Bringing in the B. & M. Voters

Ever vigilant against railroad political power, the Republican Omaha Daily Bee warns against the possibility of voter fraud in the election through the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad employees whom the company is moving back into Nebraska right before the election.


First Installment of the Tracklayers from Montana Reach Lincoln and Omaha.


Norfolk and Alma Business Men Refuse to Stand as Scarecrows for the Burlington—How the Gang is Working the State.

The first installment of the gangs of men who are to be returned to Nebraska from the B. & M. extension in Montana arrived last night. There were 200 men in the party, under charge of E.J. Robinson. These men were members of the tracklaying crew. The B. & M. pay car made its first trip to Sheridan last week, and it was announced that it had paid off the men whose services were no longer needed. But the 200 men brought to Nebraska last night were not paid off at Billings, and for some reason their time checks were withheld until their arrival at Omaha. A part of the men were left at Lincoln and the others brought to Omaha, paid off and discharged. It is believed that this is the first shipment into the state. These men will, doubtless many of them, remain in Omaha until after election. They are not voters and cannot vote unless the most shameful frauds are perpetrated. The law requires voters to hold their residence six months in the state, forty days in the county and ten days in the precinct before they are entitled to cast their ballots. None of these men come within the provisions of the law; but that a determined effort will be made to vote them at the coming election is certain.

In order to throw the public off its guard the claim will be made within a few days in the columns of the railroad press that the men who have been at work on the B. & M. extension are all residents of Nebraska, who left the state temporarily in order to secure employment during a dull season at home. No one will be deceived by these statements.

The reaction against the objects of the Business Men's association which set in a few days ago is gathering in force. Frank Colpetzer and Victor B. Caldwell have been designated as special state organizers for the association, and they are now endeavoring to establish branches in the larger towns of the state. The significant feature in regard to their appointment is that both gentlemen are signers to the bond given by ex-Treasurer Hill and that both are parties to the suit now brought by the state against the ex-treasurer and his bondsmen to recover the $236,000 lost in the Capital National bank swindle. They visited Norfolk last Saturday evening and held a preliminary meeting, at which several officers of the proposed branch association were appointed. Monday afternoon a call was issued for a general meeting of business men. The meeting was held Monday evening according to announcement, but the proceedings have not been printed at length in any of the papers that are advocating the election of the Burlington candidate for governor. The report of the meeting is furnished by a special correspondence and is as follows:


NORFOLK, Neb. Oct. 23 (Special)—The attempt to organize a Business Men's association here as an adjunct to the Omaha scheme, to coerce the voters into supporting Majors for governor, culminated in a veritable boomerang. Not till yesterday did it become generally known that such an organization was being formed. Dodgers were distributed calling business men together to complete the organization. When the hour set for the meeting arrived forty businessmen were present, a majority of whom came for the purpose of registering a protest against the movement. The leaders in the project got wind of the general sentiment and quietly withdrew, leaving the opposition to the coercion movement in full possession of the field. The vice president and secretary chosen last Saturday were both present, but neither made any attempt to officiate.

Ex-Mayor Koenigstein was called to the chair and a number of short but red hot speeches were made, the general sentiment of all being that it was the sense of the meeting that the Business Men's association is a move to coerce men to support the railroad ticket with Majors at the head, and that it was a veritable club held over the debtors of the state; that the cry of ruin that had been raised has no foundation in fact, and that it has been raised for the purpose of hiding the true issue; that such a cry has more to do with injuring the state than any possible injury that might result from the election of Judge Holcomb; that it was the belief that the move was inaugurated[sic] at the instance of the railroad and Majors ring, who, rather than see honest men elected and honest business methods prevail, would not scruple to tear down the fair name of Nebraska and bring ruin upon her people; that such a move should receive the condemnation of every intelligent voter on election day, and that the promoters of such a movement could not be too severely censured. The meeting was made up of men of all parties, and without exception all condemned, the business men's scheme.

The association met with a similar rebuff at Alma. John Peters, ex-United States revenue collector and acting secretary of the association, recently addressed a letter to a prominent business man of Alma and requested him to at once form a branch organization. He has received a reply, but the letter from the Alma merchant will hardly be printed in the columns of the B. & M. Journal at Lincoln. It was as follows:

Mr. John Peters, Secretary, Business Men's Association: Dear Sir—Your letter, with enclosed circular, received by me this morning and duly perused. In reply I will say that we have already organized ourselves in this county, and that with a 400 majority and still more enlisting, to elect Judge Holcomb. Further than that, if the election of honest and capable men to look after and run the affairs of our state, as they ought to, and not as they have been, shall ruin our state credit and impair its business interests, and when I find that honesty in the public offices in the state of Nebraska is held at a discount by her people, then, and not before, shall I be ready to vote as you advise and not as I think, to turn over the affairs of our state to the B. & M. railroad to run to suit themselves.

You say that it is not a question of men, but of principles. I say that it is a question of men with principles and men without any, and so say the majority of my fellow citizens. I thank the editor of The Bee for the heroic stand he is taking at the present time and during the last session of the state legislature in fighting corruption and exposing the rottenness of the state house rings.


I would ask that you and the businessmen of the state look up the records of the district court in Harlan county as to how Mr. Piper, your candidate for secretary of state, first took his office as county clerk of this county; and also, that you look up the records of the county supervisors and see what the committee appointed to examine his records reported just before he was retired from office. I think that after a careful investigation of the records of Majors and Piper you will understand that it is as ridiculous to ask any Intelligent business man to elect them to save the state's credit as it would be to ask them to sign a petition praying that reserved seats be held in heaven for his majesty, the devil, and his followers.

I send this open letter to the editor of The Bee, and would ask that other merchants who may receive these circulars and who are in favor of an honest administration of our state affairs, and who approve of the policy of the editor of The Bee in this [[unclear]] to do likewise.

There is a lively prospect that the list of signatures to the manifesto sent out by the Business Men's association will be badly demoralized before the returns are all in. Here is another business man who repudiates all connection with the association:

J.H. Schmidt,
24th and Cuming
OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 23.

To the Editor of The Bee:

My attention was called to the name of "C.J. Schmidt, druggist," in the printed list of Omaha members of the Nebraska Business Men's association. As I am the only druggist in the city bearing the name Schmidt, I would like to state that I am not the party referred to. Respectfully,



The managers of the Majors campaign have sent agents out into Judge Holcomb's district to work up sentiment against him among the farmers. These agents have been instructed to spread the story that before becoming a populist Judge Holcomb was a money shark, that he loaned funds on chattel mortgages at an excessive rate of interest and that he was especially severe in foreclosing whenever the borrowers failed to promptly pay interest and principal. They will also undertake to show from the court records that Judge Holcomb has oppressed the farmers by permitting foreclosures of mortgages on real estate and that he has always shown more sympathy for the money lender than he has for the debtor. Judge Holcomb has emphatically denied the charges that he was a money loaner as well as that he was a B. & M. attorney.

The railroad organs throughout the state are already informed of the work being done in Judge Holcomb's district and are beginning to hint of the results. The "investigation" is being conducted under the personal supervision of one L.D. Richards and his organ at Fremont is already chuckling over the prospective report of the emissaries of the Majors committee.


The fact that the taxpayers of Nebraska are called upon to pay a large proportion of the expenses of the managers of the Majors campaign is being unpleasantly commented upon by many people all over the state. Clerks from different offices at the state house are doing clerical work in the rooms of the state central committee, oil inspectors; employes in the warehouse and grain inspection department; members of the State Board of Transportation, bank examiners under control of the State Banking board and employes at state institutions are all as busy as beavers in assisting the Majors movement. The superintendent of one state institution who is paid a salary for giving his entire supervision to his work is spending all of his time at the state central committee rooms and the services he owes to the state are being given to politics.


Ex-Governor Anthony Fails to Confirm What Majors' Cappers Impute to Populism.

KEARNEY, Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special Telegram.)—This has been a great political day in Kearney. Hon. W.J. Bryan spoke this afternoon, and this evening ex-Governor Anthony of Kansas addressed a large audience at the opera house. Bryan first patted the populists and then the democrats, but left state issues almost entirely out of the question. Ex-Governor Anthony told what populism had done for Kansas, but did not say it had ruined the financial condition of the state as much as some have tried to make out. Bryan said he stood on a platform of his own and that was anything to down the republicans.

Issues Discussed at Sidney.

SIDNEY, Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special Telegram.)—W.S. Hampton, candidate for representative, addressed a large audience here this afternoon. His discussion of the tariff and state issued were well handled and elicited frequent applause.

The court house was packed tonight to listen to one of the ablest speeches made during the campaign by Senator J.L. Caldwell of Lincoln. The people's party was handled without gloves and Bryan received his full share of condemnation for his demo-pop course in Nebraska.

Dr. Harris of Ogallala spoke briefly upon the issues and expressed full confidence in his own election to the legislature. Judge Pease presided and the Sidney brass and cornet bands discoursed the music.

Campaign Closed in Red Willow.

McCOOK, Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special Telegram.)—John M. Thurston spoke here tonight to the largest audience that ever greeted a public speaker in this city. Hundreds were turned away from the doors unable to gain admission. Never has a public speaker received such an ovation as his telling blows on the tariff and silver questions were presented to the voters. Messrs. Corbett and Piper were present and made short addresses, as was also Frank Rathburn, candidate for state senator. This closes the campaign in this county, and Red Willow is safe for a republican member of the legislature this year.

Manderson and Daugherty Speak.

CHADRON, Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special Telegram)—A large audience greeted Senator Manderson and Matt Daugherty today. Daugherty spoke in the afternoon, devoting most of his time to tariff, silver and irrigation and his opponent, Congressman Kem. He was in touch with the audience and made many new friends and votes. Senator Manderson spoke in the evening to an equally large crowd. He briefly reviewed the leading issues of the day in a most masterly manner. The meeting was a decided success.

Disagreed on Finance.

BELLEVUE, Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special.)—The democrats of Bellevue precinct held a meeting at the school house last night at which ex-Governor Boyd, Mat Gering of Plattsmouth and Edgar Howard, candidate for the legislature, spoke to a fair crowd, the majority of whom were republicans.

The speakers could agree upon one subject only, begging the people to vote the democratic ticket. On the silver question they did not agree at all. Boyd wanted gold, Gering 16 to 1 and Howard wanted free coinage.

Clay Center Citizens Entertained.

CLAY CENTER, Neb., Oct. 23,—(Spe[sic] Hon. J.L. Padwell of Lincoln spoke here last dressed the people of this place Saturday evening, and if it were necessary to prove the high esteem and regard in which he is held in Clay county, the large and attentive audience present would be sufficient. Judge Morris delivered the most convincing argument for protection and republicanism that has been given here this campaign. The Glee club added much to the evening's entertainment.

Anthony of Kansas Called In.

HASTINGS, Oct. 23.—(Special Telegram.)—This city had two political gatherings today. Ex-Governor Anthony of Kansas addressed a republican meeting at the opera house this afternoon, his argument being directed mainly against populism. Tonight at the court house Hon. S.J. Kent, people's party candidate for commissioner of public lands and buildings, spoke to a crowded house.

Republicans Turn Out at Creighton.

CREIGHTON, Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special.)—Congressman Meiklejohn and H.C. Brome of Omaha received an ovation here last night at the hands of an audience of more than 2,000 people. A torchlight procession of 200 enthusiastic voters, headed by the band and displaying several pithy transparencies, paraded the streets before the meeting. The issues were ably discussed

Bryan Entertains a Large Audience.

GRAND ISLAND. Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special Telegram.)—Hon. W.J. Bryan spoke for three hours to a large audience at Bartenbach's opera house tonight, giving his views on the Omaha Business Men's association, election of senators by the people, foreclosure of government liens upon Pacific railroads, and effects of recent tariff legislation.

Farnam Populists Rally.

FARNAM, Neb., Oct 23.—(Special.)—The populists had a rally here Saturday evening, the speakers being Schrader, candidate for senator, and Hamilton, candidate for representative to the legislature from Perkins county. The audience was small.

No Enthusiasm Over Majors.

VALPARAISO, Neb., Oct. 23.—(Special.)—Hon. Ben[unclear] Baker is to speak here tonight, but if he meets with no better turnout or enthusiasm than Hon. D.A. Scoville found, he will think it hard sledding for Majors in these parts.


Several Small Towns Robbed in Approved Style by the Bill Cook Gang.


Train Which They Evidently Intended to Hold Up Pulled Out of the Station Before They Could Get Action.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Oct. 23.—Last night's program in the great carnival of crime, which is now holding the boards in the Indian Territory, consisted of the wholesale robbery of several small towns in genuine desperado style by Mr. Bill Cook, supported by a strong and desperate company or eight or ten followers. Four men rode into the town of Watova early in the evening, making their approach known by a promiscuous discharge of firearms. The bandits terrorized the inhabitants, and most of them sought safety in their houses behind barricaded doors. The outlaws visited every store in the village, and ran the merchants away with Winchesters and revolvers. They took from the stores all the money they could find, and everything else they wanted. The postoffice was robbed of about $60 in cash and $55 in stamps. From Watova the gang ran on to Tala, ten miles away, where they repeated their depredations. They rode into the town and proceeded to once more rob stores right and left. Every store in the place was visited, and the proprietors compelled to turn over their cash. The postoffice was also robbed of stamps and a small amount of money. The bandits entered the town boldly and made no effort to conceal their identity. None were masked. From reports of their description, they were undoubtedly the same gang that held up the Missouri Pacific passenger train, No. 321, at Tala. While they were holding up the postoffice, the train pulled into the station. The trainmen were notified of the presence of the gang, and the train was started at once. The bandits galloped out of town discharging their Winchesters.

WAGGONER, I.T., Oct. 23.—The capture of the desperadoes responsible for the recent depredations in the territory cannot much longer be delayed. Marshals are on the trail of the men who committed last night's robberies and are pressing them closely. Chief Harris of the Cherokee nation has offered a reward of $500 for the capture of Bill Cook, the gang's leader, dead or alive. All of the light horse guards and all the Indian police have been summoned for duty, and all the United States marshals of the territory have been put on the trail. In addition there are special officers of the railway and express companies, making a total of between 300 and 600 men ready to commence concerted action in the morning.

About this Document

  • Source: Omaha Daily Bee
  • Citation: 1
  • Date: October 24, 1894