CHAPTER III

MY CONSTRUCTIVE WORK

   I wish to give you, my readers, some idea of the constructive work I have done during the last twenty-four years, but not from any sense of ego-tism, as no man is to be praised for the work he does; it is only nature working through him to take dominion of the earth.  In any country but where this Money Trust dominates, I would be one of the nation's leading men, respected, with credit.  I should not be on the "Black List," as Dumont Clark told me I was, or, as you will read later, slated for ruin, with all my companies, as the President of the National Reserve told me I was to be.  At the time he told me this, I could hardly believe his statements, but what has occurred since leads me to believe he knew what he was talking about.  Then when I remember what Samuel Untermeyer says, "that in a panic it destroyed a number of solvent banks," I realize people who do this will stop at nothing.

   These millionaires do this, without a thought for the anguish of the thousands of stockholders, the depositors, with no reckoning of the heart-aches, the distress, and often death from worry.  These men, Untermeyer says, do so; these men of untold wealth, who live in palaces.

   And these same men who for fifteen years have followed me, did they know I had refused to to the bidding of Kountz, Thalmann and Gates, and must be ruined?  Like the pirates of Tarifa, Spain of the years long ago, do they demand tribute from all American industries and business men?  And must these business men, when that tribute is not willingly given, as in these olden days, walk the plank of business ruin?

   It is said that when the pirates of Tarifa, Spain, ruled the sea, all ships they stripped must have the gold piled up on the decks in readiness for these pirates, and if the captain even scowled when the ship was looted, he must walk the plank or hang at the yard arms.

   Can you see any difference between the treatment of the long ago and now?  Then, the pirates were hardy dare-devils, red-shirted, blear-eyed; now they are models of neatness and exact manners, and live in palaces.  But the victim can see no difference in the results, and neither can stockholders or depositors of banks.  Samuel Untermeyer says that "in a panic the Money Trust destroyed a number of solvent banks."

   These modern pirates endow hospitals, churches, and contribute to the Free Ice Fund; yet some of these men caused Moffat, that great man of Denver, to die of a broken heart, because they would not allow him to finance his great road.

   Now, I want my readers to take a glance at the constructive work I have done.  All of these companies I gave birth to; for all of them I personally secured the greater part of the money.

   I founded the Guardian Trust Company; built the Kansas City Suburban Belt Road; built the Kansas City Southern; constructed the Port Arthur Ship Canal; started a line of steel steamers from Port Arthur to England and Holland.  I started a line of two steamers from Port Arthur to ports in Mexico; secured six hundred thousand dollars for the Sioux City stock yards; founded the National Surety Company, now of New York, and was its head officer for five years; built the first modern office building in Sioux City; financed the Great Central Coal and Coke Company of Kansas City; built the Kansas City Northern connecting road; rebuilt the Omaha and St. Louis; rebuilt the Quincy, Omaha and Kansas City Road.  I built the Kansas City and Eastern; built nearly one thou sand miles of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railroad.  In Kansas City I built five office buildings, one theater, and laid out Janssen Park and Fairmount Park.  I built the Kansas City and Independence Air Line Road; got the charter and was first president of the Wyandotte Street Electric Line, Kansas City.  I erected over one hundred homes in different parts of the West, and laid out two of the most beautiful additions to the City of Mexico; built one of the office buildings of that city and one of the hotels.  I located Proctor & Gamble's plant in Kansas City, and helped finance the Kansas City Cotton Mills of that city.  I started the Port Arthur Rice Farm; planted twelve miles of orchards in Arkansas; started and finished great irrigation enterprises in Western Texas, near Fort Stockton; bought the land and founded scores of towns and cities in different parts of the West.  Among the leading ones are Stilwell, Mena, DeQueen, Fairview, Carmen, Hamlin and Port Arthur.

   For all of these projects, and for many others, every detail was carried out under my direction.

   I formed the Liberty bell Mining Company of Colorado and was its president for years.  The mine produced one-eighteenth of the gold of Colorado each year, and has paid in dividends one million, five hundred thousand dollars.  I founded and was president for years of the United States and  British Columbia Development Company.  This company, with six hundred thousand dollars capital, has paid one million, three hundred thousand dollars in dividends.

   I built the Water Power and Electric Light Plant at Joplin, Missouri, and the Water Works of Carrolton, Missouri.  I colonized thirty thousand acres of land on the line of the Texas Pacific Railroad, and hundreds of thousands of acres on the Kansas City Southern and Kansas City, Mexico & Orient.

   I founded and was president for years of the Horse Show of Kansas City.  I founded and was president of the great Land Show of New York last year.  In Florida  you will find a farm that is thirty miles around that I financed.

   So my beneficent work has reached from the mines of Colorado on the West to the great Waterway of Jamaica Bay on the northeast, and from Jamaica Bay to Florida on the southeast; from Sioux City on the North to the City of Mexico on the South; and had this really been the Land of the Free, in place of twenty thousand people now being employed by companies that I have founded, there would no doubt be fifty thousands.  From any number of these companies which I financed, I never received one dollar reward, and never expected any.  The only reward I had was the satisfaction that I was bringing out of the blue ether of opportunity, chances for some of God's children to achieve and prosper in this land, and these jewels of brotherly love need no safety deposit vaults to hold them, no detectives to guard them, but are the mind and soul's possessions, where "rust doth not corrupt nor thieves break through and steal."

   The companies I founded are today ninety per cent of them prosperous.  They employ thousands of men and furnish livings for many thousands of people.  There have been few failures in my record, except those forced upon me by people wishing to ruin me and mine.

   These companies to which I gave life have paid in dividends and interest since I founded them over twenty million dollars.

   Now, for which of these good works do they stone me?

   There can be only three reasons for the opposition I have met:

   First.  The United States is given out to different banking interests for railroad development; that is, there is some understanding whereby banking interests agree to a mutual division of certain sections of the United States, and these banks have combined to sandbag and ruin any outsider who attempts to build in these zones.  I not being connected with either side, the moment I started the Kansas City, Southern & Orient road, I automatically started all the machinery of all these people to compass the ruin of me and my companies, and as none step in that direction the ruin of the Guardian Trust Company was decided upon.

   Second.  They coveted my different roads because of the great geographical strength of their location.

   Third.  They thought the example of some independent man's making a business of railroad building in the United States would so encourage others that if I succeeded there would be numerous independent companies.  There are many bankers who know that what I say is true; they are above such methods; they deplore them.   But to say one word, to remonstrate, would put them also on the Black List.

   One of the members of the New York Stock Exchange told me that my experience was only one in hundreds; that he had given up his Wall Street office, for he could no longer bear to see such things being done.

   But in the meantime, confidence is being shattered.  Today seats on the Stock Exchange are a fair field and no favorites, and the Stock Exchange was the great security market of the United States, and not used, as it now so often is, as a tool to crush men and companies.

   Perhaps it is all right to regulate business men and enterprises.  If so, let us do it by legal methods; let the people vote who these arbitrators s hall be, and when you or I wish to start and enterprise, let us go to these men and get permission to live and create.  Then if it is withheld we can leave the United States for more favored lands, or retire from business.  Russia is a haven of freedom compared with these United States.  I wonder if in Russia, in times of panic, they destroy solvent banks, as Samuel Untermeyer says they do in New York.

   I can testify they did in Kansas City, when they wrecked my Guardian Trust Company, and there was no panic at that time; it just came out of a clear sky.

   But whatever the reason, the facts remain.  These things were done.  Whatever the contributing causes, such methods as were employed in my case are not uncommon when the Money Trust has an object in mind, whether it be the grabbing of a million or the ruin of a man.

 

 

 

Arthur Edward Stilwell, Visionary

The Trial of Jesse James, Jr.

Vintage Kansas City Stories

Vintage Kansas City.com

Men Who Made Kansas City ~ Biograhpies and Pictures of Turn of the Century Kansas Citians