Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Alliance-independent. (Lincoln, Nebraska) 1892-1894 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 29, 1892)
THE ALLIANCE -INDEPENDENT.
THE LEAKING OLD SHIP
The Greatest Exposure of Political Corrup
tion Ever Made in Nebraska-
THE STATE IS BEING- STOLEN BLIND.
The Taxpayers Robbed of $10,000 in One Year on Coal Deals How Beef Cattle
Grow After They Are Bought Criminality or Gross Negligence on
the Part of State Officers Some Men May Find a Home
in the State Penitentiary.
'There's something rotten in tho
state of Denmark." Hamlet.
Hon. E. C. Rewick, one of Lincoln's
most reliable and respectable citizens,
a life-long republican, a few days ago,
v had it announced that on Tuesday eve
nine:. September 27, he would speak at
"the Lansing theater, and give the
public the results of his investigations
into the management of our state insti
tutions. He was greeted by an intelli
gent audience, at the appointed hour.
He then proceeded to deliver an ad
dress of a liti?e over ore hour, in which
he exposed more political corruption
then was ever exposed in the iame
length of time in Nebraska. The fol
lowing is a partial report of his speech
which will soon be published in full for
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am pleased to address such an in
telligent audience and to see so many
democrats, and old-time republicans.
I suppose you have come here to learn
how a man who was reared in the re
publican faith and has voted that ticket
for 20 years can find reason for leaving
that party. Like that distinguished
statesman from Nemaha county, I have
been down in the hold of the old leak
ing ship, and seen the gr at holes stove
in her. I have come on deck and seen
her sails rent in twain. I have gazed
upon the ship's crew, and find them an
unreliab'o and irresponsible 'ot, and
that she is drifting upon the rocks.
Now since the captain and crew have
refused to mend these frightful leaks,
or to change the course of tho ship so
as to bi ing her salely into tho harbor,
I think I am jus ified in leaving the
ship, rather than to stay with her and
go down with her untrustworthy offi
cers and crew.
I shall confine myself to-night entire
ly to the discussion of state officers and
employees, '.Aid the financial interests
of the tax-payers The republicans
have fi led every state office, with two
exceptions, since Nebraska became a
state, and every misues of public funds
must be charged up to them.
In making appropriations for the
support of state iustitutions, tho "far
mer legislature" of 1891 had nothing to
guide them but the advice of republi
can state officers, and heads of state
institutions. In fact these officers in
almost every case sdyised and urged
larger appropriations than wero
Mr. Rewick here gave a statement of
tho amounts appropriated to support
each of the twelve state institut'ons, a
total of $1,183,511 including $180,000 for
''In paying out this vast sum, the
board of publ c lands and buildings has
entire charge. This board consists of
the commissioner of public lands and
buildings who is chairman, the secre
tary of sta'e, treasurer and attorney
"All claims for goods of every
description to be iurnisbed to any of
these institutions must be made out on
three vouchers which must be signed
by the party selling the goods. At the
end of each month these vouchers are
forwarded to the board which meets to
' pass upon them. If approved they are
sent to the auditor, who draws a war
rant on the treasury in favor of the
party signing tho voucher.
"Now I want to call your attention to
the Lincoln insane asylum, but I want
to fay that I am led to believe from
investigation that tho same state of
affairs prevails in all the othtrs.
"For more than a year I havo given
half my time to investigating tho pur
chase of supplies for that institution.
At first, I was hahdicaped on all sides.
But after a time I got started, and I
have kept on till I have formed a net
work within whose folds are securely
held two of the state's employees. If
the evidence I present you here tonight
duly presented to a court and jury shall
be the means of sending two men over
tJ yonder penitentiary, then 1 shall
feoi that justice in a measure shall have
been done. and my labors not been in
The duty of purchasing supplies for
the instituiion has been generally left
to the steward and farm boss. Under
Thayer, Dan Lauer was steward and
Frank Hubbard farm boss. Lauer left
most of the purchasing to Hubbard, but
not till he had fully initiated him into
the mysteries of the business.
Tho three principal articles to bo pur
chased are beef, coal and Hour and to
these I ask your attention first.
Let me begin to give you practical
illustrations of how the business has
been done. .
The farm boss goes out to farmer II
H. Smith and buys a two year-old heifer
wt. 800 pounds price 3 cents per pound
value $25 00. Smith signs the vouches
IN blank. These vouchers as filled
cut and on file in the state house call
for two heifers, weight 1980 pounds, at
4i per pound, value $89.19, a clear steal
of $64 10.
He goes to G. P. Loose, buys one
jersey cow. 800 lbs, 2f cents, $20.00
Loose signs vouchers is blank. Voucher
now reads: Two beeves 2100 lbs 3 cts.
$63. a steal of $43.
He goes to F. Abbott buys one cow
for $28. Voucher signed as before now
calls for $43.75 a steal of $15.75.
He goes to G. W. Schemerhour, buys
5 beeves, $25 each, $125. Vouchers
filled our for 6 beeves costing $181.20, a
clear gain of $56.80.
Again he buys of J. P. Higgins 10
beeve?, 9871 lbs., 3 cents, $370.15.
Vouchers signed in blank as usual, call
for 10 beeves 10,070 lbs., , an increase of
These are only a few of the actual
cases cited by Mr. Rewick which he has
the sworn evidence to support.
Now let us,,turn to the matter of coal.
Hero is where the big money is mad.
We will take the year 1S91, although
doubtless equally startling results
would be secured in any previous year.
We find the state charged up with
coal.as follows for the months of 1891:
January 548 tons, Feb. 620, March 560,
April 412, May 524, (getting colder you
see,) June 511, July 450 tons, (that's
when things freeze up at the apylum,)
August 499. Sept. 466, Oct. 711, Nov.
74?', Dec. 761 a grand total of 6797
tons for the year costing the state $16,
978.48. At the begining of 1892 Lauer and
Hubbard were still at the . old stand.
But the firm of Betts & Weaver who
usually furnished the coal failed, and
S. H. Burnham succeeded to the busi
ness. But Mr. Betts still looked after
tho business. Mr. Burnbam complain
ed that there was nothing in furnish
ing coal at the prices allowed, but Bstts
said for him to wait and see, it wculd
all come out right but it didn't. For
January Mr. Betts made out the vouch
er calling for $1,030.05 and sent it up
to Mr. Lauer. That enterprising gentle
man seems to havo been afraid he
wouldn't get his rake-off so he dipped
his pen in red ink and cut down the
amount to $795.99 a reduction of $234.
00, and to this day no record can be
found whero that waa paid or any at
tempt made to collect it. So Mr. Burn
ham gave up tho contract, and the
WhiteDreast company began furnish
In February, a shorter and much mil
der month, tho state was charged up
with 485 tons. In March tho amount
arose to 542 tons. Then Mr. Louer
stepped down and out and tho new
management come in.
Now let us compare number of tons
of coal during tho past six months
under the new management and during
the corresponding six months under
tho reign of Dan Lauer:
1891. 1892. SAVING
April 412 331 81
May.... 524 . 197 327
Juno 511 262 249
July 450 19 431
August 499 70 429
September ....466 108 858
Total 2862 987 1875
Will any sane man undertake to
argue that the 28t'2 tons of coal charged
up to the slate for those six months of
1891 were really delivered and burned
at the asylum?
Now let us make one more and a still
stronger comparison. There is charged
up for July, 1891, the hottest month of
the year, 450 tons of coal; for January,
1892, when we had that awfully cold
weather, there is charged up only 353
tons, a decrease of 97 tons.
Another comparison: In January,
1891, 543 tons costing $1,819 90; in Jan
uary, 1892, 353 tons c sting $795.96, a
difference of 190 tons ami a saving of
$1,023.94. This saving resulted, not
from a reform on the part of Mr. Lauer,
but because of the failure of Belts &
Weaver and Dan's fear that his rake
off wouldn't be forth coming.
But the strongest and most odiou
comparison is this:
July, '91, 450 tons costing. ... . . .$917.79
July, '92, 19 tons costing. . . 04.75
A saving of 431 tons costing 853.04
AMOUNT OP COAL NEEDED.
Now I have studied this matter very
closely. I have talked with tho en
gineer and fireman at the asylum, the
man who haute the coal. Tho came
men fill lhtse places now that did last
yfar I have ascertained from them
-about the amount of coal actually con
sumed. Using their figures, and the
figures under the new management, I
have been able to make up a safe esti
mate of the actual amount of coal con
sumed at the aylum. It is as follows:
r or four months June, July, August
and September 4 1-9 ions per day, or
1271 per month; for the other eight
months, 9i tons er dy, or 280 tons
per month; a total for the year of 2,750
The amount charged for during 1891
is6, 797 tons,or 4 047 tons more than were
actually nn ded. What became cf this
coal? Was it ever taken to the insti
tution? D d it ever appear anywhere
exc pt in the vouchers?
This 4047 tons at the average price
of $2.s7 per ton amounts to over $10,000.
That is the amount of which the tax payers
were robbed in one year, on one article at
Is it any wonder taxes are so high in
KINDS OF COAL.
The fellows who are in this deal have
another little scheme: Not one car in
four that was charged as pea coal
was of that kind. It was slack. Hun
dreds of tons charged as lump
coal were nothing but pea coal.
THE SIZE OF THE PILE.
Can you imagine the ' size of a pile of
coal containing 6,797 tons? It would
fill a bin 12 ft. wide, 8 ft. high, and
more than half a mi'e long. Or it would
take 340 cars of 40,000 lbs capacity
making a train of over 2$ miles long
to transport it.
So much f( r coal. Now let us con
sider the case of
SOME FINE COLTS.
It peems that along during '87, '88 and
'89, Dr. Knapp who was superintendent
at the asylum while all these things
were going on, and steward Lauer' took
a notion to raise some fine colts. They
had some very fine mares on the asylum
farm which were supposed by the
general publio to belong to the state.
These mares were bred, and in due
time vouchers made out to the amount
of $210 for horse service. This was
paid by the state. Now these colts
nave disappeared. No one seems to
know where they are. They are not
on the farm. Now if these colts be
longed to tho state, then they have
been stolen. If they really belonged
to Dr. Knapp and Dan Lauer, tho $210
paid for horse service was stolen from
the state. They can take their choice.
Every quarter tho contract is let for
f groceries, clo'hlng, drugs, etc. Drugs
s supposed to include liquors. Shill
ing Bros, had tho contract. But it
seems that they didn't have tho brand
of "ryo" Dan wanted. So he goes to
his friend Bud Lindsey, and says: . I
want 5 gallons of wedding rye, $4.50
per gal. snd 5 gal. imported port wine.
$3.00 per gal." Tho bill amounting to
$37.50. I do not deny that Lindsey
furnished tho liquor, but I do deny that
it over went to the asylum.
The law plainly states that the stew
ard shall live at the asylum. But from
February 1886 to March 1891, $1350 was
allowed for bouse rent for Mr. Lauer.
LAUER LIVED WELL.
The steward supplied himself with
provisions of all kinds from the asylum.
At one time, two thousand pounds of
Hour was ordered, and one half of it
was sent to Lauer's house. Provisions
enough haVe been taken for this pur
pose to supply five families the size of
SIZE OF TilE STKALS.
The amounts allowed for groceries,
clothing, boots and shoes, drugs, etc.
during 4891, and previously, were at
least 50 per cent higher on an average
than the b lis for the same items have
been under the new management. In
asmuch as there have been more pati
ents in 1892, there is no explanation of
this fact except that of a gigantic steal
made up of a multitude of little steals.
AN OUTRAGEOUS DEAL
One of tho most outrageous ' deals
perpetrated is the following in which
II. D. Hathaway, one of the proprietors
of the State Journal is implicated. It
should be remembered that Dan Lauer
Is a brother-in-law of this Hathaway:
The asylum bands plowed and sowed
forty acres of oats on land belonging to
the family of the steward mar the
asylum. July 30, 1891, the oats were
sold by F. L. Hathaway & Co. (the
company is H. D. Hathaway of tho
Journal for $10 per acre, $400. The
asylum hands cut, threshed and stored
this grain. Along in the winter these
oats were hauled over to the asylum.
Most of them were mixed with corn
belonging to the asylum, and ground in
a feed mill. Then they were hauled
back to tho steward's farm and fed to
cattle. The cattle were then sold to
the asylum. Is there anything in the
annals of jobbery to beat that?
ARE STATE OFFICERS GUILTY?
This is a question that must occur to
every citizen who learns these facts.
These criminal acts of stealing have
been committed by men appointed by
ana under the direction, and
supervision of the state officers. Is it
possible that all these deals couM es
cape the observation of the officers?
They were aware of the corruption at
Hastings and Norfolk. Is it possible
they never suspected the steals perpe
trated under their very noses? '
There are a few incidents that indi
cate ' that the state officers haye not
been in a condition of such abject ignor
ance. Not long since, afferr the new man
agement came in at the asylum, some
head-light oil was ordered from Shil
ling Bros. They made a charge of
75c. per gallon for it. The new super
intendent investigated and found that
it could be got for 40c of any other
dealeV. He asked Shilling Bros, to re
duce the price. They refused, and
then the superintendent refused to
approve the voucher. But Shilling
Bros, went directly to the board and
got the bill allowed.
Again tbe same firm presented a bill
for drugs which the superintendent de.
" (Contineed on page 12. ) "'
Powered by Open ONI