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The Farmers' Picnic

The Farmers' Picnic image The Farmers' Picnic image
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The day of days for the farmers of Washtenaw, Oakland, Wayue and Livingston counties - the lSth annual farmers' picnic - was as perfeot a day as could be wished for aud the 5,000 people vfho were at Whitmore Lake last Saturday beartily enjoyed the day and the exercises incident to it. The crowd began to assernble early, as early as 9 o'clock in the rnorning. They came by traiu, in wagons aud carriages and on bicyoJes. It was the same oíd crowd and yet showed many new faces added to it aud there was the same oíd round of pleasures. The youuger portion of the crowd snrged backward aud forward between tbe hotels aud the grove, rowed, sailed aud took steamboat rides ou the lake, dauced iu the halls of the two hotels, at both of wbich excellent music was provided, rode on the merrygo-round, tried their skill at the strikiug machine, throwing at the dolls, Novelty baseball, etc, and otherwise disponed themselves. But the niokels and dimes did uot flow into the coffers of these purveyors of amusement witfa such regularity as has beeu customary, and the ice crearn, popcorn aud candy peddlers did not reap such a harvest as of yore ; even the lunch stands did not do the usual amount of business, more people seeming to have brought theïr own meals than iu former years, all of which testified to the general lack of that wouderfuliy useful and mach taiked of commodity - mouey. During the moruiug aud in fact, all through tbe day groups of uien, iu twos, thrtes, halt dozeus and latger groups could be observed all engaged in discussing the one absorbing subject - gold vs. silver. There was the out aud out silver democrat, the gold bug repnblican, the man with populistic ideas, tbe silvei repubiican who believed in a protective tariff, and the free trade democrat who believes in gold, all eugaged in exchanging their different ideas cm tbe politica! situation. It showed oue thiug plainly, that the farmers have couoluded to do tbeir owu thinking aud vvhile they will listeu to speeches on all sities of the question, tbey are still reading lots, aud caunot be led around by wily, sniooth tougned politiciaus. Politicians of all strijjes were everywhere visible. Of eourse, noue of thein, were present to look after their political fences, but one and all had "promised some one or other tbat he would be present and had to keep bis word." Ie was a coticeable f act that all the office seekers iu the county with four or five exceptious were preseut and ■were very glad to rneet their friends from the different parts of the conuty. By 11 o'clock those who were there were ready to eat aud baskets were produced and from theu uutil 1 o'olock picnic parties weie the order of the day. Those who bad no baskets patronized the hotels, the ladies of the M. E. cburch or the lunch stands. Then followed a period of visiting and discussiou until 1 :45 p. m., when Hou. Win. Ball, of Hamburg, president of the association, called the meeting to order and tbe first irainber on the program, a selection "Workiug people" was reudered by the Lombard Quartet. Rev. W. H. Hicks, pastor of the M. E. chnrch, led iu prayer, and he was followed by tbe quartet in a selection "Let tbe bilis and vales resouud." In iutroducing the speaker of the lay, Capt. E. P. Allen, of Ypsilauti, President Ball said they were always glad to see everyone come to the farmeis' picnic, whether they were farmers, workingmeu or business men. Farmiug is a pleasaut and enjoyable business and at one time it was profitable. He tbought it was a good thing for farmers to meet together and speud an hour in talkiug about agriculure, its mistakes and successes. He who attends to his work best always succeeds the best. Capt. Alleu's address was ou "Some things tü tbiuk about." He said he was a farmer, but he had au advantage j over most farmers as he was also a lawyer and when he did not make expenses ou the farm, why he weut and tried two or three good oases, got the fees for it, and put it iuto the farra. He had not been in Whitmore Lake for six years. The speech he then made had raised an islaud in the lake and this speech would dry the lake entirely. He had bteu advised by sorne friends that he must not taik politics or be might get iuto trouble; nor religión unless be mixed it up well; uor make too hoc a speech or be would set the ice heuses n fire ; aud one friend had said he raust not speak longer thau five minutes, bui he was not going to heed that. Farmers shouid get togetber oftener thau tbey do and have more sooiability. j If he conld do so, ne would pass a law that farmers and farmers' wives and sous aud danghters should ouly work 10 hours a day. He believed the time was coming when no one in the civilized world would work longer hours than that. If such a condition does uot come theu civilization is a failure. To work from 3 a. m. to 10 p. ni. is a humbug life and not worth living. The graveyards are full of people who have done that. Men should give more time to somethiug else thau how to get aud how to keep. Statistios show that a majority of the men who enter business life make a failure of it. Others only make a mere 1 vlihood aud but a very small percentage get rioh. Farmers are a great deal better off than that. It does uot pay to do so much stewing aud frettiing and so much hard work. Farmers are the most indepeudent men on earth aud are entitled to grnmble. The youug farmers of today do not know what it is to work as their fathers did. Machiuery aud improved methods of doiug work have made it much easier for them than their parents. In order for farmers to (io better they must do more thiukiug. One thing they should thiuk about is their duty as American citizens, the highest privilege a man can enjoy on earth. What is it to be an American citizeu? It is to be a member of a great partnership of 70,000,000 people, and every man should use his vote to shape its destiny so that it will do the greatest good uut only to this generatiou but chose to come. We are the government aud respousible for all the legislation iu the country. We should study our duty as citizens and also all qnestions that mnst be settled at the ballot bos. The speaker theu said he wanted to give them a few special things to thiuk abont. The first thing is taxes. You are always grumbliug about them. This is a goverument of the people, and who is to blame if the taxes don't suit you, but yourselves? Since Maroh, oaucuses have been held in every town where the citizens could express themselves through their delegates to the different couveutious. How many of yon went to those caucuses? The fellow that will swear the hardest about his taxes next spriug did not go. The time is coming wheu the man who has a right to vote aud does uot do so will be compelled to vote or pay a fine. (Applause). I want you to thiuk ïbout this. Second. As American citizeus you delégate you authority to others. Tbis governrnent is a republicau forni of governnient uot democratie, buc we aie respousible for its acts. If the wouieu voted we should not have to make an appeal to thera to go out and vote, they would all be tbere. The tinie is coiniug when they will vote. It is tbe logical conclusiou of a republican form of govermnent tliat everyone who has to obey the laws shall have a voice in tbat governmeut. This is another thiug that I want you to thick abont. Capt. Alleu theu staited on the politichi part of his speech. He Eaid what was the reasou vphy evei'youe was getting so poor? This money business people do uot thiuk about iu the right way, of the laws under which it is issued aud of the restrictious abont it. Some men are for silver, some are for gold, aEd sorne are fnt fiat mouey. Now, that is not talking politics. I would like ruoney that would not be hampered by legislauou. Iu the year 1500 Colnmbus, after discovering America, was the guesc of houor at the grand oourt of Kiug ferdinani aud Queeu Isabella, of Spain. He rode to tbe court on a mnle, but in order to ride the mule he had to get a dispensation from Queen Isabella as mules were "deinouitized" in Spain. Now that is not talking politics. I want to say a few words upon that demonetization of the mule. He fheu read the following letter writteu by him to a Sylvan man wheu he (Allen) was a candidate for delégate to tbs St. Louis oonveution and which defined his positicn on the silver question : "The conventiou v.-ill state the views of tbe party upon silver. These may not be mine, but in that eveut I would not claim tD kaow more than my party. My views I shall advocate for indorsement, if possible. Eemouetizatiou ■ as amistake; it should be corrected, if possible, and without creating a greater injury. The free uoinage of nar own pruduction of silver, and also of foreign ccuntries that will open their mints to us on the same terins, with a tariff upou the prodnot uf those countries which refuse, representing the difference between the prico of silver bnllion and the coin value of gold, would give us practical free coinage without the danger predicted by gold monometalists of 'dumping the silver of th9 world' upon us. "Frpe coiuage will eventually come either with or without international areemeut. If it is disbonest for the Uuitt d States to go back to free coinage it wil! not be any less so if the world sbould joiu in the movement. " It is the dnty of every voter to invesrgate all of these questiocs. Yon hold the country iu trust not ouly for your cbildren aud graudchildren, but for the whole world. If there is any one thing thp.t is plaiuer than auother it is that God inteuds this republic to uplift the entire hnman race, wben evory man shall have his rights before the law. People are afraid of chauging their views, but they must uot keep thinking (Coatinued on Thlrd Page.) THE FARMERS' PICNIC ContiuueU from First Page. in the same vein they ditl 30 years ago. I want you to think about that. Wheu you come to chacge views you will be eurprised to fiad how much easier yon will feel. A man -was once converted from his evil ways to lead a religious life. After his conversión he feit so much better that he expiessed himself as having been a fooi that he did not get oonverted before. It is the same way with people when they come to ohange their minds. They wish they had done it long before. In conclusión the captain said he had ündertaken to lead them to and show thern the higher planes where they can work bast for themselves and their children. America is a moral nation and morality must be held in place not by might but by such examples as that set by the Pilgrim Fathers who carne to America in 1620 in order that they might worship God according to the dictates of their conscience, who when driven by adverse wiuds on the bleak shores of Plymouth Rock, kneeled down in four feet of snow and there with praise and tbanksgiving dedicated the counry to freedom and religión. We must then look after our ovvn and the public moráis. The Jews, Greeks and JRoinans severally perished as nations through the immorality of the people and we should guard the moráis of this great uation with the utmost care. Capt. Allen's talk, in spite of its quasi-political tendencies was warrnly applauded. President Ball made a few remarks in which he eutirely exonerated Capt. Allen's address from having anything of a politioal uature in it. He had merely given the people "Sorue things to think about. " A selection ou the violin with piano aocompaniment "Scotch Melody " with variations, by Mr. E. N. Bilbie and Miss Minnie Davis, of Ann Arbor, was a beautiful and pleasing number. It received a rousing encoré and the talented musicians responded with "Marguerite. " Both pieces showed the good taste of Mr. Bilbie in selecting that class of musia for snch an audieuce. Rev. E. D. Kelly, of Ann Arbor, was the nest speaker introduced. His suject was "The great-est Amerioan. " It was a fine euolgy of George Washington, the great soldier, citizen and statesman. He took up in turn each phase of the life and character of Washington and pleaded for a higher standard of public morality. The Lombard Quartefc sang "Grurnbling Jones," aud was followed by Cyrus M. Starks, of Webster, who roasted the calamity bowlers and declared that farming was a pretty good business even at present prices. He suggested that the fact that No. 1 red wheat had not been quoted from Michigan for many years was a better object of comtemplation for the farmer than the money qaestion or mauy other subjects put foward by professional agitators. Mr. Bilbie and Miss Davis gave another musical number and theu Rev. L. P. Goldrick, of Northfield, was called for. He madu a few of his humorous remarks, told a story or two and gave place to the Lombard Quartet. L. D. Lovell, of South Lyon, who has recen tly returned from a trip through England, Ireland aud Scotland, where he visited mauy farmers and farms, said he thauked God that he was au American citizen and lived in a country where th farmer could own the soil he illed. Henry Waldron said: "I am a calamity-howler. I am an anarchist. Thousauds more of us are made every minute by the continuance of the single gold standard." George A. Peters, of Scio, made a characteristic speech whioh contained his views on the free silver question and was followed by H. Wirt Newkirk, of Dexter, candidate for the republican nomination for jndge of probate, who succeeded by his remarks on sound money in rufiiing Henry O. Waldron to such an extent that he wanted to get right up and explain his views on the subject. The president aalled Mr. Waldron to order and Mr. Newkirk challenged Mr. Waldron to meet him in joint debate on the subject. The election of offlcers resulted in the choice of Wm. Ball, of .Hamburg, as president, aud Philip Duft'y, of Northfield, secretary.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News