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October 16, 1909


Harlem Farmer Meets With Acci-
dent at Missouri Pacific Crossing.
Family Narrowly Escapes.

Despite the warning of the flagman at First and Main streets last night, A. D. Buyas, a farmer living a mile northeast of Harlem, drove across the Missouri Pacific tracks at that point and was struck by an eastbound passenger train which was coming at a high rate of speed.

Buyas, who was accompanied by Hobert, his 11-year-old son, was struck on his head on one of the rails when he was thrown from the wagon and received fatal injuries. The boy, aside from slight bruises, was not seriously injured.

Buyas came to the city yesterday morning with Mrs. Buyas, Hobert and Pearl, the 14-year-old daughter. Before starting to the ferry at the foot of Main street to get across the river, Mrs. Buyas and Pearl decided to walk.

"Somehow, I feel that something is going to happen," she told her husband. "I'm going to get out. I feel lots safer, anyway."

As the man started down the steep incline toward the river the team seemed unable to hold back the weight. It was almost dark and the flagman with his red lantern could be seen at the crossing. Suddenly he began to wave the red light frantically, but it was too late. Though Buyas in desperation tugged at the lines he was on the track, with the train only a few feet away. The horses passed to safety but the engine struck the rear part of the wagon.

Both occupants were thrown high in the air and the wagon completely shattered. The boy arose, but the father lay moaning, and was found to be unconscious. the train did not slacken its speed.

The ambulance was called from police headquarters, with Dr. F. C. LaMar hurried to the scene of the accident. The injured man and the frightened family were placed in the ambulance and taken to the Emergency hospital. It was found that Buyas had received a fractured skull, a broken left arm and right leg. The physicians had little hope that the injured man would live until morning.

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August 14, 1909


While Carrying Cake of Ice Jake
Schuyler is Overcome.

While transferring a cake of ice to a house at Forty-seventh street and Troost avenue at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, Jake Schuyler, an employe of the City Ice Company, suddenly fell over unconscious.

The police ambulance of No. 4 station was called and Dr. Shiras gave Schuyler emergency treatment for sunstroke. He was taken to the emergency hospital. Schuyler is 25 years old. He lives at 1321 Walnut street.

James Burgess, 3717 Woodland avenue, was affected last night about 8 o'clock. The police station was notified and the operator called Dr. S. S. Morse, 3801 Woodland avenue. Burgess is a foreman of the packing department of the Globe Storage Company, and has complained of the heat for several days. He had recovered in a few hours.

A. M. Kissell, 65 years old, a stationary fireman at the Central Manufacturing Company, First and Lydia avenue, about 9 o'clock was overcome by heat and last night he was taken to the emergency hospital for medical attention.

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December 3, 1908



Men Who Helped Him Lay Founda-
tion of This City 50 Years and
More Ago, Gather to
Wish Them Well.

Feasting upon memories of the many years gone by, scores of "during the war" pioneers of Kansas City enjoyed the gathering at the home of Colonel R. T. Van Horn in honor of his sixtieth wedding anniversary, yesterday afternoon.

The large home at Honeywood, Evanston station, was crowded throughout the day and many groups of gray haired men selected quiet corners to pass the gossip of years, and to count grandchildren. stories of the distant past were recounted as if they happened but yesterday. Everybody was so many years young. Nobody was old.

Colonel Van Horn, 84 years young, was the leader in all the reminiscences.

"Don't you remember, George, that little incident on the steamboat Perry, when my wife paid me such a high compliment? he asked of George L. Andrews, one of the old-timers.

"Of course I do," replied Mr. Andrews, and his eyes twinkled merrily at the recollection. "That was forty years ago. You and I were standing on the deck when John Conover called up and held out a knife to us, saying it was for the best looking man."

"And you tried to take it the first thing," put in the colonel. "But that wouldn't do. So we called my wife up to let her decide the matter, and you got the knife."

Then there was a laugh from all, and one story led to another. Things long forgotten were discussed once more and little stories brought long unrecollected incidents to mind, and the gray heads would nod enthusiastically as familiar names were called.


"It was in J. Q. Watkins's little brick bank down on First and Main streets that I saw my first gold brick," said C. N. Brooks. "A tall, thin and hungry looking man brought it up to the bank one day and got off the black and white mule he was and handed the gold over to J. Q. It was real gold, too, and how we fellows did stare. The whole street was lined with people who wanted just a glimpse of that brick."

From the little red brick bank the old men turned their attention to the afternoons spent in the rear part of Mike Dively's grocery store at Third and Main streets, and Mr. Diveley was one of them who brought back the happy memories.

Interest in the afternoon's impromptu entertainment was just at its height when the front door opened and Thomas McNabb entered. With McNabb came visions of the prayer meeting night long ago, in the Baptist church, which was located at Missouri avenue and Walnut street. It was in that little church that McNabb was wont to sing hymns every night, and it was the gathering place of all the young couples at that time.

"One night just after prayer meeting was over," began McNabb after he had gone the rounds of handshaking and congratulations, and had joined the group of old-timers. "I remember that a fire broke out in a little store owned by Alex Holland here. I had just got through singing a solo about meeting again, and Frank Foster, the chief of the fire department -- that hand-cart, volunteer brigade; you remember it boys --had been to church. He leapt up and ran to the old fire house at Second and Walnut streets singing 'God Be With You Till We Meet Again.' And so we all joined in and helped to save Alex a few dollars."


Stories of that one fire brought to the mind other conflagrations in which Mr. Foster, now dead, played a prominent part. Some of the old volunteers were present at the reception yesterday afternoon, and many a hearty laugh was had over some amusing adventures. Frank and Walter Withers figured largely in some of the amusing stories.

And so the afternoon was spent by the old men -- once more as boys. Gray hair and wrinkles were forgotten, and no one noticed an occasional trembling of hands or the thinness of voice which had come over many of those present. It was seldom that so many of the old pioneers could get together that they might live over more of the pleasant days when they were young, and the gathering yesterday was immensely enjoyed.

The Old Men's Club went out to Honeywood, as did some of the McPherson post of the G. A. R. And Colonel Van Horn and his wife were the recipients of scores of hearty congratulations. E. S. Jewett and wife have had the pleasure of attending the twenty-fifth, fiftieth and sixtieth anniversaries of Colonel and Mrs. Van Horn, and they said that never before has such a gathering been held upon such an occasion in Kansas City.

Light refreshments were served at the informal reception, consisting of coffee and sandwiches. Colonel Van Horn and his wife were exuberant in their good, old-fashioned hospitality.

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November 7, 1908


Body of Employe of Swift Packing
House Found Beside Union
Pacific Tracks.

While on his way home from work at the Swift packing house at 6:30 o'clock Thursday night, Michael Gragos, a sheep butcher, was mysteriously murdered. The assassins escaped after firing two shots, one of which penetrated his skull. The other struck his right cheek bone and inflicted only a flesh wound. As money was on the body when found by workmen at the Swift plant yesterday morning, the motive of the killing is unknown.

A few minutes after Gragos quit the Swift plant Thursday evening Erb Martin, a watchman, heard two calls to halt, followed by four shots in quick succession. He seized a lantern and hurried towards the place where the cries and the shots came from, but found nothing and gave up the search. About midnight, George Gragos, father of Michael, came to the plant looking for his son, and another unsuccessful search was instituted.

When the body was found it was lying close beside the switch of the Union Pacific Railway Company. Close by were the tracks of a woman and a man. On the coat tails of the corpse was a v-shaped mud mark that might have been made by a small and pointed shoe, probably that of a woman. None of the pockets were rifled, and there was no other hint as to the identity of the assassins.

Gragos lived with his father at 128 North First street in the West Bottoms. He was 23 years old and an Austrian. He had lived in this country only about four years.

Detective John Quinn and Robert McKnight of the Kansas City, Kas., police department were assigned to the case. They will work on the theory that it was revenge that actuated the killing.

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September 8, 1908


Kate Stevenson Kicked Up a Great
Commotion on the Quiet of
Hobo Hill.

To be knocked head first into a fifteen-foot cistern, to eventually right herself only to find a four-foot snake for company, was the hair-raising experience of a woman who said her name was Kate Stevenson.

It was 3 o'clock when Patrolman Michael Meany, who walks what is known as the levee beat, heard cries from the vicinity of First and Grand avenue. A small crowd had gathered in front of 110 Grand avenue, whence the sounds seemed to come, but Meany could locate the source of the yells for help though he ransacked the building high and low. Presently some one yelled: "Here she is -- back here. She's in a well with a snake. Hurry up!"

Patrolman Meany then headed the procession to the pinnacle of what is known as "Hobo hill," just behind the building. The cries of "Help! Here! Police! Oh my Lord, but I want out of here!" emanated from a clump of weeds. When the way was blazed by the officer he found the source of the cries. A woman was dancing and kicking at the bottom of a cistern in about four feet of water while a snake, at least four feet long, was scurrying about the circle, apparently as much scared as the screaming woman and evidently doing its best to get away from her, while she was dodging it.

A ladder was ordered by the officer and men ran down the steep hill in four different directions to, if possible, make heroes of themselves by getting back first with the life saving steps to safety. When one arrived, however, the brave and fearless Michael Meany was the first to grab it and thrust it into the cistern.

Now Michael Meany was born and reared in Ireland where there are no snakes. Up to the time he descended the ladder he had not seen the reptile. When he did he stopped still and eyed the wriggling form. The woman in her anxiety to get clear of the snake had mounted the ladder and was making her way toward the top when she encountered the officer, seemingly hypnotized at the sight of the wriggling thing.

"Are ye hurted anywhere 'tall?" asked Meany.

"I am not," replied Miss Stevenson, "but I'm anxious to get clear of that snake. Were you ever in a well with a snake?"

"I was not," shivered Meany as he looked back. "And that's not all -- I'm not goin' to be."

Miss Stevenson, dripping wet, was taken to her room at 10 West Fifth street, where she donned dry clothes. Then she was returned to the station and locked up. She said that she and her escort had made their way to Hobo hill by mistake. When in an argument as to which was the correct way out, her escort grew angry and struck her. AS she fell back she said she "went kerplunk, right into the cistern." What became of the escort? Oh he ran, for he thought he had drowned the woman.

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August 9, 1907


Park Board Decides on Fourteen
Acres in North End.

At a special meeting of the board of park commissioner yesterday afternoon a resolution was unanimously adopted asking the council to proceed to have fourteen acres of ground condemned for a North end playground. The site runs from Troost to half a block beyond Forest and from First to Fifth streets. This tract is divided by a small bluff. The intention of the park board is really to make of the site two playgrounds, one for negro children and the other for whites. There will be two sets of apparatus, two instructors and two sets of custodians. The district from which the playground is to drraw is inhabited by whites and negroes.

The site agreed upon for the playground is to be known as Guinotte square, having on it the old Guinotte homestead. It is expected to cost about $120,000. For only eight acres of ground two blocks further south, which had previously been thought of, the estimated cost was put at $200,000.

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