School: Clark Co. - School Board Convention (Jan 1910)
Contact: Dolores Mohr Kenyon
Surnames: Rhea, Marsh
----Source: The Granton News (Granton, Clark Co., WI.) January 21, 1910
School Board Convention (21 January 1910)
The school board convention held at the court house at Neillsville last Friday and Saturday was well attended by school clerks and directors from all parts of the county. Many points of interest were discussed and questions answered by Superintendent Rhea in a capable and instructive manner.
The main attraction of the convention though was an address delivered by Senator S. M. Marsh Friday evening. Mr. Marsh has the reputation of being a very forceful, interesting and fearless speaker and for that reason the court room was packed to its utmost capacity. During the two hours he spoke many interesting subjects were touched upon. We believe in publishing all that’s good, and we regret that neither space nor time permit us to publish the speech in its entirety and must continue ourselves to a few synopsis.
Mr. Marsh spent some time in urging upon the members of the school boards the responsibility which rests upon them in the selection of teachers, and their duty to follow up every channel of information open to them, not only as to the educational qualifications of the teacher but as to their character and personality.
He also spent a few moments explaining the proposed income tax law, as bearing upon the raising of funds for school purposes. As chairman of the special legislative committee on income tax he has been investigating that subject during the past six months.
The Senator spent the most time however in discussing "The Enemy of the Public School," calling attention to the fact that about $15,000 is spent annually for public school purposes in the Neillsville district, that the assessed valuation of Clark County is about sixteen times as large as that of Neillsville, hence the total amount spent in Clark County on the public schools would be about $240,000 per year. That is a fact that about $13,000,000 per annum is spent in the state each year on the public school system. This does not take into account the millions spent in private and parochial schools, colleges and universities. All this money is paid by the tax payers for the purpose of making boys and girls into broad minded, clear headed, honest and intelligent citizens, citizens who will not find their way into the alms houses, prisons, reformatories and asylums. Although we spend about $240,000 for educational purposes in Clark County each year, for the sum of about $7500, paid into the town, village and city treasuries of the county, in the form of license fees, we permit the establishment of institutions in all the cities and villages of the county on nearly every street corner, institutions which are tearing down the very work the schools are attempting to build up. The school is doing its best to prevent ignorance, vice and crime, the saloon fosters and promotes ignorance, vice and crime. The report of the state department of labor and statistics show that the saloon is the cause of over three-fourths of the pauperism, two thirds of the crime and one third of the insanity. We flatter ourselves that we are getting a nice little income from saloon licenses, but look at Clark County, $240,000 spent here for educational purposes, for the purpose of making GOOD citizens, and for $7,500 we give about fifty saloons in the county the privilege of making BAD citizens. Besides this Clark County pays many thousands of dollars for the purpose of maintaining the inmates of the prison, the state hospitals for the insane, the poor house, the state reformatory, the industrial school for boys and girls, the state home for the feeble minded, the home for dependent children, and the county jail, sent there as a result of the saloon business, to say nothing of the thousands of dollars spent in criminal trials from the same cause. All this is aside from the sorrow, sin and suffering, caused by the saloon. If human hearts and human suffering are not worth of consideration let us contemplate the fact that for every dollar we receive in the way of license fees from the saloon, we pay out ten dollars to take care of the product of the saloon. It was also shown by reading from testimony taken at the senatorial investigation that elections are largely controlled by the expenditure of money in saloons, particularly in the so-called slum wards of Milwaukee and other large cities.
The saloon is therefore a menace to good government. The millionaire of Milwaukee, the city official of Milwaukee will rail against anarchy and socialism, and yet they ignore the open and flagrant violations of the state liquor laws. The saloons of Milwaukee are wide open every Sunday in the year, and every Election Day in direct violation of the state laws, but this is not the kind of anarchy that the millionaire brewer of Milwaukee rails against, it is not the kind of anarchy that the Milwaukee official dares to prosecute.
As friends of education and good citizenship these are matters worthy of the consideration of the members of the school boards of this county.
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