Newspaper Page Text
By JAMES A. EDGERTON.
E who violates the law is not a Democrat he is not a Repub lican he is a criminal," said Joseph W. Folk in the begin ning of his career. Missouri has adopt ed both FoMi and his motto The time is certain to comeand the sooner the betterwhen the entire nation will also adopt the motto Will it, too. adopt the man? Up till the time it became plain that Brj an as in the field for a third nom ination Folk was ono of the most prom- i ising Democratic candidates. Since then he has not permitted his friends to talk of him. Nevertheless Joseph W. Folk is still a presidential possibihtj No man who has done the work he has done and who has won the universal esteem that he has won is safe from political lightning Folk's fight on the grafters and his appeal to the conscience of the nation have won him a place in American his tory that will endure. To stand for moral advancement, to uphold private and public honesty, to break up a nest of crooks calling itself a political ma chine, to send rich and powerful crimi nals to jail and to start an antigraft crusade that has spread throughout the countryto do these things is more than merely to be elected president. These are not the only achievements of Governor Folk He has killed the lobby in his state, has had the courage to enforce the Sunday closing and Folk, the Foe of Boodlers Achievements of Missouri's Courageous Governor, Wh Started a National Anti-Graft Crusade and Is a Presi dential Possibility Clean Cut, Resolute and Always In Earnest. GOVERNOR AND MRS. JOSEPH \V. FOLK. Other antisaloon laws and has gone far toward placing principle above policy in the political creed of Missouri. It is impossible to measure the effect of such a life. It is perhaps more power ful in its invisible results than in its visible ones. It is a leaven that leav ens the whole body politic. It is an example that, unconsciously to them selves, shapes the thoughts and lives of all who behold it. That this is literally true in the case of Folk is shown by the fact that, fol lowing his exposure of corruption in St. Louis, similar crusades started in Minneapolis, San Francisco and other cities. The movement has only begun It will go on till it has cleansed every city on the continent. The moral awakening of this people comes slow ly, but it is coming as surely and irre sistibly as the summer and sunshine. Private greed cannot always win as .against public good. Lies cannot al ways prevail against righteousness. Selfishness must some time give way to brotherhood. Graft, running the gamut all the way from high finance to low politics, has about had its day in this country. The issue is one of plain honesty. Sooner or later stealing is going to become unpopular. Ameri ca is discovering a national conscience. Men of the Folk stamp are giving it voice. Did His Duty. Joseph Wingate Folk was born in Tennessee in 1869, graduated from Vanderbilt university, admitted to the bar at the age of twenty-one and 'be- gar practice at his home town of Brownsville. Shortly afterward he went to the big town of his section, St. Louis, where he beg^an as an un known country lawyer. For seven years he remained unknown, but was gradually winning his way into a good practice. Having been identified with some cases for the union labor people, the Democratic machine, needing a labor candidate, offered him the nomi nation for circuit attorney. At first Fo'lc refused, but afterward consented to make the race, stipulating, however, that he proposed to "do his duty." The bosses of course regarded this as a good joke All their candidates said the same, but when in office did th^ will of the machine Despite great or^ against him was elected and took his oath of oCiv*- when only a trifle past thirty-one. Then, to the amazement and chagrin of the bosses, he actually kept his word and did his duty. He proved that at least one candidate for office meant what he said. The machine politicians of St. Louis have not yet recovered from the novelty of the experience. Some of them have retired to the quiet and seclusion of a jail to think it over. The average machine worker would be better for the same sort of enforced aid of reflection. It would improve him in many ways, among others in respect for his own word and for other people's property. Battle Too Real For Badinage. Folk gave the word "grafter" anew significance. He made it apparent that a millionaire criminal can be sent to jail if the prosecutor Is sufficiently in earnest. The one thing needed by the American people is to cease regarding a crook as a joke, and the bigger the crook the bigger the joke. There is too much truth in Tom Lawson's indict ment of the people that they only stand and grin at the efforts to save them from their enemies. A crook is never a joke he is a menace. The battle against dishonesty is too real for badinage. The sense of humor is a good and wholesome thing so long as it does not deseend to the frivolous and the flippant. There are times when laughter is out of place, when a grin reveals either a knave or a fool. It is time that this people got in earnest about the stock gamblers, manipula tors, political bosses and official bribe takers who are stealing elections aud robbing industry. Somebody ought to write a platform consisting of four words. "Down with the crooks!" That may not be a very elegant shib boleth, but it fits the needs of the case The battle against organized rascality is not apt to be a pink tea affair. It will require something more than dilet tante methods to scourge the thieves from the temple of liberty. How He Fought Boodlers. Folk won out because he was in deadly earnest. bluffed trust presi dents and bank presidents into giving him the evidence he needed. Reading that there was $75,000 in a certain de pository that members of the St. Louis house of delegates were trying to get. he placed two and two together and concluded that a certain suburban rail way was trying to buy the passage of a bill. Calling before him the million aire president and legislative agent, familiarly known as the keeper of the "yellow dog," Folk asked them as to the facts. When they made denial, he convinced them that he knew the In side of the affair and gave them thrpe days to furnish the information de manded. If they refused, he would have them arrested and would prose cute them to the full extent of the law. At the end of two days an ex-govern or of Missouri appeai'ed for the rail road president with the story that his client was sick. Folk was sorry, of course, but unbending. The upshot was that the magnate and his "yellow dog" both went before the grand jury and confessed. Then by a magnificent system of bluff and threats of arrest for two bank presidents. Folk, with three members of the grand jury, saw the $75,000 corruption fund which had been deposited for safe keeping and also $60,000 intended to purchase th other house This was the beginning of the famous boodle prosecution of St. Louis that landed several proml nent politicians and business men In the penitentiary, sent others into exile, fliade the supreme court intervene in behali of more and placed Joseph W. Folk in the governor's chair. When the young circuit attorney be- pMi his fight against the boodlers he found all sorts of obstacles thrown in his way. Many of those he was prose cuting wore members of the machine that had nominated and elected him, and he was naturally accused of In gratitude. He had against him some of the most skillful lawyers in the cityr wth adverse judges on the bench. Technicalities, motions for delay and all the other subterfuges known to the corporation attorney were introduced to block him. His life was even threat ened It required courage, study and constant alertness to meet all this oppo sition. It was *he test of fire that proved the stuff in the Polk makeup. Here was a country attorney, little more than a boy in years, fighting mil lions of money and the all powerful political machine of his own party. Until receutly unknown, he was sud denly thrust into one of the most con spicuous and trying positions in the country. It goes without saying that he could have got almost any sized bribe for himself by dropping the prosecution. But he was to be moved neither by fear nor cupidity. The coarse workers of machine politics found that there was more in this quiet joung man than was apparent on the surface. He was a new type, one that could be neither bullied nor bribed, one not to be discouraged by opposition or tempted by oflice. One of Governor Folk's most marked characteristics is that he is deeply re ligious. is ever ready with a quo tation from the four gospels, and hiS appeal is to the higher and better in the hearts of his hearers. He is clean in his life without uncharitableness for others. He is moved by inward religious impulse without priggishness So equipped with inner light and outer knowledge, young Folk was more than a match for all the talent that the corruptionists could hire. As he won in his case against the boodlers, so he won in his candidacy for govern or. The corrupt machines of St. Louis and Kansas City counted the ballots against him, but the sterlmg Mis souri farmers rallied to his support, overturned the bosses and triumphant ly gave him the nomination. It was no brass band victory, but one of shut lips and determined hearts. In the succeeding election Folk was the only successful candidate on his ticket. Owing to the fearful exposures Mis souri went Republican for the first time in her history. She could not stand the Ryan-Belmont reactionary Democracy that was temporarily in the saddle and gave her electoral vote to Theodore Roosevelt. But at the same time she awarded a signal moral and political victory to J. W. Folk. Not Yet Forty. While not classed as an orator, Gov ernor Folk has great power with a jury or an audience because of his sincerity,- his ability in finding the weak point of his adversary and of going to the heart of a question and his winning appeal to the hearts and souls of his listeners. He' is clean cut, courageous and always in earnest. Whether he is ever president or' not he is a distinct force for civic right eousness in this day that needs it so much. Governor Folk is not yet forty years old. is to be reckoned with in the future. is quite as fearless in telling of trust graft as in exposing i political graft. Through the coming battle of this people against the com binations of crooks Folk will be in his element. In this day of busy divorce courts and "affinity" dementia it is refreshing to find so many of our public men with clean and wholesome home lives. That of Governor Folk is especially com mendable. He and Mrs. Folk, who was a Miss Gertrude Glass, were child hood playmates. She is quite as mod est and retiring as he, but takes a keen interest in political affairs and counsels with him on every important move. Quick Witted. Despite the fact that he is a very earnest individual, Governor Folk has a quick wit and a keen appreciation of humor. tells a good story and en joys one at his own expense. Here is one he used to tell that still may be new to most readers: A colored man was haled into court for some trivial offense. When his case was reached the clerk frightened the prisoner almost into spasms by reading in a loud voice, "The state of Missouri against John Jones." "Guilty or not guilty?" said the judge. Poor John Jones arose, with trem bling limbs and bulging eyes. "Well, yo' honah," he gasped, Mef de whole state o' MIssorah is agin dis one pore niggah I's gwine to give up right now." Folk is almost as much of a Chau tauqua favorite as his friend Bryan, as the following story shows: A bootblack of an Illinois Chautau qua assembly was asked: "Who was the greatest lecturer on the programme this year?" "Governor Folk," was the reply. "Why do you think Governor Folk the greatest lecturer?" "Why, sir, I made $6.25 the day he was here." That the Folk features are fairly well known was rather startlingly il lustrated some years ago. A letter postmarked at Randolph, N. Y., reach ed the governor at Jefferson City on schedule time, although the only ad dress was a pen sketch of his face and the single word "Missouri." Mr. Folk said it was not an exact likeness, but it was enough like him to find him without delay. The brightest hope of this country Is found In the clean minded, brave hearted young men of the Roosevelt, Bryan, La Follette and Folk types! They may not all be president, but they can all do valiant battle for com mon honesty, common decency and the people's rights. Strength to their arms! THTTKSDAY, MABCH 12, 1908. ^UUUiUUUUiiilUUiUUUUUU American Society of Equity Directory No 4526, Schmidt District, will meet the first Friday of every month at the Schmidt district school house No 3, at 8 p. m. E D. BENSEMAN, Pres II. HOI/THUS, Sec No 4373. Bogus Brook, will meet the second and fourth Friday of each month at Emil Jopp's house. A. SSCHMATZ, Sec No. 374, Berry District, will meet the first Friday of every month at the Berry school house district 24, at 7,30 m. O. D. OBNE, Pres. L, A HATCH, Sec No. 4734,.Woodard Brook, will meet the first and third baturday of each month at the Woodard Brook school house at 8 ALBERT RIEBE, Pres FRANK MAGNUSON, Sec No. 4804, Blue Hill, will meet the first and third Saturday of every month at the Wheeler school house at 8 p. m. JAMES DTJGAN. Pres. FRED STEH L. Sec. No 4703, Greenbush, will meet the second and fourth Saturday of each month at the Aug. Rines house, in school district 5, at 8 S E. TILLE T, Pres E C. STARK, Sec No. 4991, Baldwin District, will meet the second and fourth Saturday of every month at the Baldwin town hall, at 8 p. m. CHAS. JUDKINS. Pres. FIS K, Sec No 4211, Oxbow, will meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Gates school hou&e in Dist No. 32, at 8 p. m. GEO. TOMLINSOU, Pres. E. KADEKE, Sec. No 5057, West Branch, will meet the first and third Saturday of each month at the school houst, Dist No. 4, at 8 p. m. ARCHIE TAYLOR, Pres, J. L. WETSKL, Sec No. 4117, Zimmerman, will meet the first and third Saturday of each month in Woodman hall at 1.30 p. m. H. PRATT, Pres. GEORGE JAMES, Sec. No. 4243, Green Lake, will meet the second and fourth Monday of tach month at M. B. A. ball, Wyanett, at 8 AUGUST JOHNSON, Pres. E NYSTROM. Sec. JOHN BARRY Expert Accountant, Over 30 Yearn Experience. 1011 First Ave North, MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. THE HOLTHUS FARM N. F. HOLTHUS, Prop. I will hereafter run my Feed Mill and Grain Separator Tuesdays and Fridays. Saws gummed at reason able prices. I also have some feed for sale. Corn wanted. Cash paid or trade H. F. HOLTHUS R. D. No. 2 PRINCETON jMany People who have live stock, furniture, S etc., to dispose of find difficulty in securing an i $ AUCTIONEER! I am at your service in this capa city and will sell for you in Mille Lacs and the adjoining counties. Terms very reasonable. FRANK SMITH Auctioneer Princeton Minnesota *%vv%*%v%wvv*%**%v**%%%** FOR SALE All My Wirier Goods At Cost You had better come in and see them before they are all picked over. Now is your chance to get them cheap, as my spring goods are arriving every day and I must make room for them. SolomonLong M. 8. RUTHERFORD COAL COAL COAL Both hard and soft delivered to all parts of the 3 the city on short notice. 3 Try our Smokeless at $7.25 per ton. PRINCETON LUMBER CO 1 DEALERS IN ~S' Coal, Lumber, Sash, Doors and Building Material GEO. A. COATES, Hanager 3 First National Bank of Princeton, Minnesota. Paid up Capital, $30,000 A General Banking Busi ness Transacted. Loans Made on Approved Security. WUHHUU%V JVV**^,v*vvvvvvvvv%vvv%vv Interest Paid on Time De posits. Foreign and Domestic Ex change. S. S. PETTERSON, President. T. H. CALEY, Vice Pres. J. PETTERSON, Cashier, BANK OF PRINCETON. J. J. SKAHEN, Cashier and Manager. Does a General Collecting and insurance. Banking Business Farm and Village Loans. Security State Bank of Princeton, Minnesota. Capital and Surplus, $34,000. JOHN W GOULDING, President. G. A. EATON, Cashier. 1 We Make A Specialty 0 Farm Loans For the Next 30 Days we will give a liberal dis count on all Winter Goods. M. S. RUTHERFORD CO. I Townsend Btiiiaing, Princeton, Minn. Foreston Mercantile& LiveStock Co. Are fitters of men, women and children in shoes, dry goods groceries, hardware, and all kinds of farm machinery and fencing. Foreston Mercantile & Live Stock Co. FORESTON, MINN. i A few Ladies' and Children's Coats to close for less than cost Our Spring Stock of Hats has begun to arrive. Other Spring Goods to Follow. R. D. BYERS One Price Store. Live Stock Bought. Farmers and others are respectfully informed that I am buying cattle, hogs, sheep, etc., and paying the highest market prices therefor. Henry Erickson, Princeton. E. L. MCMILLAN WANTED Anyone having for sale a good FARM or BUSINESS or TOWN PROPERTY in any good locality may find a cash buyer without paying any commission by sending description and price at once to BUYERS' CO-OPERATIVE CO., 500 South Sixth Street, MINNEAPOLIS, niNN. W will deal only with owners. AND FEED BARN. T. J. KALIHER, Proprietor, Princeton, Minn. Single and Double Rigs at a moment*' Notice. Commercial Travelers'Trade Specialty.