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About The Wageworker. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????
Lincoln, Neb. (1904-????)
- The Wageworker. : (Lincoln, Neb.) 1904-????
- Place of publication:
- Lincoln, Neb.
- Geographic coverage:
- Wageworker Pub. Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Began in 1904.
- Lincoln (Neb.)--Newspapers.
- Description based on: Vol. 7, no. 27 (Sept. 23, 1910).
- sn 86063459
- Succeeding Titles:
- View complete holdings information
- First Issue Last Issue
The Wageworker and Will Maupin's Weekly
Over the course of his 60-year career, Will M. Maupin (1863-1948) contributed stories, opinions, and humor to papers across Nebraska, from the Falls City Journal in the east to the Gering Midwest in the western part of the state. Maupin preferred being considered a "newspaperman" rather than a "journalist" or "author."
A particularly remarkable period were the years 1901-13 when Maupin, an advocate for labor, Populism, and the Democratic ticket, edited a column in William Jennings Bryan's newspaper, the Commoner. Maupin was also the sole editor and publisher of the Wageworker (1904-11) in Lincoln, Nebraska, and its successor Will Maupin's Weekly (1911-12). The Commoner had a national audience, while the latter two papers were largely addressed to Nebraskans. The Wageworker's motto was "a newspaper with a mission and without a muzzle," and as a Labor paper, it defended the working man and woman, attacked monopolies such as Standard Oil, and decried imperialism. Some have described the Wageworker as more "caustic" than the Commoner. Will Maupin's Weekly had a broader scope and, although short-lived, met its goal of being "a snappy progressive weekly journal of news and comment."
As a dedicated member of the International Typographical Union, Maupin was strongly commitment to the interests of labor, helping found the Nebraska Federation of Labor. According to Patricia Gaster's article on the newspaperman in Nebraska History, Maupin was appointed deputy commissioner of the Nebraska Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics in 1909, and he used his position to organize a convention that pushed for a wage earners' organization in the state. Delegates, including Maupin, drafted a platform that included "an eight-hour work day, enforcement of child labor laws, and equal pay for equal work by men and women." This position gave Maupin a taste for public life and fueled his newspaper writing. Although Maupin was on ballots for governor and state representative, he won only one public election, serving as a State Railway Commissioner from 1935 to 1941. The job provided some financial stability for his family, for whom money was always a concern. A practical idealist, Maupin worked hard on issues relating to wage earners when he could afford to do so, which is to say intermittently.
Maupin's newspaper columns were often leavened with humor, anecdotes, and "poetic jabs" at personages such as Edward Rosewater, editor and owner of the Omaha Daily Bee. Among Maupin's more popular columns, "Limnings," and "Brain Leaks" appeared in the Omaha Morning World-Herald. During Omaha's world fair, the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in 1898, Maupin briefly contributed to a column called "Snap Shots at the Passing Throng." Similar Maupin columns included "Whether Common or Not" in the Commoner and "Sunny Side Up" in the Omaha Evening Bee-News, begun years after Rosewater's death. Maupin's columns were sometimes syndicated or collected into book form to help support his family.
By the time of his death in 1948, Maupin had edited or written for around 40 newspapers.