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1916

IDAHO'S TWENTY YEARS OF WOMAN SUFFRAGE

37

actions in. Boisé, before the next city election occupied by women for the past sixteen years, invited the nominees for mayor and commis- and that of State Librarian since its creation. sioners to appear before them and express Three-fourths of the county superintendents their views on parks and playgrounds. Not are women, and one-third of the treasurers. one of the candidates apparently considered The clerkships and second deputyships held the meeting unimportant. Ten were present, by women in State offices and the number of and the remaining two, who were unable to women employed in State institutions bring be present, sent written statements. The more than half of the State pay-roll to sentiments of the candidates were given to women. the public through the press. The Legisla- The presence of women in caucuses and tive Committee of the State Federation of political gatherings is kindly met by the men. Women's Clubs secures the attitude of all This condition is also true in the neighboring candidates for the Legislature before the elec- State of Utah, as is illustrated by the following tion upon the measures which they propose incident: A prominent Utah woman was being to present at that session. When the legis- told the story of an Idaho woman's attendance lator comes to the capital, he is sometimes as a delegate at the Republican State Convenconfronted by his own written statement of tion, and was told that when the Idaho woman his pre-election views.

had mentioned this fact to a Far Eastern Should an official fail to keep his promise woman the Eastern woman had exclaimed, to a woman's organization, he is advertised enthusiastically, “Oh, and did the women throughout his territory and told that he will send vou ?” The Utah resident interrupted not be further supported. These “ clearings the story at this point. “No, the men sent up” have been without demonstrations of her," she said. A man had placed the Idaho malice and universally accomplished with dig. woman's name in nomination and another nity. The most notable example of the poli- had resigned his place in her favor. tician disappointing women and then reforming is Herman H. Taylor, Lieutenant-Gov

NON-PARTISANSHIP ernor. He came to the Legislature in 1912 Party lines are not held as closely by the as President of the Senate with a plurality of women as by the men, which may account for 6,403 votes. During this session he used his the adoption of a State primary law and the influence against the measures offered by the commission form of government in Boisé, both women, to which he had been thought favora- of which eliminate the old-time party convenble. In the election of 1914 his plurality was tions with their trading and machine rule. reduced to 464. At the Susan B. Anthony The women compose part of the membership banquet that year he acknowledged publicly of the Hughes-Fairbanks Clubs now under that the women had almost defeated him; State organization, and two years ago there during that Legislature he supported the was a woman's Democratic Club; but the measures which had been defeated largely organizations where the women work shoulder through him the previous session. Washing to shoulder for civic reforms, as the Good ton County is a strong woman's club center; Citizen Club, the Council of Women Voters, in 1912 it sent a Representative to the Leg- and civic departments of literary clubs, are islature pledged to support the Iowa Injunc- invariably non-partisan. The measures thus tion and Abatement Law for the closing of launched are generally indorsed by all political houses of bad repute ; he became its oppo- parties or their candidates. The recent pronent and was chairman of the committee in hibition law, springing from the Women's which it died. He was defeated for re-elec- Christian Temperance Union and the Antition to the next session, at which the bill was Saloon League, was placed in the platform almost unanimously passed.

of both political parties and passed the Legis

lature with but one dissenting vote. The WOMEN IN OFFICE

policy of making a measure an issue in one The women themselves are not largely party and asking the women to vote outside office-seekers. On the ballot the only offices their party to support it has never been commonly containing their names are those followed. of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Non-partisanship in lawmaking by both and Treasurer, and county superintendents, men and women is shown in the activity of treasurers, and members of the Legislature. the Legislative League, which was in session The office of State Superintendent has been during the last session of the Legislature.

This was organized by men engaged in vari. ous branches of business, and included in its membership by their invitation business women and representatives of every woman's civic club. The purpose was to study measures under debate in the Legislature with the aim of encouraging good and hindering immature and hasty enactment; insurance men, commission merchants, attorneys, Mothers' Congress delegates, and Federation Club workers co-operated with the Legislature and gave them the advantage of the more extensive view-point.

The greater part of the book work in connection with elections in Idaho, including registration and polling, is done by the women, which gives them a more intimate conception of the machinery of government. The polls are quiet and maintain somewhat the dignity of a formal social function with men and women present.

The omens are already in the sky predicting that women may become more informed as citizens than the men. The women's clubs for civic study and the practical application which is given their balloting are having a broadening and educational effect. Where is to be found an organization of men with the purpose of perfecting the members for the more efficient performance of the duties of citizenship? The history of education, which at first in the annals of mankind was restricted to the masculine sex, may be considered as a precedent, the number of women completing high school and collegiate courses now exceeding that of the men.

MEN MORE FAMILIAR WITH CIVIL

GOVERNMENT Although the Western-trained woman takes her balloting naturally, the race training which for generations has endowed men with this responsibility is noticeable in the greater familiarity of the men with statutory technicalities. As yet the conversation and companionships of the average girl do not give her as accurate a civic training as her brother's, although she is intelligently informed. Mrs. Cynthia Mann, a teacher at the time of the adoption of suffrage, and later donor of the Idaho State Children's Home site, said in a memorandum the year following suffrage :

“Another effect that is worthy of notice is the great interest among the pupils of our public schools in the study of political economy. The girls often felt less interest in this science because they would have no voice in political affairs, while most boys said that they could vote without studying this science. Now the girls, like their mothers, look upon this new responsibility as a grave one. The boys are not to be outdone, and it is de lightful to see the zeal with which they attack this so-called dull study."

The average woman grown to maturity in a non-suffrage State in removing to a suffrage State accepts her new privilege as a burden, while it is probable that the daughter is abounding in the joy of having a part with her father and brothers in the local affairs. But when a question up for election appeals to the mother as one of right or wrong, the voting ceases to be a burden and becomes a weapon.

The training received as clerks and judges of election is valuable to the women. An Illinois judge has made mention of the effi. cient clerical work of the women in the elections of Chicago recently, upon which new labor the women of that State are entering

IS THE FEMININITY OF WOMEN AFFECTED ?

Has the ballot affected the femininity of women ? If the charm of womanhood has escaped with the entrance of the ballot, both men and women are so blind to the condition as not to know their loss. Rare indeed would be the person found repining for the good old days when women couldn't vote. Do the women vote the same as their husbands? Some women vote to the dictation of the men, which condition will continue until every woman knows how to express her own self. The point is, the woman who is awake to her privilege of expression has it, and it is potentially possible to the unknowing one when she awakens. Some men still sleep. There has not been a record of the percentage of men and women voting, but in some precincts it is said that more women than men vote.

THE OLD AND NEW IDEALS OF CITIZENSHIP

Twenty years of the ballot in the hands of women with men in Idaho has developed that State along moral and advanced lines, with legislation which has outrun the old Puritanical States of their forefathers. The temptations of the early days—drink, gambling, and houses of ill repute—are swept away. But it is claimed by some who have watched the change of the past twenty-five years that Idaho with statutes, granting them enforced, is not as righteous as Idaho without statutes. The story of the pack-driver

1916

THE BUYING CLUB MOVEMENT

with one barrel of whisky more than he could all aggressive opposition ceased. Those who haul up the hill is told to illustrate the former had been zealous opponents refrained from integrity. Finding it impossible to continue predicting the evil consequences that would his journey so heavily loaded, the driver be the result of women voting, and at all deposited the barrel of drink by the roadside elections held since, primary, municipal, and with two cups, one for the passing travelers school, have vied with the ardent advocates to partake of the contents and the other to of this reform in politics in securing the receive the pay. Later he returned and took presence at the polls of this new element in his cup of coin. No such sense of honor is uni- governmental affairs." versalto-day, say the story-tellers. Yet even they It has continued sane in its operation ; the would hardly want to go back to the old days. leaders among the women are of a high type.

Its inherent policy of educating the general SUFFRAGE SANE IN ITS OPERATION

public to its reforms burns out fanaticism in The intense attitude of some of the pro- the long journey of the proposed enactments moters of equal suffrage might have led to the through committees, local discussions, and belief that when the reform went into opera press reports. The exaggeration of energy tion the commonwealth would be in a state displayed in the fray for suffrage is one of of upheaval and that radical measures would the results of antagonism. When the antag. be enacted to the disturbance of the common onism is withdrawn and suffrage is permitted peace. Its practice, however, has proved to fill its mission, its course has been that it does not carry a destructive tendency found to be orderly and constructive This Eighteen months after its adoption Mrs. is the inevitable working of the metaphysical Cynthia Mann, quoted above, wrote:

law. For equal suffrage is an expression of “When the Supreme Court of Idaho de- the principle of equality, and, as a principle cided that the equal suffrage amendment had in operation, can produce only harmony and carried, it was pleasing to note how quickly satisfaction in its proper manifestation.

THE BUYING CLUB MOVEMENT

BY JOHN R. COLTER

Nwo years and a half ago the num

ber of consumers' co-operative clubs

in this country engaged in buying food products direct from producers and big wholesalers was so small as to deserve merely passing mention. But to-day you will find over two hundred such organizations flourishing in New York, a hundred each in Chicago and Philadelphia, and thousands of others scattered among the larger cities east of the Mississippi -for it is in the Middle West and the East that the need for simplifying our present system of distributing farm products is most keenly felt. Community groups of housewives, factory workers, and employees of banks, department stores, and business offices have banded together by the thousand to develop a practical way of buying their food supplies at lower costs. It is no longer an experiment with these people; it is a weekly practice and thrifty accomplishment, for the savings of the modern buying club average twenty per cent—to say nothing of

improved freshness of quality which the direct-marketing plan affords.

The typical buying club in the East purchases its eggs from producing sections as far West as Iowa, and brings them on in quantities of a hundred dozen. Its butter, packed in easily divisible units of one-pound cartons, comes from any of the large creameries of Indiana or Oh'o. Poultry, beef, pork, and lamb in handy lots of fifty or a hundred rounds are obtained from the mail-order departments of large packing-houses of the West. And vegetables, honey, fruits, nuts, and dozens of other products of the farm and orchard are bought in quantity, transported in quantity, paid for in advance by the club, and then divided up among its members. The buying club depends for its success upon the elimination of all unnecessary middlemen ; it conducts what in reality is a long-distance mail-order marketing plan, with the whole country for its shopping field.

Two things are responsible for the buying

Pievalent.

Price.

club idea and its growth : the industrial work ders which were transmitted to fish-producing of the express companies in linking up coun- companies and filled direct to consumers' clubs try producer and city consumer in an effort —as well as for 3,000 dozen eggs and large to recoup traffic losses caused by the parcel consignments of honey, California dried fruits, post, and the extraordinary sudden eagerness and smoked hams and strips of bacon. And of many large producers of meat, butter, and the Easter week (1915) order of a large Fifth other foodstuffs to sell direct to the city Avenue, New York, buying club ran as follows: co-operative club. The transportation com

Retail Price Buying Club panies have brought consumer and producer

170 pounds bacon...... 25c. lb. into actual commercial touch by the gather

20c. Ib.

100 . " ham........ 24c.“ 19c.“ ing and publishing of specific price quotations,

is, 450 dozen eggs......... 40c, doz. 29c. doz. details of quality and packing, and other essen

400 pounds buiter ...... 40c. Ib. 32c. Ib. tials to successful direct marketing. Reputable farmers and large wholesalers anxious to Consideration of the detailed methods of break into the new market have been sought a typical metropolitan buying club in cutting out and educated to standardize their product the living costs of its members will make the and maintain that standard as carefully as the significance of the movement apparent. In corner grocer does this for the city housewife. one lower New York Broadway business firm Weekly bulletins with definite offers by reli- over two hundred employees are organized to able producers have become an institution buy foodstuffs direct. The secretary of the among thousands of consumers' clubs. : The club gathers orders from the individual memexpress, with its country agents on the one bers. early in the week, lumps them, selects hand and its city agents on the other, has the names of producers with whom he would been able to bring buyer and seller into prefer to deal from the weekly quotation mutual confidence. : Coupled with the sales lists supplied to the buying clubs by the food initiative of producers to go direct to the products departments of the express comkitchen of the consumer-an initiative which panies, and sends in an order. He can ask has meant the invention of new carriers and the transportation company to handle this containers especially adapted to shipping order for him if he desires, leaving it at a direct to consumers' clubs—this industrial branch office, or can himself mail the order work has resulted in the organization of thou- - with check. Frequently, after getting in touch sands of city co-operative clubs, the first real with good producers, the buying clubs deal co-operative movement in the country.. .: directly with them. The secretary knows that

The buying clubs range in size from twenty any producers quoted on the weekly bulletin to three hundred members. In a fashion are reliable—that they are better prepared able suburb of New York one large club is than the average farmer for shipping highoperated among more than 'three hundred quality goods direct to consumers. The bulk families. Its Thanksgiving turkey order runs of his grocery list” is weekly made up of over nine hundred pounds. ! In a single butter, eggs, and meats, although, in season, winter month its “market-basket” amounted vegetables and fruits are popular. to 60 dozen stalks of celery, 1,000'dozen . Upon stated days the various products eggs, 700 pounds of poultry, and 2,000 arrive for distribution—butter and eggs one pounds of other products bought direct from day, meats the next, etc. Right here the farmers and packers and creameries. A buving club stands or falls. How much large club in Chicago among the employees labor is involved in the distribution to memof a business firm spends nearly $5,000 a bers? Is it too much bother ? For if it month among the producers of Wisconsin, is, no co-operative scheme will succeed in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. It reckons its America. The manufacturers--the country savings at twenty-five per cent, and is big producers—have calculated upon this ; they enough to retain the exclusive services of a have seen that the way to make a consumers' salaried clerk to conduct the affairs of the co-operative scheme successful is to make club. The town of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the work at the consumers' end as easy its with 70,000 population, is served by forty- possible--something which has never been odd buying clubs which embrace a member- carefully worked out before. So the lower ship of several hundred families. In a single Broadway club secretary finds the butter, for day the local express agent received orders for instance, packed in sanitary, waxed-cardboard lake fish to the extent of 2,000 pounds-or cartons of one pound each ; the eggs already

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divided into single-dozen boxes; the chickens and vegetables brought into a town through wrapped fit for carrying home; fruit and the newly dredyed channel of the buying club vegetables in convenient-sized hampers ; and forces upon the retailer the necessity for a hams and bacon strips wrapped neatly enough simplification of the distribution system to lay on your office desk. By snapping up where it is possible to simplify. In some the trifles of packing and shipping the coun- cases it has resulted in the retailers themselves try producer and big wholesaler are finding a turning to the very supply fields drawn upon solution to the direct-marketing problem. It by the buying club, and thus getting their is an office boy's job of an hour or two to stocks direct from producers where before apportion the various orders to the members, they had been buying from jobbers and other wrap them in paper and twine bought by a wholesalers. : Buying club competition in the three per cent tax levied on members of the town of Nyack, New York, forced the prices club for that purpose, and have them ready of staples down nearly twenty-five per cent for each man to take home with him at night. for an entire winter, and resulted in the car

That the idea does really work out and pay rying of fresher and more varied stocks in in substantial savings is proved by the rapid several retail stores. growth of the movement and the immense The consumers' end of the buying club popularity of the plan among city workers. movement is profitable, both directly when It is particularly interesting to note that sev- club members save money and indirectly eral large Eastern clubs are fostered by the when a family profits by a regulated price employers of the members to the extent of level. But to the farmer and country the firm carrying the club's bills on its own manufacturer of food products it has been books, paying the producers itself, and debit- even more profitable-to many a man it has ing each member on pay-day for the amount meant a brand new sort of market with of foodstuffs charged against his account. twenty to one hundred per cent better prices One large Eastern club in a suburban town for his goods than he ever got before. The maintains a delivery service to the homes of creation of thousands of buying club markets its members for approximately five cents per anxious to buy direct from country sources package, and, in spite of the added cost, has has developed a small class of business farmer rapidly increased the amounts of its pur- whose function is really that of a mail-order chases. The margin of saving, even with house. And, as has been suggested, in delivery cost, is enough of an inducement; addition to the clubs themselves, often city for the suburb, like many another town out- retailers have come direct to the country to side of the conventional system of foodstuffs do their buying. An egg gatherer in a small distribution, pays unusually high prices to New York town, by catering specially to the its retailers.' Co-operation has saved the buying club trade of New York and Buffalo, members between twenty and twenty-five developed a business of $5,000 a month per cent in their weekly provision bills. within six months. Through quotations on

It is, of course, out of the question to sup- the express weekly bulletins he secured the pose that the large cities of the country will patronage of club after club, until, as is freever dispense with the present chain of mid- quently the case in industrial work, he was dlemen to take up direct marketing via the forced to request the transportation company buying club route. The examples given to withdraw his name from the bulletin, beabove are interesting and sensational in their cause of too many orders received. accomplishment of lowering the cost of food. There are innumerable instances of the stuffs for a comparatively minute portion of creation of wider and more profitable markets our population. But practically nowhere near for farmers through the buying club movetwenty per cent of the city folk will ever tryment. By standardizing their produce at the it and continue it. Yet the buying club sourie—that is, by carefully grading and movement is none the less a movement of neatly packing their foodstuffs for shipmentreal economic importance. It has a regulative lettuce-growers, apple-growers, and honeyeffect. Even within the last few months it producers have found new channels for the has proved its capacity for hammering down disposition of their goods at much better the exorbitant level of prices which have been prices than they received when marketing in imposed upon the public in many centers of the old way. Sixty thousand pounds of honey the densely populated district east of the were marketed via express in small conMississippi. Every ton of butter, eggs, meat, signments during a single season for one

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