Out of the Past

Do You Know These People?

partial story from December 2, 1972 Grand Island Independent

Since the Daily Independent printed this bronze-tone from 1903 in its Nov. 20 edition when ground-breaking for the new library at 1100 W. Second took place, the editors have learned the identities of most of those in the picture. President Roosevelt was the only one recognized up until now.

The picture belongs to Grand Island attorney Bayard H. Paine Jr., whose father was then a member of the library board.

Beginning at left is a man with a beard. That's Judge T. 0. C. Harrison. He offered his house as the meeting place to organize Grand Island's first library board in 1884.

Next to him and partially hidden is an unidentified man.

Then, the fellow looking at the camera and the man behind him are two of the President's secret servicemen.

Peeking out across the chest of the mustachioed SS man is Judge John R. Thompson. The man partially hidden behind him is Judge J. H. Mullin. The bare-faced man with gloves on is the Rev. J. C. Clark, a Presbyterian minister.

Behind the minister, the man with the glasses is Bayard H. Paine Sr., a local attorney who later was elected to the Nebraska Supreme Court and served as a justice for 18 years. The tall fellow behind him is Henry S. Ferras, then manager of the American Crystal Sugar Company's Grand Island factory.

The two ladies pictured are Mrs. 0.A. Abbott, wife of Nebraska's first lieutenant governor who was from Grand Island, and Mrs. C. F. Bentley, wife of the man elected president of the first Grand Island Library Board in 1884. Next to Mrs. Bentley is E. J. Hatch, the man with a clean shaven head, hat in hand.

The three men behind them are unidentified, but the bearded fellow in the back between Mr. Hatch and the president is the Rev. Louis A. Arthur, an Episcopalian minister.

Then there is. President Roosevelt. The man directly behind him is unidentified.

The man with the square cap and the badge is police officer Henry Schumacher. Next to him is another secret service agent.

And the man in profile looking on at the right of the picture is the mayor in 1903, James Cleory, who was also one of a group who offered the land site for the 1903 library.

It was a momentous occasion, considering that the President was then escorted to Dodge School (a parking lot now) where practically all of Grand Island's residents had assembled to hear him speak.