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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-???? | View Entire Issue (June 10, 1910)
OF MY LMfE
(Copyright, 1911). by McClurs Newipaper
Syndicate. CopyrlKht In Canada and
Great Britain. All rights reserved.)
I BECOME AN IRONWORKER ' AND BEER
THE HARDEST JOBS. (
SQUIT school when I was four
teen years old and went to the
Los Angeles Business college for
year. But that was too light
work to suit me. I wanted to do
something that would take strength.
So I went to work as an apprentice for
Ironworkers, to learn the trade.
Here my strength came in very good.
I mastered the work In no time, and
In five months I could handle any
thing that any man In the shop could
work on, so that I was earning, piece
work, from S5 to $12 a day, as much
as any man there, except the boss.
Now, in my seventeenth year I stood
six feet or over and weighed fully 220
pounds. The boss had a saying that
any man who worked in iron should
I'D ASK THE BOSS TO GIVE MX THE
HARDEST WORK BE HAD.
scale at least 200, and my size took
his eye. Whenever a job required un
usual strength 1 was picked out for it
Where a lot of men work together
there is always more or less rivalry.
We had our wrestling bouts and rough
ed around a little at noon and when
the day's work was over. When I
first began working I thought several
of the men were as strong as Her
cules, but by this time I could more
than hold my own with them.
X didn't care to make much of a
boast of my strength, and 1 don't now.
It was natural for me to be strong,
and I suppose I'd have been a strong
man even if I hadn't worked so hard.
It was In me.' I credited It all to my
out of door life and thought that when
other men as big as myself lacked the
same quality of strength and quick'
ness it was because they hadn't grown
up out where the sun would sink Into
their bones and muscles and the moun
tain air expand their lungs-
Later, when I was champion, doc
tors examined me wherever I went
and told me that I had "a marvelous
reserve of nerve force," which, it
' seems to me. was lust a way of string
ing words together to explain some
thing they didn't understand any more
than I understand It myself.
One thing Is certain. I did have a
peculiar kind of strength that came to
me only In an emergency. I had two
kinds of strength. At ordinary times
I was a strong manstronger for a
steady lift or a hard effort of any kind
than any of the other men I worked
with. But on a few occasions came
a different kind of strength coupled
with quickness that always amazed
me when 1 sat down afterward to
think it over and study out a reason
that would satisfy my curiosity. In
the course of my fighting career I
have taaet many strong men who rose
to the top of their profession by whlp-
ping scores of others only a little less
able. To the best of my recollection
Bob Fltzslmmons was the only one
who had this knack or trick I speak
of highly developed. Fltzslmmons
'was a lanky fellow with thin legs and
a thin body, but I found when I
fought him that when he was almost
, out he could draw on some hidden re
serve of strength and for a few min
utes fight with double his ordinary
force. Fltzslmmons was a trained
fighting man, a veteran, at that time,
and of course be may have developed
this.. But to me It was entirely natural
When I have been badly battered in
a fight It hasn't worried me at all, be
cause I know 1 am In no danger.
When it comes to a showdown I al
ways have that spurt, drawn from
some reserve force I don t understand.'
. It has come to me In a way two or.
three times, although, to tell you the
absolute truth. I've never really need'
ed it In the ring, for I've never yet
been dated by .a blow or arm weary
The first time that this unexplained
power ever came suddenly to me was
before I took up fighting at all and
when I was still working In iron. The
company sent a big gangof menjout
to toe Punta oil wells to tould oil
tanks. Thaf s a mao's worn, and
youngsters aren't needed on tbe Job.
But I could do a man's work, and 1
liked the rough lite In the hills.
Building an oil tank Is no play.
First the structural Ironwork goes up.
and then the big Iron plates are raised
Into place and riveted one to another
tc build the sides. Each sheet of iron.
like tbe steel plates on the side of a
battleship, is rolled Into shape in the
works before it Is shipped. When you
remember that each plate weighs from
800 to 900 pounds and that it has to
be fitted so that every rivet slides into
its bole like your foot into a tight
shoe you can see that putting up an
oil tank Isn't schoolboy's play.
At tbe tank 1 was working on that
day we bad a big derrick to lift the
plates into position. It was made up
of a mast CO feet long and. 12 by 12
iuches square, supporting a boom of
Just the same size. The mast was
held erect by long guy ropes of twist
ed steel wire fastened to long Iron
pegs driven into the ground.
Most of the men were working
around the mast and boom, but 1 was
on a staging on the other side heading
rivets. 1 had just finished one and
straightened up for a moment waiting
For a not ner rednot rivet to be placed.
saw one of tbe long iron pegs hold
ing the guy ropes of tbe derrick pull
out of tbe sand with a Jerk and go
whirling nigh In tbe air. the wire guy
rope twisting and squirming like a
snake. Instantly I knew that the mast
and boom were falling. There was
no time to run to tbe ladder. 1 leaped
down to the ground, went to my knees.
Jumped up like a flash and ran around
the tank. As I ran I heard tbe crash
of timbers and the grinding of Iron
and felt the shock of a heavy concus
sion. On the other side it took only
a glance to see what had happened.
The great mast and boom, folded to
gether, had fallen straight over on tbe
half completed tank. The men were
standing stock still, staring up at tbe
wreckage. My eyes followed theirs,
and then for about a tenth of a sec
ond I felt sick. There on tbe scaffold
ing right over my head lay one of tbe
workmen pinned under the heavy mast
and boom a friend of mine. His
name was Kelly. He was bent half
way across an Iron plate that had been
raised nearly to its position. His head
and shoulders and body were on the
side toward me.
Everybody, as I said, was stock still
snd staring. But I didn't even think.
I don't know to this day how ,1 ever
moved so quickly. The next thing I
remember I was at the top of tbe lad
der and stepping on the platform.
There was the man pinned under the
timbers. In another instant I had my
shoulders under them and was strain
ing for the heave. They came up
slowly as I straightened my back and
legs, up and clear, and then with a
final effort I threw them out and side
ways to fall crashing on the ground.
I fairly tossed them away from me.
Kelly's body slid from the edge of
the iron plate and dropped to the
ground. As I came down slowly the
men gathered around to look at him.
They rolled him over to see how near
cut in two he was. and to their sur
prise be groaned. We poured water on
blm. and after awhile be sat up. It
was one of the queerest things that
ever happened. He was hurt more by
the fall to the ground than by tbe tim
bers dropping on him. The tumble
nearly broke bis neck, while tbe tim
bers only squeezed blm a little. When
the mast fell Kelly was leaning across
the edge of the Iron plate, looking
down. The timbers came right across
his back, bat just as they reached hint
WB ROUGHED ABOUND A LITTLE AT NOON.
they lodged against the framework of
the tank and stopped short. If they
bad gone a few Inches more my friend
Kelly would have been cut in two.
As soon as I saw be was still alive I
called four of the men to help me slide
the timbers along tbe ground and get
them into position to be up ended
A tank builder leads a rough life and
hasn't much time to waste on seuti-
ment Kelly wasn't killed, and tbe
work was lagging.
;To my surprise, five of us couldn't
budge tbe timbers. It took eight men,
myself Included, to move them one at
a time, and as far as effort is con
cerned I'm sure I lifted with as much
good will as when I tossed them both
off of Kelly single handed. Eight of
us did shift them around, and soon
they were up again, securely guyed
this time, and the work -went on.
Mr. Smalley. our boss, was quiet for
awhile. Then he took hold of my arm
and said: "Well. Jim. you're a pretty
husky boy. I've known some strong
men in my time, but none that could
do what you did. Some of them were
as big as you. so it isn't Just the mus
cle. Where do you get It?"
I didn't know, so I didn't answer.
CHAPTER IV. i
I JUST HAPPENED TO BECOME A PROFES
1JTJST happened to become a fight
er. That's the only way to ex
plain it. There had always been
some sort of an Idea back In
my mind that I'd like to be a cham
pion. 1 guess every boy has that no
tion. But I hadn't followed the Idea
up. Working and hunting took all of
my time now. There was a welter
weight fighter named Billy Gallagher
at tbe works. He was a good one in
bis day a good clever fighter. Billy
was always after me. He said 1 had
the making of a great heavyweight
and that I could get a pile of easy
money for fighting instead of pulling
down a few dollars a day by hard
work. Billy was enthusiastic over it.
but 1 myself couldn't see where fight
ing in a ring could touch hunting deer
or mountain Hons as a sporting proposi
tion, and I didn't seem to care much
for getting money by punching other
people on tbe nose. 1 guess I was too
good natured. and. for .that matter, I
never have gone Into a fight with much
spite toward the other man. Some of
my best friends today are the men
who have fought me In the ring and
been knocked out.
One night a heavyweight fighter who
lived In Los Angeles, a big. lanky ne
gro named Hank Griffin, wandered In
to a saloon where some of tbe boys
spent their evenings when the day's
work was over. He leaned on the bar
and began to talk about fighting, as all
these fellows do. Griffin was a very
good man In those days and had fought
and beaten a lot of big fellows all
AS I BAN IN I BEGAN PULLING OFF M
through the west. Our fellows knew
bis reputation, but when he began to
boast. t bey didn't like it, and when he
threw a handful of gold twenties on
the bar and said he'd back himself to
knock out any man in tbe town they
got together In a corner and talked it
over. They decided that young Jef
fries was about the only man within
reach equal to the negro In size and
strength. In a few minutes they sent
a man running to my bouse to call me
out to fight.
It didn't take long to explain things.
In about a minute 1 was tearing back
wltb them. As 1 ran In through the
door I began pulling my coat off. ready
to tight him there on tbe spot. But he
explained that there was a slight mis
understanding. He didn't want to
tight offhand like that. He meant that
be could whip any man in town in a
ring with ; gloves on his hands and
with a referee. That was what he
meant. He'd like to fight me that
way and we might as well both make
a little money out of it.
That was a new uotion to me, but it
sounded good. The boys offered to
back me with a bet which suited
Griffin well enough, judging from tbe
way he grinned. Gallagher wanted me
to tight too. In short, we fixed up a
match on the spot, and I went home
and slept like a log until the alarm
clock rang in tbe morning. There
wasn't anything to worry over about
tbe idea of fighting a professional. He
didn't look so terrible, and besides that
I never did credit negroes with much
fighting ability and gameness.
Billy Gallagher wanted me to go
into training! for the fight, which was
to be held in a hall In town. But I
wouldn't do It I went right along
with my work and let Griffin go Into
On tbe night of the fight 1 went
straight home from work a little early
and ate a good dinner. Then I walked
down to tbe hull The boys were there
already, wltb a lot of other people that
I never saw before. All tbe lights
wcro lit, and In tbe middle of the hall
t l egulatlon boxing ring had been put
ip on an elevated platform.
We both got stripped for action with
out much delay. Before I went out to
Ihe ring they pulled the gloves over
my hands and tied them on. 1 can
remember just how funny boxing
gloves felt to me. I never had a pair
un before In my life. My hands felt
o big and clumsy that I didn't know
what to do with them.
We, got into the ring. Griffin was a
tall . fellow, all sinewy muscles from
head to heels. He wore a wide smile
like hungry man sitting down to a
good dinner. But he didn't look very
langerous. I'd seen stronger and big
ger men In the shops. The lights and
tbe people Interested me more than he
At last time was called, and we
walked together and shook hands.
Then I got the surprise of my life. Al
most before I bad my hands up he hit
me an awful smash on the nose. You
tan talk about being bit on the chin or
m tbe stomach or on tbe ear, but let
me tell you that a blow on the nose
hurts more than any of them. It
makes your eyes fill and blur, and you
wonder If your nose Ti flat.' A "blow" on
the nose either makes a man want to
stop fighting or it makes him mad. It
made me mad. I forgot all about the
boxing gloves on my hands for a mo
ment and tore after that coon to break
alui in two. I went for him Just the
way I've seen the bulls rush at the
matadors In the Mexican bull rings.
That was Just what Griffln wanted.
He was a boxer, and I was a novice.
A boxer can play with a novice, as a
rule, and uever take a chance. What
that negro did to me during the next
four or five rounds was a shame. He
punched me all over the ring. He land
ed on my nose and my eyes and my
cblu as he pleased. He just walloped
away as fast as he could hit, and I
surely did see stars. As for landing
on blm. I couldn't hare hit him with a
But after a few rounds I recovered
from my surprise. I took stock and
began to figure. Here was a man han
dling me in a way I'd never dreamed
of. This must be the boxing skill that
Gallagher bad told me about. Griffln
was hitting me where he pleased, but
he couldn't either daze me or knock
me down, and I wasn't tiring at all.
The thing for me to do was to find out
bow be did it to get the combination
and then pay him back in his own
coin. And I felt sure that if I could
ever land on him he'd drop.
I cooled off as I began to think. I
stopped rushing at blm In blind bull
fashion. Griffin thought I was tiring,
and be began coming to me Instead.
For awhile he peppered me as hard as
he could, trying to put me down. As
each blow started I studied out the
way he delivered it Now and then I
tried one of bis blows in return; but,
as a rule, be either blocked or ducked
cleverly or stepped aside a little bit
and countered me on the chin. The
way he could land on me made me
feel foolish It made me feel helpless.
And yet all the time 1 knew that in
the end I'd knock him out. I felt sure
I was learning uow In every round.
In fact I think more knowledge of the
fighting game came to me that nlgbt
than In a year's boxing that followed.
In eight or ten rounds the negro be
gan to show signs of growing tired
He was wearing himself out trying to
beat me down, and bis blows didn't
hurt I could feel the difference now
There didn't seem to be the same
weight and sting behind tbe punches
when they landed on me. I began
walking into him slowly without at
tempting to strike a blow. Just bolding
my bead forward, crouching a little.
with my right hand up uear my chin
and the left stuck straight out in
front ' 1 learned that trick In my
first fight and afterward it won the
chitmpiouBbip of the world for me.
Tommy Ryan never showed me that
"crouch." It was my natural way of
Now that he was tiring the big ne
gro baffled me by sticking his left
hand into my face with light Jabs,
holding me off. 1 used my right hand
nearly all the time, only Jabbing at
bis bond uow and then with tbe left,
for as he battered me 1 bad learned
something and bad planned a way to
win I wanted to settle blm with one
sure punch. I've always liked to win
my tights that way.
It was hard to get the opening 1
waited for. Griffin was still fHst on
his feet. His cleverness puzzled me.
When 1 saw a chance It bad passed
before I could get iuto action.
In my corner after the thirteenth
round my seeoud said: "Jioi. it's 11:30
The lights go out at 12. Go after him
now or you'll lose your chance and
he'll get the decision on points."
"I'll get him." I said.
We came up for the fourteenth.
Griffin was weary, but unmarked. I
was cut and bruised and battered, but
Just as strong and fresh as at the
start. Moreover. I had begun' that
tight without any idea of what glove
fighting in a ring meant.' and by this
time I had learned something. I be
gan forcing my way In. walking stead
ily toward Griffin and making him
back away as be jabbed at me. 1
straightened up a little and let him
have a good opening for my cbin. It
was a chance for the right. Griffln.
grinning a little, shot the right over
I bobbed In enough to let the blow
Slip around my neck and Jammed my
left fist into his stomach. He Just
dropped in a heap and curled up like
a lenf. The flgbt was over The ref
otim1 counted his ten: he 'onld have
counted a hundred All the boys were
slapping me on the back and telling
'me 1 was a wonder
Proof Against Wasp Stings.
A Scottish naturalist in a paper on
the habits of wasps tells how a black
bird will stand at the side of a hang
ing wasps' nest and deliberately tear
It In pieces In order to get at the lar
vae, apparently undisturbed by the
swarm of angry Insects, whose vicious
stings instantly put to flight the hu
man curiosity seeker who ventures
Bar to wnteh the demolition.
Manchuria's area is slightly greatei
than' that of the combined states of
Iowa, Minnesota, North. Oakota, South
Dakota and .. Nebraska, or tbe total
area devoted annually to corn, wheat
cotton, oats and barley in the Unite?
States. . ,
It Is not nougb to be industrious.
So are tbe ants. What are you indus
trious about v Thoreau.
"Were you ever in a holdup?"
"No, but I've taken part in a show
down." New York Journal.
AXTEL HEIGHTS SALE!
Choice Sightly Lots.....
Easy Terms :: :: Bed Rock Prices
Now on Sale on grounds, 17th and Van Dorn streets, 6 blocks South of 17th
and South streets. These lots are only four blocks from some of the best
homes in the city where lots are selling f.iom $1500 to $1800. A high sightly
spot overlooking the entire city and in direct line of development of the
very best part of the same.
i TERMS :
$10 down and $1.00 per week. No interest, no payment when sick or out
, of work free deed, free abstract title guaranteed. ,
prices on these beautiful lota will range from $50 to $350. A few highr.
Come to our office and we will take you to the grounds and show you some
bargains. Free car tickets at our office. Salesmen on grounds during day
and evening. For full particulars call on or phone
STAR REAL ESTATE COMPANY 'a s s 303 FUNKE BUILDING
. Get wise, Mr. Business Man, and
do your cackling in
1705 O Street Auto Phone 2748
BOILERMAKERS STILL STICK.
The Burlington's Bluffy Didn't 8 tart a
' Rivet in Strikers' Ranks
The iBujrlington management has
another guess coming. It guessed that
if it issued notice that all strikers
who failed to report for work .before
June 6 would be forever barred, It
would be rushed toy strikers anxious
to get back. It didn't phase the strik
ers, for not a man went back.
"What's more, none of us are going
back," said President Jonas in dis
cussing the notice. "We are out to
stay out unless our demands for sim
ple Justice are recognized."
The "scabs" continue to come ind
go, and despite the most strenuous of
forts the management can not keep
a full sized force at work. As a result
men in other department are being
laid off at intervals, waiting for the
boilr.r shop force to catch up. Tha
strikers meet every day, and the bene
fits are paid with pleasing regularity.
Nor is the international bearing ad
the burden. The local is giving a ser
ies of social functions and makes good
money while enjoying pleasant hours
with their ...many friends. ,
THE ELECTRICAL WORKERS.
District Council Meeting at Cedar
Rapids a Successful Affair.
O. M. Rudy was in Cedar Rapids
last week representing the Llncnn
Electrical Workers ' in the district
council convention held there. He
reports the meeting a splendid suc
cess, and he can not say too much
in praise of the entertainment put
up by the local Electrical Workers,
and the other unionists of that city.
The mayor and city council took a
big part in the entertainment, taking
the delegates and visitors on an auto
ride about town and giving them the
freedom of the municipality. The vol
ume of business transacted" was large.
The district Jurisdiction was extend
ed by taking in four other states
heretofore controlled by the McNulty
Colllns bunch of skates, and the whole
situation cleared up in a highly satis
factory manner. General Secretary
Murphy attended the meeting and told
an interestng story of the progress
made by the "Reid's." A. L. ' UrIc'K,
president of the Iowa State Federa
tion of Labor and "Reld" representa
tive on the arbitration board,' ex
OR A DUCK?
,TTA duck which stuck faithfully to busi
yJI ness during the Summer and 'laid
TU - several dozens of large fawn-colored
eggs, complained that she wasn't
appreciated. "See that Hen over there?"
said the Duck. "She hasn't laid as many
eggs as I have, nor as big, but she has books
written about her and verses-composed in
her honor, while nobody is saying a word
about me." ,
TT n The trouble with you is, " said the
J J wise old Rooster standing near, that
JJ you don't tell the public what you
have done. You lay an egg and
waddle off without saying a word, but that
sister of mine never lays one without letting
everyone in the neighborhood know about
it If you want to cut any ice in the com
munity, you must learn to Advertise."
plained in detail the progress of t'.e
work to date. The Cedar Rapids Tri
bune has this to say of - Lincoln's
delegate, Mr. Rudy:
! "O. M. Rudy of Lincoln, Neb., told
us of the methods adopted in raising
$20,000 to purchase the labor temple
in that city. He is most enthusiastic
in the advocacy of such affairs r,nd
gave good, logical reasons as to why
they should be attempted in every
city of twenty thousand and upwards."
W. L. Mayer pf Lincoln, secretary
treasurer of the district council, also
attended the meeting; ; , -
SQUARED THE BALL TEAM.
Cincinnati Unionists Won By 8tlcklng
to Their Little Fight.
: From the beginning of the Ameri
can League season the union men of
Cincinnati have had the boycott on
the Cincinnati team because the man
agement failed to play square with
organized labor. The managemen'ttrled
to make it appear that tbe boycott
was benefit, just as Jim" VanCleave
of the Buck outfit did. But the Cincin
nati unionists called that bluff. Cin
cinnati unionists love baseball as
much, perhaps, as the unionists of
other cities, but they didn't love it
well enough to. sidetrack, their union
ism, and they put up a fight that .won.
Last Tuesday tbe Cincinnati manage
ment capitulated and signed an agree
ment that shows a signal victory for
The. agreement provides ; that all
contracts for tearing down construc
tion, or repairs of parks shall contain
a elapse requiring the employment of
union labor exclusively and all print
ed matter shall bear the union label.
All cigars and tobacco sold within tha
park must also bear the union label.
Further, the agreement, . provides
that on some Sunday duriqg the sea
son the Cleveland club most play an
exhibition game , with another Ameri
can league club and the proceeds to
be devoted to a charity to be desig
nated by the Cleveland building trades
council. r t '
Cincinnati Typographical Union did
not back up .on Its boycott, and as a
result even the Cincinnati score cards
will bear the label of the Allied
Printing Trades hereafter.
Always on Tap.
While there's life there's dope. Chi
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