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Monroe City Democrat. (Monroe City, Mo.) 1888-1919, September 26, 1912, Image 1

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tate Historical Society
Volume XXV.
Monroe City, Mo.. September 26, 1912.
Number 27.
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St. Louis. With an audience that
crowded the Odeon thSater to the
doors, Elliott W. Major opened the
Democratic campaign In Missouri
Progressive 'Democracy.
This is a progressive age, the
march of progress Is upon every
lia.id and the public servant must
stand for progression, not only in
principle but in public service. We
must labor for progress in govern
mental affairs and In our commercial
and civic achievements.
The Democratic party has a great
Amy to perform and before it lies the
golden opportunity arising from the
centuries. Let the party meet the
problems of today in that masterful
spirit which is in keeping with its
splendid and glorious past. Let it
demonstrate again its statesmanship
and ability to handle every question
and meet every situation in both
State and nation. In this great hour
of opportunity the Democracy will
not fall and the country will be swept
by Wilson from Maine to California,
and Missouri will go Democratic from
Clark to McDonald and from Atchi
eon 'to Pemiscot.
New Political Era.
We are passing through the door
way of a new political era and there
is going to be a new order of things.
The pendulum of legislative and judi
cial wrongs has swung to the full arc.
The pilots have followed neither
chart nor channel and we are gov
erned, not by the first and Just prin
ciples of American government, but
by the will only of political masters
who in turn have no thought or creed
save and except the thought and creed
of corporate governmental vampires.
But, as in all things, there must
come an end, so today the followers
of Taft see their finish, as they hear
the tread of the teemlig millions who
feed and clothe this great republic,
men whose prosperity alone mark3
the true progress of the nation; men
who are ready to declare that the
God of Mammon shall not prevail
over the Ooddess of Liberty; men
who value the hopes and future of
American sons and daughters more
than they do the shining florin and
the golden ducat; men -who are in
tent in purpose, determined in action,
sealous in the cause and firm in the
Let the people continue to fight for
the principles of Jackson, Jefferson
and Monroe. Let them follow in the
footsteps of that Democracy which
has evolved greater governmental
principles and wrought more brilliant
achievements than all other parties
combined and on whose proud
escutcheon is written the emblazoned
glory of a century.
For twenty-five years I have cham
pioned the principles of Democracy
from a thousand platforms in Mis
louri and other states in the Union,
ind in this, the sunrise of the great
est of the world's centuries, I thank
the Master I have lived to see the
opposition standing in the open, con
fessing its wrongs and acknowledging
that the Democracy has pointed out
the true path and the only way which
leads to the eternal welfare of the
American people.
I have in other speeches discussed
St length national issues, but tonight,
as we have with us Hon. Champ
Clark, Speaker of the House, and Sen
ators Stone and Reed, who will ad
dress themselves fully to federal is
sues, I will devote tho remaining por
tion of my time to state matters and
Party Records and Official Service in
Again the people of Missouri are
called upon to exercise their right of
suffrage and choose between political
parties and governmental policies.
The Republican and Democratic
parties have each been in power is
Missouri, and each has had its day in
court. It is for the voters now to
ludge from the record made which is
the reactionary and which is the party
of construction. The Republican
party retired from the management
of state affairs in 1871, and the Demo
cratic party has had charge in all the
departments from that time until 1905,
when the Republicans elected their
candidates with the exception of Gov
ernor. In 1908 the Democrats lost the
Governor and Lieutenant-Governor,
but won back all the other depart
ment. Few men know how, by whom and
In what way the business of the state
Is managed. It is taken care of by
even executive departments, to-wit:
that of Governor, . Lieutenant-Governor,
Attorney-General, Secretary of
State, State Auditor, State Treasurer
and Superintendent of Public Schools,
ttsat.bar with various boards, such as
the State Board of Equalization, ttoara
of Fund Commissioners, Hoard of
Education, Board of Inspection, etc.,
each of which boards Is composed of
three or more officers from these va
rious executive departments. Each
one of the departments transacts the
business enjoined upon it under the
I Constitution and laws of the state,
j and also as a member of these vari
; ous boards assists in handling the
j financial and other business interests
of (he commonwealth. The majority
' of the members upon each of these
boards is and has been Democratic
for the last four yars, consequently
if the affairs are now in good condi
tion the same has been brought about
by the labors of the Democrats.
The Governor represents one-sev-enlh
of the Executive Department, he
be:...; designated as the Chief Execu
tive. As the Attorney-Gener-al of this
state, I represent one-seventh of the
Executive Department and am the le
gal adviser of nil thf. other executive
departments, as well as these govern
ing boards.
When the Republican party retired
from power in 1871 it left a record
upon the pages of Missouri's history
which no one can or will now attempt
to defend. Under its management the
rate of taxation was GO cents on the
$100 valuation, and the bonded Indebt
edness of the state $21,673,000. Rail
roads were not assessed and the state
received no Interest returns whatever
on its public moneys. These were
some of the conditions confronting
the Democratic party when it came
into power.
By the splendid management of the
state's business by the Democratic
party, and under its guiding hand,
Missouri, in the march of progress,
has become one of the greatest states
in the American Union a period of
legislative and business construction,
a period of progressive achievements.
By economy and business methods
the Democratic party reduced the rate
of taxation for state purposes from 50
cents to 15 cents on the $100 valua
tion. It paid olf and discharged the
bonded debt of $21,673,000, which, to
gether with the Interest, amounted to
practically $40,000,000. While it was
paying off this heavy indebtedness It
also reduced the tax rate.' This was
a great business and financial achieve
ment, and Missouri Is the only state
1ri tue Union that discharged its bond
ed Indebtedness and at the same time
reduced the rate of taxation.
Public service corporations, which
were not assessed under' Republican
rule, are now assessed at $185,49S,514.
The public moneys held by the State
Treasurer, and on deposit at that
time, gave to the state no interest
returns, while now the state receives
interest at the rate of 3.29 per cent
on its daily deposits, or about $90,000
per annum.
The Republicans during this period
of Democratic construction cried from
the housetops that the public school
fund had been looted and that the
books must be seen. The Republic
ans were successful in 1905 with the
exception of the office of Governor,
and had charge of the books until
1909, and during that time found the
school fund had not been looted, but
had grown from $1,500,000 to $4,
300,000, and that the books were in
perfect balance, and we now no long
er hear of any charges of wrongful
doing during all the period covered by
Democratic rule. We disbursed over
$100,000,000 in managing the affairs
of the state, and that without the loss
of a single dollar. This has been the
way of Democratic achievement in
Missouri. It is and has been a party
of progress and is In touch today
with the progressive spirit of the age.
It established for this state a public
school system not excelled by any
state in the Union. It established a
great State University, five normal
schools, homos for the ex-confederates
and federal soldiers, five hos
pitals for the insane, schools for the
deaf and dumb and Wind, homes for
the feeble-minded, industrial and re
form schoolB for the wayward youth,
a sanatorium for sufferers from tuber
culosis, a fruit experiment station
and other worthy 'institutions, all of
which have been liberally supported
and sustained. Such thrift and pro
gressive accomplishments are un
equaled in the political history of any
other party In this or any other state.
A public office is a public trust and
the public servant must give a strict
account of his stewardship. The man
who has served in public life who
cannot place his hand upon some
thing accomplished for the benefit of
the people has served in vain. As
one of the executive officers of the
state, I wish to tell you how your
business has been transacted at the
capitol by your Democratic executive
State Board of Equalisation,
The State Board of Equalization Is
composed of the Governor, Auditor,
Treasurer, Secretary of State and Attorney-General,
four Democrats and
one Republican. In the discharge of
its duties it has written a record of
which it can justly feel proud. In
equalizing the assessments among the
various counties in t lie state as to
personal property und real estate and
In assessing the properties of the pub
lic service corporations, it has endeav
ored to and has done as near as pos
sible equal jusiice to all.
The real estate in the country is
valued and equalized on a parity with
that of the city. If the property in a
county is lower in the country than in
the city in the same county, the State
Board of Equalization, under the law,
is powerless to remedy that condition,
as it has no authority to equalize the
values of different pieces of real
estate located in the same county, but.
only to equalize the valuation In one
county, as a unit, with that of the
other counties in the state, the city of
St. Louis being takn as a county.
The local condition in th? county or
city can only be reached and reme
died by the local assessor and the
local board.
The State Board of Equalization,
under the liw. assesses the pub!!?
service corporations in the state, and
during the last four years we have
increased the assessment on such
property $22,013X43 over the assess
ment as fixed by the Republicans in
the last year they controlled the
board, to-wit, 1908, notwithstanding
they assessed for the first time during
the years they controlled the board
839 miles of new road, whereas we
have had but 229 miles of new road.
The assessment of the properties In
this state on June 1, 1911, for the
taxes of 1912, was as follows: Real
estate, $1,182,900,552; personal prop
erty, $308,972,522; railroad, telegraph,
telephone, etc., $185,498,514 making
the grand total of all properties $1,
730,371,588. The total receipts Into the state
treasury to the credit of the various
funds during the year 1911, and with
which to meet the demands on the
various funds and the expenses and
liabilities of the state government,
were $7,598,067.50. Of this amount
nearly $5,000,000 went to the state
revenue fund. The revenues are am
ple and sufficient to meet all the de
mands of the state and raise its
eleemosynary, penal and educational
institutions to the""$rery highest
standard and furnish the' best evi
dence why the taxes of the people of
this state should not be doubled and
trebled merely to satisfy an appetite
for a t-pectacular and extravagant ad
ministration. In 1909 the Governor offered a sub
stitute resolution, the purport of
which was to treble the taxes on all
real estate, etc., by assuming that the
property was assessed at one-third Its
value, and by requiring the property
to be equalized at Its full cash value.
The duties of the State, Board in
equalizing properties are fixed by the
Constitution, and that provision is
This substitute resolution was de
feated by the votes of Gordon, Roach
and myself, thus preventing the taxes
from being trebled. In other words,
if the state tax on a certain piece of
real estate was $5t), had the resolu
tion been adopted it would have been
$150, a net yearly increase of $100.
The adoption of the resolution would
not have brought to the books for as
sessment or taxation a single added
.dollar or reached a single tax-dodger.
It will not do to say the rate was to
be changed, as the board has nothing
to do with and cannot change the tax
rate. The state rate is fixed by stat
ute and can bo changed only by an
act of the legislature. It needs no
argument to convince anyone that the
trebling of the assessed value would
treble the tax. No amount of sophis
try can escape this conclusion.
Secretary of State.
Honorable Cornelius Roach, the
present Secretary of State, is ever
active in discharging the business of
his office and in the matter of making
money for the people has become
a real mint. He has set a new stand
ard and scale of excellence unequaled
in the history of the department. Wa
must commend his energy and effi
ciency. The treasury will never be emptj
as long as Hon. John P. Gordon is
Auditor of the state. Not 'a claim or
voucher presented is audited save and
except It has first had his personal at
tention, and thousands and thousands
of dollars have been saved by his
eliminating items hero and there
which were unauthorized by law. The
aceount of every man, both high and
low, has been scanned and pruned
alike. If the charge was Illegal, ex
orbitant or unauthorized by tho appro
priation, Gordon caught it
In this way he has saved the 'state
a sufficient sum to run any oa of
several departments for a fttil bien
nial period.
. Tho fruit from the labor of publto
service to one of tho boat standards
b which tie servant aa bo weus-
nred. By reason of the gn at rare
with which Gordon has hand'ed the
financial end of the state's business
and the great allowing his depart
ment has mad'', lie is entitled to the
confidence and support of all citizens,
irrespective of politics.
State Treasurer.
The interest received from state
deposits during the four years that
tho Hon. J. F. Gmelich was State
Treasurer amounted to the total
sum ut $2S9,477.49. The receipts from
the interest on state deposits during
the term of Hon. .las. Cowgill, Dem
ocrat, as State Treasurer, to Sep
tember 1, 1912, already total $:i!7,
riC1.no. Thus for the three years and
ei'iht months of his term Jucl.e Cow
gill has collected $5S,083.S1 more in
terest on the public moneys and
turned same into the state treasury
than did Treasurer Gmelich during
his entire term of four years. By the
end of his term Judge Cowgill will
have collected at. least $S0.O00.O0
more interest during his term than
did Treasurer Gmelich during his
term, or an excess average of $20,
OuO.OO per year. Treasurer Gmelich
had the advantage during the greater
part of his term of having included
in the state's deposits the sum of
$475,198.1:1, which was collected by
a Democratic state administration
from the United States government.
It war" received April 1, 1905, and
held in the treasury until September
10, 1907, at which date It was paid
out under proper appropriation to
the several counties in the state.
In the office of Attorney-General
1 have endeavored to discharge the
duties with efficiency and dispatch.
Never before in the history of the
state has the business of the de
partment become so important and
so great in volume. Suits pending
when I came into office and those in
stituted by me have demanded that
for the public good certain interests
be prosecuted and certain laws main
tained. I unhesitatingly made the
fight and enforced the laws. As to
whether or not I have given a good
account of the stewardship, the record
must speak for itself.
Since my incumbency the business
of the department has Increased fully
fifty per cent. We have had forty
nine cases in the Supreme Court of
the United States, which is a greater
number of cases in that tribunal than
the entire number handled by all the
other Attorney-Generals since Mis
souri was admitted to the Union.
That is more cases than the Attorneys-General
from tho other forty
seven states have had in that court
during the time I have been in office.
We have had forty-six casts in the
United States District Courts, some
thirty-odd original suits in tle Su
preme Court of Missouri, and more
than four hundred criminal cases.
During this time we wrote fifteen
hundred opinions, as against six hun
dred and twenty-nine written by my
predecessor during the four years he
was in office.
Out of this great volume of busi
ness there were many important
cases and matters which materially
affected the entire citizenship of Mis
souri. Stamp Act or Dowell Law.
Among the more important cases
which we have conducted might be
nieutioned the one involving the
stamp act or Dowell law. This act
required a twenty-ave cent stamp to
be placed upon the memoranda of cer
tain sales ma le at c rtaiu places and
commonly known as futures. This law
was passed lu 1907. but had not been
The law was attached on the ground
that it was unconstitutional. After a
conviction was had in the lo.ver
court, upon appeal to the Supreme
Court of Missouri we sustained its
constitutionality by a diviled opinion.
The case was carried to the Supreme
Court of the United Slates upon writ
of error and there we sustained the
law by a unanimous decision.
We then visited the exchanges in
St. Louis and Kansas City, in com
pany with the Auditor, and collected
at ore time a fraction icss than $70,
000.00 from those who had failed to
observe the law, and placed that sum
in the treasury of the state to the
credit of the road fund. The proceeds
from the enforcement of this law now
amount to over $100,000.00, and are
increasing at the rate of practically
$100.00 per day. This is our official
contribution to the good road move
ment in the State of Missouri.
Harvester Trust.
The Legislature in 1907 passed a
resolution demanding that Attorney
General Hadley institute suit against
the harvester trust. Suit was in
stituted and some three or four wit
nesses exauiued at the Urns I came
into office. ' We immediately began
a vigorous prosecution in this case
and something like one hundred wit
nesses or mors were examined br
both sides. Wt; went to .New torK
and took the evidi nee of George W.
Perkins, junior member of the bnnk
ing firm of J. P. Morgan & Company.
Mr. Perkins Is the man who en
gineered and brought about tho
formation of this trust.
The International Harvester Conv
pany had a capital stock of $120,009,
000.00 and not only did ninety per cent
of the harvester business of tho
United States, but of the entiro
world. It was a complete monopoly
in that industry.
We convicted the harvester trust,
secured a fine of $2"), 000.00 and an
order from the Supreme Court for the .
trust to dissolve. At the request of
the Department of Justice we have
furnished the reneral government
with cur evid-'e e in the case, and it
is now rrc.ci---.iint; with its prosecu
tion, following the same lines and se
curing the samo evidence we devel-:
oped In our trial.
Standard Oil and Republic Oil Cases.
The Standard and Republic oil
suits had oeen won in tue fclate Su
preme Court by my predecessor. The
companies carried liie cases to the
Supreme Court of the United States
upon writ of eiror, and there for the
first time attacked the constitution
ality of the anti-irust statutes of Mis
souri. (
1 therefore tell to my lot to sustain
the validity of these laws in that trib
unal. The real fight iu these cases
therefore took place in the Supremo
Court of ths United States. The con
viction of the companies iu the court
below was a simple and certain pro
cedure. The Standard Oil aud Waters
Pierce companies had, by agreement,
divided the territory in Missouri.
This is known as a simple combina
tion in restraint of trade, being tho
first step in the four trust-forming
epochs in this country.
The anti-trust laws had been upon
our statutes for twenty-three years
and were written by Hon. Champ
Clark, now speaker of the National
House of Representatives. On tho
first of last April, in a unanimous
opinion handed down by Justice La
mar, the law was sustained. In thus
winning the cases over some of tho
greatest lawyers in the west and in
sustaining the law,, we can but feel
proud. In sustaining the law and af
firming the judgments, we were en
abled to collect from the companies
fines totaling $100,000.00, and placed
same in the treasury of the state of
Missouri to the credit of the revenue
Two-Cent Passenger Fare and Lower
Freight Rate Cases.
These cases were tried by my pre
decessor. I had no hand in nor any
thing to do with the trial, and these
laws were by the trial court held con
fiscatory. It became my duty to take charge
of the cases upon appeal to the Su
preme Court of tlie United States,
eighteen cases in all. Two great
questions were presented to the court:
that of whether or not the laws im
pinged upon section S, article I of
the constitution of the United States,
known as the commerce clause; and
whether or not they were confisca
tory and violative of the fourteenth
amendment to the Federal constitu
tion. In considering these questions
matters of both law and fact were .
involved. It affected the right of a
sovereign state to !i maximum rates
on eoa'uierce wholly witliin the statd.
In my humble ju-.,::iem the stato
unquestionably has the exclusive
risht aud authority to regulate and
cor.trol ir.ti r.st.uo cor u.erce, includ-
ii)g rates a:ul tolis therefor, and Con
gress lias tho :;t V..-iv. ii;!ir t'. con
trol and prescribe irtcs on interstate
commerce. The c.ei e amount named j
as to such state rates cannot impinge (
upon the commerce clause, neither J
can tho reduction of s'ate rates on
intrastate traffic as a matter of law
change interstate
rates. As to
whether or not the rates were rcnllyj
confiscatory was mi rely a problem ini
We, together with associate coun-
sel, argued the Burlington case tn
October, ly 10, aud tiie court, after
having same under ndvisemen; for
seven mouths of its own motion re
assigned the cases to the docket for
second argument. This was an indi
cation that the eight judges before
whom the case wa presented were
equally divided.
1 spent six or seven months in
brie fins the other ' seventeen cases,
and on the first of last April in an
argument lasting practically three
days, we presented both the ap
peals and cross-appeals, and samo
have been finally submitted and are
awalttng decision, which is expected
at the October term. Being thorough
ly familiar with both the law and tho
facts in these cases. I now feel satis
fied that the State of Missouri has an
Coutiuued ou Pae S

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