The report was read and referred to the auditing committee. Under the head of miscellaneous business it was moved and carried that the order of business be changed and the meeting proceed to the election of officers for the ensuing year. It was further moved and carried that the rules of the Society be suspended and that the officers of 1910 be reëlected, and the ballot was so cast.
The officers elected were as follows: President, John L. Webster; secretary, Clarence S. Paine; treasurer, Stephen L. Geisthardt; first vice president, Robert Harvey; second vice president, Samuel C. Bassett.
Attention was called to a pending amendment to Article VI of the constitution relating to the board of directors. Upon request the secretary read the amended article as follows:
The board of directors shall be the
governing body for this Society with power to manage,
administer and control its affairs, including the
disposition of its moneys and property. This board shall
have power to appoint such employees as may be deemed
necessary and to fix their powers, duties, and compensation,
subject to the constitution and by-laws of the Society.
shall receive reports from the secretary and other officers, act on applications for membership, and transact such other business as shall to them seem for the Society's best interests.
Special meetings of the board may be called by the secretary on five days notice to each member, specifying the object of such special meeting.
Five members of the board shall constitute a quorum. The order of business at the board's meetings shall be the same as that of the Society's meetings as far as applicable. The board shall report through the secretary to the Society at its meetings, and the board of directors shall have power to fill any vacancies occurring in said board.
The amendment was adopted.
The President called for the election of six members of the board of directors provided for in the constitution; whereupon Chancellor Avery nominated J. E. Cobbey and Horace S. Wiggins for the three-year term; Dr. H. B. Lowry and W. M. Davidson for the two-year term; F. L. Haller and I. L. Albert for the one-year term, who were thereupon declared elected.
The secretary called attention to an amendment to article IV of the constitution relating to membership which had been introduced but under the rules of the Society must be laid over. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
A. J. Sawyer now read resolutions concerning the death of members of the Society which have occurred during the past year.
The secretary announced that a number of letters of regret had been received from members of the Society who were unable to be present, but on account of lack of time only one would be mentioned. This was from Mrs. Platt, of Oberlin, Ohio, who although in her 94th year never failed to write a communication for the annual meeting. She dates her residence in Nebraska from the year 1843.
THE PRESIDENT. This concludes our business meeting this morning.
The secretary reported that a list of forty-six names of persons who had applied for membership were awaiting action. Under instruction by a motion duly carried the secretary cast the ballot of the Society for the election of the persons named below:
The meeting held in the Temple Theater
at eight o'clock in the evening was opened with two piano
solos, The Eagle and The Two Larks, by Miss Frances Virginia
Melton. Dr. Benjamin F. Shambaugh, president of the State
Historical Society of Iowa and professor of Political
science in the University of Iowa, then delivered an address
on The History of the West and the Pio-
neers.1 Mr. James Mooney, of the Bureau of American Ethnology, spoke on My Life Among the Indian Tribes of the Plains2 and gave some stereopticon views of Indians and Indian life, after which the meeting adjourned.
A conference of local historical
societies was held at the Temple Theater, January 11, at
nine o'clock in the morning. Mortimer N. Kress responded for
Adams county, Isaac Pollard and Louis A. Bates for Cass,
Jonathan Edwards for Douglas, Robert Harvey for Howard, M.
A. DeCamp for Antelope; Mrs. Kittie McGrew for Nemaha, and
William P. Larsh for Lancaster.
Mr. Robert F. Gilder was the first on
the program of an ethnological conference at the Temple
Theater at half past ten in the morning and spoke on the
Important discoveries of a hitherto
unknown culture have been made in Washington, Douglas,
Sarpy, Cass, Nemaha and Richardson counties, all of which
border on the Missouri river, and it would not be out of
place to prophesy still greater discoveries in the future by
anthropologists who follow.
1 This address is printed in Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1910.
2 Mr. Mooney's address is printed in Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society, volume XVII.
around on their foreparts, dig up the dirt and mud and carry away portions entangled in their long mane and hair, and in this way scoop out a saucer-shaped hole. That was the way I heard it before reaching the Missouri river. But nowadays these so-called buffalo wallows are known for what they really are--ruins of the homes of a people who inhabited Nebraska before the arrival of the Indians found here by early white explorers.
Old-timers in Nebraska do not take kindly to the house ruin idea, and occasionally one will be found who will testify to the fact, or near fact, that he has personally seen buffaloes making these same wallows. Once, when working in a "buffalo wallow" house ruin, an old and long-haired man approached and told me that it was useless for me to dig so hard in such a place, and he vouched the information that he had personally seen a buffalo making that particular wallow. When I extracted an assortment of stone, bone and antler implements and pieces of pottery the elderly party eyed them and me for a time and then suggested that it was easy for me to have buried the things there.
Archeological research has determined that in the counties named lying north of the Platte river four, and possibly five, different peoples, up to and including the present day Indian, resided in Nebraska for a greater or lesser period. Crania discovered indicate that these were distinctive types, descending from the Nebraska Loess Man in cranial development. In the scale prepared by Dr. C. W. M. Poynter, at the head of the department of anatomy, University of Nebraska medical college, after a study of the various types included in the state museum collection, the ancient semi-subterranean housebuilder comes second. Then follows an unknown type of long heads found in Washington county south of
Blair. Following the Blair type is that from the Wallace mound in Sarpy county showing a roundheaded people, supposed to be invaders from the south; and following them came the Siouan tribes now living in Nebraska of which the Omaha are a unit.
Interest outside of Nebraska's primitive people known as loess men centers largely in the semi- underground house people, who erected more of a cave than a house and shaped their residences not unlike the ground plan of many houses of today--rectangular. These housebuilders were certainly far advanced toward civilization, judging from the various articles left behind which were used in domestic life and war. They were potters of the very first rank, and although whole pots are rare, there were many sizes and many contours in use by them. In my possession today are over 130 different designs and shapes, many of which would be creditable as the work of a modern potter.
The houses of Nebraska's early people were longer north and south. Their entrances were exactly opposite the north star and entered the dwelling in a sort of tunnel sometimes fifty feet long. They were built only upon the highest river bluffs and were usually four to five feet below the surface and rectangular, which indicated that a gable roof was used. Some of them were roofed with poles overlaid with grass and earth from the excavation, while in others no signs of roof are visible, and the conclusion is that they were roofed with bark or some sort of thatch. In certain places inside the house, pits or hiding places were dug beneath the packed dirt floor, in shape not unlike an inverted funnel, some Of them of the size of a barrel and others of a hogshead. In these pits or "caches" were placed various articles of value, a score of which were made of bone tempered
by fire and bearing a high polish. Sculptured heads of stone; heads and images modeled from clay and burned; finely made pots; wonderfully symmetrical stone arrowheads; four-bladed stone knives; hafted spoons cut from polished unio shells; clay and stone pipes; bone hoes formed from scapula of large quadrupeds; spearheads of stone, clay, shell, bone and stone beads; plaited hair rope and cords of twisted fiber; mortars and upper millstones; mineral and hematite paint and paint mills; combs made of elk antlers; bone fishhooks; bone needles with and without an eye; and a score of miscellaneous implements non-specialized, the uses of which are unknown.
In the manufacture of implements the housebuilder was a skilled mechanic and artist. Drawings made with a bone point on the sides and rims of pots before baking show artistic skill and much merit, and it is hard to conceive that these early Nebraskans practiced cannibalism on a considerable scale. But this fact has been entirely proven, not only to the author, but to authorities to whom the facts leading to the belief have been submitted.
The meeting then adjourned.
A joint session of the Nebraska State
Historical Society and the Nebraska Territorial Pioneers
Association took place in the Temple Theater at two o'clock
in the afternoon.
At the conclusion of Mr. Mooney's address Mr. Kempton introduced Mrs. Kittie McGrew who read a paper on The Women of Territorial Nebraska.
Mrs. Winona S. Sawyer now read a paper entitled Women's Work in Nebraska.
Miss Melton played a piano solo which was followed by a story hour for the public school children who filled the Temple auditorium. Mrs. Minnie P. Knotts, librarian of the Historical Society, told two Nebraska history stories, after which the meeting adjourned until eight o'clock in the evening.
The evening meeting was called to order by Robert Harvey, first vice president, who announced that Captain James H. Cook, who was to read a paper, was unable to be present, but the paper would be read by his son, Harold J. Cook:
In the year 1876, I helped to drive a
herd of about 25,000 Texas steers from a point on the Nueces
River, in Texas, to what was then known as the Whetstone
Bottom on the Missouri river in Nebraska. These cattle had
been purchased by men who had contracted with the Department
of the Interior to supply a number of our Indian agencies
with beef. The herd, composed entirely of strong cattle,
made good time and led the drive of that season from
southern Texas. This was the first great herd of cattle
driven through western Nebraska into Dakota.
© 1999, 2000, 2001 for the NEGenWeb Project by T&C Miller