Reminiscent of the American Water Works Association
In the days before the formation of the American Water Works Association the water supply business was in a very crude state. Water was known as a “wet” substance that could be used for domestic, commercial and manufacturing purposes. Chemistry was its test for fitness, bacteriology was unknown; and we were in the dark concerning “animal or vegetable growths” that gave disagreeable tastes and odors. These were the days before the chemists got hold of it, when, as Colonel Gardner remarked at one of the early conventions of the association, “water was considered even fit to drink before the chemists got hold of it.” I here were few engineers then making a specialty of water works design and operation ; there was no periodical publication regularly devoting space to water supply affairs; there were few books on water works. In fact, “A Practical Treatise on Hydraulic and Water Supply Engineering,” by Col. J. T. Fanning, was about the only book we had for reference. The science of water supply consisted principally in pumping water, more or less pure, more or less limpid, into one end of a pipe and collecting for it at the other end; of course, keeping the pipes reasonably tight, stopping such waste as was apparent and “cussing the engineer” occasionally as a coalsaving proposition. It is needless to say how all this has changed. There are numerous journals devoting all or a large part of their space to water supply needs. Prominent among these is FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, devoted exclusively to water supply and one of its functions— fire protection. The books on water supply now make up a good sized library and keep the average water works superintendent poor buying them. Water is gaged by its sanitary rather than chemical qualities and its selection and distribution has become an exact science. We know that tastes and odors come from algae, and can even name each one and the particular taste or odor that it causes.
Progress of Water Supply Business
During the last 3d years the water supply business has made great improvement; how much of this is due to the association together of those engaged in the business cannot be definitely told. Undoubtedly there would have been advance, the public would have demanded better service and better quality, and men would have been found to meet the demand. But it is doubtful if these men working alone could have accomplished all that was demanded of them. Water men meet together, compare experiences and methods, and each goes away determined to do as well as the others and so improve the works in his charge; one stimulates the others to greater exertion and to do better work, and the public is benefited. The conditions existing 33 years ago made some enterprising members uneasy and desirous of better conditions Among them was W. C. Stripe, superintendent of water works at Keokuk, Ia., anu in hopes of bettering things he on January 18, 1881, issued a call for a convention of “superintendents of western water works,” stating that he had been requested to “take the initiative” in calling such a convention. No one knows just who made the request, but it is suspected that it was bis neighbor, J. H, Decker. Anyhow, the circular wav sent (see reproduction of this circular with characteristic notations by Mr. Stripe) by Mr. Stripe. From the wording of this circular it will be seen that the original intention was to make it an association of water works superintendents in the west only. But this was evidently reconsidered at the first convention, for the secretary of the association was instructed to send the proceedings to all water companies in the United States. It will be noted that Canada was not included, so the association was not intended to be broadly American. It will also be noted that water companies were mentioned, and not water departments. So it is probable that it was proposed to form an association of owners of water works, possibly for defense against absorption by municipalities, which was even then liecoming popular. At this time about four-fifths of tlie water works in the United States were owned and operated by companies, and nearly as large a per cent, in Canada
First Annual Meeting
At this first annual convention 20 active and four “honorary” members signed the constitution and paid the initiation fee, thus becoming the charter members of the American Water Works Association. The four “honorary” members were four firms manufacturing or dealing in water works supplies, and would now be classed as associates. Of the 20 active members enrolled at the first convention three are now members of the association, namely, W. L. Cameron, Ira A. Hollyand, M. L. Holman, all three now on the “honorary” roll. Six died while members of the association, namely, W. C. Stripe, M. Donahue, J. H. Decker, J. G. Briggs, Sylvester Watts and Col. J. T. Foster. The other 11 dropped out, probably owing to change of occupation. Of the four firms qualifying as associate members none are now in existence.
At the first convention Col. J. T. Foster was chosen to preside and J. H. Decker was secretary. Colonel Foster was elected as the first president of the association and “Jack” Decker its first secretary. Colonel Foster was re-elected at Columbus in 1882, being the only president of the association elected for more than one year. Mr.
Decker continued as secretary till 1889. when at the Louisville convention he was advanced to the presidency of the association. He was again chosen as secretary at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1891, and served one year, when he was succeeded by Peter Milne, who held the office until his death in 1902.
There were, of course, no prepared papers at the first convention, but a committee was appointed at the first session to “present subjects for discussion.” This committee after a brief conference presented the following subjects:
- Fuel. Per million gallons raised one foot high; firing, consumption of smoke; coal vs. wood, corncobs, oil or gas.
- Mains. Depth in the ground; iron, wood or cement.
- Service Pipes. Plain iron, varnished iron, galvanized iron or lead.
- Rates. Motor, meter, water closets, fountains, bathrooms, sprinkling.
- Fire Hydrants. Freezing, thawing.
- Ellis Tables. Has anyone verified them?
- Various Systems. Direct pressure, standpipe reservoir, elevated reservoir.
- Why not make sleeves in two parts, with lugs and bolts, and thus obviate the necessity of taking up two lengths of pipe and three joints to repair a small break?
- Work of Plumbers.
Rather a large contract for three days; but problems not greatly differing from those we have to deal with to-day, except the “split sleeve” proposition, which sounds odd to us to-day, accustomed to the Kellogg and other repair sleeves now on the market. At this convention, during a discussion on the then rather new subject of meters, the opinion was expressed that “the moral effect of 2,000 meters would be as great as 40,000“ in preventing waste.
Second Annual Convention
The second annual convention was held at Columbus, O., March 14, 15 and 16, 1882. Fourteen active and eight “honorary” members answered the roll call. Thirteen were elected to active membership and two to honorary membership. Of those elected at Columbus, Calvin S. Brown is still an active member and the National Meter Company an associate member. The president’s address was very brief, several committees made reports, and two papers were read and discussed. On the second day of this convention four were received as active members and four as honorary members. Among the latter was H. Mueller, the founder of the house of
H. Mueller Manufacturing Company. Peter Milne, who subsequently served as president and secretary of the association, was among those elected to membership. Thirteen subjects were selected for discussion at the next meeting and were assigned to various members, spoken of as committees, to deal with. Col. J. T. Foster and J. H. Decker were re-elected respectively president and secretary. The convention closed with a banquet, given by the trustees of the Columbus Water Works. Charles Elliott, city superintendent of the Spring Valley Water Works, San Francisco, arrived during the banquet, showing that the association even in this early stage was attracting men from distant points.
Third Annual Convention
The third annual convention of the association was held at Buffalo, N. Y., May 15, 16 and 17, 1883. Among those elected to active membership was Col. E. H. Gardner, of New Orleans, who was afterwards elected president of the association, and continued a member up to the time of his death in 1911. Among the members elected to honorary membership was H. C. Folger, up till recently connected with the Thomson Meter Company. Mr. Folger has attended every convention of the association since his election as a member. H. F. Dunham, now a member of the association, was elected to membership at this convention. During the meeting the delegates visited the Holly Manufacturing Company plant at Lockport as guests of that company. The last day of the convention was spent at Niagara Falls, where a complimentary dinner was given by the merchants and business men of Buffalo. Niagara Falls was probably visited as a big water works undertaking. While viewing the Falls, Colonel Gardner, of the south, romantic and eloquent, was expatiating upon its wonders and glories to Mr. Stripe, of the west, practical and rather hard of hearing, who evidently did not fully comprehend the eloquent tribute that the Colonel was paying to the falls, and replied, “Yes, I was just calculating what a revenue it would bring, even at the low rate of 10 cents per 1,000 gallons.” J. B. Briggs was elected president and J. H. Decker re-elected secretary.
Fourth Annual Meeting
The fourth annual convention uas held at Cincinnati, O., April 15, 16 and 17, 1884. Thirtyeight active and 15 associate members answered the roll call. The secretary’s report showed a cash balance of $5 and expenses beyond the income of the association. It was therefore voted to discontinue the practise of sending copies of the proceedings to all water works. Several papers were read and discussed at considerable length. Col. L. H. Gardner was elected president and J. H. Decker re-elected secretary. Boston was selected as the place for holding the fifth annual convention. At noon of the last day of the convention the delegates, upon invitation of the Cincinnati and Newport Iron and Pipe Works, took the ferry to Newport, where they were received by the mayor and others. After visiting the works of Cincinnati and Newport Iron and Pipe Works, an excursion was made by boat to the Newport water works. A banquet was served on the boat during the return to Cincinnati.
Fifth Annual Meeting
The fifth annual convention was held at Boston. Mass. April 21, 22 and 23, 1885. where the members were welcomed by George E. Ellis behalf of the New England Water Works Association and Mayor O’Brien on behalf of the city of Boston. President Gardner responded to these addresses of welcome. Twenty-nine active and nine associate members answered the roll call. On motion of Secretary Decker, all members of the New England Water Works Association were invited to attend the sessions of the convention. Fourteen active and three associate members were elected. Among the active members elected was A. S. Glover, still an active member of the association. None of the firms elected to associate membership is now in existence. A cablegram was read from Mr. Simin, of Moscow, Russia. A notable feature of this convention was a lengthy discussion on kalamein pipe, which discussion seems to be about the last ever heard of the material. Denver was selected as the place for holding the next convention, and the executive committee was authorized to decide upon the date. Peter Milne was elected president and Mr. Decker re-elected secretary.
Sixth Annual Meeting
The sixth annual convention was held at Denver. Colo., June 23, 24 and 25, 1886. The delegates were welcomed by Hon. J. E. Bates, Mayor of Denver; Col. R. W. Woodbury, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and William B. Mills, president of the Denver Water Compary. These addresses of welcome were responded to by President Milne, who then delivered the first official president’s address, a feature of the convention that has been adhered to ever since. The attendance was not large, probably owing to the long distance from the homes of most of the members. Only 21 active members and representatives of 11 associate members responded to the roll call. Five of the 21 active members who attended that convention are still on the membership roll. Among those elected to membership at this convention was W. G. Richards, afterwards president of the association. During his life Mr. Richards attended every convention of the association after he became a member, and was always accompanied by Mrs. Richards. Of the associates elected at this convention E. H. Kellogg is still a member. The secretary reported the largest gain in membership since the organization of the association. 40 active and six associate members, making the total membership 199. But even at that early date members commenced to drop out, and 11 were dropped from the roll. The program was an interesting one and received the closest attention. Major B. F. Jones was elected president and J. H. Decker re-elected secretary. Wednesday afternoon the Denver Water Works took the delegates in carriages to the pumping station. Thursday evening a banquet was served at the Albany, which hotel was the headquarters of the association in Denver. Friday afternoon was devoted to a drive about the city and an exhibition of the Denver fire department. Secretary Decker took his drive in a special carriage—one provided by the city for “hurry-up work.” Most of the delegates attending the Denver convention met in Kansas City, where Major Jones showed them the water works and explained them. Major Jones could talk well, and while he had us out on the division walls of the settling basins, where we could not get away, he explained the workings of the basins; told how the muddy Missouri water came in at one point, passed over, under and around baffels and through broken stone and gravel filters till it reached the outlet to the pump wells, ready to be pumped to the city. We were all very much interested until one inquisitive member asked which was the muddy water inlet and which the clear water outlet. Then the explanation ceased abruptly. From Kansas City to Denver we traveled in a “special car,” the first attempt at special service made by the convention. It was hot and dusty weather and the “freedom” of the special car was enjoyed greatly.
Seventh Annual Meeting
The seventh annual convention was held at Minneapolis, a city to which we have come for the third time. The convention was held July 13, 14 and 15, 1887. July was selected, as it was feared that earlier in the season it would be too cool for Cameron, Gardner and other southern members. No one suffered from the cold; the thermometer reached 106 degrees F. during our stay Colonel Gardner “toted” his winter overcoat to the convention, but didn’t use it. Thirty-seven active and 13 associate members answered the roll call Thirteen active and four associate members were elected. Of the active members elected at this convention H. E. Keeler is the only one now a member. Major Jones made a stirring address at the opening of the convention. Y. Nakajima, of Tokio, Japan, attended the convention and was elected the first honorary member. Mr. Nakajima is still an honorary member. At this convention the question of exhibits by associate members was first brought up. Col. J. T. Fanning was elected president and Mr. Decker re-elected secretary. Cleveland. O., was selected as the place for holding the eighth annual convention. Col. J. W. Hcnion took the ladies attending the convention to Minnehaha Falls Thursday afternoon. Friday a special train was taken to St. Paul, where carriages were in waiting to take the delegates to the pumping station and other points of interest. After the drive the delegates were received by the members of the Civil Fngineers’ Club of St. Paul at the Hotel Ryan, where a supper was served and enjoyed. Saturday forenoon carriages were provided by the city of Minneapolis for a trip to the east side pumping station, the Pillsbury Mills, the grounds of the University of Minnesota and to the west side pumping station. On the return to the hotel an exhibition of the Minneapolis fire department was given. The afternoon was spent at Lake Minnetonka, where supper was served.
Eighth Annual Meeting
The eighth annual convention was held at Cleveland, O., April 17, 18 and 19, 1888. Thirty-three active and 21 associate members answered the roll call. The registration system was not in use at these early conventions, and the number answering the roll call was undoubtedly far below the number in attendance. Eighteen active and six associate members were elected. Among the active members elected were two future presidents of the association George H. Benzenberg and Joseph A. Bond, also F. W. Shepperd, publisher of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING. The attendance of associate members was large, and they made the first regular exhibit of water works appliances. No special provision was made for this exhibit and there was no committee to look after it until about 2 o’clock one morning, when this deficiency was voluntarily supplied by several zealous members, under the supervision of President Fanning, from the transom of his room, which opened on the corridor in which the exhibits were displayed. Under the auspices of the Water Works Manufacturers’ Association we have had in late years systematic arrangements of exhibits, but it is doubtful if any such scientific” arrangement has ever been accomplished as that at Cleveland. It is true some exhibitors had trouble in recognizing their own exhibits the next day, but that was not the fault of the arrangement committee, hut because they had not made their goods to fit the signs. At that convention a committee was appointed to arrange for exhibits at the next convention, and exhibits of water works appliances has been a prominent and valuable feature of the conventions ever since At this convention a banquet was served by the association, a subscription banquet, arranged by a committee self appointed during the convention. It was a success. Friday the Lake Shore foundry and pumping station were visited. A. N. Denman was elected president and J. H. Decker re-elected secretary. The death of W. C. Stripe, the founder of the association was announced at this convention.
Ninth Annual Meeting
The ninth annual convention was held at Louisville, Ky., April 16, 17 and 18, 1889. Forty-two active and 25 associate members answered the roll call. A room was provided for exhibits and a very creditable exhibit of water works appliances was made by the associate members. Seventeen active and six associate members were elected. J. H. Decker was elected president and J. M. Diven secretary. Chicago was chosen as the place for holding the next annual convention. A. F. Callahan, of Dennis Long & Company, and P. J. Morrill, of the Louisville Water Company, looked after the wants and pleasures of those in attendance. Through the courtesy of the Louisville Water Company, the delegates and guests were taken by special train to the reservoir and pumping station. Thursday evening a banquet was served at the Galt House, followed by toasts, under the guidance of W. L. Cameron as toastmaster. Friday morning, as the guests of Dennis Long & Company, a special train was taken for Mammoth Cave. On arrival at the cave and after luncheon, the “short trip” tnrough the cave was taken. An enjoyable evening was spent at the hotel, and some lime during the evening the “Ancient and Honorable Order of 71” was founded, A. J. Guilford and R. H. Dalzell acting as masters of ceremony. Many members were initiated into the rites of the urder and have traveled in accordance therewith ever since, adding from time to time much to the pleasure and good-fellowship of the association. The next day the “long trip” was taken, enjoyed by some, suffered by others. During the second visit to the cave an “adjourned meeting” of the association was held in the “Rotunda.” Seven members were added to the membership roll at this session, among them J. A. Tilden, who still retains his membership and is a regular attendant and active worker at all conventions. Vice-President Diven presided at this session in the absence of the president, and claimed to have presided over the highest and lowest sessions of the association—on top of Pike’s Peak and far under ground in Mammoth Cave.
Beginning of the Second Decade
The tenth annual convention was held at Chicago, Ill., May 20-24, 1890. Seventy-four active and 41 associate members answered the roll call. Thirty-nine active and five associate members were elected, bringing the membership roll at the close of the convention up to 1 honorary, 274 active .uid 98 associate, making a total of 343. At this convention an association badge was adopted to be worn by its members. During the convention P. H. Lineen (Pat Lineen) read an interesting review of the association, speaking of its merits and what it had accomplished. William B. Hull was elected president and J. M. Diven re-elected secretary. Philadelphia was selected as the place for holding the next annual convention. Considerable attention was paid to the exhibits; a large and well lighted room was provided and suitably arranged for them. Thirty firms exhibited. The local committee provided, as the chairman expressed it, “a very pleasant program,” and when it was over no one disputed him. The ladies in attendance were cared for (while the “men folks” were attending the business sessions) try the ladies of the local committee, and everything was made pleasant for them. Through the courtesy of Mr. Webster, the Chicago representative of H. R. Worthington. the members and guests were shown through the Auditorium and provided with tickets to the observatory. Thursday afternoon the local committee took the delegates and guests for a drive through Lincoln Park and to the North Side pumping station and along the Lake Shore drive to a boat landing, where tugs were in waiting to take the party to the North Side and Fourteenth street tunnels. On the return an exhibition was given of the fireboat “Geyser.” An exciting race (no pools sold) between the excursion boats and the “Geyser” was a feature of this trip. To wind up the day and appease the appetites produced by the trip, a banquet was served in the moin dining room of the Grand Pacific Hotel. After the set speeches were finished the ladies retired and “Jimmy” Donahue told us how “original packages” were handled in the prohibition State of Iowa. The banquet was provided and directed by the local committee, with the financial assistance of the associate members. And thus was started a custom that finally led to the organization of the Water Works Manufacturers’ Association. Friday morning a special train on the Illinois Central, provided by the American Filter Company, took the members to Elgin, where, under the guidance of Mr. Rumsey, they were shown through the watch works. Perhaps this was to show some of them that it was time to install tilters.
Eleventh Annual Meeting
The eleventh annual convention was held at Philadelphia. Pa., May 14-17. 1891. Eighty-nine active and 29 associate members wrr registered, was 47, making the total ntembershi; 859. J. M. Diven was elected president and J H. Decker secretary. Colonel Gardner, in making the report of the nominating committee, said that they had recommended Diven for president because he made such a “dog on” poor secretary that they wanted to get him out of the way. New York for Kelley’s Island) was selected as the place for holding the twelfth annual convention, all owing to the persuasive eloquence of John C. Kelley. Twenty-eight firms made exhibits at this convention. The entertainment was here, as it had been in other cities, lavish, and threatened to
The twelfth annual convention was held at New York, May 17-19, 1892. Eighty-nine active and 28 associate members were registered. Thirty-two active and seven associate members were elected. George H. Benzenberg was elected president and Peter Milne, past-president of the association, was elected secretary, a position which he held with great credit until his death, which occurred during the second Chicago convention in 1902. Milwaukee was selected as the place for holding the thirteenth annual convention. The entertainment features were not lacktake up all of the time, leaving out the business features entirely. The rooms of the Philadelphia Engineers’ Club were placed at the convenience of the delegates. The ballroom and dining rooms of the Manutacturers’ Club were placed at the disposal of the reception committee Tuesday evening; the members and guests of the association were received by the mayor of Philadelphia and spent an enjoyable evening. Thursday afternoon a drive was taken about the city and to the various pumping stations. Friday the works of R. D. Wood & Co., at Camden, N. J., were visited. Some of the members were thoroughly convinced that that firm did “hammer test” pipe under pressure. A 20-inch pipe burst under the treatment of an over-zealous tester and the lesson was thoroughly “soaked” into some interested watchers of the operation. After viewing the Camden works a train was taken for Atlantic City. ing on “Kelley’s Island.” Monday the ladies were taken in carriages to various places of interest. Three hundred members, ladies and guests attended the Star theater as guests of the local committee. A drive through Central Park was enjoyed by all. An all-day excursion was taken to Brooklyn, on invitation of the commissioners of the department of city works, Robert Van Buren, chief engineer. Two hours were spent in examining the old and new engines at the Brooklyn pumping station. Luncheon was served at the Montauk Club house. Saturday, to wind up an enjoyable and profitable week, by invitation of the National Meter Company, a steamboat trip was taken on the North river and New York harbor, winding up at the new works of the National Meter Company, where an ample luncheon was served.
Twelfth Annual Meeting
Thirteenth Annual Meeting
The thirteenth annual convention was held at Milwaukee, Wis., Sept. 5-9, 1898. J. P. Donahu was elected President and Peter Milne re-elected secretary. Minneapolis was for the second time selected as the place for holding a convention. During the convention an excursion was made to White Fish bay. where planked white fish was served as it is served no other place in the world. This was world’s fair year at Chicago, and there was a great counter attraction ; nevertheless, the attendance was good, and there was no lack of entertainment. A reception was held at the Plankington Arcade. The ladies were taken to the Layton Art Gallery. The visit “of inspection” to Pabst brewery was a notable affair, and those who attended will long remember our genial host. Capt. Fred Pabst. The visit to the E. P. Allis works was an educational trip to many. The carriage drive along the lake shore to the pumping station was most enjoyable. The pumping station was then as now celebrated for its good management. Our last day was signalized by a trip on the lake, which was enjoyed by all, with the possible exception of our president, Mr. Donahue; “Jimmy” was seasick.
Fourteenth Annual Meeting
The Fourteenth annual convention was held at Minneapolis, Minn., August 21. 22 and 23, 1801. It was our second visit to that most hospitable city—and not our last. Charlie Foote was master of ceremonies, and that means that the association was royally cared for. The reception was just as cordial as on the occasion of the first visit. Among those elected to membership at this convention we find the name of Dabrey H. Maury, afterwards president of the association. and still one of its most active and valuable members. Thirty-eight members were added to the roll, making the total membership 379, a net gain of 25 over the previous report. William Ryle was elected president and Mr. Milne reelected secretary. Atlanta, Ga., was selected as the place for holding the fifteenth annual convention. The exhibits at this convention were unusually large and the facilities for exhibiting, the ample rotunda of the West Hotel, unsurpassed.
Fifteenth Annual Meeting
The fifteenth annual convention was held at Atlanta, Ga., May 28, 29 and 30, 1895. Addresses of welcome were made bv Hon. Porter King, mayor, and Hon. George Hillyer, president of the board of water commissioners. An informal reception was given at the Kimball House by prominent citizens of Atlanta. A carriage drive was given to the ladies. The crowning event of the convention was the visit to the water works, where the pumping station and filter plant were inspected, especially the latter, as filter plants at that time were somewhat of a novelty. After all had thoroughly inspected the plant an old fashioned Georgia barbecue was served. Now, in Savannah they will say that Atlanta don’t know how to make a barbecue, hut no member of this association who was in Atlanta in 1895 will believe this. There may be better things, but not on this earth. There was ’possum and coon, lamb and kid, “sure enough” roasted over the coals; shrimps with sweet penner pods; Brunswick stew that was a work of art; good fellows; a beautiful Georgia pine grove—well, what more could you ask for? W. G. Richards was elected president and Mr. Milne re-elected secretary. Indianapolis was chosen as the place for holding the next convention. Mr. Richards was too ill to attend the sessions of the convention and died before the next annual convention. On one of the drives about the city Mr. Richards’ residence was passed and he was at the window to greet us by waving the association gavel, which had been placed in his care for the ensuing year.
Sixteenth Annual Meeting
The sixteenth annual convention was held in Indianapolis, Ind., May 26, 27. and 28, 1896. F. A. W. Davis was elected president and Mr. Milne re-elected secretary. Denver was for the second time selected as the convention city. During the convention the old and new pumping stations were visited.
Seventeenth Annual Meeting
The seventeenth annual convention was held at Denver, Co., June 8., 9 and 19, 1897. John Coulfield was elected president and Mr. Milne re-elected secretary. Buffalo, N. Y., was selected as the place for holding the eighteenth annual convention. The delegates were royally entertained by the Denver Union Water Company.
Eighteenth Annual Meeting
The eighteenth annual convention was held at Buffalo. N. Y., June 14-18, 1898. Joseph A. Bond was elected president and Mr. Milne re-elected secretary. Columbus, O., was voted as place for holding the 1899 convention. Owing to illness, Mr. Bond was unable to attend the Columbus convention, and William R. Hill presided. A feature of this convention was the many exhibits in private rooms, some of which were elaborately and beautifully decorated. The principal enter-, tainment features were trips to Niagara Falls and Syracuse. At the latter city a banquet was served. Colonel Ward, well remembered by many members of the association, was mostly responsible tor the good times in Buffalo and William R. Hall for the Syracuse trip.
Nineteenth Annual Meeting
The nineteenth annual convention was held at Columbus. O., May 16, 17, 18 and 19. 1899. William R. Hill presiding in the absence of Joseph A. Bond, the president. R. M. Clayton was elected president and Mr. Milne re-elected secretary. Richmond, Va., secured the twentieth annual convention. During the convention ar. cxh’hition was given by the Columbus fire dc; artment, six fire engines taking water from one large lire cistern. Seventy-one was again active at Columbus.
Twentieth Annual Meeting
The twentieth annual convention was held at Richmond, Va., May 16, 17, 18 and 19, 1900. The convention was opened by Vice-President William R. Hill. President Clayton arrived and took the chair Wednesday morning. Charles E. Bolling was elected president and Mr. Milne reelected secretary. New York was chosen as the place for holding the twenty-first annual convention. Richmond was holding a street carnival at the time the convention was held there, and it is probable that the treasury of the carnival was enriched by the contributions of the members of the association. A feature of the street carnival was a Moral parade, and even Colonel Gardner, from the home of flowers, New Orleans, remarked on the beauty and wonderful freshness of the flowers. When he found that they were paper flowers, he asked that the band play “Dixie.” The convention was held in the beautiful and somewhat historical Jefferson Hotel. Richmond and vicinity abounds in historical interest, and dispensed with proverbial “southern hospitality” was much interesting description of historical points and events.
Twenty-first Annual Meeting
The twenty-first annual convention was held in New York City, June 17-22, 1901, with headquarters at the Murray Hill Hotel. That handsome gentleman, Lester E. Wood, as chairman of the committee of arrangements, acted as host. William R. Hill was elected president and Mr. Milne re-elected secretary. At this convention the question of permanent headquarters was first taken up, and it has been a live question before the association ever since. Messrs. R. B. C. Bement. W. L. Cameron. J. F. Foster, Ira A. Holly, M. L. Holman and Sylvester Watts, charter members of the association, were elected honorary members. Four of these names still appear on the honorary roll. Friday afternoon the convention adjourned to meet the next day on the steamer “Sea Gull.” At this session three members were elected, two from Philadelphia. Pa., and one from Everett. Wash. A landing was made on the Hudson, from which carryalls took the party to the new Croton dam. where they were the guests of Messrs. Coleman, Breauchand & Coleman, the contractors for the dam.
Twenty-second Annual Meeting
The twenty-second annual convention was held in Chicago, June 10-13. 1902, this being the second Chicago convention. The headquarters were at the Auditorium Hotel, as the association had outgrown the smaller hotel al which its first convention was held. H. E. Keeler was chairman of the local committee of arrangements, which is equivalent to saying that the arrangements were perfect. During the convention the death of our secretary, Peter Milne, was announced and cast a gloom on the proceedings, as all had come to love “Peter.” One hundred and forty-five active and 109 associate members signed the register. Ninety-one ladies accompanied the members and 102 guests were registered. Forty-three new names were added to the roll. Charles H. Campbell was elected president and J. M. Diven secretary. Detroit, Mich., was selected as the place to hold the twenty-third annual convention. While this was a business convention, the entertainment features were not entirely neglected; in fact, they were, as was to be expected in Chicago, lavish and well carried out in every particular On Tuesday evening the local committee gave a reception in the Auditorium banquet hall. The music was fine, the punch was good and the refreshments dainty. When the old folks had all shaken hands, swapped lies and gossip, the floor was cleared for dancing, and the “youngsters”—Jim Tilden and others—took possession. Wednesday afternoon four-horse coaches, sixhorse coaches, carriages and other conveyances were provided for a drive through the west and north side park systems. Luncheon was served at the Ricnzi. During the drive a group photograph was taken at the Grant monument. Many members still preserve this photograph to remind them of a royal good time. Since that time a group photograph of the convention has been a feature, and there is great satisfaction in studying these and picking out those one knows. The evening was devoted to theater parties. In some theaters the members—or some of them—were part of the “show.” Thursday afternoon a comfortable steamer took the members and guests to tbc “Carter Harrison Crib” and other points of interest. Luncheon was served on the boat. Friday afternoon there was a drive through South Park and the boulevard system, with luncheon at the Chicago Beach Hotel. By invitation of Messrs. J. B. Clow & Sons, a visit was paid to the stock yards. City Engineer John Ericson took some of the members to the intake cribs, which were inspected by them. On Saturday, on the invitation and under the personal conduct of Isham Randolph, chief engineer of the Chicago sanitary district, the party took a trip to Lockport on the drainage canal. This was a most interesting and enjoyable trip. Brother Monjeau was last seen clad in sailor’s slickers and rubber boots going from a water convention to a Baptist conference.
Twenty-third Annual Meeting
The twenty-third annual convention was held at Detroit, Mich., June 23-26, 1903. The association was warmly welcomed by Hon. William C. Maybury, mayor of Detroit. L. M. Case, formerly chief engineer of the Detroit water department. responded fittingly for the association.. The president’s address was of more than usual interest, and after that had been read the association was addressed by A. E. Boardmat. Sixtythree active and nine associate members were elected, breaking the record. Among the list of active members elected at this convention is found the name of Alexander Milne, president of the association 1911-1912. Mr. Milne is a Canadian, the first president from the Dominion and the second of the name. Milne II, may thy dynasty long continue, and we will hope that it may produce others as useful to the association, though that is expecting much. The number of papers was greater than usual and the discussions were very animated. W. A. Russell was master of ceremonies, and a past-master in the art. Mrs. Russell also established headquarters at the hotel and entertained the ladies. The association had no member in Detroit, and selected it as the place for holding the convention without invitation; but it was welcomed quite as.enthusiastically as in any city it had visited. L. H. Case was elected president and Mr. Diven re-elected secretary St. Louis was chosen as the place for holding (he 1991 convention.
Twenty-fourth Annual Meeting
The twenty-fourth annual convention was held at the World’s Fair city, St. I amis, June 6-9, 1904. The Detroit membership record was beaten and the association made a net gain of 73 members. Morris R. Sherrerd was elected president and Mr. Diven re-elected secretary. West Baden, Ind., was selected as the place for holding the next convention. Ben Adkins was chairman of the local committee. While it was World’s Fair year and St. Louis had a strong counter at traction, there was no lack of special entertaining features. One hundred and seventy active and 83 associate members were registered. Contrast this with the first convention held in the same city, when the total registration was 24. One hundred and fifty-three ladies accompanied the delegates to this convention.
Twenty-fifth Annual Meeting
The twenty-fifth annual convention was held at est Baden, Ind., May 8-12, 1905. This convention was a new departure no city invited the association, no entertainment was offered; but it was thought that the place would be ideal for a “business convention.” and it proved so. One large hotel housed all the delegates, and outside of the hotel there was nothing to attract the delegates. The exhibits were placed in the large rotunda or covered court, which afforded ideal facilities for showing them to good advantage.
A comfortable and well ventilated meeting room was available, and all the comfort and ventilation were needed, for it was hot. The West Baden waters are not good for a “blend” and few dared to risk partaking of them; the sense of smell was usually a sufficient test. In spite of the numerous springs it proved to be a “dry ” place, and only the missionary work of 71 made it safe for water men. Ben C. Adkins was elected president, Mr. Diven re-elected secretary, and Boston selected for holding the next convention.
Twenty-sixth Annual Meeting
The twenty-sixth annual convention was held in Boston. July 10-14, 1000. The meetings were held in the .Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The association was welcomed by the lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts, who was first introduced by J. A. Tildcn. chairman of the local committee. After the lieutenant-governor’s address Mr. Tilden introduced Prof. William T. Sedgwick, who addressed the association. Mayor Fitzgerald was next introduced by the chairman, and gave the association a hearty welcome to the “Hub.” Frank W. Hodgman, president of the Boston Society of Civil engineers, next addressed the convention. The secretary’s report revealed a large gain in membership. One hundred and thirty-one new members were re-elected and two reinstated; this was offset by a loss of 32, making a net gain of 101. The death of pastpresident William Ryle was announced at this convention, and a special committee was appointed to draft suitable resolutions, which were later presented to the convention and adopted. Dabney H. Maury was elected president and Mr. Diven re-elected secretary. Toronto was selected as the place for the 1907 convention.
Twenty-seventh Annual Meeting
The twenty-seventh annual convention was held at Toronto, June 17-21, 1907. This was tinfirst convention held in Canada, and some who attended had custom house troubles, i he books and papers of the association were held up until matters were explained. A room was provided in the city hall for the meetings, and here the delegates were welcomed by “his worship” the mayor. It is needless to say that President Maury responded suitably. There were the usual number of exhibits, but the souvenirs were lacking, owing to the duties. The reception by our Canadian members was most cordial, and there was no lack of entertainment, though the lengthy program kept all busy most of the time. President Maury’s address took the form of a paper on “Rates for Water Service.” During the year death took two past-presidents of the association, Col. J. T. Foster and Joseph A. Bond. George H. Felix was elected president and Mr. Diven re-elected secretary. Washington, D. C., was selected as the place for holding the twenty-eighth annual convention.
Twenty-eighth Annual Meeting
The twenty-eighth annual convention was held in Washington. D. C., May 11-16, 1908, and was the largest convention ever held by the association. The headquarters were at the Arlington Hotel, where an exceptionally convenient room was provided for the meetings and ample space for exhibits. The president’s address dealt with the business of the association largely, and recommendations were made for its improvement and advancement. These recommendations were so pertinent and important that a committee was appointed to consider them. Death had exacted a heavy toll, eight members having died since the last annual convention; and shining marks were selected, for the list included, among others, past-president Charles H. Campbell. Anthony P. Smith. N. I’riddy and George W. Rafter, all well-known names in water works circles, Everyone knew Charlie Campbell and “Anthony P.,” and knowing, loved them. Charles N. Priddy was an “old timer” and a faithful attendant at all conventions of tho association. George W. Rafter was known by his works, and few men have done more to advance water supply. One hundred and fiftv two new members were elected, again breaking the record. Deducting from this the loss of 33, by resignation, death and dropped for non-payment of dues, left a net gain of 119. A letter of regret from F. A. W. Davis was read. This was the first convention Mr, Davis had missed. D. W. French was elected president and Mr. Diven re-elected secretary. Milwaukee won a hotly contested election for the 1999 convention. Tuesday afternoon President Roosevelt expressed himself as “delighted” to meet the members of the association. Thirty-nine members had exhibits at this convention. Two hundred and sixty-one active and 123 associate members were registered. Two hundred and forty-four ladies accompanied the members and 163 guests were registered, maxing a total attendance of 791. It is left for Minneapolis to exceed this in 1913.
Twenty-ninth Annual Meeting
The twenty-ninth annual convention was held at Milwaukee, Wis., June 7-12. 1909, the Plankington House again being the headquarters. Hon. Clinton G. Price, mayor, welcomed the delegates and guests. The president’s address dwelt upon the advance in water supply business and methods. The secretary’s report showed a net gain of 65 members. Dr. William P. Mason was elected president, Mr. Diven re-elected secretary, and New Orleans chosen as the place for holding the next annual convention. The entertainment was for the first time taken care of by the Water Works Manufacturers’ Association. While the men attended to business the ladies were entertained with pleasant trips, card parties, etc.
Thirtieth Annual Meeting
The thirtieth annual convention was held at New Orleans, April 25-29, 1910. No, it wasn’t too late in the season for New Orleans, and it wasn’t hot; overcoats appeared with the early crop of straw hats, and low shoes—with their silk socks—were supplemented with spats. George G. Earle opened the convention and introduced Hon. Martin Behrman, mayor. In his address the mayor paid a well deserved tribute to Mr. Earl and his works, which everyone present was ready to heartily endorse. The president’s address was by Dr. Mason, and it is not necessary to say more. John W. Alvord was elected president, Mr. Diven re-elected secretary, and Rochester, N. Y., selected as the place to meet in 1911. A net gain of 49 was made in the membership. Many of the new members were from the southwest, this being their first chance to attend a convention without taking a long journey. Tuesday evening Mr. F.arl delivered an interesting lecture, illustrated with lantern slides, on “The Recent Improvements in New Orleans.” Col,
I.. H. Gardner, a past-president of the association, was elected an honorary member. This was the first time in several years that we had the pleasure of having Colonel Gardner with us, as he was out of the water works business by reason of the purchase of the plant of the New Orleans Water Company by the city.
Thirty-first Annual Meeting
The thirty-first annual convention was held at Powers’ Hotel, in the city of Rochester, N. Y., June 5-10, 1911. A warm welcome was extended by Hon. Hiram H. Edgerton, mayor, to which President Alvord happily responded. The president’s annual address was more than the usual formal address, and is now among the classics in water works literature. One hundred and seven members were elected. Alexander Milne was elected president. Mr. Diven re-elected secretary, and Louisville, Ky., selected as the place for holding the 1912 convention. Beekman C. Little and George E. Cripps looked after the comfort and entertainment of the convention. Wednesday evening the association was the guest of the Water Works Manufacturers’ Association. Special cars were taken at 4:39 to the pumping station of the Rochester and Lake Ontario Water Company, where George H. Bliven received them and showed them over this excellently designed and managed pumping station.
Thirty-second Annual Meeting.
The thirty-second annual convention was held at Louisville, Ky., June 3-7, 1912. This was the second evonvention held in that city. At the first (1887) convention 42 active and 25 associate members answered the roll call. At the 1912 convention 190 active and 152 representatives of associate members were registered. At tiie first Louisyille convention five who served as presidents of the association before or after that time, and who have since died, were registered, viz.: Jos. A. Bond, J. G Briggs. J. H. Decker, L. H. Gardner, W. G. Richards and William Ryle. Other prominent members present there who will not meet again with the association were Pat Lincen and C. N. Priddy. Two other pastpresidents attended this convention who have, through business changes, dropped out of active water works business and do not attend conventions—William B. Bull and Major B. F. Jones. Two others, who afterwards were elected presidents, and who are still active, were registered at this convention—James P. Donahue and J. M. Diven. So the gathering, though small, was a notable one. President Milne was unable to attend the convention, but sent a strictly business address, in which he urged every member to “be a booster” and help build up the association. Mr. Milne has been “some booster” himself and knows what can be accomplished by boosting. One hundred and eight members were elected, bringing the roll dangerously (?) near to 1,009— 983. Dow R. Gwinn was elected president, J. M. Diven re-elected secretary, and Minneapolis, for the third time, was selected as the convention city. During the proceedings Capt. H. G. H. Tarr read a paper entitled “More than Fifty Years’ Reminiscences of Water Works Experiences.” Some members who were “reminisced” about seemed to doubt the authenticity of the dates, as they made them appear just a little old.
What the Association Will Be in 1931
ST. LOUIS, MO., March 29, 1931.
The fiftieth anniversary of the American Water Works Association was called to order by the president of the association in Convention Hall at ten o’clock this morning. On opening the convention he stated that 50 years ago 24 men had formed the association in this city, probably little dreaming to what it would grow. Indeed, at that time only superintendents of western water works were invited to form the association; but, from the start, it became national, and is now almost worldwide. As a jubilee year a special effort had been made to increase the membership, and the secretary announced that the 5,000 mark had been passed. The trustees of the association rooms made a report, showing a good condition. The trustees of the library reported several important additions to the library. Also that all periodicals had been suitably hound and indexed. The chairman of the various State branches reported concerning the State conventions held during the year and that their proceedings had been transmitted to the publication committee to be edited and published. The executive and finance committees reports showed a good financial condition. The program promises to be a very interesting and instructive one, including papers on almost every topic of interest to water supply managers. The usual Monday evening reception was held. Tuesday forenoon there will he a general meeting to hear reports oi officers and committees. Tuesday afternoon the various sections will hold meetings and in the evening a lecture, with moving pictures, will he given. Wednesday meetings of the sections will be held, and in the evening a smoker will he held, with addresses by prominent members on water works topics. Thursday forenoon a general session will be held, at which water works topics of general interest will be presented. At this session reports will also be received from the various sections concerning their transactions. In the afternoon all the members will meet at the exhibition hall, where talks descriptive of water works appliances will be delivered bv representatives of the manufacturing firms. Working exhibits of some special water works appliances on the streets during the afternoon. The committee on the tests will report on tests of water measuring devices, which have been going on during the convention. At six o’clock dinner will he served in the hotel banquet room, followed by practical water works talks. Friday forenoon the sections will conclude their business, and at ten o’clock all will assemble for discussion of the question box. In the forenoon an inspection trip will he made to the filtration plant of the city of St. Louis, followed by an illustrated lecture in the evening. Saturday forenoon an experience meeting will he held, and a general discussion of association affairs. At one o’clock a luncheon will he served, followed by the election of officers for the ensuing year.
Cairo and East St. Louis were inspected since April 15, so that not sufficient time has elapsed to make many of the required improvements. All defects not corrected by June 1 will be referred to the State fire marshal’s office, which has promised to give them special attention. The association is taking in seventeen new members, giving it a total of 115.