Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About Will Maupin's weekly. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1911-1912 | View Entire Issue (March 22, 1912)
This Newspaper Boosts
All the. Time
Now that the famous man hunt is
over and the excitement cooled down,
it is possible to take a calm view of
the whole regretable circumstance
It is almighty easy for those sitting in
comfortable offices by the side of up
holstered desks and lolling in easy
chairs to criticize the methods . used
by the pursuers of the desperadoes.
So, also, is it easy for those who have
never studied penology or criminology
to sit around and criticize the acts of
men to whose care are committed more
than 500 men and women convicted of
The editor of Will Maupin's Week-
Pi m . 1 l.i.il XT -
ly Knows a iew .mugs aooui me Ne
braska penitentiary, lie has addressed
the inmates time and again, and rath
er prides himself upon having made
friends of many. And he opines that
if he had to sit week after week and
listen to the maudlin drivel and rot
that well meaning people inliict upon
I the convicts, he would become desper-
; ate nimseii ana pernaps De guilty oi
violation of some of the rules The
fact of the matter is, a very large ma
jority of the prisoners of the peniten
tiary differ little from the average run
of humanity. They are not criminals'
from intent, but too often the victims
of environment and guilty of mis
, takes discovered. The state of Ne-
)braska is guilty of a henious crime
every time it puts a young "first of
fender" into a cell at the state peni
tentiary. It adds to the crime when it
1 l. : i. - 1 1 . i i i
y uxntLKB mill i UK cei-mme ui a narueneu
criminal. It is guilty of a crime when
I -Nt employs men of no experience, no
education and no refinement to act as
keepers and guards.
The "political spoils" system in
vogue in Nebraska is responsible for
the conditions that exist at the prison
and the people who have submitted
to that pernicious system are primar
ily responsible for the crimes recently
, committed there. Traced back to its
prime cause, the death of Roy Blunt
was due to the failure of Nebraskans
to realize their duty to themselves and
to their state. (
What Nebraska should have is a
warden of experience, and who shall
have an absolutely free hand in the
employment of help. The first sug
gestion that political pull be exercised
T ' -
t ... - i i-r - .-ji 9e -ci; 3ito 3 cc ik ; 333(3 V' i T ; : i
Westover Iron Works, Lincoln, Mfgs. of Builders' Iron and Steel and General
should be frowned down. Brave Jim
Delahunty was a sacrifice to political
spoilsmen. Well meaning but mis
guided people who waste a lot of
sympathy on convicted criminals and
give none at all to honest men strug
gling against adverse circumstances
are responsible in large measure for
the unrest at the prison.
Governor Aldrich should take hold
down there with a firm hand. A lot
of meddlers should be fired out. Rigid
discipline should be put into effect.
Promiscuous visiting, and all that sort
of thing should be stopped. And who
ever is made warden should be given
to understand that it is up to him to
"make good" regardless of political
Sheriff Ilyers is entitled to unbound
ed credit for his zeal and activity in
apprehending the . escaped criminals.
Almost before he had fairly warmed
the sheriff's chair he was called upon
to undertake the most desperate and
exciting thief chase ever undertaken
in Nebraska. He directed the whole
thing from start to finish, and when he
arrived back at the prison with two"
dead -convicts and u third 'one in irons;
he proved that no mistake had been
made in electing him. That in the ex
citement of the chase and the reaction
following its close Sheriff HyeTs should
have said or done things that do not
appear well upon sober reflection,
is not to be wondered at. It will be
noted, however, that the criticisms of
Sheriff Ilyers come from men who did
not participate in the chase and who
were never within sound of the firing.
That Roy Blunt 's life should have
been sacrificed in the capturing of the
criminals is most regretable. The '
state owes more to the brave young
wife of Roy Blunt than it owes to any
other one person. Few, be they men
or women, would have had the cool
ness displayed by this young wife,
and fewer still would have had her
iron courage. We are not prepared
to say that the aggregated rewards of
fered for the capture should go to her,
but we are prepared to say that Ne
braska owes her a great deal. And
the first thing the legislature should
do is to appropriate a round sum for
her relief. Five thousand dollars
would not be too much. And in the
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, MARCH 22, 1912
meantime generous citizens 'should re
spond promptly to the relief fund now
being raised. "i
The result of the South Dakota pri
maries was no surprise. Menj who are
not blinded by prejudice, j but who
study conditions from an- unbiased
viewpoint realize that the " Roosevelt
boom has fallen woefully flat. It is
also very plain to such that Mr. Taft's
candidacy is arousing no enthusiasm
save among the "pie-eaters." LaFol
lette, the man who has made the fight
for progressive reforms within the
ranks of the republican part-, is the
man that progressive, republicans are
looking to. ' .
Mayor Armstrong's message recom
mending the erection of a I new city
jail has the right ring to it Also, it
uses plain, understandable! English.
His recommendations deserve to be
acted upon without loss of time. His
statement that Lincoln's city jail is a
disgrace is putting it tnild. That such
an institution should have been toler
ated "in a city of Lincoln's pretensions
is an indictment of our sincerity.
The election, to decide whether Lin
coln shall adopt the commission sys
tem will be held early in April. Will
Maupin's "Weekly favors thr-commission
system but not such a system as
has been proposed by a few well
meaning but impractical gentlemen.
The simpler the system. Five commis
sioners, each the head of a department
and directly responsible for the man
agement of that department. Only the
most ordinary restrictions as to filing
for nominations, and then a preferen
tial primary. The ten men receiving
the most votes at the primary to be
the candidates for the five places, and
no political designation upon the bal
lot. That is the outline of the commis
sion plan this paper advocates.
COME ON, MR. MOHLER.
Again we hear rumors that the
Union Pacific is scheming to get an
up-town depot or force the Burlington
into allowing it to enter the Burling
ton station. We hope General Man
ager Mohler will put through the plan.
We are hoping to live to see the day
when Lincoln will be on a really main
line of the Overland route from Kan
sas City to the north and west. But
we '11 not feel encouraged until the
Union Pacific gets its depot and yards
up out of Frogtown.
1 1 v. ar?
' .- ..-- W t i, ?
Let's hve done with; all this rot
about the state reserving to itself the
water power sites - anoV,- developing
them. The state can not do it. . In
the first place it has no authority to
vote bonds, and there is no other way
of financing the project. In the sec
ond place the people of central and
western Nebraska are not going to.
vote bonds upon themselves to develop1
the eastern' section of the state. .In
the third place it would be criminal
folly for .the state to undertake such
a gigantic enterprise .under the spoils
system now in vogue.
The state ought to grant a right to
responsible men, then throw proper re
strictions about the enterprise. The
state should have a revenue, should
have the right to regulate and control,
and should have the right to take over
the whole thing at the end of a stated
period of time. In that way the state
can protect itself and its people, and
in that way only can we hope ever to
see our water power developed.
Mr. Babcock, the man who has
dreamed about this power business
for eighteen years, is the man who
shouldTia v"e firstcall:v,Year after year,
in spite of discouragements that would
have daunted the average man, Mr.
Babcock has plugged away. Now; that
success seems near at hand it is un
fair for a lot of men to jump in and
try to wrest f roih him the fruits of all
his years' of effort. Some of these
days there will be an immense water
power plant in eastern Nebraska, and
upon the cornerstone of the power
building should be engraved the name
Pounded on one side by the politi
cians, and upon the other side by the
reformers, Governor Aldrich has been
living the strenuous life for the last
week or ten days. Those' who blame
Governor Aldrich for the developments
at the state prison are unjust. He is
no more to blame than his predeces
sors, and they are not half so much
to blame as the people themselves.
Whether Henry Richmond is a
"lucky dog" or not remains to be
seen. He is the only man who filed for
the democratic nomination for audi
tor, hence will have no opposition at
the primaries. But it may be that the
Goods Made in Nebraska
For Nebraskans -
lucky men will be those who failed of . '"''
a ' nomination. ' .'.
One good democrat of our acquaint
ance said he would have supported the
editor of this paper for railway com
missioner had he not given over the
first page of a recent issue to a story
relative to Franklin C. Hamer, republi
cans candidate for the nomination for
state treasurer. We are sorry not
that we told the people about Mr.
Hamer, but that we should have a
friend so narrow-minded. Whether
the editor of this paper is nominated
for railway commissioner is of mighty
small importance compared with some
other things. '
George Hall, who seeks the demo
cratic nomination for state treasurer,
is a brother of Thomas Hall, republi
can, who is now a member of the
state railway commission.
Twenty-five or thirty years from now
a lot of folks will be sitting around
and telling tall stories about the
winter of 1911-12, when it began snow
ing in November and snowed every
day until the last of March, and there
were -seven feet of snOTPon- the-levL
But, just the same, it has been a re
We've been in Nebraska some twenty-eight
years, and we can not recol-.
lect that there was ever a short crop
following a winter when we had lots
of snow. If that rule holds good this
year, and in due proportions, the ;
farmers will have, to rent extra ground
to stack their wheat on after, it is cut,
and there'll be about three feet of
shucked corn all over the blooming old
Last Tuesday we heard a man com- '
plaining that Senator Hitchcock want
ed to "hog the whole thing" by being;
one of the delegates-dt-large to the
Baltimore convention. "Hitchcock is
a senator," said the gentleman, "and
that ought to satisfy him." All of
which reminds us that Mr. Bryan was
elected delegate-at-large to the Chica
go convention while he was yet a mem
ber of congress, and the only democrat
Nebraska had in the national law-making
body. Some men are prone to be
Mr. Bryan paid a generous tribute
and a deserved one to the old pops'
when he said they were the original
leaders of the present day reform
movement. . Every time a lot of "in
surgent republicans" or "progressive
democrats" stand up to boast about
their reform work, a lot of those long
whiskered old pops have grounds for
suit for plagarism. .
The trouble at the state prison calls
attention to the necessity of adopt- '
ing the constitutional amendment pro-''
viding for a board of control of the''
state institutions. Such a board would ' '
go a long ways to taking the state in
stitutions out of politics, and relieve v
the governor of a lot of duties that;'
never -should have been imposed uppn '
him. - . ' . '
SI- i I
The first sentence in last week's is-'
sue of this newspaper said: "Forty-"
five years ago Andrew Jackson afjSucM'
(Continued on Page 2) '
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