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February 11, 1910

DR. HYDE CHARGED
WITH MURDER IN
THE FIRST DEGREE.

Colonel Swope's Nephew by
Marriage Formally Accused
and Arrested.

OUT UNDER $50,000 BOND.

Special Grand Jury Convenes
Saturday to Investigate
Swope Deaths.

BIG LIBEL SUIT DROPPED.

By Dismissing Proceedings,
Dr. Hyde Avoids Giving
Deposition.

Dr. B. Clark Hyde, Charged with First Degree Murder.
DR. B. CLARK HYDE.

Dr. B. Clark Hyde, whose wife is a niece of the late Colonel Thomas H. Swope, was formally charged in a warrant issued yesterday afternoon by Justice of the Peace Loar at Independence, with having caused the death of Colonel Swope by poison.

Dr. Hyde was arrested in the office of Marshal Joel Mayes at 4 o'clock and an hour later gave bond in the sum of $50,000 before Justice Loar. The hearing is set for February 17.

The surties on the bond are M. D. Scruggs, vice president of the Kansas City Live Stock Commission Company; Fernando P. Neal, president of the Southwest National bank, and Herbert F. Hall, presiden tof the Hall-Baker Grain Company. Frank P. Walsh, John M. Cleary, John H. Lucas, attorneys for Dr. Hyde, and William McLaughlin joined in signing the bond, which was twice as large as was suggested by Prosecutor Conkling.

SPECIAL GRAND JURY CALLED.

Two hours prior to the issuance of the warrant, Judge Ralph S. Latshaw of the riminal court ordered that a special grand jury be convened to examine into the deaths of Colonel Thomas H. Swope, Chrisman Swope and other members of the Swope family who died of typhoid fever, including Moss Hunton, who died suddenly in the Swope home.

Marshal Joel Mayes was busy yesterday selecting a list of names of men who will be asked to serve on this grand jury. The jury will be convened Saturday morning when Judge Latshaw will instruct them in their duties.

The refusal of Dr. Hyde to appear at the Reed offices yesterday morning so that his deposition could be taken in his libel suits for $600,000 against the Pulitzer Publishing Company and the dismissal by the attorneys of the suit when they learned that an attachment had been issued for Dr. Hyde, precipitated the criminal proceedings.

The information was sworn to by John G. Paxton of Independence, the executor of the Swope estate. On the reverse of the warrant was a request by Prosecutor Conkling for an immediate arrest.

BIG LIBEL SUIT DROPPED.

The scenes of activity in the Swope case yesterday were kaleidoscopic. The legal sparring began in the morning when attemts to take depositions in the offices of Atwood, Reed, Yates, Mastin & Harvey on one hand and Frank P. Walsh on the other failed because the witnesses subpoenaed were not present.

Following the issuance of an attachment by the Reed forces came the dismissal of his suit for $600,000 damages.

The dismissal of the libel suit in which the Reed forces had obtained a prior right to taking depositions was not wholly a surprise, but it roused the attorneys for the Swope estate to activity. It was shortly after 10 o'clock a. m. when the attorneys and the women witnesses in the case gathered in the Reed offices. George H. Roberts, the notary, had failed to arrive and he was found in the court house. He had not expected the case to be called. Dr. Hyde had not arrived and it was determined to ask for an attachment. This was issued and a deputy sheriff began a search for Dr. Hyde.

JUDGE LATSHAW ACTS.

It did not take long for this news to reach the Walsh offices and John M. Cleary was dispatched to Independence. There the suit alleging libel against the Pulitzer Publishing Company, John G. Paxton, Dr. E. L. Stewart and Frank G. Hall was dismissed. The sheriff was notified and recalled the deputy who had been unable to find Dr. Hyde. the latter was ensconced in a private apartment of Mr. Walsh's offices. The news of the dismissal of the suit did not sit well with the attorneys for the Swope estate. There was a conference between Reed, Atwood, Maston and Paxton. It terminated at the office of Prosecutor Conknling.

It was at this juncture that Judge Ralph S. Latshaw entered the case. He went into conference with the attorneys and a quarter of an hour later declared that he would convene a special grand jury on Saturday monrning.

In the meantime Mr. Paxton had gone to Mr. Walsh's office. He said that he was sorry that he had caused the attorneys any embarrassment, but that he had a great deal of private business to attend to. He would greatly appreciate the favor of being excused until 2:30 p. m. Mr. Walsh conferred with Judge Johnson, and returning to the room, told Mr. Paxton that they would excuse him until 2:30 p. m.

Then Mr. Paxton got busy. Mr. Reed arranged for an interview with County Prosecutor Virgil Conkling. It did not take the attorneys long to arrive at a decision. This was that Mr. Paxton should swear to the information and that Prosecuting Attorney Conkling would recommend an issuance of a warrant charging Dr. Hyde with murder.

Before Prosecuting Attorney Conkling departed for Independence he called up Mr. Walsh on the telephone and asked him to have Dr. Hyde in the office of County Marshal Joel Mayes at 4 p. m. as he desired to serve a warrant on him at that time. Mr. Walsh promised to have his client there at the appointed time.

Dr. Hyde was not at the Walsh offices when this message came and caught his attorneys somewhat by surprise. They were getting ready to take the deposition of Mr. Paxton. Dr. Hyde was notifed over the telephone to come to the Walsh offices and then Mr. Cleary was given the job of finding bondsmen for Mr. Hyde. He was only a few minutes later than 4 p. m. in getting the signatures of the three businessmen to the bond which was made out in blank.

The warrant was issued at 3:30 o'clock on the application of J. G. Paxton in the office of Justice of the Peace Loar of Independence. Mr. Paxton was accompanied to the office of Justice Loar in the Jackson County Bank building by T. J. Mastin. Virgil Conkling indorsed the information. "I hereby approve of complaint and request that a warrant be issued," affixing his signature to the back of the document.

"I suggest that the bond be fixed at $25,000," said the prosecutor. "I believe that is sufficient in this case as there are certain contingencies which lead me to believe that a greater bond is not necessary." Justice Loar also was informed by the prosecutor that he could do as he pleased as to the amount of the bond, but that the state would be satisfied with that amount.

LEAVES WITH WARRANT.

Justice Loar upon the receipt of complaint at once was given another paper by Virgil Conkling which proved to be a warrant for the arrest of Dr. Hyde. In the body of the warrant the wording was identical with that in the complaint, and after being signed by the justice of the peace, who ordered it delivered to the marshal of Jackson county, the prosecutor and Attorneys Mastin and Paxton left in an automobile for Kansas City with the warrant.

Prosecutor Conkling stated that he had placed in the warrant that the preliminary examination would be held February 17.

Justice Loar stated that if the defendant waived preliminary examination he would commit him to jail, but if not he would accept the bond which it was expected Dr. Hyde would give.

Shortly before 4 p. m. Mr. Walsh and Mr. Lucas took their client to the criminal court building. Dr. Hyde was smiling. They hastened to Mr. Conkling's office where they remained until they were told that Mr. Conkling and Mr. Paxton had returned from Independence and were in the marshal's office.

Prosecutor Conkling handed the warrant to Marshal Mayes and told him Dr. Hyde would be in the office in a few minutes.

"Is your name B. Clark Hyde?" inquired Marshal Mayes of Dr. Hyde a few monents later when he was brought into the office by Attorneys Walsh and Lucas.

Dr. Hyde nodded his head in reply.

WAIVES READING WARRANT.

"I have a warrant which I am directed to serve on you. Shall I read it?" Marshal Mayes inquired.

"We waive the reading of the warrant," spoke up Attorney Walsh and the party including Dr. Hyde smiled.

Dr. Hyde and Marshal Mayes entered into a conversation on temporal subjects. The afternoon was delightful, remarked the marshal.

Prosecuting Attorney Conkling and Attorneys Walsh and Lucas drew to one side of the room.

"I have recommended that Justice Loar take a bond of $25,000 for the appearance of Dr. Hyde at the preliminary hearing which has been set for a week from today," said Mr. Conkling.

COULD MAKE IT A MILLION.

"That is satisfactory to us," replied Mr. Walsh. "Mr. Cleary is out now and will be here very shortly with a bond that will be good for a million dollars if necessary.

"That is not necessary," replied Mr. Conkling. "I have suggested a bond which I deem sufficient."

Attorneys Conkling, Walsh and Lucas then withdrew to the outer office, leaving Dr. Hyde with Marshal Mayes.

"I am very much interested in knowing what they are going to do with me next," said Dr. Hyde to Marshal Mayes.

"Do we have to go to Independence, and will I have to stay there all night?" asked Dr. Hyde.

"If your attorneys are unable to get bond for you, you will remain with me tonight. If they do get bond, you will go to Independence with me and then go on home," said Marshal Mayes.

Dr. Hyde was inclined to be almost talkative while in the marshal's office. He talked on almost any subject not pertaining to the case, and his face, for the first time during the week, was wreathed in smiles.

About 4:30 p. m. Mr. Walsh suggested that the party depart for Independence, as he expected Mr. Cleary had already started there. Assistant Prosecutor Jost accompanied the party in the Walsh automobile, representing Mr. Conkling. A moment later they were on their way to Independence.

At 5:15 o'clock a large automobile glided up to the bank building at Independence. In it was the county marshal, having in custody Dr. Hyde. Accompanying the party were Frank P. Walsh, John Cleary and John H. Lucas. They immediately went to the office of Justice Loar.

Dr. Hyde followed his lawyers closely, and as soon as he entered stepped to one side, and motioning to a newsboy, bought an evening paper, scanning the headlines. Not once did he raise his eyes, but kept them riveted on the columns which contained the latest developments in his case. After reading the full account, he turned the paper over and reread it.

MAYES SIGNS RETURN.

County Marshal Joel Mayes drew up his chair to the desk and signed the return, turning it over to the justice.

Dr. Hyde, who was standing near, found room on a window sill where he kept reading his paper, only looking up sufficiently long to buy another, which he read with as much eagerness as the first.

Frank Walsh left the court room, stating that he would be back in a short time. Upon his return he placed the bond before the justice of the peace for $50,000 instead of the $25,000 expected.

"I expected bond for $25,0000, but this is better still," said Justice Loar.

Mr. Walsh signed the document, then handed a pen to Dr. Hyde. Dr. Hyde wrote in a plain, bold hand, without a tremor, and his signature was affixed with as much indifference as if writing a prescription for a patient. After Dr. Hyde, John M. Cleary and John H. Lucas signed the bond.

LAWYERS SIGN BOND.

After this preliminary Dr. Hyde, followed by his lawyers, went to their automobile and soon were out of sight.

"This is a good bond," said Justice Loar, after the crowd had left the office. "Mr. Neal is president of the Southwest National bank, and the others I am given to understand are stockyards men. I do not expet that there will be a preliminary examination here. I am confident that it will go to the criminal court at once.

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November 19, 1909

MURDERESS GROWS THIN.

Mrs. Meyers Sighs for Freedom -- Did
Not Write Governor.

Mrs. Aggie Myers, the Kansas City woman serving a life sentence in the state penitentiary for the murder of her husband, says that prison life does not agree with her. In fact, she has grown thin and emaciated, and the hard work at the penitentiary is beginning to tell on her.

"She looks to be in poor health, worn and haggard by the drudgery and work in prison," said County Marshal Joel R. Mayes yesterday. Mr. Mayes returned yesterday from Jefferson City, where he took fifteen prisoners from the county jail. While at the penitentiary he had a talk with Mrs. Myers.

"Mrs. Myers," said the marshal, "denies having written the letter to the governor asking for a pardon. She says she does not know who wrote it. The first she heard of the letter, she told me, was when she read it in a Kansas City newspaper."

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October 31, 1909

"ADAM GOD'S" WIFE IS
GIVEN HER LIBERTY.

AFTER ELEVEN MONTHS MRS.
SHARP GOES FREE.

Doubt as to Her Sanity Leads
Prosecutor to Dismiss Indict-
ment for Riot of De-
cember 8, 1908.

After spending almost eleven months in the county jail, Mrs. Melissa Sharp, the wife of "Adam God," who was sentenced to twenty-five years in the penitentiary for the shooting of Patrolman A. O. Dalbow on December 8, 1908, will be given her liberty today on the recommendation of Virgil Conkling, county prosecutor.

"I won't prosecute any one when I have a reasonable doubt as to their sanity," he said. "I'm going to dismiss the case against her."

It lacked a few minutes of midnight last night that Mr. Conkling made known his decision. The case was promptly dismissed and Marshal Joel B. Mayes was notified to liberate Mrs. Sharp this morning.

For many weeks Mr. Conkling has had this step under advisement. Many persons expressed doubt as to the woman's sanity. She would have faced the jury on November 15. She will not even be taken before a lunacy commission.

"She will be absolutely free," Mr. Conkling said last night.

When it was hinted in her presence that she might be turned loose on the grounds of insanity, she resented the insinuation, but when she was told last night by Deputy Marshals Joe McGuire and E. S. Dudley that she was free, she began crying for joy.

"Free, did you say? I can't believe it, I'm so glad," she said.

She sat down on the edge of the bed and began to weep hysterically, while the deputies filed out quietly. The other women prisoners were awakened and before midnight it was generally known that Mrs. Sharp was free.

During her stay in the county jail Mrs. Sharp has made friends of everyone who made her acquaintance. Her patient demeanor and her solicitation for the women prisoners has made her universally liked. During the last few weeks she has admitted that her husband, whom she trusted so blindly, was wrong.

"It all seems like a dream," she has said many times. "I was following my husband on that day thinking that he could do no wrong. Now I know better."

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October 26, 1909

PRISONERS NEED MAGAZINES.

County Marshal Joel Mayes Pleads
for Reading Material.

Prisoners at the county jail are having a pretty hard time just now getting something to read, and County Marshal Joel Mayes asks for magazines and periodicals. The magazines which the jail now affords have been read and reread so many times that some of the prisoners can almost repeat the stories and poems by heart while some of them have even digested the advertising portion to the extent of memorizing it, so anxious are they to read.

The marshal says a great many of the stores have magazines which they cannot return and he would be very glad to get these for the prisoners and, in fact, would be greatly appreciated reading matter from any source.

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September 1, 1909

COST OF PRISONERS' FARE.

Recent Law, Marshal Says, Under
Actual Expense.

When the legislature enacted the recent law providing that a county marshal might collect only 3 cents per mile for taking prisoners to the penitentiary, it must have counted on a 2-cent fare. If such were in force the extra cent per mile would be sufficient to defray all expenses. As it now stands every prisoner taken to the prison will cost either the marshal or the state more than the law allows.

"It must be remembered," said Marshal Mayes yesterday, "that the penitentiary is a mile from the station in Jefferson City. Prisoners cannot be walked all that distance. We have been hiring a conveyance of some sort and could afford to do so under the old allowance for expenses. This way we cannot. The 3 cents per mile will just pay railroad fare and will not even feed the guards."

A stated recompense is fixed in the bill for guards, but nothing is said about feeding them or housing them in Jefferson City if they should be unable to catch a train back to Kansas City the same day.

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July 31, 1909

DEATH PENALTY PAID
BY NEGRO MURDERER.

CLAUD BROOKS HANGED AT THE
COUNTY JAIL YESTERDAY.

With a smile and a "Good-by everybody," Claud Brooks stepped into eternity. He made the scaffold his stage, and for a few brief seconds seemed to enjoy being enough of a spectacle to cause fifty men and boys, all white, to crowd to see him.

In fourteen minutes after 9:15, when Marshal Joel B. Mayes sprang the trap, he had been pronounced dead. The law had taken its vengeance for the death of Sidney Herndon, struck down in cold blood eighteen months ago.

Brooks taunted one of the deputies with being nervous and asked another not to tie him so tight, as he would not attempt to resist. A few moments later he dropped to his death.

With appetite Brooks at breakfast ate the catfish which had been provided for him according to his wish. Then he asked for whisky, which also was given him. And then for two hours the Rev. E. S. Willett, Rev. J. W. Hurst, Rev. S. W. Bacote and Rev. J. C. Dickson prayed and sang with him. Half an hour before the execution he was given the sacrament. And then the nervousness, if he previously felt any, vanished.

Into the room where the gallows stand there was admitted a motley crowd of some fifty. There were policemen by the fives. There were boys who looked barely over 17. There were men of many types, not to mention several well known in the business life of the town.

Outside, crowds threatened to storm the jail to gain entrance. Marshal Mayes asked the police to protect the entrance into the jail wagon yard, which the crowd appeared to take by storm. Some half a hundred got into the criminal court room, from which the gallows was shut off by brick walls.

Still others stood outside, waiting to catch a fleeting glimpse of what was once a human being. Children of tender years and women with the imprint of respectability were among the number.

Eighteen months ago Brooks killed Sidney Herndon, owner of the Navarro flats at Twelfth and Baltimore, four feet of stature and crippled. He killed him with a hammer. The motive was robbery. The negro got more than $100. Out of this he bought a suit of clothes and hired a carriage to take him to the Union depot so he could escape. The rest he lost gambling and gave away. He was tried, convicted, his sentence affirmed by the supreme court and not considered otherwise than proper by the governor.

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April 8, 1909

EX-JAILER DECLINES TO TALK.

Refuses to Say Whether Prisoners
Taken Out Nights by Brannon.

J. L. Chestnut, night jailer at the county jail, was removed from his position yesterday morning, according to Joel Mayes, county marshal, because of his frequent complaints about his hours of work -- from 4 p. m. to midnight.

"I was constantly hearing complaints in regard to Chestnut," said Mr. Mayes over the telephone late last night. He did not like his hours, and thought himself too big for the place. When the matter was brought to my notice again this morning I let him go."

At his home, 2822 Charlotte street, last night, Mr. Chestnut had little to say.

"I notified Mayes two months ago that I did not like my hours," he said, "and when I found there was to be no change, I quit."

"Do you know of any talk about Bert Brannon, the deputy marshal who was discharged today, having taken prisoners out of the jail at night?" he was asked.

"I don't care to talk about that," was his abrupt reply. "I have nothing to do with Brannon or any of his gang."

"Were any prisoners ever taken out at night while you were there?"

"I told you I would not say anything about that now."

"Did you have trouble with Brannon and then turn in your resignation to Mayes some days ago?"

"I have said all I am going to."

When Marshal Mayes was asked if he know of any prisoners being taken out of the county jail at night, given their freedom for a time, and then returned, he said: "I did hear a rumor to that effect, but could not confirm it. Chestnut's dismissal and the discharge of Brannon are two entirely different matters, and not related to one another in the least. As soon as I heard that Brannon was locked up in the holdover with a charge pending against him I went and got his commission."

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August 10, 1908

COUNT 'EM, SAYS
PENDERGAST

FIRST WARD ALDERMAN WANTS
BALLOT BOXES OPENED.

WOULD TAKE THE LID OFF

SAYS THAT WILL DISCLOSE WHO
PERPETRATED FRAUD.

Claims That Ballots Were Cast for
Men He Favored at the Pri-
maries, but They Are Not
on the Tally Sheets.

Alderman James Pendergast of the First ward is not greatly excited over charges of alleged fraud in last Tuesday's primaries. He said last night that he does not seriously consider the charges made by John F. O'Donnell, evidently defeated candidate for county marshal, that there was fraud in the alderman's ward, the First.

"Are they crying about fraud in the Second and in the Third wards?" asked the alderman "Certainly they are not. Now, I know something 'bout things were run out in the Second ward. Why, they just voted men as they pleased, there.

"Here is something else for Mr. O'Donnell to consider. In the First precinct of the Third ward there were four good, prominent men working all day for our ticket. They brought in lots of votes and got them honestly, but not even their votes show up in the count. There wasn't a vote cast there for one of our candidates -- I mean not a vote counted."

Alderman Pendergast stated positively that he does not believe Joel Mayes, who defeated O'Donnell, wants the office if he did not win it fairly. He said May is perfectly willing for a count of the ballots and has suggested to O'Donnell that the latter contest.

"There is but one way to find out," said Alderman Pendergast. "Count the ballots. Open the ballot boxes. That is what O'Donnell should do or quit crying fraud. I don't think he will do either."

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