PACKING HOUSE EMPLOYE, VICTIM OF LOW
WAGES AND LOAN SHARK, GIVEN CHANCE
A man who collected large sums
of cash for Sulzberger & Sons, the
packers, who waV-paid $15 a week
' for doing this and who had to sup
port a wife and four children, went
A loan shark pressed him for
money, threatened to tell his em
ployers and have him fired if he did
not pay. So the man took out $484
from his collections one day and
paid the loan shark.
When the firm discovered the loss
they notified the National Surety Co.,
which had bonded the collector. Ti
surety company soon had him in jail.
On the day before Christmas John
Decker of Springville, Wis., was
brought into Judge Richard E.
Burke's court in the criminial court
building for trial
He told his story how he needed
the money, expected to pay it back
right away, how his wife and chil
dren were hungry and how hard he
had struggled to get along on $15 a
week. Friends offered to give him
1 $250 to pay Sulzberger & Sons part
-of the amount taken if they only
would release him. He could save the
rest and pay it later.
Judge Burke listened to his plead--ings
and the court grew still and
-quiet while the man tried to show
"that he hadn't meant to do wrong.
-The money was spent on his chil
dren, Decker told the judge. He
asked to be allowed to go home for
Judge Burke sat back and pon
dered when the man finished. Hf
Another man in the small group in
front of him spoke. He was from the
National Surety Co., he explained,
and he wanted to say something
''about the case.
"Now, judge, the National Surety
Co. asks that no leniency be shown
this man," he declared. "Decker took
the money, he hasn't pail it back and 1
we don't want to see him get away.
"I've been sent here to tell you
that we want the law enforced in
Judge Burke's hesitancy left him.
He leaned forward to the man from
the insurance company.
"You go back and tell the president
of your company that his recommen
dations in this case are not worth a
snap. Tell him that I'm going to let
Decker go in spite of what the Na
tional Surety Co. wishes.
"He was entrusted with great sums
of cash and was paid only $15 a week
to travel over the country collecting.
With a wife and four children at
home to support he took the money.
"Tell your president that a man
who will bring four children into this
world and then steal to support them
isn't so bad. And I don't intend to
make him worse by sending him to
prison to please the president of an
"Some one else is to blame for
Decker's fall and the fall of many
like him. It's the firm who will let
a man handle the big bunches of
cash and then pay him a salary too
small to permit proper living. If Sulz
berger's had paid him the amount
they spent for insurance perhaps hQ
wouldn't have needed to steal.
"Now tell your president that I am
going to let Decker go!"
And he turned to Decker.
"You pay the $250 that your
friends have put up for you. I'll try
to get you another job where you
can pay back the rest of the money.
And you take the next train to
Springville, Wis., to see those kids of
yours for Christmas!"
"Thank you, judge."
"And wish the children a Merry
Christmas from me.
"Call the next case."
fire in Peerless hotel, 640 W. Mad
ison, drove score of men from bedSi
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