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January 13, 1909


Pleasure Craft Smashed and
Swept Away by the
Grinding Cakes.

Great havoc among the shipping in the Blue river was wrought by a sudden break-up of ice on that stream yesterday afternoon. Several costly houseboats and launches were crushed, or their moorings snapped and carried away down the river. In all the damage amounts to several thousand dollars.

At the Kansas City Boat Club's moorings, Fifteenth street and Blue river, Harvey H. Espenship's thousand-dollar houseboat, fully furnished, was swept from its berth by the ice and carried down the river. Marion Bolinger, a boatman at Independence avenue and the Blue, saw it being carried by. It was crushed, and floating on his side. The boat contained several hundred dollars' worth of furniture, including a piano.


Mr. Espenship lost two launches, also the Iona I and the Iona II. These boats were valued at $600. both were carried down the Missouri river, one of them smashed in a jam of ice as it passed Independence avenue.

Bert Claflin of Centropolis lost a houseboat and a launch. More than twenty small boats were swept away or crushed in the ice at Fifteenth street.

Charles Demaree's houseboat and launch broke their cables. The houseboat was secured, but the launch was lost.

A lighter belonging to Harry Harris, son of Postmaster J. H. Harris, was crushed. Mr. Harris intended to build a house on the lighter next spring. A houseboat, the owner of which is not known, was crushed as it passed Independence avenue. The riven timbers were scattered among the ice cakes along the shore.


The rise in the river during the afternoon was more than seven feet. At 8:30 o'clock last night the river left its banks at Fifteenth street. Boat owners, alarmed by the residents along the river, hastened to the moorings and secured their craft with chains. the landing stage at the boathouse, Fifteenth street and the Blue, was carried away.

The ice was breaking slowly, or a great deal more damage would have resulted. The ice cakes, being thick and heavy, crushed the small craft as they ground against them. The Kansas City Canoe Club lost many small boats.

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October 8, 1909



Explorer Begins Busy Day With
Coffee and Bananas -- Good Water
and Shave Greatest Pleasures
of Civilization.

"Doctor Cook?"

The short but compactly set-up man who was first to stand at the apex of the world, looked up from an improvised desk in a Hotel Baltimore room yesterday afternoon. He was deep in a consultation with his business manager over lecture dates.

"Yes, sir," responded the explorer quickly, his stock smile settling steadily over his face.

"My name is Terry," said the caller, with more assurance, as he reached for the famous doctor's hand. "C. A. Terry -- guess you don't remember me just this minute. It has been thirty two years since I saw you back in old York state.

"I'm a cousin of yours, and if you remember the last time I saw you, you will recall vividly that time your mother spanked both of us for some devilment we got into while playing in the back yard."

"Sure, I remember you," said the doctor readily. "What town was that in, anyway?"


But before Mr. Terry could reply, Dr. Cook had taken him by the arm and together they walked into an adjoining room to talk over that boyhood incident.

"Tell those Oklahoma City people," called the doctor to his manager, decisively disposing of a business matter quickly, "that Tuesday night is the only date open in that time they mention."

Mr. Terry, who gives Kansas City the distinction of having among its residents a relative of the famous explorer, was formerly manager of the Hotel Benton at Excelsior Springs, Mo., but has more recently been in charge of the Centropolis hotel here.

"After you got back to civilization doctor, what pleased you the most?" was asked of Cook.

Again that calm smile, as he replied:

"Well, outside of getting a real good drink of water, I think that the thing which pleased me most was a chance to sit in a barber's chair and get a good shave. A beard may be all right when you can take a few minutes, walk any time you want to and get to a barber shop to have it cut off. But it is mighty annoying to possess a beard when you know it won't come off."


"When you think of the North, of what do you think first? That is, what feature of that region or its elements first comes to your mind?" was asked.

A process of continuous questioning was necessary. The procession of answers came as far apart as the clicks of a slowly told rosary.

"The cracking of ice," was his answer, almost laconic. It took another question to get more.

"But the cracking and booming of ice seems to be about the least important thing among your adventures and in your work in the North?" was half queried to draw out something more.

"Yes," he said, "it is about the least important, but nevertheless I always think of the cannonading of the big ice hills first when I think of that endless field of ice."

He was smiling steadily during his answer.


Dr. Cook does not swear. He does not use liquor or tobacco in any form. seeking to get a little more of human interest, his questioner asked:

"Have you any pet name for your wife?"

"I refuse to answer that question," he replied, smiling broadly and more generously than before.

"What are your religious views?" was asked.

"That is none of your business," he retorted, but without any show of offense, and still the same old smile.

"Why did you go for the North Pole instead of the South Pole?" was the next question.

"The idea in polar research," he answered, "has generally been to get to the 90th degree of latitude, either north or south, but since weather conditions were generally better in the north, men usually sought to find that pole."

Questions in regard to Peary did not elicit much response. Dr. Cook said he did not care whether Peary had been to the Pole or not.

"Scientists cannot be fooled by polar observations," he said. "When the figures are all published there will be little discussion."


Referring again to the disputatious critics, he declared that he had climbed Mount McKinley in Alaska, and the fact was never disputed until the polar controversy came up.

Dr. Cook is 44 years old -- a German. His name was originally Koch, but he Americanized it for the sake of the easier pronunciation. The meaning is identical. He wears a stubby brown mustache, is compactly set up, very quiet, modest and reserved. He weighs 155 pounds, two pounds less than when he landed in Copenhagen early in September. The doctor is very genial and upbeat, but it is hard to get past the reserve which he has set up about himself to keep out of further pole quarreling.

He likes coffee and bananas for his breakfast and makes that short and odd ration a popular choice. His luncheons are heavy, but he partakes of very little food before a lecture. After talking he eats plentifully and of anything he cares for. Before his lecture he had two eggs and a cup of coffee.

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May 14, 1909


Unidentified Man Commits Suicide
Near Centropolis.

The body of an unidentified man was found in a lot between Drury and Hardesty avenues on Fifteenth street yesterday morning by Mrs. Della Morris, who lives in the vicinity. Harry Czarlinsky, deputy coroner, said death was due to carbolic acid poising.

The name Henry Patterson was found on a piece of paper in the man's pocket. The underclothing bore the letters J. E. C. and the initials J. C. were upon a signet ring which he wore. H e was about 50 years old, five feet five inches in height, weighed 140 pounds and wore a dark suit, patent leather shoes and a soft hat. His eyes were gray and his hair brown.


Morgan Jones, a farmer who lives near Dallas, Mo., killed himself with a shotgun early yesterday morning. He had been ill for a number of years and it is thought by his friends that it caused despondency. He was 30 years old and unmarried. He had been formerly employed as a bookkeeper in Kansas City.


In a saloon at 1025 East Nineteenth street F. D. Miskelly of Excelsior Springs attempted to kill himself by drinking chloroform. He was taken to the general hospital. He is in precarious condition.

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May 4, 1909


But Broken Ankles Prevented John-
son Reaching His Mangy Pup.

The attention of many people who passed the new St. Mary's hospital at Twenty-eighth and Main streets yesterday was attracted to a small, mangy looking pup of the all-wool variety, who sat near the areaway leading into the boiler room. Occasionally the pup looked skyward and howled dismally. Sisters from the hospital were seen tempting the little watcher with pans of milk and other delectables, but he steadfastly refused to desert his post, and last night laid down with an eye on the areaway.

While looking for a place to sleep Saturday night, Gabriel Johnson, the owner of the faithful pup, fell down the areaway and broke both ankles. He was found Sunday and taken to the general hospital where the broken bones were set, but the dog did not see his master leave St. Mary's hospital as he was not taken through the areaway.

Johnson says he works for John Wolf, a quarryman of Centropolis. His condition was improved yesterday.

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March 20, 1909


But Court Had No Jurisdiction Over
Baby's Clothes.
"Well, he may take his child if the court so orders, but he cannot have the clothes I bought for it." Saying this, Mary Boyd of Centropolis yesterday in the circuit court at Independence, undressed the little son of Taylor A. White before an astonished judge and jurors and, leaving the nude babe on the bar of justice, left the court room.

White, after the death of his wife a few months ago, placed his infant son in charge of Mrs. Boyd. A few days ago White married again and wanted his child. Mrs. Boyd refused to give up her charge, alleging that White had not paid for its care. White brought suit for possession of the child and received a favorable verdict.

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September 28, 1908


Mrs. Margaret James, About to Teach
Class, Suddenly Summoned.

Mrs. Margaret James, 34 years old, dropped dead in the Sunday school room of the Centropolis Baptist church yesterday morning at 10:30 o'clock. She started down the steps leading to the Sunday school room alone, to join her class of children whom she has been teaching for the past year. Her 11-year-old son, Marion, followed and noticed his mother sitting on one of the steps. He spoke to her. she did not respond. He told men who were standing near that his mother seemed to be ill. The descended and found her dead. Death was due to heart trouble.

Mrs. James was the wife of Guy James, and lived at 1835 Cambridge avenue. She was born near Lee's Summit and had always lived in Jackson county. She leaves five children, Marion, Jeannette, Jay, Elton and Robert. The funeral will be from the church where she died tomorrow at 2 o'clock. Burial in Elmwood cemetery.

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March 7, 1908





Shops of the Men Are Adjoining, and
They Have Quarreled Frequently
-- Sovern Shoots Without

Charles Sovern, a second-hand dealer at 4313-15 East Fifteenth street, shot Frank W. Landis, a neighboring second-hand, 4317 East Fifteenth street, shortly after 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Sovern was arrested by Patrolman H. L. Goode and locked up at No. 6 police station for investigation. Landis's wife refused to let him be taken away in a police ambulance, so he was left at his home over his store in care of Dr. W. L. Campbell, who dressed his wounds.

Landis was shot twice, both times in the back. One bullet entered the neck just at the base of the skull, and one penetrated the back below the left shoulder blade. Dr. Campbell said last night that his only danger was in blood poisoning.

F. W. Frick, an assistant prosecutor, went to No. 6 police station and took Sovern's statement. Sovern said that he and Landis, being neighbors and in the same business, had been spatting back and forth a long time. When he returned from town late yesterday afternoon Sovern said he saw Landis standing in his east door, 4315 East Fifteenth, talking to another man.

"I told him to get off my premises," said Sovern. "He made some reply and made a bluff for a gun. Then I heard a shot, but don't know where it went. I entered my store by the west door, 4313. My gun was on my desk on the west side of the room . I don't know how I got to it, but I shot him three times. I believed I was defending myself."

Patrolman H. L. Goode was standing only one block away when the shooting took place. He said that Landis was lying wounded in his own doorway, 4317, when he arrived in less than a half minute. He had been shot in the back and was bleeding freely, Goode said.

"Just as I came up," said the officer, "a man whom I took to be Sovern left the Landis store and entered Sovern's place. There he came out and went across the street, where he spoke to some one."

These men were witnesses to the shooting: G. W. Ellis of Centropolis; J. M. Parrish, 5705 East Twelfth street; E. L. Adams, 1235 Lawndale; and Fred Link, 4304 East Fifteenth street.

When seen at his home last night Landis made the following statement:

"There has never been any bad blood between Sovern and me, for I have left him more or less alone. True, there have been several altercations between us, but they were merely of a business nature. I have no idea why he tried to kill me, as we have never quarreled to such an extent as to bring about a fight. At most there has been only an exchange of uncomplimentary names between us. His attack upon me was entirely unexpected. I have never had any intimation that Sovern meant to fight with me."

Landis was in a cheery mood last night and did not seem to be in much pain. He talked and laughed over the shooting affair with visitors in his room.

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February 7, 1908


Then DeLapp Sued the Centropolis
and Got a Verdict of $500.

Clyde DeLapp was awarded $500 damages against John H. Van Closter, proprietor of the Centropolis hotel, by a circuit court jury yesterday. De Lapp claimed he left a package, valued at $500, with B. Williams, clerk of the hotel, for safe keeping last June. When he called for the package it could not be found.

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November 15, 1907


Probable Cause of the Suicide of
Leo Mainhardt.

"I believe I am going blind. I can't see to read the paper at night at all."

Before Leo Mainhardt, the cigar dealer, left his store at 601 Delaware street Tuesday night that was a remark he made to one of his clerks. It is the belief of his business associates that he may have wandered about the streets until 12:00 when he went to the Centropolis hotel, engaged a room, then committed suicide.

Mr. Mainhardt's eyesight was rapidly failing and he was constantly worrying about his inability to see.

Constant worry over his ailment," Mrs. Mainhardt said this morning, "is the only cause to which I can attribute his act. He has never said anything that would indicate that he intended to commit suicide, however."

The funeral will be held this afternoon at the house, 1322 Euclid avenue.

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October 12, 1907


Centropolis Station Agent Hasn't
Heard From Any Baltic Girls.

"One thousand of them! Just think, ten hundred beautiful young women to choose a wife from!"

W. R. Childers, station agent at Centropolis, who recently wrote to a friend in New York to have the best appearing and most amiable of the 1,000 marriageable young women who arrived from Ireland on the steamship Baltic picked out for him, made this exclamation yesterday. Childers says his friend, although a bachelor, is a connoisseur of feminine charms, and he has no fears of the result.

But in spite of his enthusiasm, Childers does not try to conceal that the fact he has not yet heard from his friend in regard to his bride-to-be looks a bit ominous. But surely, he says, there must have been at least one pretty, amiable, and also manageable, you Irish lassie among a cargo of 1,000.

Another cargo of Irish girls of about the same number is expected to land in New York within a day or so, and Childers believes that as soon as his friend has seen the young women from the "ould sod" in the coming ship, and has compared them with those who landed, he will be ready to communicate some interesting news. Choice of 2,004 Irish lassies would be even better, if possible, than choice of 1,002.

Every mail is carefully watched by Station Agent Childers for a letter from his New York friend John Alden, although he says that it really will not be time for a communication on the subject for a day or so at best. But in spite of this fact Childers carefully watches for every mail sack which is left at Centropolis, and obligingly helps the postmaster to sort out its contents. And every time he hears his call on the telegraph instrument in the station he jumps to answer even quicker than his duty demands, for it would be a relief to get a bit of news over the wire -- even if it were only the girl's name.

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March 20, 1907


Girl Travelers Have Found No Trace
of Their Baggage

Miss Maggie Mahan and a friend, who arrived in Kansas City Monday afternoon, went to police headquarters yesterday evening to lodge a complaint. When they arrived at 2 p. m. Monday, they gave checks for two trunks and one suit case to a boy, 19 years old, who was driving a roan horse. He was told to take the baggage to the Centropolis hotel, but up to last night had not found the right place.

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February 16, 1907




Milling Venture in Pittsburg, Kas., Did Not Prove Profitable, It Is Said--
Lived in Kansas City at 304 Maple Avenue With Family

Late yesterday afternoon, when a chambermaid could not get into a room on the third floor of the Centropolis hotel, she called the night clerk and the proprietor. The key was in the door on the inside and the door locked. With instruments the house electrician succeeded in pushing the key out and the door was opened with a pass key.

On the bed, face downward, lay the body of a man. He was dead and the odor in the room indicated that carbolic acid had been used. The register showed that he had registered late Thursday afternoon as "John R. McKim, South Omaha, Neb." On a dresser among a lot of paper and envelopes of the Cudahy Packing Company of South Omaha was found the following note:
To the authorities: Notify at once my brother-in-law, William Arthur
Miller, with Karnes, New & Krauthoff, Water Works building. Telegraph
my brother, James McKim, at Deloit, Crawford county, Ia., who will come and take
care of me and my affairs. Do not send word to my wife, who resides in
this city, but let Mr. Miller see to that. --Jno. R. McKim.

The hotel people said that McKim came in and went straight to his room. Dr. George B. Thompson, the coroner, was notified and sent the body to Freeman & Marshall's morgue.

On the washstand in the room was a glass which showed that it had contained carbolic acid. The mans face and lips were also badly burned and corroded with the drug. A two-ounce bottle of the acid, bought from George Eyssell, Union depot drug store, was nearly gone.

Letters to His Wife.

McKim must have poured out most all of the drug into the glass, drank it and then started for his bed. It acted so quickly that he fell on the bed. He had been dead probably twenty-four hours when found, the inference being that he killed himself early Thursday evening.

Letters were found addressed to Mrs. J. R. McKim and also to James McKim, Deloit, Ia. They were placed in large envelopes on which was printed "Cudahy Packing Co., South Omaha, Neb.," but that had been erased with a pencil. On the one addressed to "Mrs. J. R. McKim," with no town or street address, was written "Do not notify or send word to my wife. Send word to Arthur Miller of Karnes, New &Krauthoff." The letter was not stamped. The contents show that McKim, besides being in ill health, was carrying a burden of debt, which seems to have been sufficient to cause him to take his own life. It also shows that he went about the preparations coolly and deliberately. The letter follows:

Cudahy Packing Company -- South Omaha, Neb.; To My Darling Wife:
Do not allow the shock of the shock of my death, revolting as it may seem, to overcome you. It is the only way to prevent the worst catastrophe that must befall you and the dear family if I attempt to continue this fight against increasing ill health and impossible tasks before me. I am trying to do
the courageous thing of sacrificing my life, dear as it is to me, to save you from the greater disgrace and privation that must ensue when I can no longer bear up under it.

I have striven with all my power to pull out of debt that has fastened itself upon us, but today the situation is such that I know that I cannot work with the pressure that I must endure.
I have policies in the

Fraternal Aid...$3,000;
New York Life....$2,000 -- in $800;
Mutual Life of New York....$2,000 -- in $600;
Indiana State Life..5,000 -- in $500.

These will pay out your debts and leave you enough, with your judicious management, to take care of the family. I want Jim to administer my estate and he will come down to see that everything is taken care of.

Oh, my dear, and you deserve a better fate than this! but I cannot feel that it is disgrace when the circumstances that compel me to do this are considered. Those dear, loving children -- how I hoped to enjoy my late life with them and you. God knows best and I submit to His decree. I am aware of what I am doing and the great shock to you all is my greatest regret. Those who have been responsible for my downfall will be dealt with on God's own plan. Let this be a lesson to my dear boys to keep out of debt and I do pray that they will live to redeem in the eyes of the world this seeming disgrace of their devoted father. I cannot write much as my heart is too full -- may God bless you all and keep you as His own. My sweet daughters -- they are a crown of honor and will always be your solace.

I have nerved myself for this trial, knowing it must come unless some providence would avert it.

My honor is my life
Both grown in one,
Take honor from me
And my life is done.


O, merciful God, spare my dear wife and children. As much as may be the disgrace and penalty of this, my sacrifice, I pray you like a publican to be merciful to my soul in all that I have sinned and to keep them with Thy great kind heart from future disaster. Amen.

Dear wife, be comforted and take care of our flock -- it is past my physical and mental endurance to longer withstand the strain. Your most loving husband, JNO. R. McKim

In still another envelope, also addressed to his wife, with no street or city address, was this short note:

Cudahy's advance money and their mileage are in another envelope for them.
I have a $25 check which you can use. My debts abstract the larger
obligations and will not press you. Jim will take care of the matter when
he comes. J. R. McK.

A check for $25, made payable to John R. McKim or order, had been slipped under the edge of the tongue of the envelope of the first long letter to his wife, it probably being intended as a second thought for this one.

John R. McKim was 48 years of age and resided with his wife and four children at 304 Maple avenue. He was formerly a traveling man for the Cudahy Packing Company and later for the K. C. Baking Powder Company, of Chicago. He was well-to-do and owned his home, which is a pretentious brick and stone structure in the center of spacious grounds.

Some time ago he purchased a 200-barrel flour mill at Pittsburg, Kas., and it was stated last night by friends of the family that this venture had not been a success and that McKim had become almost a nervous wreck over the failure of the institution to pay.

Donald G. McKim, 19 years of age, a son of the dead man, is employed by Hucke & Sexton, in the contracting department, while another son, Bruce, aged 17, is conducting the mill at Pittsburg, Kas. He also leaves two daughters, Elizabeth, 15, and Genevieve, aged 8.

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