November 24, 1909
SAY THEY WERE OPPRESSED.
Russian Jews Pass Through City,
Seeking "Promised Land" Homes.
A party of fifty Russian Jews passed through the city yesterday afternoon en route for Des Moines, Omaha, Lincoln and other cities in Iowa and Nebraska. Some of them came from Koavino, Russia, and others from Wilno.
None of the party could speak a word of English. They told the interpreter at the depot that they had been forced to leave Russia by the "Little Father." Practically all their property had been confiscated, and they had barely enough to pay their passage across the Atlantic. They came to America, the "Promised Land," of which their brothers, who came before, wrote about. The party came by way of Galveston, the cheapest way over.
There was only one woman in the party. The wives and children had been left behind. When they make their "stake," they told the interpreter they will send money to Russia to bring their families.
Labels: Des Moines, immigrants, Omaha, Union depot, visitors
November 13, 1909
NOT CARL ORIN'S GHOST.
Des Moines Man Believed Killed in
Wreck, Is in Kansas City.
"Hello, Harry, is that you? This is Carl -- Carl Orin. Can't you understand -- C -A-R-L, O-R-I-N of Des Moines, Ia. Don't you know we came here together several years ago?"
"Not much you are not Carl Orin. He was killed in a wreck out in Wyoming nearly a year ago. Everybody knows that he's dead."
The foregoing telephone conversation took place about 6 o'clock last night between Harry Ensminger, foreman at the Gump truck factory, Ninth and Main streets, and Carl Orin, who just had arrived here from Oklahoma City.
"If you don't believe I am Carl Orin," said the first speaker, "I will just show you, so long as you are in Missouri. I am coming right over to see you."
"If you do you are Orin's ghost," insisted Ensminger, "for I tell you I know that he is dead. I know his mother is mourning him as dead."
"Quit your kidding," came back from the man at the telephone. "You must be trying to hand me something."
A few minutes later when Carl Orin, alive and well and unmistakably genuine, walked into the presence of Ensminger the latter was astounded. Orin was at once informed that his mother was at 211 Maple street, Des Moines, was at that very moment wearing black, believing him to be the victim of a disastrous railroad wreck which occurred out in Wyoming about ten months ago. One of the badly mangled victims of the wreck, from something on his person, was identified as Carl Orin of Des Moines and his people notified. Since that time, the live man was told his mother had spent a considerable sum of money sending representatives out into Wyoming to get the story of the wreck, and, if possible, make some kind of settlement with the railroad company.
Labels: Des Moines, Main street, Ninth street, telephone
October 23, 1909
LONG'S DELEGATION RETURNS.
With a Band and Special Train
They Excited Admiration.
The greatest religious convention ever was that which was held in Pittsburgh last week when more than 30,000 members of the Brotherhood of Christ met in one great body, according to R. A. Long, who returned yesterday from Chicago with the special train carrying 210 Kansas City representatives from the convention.
Half an hour after the train arrived in Kansas City, Mr. Long was busy in his office attending to work which had piled up during his absence.
The Kansas City delegation, with Hiner's band, excited the greatest admiration. A special train with the best Pullmans in the service, all furnished by Mr. Long, was a subject that filled whole columns of the Eastern press. The special train was routed to Buffalo where Niagara Falls was visited, and then over the Lake Shore to Chicago, where the party remained a day.
"It was a great gathering," Mr. Long said yesterday. "Thirty thousand delegates in song and prayer has an influence that no one could resist. Yes, I think our delegation was the largest, considered the distance that we had to travel."
Topeka is to have next year's convention, though Des Moines and Louisville and Boston made a fight for it. If 30,000 delegates attend the Topeka convention it is rather doubtful whether quarters could be found for such a gathering. The distance, however, makes it improbable that such an event will take place.
Labels: Des Moines, R A Long, railroad, Topeka
October 21, 1909
WOMAN FOILS A PLOT
TO LOOT BIG ESTATE.
TIPS OFF IOWA WOMAN'S $300,-
Jealousy Reveals and Thwarts Far
Reaching Intrigue to Get Pos-
session of Late Adolph Hunte-
"Hell hath no terror like a woman scorned." But for a jilted Chicago woman, the plot to obtain possession of the $300,000 estate of Adolph Huntemann, who died here in March, 1907, supposedly without heirs, might not have been uncovered.
Through a tip obtained from this woman, Grant I. Rosenzweig, attorney for the estate, worked up evidence which, when presented Tuesday to Mrs. Minnie A. Shepherd and her attorneys in Burlington, Ia., caused the woman to confess that she had concocted one of the cleverest frauds of the age.
Mr. Rosenzweig returned yesterday with the woman's affidavit, in which she admitted the fraud, and relinquished all claims to the estate. This he filed with the probate court.
IOWA WOMAN'S CLAIM.
Last March the court was ready to distribute the estate to the nieces and nephews of Huntemann in Germany, their identity having been established by birth, marriage and death records there.
Just one day before Judge J. G. Guinotte was to make the order Mrs. Minnie A Shepherd appeared and filed suits against the seven different pieces of property constituting the estate.
This stopped the distribution, and Mr. Rosenzweig was ordered by the court to take Mrs. Shepherd's deposition. The story of the attempted fraud, how it was planned, and how thwarted can better be told in Mr. Rosenzweig's own words.
"In her first deposition," he said, "Mrs. Shepherd claimed to be the daughter of Pauline Lipps, who was the daughter of Mary and Adolph Huntemann. While she alleged that Pauline was illegitimate, she claimed that a common law marriage later was contracted, making Pauline a legitimate child under the laws of Missouri. If this had been true Mrs. Shepherd would have been the sole heir, to the exclusion of all the German family.
"She claimed that on account of having been an abandoned child she could furnish few facts, but said she had certain letters written by Adolph Huntemann in which he recognized her as his grandchild, a fragment of a will in his handwriting in which she was so recognized, an old Bible inscribed in his hand to her as his grandchild and a number of similar documents.
HOODWINKED HER LAWYERS.
At this point in the deposition Mrs. Shepherd named women in St. Louis, Chicago and elsewhere who, she said, had known Huntemann intimately and had been eye witnesses to certain events showing relationship of father and daughter between Huntemann and her mother.
"Judge Guinotte always is watchful of anything that looks out of place concerning estates in his court," said the narrator, "and with his approval I began a quiet investigation. I made investigations in Chicago, Des Moines, Burlington, Davenport and St. Louis and discovered a plot that had a branch in each one of these places involving women of lower classes and men of desperate character, a woman teacher and a man now in an Illinois penitentiary."
It appears that Mrs. Shepherd had employed attorneys of good standing, Holsteen & Hill in Burlington, and Boyle and Howell here. Her first step was to deceive them by pretending to advertise in the papers for the missing witnesses.
Her plot was so well arranged that each of the confederates answered the advertisements, wrote to the attorneys, giving her family history, and giving her the best of character. Each gave her a straight line of descent from Huntemann.
JILTED WOMAN'S TIP.
Everything was going well when Mrs. Shepherd made a secret trip to Chicago about the time a brother-in-law whom she and her husband had refused aid, was incarcerated in the Illinois penitentiary.
Just following this a woman in Chicago who had been jilted by one of the men in the case, gave the tip that certain information might be obtained in Davenport, Ia.
Following that up, affidavits were secured showing that Mrs. Shepherd was not an only child, but had five brothers and sisters living; that her mother has a twin sister and a brother living. It was found that her story was false, and that her grandmother, Mary, had been honorably married and was buried in Wilton, Ill.
"In addition," said Mr. Rosenzweig, "thirty or forty letters were secured which had been written by Mrs. Shepherd to her confederates giving dates, names and places which confederates were to confirm. Also letters which confederates were to copy in English and German and a fragment of the alleged will where the handwriting was to be identified.
"Confederates had obeyed her instructions, and identified all these fraudulent papers as genuine. An old Bible had been secured from a secondhand store and all names inserted in dim ink. All documents were yellow with age. I also had proof that Mrs. Shepherd's mother had died in 1903 and not in the early 80's."
After getting all of this together, Mr. Rosenzweig decided that the time had come to present it to Mrs. Shepherd and her attorneys in Burlington. He arrived there Tuesday and first laid the evidence before the lawyers who were reluctant to admit that their client could have hatched up such a clever plot.
"I went out and brought her to their office," continued Mr. Rosenzweig, "and there ensued a meeting which lasted six hours before the woman gave in. A woman of more brazen boldness and falsehood, backed by clever cunning I never expect to see. She denied authorship of the letters notwithstanding her attorneys had some of hers with which they were compared and she said that relatives who had made affidavits were unknown to her.
TRIES TO BRAZEN IT OUT.
"She looked us straight in the eye, and almost convinced her attorneys that a mistake had been made. She asked for a day in which to think the matter over, but I asked her if her story would be believed against the contrary evidence of five brothers and sisters, two uncles and aunts, her stepfather, some of her confederates and all of her letters and documents plotting the fraud which I possessed.
"At this point she asked for a private conference with her attorneys and shortly they returned saying she admitted it all. Her statement in writing was taken before a notary in which she admitted that she was not descended from and bore no kinship or relationship in now way whatever to Huntemann.
"After seeing articles in the newspapers that Huntemann had left a $300,000 estate and no known heirs the plot was hatched with assistance of others. She thought she might as well be an heir as anyone else. What inspired her most was the fact that she had been successful six years before in a similar undertaking, she said. An Australian had died leaving an estate of $1,000. By means of affidavits and other documents she said she established the fact that she was an only child of the Australian."
Labels: attorney, Chicago, con artist, Des Moines, Huntemann estate, probate, St Louis
October 12, 1909
MOTHER KIDNAPER PRISONER.
Foster Parents Regain Child and
Cause Arrest of Iowa Woman.
Charged with kidnaping her own baby from its foster parents in Des Moines, Mrs. Laura McConkey passed through Kansas City yesterday in charge of Iowa authorities on the way to Des Moines, where she will stand trial. Rev. A. D. Horne, the foster father, took the little girl home in his arms yesterday to his wife, who anxiously awaited the return of little 3-year-old Marguerite, whom she loves as much as if it were her own child.
In destitute circumstances about eighteen months ago, Mrs. McConkey found a home for the child with the family of the minister and signed the adoption papers. She was allowed the privilege of visiting the child. On the last visit, in August, the mother love asserted itself and two weeks later she spirited Marguerite away. the police over the country were notified. At last Mr. Horne found the baby with its mother in Altamont, Mo. A warrant was sworn out for the mother's arrest, and she was brought to Kansas City. She agreed to go to Iowa without extradition papers.
Labels: children, custody, Des Moines, kidnapping, visitors
July 27, 1909
HELPED MAKE HISTORY
IN KANSAS CITY KAS.
BYRON JUDD, RESIDENT SINCE
1857, IS DEAD.
Held Many Positions of Trust and
equipped First Horse Car Line
in the City -- Was 85
In the death last night of Byron Judd, a pioneer resident of Kansas City, Kas., the city was deprived of perhaps its most widely known and lovable characters. He was a man of rare ability, and was noted for his keen, incisive mind. Every enterprise of worth which marked the early transition of a straggling Indian village into the metropolis of the state is closely interwoven with the name and personality of Byron Judd. Although his advanced age of late years prevented his active participation in the affairs of the city, his mind retained the vigor of youth and his counsel upon questions of moment was highly valued and eagerly sought.
ANCESTORS IN MAYFLOWER.
Byron Judd was born August 13, 1824, at Otis , Berkshire county, Mass. His parents were farmers and pointed with pride that their ancestry could be clearly traced to the landing of the Mayflower. He received his education at the state normal and at Southwick academy. As a young man in his ho me town he held many minor offices, among which were school commissioner, township assessor and selectman.
In 1855 he left his native state and journeyed westward to Iowa, being made deputy land recorder at Des Moines, a position he held until his removal in 1857 to Kansas City, Kas., or, as it was then known, Wyandotte. In 1869 he was elected a member of the board of aldermen of the city. In 1863 he was elected county treasurer of Wyandotte county. He was married in 1865 to Mrs. Mary Louise Bartlett.
During the early days of Wyandotte he engaged in the banking and land business which he carried on for many years, having been the first land agent in the city. He was president of the council in 1868 and was elected mayor in 1869. This administration was remarkable for the spirit of enterprise displayed and was in fact the beginning of that civic pride which has since characterized the city.
EQUIPPED FIRST HORSE CAR.
Mr. Judd was made United States commissioner in 1870. In 1871 he organized the First National bank of that city and served as president and cashier of the institution. He remained a director in the bank for many years. In connection with W. P. Overton and Luther Wood he went to St. Louis and purchased the material and equipment for the first horse car line in the city.
He was elected state senator in 1872 and served in that capacity until 1876. Although a staunch Democrat, he was not in sympathy with the border warfare and many of the outrages committed during that period were fearlessly denounced by him.
His is survived by his only daughter, Mrs. Sarah Judd Greenman, public librarian of Kansas City, Kas.
Funeral arrangements have not been made.
Labels: banking, Civil War, death, Des Moines, history, Kansas City Kas, libraries, pioneers, politics
July 25, 1909
WABASH PASSENGER TRAIN SLIDES INTO THE RIVER.
FOUR KNOWN TO BE DEAD AND 30 INJURED.
Embankment Undermined by Missouri River, Near Orrick, and East Bound Train Slid Into the Water --- Trainmen Buried Under their Engine -- Passengers Reported Missing.
A washout made by the recent floods which had washed away practically all the support of the tracks, caused a part of Wabash train No. 4, out of Kansas City, to plunge into the Missouri river at Hull's Point, Mo., two miles east of Orrick about 10:15 o'clock last night. Orrick is thirty miles east of Kansas City.
Four are known to be dead and thirty-nine injured, some seriously.
The engine, baggage and express cars are in the river, almost entirely covered by water and the bodies of the engineer and fireman, a baggageman and a baby are buried in the wreckage.
The train consisting of engine and nine coaches left Kansas City for St. Louis at 9 o'clock last night in charge of Conductor W. M. Frye of St. Louis.
There were four sleepers on the train, one of them for Des Moines and according to Conductor Frye's story he carried sixty-eight passengers.BIG CONSIGNMENT OF MONEY.
In the baggage and express car was Harry Eckhert, Pacific express messenger, who had charge of between $30,000 and $40,000 consigned to St. Louis.
Immediately after the news of the wreck reached Kansas City a relief train was sent out and all of the injured were brought to Kansas City.
The train bearing the injured and other passengers arrived at the Union depot at 2:30 o'clock this morning. Seven ambulances with surgeons were in waiting and the injured were given temporary treatment in the main waiting room before being taken to the hospitals.
An hour after the wrecked passengers reached Kansas City, a new train was secured and the uninjured passengers were sent on to their destination.RIVER ATE BANK AWAY.
The train was running at 35 miles an hour when it reached the line of track, a quarter of a mile in extent, which had been undermined and washed away by the Missouri river. Into this space the train suddenly plunged, though passengers say that they felt the shock of the grinding brakes. At the point where the derailment occurred the track is practically straight and the river makes no perceptible curve.
The river had eaten its way fifty feet beyond the inmost rail so no vestige of track remained visible. When the engine struck the water it hurled itself forward carrying the baggage and mail car and sleeper with it. The baggage car crashed on top of the engine and the two were forced beneath the water, the engine being completely submerged and the baggage car standing on end in the water. The mail car overturned in the water and the clerks were forced to climb over the wreckage before they could get to safety. Every one of them was injured in some degree by the force of the shock.
The washout occurred after 6:30 o'clock, for at that time another Wabash passenger train, eastbound, went over the track in safety and no danger was noticed.DIED AT POST OF DUTY.
Engineer Flowers and Fireman Bond both went into the river with their engine and were drowned. It is thought that the escaping steam would have scalded them to death even had they not been held under the water by the weight of the engine. Baggageman Harry Eckert was caught in his car which sank to the bottom of the stream and he was drowned like a rat in a trap.
The death of little Donald King, the infant who was thrown from his father's arms into the river, was particularly sad. The child was but 2 years old and both parents were with him and his two little sisters, but little older than himself. Just before the train was precipitated into the river his father took him forward to the toilet room. When Mr. King got to the front of the coach the first shock came and he lurched heavily. The child was forced from his arms in some way and, it is thought, fell into the stream through one of the open windows. When the parents were seen at the Union depot last night they were both so dazed they could hardly give a coherent account of the accident.
Ten or twelve people who were only slightly injured left the train at the scene of the accident and went back to Orrick, Mo. Their names could not be learned this morning.BIG CROWD GATHERED.
News of the wreck was not long in reaching the depot and long before the relief train arrived the platform resembled the ward of a hospital. Along track No. 1 on which the train was scheduled to come in, was a long line of cots, while emergency surgeons in shirt sleeves strolled up and down or sat on the cots awaiting the arrival.
At about ten minutes past 2 o'clock there was a stir in the crowd of those waiting, the crowd having steadily increased as the news of the wreck filtered through the early morning air. A "flash" was received that the train had reached Randolph, just across the river, and would be at the station in ten minutes. Policemen showed up from apparently nowhere and took up their station along the track.
Ten minutes, twenty, thirty minutes passed and when shortly after the half-hour the train backed in. The crowd was so dense it was with difficulty the police made a passageway for the surgeons and stretchers.LONG LINE OF WHITE COTS.
Conductor Frye was the first man off the train. As soon as his lantern flashed its signal to the waiting hospital attendants, a line of white cots came into view, while the police had a difficult time keeping back the morbidly curious.
"A man in the sleeper is badly hurt," said Frye.
Men carried in a cot and because of the crowd it was necessary to pass the cot holding the injured man through a car window.
Others were carried or helped out by trainmen, hospital attendants and uninjured passengers, some bleeding and dazed, with temporary bandages wrapped about heads, arms and bodies.
Those who were able were left for the time being to shift for themselves, while surgeons bent over the cots of the more seriously injured to administer temporary relief.
Meanwhile uninjured passengers besieged Frye to know when they could "go on."
"Just as soon as we can get a train crew," was the invariable reply of the patient conductor.PASSENGERS AIDED DOCTORS.
Dr. Robert Sheetz and Dr. G. O. Moore of Orrick were the first physicians on the scene. They impressed those of the passengers who were able to assist them and gave temporary relief to most of the injured by the time the train reached Kansas City.
Miss Irene Dorton, 20, and Mrs. Sam Hackett, 40 years old, both of Orrick, were within a few miles of their home when the accident occurred. They had been visiting friends in Kansas City and were getting their luggage ready to get off the train when they were suddenly thrown out of their seats and across the aisle. Both lost consciousness and were revived by some of the passengers who were not as severely injured. They were attended by Drs. Sheet and Moore of Orrick.
"I can't tell you a thing about how the accident happened," said Miss Dorton, who was hurt the least. "I remember saying something to Mrs. Hackett about getting off the train, but that is all."ONE OF THE WORST INJURED.
Frank Gardner, 40 years old, of Mount Vernon, was one of the worst injured. His hand was gashed and his left arm was almost crushed off. He was in the forward car and was caught beneath the wreckage.
"Our escape from death was simply miraculous," said Miss Mamie Donnelly of Mexico, Mo. "I was holding my little niece, Mary, 6 years old, in my lap, when suddenly a feeling passed through me similar to that one feels when riding a chute the chutes, then came a terrible jar and Mary was thrown clear out of my arms and her little head struck the roof of the car. I caught her dress and she fell back on me. We were both scratched a little but outside of the jar were not hurt."BOTH OF THEM BRUISED.
Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Moore of Pueblo, Col, who were on their way to Huntsville, Mo., were both hurt. Mrs. Moore was badly bruised and cut and her back was sprained.
"We were in the chair car when the accident occurred," said Mr. Moore, "and we felt as if the earth just slipped out from beneath us. My wife was thrown against the side of the car and then into my arms. For a moment it felt as if we were to be engulfed and then all was still. Then came the cries for help. It seemed as if everyone was crying for help even though they were uninjured. Everyone was just panic stricken. I gathered my wife in my arms and we soon found ourselves outside the car. The scene was awful. The engine had bone beneath the river and was followed by several cars, we could not see how many. When I attended my wife's injuries I helped to look after the other passengers who were hurt."BRAKEMAN SWAM ASHORE.
Z. T. Finney, the brakeman, was on the head end of the deadhead sleeper and was pitched far out into the Missouri river when the embankment gave way beneath the train. He was half buried beneath coal from the tender and was cut and bruised. The water restored him to consciousness and he swam to shore.
"I was on the head end of the deadhead sleeper," said Brakeman Finey, "when the crash came. Just before we went into the water I felt the platform sort of sway and a sickening, falling sensation came over me. The next I remember I felt myself hurled over the top of the tender and then all was blank until I found myself swimming back to the train. The engine as it sank into the soft bank came to a sudden stop, and this jammed the cars together and threw me over the tender. That's how I happened to get hurt, although I am lucky that I was not carried beneath the cars."
Finney's injuries, while severe, are not serious.BABY LOST IN RIVER.
"I'll never forget this night as long as I live," said Miss Birdie Dugan of 2829 St. Louis avenue, St. Louis, who was on the wrecked train. "It was terrible to see the injured as they were brought into our car, and to think of the others lying in the river. A man in our car lost his baby right out of his arms, and it went into the river. The poor mother was just a little distance away. There was an awful crash as the car broke in two, and the roof came down and the sides came together and caught so many people so they could not move. Everybody worked to get them out before the other half of the car fell into the river. The accident occurred shortly after 10 o'clock. We left Kansas City at 9 o'clock, right on time."WOMAN DOCTOR AIDED.
Dr. Mary Turner Loahbeck of 2829 St. Louis avenue, St. Louis, Mo., was on the train, and assisted in aiding the injured. "About all that was possible for me to do was to bandage the cuts," the doctor said. "I had no bandages with me, but we secured twenty or thirty sheets from the sleeping cars, and tore them into bandages. I attended about twenty people myself. The people of Orrick, Mo., were very kind. They gave us dry underclothing for the persons who were wet, and offered us all the assistance they were able to render."
Had it not been for the fact that the Wabash train No. 9, being the passenger train from Boston, was delayed at Moberly an hour, it would have met the fate of its sister train. If the train No. 9 had been on scheduled time it would have reached the washout before No. 4. Train No. 9 was due in Kansas City at 9:45, but arrived at 2:40, just after the relief train got into Kansas City. No. 9 was detoured over the Missouri Pacific after having been held for three hours by the wreck.
Labels: accident, children, death, Des Moines, drowning, flood, Missouri river, railroad, St Louis
April 27, 1909
FOR EACH MONKEY, $2000.
Belle Hathaway Claims Railroad
Company Caused Their Death.
The death of three monkeys in transit over the Maple Leaf from Des Moines to Kansas City may cost that road $2,000 a monkey, if the suit of Belle Hathaway, owner of the simians, is successful. A transcript of the case was filed in the federal circuit court yesterday.
It sets forth that on January 9 the monkey cages "were arranged and placed in the defendant's car in a position to insure safe and hygienic carriage; that in the course of the journey the servants of the defendant in charge of the car negligently, carelessly and unskillfully caused one cage containing three bonnet or Asiatic monkeys of great value to be placed by and against certain steam pipes that were exceedingly hot; that intense heat emanated from said pipes to such an extent that the air became stifling and caused the animals to suffocate and die."
Labels: animals, Des Moines, federal court, Lawsuit, railroad
March 6, 1909
OPPOSED TO LIABILITY LAWS.
Ice Men Are United in Protest
Against Such Legislation.
Members of the Western Ice Manufacturers' Association are strongly opposed to any employer's liability laws. They said so yesterday in convention at the Coates house when the measure now before the Iowa legislature was denounced by H. H. Teachout of Des Moines. "These employer liability bills are dangerous," said Mr. Teachout, "and we ice men should fight them."
"That's right," answered a chorus of voices throughout the hall, but there was no action taken toward making official protest against such legislation.
The ice men, who are holding their eleventh annual convention at the Coates house, listened to trade talks yesterday. State Senator Emerson Carey of Hutchison, Kas., who was to have told the ice men what part they should take in politics, was unable to be present. Last night the annual banquet of the association was held at the Coates house, and today the convention will close with a business session and the annual election of officers.
Labels: Coates house, conventions, Des Moines, hotels, ice, visitors
November 17, 1908
FALLS 10 STORIES
TO SURE DEATH.
MRS. E. A. CAULFIELD IS KILLED
IN COMMERCE BUILDING.
DOWN AN ELEVATOR
IS CRUSHED UPON CEMENT
FLOOR, 150 FEET BELOW.
Falls While Attempting to Board
Moving Elevator -- Clings a
Moment to Grating of
Shaft, Then Drops.
Mrs. Emma Frances Caufield, wife of Dr. E. A. Caufield, 3523 Wyoming street, St. Louis, was instantly killed at 1:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon by falling twelve floors through an elevator shaft in the Commerce building. As the unfortunate woman fell through the open door of the elevator shaft her fingers grasped at the iron grating, clutched it for a brief moment, then relaxed their hold and she fell to her death in the sub-basement, 150 feet below. When her husband and friends reached her she was dead, almost every bone in her body having been broken by the fall. Dr. W. A. Harroun, whose office is in the Commerce building ,was the first person to reach the body. He said that death had resulted instantly.
There were only two eye witnesses to the tragic occurrence -- Miss Frances Weatherby, a stenographer in the offices of the Rio Grande Valley Colony Company, who had accompanied Mrs. Caufield to the elevator, and Frank Marks, the elevator operator. The statements of these two witnesses as to the way in which the accident occurred differ materially.
Mrs. Caufield, in company with her husband, Dr. E. A. Caufield, had gone to the offices of a company on the tenth floor of the Commerce building, where they engaged in conversation with J. D. Cameron, the manager of the company. Mrs. Caufield suggested to the steographer, Miss Weatherby, that they go to the top floor of the building. The two women left the office together and walked down the corridor to the elevators.
BEFORE SHE ENTERED.
"I stepped up to the elevator, and pushed the button to signal them," said Miss Weatherby. "I saw the car coming up and I turned to see if Mrs. Caufield was following me. As I did so I observed that the adjoining elevator had stopped at that floor and Mrs. Caufield was in the act of entering it. One foot was on the floor and of the elevator and the other foot was still on the floor of the corridor. Before she could enter the cage the elevator appeared to start, for I saw her foot raise with it until her skirts were pulled up several inches. It seemed to me that she tried to step up into the elevator, but it moved up quickly and Mrs. Caufield was thrown over backward.
"As she fell into the open shaft she clutched at something, I think it was the iron grating, then she fell. The elevator quickly dropped to the level of the floor again, so that if she had been able to retain her hold on the grating she would have been knocked loose by the elevator anyway."
In relating her story to her employer, Mr. Cameron, about two hours after the accident, Mrs. Weatherby was in almost a total state of collapse.
"I can still see that poor woman as she clung to the grating just for an instant. I was too horrified to move. I just stood and looked, and then she let go and I ran to the office," she said.
"POOR L ITTLE GIRL."
Dr. Caulfield, when seen last night at his apartments in the Baltimore hotel, was unable to talk coherently.
"I cannot believe it; I cannot realize that she is dead," he moaned. "Just look," and reaching over he picked up a photograph of his wife. "Do you realize that only a few hours ago I was with her, alive, well and happy; and now to think -- poor girl, poor little girl."
Dr. Caulfield said that when his wife left the office in company with Miss Weatherby, he remained with his friend, Mr. Cameron.
"It seemed just a moment until I heard a scream, and Miss Weatherby staggered down the corridor crying that Mrs. Caulfield had fallen down the elevator shaft. When I reached the elevator the operator was walking up and down in front of the cage, and repeating over and over again 'I wasn't to blame. It wasn't my fault.' "
The alarm spread quickly through the building and W. B. Frost, manager of the building, immediately sent word to all the available doctors, so that within three minutes after the accident medical assistance was at hand. The coroner, Dr. George B. Thompson, was notified. He viewed the body and ordered it taken to Eylar Bros. undertaking establishment.
THE BOY'S STATEMENT.
The accident happened at an hour when many persons are away from their offices and practically no excitement was noticeable about the building. When seen at his office, Mr. Frost signified his willingness to help in any way in arriving at a solution as to how the accident occurred, and submitted this statement from the elevator boy, giving his version of the accident:
"I stopped at the tenth floor of the building and this woman, Mrs. Caulfield, stepped into the car. I noticed there was another woman standing in the corridor. As I shut the gate or got it almost shut, someone said, 'Wait a minute,' Then Mrs. Caulfield grabbed the door. I had started the elevator and was about four feet above the level of the floor when the lady fell from the cage. She fell kind of on her knees and then rolled over into the open shaft. She caught at the grating for just a second, then she let go and fell. I couldn't help her because I didn't dare drop the elevator down on her."
For some time after the accident the boy, who has been in the employ of the Commerce building for about three weeks, was hysterical. When seen last night he appeared to have regained his composure, but on advice of Mr. Frost he refused to tell his parents' name or give his address.
"The boy has made a complete statement to us as to the way this accident occurred, and this is the statement we have given to the newspapers," said Mr. Frost. To this statement the boy concurred.
DREADED DEATH BY FALLING.
The friends of Mrs. Caulfield say that she had a peculiar horror of the fate which overtook her. She was, according to the statement of her husband, a very careful woman in places of possible danger. Only a few moments before leaving the office she had expressed her horror of the accident which occurred in New York a few days ago which resulted in the death of Harvey Watterson
. To her friends she often said:
"What an awful fate it must be to die by falling a great distance."
"Mrs. Caulfield was the daughter of J. C. Hewett of St. Louis, and was well known in literary and social circles in that city. She leaves one child, 2 1/2 years old, who is with friends in Joplin, Mo.
The father and other relatives will arrive in this city this morning. Telegrams have been sent to the following persons: J. J. Hewett of St. Louis, a brother; Mrs. S. V. Bryden of St. Louis, J. H. Robertson of Des Moines and Mrs. Huntoon of Joplin.
An inquest will be held by the county coroner this afternoon.
Labels: accident, Commerce building, Coroner Thompson, death, Des Moines, doctors, elevators, Hotel Baltimore, hotels, St Louis, undertakers, visitors
November 14, 1908
OLD MAN DIES AT UNION DEPOT.
Michael Kenney Was on His Way
From Des Moines to Texas.
An old man, thin and emaciated, entered the Union station last night shortly after 8 o'clock, leaning heavily on the arms of two companions. No sooner had he reached a row of seats than he was seen to shake from head to foot.
"Let me sit down, quick," he gasped to his companions. "Let me sit down before I die."
Seated, the old man began to cough violently and gasped hoarsely for breath. Depotmaster Lee Mitchell ran to his assistance with a stretcher and carried him back to the invalid's ward. Before they had reached the room the man was dead.
Detective William Bradley had been sent to call a doctor, but as he reached the telephone he was told to call the coroner instead. It was learned that the dead man was Michael Kenney of Des Moines, Ia. He left his home yesterday morning for Texas, where he hoped to prolong his life. While passing through Kansas City he visited Sam Levy, a saloonkeeper, during the day and was taken to the station last night in a carriage. George Bee accompanied him. Mr. Kenney had left home alone, though his condition was critical.
News of his death was wired to his wife and three children, who live in Des Moines. The body was taken to Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms, whence it will be sent to Des Moines this morning.
For many years Kenney was a saloonkeeper in St. Joseph, Mo., and later tended bar in this city. He had retired from active business on account of his health.
Labels: death, Des Moines, detectives, saloon, St.Joseph, Texas, undertakers, Union depot, visitors
September 18, 1908
ELI W. FISH, MERCHANT, DIES.
Was in Business on Grand Avenue for
Eli W. Fish, who, since 1867 until last year, conducted his feed and grain business at 1418 Grand avenue, died yesterday afternoon at his home, 3228 Euclid avenue, after an illness of over a year.
Mr. Fish was born in Bedford, Ind., in 1843 and passed his youth on a farm. He was one of sixteen children, many of whom are still living. At the age of 18 years, in 1861, the young man joined the Eighteenth Indiana infantry and marched away to war. He fought in many engagements and afterwards transferred to the Fourth Indiana cavalry.
After four years of service he was mustered out and returned to Bedford to marry a girl from his native town. He then moved to Des Moines, Ia., and engaged in the gain and feed business, but in 1867 moved to this city and took up his quarters where his business stood for the next forty years. The sign which he had displayed, a large fish, is known to many residents of the city. For many year she lived in the rooms above his place of business on Grand avenue, but several years ago he moved into the south side.
Mrs. Fish died seven years ago. A daughter, Mrs. Clint Schley, lives at 3228 Euclid avenue, where Mr. Fish had made his home for several years. A son, Philip C. fish, an electrician, also lives in this city. Mr. Fish was a Republican in politics and was a candidate for the office of county marshal in 1894.
The funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the home. Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery.
Labels: business, cemetery, Civil War, death, Des Moines, Euclid avenue, Grand avenue, veterans
June 22, 1908
FIRED A BULLET
INTO HIS BRAIN.
CHARLES H. LITTLE, LIVE STOCK
BROKER, HIS OWN SLAYER.
HIS WIFE FINDS HIM DYING.
DEED COMMITTED WHILE STAND-
ING BEFORE A MIRROR.
Worry Over Business Affairs Caused
by Inactivity of Trade During
the High Water Is Given
as the Cause.
Awakened by a pistol shot at 6 o'clock yesterday morning, Mrs. Charlotte Little rushed into the adjoining room of her home in Bristol, a suburb of Kansas City, where she found her husband, Charles H. Little, lying on the floor unconscious with a bullet wound in the right temple. Mrs. Little ran next door to the residence of Dr. C. W. Martin who hurried to the ho use. After a hasty examination Dr. Martin summoned Dr. P. M. Agee of Independence, and the two physicians remained with the wounded man until he breathed his last, three hours later. From the position of the body on the floor Mr. Little had evidently stood in front of the bureau mirror and directed the aim of the weapon. A thorough search of the room revealed no note or message that he might have left explaining why he shot himself.
His wife and friends said yesterday that the dead man had never mentioned committing suicide and they could not give any reason for his doing so. Mr. Little's home life was pleasant and there was no family reasons which would cause him to want to take his life.
Mr. Little was 34 years old and was born at Des Moines, Ia., He came to Kansas City, Kas., when a small boy and was reared in that city. For a number of years he held a responsible position in the executive department of the Armour Packing Company at the local plant, resigning his position there to become associated with the E. S. Nixon Live Stock Commission Company at the stock yards. About two months ago he quit the employ of the Nixon company to engage in business for himself as a speculator at the yards. He had been fairly successful as a speculator, but was caught with a good sized bunch of cattle on his hands when the present high water destroyed the market and stopped trading at the yards. He took these cattle to his home near Bristol and placed them in a pasture which he had leased.
He was of a very nervous temperament, and ever since business at the yards was suspended he worried. His friends at the yards state that he was almost a physical wreck when he let the employ of the Nixon firm, and, instead of taking a vacation for the purpose of recuperation, he plunged into hard work again.
Mr. Little was a thirty-second degree Mason and past master of Wyandotte lodge No. 3, A. F. and A. M. He was also a member of the Shrine lodge at Leavenworth, a charter member of Wyandotte lodge No. 440, B. P. O. E., and belonged to Granite camp, Modern Woodmen of America. Besides his wife and child he is survived by his mother, one brother and two sisters. The body will be taken to the home of his sister, Mrs. Walter Ladd, 654 Washington avenue, Kansas City, Kas., today. The funeral will be held from there tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.
Labels: Des Moines, lodges, stock yards, Suicide
April 10, 1907
HELD AN I. O. O. F. DEGREE.
Only Woman to Achieve This Honor,
Mrs. S. M. Hanna, Is Dead.
Mrs. Sarah Miles Hanna, 82 years of age, the oldest member of the Daughters of Rebekah, and the only woman upon whom the degree of chivalry was ever conferred by the I. O. O. F., was stricken with paralysis at noon Monday and died early yesterday morning at her home, 1808 East Eleventh street.
She was the wife of the late Philip K. Hanna, for years United States representative from the Forty-eight district of Illinois, w3as a cousin of General Nelson A. Miles, and cousin by marriage of General Philip C. Hanna, present consul general to the republic of Mexico. Her father, Solomon Stoddard Miles, was educated in Athens, Greece, and for years was president of the Presbyterian college at Zanesville, O.
The elevation of Mrs. Hanna to an Odd Fellow degree higher than any other woman ever attained occurred in January, 1903, when the sovereign grand lodge of the world met at Des Moines, Ia. To the state lodge of Kansas fell the honor of escorting Mrs. Hanna to Des Moines, as she had been for twenty years the grand chaplain of the state of Kansas. An official from London, England, conferred the honor. A special jeweled emblem in gold and enamel, embracing a heart and crown set in diamonds, was given her at the time.
Fifty-two years ago last month, in Rock Island, Ill,. Mrs. Hanna took the Rebekah degree, though she was a regularly constituted member of the order long before that. Schuyler Colfax, who was an intimate friend of her husband, and who originated the order, gave her at that time a three-link ring, which she wore until her death. It had long since become so thin that it had to be reinforced.
Having grown up with the Odd Fellows, Mrs. Hanna, commencing half a century ago, had been called upon to organize and reconstruct assemblies in every part of the Union, and the names of the lodges for which she has stood sponsor would, it is said, fill a good sized directory.
When she was raised to the dignity of worthy chaplain that was thought to be an innovation. But this was quite of minor importance compared with her elevation to the degree of chivalry. As no other member of her sex may hope to attain this, her career in the mystic order of Odd Fellows is considered most remarkable.
Mrs. Hanna's only surviving relative in Kansas city is her daughter, Miss Nina J. Hanna, with whom she lived, and two children in Moline, Ill., by a former marriage. They are J. C. Fielder and Mrs. Dr. J. H. Sale. The burial will be in Peabody, Kas., beside her late husband and two sons. While living at one of their ranches in the vicinity of Peabody years ago, the family selected a burial plot there.
The time of the burial has not been arranged, as there is a request that the body be allowed to lie in state in the rooms of the Wyandotte lodge, No. 6, to which she belonged. This will probably be arranged and later a special car will convey the body to Topeka, where for a day, in the quarters of the state lodge, it will also lie in state, before being taken to Peabody.
Mrs. Hanna's birthplace was Newark, O. She was born in 1825. She came to Kansas City first twenty years ago and had lived here almost continuously since.
Labels: death, Des Moines, Eleventh street, England, history, lodges, Mexico, Odd Fellows, societies, Topeka, women
January 24, 1907
FROM STAGE TO FACTORY.
School Teacher from Nebraska
Must Wait Here for Father.
Wilma Frazier, a pretty 19-year old school teacher, who disappeared from Scribner, Neb., last Thanksgiving, at the same time as did Louis Roy Whitman, a barber and railroad employe, was found by the police yesterday morning at 706 Wyandotte street, and is being detained in the matron's room at police headquarters, waiting instructions from her father.
The girl is the daughter of Joseph H. Frazier, of Des Moines, Ia. When she left Scribner it was with the understanding that she ws going to visit relatives in Fremont, Neb. Howeever, both she and Whitman joined an aggregation of barnstormers, which toured the gasoline circuit until the light fund was exhausted. It was in LeRoy, Kas., that the footlights, after one consvulsive sputter, went out and jewelry, baggage and everything not required in the lightest of light marching order went by the board to satisfy cash due on meal tickets. Barely enough was saved to allow Miss Frazier to reach Kansas City. She went to work here in a candy factory, but Whitman stuck to the stage.
The girl said last night that she barely knew Whitman and that their simultaneous disappearance was only a coincidence. The last time she saw him, she says, was in LeRoy, when "The Runaway Tramp" came to a halt.
Labels: architects, Armourdale, Des Moines, police headquarters, Wyandotte street
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Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri