Publication Date




Former Mt. Vernon Man And Banker Tells of His Experiences


Excellent Luncheon Is Served By The Ladies of Calvary Baptist Church

Seventy-nine members of the Chamber of Commerce were at the weekly luncheon of the chamber today. Although it was held in advance of its usual time, the interest in the speaker and his subject was such that the attendance was rather above the average.

The luncheon was served by the women of the Calvary Baptist church, of who Mrs. Dana Jones was the efficient directing chairman. Each week a group of ladies from the different local churches serves the dinner and there is among them a certain friendly rivalry as to who can prepare and serve best. The Calvary Baptist ladies today revealed themselves as cooks second to none. The menu was: Roast Veal, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Creamed Slaw, Rolls, Jelly, Cherry Pie, Coffee.

The speaker was Mr. William C. McFadden of Fargo, N. D., a former resident of Mt. Vernon. He was presented by Mr. H. C. Devin, who briefly referred to the former residence and acquaintance of the honor guest with Mt. Vernon and Knox county people.

Mr. McFadden himself spoke of his earlier life and association in Mt. Vernon, confessing that at times he became homesick to visit this city and when such times came upon him, he invariably sought for excuses to return to his early home. He spoke upon the work of the Nonpartisan league in North Dakota, seeking to cite briefly what it has done and is likely to do. North Dakota was described as an agricultural state, prosperous when crops are good and profoundly affected in seasons of crop failure. The admission was made that the farmers of the state have grounds for grievances, some real and others fancied, particularly in the marketing of their grain. Discontent was pronounced and the time was ripe when the Nonpartisan league was introduced in North Dakota. This league promises to correct their grievances. The first promoters were followed by others who advanced all kinds of promotion schemes, including the organization of farmers' banks.

The Nonpartisan league propaganda swept the state and they elected all state officers, including the legislature. Laws were passed that revealed the movement as thinly disguised Socialism.

Mr. McFadden spoke at some length upon the operation of the Bank of North Dakota, which he described as the keynote to the Nonpartisan league plan. It was financed by the issue of $2,000,000 of state bonds. While every state, county, township and municipal officer was required to deposit funds in this bank, no safety was assured to these funds.

The state also issued $10,000,000 in mortgage loan bonds, but was not able to sell them. The state also authorized an issue of $5,000,000 for a state flour mill and elevator.

Still another proposition was a bond issue to build homes and sell them on long-time contracts.

The effect was to tie up some $6,000,000 or $8,000,000 of public funds in a manner that bankers denominate as "frozen." The whole financial structure of the state was upset, many banks had to close their doors.

Another line of activity was the opening of general stores. Recently, or just before he left Fargo, Mr. McFadden said, he read that a receiver has been appointed for the entire chain of 37.

Credit was given by the speaker for the conception of a well worked out plan. It fell down, he said, because of the incompetency and dishonesty of those entrusted with the duty of carrying it into effect.

The admission was made frankly that mistakes had been made by those who opposed the league. He strongly opposed an organized campaign of propaganda, should effort be made to bring the league plan into Ohio. It just be met and combated most successfully by individual argument and appeal.

The talk given by Mr. McFadden was throughout of much interest. He spoke in a conversational tone and addressed himself directly to his audience He could easily, as he said, have occupied the entire afternoon in describing the operations and various ramifications of the league, in North Dakota.

At the close of his talk, Mr. McFadden was given a unanimous vote of thanks by the members of the chamber.


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