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February 27, 1909

POLICE BOARD IS
NAMED BY HADLEY.

R. B. MIDDLEBROOK AND THOS.
R. MARKS APPOINTED.

Mr. Middlebrook Is to Serve Until
the Time When He Can Be Ap-
pointed to Board of Elec-
tion Commissioners.

R. B. Middlebrook and Thomas R. Marks were yesterday appointed by Governor Herbert S. Hadley members of the police board. In making the announcement, the governor gave out the following statement:

"I have offered the positions of police commissioners of Kansas City to R. B. Middlebrook and Thomas R. Marks and they have somewhat reluctantly consented to serve. Neither was an applicant for the position. I have given almost as much time to the selection of police commissioners in Kansas City as to all of my other appointments.

"The question has not been the selecting of two commissioners, but the selection of a commissioner that would meet the requirements of the situation. In my effort to secure such a commissioner I have offered the appointments to R. C. Meservey, D. J. Haff, Henry M. Beardsley, Eugene H. Blake, Clyde Taylor, Thomas H. Reynolds and John H. Thatcher. None of these gentlemen felt that they ought or could accept the position.

"I feel that in Mr. Middlebrook and Mr. Marks, I have finally secured two men who are familiar with the conditions existing in the police department in Kansas City, and know how a good police department ought to be conducted. I feel confident that they will meet my expectations and the requirements of the situation."

Mr. Middlebrook is to serve as police commissioner only until there is a vacancy on the board of election commissioners, when he will be appointed to fill it.

Both of Governor Hadley's appointees to the Kansas City board of police commissioners were of the opinion yesterday that the announcement of any particular brand of reform would be presumptuous as well as premature. Neither was inclined to go into generalities concerning the duties of the members of the board, but even with the short notice on which their appointments were made, each had a number of ideas that promise much in the way of curbing criminal activities.

"I have no swamp-root remedies or sweeping reforms to proclaim," said Thomas R. Marks last night at his office in the First National bank building. "I have a well-imbedded idea that the police service should become one of the military arms of the state, with its efficiency raised to the highest possible degree by the enforcement of discipline and promotion for the men, based on merit alone. It should be the alm of the police department to win the confidence of respectable citizens and not submit to the machinations of a lot of political gangsters.

"It appears to me that the published reports of an epidemic of crime are not exaggerated. Of course, you can't put down crime with a theory, and I hope I'm not a crank on such matters, but it seems to me that the problem can be boiled down to this: Law enforcement."

"Will a chief of police be appointed from within or with the force?" Mr. Marks was asked.

"Personally, I would much prefer that a head of the department be selected from those attached to it, provided a man who can meet the qualifications can be found. On the other hand I should not hesitate to go outside of the force for a chief, if I thought it were for the benefit of the service. This same applies to other appointments to be made by the board./

"Governor Hadley called me up this afternoon and told me I simply must accept the appointment," said Robert R. Middlebrook last night at his residence, 1800 Linwood boulevard. "It could not but militate against good taste for me to make any statement as to reform," Mr. Middlebrook went on. "The trouble with most so-called reformers," he said, "is that they do not preserve the rotundity of the law as they would have it enforced. They vigorously enforce the statutes against certain classes of criminals, while other classes, not so conspicuous perhaps, go unchecked. That is lop-sided reform. I am for a clean, orderly administration, with the explicit understanding that the compensation fixed by law shall be the only remuneration. In other words -- no graft."

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December 5, 1908

BOMB IN FIRST
NATIONAL BANK.

EXPLODES, DAMAGES BUILDING
AND INJURES TEN.

BANK'S BASEMENT IS WRECKED.

WAS BOMB PLACED BY INSTITU-
TION'S ENEMY?

This Is Belief of Officers Who Worked
on Case -- Explosion Took Place
When Janitor Closed a
Closet Door.

Mystery which is baffling the entire police and detective forces of Kansas City and the local members of the Pinkerton Detective agency surrounds an explosion in the basement of the First National Bank building, Tenth street and Baltimore avenue, at noon yesterday, which wrecked the basement of the institution and endangered the lives of employes and officers of the bank, as well as pedestrians on the street outside.

The Infernal Machine That Exploded in the First National Bank Building.
INFERNAL MACHINE,
Such As Might Have Caused the Explosion.

That an infernal machine, probably a bomb made of dynamite or nitro-glycerin, caused the explosion, and was set there by an enemy of the bank or a crank, who may have lost money through the failure of financial institutions during the financial stringency, is the belief of nearly every expert or officer who worked on the case yesterday. Another belief is that it may have been a crank who had money in the First National bank and had failed to obtain as much as he wanted during the panic who used this as a means of getting revenge. The officials of the bank are unaware of any person who might be an enemy of the institution and do a thing of this kind.

Damage to Windows Across the Street
DAMAGE TO WINDOWS ACROSS THE STREET.

The explosion was so terrific that it was felt by persons in the offices of the bank building, the New York Life building and the Shubert theater building. A cloud of smoke rose through the windows and up the elevator shaft, which smelled like that of dynamite or nitro-glycerin. Glass in the skylight of the bank building, which is fully 200 feet from the place of the explosion, was shattered. Had not the building been strongly built it would have been blown into a mass of ruins, according to expert builders and architects who made an investigation. They say the structure is absolutely safe, and that the only damage was to the basement, which will not in their estimation exceed $3,000.

As it is only a portion of the basement was wrecked. Two walls, made of tiling marble and concrete, were blown down. One of these walls was 12x18 feet, and the other was 20x18 feet, both being 18 inches thick. An iron beam supporting the ceiling, which is about nine inches wide and two inches thick, was bent and the door casing, which is made of iron, was warped out of shape. A hole two feet in diameter was blown in the wall directly back of the point of explosion, and there is a hole in the concrete floor about four inches deep.

In Wrecked Cellar of Bank.
IN WRECKED CELLAR OF BANK.

There was a row of closets made out of marble, and a wash sink of the same material, in the room, and these were broken into fine pieces. The lockers for employes' clothing, which are made of sheet steel, were bent out of shape and tipped over. There were int eh adjoining room. The iron bars on the windows of the basement were blown across Baltimore avenue and wrecked the windows of the Robert Stone Investment Company. The sewer pipes and water pipes were blown into fragments near where the explosion took place.

ONE MAY DIE.

At the time of the explosion there were about 250 people in the bank. Elbert Ward, a negro porter, was nearest the scene of the explosion. He was closing the door of the toilet room when the explosion took place and probably the door saved his life. He was rendered unconscious and lay partly covered with a pile of debris when he was found by Logan Wilson, a mail clerk in the bank, who helped Ward get to the upper floor. Ward was taken to a hospital. He was very seriously cut about the head and body, a piece of iron was found in his leg and it had severed an artery. He will probably die.

Ward, the porter, is the only one of the injured who is considered in a serious condition. Most of the others were considerable distances from the explosion and their injuries will not prove serious unless some of the pieces of broken tile or glass are embedded in their flesh. The other injured are:

R. H. Klapmeyer, bank clerk, cut on the head by flying pieces of tile or glass.

Charles Grant, a pedestrian on Baltimore avenue, bruised by flying iron.

George Evans of the Evans-Smith Drug Company, who was walking on the opposite side of Baltimore avenue from the bank, cut on the head by flying pieces of tile.

Val Jean Brightwell, clerk, cut on head and fa ce by flying pieces of tiling.

J. D. Wilson, an employe of Bell, Egolf & Co., in the United States and Mexican Trust Company building, cut on face by flying glass.

Joseph Patch, carpenter, living at 1315 Lydia avenue, cut by glass. Not serious. Patch was taken to the emergency hospital, where his wounds were dressed. He was in a dazed condition and told the police that he had been shot.

R. M. Cole, knocked senseless by concussion. On sidewalk.

Jay Donaldson, pedestrian on Baltimore avenue, cut on head.

As soon as the explosion took place the fire department and police headquarters were notified and the patrons of the bank were hurried out of the building, the police working on the theory at that time that persons in the building were responsible for the explosion, which may have been true, although no one was arrested at the time in connection with the case. The street was soon crowded with curious people, including depositors of the bank, and a score of police were employed to watch the building.

THEORIES OF EXPLOSION.

There are several theories about the origin of the explosion, all of which are that it was probably caused by an infernal machine and the explosive used was no doubt dynamite. One theory is that the bomb was taken into the basement by an outsider, which, according to President E. F. Swinney, would be an easy matter on account of the new clerks working in the bank since the increase of business caused by the failure of the National Bank of Commerce, and was placed there with the intention of blowing up the cash fault. That when the stranger got to cellar he became confused because of the winding stairway leading to it and made a mistake in the location of the vault, thinking it directly above where the machine exploded. He is supposed to have thought that an iron door in the wall directly above the spot where the explosion took place, might have a connection with the vault, which led him to believe that to be the location of the money chest of Kansas City's largest bank.

TRYING TO BLOW VAULT?

Surroundings of the scene of the explosion lead officers working on the case to believe this theory and also to point out the operation of the person supposed to have placed the bomb. It is believed the bomb was made of a piece of water pipe, about two inches in diameter and eight inches long; that it contained dynamite which was packed in gun cotton; that the bomb was sealed at each end with some kind of material, such as sealing wax, and at one end was placed a quantity of nitro-glycerin. This bomb could have been placed under the water sink in the toilet room where the explosion took place, and attached to the door in such a way that when the door was moved by some one entering or going out, the infernal machine exploded.

Remains of What Probably Was a Bomb.
REMAINS OF WHAT PROBABLY
WAS A BOMB.

The broken pieces of such a piece of pipe were found in the room next to the scene of the explosion. They had been blown through the wall. They were badly shattered, but the fact that they showed no signs of having been connected with other pipe previous to the explosion leads the police to believe that they were used in making the bomb.

BELIEVE IT WAS GAS.

President E. F. Swinney of the First National bank, and Detectives Dave Oldham and Edward Boyle, who are working on the case, believe it was an explosion of natural gas or sewer gas, but experts who examined the surroundings say this is impossible.

Walter M. Cross, city chemist and an expert on explosives, was asked to examine the bank after the explosion. His statement was that gas could not have caused it because the effect of the explosion was too concentrated; that if it had been caused by gas the whole wall behind would have been pushed out, and not a small hole blown, as it was. He also said that the explosion was too violent to have been caused by gas. He says he believes the explosion was caused by dynamite or nitro-glycerine.

Fire Warden Trickett said: "I am able to arrive at no other conclusion but that the explosion in the First National bank was from dynamite. I made a close examination of premises and the room in which the explosion occurred. There is no gas connection about the building so the explosion could not have been from escaping gas."



AND THEY STICK TO GAS.

Detectives working on the case reported last night that the explosion was caused by natural or sewer gas. Detective Oldham, ho claims to have done some work with a mine drill, gave this as his theory, as did also Boyle, who was formerly a plumber, despite the statement of City Chemist Cross. John Hayes, ex-chief of police, believes it was a bomb set for the purpose of wrecking the institution.

Joseph Patch, a carpenter who was injured and was supposed to have been on the opposite side of Baltimore avenue when the explosion occurred, was arrested last night and taken to the police station, where he was questioned by Assistant Prosecution Attorney Hogan. Ward, the injured negro janitor, also made a statement to Hogan.

Patch, who it was first thought might have had some connection with the affair, because of his story about being shot, and also the fact that he is a union carpenter and the unions have had trouble with the builders of the different bank buildings, was closely questioned by Hogan. Patch has a long police record, most of which was family trouble, but he was released late last night because his testimony led the police to believe that he was not in any way connected with the explosion. His wife was also detained at the police station for a time last night, but she gave no evidence against her husband that would lead the police to believe that he was connected with the affair.

While the gas theory is believed by officers they were ordered to continue working on the case last night, and members of the Pinkerton detective agency also put on the case by the bank. No more arrests had been made at a late hour last night.

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September 17, 1907

POLICEMAN HELPED HIM OUT.

Overstudious Law Clerk Locked in
Bank Building.

"Send someone to let me out quick. I'm in the First National Bank buiding, and I'm afraid someone will find me and think I'm a bank robber."

This request came over the wire to police headquarters last night after midnight.

Patrolman Cumming answered the call and found a young man making futile attempts to get out of the building. He stated that he was a clerk in the offices of Lathrop, Morrow, Fox & Moore, and that he had worked later than usual, with the result that he had been locked in.

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