July 17, 1908
Before a lunacy commission consisting of four physicians Jack Gallagher, notorious circumventor of justice, was yesterday adjudged sane. It took the commission only an hour and a half to hear all of the testimony and to make its physical and mental examinations; then they went into executive session and within five minutes had returned its verdict, which reads:
"We submitted Jack Gallagher to a personal, mental and physical examination, and heard the testimony of witnesses, and from the evidence of such mental and physical testimony and examinations offered, we find that Jack Gallagher is sane, and responsible for his actions."
After the commission, consisting of Dr. J. O. Hanawalt, Dr. St. Elmo Saunders, Dr. O. L. McKillip and Dr. J. S. Snider, had been informed of its duties and the result its decision would have upon the cases which were then being held in suspension by the police court, it called Jack Gallagher as the first witness.
Gallagher walked into the room accompanied by an officer. The slugger' demeanor was somewhat tame compared with his previous actions. As Dr. Hanawalt began to question the prisoner he dropped his eyes and nervously moved his hands and feet. The preliminary questions relative to age and residence were all answered in a quiet manner.
"In what business were you engaged as a boy," was the first question.
"I did not go to school further than the fourth grade. Then I worked like any other kid."
"When did you first enter the saloon business?"
"Three years ago, in Kansas City."
"What is your general condition of your health?"
"Did you ever have any serious illness?"
"No, just kid's diseases. Dr. Snider always treated me."
"Do you ever have any trouble articulating?"
Gallagher did not understand the word, and after it was repeated to him three times he replied:
"I didn't get past the fourth grade in school and I don't know what that big word means."
When its meaning was explained he answered in the negative.
"How tall are you and what do you weigh?"
"I am 6 feet one inch and a fraction and weigh about 170 pounds."
"Did you ever weigh more than that?"
"Yes, several years ago I weighed 190 pounds
"What caused you to lose weight?"
"Worry over my business, and I have had to do a lot of that."
Then followed the physical and mental tests given by the physicians. During the physical examination Gallagher called attention to a small bruise on his left ankle, which he charges was made by a blow from Albert King's cane. Gallagher told the physicians that he had never been troubled with his eyes, having passed an examination for the United States army and also for the police department.
"Is your memory good?" questioned Dr. St. Elmo Saunders.
"Yes," and after some hesitancy he added, "There have been times when I have overlooked my mail for a day or two, but they were mostly bills."
"Do you remember all of the events which happened yesterday?"
"If you mean the events which led up to me being arrested and my appearance in the police court, yes."
"Tell me the facts which led up to your going to Mr. King's rooms."
"I don't care to answer that question."
"But you remember them well?"
J. F. Richardson, representing Mr. King, then questioned the witness.
"Do you drink intoxicating liquor?"
"Do you ever get drunk?"
"Yes. I have drank whisky ever since I was 20 years old."
"Did you take any whisky on the night before you went to Mr. King's rooms; and if so, how much had you drunk?"
"I drink every day from sixty to seventy-five glasses of whisky; Tuesdays as well as any other day. I was under the influence of whisky when I was arrested."
"Were you responsible for your actions in King's room?"
"I think I was, but I won't answer any more questions like that."
Colonel J. C. Greenman, Humane officer, said that they must have witnesses to help them in their decision as to whether or not Gallagher was insane. Then Dr. Saunders questioned Dr. Snider relative to the medical attention which he had given Gallagher. Dr. Snider replied that Gallagher had never been seriously ill, and that in his opinion he is sane and always had been.
"You have never seen him act insane before?"
"No, never. When he is drunk, as he frequently is, he is always able to take care of himself."
"Is he a good business man?"
"From what I know of him I would say yest."
Tom Gallagher, brother of the prisoner, was called to the stand.
"Would you believe from your brother's conversation Tuesday night that he was drunk?"
"Yes, I think he was, but he knew what he was doing."
"Do you think your brother is sane or insane?"
These questions satisfying both parties to the investigation, Tom Gallagher was dismissed and Miss Mayme Lefler, Mr. King's nurse, who was with him at the time Gallagher attempted to assault him Wednesday morning, was called to the stand.
Miss Lefler went over the story of the assault in a very concise manner, stating at the close that she believed Gallagher to be sane. Miss Lefler, in getting her training as a nurse, had to spend a certain part of her time in the insane ward at the general hospital, and from her knowledge of insanity she pronounced Gallagher as being sane, but a man of violent temper. She stated that Gallagher seemed to have been drinking before he entered Mr. King's room Wednesday morning.
Mrs. Etta Condon, proprietor of the hotel at which Mr King is staying, was called to the stand and told the same story as did Miss Lefler. "Do you think he was insane?" she was asked.
"No, not a bit of it."
"Would you know an insane person if you saw one?"
"I think I would, but Gallagher seemed to be more drunk than anything else. And he has a violent temper."
J. J. Spillane, a street inspector and a particular friend of Gallagher's had been present throughout the hearing and at Tom Gallagher's request he was called to the witness stand.
Spillane told of his acquaintance with Gallagher, which dated back twenty years. He said that he did not believe that Gallagher was insane, or that he ever was insane.
"Is he quarrelsome when under the influence of liquor?"
"Not any more than any other man is; he would always stick up for himself."
Captain Frank Snow of police headquarters was called to testify. He had known Gallagher for ten or fifteen years. During that time, according to the testimony, Gallagher's conduct had been of a very erratic nature. He had engaged in several controversies at various times.
"Do you think that Jack is insane?"
"No, indeed. Jack would not have any trouble if he would let the booze alone. Every man, or almost every man, who has owned a saloon on East Fourth street, has gone crazy, and Jack will go the same way if he keeps up his present pace."
"So you think drink was responsible for all his trouble?"
"Yes, I do."
W. K. Latcham, the arresting officer for the second offense committed by Gallagher Wednesday morning against Albert King; Gus Metzinger, patrolman in charge of No. 4 police station, and who released Gallagher on $11 bond, and Dr. E. L. Gist all testified that it was their belief that Gallagher was sane. The testimony was becoming long drawn out and immaterial. The case for insanity was lost within the first five minutes of examination and the commission decided to put an end to the needless investigation.
After taking the testimony of John McCarthy, one of Gallagher's bartenders, the investigation adjourned and the commissioners met in secret session. They remained in session long enough to cast one vote and dictate their decision to the stenographer.
Gallagher was sent to the workhouse in the daily crowd which is sent from the police court. His fine is $1,000 or one year in the workhouse. If he does not pay his fine he must remain for one year unless pardoned by the mayor.
The lunacy commission proceeding was instigated by Chief of Police Daniel Ahern, who conferred with Judge Theodore Remley of the police court and Colonel J. C. Greenman of the Humane office. It was the opinion of the three that Gallagher was too dangerous a man to walk the streets of Kansas City. It was the fear that he would be able to pay his fine and get out of the workhouse a free man, that led Chief Ahern to take such steps in having the lunacy commission appointed, he says.
"It means," said the chief, "that Gallagher goes to the workhouse His time limit for appeal is over and he will have to serve out his time or pay his fine. He is a dangerous man and should be kept in custody. I believe the fellow is insane."
It was suggested to acting Police Judge Remley by Cliff Langsdale, city attorney, that the time for appeal bond in Gallagher's case had elapsed. Judge Remley said that he would not countenance an appeal bond at any rate. He said that it would be necessary for Gallagher to go to courts above his jurisdiction before he could keep himself from the workhouse any longer.