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January 17, 1906.
To the Officers and Members of the Nebraska State Historical Society:
I hereby respectfully submit my report as Treasurer for the year ending January 17, 1906.
On January 27, 1905, I received the books of the late Treasurer, Hon. C. H. Gere, from the hands of his widow, and received the moneys to the credit of the Society in the First National Bank of Lincoln. During my office as Treasurer the following have been the receipts and disbursements:
January 27, received from First National Bank, deposit .$227 92
January 27, G. L. Loomis, membership fee.
July 11, Farmers & Merchants Bank for L. D. Wood
$27 25 10 00
Balance on hand in National Bank of Commerce....$203 17
Since practically all the funds of the Society are now received and disbursed by the state treasurer, I see no good reason why the Society should pay a treasurer for collecting and disbursing a few dollars' membership fees. I would recommend that all membership fees be collected by the Secretary, and by him paid to the Treasurer, and that the Treasurer's salary from this time forward be discontiued. The past year's salary I will donate to the Association.
I submit herewith bank book duly balanced and vouchers for disbursements. Dated this 17th day of January, 1906. S. L. GEISTHARDT, Treasurer.
DRAFT OF PROPOSITION TO LINCOLN CITY
SUBMITTED BY MR. SHELDON, ADOPTED BY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, JANUARY 17, 1906.
Lincoln, Nebraska, December 22, 1905.
To the Hon. Mayor Brown and City Council, Lincoln, Nebraska:
The Nebraska State Historical Society, through its executive board, submits the following proposition to the city of Lincoln:
1. That the city of Lincoln quit-claim to the Nebraska State Historical Society its interest in and use of block 29 in said city, known as "Historical Block," and also as "Haymarket Square," except that portion at the southeast corner of said block now occupied by the city's buildings.
2. In consideration of said cession the State Historical Society agrees to immediately clear said square, the ceded part thereof, of all unsightly rubbish and to park the same and to plant it to trees and shrubs, properly protected, during the next two years.
3. It also agrees to erect thereon a wing of a suitable fireproof building of the best modern architecture, said wing to cost not less than $100,000 and to be erected at the earliest
possible moment that appropriation for the same can be obtained from the Nebraska state legislature and in any event within ten years from the date of the city's cession.
4. Said Historical Society building to be maintained as a free public library, museum, art gallery, and historical study for the people of the state of Nebraska and the part of said block not occupied by said building and its subsequent extension to be maintained as a public park with suitable walks, seats, trees, shrubs, and flowers at the expense of said Nebraska State Historical Society.
Accompanying this proposition is a brief statement of the history of said block 29, together with the statement of the moral and legal considerations which prompt this proposition.
MEETING OF EXECUTIVE BOARD.
Lincoln, Nebraska, May 10, 1906.
The meeting was called to order by the President, Hon. Geo. L. Miller, of Omaha. The following members were present: Chancellor E. B. Andrews, Geo. E. Howard, Robt. Harvey, and H. W. Caldwell, in addition to the President. The Secretary read the minutes of the meeting of June 24, 1995, which after some discussion were approved as read. The annual reports of the office staff were then presented. Mr. Barrett outlined the work done in his department. The report was received and placed on file. The reports of Mr. Sheldon and Mr. Blackman were read, discussed, received, and ordered placed on file. The board then, on suggestion of the Secretary, went into executive session.
The President explained that he was loath to enter upon the duties of the office, as he felt little acquainted with his duties and the needs of the Society. He expressed his belief that a younger and more active man might have been selected, but now that he was chosen in spite of his protest, he would enter on the work, relying on the members of the board
to aid him in making a success of the interests of the Society. The President also suggested that greater interest in the Society needed to be aroused, and he felt that perhaps the bringing to our annual meeting of some distinguished scholar might have the desired effect. A motion was made and carried authorizing the President to secure some speaker of note to present a paper on one evening, and the program committee to. arrange the exercises for the other evening, securing the strongest men of the state as far as possible to present papers. The report of the financial expenditures of the year ending April 1, 1906, showed that the amount used for various funds. was in excess of the appropriation for the purpose made by the Board at the June meeting of 1905. After considerable discussion and criticism of such overdrafts, Chancellor Andrews moved that hereafter "no indebtedness to exceed ten dollars be incurred on account of the Society without the Secretary's previous authorization." The resolution was adopted.
A communication from Mr. A. E. Sheldon in regard to the establishment of a new department to be known as the "legislative research and reference bureau" was read. Professor Howard spoke in favor of the plan, and discussed at some length the work of Dr. McCarthy of Wisconsin, showing the advantages to arise in having directly available the material for the use of members of the legislature. President Miller, Chancellor Andrews, and Mr. Harvey also expressed their decided approval of the movement. Chancellor Andrews then moved that "the Secretary is instructed to prepare and submit to the executive board at its next meeting, in July, a draft of an enactment establishing a new bureau of legislative publicity in general accordance with the minutes read by him this day." Carried unanimously. The whole question of the organization of the Society was discussed at some length. The fact that nearly $8,000 out of the total $10,000 went to the payment of salaries was noted. The Secretary stated during this discussion that he doubted whether there was profitable work for three men under the existing circum
stances. The funds remaining after salaries are taken out are not sufficient to pay necessary expenses to develop field work in any line of investigation to any considerable extent. The inside work can be directed by one salaried official, with the assistance of the help of a man or woman part of the time at day wages. The outcome of this discussion was the appointment of a committee of three to take into consideration the whole subject of organization, salaries, personnel, and duties and report at a subsequent meeting of the board for its action. The chair appointed Prof. G. E. Howard, Chancellor E. B. Andrews, and S. L. Geisthardt.
A motion was made that A. E. Sheldon's salary for the year 1906-7, April 1 to April 1, be fixed at $1,300. The motion was carried after explanation by the Secretary that Mr. Sheldon had received $100 from the university during the year 1905-6, which would not be available for the coming year. A motion was made and carried that the payment of Miss Palin's salary during her illness be approved, on the ground that her work had been done by other members of the office force, thus setting no precedent for future cases. The matter of the final payment to Mr. Gardiner of $50, the balance due him for his work and collections, was presented, but it was held that the action of the board in June, 1905, stand. This action deferred further payment till after the next biennial appropriation. The communication in regard to Prof. M. R. Gilmore's request that the board pay his railroad fare on a trip with Mr. Sheldon was received and laid on the table.
The board made the following apportionment of the funds for the year 1906-7, to be followed as nearly as possible, and to be varied from only on account of some unexpected emergency arising.
Total available funds was reported by Mr. Barrett, May 1, 1906, with about $52 of orders outstanding.