June 17, 1909
Just one month ago today, Mrs. Frances Rodgers, 32 years old, matron of the George H. Nettleton home, married Earl Burgess, a distinguished looking stranger from St. Paul, whom she had known a month. Last night, Burgess slept in the holdover at police headquarters and will face Judge Kyle in the municipal court this morning on a charge of vagrancy. Mrs. Burgess, who claims that he deserted her a week ago in St. Joseph, after taking her savings, came to Kansas City, and in person saw that he was safely locked up.
"I'm going to prosecute him," she declared as she stamped her foot last night at the police station. "He has taken every cent of my money, and now I'm penniless."
Burgess, who is 46 years old, and who was wearing a light gray summer suit of clothes, looked extremely downcast when the jailer inspected his pockets. He colored slightly when several miniature photographs of young women were discovered.
"I met him in April," said the wife, "and he represented himself as a retired traveling man. He said that he had property in St. Paul, Oklahoma City and Omaha. In fact he was just traveling because he hated to be idle.
"I became interested at once, and accepted when he proposed marriage. I was then matron of the Nettleton home at a good salary. We went to St. Joseph, my former home, where my two children by my first marriage are in school. He then left me, but returned five days later.
"I forgave the first desertion, but when he again left me last Thursday I couldn't stand it any longer. He claimed that he had gone to St. Paul, but I traced him to Kansas City. I'm mighty glad to see that he is arrested, but I don't know what I'm going to do without money. I don't think he has a foot of property."
Detectives J. J. Raferty and M. J. Halvey arrested Burgess at a rooming house near Fourteenth and Broadway, where he was with a young woman. Mrs. Burgess waited for the detectives at Twelfth street and Broadway, and accompanied them to the station. Burgess implored her not to have him locked up, but his wife ignored his pleadings.