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McClure, Samuel Sidney

McClure, Samuel Sidney

McClure, Samuel Sidney, 1857-1949, American editor and publisher, b. Co. Antrim, Ireland. He emigrated to America as a boy. In 1884 he established the McClure Syndicate, the first newspaper syndicate in the United States. He founded McClure's Magazine in 1893 and, as editor, made it a great success, particularly during the era of the muckrakers, when it published the articles of many of the journalistic leaders of the muckraking movement. McClure's works include Obstacles to Peace (1917), The Achievements of Liberty (1935), and What Freedom Means to Man (1938).

See his autobiography (1914); biography by P. Lyon (1963, repr. 1967).

Edward Aloysius Rumely (1882-1964) was a physician, educator, and newspaper man from Indiana.

Education

Rumely was born at La Porte, Indiana, in 1882. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, University of Heidelberg and University of Freiburg, where he received his M.D. in 1906.

Interlaken School

It is said that while he studied in Germany he lived on nuts, herbs and other uncooked foods, wore sandals, scanty clothes, and committed other eccentricities. But he came back with every appearance of normality and founded the Interlaken School at La Porte, the school where boys do all their own work, from carpentry up.

Rumely married one of the teachers at Interlaken in 1910, Fanny Scott. The Interlaken School closed in 1918 due to anti-German sentiment s associated with World War I. Isamu Noguchi was one of the last students to enroll at Interlaken before it closed.

Family Business

While running the school, Rumely was also active in the family tractor business. He used his technological interest to develop the Rumely Oil Pull Farm Tractor, which burned kerosene. The Rumely family lost control of their own company due to Edward’s mishandling of the company’s assets. The Rumely Hotel was built in 1913 in La Porte when Edward was still in charge of the family business.

Publishing

In 1915, Rumely became editor-in-chief and publisher of the New York Evening Mail. Since he was a good friend of Theodore Roosevelt, he permitted him to use the newspaper as his mouthpiece. Two other critics wrote articles for the paper were Samuel Sidney McClure and H.L. Mencken.

Rumely’s ownership caused him to be part of three major court cases, mostly due to perjury. In July 1918 Rumely was arrested and convicted of violation of the "Trading with the Enemy Act." To get financing for the purchase of the newspaper Rumely had secured financing from an American citizen in Germany. He had failed to note this when he received the money.

Work for the Constitution

From 1926 to 1930 Rumely assisted farmers in obtaining loans through the Agricultural Bond and Credit Company. This began his life’s work of educating the public on monetary reform, farm credits in agriculture, and the value of the Constitution. Rumely believed that deflation was destabilizing American agriculture, and that monetary reform was necessary.

To this end, in 1932 he formed and served as executive secretary of the Committee for the Nation for Rebuilding Purchasing Power and Prices. This committee sought to take the U.S. away from the gold standard and to regulate the dollar. Franklin Roosevelt followed through on this and took the U.S. off of the gold standard adopted the Agricultural Adjustment Act to support farm prices.

This, apparently, was not enough for the Committee, for they soon reformed as the National Committee to Uphold Constitutional Government in 1937. Rumely still served as executive secretary of this newly renamed and reformed committee. Rumely was not done yet, in 1941, he helped establish the Committee for Constitutional Government, serving as a trustee and executive secretary. In a mass mailing, the group distributed books and copies of the U.S. Constitution. Buchanan's House Select Committee on Lobbying Activities requested the names of those who received the book, believing that a tax evasion movement was involved. Rumely refused to comply, citing the First Amendment, and was convicted. In the landmark decision of United States v. Rumely, 345 U.S. 41, the Supreme Court upheld a reversal of conviction made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Retirement

Rumely returned to La Porte in 1959 due to ill health. He spent his remaining years promoting cancer education and helped to spread the word on the effectiveness of the Pap smear test.

Edward A. Rumely died in 1964.

References

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