July 31, 1899: “Newsboys Form A New Union”

Newsboys Form a New Union

Elect a Man as Leader and Will Divide City Into Districts.

There was a rally of newsboys at Gardner’s Hall, at 21 Suffolk Street, last evening, to organize a new union and elect new officers. Abraham Lippman, who has a newsstand at Canal and Essex Streets, called the meeting to order. He is a grown-up man, and for some time he ran the meeting much to the disgust of Simon Levy, who was trying to wedge in a word without success.

After some skirmishing the boys accepted a suggestion of Lippman’s to have a full-grown man for a President, and elected James G. Neill, fifty years old. President Neill, in making his inauguration speech, said that the price maintained by some of the evening papers virtually imposed a tax on newsboys and newsmen, and the latter could not transfer the tax to the public as other dealers did the war tax.

Mr. Neill suggested that all union boys should wear badges, and become affiliated with other labor organizations. He proposed that the city should be divided into districts and send delegates to a central union. The meeting adopted Mr. Neill’s suggestions.

Other officers were elected as follows: Vice President – “Racetrack” Higgins of Brooklyn; Secretary – Abe Cutler; Treasurer – Dave Ruben of Bleecker Street and the Bowery; Sergeant at Arms – “Yellow” Simon Levy. John Masin was elected head Captain, and will select his district Captains. A floral horseshoe was sent by William Reese, the colored lemonade seller in Printing House Square, for the best orator of the day. It was won by George J. Fabian.

Source: “Newsboys Form A New Union.” The New York Times, 31 July 1899, p. 4.