Newspaper Page Text
OUR HOME TOWN.
A Department Devoted to Village Betterment. CICHABD HAMILTON BYBD. - My Ideal of civilization ia a very high ooei but the approach to it la a New Kuicluail towa of lone two thousand Inhabitants, with no rich man and nn poor man in it, all ming linit i u the sam society, every child at th aaiT school, no poorhoaac, no hrxKsr, opportunities equal, nobody too proud to ataod aloof, nobodx too humble t i b ahut oat. That's New KaKland aa it waa fifty yea ra asT( . . The civilization that lingers beautifully on the hillsides of New EnKland, and nestles sweetly in the valleys of Vermont, tha moment it approaches a crowd like llokton, or a million men gathered ia one place like New York, rot. It can not atand the greater centers of modern civilization. " Weadell I'blllipa. It la a well-known fact that the cities are rapidly sapping the strength of the village commnnitlea and the country towna by destroying local trade and undermining the local apirit. The very life tf the country town depends upon the checking of thia paralyzing force and the protec tion of local interests. The ouly way thla can be accomplished la by arousing local sentiment In favor of the improvement of local environment, the beautifying of home surroundings and the maintenance of tOCAh BUSlNKaS by LOCAL, TUAUK. To that end the editor of thia departnent desire to keep ia touch with tha active members of l-'ivic and Local Improvement Associations, and every one interested in the improvement and the protection of rural village life. What ia being done In your town to encourage amall industries and for home employment ? What ia doing along the line of street improve gnent and tha beautifying of private l.wiu unj public parks r Are your local merchants receiving the support of the local trade f Experience, plane and anggeatlona will be welcomed by the editor of thia department and no ar as possible given place in these columns. HAIL ORDER BUSINESS. ENORMOUS STRUCTURES TO BE ERECTED BY MONTGOMERY WARD AND COMPANY AND OTHERS. Suggests Question Whether Giant Catalogue Houses are Benefit or Detriment to the Farmer and the Country Generally. Chicago Is to have the greatest build ing the world ever constructed for com' merclal purposes. It will have a floor space of 50 acres a good sized farm. It Is to be 10 stories high, including the basement, and were It to be all stretched out on one floor it would cover 13 of the big city blocks in the windy city. It will be 900 feet In length and 270 feet wide and will be built of steel and concrete. The cost will be 12,500,000. The present building oc cupled by Mongomery Ward and Com pany is a huge affair, but Is stated to be entirely Inadequate to the needs of this enormous mail order house, and so this new pile is to be constructed. It seems to be the time of big com merical houses In the great centers of the country. Another big firm is to erect a building on Chicago avenue, which will contain a million square feet 200 feet by 800 feet: Sears, Roe buck and Company is a big Chicago business rival of the Montgomery ward firm, and has Just also been incorpor ated to do business in New York, with a capitalization of $40,000,000, paying the State incorporation tax of f 20,000. TO BE PROUD OF. These are fine projects, and at first thought may make one proud of Amer lean business institutions, but what Is the real effect of the success of tnese gigantic commerical houses upon the country's prosperity? How does their business affect the country merchant. the country banker, the country town Itself and in fact the country people who are the patrons of the great mail order houses. What creates the village, the town, the thriving city? What keeps It a live and bustling center ra ther than a dead congregation of a few houses with one or two miserable stores? It is the patronage and sup port, is It not, of the surrounding coun try homes. Towns are buht up only when they have support from an agri cultural territory, if agriculture is the surrounding Industry, which is the case in nine out of ten Instances. But conversely, the richness of the soil alone does not make the most valuable farms. THE MARKET FOR PRODUCTS. There must be a good market for the farm product; If the farm Is adjacent to a live growing town supporting ac tive and well-to-do-people, the market for the farmer's products will be ac tive and the prices good. If the town be a dead one, he will have to turn elsewhere to dispose of his products, and perhaps incur heavy transporta tion charges In their shipment. This fact Is set forth unmistakably in the last census figures which show that in a small area or te unuea ssiaies, uie reeions where factories abound. a dls- trict comprising but little over 10 per cent, of the United States the value of the farm lands is over half that of nil of the arable land in the entire country. The farms In these regions are located close to the factories, ahlch afford a profitable home market greatest good for the greatest number, the farms of each agricultural area surrounding a town should support that town to their uttermost. KEEP THE MONEY AT HOME. Every dollar that the farmer spends In the town Indirectly comes back to him in the way of benefits. The town grows, it supports better stores, more churches, better schools to which he can send his children, furnishes bet ter near-at-hand markets for his prod ucis, anq nnany increases the very value of his farm land. As a good Il lustration, the Dry Goods Reporter as sumes that such an agricultural town has a population of 1000, its support coming from the country tributary to it. me life of the town ia its retail trade. If it secures the entire purchas ing business of the farmers, it must of necessity grow rapidly. But Mont gomery Ward and Co., Sears, Roebuck and Co., and others of the enormous mall order houses Bend out their great four or five pound catalogues describ ing everything under the sun. Suppose that instead of spending his JC00 a year in his home town, each farmer in the community diverts 50 per cent of his trade from his town and sends $300 a year to the catalogue houses; it means that half of the business of the town is gone. On the basis of one hun dred or one hundred and fifty square miles of territory to support the town, it can be estimated that there are five hundred farmers In the district. Three hundred dollars a year in trade from each of the farmers means that one hundred and fifty thousand dollars annually is taken from the home town. ests of the town will pay the burden of taxation, and the amount of each tax-payer will be less ia proportion to carry on government IS THE SAVING A REAL ONE? While the country household. In looking over one of the big catalogues and sending an order for $50 worth of gooas, may De aoie to figure out an Immediate saving of five or six dollars, even after they have paid the freight, there is no question as to the final out come, if the practice Is persisted In by all the people of any particular local ity. The home town will suffer, the home market will fail to increase, if it does not decrease, as will also the value of the farm lands. Undoubtedly the catalogue houses can sell goods cheaper than the average country store, for they do a cash business, you send on your cash with yovr order. There is no risk In the cata logue or mail order house business. Possibly if you arranged to do business on the same basis with your country merchant cash down with your pur chase you could get almost as favor able prices. But the country merchant Is supposed to extend credit to every one: he has had bills which Le never collects and consequently must make a greater percentage of profit on the things he sells. Every community which is imbued with the spirit of building up its own Industries and of supporting Its home town with local pride, is sure to be the most prosperous ; there can be no gain saying this fact. BE A HOMECROFTER .Learn by Doing. Work Together. Give every Man a Chance. TUB HOME GARDEN. The S'..y of the Boy and His Little Plot of Ground At the age of five every boy Is by Instinct a gardener. If guided by op portunity, example and intelligent di rection he will dig. plant and develop an Interest in growing things; lacking these the call of mother nature leads to mud pies. Given a square yard of mellow ground, a tiny hoe and a hand ful of beans, a healthy five year-old boy will have a combination that ex cels anything yet designed in "nature study." From five to ten the world begins to dawn. He looks up and out; he sees and imitates, but does not reason. He should play without hindrance. If the square yard of ground be enlarged to I a rod, the handful of beans to a collec tion of seeds (the kinds for sale in the grocery stores are best as these have brilliantly colored pictures on the pack ages and the boy learns thereby what manner of a thing he is to expect), this square rod will be the play ground to a surprising extent. He may not plant the kinds you ex pect or want him to plant, as his view point is different from yours. It is un wise to insist on any given plan. Let this garden be his own. If it has been entirely to carrots or cabbage let it re main carrots and cabbage, for they are more to him than your choice variety It is unwise to expect careful pains- THE SLOGAN OP THE HOMECROFTERS IS "Every Child ia a (.ardea-Every Mother ia a Homecraft, aad Indi vidual, lodu&lrial Iadepeadeuee for Every Worker ia u Home of bis Owa oa the land." "A little croft ws owned -s plot of corn. A eardsn stored with peas and mint nd thvms. And flowers for posies, oft on Sunday morn. Plucked while the church bells rang ill. Ir earliest chimes." (( fidsnvrA. "The Citizen standing In the doorway of his home contented cn Ms threshold, his familr gathered about h hearthstone while the evenn of a well spent day ckx-es in :cenestnd saunas that are dearest- he shall save the Republic when the crum-up u futile and the barracsi are exhausted. "Htnry t, . OiuJy. "The slums and tenements of the great cities are social dynamite, cer tain to explode sooner or later. The only safeguard against such dangers fs to pluut the multiplying millions of our fast Increasing population in In dividual homes on the land home crafts, however small, owned by the occupant, where every worker tuid his family can enjoy individual industrial Independence." George H. Maxwell EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY m miii i ppwiiMtmii HOMECROFTS (EOPERATION THE FIRST BOOK HOMECROFTERS HAS JUST BEEN PUBLISHED AND AMONG ITS CONTENTS ARE THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES OF ABSORBING INTEREST The Brotherhood of Man Charity that is Everlasting The Secret of Nippon's Power Lesson of a Great Calamity The Sign of a Thought This book Is the first of a Series that will Chronicle the Progress of the HOMECROFT MOVEMENT aud inform all who wish to co-operate with it how they may do so through the formation of local Homecrof tors' Circles, Clubs or Gilds to promote Town mid Village Betterment, Htlmu- Money, nnd should pay more heed to raising up and training Men who will be Law-Ablding Citizens; that the wel fare of our Workers, Is of more con- sequence than the mere accumulation of Wealth; and that Stability of Na tional Character and of Social aud Business Conditions Is of greater lin- lute, home civic pride and loyalty to porta nee to the people of this country home institutions, industries and trade, Improve methods nnd facilities of edu cation iu the local public schools, nnd create new opportunities "At Home" that will go far to check the drift of trade and population to the cities. GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH MOTHER EARTH. In the course of ten years, this means one and one-half million dollars. Aver aging the profit on this amount at twenty per cent, It means -uat in ten years' time three hundred thousand dollars profits are taken from the town. Now, on the other hand, should the farmer, instead of sending away his money to the foreign place for goods he requires, give all his trade to the home town. Its business would be im mediately doubled, and with twice the employment for the peopia. Year af ter year, the profits made by the mer chants would be retained In the town, would seek investment in starting new Industries, and at the end of the ten year period, instead of a town of one thousand, there would be a lively city of from two to three thousand, and every acre of farm land within the trade radius of the town would be en hanced In value from ten to twenty dollars. ENRICHING THE BIG CITIES. It can be plainly figured out that the individual farmer who would divert half his trade to Chicago, New York or some other foreign city, in the course of ten years would send away three thousand dollars. 'If it were possible that he could save ten per cent on this amount, in ten years' time he would save three hundred dollars. Ills nly compensation would be a dead home town, poor schools, a poor home mar ket, and no increase in the value of his real-estate holdings. On the other hand, by giving his patronage to the home town, even though he must pay the merchant, ten for all the agricultural products, so per cent more than the foreign house, I I -II II J- --- Tf - t ft ;LJ HUGE STORE FOR CHICAGO MAIL-ORDER TO BE DESERTED LACK OF ROOM. that tho greatest factor in land value Is the nearness to good markets. It becomes plain, therefore, that the bet ter the home town can be mado. the more valuable is the farm land tribu tary to it. In the purely agricultural sections, the average country town is located in the center of from 75 to 150 square miles of territory; that is the town is supported by the trade result ing from that area of farms. Accord ing to federal statistics the average farmer spends JG27 a year for supplies clothing for his family, household utensils, food that he does not grow himself, farm implements, etc. Now it must be evident that if a plan jrera to be followed looking to the the result would be like this: On ac count of increase In farm values, one hundred and Bixty acres of land worth ten dollars more per acre, sixteen hun dred dollar; or, thirteen hundred dol lars better off In ten years than If he gave half his patronage to the foreign concern. His home town Is a lively one, all public Improvements, all mod ern conveniences, high schools, to which he could send .his children cheaply, good churches, good roads, and everything that can add to theon fort and happiness of its residents, and those who reside near It Jot wlthstanding. that the farmers' laa 1 Is enhanced in value, his taxation wfj be but little greater, as the business nter- taking effort and constant care f:om a boy of this age; encourage it but do not compel it. He can be taught by example all of the needs of plant growth but his hoe ing and weeding may be superficial. If you ask him he will allow you to dig in his garden to loosen the soil deeper than his strength permits. It Is wise to do this for tnere must be carrots and cabbage to harvest or there will be no play ground here next year. If the boy of five has been allowed the run of a garden, if at eight he has a garden of his own, at ten he will love gardening and will have absorbed an amazing store of knowledge, and to him may be imparted at this age in a way and manner that will awaken the the purest and best that Is in him, the mystery of life. A pumpkin plant on a compost heap, sending its vigorous shoots over the weeds, climbing where it cannot creep, firustlng Its snake like head through the garden fence, is a thing of wonder to a boy if he is but taught to see it, and when Its great golden blossoms appear there Is a still greater wonder unfolded. Boys of twelve and fourteen may de sert tne garden for the ball field or the fishing rod, and it is well they should, for the serious time of life is coming soon and play days should be as many and long as school and home duties will permit But a garden for a boy at this age may be a greater factor in his training for life than at any other, for by this time the "root of all evil" has entered his soul; he has learned that money is essential In order to procure the many things a boy must have, and the garden, which to this time has been a recreation field, a place of won derful possibilities In the way of good things to eat and pumpkins for jack-o'-lanterns, may be a most fertile field of revenue. Whatever the crop the proceeds should be wholly his own. If he has produced the crop wholly by his own efforts. There Is but one we that he can learn the value of money and that is by earning It The wise use of money must also be learned but that Is outside the sphere of gardening. From address of Prof. CranefieJd, Wise. Agr. College. The first Gild of the Ilomecroftera w been established nt Watertown, Massachusetts. The GUdhall, Shops nnd Gardens are located nt 143 Main Street, where the Garden School la now fully organized and over one hundred children are at work In the Gardens. The departments for train ing In Ilomecraft and Village Indus tries are being Installed. The Weavers are already nt work at the looms. It Is not designed to llulld here an Isolated Institution, but to make a model which can be duplicated In any town or village in the country. Copies of ''TH FIRST DOCK OF THt HOMECROFTERS" can be obtained by sending twelve two cent stamps with your name and address (carefully and plainly written) to ' he Homecrofters" Clld of the Talisman 143. Main St., Watertown, Massachusetts. There is New Hope and Inspiration for every Worker who wants a Home of his own on the Land In the ItEED AM) 1'LATFOUM OF THE HOMECROFTERS' which Is as fol lows: "Peace has her victories no leas re nowned than war." EDUCATION CO-OPERATION OPPORTUNITY HOMECROFTS We believe that the Patriotic fW.m of the Whole People of this Nation should be "Every Child In a Garden Every Mother In a Homecraft and In dividual Industrial Independence for Every Worker In a Home of his Own on the Land," and that until he own such a Home, the concentrated purpose and chief inspiration to labor In the lif i of every wage worker should be bis determination to "Get an Acre ani Live on It." We believe that the Slums and Tenements nnd Congested Centers of population In the Cities are a savagely deteriorating social, moral and polit ical Influence, and that a great public movement should be organized, and the whole power of the nation and the states exerted for the betterment of all the conditions of Rural Life, and to create and upbuild Centers of So cial and Civic Life In Country and Suburban Towns and Villages, where Trade nnd Industry can be so firmly anchored that they cannot be drawn Into the Commercial Maelstrom that Is now steadily sucking Industry and Humanity into the Vertex of the Great Cities. We believe that every Citizen In this Country has an inherent an4 Fundamental Right to an Education which will train him to Earn a Liv ing, nnd. If need be, to get his living straight from Mother Earth; and that he has the same right to the Opportun ity to have the Work to Do which will afford him that living, and to earn not only c cor'ortable livelihood, but enomrh more to enable him to be a - Homecrofter and to have a Home of his Own, with ground around It sufficient to yield him and his family a Living from the Land as the reward for his own lnbpr. We believe that the Public Domain Is the most preclons heritage of the people, and the surest safeguard the nation has against Social Unrest. Dis turbance or Upheaval, and that the Cause of nnmanlty and the Preserva tion of Social Stability and of our Free Institutions demand that the absorp tion of the public lands Into specula tive private ownership, without settle ment be forthwith stopped: and that the nation should create opportnnltles for Homecrofter by building Irriga tion and drainage works to reclaim land! as fast as It Is needed to give every man who wants a Home on the Land a chanca to get ft. We believe thati as a Nation, we should be less absorbed with Making as a wnoie man any otuer one ques tion that Is now before them; and we believe that the only way to Preserve such Stability, and to Permanently Maintain our National Prosperity, Is to carry into Immediate effect and operation the Platform of the Talis. mnn, which Is us follows: EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND HOMES ON THE LAND. 1. That children shall be taught gardening and homecraft In the public schools, nnd that Ilomecraft and Garden Training Schools shall be established by county, municipal, state, and national governments, where every boy nnd every man out of work who wants employment where he can gain that knowledge, can learn how to make a home nnd till the soil and get his living straight from tlio ground, and where every boy would be taught that his lirrt aim In life should be to get a home of his own on the land, BUILD HOMECROFTS AS NATION AL SAFEGUARDS, 2. That the New Zealanu svstem of Land Taxation and Land Purchase and Subdivision, and Advances to Set tiers Act, shall be adopted In this country, to the end that land shall be subdivided into small holdings In the hands of those who will till It for a livelihood, and labor find occupation In the creation of homecrafts, which will be perpetual safeguards against the political evils and social discontent resulting from the overgrowth of cities and the sufferings of unem ployed wage-earners. PROTECTION FOR THE AMER ICAN 1IOMECROFT. 3. That Rural Settlement shnll be encouraged nnd the principle of Pro tection for the American Wngeworker and his Home applied directly to the Home by the Exemption from Taxa tion of all Improvements upon, and also of all personal property, not ex ceeding f2,!WO in value, used on and In connection with, every Homecraft or Rural Homestead of not more than ten acres In extent, which the owner occupies as a permanent home and cultivates with his own labor and so provides therefrom all or part of the support for a family. ENLARGEMENT OF AREA AVAIL ABLE FOR HOMEMAKING. 4. That the National Government, an part of a comprehensive nation al policy of Internal Improvements for river control and regulation, and for the enlargement to the utmost -possible extent of the area of the country available for agri culture and Homes on the Land, and for the protection of those Homes from either flood or drouth, shall build not only levees and revetments where needed, and drainage works for the reclamation of swamp and overflowed lands, but shall also preserve existing forests, reforest denuded areas, plant new forests, and build the great reser volrs and other engineering works necessary to safeguard against over flow and save for beneficial use use flood waters that now run to waste. RECLAMATION AND SETTLE MENT OF TTIE ARID LANDS. B. That the National Government shall build the Irrigation works neces sary to bring water within reach of settlers on the arid lands, the cost of puch works to be repaid to the govern ment by such settlers In annual In stallments without Interest, and that the construction of the great Irrigation works necessary for the utilization of the waters of such large rivers as the Columbia, the Sacramento, the Colo rado, the Rio Grande, and the Missouri, and their tributaries, shall proceed as rapidly as the lands reclaimed will be utilized In small farms by actual settlers and homemakers, who will re pay the government the cost of con struction of the Irrigation works, and that the amount needed each year for construction, as recommended by the Secretary of the Interior, shall be made available by Congress as a loan from the general treasury to the Re clamation Fond, and repaid from lands rlalm3. as required by tlis National Irrigation Act. SAVE THE TUBLIC LANDS FOP HOMEMAKERS. 6. That not another acre of the pvT lie lands shall ever hereafter b granted to any state or territory for any purpose whatsoever, or to any one other than an actual settler who has built his home on the land and lived on It for five years, and that no more land scrip of any kind shall ever be Issued, and that the IVsert Ijind Law and the Commutation clause of the Homestead Law shall lie made to eon form to the recommendations of the Public Lands Commission apitoiuted by President Roosevelt and of the Message of the President to Congress. PLANT FORESTS AND CREATE FOREST PLANTATIONS, 7. That the Timber and Ston T.w shall be repealed, and that all pub lic timber lands shall lw Included In permanent Forest Reserves, the title to the land to be forever retained bv the National Government. stumDatre only of matured timber to be sold, and young timlier to be preserved for rnnire cutting, so that the forests will lie perpetuated bv rleht use: and that the National Government shall, by the reservation or purchase of ex isting forest lands, and the planting of new forests, create In every state National Forest Plantations from which, through all the years to come, a sufficient supply of wood and timber can be annually harvested to supply the needs of the people of each state from .he Forest Plantations In that state. CONTROL AND USE OF TJIEl GRAZING LANDS, a That all unlocated public lands not otherwise reserved shall be re served from location or entrv under any law except the Homestead Law, and shall be embraced In Grazing Re serves lnder the control of the Secre tary of Agriculture, who shall be em powered to Issue annual Licenses to graze stock In said Grazing Reserves, but such licenses shall never be Issued for a longer period than one year on agricultural lands or five years on grazing lands, and all lands classified as grazing lands shall be subject to reclassification at the end of every five years; that no leases of the public grazing lands shall ever be made by the National Government, and that the area of the homestead entry shall never under any circumstances be en larged to exceed 1!0 acres. RESERVE STATE LANDS FOR nOMESTEAD SETTLERS. 9. That the public land states shall administer the state lands under a system similar to and In harmony with the national public land system , above outlined, and that each state shall enact a State Homestead Law for the settlement of lands owned by the state, and that state lands shnll be disposed of only to actual settlers under such Inw, and that all state lands shall at all times remain open to Homestead Entry. UNITED OWNERSHIP OF LAND AND WATER. 10. That It shall bo the law of every state nnd of the United States, that beneficial use Is the basis, the meas ure, nnd the limit of all rights to water. Including riparian rightr, and that the right to the use of water for Irrigation shall Inhere In and be ap purtenant to the land Irrigated, so that the ownership of the land and the water shall be united, and no right to water as a speculative commodity ever be acquired, held or owned. THE COMING PEOPLE, and are "Outward changes, economlca political, more or less marked, always going on In the forms and or ganizations of society. But to-day one can make a specially strong nrgument that great and radical changes are Ira- pending. No one can Indieve that existing conditions will continue In a world where all things move ami change. Waste, extravagance, ftolltlcal corruption, fierce mercantile rivalries, colossal monopolization of wealth and of the Industrial plants of the world, masses of dreary poverty, these are natural subjects for profound, patri otic and humane concern. Is not tint old social and Industrial macalnery, the competitive or wage system, show ing signs of breaking down beneath IU load? "The question Is quite fair whether any system Is just that permits Indi viduals to roll up Immense fortunes as the result of lucky speculations, or of the rise of land values about a great city, that permits other Individuals to Inherit almost unlimited money power, as men once Inherited duchies and kingdoms, while millions of working men, with small wages, live close to the danger line of debt, or even of cold nnd starvation, and are liable to lx thrown out of employment for monthK at a time. 'When In the face of natural wealth. never so abundant, and fces of pro duction augmented Indefinitely bv science and Invention, so many almost fail to reap any benefit from the re sources which surely belong to the race, It must at least be confessed that our present system, both of production and of distribution, is not Intelligently or humanely managed. Its results do not represent an Ideal democracy, a brotherhood of man." From "Tho Coming People", by Chas. F. Dole. Tt behooves everyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear and a brain with which to think to study the tre mendous social problems with which we are face to face to day. Whether they are s'Uled right or wrong will affect every member of the community. No one can escape the evils that will result from a wrong settlement and everyone will be bene fitted by a right settlement. Nothlne Is more Imnortant than that we should get started right. There is gnldoncA and Insnirntlon In everv line of "TnE COMING PEOPLE, by Chas. F. Dole. In order to firing this book wlthlo the reich of nil. n pnmilnr edition has Inst been lsned by th ITom-vroffer Gild of the Talisman which enn be had for 2.1 cents, postage Included. Remit bv postal money order, express money order or poatnae stamps to "THE TTOMKCnoFTERS, 111 Main St- Watertiwn. Mass." i -''- 'X.