The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????, November 04, 1910, Image 4

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    JOHN FURSE, secretary to the governor, is something
of a joker. A few days ago he received a letter from
a resident of Lancaster, Nebr., asking that his sentence
be shortened a few months so he could get out and hustle
a job before cold weather set in. "You know my sen
tence expires in January," wrote the prisoner, "and you
know how hard it is for a fellow to land a job at that
time of the year." Mr. Furse replied and suggested that
the writer of the letter ask for a continuation of his sen
tence until spring opened up.
SPEAKING of the penitentiary reminds us that there
is nothing doing for the "sob squad" since Governor
Shallenberger assumed the reins of office. The governor
has acted on the assumption that the courts and juries
know their business, and except in rare instances he has
refused to be swayed by maudlin sympathy for convicted
prisoners. It did not take Governer Shallenberger long
to decide the Taylor matter. He gave Taylor's attorneys
a hearing, but before Judge Hamer had resumed his
chair the governor notified Warden Smith to proceed with
carrying out the sentence. Governor Shallenberger has
used his power to parole very sparingly, and his pardoning
power so little as to please the people who have been ac
customed to seeing governors abuse it too often.
THE candidacy of S. R. McKelvie for the legislature
commends itself to the younger element. Mr. Mckelvie
is one of those young, energetic business men who does
things. He has built a huge publishing business here in
Lincoln and has made the Nebraska Farmer a winning
proposition. He is also president of the Lincoln Ad Club.
Furthermore, Mr. McKelvie's candidacy should appeal to
union men for he is a large employer of labor, and you'll
find nothing but union men in the mechanical departments
of the Nebraska Farmer. The Wageworker takes
pleasure in commending Mr. McKelvie's candidacy to the
voters of Lancaster county.
It is a pleasure to make acknowledgements of the services
of a public official who has done his full duty. By an unwrit
ten law never but once disobeyed in the history of Nebraska,
a state official is allowed but two terms, no matter how good
his record. Sometimes they are allowed only one term, as in
the ease of Governor Shallenberger, who was turned down
forje-nomination, not because he was not faithful and efficient,
but because he was both. Attorney General Leese broke the
record once by serving three terms as attorney general. Law
son G. Brian is soon to retire after having served four years as
state treasurer. With the exceptions of some acts, performed
as a member of various state boards, which actions appeared
to us as narrowly partisan, Mr. Brian has made an excellent
record. As state treasurer he has handled the business of the
office in a methodical, business-like manner, and there has not
been a breath of suspicion against him, nor a trace of scandal
connected with the office. Always courteous, always affable,
and always ready to accommodate, it has been a pleasure to
thousands to transact business with Mr. Brian and his efficient
office force.
What lias been said of Mr. Brian may be said with equal
truthfulness concerning Mr. George A. Junkin, secretary of
state, with a little emphasis, perhaps, on the partisan feature
thereof. While Mr. Junkin has never failed to emphasize his
partisanship, it must be admitted that he has been tireless in
his work and exacting in his methods. We have enjoyed some
little tilts with Mr.-Junkin, but there has, we hope, nothing hap
pened to make impossible a warm and permanent personal
. friendship in the future.
The niggardliness of Nebraska in the matter of remunerat
ing her public servants is notorious. William T. Thompson,
who has just resigned from the attorney generalship, received
a salary of $2,000 a year, and for this pitiful salary less than
many a poorer lawyer gets for handling a single case Mr.
Thompson was expected to meet the princely salaried attorneys
of the big corporations and beat them on their own ground. His
ability as a lawyer has been evidenced by his uniform success
in making the attorneys of the big corporations, especially the
railroad and express corporations, come to time. They have
all learned to respect him as a man and fear his ability as an
opposing counsel. The legal work he has performed for Ne
braska has been prodigious and of far-reaching benefit. He has
accepted a position under Uncle Sam at a salary 150 per cent
greater than Nebraska paid him. Mark the prediction : WTilliam
T. Thompson, ex-attorney general of Nebraska, will not long be
, buried in a department at Washington. The big corporations
are looking for men of his ability and resource.
1 1 " 1 '
Arthur Mullen, who succeeds Mr. Thompson at attorney gen
eral, and will act in that capacity until January 1, accepts the
position for two reasons. One is that he is vitally interested
in some of the litigation now under way ; another is that he
appreciates the honor. That he is deserving of it is admitted
by unprejudiced observers. Having been active in politics it is
only natural that Mr. Mullen should have made enemies, not
all of them careful in observing trutli when they refer to nim
and his work. But one thing they will have to admit : Mr. Mul
len's administration of the oil inspection department has been
beyond criticism, and it has been vastly more profitable to the
state than the administration of any of his predecessors. ;
ii hi in i i 4..
It is not at all surprising that the fine Italian hand of
Guerdon W. Wattles has been discerned in all this Howard-Bartley-Hitchcock
controversy. Mr. Wattles has that fine Ital
ian hand of his on more business interests and in more combi
nations than any dozen men in the state. And don't you worry
about his not being able to manipulate things his way, either.
He is a natural born organizer and leader. It is just as natural
for Mr. Wattles to take hold and manage everything he be
comes connected with as it is for a fish to swim or a swallaw to
fly. Less than two decades ago a little banker in a little Iowa
city, Mr. Wattles is today a millionaire, the head of one of Oma
ha's biggest banks, the high;mogul of the street railway system,
interested in a score of mercantile institutions and manipulat
ing wires that make the political marionettes dance as he
pleases. Guerdon W. Wattles, in addition to being a successful
man of business, is somewhat careless of who he steps on when
he starts in any given direction. Yet for all that he is a very
companionable and affable gentleman with the ability to say
"no" easier and stick to it longer than most men.
. . If you have been at all interested in Nebraska politics du
ring, the years gone by you are acquainted with the Oberfelder
boys Bob and Joe of Sidney. There's a pair of enthusiastic
Nebraskans for you. They not only boost for Nebraska day in
and day out, but they have shown their faith by their works.
For years on end they felt so sure of Nebraska's future that they
invested every dollar they could get hold of in western Nebraska
land. Men laughed at them, and touched their foreheads in a
knowing way every time the Oberfelder boys sunk a few more
thousands in the raw land of the "arid" district. Now those
same knowledgeous gentlemen are telling of how they "could
have bought that whole township for a dollar an acre once,"
and then hesitatingly admitting that they couldn't raise money
enough now to buy an acre of it from the Oberfelder brothers.
There were times when the future looked pretty blue, but the
Oberfelders could always see a little sunshine. Today they are
able. to ride on plush cushions from ocean to ocean, take an oc
casional trip across the herring pond, joy ride around in their
own autos and enjoy any old luxury that happens to appeal to
them. And those who know them well rejoice in the vindica
tion of their faith in Nebraska real estate.
If Col. Ed. Bignell performed all the feats attributed to him
he would be one of the most remarkable men of this generation.
He is not oniy division superintendent of the Burlington, hav
ing jurisdiction over more mileage than many trunk lines can
boast of, and manages it with consumate skill, , but he is
charged with exersising political authority that would, if true,
make him a worthy contemporary of the czar of Russia or the
emperor of Germany. That the charge of political mastery
made against him is little short of an insult to the thousands of
sturdy and independent employes of the Burlington seems never