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June 14, 1909


Young Couple From Smithville Com-
pelled to Postpone.

"It's a blame shame people can't be legally married on Sunday because it is a legal holiday," Mark Pate of Smithville, Mo., remarked to his sweetheart, Lovie Burge, as the two left police headquarters last night. The young people arrived in Kansas City from Smithville with the intention of being married.

A trip to the court house to secure the license revealed to the pair that trouble was ahead of them. Some one directed them to the county jail, but the deputy marshals pleaded ignorance as to marriage licenses and recommended police headquarters. Arm in arm the couple entered the station and inquired for a license.

"Bonds are the only legal papers we handle," Lieutenant M. E. Ryan informed them.

Then the officers became interested in the young people and by suing the telephone finally reached the county recorder, but he refused to issue a license on Sunday. A minister had been tentatively engaged to perform the ceremony by Holly Jarboe, desk sergeant, who later commanded the order.

The Smithvillians left the station discouraged, but said they would secure a license early in the morning. They came to Kansas City to avoid the "cut-ups" of their home town.

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August 3, 1908


Police Headquarters Desk Sergeant
Did It by Imagination.

Desk Sergeant Holly Jarboe, at police headquarters, has always been a man of an inventive mind. Yesterday, when the heat was most suffocating, he hit upon a plan to keep cool. Back of the booking desk at the Central station is, or was, a picture of an ice-bound boat with the North pole off in the distance. Jarboe sat for some time gazing at the picture and wiping perspiration from his brow and face. Suddenly seizing a pair of scissors from his desk, he took the picture from its place on the wall.

Deftly he cut out four large chunks of ice and the North pole. These he placed in his pocket, to the amazement of his brother officers.

"What's that for, Holly?" questioned Sergeant Patrick Clark.

"I just put a few hunks of ice and the North pole in my pocket to keep me cool," he replied as he place his handkerchief back in his coat pocket.

"Well, you certainly are that imaginative kid," said the sergeant, who later was caught in the act of pilfering the remaining pieces of ice from the picture.

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June 1, 1908


Former Prisoner Takes Nerve in His
Hand to No Avail.

On the strength of old acquaintance, a man from Douglass county, Kas., thought that he might get a check for $10 cashed at the central police station yesterday afternoon. He walked up to Holly Jarboe, desk sergeant, and pleaded that he was stranded in Kansas City with no funds other than the $10 check.

"I am sorry," said Jarboe, "but your face does not look very familiar to me. I would like to oblige you, but I am almost afraid to risk it."

"Why, don't you remember me?" he asked in amazement. "I was arrested and met you about three months ago. Don't you recall it now? I was in for safe keeping."

Jarboe did not remember.

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May 29, 1908


Safeblower Hart Led Police to Spot
Where It Was Buried.

A nitroglycerin hunt is an unusual feature to a detective's duty, but it was part of the day's programme yesterday morning when W. G. Hart, a safeblower of no small record, led the police to the runway of the Hannibal bridge where he had buried over a pint of the explosive.

Hart was captured Tuesday night by Sergeant Patrick Clark, Desk Sergeant, Holly Jarboe and Officer Joe Enright after having blown a safe in the Metzner Stove Supply and Repair House, 304 West Sixth street. At the time of the capture, Hart attempted to hurl a bottle of the explosive at the police officers, but was kept from doing so by one of the occupants of the house.

Hart had made his nitroglycerin at the foot of the Hannibal bridge and then buried it in the roadside. It was feared that a passing wagon might cause an explosion and so it was taken up yesterday. Hart emptied the bottle upon the ground.

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May 12, 1908





E. C. Fletcher, a teamster 37 years old, after being separated from his wife for one week, called at the home of her father, John Harlow, 630 West Eighth street, last night about 8:30 o'clock, ostensibly to talk over going to Oklahoma. In the house was a man named Edward Lewis, another teamster, who had gone to the house to see Harlow about putting him to work. Fletcher asked his wife to come down stairs to talk. When they reached the porch she was heard to scream for help. He had stabbed her just above the heart. She died an hour later.

Fletcher ran south to Ninth street, chased by a negro who had witnessed the act. He was seen at Ninth and Holmes streets a few minutes later, running east. The aged father ran to the porch and held his daughter in his arms until the police ambulance arrived. She sank so fast that Drs. J. P. Neal and R. A. Shiras deemed it necessary to give her a transfusion of salt solution at the emergency hospital to take the place of the blood she had lost. She did not regain consciousness and died without making a statement or even telling her name. The knife blade entered the left side just above the heart and is believed to have severed the aorta.


Detectives Keshlear and McGraw were on the scene soon after the murder and went to work on the case at once.

Patrolmen Holly Jarboe and J. P. Withrow, headquarters men, learned that Fletcher roomed at 211 West Fifth street and went there to watch for him. At 12:15 o'clock they were joined by Detectives Brice, Murphy, Boyle and Walsh. As they stood talking, Walsh exclaimed:

"Here he comes now," and ran toward a man who had just turned the corner. It was proved to be Fletcher. He surrendered without resistance.

Fletcher was taken to police headquarters and Bert Kimbrell, assistant prosecuting attorney, was sent for to take his statement. The murderer had been drinking and was not told that his wife was dead until he had finished his statement. He expressed hope that he had not hurt her.

"I don't know why I struck her. I love he so. I don't know what I was doing," was the sum of his declaration to Kimbrell.

The knife with which he killed his wife was found in his pocket. It was a common clasp knife, with a three-inch blade.


Mrs. Emma Fletcher was 33 years old and a pretty woman. She had been married to Fletcher for seventeen years, but had no children. He was a drinking man, the father says, and often beat his wife and as often left her. Her mother died about the time of her marriage and she and Fletcher had always lived with Harlow.

"He left Emma the last time a week ago while we were living at Thirteenth and Summit streets," said Harlow. "We have often had to move on account of his treatment of her. Tuesday we moved to 630 West Eighth street. Ed Lewis came to see me tonight about getting me a job and we were all in the room on the second floor when Fletcher knocked at the door.

" 'What do you want?' Emma asked him.

" 'I just come to talk to you about going with me to Oklahoma,' Fletcher said. 'I've got the money to take you if you want to go.'

"Then he saw Lewis sitting there and his eyes flashed fire. He told Emma to get her shoes and come outside and talk the matter over. As she left I heard him say, 'I'd rather see you dead than with another man.' I heard them walk quietly down the stairs to the porch and then my daughter screamed. I just thought he had beaten her again as he had so often and ran to her side I could see he had been drinking."


While the father, grey and feeble, was telling his story to Captain Whitsett he did not know that his daughter was dead. HE would up his sad narrative with: "When I put her white face on my arm I thought she was dead, but I guess he's just cut her. Can any one tell me how she is?" he asked, looking from one to another.

"She is dead," Captain Whitsett informed him in a low tone.

"God be merciful," cried the old man, tottering backwards into a chair. "If she is dead, I want to die, too."

He found that her body had been taken to Freeman & Marshall's morgue and left for there, saying he wanted to be with her during the night.


Fletcher has been working for James Stanley, a contractor, who is building a church at 752 Sandusky avenue, Kansas City, Kas. Surrounding towns had also been telephoned to be on the lookout for him in case he should catch a train out. He was believed to be making for the Belt line tracks when last seen.

P. W. Widener, from whom Harlow rents at 630 West Eighth street, told the police that he had just entered his home about 8:30 p. m., when he heard a knock and saw Fletcher at his wife's door talking to her.

"I heard them go down stairs together," he said, "and almost immediately heard her scream. She was lying on the porch, stabbed, when I reached her. Fletcher was chased to Ninth street and lost sight of."

Widener related that when Harlow rented the rooms he said his son-in-law often raised "a little rumpus when drinking," but did not pay any attention to it. He said it had often caused him to move.

Fletcher has a brother, Arthur Fletcher, living somewhere in the city. Harlow has one more daughter, Mrs. Clara Coleman, who lives in the West bottoms in Kansas City, Kas., but he did not know where.

Coroner George B. Thompson said that an autopsy would be held today and an inquest later.

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September 9, 1907




Was Jumping From an Upper Story
Window Clasping His Hands,
a Curl Cut From the
Locks of His Sleep-
ing Babe.

A kiss stolen from the lips of a little child reunited a family Saturday night and the reconciliation was completed and left intact by Holly Jarboe, desk sergeant at police headquarters, who saw a higher duty than that of a police officer and dared to do it although in conflict with his official duty. Jarboe did not say anything about the circumstance, hoping to keep it quiet.

"I did not think it wise for me to say anything, for I had caught the man in the act of housebreaking, and maybe burglary, too, and then turned him loose. That does not sound very well for a police officer, but I feel that I did right just the same," acknowledged Jarboe when questioned.

"I think I can clear myself by explaining the circumstances, but some of the details I am going to omit for the sake of other persons.


"As I was returning from lunch Saturday night, I saw a man jump out of a window of a house, scale down a porch post and run. At the same time a woman in the house screamed. I chased the man and caught him. He did not look like a thief, but I started to the station with him. Then the man began to weep.

" ' I have had trouble enough,' he said.

" 'But I am no thief. I doubt if you will believe the truth when I tell it. I do not know whether I can prove what I am going to tell you, or not. Maybe I will not need to prove it -- are you a married man?' he asked me. I told him I was not.

" 'Then you have never loved a little child, and you will not understand me,' he replied.

" 'I broke into that house just to steal this, and a kiss,' and he showed me a lock of yellow hair coiled around one of his fingers.

" 'I live in a little town out in Kansas. It does not make any difference where, nor what my name is. I have been a fool all right, in the eyes of most people, but they do not need to know.

" 'A few days ago -- well, wife and I, we had a misunderstanding. Both were to blame, or at least I was. She took our little boy 3 years old, and started for Kansas City, saying I would never see her again. I was proud -- tried to act like I did not care. I bore up all day, but when night came --. But you are not married. You have no wife nor baby. You do not know what a real home is. I did not know until night came and they were not there. I sat up all night waiting for the first train to Kansas City. I did not know what I was going to do when I got there, but I came. I found my wife in the home of a friend, just where I expected she would be. I did not expect she would make up with me. All that I hoped for was just another kiss from baby. I climbed the porch and cut the screen from the window. I leaned over my wife while she was asleep and kissed the baby. A curl was hinging over his forehead. I took my pocket knife and cut it loose. I guess I pulled some, for he waked with a scream and I ran, and you caught me.'


"I stopped him right there, 'Man we are going back to that woman and baby,' I said to the fellow, 'and if that woman does not take you back, I'll -- but she will take you back.'

" 'Do you think so,' he exclaimed. I never saw a more changed and happy expression came over a man.

"Back at the house all was excitement over the supposed burglar. I saw a woman there with a yellow-haired child in her arms. I took the man by the hand, in which he was still holding the stolen lock. 'Here is the burglar, and here is what he stole,' I said, placing his hand in hers.

"It took a few seconds for the woman to realize it all. Then she threw her arms around his neck and I was not needed there any more. I did not feel like I was letting a prisoner escape, either."

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June 24, 1907


Tired Looking Little Woman Gave
All She Had for His Freedom.

A little, work-weary woman called at the desk at police headquarters yesterday afternoon and asked Sergeant Holly Jarboe, then on duty, if he had a prisoner answering to the name of Will Jackquit. After looking a moment at his records, the sergeant told her the man she was looking for was in the jail on a peace disturbance charge.

The woman bowed her head on her arms a moment or two and "wept piteously but quietly, and then asked how much money it would take to get the man out. The sergeant gave her the minimum bond required.

"He is my son," she said, as she began to count out the coins, each one of which had doubtless cost her infinite pains and trouble, "and I cannot let him stay there."

"But don't you know he will do it right over again?" asked the policeman.

"Yes, perhaps. But I am a mother, and he is all I have."

The prisoner was summonedout of the holdover. He was a great big fellow, strong and healthy looking. He appeared with a smile on his face, pleased at not having to spend a hot afternoon in a cell. As he came out the woman was putting down the last nickel on the counter. As she saw him, the tears started afresh. The man looked at her a second as though annoyed.

"Oh pshaw, mother," he said. "Don't be foolish!"

"Foolish, that's just the word," muttered the sergeant, as mother and son went out together.

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April 7, 1907




Mrs. Jennie D. Smith, of Denver, and
Mrs. Narcissus Smith Tell Their
Troubles to the Police
-- "Plot to Get Me to
Denver," Says Jennie D.
There must have been all kinds of discord in the Smith family when two Mrs. Smiths, sisters, made up their minds to run away. Both are now in the matron's room at police headquarters. Both are pretty, brown eyed and auburn haired.

One of them is being held a prisoner. Her name is Mrs. Jennie D. Smith from Denver, Col. An officer from there will be here after her this afternoon. A wire to the chief here said that a charge of welling mortgaged property had been placed against her.

Mrs. Jennie D. Smith said that she left her husband in Denver three months ago, going to her sister, Mrs. Narcissus Smith, in Memphis, Tenn.

"My husband threatened to kill me more than once," said Mrs. J. D. Smith. "My sister was there at the time and heard him do so many times. When we separated he gave me all the furniture and told me to keep the roomers or do what I pleased. He said he would make the payments for it. When I got ready to go to Memphis with my sister I sold the furniture, $350 worth of it, for $115. The auction house to which it was sold lost it afterwards to the instalment house. My husband simply wants to get me back there, and into trouble, with the idea that I will go back to him -- but I won't. Not much."

The two sisters went on to Memphis, where two weeks ago, Mrs. Narcissus Smith concluded that life with George Smith, a machinist, could not be endured any longer. So they both "up and left," taking the Memphis woman's 3-year-old baby, Ruth, along with them. Mrs. George Smith was preparing to go back to Denver with her sisters.

Yesterday morning a small, bald, stockily built man went into the office of Chief Hayes and announced that he had come to town to "kidnap me child." After a short talk it was learned that he was after "Baby Ruth," a golden haired beauty.

"I am going to take that kid away from my wife and take it to the home of my sister," he announced. Chief Hayes, however, told Smith that he would walk into all sorts of trouble if he attempted anything of the sort in Kansas City. He was referred to Colonel J. C. Greenman, Humane agent.

It was the order of the colonel that an officer be sent out with Smith, and that all three, husband, wife and baby appear at his office. While Smith and Detective William Bates were scouting in the vicinity of Hasbrook place, Twelfth and Washington streets, where the Mrs. Smiths had resided, Mrs. George Smith appeared at the matron's room to see her sister. When she was told that her husband was here after the child she was more than frantic.

"He'll steal it. He'll steal it, just as sure as fate," she said, hysterically. "I never did him but one mean trick and that was to use his last month's pay check with which to get away. He was just preparing to leave me and go to Panama, and I knew it. Now he wants the baby just for spite."

She was going right home to protect her baby, but was told that Smith was with an officer,and would not dare to do such a thing. On her way downstairs to see Chief Hays and ask his protection, which Colonel Greenman advised, after hearing her story, she encountered "George" right face to face in a narrow hallway.

"Don't you touch me! Don't you speak to me!" she exclaimed, as she sought protection behind a big policeman. Smith wilted when the policeman said, "Phat ye tryin' to do here, hit a lady? G'wan wid ye, er Oi'll drive ye into th' flure like a tack."

Chief Hayes sent Holly Jarboe with Mrs. Smith No. 2 to her rooms at Hasbrook place, where the child was found with a neighbor. She moved right then and there, bag, baggage and baby, to the matron's room at police headquarters, where the chief said she could remain until her sister left for Denver. This afternoon an officer will accompany her to the train to see that no trouble occurs in the Smith family.

"If Smith wants to steal his baby let him go to Denver," said the chief. "We don't allow that here when we know it."

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