Lincoln, Neb. (1904-????)
- The Wageworker. : (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????
- Place of publication:
- Lincoln, Neb.
- Geographic coverage:
- Wageworker Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1904.
- Lincoln (Neb.)--Newspapers.
- Description based on: Vol. 7, no. 27 (Sept. 23, 1910).
- sn 86063459
- Succeeding Titles:
Over the course of his sixty-year newspaper career, Will M. Maupin (1863-1948) contributed stories, opinions, and humor to papers like the eastern Nebraska newspaper, Falls City Journal, to the Gering Midwest, published about 500 miles west. He preferred being considered a “newspaperman” rather than a “journalist” or “author.”
One remarkable period for Maupin was 1901-1913. Advocating for labor, Populism and the Democratic ticket, he was editor of a column for William Jennings Bryan’s The Commoner from 1901-1913, as well as the sole editor and publisher of the Wageworker, 1904-1911, and its succeeding title, Will Maupin’s Weekly, 1911-1912. The Commoner had a national audience, while the latter two papers were largely addressed to Nebraskans. Wageworker’s motto was “a newspaper with a mission and without a muzzle” and as a Labor paper, defended the working man and woman, attacked monopolies such as Standard Oil, and decried imperialism. Some have described the paper as more “caustic” than the Commoner. Will Maupin’s Weekly had a broader scope and although short-lived, met its goal of being “a snappy progressive weekly journal of news and comment.”
As a dedicated member of the International Typographical Union, Maupin had a strong commitment to labor, helping found the Nebraska Federation of Labor. According to Patricia Gaster’s article on Maupin in Nebraska History, Maupin was appointed deputy commissioner of the Nebraska Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics in 1909, and used his position to convene a delegate convention that pushed for a wage earners organization in the state. Delegates, including Maupin, drafted a platform that included “an eight-hour work day, enforcement of child labor laws, and equal pay for equal work by men and women.” This position gave him a taste for public life and fueled his newspaper writing. Although he was on state ballots for governor and representative, he won only one public election, serving as a State Railway Commissioner from 1935-1941. This provided some financial stability for his family, for money was always a concern. A practical idealist, Maupin worked hard on issues relating to wage earners when he could afford to do so, which is to say intermittently.
Often Maupin’s columns were leavened with humor, anecdotes and “poetic jabs” at personages such as Edward Rosewater, editor and owner of the Omaha Daily Bee. Among popular columns, “Limnings,” and “Brain Leaks,” appeared in the Omaha Morning World Herald. During Omaha’s world fair, the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition (1898), the column appeared briefly as “Snap Shots at the Passing Throng." Similar Maupin columns were “Whether Common or Not” in the Commoner and “Sunny Side Up” in the Omaha Evening Bee-News (begun years after Rosewater’s death). Columns were sometimes syndicated or collected into book form to help support his family.
By Maupin’s death in 1948, he had edited or written for around 40 newspapers.