C. J. (Carl J.) Buell.

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 online

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The bill was defeated twenty-six to thirty-four.

Those who voted in the affirmative were:

Campbell, W. A.
Dunn, R. C.
Dunn, W. W.













Sullivan, G. H.

Sullivan, J. D.


Van Hoven


72 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915

Those who voted in the negative were:

Adams Hanson Putnam

Alley Holmberg . Rustad

Andrews Jackson Rystrom

Blomgren Lende Sageng

Campbell, A. S. Lobeck Swenson

Carley Nelson Vermilya

Denegre O'Neill Vibert

Duxbury Orr Wallace

Dwinnell Palmer Ward

Gandrud Peterson, E. P. Westlake

Gillam Peterson, F. H.

Gjerset Potter

Seven senators refused to vote: Bonniwell, Buckler,
Gardner, Jones, Millett, G. M. Peterson, Rockne.

Medical Legislation.

For many years the American Medical Association has
been trying to secure legislation both in Congress and in the
state legislatures that would shut out all healers of the sick
except the regular doctors.

Early in the session of 1915 a bill was introduced by Dr.
Andrews, senator from Blue Earth county and by Mr. Sawyer
in the House which prohibited even the Christian Scientists
and all other drugless healers from the practice of the heal-
ing art. An identical bill was introduced in several other

This bill aroused a most tremendous opposition. The
Christian Scientists particularly were most bitter in their
denunciation of the tyranny of such a law. The authors
withdrew the bill and the Christian Scientists were appeased.

Later, on March 15, Senators Hilbert and Andrews intro-
duced another bill.

A Bill.

For an act entitled, "An act requiring persons desiring to
practice any system of healing, curing or relieving any human
disease, ailment, abnormality or infirmity, other than the
several schools or systems now recognized and regulated by
law, to procure license therefor from the state board of medi-
cal examiners, and prescribing the method of granting and
revoking such license and penalties for violation of any of the
provisions of this act."

This bill lets out Christian Scientists and other spiritual
and mental healers; but compels the chiropractors and all
other so-called irregulars to come in and submit to the State
Board examinations.

Now the state board of medical examiners is composed
wholly of the so-called regular doctors.

Why should not the chiropractors have a board of their
own to examine applicants for admission to practice, just
as the regular doctors do just as the osteopaths do just as
the dentists do just as the veterinarians do just as the
barbers do just as the lawyers do?

Why should not the law treat all alike, giving to each
school of healing the regulation of its own members?

Why should the nature cure doctor, or the chiropractor,

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 73

or the osteopath, or the hydropath, or the healer who advises
fasting, or systems of diet, or he who administers massage,
why should any of these healers be required to pass an exam-
ination prepared by doctors who may know nothing of any
of these methods of ministering to the sick, and who are
admittedly hostile to them?

Why should any class of healers be given any advantage
over any other class?

Why can't they all be satisfied with a fair field and no
favors ?

How would the drug doctors like it if they had to pass
an examination prepared by a board composed of osteopaths,
or chiropractors, or by other healers who are utterly opposed
to all drugs?

The Other Side The People's Side.

Then again, what about the sick and suffering people?
Can't the people be trusted to choose their own health
advisers? May they not be supposed to know what they
want; or if they do not know, can't they find out?

We are told that all these laws making it a crime for any
but the drug doctors to minister to the sick, are in the interest
of the people. But have the people asked for them?

Have the people thronged our legislative halls and asked
for laws to protect themselves from their own mistakes in
choosing their health advisers?

Nature a Careful Teacher.

How very careful nature is to protect us against any
poisonous or injurious substances!

How she has developed in us a wonderful and delicate
sense of taste, by which we instinctively reject whatever is
likely to injure us!

Thru untold ages, in the evolution of man, those who have
possessed this protecting instinct to the highest degree have
escaped the poisons and lived to hand down to their offspring
these powers of self defense.

Nearly all children revolt at the taste of drugs and
poisons of all kinds. Not until later in life do we acquire the
unnatural taste for hurtful things.

Where should be the burden of proof?

Should not the drug doctors be called upon to prove their
case? Are not the presumptious against them, rather than
against those who discard drugs and depend upon natural
methods to heal the sick and suffering?

Are not the probabilities in favor of those who seek to
remove causes, rather than of those who suppress symptoms?

Isn't it natural that we should object to taking poisonous
drugs into our stomachs, or permitting the injection of foul
and filthy substances into our blood streams?

The osteopath and the chiropractor seek to put our bones
into their natural and proper places, so they will not press
upon our blood vessels and nerves, and thus interfere with
their proper functioning. They practice the delicate art of
manipulating our muscles and the organs of our body, thus
stimulating them to greater activity and helping to throw off
the poisons that have been produced by the destruction of
cells and from improper food and drink.

74 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915

The dietitian teaches us what foods are wholesome and
what are injurious. He shows us how such poisons as
alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs affect our various organs
and their functions, and warns us against their use.

Man is the only animal that doesn't know enough to stop
eating and keep still when he doesn't feel well. But we
are learning, and some day we shall be wise enough to
refuse to eat when we ought to fast, refuse to work when
we ought to rest, refuse to stimulate our system with
alcohol and other poisons when they are calling and calling
for quiet and repose.

The nature cure doctor teaches us the inlportance of
sunshine, fresh air, pure water and wholesome food, of well
ventilated dwellings, offices and workrooms, and shows us
how to live in all respects in harmony with the physical laws
of our beings.

The spiritual and mental healers inspire us with hope
and trust, show us the influence of the mind upon the body,
and lead us along the paths of pure and wholesome living,
physically, mentally, morally and spiritually.

Why then should laws be passed subjecting these people
to fines, penalties and imprisonment for no other reason than
because they treat disease without drugs, advise their patients
how to conserve their vital forces, and to so live that health,
strength and length of days shall be theirs?

Surely no laws should be passed giving any class of
healers a monopoly, nor depriving the people in any way of
their natural and inherent right to choose their own health
advisers as well as their own spiritual ministers.

Very many old school doctors realize all this. They
accept these new and better methods and use them in their
practice. Many of them scorn to ask law-created favors and
oppos.e all such legislation.

But all people are selfish, and doctors are no exception.
Many of them are so filled with the idea that their methods
are the only ones, that they are willing and eager to compel
all to follow in their path, and make it a crime to depart there-

Hence come these restrictive and tyranical medical laws.

But the people are learning wisdom, and their represent-
atives are reflecting this knowledge.

It is becoming harder and harder to put on to the
statute books laws of this kind.

Altho this particular bill was reported out of the Senate
committee unanimously, it soon lost caste and finally Dr.
Hilbert himself moved its indefinite postponement.

Thus ended all attempts to strengthen the hold of the
regular medical doctors on the business of ministering to
the sick and suffering.

The Chiropractors Bill.

Early in the session Mr. Southwick introduced a bill to
create a board of examiners for chiropractors, the same as
the regular doctors have their board, and the osteopths theirs.

This looks very reasonable, but many members did not
think so; for there was a determined fight made against the
bill by Marwin, Kneeland and Lydiard.

_^ The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 75

Southwick, Hompe, Parker, Malmberg, Davis, Ferrier,
Pless, Minnette and H. H. Harrison all spoke for the bill,
and several of them gave instances within their own knowl-
edge, of cases, given up by regular doctors, that had been
helped or cured by chiropractors.

All this did not avail, for the bill could only secure sixty-
two votes.

Thi^| leaves the chiropractors right where they are now.
They can all go on with the practice of their profession, but
they are wholly unregulated.

Perhaps it would be just as well if all doctors were left-
free to practice, each in his own way, subject to responsibility
for the results of his work. Perhaps fewer people would be
killed by drugs, poisons, serums, vaccine, antitoxin and "suc-
cessful" surgical operation.

I don't suppose the doctors of any school will like this
chapter; but this is about the way it appears to one ordinary
layman who has spent some time in the study of the struc-
ture and functions of the human body and the action of
drugs thereon; the importance of healthful exercise, proper
food, pure water, fresh air, good thoughts and a happy


The question of education is always a very important one,
but it seldom comes up in such form as to give a very clear
idea as to the general tendency of the members.

In 1915 there were two phases of this question presented.

First, admitting the necessity for economy, where shall
the cut be made?

The sentiment of the legislature was overwhelming that
if any department had to suffer the University must be
forced to cut down expenses. The common schools must
be sustained. This point was brought out strongly when the
House, on motion of Mr. Christiansen, voted to add an extra
million dollars to the appropriation for rural schools.

This was cut out in the Senate, and the rural schools lost
this additional amount.

Centralizing the School System.

For some years the state department of education has
been advocating a system of centralization for the country
schools of the state that would take away from the people
of the local districts practically all control of their local
schools and invest it in a county board of education for eacn
county. This board, to be elected by the whole people of
the county, was to have general charge of all schools in the
county, the hiring and discharging of all teachers, the pre-
scribing of courses of study, the building of all school
houses, and the county superintendent of schools was to be
appointed by this board, instead of being elected by the
people as now.

Here was a very ambitious scheme of centralization in
the country school system, which met with almost universal
disapproval from the members of both houses especially
those from the rural districts. The system was denounced
as undemocratic, imperialistic and destructive of local interest
and pride in the little school by the roadside.

The idea was so unpopular that it was quickly abandoned.

76 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 .

The Grain Question.

For many years the farmers of the northwest have com-
plained of unfair treatment at the hands of the old line eleva-
tor companies all thru the country districts, and from the
terminal elevators and Chamber of Commerce at the city of

The different elevator companies combined to keep the
price of grain down at the primary markets; and wfcen the
farmers organized and built their own elevators, a systematic
campaign was waged to destroy them and drive them out of
business. The line elevator companies would offer a price
above the market, until the farmers' elevator was bankrupt,
and then down would go the price and the farmers would be

The farmers also complained of the weighing and inspect-
ing systems at the terminal markets.

The grain inspectors are personally friendly with the
elevator men and the millers and it is no more than human
that they should be influenced by such friendship. In fact
it is almost impossible not to be so influenced. The effect
has been to grade low when the grain comes in a little
lower than the true grade; and then when the grain is sold
out of the elevators it will grade considerably higher.

It is an undisputed fact that much more high grade grain
goes out than comes in.

Of course much of this is due to mixing and cleaning at
the terminal elevators; but the farmers claim that this will
not account for all of the difference.

Again it was charged that the cupola scales used by
the terminal elevators to weigh the grain as it comes from the
cars were sure to leak more or less and thus give short
weight. But the greatest cause for complaint against the
cupola scales comes from the fact that in connection with
this method of weighing, a powerful fan is used to blow the
dust out of the grain before the weight is taken and a con-
siderable amount of grain is blown away with the dust.
This is a clear loss to the producer and an equal gain to the
elevator company.

It is almost impossible for any one to engage in the
grain business unless he can become a member of the
Chamber of Commerce, and the price of such membership is
exorbitantly high.

Another complaint was that licensed grain dealers sold
their own grain to fill the best orders and sold grain con-
signed to them to fill the poorer orders, this giving their
customers the worst of the bargain.


Is there any harm in buying or selling grain or anything
else for future delivery?

Does even betting and gambling have any effect on the
price of grain?

Very many people think so; others think not. We fre-
quently hear it said, "The gamblers fix the price of grain
and rob the producers of millions."

On the other hand it is claimed that the grain gamblers,

The Minnesota Legislature of 1915 77

like stock gamblers or any others who take that kind of
risks, hurt no one but themselves.

"Selling grain that does not exist hammers the price
down;" this i's a common remark.

Reliable testimony shows that there are three hundred
times more futures sold than could be covered by the actual
grain in the market.

But doesn't buying grain that doesn't exist shove the
price up?

Or is this the true explanation: The man who sells
grain that he doesn't own, thinks, the price will go down and
he can buy cheaper any time before the day of delivery. So
he bets on his belief. If his judgment is good he wins.

The man who buys grain that he doesn't ever expect to
receive really believes that the price will go up and that he
can sell at a profit. If the price does go up, he wins his bet;
if it goes down he loses:

Do these transactions in any way affect the price of
grain, except as each side by false rumors may try to influ-
ence the market? and haven't the bulls and bears each an
equal chance to put the market up or down?

Well, however this may be, bills were introduced to
correct all these evils.

I. A bill by Mr. Welch to require every certificate of
inspection to "set forth the test weight per bushel of the
grain so inspected."

II. A bill by Mr. Johnson to provide for the weighing
of all grain on track scales, and to abolish entirely the system
of cupola scales now in use.

III. A bill by Mr. Knutson to impose a tax on all sales
for future delivery in which contracts were not filled and
delivered. This bill passed the House but was lost in the

IV. A bill by Magnus Johnson to prohibit unfair dis-
crimination in the sale or purchase of grain.

V. A bill by Magnus Johnson to prohibit licensed grain
dealers from selling their grain in competition with grain
consigned to them.

VI. A bill to open the Chamber of Commerce and Duluth
Board of Trade to all comers on payment of $1000 for mem-
bership and to prevent mehberships ever being more than that
price, also to force the Chamber to make its deliberations pub-
lic, to give the railway and warehouse commission access
to these proceedings, and to prevent the expulsion of any
member except as the result of a court decree.

VII. A bill by A. F. Teigen to prohibit all sales for
future delivery, unless the seller actually owned and had the
goods on hand at the time of the sale and at a designation.

This bill was very hotly contested and would have passed
the House without doubt if it could have been so amended as
to satisfy members that it would not prohibit hedging.

The price of grain is always lower just after the harvest.
The reason for this is so simple as to need no explanation.
Many grain growers have no means of housing their grain
and hence must throw it on the market immediately.

The country elevators must accept grain for storage,
Their capacity is soon filled and they must sell this stored

78 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915

grain that they do not own, in order to make room for other
grain as it comes in.

The price is almost sure to go up, and the owners of
this grain may come in at any time and demand settlement.

If the elevator owners are prohibited by law from "hedg-
ing," that is, buying an option on grain for future delivery to
cover the grain that they have been forced to sell and ship
out, they would be obliged to stop receiving grain as soon
as their elevator was full; and the farmers would be obliged
to store their own grain.

All millers sell flour for future delivery, would this bill
prohibit such sales?

Creameries and cheese factories contract to sell their
products for future delivery products which they do not
then own would this bill prohibit such sales?

The author of the bill said "No," but many members were
not satisfied and voted against the bill.

There is no particular significance in the vote on this bill.
Most of the actual farmers voted for it, several St. Paul
members were for it expecting in return votes for the boxing
bill, and they got some of them.

None of these bills passed both houses. They simply
indicate a wide spread dissatisfaction with our system of
handling grain.


The Minnesota legislature of 1915 is probably the first
and only non-partisan legislature that ever met in any state
in the Union.

No member of this legislature was elected because he
was a Republican, a Democrat, a Prohibitionist, a Socialist
or a Progressive.

His party politics had probably very much less to do
with his election than the church he belonged to.

Each candidate had to make his canvass for votes on his
personal character and fitness and upon the things he stood

Of the one hundred and thirty members of the house,
about thirty have voted the democratic ticket with more or
less regularity, tho several of them would not admit to a very
strong party feeling.

Two are Prohibitionists, two are Socialists. There are
probably several who voted for Roosevelt, and a number of
very independent Republicans, several of whom are great
admirers of President Wilson, and probably voted for him.

In the Senate it is much the same. Out of sixty-seven
members one has been a party Prohibitionist; one was a
Socialist; one a Populist. Sixteen had been known as Dem-
ocrats, tho one, at least, had never been much of a party man.
The other forty-eight had usually been classed as Republi-
cans, tho many of them had been very independent, and a con-
siderable number had voted for Roosevelt or Wilson.

On the whole the members of both houses probably reach
a higher level of intelligence, honesty, sincerity, independ-
ence and devotion to their ideals and what they regard as
their duty to their constituents, than any other Legislature

The Minnesota Legislature of 1!)1.~> 79

that has ever met in the State. This is largely due to the
fact that no one could wave the party banner and secure
votes because of his real or pretended belief in Jefferson or
Jackson, Lincoln or Roosevelt.

The time has passed when the crack of the party lash can
make the members jump.

The people are sending a more intelligent and independ-
ent set of men here to make their laws, and they can't be
blindly led.

It is a sure thing that some of the very best and ablest
men in both House and Senate could not have been here under
the partisan system.

Vermilya and Lobeck, Sageng and Jones in the Senate
could hardly have been possible, if they had been obliged to
run as Democrat, Prohibitionist, Populist and Socialist.

If those four men had been defeated, then indeed the
Senate would have been reactionary.

Of course there are a few reactionaries here that prob-
ably couldn't have succeeded under a partisan system, but in
most cases there is no assurance that any better men would
have been elected.

However there is one thing that is quite certain. If
the party system had been in force, Mr. Flowers would not
have been -Speaker of the House and the whole organization
of that body would have been different. What the final result
would have been no one can tell. The Non-partisan system
will improve more and more, fearless and independent men
will be chosen. The people will learn and they will reflect
that knowledge in the character of their representatives.
Both the people and their representatives will be freed from
party fear and superstition and forced to look every question
squarely in the face, and we may reasonably expect a steady

We got the County Option Bill in spite of the bad organ-
ization of the present House, and I don't believe it would ever
have passed the Senate if it hadn't been for Jones and
Vermilya, defeating Pugh and Stebbins who have always
fought to a finish against county option.

Some of the city dailies and country weeklies have been
charging all the sins of this legislature to the fact that it
was non-partisan; but was it as bad as that of 1909, or 1911,
both of which were partisan and controlled by the reactionary
Republicans. It certainly saved the people over a million dol-
lars a year in the matter of expenditures over the partisan
legislation of 1913, which was controlled by the Progressive

The real fault with the legislature of 1915 was because
it was organized by an unholy alliance between the breweries
and the big corporate interests. Whether such an alliance
would have been possible under a partisan system no one can
tell. We know it has been in the past.

The salvation of this legislature rests with the independ-
ent men in it, some of whom at least could not have been
here under a party system. Daily these independent men
turned down committees and overthrew the organization, until
the unholy alliance was utterly powerless.

80 The Minnesota Legislature of 1915

Some Laws That Passed.

Passed a county option law.

Passed "road house" bill prohibiting saloon licenses out-
side of cities and villages.

Provided for a budget system of making appropriation
estimates before legislature meets.

Passed Minnette bill giving state railroad and warehouse
commission power to regulate telephone rates and service.

Created women's reformatory as a new state institution.

Repealed the Elwell road law.

Amended Dunn road law in important particulars.

Amended workmen's compensation law as agreed to be-
tween representatives of capital and labor.

Required public service corporations to pay employees

Passed enabling act permitting negotiations for a new
Minneapolis street railway franchise.

Submitted initiative and referendum amendment to the
voters again.

Resubmitted "revolving fund" amendment to state con-

Gave insurance commissioner supervision of fire insur-
ance rating bureaus and right to change rates found unfair
or discriminatory.

Passed statewide teachers' endowment and retirement

Abolished "second choice" feature of primary electron

Amended presidential preference primary law to give
direct vote on candidates for president.

Revised schedule for state aid to public schools.

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