July 9, 1908
Jack Gallagher, Democratic politician, former policeman and saloonist, assaulted Albert H. King, a reporter for The Journal, while the two were in friendly conversation in the street in front of police headquarters late yesterday afternoon. Frank Frost a reporter for the Kansas City Star, who Gallagher says was scheduled for a like assault, escaped the brute strength of the big saloonkeeper by rushing into the police station to call out officers to ave King.
Gallagher was arrested, but immediately began a legal battle to gain his freedom. Milton J. Oldham, a lawyer hurried to the holdover from the police board rooms but his efforts to get the prisoner released were fruitless. Mr. King was taken to the emergency hospital, where the surgeons in attendance declined to examine him until the shock he had sustained had worn off. His injuries were later discovered to be serious, and John W. Hogan, an assistant prosecuting attorney, was called to take the injured man's statement. The assistant prosecutor at once placed a bar against the release of Gallagher by stating that he would prepare a serious charge against him, to be served immediately if political friends of the saloonist politician should succeed in getting the police department to accept a bond.
Mr. King, who is a reporter for The Journal assigned to police duty, is still at the emergency hospital. He is not an able-bodied man because of injuries received in the Spanish-American war, and the attending physicians fear his injuries may prove permanent.
Yesterday afternoon, Mr. King attended a meeting of the board of police commissioners The board had before it charges against Gallagher for selling liquor on Sunday at 8 East Fourth street, directly across the street from the entrance to Central police station, and operating a crap game at his other saloon, 310 Independence avenue. The charges regarding the last named place were postponed until the next meeting, but the board closed the Fourth street place. Milton J. Oldham, attorney for Gallagher, stated last night that the board promised him they would give Gallagher a chance and let his Independence avenue saloon run, but that the Sunday selling at 8 East Fourth street has been so flagrant a violation of the board's orders that the license would have to be forfeited.
Gallagher and Mr. King have been acquaintances for some time, and, immediately after the court meeting Gallagher invited Mr. King to go across the street and take a drink before the police closed his place. Mr. King declined, stating that he was too busy at that time. On the stairs a few minutes later Gallagher again extended the invitation and again Mr. King, who was busy about his day's work, declined.
In the press room on the main floor of the city hall Mr. King and Frank Frost, a reporter for the Kansas City Star, were discussing various orders made by the police board a few minutes later when Gallagher opened the door and with a smile, asked the two across to his place.
"I guess we had better go," said Frost.
"Cheer up," said Gallagher to Mr. King, and the latter reached for his cane and the three went into the street.
Gallagher's place, the one soon to be closed by the board's order, made earlier in the afternoon, is immediately across Fourth street from the main entrance to the Central police station. It was there that Gallagher, growing reckless in his prosperity as a saloonkeeper, had openly sold liquor on Sundays until the place was raided by the police from the Walnut street station a week ago last Sunday. It was the evidence secured in this raid which the police board considered sufficient for revoking the license.
As Mr. King, who, on account of former injuries, must carry a cane to steady himself, stepped from the curb into the street, Gallagher fell back a step between Mr. King and Mr. Frost. Just as they reached the center of the narrow street Gallagher took a hurried step forward and struck Mr. King in the forehead. The reporter fell to the pavement.
Mr. Frost immediately hurried back into the police station door and called to the assembled officers and men:
"Jack Gallagher is killing King."
Knowing Gallagher as a "bad" man, every police officer in the station was alert in an instant. Patrolman John J. Crane hurriedly took a pistol from the desk and Captain Walter Whitsett and Detective Inspector Charles Ryan, both shut off from the main lobby of the station, hurried to the door. Patrolman Joseph Welsh followed.
In the meantime in the street Mr. King was at the mercy of the brutal saloonkeeper. Gallagher struck him again as he tried to get up , and then kicked him in the back. Mr. King rolled over, and the big saloonkeeper brought his heel down on the right side of the reporter's face, cutting a jagged wound across the face. As he kicked Mr. King in the ribs Patrolman Patrick Boyle grappled with him. He had reached the street ahead of Captian Whitsett, Inspector Ryan and Patrolman Crane, the latter being the only armed man in the crowd.
Gallagher did not resist arrest, as the police had expected, and was led into the station door, but a few feet away, by Boyle, while Captain Whitsett, Inspector Ryan and newspaper reporters who had hurried from the press room at the head of the stairs, picked up the inured man Gallagher, was locked up, charged with investigation, and Mr.King was carried around the corner of the building to the emergency hospital.
Upstairs in the police board rooms Commissioners A. E. Gallagher and Elliot H. Jones were just leaving their chairs. They heard the commotion in the central station below and went down to investigate. When they learned the circumstances of the assault, both commissioners became agitated. Commissioner Galagher went to the commanding officer's desk and admonished those in charge to hold Jack Gallagher, the saloonkeeper, unless a heavy bond was furnished.
"I don't think he ought to be released uner any circumstances," said Commissioner Jones.
The assault was considered unusually brutal by police officers and other witnesses, and the story soon reached the office of R. L. Gregory, acting mayor, Gus Pearson, city comptroller, and John Murray, formerly a newspaper reporter, saw the assault from the corner of Fourth and Main sterets as they were boarding a street car. They went at once to the emergency hospital and soon were joined by Mr. Gregory.
The acting mayor asked Mr. King about the assault and then went at once to police headquarters, where he gave orders that Gallagher be held without bond. Mr. Gregory was closeted with Captain Walter Whitsett for several minutes and, when he emerged from the captain's office, assured those outside that the prisoner would be held for the customary twenty-four hours, when a charge must be placed against him. Assistant Prosecutor Hogan had taken Mr. Kin's statement by that time, and stated that if Gallagher's attorney saw fit to sue out a writ of habeas corpus he would have the prisoner held for the prosecutor. Mr. Hogan said he would call the assault to the attention of the grand jury this morning.
Immediately after Attorney Oldham appeared, Jack Spillane and Patrick Larkin, the latter a Sixth ward politician, were called tot he station to furnish bond.
When told that no bond would be accepted Oldham demanded that a charge be placed against Gallagher. He boasted that he would clear the saloonkeeper of any charge which would be brought Spillane, a sidewalk inspector for the city, was very angry when he found he not furnish a bond big enough to get his slugger friend out of the holdover. Thoroughly baffled, the trio later telephoned for a dinner to be served the prisoner and left the station.
Mr. Oldham and Gallagher told him that he had intended to assault Frank Frost, the Kansas City STar reporter, who went into the street with him and Mr. King, but failed because the police got action too quickly for him.
"He told me," said Mr. Oldham, "that King had double-crossed him and was responsible for his Fourth street pace being raided."
Mr. King, who knew of the flagrant violation of the Sunday law by Gallagher, did not have anything to do with the raid. He had not written a line about the place for the paper which employs him and had told Tom Gallagher as much when the latter, a week ago, asked him why he was "sore at his brother Jack.
"Jack is my friend," was the reply Mr. King made to Tom Gallagher.
Previous to his career as a newspaper reporter Albert King had been an invalid for many months. He had received injuries in the Philippine islands while in the army and had wlaked on crutches a long time after being mustered out of the service. Mr. King was enlisted in the army here as a private in the Thirty-second United States infantry in July, 1899. He sailed for the Philippines in September the same year. In the islands he became regimental sergeant major.
On the night of August 5, 1900, while the building where he was quartered was under fire, he fell down a flight of stone steps while attempting, in pajamas and cartridge belt, to get to the first floor to consult with his superior officer. He was an invalid in a Manila hospital and later at the Presidio, San Francisco. December 28, 1900, he was mustered out of service and sent to his home, 3031 Wabash avenue, Kansas City.
Mr. Kings injuries from the assault include an injured spine and a severe shock to his legs, which were so long paralyzed. The right side of his face is cut and bruised and the attending physician, Dr. J. Park Neal, feared last night that blood poisoning might result from the jagged wound in his face. His ribs on both sides are injured, but the physician had not discovered if any were fractured because the injured man was in too great pain to permit a thorough examination.
In regard to the standing of Jack Gallagher as a saloonkeeper, Commissiner Elliott H. Jones last night said:
"It was reported to the police commissioners taht Gallagher's place on East Fourth street was open on Sunday and after closing h ours. For this reason the board refused to grant him a renewal of his license to operate that saloon."
Mr. Jones was asked if he thought Gallagher a fit man to run a saloon or if he deemed him worthy of the privelge after having made such a brutal attack upon a man as he had done upon Albert King. Mr. Jones said he could not answer that question without going into the case to greater extent than he had already done.
Commissioner Jones was then asked: "If any manmakes an attack on another while walking on the street while the victim is under the impression that there is no feeling of hostility between them; if the attack be sudden and unexpected and very brutal in its nature, should such a man be granted the privelege of owning and operating a saloon?"
The commissioner refused to answer the question.
Labels: alcohol, Captain Whitsett, Commissioner Gallagher, Commissioner Jones, Dr J Park Neal, Fourth street, Jack Gallagher, newspapers, police board, politics, Robert Lee Gregory, saloon, Spanish-American War, The Journal, veterans, violence, Wabash avenue