OCR Interpretation


The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, January 15, 1898, Image 2

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consumers, were privately advised as
to how they might get in on the ground
floor.
Mr. McNear of San Francisco, a very
successful operator in commissions and
margins, had 100,000 sacks set aside for
him without presenting at the time
either affidavit or deposit. In fact, he
did not have an affidavit covering ap
plication for so much as a single sack,
but, like Mr. Dlggs, he agreed to send
out into the country to procure them.
This deal, admittedly made as the re
sult of a private conversation between
Mr. McNear and Warden Hale, left
only 150,000 surplus sacks to be dispos
ed of at the prison clearing house. Evi
dently Mr. McNear, like others, was
keeping a pretty close tab on the San
Quentin stock, and figuring on the rise
to $.') 40 which the board made on
March 20, when they had nothing but
th-- sale of the output to consider.
With Mr. R. Lichtenberg, the Ran
Francisco dealer, similar transactions
in larger quantities are recorded. He
speaks plainly in his communications
of "placing" the San Quentin sacks.
Mr. Lichtenberg deals in big numbers—
60,000 and 100,000 at a turn. With ref
erence to the sack situation he has a
private consultation with Mr. Ellis.
He is kepi closely posted on the condi
tion of the San Quentin supply, and
insists on having all the "culls" or so
called Imperfect sacks saved for him.
His telegraphic orders are regularly
booked, affidavit and deposit to follow.
The Warden even goes to the length
of settins; 50,000 sa<>ks aside for him in
th<- State warehouse at $4 75 future de
li v.-ry. after the 2.000,000 surplus sacks
covered by the board resolutions had
been disposed of. Notice to this effect
was served on Mr. Lichtenberg Febru
ary 19— the day before the board met
and raised the price to $5.
Mr. Fitzgerald, present chairman of
the Board of State Prison Directors,
and Mr. De Pue, the recently retired
member, visited The Call office last
evening. Both gentlemen asserted that
they were unaware of any violation of
the Ostrom law, and that the affairs of
the Jute mill have been managed to
th^> very best interest of the State.
While mistakes may have been made,
from a business point of view, Mr. De
Pue stated that the board had acted
ever with the object in view of making
the mill successful and self-support
ing; that any intimations of collusion
with middlemen or violation of the law,
to the injury of the farmer, was an out
rage if the truth, and that their trans
actions are preserved in the records,
where any one who chooses may read
them. When his attention was called
to the fact that goods had been sold
in violation of Sec. 3 of the law he ad
mitted having labored under a misun
derstanding as to that clause, and
th' 'light it related merely to jute bags.
Mr. De Pue explained the difficulties
experienced by the board in selling
Facks direct to farmers when the latter
were without the means with which to
make the legal payments, and thought
any business man would approve the
course pursued in disposing of the sur
plus product to replenish the revolv
ing fund.
Both gentlemen were indignant at the
intimation of wrongdoing expressed by
Senator Optrom, and resented It as
wholly undeserve.d and unjust.
CONNIVANCE
WITH THE BIG
MIDDLEMEN.
An Insight Into the Manipu
lation of the Surplus.
* Sack Sale.
It was impossible for the prison di
rectors to favor the manipulators of the '
grain-bag business without leaving a
few kangaroo tracks in the sand. In
an investigation of the letter records
of San Quentin enough proof may be '
obtained to substantiate the charges |
made by The Call that the Ostrom law
•was juggled desperately in the. interest i
of middlemen purchasers and specu
lators.
Take for example the brief corre
spondence between Warden Hale and
G. W. McNear of San Francisco, which
establishes the fact that 100,000 sacks
were reserved at 15 per hundred, as the j
result of a prior conversation, and i
without affidavit or deposit. This, In j
despite of the provision of section 3 i
of the Ostrom act, which says "all or- j
ders for jute goods must be accompa
nied by an affidavit setting forth that
the amount of goods contained in the
order are for individual and personal
use," and in section 2, "that 10 per cent
of the purchase price shall accompany
each order. Mr. McNear's informal
and illegal application was as follows:
. March 6. 1897.
Mr. O. W. McNear, San Francisco, Cal.—
Pear Sir: Referring to our conversation by
telephone to-day I now beg to confirm, that
we have reserved for* you 100,000 grain bags
at 5 cents, pending arrival of deposit and
properly executed orders with affidavit, an re
quired by law, which you Bay you will furnlci
In a few days. Our sales have been limited
since February 20 to quantities not exceeding
10,000 bags for any one fanner. After book
ing your order, we have now only about 150,
000 baps left for sale, out of our stock on
hand, and when they are sold further action
by the directors will be necessary to deter
mine how and at what price to dispose of the
bags we shall manufacture from now on. I
enclose a number of blank orders. Tours
truly. W. E. HALE. Warden.
Thus with the surplus almost ex
hausted, and without affidavit or de
posit, 100,000 were set aside as Bold for
future delivery, when the price had
been raised by the directors from $5 to
$5 40. Mr. McNear made due acknowl
edgment of the favor as follows:
San Francisco, March 8, 1897.
Mr. W. E. Hale, Warden . California State
Prison. Ran Quentin, Cal.— Dear Sir: I am
In receipt of your letter of the 6th lnst.. advis
ing that you have reserved 100,000 grain bags
for 'us at 5 cents. We have sent affidavits Into
the country to be signed by our customers,
and as soon as we leceive them will forward
them to you, together with the necessary de
posit. Thanking you, I remain, yours very
truly, O. W. McNEAR.
Mr. R. Lichtenberg of San Francisco
does a thriving business with the board,
both in the matter of selling raw Jute
and in buying bags as a middleman. An
idea of the extent of his transactions
tn the latter respect, and the profit he
reaped, may be gathered from the sub- ,
joined correspondence copied from the :
files:
San Francisco, Feb. 2, 1897.
Hon. W. E. Hale. Warden State Prison, San
Quentln. — Pear Sir: Under the usual condi
tions nnd 10 per cent deposit, payable at once
I can probably place here 250,000 grain bags,
viz: 50.000 with Mr. Williams (Williams eB-tate),e - B
tate), 2'*), 000 with Messrs. S. Koshland & Co.,
firet party signing affidavit now, the latter
binding themselves to deliver farmer?' affida
vits lutpr or>. I>olivery to be taken any time
between now and June next. 8. Koshland &
Co. may wait scm» bags aa early as this
month. Kindly advise me what I am author
ized to do In this mattor.
Our market is very firm; the rain of the
la*t days has been all over the State; so.
especially the south has been benefited and
prospects for large crops have never been bet
ter. T>>«re la no news from Calcutt* except
that Jute Is again a little liiwer. Very truly
yours, R. LICHTENBERG.
February 3, 1997.
Mr. R. Lichtenberg. Ban Francisco. Cal.—
Dear Sir: Your favor of the 2d lnst. to hand.
I suppose you know that the directors fixed
the price of our bags yesterday at 4.76 cents.
Of course we would be pleased to book Mr.
Williams' order for 50,000 bags now, and I en
clcse blanks for the purpose. I do not know.
howevw, about Koshland's order and do not
think it poll< y, nor do I think the directors
would approve of booking orders for anyone,
unless the affidavits are furnished at the time
of so booking the order. We might do so later
on. during the harvest season In some ca.«..-r
where bags are wanted in a hurry, but Just
now it would not look well.
However, Mr. Ellis desires you to meet him
to-morrow (Thursday) at the bank at 11:30
and perhaps you had better talk with him
about It. Mr. Hale is gone south for a while.
Yours truly. C. J. WALDEN.
SAX FRANCISCO, Feb. 4, 1597.
J. V. Ellis. Esq., Kan Quentin. Cal.— Dear
Sir: Referring to our to-day's conversation, I
beg to inform you that I have placed with Mr.
B. F. Porter of Los Angeles 50.000 San Quentin
grain bags at 44* cents, and I will send affi
davit and check for lv per cent as deposit to
morrow or Saturday. 1 will see Judge Wil
liams to-morrow, also my party for the 100.000
spot at 4.65 cents, subject to confirmation.
Very truly yours, H. LICHTENBERG.
SAN FRANCISCO. Feb. 3, 1597.
Hon. W« E. Hale, Warden State Prison, San
Quentin— Dear Sir: Referring to my yester
day's letter I beg to hand you inclosed Mr. H.
F. Porter's affidavit and check for $237 50, be
ing deposit on SO.OOO grain bags at 4\ cents.
Please send me receipt and confirmation of sale
and oblige yours truly, R. LICHTENBERG.
Feb. 6, UK.
Mr. R. Lichtenberg, San Francisco, Cal. —
I 'ear Sir: I beg to acknowledge receipt of your
favor of the 6th inst. with orders of Mr. K. I".
Porter for &0.000 grain bags and check for
, $237 50 to cover deposit on same. The order
has been duly booked, and as requested I hand
you Inclosed bill for balance due when baps
are ordered forward and receipt for the de
posit. Yours truly, W. E. HALE, Warden.
(M.)
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11. 1597.
Hon. W. E. Hale. Warden State Prison, San
; Quentin, Cal.— Dear Sir: I have lectured on the
1 San Quentin grain bags in preference to Cal
cuttas all day and with good result. I have
placed 270, 00u at 4% cents, conditions as re
quired by law. and I am treating now for 130,
000 more. Particulars, checks and affidavits I
bring over personally on Saturday. Please ship
at once, either by steamer Caroline or by rail,
80,' TOO at 4*t cents, care of s. Koshland & Co, ;
check and affidavit will follow to-morrow.
, Telegraph me after receipt whether the bags
■will be shipped by steamer or rail and whether
, S. Koshland & Co. shall make out check for
|XI in your or Mr. J. V. Ellis" name. Very
truly yours, R. LICHTENBERG.
PAS' FRANCISCO. Feb. 15. MM.
Dear Mr. Wal.len: Please find Inclosed let
ter and statement In regard to grain bas's I
carried these papers back by mistake on Sat
urday. Kindly keep me posted about number of
l>;i»rs sold and keep all Imperfect bags (or me.
Yours truly, R. LICHTENBERG.
PAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17. 1597.
Hon. W. E. Hale, Warden State Prison, San
Quentin, Cal.— Dear Sir: I have placed to-day
25.000 San Quentin with three parties at 4\
cents and I am working at present for 50,000
mnre; checks and affidavits to-morrow. Please
Inform me how many bags are open for »al*>
now out of the last million. Our market is
very firm, and tt is reported to-day that Bal
four, Guthrie tk Co. are getting 5 cents for
June-July. Very truly yours,
R. LICHTENBERG.
SAX FRANCISCO, Feb. 1«. IS!>7.
Hon. W, K. Hal<\ Warden. State Prison, Pan
Quentin. Cal.— Dear Sir: Confirming my yes
terday's letter, I beg: to ask you to book the
following sales at 4% cents aa per affidavits
enclosed, viz.:
George E. Williams. RO.OOO. check 10 per cent.
$23 75; Thomas E. Williams Jr.. 10. ono, che.k
10 per cent, $47 50: Frank S. Johnson,
check 10 per cent, $47 60; Jac I>>vt Sr.. 50.000,
che^k 10 per cent, $237 50; for whkh you will
please send me bills as uoual.
I further beg to state that owing to tele
graph just received I have, placed 100.000 to
different Lob Angeles farmers from whom I
will have checks and proper affidavit* to
morrow, and by that time I think to place
2-'.W» more, making a total of 500.000. Please
state how many will be left for sale after de-
ducting this guantlty.
Grain bags same as reported yesterday. Very
truly yours, R. LIOHTENBERG.
BAN FRANCISCO. Feb. 19. 1597.
Hon. W. E. Hale, Warden, State Prison, San i
Quentin — Dear Sir: Sine* my respects of yes- •
terday I have received Mr. Walden's yester- i
day's telegraph and two letters of same date, ;
contents of which have been noted.
Affidavits and checks for l<V>,ooo sold to differ- :
ent Los Angeles farmers, as stated yesterday.
are not expected to arrive here before this '
evening, and will be forwarded as soon as i
received.
I furthermore beg to hand you enclosed affi
davit for 6000 grain bags placed in Pan Luis :
Oblspo to George McDaniel (February 16) and
check for $237 50, Bank of California, covering
Om 10 per cent deposit. Trusting that this sale j
will b« accepted, I am very truly yours,
R. LICHTENBERG.
SAN FRANCISCO. Feb. 19. M 7.
Mr. R. Llchtenberg. San Francisco. Cal. —
Dear 81r: I beg to acknowledge receipt of your !
favor of even date, with order of Mr. George
McDaniel for BMM bags and check for $237 M
to cover deposit on same. Bill for same show-
Ing balance due, please find enclosed. I have
booked this order, although it exceeds the
2,000,000 limit, and have wired to the Board of
Directors, who meet at Folsom to-morrow, for
Instructions as to the 100,000 you placed In Los
Angeles. The limit being reached, all orders
at 4% cents will be refused hereafter until we
hear from the directors. Yours truly,
W. E. HALE, Warden.
PAN FRANCISCO. Feb. 20. 1597.
Hon. W. K. Hale, Warden. State Prison, Ban
Quentin— Dear Sir: Confirming my yesterday's
letter I beg to hand you enclosed check for
$475, London, Paris and American Bank, to
cover deposit on 100,000 grain bags at 4\ cents,
placed in Los Angeles as per my letter of the
ISth lnst.. and the affidavit herewith. Very
truly yours, R- LICHTENBERO.
SENATOR DOTY
TALKS TO THE
PRISON BOARD.
He Says They Are Violat
ing the Ostrom Law and
Defeating Its Ends.
ELK GROVE, Jan. 14.— The stand
taken by The Call on the side of the
farmers of the State and against the
manipulation carried on by the Prison
Board has become a subject of general
discussion throughout Sacramento
County. Senator Gillls Doty, who is
recognized as the most dauntless cham
pion the farmefs of California have
ever had in the State Legislature, in
speaking of the expose made by The
Call, said to The Call correspondent
to-day:
"In general with the farmers of the
State I have always felt that the true
purposes and design of the Ostrom bill
have been defeated. The only motive
which lay at the bottom of that act of
1893 consisted in a desire to benefit the
farmers of the State and thereby, in a
measure, atone for the employment of
convict labor in the manufacture of
grain bags. But wherein have the
farmers profited from It?
"If the recent publications of The
rail be true, I am sure Instead of there
being a profit or advantage to the
farmers, there has been a distinct loss
inflicted on them, besides a very serious
disadvantage. I have not given the
matter much thought since Robert T.
Devlin, the Prison Director, ran for Su
perior Judge in this county some few
years ago. I remember then that his
record on the Jute bag proposition was
very thoroughly discussed among the
farmers, and, if their vote on his can
didacy Is any Indication, I am sure the
Sacramento farmers were very emphat
ic in condemning the course of the
Prison Board.
"The purpose of the Ostrom law was
THE SAX FRAXCISCO CALL, SATURDAY, JANUABY 15, 1898.
to restrict speculation in one of the
principal commodities used by the
farmer. The low price of his grain,
coupled with his very small margin for
profit, led the Legislature to believe
that as long as the convicts had to do
something it would be well to effect
their employment by directly benefiting
the farmer.
"Now. when by one means and an
other, the directors ran the price up to
the point it reached last year, they are
certainly violating the law and defeat
ing the purpose of the measure. I sup
pose when their side is heard they will
be able to prove that they were acting
in accord with strict commercial prac
tices; but while that may be true they
made profit at the expense of the farm
er, and the Legislature never intended
that they should manufacture bags for
the purpose of speculation. They should
never have permitted such a surplus
of stock to have accumulated.
"If their price governs the market I
do not see why they found it necessary
to unload thousands upon thousands of
sacks at a price very much lower than
the farmer was compelled to pay later
on, when it became necessary for him
to buy. I do not know where this
518,000 profit which The Tall speaks of
went, but you may depend upon it no
small grain producer in the State of
California received a cent of it.
"Now I suppose the claim will be
made that the cost of production in
San Quentin necessitates this high
price charged by the board. My rem
edy for this would be to establish the
jute plant at Folsom, where they have
power to throw away, and where they
could manufacture jute bags at a
greatly reduced rate. In that event
even I presume some way would be
found to benefit these whom the law
never intended to benefit.
"As to the practice spoken of in The
Call on the part of merchants who ob
tain control of a large stock of grain
baps through affidavits made by in
different, ignorant or unscrupulous
men, I am proud to say that I have
never heard of such a violation of the
law in my locality. At the same time
I know that the fueling of the farmers
in this section is wry strong against
the practices of the Prison Hoard, and
while before The Call's expose we had
no authentic information on the man
ipulations carried on we have all felt
that something was radically wrong,
and we sincerely hope that The Call
may bring the relief the people desire.
"I am not speaking from any peraon
al experience, and ran only say per
sonally that. If the affair should come
up for solution at the next session of
the Legislature, I shall take hold of it
as I do of all other matters, and try to
protect the farmers of the State from
any further disadvantage by so
amending the law as to remove temp
tation and opportunity from those who
have failed to carry out the spirit and
intent of the act as it now stands."
MR. WILKINS
DEFENDS THE
PRISON BOARD.
He Disclaims Any Knowl
edge of the Operations
of Middlemen.
RAX RAFAEL, Jan. 14— James H.
Wilkins. one of the members <>f the
Board of State Prison Director*, was
seen to-day in regard to the jute bag
trouble. Said he:
"I took my office as a member of the
board in April. 1^96, and at that time
we had a large supply of bags on hand,
but though the season was advancing
we were getting no orders for them.
We sent out circulars and posters
broadcast, but they failed to have the
slightest effect. We th»-n reaorted to
an expedient never before attempted.
Four drummers were sent throughout
the State, one in the Northern Sacra
mento Valley, one about Stockton, one
about Tulare and Bakersfield ond one
In the Salinas and Santa Clara Val
leys.
"They sold, all told, as nearly as I
can say about 1,000,000 bags, and I
think it is safe to say that they inter
viewed one-half to two-thirds of the
farmers who raised wheat in commer
cial quantities in the State of Califor
nia. Many of the farmers could not
take the bags, as they were unable to
raise the necessary 10 per cent cash
payment, and in a number of Instances
the middlemen came to their rescue by
putting up the amount.
"Well, we reached the end of the fis
cal year 1896, barely managing to get
through and keep things on a level
keel. We couldn't sell the bags. All
the working capital was tied up in the
bags — about HSO.OOO.
"It took about $6000 a month to run
the jute mill, and this sum must be
realized from sales of sacks, for the
general appropriation was only suffi
cient to pay the salaries and subsist
ence charges. The appropriation for
that year was $147,000, but we could
only draw one-twelfth of that amount
a month, or a little over J12.000, which
barely paid the salaries and the sub
sistence charges. We had no money
for the running of the Jute mill, and
the Board of Examiners allowed us to
overdraw the one-twenty-fourth act,
we overdrawing a little over $5000 a
month for several months in the fiscal
year ending June 30, 1897.
"Shortly after we relieved the situ
ation, securing orders to manufacture
1,600,000 sugar bags and received cash
for them. This eased up the state of
affairs existing, yet we were away
short on the one-twenty-fourth act.
However, we had relieved the embar
rassing situation. Otherwise the mill
must have closed shortly after the fis
cal year began.
"On the close of the 1896 calendar
year we almopt determined to close
down the Jute mill, for the sugar bag
business was exhausted and we
couldn't see our way clear Co make
both ends meet, yet we determined to
run along In the hopes that something
would turn up, and it did. In January,
1897, the boom began, and it purely
arose over the scare among the farm
ers about the McKinley bill. A com
mittee had formulated a tariff bill and
the tariff on bags was run up to 2%
cents, and this meant that the price of
bags would reach at least 6 cents.
There was a rush to get the San Quen
tin bags, as there were no Calcutta
bags on the market at all.
"Inquiries for our bags came in thick
and fast and we fixed the price at $4 75.
Of course we were anxious to straight
en out our affairs, and we desired to
put the jute mill again on a business
basis.
"We directed the sale of a milii.
bags, as we had the right to do, a:
regarded the sale aa a perfect godsen
relieving us, as it did, from a m«.
embarrassing position.
"I never heard of Diggs before. Very
THE MEETING OF THE WHISKERS.
President Dole Welcomed to Our Shores by One Whose Hirsute
Claims to Official Preferment Are as Conspicuous as His Own.
■000 after the members of the board
would know the men applying for the
li.iL-s and there would be no question
about supplying them. We are not
supposed to carry on a detective bu
reau. We deal with three and four
thousand customers, and to investi
gate every affidavit would require the
services of a detective bureau larger
than any on earth.
"I would not have sanctioned the sale
Of bags in large quantities had it not
been necessary for us to relieve the
pressing situation. Our affairs were
in a terrible condition, and in common
with other directors I was very unwill
ing to go before the public with a rec
ord of a heavy deficiency, which most
people woulJ have ascribed to incom
petency or worse. But the sale of the
bags carried us over handsomely, and
I think any business man would have
done the same under like conditions.
"I didn't understand that the mid
dlemen were buying the sacks. I
haven't seen an affidavit that didn't
comply with the law. There may have
been cases of rien in mercantile pur
suits applying for sacks, but as we
knew that they used them for farms of
their own \v» supplied their demands.
"I- believ-' that now the situation is
relieved and the affairs of the jute mill
are on a satisfactory basis, that the
Oatrom it t wfll be complied with in
the strictest sense of the law.
"The orders for sacks for this year's
crop will Roon come in; at the next
meeting orders will be received, I be
lieve, and we will supply them. If
ever the law has been violated except
by persons presenting false affidavits
I do not know of it personally."
REPORTS FROM
THE FARMING
COMMUNITIES.
Small Wheat-Raisers Fail
to Derive Benefit From
the Ostrom Act.
WILLIAMS. Cal., Jan. 14.— The bank,
here is owned by the Stovall Wilcoxson
Company. \sho farm nearly 10,000 acres, '
and they buy San Quentin bags
through members of the corporation for
their own use, consuming annually
from 30.000 to 60,000 sacks. Last year
they paid $4 75. They do not sell any.
D. Levy is the only dealer in this
vicinity who sells bags.
L. G. Manor, another large farmer,
last year purchased 34,000 bags, buy
ing from the Calcutta combination at
$5 10, saving above the cost of prison
Hacks, as then quoted, laid down at
Williams, the sum of $277. Had he pur
NEW TO-DAY.
A Good Medicine
This is the verdict of the people in
regard to Hood's Sarsaparilla. Wher-
ever it is given a fair trial it demon-
strates its absolute intrinsic merit.
It makes friends easy because it
makes people well.
»
As its sales are rapidly Increasing,
its volume of praise grows greater day
by day. It is now generally recog-
nized as America's Greatest Medicine.
Its use is prescribed by physicians,
druggists, and even the great influen-
tial newspapers advise correspondents
suffering from impure blood to "take
Hood's Sarsaparilla."
It has cured the worst cases of scrof-
ula, ealt rheum, sores, ulcers, boils,
etc., simply and solely because it
thoroughly purifies the blood.
It cures catarrh and the pains and
aches of rheumatism, neuralgia, mala-
ria, because it neutralizes acidity, ex-
Hood's Sarsaparilla
chased earlier in the season he could
have done much better.
Mr. Manor argues that the prison di
rectors forced the prison bags on the
market early in the season, and later
raised the price to a p<»fhi above that
asked for Calcutta bags.
PETALUMA, Jan. 14.— Owing to the
fa< t that Petaluma and vicinity abound
principally in poultry and dairy farms
the farmers are not greatly inconven
ienced in the purchase of their grain
sacks. The fact of the requirements
of the Board of Directors at San Quen
tin of payment in advance and the
usual red tape deters the mills or small
farmers from patronizing prison-made
sacks.
It is estimated that not more than
20,000 sacks are purchased here in a
year, the farmers using their old bags
as long as possible. The Golden Eagle
Mining Company state that they have
never handled any of the San Quentin
bags. In the first place the law pro
hibits any but actual consumers pur
chasing bags from the prison, and sec
ondly, firms here have been able so far
to purchase the Calcutta bags with less
difficulty and sell them in this market
as low as llwc of San Quentin make
were quoted.
The difference in quality la but little,
and as long as Calcuttas answer the
farmers' purpose they will not pay
more for the San Quentin convict-made
sacks; especially as in several notable
instances they have had cause to com
plain of unfair treatment, where they
should only have received the fair deal
ing they expected.
HOLLTSTEU. Jan. 14.— San Quentin
sacks are used exclusively in this coun
ty. The large farmers deal direct with
the prison. The small farmers are fur
nished the sacks at the prison price,
. phis cost of freight. The farmers here
! have no complaint concerning middle
' men, but naturally suffer from the flue
! tuation in prices of the San Quentin
i product.
VISALIA. Jan. 14.— The publications
in The Call regarding the jobbery in
grain sacks have elicited much interest
here, both among dealers and farmers.
It seems to be the prevailing opinion
that the grain sack business of the
State has not greatly redounded to the
benefit of the average farmer.
A good many San Quentin grain bags
have been purchased in Tulare County
by the wheat growers, but far more of
the Calcutta product have found their
way to this part of the valley. There
are reasons for this, one is that the
San Quentin bags have been slightly
smaller than the others. Again, the law
required that 10 per cent of the price of
the bags accompany the order, and
many of the smaller wheat growers es
pels the germs of disease, and gives the
blood vitality and strength.
It relieves dyspepsia, indigestion, bil-
iousness, torpid liver and kidneys, by
virtue of its qualities as a true stom-
ach tonic, appetizer and aid to diges-
tion.
It cures nervousness, nervous dyspep-
sia, that tired feeling, weariness of
mind and body, because it feeds the
; nerves, muscles and tissues upon pure
j blood, and thus gives them the tone
and strength they imperatively need.
It prevents fevers, the grip, colds,
■ etc., because It fortifies and strengthens
I the system to resist these attacks and
i the unfavorable effects of changeable.
damp, stormy weather.
This is simply what Hood's Sarsa-
parilla has done for others, and what,
if you are in need, it will do for you. In
your necessity give Hood's Sarsaparilla
the opportunity to do you good. Fairly
tried, you will find it a faithful friend.
Is America's Greatest Medicine. Sold by all druggists. $1;
•ix for *5. Prepared only by C. I. Hood & Co., Lowell, Mass.
pecially have been unable to have that
amount on hand at the time they need
ed the bags. Hence it has been the rule
for the farmers here to depend on a few
of th« largest dealers in grain bags for
what they wanted in that line, knowing
that the dealers would advance the
sacks until the grain was sold.
I have been assured that not more
than one out of ten farmers in this part
of the county makes it a custom to or
der grain bags from San Quentin.
It has been whispered that a large lot
of grain bags was secured last summer
from the San Quentln mills by a few
dealers who expected to do an immense
business in that line on account of the
nattering prospects for wheat. How
they obtained the sacks is not exactly
known. It is said that a good many
bales are being carried over.
Prices of sacks have varied here from
as low as 5 cents to as high as 8 or 9
c^nts In the past four years. Most
farmers agree that either the law or
the management of the State product
has not been entirely satisfactory.
SONOMA, Jan. 14.— Some of the grain
farmers here purchase their supply of
sacks from San Francisco commission
merchants, while others place their or
ders with the home merchants. Owing
to the relatively small amount of
wheat raised there is no business house
which keeps sacks on hand or makes a
specialty of them. The price paid by
the farmer fo-r the prison-made sack,
which is supposed to be 1 cent above
cost, is the same as they pay for the
imported Calcutta sack. No orders are
sent direct to San Quentin Prison, as
it was intended they should be when
the Ostrom law was passed in 1893, and
it appears as though the wholesaler is
reaping the benefit instead of the farm
er. The business men of Sonoma said
t>>-day that the sack business did no-t
justify them bothering with it. F. T.
Duhring, the largest dealer here, hand
led but 2000 sacks last year.
Mr. Joseph Tate, who is connected
with his father, Mr. F. Tate, on one of
the largest ranches in this valley, when
speaking about the purchase of sacks,
said that there was no difference in the
prioe of prison sacks and those im
ported from Calcutta, Last year they
purchased their supply in San Francis
co, and the price for the two makes
was the same.
By the passage of the Ostrom law it
was intended to protect the farmer
against the high price of the imported
Calcutta goods, and also give the pris
oner a chance to earn his living, but
when goods, upon which there is a tar
iff, and in the manufacture of which
labor has to be paid, is offered for sale
at the same price as the prison-made
article, where the labor is not paid, it
is evident that the laws are not carried
"My little boy was taken with in-
flammatory rheumatism when he was 2
years old. He was in a serious condi-
tion. We did not know what it was for
all of us to get a good night's rest for
many years. Some one had to sit up
with him. We tried every means we
could think of to effect a cure, but
nothing helped him. At one time we
thought he could not live from day to
day. He had a heart trouble caused by
the rheumatism. I had about given up
all hope of his recovery, but I thought
I would get a bottle of Hood's Sarsa-
parilla. Before he had taken one half
the contents he began to improve. He
kept cm gaining as I continued to give
him the medicine, and now he is well
and strong and goes to school every
day. I owe his life to Hood's Sarsa-
parilla." Mrs. P. S. Lockridge. 1328
West Second street, Los Angeles, Cal.
N. B. If you decide to take Hood's
Sarnaparilla, do not be induced to- buy
any substitute. Be sure to get only
Hood's.
out as intended, and the unanimous
voice of the tillers of the soil here de
mands an investigation.
MARYSVILLE. Jan. 14. —To the
charge of harboring unscrupulous mid
dlemen or bankers who are in league
with the directors of the San Quentin
Prison in the violation of the Ostrom
act, Marysville is one city that can
plead not guilty. This for the reason
that the dealers here have nfver taken
kindly to nor admired the red tape fea
tures of the purchase or jute bags fror.r
the prison. They are modest in iheir
confession that they never have yield
ed to the temptation to make false af
fidavit "that the amount of goods in
the order were for individual and per
sonal use of the applicant."
Instead they have been and are now
handling the Calcutta sacks, supply
ing for the most part the farmers of
Yuba and Sutter counties, whom they
carry on their books from year to
year. One of these merchants said to
your correspondent that he knows of
scarcely any San Quentin bags having
been used by the ranchers hereabouts
last season. When the San' Quentin
bag war? from an eighth to a quarter
cheaper than the Calcutta article a
few of the farmers found themselves
financially able to purchase the prison
bags. But as the prison directors re
quire cash down for the goods few
farmers in this section neve been in
position to deal with them in three sea
sons past. Hence the sway of the Cal
cutta bag. which is this season quoted
lower than the San Quentin article.
NAPA, Jan. 14.— During the year 1897
very few prison made sacks were pur
chased by our farmers, though in 1894
95-96 the quantity was quite large. A.
Hatt, one of the largest grain men
here, says:
"Tho reason that last season Calcut
ta Packs were almost exclusively
bought in this county was that they
were cheaper than those made at the
prison. I think, too, that they were
better and stronger, for the prison
sacks brought here the year before
were miserable quality, breaking
often in the seams.
"The Ostrom law was' supposed to
have been enacted in the Interest of
the farmers, to enable them to get at
a minimum cost bags made at an In
stitution which they help to keep up,
but the good obtained from It amounts
to near nothing. At least such would
seem the case when farmers cannot
afford the extortionate prices at the
prison and must buy for a trifle less,
but still high, of a private corporation.
"I don't charge the Prison Directors
with corruption. I know nothing of the
allegations, and have given the matter
no attention, but I do know It does not
appear that the jute department of San
Quentin Prison is run much in the in
terest of the farmers of California.
The prices of Calcutta are high yet
they are lower than San Quentin. Why
Is it?"
F. E. Johnston, one of Napa's most
prominent attorneys and owner of one
of the largest farms in the county,
thinks much as does Mr. Hatt. Since
the passage of the Ostrom law in 1893
Mr. Johnston has purchased only one
season's sacks at the prison. That was
In 1894, when he paid 5V4 cents for five
thousand sacks. The following year
he bought none, but in 1896 preferred
Calcuttas. Also in 1897. In 1896 a
thousand Calcuttas cost him 4 1-5
and in 1897 two thousand 5 cents each.
This was better than he could do at
San Quentin. The Call's profrfng of
this matter is attracting much atten
tion in Napa.
WOULD PRINT SCHOOLBOOKS
IN THE STATE PENITENTIARY.
DES MOINES. la., Jan. 14.— Senator
Wilson to-day created a storm by intro
ducing a joint resolution providing that
all schoolbooks used in public institu
tions of the State be hereafter printed
and bound at the State penitentiaries.
Already members arc being flooded with
remonstrances by mail and wire. While
most of them are from leaders of or
ganized labor, many are from citizens, in
dependent of labor influences, who be
lieve the adoption of the resolution by
a Republican Legislature would Kwe a
demoralizing effect on the party at large.
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