January 8, 1910
FREE DANCE HALL
FOR POOR GIRLS.
PUBLIC INSTITUTION, PROPERTY
CONDUCTED, FAVORED BY
Working Girls Would Be At-
tracted From Vicious and
A free public dance hall for the poor girls of Kansas City, to be built and maintained by the city or by some charitable institution, thinks Dr. I. E. Mathias, chief probation officer of the juvenile court, would be an agency of reform that would do an inestimable amount of good.
"Perhaps I am not orthodox, and maybe this scheme looks somewhat sensational, yet I think that it would do an immense amount of good," said Dr. Mathias yesterday. "Girls will dance, and so will boys. How much better it would be that they should have their good times in a free public hall, where they would be protected from rowdies and immoral young men, than in the public dance halls where there are temptations and immoral surroundings, that work to their downfall."
The probation officer was discussing conditions in Cincinnati, where he and Judge E. E. Porterfield of the juvenile court went last month to attend a national meeting of juvenile court officers.
"This meeting was held in a church that maintained a free dance hall," Dr. Mathias continued. "Everybody is allowed to attend the weekly dances at the church, as long as they conduct themselves properly. There are no toughs and thugs, and the dance is as orderly as any social affair conducted by society people.
"In the ordinary public dance halls of Cincinnati liquor is sold, and the dances usually end in fights or drunken brawls. It was to give the poor girls and young men a chance to attend respectable dances that this church put in a dance hall.
"Many churches have built expensive gymnasiums for the boys. Charitable institutions here as well as in other cities have made ample provisions for the reform of bad boys. But these good people forget about the girls. Perhaps there is a sewing room set aside for them, or a kitchen where they are taught to cook. These things are all right. But how about their good times? The boys have their gymnasiums, their summer camps and their night schools.
"Did it ever occur to you that a girl enjoys a good time the same as a boy? She does not care for gymnasiums, summer camps or the like. The young woman's chief amusement is dancing, but the young men can do things and go places where girls cannot.
"What is left for the poor working girl? She can go to these public places where there is every influence to drag her down, but if she has any pride or self-respect she will prefer to remain at home and do nothing. Of course we do not have the evil surroundings in the public dance halls of Kansas City that the young woman finds in those of the large eastern cities, but here they are not what they should be.
"The city probably could not build a dance hall. The erection of such a building and its maintenance would be more in the province of the charitable institutions or churches. I think one or more of them in Kansas City would do much to better the conditions of the poor working girl, even more than some of the other philanthropic ideas that have been advanced in the uplift of the poor young men and women of this city."
Labels: charity, dancing, Dr Mathias, Judge Porterfield
December 23, 1909
NO BOYS IN DETENTION HOME.
Inmates Released to Allow Them a
There is not a boy in the detention home. The youthful prisoners have all been released on the promise to report Monday in juvenile court.
"This has been our custom every year the week before Christmas," said Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer, yesterday. "We want every boy in town, however bad, to be given a chance to celebrate Christmas day. There will be as few arrests as possible this week."
Labels: detention home, Dr Mathias, holidays, juvenile court
December 17, 1909
YOUNG HANSEN TO BOONVILLE.
Master and Faithful Dog May Be
"Lawrence Hansen, I am afraid, will have to go to Boonville."
Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer, made this statement yesterday when asked what would be done with the Kansas City, Kas., youngster who ran away from his home Monday night with $5 of his mother's money.
"We had him once at the McCune farm, but he ran away. The only place for him, now that he has violated his parole, is the reform school."
"Will he be given back his dog, Jack?" was asked.
The doctor laughed.
"I want to tell you I have been in hot water all day. There was a woman down here at 7:30 o'clock this morning demanding that I give the boy his dog. Several persons stopped me on the street to inquire what I intended to do."
But Dr. Mathias would not say whether he would reunite dog and master. If Lawrence is sent to the reform school by the juvenile court, it will be impossible to keep the two together. Lawrence will be kept locked up at the Detention home until Monday, when Judge E. E. Porterfield will decide his fate.
Labels: animals, children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Judge Porterfield, Kansas City Kas, McCune Home
December 15, 1909
BOY LEAVES HOME
TO JOIN HIS DOG.
LAWRENCE HANSEN, PAROLED,
CAN'T BEAR SEPARATION.
Leaves at Night by Bedroom Win-
dow and Is Found Next Day
Playing in Street With
When Lawrence Hansen, 10 year of age, was released three weeks ago from the Detention home, where he was placed after being arrested for "playing hookey" from school, agreed to give "Jack," his fox terrier, to a neighbor. To get Lawrence away from his former bad associates, of whom one was his pet dog, Mrs. Hansen removed to Kansas City, Kas.
For two weeks following his parole Lawrence was a model boy. He attended school regularly and minded his mother. Then came the relapse. The separation from "Jack" could not be borne. Last Monday night Lawrence packed a few of his belongings, lowered them from his bedroom window, stole downstairs in his stocking feet and took $5 from his mother's dresser.
The juvenile officers in Kansas City, Mo., were warned Tuesday to be on the lookout for the boy, but not until yesterday could trace of him be found, when word came that the boy was at 410 Troost avenue where he had been seen playing with "Jack." Juvenile Officer Holt arrested the boy yesterday afternoon and took him to the Detention home.
With tears in his eyes Lawrence was taken before Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer. "Jack" had been left behind.
"I want my dog," he pleaded with the juvenile officer. "I want Jack."
When told that he could not have "Jack," he cried his eyes red. And he continued to cry for an hour after being locked up in the detention room. Finally, when told that he would never get to see the dog again unless he quit crying, the boy dried his tears and became his amiable self.
"That boy is a proposition," said Dr. Mathias. "When he has his dog he is a good boy, but he will not be separated. I expect that the dog will have to be returned to him."
"Jack" has neither pedigree nor physical attraction. The boy several months ago picked him up on a downtown street and took him home. But for all his attention, three meals a day and a blanket to sleep on, the dog could never take on the polish of society and culture. He is still an unpedigreed mongrel of the gutter, but for all that, the inseparable chum.
Arrested three weeks ago for truancy, Lawrence told the juvenile officers he would not go to school because he couldn't take "Jack." The boy and his dog were locked in the same cell, where they ate the same food and shared the same bed, three days and three nights. They were companions in misery. That disregard of law and the rights of others, engendered into the dog from his own life on the streets, was bred by association into the life of his little companion.
"Who is responsible, the boy or the dog?" is the question that the juvenile officers are asking.
Lawrence will be given a hearing next Monday in the juvenile court.
Labels: animals, children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Kansas City Kas, runaway, Troost avenue
December 5, 1909
CAMPAIGN TO RESCUE
CHILDREN FROM WORK.
COMPLAINT MADE THAT STORE
EMPLOYS TWO, 4 YEARS OLD.
Picture Shows Where Girls, Under
16, Play and Sing and Will Be In-
vestigated by Dr. Mathias,
Chief Probation Officer.
Parents who permit their children to sing in picture shows in violation of the law, or to participate in any entertainment for which they receive pay, according to Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer, will be prosecuted in the juvenile court.
Heretofore prosecution of child labor cases has been almost entirely on the initiative of the local and state factory inspectors. But complaints have been made recently to the juvenile officers that the practice has not been entirely stopped. An investigation is to be made to find out whether the parents and theaters are obeying the law.
The law forbids children under 14 years of age to engage in any "gainful occupation." Children under 16 can not work for wages without first receiving a permit from the local factory inspector.
This does not forbid parents to allow their children to participate in church entertainments and the like, where they receive no pay.
COMPLAINT AGAINST STORE.
Complaint was made yesterday of a large department store, which is giving a Santa Claus entertainment. Two children, 4 years of age, take minor parts and their parents are paid for their time. With W. J. Morgan, factory inspector, a juvenile officer yesterday went to the store to investigate the complaint, and will report Monday in juvenile court to Judge E. E. Porterfield.
Several picture shows are reported to have employed girls under 16 years of age, without official permits, to play the piano and sing. These cases are to be investigated immediately.
"The child labor law, if anything, is not severe enough," said Dr. Mathias. "It should not only require children to remain in school until they have reached a certain age, but it should keep them in school until they have passed through the graded school into the high school.
"The trouble with the present law is that it is founded on the law of averages. The average boy or girl completes the grammar school at 14 years of age. But think of those who do not go beyond the third or fourth grade. Many children have not reached the high school at 14.
SHOULD HELP ABNORMAL.
"If there is any change in this law it should be re-framed for the benefit of the abnormal, or the child below the average. Every child should be compelled to stay in school until he or she had reached the high school. The child might be 16 or 18 years of age before he is graduated and permitted to go to work, but he would be a much better citizen than if allowed to quit at 14.
"Take for instance the foreigners who are rapidly migrating to Kansas City and other American towns. Many of them have been brought up to believe that a wife or a child is an asset, the same as the old slave holders used to think. Hardly before the child is able to walk and talk the father puts it to work. The boy gets a place in a shoe-shining parlor or holding the horse of some delivery man. The pay is $1 or $2 a week, which is given the parent.
"These foreigners average about one child a year. The more children, they know, the greater their income. If it were not for the child labor laws, these children would be permitted to grow up in ignorance, and their little bodies stunted from doing heavy work before they had gained physical strength."
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, employment, immigrants, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, theater
November 16, 1909
WON'T GO TO SCHOOL
'CAUSE HIS DOG CAN'T.
FOX TERRIER HELD RESPONSI-
BLE FOR BOY'S TRUANCY.
Two Pals, Lawrence and Jack, Re-
ceive Same Sentence in Juvenile
Court and Do Penance
One of the newest types of juvenile offenders, a small fox terrier, whose master is Lawrence Hanson of Fifth and Gilliss streets, was locked up yesterday at the detention home by the juvenile officers. "Jack," for that is the dog's name, is charged with being an accessory before the fact. His master has been playing "hookey" from school, and Jack has been held responsible.
Yesterday morning Lawrence Hanson, 10 years of age, and Jack, were brought to the detention home. The boy has been attending the Karnes school. The past month he is said to have been absent more days than he has been present.
"Why won't you go to school?" asked the juvenile officer.
The boy sniffled. Suddenly there was an outpouring of tears and the little chap hid his face in his sleeve.
"They won't let me take Jack with me. And I said I wouldn't go to school unless he could go too."
Jack, who had followed the boy to his home, sat at his master's feet. He looked up into the little boy's face. When Lawrence began to cry, Jack also was affected. He jumped up into the boy's lap and slipping his nose under his master's sleeve, licked away the tears as fast as they came.
The dog appeared to take the disgrace even worse than the boy for Jack had been charged with being an accessory before the fact. It was he who had caused his master's arrest.
Presently the clouds disappeared. The boy dried his eyes. Lawrence smiled. The dog jumped down from the boy's lap. He wagged his tail vigorously.
It was decided to lock the little boy in a cell with the other incorrigibles.
"But what should be done with Jack?" was asked.
"The dog seems equally guilty with the boy," suggested Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer. "It seems to me that he should suffer as well as his master."
So Jack was locked up with his master. The boy considered it a disgrace. But not so with the dog. He skipped up the stairs ahead of the boy and the officers.
Yesterday afternoon, dog and master sat together. The dog was cuddled in the boy's arms, sleeping peacefully. He did not realize that he was doing penance for leading his young master astray.
Labels: animals, children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Fifth street, Gillis street, juvenile court
November 14, 1909
LIKES KANSAS CITY PLAN.
Cincinnati Will Soon Have Juvenile
CINCINNATI, O., Nov. 13. -- As a result of the visit of Kansas City men interested in juvenile reform, Cincinnati soon wi ll have a juvenile improvement association patterned after that of Kansas City. Delegates from other cities to the convention of juvenile court attaches also were interested in the pardons and paroles board of Kansas City.
E. E. Porterfield, judge of the Kansas City juvenile court and president of its juvenile association, created a favorable impression by his description of the plan by which boys are kept in school through charitable persons paying them a salary equal to what they could make if employed.
The speech of Jacob Billikopf of the Kansas City pardon and parole board, in which he gave concrete examples of the work being done for families of persons conditionally paroled from the city workhouse, caused much discussion among the delegates. Dr. E. L. Mathias, juvenile officer in Judge Porterfield's court, took part in the discussion and told of the work done by him. The three Kansas City delegates have left Cincinnati for their homes.
Labels: charity, Dr Mathias, Jacob Billikopf, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, parole board
September 28, 1909
JOB FOR THE KAUTZ BOY.
Meanwhile Probation Officer In-
vestigates His Story.
Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, has written to St. Louis, Mo., and Coffeyville, Kas., to investigate the tale related by Theodore Kautz, 14 years old, who fell into the hands of the police Sunday.
Kautz sticks to his story that he ran away from the Christian Orphan's home, 2949 Euclid avenue, St. Louis, and came here in search of his insane mother, who, he says, was left here six years ago when he and his brother, Arthur, two years older, were taken on to the orphanage. He also insists that his mother's insanity was caused by the fact that a nurse girl, left at home alone, placed his 3-months-old sister, Violet, in the stove oven.
Kautz is an unusually bright boy, and well behaved. Yesterday afternoon a call was received at the Detention home that a boy was wanted at the Frisco freight offices to act as office boy at $15 a month. George M. Holt, who looks after that end of the work, took young Kautz to the factory inspector, got him a permit, and escorted him to the freight office.
He will board at the Boys' hotel, 710 Woodland avenue.
Labels: boys hotel, children, Dr Mathias, mental health, orphans, St Louis, Woodland avenue
August 4, 1909
GOOD LUCK BROUGHT HIM BAD.
Boy Who Won Prize Clubbed by
Boy Who Lost.
It was both lucky and unlucky that Carl Adams won an athletic prize at the boys' summer camp yesterday. The prize was a dime, and the contest was to see which boy could stand the longest time with his arms outstretched.
Carl stood the test for eleven minutes. Jim Paulos, a Greek, who sought to re-establish the Athenian championship, could do no better than 10:22. So Jim picked up a stick and hit the winner between the shoulders.
Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, dressed Carl's injuries at the detention home. The Greek will act as one of the waiters at the camp all week as punishment. The other boy is not much hurt.
Labels: children, detention home, doctors, Dr Mathias, violence
February 23, 1909
TRYING TO WALK TO OMAHA.
Orphan Boy Nearly Starved, Wanted
to See Aunt.
A three weeks' existence in Kansas City with no food except what he was able to beg, was the experience of Henry Weatherby, 13 years old, who started last Monday to walk to Omaha, where an aunt is living. The boy was found near Wolcott, Kas., and was brought to Kansas City yesterday afternoon by John Merrett, foreman of a construction company. He was sent to the Detention home.
"My father died three weeks ago," the little fellow said. "He was a stationary engineer, and we had been in Kansas City about six weeks, when he took sick with pneumonia. We were living at Sixth street and Forest avenue, and had come from Omaha, where my mother died eight years ago. I started to attend the Woodland school, but had to stop when my father got sick.
"After his death there wasn't any money left, and I've been trying to live without letting the boys know I was in so much trouble. I tried to get work, but couldn't and at last I decided to start for Omaha. Two or three times I went over a day without anything to eat.
"Yesterday morning I started out on my journey, and was able to get as far as Wolcott, when it got dark. I was glad when I found the construction gang's boat on the river, and they took me on board and gave me something to eat."
The boy was in tears during the recital of his troubles, and no one doubted his story. Dr. E. L. Mathias of the Detention home will communicate with the boy's aunt today.
Labels: children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Forest avenue, Omaha, orphans, Sixth street
December 31, 1908
JUDGE M'CUNE'S LAST DAY.
New Presiding Officer for Juvenile
Court Must Be Chosen.
For the last time, Judge H. L. McCune will hold juvenile court today. He has been at the head of this work for two years, and the history of the Kansas City child's court is the history of his tribunal, for there has been no other regular judge since the juvenile law went into effect. Judge McCune goes out of office the first of the year. His successor will be chosen by the circuit judges from among their number. Judges John G. Park, Republican, and E. E. Porterfield, Democrat, are most frequently spoken of for that place.
Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, yesterday completed his annual report, which will be handed to Judge McCune for approval today. The report shows that 1,155 cases were handled during the year in court and 851 settled out of court, making a total of 2,006. The report shows the disposition of those handled through the court. The register of the Detention home shows that 977 children have been booked there during the year.
As a general thing the report shows that children who have a father but no mother living are less in evidence in the juvenile court. Ninety living with the father were brought to the attention of the probation officers, while 131 who lived with the mother, the father being dead, were in court.
Labels: children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Judge McCune, Judge Park, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court
December 15, 1908
MRS. PRATT MAY NOT BE
TRIED ON MURDER CHARGE.
Probation Officer Believes She Should
Not Be Parted From Her
Toys in profusion are being sent to the Detention home for the four children of Mrs. Della Pratt, members of the band of fanatics who caused a street riot last Tuesday. In many cases no names are attached to the presents. The list of Christmas things includes xylophones, dolls and other creations of the toy maker which children in houseboats are not commonly supposed to have enjoyed.
The Pratts are getting along famously. The larger children are devouring their primers with lightning speed and it will not be long, at their present rate of progress, before they will be as far advanced with their studies as other children of their age. They seem quiet and well behaved and give the probation officers no trouble.
"We will have to enlarge the building if the contribution of toys keep coming in," said Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, yesterday. Just then Mrs. J. K. Ellwood, the matron, came into the doctor's office and seized the city directory. "Need it for a high chair," she said. It was for one of the Pratt babies.
It is the opinion of Dr. Mathias that the Pratt family should be reunited. "Of course the children will be in the juvenile court on Friday and the mother is in jail. But if she is not prosecuted I would favor making the little ones wards of the court and aiding the mother to provide a home for them. Given the chance these children would behave like normal human beings of their age. They could go to school and their mother, no doubt, would be glad of a chance to be with them again."
I. B. Kimbrell, prosecuting attorney, said yesterday that he would try to have the trial of James Sharp, leader of the band of fanatics, set for next week. Sharp and Mrs. Sharp are to be prosecuted, but it is doubtful whether Mrs. Pratt and the other members of the band will have to go on trial. Christmas juries are usually more lenient towards prisoners, and Sharp may have this idea in mind.
Labels: Adam God sect, children, detention home, doctors, Dr Mathias, juvenile court, Prosecutor Kimbrell, toys
November 11, 1908
WHERE BAD BOYS ABOUND.
Probation Officer Seeks Information
Regarding Intractable Youths.
Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, is showiong by means of pins on a huge map, just which are the worst behaved districts of the city from the boy standpoint. He also is showing neighborhoods from which come reports of neglected children. When completed, the map will form an accurate day-to-day record of the cases on the juvenile court books.
Labels: children, doctors, Dr Mathias, juvenile court
October 31, 1908
PUTS BEDBUG IN A CAPSULE.
And Gives It to Children to Cure
Chills and Fever.
"Are bedbugs good for chills and fever?"
This inquiry stumped Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, yesterday. After he had taken the count, the doctor sat up and asked particulars of the man who had propounded the question. The visitor to the Detention home explained:
"There is a woman out in our section of town who has ideas of her own about medicine. When her children have chills and fever, she puts a bedbug in a capsule and feeds it to them. Is that all right?
The doctor promised to look into the capsules. "Maybe it's a valuable addition to the scientific knowledge of medicine," he said.
Labels: detention home, doctors, Dr Mathias, health
August 28, 1908
DR. MATHIAS SAYS
DR. PERRY IS RIGHT.
SUPPORTS THEORY THAT EPI-
LECTICS SHOULD NOT MARRY.
Persistent Offenders Brought Into
Juvenile Court in Kansas City
Bears Traces of Traits
The opinion of Dr. L. M. Perry, superintendent of the Parsons, Kas., hospital for epilectics, to the effect that marriage between persons so afflicted should not be permitted, is shared by Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer of Jackson county. Dr. Perry, in a recent statement to the Kansas board of health, protested that the statute forbidding such marriages was almost a dead letter and that, for the good of the state, it should be rigidly enforced.
"Records of thousands of boys who have come under observation of this office since its establishment confirm the theory that the persistent offender bears the traces of one or more of four traits handed down by the parents," says Dr. Mathias, himself the fourth generation of a family of physicians.
"These four traits are, broadly speaking, epilepsy, idiocy, insanity and alcoholism in one or both parents. Whenever we have had the case of a boy who does wrong, time after time, and submits to no correction, he always shows the taint of one or more of these four things. This statement is taken from information regarding all the cases which have passed through this office.
"Of course, there are contributing causes, such as environment. Another feature is the early death of one or both parents from natural causes, indicating that they did not have the vitality to impart to their offspring. But the four main influences are those named.
"This statement does not take into account the occasional offenders, but those who are habitual wrongdoers. The fact that they have been born late in the life of their parents tends to the same end.
"While on this subject, it is a curious thing to note that more boys who have mothers only, go wrong, as compared with those who have only fathers to look after their welfare. A widow generally has to work all day and do the housework in the evening. The boys, as a consequence, if too small to work, are on the streets most of the time. In the evening the mother is too tired to give them much attention. A father, on the other hand, gives up his evenings to the boys and makes companions of them. This state of affairs has been proved in a careful record of thousands of cases. The boy has a better chance, three to one, with the father rather than the mother."
Dr. Mathias has had signal success in his work with boys. He makes a careful study and record of each case, both as a court record and from the medical standpoint. Hundreds of boys pass under his observing eye every month.
Labels: children, doctors, Dr Mathias, juvenile court
August 7, 1908
DUCK DOCTOR AND PREACHER.
Dr. Mathias and Dr. McGurk Among
Indians at Indian Creek.
When Dr. E. L. Matthias, probation officer, and the Rev. Dan McGurk of the Grand Avenue M. E. church went out to the boys' camp on Indian creek Wednesday, they expected to have a pleasant time. They did until they went in swimming.
As soon as the two men had joined the fifty-five boys in the swimming pool there was a concerted rush and both Dr. Mathias and Dr. McGurk reeived the ducking of their lives. Both fought, but the odds were too great. Yesterday Dr. Mathias was exhibiting a few scars of the battle.
Judge H. L. McCune of the juvenile court also went to the camp. He had an intimation of what was coming and refused to don a bathing suit, to the great disappointment of the boys.
Labels: amusement, children, doctors, Dr Mathias, Indian creek, Judge McCune, ministers, swimming
July 17, 1908
WILL FARMERS HELP CHILDREN?
Many Charges of Detention Home
Have No Vacation in Sight.
Since the outing to Clay Center, Kas., last year of a number of charges of the Detention home proved so successful, Dr. E. L. Matthias of that institution is planning to have something of the same kind this year, if he can get the proper support.
"We cannot take care of the smaller boys in our Indian creek camp," said he yesterday "If farmers of this region, or towns, would agree to care for a certain number of children, it would help us a great deal. The boys we would send range in age from 6 to 8 years.
"The work is charity, pure and simple, for we have no fund to pay for the support of such children while they are in summer homes. But a summer outing of several months could easily be given these little one to allow them to escape the heat of the city if charitably inclined people in the country would help us out.
"Last year Clay Center, Kas., came to the front in good style and if we could have a similar offer this year or a number of offers to care for a smaller number of children, the problem would be easy of solution."
Dr. Mathias plans to send out a detachment this month if accommodations are provided.
Labels: children, detention home, doctors, Dr Mathias, farmers, Indian creek
May 23, 1908
MATHIAS IS GUARDIAN
OF MANY SMALL DOES.
PROBATION OFFICER HAS AN-
OTHER ADDED TO HIS FAMILY.
Girl Who Played Piano for a Ghost
Show Is Also in the Juvenile
Court Because She's
It would take Dr. E. L Mathias several hours to figure how many miniature John Does and Mary Roes he is the guardian of. And he won't figure the total, but merely tells reports to "cut it out."
Every time a woman brings a foundling into the children's court Judge H. L. McCune, after making some disposition of the child, either leaving it with the foster mother or sending it to the county nursery, appoints Dr Mathias guardian. He got another one yesterday.
An attendant at the McKenzie nursery at 1607 East Ninth street brought the baby into court. It slept serenely, while Judge McCune looked it over and remarked judicially:
"Very pretty baby. Where did you get it?"
"She was left at the nursery along with this letter," replied the attendant, handing the judge a note.
"Andrew, eh? A miss, did you say it was? All right" -- turning to the clerk -- "change the young lady's name from Doe to Andrews. Make her a ward of the court. Dr. Mathias is appointed the guardian. The nursery may keep the -- Miss Andrews as long as the attendants are kind to her."
Then Dr. Mathias did a gallant thing. He gave the baby Christian names in honor of the women of the court: "Helen Agnes Andrews" -- Helen for Mrs. Helen Smith, and Agnes for Mrs. Agnes O'Dell.
"I wonder if that means that Mrs. O'Dell and I will have to buy the Doe baby its clothes," Mrs. Smith whispered.
Mrs. O'Dell followed the nurse and child to the door and gave the baby a farewell pat.
"What color are its eyes?" she asked. "I ought to know, now that she's named after me."
"They're blue yet," replied the nurse.
SHE PLAYED PIANO IN THE GHOST SHOW.
It looked like a story when a girl's mother said she ran away from home rather than take music lessons, and once had climbed on the roof of the house to hide from the music teacher. The reporters had the name and address written down, when "Mother" O'Dell, probation officer, sent this note:
"Ina is a good girl. You must not print her name or address."
There is a touch of sadness in the girl's story, too. Her father left home recently, and as there were five littler ones for her mother to support, Ina remembered her music lessons and went to work as a piano player at the ghost show at Fairmount park. She didn't come home one night, and her mother had her brought into court. She is 16 years old.
"She's a good girl, only she gets nervous," said the mother.
"I'd get nervous myself if I played a piano in a ghost show. Stay away from the park, my girl, and we'll get you a better place to work."
Labels: children, courtroom, custody, doctors, Dr Mathias, fairmount park, Judge McCune, mental health, Ninth street, nurses
February 8, 1908
TO SAVE BOYS AND GIRLS.
Juvenile Association Determined to
Raise Fund of $10,000.
An active campaign is to be begun by the Juvenile Improvement Club to raise $10,000 for use in caring for neglected children in Kansas City. In this association are gathered all the workers for the juvenile criminal and homeless. The money will be spent to endow the Boys' hotel, a hotel for negro girls, boys clubs in the West, North and East bottoms, and to provide scholarships for boys who now have to stay out of school and work to support smaller children dependent upon them. The idea of the club is to get all varieties of juvenile reform and educational work under one management.
Judge McCune of the juvenile court is president of the club, the Rev. Daniel McGurk is vice president, Arthur L. Jelley is treasurer, and Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer is secretary. On the executive committee there are in addition to these men the Rev. Charles W. Moore of the Institutional church, Mayor H. M. Beardsley and H. J. Haskell. Subscriptions may be sent to Hughes Bryant, R. A. Long, Charles D. Mill, C. A. Young or C. V. Jones, who comprise the finance committee.
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, East bottoms, hotels, Institutional church, Judge McCune, North bottoms, organizations, R A Long, West bottoms
February 10, 1908
BOYS NEED NEW RECORDS.
Their Hotel Graphophone Stock Is
About Worn Out.
During January the Boys' hotel came within $35 of paying its expenses. The receipts from the juvenile boarders were $143.11 and the expenses $179.oo. All but four of the beds and places at the table were filled during the month. The hotel was started by officers of the children's court with the idea that it should be self-supporting. When it is filled it will be.
The boys here now are very happy but for one trouble. The graphophone around which and its four tunes they gather to pass the evenings, is developing cracked tones and it is no longer possible to tell whether it sings in basso or tenor.
"It is well along in years for a graphophone," remarks Dr. E. L. Mathias, the patron saint of the hotel, "and perhaps it is changing its voice."
Labels: children, doctors, Dr Mathias, graphophone, hotels
December 13, 1907
THIRD OF THEM ARE TRAMPS.
Children Gather at Detention Home
From Many States.
The docket of the detention home last evening resembled a hotel register. Out of thirteen children arrested Wednesday and Thursday, four boys and two girls live outside of Kansas City. There is one from Sugar Creek, two from Independence, one from Lexington, Mo., one from St. Louis and one from Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania lad is Charles Fletcher, 13 years old.
"Nearly a third of the children who get into court are young tramps," says Chief Probation Officer Mathias.
Labels: children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Lexington, St Louis, Sugar Creek, visitors
October 22, 1907
TRAGEDIES OF CHILDHOOD
DRIFT FROM BROKEN HOMES
INTO JUVENILE COURT.
"Parents Separated" the Burden of
Pathetic Stories Heard by Judge
McCune -- Many Sent to
"Parents separated" was the brief but sadly expressive story borne by a majority of the cases that came before Judge McCune at the regular session of the juvenile court yesterday. After it was added the pitiful detail of petty crime and wrong doing that the developments in the case showed was, in most cases, "born in the flesh and bred in the bones" of the young offenders present.
Judge McCune was quick to grasp the threads that led unmistakably back and beyond the little culprits before him, and "another chance" was the rule rather than the exception.
Ben Moore, who stood head and shoulders taller than his mother, was given a bad name by Chief Probation Officer Mathias, which is an unusual occurrence. "He is just a loafer," he told the court, "and in spite of our best efforts will not be anything else. We have found him jobs and helped him time and time again, but it is no use; he is a bad lot. His father and mother are separated and the woman can do nothing with him."
The mother, with tears streaming down her face, acknowledged the truth of the officer's assertions, and the boy was sent to the Boonville reform school for four years.
James Flaigle was accused of being a truant. He said his father wanted him to work in his store on Union avenue and the court was in possession of a letter bearing out the assertion. His father thought the experience of the store would be enough of an education, but Judge McCune could not see it in that light, and the youngster was ordered to go to school, which he smilingly promised to do.
HENRY DIDN'T CARE.
Henry Reisner ran away from his home in St. Louis because, he said, his father abused his mother. He came to Kansas City and was gathered in by the police while wandering about the streets. He didn't seem much interested in the proceedings pertaining to himself, anyway, and the court decided to send him home.
A West Prospect place woman was present to say that her son, who is on parole for past misdemeanors, was too ill to attend the court. When the court officers commented upon the mother's strong odor of whiskey, she calmly told the court that she had "inherited that breath." Judge McCune was moved to remark that he had heard of its being acquired in every other way but by inheritance. The woman finally departed, explaining things to herself after everyone else had refused to listen.
Charles Riggs, 13 years of age, 4322 East Fourteenth street, was up or the fourth or fifth time for violating his parole, playing hookey and numerous other bad things. His father and mother have separated, and the latter was in court to defend her son. Judge McCune said he must go to Boonville, and the mother said he shouldn't. When the court finally threatened to have her locked up if she did not stop her interference she allowed the child to be led away.
FRED CAME FROM WICHITA
Fred Corp of Wichita came to Kansas City with a load of cattle. He had nothing to do with cattle but just came along to see the sights and have a good time. Upon his arrival he got separated from the men he came with and the police picked him up at 3 'clock Thursday morning. He told the court of his experiences through many tears. When arrested he had $3.05 in his pockets. The necessary amount of this will be invested in a ticket for Wichita today.
Tony Lapentino, who has been behaving badly, and has claimed the attention of the court many times, was sent to Boonville for four years. Ethel Ackley, a sweet-faced girl of 9 years, whose mother is dead and whose father was charged with deserting her, will be provided for in some charitable institution.
Terrence Quirk, one of the boys who recently located and equipped with small arms a Wild West camp on the outskirts of the city, enrolled for the Boonville institution.
Ellen, Allen and Howard Collins, who were recently found in a destitute and suffering condition in the rear of the premises at 911 Paseo, will be cared for until other arrangements can be made at the North end day nursery. Their mother is in a hospital and the father incompetent to provide for his family.
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, Fourteenth street, Judge McCune, juvenile court, North end, Paseo, reform school, St Louis, Union avenue, Wichita
September 27, 1907
WIPE OUT TUBERCULOSIS
OBJECTS OF A SOCIETY FORMED
Building and Endowing of a Tent
Colony and a Sanitarium
Among the Purposes
Fresh Air, Fresh Milk and Fresh Eggs.
That's the motto of the Jackson County Society for the Relief and Prevention of Tuberculosis, organized last night. The leading men of the city -- doctors, ministers, priests, lawyers and officeholders -- attended the meeting and promised their assistance in putting the society in shape to do real work.
The programme of intentions outlined for the next few months is:
The building and endowing of a tent colony and a sanitarium near the city for the treatment of tuberculosis patients.
The employment of nurses to visit in the homes of consumptives and teach the people how to live properly when afflicted with the disease.
The enactment of laws by the city council to compel the reporting of all cases of tuberculosis, and to clean and disinfect all houses in which consumptives had lived or died.
The distribution of literature and the holding of public meetings to educate the people in healthy living -- fresh air, baths and wholesome food.
"Kansas City is twenty years behind Eastern cities in dealing with tuberculosis," said Dr. C. B. Irwin, one of the organizers of the society, last night. There is no fumigation, no reports of deaths from the disease, and practically no effort to check the spread of the plague. I know one house in this city from which there men have been carried out dead from consumption in the past five years. It's easy to know how the last two got it. As fast as one family moved out another moved in.
"Since in 1880 New York city began fumigating houses in which tuberculosis patient had died, began educating the people and commenced a systematic fight upon the disease, the death rate from it had fallen 50 per cent. The same is true of Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
"In the Western cities one death in every seven is from the white plague."
The directors of the society, chosen last night, are: Rev. Father W. J. Dalton, Dr. E. W. Schauffler, Judge H. L McCune, Mayor H. M. Beardsley, Frank P. Walsh, R. A. Long, Rev. Matt S. Hughes, Hugo Brecklein, Dr. St. Elmo Sauders, Congressman F. C. Ellis, Mrs. Robert Gillam, Ralph Swofford, Albert Bushnell, F. A. Faxon, George F. Damon and J. W. Frost.
The others are: Dr. R. O. Cross, president; Dr. C. B. Irwin, secretary, Albert Marty, treasurer; John T. Smith, Rev. Wallace M. Short, J. W. Frost and E. A. Krauthoff, vice presidents; chairman finance committee, Mrs. Kate E. Pierson; chairman soliciting committee, Mrs. E. T. Brigham; chairman legislative committee, J. V. C. Karnes, and publication committee, Dr. E. L. Stewart, chairman; Dr. E. L. Mathias and Clarance Dillon.
Labels: Boston, City Chemist Cross, Congressman Ellis, doctors, Dr Mathias, Father Dalton, Frank Faxon, health, ministers, nurses, organizations, R A Long
September 10, 1907
ATE HIS CAKE IN COURT.
Sammy Hopkins Visits the Juvenile
Court and Likes It.
Sammy Hopkins, 4 years old, was visiting the juvenile court yesterday. He was accompanied by an aunt, but she couldn't keep track of him.
"May I eat a piece of sweet cake after the judge gets here?" Sammy asked Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, just before the afternoon session took up. "Yes, if the judge doesn't catch you at it," the doctor said.
So, while Judge E. E. Porterfield sat at the table and heard case after case, Sammy slipped up to the judge's bench, hid behind it and ate a piece of ginger bread. Then with the crumbs on his face, he crawled up into the chair and looked at the judge's back. He was a cute little tyke, and he wore a cap on his head that attracted considerable attention.
Judge Porterfield turned around to look at the boy, and he slid off the chair and crawled back under the bench.
There he went exploring and finally found a piece of gum sticking on the underside of the bench. Manipulating this with outh and fingers, he came running to his aunt to show what he had found.
"Take it back," she whispered, "it belongs to the judge."
So Sammy took the gum back and stuck it where he had found it under the bench.
"I'm going to be in court regular some day," Sammy said, after his aunt had prevailed upon him to talk for publication. "I hopped a street car once and had a policeman chase me half a block.
"Mamma calls me Sammy, but my real name is S. R. I live at 2808 Bell. I go to Sunday school on Nineteenth street near the school house."
Sammy stayed until the court was adjourned at 5 o'clock. Before he left he hunted up Dr. Mathias:
"The judge didn't catch me, did he?" were Sammy's parting words.
Labels: Bell street, children, doctors, Dr Mathias, Judges, juvenile court, Nineteenth street
July 2, 1907
A BOY ACTS AS 'JUDGE'
"KANGAROO" COURT WHILE
WAITING FOR REAL JURIST.
Juveniles Play "Big" Until Judge
McCune Comes, and Then Young-
ster in Chair Goes to
"This court will now behave!" said Joe Tint, and incorrigible 12-year-old of 1902 McGee street, as he called a kangaroo court to order in the witness room of the juvenile court yesterday morning. There was half an hour to spare before Judge H. L. McCune was to arrive, and the children, whose cases were set for yesterday, all got a sentence from Joe in that half hour.
"Who are these people?" Joe asked, pointing to three boys sitting disconsolately in a corner. "These people" were Ralph, Orpha and Leota Hill, waifs found recently alone in a house at 2101 Vine street.
"They are the Hillocks," suggested one.
"Naw, theys just foothills," said Joe. "Foothills, stand up! I sentence each of you to a square meal. Draw on 'Doc' Mathias for the grub."
"What are you in here for?" Joe asked of Joe Shaeffer.
"He stole $1.04 from a man," said Carl Robinson, who thereby appointed himself prosecuting attorney.
"Did the man have any more money? asked Joe.
"Yes, I guess so," the prisoner said.
"Ninety-nine years for you. Why didn't you get all of it?"
"What's that under that straw stack there in the corner?" the court inquired. Oh, it's a negro, is it? Well, take off your hat. You stole a dollar and spent it for fireworks, I believe. You ain't old enough to burn money. Four years for you."
Just then the real court convened and Kangaroo Judge Joe was called.
Joe has been in and out of juvenile court for four years and was sentenced to the reform school in May, 1903. He was paroled in April, 1904. he was before the court for quitting thirteen jobs which had been found for him.
"I'm sorry to have to sentence you, Joe," Judge McCune said to Joe, "but you'll have to back to the reform school for four years.
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, fireworks, Judge McCune, juvenile court, McGee street, reform school
June 25, 1907
"I'LL BE GOOD," DEWEY SOBBED.
Operation to Reform Boy Who
Dewey Marcuvitz, the 8-year old boy with a record for stealing horses, was operated upon by Dr. J. S. Lichenberg at his office yesterday morning and the lad's tonsils removed. The operation was at the suggestion of Dr. E. L. Mathias, of the juvenile court, who said that it might mean an improvement in the boy's character.
Dewey did not like the operation at all. He cried before he was placed under the influence of an anesthetic and when he revived he pleaded with the surgeon to send him home quickly.
"That's all right, my boy," said David Marcuvitz, his father. "You'll be a fine boy now. But if you get into mischief again, I will bring you up here and let the doctor chop at you again.
"I'll be good," Dewey sobbed.
Labels: children, doctors, Dr Mathias, juvenile court
June 24, 1907
HIS TONSILS SEAT OF EVIL?
At Least, Doctors Believe So, Hence
Lad Will Lose 'Em.
Dewey Marcuvitz, one of the many hundred boys named after Admiral Dewey, is the only one on record who has gone wrong. The lad was born in May, 1898, a week after Admiral Dewey's victory in Manila bay. Admiral Dewey can not be blamed for the boy's getting into trouble, because, although the lad has been arrested for stealing everything from a dinner bucket to a hrse, he has never evidenced a desire to convert a boat or even an oar to his own use.
Dewey's father, David Marcuvitz, who owns a second-hand store at 404 Main street, stands up for the lad and says he is not bad but merely mischievous. The father had arranged with Dr. J. S. Litchtenberg to operate on the lad and remove his tonsils this forenoon, as was suggested by Dr. E. L. Mathias, of the juvenile court, but the father does not think that the operation will change the lad's disposition.
"My 11-year-old daughter had her tonsils removed about a year ago and it didn't affect her disposition a particle," Mr. Marcuvitz said last evening. "She was a good girl before the operation and is still the same kind of a girl. She is happier, though, because her throat does not trouble her any more.
"I don't think that Dewey is a bad boy," the father continued. "He is just mischievous. I was just the same kind of a boy in my time. He will grow out of it. The lad has a mania for horses and I am going to buy him a pony when he gets a little older."
Dewey has been taken to the detention home more than once by his mother, who told the officers that she could not control him.
Labels: children, detention home, doctors, Dr Mathias, Main street
June 22, 1907
KNIFE TO ALTER DISPOSITION.
Operation on Dewey Marcuvitz Next
Lewis Marcuvitz, clothing dealier who lives at 15 East Thirty-second street, the father of Dewey Marcuvitz, now held in the detention home as incorrigible, has consented to allow the boy to undergo an operation upon his throat with the hope of remedying the boy's disposition. Dr. E. L. Mathias and a surgeon, whom the boy's father will select, will operate next Monday.
Dewey, who is only 8 years old, has twice been arrested for stealing horses and has been arrested for other offenses. He is an intelligent boy for his years, but has been pronounced incorrigible by the court officers. Dr. Mathias believes that his disposition has been made nervous and melancholy by reason of throat trouble and hopes that an operation will make him a good boy.
Labels: children, detention home, doctors, Dr Mathias, health
June 4, 1907
FAINTS, GETS A NEW JURY.
Judge Goodrich Believes Nerves
Might Influence in Damage Case.
A few minutes after Rose Stauffer, of Moberly, Mo., took the witness chair in Judge J. E. Goodrich's division of the circuit court yesterday afternoon to testify regarding how she had been injured in a street car accident in Rosedale two years and a half ago she went into hysterics and fainted. Dr. E. L. Mathias, who was attending juvenile court, across the hall, was summoned and succeeded in restoring the woman to consciousness.
Inasmuch as the plaintiff alleges that one permanent result of the injury, because of which she wants $20,000 damages, is that her nerves are affected. Judge Goodrich thinks that her fainting may prejudice the jury. He adjourned the case until this morning, when a new jury will be secured.
Labels: circuit court, courtroom, doctors, Dr Mathias, Judge Goodrich, Judges, Lawsuit, Rosedale, streetcar
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Early Kansas City, Missouri