February 10, 1910
JURY INFLUENCED BY
HYDE'S FAILURE TO
TAKE THE STAND.
Wanted to Question Him in
Regard to Contents of
J. W. Martin, one of the jurors in the Swope inquest case, was asked yesterday after the verdict was brought in what testimony caused the jurors to arrive at a conclusion.
"The fact that Dr. Hyde did not go on the stand and testify impressed us greatly," he said. "In the morning we had a meeting and the question of the nurses testimony as to the capsule was up for discussion. It was then that we decided that we wanted to hear what Dr. Hyde had to say as to the contents of the capsule. When we were denied this, it made an impression on me as well as the other jurors.
"Another thing which we considered carefully was the conference between the nurse and Dr. Hyde when Thomas H. Swope was stricken. It had its weight, bu the refusal of Dr. Hyde to testify, thereby shutting out all information of an explanatory nature, which he might have been able to give, impressed us deeply."
The verdict of the jury was to the effect that Thomas H. Swope came to his death from strychnine poison administered in a capsule "by direction of B. Clarke Hyde, whether with felonious intent, we, the jury, are unable to decide."
Coroner Zwart tried to get Dr. Hyde to the witness stand and testify in his own behalf, but the doctor's attorneys assumed responsibility for keeping him off the stand. They said in a statement they felt satisfied the evidence adduced at the inquest would convince the public of their client's innocence.
Dr. Hyde was apparently least interested of all in the room when the coroner's jury brought in the report of the inquest. He sat facing the jury and a shadow of a smile flitted over his features as the foreman finished reading. Coroner Zwart will certify the stenographic report of the case together with all of the evidence he has to the criminal court. This will be done immediately.
Just when a warrant will be issued by Prosecuting Attorney Conkling, if one is issued at all, is problematic. It was rumored from apparently good sources yesterday afternoon that no action would be taken until a report on the rest of the viscera, still undergoing examination in Chicago, is made to Executor John G. Paxton and Prosecuting Attorney Virgil Conkling.
CORONER CALLS DR. HYDE.
After Miss Kellar was recalled to the stand, where she repeated much of the testimony she had given in the other days of the inquest, Coroner Zwart called Dr. Hyde to the stand. A hush fell over the court room and all eyes were fixed on the features of the physician. Dr. Hyde did not move a muscle. His attorney, Frank P. Walsh, leaned over the table and in a low but distinct voice announced:
"The attorneys for Dr. Hyde have advised him not to testify. We do not care for him to testify here, and therefore at our suggestion he must decline to be sworn."
"I have here a copy of a newspaper dated February 1," said Prosecuting Attorney Virgil Conkling, who rose to his feet immediately after Mr. Walsh declared his client would not testify. "It contains a signed statement by Dr. Hyde, and in the light of his refusal to testify, I desire to ---"
Coroner Zwart again re-entered the arena. He motioned to Mr. Walsh and to Mr. Conkling. Mr. Conkling, his assistant, Mr. Jost, Coroner Zwart and his assistant, Mr. Trogdon, left the room. A conference of a couple of minutes followed, and when they returned Coroner Zwart declared taht he did not know just what this legal scrimmage had to do with an unsophisticated coroner, but that he wanted Dr. Hyde to testify.
"I hold that Dr. Hyde must be sworn to take the stand," said the coroner. The words were hardly out of his mouth when Mr. Walsh rose to reply.
"I stated before that on the advice of counsel, Dr. Hyde refuses to testify," he said.
Prosecutor Conkling again offered a suggestion. "The prosecutor asks the same rule apply here as with the rest of the witnesses."
"The coroner holds that the witness who is here must be sworn and then he may or may not testify as he chooses," declared Coroner Zwart.
"Notwithstanding the stand that has been taken by the coroner, and the prosecuting attorney," said Mr. Walsh, "and not intending any disrespect to the coroner, I will simply reiterate my statement that Dr. Hyde will not testify."
"If the witness does not desire to reply to certain questions which may be asked of him, he can refuse to do so under his constitutional rights," said Coroner Zwart.
"As I have said before, Dr. Hyde will not be sworn. That is final," said Attorney Walsh.
"That is sufficient for my purpose," almost shouted Prosecutor Conkling.
Coroner Zwart turned to the attorneys and remarked that he tried to afford them all of the courtesies that he could. The attorneys smiled and seemed satisfied.
THEN COMES THE VERDICT.
After testimony by Dr. Gayle as to the efficacy of strychnine as a poison, Coroner Zwart said to those in the courtroom:
"Does anyone present in this courtroom know anything as to the cause of the death of Colonel Swope?" There was an intense silence broken by a juror who asked that Mrs. Swope be recalled. Mr. Paxton escorted her to the witness chair from the seat on the garden bench she occupied the previous day. She was asked about the extra pay Miss Kellar received for attending Colonel Swope, adn said that this was talked over by the entire family, and it was their wish that Miss Kellar receive $35 instead of $25 a week. This she said was after the suggestion for the extra $10 a week had been made by Dr. Hyde.
As Mrs. Swope stepped from the witness chair, Coroner Zwart stepped forward. He told the jury that the evidence had been presented and that they were to retire and find a verdict. He handed them two legal forms for verdicts. The one that was used was added to by the jurors who were unable to decide as to the intent of Dr. Hyde in ordering the administration of the capsule which they said caused death.
Half an hour later the jury sent for Dr. Zwart. They wanted to know if they should insert the time and place of Colonel Swope's death on the verdict. He told them that they should, and a quarter of an hour later they reported.
Labels: attorney, Coroner Zwart, Frank Walsh, Swope Mystery
February 8, 1910
CORONER'S INQUEST BEGINS
DEATH AND POST-MORTEM OF
COL. THOMAS SWOPE
HYDE'S NAME MENTIONED.
Doctors and Nurses Testify
The coroner's inquest into the death of Colonel Thomas C. Swope got underway in Independence yesterday, and it was brought out that Colonel Swope, tried a number of tonics and remedies, and that he worried over his will in the weeks before his death, and wanted the poor of the city to benefit by the income from his residuary estate, valued at $1,000,000.
Harry S. Cook, superintendent of the Forest Hill cemetery, told the story of the removal of the body of Colonel Swope at dead of night from the catacombs where it was at rest. He said that secrecy was observed and that a blanket was hung on the grillwork of the tomb, so that no one could look in, had anyone had an inkling of what was going on.
The casket, he said, had not been touched and the body was frozen and in a good state of preservation.
The autopsy was conducted at Ott's undertaking rooms at Independence. Coroner Zwart, Drs. Hektoen, Twyman, Stewart, Hall, and a younger docter were among those who attended the post-mortem, it was testified. The body was still frozen, and coal oil lamps and stoves were lighted to thaw it. Bottles were filled with hot water and laid on the body, and then all was covered with blankets.
The post mortem began at 2 p. m. After the doctors finished the autopsy, in which they removed all of Colonel Swope's internal organs and his brain, the body was sewed up, dressed and put back in the casket and removed to the third floor of the undertaking establishment, where it was hidden. It was taken back to the vault the following day. This was done in the day time, as the story of the autopsy had leaked out and there was no further reason for secrecy.
Dr. E. L. Stewart, who graduated seven years ago, and specializes in microscopy, took notes for the doctors who conducted the post mortem. Dr. Steward did not remember all of the details of the autopsy. He declaired that he was too busy taking the dictation by Drs. Hall and Hektoen to observe their operations as closely as he would have liked to. He said that so far as he could see, there was nothing about the appearance of any of the organs removed by the doctors which would indicate that they were other than in a normal condition.
Dr. Stewart turned his findings over to Dr. Hektoen, he said. Dr. Hektoen also took charge of Colonel Swope's viscera. Dr. Stewart remarked about the frozen condition of the body, which he said was rather frail. The brain, he said, after removal, was cut into thin slices so that the doctors could ascertain if there had been a hemorrhage. No blood clot was found either in the brain or in the lining.
NO CLOTHING ON BODY.
The clothing had been removed from the body when he first saw it and he noticed an undertaker's mark on the arm. He also noticed a small dark mark on the left wrist and the undertake's mark on the abdomen. He told of pulling off the scalp, sawing the cranium and removing the skull cap and then taking out the brain. This he said was sliced, but he did not remember into how many sections nor their thickness. The brain was then placed in one of the big half gallon fruit jars and was sealed.
Dr. Stewart said that the brain was taken out whole, as he remembered it. There was no hemorrhage, at least none that was visible to the naked eye, he said. Dr. Stewart did not know whether Dr. Hektoen took the kidneys. He said that to the best of his recollection several of the blood vessels near the heart were hardened. He said that neither he, nor any of the doctors who performed the autopsy, could attribute Colonel Swope's death to any unusual condition found in his vital organs.
He said that one kidney seemed to be slightly enlarged, but this fact, he added, might have been natural. The liver, he said, was of the ordinary gray color and was in good condition. Dr. Stewart said that had there been a hemorrhage of the brain that the embalming fluid wich is used would not have reduced it.
Dr. G. T. Twyman, the Swope family physician, was present at the autopsy, which he said was conducted by Drs. Hektoen and Hall. The body was very well preserved, but was frozen hard. the fluids in the body had all turned to ice. Efforts to thaw it were without avail. There was but one abnormal condition of any consequence, he said, and that was a thickening of the walls of the stomach.
KNEW NOTHING OF DEATH.
Dr. Twyman said that Colonel Swope was not anxious to take medicines or tonics. He last saw him professionaly on April 28, 1909. He had seen him at various times since then and there was nothing in his condition to lead him to the belief that he would die suddenly, he said. Dr. Twyman said that he knew nothing about Colonel Swope's last illness or death. He did not know what caused Colonel Swope's death and he declared that there was nothing in the post mortem which could lead him to form an opinion as to the cause of death.
Sylvester W. Spangler, who since 1903 has had charge of Colonel Swope's real estate, told of Colonel Swope's penchant for taking medicines of various sorts which might be recommended to him by friends, including a tonic which contained strychnine, quinine and iron. He also told of the oft-repeated wich of Colonel Swope just prior to his death that he could arrange in some way to so place his residuary estate that the revenue could be used for the benefit of the poor.
"The last time I saw Colonel Swope alive was the Saturday preceding his death," said Mr. Spangler. "I came down on account of the death of the night previous of his cousin and also to attend to any business matters which he might indicate he wanted closed. I was with him for about an hour and he was in bed all of this time. About the close of our converstaion Colonel Swope addressed me: 'So far as pain is concerned,' he said, 'I have none and never felt better in my life, but I realize that I am a weak man and can't live long.' I cheered him up as best I could.
KEPT TONIC IN OFFICE.
"Colonel Swope kept a tonic in his office, which, according to the label, contained strychnine, quinine and iron and was put up in Independence. He took the contents of two of these bottles, to my knowledge. He would take the medicine for a couple of days and then would not take any for several days, or a week. He took a teaspoonful at a dose. The medicine was orange colored. He also took tablets, some of a white sort and some bromo-quinine tablets. He took Pape's Diapepsin for his stomach trouble. In fact, he took a great many medicnes which were recommended to him by friends as good for his particular case. Two years ago he took some acid phosphates.
"He often told me about some new remedy he had purchased and which he said he would give a trial, as it was harmless, and if it did no good it would do no harm. He had a vest pocket memorandum book in which he kept a record of the medicines recommended to him and which he tried. He would invariably return to me and tell me that the medicines were fakes. The elixir, he said, was prescribed by an Independence, Mo., doctor and was to give him strength.
"Colonel Swope rewrote his will while I was in his employ. He did not discuss the bequests with me and I knew nothing of the amounts until after his death and the publication of the instrument.
"The reason he gave me for rewriting the will was that some of his property had greatly increased in value and that some had decreased. He wanted the proportions of his bequests to be as he first intended. After providing for all of his heirs he still had a good deal of property that he wanted to dispose of in a charitable way. This residuary estate was worth, he told me, about $1,000,000. He wanted the revenue from the estate to be applied to the benefit of the poor, regardless of their former conditions in life.
WORRIED OVER WILL.
"He was endeavoring to find a way to dispose of this property so that the revenue would be used for the purpose intended. He could transfer it, he said, so that it would not be necessary for him to make a new will and the old would could not be broken. He was worried over the disposition of the residuary estate. He told me that if he deeded it to the city that the revenue, and possible the principle, might be wasted, while if he deeded it to loyal citizen friends, that he feared they were too busy hustling after the almighty dollar to give the property and the revenue the proper attention.
"About six weeks before he died he went to the vault and got his will. After keeping it in his office for a week he told me one Saturday that he would take it home and spend Saturday and Sunday on it. Monday morning he brought it back and said that he had looked it over carefully and that it was as nearly perfect as he could make it. He said that he could not betteer it if he wrote it 100 times.
"Colonel Swope's effects, such as clothing which he kept in the office, were given to the Salvation army after his death. I never heard of an enemy of Colonel Swope and knew of no one that he ever entertained any malice against.
"Colonel Swope claimed Wooford county, Ky., as his home until he gave Kansas City Swope park in 1903. He lived in Independence except for a few months, about 1904 or 1905, when he roomed at the Orient hotel.
"Colonel Swope voted but once in his life, he told me, and that was when McKinley made the first race for the presidency. Colonel Swope made a special trip to Wooford county, Kentucky, to cast his vote for McKinley."
Miss Pearl Virginia Kellar, 36 years old, a trained nurse of five years' experinece, was the witness of the day. Miss Kellar attended Colonel Swope during his last illness and was employed by Dr. B. Clark Hyde, three weeks prior to that event. For several weeks Miss Kellar has been virtually one of the members of the Swope household in Independence. She said that she had only a passing acquaintance with Dr. Hyde, prior to the time that he employed her to go to the Swope home.
MENTIONS HYDE'S NAME.
"Dr. Hyde called me over the telephone Sunday night, September 12. He asked me to meet him Monday at 7:30 a. m. and go to Independence. On the way he told me that Colonel Swope was not really ill; that he had fallen and slightly injured his left shoulder, but to make him feel that I was doing something for him and to massage the injured shoulder. Mrs. Swope and the four daughters met us at the threshold and after donning my uniform I was escorted to Colonel Swope's room where we shook hands and he said he was glad to seee me. The injury I found to be very slight. I was with him three weeks, except one day when I went to the dentist.
" 'Here are some "Pinkle's Pink Pills and some tonic,' said Dr. Hyde to me. 'Let him have the pills and also the tonic as he has been in the habit of taking them.' I found the tonic to contain strychnine, iron and quinine and peptomangan. It was put up by Pendleton & Gentry of Independence. Colonel Swope told me that Obe Gentry had given Mr. Hunton the prescription and that it was very good.
" I kept a nurse's record of Colonel Swope for two weeks, or a week longer than he thought I kept it. He objected to the keeping of the record and when I told Dr. Hyde that I had kept it a week longer than Colonel Swope was aware, and that there was no good reason for keeping it longer, Dr. Hyde suggested that I discontinue it. Colonel Swope objected to me taking his temperature. I made up his bed and straghtened him around, then gave him a bath, an alcohol rub and massage and later another alcohol rub and massage."
NURSE'S NOTES READ.
Miss Kellar here produced her notes and read off her daily notations as to the treatment the patient received and his condition. She said that he ate very full dinners, including cabbage at one meal which she said Dr. Hyde told her he could have as he had been accustomed to it. She gave him occasional drinks containing wine or brandy. She said that Colonel Swope and Dr. Hyde were on perfectly friendly terms.
Her records showed that he took several doses of the pink pills, varying the number from time to time. Monday, September 20, she said that he sat up for an hour in an adjoining room where he looked over the grounds. Wednesday she said that he began taking the tonic, which heretofore he had not touched. She said that Mr. Hunton suggested taht now as he was better that he could take the tonic and get well sooner. Miss Keller also testified to the frequency that Colonel Swope vomited and said that these attacks were without the slightest warning and usually at meal times.
"On Wednesday, September 29 Colonel Swope and I went out riding. We drove out the Lexinton road past the Swope farm which he had not seen in nine years. We were out for two hours and he stood the trip splendidly. Thrusday we drove almost to Kansas City. Friday we started to Blue Springs, but failed to take the right road and had a rough ride.
"After putting Mr. Swope to bed, I came down stairs and Mr. Hunton called me. He was eating dinner and suggested that I eat with him. We had almost finished when Mrs. Swope and Miss Margaret came in. Mr. Hunton looked at me and said that he felt queer. Mildred and a girl friend entered the room at this time and Mr. Hunton tried to pick up a glass of water. He half raised it and then it fell from his hands. I ran to his side and discovered that his left leg was helpless. A negro boy helped me carry him to the library and we summoned doctors.
HUNTON BECAME SICK.
"By the time Dr. Twyman came Mr. Hunton had lapsed into unconsciousness. He had vomited profusely. The boys got an ironing board and we laid Mr. Hunton on this and carried him upstairs. Colonel Swope meanwhile had called, and one of the servants failing to pacify him, I told him that Mr. Hunton was seriously ill. After Dr. Hyde came they decided to bleed Mr. Hunton.
"I did not tell Colonel Swope about the death of Mr. Hunton until Saturday morning. When I told him that Mr. Hunton ws dead, he grasped the bed clothes, and hiding his head, cried, 'Poor Moss.' For a moment he sort of sobbed, and then he asked me to tell him all about it. He th en told me he wanted to be very quiet. He wanted to see no one but Mr. Spangler. He first said taht he did not want to see Dr. Hyde for fear that the doctor might think that he needed him professionally. Colonel Swope did not go across the hall to see Mr. Hunton, and I read to him. The news of Mr. Fleming's wife's death came at noon. Mr. Spangler ws the only visitor. He came about noon."
As Miss Kellar reached this part of her narrative, Deputy Coroner Trogdon conferred with Coroner Zwart and Attorney Reed and announcement was made of adjournment until 10 o'clock this morning.
MRS. SWOPE SHIELDED.
Miss Kellar, the trained nurse who was with Colonel Swope the last three weeks of his life, arrive at the court house shortly before 4 p. m. with Mrs. L. O. Swope and a woman companion. They were driven to the court house in an automobile and were escorted by Attorney John Mastin. They were taken in the witness room, which was kept locked. Miss Kellar, her companion and Mr. Atwood shielded Mrs. Swope from the gaze of the curious. Mrs. Swope was attired was attired in black and wore a heavy veil.
The array of legal talent in the case yesterday was probably the largest in the history of the court house. The Swope heirs and Mr. Paxton, the executor of the estate, were represented by Messrs. Reed, Atwood and Mastin. Virgil Conkling, the prosecuting attorney, represented the state, while Dr. Hyde was represented by Attorneys Walsh, Cleary and Johnson. Coroner Zwart wsa represented by Deputy Coroner Trugdon.
"Can we come in and listen to the case?" inquired Mesdames William Young and Cliff Morrow, neighbors of the Swopes, of J. A. Brown, superintendent of the court house building. "Certainly," he replied and secured them a seat immedately behind the attorneys. There were a score of women at the inquest in the afternoon.
Labels: cemetery, Coroner Zwart, courtroom, doctors, Independence, James A. Reed, probate, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery, Swope park, Thomas Swope
February 7, 1910
CIRCUIT JUDGE SAYS ELMER C.
WAS PROSPEROUS BUSINESS
MAN OF MARTINSBURG.
DOUBTS STORY'S TRUTH
Must Prove His Allegations,
Which Legal Records
The claim of Elmer C. Swope of Martinsburg, W. Va., that he is the son of the late Colonel Thomas Swope was the general topic of conversation yesterday among old friends of Colonel Swope, by whom it was ridiculed. They declared that Colonel Swope came here before the war, and that therefore the Eastern claimant was in error. They also insist that Colonel Swope was a bachelor, and that had he been married someone here surely would have known of it.
"I think that Elmer C. Swope is laboring under an hallucination," said Judge E. E. Porterfield, who was born and raised in Martinsburg. "I knew Elmer C. Swope when he came to our town a quarter of a century ago and went to live with his uncle, Hugh A. Frazier. Mr. Frazier was in the implement business and young Swope was then just out of age and took an active hand in the business. He was well liked and the business prospered.
"I left there over a score of years ago but have returned frequently for short visits. On these trips I have seen Elmer Swope, and have talked with him. In recent years he suffered business reverses, and lost much of his money. My brother, Joseph L. Porterfield, is in the real estate business in Martinsburg and I make sure that I would have heard something about Elmer C. Swope's claim before this were there anything to it."
SHIFTS TO INDEPENDENCE.
The center of interest in the Swope case shifts this morning to a little room in the court house at Independence, where Coroner B. H. Zwart, assisted by Deputy Coroner Trugdon, will begin the inquest into the cause of death of the late Colonel Thomas H. Swope.
Here the witnesses on the several sides will be asked to tell the coroner's jury all they know about the last illness and death of Colonel Swope. The attorneys for the interested parties will be present. The coroner, his deputy and the members of the jury will ask questions of the witnesses. Whether Prosecuting Attorney Conkling will question the witnesses will be determined this morning. It is presumed by the attorneys for the Swope heirs that the prosecutor's office will ask some of the questions, either directly or through the deputy coroner.
Yesterday was a day of rest of those engaged in the case. The attorneys attended to private affairs and several of them took long motor rides in the afternoon.
Independence had many visitors yesterday. They began coming into the town early in the morning and most of them walked about the old court house and visited with those shopkeepers whose places were open. The people in Independence are surprised that the outside outside world should take so much interest in the Swope case. In fact, there are many of the residents who are not aware of the fact that an inquest is to be held this week. The persons who will attend the inquiry promise to come largely from Kansas City.
The testimony which will be heard today will be from the undertaker and his assistants who removed the body from the cemetery to the undertaking rooms at Independence, the sexton at the cemetery and possibly the doctors who performed the autopsy and removed the viscera. Other witnesses will be placed on the stand to prove the identity of the body.
On Tuesday it is probable that the members of the Swope family, the nurses and possibly the doctors will be heard. The experts from Chicago, it is thought likely, will not be heard until Wednesday. They are expected to arrive here Tuesday, however, and will confer with Mr. Paxton, the executor of the estate.
In the meantime the attorneys in the Dr. Hyde libel suit will rest. It is not expected that they will endeavor to take any depositions until after the inquest. One of the principal reasons for a delay is that they expect to attend the inquest and therefore will not have the time to give to examining witnesses.
It is understood that Detectives Harry Arthur and Joe Morris have been detailed by the police department to attend the Swope inquest. They will be there to assist the prosecutor.
Labels: Coroner Zwart, detectives, doctors, Independence, Judge Porterfield, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery
February 1, 1910
POISON WAS FOUND,
COLONEL SWOPE'S DEATH AS-
CRIBED TO STRYCHNINE, PROB-
ABLY GIVEN IN DRUGS.
DR. B. CLARK HYDE SUES.
Asks Damages Aggregating
$700,000 for Statements
DR. B. CLARK HYDE,
Physician Who Sues for $700,000 for Statements Growing out of the Swope Poison Cases.
CHICAGO, Jan. 31. -- Colonel Thomas H. Swope of Kansas City died from the effects of poison, according to the findings of Dr. Ludwig Hektoen and Dr. Walter S. Haines, announced in Chicago this afternoon.
It was formally declared by the doctors that Colonel Swope died from the effects of strychnine poisoning.
The report of the experts does not include the result of the analysis of the contents of the stomach of Chrisman Swope, nephew of Colonel Swope, who died soon after the demise of his uncle, under similar circumstances.
ATTORNEYS HEAR REPORT.
The investigation of the mysterious deaths of the late Colonel Swope and his nephew was shifted to Chicago today. For several weeks the internal organs of the bodies have been here in the laboratories of Dr. Hektoen and Dr. Haines, toxicologists. Today Attorney John G. Paxton, administrator of the Swope estate, Attorney James A. Reed, his associate, Virgil Conkling, prosecuting attorney at Kansas City; Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner there, and Thomas H. Swope, nephew of the dead millionaire, came to receive the report of the experts as to whether or not poison had been found in sufficient quantities to cause death.
PAXTON'S TERSE ANSWER.
The visitors arrived on a Santa Fe train at 7:28 a. m., and went at once to the Hotel La Salle, where a room was engaged. Later a conference was held at the University Club, at which the findings were revealed.
Attention of Attorney Paxton was called to the fact that suits for $100,000 had been instituted against him for slander in connection with his share of the investigation.
"I have nothing to say about this suit except that I feel somewhat flattered," said Mr. Paxton. "I have received the news by wire that Dr. Hyde has sued myself and Drs. Hall and Stewart in suits aggregating $700,000 because of slander in connection with the Swope case. I have nothing further to say.
Mr. Paxton would make no further comment beyond saying that the investigation was not fully concluded yest, and would say nothing of the investigation of Chrisman Swope's death. It was said that strychnine had been found in the stomachs and livers of both men.
Coroner Zwart returned to Kansas City tonight, but Mr. Paxton, Mr. Reed and Attorney Conkling remained. They will leave Chicago tomorrow night, Mr. Paxton said. An inquest over the bodies of Colonel Swope and his nephew will probably be started next Monday. Any criminal warrants that will be issued will probably follow the inquest.
DR. HYDE SUES FOR DAMAGES.
Through Frank P. Walsh and John M. Cleary, attorneys, Dr. B. Clark Hyde filed suit yesterday in the circuit court at Independence demanding damages aggregating $700,000 from J. G. Paxton, executor of the Swope estate and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The petition declares that published interviews pointed to Dr. Hyde, son-in-law of the Swopes and their family physician, as the instigator of a plot to murder Swope heirs.
The damages are asked on three counts and newspaper men are named as witnesses to statements alleged to have been made by Mr. Paxton which the plaintiff declares destroyed his professional standing and were meant to oppress, impoverish and wholly ruin him. The first suit against Mr. Paxton charges slander and the amounts asked are $30,000 actual damages and a like amount for punitive damages. The complaint in the suit against the publishing company states that headlines in the Post-Dispatch over a purported Paxton interview said that the man who "planned to kill family with typhoid germs," which, the petition alleges meant Dr. Hyde, "who has been continually watched by five detectives and will not be allowed to escape punishment."
The petition is long, and is a narrative leading up to the final mention of the family doctor's name and alleged insinuations that he plotted to kill. Interviews with the county coroner, Dr. B. H. Zwart and Dr. Frank J. Hall, specialist in analytical work, are made a part of the contentions of the plaintiff. The damages asked in the first count total $200,000, and after this comes a similar charge on another published interview and another $200,000 is asked. The third is based on the publication of Dr. Hyde's picture, which the petition alleges clearly identified him as the "man," meant in all the interviews charging murder plots.
Dr. Hall and Dr. Edward L. Stewart are made defendants along with the newspaper. The plaintiff estimates the total wealth of all the defendants at $5,000,000.
Mrs. B. C. Hyde, formerly Frances Lee Swope, yesterday gave out a signed statement insisting that she was constantly at her husband's side, and knew his every movement.
Labels: attorney, Chicago, Coroner Zwart, Frank Walsh, James A. Reed, Lawsuit, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery
January 25, 1910
3 KILLED, 3 HURT
WHEN AUTO SKIDS
OVER CLIFF DRIVE.
MACHINE DROPS EIGHTY FEET
AND IS DEMOLISHED
John Mahoney and Wife and
Thomas McGuire the
WRECKED AUTO WHICH PLUNGED OVER EMBANKMENT ON CLIFF DRIVE, KILLING THREE.
Three persons were killed and three, who by a miraculous streak of providence escaped death, were injured yesterday afternoon when a large automobile plunged over an eighty-foot embankment on the Cliff drive, at Scarritt's Point. The dead:
John Mahoney, aged 51, grading contractor, 616 North Seventh street, Kansas City, Kas.
Mrs. John Mahoney, aged 46 years.
Thomas McGuire, 50, a foreman for Mr. Mahoney; resided at 53 South Forest avenue, Kansas City, Kas. Father of six children.
John O'Connor, 42 years old, of Fifty-first street and Swope parkway.
Miss Nellie Mahoney, 19 years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Mahoney.
Lillian, 6-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Mahoney.
The O'Connors also have two other children, John, age 8, and Anna, age 13, who were in school at the time of the fatal crash which claimed their parents.
The accident is ascribed to a slippery condition of the driveway, water which trickled from the cliff having frozen. The machine, in rounding the curve at Scarritt's point, evidently skidded on the ice toward the precipice at the outer edge of the drive. Mahoney, who was the contractor that had charge of the grading work on this scenic drive, was driving the car. He evidently tried to steer it toward the cliff, with the result that t he heavy rear end of the car was thrown completely around, the rear wheels crashing through a fence and over the abyss.
At the point where the machine went over the cliff there is a sheer descent of probably forty feet, with probably forty feet more of steep hillside ending in an accumulation of boulders. Tracks in the roadway showed where the rear wheels of the car had backed over the precipice and the entire car was precipitated upon the rocks below, alighting on its side and crushing two of the victims. The others either landed on the rocks or were caught in the wreckage.
The scene of the accident is just above and a little to the southeast of the Heim brewery and the men who witnessed the tragedy, or who were attracted by the piteous cries of the victims, rushed to the place and gave first aid to the injured. Police from No. 8 station, who were notified, carried the injured down the cliff, which owing to the slippery condition of the ground, is almost impassable even for pedestrians, placed them in the police ambulance and hurried them to hospitals. The dead were removed later to undertaking establishments, the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney being taken to the Leo J. Stewart parlors and that of Mr. McGuire to Carroll-Davidson's.
BODIES UNDER CAR.
The scene following the tragedy was a sickening and pitiable one. the first persons to arrive found pinioned under the wreckage of the big motor car the mangled bodies of Mr. Mahoney, Mr. McGuire, Mr. O'Connor and the two girls. Mrs. Mahoney lay on the rocks at the rear of the machine unconscious, but still alive. She expired within ten minutes. Mr. Mahoney and Mr. McGuire were killed outright evidently.
The younger daughter of the Mahoneys still grasped a doll which she had carried in her arms in the machine and, gazing upon the forms of her parents as they lay still puon the frozen ground she cried piteously:
"I want my papa, I want my mamma."
It was with difficulty that she was induced to leave the spot and her childish grief brought tears to the eyes of every bystander. Miss Mahoney was dazed badly. She talked little, though seeming to partially realize what had happened, and just before she was placed in the police ambulance she was prostrated. Mr. O'Connor also was dazed, though he walked about and declared he was not hurt.
TWO SEE ACCIDENT.
Daniel Ferhnback, 19 years old, of 28 Bigelow street, just below Scarritt's Point, with Thomas Nelligan, 10 years old, were eye-witnesses to the accident. Ferhnback was chopping wood in his yard and the Nelligan boy was with him when they glanced up and saw the machine go over the brink of the hill.
"It was terrible," said Ferhnback. "The rear end went over first and the whole thing fell down into the hollow. It was done so quickly I hardly knew what had happened, but it seemed to me that the machine partly turned over. The noise sounded like a bunch of sewer pipe falling and hitting something."
For a moment, Ferhnback said, he scarcely knew what to do. Then he heard a cry, "O, God! O, God! " It was Mr. O'Connor pinioned under the car.
Ferhnback and his boy companion at once started up the hill but Nelligan, being more nimble, arrived at the top first. The boy took one look at the mass of twisted iron and wood and at the blood covered bodies under and about the machine and he ran back the winding path to where Ferhnback was hurrying up.
"It's awful," said the boy, covering his face with his hands as if to shut out the sight.
CRASH IS HEARD.
About the time that Ferhnback and Nelligan were horrified to see the machine plunge over the cliff, M. G. Givson, of 2026 Charlotte street, was walking along the Chicago & Alton tracks, far below the Cliff drive. He hears a crash but paid no attention to it and was startled by the screams of a woman, evidently one of the Mahoney sisters. He also rushed up the hill, arriving about the time that Ferhnback reached the top.
Mr. Gibson picked up the little Mahoney child and bandaged her head with handkerchiefs. Mrs. Mahoney lay free of the car, and Mr. Gibson said that she still breathed when he arrived. He took one of the cushions which had been hurled from the automobile and placed it under the woman's head, but within ten minutes she was dead.
Miss Nellie Mahoney was carried to one side by the two men, who made her as comfortable as possible. Mr. O'Connor lay with one leg pinioned under a rear wheel of the car, a short distance from the body of Mrs. Mahoney. Mr. Gibson and Mr. Ferhnback managed to lift the rear portion of the car enough to extricate the man and Mr. O'Connor immediately got up and walked about, declaring that he had no pain and that he was all right.
The accident happened at 3:15 o'clock. It was not so very many minutes later that Mr. Gibson, having done everything he could to help the injured, ran to No. 8 police station, 3001 Guinotte street. Sergeant Edward McNamara, Patrolman Gus Metzinger and Motorcycleman George A. Lyon responded at once. They were joined later by Park Policeman W. F. Beabout and the police carried the two Mahoney girls and assisted Mr. O'Connor down the cliff to the ambulance.
Coroner B. H. Zwart went in peerson to view the bodies, and he summoned undertakers. It was 5 o'clock before the bodies finally were removed, the conditions in the vicinity of the scene of the horror making it difficult to carry the bodies out.
Even the coroner, accustomed as he is to such things, was moved at the horror of the scene. Mr. Mahoney lay crushed under the car and a piece of the spokes of the machine was found to have penetrated his adbomen.
The Point, which is the highest on the Cliff drive, lies under the shadow of the north side of the cliff. the sun does not strike there, save during a small portion of the day, and water which runs down the hill is frozen, as it trickles across the roadway, into a mass of treacherous ice, making it difficult for motor cars without ice clutches to round the curve at that point without skidding.
Mr. Mahoney, who was driving the machine, sat in the front seat with Mr. McGuire, and the others sat in the rear seat. The car was a seven-passenger Pierce-Arrow. The tracks in the driveway show that the machine came round the curve well within the middle of the roadway and away from the precipice. It is probable that Mahoney had noticed the slippery condition of the pavement and purposely kept away from the brink.
When the fatal stretch of ice was reached, however, the auto was shown to have skidded greatly toward the chasm and the theory is that Mahoney, in order to avoid the very thing which happened, headed his car toward the inside of the road. If he did, he miscalculated terribly, for this swung the heavy rear of the car around over the edge of the cliff and the ill-fated occupants were hurled down up the rocks. The wooden fence, through wh ich the auto smashed, was erected as a warning to daring motorists. It went out as if made of egg shell.
That the machine did not take fire and add to the horror is believed to have been due to a final effort of Mr. Mahoney. the engine was found to have been shut down entirely, and it is believed that Mr. Mahoney automatically pulled his lever as the machine shot backward over the precipice.
At the emergency hospital, whither the two Mahoney girls and Mr. O'Connor were removed, it was stated last evening that Mr. O'Connor's case is the least serious of any of the injured. He sustained a wound on the back of his head and some bruises. He probably will recover.
After being removed to the hospital, little Lillian Mahoney lapsed into a coma and Miss Nellie Mahoney became hysterical. It was stated that neither of the girls knew that their parents are dead. It was feared neither could stand the shock.
The condition of both the girls is regarded as serious. Miss Nellie sustained a dislocation of one of the shoulders, a fracture of the right arm and bruises about the body.
The younger girl received a bad cut about the back of the head and bruises about the body. Both girls are suffering terribly from nervous shock, and this is what makes their cases so grave.
It was said at St. Margaret's hospital at midnight that Lillian Mahoney is probably fatally injured. The child is under the effects of opiates. It is belived her skull is fractured.
BUILT THE DRIVEWAY.
Mr. Mahoney executed the grading work on the very driveway where he, with his wife, met death. It is said that he was familiar with every foot of the ground along the roadway and that because of the pride which he took in the work he particularly liked taking a spin in his machine along the course.
The ill-fated machine was purchased by Mr. Mahoney from the estate of Mrs. Mary S. Dickerson, who died. It is said that Mr. Mahoney paid $3,500 for the car.
FRIENDS SHOW SYMPATHY.
A telegram telling of the death of Mr. Mahoney was dispatched late last night to his old schoolmate and business partner, Justice Michael Ross, who is now visiting in Jacksonville, Fla. Mrs. Ross went to the residence of the dead contractor last night and arranged to take charge of the children.
"My husband and Mr. mahoney were lifelong friends. I know if Michael were here he would want me to take care of the children and and give them a temporary or even a permanent home," Mrs. Ross said.
Annie and Johnny Mahoney heard about the catastrophe at 4:30 o'clock in the afternoon. They were overwhelmed with grief.
CHILD PREDICTED ACCIDENT.
"Oh, I told papa not to buy that auto. I told him all along it would lead to some accident," sobbed the girl.
The boy, four years younger, soon quieted himself and began to assure his sister. The children were taken last night to the Ross home, where they may stay permanently.
Labels: accident, automobiles, children, Cliff drive, Coroner Zwart, death, Guinotte avenue, Justice Ross, police
December 20, 1910
TO HOLD A SWOPE INQUEST.
Coroner Will Act Whether Poison Is
Found or Not.
"Before a preliminary examination can be held, in case an arrest is made, a coroner's inquest must be made," said Dr. B. H. Zwart,
county coroner, last night. "Of course an arrest can be made before the inquest.
"I am planning to have an inquest for Colonel Swope, whether or not poison is found
by the Chicago specialists. As to Chrisman Swope, I have made no plans. In either case I will await the results from the post-mortem examination in Chicago. Unless poison is found in Chrisman Swope's stomach I will probably not order an inquest. If the latter inquest is held we will have to go into the charges of alleged inoculation with typhoid bacilli.
"No inquest will be ordered for James Moss Hunton
. I am assured by the family physician that he died from natural causes."
Labels: Coroner Zwart, Swope Mystery
January 15, 1910
INDEPENDENCE "HOUSE OF
DEATH" CLOSED TO VISITORS.
Swope Home in Independence
Guarded Day and Night by
The Swope Home in Independence.
The Swope home, a magnificent three-story brick structure on South Pleasant avenue in Independence, is regarded as the abode of death by nearly every resident of that rural city.
The sudden death of J. Moss Hunton, closely followed by that of Thomas H. Swope, the millionaire benefactor and that of his nephew, Chrisman Swope, awoke suspicion that all was not well and that the Swopes were a marked family among even the most easy-going of the inhabitants. Men and women passing to or from their homes during church hours of a Sunday evening gazed fearfully up at the now tomb-like building with its darkened windows and barred doors. If they ahd been asked ubruptly why they did this they would have stammered out the answer that they did not know. It was all so mysterious that one after another of the same family should be stricken with a fatal illness of different kinds, but uniformly ending in convulsions.
Where there are suspicions there are those to invent tales of various sorts or to uncover significant incidents from the charmed house of the past. Some of the stories were undoubtedly founded on fact. Many were as wild and incredible as any ever bandied about the boar's-head dinners of King Arthur's court or the tales taken as evidence in the days of Salem witchcraft.
Some of the followers of Joseph Smith, the Independence seer and prophet, it is said, believed that sometime in the life of the philanthropist he had offended his God and that a curse was now being visited on his household. There would be no end, they said, until the last vestige of the family was swept away.
Another rumor that always had credence was that someone skilled in the use of subtle poisons was profiting by his knowledge.
WATER FREE OF GERMS?
Soon after the death of Chrisman Swope, it was announced by physicians of the family, that a city chemist of Kansas City had been summoned and that he had declared the presence of typhoid germs in the water used by the Swopes. In the same statement was added that the well formerly used by the family had "played out" and that another long out of commission was furnishing the supply. The water, it was said last night, was analyzed and said to be free from typhiod bacilli, notwithstanding the report.
"There is evidence that Mrs. Logan O. Swope believed the house unsanitary. About the time the well story was given out, she sent word to John Welch, a plumber, to come to the place and overhaul everything. This was done. Not a pipe but was inspected, not a hydrant or sewer outlet but was dested and disinfected. They were, according to the plumber, in ship-shape. No trace of disease laden decomposed matter was found.
All this time solicious neighbors were making inquiries of Mrs. Swope and others closely conneted with the family, touching the cause of the unusual spread of typhoid in the home. They seemed at their wits end to account for the disease.
Thus it was given out that the milk used in the kitchen was tainted; that the water was stagnant; that there was a quantity of decaying sewage in the pipes and that a servant girl, recently hired, who had had typhoid, had thrown her infected clothing in the milk house adjacent to the kitchen. No one knew what to believe.
Just when Mrs. Swope or her lawyers awoke to the real peril is not known definitely It is supposed to have been less than a month ago, when the doors of the palatial home were shut finally upon all visitors and a private detective employed to watch that no one should step within.
This detective is William C. Rice, former chief of police at Fairmount Park. A reporter who knockked at the big outer folding doors last night was met by him and warned off the place.
"I am here to see that no one shall see Mrs. Swope," said he. "There is no hope of getting an interview. She is indisposed and would not talk for publication. It is impossible."
The bland officer said this with a degree of finality. Without another word he stepped backward into the lobby. the heavy doors swung to. A bolt dropped in place. While the disappointed interrogator was yet on the porch a distant click like that made by an electric switch, was heard. The great house was as dark as a tomb.
The story of several deaths in the Swope family, as told by some of their intimate friends last night, points to many susicious circumstances.
The family from the oldest member to the youngest was described as about of one disposition, kind, generous and impulsive. Thomas H. Swope would travel many a mile to help a friend.
Logan O. Swope, brother of Thomas H., died about ten years ago leaving a large inheritance in property around Independence. Naturally the burden of hte care of htis estate would devolve on the shoulders of Thomas, who already was loaded with business cares of his own. the year following Logan's death, Thomas sent for a cousin, J. Moss Hunton, then in Kentucky.
Hunton was a good manager anda man of high social standing in St. Louis, where his father, Judge James Hunton, is conisdered an authority on corporation law. Hunton came to Independence nine years ago and assumed the management of Mrs. Logan O. Swope's estate. He was acting as her major domo at the time of his death.
The Swopes, with the exception of Thomas Swope, a son of Logan, who owns a farm three miles northeast of the city, resided in the home on South Pleasant avenue. Hunton also lived there and as time went on Thomas H. Swope and he became inseparable companions and confidantes. Not a charity did the philanhopist indulge in but was previously laid before Hunton and met with his approval. The people of Independence came to love one as the other and Hunton acquired the unique reputation of being the only man in the city who would give a cigar or a box of candy to collectors presenting him with his month's end bills.
"I am Colonel Swope's bodyguard," Hunton told a friend on one occasion. "there is no danger of his ocming to grief when I am about. I guess things would go different if I shou ld die."
On the evening of Friday, October 1, the night of Hunton's death, he came home from a trip to the business district in good humor.
Suddenly, a few minutes after supper, he complained of feeling mortally sick and threw himself on a lounge in the sitting room, calling Mrs. Swope to his side. they had always been the greatest of friends.
"Maggie," said Hunton, "I believe this is the end." He then closed his eyes and the fatal convulsions came. Two hours later he was dead.
The death of Homas H. Swope came quite as suddenly two days from that of his confidant and friend, at about 8 o'clock the following Sunday morning. The abrupt taking away of all that was dear to Mrs. Logan O. Swope, except her children, was a great strain on her nerves and for several weeks she was on the point of a break down. She was advised to go to Chicago to recuperate. She followed the instructions and went in company with two of her personal friends, Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Thomas.
HURRIES TO DEATH BED.
While she was in Chicago word was sent to her that her eldest son, Chrisma, 31 years old, and a daughter, Margaret, were very sick of typhoid fever. She hurried back and arrived at the home four days before the death of Chrisman.
The home to which Mrs. Swope returned wsa one of hte blackest sorrow and apprehension. Margaret and Chrisman were both at death's door. One of hte servants was sick and MIss Cora Dickson, Margaret's governess who had thrown over her position as teacher of the third and fourth grades in the Columbian ward school to attend to her mistress, was down with the fatal malady.
In mortal dread of impending trouble as deep and poignant as any that had occurred heretofre, the widow cabled at once another daughter, Stella Swope, taking music lessons in Paris, to come home as quickly as steamship and train could carry her. Before she arrived in America, however, Chrisman was dead from a convulsion which turned the trend of his sickness to the worse at the climax.
Perhaps Mrs. Swope at this time believed as did some of her neighbors, that there was something supernatural in the calamities which had come to her in such close succession. anyway she sent a distant relative by marriage to meet Stella at New York and escort her home. Stella contracted typhoid fever on the train or home, it is alleged, and when she arrived was ready for the sick bed.
ADDED TO MYSTERY.
When the body of Thomas H. Swope was taken from its resting place in the vault in Forest Hill cemetery to the morgue of the H. J. Ott undertaking establishment in Independence it was about as much of a mystery as the more important details of this remarkable case. The physicians who examined the body, the lawyers at whose insistance the body was exhumed and the undertaker and coroner would not talk yesterday.
It is known that the body was at the Independence morgue, however, at 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, for it was at this time that a special coroner's jury was called to the Ott undertaking rooms to formally identify the body.
After they had been filed through the rooms and gazed at the face of the dead benefactor they were dismissed on call. The jurors were T. J. Walker, A. J. Bundschu, S. T. Pendleton, S. H. Woodson, Bernard Zick, Jr., and William Martin.
"We were asked merely to identify the body and our opinion as to how Colonel Swope came by his death was not asked," said T. J. Walker, one of the jurors, afterwrds. "We probably will not be called again until the contents of the stomach have been examined by the Chicago specialists.
Henry Ott of the undertaking firm would not give out a statement last night. He said he has been instructed to tell nothing and he intended to do as he was told.
Dr. B. H. Zwart, county coroner, said that Dr. Frank Hall asked his permission of the autopsy on the body of Colonel Swope, which was granted. the autopsy, he said, was performed by Dr. Heptoek of Chicago and Dr. Hall. A jury ws provisionally impaneled and viewed the body. This jury will be reimpaneled, according to Dr. Zward, providing an inquest is held.
"If there is a request for an inquest, I will order one," he said. "If after a reasonable time nothing further is done in the matter, I will then have to investigate and find why no request is being made for an inquest. It will be my duty to learn why the autopsy was made."
Labels: Chicago, Coroner Zwart, detectives, Independence, St Louis, Swope Mystery, Thomas Swope, typhoid, undertakers
August 7, 1909
DR. ZWART'S HEALTH GOOD.
Canada Letter From Coroner to
Mrs. Zwart Yesterday.
Mrs. B. H. Zwart, wife of the county coroner, has received a letter from Dr. Zwart, dated Banff, Canada. She said yesterday that Dr. Zwart was in the best of health and that his outing of two weeks in Canada had done him much good.
"From what he writes I believe Dr. Zwart will said on August 14 from Seattle to Skagway," said Mrs. Zwart. "I expect him home by September and will meet him in Denver the latter part of the month. The only Kansas Cityans he writes of seeing in Banff are Fred Heim and John W. Wagner. I do not understand how reports of his ill health could have originated."
Labels: Coroner Zwart
May 5, 1909
WITNESSES DENY STORIES
ATTRIBUTED TO PATIENTS.
Evidence Introduced to Refute
Charges Against Management
of General Hospital.
Six witnesses were heard for the defense in the general hospital investigation yesterday. The hearing was then adjourned until Saturday at 2:30 p. m., wh en the committee will meet at the city hall. The last two sessions, for convenience of nurses and doctors, were held at the new general hospital.
Miss Catherine May, a former nurse in the hospital, was the first witness. John A. Johnson, Mrs. Violet Hutchins, Miss Josie Pomfret and "Sig Frisco" were patients there, and she attended each of them. As to Johnson, whom she nursed at the old hospital, she said he was not allowed to lie on a damp, cold bed, never did lie on the floor all night and was never strapped to a chair while nude and left in the cold as is charged.
Miss May then told of having received Mrs. Hutchins into the hospital and of the patient having assaulted her while refusing to take a bath. She also told of the patient's threats toward her baby and of having heard her say: "I'll get this hospital in trouble. I'm a good talker in court all right." As to the Miss Pomfret charges Miss May said the young woman demanded a private room and refused to give up her personal property as required.
Regarding Frisco, who swore that he lay all night and a day with no attention from a doctor or nurse, Miss May told of giving him an alcohol rub, placing hot water bottles about him and giving medicine to ease him, after which Frisco said he was "very comfortable."
Mrs. Kate E. Pierson, connected with the Associated Charities and a member of the tenement and pardons and paroles boards, told of sending many patients to the hospital, and of visiting them afterwards. She never heard but one complaint, that of a father regarding food given his daughter.
"I happened in the hospital at meal time a few days later," the witness said, "and the food the girl got was well cooked and good enough for anyone."
In the matter of a charge alleged to have been made by Dr. C. B. Irwin, investigator for the tenement commission, against the treatment of tuberculosis patients at the hospital, Mrs. Pierson said the report was a verbal one made to the board, and that Dr. Irwin had no authority to make such investigation, as the commission has no jurisdiction over the hospital.
Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner, was placed on the stand to tell of an autopsy which he held on the body of Harry Roberts to determine the cause of death. After the post-mortem it was discovered that Roberts had died of Banta's disease, a rare ailment.
Labels: Coroner Zwart, general hospital, nurses, parole board, tenement commission
March 15, 1909
ENDS DEBAUCH BY SUICIDE.
Man Believed to Be A. W. Butter-
field Strangled Himself to
Death in the Holdover.
While temporarily insane from the excessive use of alcohol, a man, believe to be A. W. Butterfield, committed suicide in the holdover at police headquarters yesterday afternoon by hanging himself with a handkerchief. He was dead when discovered by Philip Welch, the jailor, at 2:30 o'clock, and Dr. W. L. Gist of the emergency hospital said he had been dead about a half hour.
Patrolman L. A. Tillman arrested a man at Third street and Grand avenue at 9 o'clock yesterday morning and at the station had him locked up for safe keeping. The prisoner was drunk and resisted the jailor and Patrolman Bryan Underwood, who searched him at the desk. He was last seen alive by Jailor Welch, who entered the cell at noon to give him his lunch.
The suicide tied a handkerchief around his neck and to the bars of his cell door. With his face turned from the door, Butterfield then allowed the weight of his body to rest upon the handkerchief and slowly strangled to death.
A small gold watch, $1.70 in silver and a pair of gold eye glasses were taken from him. A small button worn by the suicide tended to show that he was a member of the United Brotherhood of Leather Workers of Horse Goods. He was about 40 years old. Coroner B. H. Zwart ordered the body taken to Stewart's undertaking rooms.
Labels: alcohol, Coroner Zwart, doctors, Grand avenue, jail, police, police headquarters, Suicide, Third street
February 3, 1909
ZWART EXPECTS TO BE BUSY.
New Coroner Asks for Aid in Keep-
ing Records of His Office.
Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner, applied to the county court yesterday for a stenographer, to be paid $100 a month. He said such a deputy would be valuable to take the evidence presented at inquests. J. M. Patterson, presiding judge of the court, said that former coroners had not expressed need of such help, and that attorneys interested in inquests usually paid the stenographer for his transcript of the evidence. The court took the matter under advisement.
Labels: Coroner Zwart, county court
January 26, 1909
HUMAN BONES ARE UNEARTHED.
Seekers After Buried Treasure Sur-
prised at Their Discovery.
Coroner B. H. Zwart has been notified of the discovery of a grave on the A. J. Bundschu farm near Selsea. While out hunting yesterday, a son of James Lynch, who rents the farm, discovered a depression in the ground in a thicket. Thinking he had found buried treasure, the boy notified his father and, together with several neighbors, an exploring expedition was formed.
Instead of buried treasure, the diggers unearthed the bones of a human being. Now the neighborhood is excited and efforts are being made to recall some murder of days gone by or some mysterious disappearance. The discoverers were unable to distinguish whether the bones were that of a man or a woman. Coroner Zwart is expected to solve this question.
Labels: Coroner Zwart, farmers
December 16, 1908
MRS. PRATT TO BE TRIED
ON A CHARGE OF MURDER.
After Being Discharged by a Justice,
Information Was Filed by
Informations charging murder in the first degree were filed yesterday by I. B. Kimbrell, prosecuting attorney, against Mrs. Della Pratt and William Enghnell, members of the band of fanatics headed by James Sharp. Mrs. Pratt and Enghnell had a preliminary hearing Saturday before Justice Theodore Remley and yesterday the justice ordered their release. However, both are in the county jail awaiting trial upon the informations filed by the prosecutor.
Sharp, his wife and the two others accused of first degree murder, will not be tried before January. It would be almost impossible to have the cases ready for trial before that time, so attorneys and prosecutors agree.
While the adult members of the band are in jail, the four Pratt children are having the time of their lives at the Detention home. Under the guidance of J. K. Ellwood, superintendent, they are imbibing knowledge at a rapid rate. In eight days the larger ones have learned to read and write.
Requests from person who wish to adopt the children continue to come to the probation officers. George M. Holt received a letter yesterday from G. H. Walser of Liberal, Mo., asking for all the children. He promises that they shall not be separated and offers to provide the best of care. This application is only one of twenty.
Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner, said last night that the inquest of all five victims of the riot would be held tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock. The inquest will include an inquiry into the death of Lulu Pratt, who was killed while attempting to escape in a boat in company of her mother.
Labels: Adam God sect, children, Coroner Zwart, custody, detention home, doctors, Judge Remley, murder, Prosecutor Kimbrell, women
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Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri