OCR Interpretation

The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, August 24, 1901, Image 1

Image and text provided by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99066033/1901-08-24/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

Office 1132 N street, Up Stain.
Telephone 384.
Subscription Rates.
Per annum 1150
8ix months 1 00
Rebate of fifty cents on cash payments.
Single copies. 05
Thb Coram will not be responsible for toI
untary communications unless accompanied by
return pottage. .....
Communications, to receive attention, must
be signed by tbe lull name of the writer, not
merely as a guarantee of good faith, but for
publication if advisable.
O wuouivnwwu.
rWith David Nation.
Wlian Tfeatrlrl VqMnn mnrlo annlipn
tion for a decree of divorce at Medi
cine Lodge, Kansas, last week, the
hearts of the people were with him.
If he found the ridiculous position in
which he has been placed at all endu
rable it would be an unfaltering indi
cation ofthe manner of man be is.
Mr. Nation has for some time been
living with a daughter in Iberia,
under whose roof he had taken refuge.
Mrs. Nation, in her comments upon
the suit, scornfully stated that her
husband had been an encumbrance
upon her for years and that she had
never had the slightest respect for
The mind refuses to picture the po
sition of a man whom Mrs. Nation
regarded as an "encumbrance;" an old
soliier and a peaceful citizen deserved
a better fate.
Ts There can scarcely be any doubt
mat his wife's astonishing conduce is
the result of her limitations and a
soured and uncharitable nature.
Given a woman with a passion for
violence and bitter speech and place
her in a small town where petty ani
mosities thrive, feed her ambition by
office in local societies, and your result
is a Carrie Nation in word if not in
There is no figure in society who
can work more discomfort than the
village Remiraniis, whose prejudices
are as violent as her information is
limited, and who has an accepted out
let for her ferocious energy.
Henry of Orleans.
The death of Prince Henry of Or
leans in Cochin-Chir.a, on his wa to
America, robs the royal family of
France of its only member who could
ever have hoped for favor or consider
ation at the hands of the French peo
ple. Had the Duke of Orleans died with
out issue, Henry's father would have
been the heir presumptive to the
French throne. The young man was
a vast improvement upon his father
and grandfather, though his republi
can sympathies had caused an es
trangement between himself and his
family and had made him unpopular
with all the royal families of Europe.
Royalists asserted that Henry had
begged the French people to forgive
him for having been born a prince,
and that through all his overtures to
the republicans could be seen the hope
of the throne.
Whatever the Prince's motives may
have been he never compromised him
self in Bourbon intrigues and his atti
tude toward the bourgeoise was con
sistently amicable throughout his
life. He went to banquets given by
trades people and manufacturers and
ho called upon tradesmen's daughters
and engaged creditably in several
business enterprises. The greater
part of his life was devoted to making
explorations in Madagascar and Asia,
for which he was decorated witii the
Legion of Honor, chevalier rank.
As for the remainder of the Bour
bon family who survive him, the less
said the better. The couplet which
some English wag composed on the
death of tbe eldest son of George II.
will apply equally well to the family
of the late prince.
The Real Homestead.
There is probably no city in the
United States which is more in the
public eye just at the present time
than the town of Homestead, and
probably no steel town where there is
less outward excitement about the
The town lies about five miles up
the river from Pittsburg, built in the
narrow valley between the Mononga
hela and the low line of hills beyond.
On the opposite side of the river the
Baltimore & Ohio tracks wind under
wooded bluffs where the trees are
gradually dying from the chemical
action of the smoke-laden atmos
phere. Tbe river is seemingly with
out current, still and yellow as a mud
lake, and dotted with coal barges and
pulling little tugs.
The great steel plant that will al
ways be known as the Carnegie works
is not in the town of Homestead at
all, but just outside the town line in
the village of Munhall. The major
ity of the mill workers, however, live
in Homestead.
The town is neglected and unlovely
in appearance, like most manufactur
ing towns, and the residences are built
to eat and sleep in rather than to live
in. There is very little green grass,
few trees and fewer llowers. The
meat shops and grocery stores carry
goods of the best quality, as mill
workers are prodigious eaters and in
sist upon the most nourishing sort of
food. At the Carnegie hotel, which
stands just outside of the main en
trance to the steel works, a dollar-a-day
house of indifferent service where
many of the chemists and testers and
draughtsmen board, the meats are as
good as can be got at any of tbe best
hotels in the city of Pittsburg.
The mill worker's notion of comfort
is good eating. He buys strawberries
in April and canteloupes from Colora
do. The interior of his home usually
is more indicative of prosperity than
of taste. He always has an organ and
a brussels carpet and a "set" of cheap
oak furniture and a crayon portrait of
himself in a huge gilt frame. Ordi
narily he is careless of his dress, but
he invariably has a diamond to screw
in his shirt front on Sunday. This,
of course, is true only of the work
men who are more or less skilled.
Nearly every man rides a bicycle to
his work.
The Carnegie Library of Homestead
stands on the hills overlooking the
works, but just within the Homestead
line. It is a French Renaissance
building 228 by 133 feet in its exterior
dimensions. Back of the library
stands the residence of Robert Corey,
former superintendent of the works.
The library building includes under
its roof a well equipped music hall,
gymnasium, billiard room, swimming
pool, running tracks, smoking rooms
and ladies' parlors and reception
The library, like the rest of the
world, is full of good things that no
one has leisure to enjoy. It was built
and fitted up for the use of the mill
men, but the mill men, when they are
working, work twelve hour shifts,
that means from six in the morning
until six in the evening. If a man
lives any distance at all from the
works he has to get up before live in
the morning, and by tbe time he has
cooled off and Lad a bath and his din
ner in the evening it is eight o'clock.
He lias been working all day in a most
exhausting temperature and probably
drinking heavily to combat the heat,
and he wants no music or books or
athletics, but all the sleep he can get
before four thirty the next morning.
There are hundreds of the men who
stand the strain of these twelve-hour
shifts year in and year out without
losing a day, but the margin left them
of their lives for social relaxation is
so small that clubs and libraries estab
lished in their interests seem almost
Occasionally, when it is a question
of a marriage or a funeral or a chris
tening, a man can get his "buddy,"
the man who takes his work in the
next shift, to relieve him; this ar
rangement gives the "buddy" a shift
of twenty-four hours over the hot
metal with no break except the half
hour allowed for lunch. There are
plenty of cases on record where a
substitute has stood his ground for
sixty-four hours without sleep and
with few breathing spells. It would
seem that Mr. Carnegie's sense of
humor must be deficient when he
supplies Herbert Spencer and Wagner
for these men.
The facilities of the library are
made use of by the bosses and
draughtsmen and ortlce forces, but the
mill workers proper very seldom go
there and even their wives and chil
dren patronize little.
Twelve-hour shifts are doubtless
good economy, but they do not tend to
make a literary or music loving com
munity. The most objectionable element of
Homestead, the foreign labor element
which was met witii such bitter an
tagonism when it was first introduced
there, is carefully hid from the eye of
the casual observer. Occasionally
some one asks what is to be found in
the ram-shackle red buildings inside
tbe company fence, and he is told,
That is only Pottersville." Potters
ville is a collection of some sixty or
seventy hovels made of thin planks
and painted red, which are huddled
in tbe soot and ashes and cinder heaps
back of one of the rolling mills and
inside the fifteen foot stockade which
surrounds the town-front of the steel
In this collection of wretched habi
tations dwell nearly two thousand
mill workers; Huns, Slavs, Poles, Ital
ians, Russians and negroes. The last
census revealed a startling condition
of things in Pottersville, but it is a
condition that will last as long as the
town Jasts. One six room boarding
house reported seventy inmates, some
of the rooms accommodating twenty
lodgers. This, of course, is only made
possible by the twelve-hour shift sys
tem. Every bed does double duty,
and every floor is a bed. As soon as
one set of men get up and go to work,
another set, tired and dirty, creep
into the same sheets and go to sleep.
Naturally a corporation can employ
to advantage men who can live in this
fashion. They seldom eat meat and
need only "rye bread and diluted wood
alcohol and an occasional turn in a
sort of tribal bed. Ween a Hun or a
Pole gets crippled In the works, he
usually opens a boarding house in
Pottersville. No one house is ever
occupied by a single family, even
when the children run above a dozen
in number, as they often do.
This world of barbarism that Is shut
in behind the stock-peu-like fence is
not the work ot any "soulless corpora
tion," at least, not directly. During
the great strike of 1872, when the
company took on a great many for
eign hands, the superintendent, John
Potter, built the ram shackle houses
inside the stockade to protect the
"scab" laborers from the fury of the
strikers. The "scabs'" have never had
ambition enough to get outside of the
stock-pen, and it Is well enough for
the town of Homestead and the vil-

xml | txt