A Remembrance of Warren Worth Bailey

An Unsigned Article

[Reprinted from Land and Freedom, November-December, 1928]

WARREN WORTH BAILEY, veteran Single Taxer, friend of Henry George and for many years editor of the Johnstown (Pa.) Democrat, died Nov. 9, aged 73.

Mr. Bailey was one of the leading democrats of Pennsylvania and was elected to the House of Representatives in 1912 and re-elected in 1914. He was defeated for the same office in 1916, 1924 and 1926. Before that he was editor and proprietor of the Vincennes (Indiana) News and later editorial writer on the Chicago News and the Chicago Evening Mail. In 1893 he went to Johnstown and acquired the Johnstown Democrat which he and his brother Homer Bailey conducted for many years with signal ability. Homer Bailey, author of "How to Get Rich Without Working" and other Single Tax tracts and pamphlets, died several years ago.

Warren Worth Bailey was one of the few surviving members of the group of the early days of the Henry George movement. In a letter to the Editor of LAND AND FREEDOM published in the Jan.-Feb. issue of this year, Mr. Bailey wrote:

"I was saddened by the news of James H. Barry's death. One by one the old guard is passing. It is one of my glad possessions that it was permitted me to know so many of them -- Henry George himself, Dr. McGlynn, Judge Maguire, Thomas G. Shearman, William Lloyd Garrison, John J. White, William T. Croasdale and all that gallant company."

Of that "gallant company" he himself was an honored member. His stalwart advocacy of Henry George's principles was in evidence to the last when he hailed with enthusiasm the organization of the Henry George Foundation and became a member of the Advisory Commission.

Mr. Bailey was born in Hendricks County, Indiana. He is survived by his widow and two children.


Militant Single Taxer

(From the New York Tribune)

AS an editor and as a member of Congress, Warren Worth Bailey was a militant Single Taxer. When he was twenty-three years old he became the editor of a daily newspaper published at Vincennes, Ind., to espouse the cause of the Single Tax. He was a delegate to the first National Single Tax Conference, held in New York in 1890. The Single Taxers in the middle West organized the Chicago Single Tax Club and Mr. Bailey was elected president. When he moved to Johnstown, Pa., he retained his interest in the subject by organizing the Cambria County Single Tax Club.

Mr. Bailey was an aggressive Democrat. He was elected to Congress in 1912 and was re-elected in 1914. In 1924 he contested the election of his Republican opponent, Anderson H. Walters, publisher of The Johnstown Tribune, but the contest was thrown out after months of investigation.

In Congress Mr. Bailey, who was a close friend of William Jennings Bryan, expressed himself as a foe of the Anti- Saloon League and the Ku-Klux-Klan. Before the United States entered the World War Mr. Bailey hotly disputed the arguments of his opponents that America should go in for a programme of intensive preparedness. "The poison of preparedness has brought a sort of madness upon many minds," he declared in an address at Clark University.

In February, 1917, when the question whether America should enter the war was causing bitter debate in Congress a speech delivered by Mr. Bailey was ordered expunged by a vote of the House. In the speech Mr. Bailey said:

"I thank God for William Jennings Bryan in this hour of grave peril to republican institutions. I thank God for those men and women who refuse to bow at the feet of Mars, at the call of the warmongers and the traffickers in munitions."

The speech contained references to Representative A. P. Gardner, who said he had been insulted.

Bailey of Johnstown

(From the Brooklyn Eagle)

Back in 1892, when Grover Cleveland was running for President the last time, William W. Bailey was a co- worker with Eugene Field on the Chicago Daily News, owned by Victor F. Lawson and Melville E. Stone. But not for long. Bailey yearned for a newspaper somewhere that he could make the exponent of his strongly-held personal views on public questions. Before 1893 was ended he was proprietor of the Johnstown (Pa.) Democrat, which he owned till his death at the age of 73, on Friday. That he made "Bailey of Johnstown" pretty well known in the State and Nation, no one will dispute.

Mr. Bailey was a Single Taxer, and had never swerved from the Henry George doctrine of Progress and Poverty. He hated and was hated by the Ku-Klux Klan. He was in his late years an unflinching foe of Prohibition. Yet he had been one of the warmest friends of William Jennings Bryan, and his Congressional eulogy on Bryan is reprinted in some of his newspaper obituaries. Twice "Bailey of Johnstown" was elected to Congress in a Re- publican district; in 1912 and 1914. He ran in vain in 1916. Then in 1924 he had his famous election contest with Alderson H. Walters, publisher of the Johnstown Tribune, in which Bailey was beaten, after months of investigation by the House Committee. Once more he ran in 1926, but was unsuccessful. Always he was a powerful influence in the control of the Democratic party of Pennsylvania.

Bailey may be regarded as about the last type of the "editor and proprietor" who makes views that most people consider eccentric or extremist the keynote of his editorials. Perhaps not the last, for Oswald Garrison Villard, champion of the rights of colored men, still edits the Nation; and it is as unshrinking as Horace Greeley ever was for abolition and total abstinence in the older days of the New York Tribune. Those who disagree with such a man have to admire his courage and his stamina; also his measure of unselfishness, for as a business policy his method is never helpful and often harmful to his interests. "Bailey of Johnstown" might perhaps have been a millionaire newspaper owner but for this striking consideration.