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The Florida East Coast-Brother York's road -is very active in bringing in new members. There surely are not many more left on the F E. C. to come in. Our attendance is much better this fall than it has been in a long time, and I believe it
will continue to improve. There is never a day but there are at least 50 conductors in Jacksonville. Our Division has a membership of considerably over 200.
I understand Brother W. H. Sebring will be a candidate for the state legislature. If he does make the race, we must get a move on and elect him by the biggest majority Duval County ever gave a candidate. Let every railroad man that has a right to vote not forget to register in time. Jacksonville, Fla.
M. F. BOISCLAIR.
body, generally on a whole class of laboring people somewhere. If it were true that the railroad rates are generally too high, and the help on railroads are now getting and would stand to lose the profits from these excessive high rates-even then it would only follow that the railway employes were getting unfairly high wages at the
expense of unfairly low wages for the remaining workers of this vast country.
If so ridiculous a situation existed, its beneficiaries could not be blamed for wanting it to continue; but they could hardly ask any official, much less the President of the United States, to take seriously to any argument for its continuance. And of course there is no such a situation nor anything approaching it. Whatever railroad capitalists may be doing, railroad employes are getting no more than their share of the proceeds of the country's business, and no regulation would be fair or intelligent which in any way whatever attempted to deprive them of their share. Moreover railroad rates are not in general too high. Some of the worst of them are too low-discriminating in favor of certain shippers' products or locations at the expense of others. And if unfairly high rates are charged anywhere, the help gets none of it, providing the company can help it. If there were complete regulation by the government of railway rates, the railroads would be deprived of some of their present and favorite devices. Fair public regulation can do the men working for the railroads no harm. In fact, nothing but good and ultimately it will benefit the railroad companies. I don't wish any Brother to think I am a low wages man; my work while on the grievance committee of the Vandalia Line will show for itself. My contention is that it is just to let the railroads fight their own battles, which they are amply able to do. Any member of the Order can best subserve the interest of his fellow employe by working to repeal the fellow-servant, co-employe act. Also don't overlook the "voluntary relief” for that is a side attachment that many of the big lines are working for all it is worth. Oleander, Calif.
C. H. ARTHUR.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Toledo Division No. 26 held their election and installation of officers Nov. 26th. Immediately after the election we proceeded to installation, and finally retired to the banquet hall, where we were welcomed by Banner Division No. 6, in full bloom.
Sister Moore, Grand President of the Ladies' Auxiliary, was at her best, and we were told a few things. Also, Sister Ida Hoover gave us a few stirring words, and told us what we could do.
Now, I forgot to tell you that Toledo Division has this year elected a Division Correspondent, and if anything is said by this correspondent that does not please you, just jump on to the Division for it. Don't blame the correspondent. don't know any better. Some years ago he used to write now and then for THE CONDUCTOR, but he had some old-fogy notion about the oid conductor, about providing a home for the old conductor, and his family, where they could and would always be cared for and their children educated. But Toledo Division and Divisions generally turned him down-not flat, exactly, for they did, at St. Paul, establish the Relief Fund, which, I was glad to hear one of our Grand Officers say, was the best law we had ever enacted, and is one which, I believe, myself is all right as far as it goes, but it does not reach the desired end. It does not protect the family at all in case of the death of the Brother, and I believe that this correspondent of five years ago was right when he said: “Build a home for the old conductor," and I propose to say something on this line my. self, and I would thank you if you will read my letters, and accept them as being my views; and if you don't like them, tear the leaf out, and throw it away.
I was a delegate at St. Paul. I was there the day the law was enacted to assess every member of the Order one dollar each year for the Relief Fund, and five thousand dollars was made immediately available for the needy ones; and al. though I was not satisfied with that action, I was pleased, for even that was better than nothing, but it does not protect the family at all. It only helps for a little while. What does it do for the widow and orphans, after the conductor is gone?
Suppose the conductor, by some mismanagement, neglects to pay his insurance assessment,
Editor Railway Conductor:
On November 19th, Division 196 held its annual election of officers, and also enjoyed the customary dinner. With possibly one exception I feel that no division in this part of our beloved, country can boast of a better or more loyal set of officers for 1906 than can 196.
After putting Brother Wells, of the Waunee Branch of the S. A. L., through on the back of our big black goat, and our election of officers, we all-35 strong-repaired to an adjoining room, where our Secretary-Treasurer, T. A. Jones, and his more than estimable little wife, with the assistance of chief cook Brother Ivy, had prepared a spread that surpassed any previous efforts, and we all thought the limit was reached one year ago.
The boys will soon be getting busy in Florida again, as the winter schedules will soon be put on, I hope all members of 196 will give a good account of themselves.
We very seldom hold a meeting unless there is from
three members to be initiated.
you will not scare me out. I want every member of the Order to do just this much, commencing January, 1906.
Every Brother to put 10 cents each month into a fund for the commencement of the Home, and every Sister 5 cents for the same purpose; and at the time we meet at Memphis, you will have the money all ready to commence with. Do this for your Christmas offering. Toledo, O.
B. F. OSBORNE.
and he becomes suspended from the Order. He can't become a member of the insurance department again, and so he cannot be reinstated in the Order, and he loses his right to relief, and what becomes of him and his family? In pretty bad shape, isn't he? What are you going to do about it? Anything? How much money
have you paid into this Relief Fund since 1901 ? You have paid five times one--an average of $30,000 per year, $150,000. Now, supposing you had adopted the home project at St. Paul, and made the same assessment, and raised $25,000. You might have found 320 acres of good farming land somewhere, with pretty fair buildings, for $20.000, leaving $5,000 to help on immediate expenses. By this time you would have paid in the same $150,000, and your farm would have helped to bring in a nice little income, which would have done its share towards supporting the institution, and the widow and children of a deceased Brother would still have a home.
Now, Brothers, let me give you an illustration. We will say that a Brother has a wife and two. small children, both girls. The Brother has contracted consumption, and is finally made recipient of the Relief Fund, and receives $25 per month. The wife is also consumptive. They must live in a very small house, with little or no comforts, to eke out a living on $25. Suppose the husband dies. What are you going to do with the family? Let them starve? Let them go to the county? Are you going to let the two little girls go to the devil? Are you? Is that Fidelity? Is that Justice? Is that Charity? Show me, please, where the Relief Fund comes in, only as a momentary relief. Show me where the Perpetual Friendship comes in.
Patience! Aye, that's a good word, but it is not half as good a word as Action. "Live in patience and die in despair," is an old adage, and unless somebody acts, I'm afraid some of our good Brothers and Sisters will actually illustrate it.
You have tried the Relief Fund for over four years, and I don't believe a single member would want it abolished, but it does not go far enough. You cannot send the Brother to the Highland Park Home, because you then separate the family, and while you furnish him a home you do nothing for the family. Now, Brothers, something should be done, and I want to hear from you. If any of the Sisters read this letter, I want to hear from them. If you feel satisfied with the present conditions, say so. If not, then help to devise some means of improvement, and do it now, so that when we meet at Memphis something will be on. The Grand Division at St. Paul promised to do something at Pittsburgh, but they didn't. They didn't promise to do anything at Portland, and they didn't, much.
Now, I expect, when I see the next number of The CONDUCTOR, that I will see all kinds of letters from all over the country, telling of all the good things we have done, and what a great Order we have, patting each other on the back, etc., and I hope I will; but when I write my letter I expect to tell of some things that you have not done, but that you should do, and do at once. I am not going to Pat you on the back at all. and I am not going to quit writing because I have been elected by my Division to do so, and if you all kick at me at once,
Editor Railway Conductor:
Division 1 has been somewhat interested in the circular letters sent out in July and September of this year by the Grand Chief Conductor, touching the question of rate legislation. This Division has not been slow to see what might possibly happen if rate legislation should turn out to be rate reduction. Men in the railroad brotherhoods know all about the expense it has been to bring the rate of pay and conditions of employment up to the present standard. They know that every time a general committee of a system makes demands for a new schedule, the first thing they confront is, “What is the earning power of the company?" There can be no question but that the President as well as the law makers want to do the very best thing for the greatest number. But if the Esch-Townsend bill had been enacted into law and the Interstate Commerce Commission had ruled that a certain rate was too high and from such ruling the road affected had appealed to the courts and got a verdict in its favor after having been compelled to use the lower rate for six months or a year, or any other time, then the difference in revenue between the old rate and the revenue derived from the Commission's rate, would have been lost to the road, as there was no arrangement provided by which said difference could have been recovered. If, however, this difference could have been collected by the road and placed in escrow, pending the decision of the courts, then the strenuous objection to the bill raised by the roads would probably have been lacking, and it would have been a nice way to have settled the whole controversy.
A delegation of railroad men went to Washington the middle of November and called on the President to voice their sentiments—and presumably those of the majority of the brotherhood men in their several localities-on the rate question. The address to the President and his response have been widely published.
The banquet to be given by Division 1 on December 31st, will we presume be the largest of the kind ever attempted by the Division. It will start promptly at two o'clock p. m. on the 17th floor of the Masonic Temple, and we expect some of the most prominent railway men to be present as our guests.
The installation of officers for the coming year will be held on the fifth floor of the Masonic Temple at one p. m., December 31st, just before the banquet. We trust the Grand Chief Conductor will be present to enlighten us with one of his good talks.
In the coming session of the Legislature we think Division 1 will take a most active part in all mat
Our members of Indiana met and organized a state legislative board at Indianapolis on September 10th, electing officers, doing no other particular business of any importance except to lick our lips, spit upon our hands, bow our backs, and depart with a "we are ready for them in the fall" look upon our beautiful faces. By the way, we had two or three excellent speeches by Pennsylvania talent and others by Indianapolis talent, but we suppress names of the orators until later on when the real work shall begin. We only hope that all states may follow suit, for there is a crying need of legislation that we are all deeply interested in.
Brother Johnson, with whose affliction many are familiar, is gradually growing weaker, with no possible hope of recovery.
H. S. M. Cincinnati, Ohio.
ters pertaining to the interest of railway men in this state.
A great fight is being made here now to stampede the railway men into the movement for government ownership of railways, and as this would be practically destructive of the railway brotherhoods, it is probable that at the right time the Grand Officers will put the weight of their influence against it. A mass meeting has been called here for November 26th, at the Briggs Hotel, by Division 96, B. L. E., to hear expressions on rate regulation by the different members. Chicago, Ill.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Although miles away from our Division, old 301, and deprived of the pleasure of meeting with them, we are the occasional recipient of a wireless telegram, and the latest tells of our annual election of officers, which took place on the 12th, and just like all of our state and county elections, the grafters have been routed and an entire change almost has been effected. Corruption is bound to reign and bad policy prevail where parties of either or any political views are long in power, and a change in due time necessitates itself and makes the fact apparent to the slumbering public; but not generally until after they are well trimined financially. Seriously speaking, we are starting out with an elegant set of young officers who are full of life and bid fair to keep up the interest which has always been shown in the Division room.
While we have'nt the old time scrappers "a la John Long" and others of our departed Brothers with us, yet we have the usual animation present always and we most all feel better after a little brush up against the sarcastic natures of some of our Indians.
The paper has it that our Secretary has been south as far as Birmingham, ostensibly to let the balmy breeze of the southland play with his lilacs; yet we fear he has a case away down across the border, for despite his age he is still winsome, and some good lass that wants a father to raise her would do well to--let him alone, for everything he touches turns to money, and woman is destined for higher consideration.
In a brief note recently he advised a little sendoff in The CONDUCTOR for our new people in office. The above is his, and we drop the matter now in consideration of graver ones, for death has again invaded our ranks taking away from family and numerous friends and Brothers, Brother Geo. J. Dunkle. He was one of our oldest passenger men and well known to all of the traveling public for the last twelve years. Glancing over the already long list, we find him as the twenty-ninth of ours who have given up after long years of servitude, since January 9, 1892, and we again say, “Who will be the next?" We regret very much that our cold-blooded laws will not permit us to speak at length of Brother Dunkle, yet the omission will be supplied as best can be done through the press along our line of road. Although they are out for the money yet they have always cheerfully given us all of the space requested and longed to do more.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Kindly indulge an ex-correspondent in a few remarks on current events. I am fond of the Fraternal columns of THE CONDUCTOR and of the editorials, including publications that are of vital importance to the conductors who run the trains of the country.
On pages 862 and 863 of the November edition, we see, if we have been observing, what our worthy editor intends to be of interest to us. This is one of the uses of The CONDUCTOR and one of the reasons why it should be sought for and eagerly read, and carefully and thoughtfully put in our every-day life.
I look to it as a guide upon current events of our every-day life. The Fraternal columns should embody much more than our last edition contains--four letters, I believe, is all that we have from our Brothers.
What is the matter, Brothers, that you don't get busy? My attention was directed to this particular feature, upon finding an accumulation of copies on the receiving shelves in the despatcher's office, of various railroad magazines. A great number piled up there on shelves led me to investigate as far as I could why these periodicals were not reaching their intended purpose.
As a result of that investigation, I believe if these magazines were sent to the place of residence instead of the place of business of our Brothers, that they would be received and read, not only by the conductors, but by the trainmen and others, whereas they are now accumulating in piles upon shelves until a certain time when the shelves are cleaned, and then out goes the entire accumulation, many CONDUCTORS among them, without ever having the wrapper taken off. This should not be, and as I have said before in our CONDUCTOR, if our Division correspondents would only watch these little things that are along his line of observation and be frank in bringing them to the attention of his Division as well as to the columns of our CONDUCTOR, and say without fear or favor, that if he finds as I have found, that these uncalled for journals belong to Brothers in all the different organizations who are largely in arrears with their local dues, and many of them require instruction before they can enter a regular stated meeting of their organization. I would like to just mention the names of those whom I
eat, music, etc. Wish it were possible for every Brother and his family and every Sister and her family to be present and enjoy it with us. The greatest pleasure to me is the pleasure of others in which I am able to assist.
Brothers, we are one year nearer the end of our run for life than we were a year ago. Many changes have taken place, many of our Brothers who were with us then have made their last run and are in the great eternity. Since my last, two Brothers have been called away. Who will be the next and what will be the warning? A solemn question indeed, but I dare say even at this very moment some dear Brother is passing the last mile post in this life.
Brothers, who of you did me the honor to read my last letter and obeyed my request? why not? Who of you honored Brother H. J. Gardner by reading his precious letter, one of the most beautiful I have ever read in the RAILWAY CONDUCTOR? If not, why not?
As we bid farewell to the year 1905, let us covenant together to do more for ourselves than we have ever done along moral and religious lines in the past.
ED. B. WILLIS. Denton, Texas.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Once more Division 386 is enjoying a pleasant and prosperous season. We had election of officers Nov. 5, with a large attendance, every one looking to the interest of the Division. They picked the best men for our officers.
Brothers, if you want your Division to prosper, you must stand by your officers, and assist them in making it so. I speak from experience, as I am at present the C. C. of Division 386, and the Brothers have stood by me, and by so doing they have made Division 386 second to no Division in attendance and harmony.
Division 386 never has been in as harmonious a condition as it is now, and has been for the past eight months, with a good attendance at every meeting.
E. S. BLEVINS. East St. Louis, Ill.
Editor Railway Conductor:
With this, the December issue of the CONDUCTOR, ends the year's work. The work of the Order, as we find it to-day, calls for calm deliberation on the part of every loyal member as to what we shall make it in the future.
By a united effort, every member can make it more interesting, and accomplish many desired results. We can be more social to our new members, and to visiting Brothers.
Let us, each and all, resolve to try and overcome our selfishness, and do our duty in this respect in future; a good hard handsqueeze and a pleasant smile goes a long ways:
Monday, November 6th, we elected officers.
The Idaho herder, better known as “Duplex," was elected chairman for local adjustments. It would be useless to make many remarks about our past officers. They have been loyal to the Order, and upheld the boys in trouble.
find are grossly careless of their own interest in this direction and claim to be one of us in O. R. C.
I would like to say just a word in behalf of some of the many things I came in contact with last May. I never realized just what the 0. R.C. was until I became one of the many that constituted the party that met in Portland, Oregon. The courtesies extended to us by the various orders and bodies of business men, and especially the Order of Elks, Pocatello, Idaho, and the Elks in general everywhere, along our route, were most ethical indeed.
I trust that we will all meet in Memphis, Tenn., in 1907.
A number of our Brothers are going to visit Mexico soon and I would be glad to have them meet our new Grand Officer, Brother Rolfe. If you see 10 or 15 Brothers of Division 114 down in Mexico the first of next month, you will find them a congenial lot, and I know that they will be glad to see you.
Division 114 hopes to hear a great deal of this trip, as the correspondent is one of the party and I know that he will keep tab on all the particulars.
I will close by asking Brothers to take better care of the Fraternal column.
D. F. LANE. Pittsburgh, Pa.
Eidtor Railway Conductor:
Division 110 met in regular session Sunday, November 12, 1905. This meeting was the most enthusiastic and largest in point attendance of any meeting held during the year, and to make it still more interesting we had the pleasure of initiating five candidates.
Brother Hamilton perpetrated an agreeable surprise on the members present in the shape of a neat lunch of sandwiches, coffee, ice cream and cake, and finishing with good cigars. His thought. fulness was surely appreciated.
The officers and members of Division 110 have good reason to feel proud over the record they have made and good and charitable deeds performed during the year now drawing to a close. All meetings have been well attended, members taking an active and earnest interest in all business pertaining to the Order, and a feeling of contentment and brotherly love exhibited that appears to grow stronger with every meeting.
We now have 105 members and a number of applications expected in the near future. The prospects are bright and encouraging, the Division being in a prosperous and flourishing condition, and we expect to have a membership of one hundred and fifty or more prior to December 31st, 1906. Logansport, Ind.
F. C. MURPHEY.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Since my last, I am delighted to say that my name appears first on the register of Division 57, October 17th and Nov. 21st, the latter date was the occasion of annual election of officers to serve during 1906, which passed off without the least thing to mar the very best feeling among the Brothers. There will be a joint installation with the Sisters of Tygard Division 106, L. A. to O. R. C. This means a jolly good time, with something to
We are still chainganging our caboose washpans and water cup and no cushions to ride on.
The Ladies of L. A. to 0. R. C. served dinner after our election, and then witnessed our installation of officers. It was an excellent dinner, in the latest style. We had with us at this meeting Brother G. W. Evans, who is superintendent of the Fidelity and Casualty Insurance Co. for the 0. R. C. from Atlanta, Ga. He made us an excellent talk, both for the good of the Order and interest of the insurance company.
Brothers of this Division, let us come together at once and show the Order we can do good for a distressed Brother, or a member of his family, and dispel our selfishness.
"Rep." Knoxville, Tenn.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Having been a member of the O. R. C. for the last three years, and haven't been able to find a word in our journal written by one of our number, I am very desirious of having the outside community see that No. 248 still exists, and is among the living. They stand to-day with about forty members. While this is a small number to compare with other Divisions, we consider it good for the number of men we have in the railroad service in this section of the country. We held our last regular meeting last Sunday, the most of our time being taken up electing new officers, who, we hope, will strive to do all they possibly can toward the upbuilding of our Order.
We had two applications presented before the lodge at this meeting, that we hope to act upon as soon as possible. Our boys come in slowly, but as a general rule are good when we get them.
We have a few members who have dropped out for some cause which I am unable to mention, but hope to see them reinstated again soon. We also have a few others that I think will come in as soon as age will permit them.
I am very sorry to note the condition of our Brother, Otey Figurex, who had a stroke of paralysis about three years ago, and has not worked any since. While we are very sorry to note the condition of our Brother, we are glad to know our good Order is ready and willing to meet every obligation required of it.
G. M. SANDERSON, Tuscombia, Ala.
Editor Railway Conductor:
We've been on a long chase through the Northwest--Colorado, Wyoming, and drove our stake of future hope just off the bank of the big Twin Falls irrigating canal, Cassia county, Idaho. pects there, boys, but you have to work just like they do everywhere. But to turn over attention for a few minutes back home; the Knoxville Division of the Southern Railway is having the heaviest freight traffic ever known in the history of the road, and there's apparently no let-up, as it keeps coming, and now that the coal traffic is starting a winter boom, there's no telling what will become of us. Simply more business than can be handled on a single-track road. Our people are doubletracking congested portions of our line as fast as cost and scarcity of material and labor will permit. Without the colored labor of the South to-day we
could not handle the business which the "golden opportunity” of prosperity has brought to Much of our colored labor now demands and gets as high wages as skilled labor formerly commanded.
A few years since Division 139 of our Order had only 100 members; and, at that, all conductors eligible working out of Knoxville were members. But note the difference now. We are to give up enough members from our Division to organize a strong Division at Blue Ridge, Ga., on the L. & N., and then we'll have 150 good, stout members left. Before this is read Division 139 will have elected officers for 1906. How quickly the year rolls around, and yet how correct the writer who said, "We fly-time stays."
The whole Division is in deep sympathy with our friend and Brother, R. B. Ragsdale, and his sorrow. stricken family, in the loss of their beloved son and brother. Brothers, who next shall partake of the "bitter cup" while we stand by and think lightly of a Brother's misfortune? Oh, for a timely revival, and a more concerted and deeper sympathy for the afflicted and bereaved of our Order! Knoxville, Tenn.
Editor Railway Conductor:
I am a bright and shining member of Division 85. and am glad to see she is always up and coming. and never has any kind of appearance of death, always alive. Our worthy chief, Tom McGinty. can't be headed off on any occasion.
Two years ago I went to Hot Springs, Ark., for a cure of a very severe case of rheumatism, and came away sound and well.
While I was there I made my home-and it was surely a homeat the St. Charles Hotel, owned and managed by Brother H. Dougherty and his wife, who make their place here like a home for all comers. Mr. Dougherty is a retired railroad man, and he enjoys having the boys around him.
The great and sudden change in the altitude on the A., T. & S. F. road between Winslow, Ariz., and Needles, Cal., makes it quite hard on the constitution of trainmen. Needles is 241 feet, and Riordan, Arizona, 240 miles east, is 7533 feet above sea level.
F. M. CARTER. Winslow, Ariz.
Editor Railway Conductor:
Division 378 met November 11, 1905, with a good attendance and elected their officers for the ensuing year.
Brothers, would it not be more advantageous to our Order and M. B. D. to reduce the application fee for a period of three months as an inducement for non-members of the O. R. C. to join our ranks? Where is the Order and M. B. D. benefited by accepting applicants when they become between 35 and 45 years of age before joining our ranks and only join for an investment? It takes 62 years to pay in what is taken out. Why should other or ganizations receive the benefits of non-conductors in their prime and the O. R. C. take care of them when they become aged?
Non-members of the 0. R. C. and members of other organizations who join our ranks after a number of years do so for the splendid investment we offer.
Jesse Gosnell. Washington, D. C.