Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 2, 1910)
I8n tared at tho Postofllco at Lincoln, Nebraska,
an second-class matter.
William J. DnVAK
Kdttor ami Proprietor
IllCllAUI) I Mktcai.vk
On a nines W. IlnvAN
Ktlllorlnl Rooms nml Himlnwci
OlTUt) 324-330 South 12U) Streot
One Vcnr $1.00 Three Mon!t -
Six Month fJO Single Copy Ou
In Clubs of Five or Sample CopleH Free.
. more, per year... .75 Foreign Post. 5c kxtra.
SUIIHCIIII'TIOKS can be sent direct to The Com
moner. They can alHo bo sent through newspapers
which have advertised a clubbing rate, or through
local ngentB, whore sub-agents have been appoint
ed. All remittances should bo sent by postofllco
money order, express order, or by bank draft on
Now York or Chicago. Do not send Individual
checks, stamps or money.
DISCONTINUANCES It is found that a largo
majority of our subscribers prefer not to have their
uubseriptions interrupted and their files broken in
case they fall to remit beforo expiration. It is
thorcforo assumed that continuance is desired un
less subscribers ordor discontinuance, either when
subscribing or at any timo during the year.
PRESENTATION COPIES Many rcrsons sub
Kcrlbo for friends, intending that the paper shall
ntop at tho end of the year. If Instructions aro
given to that effect they will receive attention at
tho proper time.
RENEWALS The dato on your wrapper shows
tho timo to which your subscription is paid. Thus
January 21, '10, means that payment has been re
ceived to and Including tho last Issue of January,
1910. Two wcoks are required after money has
been received before tho date on wrapper can bo
CHANGE OP ADDRESS Subscribers requesting
a change of address must glvo old as well as new
ADVERTISING Rates will bo furnished upon
Address all communications to
THE COMMONER, Lincoln, Neb.
ber of newspapers receiving city advertising
down from eighty to five.
8 Dismissed tho old Aqueduct board that
for years had been wasting time and money in
land condemnation proceedings. Put in another
board pledged to wind up work by Juno 1 and
go out of existence. It did wind up tho work
in time, saving tho city about $3,000,000. In
cidentally the mayor lectured supreme court
judges for making improper appointments in
these condemnation proceedings.
9 Decreed and enforced a safe and sane
Fourth of July in Now York City with patriotic
and athletic celebrations in every park. This
action decreased fatalities for the day from
twenty (average per year) to one; woundings
and maimings from 200 to five; fires from fifty'
10 Started the baseball season in New York
presiding over tho first game and giving the
local players such an abundance of luck that
they are now close to the lead in their respec
tive leagues. -
11 Visited and complimented tho child gard
eners of Do Witt Clinton Park, admired their
gardens and tasted some of their products, spoke
words of cheer and told them that "back to the
.farm" is a good slogan.
12 Cordially welcomed Weston the walker
at the end of his transcontinental trip, hailing
him as "old friend" and eulogizing his display
' of vigor and grit.
13 Sold all superfluous automobiles owned
by city, stopping officials' joy riding, saving
$500,000 annually in auto repairs. Set tho
good example of walking to and fro (six miles)
between his home and the city hall.
14 Saved the life of Mr. Shepard, an editor,
during a blizzard on Long Island last winter.
In the darkness and storm Mr. Shepard fell
from a railroad trestle and broke his legs. The
mayor climbed down to him at considerable
risk, covered him from tho cold, and then
fought his way to a place where he could obtain
15 Excused the official rat catcher from jury
duty on account of tho importance of his office
then, finding him a learned man, swapped classi
cal quotations with him, and said: "As wo
read in 'Don Quixote,1 'The mountains breed
learned men and philosophers are found in tho
huts of shepherds.' "
16 When Rev. CharleB H. Parkhurst, presi
dent of tho Society for Prevention of Crime,
called on tho mayor with a cargo of advice, the
latter gravely discussed a great city problem
with him, calling his attention to Lecky's chap
ter on tho oldest profession in tho world, St.
Augustine's confessions, and Lilly's works, with
which the mayor assumed Dr. Parkhurst was
17 Refused a street permit to a missionary
who wanted to preach Christianity to the Jews.
The mayor inquired whether Jews have not a
good religion of their own, and whether it is
not true that Christianity owes much to tho
18 Out of his private purso gave a dinner
worthy of Lucullus to Prince Tsai Tao of China.
Gave a particularly jolly dinner to the news
paper boys of the city hall. The landlord tried
to servo the wrong sort of wine, but the mayor
insisted on receiving what he had ordered and
19 Vetoed aldermanic permit establishing a
tag day in Richmond borough for the benefit
of the ladies of a certain hospital. Tho mayor
said that he believed such official action was
illegal and was certain that it was unseemly
especially employment of children to "tag" or
20 At tho dinner of the Newspaper Publish
ers' Association denounced William Randolph
Hearst as a forger and falsifier of public docu
ments. Mr. Hearst sued newspapers that pub
lished the mayor's speech, but failed to sue the
21 Warned magistrates to try each case care
fully, and see to it that the humblest citizen
obtained justice. Warned them further not to
allow anybody, especially clergymen or politi
cians, to influence their decisions.
22 Informed newsdealers that they need not
pay graft to politicians and. aldermen for uso
of stands and promised to protect them from
23 Deprived fifty resorts of the vicious and
dissipated of their all-night licenses, whilo care
fully protecting those all-night cafes and restau
rants that proved they serve legitimate night
24 Shut up theaters that were giving im
proper and dobasing plays.
Tho foregoing list gives only a few charac
teristic instances of the sort of work Mayor
Gaynor has been doing since taking office. He
has accomplished apparent impossibilities with
ease and tranquility.
In tho spring of 1909 the bureau of municipal
research, a private organization which avowedly
exists for tho "promotion of civic betterment,"
published a little pamphlet entitled "What
Should New York's Next Mayor Do?" It made
fifty-eight suggestions for improvement, and the
newspapers laughed at its idealism and declared
that it was looking for a superman for mayor.
But the newspapers laughed too soon, for,
as Dr. Allen, the chief of the bureau,, told the
writer, in February, 1910, the bureau found
. that Mayor Gaynor had already done or was
doing forty-five of the fifty-eight good things.
Since then he has accomplished most of the
others, and the researchers' whole program is
only one little item in the general and wide
spread reform work of this administration.
In doing these things Mayor Gaynor had no
communication with tho researchers, and knew
nothing of their program. He simply did the
right thing because it was right.
When ho first took office grafters rested easy.
They had seen other good mayors who had been
helpless because of their ignorance of graft and
grafting. They supposed that Mayor Gaynor
would for a brief time storm about in a blind
sort of way and then subside.
But the contrary happened. He did not storm
at all. But he had most uncanny knowledge of
all the crookedness that had been going on, and
now and then ho struck, reminding one of Mil
ton's lines in "Lycidas" concerning Cromwell
"But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once and smite no more."
Whatever flourishing evil the mayor smote
crumpled right down and no longer afflicted
sight or troubled the city. No one fought back.
When the grafters realized Gaynor they folded
their hands and sat down solemnly waiting for
him to pass by. To them he is phenomenal and
not at all agreeable, like an earthquake, vol
cano, pestilence or other dispensation of Provi
dence. They recognize the grim archness with
which he contemplates them and their doings.
But they don't grumble what's the use?
Tho mayor is not a great talker, but his say
ings, when he does speak, are unusually pointed
and pithy. Here are a few of them extracted
from speeches, letters and other public papers:
"The way to do things Is to do them.
"Be a good man and you will be a great
"Let the good man ,in office take care that
VOLUME 10, NUMBER 34
ho does not set a-precedent for a bad one.
"Let not the sun go down 'upon thy wrath-
"I forgive everybody everything every night
"History teaches beyond a doubt that to gov
ern least is to govern best.
"What another saith of thee concerneth more
him that saith it than it concerneth thee .
"Don't strut in office.
"Pay no graft. I will protect you.
"We want all bad men off the (police) force.
"Don't let's call names. Let's get together!
"Find out what you can agree on, don't keep
harping on your differences.
"Nagging at me does no good. Come and
"Let every deputy (tax commissioner) who
sets down manifestly a wrong valuation be dis
missed at once.
"Find some one trying to corrupt a deputy
and wo will have him indicted.
"No meaner man exists than one who shirks
taxes at the expense of his neighbors.
"Policemen must not make laws, but enforce
those that exist.
"Policemen should not. be like sheep in the
presence of politicians nor citizens sheep in tho
presence of policemen.
"Learned mon are to be found everywhere.
"I never talk of cranks. I call them 'alert
people.' Jesus Christ was by some considered
The mayor during the campaign outraged
Tammany traditions by quoting the Bible and
Epictetus. This afforded the paragraphers op
portunities for much humor of the slap-stick
variety. But the mayor spoke simply what he
thought. Christ is a' very real character to him.
Ono of the first acts by which he attracted wide
attention, when a young lawyer, was his writing
a history of "The Trial of Christ," viewed from
the legal standpoint. As to Epictetus, Mayor
Gaynor himself is a stoic and well worthy to
sit down and discuss the high things of philos
ophy with the wise old Greek slave who has
told us how we may all have what we want
if we will only want what we have.
Taking all things into consideration this is
likely to be an economical administration but
saving is not the main consideration. The main
consideration is to give New Yorkers what they
are paying for. To tho mayor's mind they are
willing and able to pay and ought to pay and
then again they ought to receive what they
His ideal is not cheap service, but honest,
adequate, high-class service. The city is now
engaged in Immense improvements to provide
for tho 10,000,000 people who will soon be in
cluded in the population. Instead of trying to
skimp these the mayor stimulates their progress.
He does not exercise ingenuity in seeking diffi
culties, but in seeking ways of overcoming diffi
culties. Nothing is too good for the great won
der city of the world that New York will be in
a few more years.
Ruling the city is easy to his honor, nor do
the numerous and ever-growing social calls em
barrass him, but he sometimes feels the need
of all the philosophy that Epictetus taught on
account of friends who are more attached and
enthusiastic than thoughtful and judicious.
In spite of precautions taken to exclude all
who come to the mayor during working hours
on other than city business a few escape the
guards, gain his honor's desk, and blithely waste
his time. So far he has refrained from drastic
action, but the sword of Damocles hangs above
their heads, and if they desire to do the city's
chief a particular service they will stay away
from the city hall unless called to it by real
Another thing that at times annoys his honofc
is tho expressions of joy and. surprise emitted
by intelligent magazines and newspapers when
he does something good for his fellow citizens.
What did they expect him to do?
For thirty years In Brooklyn his life was an
open book. Whether as a young reporter,
lawyer or judge his Ideals, his principles, hia
actions wero always tho same. He was alwaya
the champion of citizens' rights and liberties
the upholder of tho highest ideal of public ser
vico. As such he was elected Independent of
bosses and without tho expenditure of a dollar
Why should people be surprised at finding
man who is sincere?
Brooklyn, N. Y.
If the Roosevelt-Sherman fight Is pulled off
at tho New York state convention front seat;
will command a high price.
ff mtKIBMmi b.miimLm'i'toL kL.''L"f,t ''jMw'i' 8 AUJItf i"Efi ' y'tfiH'K 'tiPfi 'tffVitflffl' ' li'i W- 'iVfafaim)tliii$lfili!liUltol$Nittl&&M&ti&,?' " rr.MM
Powered by Open ONI