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January 28, 1910


Woman Believed Enemy Had
Schemed to Kill Her.

Much reading of the Swope mystery stories may have been the reason Mrs. Caroline Goble believed a scheme was on foot to poison her in her home, 1837 East Seventh street.

Mrs. Goble went to the office of Daniel Hawells, assistant city attorney, yesterday, carrying with her seven samples of powder she believed to be some deadly drug, found near her water cooler.

"I am just sure an enemy I know of is trying to kill me like they say Colonel Swope was killed," she declared.

The samples or exhibits were carefully preserved by the attorney and examined by Dr. Walter M. Cross, city chemist. Dr. Cross noticed a lump of "poison" larger than the rest with some paint on it. He tasted it and found lime.

When the anxious Mrs. Goble returned to the city attorney's office to learn the result of the test she was told that the powder was only plaster dust sifted from a small hole in the kalsomine on the ceiling.

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January 8, 1910


Cold Weather Is Responsible for Its
Unusual Hardness.

"Just natural conditions of the river," is the explanation given by the city chemist department for the hardness of the water from the Missouri. "It is lime that makes the water hard, the natural lime rock in the stream. Every time the weather gets cold the water becomes affected. The lime congeals with the water in greater proportions, and it is not as easily dissolved as in warmer weather. So long as the cold spell lasts so long with the water be hard."

Complaints of chapped hands and faces are general. People are blaming it to the hardness of the water.

"Every time I wash in Missouri river water my hands and face feel like nutmeg graters," complained a woman yesterday.

"Did it ever occur to that woman that probably she did not thoroughly dry her face and hands after washing, and that the chap is due to exposure to the cold and winds?" is the retort from the city chemist. "She should apply a lotion of glycerin and rose water after washing. It is a sure preventive for chapped hands and face."

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December 18, 1909



City Chemist Says Water Supply
Shows Improvement and That
Bacteria Are Not of
Dangerous Sort.

"Would you still advise consumers of Missouri river water, as it comes through the city mains, to boil it?" Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, was asked yesterday.

"It all depends upon whether the consumers want to take the germs raw or cooked," laughingly answered the doctor. "So far as I am concerned I take the water straight from the faucet. I do not experience any harm from it, but fastidious people and those whose health is none the best may prefer to have the water boiled. Just now the city is supplying a pretty fair brand of water. The discoloration and presence of sediment so apparent a week ago has almost entirely disappeared, and I believe for the rest of the winter there will be no more off-color water."


"How about the bacteria?"

"The centimeter count varies. Some days it is higher than others both at the receiving basins and at different points throughout the city. But people should take no unnecessary fright, for I do not imagine that there is very much to be feared from the character of bacteria we detect by the analysis."


The doctor added that he had but little hope that the water will be entire pure from bacteria and discoloration until the city gets the money to install filtering basins. This is an expense that will have to be provided through a bond issue. A car load of sulphate of iron has been received with which to coagulate the water, and separate it from the solids. The sulphate of iron will succeed alum and lime, and Dr. Cross looks for better results from its use.

Practical demonstration has proven that the burning of oil in the boilers at Turkey Creek station is more economical that coal as a fuel. The fire and water board is advertising for bids for the installation of oil burners and four additional boilers at this station.

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December 3, 1909



City Chemist Says River Water
Causes But Few Cases of
Typhoid Fever.

"Eighty per cent of typhoid fever cases are caused by the use of drinking water taken from springs, wells and cisterns over the city," said Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, yesterday.

"The best water is that taken from the Missouri river. When a cistern becomes cracked it furnishes an avenue for the seeping in of sewage and other poisons from the earth.

"Some years ago I made an inspection of wells, springs and cisterns about town. I found that 80 per cent of typhoid fever was among persons who drank water from these sources, especially cisterns that had cracks in them.

"I quickly found that my recommendation that most of these wells, springs and cisterns be abandoned and sealed was not in line with political sentiment. There was too much politics involved in the crusade, so I gave it up."

"Have you ever called the attention of the Crittenden administration to this matter?" the chemist was asked.

"No, I never have," he replied, "but I am going to. The wells and springs and cracked cisterns are a menace to the health of the city and I want to report t hat they produce more typhoid than does the Missouri river. water."


"Do you drink and use Missouri river water?"

"I drink it as it comes from the faucet. I am not afraid of it, nor should any other healthy person be. Possible it would be well enough for people with weak constitutions to boil it.

"There is no greater amount of typhoid fever in Kansas City now than at this time in previous years. And what there is I am not going to charge up to Missouri river water, so long as I am aware that the city abounds with contaminated springs, wells and cracked cisterns.

"The newspapers contain accounts of a plague of typhoid at Parkville, but it does not follow that because Parkville is located on the banks of the Missouri river and close to Kansas City that our citizens are likely to take the malady from drinking Missouri river water.

"Missouri river water is in pretty good condition now. The bacteria counts are about normal. I feel confident that when sulphate of iron is used to purify it instead of lime and alum there will be a lessening of the bacteria and the purification will be more complete. A carload of sulphate of iron is ow on the way to the city, and just as soon as it gets here we will try some of it on the water."

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March 9, 1909


City Chemist Will Investigate if Im-
pure Milk the Cause.

Impure milk is thought to have caused the death of Winona Montgomery, the 4-year-old daughter of A. H. Montgomery, a carpenter living at 312 West Thirteenth street. The child, one of a family of six little ones, got up Sunday morning and played around the ho use, apparently in excellent spirits. Her oldest sister, Myra, went to a dairy and bought a quart of milk to be used in preparing breakfast. The milk, the mother says, was taken from the dairy to the house in a three-quart pail recently washed with hot water.

Winona asked for a drink of milk, and her mother poured her a glassful. Mrs. Montgomery then proceeded to make gravy with the milk, and as soon as it was finished put some of it on a biscuit, which the little girl ate. A few seconds later Winona complained of violent pains in her stomach. Mrs. Montgomery attributed the child's illness to the milk, which was the only thing she had eaten that day, and did not allow any other person to drink any of it. Winona was put to bed, and died about 6 o'clock in the evening.

Dr. Emmanuel Manko, who was called, turned the milk that was left over to Dr. Walter Cross, city chemist, for chemical analysis. The body of the little girl will be taken to Memphis, Mo., for burial.

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February 20, 1909


First Chemical Test Shows Satisfac-
tory Results.

It takes three days for Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, to make a complete and satisfactory analysis of the city's supply of water from the Missouri river. At a meeting of the fire and water board Thursday the chemist was directed to submit a daily analysis of the water to the water department, and this morning he will furnish data of an analysis of the water taken from the river and settling basins three days ago.

"The analysis is very satisfactory," said Dr. Cross yesterday. "There are no typhoid germs visible, and the water is in very good shape for this time of the year. Owing to the many complaints made of the hardness of the water, which his due to the clarifying of it with alum, I may recommend the discontinuance of alum and the substitution of iron and lime. The later softens the water, and iron is splendid as a coagulant."

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March 29, 1908


Dr. Cross Says Al Such Sources of
Water Should Be Filled.

"They City's Drinking Water" was the subject of Dr. Walter M. Cross's talk before the City Club at its luncheon at the Sexton hotel yesterday at noon. "The danger is in springs and wells," Dr. Cross said. "Every well in the city that receives its water from the surface should be filled up. They are dangerous as breeders of typhoid germs. These springs and wells are responsible for most of the typhoid fever that exists in our city. Only two wells in the city have water that is absolutely safe and they are artesian. All others should be condemned."

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February 22, 1908


Cross Believes Profits in By-Products.

The Kansas City Livestock exchange is building an experimental crematory at the stock yards for the purpose of determining if, with a large one, disposal can be made of the pen accumulations with profit. The experiment is to be made along lines recommended by Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, who believes that the value of the by-products from the refuse, principally ammonia, will more than reimburse the company.

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January 29, 1908


City Chemist Has Been Making Tests
With Culture Plates.

Are the street cars a menace to public health, and do they carry germs that are producers of disease?

With a view of determining this point the city pure food department and City Chemist Cross have been making tests with culture plates. During the rush hours on the street cars, morning and night, these culture plates have been placed in the Brooklyn, Vine, Rockhill, Troost and Indiana cars. The plates are of glass, and floating germs adhere to their surface.

The exposures show the glasses to be completely covered with atoms of variuos descriptions, but whether these are impregnated with disease germs it will take from three to five days to develop. The plates exposed in the Vine street cars showed the greatest accumulations.

Dr. W. M Cross, the chemist, says that the air is filled with disease-carrying germs which settle on the clothing and shoes of passengers and in that way are carried into cars, and if cleanliness is not maintained that the germs enter the systems of passengers and cause fevers and illness of various degrees.

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January 28, 1908


Negroes Band Together to Battle
With the White Plague.

Six hundred negroes, eager to fight the white plague, met last night at Allen chapel, Tenth and Charlotte streets, and organized a colored people's branch of the Society for the Relief and Prevention of Tuberculosis. Mayor Beardsley and Dr. R. O. Cross addressed them, explaining in part the plans of the city for a tuberculosis sanitarium.

Among the negro speakers who followed, several declared that there will be vigorous work done now to educate their own people who are living in crowded tenements as to how to fight tuberculosis. Also it was said that the negroes will contrubute their part financially to the proposed $10,000 fund to be given to the city by way of destroying the idea that it is a city charity for paupers.

The negro society's officers are Dr. J. E. Dipple, president; W. C. Houston, secretary; Professor R. W. Foster, treasurer; Rev. F. Jesse Peck, chairman of the executive committee.

Others who spoke were: Dr. E. B. Ramsey, Dr. W. L Tompkins, Dr. A. E. Walker, Dr. J. E. Perry, Nelson, Crews, and Mrs. Cora Calloway, a trained nurse.

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December 21, 1907


Many Men Had Been Drugged and
Robbed in North End Saloon.

The police have had many complaints of men being drugged and robbed in a Greek saloon near Sixth and Bluff streets recently. It was in and near this place that thirteen men have been arrested within the last two days and sent to the workhouse on fines of from $10 to $100.

A signwriter named Sellinger, who testified against some of the men in police court, told the police that he saw a man drugged, robbed and thrown into a hack and hauled away. At another time the clerk of the Metropolitan hotel was taken into a rear room, slugged and robbed.

Yesterday afternoon detectives arrested Chris Baptista, a Mexican bartender in the saloon complained of. They went behind the bar and confiscated two suspicious bottles and a box containing a chrystalline substance.

"The bottles do not smell like whiskey," said Inspector Ryan, "and the box looks like it contains cocaine."

The two bottles and the box were delivered to Dr. Walter M. Cross, city chemist, for analysis. Baptista is being held for investigation.

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October 11, 1907


Tuberculosis Society Officers Approve
City's Site for Building.

Dr. R. O. Cross, president and C. B. Irving, secretary of the Jackson County Society for the Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis, accompanied the board of public works and the work house committees from the lower and upper houses of the council, to Lee's Summit yesterday afternoon, and approved the plans for the proposed sanitarium for consumptives to be built in the city.

The site of the proposed sanitarium is on the west forty acres of the 140 recently purchased by the city for the location of a work house. The ground to be used for the "white plague" sanitarium is on a slope with a southeast exposure, and has excellent natural drainage. The city contemplates erecting a permanent building for the segregation and treatment of consumptives.

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October 8, 1907


City Counselor's Neighborhood Has
Suffered from Poison Fiend.

Dr. Walter M. Cross, city chemist, yesterday found arsenic in great quantity in meat samples furnished him by the city counselor, E. C. Meservey. When Mr. Meservey went to his office yesterday morning he sent for the chemist.

"Here are some samples of meat that has been thrown around in my neighborhood. It has killed a dozen or more dogs."

The meat was tested for strychnine, but no trace of the drug was found, but in a very few minutes arsenic showed plainly. The result of the examination will be referred to the police department.

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September 27, 1907



Building and Endowing of a Tent
Colony and a Sanitarium
Among the Purposes
of Promoters.

Fresh Air, Fresh Milk and Fresh Eggs.

That's the motto of the Jackson County Society for the Relief and Prevention of Tuberculosis, organized last night. The leading men of the city -- doctors, ministers, priests, lawyers and officeholders -- attended the meeting and promised their assistance in putting the society in shape to do real work.

The programme of intentions outlined for the next few months is:

The building and endowing of a tent colony and a sanitarium near the city for the treatment of tuberculosis patients.

The employment of nurses to visit in the homes of consumptives and teach the people how to live properly when afflicted with the disease.

The enactment of laws by the city council to compel the reporting of all cases of tuberculosis, and to clean and disinfect all houses in which consumptives had lived or died.

The distribution of literature and the holding of public meetings to educate the people in healthy living -- fresh air, baths and wholesome food.

"Kansas City is twenty years behind Eastern cities in dealing with tuberculosis," said Dr. C. B. Irwin, one of the organizers of the society, last night. There is no fumigation, no reports of deaths from the disease, and practically no effort to check the spread of the plague. I know one house in this city from which there men have been carried out dead from consumption in the past five years. It's easy to know how the last two got it. As fast as one family moved out another moved in.

"Since in 1880 New York city began fumigating houses in which tuberculosis patient had died, began educating the people and commenced a systematic fight upon the disease, the death rate from it had fallen 50 per cent. The same is true of Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

"In the Western cities one death in every seven is from the white plague."

The directors of the society, chosen last night, are: Rev. Father W. J. Dalton, Dr. E. W. Schauffler, Judge H. L McCune, Mayor H. M. Beardsley, Frank P. Walsh, R. A. Long, Rev. Matt S. Hughes, Hugo Brecklein, Dr. St. Elmo Sauders, Congressman F. C. Ellis, Mrs. Robert Gillam, Ralph Swofford, Albert Bushnell, F. A. Faxon, George F. Damon and J. W. Frost.

The others are: Dr. R. O. Cross, president; Dr. C. B. Irwin, secretary, Albert Marty, treasurer; John T. Smith, Rev. Wallace M. Short, J. W. Frost and E. A. Krauthoff, vice presidents; chairman finance committee, Mrs. Kate E. Pierson; chairman soliciting committee, Mrs. E. T. Brigham; chairman legislative committee, J. V. C. Karnes, and publication committee, Dr. E. L. Stewart, chairman; Dr. E. L. Mathias and Clarance Dillon.

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September 5, 1907


Indian Territory Mystery Has a Kan-
sas City End.

An Indian Territory tragedy developed a Kansas City end yesterday when Dr. Willliam Cross made out a certificate to the effect that he had found poison in a stomach which had been sent him from Kiowa, I. T.

Dr. Cross had in bottles on his shelves the stomach, brains and liver of "a female, 21 years old, married, fullblood Indian," and excepting that the extraordinary consignment had been made to him by H. P. Ward, a merchant in Kiowa, he knew nothing more.

"I suppose there has been a murder down there," said Dr. Cross. "Two weeks ago I got three bottles by express, together with a note saying that poisoning was suspected. I was asked to make an analysis for strychnine. The final instructions came yesterday, and I took the stomach of the Indian woman into my laboratory. I found it reeking with strychnine.

"My information is that four doctors had attended the woman during her illness of twenty-four hours, and that they had reported her convulsions due to natural causes. The citizens took the matter up, bottled these parts of the remains, shipped them up here and instructed that the analysis be made.

"I do not know whether it was murder or anything else, but there is plenty of strychnine in that bottle to account for one."

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August 9, 1907


Health Department and City Chemist
Tell of the Danger.

A warning has been issued by the city health department against drinking well water.

"It would save a life every week in the year if the city would close up all wells and springs in the residence and business part of the city with the exception of three artesian wells," said Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist. "There are fifty or sixty lives lost every year by reason of typhoid germs in wells. Healthy people can drink impregnated water without harm, but let those same people get a little under the weather and typhoid will get them. There is no reason for a well or a spring in a modern city. If there is doubt about the city water there are good filters, and always there is the tea kettle to boil the water in. The city should pass an ordinance to fill up the wells and to bar all springs."

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June 21, 1907


Samples Disclosed Gum of Tragicum
and Formaldehyde.

Of six samples of ice cream indiscriminately gathered from ice cream parlors by pure food inspectors, five disclosed adulterants when analyzed by City Chemist Cross. Three contained formaldehyde and two gum of tragicum and gelatin. Every one of these adulterations is used contrary to the pure food ordinance. The persons from whom these samples of ice cream were taken will be arrested and prosecuted in the police court.

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April 17, 1907


City Chemist Cross Receives One He
Dropped Years Ago.

Four years ago W. M. Cross, city chemist, lost from his watch chain a charm descriptive of his college fraternity. At the time he lent every effort to recover it, but of no avail and as the years sped on he forgot all about his loss. Yesterday he was seated in his laboratory when a boy about 15 years old entered and introduced himself as W. M. Cross. He said that he had a watch charm with "W. M. Cross" engraved upon it, that it was not his property and he had often desired to meet the man to whom it might possibly belong. The long lost charm was exhibited, and Dr. Cross immediately identified it as his property.

"Where did you get it, my son?" asked the doctor.

"It is a short story," replied the boy. "I am employed in a Main street haberdasher store, and a few years ago my mother married a man by the name of Cross. My initials being W. M. and having assumed the name of Cross, my stepfather gave me the charm, saying that it had been found by the man that gave it to him in a street car. Ever since I have been wearing the charm, and recently I read in the newspapers about W. M. Cross, city chemist, and I concluded that in all possibility the charm was your property. I am glad to be of some service to you by returning the jewel."

The boy refused a reward, but after much persuasion accepted a silver dollar, which he said he would keep as a momento.

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January 19, 1907


Samples That Contain Coal Tar and
Are Flavored With Peppermint.

Maraschino cherries -- Dyed with coal tar and flavored with peppermint.
Maraschino cherries -- Flavored with extract of wild cherry and dyed with nitric
Confectioners' Paste -- Colored with coal tar.

When the man with a thirst and 15 cents stands on the outside of the bar and wants a luscious red cherry in his cocktail he will hereafter say to the mixiologist: "A little coal tar flavored with peppermint."

Again when the demure miss strays into the ice cream parlor and orders a dish of cream made tempting by a little bouquet of cherries, she will murmur to the waiter, "Those of wild cherry flavor and doctored with amyl." If she doesn't eat more than two or three of the cherries, she will not experience any disagreeable results, but if she goes over three there is every likelihood that she'll feel like summoning the doctor. Amyl will be the cause.

The inspectors of the staff of Dr. W. P. Cutler, city pure food inspector, were out yesterday selecting promiscuously bottled and canned goods from diver stores, among the lot the alleged Maraschino cherries, which were labeled as such and the confectioners' paste. Maraschino is a pure and exquisite preservent, and when added to cherries makes it tempting and sought after by high livers. It is a tasteful and soothing adjunct to mixed drinks, and large quantities of it are used. Therefore the temptation to adulterate and impose on gullible humanity.

City Chemist Cross made an analysis of the Maraschino cherries and brought forth the shams described.

"What are you going to do about it?" Dr. Cutler was asked.

"If the dealer from whose place these samples were taken has any more in stock he will have to paste on the label the word 'adulterated,' together with the names of the adulterations contained. The pure food law does not forbid the adulterating of food stuffs when the adulterant is not down right poisonous."

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