CHAPTER XVI

FROM OUT THE GLOOM

     After ten years of legal waiting in the Guardian Trust matter, with all kinds of rumors that the mismanagement of this company would sooner or later come to light, Mr. D. J. Haff, one of Kansas City's leading attorneys, was brought by Chicago interests into the case. I wish to quote a letter written by him to me later.

     It was unsolicited by me. All he said I was aware of; so were all of my stockholders and directors who knew me. But the others who did not know, waited years and years for the expose that never will come, as there is nothing to expose where for fourteen years the president and officers followed the Golden Rule in all business transactions. And had it not been for the treachery of the Kansas City Reorganization Committee, with its Harriman, Gates, Thalmann and others, this company, today, would be one of the leading financial companies of the West.

"Law Offices
HAFF, MESERVY, GERMAN & MICHAELS
Suite 906 Commerce Bldg. 
Kansas City, Mo.
December second,
Nineteen Hundred and Eleven.
"In re Guardian Trust Matter.
File No. 2263.
"A. E. Stilwell, Esq.,
2600 Singer Building,
New York City, N. Y.

"My dear Mr. Stilwell:
"I am herewith sending you a copy of my brief in the case of the Guardian Trust Company vx. the Kansas City Southern Company in the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, and I wish you would kindly read it over carefully.
"I will say to you in this letter what I have said to several friends in this city since my study of the case, and that is that this enormous record of 35,000 pages, built up at the instance of and by the efforts of your enemies, in their attempt to find something with which to condemn your business conduct, is a most complete vindication of yourself and the Guardian Trust Company. Although it covered a period of several years, during which time not only the Guardian Trust Company was organized and built up to a great and powerful concern, but also many other prizes promoted by yourself, through the medium of the trust company, including the Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad Company, the Kansas City Suburban Belt Railway, the Port Arthur Channel and Dock Company, and many others, all of which were promoted by you and financed through the medium of the Trust Company, it is, nevertheless, a history of spotless dealings, and is, in fact, I believe, the cleanest business record that I have ever examined and one which will stand as a monument not only to your ability as an organizer and builder of great enterprises, but also to your integrity. I was particularly surprised at the small reward which you took for the Trust Company, when it was entirely in your power to do what you pleased, and when, I believe, nine men out of ten, placed in the same position, would have been far less modest. I feel it my duty to say these things to you, and to express my opinion as a result of my study of this case. I may say to you that I was surprised, because after all the charges that have been made, I entertained the fear that a careful study of the case in its entirety might result in a different opinion, and I am very glad to be able to give you this testimonial.

"With kindest regards, I remain,
Sincerely your friend,
(Signed) D. J. Haff."

 

Arthur Edward Stilwell, Visionary

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