The Peoples Voice (Norman, Okla.), Vol. 8, No. 5, Ed. 1 Friday, August 25, 1899 Page: 1 of 8
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The Peoples Voice
NORMAN, OKLA., AUGUST 25, 1899.
another section, where, during the
following day they would again be
visited by the appraisers. In tliis
manner they would uiove from section
to section, and it would be safe to say
that thousands and thousands of
acres have thus fraudulently been
sold at jvl per acre worth in fact from
the individual for having advanced
his private fortune by any of the
above honest methods. He did with-
in the limits of the law what the
State put it within liis power to do.
What 1 wish is to show that owing to
the ignorance or indifference of the
State, "enterprising" men may make
fortunes, small or great, at her ex-
pense, and to call attention to the
further fact that, as certain lixed
charges are necessary to the exist-
ence of the State, any balance or
difference between what migiit or
ought to have been received from
these sources and what is actually
received must be made good from the
only other possible source of revenue—
direct taxation. What else is this,
then, than saying, in the old trite
phrase that has come to mean so
little : The many are taxed thereby
for the benefit of the few.?
Thus each State has had its pecul-
iar method of speculation, and Okla-
homa is beginning to get her little
taste. The first thing I wish to call
attention to is that the school lands
of the Territory are renting at an
average of probably less than thirty
per cent of what other lands rent for
in their immediate vicinity. The
to the governor, secretary and superintenuknt ok cl umi,' instruc-
tion of oklahoma, as constituting the board for
leasing the territorial school lands.
(ientlkmkn -My purpose in the fol-
lowing remarks'is much less to call
the attention of your honorable selves
to certain facts and conditions rela-
tive to the Territorial school lands
than to awaken the Territory itself,
and to give warning of some abuses
which, if let thrive, must grow to
such proportions as hardly to be
abolished. Were my purpose other
than this, a letter through the ordin-
ary channels had served as well.
The history of other States shows
that speculation in their public lands
has been the cause of untold loss.
Nebraska, for illustration, failed in
her law of 1877 to limit the number
of acres of school land that might be
bought or leased by one person, and
as the lands appreciated in the early
'80s speculation on an enormous scale
began. A money-lender in Lincoln
testified, in 1885, before a legislative
investigating committee, that he and
a partner had leased about 00,000
acres at a rate of ti* per cent, on a
valuation of $2.40 per acre, and that
bis part of the profits were between
$10,000 and $12,000. The partner tes-
tified much to the same effect, but
that his profits had been very small ;
he had bought the first man out, yet
still had on hand from 20,000 to 80,000
acres. A third, who had leased 11,000
acres, admitted it was profitable, but
refused to tell what lie made. An-
other leased 20,000 acres, another .50,-
000. Still worse, in the leasing of
these lands it became customary for
speculators to wait until a month or
less before a regular leasing date and
secure the lease by the payment of
rental for this short remaining pe-
riod. Further payments were gener-
ally refused, and as the State could
not recover its lands without suit in
the courts, it sometimes happened
that this first small payment held the
lands one or two years, giving the
speculator in land paper plenty of
time to unload. In the meanwhile
the school fund suffered. Comment
ing on this state of affairs, the Com-
missioner of Public Lands said, ( He-
port '82, p. 25): " (educational lands
under sale and lease upon which in-
terest and rental are delinquent for
more than one year amount in the
aggregate to $!l2,!)84."
Again, in Kansas : Here tlie lands
were sold ruinously and never leased
A partial estimate of the loss may be
made from the knowledge that to
189(i patents had been issued from the
State for 1,274,til I acres of common
school land at $.'!.tlf> per acre, with
perhaps half a million more under
contract of sale and partly paid for
at a price which will doubtless aver-
age no higher than this. Nebraska,
remember, sold no lands for less than
$7 per acre and tlie average is
more than $8, as I remember.
Kansas' minimum was In both
these states instances have come to
my notice where the lands were
bought from the State at or near the
minimum price, tlie first annual
installmen —one-tenth — paid down,
and before the second or third pay-
ment became due the land v.as trans-
ferred to some second purchaser who
would assume the remaining pay-
ments and pay besides a bonus of $S
to $15 per acre to the original pur
From the report of Attorney-Gen-
eral Bradford in 188fi (p. 28) evidence
is drawn of further speculations in
Kansas lands on a much larger scale.
It appears that syndicates bad been
formed to buy up school lands in cer-
tain unorganized counties at the
minimum price of $3 per acre. These
lands were appraised at this figure,
advertised, and some thousands of
acres sold. The attorney-general,
being informed, enjoined or bad set
aside the sale of 161,640 acres in El-
lis, Pratt and Finney counties, besides
others not specifically enumerated.
The Ellis county lands, 32,0t«J acres,
be reports has having been sold sub-
sequently to actual settlers at an ad-
vance of $92,000, nearly $3 per acre.
"The practice," he says, " has been
by speculators to hire four young
men equipped with a wagon, team of
horses, and four little houses so ar-
ranged that they could lie put to-
gether with bolts in a very short
time. They would move to the cen-
ter of a section of school land, and
there remain for a day or two until
the easily-beguiled appraisers aj
Here at least is one place where the
! middleman performs no necessary
| function. And yet he is in our midst,
! paying the State a nominal rental
for the lands and grinding out rack-
rent from the tenant or tenants un-
| der him; collecting rents for the
State and retaining from lifty to sev-
enty-five per cent, or more of the col-
lected rent as his commission for the
service. Here, indeed, is a spectacle!
Free men digging on the State's land,
paying the rent, and paying besides
for the privilege a much greater sum
to an intervening man who happens to
hold a scrap of paper conveying title
to nothing under heaven ! Common
sense and public policy say alike:
13 to $10."
Now far be it from me to reproach j Put the paper in the hands of the
man who is on the ground and let
that commission be shared fairly be-
tween the digger and the State. To
"The Man with the Hoe" let accrue
any advantage that may arise from
the possession of these lands. This
commonwealth can never afford to
press the occupants of its lands for
their full commercial rental value,
and never will do so. If we attain to
sixty-live or seventy per cent, of it at
any time we shall be doing well
enough, but grinding is bound to
come if we tolerate middlemen. The
lessees themselves, if they were wise,
would soon stop this feature. For the
most part, of course, they till the land,
each his own holding, and they ought
to see at once that nothing is more
likely to put the State in the way of
exacting heavy rents, than this very
feature of sub-letting and rack-rent-
ing. It shows too plainly what possi-
bilities are in the lands. A man rents
a quarter from the State for from $30
to $80 and sub-rents for $250 to $350 or
more. Is anything more likely to send
up the rentals over the whole district?
These things cannot help being of
Hut you say such things cannot ex-
ist for there is a law forbidding one
general average for the best thirteen man to lease more than one quarter-
counties of the Territory, all those ! section and a rule which prevents sub-
east of Woods and Blaine, has been j leasing. Quite so, but the polite and
and is but $34.40 per quarter-section , artistic thing now is for a man simply
(official report of School Land Board, j to "control" several pieces of this
Jan. 1807, p. 25) or but 21 j cents per
acre, Kay standing highest with an
average of but 31 cents an acre.
This was by the appraisement of 1896
which still prevails, and, being a sur-
vival from an earlier day, is a mat-
ter for which the present Board is in
no wise responsible. Vet even this
rate, may I add, gave for distribution
land. The name is immaterial, and,
at a pinch, a list of names of friends
"back east" or " down south" will
readily give one the desired "control."
It is thus a matter of common knowl-
edge that in Cleveland county one
man " controls " in his family or oth-
erwise eight quarter sections of school
land. In the indemnity lands, as I am
a school fund of SI.34 per capita in ! credibly informed, this is u common
1807 and of $1.06 in 1808 for each ' and also very proper thing. I see by
child of school age in the Territory ; | tho new lease forms, however, that
the lower of which sums has been ex-i sub-letting is forbidden, and if in the
ceeded by Kansas but twice in all
her history. The natural result of
such low rental rates has been specu-
lation in the lands, and what the
State failed to get as her proper due
has been in nowise neglected by the
" ground-lloor" men who got in on
the early leases. Transfers of lease-
hold have been numerous, and in all
cases a large bonus, ranging from
$400 to $1000 or more, has found its
way into the pocket of the earlier
lessee as a reasonable quid pro quo.
Pro quo—for what? For a piece of
paper conveying the tail-end of a
three-year lease, and with that lease
the presumption of acquiring from
the State, under the system of non-
competitive leasing newly adopted
by the present Board, a renewed
lease on terms but little, if any, less
favorable to the holder than those of
today. About ten such cases I know
of within a radius of six miles of
Norman. It might be argued that
oome out t-quarely on a platform and
say withojt equivocation —
1—" We shall oppose the sale of the
public lands of Oklahoma.
2—" We shall oppose speculation in
3—" We shall oppose the granting
of any perpetual leases.
4—" We shall oppose the rack-rent-
ing of these lands.
5—" We believe the interests of the
State and of the lessees will be best
conserved by the granting of long
leases, not to exceed fifty (?) years, to ]
the present occupants of these lands
and pledge ourselves to secure the j
6—" We believe an equivalent, just |
and fa ir lo the letwe and to the State
should be rendered to the jjlate for the
u<e of these lands.
7 We stand for a re-appraisal of
these lands, free from political control,
and based on the valuation of the land ]
regardless of Improvements thereon,
at intervals not lo exceed ten (V) years
8 " We stand for an administration
of these lands and their funds that
shall be free from all partisan control.
0 " Wo pledge our party's aid in
securing the best possible Constitu-
tional safeguards for the preservation
of this trust."
In all sincerity, believe me, sirs,
Most truly yours.
fred'k s. elder.
A Warm Letter.
The Democratic party is turning
heaven and earth to again deceive
the people and win in 1900. It is
the same old story of anything to
win, and every effort ami device is
being put forth to drive our people
into the Bryan camp. In this they
will signally fail. Our people,
while they have been disheartened,
are wiser than ever, and no old par-
ty can mislead them again. This
fact is now apparent to the leaders
of the Democracy, and it is giving
them great displeasure. They are
wobbling. One day it seems that
Bryan is still the leader, the next
day it seems that he is down, and
the star of the eastern Democracy
is rising. It is not a question of
principle with them, but a question
of success. Mr. Bryan and Gov.
Stone are heartily supporting Goe-
bel, the goldbug candidate in Ken-
tucky, and Gov. Stone in his letter
urging this support, says, "What the
Democracy of Kentucky and the na-
tion is most interested in is Success
at the polls. The loss of Kentucky
at this lime would be a serious blow
to the party in the nation." So it
lis; men cut little figure, principle
less. In this sense the governor
For everything- in the Fnr-
niture or Undertaking line
at lowest prices, see
REED & SHAFFER.
rpnfc Will soon begin to think of
I Oi Clllo buying Shoes, Suits, Dress-
es, Caps, Hosiery, Etc.. for the boys and girls,
as school time is near at hand.
new lettings the Board follow strictly
the course thus already mapped out by
itself a feature giving promise of much
future annoyance will have been quiet-
ly nipped In the bud.
The non-competitive feature In the
re-letting as adopted by the present
Board meets my cordial approval, quid- ;
ified on'.y by ray desire to see first the J
adoption of reforms as outlined above, j announces the true and only real
When generally understood it must | Democratic platform, and no man
meet the approval of all. Competitive
leasing must lend inevitably to rack
renting and to numerous questionable
practices whoso purpose would be to
understands the meaning of a Dem-
ocratic platform better than Gov.
Stone. The Republican party is
P! ease bear in mind that we are prepared to
supply every want.
" Hend erson's School Shoes," and cheaper
grades, which all admit to be the best.
Boys' Suits, doubled at elbows, seat and
knees, and made well.
All kinds of nice, new fabrics, just from the
loom, for your girl's dress.
300 dozen Hose, doubled at knees, 3 for 25
cents, for boys and girls.
The most sensible Waist extant,
for Boys and Girls, is the
It will wear longer, being soft,
which makes it a most desirable
Come and See s\
Yours for the Boys and Girls,
Eiledge Bros. & Philips.
* sr« ♦? *?
.<? ^ •
dispossess the lessee and to deprive I steePed crime and stands for all
him unfairly of much of the value of • that is vile in government, but it is
his improvements. It would diseour- J consistent—boldly and fearlessly
age orchard planting, well digging, j maintaining the wrong. The Demo-
substantial fencing, and all forms of
permanent improvement, cause anxie-
ty and a feeling of insecurity every-
where to prevail and ruin the lands
with a grab-all, thriftless tillage. The
State is indifferent who tills her land,
pajment was for the improve- provided a fair equivalent be rendered
ments on the land, but in most or all | for lh(. advantage thus conferred. The
cases this would be but pleasant fic-j fft|r equiva,ent .ran be secured by fair
tion .is usually the improvements are , appraisement of the land without corn-
worth not a third or a fourth of the petttlon . Hmi 8ecurity, thrift, content-
sum paid for the leasehold transfer. ! ment and stability will prevail. For
It is possession and advantage that I these reasons a longer lease period
is bought. A remedy for this, it with proper provisos will best serve
seems to me, would be-first, a the State and the lessee when stue-
readjustment of the rentals at the hood is secured, and that portion of
time of the October re-letting to a our constitution dealing with the
asis .urer to the State—and this I ( school lands must be the object of our
doubt not will in some considerable j m08t solicitous care.
measure be done : second, the inser- . .
f , I-ast winter in my talk before the
f a clause in every lease reserv- j
cratic party is all things to all men;
it is a freetrade party ami a tariff
£/}Ci//inert/ and idressmaking.
We have moved our Millinery and Dressmaking business
to the co/.y new building four doors east of M McGinley's
Grocery, where we are really "at home" in parlors fitted especially for
our work. We have ground floor rooms, too—no more hot, tiresome
stair climbing In a few days our fine new stock of midsummer
mil uni ! v will be 011 display, and offered at lower prices than is usually
asked for sucll goods. VV| invite the bull#- "f Norman and vicinity tc visit us In our lit!w
parlor*, examine our Midsummer stock, and buy if goods ami
prices suit tin-in.
CALLIE GRAHAM & CO.
Excursion I lutes.
Return limit. Sept
80th. Stop overs will be given at
Hueblo anil Colorado .Springs.
K .1. Molt'.AN, Agent.
ing to the Board the right of placing
upon the land a new rental value, not
less than the former one, any time at
its option within six months after the
transfer. I estimate, and not with-
out some careful study, that these
lands ought soon to yield a quarter-
million of dollars yearly and yet not
have reached one-half their reason- mate disposition of a public land grant
able earning power. If the same ; that will eventually reach 2,000,000 1 those principles and their party and
lands were in private hands they j acres—and I have yet to hear the first . support either one of the old par-
would now be ' • .
Legislature at Norman I charged the
political parties of the Territory, with-
out exception, with cowardice on this
question, and I still affirm the charge.
It has been before us more than eight
years now and has grown to he the
most momentous question of our Ter-
ritorial life—tlie question of the ulti-
Has received his new Fall
and Winter stock of sam-
ples. and would like for
you to call and pick out
vour New Fall Suit.
party, a trust party and an anti- \
trust parly, a freesilver party and a I
gold standard party, an expansion '• , , ,, . , ,.
1 / ' ; Order of Hoo, Hoo! uu et at Denver
party and an anti-expansion party, fiolo.. Sept. !) to l:i. lion one fare
Ja national bank party and a pro- plus $2 00 for round trip. DateofSale
1 I 11-1 til I Sept. li, 7 and K
■ lessed disciple of Andrew Jackson,
!a specie resumption party and a
I greenback party. As Senator Cock-
rell said at Chicago at a meeting of
the national committee they want a
platform on which all men can
stand. So that in a freesilver por-
tion of the country the orators can
advocate freesilver, in a gold stan- ^
dard portion of the country they ,
can advocate the gold standard, in
a high tariff section of the country
they can advocate high tariff, and in "j
a free trade section of the country
they can advocate free trade, and ^
so on. Now, is it possible that any |
men who have imbibed the sacred ^
Mules For Sale.
I ha .e ,'i2 head of good youne wnrl<
mules, ranging in age from it to .1 j ears
old, and in height from l;>i to 1 'i ii inds
high, that I will sell for cash or for a
good note due in on*' year. If
want to secure a good t'nrn of young
mules, see me at on?e.
john sui.livan, Norman, Uk!;i.
* . 9
% Through Train
% to Philadelphia
o Santa Fe Routn.
principles of populism, can abandon
He will give you close
prices on t ;i 1 lo r • 111 a d e
garments, and guarantee
you a snug fit.
earning the holders whisper of suggestion of po'icy from
"earfr tliree"riuarter dollars any political party or party leader. Its
31,11 ; manner of solution will affect the gen-
A second feature of our Oklahoma „ral|0n8 lllrou8h all fulure Ul:
ties, that have gone hand in hand in
a mad course that has driven the
people into industrial serfdom? It
, , , I 1 - • . eratlons through all future time i be- is to be honed not — \ H I ivins-
peared when the land would be ap-1 speculation is one which all consider- Hide H immcdiale §tatehood insI(fni[. sto„ in ^ouri World. '
praised as having been settled upon ations of public policy and all fair- icanlt and even Free Homes become*
and Improvementsmade to the extent "ess to the actual occupants of the „„ ; „ , , . ,,
, 1 . , j , ,, , . 1 an issue of lesser importance. I pre- B. S. Tate handles private money
of $25. I he appraisers would disap- school lands must urge us most strong- .1 .. ,,.. , , , , , ... , , ,
1 1 . • , ,>,, ... u,cl H" auspicious political future for and will make (arm loans on three,
pear and so would the'settlers.' The to avoid. 11,is is the holding by ny poluica, t whatsoever that liv, or seven years time at lowest rate
evening or the next morning would Individuals o arge bodies of these can 80 far dlgceril the ulllmate jud , ofinloresl. oiliee in West room of
find them comfortably settled upon i l«tnds and sub-letting them to tenants. meut of the peopie of Oklahoma as to Norman Lumber Co. building. I it
TAILOR SHOP IN REAR
ROOM OF NORMAN
STATE BANK BUILDING
Terrritory of oklnhoiuit, Cleveland county.
To wlioin it may concern:
Notice 1h hereby that H. 1 Sunth has
thi- 24th «lity of *.\im> filed application
in the county clerk - office in -ui<l county and
territory for license to retail malt, nplrltoiiH
un<l vlnotM liquors in the town of Norman,
Cleveland county, Oklahoma territory.
I) H. \v ^ NNB, I ounty« lerk.
leaves Kansas City Saturday, Sept.
18Wi, at rt:;W p. m. Luxurious
modern Pullman sleeperaand free
Reclining chair care through with,
out change. Tickets en al * Sep-
tember i, '2 and «, for *;w.lO, limit
ed to leave Philadelphia Septem-
ber 12, with provision for ex ten-
sion to September 30. For slight
additional charge, tickets permit-
ting stopovers and goo<t for return
via different route will bei—ied.
NORMAN, O. T.
I have taken possession of tl o H J.
Weeks' drutf stoek, books and no-
counts. I hereby notify all persons
knowing themselves indebted at -aid
store to call immediately nud setilo
either by eash or note. The books
must be closed. c. hufi«\
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Allan, John S. The Peoples Voice (Norman, Okla.), Vol. 8, No. 5, Ed. 1 Friday, August 25, 1899, newspaper, August 25, 1899; Norman, Oklahoma Territory. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc117110/m1/1/: accessed January 21, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.