The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, September 26, 1901, Page 9, Image 9

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    Conservative *
The first newspaper published in
northern Nebraska was the St. Helena
Gazette , of St. Helena , Cedar County ,
published and owned by Lewis E. Jones.
The date of the first issue was March
10 , 1858. It was printed ten days ahepd
of date at St. Louis , Mo. , up to and in
cluding the issue of May 22,1858. When
so issued most of the issue was mailed
by way of Sioux City , la. , St. Helena
then receiving its mail via monthly ser
vice on a route between Sioux
City , and Dakota City , then the
seat of the land office for that"
District and Niobrara. The subscrip
tion list was very slender , and it is not
within the recollection of the proprietor
whether , even of the few , any one paid
for the paper. In the spring of 1858 ,
Mr. Jones bought a small outfit of sec
ondhand material without a press ; also
a steam sawmill , all which I deter
mined to take up to St. Helena. About
that time I happened to make acquaint
ance of a brother typo , Augustus Netle ,
who volunteered to buy a secondhand
press and embark with Mr. Jones in the
paper enterprise. The mill , the print
ing outfit , and a lot of provisions were
shipped on the steamer Omaha. Owing
to some cause , instead of landing these
goods at their destination , they were
dumped off at Sioux City , together with
Mr Jones , Mr. Netle and Jacob Branch
and family , the latter being an engineer
engaged by Mr. Jones to run the saw
mill. Nothing daunted by the awkward
situation , Mr. Jones hired seventeen
men with teams at fancy prices , laid in
a supply of shovels and axes and loaded
the entire outfit , crossed the ferry at
Sioux City and started for the destina
tion over about sixty-five miles of wild ,
new country. The teams all consisted
of oxen , there being seven yoke of them
hitched to the truck carrying the boiler
for the sawmill. It took a whole week
to reach the end of the journey , owing
to being compelled to make bridges anc
do the other pioneer work that was nec-
> essary. The expense of transporting the
outfit clear through was over $500. In
the fall of 1858 Mr. Jones returned to
St. Louis , leaving Mr. Netle in ful
charge of the paper ; Mr. Jones remit
ting sustaining power from time to time
in order to enable Mr. Netle to hold out
In the spring of 1859 Mr. Jones returnee
to his .family and from then until the
present time has made Cedar County
his permanent home. Owing to war
clouds thickening and the bursting o
the bubble of western , wildcattown-site
speculation , the St. Helena Gazette BUS
pended publication sometime during the
summer of 1859 , Mr. Netle selling ou
his interest to Mr. Jones and returning
to St. Louis. The outfit was sold by
Mr. Jones to a Mr. Clark of Sargent'
Bluffs , Iowa , in 1861 , who had aspira
tions to become the first delegate to
Congress from the then-to-be-organizec
erritory of Dakota. And ho gave birth
o and established the "Vermillion Re-
mblioan" at Vermillion , South Dakota.
From what I can gather , this is the
brief history of the first newspaper all
) rintecl at homo in Nebraska north of
Omaha , Neb.
many things are reported in these days
of industrial combinations and industrial
disturbances as having been said or done
by Mr. J. P. Morgan , that one is cautious
about crediting him , or charging him ,
with any of them. Two of the sugges
tions recently ascribed to that much dis
cussed gentleman , however , are so in
teresting on their own account as amply
to deserve careful examination by all
thoughtful citizens. Neither of these
suggestions is now made for the first
time , but their merit is none the less for
that ; and from them , it may well be
: ioped , the country may have something
of which it is in urgent need new lighten
on the labor problem.
One suggestion is that the labor un
ions ought to be incorporated , to become
what the law will recognize as respons
ible bodies , before they can be negoti
ated with or permitted to discuss terms
and scales and rules. The benefits of
such incorporation , on the side of the
capitalist and manager of industrial en
terprises , are obvious enough ; but there
are no less marked benefits on the side
of organized labor , and something very
similar was advocated in a Forum arti
cle nine years ago by Hon. Ohauncey F.
Black , who is a well-known champion
of the labor cause. By formal incorpor
ation the labor unions would acquire a
standing and a dignity that they haven' !
heretofore had ; their control over the
supply of human muscle would be regu
larly acknowledged , and their voice
would have greater force than now.
Objections can come only from leaders
who want power without responsibility
and thrive upon agitation ; or , on the
other hand , from such as look on labor
organizations as altogether evil am
dread any measure looking to giving
them greater permanence. But the
time for discussing whether the unions
shall exist or not , has gone by. Foi
good or ill , they have come to stay , anc
we have no duty so pressing as that of
making the best of them. In no way
it is my firm belief , could these organ !
zations bo made less mischievous , anc
more capable of power for good , than
by the general plan of incorporation
that Mr. Morgan is reported as favoring
Independence of Capital and Labor.
The fact that the proposition origin
ates from the capitalists' side is not , o
course , so conclusive against it as labo
leaders will try to make it out. If cap
talists and workmen were enemies
, it might be proper enough
or one side to reject without debate
every suggestion from the other ; but it
must never bo forgotten that in their
most important interests the two are
allies and not enemies. The workman
vho has already committed so much of
lis interests to a corporation as to do-
> end on it for his daily wages , has
> roved that he deems it worthy of some
confidence , and the corporation that de
pends essentially on its laborers for
power to produce will on that account
) e likely to protect those laborers when
; hey become stockholders.
If workmen wish to become capital-
sts and to control the profits of their
abor , they have it in their power to do
so. Nothing is to prevent their pur
chasing railroad or trust stock , which is
sold on the open market for any one to
buy who chooses. For instance , had
the 150,000 coal miners each saved
enough to buy one share of stock , at
the end of the year , they would be
powerful enough to choose a Director
on the Board to serve their interests' ; in
a very few years they could control the
mines. By such means , within a com
paratively few years , they might own
most of the railroads , and even the
great Steel Trust , itself.
From every point of view there is
nothing to be said of this project but in
its favor. Its adoption would create a
community of interests and tend to in
crease of sympathy between employer
and employee. It would tend to make
workmen do better work. It would dis
courage wasting wages in drink and en
courage independent and higher lives.
It would help to teach them , by making
them capitalists themselves , that capital
is stored only through self-denial , and
is a blessing to all classes , because the
great conservator of society. It would
help at the same time to hold directors
of corporations to a better sense of their
responsibilities. Its tendency would
be good in every way. All good citizens
may well join with the newspaper al
ready quoted in the hope that so prom
ising an experiment will actually and in
good faith be made.
York , Pa. , Sept. 11 , 1901.
J. Sterling Morton , who will go down
in history as the original tree-man in
Nebraska , who has done more than any
other man in America , perhaps , to ad
vance practical forestry , particularly in
the treeless states of the West , is now
leading an active campaign in Nebraska
in the interest of a unique reform , if
not a revolution , in public roads. Sixty-
six feet constitutes the legal width of a
road in Nebraska He would cut down
the width to thirty-three feet , dedicat
ing the other half of the road to trees ,
which trees are to be planted , cultivated
and guarded by the road authorities.
The necessary legislation will be asked
for at the next meeting of the legis
lature. Unity , Sept. 12,1901.