Joseph Mitchell Chapple.

Warren G. Harding--the man (Volume 2) online

. (page 4 of 4)
Online LibraryJoseph Mitchell ChappleWarren G. Harding--the man (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

His reverent use of the "print shop towel" on
this occasion, with its cubist smears of ink,
called up memories. On the second floor he
proceeded to wash up, and, after putting on the
old smoking jacket, prepared to write an edi-
torial "for the paper tomorrow." As he wrote
in long hand on the scratch pad, he continued

Anecdotal Sidelights and "Close-ups" 109

to converse between the paragraphs. There
was a sudden lull in the press room. His quick
ear discerned it. Down he went to the base-
ment and in the quiet way of the old days sug-
gested something that helped fix things, and the
boys got Out the edition in time and caught the
mails. His people all had their extra holiday
and he had his fun. Another visit to the
"print shop towel," with plenty of soap, and
he was back upstairs to complete the editorial.
On the editorial desk of Warren Harding
have been written many human interest stories
that have a real flavor of life. There was the
story of "Hub," the Boston terrier, who was
the inseparable companion. Since the days he
wandered down the lane driving the cows,
Warren Harding has had a dog. He loved this
dog, in fact he loves all animals, and his kindness
to animals was the same as to people. The
editorial tribute paid on the passing of "Hub,"
his dumb friend, is worthy of a place in literature
with that classic plea of Senator George Vest
in the court room, describing the devotion of a
dog. His description of "The Death of the
Blind Man's Son" is a bit of the literature that
sparkled frequently in the pages of the Marion
Star. Ten years after it was printed a tramp

110 Warren G. Harding — The Man

printer who had put it in type met Senator
Harding and repeated word for word the tribute
to the blind man's son.

Senator Harding's biography is a bundle of
common, everyday incidents of everyday people
of the country. From this vast majority Sena-
tor Harding sprang. The simple recital of the
career of an average and representative man of
the people; a plain citizen, neither a genius,
hero, nor superman, makes every American feel
that, whatever else may be said of Warren G.

Harding, he is truly one of us.

* * * *

Sitting in the terrace outside the Marble
Room of the Senate one summer's day in 1918,
I asked Senator Harding what message I should
carry to young men and women of today on a
Chautauqua tour.

"Impress them with the importance of think-
ing more of what they can do; have an objec-
tive and drive toward it. There are more op-
portunities under the new order of things than
the old. The world is progressing, and the
ideals of sound government will prevail. Keep
in touch with older people — those who have
lived. You know I imbibed much of the philos-
ophy of life from Harry Cooper, the blacksmith,

A necdotal S (delights an d ( ' Close-ups " 111

at Caledonia. There was something alluring in
the smell of that red blacksmith shop. And
when shoeing horses, Cooper could comment
like a sage, with the horse's tail swinging in his
face. He was one of the men who made me
think of what I could do, because he encouraged
and exemplified strength with every blow on
the anvil, and his life was a ringing call to the
joy of honest labor."

Warren Harding's life represents an honest
reward for honest toil. His wealth is not counted
in millions. He has not accumulated money
other than through the slow and sterling pro-
cesses of business. Every penny of his money
has come through clean and square dealing with
fellow-men. In business or in private life
there is no deal of Warren Harding's that took
an unfair advantage of friend or foe, no matter
what the profits might promise. As a leader
in the onslaught that is sure to come against
profiteers and their ill-gotten gains, Warren G.
Harding is the man who understands the
burdens of the multitude and how honest profits
are a safeguard to industrial stability.

Over and over again some of his friends ask:

112 Warren G. Harding — The Man

"Is he stern and cross as he appears in the

This question brings a smile to those who
know him, for his kindly, gentle and just nature
is the dominant quality of the man, but contact
day by day, in look, act and deed, gives a pic-
ture and memory of Warren G. Harding to
those who know him that no painting or por-
trait can ever fully exhibit. The camera some-
times fails to portray in the countenance some-
thing that the public thought unfailingly divines
in the inner soul of a man or woman.





ROM a printer-partner in the early days
comes a tribute worthy of one who has
stood the test of every phase of friendship.

[From the Chicago News.]
[Jack Warwick of the Toledo Blade has long been a
friend of Senator Harding's. At the time of Grover
Cleveland's first election they both played horns in the
Marion band, and afterward joined forces as Republicans
and newspaper men.]

This is about me and the Republican nominee for
president of the United States.

"I knew him when "

Truth is mighty and must wail. Too many false-
hoods have been given out about Warren Gamaliel
Harding — "W. G." for short. This is especially true of
his brass band past. People have been confused in their
minds with Hi Henry, who flourished about the same
time. Hi and W. G. didn't play in the same band and
their methods were different. Hi could play either pp
or fT, and was impartial between the little end and big


116 Warren G. Harding — The Man

end of a crescendo movement. W. G. was strong for
the big end.

Truth further forces the admission that Warren G.
Harding had no more brass band conspicuity than I had.
We began to make the night hideous in the same organi-
zation. He was conspicuous because he was big and
blew the smallest horn, and I was conspicuous because
I was small and blew the biggest horn. Destiny main-
tains a balance for her own. But let that go.

My recollection is that the beginning of the collapse
of W. G.'s horn-blowing ambitions took place in Novem-
ber, 1884. Grover Cleveland's election had much to do
with it. The Democrats of Marion were turning off a
big hurrah in celebration of the temporary resurrection
of the party. Johnnie Sickel, a friend of mine, and I
drove a pair of yellow ponies nine miles to hear the re-
heartened rank and file chortle with glee. Harding with
his cornet was furnishing the keynote for the wolves of
Democracy to howl by.

When the parade was over he found Sickel and me in
front of a restaurant. We all went in to eat to Harding's
hunger. It was there that the exhausted hornblower
sez, sezze:

"Jack, let's buy the Marion Daily Star. 1 "

"If we do," I asked, "who's going to pay for these

Then Johnnie broke in: "The treat's on me boys,
oysters and Star."

That was the beginning of the resuscitation of the
rundown, flea bitten, four page paper that has since
become a vital force in the county of Marion, Ohio.

A Tribute by a Printer-Partner 117

Harding did it. He gave up the cornet for the Star. I
question whether he ever fully recovered from having
blown that horn in celebration of Grover Cleveland's
triumph while his heart was aching over James G.
Blaine's defeat.

"I knew him when "

It was a shock to my nerves to wake up last Saturday
evening and find myself famous, through no fault of my
own. Harding had done it. The man with whom I
had worked in various capacities for nearly twenty years
was nominated for the biggest job in the country. I
must say I worked "with him" in deference to his wishes.
Always it was his desire and request that associates and
co-laborers should avoid saying they worked "for him."
He never wanted them to say that. If he lacks any-
thing, it is the elements of a czar.

Well, it was a long time before the Star began to make
as much noise in the community as the old brass band
had done. It was a daily ostensibly, but publication
had been intermittent. The first thing we had to do
was to get it to come out every day, in the evening.
That was done finally, and only a week or two of regu-
larity was required to establish a bit of confidence in the
minds of the people.

W. G. was an indefatigable worker. He worked in-
side and outside the office. He messed in printer's ink
until the office devil was immaculate by comparison.
Whatever his hands could find to do he dirtied them
with it. Honest toil was written over his shirtsleeves
in black splotches. In those days, in that community,

118 Warren G. Harding — The Man

the value of printer's ink was not as well established as
now. W. G. was a pioneer in the belief that it paid to
advertise, and he could prove it by his shirt.

William G. MeAdoo's patched pants would have been
an impotent political asset in the Marion Daily Star
office. For this I may be denounced and denied a cabi-
net position, but as I said before, truth is mighty and
must wail. Read it slowly. At one time Warren G.
Harding had to go to bed, in mid-afternoon, near the
hour of going to press, to have his pants repaired. For-
tunately the repairs were made in time to get the paper
on the press at the accustomed hour.

There Y\ere many hard days and long nights in the
old Star office. But through them all Harding w T as in
and out among the workers, one of them, and with a
sense of humor that shortened the hours. Most of the
way in the early days the traveling was up hill, but
through all the rough stuff of disappointment W. G.
kept his head up and face toward success. And when
success came it did not change the man. He was the
same human, cordial, whole-souled fellow workman
among his employes.

"I knew him when "

Yes, I knew him when he was at grips with fate and
before. I knew him in school and in the ole swimmin'
hole days, in his boyhood home, which was a family
shrine. I have gone with him to the cow pasture and
have seen him milk. He knows the producing side of
a cow. I have seen him on the loaded farm wagon,
have seen him paint a house and have seen him make
a broom.

A Tribute by a Printer-Partner 119

But of all the days that I knew him those nearly
twenty years in the same printing office are the most
vivid. There he stood up to man's height and faced
the world in a hard struggle, unyielding in the teeth of
discouragement and holeproof ridicule.

It's my personal opinion that W. G. ought to be

Jack Warwick.

Toledo, Ohio, June 18.




THE American people will vote for Warren
G. Harding because he is the Republican
standard bearer. The party is united as
never before. Recognized as a man among men,
he can work with others and eliminate executive
autocracy. The qualities of Harding that im-
press the people are honesty, tact, firmness, lack
of pretense. He knows human nature and the
plain people.

He has won his own way in the world and has
lived and grown up among the people, not to
spectacular heights of wealth but to a compe-
tence which all Americans are entitled to hope for.
He won the respect of the neighborhood, and as
the neighborhood area is extended into national
proportions, he grew naturally and inevitably
into national leadership. He is a product of
the soil — wholesome all through. An efficient
factor in Congress during the world war,


124 Warren G. Harding — The Man

Senator Warren G. Harding was among the
first to see Wilson's fallacies before and after
the war on preparedness — both for war and
peace. He was one of the thirty-nine Senators
who joined in the Round Robin protest. His
service in Washington during these eventful
years has made him thoroughly conversant
with domestic and foreign affairs. His experi-
ence with industrial operations and knowledge of
the necessities of a protective tariff to furnish
employment for the American people will enable
them to guard against the influx of foreign goods,
which would mean stagnation at home. Prac-
tical, sensible, aggressive, he has demonstrated
qualities of a capable executive equal to the
great tasks of the hour. Best of all, to complete
his high qualifications, he is a lovable, domestic
human — one of the people — a convincing public
speaker, and whether from porch, platform or
in public print, he knows how to interpret the
public mind. His real character and propor-
tions will become known to the people as they
are known by the legion of friends, whose con-
victions grow deeper that W T arren G. Harding
is truly the man to lead in epochal times.

As a champion of protection, Warren G. Hard-
ing is a crusader fully equipped and ready to

A Sturdy Champion of Americanism 125

meet the challenge of the Democratic platform
of 1920 for a "tariff for revenue." The Repub-
lican party affirmed its belief in the protective
principle, and pledged itself to revision as soon
as conditions make it necessary for the preser-
vation of the market for American labor, agri-
culture, and industries.

President Buchanan, a Democrat, comment-
on the tariff for revenue of 1846 said:

In the midst of unsurpassed plenty in all the pro-
ductions and elements of national wealth, we find our
manufactures suspended, our public works retarded,
our private enterprises of various kinds abandoned and
thousands of useful laborers thrown out of employment
and reduced to distress.

Referring to the same period of tariff for
revenue, President McKinley drew a similar
picture in these words:

But instead of insuring prosperity it produced uni-
versal distress and want; instead of raising money to
support the government, even during a period of peace
and wonderful development, the system of duties it
provided was utterly insufficient and produced results
exactly the opposite of those claimed for it. As soon
as the foreign wars ceased the revenue began to diminish
and the expenditures to exceed it, thus creating de-

126 Warren G. Harding — The Man

ficiencies and forcing loans and increasing our national
debt from $15,500,000 in 1846 to $90,580,000 on March 4,

In 1913 came another period of low tariff,
when Martin W. Littleton, a Democratic mem-
ber of Congress, reported:

New York is at this moment the centre of the most
remarkable pessimism I have ever known. There is a
sense of depression and dismay here that I have not
seen before in this great city during the seventeen years
that I have known it.

These are the unfailing results of tariff-for-
revenue policies, and Warren G. Harding knows
his history of American political and economic
developments. He realized that war conditions
in 1914 saved the country from the disaster
of another calamity under the Underwood Act,
which is still in force and must remain in force
until a Republican President is elected who will
not veto a protective tariff bill.

With a voice of prophecy W T arren G. Harding
one month preceding his nomination, when he
or his friends had little thought of his becoming
the Republican leader in this crucial campaign,
outlined in ringing tones to the Home Market
Club in Boston the parting of the ways and a

A Sturdy Champion of Americanism 127

dominant issue of the campaign. He spoke as
a thorough-going American, experienced in legis-
lation, who aimed at definite objectives, for the
interest of all the country in meeting an im-
pending crisis:

When the world restores normal production it is
going to seek the American market, and you will have
a new order to face then. And yet I remember that
in 191*2 we were promised a reduced cost of living. We
were to sharpen our wits in competition with the world.
We sharpened our wits, but dulled our production.
You have forgotten it now, but we were on the skids in
1914. Nothing but the world war saved us. We pro-
tected our home market with war's barrage. But the
barrage was lifted with the passing of the war. The
American people will not heed today because world
competition is not yet restored, but the morrow will soon
come when the world will seek our markets, and we must
think of America first or surrender American eminence.
I believe most cordially in the home market first for the
American product. There is no other way to assure our

Young America, with its red-blooded hopes;
first voters with their visions; American man-
hood and womanhood in their struggles and
triumphs; veterans in the sunset of life, all
find their own aspirations revealed in the life
experiences and record of the Republican leader

128 Warren G. Harding — The Man

of 1920. Their ideals of Americanism will be
declared by ballot and support in the conviction
that Warren G. Harding is the measure of a man
to be chosen President of the United States.



il III III 111! Mill III lil I I
013 982 921 9

1 2 4

Online LibraryJoseph Mitchell ChappleWarren G. Harding--the man (Volume 2) → online text (page 4 of 4)