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on fur, and the main reason of its early around on its belt line. If you should boost it to the full million by hauling in growth was the river, the mighty Father eliminate the river traceries and other the surrounding suburban corporations of Waters, and its main confluent, the detail and color from a map of the which make up what every ambitious Missouri, which joins the main stream a United States, these railway systems municipality, from Miami to Seattle, few miles above the spot where Laclede with their interlocking filaments would calls its "metropolitan area." blazed the trees for his fur-trading post. make a huge spider's web with St. Louis There are two cities of St. Louis, just
On fur and by the river's help the city the center of their radiations. Just as it as there are two distinct Kansas Cities. of St. Louis matured, until in 1820 the grew steadily by the river, so more than In both instances of geographical convalue of its annual barter had reached fifty years ago the city began to grow fusion the joint communities, arbitrarily nearly two and a half million dollars. more rapidly by rail. In 1917, when St. separated by State boundaries, are in About that time the first steamboat Louis, a community of strong Teutonic economic fact more closely related and landed at the levee. Forty years later, cleavage, nevertheless contributed its full interdependent than neighboring cities in at the time of the Civil War, that same quota of men and money to make the the same State. East St. Louis, on the muddy river-bank, paved with Belgian
Illinois side of the Mississippi River, is blocks and buttressed with pontoon
joined to the Missouri city by four visiwarehouses that rose and fell with the
ble bridges and by a number of invisible stream, was lined for a mile with white
ties. One of the best examples of the stern-wheelers, sometimes two and three
character of the older city's building deep, that carried an enormous traffic
comes from a contrast with East St. between St. Louis and the widely scat
Louis. While the former continued tered ports—St. Paul, New Orleans,
normally to grow, the latter proceeded Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Kan
abnormally to boom "by leaps and sas City of the Mississippi Valley
bounds." While East St. Louis “dewaterways. In this enormous system of
veloped” to the tune of a ten per cent navigable rivers St. Louis was, and is
annual increase of people, West St. Louis now, the focal point. In terms of
jogged along at a two per cent annual river navigation, interrelating nominally
gait. In one period of ten years the twenty States in the Union, it is the
Illinois town made a gain of over 108 natural center of the tremendous bulk
per cent; during the same period the freights originating in those States of
Missouri town's growth was less than measureless raw produce. Before the
twenty per cent. On the right bank of railroads spread their octopus tentacles
the stream there has always been as over the valley and strangled its inland
much life, more liberty, and far more waterways the port value of St. Louis
provision for the pursuit of happiness. continued to be one of the major causes
But on the left bank it was possible to of the city's growth. The Civil War
make more money more quickly because marked the breaking of the river monop
of the proximity of the largest bitumioly. Perhaps the great World War be
nous coal fields in America and what gan the breaking of the rail monopoly;
used to be called the “arbitrary” addifreight rates and ever-increasing conges
tional freight rate imposed by the railtion are helping to break it as the neces
roads for hauling that coal over the sities of economical quantity distribution
bridges into Missouri. Hence the pyraare bringing into serious consideration
mids of people. A lot of industrial every available means of cheap trans
The city was named for Louis IV, King of
plants, that might otherwise have estabport. There's the river. The river has
France. The statue of the patron saint'
lished themselves in West St. Louis, always been there, but for nearly fifty
standing before the Art Museum, on Art
found they could save something like years big business hasn't been able to
Hill in Forest Park
twenty cents a ton on fuel by settling see it through the cobwebs of steel rails,
down in East St. Louis. Shoe manuclouds of switch-engine steam, and the world unsafe for Germans, the annual facturers located in St. Louis built new barriers of box cars; hasn't been able to trade of the fur outpost had grown be- factories across the river, and a former hear it for the blowing of whistles, the yond a billion dollars. Never once in president of the St. Louis Chamber of ringing of bells, and the roar of stock all the hundred and fifty years of its Commerce was the head of a big steel dividends on the market. One of the growth had St. Louis boomed. Only company whose works contributed heavsigns of St. Louis's growth is the resur- very recently, catching the contagion of ily to the soft-coal pall hanging over gence of a living interest in its former American municipal boosting, has the East St. Louis. These gentlemen and river empire, and one of the most hope- solid old city begun to sell the rest of the others like them swelled their dividends ful proofs of its common sense is the United States, and so much of the rest in Illinois, but they kept their offices, growing conviction that, not by cut- of the world as lies within earshot, on played their golf, educated their chilthroat competition between river and itself. The corporate limits of the mu- dren, and went to church in old St. rail, but by co-ordinating the two natu- nicipality cover 61 square miles. Those Louis, the center of the colorful comrally interrelated systems of transporta- limits have not been extended since monwealth that Winston Churchill put tion, are the common carriers to be most 1876, nor has there been during these into his novels of the “Crisis” and “The permanently supported and the public fifty years of growth any annexation of Inside of the Cup.” best served.
territory or population. Inside its own Growth hasn't been enough for St. The railroads have done well by St. limits the population of St. Louis Louis. It has started in to build bigness Louis. Twenty-six of them run into its amounts now to about three-quarters of for its own sake. The booming of East terminals and shuttle their freight a million, and the convention conjurers St. Louis, just across the river, and ad
mittedly dependent upon the older borough in many respects, irked progressive spirits west of the river. They went to work to get that obnoxious "arbitrary” toll taken off the three bridges that did not belong, as the fourth bridge did, to the city, but made extra money for the railroads. They touched the rock of civic pride, and it issued forth $87,000,000 for municipal improvements. They capitalized the universal topic B by organizing an annual “Pageant of Fashion" and "Style Show," and they put their loyal shoulders under the amendment known as “Proposition Number 7,” whereby the city and the county of St. Louis are merged for higher population figures "so as to take its proper place among the large cities of the country, and shoved it into the State Constitution. They discovered and sold the idea of direct foreign trade for the valley through the Mississippi jetties into the Gulf of Mexico, and vociferously they joined the heroic rank of "billion-dollar insurance cities.” They sent out "good will tourists" to shake the multiple hand of Missouri and announced “the greatest building program in the city's history.” The Federal Reserve Bank, the Bell Telephone, the Union Market, the Shell Company, General Motors, and the Western Union are some of the private corporations which have concretely substantiated the last announcement by a combined investment of forty million dollars in big buildings. Then some bright person came along and started the service of package freight-car deliveries out of St. Louis, and another publicserviceable citizen saw the theatrical possibilities of a long hillside sloping up from the wooded banks of the little River des Peres in Forest Park. More than 1,200 cars, loaded with package freight for delivery almost as fast as express, are said to leave St. Louis every night, and every clear evening during the season ten thousand St. Louisians fill the "biggest open-air theater in the world” to hear some hundreds of their fellowcitizens sing for the fun of singing. Undeniably St. Louis is building bigness now with the best of the booming cities.
Let St. Louis tell you about it in the patois of the boosters, which breathes only the alpine air of superlatives. This, you must understand, is no one-industry community, like motorized Detroit, oily Shreveport, or the mining camp of Butte. “Approximately 3,500 industries” employ“approximately 175,000 people,” they say, and these are some of the things they have done to St. Louis:
It is the leading market in the world in hardware, boots and shoes, sugarmill machinery, woodenware, steel
Navigation of the new-type, oil-burning, self-propelling freight barges capable of handling large tows
furnaces, piston rings, barbers' supplies, raw furs, horses and mules, stoves and ranges, and hardwood and pine.
It has the largest individual manufacturing plants in the world making shoes, drugs, lead, macaroni, brick, street cars, buggies, tobacco, lightning rods, terra cotta, stoves and ranges, ice-cream cones, and wax novelties.
St. Louis is the largest market in the United States for millinery, lumber, wool, hats, coffins, bags, sashes and doors, trunks, hides, drugs, chemicals, saddlery and harness, carpets
and curtains, and open-hearth steel castings.
It has the largest individual manufacturing plant in the United States for the manufacture of cotton and duck, flue cleaners, crushers and pulverizers and hydrogen peroxide.
The piston-rings item, however, seems to have been an understatement, for another, more authoritative, "greater St. Louis” publication clearly proves that the local production of this essential to civilization is "the biggest in the uni
Supreme in barbers' supplies, mules, macaroni, ice-cream cones, and coffins, St. Louis continues to dominate with its basso profundo the middle-continental chorus. But when, if ever, the tumult and the shouting die, perhaps you can distinguish the voices of those three hundred citizens singing without pay on the bank of the River des Peres. And whenever the boosters get out of breath, you will hear old St. Louis, entirely "surrounded by the United States," growing calmly up and onward at the center of many things and thoughts American.
York Tribune Inc.
From Robert V. Carr,
By SYDNEY FRISSELL
than being hanged separately
I MAY NOT hand side of the road, five miles
New York out of the village in a big pine grove."
Herald Tribune A light in the left wing of the schoolhouse caught my eye, and I hurried in, out of the cold and darkness.
Jim Carew, the faithful chairman of the tobacco planters local, and the spirit of Thanksgiving were there before me. In the corners of the room stood sheaves of ripe corn, with pumpkins at their
WHEN DID base; on the walls red and yellow leaves
THOSE DOGS? camouflaged the blackboards and charts; on the table stood the rarest of the gifts
a golden pumpkin skillfully cut into the shape of a basket and piled high with red apples. With the fire well kindled and all
The old farmband trash removed, the chairman surveyed the room and appeared well pleased with
Copyright, 1925, New the manifestation of the approaching holiday. Greeting me, he said: “It was nice in the teacher to fix up for this meeting. She believes in this thing, and wants to help us." I was glad when he said, "She always comes to our meetings,” for the charm which had trans- Glasgow tells in her last book, “Barren nent foothold upon the soil that he figured the bleak school-room and her Ground,” of the race between a girl and loved. He had summoned a few couraefforts to put Thanksgiving in the hearts the broom-sedge which kept claiming the geous spirits.who hoped by their meeting of a discouraged people had interested worn-out lands and seemed to throttle to aid the united effort of neighbor farmme and roused my curiosity as to this all hope of a happy future. The same ers in the tobacco country to gain some teacher of the pine-woods school. Huge community which she pictured thirty voice as to the value of their labor and windows were on three sides of the years ago, fighting to build up its lands some share in the profits which come out school-room, and, with neither shades and clinging to the old homes, is visibly of their tobacco. nor curtains, the blackness of the night changed to-day. Green clover fields have seemed just over our shoulders, while all driven out the broom-sedge in most SHUFFLING at the door marked the within was warm and bright with the places, diversified farming has succeeded arrival of the first comers. Then trophies of the harvest awaiting the ar- in covering the red gullies and enlarging more shuffling and more shuffling amid rival of the harvesters.
the corn shocks. But the Virginians who the expiring gasps of Ford cars brought The chairman got out his program,
have learned to make two blades of grass to a sudden stop, and the room was a excused himself, and went to work. It grow where one grew before have found
quarter full. was easy to see that this was a labor of that meager prices too often follow boun
The teacher, a woman of thirty, with love on his part. His hands were rough tiful crops.
a strong, sweet face and graceful bearand awkward and his pencil was a stub, Always asking the two questions, ing, came in with several of her pupils but a look at his lean, tanned face and “How much will you give me for my to- and mixed among the crowd, bringing earnest eyes made me wish that our bacco?" and “How much will you take smiles to faces and making general country had a million of his kind. Twice for your goods?” and with no voice in conversation easy. Four women besides a month he called his faithful few to- either transaction, the same farmers who the teacher were present—one a young gether, endeavoring to build up and hold have conquered the broom-sedge and
have conquered the broom-sedge and bride, I judged from her clothes and interest in a movement of the tobacco built up their worn-out soil still struggle plentiful blushes that contrasted with the farmers to catch up with the methods of desperately to wrest a living from their tired faces and worn dresses of the other modern business by marketing their lands.
three. tobacco gradually through an associa- As I watched my friend, the chairman, Six young girls and boys were on tion, instead of rushing it to the markets I was certain that grim knowledge of hand, ready, as I learned later, to help in competition with one another.
these facts had driven this man here to- with the entertainment. Among the dozen In this same section of Virginia, Ellen night in the hope of gaining some perma- men in the room I noticed that the old
a and were talking seriously and in low looked long and hard at his people, names himself prosperous and names you tones of tobacco prices and the crop and asked the question, “Folks, can you
a peasant. conditions. Considerable chaffing and stand it if I talk to you again to-night?” “That word peasant is a strange word laughter at the expense of the new bride- Silently I pulled out my note-book, for I here in Virginia, and something that you groom engaged a younger group, while not only could stand it but wanted to and I have scarce heard tell about except the women, entirely separate, kept up a pass it on, and I give his strange in those foreign parts where we sent our rapid fire of neighborhood gossip. Thanksgiving message:
boys across to fight for democracy; but A half-hour passed, and no one else
since they came back it looks like it has came. The chairman and the teacher “We're here to-night for our Thanks- been unsafer for democracy among us exchanged disappointed glances as he giving meeting. The time has come for farmers than ever before. went forward to his little table.
us to remember and give thanks to the "This fight here at home has set you The meeting was opened with prayer; Lord for the way in which he has blessed and me to reading and thinking like we not a fulsome plea for everything, but a
never did before, and let me tell you that simple prayer of thanksgiving, with a “What with the drought and hardly unless we farmers organize to-day like petition for strength and knowledge to any hay in our barns, what with almost Americans in every other industry, our use the talents the Lord had given those no corn in our cribs and the sorriest crop children who do not leave the farms will who were gathered in his name.
of tobacco you and I have seen for become more like peasants than any Then the teacher came forward and years, I reckon some are here to-night offspring of the Americans who won and introduced a quartette of young boys whose hearts are not so brimful of built this country have a right to be. and girls, who sang song after song, Thanksgiving as they might be.
“So I ask, Where are we heading? among them the “Thanksgiving Hymn:” “But thanks be to the Lord, who giv- And are you doing your part? The God of the harvest praise,
eth us the victory, we are able to say “The President of the United States, In loud thanksgiving raise
to-night, not 'What will you give us for our Congress and Senate, our GovernHeart, hand, and voice.
our crop?' not ‘What will you pay us for ment and State, have all told us that our
our year's work?' but 'Here is a fair plan of co-operation in marketing is Next came the slenderest and fairest price we are asking for our tobacco.' right. They have given us their apof the lads, and I wondered how long the “You know that when we first signed proval, and even the laws to protect our land could hold him when I noted the our contract every one said, 'Oh, well, marketing contracts. easy grace and diction with which he re- farmers will never stick together!' But "But, friends, when the speculators cited
for the three years that thousands of us come to you with their money and tell We plow the fields and scatter
have stuck together so far, by marketing you that you can't afford to wait for the The good seed on the land,
tobacco through our own association in- pool to sell your crops, remember that But it is fed and watered
stead of dumping it against one another they will gain that money back a hunBy God's almighty hand.
we have built a wall that protects our dredfold when the wealth from these He sends the snow in winter, homes against the prices that kept us in poor fields of ours goes out of our counThe warmth to swell the grain, debt for so many years.
try to New York and England, and pays The breezes and the sunshine,
“During three years we have held the those other folks who have had the sense And soft refreshng rains.
price of our tobacco to double what we to organize our business for their profit. Others felt as I did, for there was
could get before the war. In those three “If your backs are not too bent by pride in the seamed faces of the men as
years, when all that we have bought was useless labor, if your eyes are not too
twice as high as it used to be, we have dimmed by seeking some sign of hope they closely followed his lines. I felt it was only a question of time when the
seen our corn and our wheat and hogs for your children's future, stand by your city would draw him away from the go back to the same old prices.
own organization. “We know now that it pays to organ
“The time has come when we must farm.
ize. We shall have only ourselves to decide whether we will sign another conBoldly stepping to the front, the next
blame if we ever give away our year's tract to market our tobacco crop toperformer, a nine-year-old girl, with
work again for prices that mean bare gether for another five years, or go back flaming cheeks flanked by brown pigliving expenses or debts from losses,
to our old ways. tails, breathlessly made her contribu
while we help the big tobacco companies “Our leaders and management have tion:
to pay millions upon millions of dollars made mistakes a-plenty, but they have Air a-gittin' cool and coolah,
in profits and taxes. Don't blame them been honest. They have been loyal to Frost a-comin' in de night,
because they have been organized. They your interests, and I ask you to consider Hicka-nuts and wa’nuts fallin',
have more sense than we farmers, who to-night whether you will serve those Possum keepin' out ob sight;
have been helplessly beating down one who share your interests or those who Tu'key struttin' in de ba'nya'd
another's profits. Let us blame ourselves Nary step so proud ez his.
are interested in your share of the profit. and mend our ways.
“We have known the slavery of debt, Keep on struttin', Mistah Tu’key, You do'know whut time it is.
“Friends, it has been a bitter lesson, but now, after wandering in the wilder
but I am thankful to-night for one thing ness for so many years, we have won a After this youthful performer had —that we have learned that we must foothold on economic freedom by our switched herself back to her seat with a organize if we can ever hope to be better own efforts. flourish, came an annual event, a violin than the poor tenants of the people to “Let us decide to-night whether we solo from Luther Garner, a noted fiddler whom we have left the job of naming Virginia tobacco farmers, who started of the countryside. This time the ap- the price of our labor and even the way the first industry in America but are the propriate solo was “Turkey in the in which your children and my children last Americans to organize it, shall gain Straw," and brought down the house shall live. Friends, when you let the our freedom to earn a decent living or with applause.
other fellow name the price of your determine once and for all to let the