Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adams County Makes the News - Council Leader #10

The Council Leader
Published Every Thursday by the Council Publishing Company
Fred Mullin, Editor

March 7, 1912
To Our Patrons and Others:

The Leader has secured the services of Fred Mullin, formerly of the Long Valley Advocate, and expects with the added assistance to make a strong effort toward giving our readers more news and getting the paper out on time. We do not expect to revolutionize the country in the first week, but will ever be found working for the up-building of Council, Council Valley and the whole of Adams County. In doing this, we must have the moral and financial support of the people. Mr. Mullin will do considerable of the outside work and will deem it a favor if you will give him any news items you may have. It does not matter whether you are actually acquainted with him or not, he is easily approached and will be glad to make your acquaintance. Mr. Mullin is authorized to solicit subscriptions and advertising, and accept and receipt for money in the name of the office. You’ll find him pulling for what’s best.

March 14, 1912

Nothing is so inspiring to the public in general as the music of a good band. We are informed that Council has had a good band and we see no reason why it cannot do so again. The principal reason for disbanding, so far as we can learn, was lack of finances. That is the usual cause of failure. We believe, however, that with the liberal support of the business men, and by the band boys giving entertainment of various kinds, by having free stand concessions on big days and by playing for political and other meetings, the band could be maintained very nicely.

March 28, 1912

The Council Leader
Council Gents: Please credit enclosed $1.50 to my subscription account. I note with pleasure the push and energy which seem to prevail in Council Valley, also the improvement in your paper. You will see by this letterhead that we are “boosting” Council, if it is at long range. I visited Council last August and was very much impressed with the natural advantages of your beautiful valley, especially apple culture. I hope to be able to visit you again in the near future, as I now have a financial interest there.

Very truly yours,
H. U. Meyers, Treasurer, Council Valley Orchards Association of DeKalb, Illinois

October 23, 1912

Simultaneously last week, the New Meadows Tribune and the Cambridge News put forth arguments to the effect that this county should be larger so as to place New Meadows in the center of the county. In planning to make it larger, they have nicely figured on taking a slice of Long Valley in Boise county and adding it to this county. That sounds all right, but it won’t work.
In the first place, the tendency nowadays is not to make counties larger, but on the other hand to chop them up smaller.

In the second place, it would be hard to combine a dry county with a wet county. We are positive that the upper end of Long Valley would fight to the death against going dry and we feel reasonably sure that this county would strenuously object to going wet.

Thirdly, the whole of Long Valley would bitterly fight the annexation of any part of their domain. New Meadows is over a thousand feet lower than Long Valley. Why should the people be forever cumbered with this mountain drive to the county seat when they will have a railroad of their own next summer?

Furthermore, the plans are all cut and dried and laid away (and there is ample backing behind them) to make a new county of Long Valley this coming winter.

In the Cambridge News, we find this: “Remembering that Indian Valley and Mesa precincts in Adams County, and Hog Creek, Mickey gulch, Highland and upper Salubria in Washington County will support twenty times the present population, we think that every man and woman should do all in their power to further the building of the proposed railway. And the next thing that you may do in this regard, if you live in Adams County, is to vote for New Meadows for the county seat, and thus show our New Meadows friends that we are willing to meet them halfway in the development of Adams County. If anyone feels that he is selling his vote for the promise of a railway, we will say that he is taking a wrong stand.”

No, that wouldn’t be bribery, but what would you call it?

October 23, 1912

Last week, R.S. Wilkie in his frenzy grasped at the last straw in his waning boost of Fruitvale for the county seat and tried to get the court to give his town an advantage over the other candidates by having the names of Council, New Meadows, and Meadows stricken from the ballot, leaving only the name of Fruitvale thereon. The case came up for hearing in the courtroom here Monday night before Judge Bryan. The plaintiff was represented by Frank Harris of Weiser, while L.L. Burtenshaw ably represented the defense.

Now what do you think of this emblem of purity and fairness, this guardian against trickery, humiliating his honor in attempting to gain a mean advantage over his competitors by what he thought a technical loop-hole to draw another breath through. The courtroom was filled to hear the argument, a large number coming down from Meadows and New Meadows on a special train.

October 23, 1912
Editor of the Leader:

Instead of running the P. & I. N. railroad into the town of Meadows (which was the logical thing to do), its builders purchased a tract of land about two miles away and ran the road into it, presumably for the purpose of getting wealth through the sale of lots. Now they insist that the county seat must be taken from the center of the county, the center of the wealth of the county, and from the northern edge of the most rapidly developing part of the county, and moved thirty miles farther north, into that part which contains less than one-fifth of the population of the county, for the simple purpose of booming the New Meadows town site. Mr. Editor, I do not live in any of the towns, but I am a taxpayer and one who believes in justice, economy, and equal rights to all in the management of the state.

There are those who fought against the creation of Adams County, and being poor losers they have been damning Council ever since and have sworn to down Council just to get even with the few who were responsible for their defeat.

The writer had nothing to do with the creation of the county, and was opposed to it, but he tries to be a good loser. Well he knows that an act of spite is the source only of evil.

A Quiet Observer.

compiled by Eberle Umbach


  1. I find these stories endlessly fascinating, It is the parochial nature of them and the way that issues that once must have been so enormous are now lost in time. Perhaps the same will be true of the political issues that seem to dominate our lives these days when viewed from the perspective of a 100 years or so.

  2. Hi Alan: Eberle & I are so gratified that you like this series--& yes, I believe the points of interest you identify are very real & worth considering--I'm all for historical perspective.


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