OCR Interpretation

Willmar tribune. [volume] (Willmar, Minn.) 1895-1931, April 13, 1910, Image 9

Image and text provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89081022/1910-04-13/ed-1/seq-9/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

2 6 0 0 Delegates Adopt Ringing
Resolutions and Start State Cam
paign for County Option.
MtKtir DiMMtritiM In thi Evening
MakiRS tin World's Largest
TMprance Melting
County option is the paramount is
sue in Minnesota. In every section
of the state the people are protest
ing against the domination of the
liquor interests in politics and they
are ready to back their opposition to
the saloon, socially and politically, by
whatever sacrifices are necessary to
All this and more was proved at
St. Paul, March 2d, when 2,500 dele
gates voluntarily gathered in the Au
ditorium to further the cause of
County Option. This was by far
the largest and most unusual politi
cal convention ever held in the state.
And the' evening demonstration, fill
ing that mammoth building from pit
to highest gallery., constituted the
largest temperance meeting ever held
anywhere in the whole world.
Those 2,500 delegates came from'
every nOok and corner of Minne
sota they represented a state-wide
sentiment. Except for a few districts
sending large delegations, the attend
ance was evenly divided, every coun
ty being represented except one. It
is also significant that these farmers
and merchants and professional men
paid all their own expenses. They
further indicated their self-sacrific
ing interest an the cause of county
option by raising a fund of $3,300 for
the Anti-Saloon League to help carry
on the fight against the brewers' com
The convention was organized by
the selection of. Representative J. N.
Johnson of Canby, Minn., 3ne of the
"strong insurgent leaders of the last
legislature, as ^chairman, and E. L.
Quist, of Red Lake county, as secre
The committee on credentials was
composed of O. M. Levang of
Lanesboro, Peter Bonde of Willmar.
and Representative H. A. Putnam of
Battle Lake.
The committee appointed by
Chairman Johnson to report resolu
tions consisted of one from each
congressional district, as follows:
Representative Kerry E. Conley of
Rochester A. C. French of Hills
Osmond King, of Kenyon ex-Attor
ney General E. T. Young, of St. Paul
D. F. Swenson, of Minneapolis Rep
resentative C. J. Carlson of Cokato
Hon. T. F. Jacobson of Madison L.
A.- Marvin of Duluth, and Repre
sentative John Saugstad of Climax.
The resolutions unanimously adopted
are printed in full in another column.
Ex-Attorney General E. T. Young
and Hon. F. Jacobson, Republican
pasty leaders, were among those who
took an unequivocal stand for coun
ty option. Other speakers were:
Hon. Elias Rachie, Dr. Andrew
Gillies, Prof. P. M. Magnuson, Sen
ator Ole O. Sageng, Representative
E. E. Lobeck. Representative G. H.
Mattson, Prof. Frank Nelson, Prof.
A, J. McGuire, Hon. F. N. Stacy,
League Supt. P. J. Youngdahl, Rev.
Father James Reardon and Hon.
Seaburn Wright of Georgia. We re
gret that only extracts from these
stirring speeches can be published.
From start to finish there was not
a dull moment. The program was
admirably arranged and the speeches
of extraordinary strength and inter
The convention was called to order
at 10 o'clock in the morning and con
tinued with only short intermissions
County Option Convention in St. Paul
attended by Thousands.
were at times almost wildly enthus
iastic, yet all their actions were
marked by a deliberation and sanity
that predicted success^ for the issue.
A notable feature of'the convention
was Governor Eberhart's appearance
and attempt to meet the demand for
an expression from him as to his at
titude on county option. As. chiefrex
ecutive of the state, he was received
cordially as a candidate for the Re
publican nomination for governor, his
refusal to commit himself, did not
seem fair or manly to the conven
tion, and his statement failed to satis
fy. It is published elsewhere in this
Ex-Representative Elias Rachie in
Stirring Speech Outlines Aims
of Gathering.
"Fellow Citizens of the Common
wealth of Minnesota: This is indeed
an unusual gathering. You have been
called together for a great purpose.
The meeting is designated as a Coun
ty Option convention. We might as
well have termed it" a conservation
congress. It is true, we have not
met for the purpose of discussing the
conservation of our natural resources,
although, being free from corporate
control, we are, consequently, also
enthusiastic supporters of the Roose
veltian. movement for the conserva
tion of our state's and our nation's
natural resources but we have as
sembled for a far nobler^purpose than
that, namely, the launching of a cam
paign for the conservation of the
manhood and the womanhood of Min
nesota. The true, greatness of a state*
or a nation does not depend upon
the products of her farms, her forests,
her mines and her factories, but. upon
the intelligence and the morality of
her people.
"There are two institutions in our
state that we have special reason to
feel proud of, and they are our
schools and our churches. The high
standard of intelligence and morality
that the people of our state have at
tained is principally due to these two
institutions, and the citizens of Min
nesota have been most liberal in their
support oi them. The pioneer set
tlers did not wait until they might
become rich before they provided
their children with secular as well as
religious instruction. They frequent
ly deprived themselves of the ordi
nary comforts of life that their sons
and daughters might enjoy those
blessings that mean so much in a
country of liberty and freedom. We
of a later generation emulate them
and honor them for their self-sacrifice
and their patriotism. Nevertheless,
while we have built schools and
churches and have been liberal in our
support of them, we have permitted
another institution to flourish in our
midst which cannot prosper except
at the expense of the influences for
good which our schools and our
churches exert on our people—that
institution is the American saloon.
Can any one here name a single bless
ing that it brings? None, none. You
who have- sacrificed so much for
schools and churches, are you willing
to have their influences for good
counteracted by the saloon which
brings nothing but poverty, misery
and despair?
"Our much beloved martyred presi
dent, Abraham Lincoln, said shortly
before that fatal hour when he was
taken away from us by an assassin's
hand, 'After reconstruction, the next
great problem for the American peo-*
pie to solve will be the liquor prob
lem.' The prophecy has come true.
The problem is before us. It is rath
er strange,..that while the people of
the North Star state were among the
first to respond to President Lincoln's
call for volunteers to fight for the
preservation of the Union and the
emancipation of the slave that they
should be among the last to emanci
pate themselves from the saloon
power. Nine states, namely. Maine.
North Dakota. Kansas, Oklahoma,
for lunch and dinner, until nearly Mississippi. Alabama, Georgia, North
midnight. The delegates and visitors Carolina and Tennessee, have already
secured state-wide prohibition, while
a dozen or more other states have
closed up thousands of saloons by
means of county option, and we, of
Minnesota, have, as yet, only a lim
ited local option law that does not
even include cities. Does Minnesota
no longer stand for patriotism? Is
it possible that we have become so
busy in our pursuit of wealth, pleas
ure or fame that we have forgotten
our civic responsibilities?
"There is no valid reason why the
right to vote on the saloon question
should be limited to the people living
within the confines of a town or vil
lage, or even a city. The saloon is
just as much of a temptation to the
farmer's boy living outside of the
village boundary as it is to the boy
in town. The saloon is just as much
of a curse to the farmer as it is to
the man in the village.or city. The
farmer has also to bear his propor
tionate share of the. public burdens
created by crimes and poverty result
ing from drink but, as it is, he has
no voice in the matter. As a matter
of fact, most of our saloons with
their accompanying evils are forced
onto communities that do not want
them. «For these and other reasons
the farming population of our state
ask for county option—which" will
give the right to every voter in the
county to say whether there shall
be saloons in the county or not. The
people in the villages and in the
cities who stand for sobriety, law and
order also demand county option.
They say, "We want the people of
the country to stand by us in this
fight against the saloon and in the
interests of clean citizenship and
honest government." From experi
ences in other states we have all rea-.
son to suppose that saloons voted out
under county option would almost
without exception stay out for. good.
More attention could, consequently,
be given to law enforcement. I am
satisfied that under a county option
law over 65 of the 85 counties in the
Whose Address of Welcome and Speech In the Evening were Features
of the Convention.
Saloonless Kansas Held Up As Ex
ample for this State to Follow.
Prof. Frank Nelson told of his ex
perience in Kansas where there have
been no legalized saloons for thirty,
years. He said:
"During these thirty years there
has grown up in that splendid state
a generation of men and women who
have not seen either the outside or
the inside of the saloon, save and
except as perhaps some of them have
strolled across the line into Missouri.
They have a citizenship there that is
responsive to the highest and to the
cleanest, and to the best things with-
7 V? Vw^*^tf
state would banish the saloon at the
very first opportunity. The law would
also be reasonably well enforced, as
the majority of the people in almost
every county in the state stand for
the strict enforcement of our liquor
laws. For proof, look at Indiana and
Ohio where most of the counties have
already been voted 'dry.'
"As far as temperance legis
lation is concerned, county opr
tion is the issue for the pres
ent. County option will not
only be an improved method
of closing out saloons and of
inestimable value in the pror
motion of law enforcement
but, under present conditions
in our state, it will furnish
the easiest and most* effec
tive way of ridding our
legislative halls of corpor
ate control. The majority
of the people in our state
demand it. The only reason
why our people have not se
cured it is because the poli
tics of our state has been con
trolled by the liquor 'interests.'
Tens of thousands, yes, hun
dreds of thousands of dollars
have been spent in our state
to defeat county option. The
enactment of a county option
law would mean a loss of-mil
lions of dollars to the brewers
and distillers hence, it is a
paying investment for them
.even if they have to pay a big
price for the control of politi
cal conventions and the legis
"Some of our public officials are
talking a great deal about the con
servation of our natural resources,
prevention of disease, reduction of
public expenditure and the like. This
is all Very well but, tellow citizens,
why not go to the root of the evil!
Are bur public officials so far within
the grip of the liquor interests that
they dare not tell the truth? Are
they afraid that the political power
of the liquor interests in this state
is so great that they dare not breathe
one word that could be construed to
hurt the saloon business—for fear that
their political ambitions might there
Ay be defeated? Gentlemen, elect a
county option legislature, and I will
assure you that there will be no dif
ficulty "in -securing^ from- theJhands of:
such a legislature all reasonable legis-
in that state largely because of the.
fact that that citizenship has not been
contaminated by the debasing and de
moralizing influence of the saloon,
and, when I lived in Kansas I was
glad and proud to say that Kansas
is one of the best states in the Union
and I felt that I could say that be
cause of the fact that we didn't have
any saloon. When I came up here
to Minnesota among 'the first scenes
that met my gaze was the saloon, and
I feel that I cannot say of Minnesota
as I did of Kansas, that Minnesota
is one of the best states in the Union.
Because, gentlemen of this conven
tion, no state is as good as it ought
to be as long as it allows within-its
borders the existence of the saloon."
lation for the .conservation of our na
tional resources as well as the pro
tection of the health of our people
—yes, there will be less 'graft' and
less, waste in public expenditures as
"As legislative superintendent of
Minnesota Anti-Saloon League, I ap
peal to all of you who stand for clean
citizenship and honest government—
whether you are Republicans, Demo
crats or Prohibitionists—to unite in
the selection of a county option leg
islature. Get together in conferences
in the various legislative districts.
If the majority of you find it most
advisable to elect a Republican, elect
a Republican. If a good Democrat
can the most easily be elected, se
lect a Democrat. If the county op
tion forces can the most' easily be
united to the support of a Prohibi
tionist, why, rally around a Prohibi
tionist. Do you suppose that the
brewery interests care much as to
what party a candidate belongs to, as
long as he is willing to stand by
them? Should we who believe in
county option be so partisan as to
sacrifice principle to party expedi
ency? In this big battle, we can ill
afford to have dissension and strife
among ourselves but we must stand
together until victory has been
"County O :ion Republicans and
Democrats, wake up! Make your in
fluences felt for what is highest and
best in your party. Exercise your
rights of citizenship from now on
until the nominations are made' as
well as afterwards. Shall we stand
idly by and let the liquor interests
dictate the candidates and then be
driven by the party 'whip' to shout
and vote for our party's nominee, ir
respective of merit? If you are pa
triots—and I know you are, as soon
as you realize what we are drifting
to—you wijl do your utmost in bring
ing about the nomination of such can
didates that need no. apology and
who will, if elected, serve the peo
ple without fear or favor, according
to the best of their ability. Let the
people of the state of Minnesota nom
inate their own candidates for the
campaign of 1910, for it is not safe
to leave the nominations to thebrew
ers and their allies.
"Let us not be satisfied with
a candidate for governor who
merely pledges himself to sign
a county option bill, if
passed by the legislature.
County option being the lead
ing issue, our candidate ought
to be heart and soul in favor
of it and be willing to fight
for it. We cannot afford to
nominate and elect a man who
will do all in his power.to pre-
vent a county option bill from
reaching the governor's office,
in order that there may be no
call for his signature. Our
standard bearer must be a man
of high principles and of un
daunted courage—a man who
dares to take a noble stand in
the coming fight for the puri
fi cation of our politics arid the
conservation of the bodies and
souls of our people—such a
man, and only such a man, can
be relied upon to lead the
county option forces on to
The Leading Issue.
This convention was called to
gether primarily for the purpose of
giving the county option sentiment
in this state a chance to show its
strength. This splendid gathering of
delegates from all portions of-" the
state? constituting the biggest state
convention of any kind that has ever
been held in the state of Minnesota,
proves beyond a doubt that county
option is considered the leading polit
ical issue among the people. The of
ficers of the Anti-Saloon League will
not attempt to dictate as to what
should be done by this convention.
The meeting is in the hands of the
delegates to the convention. We sin
cerely expect, however, that, before
you adjourn, you will pledge your
selves to work and to vote for only
such candidates for office who will
take a definite stand in favor of coun
ty option, that you will pledge your
selves to continue to work for coun
ty option immediately after you get
home, attend the caucuses of your
respective political parties, see to it
that countv option delegates are
elected to the county conventions and
to the state convention, in Order that
your party may take a right stand on
this all important issue and nominate
noble and courageous candi^n^s to
fit the issue and that you will pledge
yourselves to do your utmost from
now on until the polls are closed next
November to secure county option
for Minnesota- in 1911. We further
trust that whatever you do will be
done judiciously that nothing will
be done for the mere purpose.of fur
thering the political ambitions of
some candidate or candidates for of
fice, or for the mere special benefit of
some political party but. that every
thing, irrespective of what effect it
may have on candidates and parties,
will be done for the furtherance of
our great and noble cause."
"Fellow citizens, you have been
called together for a no less purpose
than to start a movement for the
crystallization of the county option
sentiment in this state to such an
extent that political conventions dare
not ignore it and candidates for the
legislature tainted with brewery^ in
terests' support will be relegated to
the rear in the great majority of the'
legislative districts at the coming
"As we enter upon this campaign,
let our prayer, be that of the poet
when he says:
'God, give us men. A time like this
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith
and"ready hands.
Men whom the lust of office does not
Men whom the spoils of office can
not buy
Men who possess opinions and a will
Men who have honor men who will
not lie
Men who can stand before a dema
And damn his treacherous flatteries
without winking
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live
above the fog
In public duty and in private think
Senator Ole O. Sageng Emphasizes
Importance of this Position.
I just want to impress upon you
one fact," said Senator Sageng, "and
it is this: In the next campaign you
want to make sure that you elect the
right kind of man for presiding officer
of the Senate. Indeed, I am here to
say that in my judgment just as much
will depend on the character of the
presiding officer of the Senate as will
depend upon the character of the man
who will occupy the position of chief
"Don't you for a minute forget that
that position is important and very
important. I want to say to you, and
I say it regretfully, that things
haven't been what they should have
been in the past i» that respect. They
haven't been what they should have
been during the last two sessions of
the legislature in that respect.
"It would have been far better not to
have had any temperance committees
than to have the kind of committees
we have had in the past, because they
have simply been cemeteries for tem
perance legislation.
The Figures 8 to 1.
"I haven't much courage
and nerve, but I say to you
that had I been in the Govern
or's. position this morning
when he stood before this
audience and spoke of his in
terest in temperance legisla
tion, I should have been in
deathly terror that some un
seen hand had written upon
the walls of the Auditorium
«the figures '8 to 1'. They are
not written here, but Fll tell
you my (friends that those
"It would have been far better to
the minds of tens of thousands
of voters in this state, and
they will tell some day in No
vember next.
"There is only one thing, and that
is that we will have to steal the
method and work of our opponents.
For a long time we have been mak
ing this fight and going through these
battles with very little avail because
our opponents, our enemies, were
wiser than we were in the way in
which they were working. Their plat
form has been: 'Remember your
friends, and do not forget your ene
mies.' That is the platform of the
liquor interests.
"We can win just as soon as we
can forget trifles and remember our
friends, and don't forget our ene
mies, and above everything else not
tolerate anything that is simply
astraddle of this great vital question
about which every man ought to
have some conviction of some kind.
Let us go forth from this splendid
convention with the determination to
win this battle."
Prof. P. M. Magnuson Makes Telling
Points Against the Governor.
"I am a democrat, but I do not
have to wait for the next democratic
convention to find out where I stand
on county option," was the opening
shot of Prof. P. M. Magnuson. The
applause was deafening and plainly
indicated that the convention agreed
with that position, rather than Gov
ernor Eberhart's contention that he
should not decide until after the re
publicans had adopted a platform.
A moment later Prof. Magnuson
again aroused the enthusiasm of the
delegates by asserting that "since,
fences were 'now. made of barbed wire
it is no longer comfortable to straddle
the fence" on any issue.
Wet desire at once 10.000 new sub
scriptions of the Minnesota Issue and
we propose to offer an unusually attrac
tive inducement to get them. The sub
scription price of the Minnesota Issue is
$.50 per year and it will be sent to the
subscribers, beginning with March 1,
more than twice as often as ever in
the past. The year book of the Ameri
can Anti-Saloon League is just off the
press filled with information and in
spiration at the price of $.35 post paid*
The Haines history of the 1909 legisla
ture, the most sensational political docu
ment of the year, sells post paid at $.60,
making a total of $1.45. From now
until May 1, we will receive orders for
all 3 at $1.00. Send in your orders at
once to Minnesota Issue, 12 Franklin
Bldg., Minneapolis.

xml | txt