August 19, 1907
During the dedication of the $1,500 granite horse and dog fountain at Fourth and Broadway yesterday afternoon, thirteen teams, nine horses in single harness and three dogs stopped, dipped their faces in the flowing water and drank deep. Frank Faxon, one of the speakers, kindly said:
"I am sorry there are no more horses and dogs present. I would like to ask them all to step up and have a drink with us."
Mr. Faxon was more generous than he thought, as he learned at the close of the exercises, when he and the other speakers and the audience rushed over to the fountain to get a drink. There are no cups on the fountain. It is strictly a place for birds, and four-footed beasts. President E. R. Weeks, of the Kansas City Humane Society, who wore a Panama hat, essayed to drink out of the rim of his headgear, mountain brook fashion, but most of the water ran down his shirt front. Mr. Faxon, Police Commissioner Elliot H. Jones, Mrs. L. O. Middleton and others looked on and declined to try to use the hat which Mr. Weeks proffered them.
The humans held a meeting around the fountain and argued the question of having cups chained there, but decided adversely.
"During a busy and hot work day," John Simmons, secretary of the Teamsters' union, said, "the teams line up from all directions awaiting their turns at the fountain. There is no chance for a man to get a drink. Besides, if there were cups, children who tried to drink might be trampled by the horses which rush to the fountain."
Nearly every department of city life was represented in the dedication exercises. E. R. Weeks was chariman, Hale H. Cook appeared for the school children, Mrs. L. O. Middleton for the T. T. U. F. M. Furgason carried a Judge Jules E. Guinotte proxy, George Hoffman spoke for the city hall, Father Dalton for the church people, Harry Walmsley apeared for the birds and Frank Faxon for "Old Dobbin."
No one had a word to say in condemnation of any bird or beast. The speakers tried to outdo each other in praise. Mr. Faxon said that a horse "was always faithful and kind," and Mr. Walmsley declared that the birds are symbols of the heavenly life." But Mr. Furgason, reading Judge Guinotte's speech, went then all one better when he quoted George Elliot as saying: "The more I associate with men, the more I like dogs."
In calling attention to the fact that the fountain dedicated yesterday was the first permanent one in the city, Mrs. Middleton recited the history of attempts made by various charities in past years to erect public drinking fountains. The most successful of these schemes was the setting in place of twelve ice water casks on downtown corners by the W. C. T. U. many years ago.
The beautiful piece of granite dedicated yesterday afternoon, which Thomas Wight, secretary of the Kansas City art commission, described as "a permanent bit of art and a forerunner of a new era in municipal life," was presented by the National Humane Alliance of New York. The purchase price came from a fund bequeathed by the late Herman Lee Ensign of New York, whose name is on a bronze plate on one side of the fountain. The Kansas City Humane Society and the city council were among those most instrumental in securing the gift for this city. The society hopes that other fountains may be erected on busy corners through gifts by local philanthropists.