« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
On the delivery of his final message, of January 6, 1887, at the end of an official term of four years, he discovered no state interest impaired; but a steady advance in all material concerns. The benevolent and other state institutions added the usual per cent of healthy advancement to their statistical statements of 1885.
The assessed valuation of the taxable property of the State in 1885 was $133,418,699, an increase of $9,802,212 as compared with the assessment of 1884. The assessment of 1886 gave the value of the property of the State for the purposes of taxation as $143,932,570, giving a total increase for two years of $20,316,683.
The organizations of the counties of Dawes, Logan, Sheridan, Chase, Blaine and Sioux, were announced during the two preceding years. The recommendation of two years before, in regard to a State Board of Health, was re-affirmed, in behalf of "the health and life of the citizens of the State." Favorable reference was made "to the time which is not far distant, when Nebraska, following the example of other states, will feel the necessity of establishing a Soldiers Home, for the care and support of the aged and disabled veterans of the late war." The amount of $66,687 had been received by the general government and placed to the credit of the state treasury. While the state census of 1885 had cost $39,774, all of that amount excepting $5,015 had been paid by the general government.
From a thorough understanding of the school system and the administration of its landed estate, Governor Dawes affirmed that its condition "may well excite the envy of others, who hav ing received the same munificent grants, have managed them less wisely."
In the matter of railroad supervision he approbated the recent legislation, looked to Congress for interstate legislation, and called for conservative and just disposition of the question.
This sketch may close with his farewell to his constituents and the executive office:
Nebraska, passing through the days of infancy and youth, long since entered into the period of vigorous life and
stands to-day among the prosperous and prominent commonwealths of the Nation. In material progress and upon all lines of development the strides of improvement have been without precedent. The changes that have been inwrought into her history are marvelous and far-reaching. The throb of progress filling all occupations, stimulating all industries, intensifying all activities, is strong and constant. To those, who in the bestowal of their confidence have so honored me, from whom this great trust was received, I wish, before closing my relation with the executive office, to make profound acknowledgment; and in concluding my message, to express the wish and hope that the future of Nebraska may, under continued guidance of the Ruler of Nations, be that of peace, happiness and prosperity uninterrupted.
GOVERNOR JOHN MILTON THAYER.
As governor, he delivered his inaugural January 6th, 1887, from which, by liberal quotations, it is easy to create his ideal citizen. Such an one measuring up to his standard, would, in education, clearly illustrate the value of "thoroughness instead of quantity" and the worth of "practical studies more than ornamental," and the infinite utility of "the languages of the present instead of the aged past." As a legislator he would enact "such laws as the public interests demand, to protect the rights of all the people." He would affirm "that there is no condition of human beings on this earth so pitiable, so deplorable, as is the condition of those from whom the light of reason has forever departed, and who linger in life, driveling idiots or raving maniacs." And inasmuch as they are shut in from the world, he would demand that all penitentiaries, jails, almshouses, houses of correction, reform schools, homes for the friendless and poor houses should be subject of careful inspection. He would demand a "uniform system of taxation according to values and not according to ownership."
As between railroads and the people, his theory would be, that while "railroads are a necessity to the people, the people are also a necessity to the railroads." He would respond cheerfully to the declaration, "our sympathies should ever lie with those whose lives are devoted to daily toil"; and in the exercise of the elective franchise he would not fail to act upon the declaration, "the purchase and sale of votes is a crime of the most heinous character against the State, against society, against civilization." Among his political maxims would be prominent, "No one has any right to make money at the expense of the State." Seated in the shade of his own artificial grove, hear him exclaim, "One of the pleasing features of civilization in this State is the planting
and growth of trees"; and caressing his beautiful live stock and receiving their submissive returns, and remembering how often they are neglected and abused, with what noble emphasis he exclaims, "There are human brutes as well as dumb brutes."
At the time the governor delivered his first biennial message, the following statement showed the condition of the treasury:
Balance in treasury November 30, 1886....
Disbursements, December 1, 1886, to November
Balance in treasury November 30, 1888..
At the end of his second elective term it stood as follows:
December 1, 1888, cash on hand.......
November 30, 1890, receipts since December 1,
The assessed valuation of the taxable property of the State in 1887 was $160,506,266.25, being an increase of $16,573,695.74 as compared with the assessment of 1886. The assessment of 1888 gave the value of the property of the State for the purpose of taxation as $176,012,820.45, giving a total increase for two years of $32,080,249.94.
From the next Auditor's Report the following is taken for the years 1889 and 1890:
The assessed valuation of the taxable property of the State in 1889 was $182,763,538.41, being an increase of $6,750,717.96, as compared with the assessments of 1888. The assessment of 1890 gave the value of the property of the State for the purpose of taxation as $184,770,304.54 giving a total increase for two years of $8,757,484.09.
These two reports covered the assessments of four years or two biennial terms. During his term of four years he received
and deposited in the treasury of the State five per cent on sales. of government lands, and otherwise, $281,246.20.
If the message, closing the year 1890, delivered to the legislature of 1891, had been specially intended as a monumental document, to separate between the first and fiftieth years of state life, marking the half-way period between them, it could scarcely have abounded in more complete statistical statements of public institutions.
The total enrollment of students in the University has been steadily growing from year to year. In 1887-8 there were, all told, 406 students; in 1888-89 there were 427; in 1889-90 there were 475. For the current year of 1890-91 there are already enrolled 513 students in all departments although but one-third of the year has passed. Of this number 208 are young women, and 305 are young men. In the first two years the students are preparatory, and during this time the work is nearly the same for all. After this the student pursues the studies which are peculiar to his course. It is found that twenty per cent of the young men and young women pursue the classical course; 35 per cent of the men and 65 per cent of the women the literary course; 45 per cent of the men and 15 per cent of the women the industrial course.
From the biennial report of the principal of the Nebraska State Normal School, it appears that during the year ending December, 1889, there were in attendance in the Normal School proper 572. Of these 370 were ladies and 192 gentlemen. Fifty-nine graduated in June of that year from the two courses, the elementary and the higher.
For the year ending December, 1890, there were 555 in attendance, of whom 395 were ladies, and 160 gentlemen. One hundred and twenty-eight graduated from the two courses, of whom seventeen were of the higher course. Nearly all of these graduates, and many of the undergraduates, are now engaged in teaching or in school work. As a significant fact bearing upon this point, it was ascertained that at the late assembly of teachers which was held in Lincoln, the largest in the history of these meetings of the State, about one-sixth of the entire enrollment were persons that had been connected with the Nebraska State Normal school, most of them graduates of either the elementary or higher
The public schools in this State are in a prosperous condition. The continued faith and confidence of the people in