April 8, 1908
THE WINNING TICKET (Majorities).
Mayor -- Crittenden, D ..........................1,320
Police Judge -- Kyle, R ...........................2,213
Treasurer -- Baehr, R ............................1,220
Auditor -- Greene, D ..............................2,478
Attorney -- Langsdale, D .......................1,708
Upper House President, Gregory, D .....1,344
Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., Democrat, was elected mayor of Kansas City yesterday over Mayor Henry M. Beardsley, Republican, by 1,320 majority, with one precinct of the Twelfth ward missing. Harry G. Kyle, Republican, was re-elected police judge over Michael E. Casey, Democrat, and William J. Baehr, Republican, was elected city treasurer over Thomas S. Ridge, Democrat. Kyle's majority was 2,213.
The upper house Democratic ticket, with Robert L. Gregory president, elected three of its candidates, making that branch of the council still Republican. The lower house is overwhelmingly Democratic.
It was a big Democratic victory, and for the first time in four years the Democrats will be back in the city hall for a term of two years one week from next Monday.
While in the city ten days ago Attorney General Hadley warned his Republican friends that the issues advanced were false, and he quietly passed the word that if they were persisted in it could mean nothing but defeat. The result proves that Hadley was right.
Overcast clouds and intermittent showers ushered in the day. Despite the unfavorable aspect of the weather, voters were up and astir long before the break of day, and at 6 o'clock, when the polls opened, the voting places of the 164 precincts in the fourteen wards were besieged by long and patient lines of men awaiting the time and opportunity to cast their ballots.
The voting was rapid, the record in some precincts being one to the minute. Merchant, banker, professional man vied with the laborer to get to the ballot boxes.
In a majority of the precincts over half the total registration had been voted by noon, and from that time to the close of the polls at 7 o'clock the voting was by jerks and starts. It was stated in some of the precincts as early as 6 o'clock that all the votes that could be depended upon to be cast had been delivered, and this seemed true, for the judges, clerks and workers sat around idle.
Assertions of fraud were made during the early hours, and some arrests resulted It was charged that men had tendered money for votes, and that voters had accepted money. The early arrests of these offenders put a stop to any more such work so far as was observable, although at several times during the day Alderman Pendergast openly charged that Republicans were paying $3 a piece for negro votes in the First ward. Watchers sent into the ward by the Civic League said they had seen no vote-buying.
Up to noon the Republican headquarters felt sure of victory and the Democrats felt uneasy The first alarm was felt at 1111 Grand when the Republican precinct workers telephoned in that the noon hour vote of business men was against the Republican ticket. The excuse offered was that retail merchants were in a revolt against an evening newspaper.
The Democrats had not counted on this vote at all. As soon as they saw they were getting it they sent their runners into the stores after the clerks. With oodles of money to pay for carriages and automobiles to hurry them to their home wards, the Democrats found the store proprietors willing to let the men off to vote. It was a fully fledged rebellion in the Republican party.
As early as 4 o'clock it was announced at Democratic headquarters that the Democratic ticket was in the ascendancy. News came that Walter Dickey, Republican state chairman, had joined Mayor Beardsley in the Ninth ward, and with it came the news that negroes were beginning to vote the Republican ticket there. Dickey was understood to have wagered, for friends, about $18,000. One negro said he had been offered $8 for his vote. High as this was, $8 apiece for votes to save heavy bets would not be out of the way. There was Democratic money seen in the ward immediately. Twenty-four negroes voted the Democratic ticket straight at Fifteenth and Tracy. This looked like commercialism, but the retort was that the Republicans were at the same game. Governor Folk was hurried to the ward to see Democratic tickets voted by negroes. He expressed surprise.
There were only three fights reported at either headquarters, and both headquarters said they had heard of very little challenging. This presaged clear tally sheets, an early count and all judges signing.
At 7 o'clock the mayor arrived at 1111 Grand, thinking he had squeezed through, but by 8 o'clock he admitted to a Journal man that "it looks blue." An hour later he conceded his defeat. This was while he sat in headquarters with a crowd taxing the capacity of the big hall.
Crittenden was sent for. He was not able to get to the Democratic headquarters until about 10 o'clock, just as Mayor Beardsley was leaving his own headquarters, a defeated man.
The rival city chairmen, the rival candidates for mayor, the commissioners and governor Folk all admitted that there had been a reasonably fair election, marked by the absence of repeating and ruffianism. The most sensational spectacle at night was of Republicans going in squads to the Democratic headquarters to share in the demonstrations of victory. Full importance was given at the Republican headquarters to the weight the defeat will have on the Republican chances this fall, unless there is a new alignment and new issues found... while the Democrats claimed to see ahead far enough to make James A. Reed United States senator. Reed arrived at his headquarters about 10 o'clock. He was called on for a speech and made one from his automobile. He congratulated the entire party upon its success as an organization as a whole, but credited the enormous majority, by comparison, to the opposition of an evening newspaper. When afterwards Mr. Reed went past Eleventh and Grand on his triumphal tour, his car was halted and once more he was compelled to make a speech. He repeated what he had said at Democratic headquarters. From there he went to The Journal office, arriving just as two Democratic bands and processions met, one from Democratic headquarters, traveling from the west, and another form the Sixth ward, headed by the Italian band, coming from the east. The meeting was unexpected and most dramatic. From The Journal the crowd went back to Democratic headquarters and at midnight it was roving about the city.
Labels: Eleventh street, Fifteenth street, gambling, Governor Folk, Grand avenue, Herbert Hadley, James A. Reed, James Pendergast, Judge Kyle, Kansas City council, Mayor Beardsley, music, politics, Robert Lee Gregory, The Journal, Tracy avenue