A Remembrance of Warren Worth Bailey
An Unsigned Article
[Reprinted from Land and Freedom,
WARREN WORTH BAILEY, veteran Single Taxer, friend of Henry George and
for many years editor of the Johnstown (Pa.) Democrat, died Nov. 9,
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
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.
"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
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