December 11, 1908
J. C. CREIGHTON,
Keeper of the Poor Man's Mission, Being Held by the Police Because the Fanatics Were in the Mission Just Previous to the Attack On the Police.
To The Journal.
The arrest of J. C. Creighton and wife in connection with Tuesday's tragedy strikes me as being a grave injustice toward innocent and very worthy people. I have known Mr. Creighton for the past ten years and during that time he has sustained the reputation of being an honest, hard-working man. As a street exhorter he is well known, and thousands have been entertained by his Irish wit, and doubtless other thousands by his more serious words have been inspired to hope for a better way of living and dying.
About six months ago Creighton married his present wife and soon thereafter they opened the "Poor Man's Mission." Their object being to both preach the Gospel and shelter the homeless who had nothing to pay for a bed. A sign reading, "Poor Man's Mission. Come in and stay all night, if you are down and out," was hung out.
They came. Frequently of a cold night more than 100 poor unfortunates remained after meeting, grateful for the privilege of sleeping on the floor or canvas seats. Some sick ones were furnished a quilt or blanket, and further allowed to eat at the Creighton table. Others were aided in getting work. In fact the writer never witnessed more generous and disinterested Christian charity, all things considered, than he has seen in this mission. Nor has he ever contributed his mite to the support of any institution where he felt better satisfied of getting value received.
It is true that different members of the Sharp band were at these meetings on two or three evenings and made short, informal talks, as anyone might, the opportunity being offered to all. But that Creighton or his wife had any part in their delusions is absolute nonsense.
They had no conception of the anarchistic tendencies of these poor misguided fanatics, who are to be pitied form the very bottom of the heart.
Nor were the mission talks or the Sharp band of a positively rabid or incendiary character. I heard Sharp talk in the hall Monday evening, just before the tragedy, and was convinced of his insanity, yet I had not the slightest idea he was a dangerous man. His speech was rambling, incoherent and uninteresting. One of the women (Mrs. Pratt, I believe) I heard at another time, and what I have said of Sharp's talk applies to hers as well, except that I considered her sane.
Hoping you will give this article space in the interest of truth and justice. I will close.
FRANK P. COLLINS.
312 West Sixth street.