October 24, 1909
Imbued with the "Kansas City Spirit" and a determination to impress upon the big waterways convention at New Orleans the need of improving the Missouri river, the Kansas City delegation will leave for Alton, Ill., at 9 o'clock tonight on four special Pullman cars by way of the Chicago & Alton railway. Decorators were sent to Alton Friday night and by the time the Kansas City delegation arrives tomorrow morning the Gray Eagle, the boat on which the Kansas City delegation will ride, will be one of the gayest in the fleet. At least that was the declaration last night of E. M. Clendening, secretary of the Commercial Club, who has made all of the arrangements for the trip.
Yesterday it seemed very unlikely that President Taft would be able to accept the invitation of the Kansas City delegation to ride at least part of the way down the river on the Gray Eagle. More than a dozen telegrams were exchanged with the management of President Taft's itinerary, but late last night Secretary Clendening was informed that it would be practically impossible. He still hopes that the president will find time to visit the Kansas City boat and take breakfast on the steamer Tuesday morning.
The "Gray Eagle" will reach St. Louis at 9 o'clock Monday morning. President Taft will speak in the Coliseum at 11 o'clock. The party will embark at 4 o'clock in the afternoon for the great trip down the river. The fleet arrives at Cape Girardeau at 6 o'clock Tuesday morning, Cairo, Ill., at noon, and Hickman, Ky., at 4 o'clock. Memphis, Tenn., and Helena, Ark., will be the principal stops on Wednesday. Vicksburg will be the only stop of importance on Thursday with Natchez and Baton Rouge on Friday.
The fleet will arrive in New Orleans early Saturday morning and until the following Tuesday night there will be a continuous round of convention work and receptions in the southern city. Grand opera, addresses by the governors of the different states, inspection of the city, and attendance at the convention will take up about all of the time of the Kansas City delegation. The party will leave New Orleans at 6:20 o'clock Tuesday night.
Besides Secretary Clendening, members of the delegation of seventy include Jerome Twitchell, J. H. Neff, Hon. Edgar C. Ellis, C. S. Jobes, H. F. Lang, W. B. C. Brown, C. D. Carlisle, W. G. Mellier and Hon. W. P. Borland.