February 7, 1910
A WALKING HABERDASHERY.
Overdressed Man Imagines He's
Robert C. Kainz, a young man who says he is an Englishman recently imported to this country, went to police headquarters about 3 o'clock Sunday morning and demanded to know why he had been locked out of jail. The desk sergeant apologized for the oversight and sent him to the holdover.
When searched Kainz was found to be a walking haberdashery, with everything from a clean collar to an extra suit of clothes on his person. Aside from the assortment of dry goods and men's furnishings were:
One ruby ring, three boxes of Egyptian cigarettes, several cigar lighters, a half dozen packages of chewing gum, two pairs of new horsehide gloves and several neckties.
Kainz wore two overcoats, two complete suits of clothes, a jersey sweater and two vests, besides two shirts and some under garments. His feet were protected by three pair of hose, each a different color, and two silk mufflers were wrapped around his neck.
Investigation revealed that he had been living at the Salvation Army hotel on Fifth street. For a time he is said to have imagined that he was the president of a great insurance company, who feared that the United States government might prosecute him for selling bad "policies." He had a quantity of sample insurance policies and a rate book in his pocket.
Kainz was turned over to Colonel J. C. Greenman yesterday and his mental condition will be looked into.
Labels: clothing, Col. J. C. Greenman, England, Fifth street, immigrants, mental health, police headquarters, Salvation Army
January 28, 1910
HARD TOIL, MONEY
AND BANKER GONE.
"LITTLE ITALY" AROUSED OVER
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF
Many Italians Deposited
Savings With Missing
Little Italy was never before stirred as it was yesterday, when the announcement was made that Peter Isnardi, consular agent of the United States government, had left for parts unknown. Several hundred Italians are worried about sums aggregating about $12,000, the savings of years, which they had deposited with him. Most of those who entrusted their money to Isnardi were railroad section hands and laborers, recent arrivals from Sunny Italy, and unable to speak the English language. Some had been saving to pay the passage of wives or sweethearts to the land of promise; others that they might some day return to their old homes in Italy and to pass the sunset of their lives among friends and amid familiar scenes and surroundings.
A subscription paper will be started today by J. P. Deo, publisher of an Italian newspaper at 210 East Fifth street, to raise money with which to hire lawyers and detectives to seek Isnardi. A committee of Italians will call upon the United States district attorney today to learn what can be done in the matter.
"We intend to secure an order tomorrow from the prosecuting attorney," said Deo last night, "to open Isnardi's safe. He kept all his books locked in it. Not until we can see the books will we know the facts in the case."
A telegram was sent to the minister of foreign affairs at Rome to find whether or not the money that Isnardi was to forward to the bank at Rome was ever received there.
The Italian consul-general at Chicago announced yesterday that the Kansas City office would be abolished. Roma Ladife, vice consul at Chicago, arrived here yesterday to close the office. He took possession of the Italian flag, which hung in front of the agency at 512 East Fifth street, also the seal of the Italian government and the coat-of-arms. Consul Guido Sabetta, in Chicago, that the Italian government funds were not involved.
OPERATED PRIVATE BANK.
In addition to occupying the office of consular agent, Isnardi operated a private bank. This was wholly outside of his official duties, and for any losses that might occur the Italian government is in no way responsible. The consular agent is supposed to have received nearly $8,000 in savings of Italians in the three and one-half years he has held the office. The remaining $4,000 is money he collected for steamship tickets and to be sent to Italy, to be deposited in the bank of Rome.
Local Italians were opposed to Isnardi from the day he was appointed. charges have been filed against him several times with the Chicago office. Though there were rumors among Italians in Kansas City regarding the consular agent, deposits continued to come from those who lived in the country or in railroad camps.
Ten per cent interest was offered by Isnardi on deposits. This was more than the Italian Central bank at Rome pays, which they had all known in Italy. The Italian bank pays 3 1/2 per cent on time deposits. Those who did not want to send their money to Rome could deposit it with their consular agent, Peter Isnardi, in his private bank.
The office of consular agent pays no salary. It is an honorary position. Isnardi had no other business here, and no apparent private income. The Italians say his sole income was from money he collected from his private bank.
APPOINTMENT WAS PROTESTED.
Isnardi succeeded G. G. Lanvereri as consular agent in Kansas City. Isnardi was appointed by Count A. L. Rozwadowski, who died shortly after the appointment. His office was in Chicago. Signor Sabetta succeeded him. A committee of Italians went to Chicago when the count died and asked for the removal of Isnardi. Charges of dishonesty were made against him, but Sabetta refused to act without first having an investigation.
Before his appointment as consular agent here, Isnardi was a traveling book agent. H represented an Italian publishing house and sold his books for $10 each. His home was then in Pueblo, Col. Isnardi was in Kansas City when the question of a vice consul arose.
Isnardi went immediately to Chicago. Count Rozwadowski and he had known each other in Italy. Against the protests of a committee of Kansas City Italians, who wanted a man from here appointed, Isnardi returned two weeks after the dismissal of Lancereri with the commission of consular agent. His appointment, though recommended by the consul at Chicago, was made directly by the foreign minister at Rome.
The consular agent is an American citizen. A consul general, however, must be a subject of the king. This being the case, as an American citizen, the Italians here think that Isnardi can be prosecuted under the laws of this state, in case the funds are not intact. The consul general, under the extra-territorial provision of international law, is immune from arrest and prosecution in the country where he represents his government.
PROSECUTOR WILL ACT.
"I will thoroughly investigate these charges," said Virgil Conkling, prosecuting attorney, last night. "If I find that consular agents are amenable to the laws of this state, Isnardi will probably be arrested and prosecuted."
A dozen complaints have been made the past two months at the prosecuting attorney's office against the consular agent. Isnardi was charged with taking money from Italians to send to the bank at Rome, and appropriating it to his own use. Two weeks ago today the consular agent was called to the prosecutor's office. There he was told that if he did not refund $800 to an Italian who gave him the money for deposit, that criminal action for embezzlement would be begun. He was given until March 1 to refund the money.
Isnardi left Kansas City January 16. His wife said yesterday he had gone to Chicago, but reports from that city say he has not been seen by the consul general. Mrs. Isnardi has been conducting the business since her husband left.
When the news that the office had been closed spread among the Italians in the North End a crowd of 200 m en and women, most of them depositors in the consular agent's private bank, gathered in front of Isnardi's office. At dark the crowd dispersed. when the door to the office would rattle a dog's bark could be heard. The dog had been turned loose in the office to prevent the angry foreigners from making a forcible entrance.
"What will you do if he does come back?" was asked one in the crowd.
"String him up," was the prompt answer of an Americanized Italian.
Labels: banking, Chicago, embezzlement, federal court, Fifth street, immigrants, newspapers, Prosecutor Conkling
January 18, 1910
NEARLY WRECKS STORE.
Horse Smashes Through Plate Glass
Window and Damages Stock.
Frightened by a passing automobile, a blind horse attached to the market wagon of Maurice Abramovitz, a vegetable peddler, stampeded and did $300 worth of damage to J. E. Biles' shoe store at 21 East Fifth street, yesterday morning. The horse freed itself from the shafts of the wagon and broke through a $150 plate glass window into the store and badly damaged the stock.
Labels: accident, animals, automobiles, Fifth street, retailers
January 3, 1910
DID NUDE VISITOR
KANSAS CITY DETECTIVE TELLS
HUNT FOR CRIME.
Covered With Mud, He Broke
Into Station, but Later
Showed Big Roll.
HALVEY SMOKES UP.
Murder was in the air in the detective bureau rooms of Central police station -- murder, along with other things, particularly tobacco smoke. This is said to be the atmosphere of a police secret service department the world over.
It is stronger when there is a story telling contest on and the sweating of a murder suspect in an adjoining room. Detective Joe Halvey had elected to while away the time until the end of the secret conference. His audience consisted of newspaper men, Inspector of Detectives Edward Boyle and Detectives Robert Truman and Dave Oldham.
"It was a late spring night three years ago," said Detective Halvey. "One of those chilly early mornings when reporters love to sit about the 'phone in the lobby and call up instead of going out after their stories," he added, with a ponderous wink.
A SCRIPTURAL WIND.
"It was a very cold night and a wind like the one spoken of in the scriptures was blowing down Missouri avenue."
"What kind of a thing was that scriptural wind?" inquired the reporter.
"I don't see why you intellectual cubs never seem to have had a religious bringing up," scornfully broke in Inspector Boyle, who prides himself in having maintained a Bible in his home since his marriage twenty years ago. "I think it is in Psalms where a March wind is spoken of that blows the straw hat wherever it listeth while many a good man and strong sweareth thereat."
The silence which followed the inspector's quotation was profound. The narrator took advantage of the lull.
"Well, it was getting along toward the second owl car. Michael O'Brien had just brought in a 'drunk' and booked him under the charge of investigation and Pat O'Brien and I were toasting our shins by a warm fire in this same office. I remember every detail, you see, just as though it was yesterday.
YELL AND A SOB.
"Suddenly there came from somewhere on Fifth street near the Helping Hand institute, a blood curdling yell ending in a sort of a sob, as though some man was being choked.
"There were twelve good men in different parts of the station, wherever there was a heating stove, and all jumped at once. There had been a good many holdups during the winter months and of course the first thing we thought was that some villain had made a touch under the eaves of the station. We were not going to stand for that, no sir-e-e-e.
"I was about the first of the officers to reach the big folding doors in the north end of the station. My six shooter was in my hand and there was blood in my eye, I can tell you. If there was something going on I wasn't bound to let the blue uniformed mutts with the brass buttons do the pinch act to the discredit of the detective department.
"Just as I had reached the last step the doors flew open in my face. There was just enough time for action and no time for thought. A lean white streak had started to unwind itself up the stairway when I dropped on it like a thousand bricks.
NAKED, SHIVERING MAN.
" 'Look out below!' I yelled, grabbing it by the neck and bearing it to the linoleum. Then I made a careful analysis. what I was holding was a naked man shivering with the cold and dirtier than any tramp from having been dragged in the mud. 'Great thunder,' said I, 'this must be Adam returned to look after his Eden interests. Who are you, anyway?'
THOUGHT IT WAS ADAM.
"It didn't take much tugging and hauling after I got up off of him to get him in front of the desk sergeant and it took still less time for the entire force to see that he was in the last stages of destitution. He didn't have a finger ring left and his clothing was mud.
" 'What's your name?' the sergeant asked.
" 'You can put me down John Smith,' said 'Adam' with a groan. 'I ain't got any other name, for political reasons. Gentlemen, what I want is clothes, clothes, clothes.'
"The nude wonder somehow looked respectable and we could see that he was right about what he wanted. Half a dozen of us took him into the sink room and gave him a bath, while the rest of the shortstops went in search of clothes. He was not a very tall man and very slim, while the officers we had to draw from were all big, so when we got done with dressing him he looked like a Populist of the short grass country the year of the drought.
"I can't help but laugh when I think of him sitting there in the detectives' room with the waist band of the sergeant's extra trousers drawn up under his arm and his feet in shoes the size of four-dollar dictionaries.
LOOKED BETTER CLOTHED.
"But for all his togs he couldn't help but look respectable. Every time he opened his mouth he emitted an idea by the double handful, which was strange considering his appearance when we first saw him. He was no ordinary man, that was a cinch. He was a genius.
ASKS FOR REPORTERS.
"About the time we were settling back into the humdrum of waiting until morning the unknown quantity took a hitch on himself and asked: 'Where are the reporters? Seems like there ought to be one or more around. It isn't time for the second mail edition yet.'
"We told him there was a little reporter named Billings in the room allowed for the use of newspaper men and that he was probably at that moment writing a story of how a naked, insane man had broken into the police station with the intent to murder the captain.
" 'I'll risk it,' he said with a laugh, 'send him to me.'
"We sent for Billings and it was evident that the two would be kindred spirits. The very first thing the stranger said to the reporter was what he refused to tell the sergeant, and that was how he had come to be naked. We had set him down to be a sort of a crank with spells of lucidness who had undressed and run into the station on a bet, but now we knew better.
HELD UP AND ROBBED.
" 'I was held up and robbed because I got into bad company trying to have a good time when I ought to have been decent,' he told Billings. 'I am sure none of this I tell you will get into the papers because I am a fellow newspaper man.
" 'Now what I want is clothes. I haven't got a cent but plenty of credit. I can get $10,000 anywhere when the banks open. I want you to strike some second-hand clothing store where the proprietor sleeps in the rear and get me a complete suit. I'll pay you when pay day comes.'
"Billings did not answer at once, and we could see he was studying hard. He had the money, for it was Saturday, the day he got paid, but he appeared not to like the idea of lending so much on such a short acquaintance. Finally an idea seemed to come to him. He looked sharply at the stranger and asked rather quick: 'What's thirty?' Now 'thirty' is a newspaper term that few people understand, but this one answered in a second, grinning from ear to ear: 'It means to chuck work and go home,' he answered.
REPORTER BUYS SUIT.
"Well, sir, the reporter did just as he said and got a whole outfit for $14.50 and the stranger left at daybreak telling us all to stick around until he could get another and better rig and return.
"In three or four hours he was back. He had on a brand new suit of the best ready-made clothes in town, patent leather shoes and a plug hat. Also he had a roll of $100 bills so large that they wouldn't go into his inside coat pocket without a special effort. He was showing us that he had the credit he had boasted about.
"This time when we saw him he was feeling better toward the world and would talk more about himself, but he wouldn't tell his name, although I have since suspected the reporter knew it. He told us, though, that he was a prominent Missouri editor with aspirations to the United States senate.
"He had been in politics for years with his paper and never wanted anything so bad as that Senate plum. His platform from the start, he said, had been the cleaning up of the state morally.
WANTED TO FIND TRUTH.
" 'I have preached against immorality so much," he explained, 'that I just had to get out and find the truth about the other side. If my political enemies get hold of last night's caper it will be my undoing.'
"After he had gone the reporter looked at me and said: 'Well, we have promised never to mention this and it is safe, I guess. But my! what a story it would be for some newspapers I know.'
"The reporter is out of town now. By the way, Billings wasn't his name, either. I wonder which United States senatorial candidate that was?"
Labels: Central station, detectives, Fifth street, Inspector Boyle, Missouri avenue, newspapers, police, police headquarters, politics
December 30, 1909
FIND WOMEN IN A SALOON.
Italian Promises Police Board to
Bar Them in Future.
The board of police commissioners is having a hard time impressing upon the Italians of "Little Italy" the fact that their women must not frequent saloons. In the past some Italian women have b een as much at home in the saloon as in the home; in fact, many of them used to tend bar while their husbands were at meals.
Yesterday Mattaeo La Salla, who has a saloon at Missouri avenue and Cherry street, was before the board for permitting his wife and mother to frequent his saloon. It was some time before Judge Middlebrook could impress La Salla with the fact that there was a law in this state which prevents women from frequenting saloons. The Italian looked worried, puzzled, but he promised that his women folks would keep out of his saloon in the future.
Salino Defeo, 600 East Fifth street, and his bartender were seen twice, it is alleged , to serve a woman with a bucket of beer. Commissioner Marks was closing Defeo's saloon for two days, but, being Christmas week, Judge Middlebrook thought the board should be more lenient and a reprimand was given.
For having a man not in his employ in his saloon at 1:20 a. m. last Friday, John Honl, a saloonkeeper at 7306 East Fifteenth street, was ordered to close his place Friday and Saturday.
Labels: alcohol, Cherry street, Fifteenth street, Fifth street, immigrants, Missouri avenue, police board, saloon, women
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 7, 1909
HELD IN CHAIR AND SHAVED.
Customer Does Not Want Other Side
Finished, Barber Objects, Has His
Way, Then Stabs Defending Self.
As a result of a fight which took place in the barber shop at 902 East Fifth street, James Morley was stabbed five times in the back with a pair of scissors, and slashed once in the left arm with a razor and was then locked up in the police station, charged with disturbing the peace, while Mike Raffles, the barber who inflicted the wounds, escaped.
Morley, who is 20 years of age, but who wouldn't tell his residence, had been drinking when h e entered the barber shop at which Raffles is employed, wanting a shave. When Raffles had shaved one side of his face, Morley decided that he would let the other side go. Raffles remonstrated with him, and finally thourgh force managed to complete the job. As soon as Morley was released from the chair he attempted to start trouble. In self defense, Raffles grabbed a pair of scissors and in the melee which followed, stabbed Morley five times in the back. Morley still showed fight, and raffles slashed him with a razor.
Morley was taken to the emergency hospital in an ambulance, but fought with the doctor all the way to the hospital. When in the hospital he tried to fight everyone with whom he came in contact. Patrolman Miller was sent to quiet the belligerent patient, and Morley again wanted to fight, but one good healthy slap ended the trouble, and Morley was locked up on a charge of disturbing the peace.
Labels: alcohol, barbers, emergency hospital, Fifth street, police, violence
October 31, 1909
RAZING A LANDMARK
MADE FAMOUS BY
Oldest Building on Fifth Street
Meets Its End.
THE OLD BREVOORT HOTEL IN WEST FIFTH STREET.
With the razing of the old Breevort hotel at 118 West Fifth street, to make way for a modern building which will be erected shortly, the oldest structure on Fifth street will have been a memory. Long before the '60s the hotel was known as an old building, and no one seems to know the exact date of its erection or its builder.
Standing on an eminence directly opposite Kansas City's first Methodist church, the "Cannon house" as it was called then, was one of Kansas City's most elite boarding houses. The owners of the building rarely rented the rooms to transients, but were content with making it a fashionable boarding house. The rates after the war were $1 and up. In the '70s the building became known as the "Morgan house" and fifteen years ago it was christened the "Breevort."
When Fifth street was graded in the '60s to its present level, the cellar of the Breevort house was on a level with the street. The proprietor immediately arched up the windows, painted the cellar walls and had a three-story building. A week ago, before the structure was being torn down, the old cellar walls were clearly discernible and indicated that at one time Kansas City's hills were much steeper than at present.
"The hotel was an old building when I was a boy," said Dr. W. L. Campbell of 504 Olive street, one of the recognized authorities on early Kansas City history. "I don't think there is anyone living who knows the exact time that it was built or the builder. There used to be a report that Washington Irving stayed there when he made a visit to Kansas City, but I think that the report is generally discredited."
Fred Seewald, who runs a grocery store at 317 West Fifth street, is confident that the building must have been about 60 years old.
"It was by far the oldest building on Fifth street," he said.
Labels: churches, Fifth street, grocers, history, hotels, Olive street, real estate
October 13, 1909
BIG PARADE HELD IN
HONOR OF COLUMBUS.
ITALIAN SOCIETIES COMMEM-
Replica of Santa Maria, With "In-
dians" Aboard, a Feature --
Music and Speeches at
Columbus day, commemorating the discovery of America on October 12, 1492, was celebrated in Kansas City yesterday for the first time. A bill making October 12 a legal holiday passed the last legislature.
As the great "Christopher Colombo" was an Italian, born in Genoa, Italy, the Italians of Kansas City took the lead yesterday in celebrating the day. Ever since July 4 last the representative Italians of the city have been working on a monster parade, and yesterday the people viewed the result of their labors. The parade formed at the Holy Rosary church, Fifth and Campbell streets, and was headed by a line of carriages. In the first were Mayor Crittenden, Justice Michael Ross and Michael E. Casey, the state senator who drew up the bill making October 12 a holiday. Judge Harry G. Kyle, W. H. Baehr, city treasurer, and other city officials were in the other carriages with representative Italian citizens. Following these were members of many Italian lodges and societies.
SANTA MARIA IN PARADE.
The most attractive feature of the parade was a replica of the Santa Maria, the boat on which Columbus sailed to America. On board were sailors and "Indians." Frank Bascone, dressed to represent Columbus, stood in the boat, telescope in hand, apparently searching for land. Four bands were in the line of march.
After forming at Fifth and Campbell the parade went south to Sixth street, east on Sixth to Gillis, north on Gillis to Fifth and west to Walnut street, thus traversing the very heart of the Italian quarter known as "Little Italy." Crowds lined both sides of the street through the entire North End.
The line of march was continued down Walnut street to Sixteenth, on that street to Grand avenue and thence to the City garden, about Nineteenth and Grand, where the real celebration was held. Mayor Crittenden, Senator Casey and Judge Kyle made speeches in English, the best they could do. Speeches in Italian were made by Professor G. G. Langueri, Rev. Father John Marchello and Rev. Maxdano, minister of the Italian Evangelist church.
Labels: Campbell street, churches, Fifth street, holidays, immigrants, Judge Kyle, Justice Ross, Mayor Crittenden, ministers, North end, parades
September 13, 1909
USED DIAMOND ON
THE STORE WINDOWS.
PLATE GLASS CUT FOR BLOCKS
ON MAIN STREET.
J. E. Stivers Arrested on Charge of
Damaging Property from Fifth
to Thirteenth Street --
Denies He Is Vandal.
All records in plate glass window cutting were broken last night by J. E. Stivers, a candymaker for the Loose-Wiles Cracker and Candy Company. In years past the record in Kansas City has been a few straggling windows, entailing a cost of from $300 to $400, but Stivers's cutting began at Thirteenth street and Grand avenue and he carried the line of march to Main street and down that street to Fifth, where he was arrested. In all, Stivers damaged sixty-three plate glass windows. If the glass has to be replaced, the total cost would not fall short of $5,000, it is estimated. Most of the places which suffered most carry plate glass insurance.
Edward Clark, recently appointed a Gamewell operator at the Walnut street police station, saw Stivers when he made his first cut on a plate glass window at the Ayres Clothing Company, 1309 Grand avenue. He followed him to Main street, along Thirteenth and down Main to Fifth, seeing him use a 1/4 karat diamond ring on all of the most valuable windows along Main street. It did not occur to Clark to make an arrest. The arrest took place while Stivers was making a final slash at a large window of the Hub Clothing Company at Fifth and Main streets. Herman Hartman, a police officer, chanced to be passing and arrested the culprit.
After leaving Thirteenth and Grand, Stivers made his way to Main street, where he wrote his initials on a glazed monument of the M. H. Rice Monument Company at that point. It was shortly after 9 p. m. when he reached Jones' Dry Goods Company's store and many persons were on the street so he succeeded in cutting but seven of the valuable windows. Some of them are cut so deeply that a tap would knock out part of the glass.
Stivers' route from here was made by jumps, he evidently passing some places on account of the night crowds. He missed most of the stores in the block between Eleventh and Twelfth streets on Main. Altogether, he damaged the windows of more than thirty clothiers, milliners, saloons, flower shops, fortune tellers and other retailers and unoccupied buildings.
When Stilvers began by the Jones Dry Goods Company, when his diamond was in good working order, he appears to have done the greatest damage.
When seen in the holdover after his arrest, Stivers was awakened from a stupor. He told who he was and said he had been working for the Loose-Wiles company for twenty years. He is now 22 years old.
"If any of those windows are damaged I did not do it," he said.
Labels: crime, Fifth street, Grand avenue, Main street, retailers, Thirteenth street, Walnut Street, Walnut street police station
September 7, 1909
CAT AND CHICKEN TO A KITE.
Boys Preparing to Send Them Up
When Officers Came.
The ascension of a kite with a chicken and cat attached as a ballast didn't take place yesterday morning in the neighborhood of Fifth street and Wabash avenue, which several of the youngsters of the neighborhood had planned as a sort of Labor Day celebration. But it was all the fault of the Humane society who had heard of the plans.
When two officers arrived yesterday morning the crowd scattered. they found the deserted kite with the chicken and cat attached in the proper fashion. No arrests were made.
Labels: animals, children, Fifth street, holidays, Humane Society, Wabash avenue
August 31, 1909
BEATEN CHINAMAN MAY DIE.
Lee Wey Brutally Assaulted in Fifth
Street Laundry and
Robbed of $20.
While resisting two robbers who seized him in his laundry at 620 East Fifth street about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Lee Wey, a Chinaman, was beaten into insensibility before his assailants secured $20 and escaped. With barely a chance to live Wey was taken to the general hospital.
When a customer arrived two hours later Lee was found on the floor unable to move. The police were notified. A hasty examination by Dr. H. L. Morton at the emergency hospital showed that the top of Lee's scalp was cut to shreds.
Lee regained consciousness and told a meager story of the assault. Two men had come into his laundry before sundown and inquired the way to find the water meter. As he started to go down into the cellar, where it was located, Lee was struck over the head with a piece of gas pipe. Half-stunned he grappled with the smaller of the two. The blows rained on his head until he knew no more. His pockets, inside out, told the story of the robbery.
"All my savings for many months," Lee said in broken English.
Labels: crime, doctors, emergency hospital, Fifth street, immigrants, violence
August 9, 1909
FINDS A CITY TRANSFORMED.
F. S. MacJohnstone Tells of Kansas
City 25 Years Ago.
"Kansas City was a mud hole when my wife and I left it for the West a quarter of a century ago," said F. S. MacJohnstone of Colorado Springs, Col., at the Hotel Moore last night. "Its transformation as we viewed it today from an automobile which whirled us over the magnificent boulevards is wonderful. Twenty-five years ago there were huge, ugly hills with rocks jutting out on every side, steep walks, poor sewerage, hilly paved streets and no park system. Now you have the opposite. In Colorado we have beautiful drives and parks for our natural mountain scenery gives us an unrivaled background.
"Neither my wife nor I deemed it possible that Kansas City could make the strides it has since we left it. We have read of the growth of the city but did not realize its extent. We drove this afternoon through Roanoke. We used to go nutting in what is now one of the prettiest residence districts in the city. At that time it was occupied by a few shacks.
"Although my father and I furnished locks and hardware for the Old Missouri Valley buidling which was located somewhere near Fifth and Delaware streets, the only familiar sight we met of any conssequence was the old Blossom house, opposite the Union depot. The hotel was built before we left Kansas City."
Mr. MacJohnstone is a former alderman of Colorado Springs. With his wife he came to Kansas City to attend the wedding of a cousin, Fred MacJohnstone of Chicago, to Miss Lydia Dunning of Rochester, N. Y. Miss Duning was the guest of the MacJohnstones at Colorado Springs and came to Kansas City with them. The bride and groom departed yesterday for Chicago.
Mr. and Mrs. MacJohnstone left last evening for Denver.
Labels: Chicago, Delaware street, Denver, Fifth street, history, hotels, New York, Union depot, visitors, wedding
July 21, 1909
THREE 'OLD CRONIES' MEET.
W. E. Hutton, E. S. Jewett and
Henry Garland Have Reunion.
In 1867 W. E. Hutton was general Western passenger agent of the Missouri Pacific in Kansas City, and E. S. Jewett was ticket agent. Henry Garland was with the St. Louis, Kansas City & Northern, as the Wabash was known in that year. The three old cronies met again yesterday, Mr. Hutton coming on from his home in Cincinnati for the reunion. Their anecdotes sounded like frontier stories.
"I lived right over there in a hotel kept by 'General' Crafton," said Mr. Hutton as he sat in the Missouri Pacific ticket office yesterday afternoon, indicating the Diamond drug store. " 'General' Crafton had been in the army."
"So he said," added Mr. Garland, and Colonel Jewett had to laugh at the boast of an old hotel man, who "kept tables" in a place run by Ed Findlay's father, where they never closed the door and the ceiling was the limit.
"And there was a millinery store kept by a little woman right there," continued Mr. Hutton, indicating Ninth and Delaware. "Her name was Marsh, and I recollect her trying to get a loan of $2,700 on the place. She afterward sold it for a vast amount of money."
"Wrong there, Billy," corrected Mr. Garland. "She owns the place yet, but she has had a fabulous sum of money from it in the way of rents."
Mr. Hutton told of going to Fort Scott and to Lawrence by stage. The center of the city then was Fifth and Main and gambling was the chief excitement. Colonel Jewett is still in the harness. Mr. Garland retired ten years ago. Mr. Hutton is now in the bond and brokerage business. All three are wealthy.
Labels: Fifth street, gambling, history, Main street, railroad, reunions
July 19, 1909
LURE OF THE CIRCUS
AS STRONG AS EVER.
CROWDS STREAMED THROUGH
SHOW GROUNDS YESTERDAY.
Performers Were Not in Evidence,
as It Was a Day of Rest.
Parade in Downtown
WE ARE ALL "SMALL BOYS" TODAY.
PARADE STARTS AT 9:30
The route is north from the grounds, on Indiana avenue to Fifteenth street, west of Fifteenth to Walnut street, north on Walnut to Fifth street, west on Fifth to Main street, south on Main to Fourteenth street, east on Fourteenth to Grand avenue, south on Grand to Fifteenth street, east on Fifteenth to Indiana avenue, south on Indiana to the circus grounds.
You have heard people say that the circus is no longer the magnet it once was, but if you were able to persuade yourself into this opinion, take a car out to Seventeenth street and Indiana avenue, where Ringling's circus city is encamped, and behold your mistake; for it's dollars to dill pickles that you'll suddenly be bereft of your enthusiasm.
Crowds streamed through the grounds all day yesterday just because it was a circus that held all the charm that circuses have always held in the popular heart. Big red wagons; forests of pegs and guy ropes; great hollow mountains of belying canvas; roustabouts seeking a minimum of warmth in the scant shade of the vans; squads of cooks and scullions making the next meal ready for the circus army vendors of cool drinks and hot meats, barking their wares; the merry-go-round, grinding out its burden of popular airs, all these things to be seen and heard constituted the lure that drew perspiring thousands to the show grounds, even though no performance was given Sunday.
PERFORMERS' REST DAY.
It was remarked that few of the performers could be seen on the grounds.
"That's because it is their day off," said one who has eleven years of circus experience behind him. "They're at all the parks and other places of interest. More of them are in church than you would guess, too."
No one was allowed in the menagerie yesterday and the animals had the big tent largely to themselves and their keepers. Beasts ranging in disposition from mild to fearsome, crouched, paced and slept behind the bars. A large herd of elephants was lined up on one side of the tent and the huge pachyderms stood quietly swaying their trunks, and munching the wisps of hay they would now and then tuck under their proboscises.
Jerry, the Royal Bengal tiger. lay peacefully asleep in his cage. He is the Apollo Belvedere of the feline species. Out of all tigers and near-tigers in captivity, he was chosen as a model of his kind for the two bronze guardians of the entrance of old Nassau hall, Princeton.
TIGER AS A MODEL.
Jerry was chosen as a model by A. Phimister Proctor, the sculptor, who was commissioned by the class of '79 to replace the two lions that now stand before the famous old hall.
Weather and undergraduate ebullience made their marks on the lions and the class of '79 decided to have them replaced by two bronze tigers which will not only be more durable but more emblematic. They will be presented to the university by the class next commencement week.
Two performances will be given today, the first at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and the second at 8 o'clock at night. The parade will start at 9:30 a. m. The circus will give two performances at Manhattan, Kas., Tuesday.
Labels: amusement, animals, circus, Fifteenth street, Fifth street, Fourteenth street, Grand avenue, Indiana avenue, Main street, parades, Walnut Street
July 12, 1909
3 DEAD AS RESULT
OF BOMB EXPLOSION.
FIREWORKS DISPLAY NEAR A
CHURCH ENDS FATALLY.
Italians of Holy Rosary Congrega-
tion Were Celebrating St. John's
Day -- Two Negroes Are
The upright figure is sketched from a duplicate of the iron pipe which was also to have been fired. The upper figure is a sketch of the piece which killed the woman and the lower figure is a sketch of the piece which was hurled through the house at 511 Campbell street.
Amidst a throng of 700 persons who gathered at Fifth and Campbell streets last night to watch the celebration of St. John's day, a bomb exploded, instantly killing Clarance Harrington, a negro of 511 Lydia avenue, and Anna Fields, a negro woman of 568 Harrison street; and so seriously wounding Tony Grassiffe, an Italian living at 311 East Third street, that he died at 10:45 o'clock.
The bomb was one used in the pyrotechnical display being held under the direction of the Holy Order of St. John, an organization of the Holy Rosary Roman Catholic church, Fifth and Campbell streets. Tony Grassiffe, one of the victims, was the master of ceremonies and for almost an hour he had been lighting bombs, rockets and Roman candles, while the crowd gathered denser in the street.
Grassiffe finally planted the huge cast iron pipe, loaded with dynamite and a bomb, in the center of a low corner lot. He had been warned to completely cover the bomb with dirt, and to plant it deep. Ignorance or carelessness caused him to leave the bomb in its two feet of iron pipe standing uncovered in the lot. He lighted the fuse and before he could gain his feet the explosion occurred.
NEGROES INSTANTLY KILLED.
Grassiffe's left leg at the knee was completely severed by the bursting projectile. A huge piece of the iron was hurled westward and struck the negro woman full on the right side of her face, tearing it away, and leaving only a small portion of the skull. Another, and smaller piece, struck Harrington in the center of his forehead, crushing his skull and tearing part of it away. The two negroes dropped in their tracks, dead. The woman lay across the sidewalk grasping a palm leaf fan in her hand. The man fell close by her side.
Sergeant D. J. Whalen was standing within three feet of the woman when she fell. He was struck in the chest by a piece of mortar, but was uninjured. Officer Lee Clarry was standing still closer to the negro, and escaped without a scratch.
PENETRATES HOUSE WALL.
One piece of the iron pipe was hurled northward with a force which caused it to penetrate the wall of a house, seventy-five feet distant, and continue its course within, plunging through a two-inch door and spending its force against the other wall of the building.
Seated at a window, not three feet from the point where the projectile entered the wall, was Tony Gafucci. He was thrown from his chair, and lay on the floor of his room, momentarily stunned. The house number is 511 Campbell street.
Instantly after the sound of the explosion, the great crowd surged forward to where the dead bodies were lying. The police officers held them back, and themselves ascertained the condition of the negroes. Seeing that both were dead, the officers hastened to aid Grassiffe, whom they heard groaning and crying for help. They picked the injured man up from the hollow and carried him into a nearby drug store.
The police ambulance was hastily called, and Dr. E. D. Twyman accompanied it to the scene of the explosion. As he alighted at the spot where the negroes were lying on the sidewalk, and stooped down to make examinations, the uncontrollable crowd of negroes and Italians surged forward closer still, knocking over the surgeon.
COULDN'T SAVE ITALIAN.
When Dr. Twyman reached Grassiffe he found the injured man to be in a dangerous condition. Nothing could be done to stop the terrible flow of blood from the severed limb. The surgeon ordered a record drive to the emergency hospital, where every effort was made to save the life of the injured man. He was kept alive until 10:45 o'clock, by means of artificial respiration and then died.
By some means Grassiffe's wife gained entrance to the hospital and, gazing upon the form of her husband, became hysterical. It was necessary for Dr. H. T. Morton to administer an opiate to quiet the woman, who was shrieking strange Italian chants at the top of her voice, pausing now and then to cross herself and mutter a hurried prayer.
The coroner was notified of the deaths and ordered the negroes bodies taken to Moore's undertaking establishment, 1033 Independence avenue.
The celebration last night was held in spite of the constant warnings given out by Father Charles Delbecchi, in charge of the Holy Rosary church. He had just left his church, where he had warned once more of the dangers of fireworks.
Labels: accident, Campbell street, churches, death, doctors, explosion, Fifth street, fireworks, Harrison street, holidays, immigrants, ministers, Third street
June 22, 1909
SKELETON IN CELLAR OF
OLD OCCIDENTAL HOTEL.
Workmen Uncover Gruesome Relic
Under Building Historic in
Kansas City's Early Days.
A ghastly relic of some unknown or long forgotten crime, part of a human skull which apparently had lain in the debris for years, was uncovered Saturday by workmen excavating for the foundation of a scaffolding in the basement of the old Occidental hotel at Fifth and Bluff streets.
Yesterday other parts of the skeleton were found. The police believe that the trash and cinders cover a crime committed so many years ago that the mystery will never be unraveled.
The Occidental hotel long was one of the principal hostelries of the North end. With the departure of the business district from that section of the city the building had developed into a rooming house of indifferent character. Many robberies and other crimes were reported from the old rookery, and under pressure of the public sentiment the place was finally closed.
Last week the owner engaged carpenters to remodel it. Daylight penetrated the basement for the first time since the building was erected when a carpenter tore open the overhead flooring. As he dug into the trash with a shovel, he uncovered the lower jaw of a human skull.
"None of it in mine," he said, as he climbed to the floor above.
The firemen of No. 6 station, directly around the corner, took possession of the bone and exhibited it to all visitors. Yesterday it was turned over to the police department, along with several fragments of human ribs which were uncovered late yesterday afternoon. Dr. Fred Kryger and Dr. J. W. Hayward, who examined the bones, said that they were probably buried ten years ago. The jaw bone would indicate that the skeleton is that of a man who was probably 25 years old at death for the wisdom teeth had barely pushed through the bone.
The bones were found in the south-east corner of the cellar on top of a pile of cinders. From the slope of the debris it is believed that the cinders had been thrown in to the cellar from an outside window which has long been choked by debris. The outside of the window can be seen from the inside.
The police have not yet decided whether the body was carried into the cellar from the floor above or whether the bones were shoveled through the open window after the crime had been committed. The cellar will be searched today.
Labels: Bluff street, doctors, Fifth street, Fire, history, hotels, murder, police
May 21, 1909
ROBBED AT STATION DOOR.
Bold Holdup Pulled Off in Front
of Police Headquarters by
Two highwaymen with a sense of humor searched a man in front of police headquarters last night, took all his belongings and then told him to run. The victim, who thought the two strangers were plain clothes officers, got away and didn't even report the matter to the police. Had not several witnesses told Lieutenant M. E. Ryan, the commanding officer at headquarters, no one would have been the wiser.
J. J. Blake, proprietor of the market restaurant, as well as several of his customers, saw the incident. James Baker, proprietor of an ice cream stand, followed the men as they dragged the victim toward the station.
"See what he's got on him," said the larger of the two, as he searched the victims pocket.
"Guess we had better take him in," suggested the other.
In front of the door the two men stopped.
"Might as well let him go," said the large one. The man needed no bidding and ran around the corner. The two crooks leisurely walked up Fifth street.
Labels: crime, Fifth street, highway robbery, police headdquarters, restaurants
May 18, 1909
WOMEN CHASE A THIEF.
Hat Pins and Parasols Figure in a
Man-Hunt in Store.
A daring robbery occurred in a store on Main near Fifth street during the rush of late shoppers Saturday night. Mrs. Mary Hibbs, 2115 Kansas avenue, had purchased some goods, and while extracting the amount needed from her purse, a man grabbed a $2 bill and ran.
The store was crowded with customers, but the men stood idly by and deplored the incident while the women endeavored to catch the thief. Hat pins, parasols and chatelaine bags were poked in front of him, but the petty thief managed to dodge the irate women and make his escape in the crowd on the outside of the store.
Labels: crime, Fifth street, Kansas avenue, Main street, women
April 13, 1909
GREEK HAS AWAKENED
ONLY ONCE IN 35 DAYS.
LONG-DISTANCE SLEEPER PUZ-
ZLES HOSPITAL PHYSICIANS.
With Organs of Body Apparently in
Normal Condition, Every Ef-
fort to Arouse Carolmas
GEORGE CAROLMAS, THE SOUND SLEEPER OF
THE GENERAL HOSPITAL.
Lying on a cot in the insane ward at the general hospital, George Carolmas, a subject of the king of Greece, has for thirty-five days been asleep without interruption except for one day last week. Before being removed from his rooming house, 15 West Fifth street, on March 12, he ha slept for four days.
Carolmas came to America from his home in Athens, about eight months ago. He worked on the railroad as a track layer after arriving in Missouri. Like most of the thrifty foreigners, Carolmas saved most of his wages and horded it for the proverbial rainy day. In some way which has not been satisfactorily explained he lost his little savings and brooded over his misfortune.
The Greeks who knew him were aware that Carolmas was brooding over his loss, but little attention was paid until March 8. That morning Carolmas failed to get up and go to work. His landlord knocked on the door of his room several times during the day to awaken him, but failed to receive any response. In the afternoon he entered the room and discovered that his roomer was sound asleep and that speaking to him or shaking him would not waken him. Becoming frightened the Greek landlord summoned Dr. George Ringel of the emergency hospital.
CONSCIOUS BUT ASLEEP.
Four days later Carolmas was sent to the general hospital for treatment. He was examined carefully by the staff at the general hospital and found to be conscious but asleep. As far as the physicians have been able to discover every organ in the patient's body is normal. His breathing is regular and his heart action is apparently good.
Food is given to the patient five or six times each day. Part of the time the nurses furnish him with nourishment by pouring a small quantity of broth or milk in his mouth and allowing him to swollow it naturally. At other times the patient does not swallow and a stomach pump is brought into use. His nourishment consists mainly of milk and eggs. Very little nourishment is necessary.
When taken to the hospital the Greek patient weighted about 170 pounds., but since then he has lost about ten pounds. He is evidently about 35 years old. On last Thursday Carolmas woke up, and from all appearances was over his sleeping spell. He walked around the corridors of his ward and the specialists believed he was recovering. However, he became tired after being awake for thirty hours, and went back to sleep.
While he was awake last week Carolmas gave evidence of being hysterical. He followed "Pete," the man in charge of the ward, around and continually kowtowed to him. He would get down on his knees and kiss the attendant's shoes. Then he spent a great deal of time in prayer, which would be followed by a spell of crying. If the physicians or attendants atteempted to talk to him, he would break down and weep.
EVEN BATH DOESN'T WAKE HIM.
The treatment being given to him is the best afforded by the hospital. Every day he is given a hot water bath, then an attendant gives him a thorough massage. Treatment with electricity is not possible as the hospital is not equipped for it. What the hospital physicians are endeavoring to do is to build up the man's nervous centers, but about all they can do with him is give him food and a tonic.
From examinations by the best specialists in the city it is believed that Carolmas is suffering from a shattering of the nervous centers. His condition is scientifically termed as stuperous melancholia. It could result from narcolepsy, kidney disease, softening of the brain or from the sleeping sickness common in Africa. A tumor on the brain might also cause such a condition.
As a tumor could be diagnosed and the physicians have failed to find any signs of one in the case of the Greek, that cause has been eliminated. They have also decided that he is not suffering from narcolepsy. On account of his hysteria while awake last week, and the meager information or history of his health before arriving at the general hospital, the physicians are positive that his nervous condition is responsible.
People of Carolmas's nationality are high strung and subject to nervous diseases. If crossed or thrown into any excitement the Greek people are said to go off on a tangent and become nervous wrecks.
HAPPENED HERE BEFORE.
More than two years ago a man was picked up on the street who was believed by pedestrians to be unconscious. He was removed to the general hospital, where it was found that he was really asleep. He continued sleeping for 42 days, being sustained that long by forced feeding, and then died.
Dr. St. Elmo Sanders, former city physician, said yesterday that whenever a patient suffering from a continuous sleep had to be nourished by force chances of recovery were not good.
The man found on the streets two years ago finally slept so profoundly that if he was placed in a chair he would not move a muscle. His legs could be bent and the patient would not move them.
Dr. John Puntin, a specialist of nervous diseases, said that he had had a great many patients who slept for long periods. Most of them, however, would have short intervals of wakefulness. The disease is not necessarily fatal, he said. The physicians who have examined Carolmas believe he will recover, but will not say how much longer he might sleep. All of the physicians and specialists in Kansas City are greatly interested in the case.
Labels: doctors, emergency hospital, Fifth street, general hospital, immigrants, laborer, rooming house
April 12, 1909
JIMMIE WAS BUM LEADER.
Started With Three Girls to Ceme-
tery and All Got Lost.
Three little black-eyed girls, who could not have been over 6 years old, all garbed in white dresses, in harmony with Easter, were found near Twelfth and Washington streets yesterday afternoon by Sergeant James Jadwin. The officer's attention was first attracted when he noticed that the fourth member of the company, a boy about 8 years old, was crying.
"We're all lost," he managed to tell the officer.
"Yes, we are lost," said the older of the three girls. "We live way over by Fifth and Harrison streets. We were going to the graveyard to put flowers on the graves, but Jimmie don't know the way."
Sergeant Jadwin surmised at once that they were Italian children, though it would have been impossible to have told by their manner of speech. Jimmie cried until the quartette reached the station, where he recognized the locality. The children were soon surrounded by the officers, who were more than amused by the oldest girl's plain English, and her denunciation of Jimmie.
"He told us he would take us to the graveyard," she said, her black eyes snapping. "Then he took us away and away," and she dramatized the description by motioning with the hands the direction which they had taken. "Then, he's a cry-baby, too," she continued, "for as soon as he saw he was lost, he began to cry."
"Can you write your name?" asked James Cummings, the telephone man.
In answer, the child took the officer's pencil, and, with childish scrawl which was perfectly legible, she wrote the names of the three others, as well as her own name.
"Maggie Saoa" was her own name, she said, as she showed her skill to the officer. Her two companions, she said, were her cousins, Marie and Josie Saoa, who all lived in the same flat at 532 Harrison street. The boy was identified as James Scarcello, who lives at 536 Harrison street. Thee children were taken home by the wagon driver.
Labels: children, Fifth street, Harrison street, immigrants, police
April 4, 1909
WILL END HIS LIFE.
STRANGER FATALLY WOUNDED
IN WEST FIFTH STREET.
Man Supposed to Be T. J. Heffron
Victim of Unknown Assassin.
Police Seeking Clue to
Hearing a shot in the vicinity of Fifth and Wyandotte streets just after midnight this morning, Patrolmen F. J. Smitherman and W. S. Woods reached there in time to see a man stagger from behind some bill boards near the northwest corner and fall in the street. When taken to the emergency hospital it was found that he had been shot completely through the body on the right side. In a dying condition the man was taken to the general hospital. It is not thought he will live until morning.
The man, who is unknown to the police, appears to be a workman about 50 years old. His hair is gray. He wore corduroy trousers and a brown coat and vest.
In a little book in his pocket was found the following, written in a legible hand: "Sister, I am down and out. I want you to send me $5 to clean up and I will give it to you as soon as I can make it." To this is signed "T. J. Heffron." That name appears several more times in the book and the police believe he tried to say that name when asked who he was.
Further on in the book he has written a line of thanks to his sister for the loan of the money. Then follows: "Contract at Armour Junction. McVaugh, 2:30, March 25, 1909."
On a card in his pocket was written the name "William Ellington, 1614 Grand avenue." Police were at once detailed on the possible murder mystery and the officers at the Walnut street station were asked to see what was known of "T. J. Heffron" or any man answering the description of the victim at 1614 Grand avenue.
On the way to the hospital the injured man revived sufficiently to say that he had a brother-in-law on the police force. The police at No. 4 say that Patrolman W. J. Graham, 2339 Terrace street, who works out of No. 3 station, has several brothers-in-law by the name of Heffron, the name found in the book. Graham was not on duty that night.
Labels: Fifth street, Grand avenue, murder, No 3 police station, No 4 police station, police, Wyandotte street
January 17, 1909
YOUTHFUL BRIDE OF
AGED GROOM IN JAIL.
WEDDING OF DECEMBER AND
JUNE HAS USUAL SEQUEL.
Couldn't Agree and Finally Husband
of 74 Accused Wife of 18 of Appro-
priating Personal Belongings.
Man Also Arrested.
A tale of two cities -- Sheffield, England and Sheffield, Mo. -- with the variation of the marriage of an old man and a young woman, was told in its second chapter yesterday in Justice Michael Ross's court. There are to be succeeding chapters, too, for the bride and a young man are now in the county jail, sent there on complaint of the husband.
It was December 23 that Benjamin Sellers, only 74, and Emma Vaughn, 18, were married in Independence by Justice L. P. Anderson. Two days later there appeared in The Journal an article about the couple and interview from Sellers, telling how happy he was. But romance has now made a hotel fire exit.
Maybe it should have been said at the beginning of this story that it is a tale of three cities. For, after the expression of happiness from the groom, a dark cloud in the shape of Wakeeney, Kas., appeared on the matrimonial horizon. It was to Wakeeney that the couple took their bridal trip shortly after Christmas.
"They had serenaded us at 527 East Fifth street, where we have been living, when we were married," said Mrs. Sellers yesterday, "but in Wakeeney -- why, there were tin cans in the bed and the noise outside the hotel was awful."
Anyway, Mrs. Sellers came back from Wakeeney feeling anything but cheerful. She said yesterday that she had been sick in bed most of the time since.
It was yesterday afternoon that Sellers went to the court of Justice Ross and swore out a complaint on which his wife and Leonard C. Coker, a lather 19 years of age, whose home is at 3239 East Sixth street, were arrested. Coker had been staying at the Sellers home, 527 East Fifth, for about a week. He says he boarded there.
SELLERS ALL BROKEN UP.
"It has broken me all up," said Sellers, telling his story in the justice's court. "Why, I travelled with General Tom Thumb, first in Sheffield, England, where I passed show bills, and later until I rose to be his valet. For nearly sixteen years I was with him. The beginning was in 1857.
"After I left that employment, I went to farm in Illinois and later moved to Wakeeney, Kas., where I have property that yields me about $40 a month. That has furnished my living since I came to Kansas City three years ago.
"June 18 a young man brought this girl to my home. She said she was homeless, so I took her in and cared for her. After at time she disappeared and then returned. Always she kept insisting I should marry her, and at last, in December, I consented. She said then, 'Marry me or I will leave you."
HE MISSED SOME RINGS.
"She had not been at my house a week before I missed some rings and jewelry, and she told me she had not taken them. For a time she went under the name of Evelyn LaRue, but her real name was Emma Vaughn."
This is what Mrs. Sellers had to say:
"Why, 'grandpa' -- that's what I always call him -- forced me to marry him. You see, it was this way: A young man named Lester Blume took me to grandpa's house, and told me to take some rings that were there. I did it, and 'grandpa' kept threatening to do things if I did not marry him.
"Coker? I was engaged to him when I was 16. Then I lost track of him for a long time. He came to the house last Thursday after we had been at the roller skating rink, and he's been there since. But so have two of my girl friends, who have been caring for me while I was sick. Have we a large house? Three rooms.
"Yes, papa is a Baptist preacher in Sheffield. He's not preaching at present, he's painting houses."
Both Mrs. Sellers and Coker denied the charge made against them. Sellers has three sons and a daughter living in Wakeeney. His first wife, whom he married when he was 32, died three years ago. Since then he has been in Kansas City. He says he is determined to prosecute.
Labels: courtroom, England, Fifth street, jail, Judges, Justice Ross, marriage, Seniors, sheffield
January 15, 1909
GREEKS SEE POLICE CAPTAIN.
Thought Tables Had Been Ordered
Out of Coffee Houses.
A committee from the Greek coffee house proprietors filled the lobby of Central police station early last evening to see Captain of Police Walter Whitsett in regard to their business.
The coffee house of Gust Agriomalos, 404 West Fifth street, and Gust Alivizos, 423 West Fifth street, were raided Thursday afternoon by the police and the proprietors and 156 frequenters taken to the station.
In the municipal court yesterday morning Agriomalos and Alivizos were fined $500 each and the frequenters $1 each. The charge against them was gambling. The Greek proprietors understood Judge Henry G. Kyle to instruct them to take the tables out of the coffee houses. After conferring with each other later in the morning the Greeks could not see how they could conduct their coffee houses without tables and appointed a committee to see the police about the matter.
Captain Whitsett told them they could keep their tables in the restaurants, but that they would not be allowed to gamble and it would be best to do away with all card playing.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, Central station, Fifth street, gambling, Judge Kyle
January 8, 1909
GREEKS AND SERVIANS
HAVE LATE CHRISTMAS.
JANUARY 7 IS THE DAY THEY
Calendar Is Thirteen Days Behind.
Kansas City Colonies of the
Two Nations Make
Christmas day was observed yesterday by the Servians and Greeks of Kansas City thirteen days later than the American and English Christmas. The day was made a holiday and none of the Greeks and Servians in the Kansas City colonies in the North End and West Bottoms failed to observe the day in some manner. Gifts were exchanged and there was general feasting and merrymaking.
Christmas means the same to the Greeks and Servians as it does to other people, namely the celebration of the birth of Christ, but the calendar used by them is thirteen days behind the calendar in general use. There is one great difference between the manner in which the people observe the day. No gifts are given or expected by anyone not an immediate family member. Friends do not give presents in token of their friendship.
Santa Claus is called "Callkagary," and he is supposed to be a tall man of dark complexion with merry black eyes, who visits all the little children on the night or during the week before Christmas day. He doesn't live at the North pole, but inhabits the clouds.
GATHERED IN GROUPS.
The Greeks, there are about 1,000 of them in a colony around Fifth street and Broadway, gave up the entire day yesterday to revelry and fun. There were no particular ceremonies, the colony has no church, but the men gathered in groups in halls and saloons, while the women and children visited each other.
New Year's day is really the day for gifts by the Greeks, but Christmas day does not lack any of its charm because of that. New Year's day will be one week from yesterday, the first of January, according to the Greek calendar. The Christmas season among the Greeks and Servians is supposed to last during three days, but the colony here will not make today and tomorrow festive days.
Labels: Broadway, Fifth street, holidays, immigrants, New Years, North end, West bottoms
December 30, 1908
ITALIANS WILL HOLD A
MASS MEETING SUNDAY.
To Raise Money for Relief of Stricken
People -- Many Have Rela-
tives in Sicily.
Local Little Italy, which might more specifically be called Lesser Sicily, since most of its residents come from that stricken island, received the news of the earthquake that killed scores of thousands with an expectant stoicism that utterly belies what books say about the volatile Italian nature. It was expectant, in that the Sicilians and Calabrians of Kansas City are bravely awaiting the horrible details which only days can bring forth. Accounts at best are but meager and the fate of the members of their families cannot be known for a fortnight.
They are not wringing their hands in anguish. Instead, they are occupied with a demonstration much more to the purpose.
"We must get together and raise some money for them," said Dr. L. Laurenzana of 522 East Fifth street, last night. With that he stepped to the telephone and called up the Italian consul, Pietro Isnardi. A business-like conversation in Italian ensued.
MASS MEETING CALLED.
"A mass meeting of all Italians in Kansas City will be held at the hall adjoining the Church of the Holy Rosary at Missouri avenue and Campbell street, Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock," said the doctor as he turned away from the telephone. "We raised nearly $400 for the earthquake sufferers in Calabria, three years ago, and we ought to do better than that this time."
Dr. Laurenzana has a cousin, Anello Alfano by name, who is a railroad contractor at Pizzo on the Calabrian toe of the Italian boot, only four miles and a half from Reggio, where so many thousands were killed Monday.
Walter Randazzo of 104 East Fifth street, too, has a cousin, Cologero Randazzo, who held a government position at Messina, where 12,000 people are said to have lost their lives.
"I came from Palermo," said Mr.Randazzo, "and, as I understand it, the western part of the island, where the city is located, was not badly affected by the quake. Palermo is a long way from Messina. You leave there on the train at night and don't reach Messina until the next morning."
MANY OF THEM HERE.
S. J. Tremonte, proprietor of the Italian Castle cafe at Fifth and Oak streets, comes from Gibbellins, a town of about 15,000 inhabitants, lying forty-four miles from Palermo. His parents and brothers still live there, but he is not apprehensive, as they are not in the affected district.
Pietro Berbiglia, who operates the Milano restaurant at 7 East Eighth street, has been in this country for ten years, and comes from Piggioreallia in Trapani province, not far from Palermo. He served in the Italian army and in 1898 was stationed at Catania, which is almost at the very foot of Mount Aetna, and which with Messina and Reggio suffered perhaps more heavily thatn any of the other cities.
"Catania is a beautiful place," he said last night, "and carries on a large shipping trade with Malta and other points on the Mediterranean. It has about 150,000 inhabitants and the Universita di Catania, with many students, is located there. It has a long and beautiful street which I think is more magnificent than anything even in Rome, called the Corso Garibaldi, running for about four miles along the seashore from Catania proper to Porto Garibaldi. There is also a large garden or park called the Villa Stema d'Italia, that is one of the prettiest in Italy."
Labels: Campbell street, churches, Eighth street, Fifth street, immigrants, Missouri avenue, Oak street, restaurants
December 25, 1908
CALLS HER HUSBAND
Nineteen-Year-Old Susan Vauhn
Marries 74-Year-Old Man.
Groom, aged 74; bride, aged 19 -- such was a marriage solemnized at Independence Wednesday afternoon, Justice L. P. Anderson officiating. Benjamin Sellers, the groom, is sprightly and well preserved. His bride, who was Miss Susan Vaughn, a comely lass with red hair, is a picture of robust health. Her father is W. M. Vaughn of Sheffield. Mr. Sellers is an Englishman. In 1857 he entered the em ploy of General Tom Thumb as valet, with whom he traveled for fifteen years. He still has an old suit of clothes which belonged to the famous dwarf.
When seen yesterday at their home, 427 East Fifth street, Mr. and Mrs. Sellers were very happy. "I know it is something out of the ordinary," said Mrs. Sellers, "but it is no one's business but our own. Grandpa -- that is, my husband -- has been very good to me ever since I have known him. I am satisfied with him as a husband."
"Yes," said Mr. Sellers, "Susan, who has been my housekeeper since last May, has been a good one. I believe she will be a good wife. The reason? Well, you see, I am getting a little too old, and tho ught I ought to have someone to take care of me."
This is Mr. Sellers's second marriage. His first wife, whome he married when he was 32, died about three years ago. He has three sons and a daughter living at Wakeeney, Kas. He is a well-to-do man.
On New Year's day the couple will start out on a honeymoon tour. They expect to spend about three months in California and the West, after which they will return to Kansas City and purchase a home.
Labels: California, Fifth street, immigrants, Independence, Judges, Seniors, sheffield, wedding
December 11, 1908
THIS MAN CALLED
Sherman Short, an Evangelist, Ap-
pears at Headquarters and Tells
How the Trouble Began.
Ever since the riot of fanatics Tuesday afternoon the police have been searching for the man who, greatly excited, ran into the station just after George M. Holt and told his story and cried, "Some of you had better come out here and see to these people. There are a lot of men and women over there on the corner, crazy as loons and all have guns. Even the children have guns. Somebody will be killed, sure. Hurry.
It was just at that juncture that Sergeant Patrick Clark said to A. O. Dalbow, "shortstop" at headquarters, "Go out there, 'Dol,' and see what's the matter." With a smile on his face Dalbow followed the excited man out of the door. Three minutes later he staggered into the door of the emergency hospital, fell on the steps as his revolver dropped from his nerveless grasp. He spoke but once and died. Then followed the bloody fight in which Michael Mullane lost his life and Sergeant Clark was so dangerously wounded.
Yesterday afternoon the much sought for man walked calmly into headquarters and announced that he had been a witness of the affair from its beginning at the Poor Man's mission, 309 Main street. John W. Hogan, an assistant prosecutor, was at the station and he took the man's statement.
THE PREACHER'S STATEMENT.
The witness, who is an evangelist, gave the name of Sherman Short. His home is now near Clarence, Mo., but he once lived here. His statement follows:
Tuesday afternoon I happened to be at Fifth and Main streets. There I saw Mrs. Sharp and Pratt's children holding a street meeting. She seemed frantic about something, fanatical, in fact. I heard her say, "If any one can convince us that we are not right we'd like to have them do it for we are awfully in earnest."
Then Mrs. Sharp said something about adjourning to the mission where the prophet would speak. I was interested and wanted to see this man spoken of as a prophet so I went on ahead, knowing where the mission was she had spoken of. When I got there I introduced myself to the prophet, who proved to be Sharp. He was talking to J. C. Creighton, who ran the mission.
When he began to talk to me he said, "My earthly name is Sharp. I am King David in the spirit -- the Lord of the vineyard. The spirit of King David is in me. Should it prove that I am the Lord of the vineyard I am going to reorganize things on this old earth."
Just then the woman and children came in. The children spoke to a man standing by the stove -- Pratt I learned later -- called him "Pa" and said "the Humane officer is after us." Right then Mr. Holt came to the door and addressing Sharp said, "Are you the father of these children?" He said, "I am," and Mr. Holt asked why they were not in school and added, "You'll have to keep these children off the streets anyway."
CHILDREN SAID "AMEN."
Sharp then began another harangue about being King David, the lord of the vineyard. Mr. Holt paid little attention to him but said, "If you don't properly care for these children we will have to do it." While Mr. Holt was talking Mr. Pratt and his children stuck their tongues out at him and called him names, at the same time saying "Amen" to everything Sharp would say.
Holt showed Sharp his star, at which the fanatic said, "I don't pay attention to such as that. God's got no policemen, no jails, no officers." Then Sharp began to curse in the vilest language at Mr. Holt, shoved him towards the door and said he'd fix him for that. There was some excitement in there and I did not see him strike Mr. Holt. I heard him declare that he'd preach right in front of the station and no one could stop him.
When Mr. Holt had gone Sharp took out a big knife and gun, flourished them and said, "Come on children; we'll show 'em what we'll do." The women and larger girls drew guns as they went out the door and marched toward police headquarters. He announced that he would hold a meeting with the children right in front of the station and would not be stopped either.
PRATT FIRED FIRST.
Mr. Short then told of the riot, saying that Pratt was the first man to fire a shot. His account differs little from that of other eye witnesses. Short said he had known J. C. Creighton and wife, who conducted the Poor Man's mission for eight years. Eight years ago, he said, he was in a meeting at Fourteenth and Baltimore which Creighton was conducting. "The night I speak of Creighton went into a trance, or appeared to do so, and scared a whole lot of people. He was taken to police headquarters and treated. He has always been a visionary man."
Labels: Adam God sect, Baltimore avenue, Central station, Fifth street, Fourteenth street, Main street, ministers, murder, police, police headquarters, visitors
|Get the Book|
Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri