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Archive for August, 2013

The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 22, 1919

Enough Stored to Last Year and Prices Going Higher; Authorities Refuse to Act Against Criminals Responsible For This Condition.

There are enough eggs stored in Omaha today for every man, woman and child in the city to have one egg a day each for a whole year, without bringing another egg into the city. This is aside from frozen eggs, of which there are enough to furnish one a one-half eggs for each of them one day for a second year. The people of Omaha are paying 45 cents a dozen for eggs.

During the next year a conservative estimate is that 10,000,000 eggs will be permitted to go to waste, in order to keep up the price of hen fruit. That is one of the secrets to the present high cost of living.

There is also in storage in the city 12,000 tons of meats, or 24,000,000 pounds. Of butter there is one and a half million pounds in storage. If the Union stockyards were closed for ten months there would still be enough meat left to supply the city for a year. With the normal receipts of live stock and other commodities the Omaha market will receive enough products within the next year to supply the city for twelve years, even if another pound was not received.

These are the conditions, just as they exist. It means that the most ungodly system of profiteering that ever was heard of is in existence. It means that a coterie of gangsters have combined to hold up the consumers of the country to the last cent that the peace of the country will stand for. In cities other than Omaha the officials are taking the bull by the horns. In Omaha the ring that is bleeding the public is working daily and getting away with not even serious censure.

There is in storage in Omaha 54,000 pounds of iced rabbits. When the rabbit season opens in October they will be placed on sale and the fresh rabbits will be stored for next year. What is left over will go to the dump to be buried. Some of the produce dealers of Omaha have had the nerve to say that they had a right to let their stuff decay and rot if they so desired and it was nobody’s business.

This is the situation that has come to light as a result of an abortive attempt to get at the bottom of the high cost of living. Our county attorney has not even ventured to suggest to the district judges a grand jury to probe conditions as they exist.

There is absolutely no excuse for this condition. Storage houses are keeping the prices from going higher, not because of patriotism, but because they do not have room enough to handle more produce and thus keep it away from the consumer. With capacity for storing twice the amount now in cold storage, prices would be twice as high. Thrice as much food as is now being wasted would go into the sewers, in order to maintain the high scale of food prices.

These are actual facts. They cannot be controverted. If our law-enforcing powers so desire they can improve the situation bountifully. If they maintain their present silence and inactivity pries will go still higher. It is the plain duty of the people to either force them all into activity or put the whole bunch out of office, city, county and state.

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*Blogger’s Disclaimer: Before you decide to read this article, just be warned that there is some very racist language used towards a Japanese individual. The views expressed here are not my own, I do not endorse racism, 1919’s or otherwise. I just believe in presenting history as is actually was, and that we do ourselves a disservice if we whitewash it to make it more acceptable to modern society. As with all the articles I post here, this is a faithful transcription of an article as it appeared, nothing more. So please don’t send me any hate mail. Thanks for reading!

The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 22, 1919

Jessie Taylor and Her Underworld Associates Caught in Police Dragnet

Second Hand Dealer Collects Cash

Sob Story Told of How Once Pretty Woman Falls Victim of Wily Jap, Who Abandons Her for Frances Fitzpatrick; Hotel Man Succeeds Jap.

The arrest a few days ago of Jessie Taylor, in her double apartment at 710-12 North Sixteenth street, where it was charged she operated an ill-governed house, becomes an interesting item of society news, because of her former friendship with a heathen Jap named Osato. The Jap married Miss Frances Fitzpatrick, a society belle, last January.

When the bulls went to Miss Taylor’s apartment to arrest her and the inmates they found hanging above the couch a large framed picture of Osato, of whom she had once been so fond. In fact, it is stated by other tenants of this well known old rookery that Osato once was madly in love with this denizen of the underworld. When he became acquainted with Miss Fitzpatrick, however, Jessie lost out completely and continued stronger than ever in her evil ways.

Jessie has had a remarkable record during her occupation of the gilded palace of sin, if all reports are true. She has two flats at the above number and when the police swooped down on her they took Jessie and two other girls and their companions and a substantial assortment of hard liquor.

In the patrol wagon they were bundled away to the police station. Arriving there Miss Taylor found no former Japanese sweetheart to go on her bond and was sent to the booby hatch with her companions. Miss Taylor still retains much of her youthful handsomeness and it is easy to understand why Osato should have been attracted to her. Is is said, however, that the sweet young society girl stole away his heart and that her marriage to the Jap quite upset the unfortunate woman of the underworld.

The wedding between Miss Fitzpatrick and Osato created a sensation the like of which had not before upset the equilibrium of Omaha society. He is a photographer and it is said he does a good business on West Farnham street, where he has a studio.

The fair maid whose attentions he sought and later spurned remained in her gilded palace in the Mardis block. Spurned by her Japanese lover, she quickly went from bad to worse. In physical altercations with others she is said to have “razored” one woman and scalped another during her abnormal bibulousness.

When Osato abandoned Jessie there came a Sixteenth street furniture man to succeed to her affections. He was more solicitous of her money, however, than anything else. She had lived at his third-class hostelry down the Sixteenth street row. He saw an opportunity to merchandise Jessie and “set her up in business.” He has been the collector daily at that Mardis block joint ever since. His name is Ike and he buys and sells second-hand furniture in the building adjoining the California hotel, of which he was formerly manager.

There is really a tale of sadness in this story. Jessie Taylor has seen better days – when she did not have to depend on the heathens and unscrupulous second-hand dealers for love tokens and an existence. When she appeared in court there still remained a twinkle of the eye which indicated those better days. But she had been sent the “route.” Even this heathen Jap, ensconced in the bosom of a Christian society girl, had passed her up. Her junk peddling friend collected her money daily and robbed her of most of the earnings she was able to accumulate, as well as those of the unfortunate women she harbored.

It was a lesson in sobs, depicting more things than the outside world ever dreamed of.

The heathen Jap still enjoys life with a white wife and has the respect of West End society.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 22, 1919

The One Minute cafe, at 418 South Fifteenth street, has been purchased by Amos Abley and John Christensen, who will operate it in the future. The “One Minute” has an enviable record as an Omaha eating place. Originally it was opened on the site of the Henshaw hotel, nearly thirty years ago. When that hotel was built the place was sold to an employe, who moved to the present location and the cafe has been operated there ever since.

No Omaha restaurant, not even the Calumet, on Douglas street, has had a more continuous and successful business. The famous English teapot, which for twenty-five years stood in the front window as a sign, is still in the hands of the One Minute owners.

The new owners have given the One Minute a thorough overhauling, renovating and new decorations. New table linen has been purchased throughout.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 22, 1919

When several ice cream dealers appeared in police court to plead to a charge of selling ice cream below the standard the fact came out that most of them were victims of the concerns that made the ice cream or the milk dealers who sold them cream. Five of them pleaded guilty and were fined.

The law provides that all ice cream must contain from 12 to 18 per cent butter fat. In each of the cases heard the ice cream was far below the standard. It was also shown that the dairy concerns of whom the dealers bought their cream were generally responsible for this condition. The ice cream dealers paid their fines, but it was understood that in some instances they would be reimbursed by the creamery men who so skillfully evaded the law.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 22, 1919

Too Much Regard for Omaha Widow Seems Likely to Make Grief for Up-State Barrister.

In the recent doings of persons interested in the Blakeley divorce suit there has come to light a racy letter written by an up-state barrister to an Omaha widow, which may prove to be a boomerang to the writer. It appears this letter dropped into the hands of an unkind newspaper man is causing several parties a lot of grief. It is said to come from a southern Nebraska town, once famous for its fine little brewery. The barrister, according to the latter, is crazy about the widow. Some of it is said to be unprintable.

In forthcoming developments it is expected this letter will cut quite a figure in the legal working out of a bad snare.

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The Mediator

Omaha, Nebraska, August 22, 1919

No Attempt by City Officials to Curb Vicious System of Rottenness; Growing Up in Last Eighteen Months; Elmer Thomas Gets Share of Easy Money.

When the legislature adopted a law intended to do away with the old system which made prostitution possible it was believed the question had been solved for good. In Omaha, the metropolitan city of the state, the old “red light” district became a thing of the past and the bad hotels were very well cleaned up by the city administration then in office.  It remained so until the people decided to make a change.

Today, under the so-called reform administration, Omaha has more prostitutes, more pimps, more bootlegging, more police court cases, more disregard for law in one day than under the old administration in a week. Police court used to close daily at 11 o’clock at central station. It seldom cleans up now before 1 o’clock in the afternoon, with many cases going over until the following day.

All of this goes on despite the fact that Elmer E. Thomas, acting police superintendent, superintendent of police and city prosecutor, at $300 per month, is daily on the job. Thursday Elmer sat in court for three hours, apparently waiting to hear some hardboiled eggs tell their story of grief. Suddenly the case of a handsome woman, charged with bootlegging, came up and he fronted for her. She was dismissed and, arm in arm with her, he left the court room.

Up and down Sixteenth street, in half a hundred cheap hotels, in many second-class hotels and scores of cheap dumps, some of them isolated, and in numerous so-called “rooming houses” in the residence district, the underworld has been turned loose. The system has become so well organized that honest family life is almost tabooed in hundreds of localities in the city. In our “best communities” the ill-governed houses ply their trade, with bootleg whisky and well dressed members of the demimonde entertaining the vicious element that once confined its activities to Ninth street.

Practically all of this condition has sprung up since the present city administration came into activity. Our good church people have quite overlooked this condition, in their zeal to follow the advice of persons posing as reformers, while they were in reality trying to ingratiate themselves into the operations of the bosses controling the petty grafting system by which these unfortunates exist. Absolute evidence of police officers being paid for protection has been recently unearthed, but no action has been taken against the offenders.

Matters have become almost intolerable for the better class of our people and the present movement for a change is the result. There is a recall movement on  and it is being fought bitterly by those who have secured a taste of graft and are willing to prostitute all decent government to maintain the system recently organized.

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