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May 6, 1909


Aged Walker Has Trying Day
And Weakens.

Footsore and weary, almost exhausted as a result of his day's walk under an extremely hot sun, Edward Payson Weston, the aged pedestrian, who is en route from coast to coast, last night at 6:30 o'clock reached Oak Grove, twenty-nine miles east of Kansas City, a having made the 24.9 miles from Higginsvile, his starting point yesterday morning, in thirteen hours. As a result of his slow progress, he is now eight miles behind his schedule, where he was several miles to the good Tuesday night.

On his arrival in Oak Grove Weston immediately sought rest, and going to the Robinson hotel, retired, giving orders not to be disturbed until 5 o'clock this morning when he will resume his walk, with the expectation of reaching Kansas City at noon today. He asked for perfect quiet, saying that he was more tired than at any time since he left New York, March 15, on the first lap of the long hike.

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April 7, 1909



Pathfinder Arrives From New York
in Good Condition -- Manager
of Trip Praises Mis-
souri's Rock Roads.

Laden with mud and presenting a sorry but sturdy spectacle, the Thomas 60-horsepower motor car which is picking the route for the ocean to ocean run, stopped in Kansas City yesterday afternoon. The car started from New York March 20 and expects to finish its course to Seattle April 25. Driving the machine, which is the one that won the New York to Paris run last year, is George Miller, who helped drive the same car to victory last year. Other occupants of the car are L. W. Redington, manager of the trip; J. C. M Eley, photographer, and C. W. Eaton, who acts as mechanician.

The car reached Kansas City about 3 o'clock and stopped at the Central Auto and Livery Company, representatives of the Thomas company. From there the tourists were taken to the Baltimore hotel, where Mr. Redington will endeavor to establish a checking station for the cars on the tour.


Concerning the trip from New York to Kansas City, Mr. Redington said:

"From New York city to Buffalo the roads were in very bad condition and we had to fight ice and snow continually. Through Ohio and Indiana we met nothing but mud, black, sticky mud, and time and again we were forced to dig our way out of mud holes. Through Illinois the trip was much better and within seventy miles of Kansas City the driving was good. You have fine rock roads leading into the city from the east and it was like a pleasure trip when we finally struck them.

"The only trouble with Missouri roads is the number of sharp, small ruts which cut the tires into ravelings. The roadbed is hard and good. We had much trouble finding our way from St. Louis, and we should have reached Kansas City yesterday had it not been for the zig-zag course which we took from St. Louis because we got mixed on our roads.

"At Glasgow we had to wait five hours because the ferryman was afraid to take us across the river on account of its roughness. Such delays as that have taken up much of our time. I calculate we are about five days late in getting to Kansas City. The first and only pilot which we have picked up was at Marshall, Mo. We engaged a man to pilot us from Marshall to Higginsville. We got no farther than Blackburn, about twenty miles west of Marshall, when we were overtaken by a heavy hailstorm. We had to stay in Blackburn all night and did not get out until this morning.

"Of course the roads will be much better when our tour starts, June 1, and there will not be the contention to meet with which we have encountered. I think that this race is going to be the greatest of its kind ever held in this country. There is no blazed trail like there will be on the Glidden tour and this is to be a race."

Concerning the protests to the race which have been entered by the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers of New York, Mr. Reddington had little to say.

"The basis of their objection," said he, "is the little difficulty between them and the members of the Automobile Club of America, and their protest is an echo of the old fight. If the manufacturers think there will be an opportunity for cheating or that the race will not be a true test of cars, they do not thoroughly know the rules of the contest. All principal parts of the entered cars will be stamped at New York so that there can be no change of the parts en route. Our checking system is so complete and comprehensive that there could be no relay of drivers.

"At any rate the race is going to be a great success. There are over twenty entries already in at New York and it is my belief there will be at least thirty contestants by the time the run starts."


Mr. Miller, the driver of the car, is enjoying the trip immensely.

"This little spin across the country is like a picnic party compared to the one we took last year on the way to Paris. Now we get time to cast our eyes about and view the scenery, but then, ah, sad recollections."

Here Mr. Miller reached into his pocket and drew therefrom a diary of his trip through this part of the country on the famous race around the world.

"It was about the first of March, no the last of March, the 26th to be exact, when we passed this meridian. And it was cold. We almost had to put spikes on our tires to climb the hills of ice and snow."

One peculiar fact concerning the present trip from New York is that the car carries the same air in its front tires that was used on the start from New York. The tires present a worn-out appearance, but they are good for some time yet. The rear tires lasted until Sunday when both of them blew out.

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April 4, 1909


Body of William Ward Mitchell,
Author, Editor and Poet, Taken
From the River.

Decomposed almost beyond recognition, the body of William Ward Mitchell, author, poet and editor, was found in the Blue river at Blue Mills yesterday afternoon. Mr. Mitchell had frequently talked suicide to his physician, Dr. Ralph W. Holbrook, 415 Argyle building, under whose care he had been for several weeks during the past year, and it is believed he accomplished his own death.

Seven years ago, or thereabouts, Mr. Mitchell was the editor of the Higginsville, Mo., Jeffersonian. During that time Mr. Mitchell wrote several books which attracted more or less attention. Perhaps the most popular of them all was "Jael," a historical novel of local setting.

Two years later the editor became a nervous wreck from overwork and deep study. Last fall he came to Kansas City and consulted Dr. Holbrook, an old friend. Dr. Holbrook advised him to take treatment and he was sent to a local hospital. Natural pride of family and other peculiarities, caused Mr. Mitchell to use the name of M. W. Ward while in Kansas City last fall.

In November he was discharged from the hospital and went to board with A. J. Leonard, 1006 Forest avenue. From time to time he was heard to talk of self-destruction, particularly to his friend and doctor. His act of suicide, which was committed about three months ago, being the time that all trace of him was lost, seems to be the outcome of brooding over imagined or real ills.

"Mitchell was always a dreamer," said Dr. Holbrook last night, "and his act can readily be accounted for. He considered himself down and out because of his health. Yet in the very midst of it all he would write the prettiest and most optimistic poetry that you ever read. For five years he has not been to his home in Higginsville.

His mother is aged an palsied, and has frequently sent word for him to come home.

"Mitchell has relatives by the name of Ward who live in Kansas City, on the Paseo, I think."

Mitchell's body was taken to Independence, and there a corner of an envelope bearing Dr. Holbrook's address was found in his clothes.

Dr. Holbrook was notified immediately and last night he made the trip to Independence by motor car to identify the body. The identification was complete. The clothes which Mr. Mitchell had worn when he committed suicide were the same which he had when he left Kansas City last December. On that occasion he told his landlady that he was going for his mail and then disappeared.

Mr. Mitchell was 38 years old.

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August 24, 1907



Attempt of One Man to Shoot An-
other, After a Three-Cornered
Struggle, Looked Upon as
a Sort of Joke.

It was scarcely an hour after David Edwards had shot at Jim Cummings yesterday noon, and "shot to kill" to use Edwards' own words, as he lay in jail, that Miss Feta Parmer, one of the hundred women at the Quantrell raiders' reunion at Wallace grove, who saw the shooting at close range, said:

"Oh, it's nothing! I turned around to see who was fighting and then went on about my business."
"It didn't amount to anything," another woman said. "The old men just had a quarrel."

The shooting truly did not terminate fatally, because Edwards missed Cummings and the stray bullet merely grazed the feet of two other men, but it would have broken up almost any other picnic. But the veterans of the Quantrell raids, their wives and daughters, forgot all about it in fifteen minutes and resumed their merrymaking. Even Cummings, the man shot at, treated the matter as a joke. Cummings was with the James brothers during their bloody days and has seen some real fighting. The only person who seemed excited was Jack Noland, a negro, who was Quantrell's hostler. When Edwards fired, Noland got behind a tree.

"I won't prosecute Edwards," Cummings said. "I understand that he has called me a thief and all that, but I'll let it pass. I'm not afraid of him. He was standing less than three feet from me when he pointed the revolver at my head and fired, and all he did was to hit the other men on the feet. He'll never have a better chance to kill me again, and if he couldn't succeed this time he can't do it later."


Joseph Stewart, deputy marshal and bailiff of the criminal court, helped prevent bloodshed. He was standing beside Cummings, talking over old times, when Edwards caame up and got into a quarrel with Cummings. Edwards pulled a revolver out of his pocket and fired a shot. Cummings stepped forward and grabbed his hand. Edwards jerked the imprisoned hand free and threw it around Cummings' neck, pointing the barrel of the pistol down Cummings' spine. Stewart grasped the pistol, sticking his thumb through the aperture back of the trigger to keep Edwards from shooting Cummings in the back, and tried to wrest the weapon from his hand. In the struggle the three men fell. Edwards still holding the weapon and pulling on the trigger, which wouldn't work with Stewart's thumb caught in it.

Kit Rose, a brother-in-law of Cole Younger, intervened. He searched Cummings to see if he, too, had a gun, and then Rose and Cummings jerked Edwards' revolver from his hand. Stewart's thumb was badly bruised in the struggle.


The bullet was afterwards found. It had struck the toe of W. H. Perkins' shoe, glanced hit the rung of a chair and athen stuck in the sole of Dr. Oliver C. Sheley's foot, but did not have force enough left to break the skin. Dr. Sheley lives in Independence. Mr. Perkins is from Oak Grove. Perkins has the bullet as a souvenir of the occasion.

Edwards was detained at the county jail last night, and slept in the deputy marshal's bedroom. He will be sent to the Confederate Veterans' home in Higginsville today.

There are four or five stories of how the trouble between him and Cummings arose. Edwards says Cummings had been threatening him ever since a year ago last Halloween night, when a pet raccoon was stolen from his room at the Confederate home. He accuesed Cummings of the theft and Cummings became sore.

They have had quarrels since. Both men are inmates of the Higginsville Confederate home. Edwards was with Quantrall a year, and assisted in the burning of Lawrence, Kas. He is 73 years old, while Cummings is but 56. Cummings was one of the followers of the James boys.

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