The last chapter of the first volume of this report, Chapter VII of the post-exposition period, dealt generally with the finances of the Exposition.

At this writing all claims against the Exposition for which snit has not been entered have been adjusted. As the statute of limitation has run, none others can be presented.

Suits Pending:

There are only two suits pending. One is a claim of a refrigerating architect or engineer for $25,000, which suffice it to say is wholly without merit, and will be dismissed if it ever comes to trial. Another is by a concessionaire for $257,351.24. It was tried in the Circuit Court, appealed by the plaintiff, remanded, tried again in the lower court and again appealed to the Supreme Court, where it is now pending. In this case Judge Shields on December 26, 1912, rendered a judgment for $3,190.63, which judgment bears interest at 6 per cent from that date. Many, if not most, of the concessionaires incurred losses which the management not only regretted but made every reasonable effort to prevent or minimize. In many instances charges against them for royalties were compromised or abated ; in others, insolvency or inability to get legal service on delinquents caused loss of revenue.

Claims against the Exposition by two lessors of land, who entered suits for exorbitant sums when their demands were refused, have been settled after prolonged litigation, and for smaller consideration than the company offered to pay before or when the suits were instituted. Numerous claims by exhibitors for damage to exhibits and shipping cases, so-called excessive charges, have been adjusted. The work of dismantling and liquidating,was hardly less difficult, greatly more exasperating and much less interesting than that of construction and installation. For two years or more after the close of the Exposition it was impossible to tell whether the Exposition would be able to pay its just obligations. Furthermore, bonds given by the Exposition, aggregating a large sum, and upon which Directors were sureties, were outstanding and the liability thereon undeterminable.

All Bonds Satisfied and Released:

The bonds to the city for the restoration of Forest Park, in the sum of $200,000, were not fully discharged until the completion of the Jefferson Memorial and its acceptance by the city April 30, 1913. On the first bond for $100,000 the sureties were David R. Francis, W. H. Thompson, Charles W. Knapp, L. D. Dozier, John Scullin, Murray Carleton, John Schroers, W. H. Woodward, George L. Edwards, J. J. Wertheimer, J. E. Smith, C. F. Blanke, C. H. Huttig, A. A. B. Woerheide, J. C. Van Blarcom, W. C. Steigers, A. A. Allen, J. W. McDonald, Julius J. Schotten, Clark S. Sampson, С. H. Spencer, James Campbell, Howard Elliott, Nathan Frank, A. L. Shapleigh, James L. Blair, John A. Holmes, Nicholas M. Bell, Festus J. Wade, W. H. Lee, Pierre Chouteau, Harrison I. Drnmmond, Goodman King, James F. Coyle, George A. Baker, D. M. Houser, A. H. Frederick, Edward S. Orr, C. P. Walbridge, Norris B. Gregg, H. W. Steinbiss, Samuel M. Kennard, A. D. Brown, David Ranken, Jr., John D. Davis, A. N. DeMenil, Dan C. Nugent, Walter B. Stevens, C. G. Warner, George W. Parker, Charles A. Stix, Paul Brown, F. W. Lehmann, Augustus B. Hart. On the second bond for $100,000 the sureties were David E. Francis, James Campbell, L. D. Dozier, A. L. Shapleigh, Wm. H. Thompson, Festus J. Wade, John Scullin, Charles W. Knapp. The bond to the Parkview Realty Company in the sum of $200,000 given in connection with the lease of the ground on which The Pike and the concessions were located was guaranteed by the personal endorsements of Wm. H. Thompson and David R. Francis. The bonds to the owners of the five tracts of land west of Forest Park, comprising 420 8-10 acres, on which were the Palaces of Agriculture and Horticulture, the Palace of Forestry, Fish and Game, the Live Stock Pavilion and Stables, the Philippine Exposition and many outdoor exhibits, aggregated $250,000, and were guaranteed by the personal endorsements of Wm. H. Thompson, Corwin H. Spencer and David R. Francis. Mr. Thompson and Mr. Spencer were both deceased and the administration of their estates completed before those bonds were discharged. Consequently, President Francis was solely liable, after the Exposition Company, for the fulfillment of those obligations. There were other bonds of the Exposition upon which Treasurer Thompson and President Francis were sureties, but in smaller sums. The President is proud to testify in this connection that Treasurer Thompson when requested never failed to place his personal guarantee on an obligation of the Exposition. It goes without saying that President Francis never hesitated to do likewise; no obligation was incurred without his knowledge and approval. After the death of Mr. Thompson, in December, 1905, President Francis was the sole surety on appeal bonds and other obligations requiring bonds. Many or all other Directors would have no doubt signed such bonds if requested, but it was not necessary. All the bonds executed by the Exposition have been satisfied and released, but two were not discharged until within the past four months. They were for  $50,000 each.

At every meeting of the Board of Directors held during the past six years, the President and Acting Treasurer has stated that not one cent has been paid out of the treasury except on a warrant duly approved ; that all or any one of such warrants could be seen by any Director when desired. He has also stated that chartered accountants have annually examined all warrants and invariably reported that the accounts have been correctly kept and that a voucher was on file for every disbursement. Committees of the Directors have annually been appointed to examine the certificates of deposit representing the balance in the hands of the Treasurer, and their reports are on file in the records of the company, showing that at all times the balance of cash called for by the auditor's book was on deposit and drawing interest in financial institutions of St. Louis.

Memorials of the Exposition:

Several structures and monuments in Forest Park, memorials of the Exposition, embellish that much-appreciated reservation. They are useful from every point of view; they are the pride of every patriotic citizen; they are sources of pleasure to the thousands who visit them now; they will be of gratifying interest to the generations who will admire them in the years to come. These memorials are:

1. St. Louis Museum of Art, which cost originally $ 945,849.45, including two annexes since removed. The cost of the annexes was $329,354.17. The museum was maintained by the Exposition Company and Washington University for the benefit of the people from the close of the Exposition, December 1, 1904, until accepted by the city in 1909. The cost thereof to the Exposition was $67,168.67.

2. The magnificent monument of Saint Louis on Art Hill cost $42,285.

3. The World's Fair Pavilion on the site of the Missouri building, and immediately south of the location of the Government building. Dimensions 183 x 55 feet; cost $34,000. This structure is used by the public during both summer and winter.

4. The Jefferson Memorial. A superb monument of beauty, dignity and symmetry, marking the main entrance of the Fair. It is the home of the Missouri Historical Society and the repository of many interesting and valuable records of the Louisiana Purchase, as well as of the archives and relics of the Exposition. A tribute to a great American whose purchase of the Louisiana Territory the Universal Exposition of 1904 was held to commemorate. A worthy consummation of a great undertaking by a patriotic people. The pride of every right-thinking citizen. The cost to the present writing is $476,565.05. These four structures aggregated in cost $1,169,345.33. In addition to that sum the Exposition Company expended $67,168.67 in maintenance of the Art Museum and $221,233.98 in grading, sodding, planting trees and shrubs and making other park improvements. The grand total of $1,457,747.98 was expended for the restoration and betterment of Forest Park. The park is more beautiful and attractive than it could possibly have been if the World's Fair had not been held there. The city administrations, mayors and municipal assemblies and boards of public improvements, have as guardians of the park been ever watchful of its condition and welfare. All of their requirements have been met. The Exposition has done its full part in the restoration of Forest Park. The Directors who assumed personal obligation on the bond of restoration have been released, but the people of St. Louie will not forget their public work and civic pride.


As stated in the foreword at the beginning of this report, the undertaking assumed larger proportions and a wider scope than its projectors planned or anticipated. More than fifteen years have elapsed since the meeting of May, 1898, called to consider the celebration of the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. Many of those associated with the undertaking at its inception, many more identified with its progress, have joined the great majority. Vacancies in the directory were filled by the board until 1908; since that no vacancies have been filled; it was not necessary to supply the places of those whom death claimed. The original Directors numbered 93; the total who have served is 118. Of those 73 survive, 39 have died, 6 have resigned. The names of all are inscribed on tablets of bronze in the Museum of Art and in the Jefferson Memorial.


Eight vice-presidents were elected at the organization; five have died, C. H. Spencer, S. W. Cobb, Charles H. Huttig, August Gehner and Pierre Chouteau. None of the places were filled, as all survived the close of the Exposition. The remaining three are Samuel M. Kennard, Daniel M. Houser and Cyrus P. Walbridge, respectively, second, third and fifth vice-presidents. All were loyal in spirit and promptly responded to every call.


Treasurer William H. Thompson has been often mentioned in this report, but not more frequently than merited. His interest in the work and his fidelity io his trust, his wise counsel, his unfaltering courage, his unwavering confidence, his unswerving firmness, were an inspiration to all of his associates. The writer well remembers that on the llth of January, 1899, he called on Mr. Thompson and asked him to accept the treasurership and to aid in procuring the large sum required to carry to a successful consummation the stupendous undertaking proposed. He replied that he had just read in the morning papers the speech made by your President at the Louisiana Purchase States Convention the day before and had remarked to "Van" (his associate and friend, J. C. Van Blarcom): "That is a great and worthy undertaking and we must give it our earnest and aggressive support." He did so from that day until his death. The Exposition, the city, the people owe him a great debt. His pride and boast was his loyalty to his associates and to the cause. Long may his services be remembered.


The Secretary, and the only one from the organization in March, 1901, is Walter B. Stevens, who gave up his position as the Washington correspondent of a St. Louis newspaper to accept the call of the Exposition Company. Mr. Stevens has continued to reside in St. Louis and to take part in its upbuilding, as everyone familiar with St. Louis history for the past fifteen years well knows. Able, faithful, efficient, energetic," resourceful, untiring, a wonderful secretary without whose assistance it is difficult to see how the Exposition would have been such a success. He has assisted materially in the compilation of this report. He was also Director of Exploitation and the only person ever selected for that important position ; his commission as such dates from 1903, but he performed the work from the beginning of the movement. Long may he live!

Executive Committee:

The Executive Committee was composed of the President as chairman, Wm. H. Thompson, Charles W. Knapp, W. F. Boyle, С. G. Warner, John Scullin, Bolla Wells, Nathan Frank, Corwin H. Spencer, Murray Carleton, Lewis D. Dozier, James Campbell, A. L. Shapleigh, Breckinridge Jones, Howard Elliott.

Mr. Elliott removed to St. Paul to become president of the Northern Pacific. W. K. Bixby was added to the committee. Mr. Thompson died in 1905; Mr. Spencer in 1906 ; Mr. Warner in 1911. The other members of the Executive Committee survive and continue to act. These men were in fact "executive." They wielded the laboring oar. Through more than thirteen years they have served with intelligence and devotion. They selected the site, approved the plan of organization, passed upon all contracts, great and small, and determined the policy of the management. The minutes of the Executive Committee fill more than 4,000 typewritten pages.

The Treasurer, the Director of Transportation, John Scullin, and all members of the Executive Committee served wholly without compensation. Such service as they rendered could not have been secured for wages. Experienced men of affairs, administrators of great business enterprises, identified with the growth of St. Louis, cherishing a sincere interest in the city's welfare and progress, they gave freely and unselfishly and at great personal sacrifice, their time and thought and effort to the Exposition throughout the periods of preparation, operation and liquidation. It is hardly necessary to add that the President, from the outset, declined to accept compensation of any kind for his services.

General Counsel:

The General Counsel of the Exposition from its incorporation in March, 1901, and the legal adviser from the inception of the celebration until October, 1903, was James L. Blair. He was succeeded by James A. Seddon as General Counsel ad interim, who served until November 10, 1903. Judge Seddon was succeeded by Judge Franklin Ferriss, who resigned from the Circuit bench to accept the position of General Counsel. Judge Ferriss served in such capacity until appointed to the Supreme Bench of Missouri in 1911. When he retired from that position in January, 1913, he resumed charge of the legal department. Judge Ferriss was not only legal counsel. He was adviser and friend of the administration in all matters affecting its policies and at all times exercised rare, good judgment.

Directors of Divisions:

Under the plan of organization, which worked most satisfactorily, the President was the executive head to whom all directors of divisions, the commandant of the Jefferson Guard, and all chiefs of special bureaus and special commissions reported. There were four directors of divisions, F. J. V. Skiff, of Exhibits; Isaac S. Taylor, of Works; Norris B. Gregg, of Concessions and Admissions; Walter B. Stevens, of Exploitation; later a Division of Transportation was established under the direction of John Scullin. The chief who gave his undivided time to transportation matters and to the management of the large warhouses where the packing cases were stored was J. M. Allen. Full reports of all operations of these divisions from their establishment to their dissolution were made to the President and form a most interesting history of the Exposition. As much of such reports have been included herein as the scope of this report would admit. The President is much pleased to testify to the intelligence, efficiency, tact and fidelity of the above-named directors of divisions. No sacrifice was too great for them to make for the accomplishment of what all were striving—a truly Universal Exposition. The reports of the chiefs of departments to the directors of divisions are in many or most instances liberally quoted from in the reports of such directors to the President; all demonstrate faithful devotion to duty and effective co-operation.

Other Officials:

Collins Thompson, secretary to the President, became connected with the work in June, 1901, as stenographer. In September following he was transferred to the President's office, and has been closely associated with the President up to and including the present writing. To say that he understood his duties and discharged them well would be insufficient tribute to a man whose life for more than ten years in its early and mature manhood was devoted unselfishly to a task which he looked upon as a sacred trust. In and out of hours he was ever alert to the best interests of the Exposition and never unmindful of the chief whose duties and responsibilities he lightened, not only as assistant but as true friend and sympathetic counselor.

Fred Gabel was auditor from 1902 until his death; he organized that department thoroughly and furnished it an accounting system which met the most exacting requirements.

Edward Perry, assistant auditor and acting auditor since the demise of Mr. Gabel, is still connected with the work; in fact, he is the only person remaining on the pay roll, being in charge of the books and archives of the company and acting custodian of the Jefferson Memorial. A most trustworthy, painstaking and capable official, having had many years of experience in banking and other lines of business, Mr. Perry has been a worthy reliance of the President, whose thorough confidence he has ever possessed.

John W. Dunn served as cashier until 1905, and did so most satisfactorily. He was given the difficult and responsible mission of taking to Washington vouchers for the first ten millions of dollars expended, and of demonstrating "to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury," as the law required, that such sum had been properly disbursed before the five millions appropriation of the Federal Government became available. He performed the task successfully, and received the hearty commendation of the Treasury Department officials.

There are others whose efficiency and fidelity it would be a pleasure to mention and commend if the limits of this report permitted.


When we look back over the period elapsed since the Louisiana Purchase celebration was suggested, and consider the money, effort and thought devoted to the plan of celebration adopted and carried out, the question arises, what is the result? There were wise men, sincere and patriotic men, who not only doubted the advisability of the project, but earnestly questioned the ability of the city as a community to carry it to a successful or creditable consummation. It was more than an international celebration of a great national act. It impressed upon the minds and hearts of the people of the Louisiana Territory and of the entire country, more lastingly than could have been done in any other way, what the acquisition of this Trans-Mississippi country meant to our material walfare, to the perpetuity of our government, to the promotion of republican institutions throughout the world, to the uplifting and happiness of humanity. It demonstrated to a most gratifying degree what a community can do for itself, for its section, for its country, for culture, for science, for progress, if its members work with determination and co-operate in harmony. St. Louis was the host of the world's elect. It was the scene of the exhibit of the best effort of man from the beginning of society; the scene of friendly competition between all civilized countries, all of the states, territories and possessions of the United States, in the products of soil, mine and sea, and in achievement in every line of human endeavor. It was a marker in the progress of the race ; a milestone in the development of the. faculties of man, in the cultivation of his sentiment, in the expansion of his sympathies. It brought to our very doors the best ouput, material, artistic and philosophic, that the race has produced and gave to all who entered the gates a wider knowledge, a broader culture and an inspiration as well. In thousands of homes throughout the land can be seen evidences of the refining influences, the helpful effects of the St. Louis Exposition. The educational benefits of the Fair are well worth all it cost. The publicity given St. Louis throughout this country and the world, permeating as it did many places and sections where the city was not known, if it had ever been heard of, could not have been had otherwise for double the cost of the Fair, if at any price. Furthermore, St. Louis received in material benefit, measured in dollars and cents, many times the entire money outlay. Every line of business was given a new impetus and prospered during the period of preparation and of operation; nor was there any backset after the Fair closed. There was no overbuilding; the additional labor attracted by the great construction of exhibit palaces, the numerous foreign and state and concession buildings, the enormous installation work and consequent high wages proved no injury or detriment to any interest during the Exposition or after its close. The millions of strangers who came were amazed at the beauty of the city, especially its resident districts. The weather was delightful throughout the seven months and consequently the Exposition did more to dissipate the erroneous impressions which had prevailed concerning the oppressiveness of St. Louis summers than could possibly have been done in any other way. St. Louis is a different city since the Exposition was held. On the border lines between the East and the West, and between the North and South, its composite citizenship was typically American ; that citizenship was patriotic and not provincial, it was not narrow, nor prejudiced, but liberal and broad minded. It needed the welding, however, which the Exposition gave it. It is more cosmopolitan. The Exposition demonstrated that united effort can accomplish marvels while a community rent by jealous bickerings and suspicions wastes its energies and enervates its spirit. Such a lesson is well worth all the Exposition cost. The city could well afford the repetition of such an outlay of money and effort if such benefits could be duplicated thereby.

Personal Reflections:

A few words of a personal nature and I will bring this report, already too long drawn out, to an end. It has not been possible even in these two comprehensive volumes to do justice to the exhibits and the scope of the Exposition, or to the magnitude of the work. As one connected officially with the undertaking from its inception, its proportions never appeared so large and overwhelming to me as they do from this restrospective view. I gave to the work five years or more of my time and thought. At no juncture of the period which has elapsed since the first meeting at the Historical Society rooms in May, 1898, up to the present writing, September, 1913, have the interests of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition been overlooked or ignored by me in any plans I have made or in any occupation in which I have been engaged. Next to the success of the undertaking my deepest satisfaction comes from the confidence so unwaveringly reposed in me by the Board of Directors. That confidence has not been at any time lightly appreciated, and that it has never been abused goes without saying. When the committee appointed to confer with me as to compensation asked that I place a consideration on my services my reply was that I could not serve for a commercial reward, but that the best in me would be cheerfully given to promote the success of an enterprise fraught with such consequence to St. Louis and to the country. At that time all had begun to realize the magnitude of the work and what its failure would mean. The success of the Exposition, to which I contributed in some degree and in which I cherish a pardonable pride, is reward enough for my time and labor. The lasting benefits which have flowed and which will continue to flow from the St. Louis World's Fair are ample compensation for whatever sacrifices I may have made. The experience gained has amply repaid me for the thought and solicitude devoted to a great work. The beautification of Forest Park, the enduring monuments on the exposition site, the educational influences of the Art museum with its invaluable treasures, whose perpetuity and growth are assured by vote of the people, the Jefferson Memorial with its historical records and relics, will be ever present remindere of the St. Louis World's Fair for generations to come. Let us hope they will also inspire gratitude to those who labored that the Fair might live. Let us pray they may kindle deep civic pride and incite to noble effort many public- spirited citizens.


The work is about completed. The duty of the officers has been discharged. The trust of the Directors has been fulfilled. The charter of the Exposition Company expired in April, 1911, but the surviving Directors continue to serve as trustees, annually re-electing the same officers. The Directors or trustees commemorate Louisiana Purchase Day, April 30th, by an annual dinner where the departed are remembered and honored, where pleasant memories are revived, and felicitations and good wishes interchanged by the survivors. This reunion will be repeated, I trust, from year to year as long as two or more of our members may live to get together. It is a sweet recollection—the Days of 1904! Their memory lightens our cares, broadens our vision, rejuvenates our hearts. May it never grow dim!
Table of
David  R. Francis'  Book-
The Universal Exposition of 1904

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