April 18, 1916

Flowers and Good Wishes Fill Inaugural Chamber at City Hall.

Short, crisp speeches marked the inauguration of Mayor George H. Edwards and the outgoing mayor Henry L. Jost at noon yesterday.

The ceremony took place in the chamber of the lower house of the council, which was lavishly decorated with gay bunting, plants and cut flowers. The usual crowds were present. If anything the attendance was larger than at any previous inauguration for years. Long before noon the chamber was more than crowded, and it is estimated that 1,500 mena and women jammed the halls leading to the chamber.

Shortly after 12 o'clock Mr. Edwards and Mr. Jost were escorted to the rostrum. There the oath of office was administered to Mr. Edwards by James A. Bermingham, city clerk. The crowd cheered. When Mayor Jost arose to deliver his final message to the public he also was given a hearty reception.

"It would be a grand thing if a mayor or a public officer could go through his work surrounded by his friends and in a chamber as fragrant as this, but the stern realities of his work make it entirely different," said Mayor Jost. He urged the support of Democrats and republicans alike in upholding the hands of his successor.

Holds No Ill-Feeling

"I cannot cease without expressing my gratitude to the people of Kansas City," he said. "I do not consider that the people of this community have been unkind to me on any occasion. On the contrary, there is every reason why I should appreciate the splendid support that I have received from the public in the performance of my duties as I have seen them.

"I take satisfaction in the thought that I have yearned and tried to ascertain the right and having determined what in my judgment was right, stood uncompromisingly for it. I can go out of this office with the consciousness that I have never surrendered a principle -- that I have done my best -- that no mayor is infallible. I have done many things that should not h ave been done and left undone things that I should have done, but the mistakes I have made have been made because of lack of understanding rather than with a deliberate purpose to injure the public service.

"I have done the best I could and I know the distinguished gentleman that has been selected by the people of Kansas City as my successor will do the same with a high and lofty purpose and with a determination to carry them out in execution. In this work, he will have my unqualified support and I hope that all my friends and all of those that have supported me with fidelity will give him the same degree of faithful service."

New Mayor Outlines Policy.

Mayor Edwards followed in a straightforward and informal talk. He thanked Mayor Jost for his words of sympathy and help,"for I know it is sincere," he added. He said that he will endeavor to discharge the duties of his office in a way that will meet the approval of the people of Kansas City, and with the hope that they will give him the benefit of their advice if they see him making a wrong step.

In a general way Mayor Edwards outlined the party pledges.

"We are pledged to use every effort to give Kansas City a new charter embodying a simplified form of government," he said. "We are pledged to use every effort to submit at the same time in alternative the question of whether or not the people of Kansas City desire to elect their officers in a non-partisan method; we are pledged to the removal of any unnecessary or incompetent employes should we find such; we are pledged to a fair and impartial civil service system; we are pledged to the accomplishment of the improvements contemplated by the bond proposals recently voted by the city; we are pledged to resubmit to the people of the town the question of how the Union station proposition shall be handled, that we may get definite information and instructions in regard to this important matter; we are pledged to give Kansas City an hones and efficient business administration.

Hearty Co-Operation Expected

"In the fulfillment of all these pledges I am confident that I will have the hearty co-operation of both of the upper and lower house of the common council, both Republicans and Democrats. We differ on party lines, but we all have in mind only the good of our city, and in handling these business problems, I know that I can count, Mr. Jost, on your friends in the council for help, and I know that it will be given.

"My friends, I feel that what I say here today is perhaps of little importance. What we do in the next two years is what will count and I want to again assure my friends here that I shall give to the city the best that is in me. I shall call upon you, many of you, for help and advice. I shall call upon you to give me of your time and your knowledge and I know that you will give me the best that you can. There is so much to do for Kansas City and two years is such a short time in which to accomplish tense great ends that I really feel that we have indulged in enough of talk, and I feel that the council and the mayor should get busy now with some action."

Elaborate Tokens of Esteem

Some of the floral offerings from friends of the aldermen took the form of beautiful designs. The admirers of John George, Italian alderman from the Fifth ward, presented him with a silver loving cup. Michael Cunningham, his predecessor, was remembered with a gold watch and chain, and an Elk tooth ornament. Mayor Edwards received a large amount of flowers. The offering from his family was in immense basket of sweet peas, roses, carnations and Easter lilies. Friends sent an immense horse shoe of carnations and roses.

The cost of the flowers was estimated at $1,500.