Sydney Tyler.

San Francisco's great disaster; a full account of the recent terrible destruction of life and property by earthquake, fire and volcano in California and at Vesuvius .. online

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American Fire Insurance Co. of Philadelphia 500,000

American Central Insurance Co. of St. Louis 500,000

American Insurance Co. of Newark 1,000,000

Atlanta-Birmingham Insurance Co. of At-
lanta 150,000

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278 SAN Francisco's great disaster.

Atlas Insurance Company of London 1,250,000

Austin Fire Insurance Co. of Austin, Tex. . . 359,000

British America Assurance Co. of Toronto . . 275,000

British American Insurance Co. of New York 75,000

Caledonian Insurance Co. of Scotland 1,193,482

Caledonian-American Insurance Co. of New

York .' 50,000

Camden Fire Insurance Co. of Camden,

N. J 360,000

Citizens' Insurance Co. of St. Louis 165,000

Colonial Assurance Co. of New York 10,000

Commonwealth Insurance Co. of New York 39,000

Continental Insurance Co. of New York .... 1,926,000

Concordia Fire Insurance Co. of Milwaukee . 200,000

Delaware Insurance Co. of Dover 8,000

Delaware Insurance Co. of Philadelphia .... 350,000

Dutchess Insurance Company of Poughkeepsie 175,000

Eagle Fire Insurance Co. of New York 300,000

Empire City Fire Insurance Co. of New York 40,000

Equity Fire Insurance Co. of Toronto 7>500

Europa Insurance Co. of Berlin 3,000

Federal Lloyds of Chicago 15,500

Fire Association of Philadelphia 1,100,000

Franklin Fire Insurance Co. of Philadelphia 800,000

German Alliance Insurance Co. of New York 225,000

Germania Fire Insurance Co. of New York . . 2,000,000

German Insurance Co. of Freeport, 111 1,500,000

German-American of New York 2,000,000

Girard Fire & Marine Insurance Co. of Phila-
delphia 450,000

Glens Falls Insurance Co. of Glens Falls,

N. Y i,ooo,eoo

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Globe & Rutgers Insurance Co. of New York 450,000

Hamburg-Bremen of Hamburg, Germany . . 1,100,000

Hanover Insurance Co. of New York 700,000

Hartford Fire Insurance Co. of Hartford,

Conn 5,750,000

Home Insurance Co. of New York 1,500,000

Insurance Co. of North America 2,000,000

Insurance Co. of State of Pennsylvania ^ 8,250

Indemnity Fire Insurance Co. of New York 85,000
Independent Cash Mutual Fire Ins. Co. of

Toronto 1,500

Indianapolis Insurance Co. of Indianapolis . . 25,000
Individual Underwriters' Association (John

R. Waters) 214,625

Individual Fire Underwriters of St. Louis . . 25,000

Jefferson Fire Insurance Co. of Philadelphia 20,000

La Confiance Insurance Co. of Paris 2,000

La Metropole Insurance Co. of Paris 5,000

La National Insurance Co. of Paris 3,500

La Patemelle Insurance Co. of Paris 7,000

La Polar of Bilboa, Spain 3,500

Le Soleil Insurance Co. of Paris 3,ooo

London Assurance Corporation of London . . 3,750,000
London & Lancashire Insurance Co. of Liver-
pool 3,500,000

L'Union Insurance Co. of Paris 6,500

L'Urbaine Insurance Co. of Paris 3,5^0

Liverpool & London & Globe Ins. Co. of Liver-
pool, Eng 3,500,000

Louisville Insurance Co. of Louisville, Ky. . . 18,600
Michigan Fire & Marine Insurance Xb. of De-
troit, Mich 200,000

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28o SAN Francisco's great disaster.

National Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn. . . 1,500,000
National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pitts-
burg 75o»ooo

New Brunswick Fire Ins. Co. of New Bruns-
wick, N. J 25,000

New Hampshire Fire Insurance Co. of Man-
chester, N. H 600,000

New York Insurance Association 2,000

New York Fire Insurance Company 200,000

Niagara Insurance Co. of New York 1,000,000

North German Insurance Co. of New York . . 160,000
North River Insurance Co. of New York . . .

Northern Assurance Co. of London 2,000,000

Northwestern National Ins. Co. of Milwaukee 300,000
Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society of

England 1,200,000

Orient Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn. . . . 700,000

Pacific Insurance Co. of New York 30,000

Pelican Insurance Co of New York 250,000

Peter Cooper Fire Insurance Co. of New York 35,ooo

Phenix Insurance Co. of Brooklyn 1,500,000

Phoenix Assurance Co. of London 1,600,000

Phoenix Insurance Co. of Hartford 1,110,000

Providence-Washington Insurance Co. of

Providence 600,000

Queen City Fire Insurance Co. of Sioux Falls,

Iowa 100,000

Queen Insurance Co. of America of New

York 1,250,000

Rochester German Insurance Co. of Rochester 700,000

Royal Exchange Assurance of London ' 2,750,000

Royal Insurance Co. of Liverpool, Eng 3,750,000

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SAN Francisco's great disaster. 281

Scottish Union & National Ins. Co. of Edin-
burgh • 1,00,000

Security of New Haven 3^)0,000

Springfield Fire & Marine Ins. Co. of Spring-
field Mass 1,67645;^

Standard of Amsterdam S^S^

Stuyvesant Insurance Co. of New York 102,^00

St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co i,ooo,Coo

Spring Garden Insurance Co. of Philadelphia 250.000

Sun Insurance Office of London, Eng 1,200,000

Teutonia Insurance Co. of New Orleans .... 40,000
Union Insurance Company of Philadelphia . . 129,000
United Firemen's Insurance Co. of Philadel-
phia 200,000

Virginia State Insurance Co. of Richmond,

Va 7,000

Western Assurance Co. of Toronto 400,000

Weschester Insurance Co. of New York .... 600,000
Williamsburgh City Insurance Co. of New

York 500,000

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Among the heroes who will go down to fame for the
part they played in the struggle to save San Francisco none
will rival Brigadier General Frederick Fiinston, U. S. A.,
commanding the Department of California. The name of
Funston is a household word in America. He is perhaps the
most picturesque soldier of fortune alive to-day. His mili-
tary exploits had made him famous before he ever wore the
uniform of an officer in the regular army. Cuba will always
remember him, and in the brilliant roster of those who
joined the volunteer hosts on the outbreak of the Spanish-
American War no name conjures more memories of gallant
deeds than his. The struggle for liberty waged by the
people of the Pearl of the Antilles appealed strongly to this
native of Ohio, resident of everywhere, lover of Kansas.
His military record opened, then, in Cuba, where Funston,
as chief of artillery for the insurgents repeatedly struck ter-
ror to the Spanish foe by daring work with his guns.
Loyally he struggled in behalf of Cuba and with joy he re-
ceived the news that, after long procrastination, the Ameri-
can Republic, stung to action by the destruction of the
Maine, had declared war on the Spanish oppressor. Funston
may next be found speeding back to the States and soon
after he became Colonel of the 20th Kansas Volunteers, and
was shortly on the way to the Philippines. Funston had, in
this 20th Kansas, a regiment that wanted fighting. It was
well the regiment was of this type, for its commander kept
it busy. The long Philippine campaign offered compara-
tively few opportunities for brilliant feats. It offered none
to the commander who sat and waited for his chance. Fun-


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284 SAN Francisco's great disaster.

ston made them, made them so fast that his Kansans came
to believe that there wouldn't* a man of them ever see Kan-
sas again.

Training in the guerrilla warfare in which he had par-
ticipated in Cuba fitted Funston for the peculiar nature of
the work which fell to the lot of the soldier in the Philip-
pines. It demanded bravery and powers of initiative, of in-
genuity and resourcefulness, far beyond anything that pos-
sibly could be instilled in West Point class rooms. He and
his Kansans swept through the brush of whatever district
they were called upon to pacify and when they were through
the native population was either pacified or dead. It was
drastic work, but in the end it proved to be the only kind
that brought results. Its effectiveness attracted attention to
the man who led the Kansas fireaters. His name passed
from lip to lip, as the sort of man Americans were proud of.
He measured up to the national idea of the soldier. Feat
after feat was heralded and it got to be a matter of routine
to put the name of Funston in the front rank of the names
to be mentioned. After a year of service Colonel Funston
became Brigadier General Funston, and when two more
years had rolled around, amid popular acclaim the brigadier
of volunteers became a brigadier general of the regular
establishment, and a medal of honor from Congress graced
his breast.

This followed the most brilliant feat of the entire Phil-
ippine campaign, the capture by Funston of Aguinaldo, an
achievement which speedily brought to an end the stubborn
resistance of a section of the native population to American
rule. All America rang with the tale of the daring scheme
which resulted in the undoing of the arch rebel. If the
nation had, long before, developed a suspicion that Funston

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SAN Francisco's great disaster. 287

was of America's favorite type of soldier that suspicion
now became crystalized into certain knowledge, and Funs-
ton's welcome home was only second to that accorded to
Dewey, the hero of Manila Bay.

A feature of General Funston's conduct throughout
the ordeal at San Francisco was his coolness. This was
to have been expected of a man who had dug for gold in
the Klondyke and faced arctic perils there; had fought
Spaniards in Cuba and faced tropical menaces, who had
fought his way to the forefront of American soldiers in
Phillippine campaigns. But it is not always the expected
which happens and Funston's calm, methodical methods in
facing the appalling state of aflfairs which developyed as the
San Francisco tragedy grew in extent, must be placed to
his especial credit. His messages to the War Department
were eloquent of his self-possession. In the first of them
he announced that he had ordered his troops into the city
to fight the fire and to protect what had been left un-
burned. "I will count on receiving necessary authority"
he announced at the close of this memorable message.
Here is a sample of his advices to Washington, indicating
in every sentence a thorough grasp of the situation and a
power to deal in facts in the midst of an atmosphere
charged with terror and hysteria:

"Fire is making no progress to the west from Van
Ness avenue. West wind of considerable force now begin-
ning. Indications now that all that part of the city south
of Van Ness avenue and north of the bay will be destroyed.
Some considerable apprehension is felt as to the post at
Fort Mason, but it is believed that we can save it. Weather
continues fine and warm; practically no suffering from
cold. It will be impossible to at once establish proper sani-

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288 SAN Francisco's great disaster.

tary conditions. Much sickness must necessarily be ex-
pected. If the city to the west now standing remains intact
there are a good many buildings that can be used as hospi-
tals. The water supply is encouraging. The Spring Val-
ley water people believe they can deliver from ten io
twelve million gallons daily. This, with other sources not
mentioned, will prevent a water famine."

It was General Funston who appreciated the need of
sanitary precautions in the refuge camps and ordered the
army engineers to see that these were taken; it was Funs-
ton who stripped t!he army storehouses of food supplies and
systematized their distribution to thousands of hungry vic-
tims of the disaster; it was Funston who called for tents
and prompted the War Department to order every stitch
of canvas it owned to San Francisco; it was Funston who
inspired the organization of citzens^ relief committees, mer-
chants' committees and other factors in meeting the needs
of the hour and planning to meet the needs to develop.
His far seeing eye missed no detail of present or future.
Thus it was that General Greely, his superior, when called
back from the wedding of his daughter, could only report,
after going over the situation, that the methods devised
and adopted under the direction of Funston, would be


Trouble mongers, unable to believe that federal and
municipal authorities could harmoniously work together,
started a canard that there had been a disagreement be-
tween General Funston and Mayor Schmitz. The stories
only served to bring out testimonials to the great work of
the little fighter from Kansas. Funston in denying the
fabrications said:

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SAN Francisco's great disaster. 289

"Mayor Schmitz and myself have been working* to-
gether in the unity of doing great work, and we are helping
to the extent of our ability and apparently to the satisfac-
tion of every friend of the community all unfortunate
people of the city."

Then came the declaration of the Mayor. He said:

"Report of conflict between Gen. Funston and myself
absolutely without foundation. We are not only without
difference^ but are co-operating in the utmost friendship
and harmony. Gen. Funston's excellent work^ his good
judgment, and his zeal in our cause by day and by night
are appreciated by the people of San Francisco in this hour
of great distress. The army and nation are to be congratu-
lated on the possession of such officers as Gen. Funston."

And the more he thought of the outrage that had been
done to Funston the more his blood boiled. Just to ease
the tension he fired oflF this supplemental message to

"Supplementing my telegram of yesterday, I wish
again, even in the midst of our great troubles, to express
my indignation at the remarkable, malicious, and decidedly
untruthful suggestion that a conflict exists between Gen.
Funston and myself. I wish to emphasize the pleasantness
an,d harmony of our relations and co-operation."

In brief, no praise that might be bestowed on the
Hero of San Francisco could be overgenerous. He will
never be forgotten in the City by the Golden Gate.

Frederick Funston was born in Ohio, November 9,
1865. The family moved to Kansas two years later and
that state very justly claims the fighter as her son. The
future brigadier was educated in high school and univer-
sity in his home state. In 1890, he became a reporter on

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a newspaper in Kansas City and a year later went as a
botanist with the United States Death Valley Expedition.
This taste of roughing it had much to do with succeeding
events in his career. Under a commission from the De-
partment of Agriculture he next explored Alaska and pro-
pared an exhaustive report on its flora. In the winter of
1893-4 he camped in the frozen wastes of the Klondyke.
When navigation opened he made a perilous trip down the
Yukon, alone in an open canoe. Two years later he was
in Cuba, a member of the Cuban insurgent army. He rev-
olutionized the tactics of the brush fighters and taught
them what even a limited amount of second rate artillery'
could accomplish in harassing the Spaniards. He made
a reputation for calmness and bravery in the face of all the
hardships and dangers of guerilla warfare and was a tower
of strength to the Cuban cause in the dark hours of the
long fight for freedom which preceded the dawn. After
Funston had served eighteen months as an insurgent the
Maine was destroyed in the harbor of Havana and then
there was a diflferent story. The United States declared
war and Funston, despite a serious wound, rushed back
to Kansas, and as has been told, was soon commissioned
colonel of the Twentieth Kansas Infantry. In the Philip-
pines they dubbed the stubby^ red-headed fighter, "Lucky
Funston." It turned out that wherever something was
afoot, there was Funston and his Twentieth Kansas. The
climax came at Calumpit, on the Rio Grande River. Op-
posite Funston and his Kansans the natives had built a
strong line of works commanding the only available bridge.
It meant annihilation to try to cross in the face of the fire
that could be concentrated on the narrow^ flimsy struc-
ture. The Kansans had to find another way. Funston

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SAN Francisco's great disaster. 291

hit upon the plan of rafting a flanking force across the Rio
Grande. To get the raft across a tow rope managed from
the other side was necessary. Volunteers were called for
and two responded, for in the Twentieth Kansas what
Funston wanted was law. The sharpshooters were called
from the ranks and lined out along the near bank to pro-
tect the swimmers who were to undertake the tremendous
task of carrying a rope across the swift, wide stream, in the
face of the fire from the native breastwork. The sharp-
shooters went to work with a will and a storm of steel
swept every inch of the far bank. It was death for a Fili-
pino to show his head. This kept up until the swimmers
had reached the far bank. Then the firing ceased and the
Kansans dashed ashore and actually fastened their tow line
to one of the heavy bamboo supports for the enemy's
covert. The raft was soon under way, Funston among the
first score of his men to cross the river. Very soon a half
hundred men were available, the native works were
stormed and in less time than it takes to tell it the whole
position had been taken. The feat made Funston famous
and on the strength of it he was promoted. May 2/1899,
to be a brigadier general.

But Funston's greatest service to the cause of law and
order in the Phillippines was yet to come. As long as the
rebel leader Aguinaldo was at large to inspire native bands
to continue an utterly hopeless warfare there could be little
accomplished toward final pacification of the islands.
Funston set himself the task of capturing the arch rebel.
*Tunston luck" threw into his hands a messenger from the
Aguinaldo camp, who was on the way to secure reinforce-
ments. Funston's fertile brain evolved a daring scheme
which meant doom to the participants in case of failure.

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292 SAN Francisco's great DiSASXEfc^

This was to have United States soldiers impersonate the
expected reinforcements, thus enter the rebel stronghold
and seize whomever might be found there. The military
authorities assented to the proposition and a volunteer
party was organized. The messenger was bought over and
led the party to Aguinaldo's hiding place. The long peri-
lous march was made in safety and finally the trick was
turned. Aguinaldo, with a number of his lieutenants was
captured. This was the turning point in the history of the
American control of the islands, and Funston it was who
"turned the trick."

Since this exploit the Kansan had gone on tending to
the soldier's business. True to his predilection for being
"on the spot*' the San Francisco tragedy found him com-
mander of the Department of California with headquarters
in the stricken city. True to his record he once more
"turned the trick" and Mayor Schmitz only expressed the
opinion of 450,000 other residents of the city when he said:
"The army and nation are to be congratulated on the pos-
session of such officers as General Funston."


On one other man the blow to the western metropolis
fell with especial weight. The manner in which he bore the
burden, preserved order, organized relief measures, cheered
the citizens, gave the country assurance that the city would
be rebuilt better than before and worked night and day co
do the thousand and one things that the situation de-
manded — in a word, the way he made himself equal to a
great occasion — ^attracted favorable comment the country
over. This man is Mayor Eugene F. Schmitz. He is a na-
tive of the Golden Gate City and, though only a little past

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forty was serving his third term as head of its government.
One thing that made his position unique was that he was
elected without the help of either the regular party organi-
zations, being the candidate of the Union Labor forces.
When he was first nominated in 1901, scarcely anybody be-
lieved that he had a ghost of a show. Yet he was successful
by an overwhelming plurality. Another notable thing about
Mayor Schmitz is that he is the son of a German father and
an Irish mother, a combination^ by the way^ that has pven
the country some of its strongest men. Mr. Schmitz, like
his father, is a musician, having been at one time director
of the orchestra at the Columbia theatre. He was also
president of the Musicians' union of San Francisco. His
fairness as an employer and his ability as a speaker made
him popular with the labor forces and when they decided
to run an independent ticket they turned to him as their
leader. It was the teamsters' strike and the brutal man-
ner in which the men were handled by the city authorities
that decided the workingmen to go into politics and solidi-
fied them so that they have carried San Francisco ever


Mayor Schmitz is tall and athletic in appearance and
of a bearing that would make him a marked man anywhere.
He is an accomplished violinist. At the time of the strike
of the anthracite miners Mayor Schmitz was instrumental
in having a musical entertainment held to raise funds for
their support. He directed the orchestra and played a
violin solo. The sum of over $3,000 was raised.

Schmitz's vocation as a violinist caused one very dis-
mal prediction to be made when he was first a candidate.

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A lawyer in a speech against the labor candidate referred
to the fact that Nero fiddled while Rome burned and

**If Schmitz is elected he will be fiddling when San
Francisco is in ruins."

The record of the Mayor belies the prophesy.

The story is told with gusto by San Franciscans that
Schmitz's sister-in-law was once a servant. When Gene
was elected she gave notice to her mistress that she was
going to live with her brother-in-law, the mayor, and in-
vited the scandalized woman to call on her. San Francisco
is too democratic a community to mind a little thing like
that. Too many of its bonanza kings and high society
people came from the proletariat themselves to .let such an
episode disturb them. They regard it only as a good joke,
which indeed it is.

Mayor Schmitz himself is a finely educated man, hav-
ing studied medicine for two years, but deciding not to
enter the practice because of ill health. It was this which
caused him to go into training as an athlete. It also de-
cided him to go to the Klondyke, though at a later period,
and with this is connected a story that he often tells.

The miners at Dawson got up many vaudeville enter-
tainments with such talent as the place afforded, and
Schmitz was asked to play for them. Disguising himself
as a tramp, he complied. At first, of course, he could only
get discords out of the violin. When he had an audience
snickering properly at his amateur performance he reeled
off a cadenza that brought the orchestra leader op*tn
mouthed up over the footlights and set the audience gasp-
ing. He followed this with his own variations on 'Tl Trov-
atore," which caused those present figurativ#»lvr ♦^ •^*. ;,>.

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house down. After being encored innumerable times he
was offered $25 a night to play first violin in the orchestra.
Afterward the story got out that the supposed tramp was
really the director of one of the leading orchestras of San
Francisco who was in the Klondike on a vacation.

During this same trip Schmitz also became a steam-
boat captain, successfully navigating a boat several trips
up and down the Yukon river.

In the crisis at San Francisco Mayor Schmitz proved
himself prompt and energetic. His orders to shoot all per-
sons found looting, to confiscate the property of those
dealers charging outrageous prices, his drafting of every

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Online LibrarySydney TylerSan Francisco's great disaster; a full account of the recent terrible destruction of life and property by earthquake, fire and volcano in California and at Vesuvius .. → online text (page 16 of 25)