The Book “Our Pennsylvania”, part 1 by Amy Oakley, illustrated by Thornton Oakley, Bryn Mawr College

Although a number of contemporary reference books have been used from time to time in writing this column, so many of the others have been ancient tomes that this columnist thinks mostly of yellowed pages and frail bindings as she reviews in her mind the columns of the past two or three years. And supplementing old books have been time worn records, many written in faded ink.

By way of contrast we turn today to a book published only about a year ago by two of our Delaware County neighbors. “Our Pennsylvania”, by Amy Oakley, with illustrations by her well known artist husband, Thornton Oakley.

The Oakleys live at “Woodstock”, their lovely home on Spring Mill road where it is intersected by Sproul road. This book on their native state is dedicated to the memory of their parents, James Hunter Ewing, of Philadelphia, and John Milton Oakley, of Pittsburgh. In writing it they have traversed the length and the breadth of the Keystone State, so named, Mrs. Oakley explains in her preface, because this Commonwealth, holding seventh place geographically among the thirteen original states, was the “key of the federal arch.”

Large though the state may be, there is “no monotony to travel in Pennsylvania” in the opinion of the Oakleys. Not only are there famous historical shrines and “time mellowed architectural survivors of the years 1790-1800, when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States, “but forests cover approximately half of Pennsylvania’s area since the reforestation of the State. As the reader of any volume such as this might easily anticipate in advance of perusing it, one of the greatest problems of the author has been that of omission. “Exigencies of time and space” have not permitted a complete picture of the State either in the way of story or illustration. But as the reader closes the blue and gold volume on the delightful experience of traversing Pennsylvania with the Oakleys, he may well wonder not at what has been omitted, but rather that it has been possible to include so much that is vital in so limited a space.

Certainly that particular section of Pennsylvania which in a broad sense we may term “our own” has been described in pleasing detail. The first five chapters include those of “Historic Philadelphia”, “Modern Philadelphia”, “The Main Line and Valley Forge”, “Vignettes of Chester County” and “The Glorious Delaware”.

The first fourteen of Mr. Oakley’s illustrations have been made in Philadelphia. Others that follow are of Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge, Old ST. Davids at Radnor, The Augustinian Chapel at Villanova, Radnor Meeting House at Ithan, Plymouth Meeting Electric Station and May Day at Bryn Mawr College. Still others that follow have been made in Delaware and Chester Counties. They show a wide diversity of subject and interest. Just as the text covers the past and the present in order to give a full and comprehensive word picture of Pennsylvania as it is today, so do the illustrations present both the historic and the contemporary.

For her chapter on “The Main Line and Valley Forge”, Mrs. Oakley writes, “Continuity is no less in evidence on the Main Line than in the City of Brotherly Love itself. Our common memories go back, through hearsay, not necessarily of our own but of neighboring families, to the days when the Old Lancaster road (now appropriately called the Conestoga road) was an Indian trail”.

A paragraph or two further along she adds, “The Main Line is no Styx; but it is a region where the inhabitants each feel in possession, like Saint Peter, of a key to Heaven. ‘All this and Heaven, too’ is the attitude of the confirmed Main Liners–among whom I am fortunate to be able to include myself, my Scotch forebears having settled, in 1757, on the farm where their descendant still dwells.”

Since the Oakleys are residents of Villanova it is natural that in enumerating Main Line colleges, some slight special emphasis should be placed on Villanova, founded in 1842 by the Augustinian Fathers who had been established in Philadelphia more than fifty years before their purchase of the farm then known as Belle Aire, in Radnor Township, Delaware County.

It has the distinction of being the oldest Catholic college in Pennsylvania, having been named “in honor of the Spanish Augustinian Archbishop of Valencia, canonized as St. Thomas of Villa Nova, who had, in 1533, sent missionaries to Mexico”. The school which began with 13 students now has a registration of approximately 5000. Its campus which now covers 166 acres has 28 buildings on it, the most conspicuous being the chapel itself, “recognizable from afar”, because “with twin steeples, like cathedral spires” it stands on such high ground. An exquisite sketch of this building features the chapter.

“May Day, Bryn Mawr College” has been chosen for the subject of a scene typifying the activities of that Main Line institution of learning where the “flag of scholarship flies as high as ever” and where “its wealth of events, intellectual, musical, artistic, held in Goodhart Hall, have won for it a leavening place in the life of the community”. And “the same may be said for Haverford and, eleven miles away, the college of Swarthmore”, Mrs. Oakley’s narration continues.

All three of these institutions, which were originally founded by Quakers, have the exchange of professors, and even of students, an innovation instituted during the War which has since proven so successful that its continuation is assured.

Preparatory schools, Mrs. Oakley mentions as a special feature of the Overbrook, Wynnewood, Haverford and Bryn Mawr area. Baldwin School shares with the College its Mrs. Otis Skinner Memorial Theater “erected to one well beloved on the Main Line”. To our own local high school Mrs. Oakley pays especial tribute when she writes “Lower Merion and also Radnor High School are second to none”.

In connection with Bryn Mawr College, the author of “Our Pennsylvania” reminisces of the days when Woodrow Wilson lived with his young family in a house on the grounds of the Lower Merion Baptist Church across Gulph road from the college. The man who was laterto become president of the United States during one of its most crucial periods was then a professor at Bryn Mawr. The churchyard which surrounds the Baptist Church is a non-sectarian one where many of William Penn’s descendants are buried. “In the churchyard also”, Mrs. Oakley writes, “are early Presbyterians who preferred to worship with the Baptists (where they were welcomed as members of the Board) than with the West Angicans at Old St. David’s”. And then in delightfully personal vein, the author adds, “My widowed grandmother was so faithful and so punctual at St. David’s, with her little brood, that the rector was known to delay beginning the service, in snowy weather, realizing her lateness must have been unavoidable”.

(To be continued)

The Bellevue Hotel, part 7 (the fire) – description

The night of March 15, 1900, was one of intense excitement in Wayne, as many old timers now recall it. An unseasonably late snowstorm blanketed the countryside. The ice-coated branches of the trees creaked under their own weight as they bend and tossed in the high wind. Icicles hung from the eaves of all the buildings. A more terrifying setting for a fire can scarcely be imagined. Small wonder that on such a night as this, a fire, once under way, should totally destroy the Bellevue Hotel, as it stood on its high eminence on West Lancaster avenue.

A large group of Wayne’s young people had been to the opera that night in Philadelphia, and had returned home with some difficulty, on one of the late trains from the city. Among these were several members of the Wood household, who were shortly roused from their first deep sleep by a pounding on the front door, so loud that it resounded even above the noises of the storm. A Pennsylvania Railroad watchman, patrolling the tracks, was unable to find the doorbell in his confusion over discovering that a fire was well under way in the summer hotel adjoining the Wood property on the west. The entire household responded to his call and an alarm was immediately turned in to the face of almost overwhelming odds, the fire-horse dragging the heavy apparatus with difficulty through the deep ice-encrusted snow.

Mrs. Charles H. Stewart and Mrs. F. Allen McCurdy still recall the scene clearly as they watched it from their windows throughout the dark hours of the early morning of March 16.

In the midst of the intense excitement their mother, Mrs. Wood, quietly put on her warm winter coat and braved the elements in order to supervise the removal of the horses from the stable standing near the boundary line between the two properties. Not only were they all blanketed, but in order to avoid panic, each horse was carefully blindfolded as he was led from the stable.

Being constructed entirely of stone, the building was not destroyed in spite of its close proximity to the fire. Mrs. McCurdy says that when she moved from the old homestead only a few years ago, there was still one reminder of the fire in the form of a window in the hayloft that had been cracked by the intense heat of the flames but had never been replaced.

Had it not been for the deep snow, the high wind might have caused a holocaust in Wayne. As it was, burning embers were blown in all directions, some of them still smouldering when daylight came.

A resident of North Wayne still recalls his father’s fear that their Walnut avenue home might catch fire from the embers that were being blown that far in the high wind. Albert Ware, who lived with his family on West Wayne avenue, remembers watching the family coachman attach a long garden hose to an inside faucet, then pull it upstairs, under Mr. Ware’s direction, to a third floor window that gave access tot he roof. From this vantage point he stood ready to direct water on any fling embers that might land on the roof. Albert Ware remembers, too, how clearly the fire was visible from his window, and he watched the hotel burn to the ground.

Among others who lived on West Wayne avenue at the time of the fire, and still reside there, are Miss Mary Allen and her sister, Mrs. Henry Conkle, both recalling vividly the night of March 15, 1900.

According to all spectators, the entire sky was lighted up by the blaze. Mrs. W. Stanford Hilton, then Frances Wood, watched the scene as she stood in one of the front windows of the family home where she still lives, on the southeast corner of Windermere and Audubon avenues. With the present tall trees then in their early stage of growth, there was little to obstruct her view. When the cupola on top of the hotel caught fire, she could see it clearly as it broke loose from the main structure and rolled over and over down the snow-encrusted hill to the Pike.

Among those who really had front seats for the fire was the J. M. Fronefield family who then lived at 116 West Lancaster avenue. Joe Fronefield still recalls the thrill of the very small boy who watched his first big fire, cozily wrapped up in a blanket at one of the front windows of his home! Miss Helen Lienhardt also recalls watching the blaze from her house, as the firemen made their difficult and perilous way through the deep snow. The next day she joined other children in collecting in paper bags choice and long-cherished souvenirs of the fire.

The William Henry Roberts family were just then moving to the home on Windermere avenue still occupied by several of their members. With all their household goods in a freight car on a siding at Wayne Station, they were spending the night of the fire at the home of the J. Donaldson Paxtons who lived then on East Lancaster avenue.

Suddenly roused from her sleep by the shrill blowing of whistles, Miss Grace Roberts recalls that the sky was so light that she thought it must be morning, and she wondered vaguely if, in their new home town, they would always be wakened in this manner! As they roused more fully, the family began to realize that with the Bellevue so close to the railroad station, their furniture was in danger of being destroyed. However, Henry Roberts recalls that he found some consolation in the the thought that if the furniture burned up where it was, it would not have to be unloaded and unpacked! Miss Roberts also remembers that the snow was so deep that they went on bobsleds to Windermere avenue!

And so, through the eyes of some of our fellow townsmen who were living in Wayne in 1900, we can reconstruct the scene of perhaps the largest and most spectacular fire Wayne has ever experienced.

The Bellevue Hotel, so famous in its picturesque luxury throughout the brief nineteen years of its existence, is but a legend now. But it too has momentarily been brought vividly to life for us by a brother and sister who spent ten years of their childhood there when the Bellevue was in its heydey. To Dr. George w. Arms, of Lansdowne, and to his sister, Mrs. Horace J. Davis, of Wallingford, this columnist wishes to express her gratitude for the information which has made this story of the Bellevue possible. And to her fellow townsmen who have recalled such vivid incidents of the night of the big fire, Mrs. Patterson is also grateful.

(The End)

The Bellevue Hotel, part 6 – bicycles, new houses on Bloomingdale & Audubon

Another interesting sight along the Lancaster Pike in the 1880’s, but one quite different from the A. J. Cassatt tallyho described in last week’s column, was the “high wheel” bicycle. A later development of the first crude bicycle made in Scotland in 1839, the “high wheel”, or “ordinary”, as it was more commonly called, reached a high state of development both in this country and abroad about 1872, when bicycling became a popular sport.

By this time the heavy wooden wheels of the earlier bicycles had given place to lighter ones of metal, with their wire spokes set at a tangent to the center. Solid rubber tires were cemented to the rims, and the front wheel was made larger than before in order that a greater distance might be travelled with each revolution of the cranks. This tendency continued until the front wheels grew from 30 inches in diameter to 60 inches or more, while the rear wheel shrank to 12 inches or less. Racing models of this type could attain a speed of twenty miles an hour.

On these bicycles the rider sat almost directly over the high wheel, which was certainly not conductive to his safety. A fall from that high perch was a serious matter, but not an infrequent one, since roads were rough, and the going uncertain.

In 1876 the “Safety”, the forerunner of our modern day bicycle was invented. And from the time it was first marketed in a practicable form in 1885 the “Ordinary” was doomed, although it lingered until the early nineties, by which time it had been brought to a really high state of precision and lightness.

One of the quaint old pictures in Dr. Arms’ collection shows the “Century Club” of bicyclists as they stopped at the Bellevue Hotel en route to Lancaster from Philadelphia, or perhaps from Lancaster to Philadelphia. At any rate, it was a round trip which they were to make in one day, according tot he Century Club stipulations for the jaunt. Standing beside their high wheeled bicycles these riders present a quaint sight to present day travellers to whom such a trip would seem infinitely more hazardous than any by automobile could possibly be. Their costumes bespeak the era–tight knee length knickers with long stockings, equally snug shirts or jackets and small caps with almost invisible visors!

Henry Graham Ashmead’s “History of Delaware County” contains an excellent description of the neighborhood around the Bellevue as described by a reporter for the “Germantown Telegraph” in an article written for his paper under date of July 2, 1884. According to him, “a new town, or rather an aggregation of delightful suburban residences, is rapidly springing up within easy travelling distance of the city of Philadelphia, either by rail or Pike”. At that time not less than 50 “elegant residences” had been completed and occupied with about $600,000 invested in them. Still others were in process of building by the owners, Drexel and Childs.

The “Bellevue Mansion” he describes as “a charming summer resort . . . beautifully situated and approached by a fine macadamized road”. Plans had been drawn for seven “cottages” to be built just across the Pike from the hotel with indeed some of them already under construction. These “cottages” which today are considered homes of rather more than moderate size are still standing and in constant occupancy on the south side of Lancaster Highway between Bloomingdale and Audubon avenues. In addition to these seven new houses, Mr. Abbott of the Pennsylvania Railroad had already built “a fine cottage” in this same development, where according to our evidently news-conscious reporter, Mr. Abbott planned to spend his honeymoon!

Adjoining the Bellevue Hotel grounds on the East was the William D. Hughes homestead originally known as the old Cleaver Farm. Purchased by Mr. Hughes from J. Henry Askin in 1878 it remained in his possession until 1896 when it was bought by William Wood. Adjoining the Hotel on the west was “an elegant cottage” which in 1884 was just being built by Mr. Theodore Gugert, of the firm of Bergues and Engel. This house is still standing next to the automobile show rooms and offices on the corner of Bellevue avenue and the Pike. The big white stucco house just west of the Gugert house was originally built and occupied by Dr. Joseph Crawford Egbert, well known Wayne physician and for many years a member of the Radnor Township School Board.

Still further along the Pike to the west was the old Spread Eagle Inn, which had been purchased in the middle ’80’s by Mr. Childs in order “to sop the sale of liquor near his bailiwick”, according to report. The new owner had lent it to the Lincoln Institute for a country home for its young Indian wards who enjoyed “plenty of comforts and conveniences, and every opportunity for outdoor exercise, without being interfered with by outsiders”.

This then was the neighborhood that surrounded the Bellevue Hotel in its brief 20 years of existence before one of the most disastrous fires that Wayne has ever experienced razed it to the ground early on the morning of March 16, 1900. Large headlines in the Public Ledger of March 17 proclaimed the news:

“Bellevue at Wayne Wiped Out of Existence. Tramps Believed to be Responsible for the Blaze. Loss is $58,000; covered by Insurance–House Tops Protected by Snow against Flying Embers”.

Further simplifying the headlines is the statement that “It is believed that tramps, having made a fire in one of the large fireplaces on the first floor carelessly permitted the flames to spread. When the town watchman first saw the blaze the fire was progressing rapidly.

“Wayne is well supplied with fire apparatus, and has excellent water service. But when the firemen came to the scene it was evident the blaze was beyond control. However, heroic efforts were made to keep the flames in check and a stream of water was poured on the handsome stone stable belonging to William Wood which was but 20 to 30 feet from the hotel property. Persistent endeavor had its reward in the saving of this property and the Wood mansion nearby. The wind favored the firemen, but burning bits of wood found lodgment on the roofs a quarter of a mile away. That there was not further destruction was due to the encrusted snow that covered every house-top.”

This year was the first one in which the hotel had been closed for the winter. Mrs. A. R. Sank, the proprietor, had planned to reopen on April 1, after some alteration and improvements had been made. Her furnishings alone at the time of the fire were valued at about $8,000.

Not only was the Bellevue a popular summer hotel but for the four years preceding the fire it had been the temporary home of football teams coming to Philadelphia to meet the University of Pennsylvania players. Only the fall before the fire the Cornell and Michigan teams were housed at the Bellevue while three years before the University of Pennsylvania players had made the resort their headquarters.

This series on the Bellevue Hotel will conclude with personal reminiscences and anecdotes of the fire as given to your columnist by some of Wayne’s citizens who still remember it. Those who do remember it, and have not contacted Mrs. Patterson, are urged to do so by calling Wayne 4569. (The date for the fire has been definitely set as March 16, 1900, by a visit to the Newspaper Department of the Philadelphia Library where bound copies of Philadelphia newspapers are on file).

The Bellevue Hotel, part 5 (the Aztec Club meeting) – Guest John Walter,
member of Parliament and owners of the London “Times”, U.S. Grant, G. Childs

The dinner at Wayne’s Bellevue Hotel given in September, 1881, by George W. Childs in honor of the Aztec Club and his distinguished English guest, John Walter, member of Parliament and owner of the London “Times”, was indeed a banquet.

The place of each guest was designated by an envelope bearing his name and containing a list of guests as well as a card, printed in blue and gold, witth the following menu:

Raw Oysters
Green Turtle Soup
Head of Lamb, sauce with herbs
Potatoes dutchess–Cucumbers
Bouchees a la Financiere
Filet of beef with Mushrooms
Potato casserole, with peas
Lamp chop with Sauce
Wild Fowl
Orange Ice
Lettuce and Tomato Salad
Roquefort and Neufchatel cheese

Ice Creams   Meringue

Fruit   Coffee

This elaborate dinner was served at three in the afternoon. As it ended “the last rays of the setting sun flooded the rooms with crimson light . . . and cognac and cigars took the place of fruit and cafe noir.” General Grant, vice-president of the Aztec Club, who, according to the account of the affair as given in the “Record”, “with in the past four years has developed from the silent man into a graceful speaker of easy flow and considerable humor, seemed to enjoy his position yesterday as toastmaster.” The memorial adopted by the Aztecs in tribute to their recently deceased president, General Patterson, was read by Professor Henry Copper, secretary of the organization. A toast to Mr. Childs, host of the occasion, was heartily drunk. There were a number of speeches, among them one by General William T. Sherman, Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army, who spoke in response to a toast to the Army.

General William Preston, of Kentucky, told of the advancement of civilizations in Mexico since the War, and then of the growth of the press, “the most powerful agent in carrying civilization to the western prairies.” And then, turning to Mr. Walter, he called for a speech from the “Chief Director of the mightiest press in the world, the London Times”. In replying, Mr. Walter said that it always seemed to be a matter of surprise to his fellow countrymen when an Englishman decided to visit the United States. his first reason for coming, he said, was the number of warm friends in the United States who he “was obliged to cross the ocean to see because they would not cross the ocean to see me”. His second reason was that he wished the younger members of his family who were accompanying him “to gain by their own observation the knowledge of this wonderful country that I gained five years ago”. And his final reason was to enjoy the complete rest and pleasurable vacation that only America could give him.

And then as Mr. Walter finished “the gas was lighted – and the three hours’ sitting was at an end.” When they arrived at Wayne station to catch the seven o’clock train for Philadelphia, Mr. Childs’ guests “filled two of the new Eastlake coaches reserved for them.” And thus ended “the most distinguished party ever assembled in honor of the Aztec Club”.

The first name on the original register of the old Bellevue Hotel, which is still carefully preserved by Dr. Arms, is that of U. S. Grant written in a scrawling hand that half covers the page. Many other signatures of the distinguished guests of that banquet follow. And then come page after page of names of those who were guests at the Bellevue in the years through 1884. Most of them list their home address as Philadelphia although there is an occasional New York, Camde, Riverton (N.J.,) Pottsville (Penna.), Pittsburgh, Fllushing (L. I.), Columbus (Ohio) and even England in the entries. “And maid” or “and nurse” often follows the names of the guests. One Philadelphia couple who were at the Bellevue in 1884 added to their names in the old register, “four children, 2 maids”. Summer life at the hotel must indeed have been a real family affair!

Of the man who built the Bellevue and afterwards remained its owner for several years, Mrs. Davis reminisces in a delightfully personal vein. her grandmother, Mary Berrell Field, bought the hotel from George W. Childs in 1885, enlarging it to such an extent that it accommodated some 200 guests. Mr. Childs had a leading part in the development of Wayne as it emerged from a small settlement on the old Lancaster Turnpike into a Main Line suburb. he was also “a well known Philadelphia figure”, to quote Mrs. Davis who adds:

“He was a leading philanthropist and the owner of the Philadelphia Public Ledger. When he walked down Chestnut street to his office, which he seldom did since his carriage usually met him at Broad Street Station, people recognized the small fat man with white side whiskers. . . he was a very dignified and vain man, always faultless in appearance. He had three wigs, one of which was quite short in length, the second slightly longer and the other longer yet. He wore them in this order, giving the appearance of natural hair, and when he got a ‘haircut’ he would start all over again by wearing the short wig.

“His office in the Ledger building was unique. Being a collector of after-dinner coffee cups, he had cases of them lining the walls of his private office. Mrs. Field would quite often visit him in his elegant office. After the business was over, the servant in livery would come in, go to the cupboard, put a few after dinner coffee cups on a tray and pass them to her so that she could select one.”

Of traffic on the Lancaster Pike, dotted as it then was with toll gates, Mrs. Davis says that one of the most beautiful sights was the tally-ho driven by its owner, A. J. Cassatt, at that time president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. One afternoon each week, he drove the tally-ho with is four horses from Philadelphia to the Devon Inn in Devon, at that time as fashionable a summer hotel as the Bellevue itself. The tally-ho was “a smart and glittering turnout . . . the driver with his long whip and top hat of grey felt and the ladies gaily dressed and carrying little lace carriage parasols . . . on the two back steps, on either side of the tally-ho, stood two lackies with long brass bugles. In passing the Bellevue they would always blast the bugles and the people then would wave. All along the long drive from Philadelphia to Devon the bugles would blow every so often so that the folks would know the tally-ho was passing.”

(To be concluded)

The Bellevue Hotel, part 4 (the Aztec Club meeting) – Gen. Ulysses S. Grant presides over banquet 9/14/1881, club history, Geo. W. Childs, Grant’s career

One of the most distinguished guests that Wayne has ever had was General Ulysses S. Grant, when he came here on September 14, 1881, to preside at the Aztec Club banquet, the opening function of the Bellevue Hotel after its completion by George W. Childs and A. J. Drexel in the summer of that year. General Grant was but one of the many notables assembled for that occasion, the guest list for which included not only the most distinguished military men of that era, but some of its most famous financiers and newspaper men as well.

Mr. Childs’ special personal guest was Mr. John Walter, the publisher of the London “Times”, “the recognized exponent of English opinion” to quote from an article which appeared in “The Record” on the following day.

The Aztec Club was founded in Mexico City on October 13, 1847, in the course of the United States’ war with Mexico. Its original purpose had been to give young officers a social center within their means, since living costs in Mexico City were high. Its original quarters were in the mansion on “The Street of the Silversmiths”, belonging to Senor Bocanagra, former Mexican Minister to the United States.

As the club membership grew to some 166 young army officers, Grant, then a lieutenant of 25 in General Scott’s army, spent much of his time there. The war over, the Aztec Club continued in existence for many years, with General Robert Patterson as its president from 1847 until his death in 1880.

During these years the Club made its headquarters at his home at the corner of 13th and Locust streets, in Philadelphia. An interesting old picture shown to your columnist by Dr. Arms is that of a group of members of the club assembled on the second floor porch of this stately stone mansion. The photograph is by F. Gutekunst, of 712 Arch street, Philadelphia.

This affair at the Bellevue was the first annual banquet of the Aztec Club for many years to be held anywhere but in General Patterson’s home, the latter having been “its leading spirit and binding it together from year to year by the force of his geniality and personal influence.”

With his beautiful hotel on Lancaster avenue in Wayne, completed only the summer before, it was a gracious gesture on the part of George W. Childs to offer the hospitality of the Bellevue to “a company of celebrities such as had seldom been gathered under one roof.” Besides, it provided opportunity for him to bring his distinguished English guest, Mr. Walter, “into social contact with the most distinguished of the nation’s military celebrities”.

Mr. Walter, it seems, had been visiting Mr. Childs at Long Branch until the morning of the banquet, when accompanied by his host and General Grant, he arrived in Philadelphia.

Special trains, leaving Philadelphia early on the afternoon of September 14, took Mr. Childs and his guests to Wayne station. From there they were driven in carriages to the Bellevue Hotel, where the business session of the Aztec Club was already under way, in order that club members might be ready to join other guests at the dinner, scheduled for three o’clock. In describing the scene that met the eyes of the visitor as they alighted from their carriages, the Philadelphia “Press” of the following day says:

“A more desirable site could hardly have been chosen. Finished in Queen Anne style, the broad verandas overlook many miles of fruitful valley. Flags fluttered from every window yesterday, and among foreign ensigns the British colors predominated in honor of one of the guests of the day, John Walter, member of parliament and the proprietor of the London “Times’.” The “Record” adds still further color to this picture in a description which states that “flags were flying from every peak and corner of the unique structure, while over the main entrance was a display of Mexican and American flags.”

At the business meeting of the Aztec Club which had preceded the dinner General W. S. Hancock was elected President to succeed the late General Patterson. In General Hancock’s absence on this auspicious occasion, General Grant, the vice-president, stat at the head of the table. On his right were General Hoyt and General William T. Sherman, then head of the army. On his left were General Joseph E. Johnson, of Virginia; Mr. A. J. Drexel, the Philadelphia banker; General Preston, of Kentucky, and Mr. John Walter, of London. Mr. Childs was seated by Mr. Walter.

In addition to many famous members of the Aztec Club, there were a number of celebrities among the invited guests, including George B. Roberts, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad and A. J. Cassatt, its first vice-president; Colonel A. Louden Snowden, Director of the United States Mint; Frank S. Bond, president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad; J. Pierpont Morgan, of New York; William Henry Hariburt, Editor of the New York “World”; Colonel W. C. Church, editor of the “Army and Navy Journal”; Joseph Patterson, president, Western National Bank of Philadelphia; Colonel A. K. McClure, editor of the “Times”; Colonel Clayton McMichael, editor of the “North American”; Charles E. Warburton, editor of the “Evening Telegraph” and Charles E. Smith, editor of “The Press.”

Never before nor since has Wayne seen such a gathering of well-known and famous men as these who gathered at the Bellevue Hotel on September 14, 1881.

(To be continued)