Find Kansas City Antiques and Collectibles at the Vintage Kansas City Marketplace ~ Own a Piece of Old KC

Vintage Kansas City.com

 

THE JOURNAL COMPANY, Publisher
EIGHTH, M'GEE AND OAK STREETS.

Old News
Headlines and Articles from The Kansas City Journal

BELL & HOME TELEPHONES
Business Office...4000 Main
City Editor.....4001 Main
Society Editor....4002 Main

Two cents. Subscription Rates:  By carrier, per week, 10 cents; per month, 45 cents.  By mail, daily and Sunday, one month, 40 cents; three months, $1.00; six months, $2.00; one year, $4.00.  Sunday only, six months, 75 cents; one year, $1.50.  Weekly Journal, 25 cents one year.

As We See 'Em ~ Caricatures of Prominent Kansas Cityans

The Isis Theatre ~ Kansas City, Missouri

The History of Fairmount Park

Claims of Cancer Cured by Dr. Bye in Vintage KC Missouri

Special Cut Prices ~ Always the Same

Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

January 9, 1909

CAN GROW TOBACCO HERE.

Jackson and Cass Counties' Farmers
Experiment With Weed.

LEE'S SUMMIT, MO., Jan 8 -- G. W. Simmons, who lives near Raymore, Mo., and who recently returned from Kentucky as representative of the Harrisonville Commercial Club to investigate and procure practical help for the raising of tobacco, is in Lee's Summit today. Mr. Simmons says there is no doubt but what the soil of Jackson and Cass counties is properly tilled for the growing of tobacco, and this year he will endeavor to have several of the farmers in the different localities of Cass county plant as much as three acres each of the product.

Jackson county will also be given a trial at this new culture by George Shawhan of Weston, Mo., on his farm near Lone Jack. Mr. Shawhan will plant fifty acres, while his son-in-law, James Rowland, will have fifteen acres. A tobacco company has recently offered inducements to the farmers in these localities in order to get them started in this new venture.

Labels: , , , , ,

May 22, 1908

SARAH MORASCH IS
GUILTY OF MURDER.

CONVICTED OF POISONING A
4-YEAR-OLD GIRL.

Sent Poisoned Candy by Mail to Ella
Miller, Who Did Not Eat It Be-
cause It Was Bitter -- Her
Sister Was Killed.

Mrs. Sarah Morasch must spend the remainder of her life in the Kansas penitentiary for the murder of her 4-year-old niece, Ruth Miller. The jury which heard the evidence in Mrs. Morasch's second trial reached a verdict of guilty at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The case had been on trial since May 4. There was no verdict in the first trial.

When the verdict was read Mrs. Morasch held her usual composure, and merely laughed.

The case went to the jury at 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, and from the first ballot to the one which settled the fate of Mrs. Morasch the jurors stood eleven to one for conviction. At noon yesterday George E. Horn, foreman of the jury, asked for the testimony of Charles Miller, father of the dead girl. A few minutes later a knock was heard on the door of the jury room. "We have agreed," said Foreman Horn, and the twelve jurors filed in the court room and took their seats.

On the afternoon of February 13, the Miller children were in their home, 634 Cheyenne avenue, Armourdale. A knock was heard on the door and the postman, Henry T. Keener, handed Ella Van Meter, better known as Ella Miller, a package weighing about a pound. It was wrapped in white paper and bore the inscription: "Ella Miller, 634 Cheyenne avenue, Armourdale. A knock was heard on the door and the postman, Henry T. Keener, handed Ella Van Meter, better known as Ella Miller, a package weighing about a pound. It was wrapped in white paper and bore the inscription: "Ella Miller, 634 Cheyenne avenue, corner of Cheyenne & Packard avenues. From the S. & S. girls."

The box was opened, and found to contain a pound of chocolate candy, which she says tasted bitter, and gave some to the other children who gathered around her.

A few minutes later Ruth, who had eaten more of the candy than the rest, was seized with cramps while playing in the back yard, and was taken into the house. She died before the nearest physician, Dr. Zacharia Nason, who lived a block distant, could be summoned. He pronounced the death as due to strychnine poisoning.

The fact that Mrs. Sarah Morasch bore a grudge against Ella Miller, who had once laughed at he, and that immediately after the little girl's death, she had gone to Harrisonville, Mo., caused suspicion to be directed to her. She was arrested at the Missouri town.

The testimony of handwriting experts was a strong factor in the conviction.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

April 3, 1908

MRS. MORASCH TELLS
HER STORY TO JURY.

DENIES SENDING POISONED CAN-
DY TO LITTLE GIRL.

Says She Fled Wyandotte Because
She Feared County Attorney
Would Prosecute Her
in Baby Case.

Mrs. Sarah Morasch testified yesterday in her own behalf before the district court jury in Kansas City, Kas. She was called by counsel for the defense to tell the jury of her whereabouts at the time of the murder of little Ruth Miller of Argentine.

On direct examination the story told by the defendant in many ways differed from that told by her daughter, Blanche, in connection with the doings of the Morasch family the night before and the night following the killing of the child. Some of her statements, according to court records, were diametrically opposed to statements made by both herself and Blanche at the preliminary trial in the South city court.

The testimony of the defendant was mostly a series of negatives. She positively denied having sent the box of candy to Ella Van Meter. She had never sent Ella any candy at all, had never in her life been the possessor of a grain of strychnine, and Ella had never written for her the address of the Millers at 634 Cheyenne avenue, she said. In regard to the baby alleged to have been adopted surreptitiously by Mrs. Morasch from the U. S. G. Hughes maternity hospital last January, the defendant likewise blocked all further inquiry about details from the prosecution and defense by an emphatic denial.

The baby had been in good health while in her hands, she said. She had not at any time claimed it as her own, as her neighbors unanimously testified, nor had she, at any time, said she was about to give birth to a child.

When in cross-examination the prosecutor parried with her answers and tried to pin her down to an acknowledgement that she wrote some of the letters exhibited, her voice rose shrill in reply:

"I wrote some of that letter, not all of it!" The damaging parts of the missives, she freely swore, had been inserted by someone else. As she leaned far over in her chair to designate the questioned sentences or paragraphs, the had with which she pointed shook perceptibly, and her voice frequently broke.

SAID TAGGART SCARED HER.

"Where was I February 11?" Why at home, of course. Where do you suppose I'd be?" the witness answered to one of the queries of the county attorney.

"I had just been let out of your office, Mr. Taggart, where you know you bluffed me and nearly frightened me to death, until I could jump into a river at the sound of your voice. I went straight home after quitting the court house. You told me there to go home and to pull down the blinds, lie on my back and think over all I knew of the Hughes home and then, if I remembered anything about it that I had not told you, to come back.

"I went straight to a rooming house across the line and hired a room and paid 25 cents down on it, leaving me with a nickel. I had started with only 35 cents."

"Did I knot tell you before you left my office," interposed County Attorney Taggart, "that you would never again be arrested on the charge of mistreatment of the Hughes baby?"

SHE WAS NERVOUS WRECK.

"Yes, you did, but I did not place much faith in it. You also told me that if I did not return to you with full information concerning the maternity home you would see to it I got a six months' jailing. You said I would be followed everywhere I went and that I could not escape you.

"I tell you, I went out of your office a nervous wreck compared with what I was when I went in."

As to the flight of herself and daughter, Blanche Morasch, form the temporary home at Eighth and Locust streets to Harrisonville, Mo., subsequent to the murder, defendant alleged it was inspired by a fear of the county attorney, who had bulldozed her, she said continually.

She said that on the evening of Wednesday, February 12, she had left the rooming house to buy bread for the children. Before she had gone far she turned a corner of a street and came face to face with Taggart standing on the opposite side of the street with his hat pulled well down over his eyes.

In great fear she had but then turned about without buying the bread, she swore, and had then fled to her room, there stating to her daughter, Blanche, that the two of them must at once leave the city and go to Wichita, Kas., or again face the juvenile court and Taggart on a charge of child abuse.

WROTE LETTER DURING FLIGHT.

County Attorney Taggart then showed the witness the letter purported to have been sent by Mrs. Morasch to her daughter, Mrs. May Gillin, while on the flight to Harrisonville. It is "No. 8" in the exhibit.

Witness stated that part of the letter was in her handwriting and part in that of a girl at the farm house, where the two were stopping for the night. She said she had asked this girl to finish her letter to her daughter.

"Mayme was her name," testified Mrs. Morasch, "and I don't know what she might have added to my letter. She also wrote my signature on it."

"Now, you say you wrote the forepart of this letter. Are you responsible for the line on page two of which says: 'Did the police inquire about Blanche?' "

"The line does not say Blanche," replied the witness, sharply.

"Well, it indicates it by the letters, B and L together, with a dash following."

Mrs. Morasch took the sheet referred to and satisfied the prosecutor that the two letters spell 'me' and are no abbreviation at all. The lines following practically repeat the question, using the name Blanche spelled out in full. Mrs. Morasch denied having written that part of the letter, ascribing it to "Mayme," whose last name she could not recall. The defendant will be called upon for further cross-examination this morning. Counsel for the defense, Daniel Maher, will today call upon his assistant, Attorney Wooley, in regard to the mysterious not introduced by the defense as a sample of Ella Van Meter's handwriting where on the experts disagreed.

The case may not go to the jury before Monday.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

March 31, 1908

MORASCH GIRL TELLS
OF THREE DAYS' TRAMP.

WENT TO HARRISONVILLE TO
ESCAPE COUNTY ATTORNEY.

Mrs. Morasch Feared Prosecution for
Death of Hughes's Foundling.
Grieved to Hear of Ruth
Miller's Death.

In low, even tones, Blanche Morasch, 17-year-old daughter of Mrs. Sarah Morasch, now being tried in the Wyandotte county district court, Kansas City, Kas., told the jury of the flight of Mrs. Morasch and herself to Harrisonville Mo., subsequent to the poisoning of Ruth Miller. While talking, Blanche seldom withdrew her eyes from those of County Attorney Taggart, except to cast them down toward the thin, nervous fingers of her left hand, which kept continually twisting at the folds of her skirt. he turned states' evidence upon the charge against her being dismissed.

"We were three days and as many nights on the way to Harrisonville," said the girl. "The first night we were at Peculiar, Mo., the second at Belton, the third half way between Belton and Harrisonville. We went all the way afoot, except one short ride in a farm wagon. There was snow on the round.

"Mother and I left Kansas City, Mo, about the morning of February 13. Mother was worried about something and insisted we leave at once for Wichita, Kas., She wanted to stop over a few days with friends at Harrisonville, Mo. We had a little money, which I had earned working at a laundry, and I turned this all over to mother, for I knew very well she could manage the expenses of the trip much better than I could.

"If mother knew anything of the poisoning she told me nothing about it and indicated in no way any knowledge of it. When we were talking over the walk to Harrisonville, the previous night, she told me she that she had just met County Attorney Taggart near our rooms at Eighth and Locust streets. She described him as having his hat pulled down over his eyes.

" 'The county attorney is following me everywhere,' she explained as a reason for our hasty departure from Kansas City. 'I've just got to go somewhere to get away from him. He thinks I killed the baby, which I adopted from the Hughes home If we don't pack up and leave the city he's going to get me sure. I can't stand his following me all the time.

"We set out on the trip about dawn. Both of us had new shoes and the walk to Peculiar, which consumed the greater part of the day, went off nicely. We stayed at a private home that night.

"The next morning, early, we got up, dressed and started out. Both of us were very tired yet from our tramp of the day before, but by noon the stiffness disappeared. Our shoes gave out in the uppers for the slag on the railroad grade was sharp as knives The center of the railroad track was filled with water and snow.

"We did not stop long at Belton, but passed through to a farm house a few miles beyond Before we left there the following morning the farmer's wife brought out a pair of shoes for mother, old ones, which she had thrown away.

""When we got to Harrisonville our feet were very sore and we were a sorry sight. Mother was completely exhausted."

GRIEVED OVER RUTH'S DEATH.

"When did you first see the Kansas City papers and get your first information of the death of Ruth Miller?" asked County Attorney Taggart.

"At Belton," replied the witness. "Mother went into a hotel or some place there and got a paper. When she saw on the first page the account of the little girl's death she wrung her hands and said over and over again: 'Poor Ruth! Poor Ruth!"

After dismissing Blanche from the witness stand, Taggart recalled Coroner A. J. Davis. Ella Van Meter, to whom the candies were sent, was recalled. Her testimony was similar to that given on the stand a week ago and went to show that the slip of paper containing the address, now marked 'exhibit No. 1,' was the one originally on the package.

Thomas D. Taylor, superintendent of the mails in the Kansas City Mo., postoffice, and Postoffice Inspector John C. Koons, partially identified the stamp on the candy box wrapper, on exhibit, as the one used in Kansas City, Mo., at the time.

CASE TO JURY FRIDAY.

Judge Newhall of the Kansas City, Kas., south city court, who presided at the preliminary, is to testify this morning as to statements made by Blanche and Mrs. Morasch at the preliminary hearing.

According to County Attorney Taggart, last night, the state will rest its case tomorrow, but has another handwriting expert to introduce. The defense has announced that it will produce only a few witnesses and is even now willing for the case to go to the jury without argument.

Mrs. Morasch has borne up well since the opening of the hearing. While being returned to her cell at the county jail, after court adjournment she kept up a lively and childish conversation with her little daughter, Hattie, who has spent most of her time in her lap, asleep.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Google
 
Web vintagekansascity.com
Share on Facebook
Get the Book
Vintage Kansas City Stories ~ Early 20th Century Americana as Immortalized in The Kansas City Journal
Vintage
Kansas City Stories


More Books

SYNDICATE

Get this feed on your RSS reader

The History and Heritage of Vintage Kansas City in Books
Vintage Kansas
City Bookstore

Powered by Blogger

Vintage Kansas City.com

Vintage Antique Classics ~ Vintage Music, Software, and more Time Travel Accessories

In association with
KC Web Links.com ~ The Ultimate Kansas City Internet Directory