Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1925 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
whose death has always been a mystery in Chicago, made it an important
news story and especially to Chicago people.
It requires no stretch of the imagination to understand why Chicago
newspapers suppressed a big news story that other big newspapers all over
the country published.
THE MARSHALL FIELD STORE IS LOCATE., IN CHICAGO, AND
SPENDS MANY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ANNUALLY WITH THE
NEWSPAPERS THAT SUPPRESSED THE STORY.
It wasn't because the newspapers feared Vera Scott's story was not
true, for a similar confession about the killing of an ordinary citizen of Chi
cago would have been published on the first page of every Chicago daily
under big headlines.
But to Chicago papers there appears to -be something out of the or
dinary, if not sacred, about the name of Field. When the late Marshall Field,
the merchant prince, was alive the
Chicago newspapers slobbered, over
him every chance they got. He was
made one of Chicago's gods, through
the influence of the newspapers that
got monthly checks from the big
store for newspaper advertising.
Marshall Field's powerful influence
in Chicago was the power of his vast
fortune; and he was the greatest ex
ploiter of labor Chicago ever knew.
The men, women and children who
worked in his big store were paid
miserably small wages. Yet no news
paper dared make a fight for a living
wage for them because the news
papers were getting part of the
money he made out of cheap labor.
When his son died it was rumored
all over town that he had been shot
in the Everleigh Club by a woman.
But there was no danger of news
paper publicity that would be dis
agreeable to the Field family. For
the Fields were enormously rich, had
the biggest store in town and spent
hundreds of thousands a year for ad
vertising. But though both the father and
son are dead and have gone to their
reward, the magic influence of the
Field name and the Field, store is still
felt wherever their advertisements
The power to give and to withhold
newspaper advertising gives undue
prominence and influence to the men
who control it. It isn't the influence
of personality. It is the influence of
Suppose one of the most prominent
labor leaders in the country were
shot in a Chicago resort do YOU be
lieve there would be enough influence
in Chicago to prevent the big news
papers froin printing the truth?
Suppose a wonian had confessed in
Los Angeles that she had shot a
prominent labor leader in a Chicago
resort do YOU believe the story
would have been printed or sup
pressed? Yet there isn't an honest, sincere
labor leader in this country who isn't
a better citizen in every true sense of
the word than either of the Marshall
Fields was. For a labor leader is for
ever trying to better the conditions of
the workers, while the greedy Fields
exploited men, women and children
for their own inordinate profit.
Chicago newspapers are not alone
in this subserviency to rich adver
tisers. Recently "Holy John" Wan
amaker, the merchant prince of Phil
adelphia, was caught defrauding the
United States government, and con
fessed his guilt by t paying a fine of
$100,000. Yet none of the newspapers
in Philadelphia that print his store
advertisements published a word
about the "holy" hypocrite's fraud
upon the government.
The newspapers that eat out of
Wanamaker's hand in Philadelphia
have made a little tin god of that
merchant prince,, just as .the Chicago
newspapers made a little tin sod of
Khe late Marshall Field.