Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

November 4, 1871. Omaha Daily Herald 7(22): 4.

The Omaha Shooting Club.

The Annual Supper Last Night - Incidents and Remarks made at the Banquet.

Propositions to Form a New Club.

Nearly sixty persons sat down to the banquet of the Sporting Club last night and the occasion was a delightful one. Both parties who participated in the late hunt under Captains Mills and Homan were represented in full force, the old men and the youngsters; the lethargic and the enthusiastic, were all out, and we noticed also a goodly number of invited guests. Among the latter were Hon. John Taffe, Hon. George B. Lake, Dr. Bragg, of C.B., Col. Litchfield, Gen. Perry and Hon. Geo. W. Frost.

The supper was spread in Victor's new restaurant, next door to Latey's, and was well prepared. The neatness of the arrangements were noteworthy. Game was, of course, the great speciality, and it abounded in endless profusion and in fair variety. There was during the social and supper eating part of the entertainment a good many sharp sallies and replies, and music was also brought in to lend its nameless charm. We noticed that after the "Star Spangled Banner" had been duly rendered, the somewhat lively "Champaigne Charlie" was brought out. That was appropriate, the latter especially, to a sportsman's annual supper.

Hon. B.E.B. Kennedy, the President of the club; Byron Reed, Esq., the Secretary, and Dr. McClelland, all busied themselves effectually in perfecting the arrangements and supervising the execution of the details, and to them the thanks of all present are due. They watched eagerly to see that nothing was wanting to make the occasion complete, while others were occupied in the flow of talk which mingled with the banquet and the music and produced the brightest of social cheer.

The Few Brief Remarks.

As twenty minutes to 10 o'clock, Hon. B.E.B. Kennedy, as President of the Club, called the assembly to order, and said:

Gentlemen of the Sportsmens' Club - I believe it has been customary to listen, at our annual repasts, to the experience of those who participated in the hunt. I am requested by the committee to remind the side of Capt. Mills, and those who found in convenient to remain at home, that the Treasurer is now ready to receive them.

I would be derelict if I did not return thanks for the honor of presiding at your meetings. And I wish here to inquire why it is that the score of our late Past Grand President - I believe I may call him so - does not appear in the papers? (Laughter.) Mr. Sackett says that if he had another sore thumb, he could still discount Jewett. (Louder and cheers.) I will defer till we hear from our judicial bench. (Calls for Lake - louder.)

Judge Lake said:

Gentlemen - I was not with you on the hunt, because my engagements beyond the Platte prevented, but I was with your party to the full in spirit. Had not my official duties called me hence I certainly should have joined the hunt. I am very glad that, notwithstanding my absence, the captain who saw fit to choose me was victorious. (Hear, hear.)

There has been some talk, gentlemen, of reorganizing this club, or of forming a new one. Now for one, while I am willing that each may do as he likes, I advise that it not be done; and for this I have several reasons. There has been some dissatisfaction because all did not go on the hunt. With our present members, this is impossible. When we had only ten or twelve members, all could fix a day, and all hunt together, but with fifty or sixty members, it must always happen that some will have professional or business engagements.

One great purpose of our organization is to protect game in the season when it is shielded by law. The recent action of the club in respect to an unworthy member shows that the present organization is effective for this object. Whenever one is found who is not gentleman enough to observe the rules of the Club, all that is needed of him is to take a respectful leave. (Applause.)

The club acted wisely in expelling the unworthy member. He showed himself unworthy to associate with gentlemen. He acknowledged that he had killed one. (A voice, "That is me.") If he is allowed to kill one out of season he may as well kill twenty. If he can do it one time before the opening day he can do it twenty times. If we enforce the law game will be plenty and constantly on the increase. Fall bevies will be ready for our aim. If the law is set aside we shall find broken bevies and naught but broken packs. I am glad that our organization has shown the life that it possesses during the last few weeks. If we are united we shall be successful. (Cheers.)

In answer to calls, Hon. John Taffe said:

Mr. President and Gentlemen - As all here are aware, I am here by courtesy, and am not a member of the club. Of course, I am glad to be here. This meeting calls up associations of fifteen or sixteen years ago. I remember a time in those days when I met our worthy President in a place which I need not describe, though it was a wild one. I afterward killed a mountain wolf on that very spot. I have slept on the ground in as rough a way and cooked my own victuals as long as any one here. Towns have since grown up in those places.

But, gentlemen, I am not avaricious. I don't care to go into any more paying clubs this year. I belong to the Driving Park Association. (Laughter.) They have just struck a dividend, and that will do me for this year. (Cheers.) But I favor this club, and am glad it exists. If a man wants to on an evening where he can enjoy books or society, there is here no reading room, no public library, and this club is far better than none. But this meeting is not for business. I would like to hear the experience of the hunters.

A general demand was here made that experience be related. Messrs. Jewett, Frost, Judge Lake, David and Benjamin Smith, Capt. Homan, Mayor Caldwell, Andy McAusland, Capt. Mills, Dr. Peabody, Mr. Hathaway, Dr. Bragg, of Council Bluffs, Col. Litchfield, Gen. Perry, D.C. Sutphen and Dr. Pinney, all spoke briefly and some of them several times each on this topic. There were some good jokes, but they related to the incidents of the hunt and would not be understood by readers not acquainted with them.

Dr. Peabody was especially happy in relating how he had been deceived, and how he stood as the victim of misplaced confidence. Preston, his opponent, had placed him out of pure friendship in a place where there was no game.

The New Club.

Dr. Pinney first moved that members of the Sportsmen's Club meet at his office, No. 180 Farnam street, to-night (Saturday) at 8 P.M., for the purpose of forming a new club. He thought that two organizations better than one. Now there is not enough competition. It is too much like a man's sending three of four of his own horses to a race.

Mr. Gil Collins opposed the motion.

Judge Lake made a stirring speech against it. Better develop the interest and the desire for improvement inside of the present organization. If club houses, and a library or other conveniences were thought desirable, let gentlemen attend the meetings of the club and vote for them. He thought Dr. Pinney's motion out of order. The club ought not to entertain a motion to destroy its own life.

The President coincided with this view, and treated Dr. Pinney's motion to hold a meeting as an announcement that such a meeting would be held.

Some further discussion of the subject was had in which D.C. Sutphen, Mr. Jewett, Dr. Pinney and President Kennedy joined.

No further action was taken, however, and at 12 o'clock the meeting adjourned to good feeling.