Why Towns Fail
Modern roads and transportation are great factors in the future of all communities, large and small, but in the wide open spaces such as most Nebraskans live, there is still great need for neighborhood trading centers and these centers will prosper as they meet the neighborhood’s demand for merchandise at right prices, render friendly service, offer good school and religious opportunities, and provide recreational and amusement activities for young and old. Towns that do not meet these legitimate demands are doomed to be pushed into the background to become ghost towns of tomorrow, inhabitated by those who dwell in memory land. Property values have vanished.
Towns fail when those in charge of the business places become storekeepers, rather than merchants. Merchandise is kept rather than sold. Kept because the manager doesn’s meet price competition, doesn’st inform the busy people of the things he has for sale, and isn’t alert to meet the public in a sincerely friendly and helpful manner. Refusal of business people to adopt modern merchandising methods in probably the greatest reason for any town’s decline.
Failure to properly maintain and support churches, schools, libraries, clubs and other community groups which are attractive to the people of the territory and which indicate alertness and pride in the community itself, in time brings certain defeat.
Towns fail when good commercial and publicly supported forms of recreation and amusement are not provided. People must play and will play—if not at home then where playing is possible. Recreation and amusement are modern demands and must be met. Park facilities with various types of athletic games are required, and business goes to the places which provides them.
Towns fail when public and private properties are allowed to get that "run down at the heels" appearance. People have no more interest in tramp towns than in tramps.
Towns fail when petty jealousies and bickering keep school boards, commercial clubs and all community clubs from co–operating for the welfare of all. Doom is around the corner when men who lack vision and perspective gain public office.
Towns fail when landlords and property owners feel that they are "not in business" and consequently refuse or are slow in contributing time, money or effort to community projects. "Penny wise and pound foolish," they jeopardize the future of their holdings.
Towns fail when the people in them don’t have the courage and the will to fight to make them the type of places that sensible, modern Americans like to live in. They fail because the people are failures. They fail because the residents live in the dreamland of "better" places instead of making their towns what they want them to be.—Exchange.