made me write Governors of States on several occasions, to recommend abolishing
places of detention, like penitentiaries, jails, houses of refuge, etc.
My plan is this: When a man commits a crime, correct him privately, as
far as possible, and parole him, unless he is either an incorrigible,
or violent, when he should be sent to an insane asylum. But in no case
punish his friends, which is always done when a man is incarcerated. If
violent, he can be kept behind bars, in an asylum, and his friends can
truthfully say he is temporarily insane. Probably ninety-nine out of a
hundred never would violate their parole. If they do, a certain number
of times, they can be sent to the insane asylum. Psychology should teach
Edwards and Matthews had abundant credit at the banks. While in many ways this is an excellent feature in business, yet human nature is such that it may be a very dangerous one.
I remember but one occasion when I had to wait as long as ten minutes to get money; all I had to do was to ask for it. The occasion was in August, 1914 when the war disturbed financial conditions greatly, when I was not immediately granted all I asked. About three years ago I borrowed over $100,000.00 without any security whatever, investing it in a stock which I still own, with a present loss of over $100,000.00 including interest. I may come out “O. K.” but it is very doubtful. If I had not enjoyed such credit, I would not have been tempted to make such an investment. Afterward, I put ample security in the bank, at my own instance.
Our credit being so well established in the community also acted to our disadvantage in many instances. Our bills were always paid promptly and we were rated as “multimillionaires,” when a large portion of our business was conducted on credit. I will relate one instance. The City of St. Louis advertised to sell $750,000 bonds and, in connection with Blake Bros. & Company of New York, we determined to bid for them, although we had only about $15, 000.00 in the Boatmen’s Bank. I told the President, Mr. Rufus J. Lackland, we intended to make a bid and would want the bank to certify our check for $75,000.00, as the City required ten percent of the amount in a certified check to accompany each bid. It we were the successful bidders, we would deposit the bonds with his bank, accompanied by our draft for the $750,000 and any premium we might have to pay, the bank to credit or remit the amount to the city.