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He arrived at following six or Panama. Dr. Pierce
a special report on sanitary conditions. Colon December 31, 1903, and for the eight months made his headquarters at is now Quarantine Officer at Colon. The next in order was Dr. J. P. Perry, also detached from Marine Hospital duties for temporary service on the Isthmus. Dr. Perry arrived Feby. 6, 1904 and was stationed at Colon for several months. On the organization of the Department of Sanitation he became connected with it, and now holds the position of Chief Quarantine Officer, with headquarters at Panama.
The first large permanent party to arrive was headed by Major-General George W. Davis, and consisted besides of Major Black, Ernest Lagarde jr., the first Executive Secretary of the Canal Zone; Eugene C. Tobey, Paymaster, U. S. Navy; Richard L. Sutton, M. D., U. S. Navy; Mason E. Mitchell, stenographer; George Reynolds Shanton, Charles L. Stockelberg, and Jeremiah Corcoran. The party arrived May 17, 1904, and its appearance constituted the initial step in the organization of the work under American management. Paymaster Tobey not only assumed the duties of Disbursing Officer, but at one time was in charge of the Material division, Revenues, and Posts. In fact, he and Major-General Davis had practically the running of things for a month or so. There were a lot of ragged ends to draw together when the canal was taken over from the French, and with lack of sufficient and adequate help, it was nip and tuck with these two men for one while, to keep matters running smoothly. The MajorGeneral acted as "Managing Representative" until Chief Engineer Wallace arrived, while Tobey continued in the performance of his multifarious duties until Paymaster George C. Schafer came to relieve him of the disbursing end, and Col. Tom. Cooke arrived to take charge of enues and posts. Owing to the pressure of work, pay days at that period were long deferred, the longest on record for the gold men, if the memory of the writer
serves correctly, being in August, 1904 when there was "nothing doing" until the 17th of the month. However. everybody accepted the situation good-naturedly enough, the Euch of penniless "recra'ts" up at Ward 9 in the hes} ital pard working up considerable excitement o' nights during these waits on a ten-cent limit, and that in debased Colombian cur ency
E. C. Tobey was subsequently made Chief of the Department of Material & Supplies, and continued in that capacity, with Victor S. Jackson as his Assistant until November, 1905, when he was succeeded by Mr. W. G. Tubby, the present head of that department. Mason Mitchell served under Mr. Tobey, and later under Paymaster Schafer. He is still on the Isthmus, though not with the Commission. Capt. Shanton was appointed Chief of Police, an office he still holds, while Mr. Stockelberg has been Supervisor of Plumbing from first to last. Col. Wm. C. Gorgas was another of the early arrivals. Reaching here in June, he with the able assistance of Major H. R. Carter commenced at once the work of building up the mighty structure that has made Panama, Colon and the Canal Zone one of the healthiest spots in the tropical belt. Others followed in the wake of these pioneers, List, Ehle, Nichols, Dose, Major Lagarde, Dr. Ross, and many others, the most of whom have long since departed for other fields of labor.
TAKING NO CHANCES.
Who says that strangers in Panama are not reverent and respectful. Yesterday while the auctioneer's bell was ringing about the streets, a gentleman who thought it might be some religious ceremony, took off his hat and stood uncovered in the hot sun until the red flag had passed. He evidently thought it best to be on the safe side.-Panama Star & Herald in 1871.
JOHN CHONG WING & Co.,
CULEBRA, CANAL ZONE.
Dealers in Chinese and Japanese Silks, Fancy Articles, Etc. Etc.
ORDERS TAKEN FOR SPECIAL CHINESE AND JAPANESE GOODS.
On March 8, 1904, President Roosevelt issued the letter appointing the members of the first commission to be composed of Rear-Admiral John G. Walker, United States Navy, Chairman. Major-General George W. Davis, United States Army; William Barclay Parsons, William H. Burr, Benjamin M. Harrod, Carl Ewald Grunsky, civil engineers, and Mr. Frank J. Hecker. The President's charge to this commission reads in part as follows:
"I have appointed you as the Commission which is to undertake the most important and also the most formidable engineering feat that has hitherto been attempted. You are to do a work the doing of which, if well done, will reflect high honor upon this nation, and, when done, will be of incalculable benefit, not only to this nation, but to civilized mankind. You have been chosen purely because of your personal and professional reputations for integrity and ability. You represent the whole country. You represent neither section nor party... .. The plans are to be carefully made with a view of the needs not only of the moment, but of the future. The expenditures are to be supervised as rigorously as if they were being made for a private corporation dependent for its profits upon the returns. You are to secure the best talent this country can afford to meet the conditions created by every need which may arise. The methods for achieving the results must be yours. What this nation will insist upon is that results be achieved."
Administration Building-Culebra, Panama. Isthmian-American & PRR News Agency & Advertising Bureau A Bienkowski
The Commission held its first meeting at Washington on March 22, 1904, and immediately planned for a trip to the Isthmus to study the conditions on the spot. It arrived at Colon on April 5, 1904, and established provisional headquarters in the old De Lesseps mansion on Cristobal Point. During its visit the Commission occupied itself with a study of the plans and methods of work, as then carried on by the New Panama Canal Company and with an examination of the physical conditions of the proposed canal route. At the time of the Commission's visit, the only work in progress was the excavation of Culebra cut. The outfit here consisted of a few French steam excavators and dump trains, and a force of about 700 men engaged on the work. Although small progress was being made, the Commission deemed it advisable to continue the employment of the existing force until a better organization could be effected.
The Commission's investigations developed the fact that while under M. de Lesseps and the New Panama Canal Company a large amount of study was done of accurate and scientific kind, new and extended surveys would have to be made by reason of the difference of the standpoints from which the work was approached twentyfive years ago with to-day. This, to a large extent is due, to the immense increase of dimensions of the waterway demanded by the ships of to-day and the near future. The Commission returned to the States on April 29, having decided that the first step in field operations should be the organization of survey parties to examine further into certain problems of canal construction with which it was confronted.
The Commission was received very cordially by the Panama Government officials and several functions held. To provide against contingencies, the party brnught along a large stock of mineral waters, and also, it is reported, a number of zinc caskets. The latter, however, were not called into requisition.