November 4, 1908


Restoration of the Missouri River to
the Map Fails to Impress
Voters as a Noteworthy

"I was elected because the whole Democratic ticket was elected. As I view it the improvement of the Missouri river issue had no effect apparently on my vote. It owuld seem from my majority that they can safely intrust legislation of that character to me." -- William P. Boreland

"The unusually large majorities given the entire Democratic ticket can be accepted as the cause for my defeat. It was a veritable landslide, and it naturally struck me with the rest of the candidates on the Republican ticket." -- E. C. Ellis

One of the surprises of the campaign was the election of W. P. Borland to congress from the Fifth Missouri district, Kansas City and Jackson county, over E. C. Ellis, Republican. The commendable and substantial services of Mr. Ellis in four different sessions of the house of representatives at Washington for the Missouri river improvements had made him a favorite with commercial, business and individual interests regardless of party affiliation. They considered him the best equipped to continue the work so auspiciously commenced. Besides, Mr. Ellis had the distinction of having defeated W. S. Cowherd and Judge William H. Wallace in previous campaigns, and either man was considered stronger with the voters than Mr. Borland.

Mr. Ellis made his campaign on his record of having restored the Missouri river to the map of federal consideration. He based his campaign on promises of secucring a large appropriation from the next congress to make the river navigable, and in view of his past successses along these lines it seemed to be the general opinion of business men that he should again be sent back to Washington. While Borland also said in his speeches that he was for the reclamation of the Missouri, still his treatment of the river in his speeches gives little hope of ultimate results. He maintained that river agitation was more a commercial question than political, and he broadened out on national issues and hammered into the ears of his listneres that if Bryan was to be the president he should have in congress men who are in sympathy with his views.

Mr. Borland was born in Leavenworth, Kas., "on the banks of the Missouri," as he used to tell his auditors. While still a small boy he came to Kansas City in 1880 and finished his education in the schools of this city. He graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan, and organized the Kansas City School of Law. He has never before held or aspired to political office, his only public services being in connection with the board of free-holders that revised the city charter.