historical Society encourages worthy local histories, freely placing at the disposal of their publishers the material in its collections and helping them find needed data. It especially encourages at this time worthy county war histories designed to collect pictures and personal information relating to every Nebraska soldier and every home-worker in the World War. This Society particularly commends such a history when undertaken and carried on by those resident in the county, for love of the cause rather than commercial gain. A good case in point is the war history of Burt county edited and published by J. R. Sutherland. Fifty years residence in a county and editorship of a county seat newspaper is first-class training for such a task. The paper by Mr. Sutherland, printed in this issue of the magazine should be inspiration for other counties and editors.

   The earliest record for winter wheat in Nebraska is now established. Among early Fort Atkinson documents just received front Washington is a letter from Colonel Henry Atkinson, dated October 20, 1821, relating to farming operations at that post. This letter says:
   We have put down a small crop of wheat this fall, enough, probably, to give us seed for a large crop next year besides rendering us two hundred barrels of flour. This is a crop we should assiduously nurture, as being most useful and easiest of culture; we should, upon the most reasonable cultivation, after the next sowing, reap of this article an abundance for the entire bread part of the ration.
   Winter wheat was re-discovered in Nebraska about 1890, but a hundred years ago it was a proven success in Nebraska.

   A letter from Mrs. William Dunn at Fort Smith, Ark., promises the Historical Society records of her husband's diary when he was freighting across the plains in the sixties. Mr. Dunn crossed the great divide at his home in Syracuse, Otoe county, October 6th, 1919. He was a typical freighter - quiet, courageous, reliable. The men who were entrusted with thousands of dollars worth of property out on the plains had to possess all these qualities. Their diaries and letters are among the valuable records of frontier Nebraska.

   For a good many years Samuel C. Bassett has been printing articles upon agriculture in Nebraska. In fact the beginnings of Bassett on Nebraska agriculture go back to the springtime of 1871 when the Bassett family settled on a piece of raw Wood River valley land, for many years known as Echo Farm. In recent years the Bassett Agricultural Scrap Book has come into existence. It includes hundreds or pages of sifted material - the foundation on which a real history of Nebraska agriculture may be built. This magazine hopes that Mr. Bassett will do this himself. No other person now living has the training for the task. No other person who will live hereafter will have the contact with the literature and the facts of the first fifty years of our first industry which Mr. Bassett has. This article is written without Mr. Bassett's knowledge. If he will undertake the work, both the State Board of Agriculture and the Historical Society should cooperate in bearing the incidental expenses.

   Henry Blackbird and wife of the Omaha tribe and Oliver Lamers of the Winnebago tribe were welcome callers at the Historical Society rooms, February 4th. They were part of a delegation from their tribes who addressed a committee of the constitutional convention on the use of peyote. Mr. Blackbird is a descendant of Chief Blackbird - most famous of the Omaha tribe - and Mr. Lamers is descended from French ancestors on his father's side and Winnebago on the mother's side. Each of these men is an active worker in preserving the tribal history of his people.


Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days

Picture or sketch

(handwritten below photo - "See C 2010")

Major John G. Maher War Collection

   The above picture shows, in part, the collection of war trophies presented by Major John G. Maher to the Nebraska State Historical Society. These trophies were secured by Major Maher when overseas during 1918-19. They came chiefly from the neighborhoods of Soissons, Verdun, Metz. They include German and French helmets, swords, bayonets, scabbards, hand grenades, cartridges, shells, bread and sugar coupons, war medals and many other articles. This is a valuable addition to the Historical Society World War museum.

Three Military Heroes of Nebraska

   A letter has recently been received from Mrs. Susan Kearny Selfridge, a daughter of General Philip Kearny. Mrs. Selfridge has prepared a lecture on "Philip Kearny, Soldier and Patriot," and the cause for which he fought, covering events of over half a century. The purpose of the lecture, aside from doing honor to "Fighting Phil. Kearny," is to further the cause of Americanization.
   The Phil. Kearny Club, created under the authority of the Administration Board of the Students' Army Training Corps in Earl Hall, Columbia University, New York, in 1918, was organized, in honor of General Phil. Kearny of the class of 1833, the Columbia graduate of highest rank killed in action during the Civil War.
   General Kearny was killed at Chantilly, Virginia, September 1, 1862. He left a widow and two small children, of whom Mrs. Selfridge was the elder. She regrets keenly that she has no personal recollections of her father, but she has spent many years in the study of his life and patriotic service. She has sent to this Society a bibliography of General Kearny's military career.
   The letters of General Kearny to his wife, written during the war, have been carefully preserved. They would be a valuable addition to the manuscript files of this Society.

On the 21st day of December, 1866, seventy-nine soldiers from Fort Philip Kearny and two citizens, detached to protect a party of choppers who were procuring wood for the fort, were attacked by Indians, numbering between 1,500 and 2,000. The entire command was killed, including the leader, Brevet Lieutenant Colonel William J. Fetterman. This is the most shocking tragedy in the long struggle between the Indians of the plains and the white intruders, excepting the culminating battle on the Little Bighorn, called the Custer Massacre, which occurred ten years later less than, a hundred miles distant and in the same disputed territory. Its direct cause was the Powder River military expedition of 1865 and the establishing of a line of forts - Reno, Phil. Kearny and C. F. Smith - along the Bozeman road, in the summer of 1866, by Colonel Henry B. Carrington, of the Eighteenth Regiment U. S. Infantry. Colonel Carrington's command on this hazardous expedition comprised only the second battalion - eight companies of the regiment. The site for Fort Reno, at the intersection of the road by Crazy Woman's fork of Powder River, - then in Dakota -but now near the center of Johnson county, Wyoming, - was selected

on July 12th, for Fort Phil. Kearny on July 14th, and for Fort Smith on August 12th.
   Fort Phil. Kearny was situated between Big Piney and Little Piney creeks, near their confluence. It was then in Dakota Territory - which was formed from Nebraska in 1861; but the site is now in Wyoming, on the northern boundary of Johnson county and about twenty-five miles southeasterly from the city of Sheridan. Fort Smith was situated at the intersection of the Bozeman road and the Bighorn River, in Montana Territory, now in the southwestern part of Big Horn county and about thirty miles southwest of the Custer battlefield.
   By the treaty of April 29, 1868, the Sioux nation agreed to retire to a definitely defined reservation, but on condition that the three forts should be abandoned. Accordingly, Fort Smith was withdrawn on July 29th, 1868, Fort Phil. Kearny on July 31st, and Fort Reno August 28th. In his report for that year, the commissioner of Indian affairs asserted that the military department took possession of the Powder River country and established the forts there without the consent of the Indian proprietors of the territory and in direct violation of treaty stipulations. Continued disagreements after the treaty of 1868 led to the Custer tragedy and the subsequent subjugation of the Sioux, so that about ten years later they had become willing to live peaceably within their reservations.
   The battles of Fort Phil. Kearny and the Little Big Horn are improperly called massacres. They were battles in the course of long continued open warfare between the United States and the Sioux nation, in which the Indian commanders outwitted the commanders of the white armies. In both battles, however, the Indians were guilty of brutalities not then practiced in civilized warfare, but that incident does not affect the fact in question. Toward the last, the weapons of the world war and the manner of using them were more brutal than those of the Indians in this Sioux war, though the Indians exceeded the soldiers of the world war in unnecessary revengeful, intentional brutality, properly called cruelty.
   The appropriation of the domains of the Indians by the highly civilized white race was inevitable, because under the superior race they maintain a population of millions while under the Indians they supported only thousands; and the spreading and progress of civilized institutions demanded order, whereas, the Indians lived in constant disorder. A quite similar process has gone on in Africa and Asia notably during the last twenty-five years. But the greed and faithless methods of the white invasion of the Indian country deserved and

(Continued on Page Three.)

Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days


Picture or sketch

(handwritten below photo - "See C 2382")

D. Charles Bristol (Omaha Charley)

   (Collector of the Bristol Exhibit of Early Indian Relics in the Historical Society's Museum.)
   D. Charles Bristol, commonly called Omaha Charley, was born at Canandaigua, N. Y., March 17, 1934. His father was a native of Connecticut and his mother of New York state. His first occupation was that of brakeman on the Chicago, St. Paul & Minneapolis railroad, but he soon established a trading post thirty miles east of Black River Falls, Wis., before he was twenty-one years old. He has followed the business of Indian-trader most of his life, doing business with the Chippewa. Miami, Potawatomi, and Winnebago.
   Mr. Bristol came to Decatur, Neb., in 1867, when he was thirty-three years old and has lived in the state most of the time since - on the Omaha and Winnebago reservations, at Pine Ridge, Gordon, Rushville, and finally at Homer. In 1865 he was married to Miss Mary Thompson of Union City, Penn., but they parted and she became the wife of Judge Robert Wilson of Neligh, Neb. In 1881 he was married to Lettie Hunter, an educated woman of the Winnebago. Four boys were born to them: William T. in 1891; Chas. D. in 1886; Albert H. in 1897; and Harold, 1909. He bought a farm adjoining Homer in 1883 and has resided there most of the time since.
   It was customary among the plainsmen, in the early days, to apply significant nicknames to one another, such as Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill, Pawnee Charley, etc. Thus Mr. Bristol became known among his associates as Omaha Charley, probably because he was closely associated with the Omaha tribe.
   Mr. Bristol has a comfortable home in Homer, and he and his estimable Indian wife are devout church workers, highly respected by their many neighbors and friends. On my recent visit to them he remarked, "Of course, I have been pretty wild and a great sinner, but with the help of God, I am trying to live right and do right by everybody." Not a home in the state is more neatly kept, and its owner has plenty of this world's goods to make his old age enjoyable. His originally strong constitution served him so well that in spite of exposure and other hardships and irregular living, he is apparently still in vigorous health.
   Many years ago he conceived the notion that a collection of apparel, household utensils, weapons, etc., illustrating customs and manners of the Indians in their own habitat, would be of great and lasting interest to the general public, and he undertook his task with characteristic industry and acumen. It is a custom among the Indians to present a friend or benefactor with some part of one's costume. Sometimes one will remove his moccasins for such a purpose, going back to his lodge barefooted. Many important chiefs of the plains tribes have been Omaha Charley's friends, and he was it keen judge of fine workmanship. The best specimens he could buy or otherwise procure were added to his collection from time to time.
   He took special interest in such articles as possessed historical value and he obtained many of this class. During the seventies he toured many of the larger cities of the country with his collection, including a band of Indians to exhibit them. Later he expanded his show with a theatrical organization which performed in many of the leading theatres of this country and Europe. On retiring from this business he erected, at Homer, a building especially designed for the display and preservation of his collection; but afterward he and his wife gave it up to and for their church and removed their collection to a small frame building near their home. When I first visited Homer in 1905, the collection was arranged in cases and packed in boxes in this building.
   Mr. Bristol and his wife were eventually persuaded to place the

collection on exhibition in the rooms of the Nebraska State Historical Society, where it has remained ever since. When I was packing the collection at Homer for shipment to the Historical Society, a Mr. Buck Walter, who lived there, pressed upon Mr. Bristol his check of three hundred dollars for one of the buffalo robes, but in vain; so the Historical Society obtained the collection intact. Of course this treasure is displayed at great disadvantage in the very crowded space in the Society's rooms.
   I have, noticed that even in the largest museums east of the Mississippi River, there is almost a dearth of early Indian relics, and no other state in the Union has so complete a collection of them as Nebraska. Mr. Bristol's name and fame are destined to be perpetuated in his collection; for the lifework of this picturesque frontiersman will be appreciated more and more as knowledge of its historical and ethnological value spreads. SpacerE. B. BLACKMAN.

Three Military Heroes of Nebraska
(Continued from Page Two.)

won the severest condemnation from the just. The report of the commission which was appointed to investigate the troubles with the Indians of the plains during the period under consideration, made by General John B. Sanborn, General N. B. Buford, and G. P. Beauvais, the celebrated frontiersman and Indian trader, attributed the hostility of the Indians to the causes adverted to, and directly to the fact that though they had refused to sign the treaty imposed upon them at Fort Laramie in June, yet immediately after this refusal by the Indians who owned the Powder River country to permit the use of the Montana road, a military force was sent to fortify it by the erection of the three forts along its course.
   The Bozeman Trail proper ran from Platte Bridge to Bozeman City. It was established or outlined in 1864 by John M. Bozeman, a noted pioneer of Montana. Different accounts place its western terminal at Virginia City and the three forks of the Missouri. But both Bozeman and Virginia City are in the Three Forks region. This famous highway was extended as far east as Fort Laramie when it was wrongfully fortified by Colonel Carrington's expedition in 1866. It was the line of the civil invasion into the gold regions of Montana and the military invasion of 1866 which provoked the bloody resistance of the Sioux lasting some fifteen years. In 1863, Bozeman opened a trail from the Red Buttes into the Three Forks region. The Red Buttes were a familiar landmark near the Oregon Trail. The nearby station of the Pony Express was named for them. It was the eastern terminal of Buffalo Bill's route of seventy-six miles - to the Three Crossings of the Sweetwater. His daring exploits on this difficult and dangerous section of the romantic road, made it exceptionally famous. From 1854 to 1861, the Red Buttes were in Nebraska Territory; from 1861 to 1868, in Dakota Territory; since 1868, in Wyoming, territory and state. They are situated near the North Platte River, in the southeasterly part of Natrona county, about twenty-two miles west of the city of Casper.
   Platte Bridge was situated at one of the principal crossings of the Oregon Trail and the road to California from the south side to the north side of the river. The site is about two miles above the city of Casper. The bridge was built as a private enterprise in 1859 and cost sixty thousand dollars. The Mormons established a ferry there in 1847. The south terminal of the bridge was occupied by United States troops from July 29th, 1858, to April 20th, 1859, for the protection of the expedition to Utah to suppress the Mormon rebellion. The post was reoccupied in May, 1862, and finally abandoned in 1867.
   On the 25th of July, 1865, Lieutenant Caspar Collins, of the Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, son of Lieutenant Colonel William 0. Collins, of the same regiment, and for whom Fort Collins, Colo., was named, arrived at the Platte Bridge post from Fort Laramie, where he had gone to receive promotion from a second to a first lieutenancy. In the early morning of the 26th, a detachment of twenty-five soldiers of the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry was ordered to cross the river to meet a wagon train from the West and protect it from the hostile Indians who were swarming in the hills on the north side. Noticing that no one responded to the call for some officer of the regiment to volunteer to command the detachment on its palpably dangerous duty, the young lieutenant, though of a different command, begged to be chosen for leader, and his request was reluctantly granted. The little band was attacked by more than 700 Indians who had killed eight and wounded seven of them when the remainder attempted to retreat to the fort. Collins, who rode a powerful horse, might have escaped, but he turned back to rescue a wounded comrade, his horse became unruly and carried him far into the ranks of the Indians to a frightful death. On November 21st following, an order issued by General Pope named the post Fort Caspar in honor of the intrepid young hero. He was only in his twenty-first year when he was killed.
   Philip Kearny won renown in the Mexican war and the Civil War. He also fought with the French who, with their Sardinian ally, conquered the Austrians and led to the formation of the Italian nation. At Solferino, the decisive battle of the war, Kearny won great distinction by dis [sic] dashing initiative. His commission as major general of volunteers was executed on July 4th, 1862, but it had not reached him when he fell at Chantilly. General Winfield Scott said that he was "the bravest man I ever knew and the most perfect soldier." Though he was the more brilliant leader and fighter, the military talents of his uncle, Stephen Watts Kearny, were perhaps of a more substantial quality and his achievement on the whole more important. His career in the war of 1812, against Great Britain, was creditable, and though his most distinguished service was in the war with Mexico he is a very important personage in the history of the wars and explorations of the western plains.
   On the second of July, 1820, an exploring party started from Can-

(Continued on Page Five.)


Nebraska History and Record of Pioneer Days

By John L. Kennedy, Federal Fuel Administrator.
(A paper read at the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society, January 13, 1920.)

   On October 16, 1917, Dr. Harry A. Garfield, United States fuel administrator, tendered me by telegraph the office of federal fuel administrator for Nebraska, and I accepted the appointment the same day. My formal certificate of appointment is dated October 17. At the request of Dr. Garfield I attended a conference of state fuel administrators held in Washington on October 26, at which the work of the fuel administration was outlined. Upon my return from Washington I at once organized for work in the state.

State Organization.

   In Nebraska there are six congressional districts and ninety-three counties. An advisory committee was appointed, consisting of one member from each congressional district as follows: First district, John E. Miller, Lincoln; second district, George W. Holdrege, Omaha; third district, Mark D. Tyler, Norfolk; fourth district, Frank W. Sloan, Geneva; fifth district, William H. Lanning, Hastings; sixth district, Judge Robert R. Dickson, O'Neill.
   Shortly after his appointment Mr. Lanning resigned, and no successor was appointed to represent the fifth district. The other members of the committee served until March 27, 1919.

County committees.

   The county was taken as the most satisfactory unit for organization purposes. I appointed the chairman in each county, and he made up his own committee. Selections were made without reference to party politics. In a few sparsely settled western counties the chairmen made no appointments and took charge of the work personally. In other counties committees were larger or smaller according to population and community requirements, the object being to have a member of the committee in each city or town. They averaged about seven or eight to a county, in all about seven hundred.

Office Organization.

   On November 6, 1917, I appointed Fred P. Loomis, of Omaha, assistant fuel administrator, and he rendered excellent service in the distribution of coal during the winter of 1917-18.
   On December 17, 1917, I appointed Arthur L. Palmer, of Omaha, executive secretary. He served continuously to August 31, 1918, and resigned to enlist in the navy. He rendered very efficient service to the fuel administration and to the state.
   On October, 15, 1918, Myron L. Learned, of Omaha, was appointed director of enforcement for Nebraska, and Henry F. Wyman, of Omaha, director of conservation for Nebraska. On October 18, 1918, Robert W. Johnston, of Lincoln, was appointed director of fuel conservation for the hotels of Nebraska. Administration offices were maintained in Omaha from October, 1917, to April 1st, 1919, with the necessary stenographers and office equipment.

Fuel Supply.

   At no time during the period of fuel administration did Nebraska suffer seriously for lack of fuel. Throughout the winter of 1917-18 sufficient coal could have been obtained from usual sources of supply to meet all requirements. The transportation facilities, however, were inadequate. Coal cars, loaded and empty, were congested at diversion points and terminals, and the free movement of available coal was thereby delayed. The railroads also lacked engines and equipment.
   When producing and consuming districts were created by the fuel administration and the zone system was established, the Nebraska situation was materially changed. Pennsylvania anthracite was excluded from the state. To deprive small householders and consumers of stove and chestnut sizes, suitable for baseburners, of a supply was a real hardship. Nebraska also lost nearly a million tons of the best bituminous coal, usually obtained from Illinois, and was obliged to look to Wyoming and Colorado and the south for substitutes. The western coal was mostly lignite, inferior in quality and heat producing capacity and subject to considerable degradation. A sufficient supply of bituminous coal could not be had from Routt county, Colorado, because of the bankrupt condition of the Denver & Salt Lake Railway. From the broad transportation standpoint, the zone plan seemed to be perfect, but in operation it benefited the east and burdened the west with kinds of coal to which consumers were not accustomed. Early in 1918 a new coal field was being developed in Wyoming, about a mile and a half from the Winton branch of the Union Pacific railway, under an agreement with the Union Pacific Company that a track should be laid to the coal mines. The government, however, took over the railroads before the agreement was signed. The new field promised a large supply of excellent Rock Springs coal, much needed in Nebraska, and upon my presentation of the facts to Dr. Garfield, and with his recommendation and cooperation, and the cordial cooperation of Mr. Calvin, federal manager of the Union Pacific Company, the railroad administration assumed the contract, and large shipments of coal have been had from the new mines since October, 1918.
   During the period of fuel administration, Colorado anthracite came into Nebraska in limited quantities from the Crested Butte district. The state was quite well supplied with fuel; but consumers were not always satisfied with the kind and quality of the coal available.


Nebraska is a mineless state. Our problems related largely to distribution. This was particularly true during the winter of 1917-18, when the transportation system was found to be unequal to the emergency. Every effort was made to relieve the situation and release cars, but considerable disorder and confusion prevailed for several months after my appointment. Coal cars were not placed promptly for unloading, and were frequently "bunched," so that coal dealers were unable to unload them as they arrived.
   There were no through joint rates into Nebraska from Colorado

and Wyoming, and cars could not be diverted to any extent from one railway to another. In the southwestern part of the state, reached only by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railway, much difficulty was experienced in preventing actual suffering during the winter of 1917-18. In some instances that railway furnished and transported coal in the night to particular communities, to meet emergencies. These conditions induced me to insist upon through joint rates from all Wyoming and Colorado mines to all points in Nebraska, so that coal cars might move freely from one line to another at the most convenient junction or diversion point. Such rates were eventually put into effect, to the great advantage and relief of consumers throughout the state.
   When the zone system of distribution was established by the administration, we were deprived of Pennsylvania anthracite. Our supply of bituminous coal from Illinois was also zoned away from us. At that time it was understood that we should get our chief supply of bituminous coal from Routt county, Colorado. The mines in that territory were reached by the Denver & Salt Lake railway - known as the Moffatt Line. That road was in the hands of a receiver, because of financial difficulties. It lacked equipment and funds to meet operating expenses. The railroad administration had not taken the road over, and late in August, 1918, it ceased operation entirely. The closing of the railway was a calamity. My experiences of the preceding winter convinced me that I could not assume responsibility for the distribution of coal in Nebraska during the. winter of 1918-19 under the changed conditions. I so informed the United States fuel administrator, and the railroad administration took over and operated the line.
   The coal distribution system of Nebraska was built upon the wholesale dealers of the state, and the retail coal dealers relied largely upon the wholesalers for their supply. It was the custom of the wholesale dealers to place orders with the mines in advance and dispose of and divert the coal in transit to meet actual conditions. The distances from the mines to ultimate destination points were great, transportation slow, and the demand and supply were affected daily by acute weather conditions. The coal in the hands of the wholesale dealers, therefore, depended upon the privilege of diverting and consigning coal in transit to supply their customers. August 30, 1918, an order was made in Washington, by Mr. Calloway, in charge of the distribution of bituminous coal, prohibiting mine owners and operators from accepting orders for coal without the name of the ultimate consignee and final destination being given. The result of the order was immediately apparent in Nebraska. It was revolutionary, so far as our state was concerned. I therefore insisted upon the revocation of the order as to Nebraska shipments. The matter was finally adjusted in Chicago on October 7, 1918, by and between the Washington officials and myself. Under the terms of the agreement then reached, the wholesalers and jobbers retained the privilege of reconsigning in transit, but were required to report weekly, in triplicate, all reconsignments and diversions made within the state, one copy to go to the district representative in whose district the shipment originated, one to the state fuel administrator, and one to C. E. Lesher, director of the bureau of statistics. The arrangement was satisfactory.
   During the summer of 1918 car congestion and delays in unloading were almost wholly eliminated, and thereafter the transportation of coal in Nebraska was very much simplified and improved.
   Throughout the administration period, much of the coal coming into Nebraska was imperfectly cleaned and badly prepared.
   One of the greatest evils in the distribution of coal is the shortage in weights. These shortages, other than normal shrinkage, should not be absorbed by the coal dealers and consumers of the country. They are the result chiefly of inaccurate and imperfect methods of weighing at the mines, the overloading of coal cars and pilfering in transit. In an order of mine made June 25, 1918, relating to margins, I authorized the retail coal dealers to have the coal weighed on the track scales nearest to destination, so that they might be furnished with competent evidence of the actual amount of coal received. They were permitted to add the expense of re-weighing to the cost of the coal to them.

Prices and Margins.

   Soon after my appointment it became evident that great difficulty would be experienced in reaching correct margins, because of the imperfect bookkeeping methods of the retail dealers, and the lack of accurate records for previous years. My intention in the first instance was to establish prices in the different cities, towns and villages throughout the state. The county committees in Douglas and Lancaster counties investigated fully and reported specific prices for Omaha and Lincoln. These prices, with certain modifications, were put into effect in Omaha, December 19, 1917, and in Lincoln January 3, 1918. The prices in the two cities were substantially the same, differences in freight rates and local delivery charges being taken into account. Prices were established for the communities in Douglas and Lancaster counties outside of Omaha and Lincoln, to take effect February 1, 1918. Before establishing prices for the state at large, reports were called for from the several county committees, and I soon became convinced that the local price plan was impracticable and difficult of equitable application, because of the changing mine prices and transportation and other charges. Definite prices were then dropped, and maximum retail gross margins were established, on all coal and coke sold to consumers in Nebraska outside of Douglas and Lancaster counties, to take effect February 9, 1918. Those margins were on substantially the same basis as the prices in Douglas and Lancaster counties. On March 30, 1918, I made an order establishing maximum retail gross margins for the entire state, effective April first in that order coal dealers were required to post up and main-

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