February 5, 1910
SQUATTERS STAY IN JUNGLE.
Attempt to Oust From Bottoms Re-
sults in Non-Suit.
A patch of jungle 400 feet long by 300 feet deep, near the Star elevator in the East Bottoms, was a matter of dispute between a whole colony of squatters and the Kansas City Southern Railway Company in Judge Thomas's division of the circuit court yesterday. While many settlers of the place were involved, only one, Lewis Warner, was named in the petition. Warner had lived in his lean-to close to the Missouri river bank and on the alleged right-of-way of the railroad for many years.
In answer to the demand of the railroad that he move his effects to other shores, Warner stuck the closer to his home in the tall reeds and willows. He was of the staying kind, and then there were others just as deep in the mud as he was in the mire. He put it up to the road to move the entire colony.
But even the patience of a corporation can become exhausted. Cyrus Crane, lawyer for the Southern, served notice on Warner that he must move or stand trial, and then brought suit to oust him.
When the case was called Warner was there with his witnesses. The latter were mostly neighbors of the defendant and denizens of the tract claimed by the railroad. In the court room yesterday they answered to the names of "Dump Bill," "Silver Bill," "Sleepy Sue," Louis Lombardo and Mrs. Louisa Sarah Koffman.
Lombardo is the janitor at the city hall. He was one of the first witnesses for the company.
"I was once in the vicinity of the patch of ground where Warner lives," said he. "There I saw an old negro man come out of the willows with a basket of vegetables on his arm. I looked at where he came from and saw nothing but bullrushes and willows.
" 'Where did you get those vegetables?' I said to him, and he answered that he got them back in the bushes. I followed the trail he was on and came upon one, two, three houses with truck patches. I felt like Christopher Columbus."
"Did the Kansas City Southern get you your job at the city hall?" was asked of Lombardo by Attorney Crane in direct examination.
"No, I got it by making a speech on a beer keg for the Democratic party," the witness promptly replied, while the whole court room laughed.
Some of the older witnesses said they had been living at their present location since 1890. One of these was Mrs. Koffman, who described the flora of the acreted land in this way:
"It is covered with trees except where there is bushes and willows and that's about all over the place.
"How large are the trees?" was asked.
"Oh, of different sizes. Some of them are as large as a gallon pail, and others no bigger than a pint measure. I don't know how you can't describe them because there are some littler and some bigger than others."
Attorney Crane entered an involuntary non-suit in the case and it was dismissed.
Labels: circuit court, courtroom, East bottoms, Judges, Kansas City Southern, Lawsuit, Missouri river
January 30, 1910
GIVES HIS HALF TO
JUDGE MICHAEL ROSS, SILENT
PARTNER, DISCLAMES SHARE
"John Was My Friend and
He Would Have Done That
for Me," He Says.
Judge Michael Ross, John Mahoney's silent partner, yesterday startled the court of Van B. Prather, probate judge of Wyandotte county, by announcing he wished to disclaim a $50,000 share in the Mahoney estate so that it would go to his friend's orphans.
John Manoney was the Kansas City, Kas. contractor who, with his wife and foreman, Thomas F. McGuire, met death in an automobile accident on the Cliff drive Monday afternoon Judge Ross has been justice of the peace in the North End for many years.
One feature about Judge Ross's gift is that he wanted no one except the firm's lawyer to know about it. At the opening of the hearing Judge Prather said he understood that a silent partnership existed in the contracting business between Mr. Mahoney and some one else, and that if such was the case it would be necessary to take different action in the appointment of the administrators than if such a partnership did not exist.
"HE WAS MY FRIEND."
At this announcement Judge Ross arose. He said he had been a full partner of Mr. Mahoney in the contracting business, but that he desired to "wipe the slate clean" and give the children his half of the estate. Judge Prather asked Judge Ross to explain more fully.
"John Mahoney was a good friend of mine," the judge began. "He loved his four children dearly, and I am comfortably situated, and I want those little children to have my interest in the estate. And further, if any of the contracts which Mr. Mahoney left unfinished show a loss when they are fulfilled by the administrators I will give my personal check to make up for it. John was my friend and I know he would have done the same for my family."
When Judge Ross had finished speaking there were tears in the eyes of many in the court room. Judge Prather said nothing for a moment then rising, he reached over and grasped Judge Ross's hand.
"I am 60 years old," Judge Prather said. "I have read of such men, and heard of them, but you are the first of this type whose hand I ever have had the privilege to grasp."
1,000 ATTENDED FUNERAL.
The funeral of Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney was held on Friday in Kansas City, Kas. The services were held at the home, 616 North Seventh street and conducted by the Rev. Father James Keegan of St. Mary's Catholic church. It was estimated that more than 1,000 persons gathered about the house during the services. The children at Central school, where the younger Mahoney children attended, stood with bowed heads while the funeral cortege passed.
Nellie Mahoney and her sister, Lillian, age 6, were still in St. Mary's hospital and were unable to attend the services. They were, however, told for the first time of the deaths of their parents. The girls were taken from the hospital to their home in a closed carriage last night. Lillian is now able to walk about, and the attending surgeons say she is recovering rapidly. The girls are being attended at their home by a trained nurse. Mr. Mahoney's sister is in charge of the house.
Judge Prather said yesterday that he would visit the Mahoney home tomorrow morning in order that Nellie might sign a bond and qualify as an administrator.
Mr. Mahoney did not leave a will, at least none has been found.
Labels: children, churches, Cliff drive, Funeral, Judge Prather, Judges, Justice Ross, Kansas City Kas, ministers, North end, probate
January 19, 1910
BENEFACTIONS SWOPE HOBBY.
Judge John C. Gage Says He Talked
of Them Forty Years Ago.
The theory that Colonel Thomas H. Swope may have been poisoned to keep him from making a new will, devising $1,000,000 to Kansas City, or some charitable institution, is given little credence by Judge John C. Gage, life-long friend of the millionaire benefactor.
"If old Tom Swope was poisoned to prevent this will from being made, he would have been murdered years ago," said Judge Gage. "For the past forty years he has been talking of making a great bequest to Kansas City. About every time we would meet he would tell me what he intended to do. We used to get tired of this, and tell him we did not think he was going to give a cent to Kansas City.
"He did not speak in private of his intended bequests. He told many of his friends he expected to change his will. If there was a plot to kill him to prevent him making the new will leaving over a million to Kansas City that otherwise would go to his relatives, it would have been made years before Colonel Swope finally died.
"When Tom Swope was as poor as the other boys, and when when we thought he never had a show of becoming a rich man, he used to tell us that he intended to make a large bequest to Kansas City, at his death. It was one of his earliest ambitions. In those days we paid little attention to it."
Judge Gage and Colonel Swope roomed together, and occupied the same office at the opening of the war. The former had a fox hound to which his roommate became greatly attached.
"It was in 1862, when Kansas City was garrisoned by Union soldiers," said Judge Gage. "The dog was running along Missouri avenue with Tom. A Union soldier fired at the dog, shooting it through the breast. That was the only time I ever saw Tom really mad. He started after that soldier and chased him down Missouri avenue to Grand, then down Grand for several blocks. He was compelled to give up the chase when the soldier had winded him . The dog did not die, so Tom's wrath was somewhat appeased. Something would have happened, however, if he had caught that soldier."
Old friends of the "colonel" say that he seldom used "cuss" words. It was only when exceedingly angry that he would let out a "damn." He would jerk the word out short and preface each one by spitting.
Labels: Civil War, Judges, Swope Mystery, Thomas Swope
January 12, 1910
FINED FOR ASSAULT ON BOYS.
Milkman Brody Had Trouble With
Two Sons of Judge Ross.
On a charge of having assaulted the two small sons of Justice Michael D. Ross, Philip Brody, a milkman, was fined $15 in the municipal court yesterday morning.
Justice Ross lives at 626 Troost avenue and Brody lives in a house to the rear of the premises. The two Ross boys, it is alleged, threw stones at the Brody home and the milkman climbed over a fence and went into the Ross kitchen to chastise them. He was in the act of administering a spanking, it is claimed, when William Ross, the judge's eldest son, appeared on the scene, and after throwing Brody out, called a policeman.
Labels: Judges, Justice Ross, municipal court, Troost avenue, violence
December 5, 1909
FONDA MAY LOSE OFFICE.
Sugar Creek Justice Cited Before
Circuit Judge Powell.
Judge Powell yesterday cited A. P. Fonda, justice of the peace of Sugar Creek by appointment of the county court, to appear December 18 and show cause why he should not be removed from office. Charges were filed by Virgil Conkling of the prosecutor's office, alleging the defendant was holding office illegally.
Labels: Judges, Prosecutor Conkling, Sugar Creek
December 1, 1909
BOYS SLEEP IN TENTS.
McCune Farm Lacks Sufficient Dor-
Boys at the McCune farm are compelled to sleep in tents because of lack of accommodations. When the new school building is completed it will have to be used at night as a dormitory. A new addition is being built to the present dormitory and will partially relieve the present crowded conditions.
With the conditions existing, Judge J. M. Patterson thinks some action should be taken at once. A special election has been urged to vote $150,000 in bonds for the erection of five new buildings. At present there are eighty-five boys at the farm, and there are not accommodations for half that number.
"My idea would be for the county court to begin putting up new buildings," said Judge J. M. Patterson yesterday. "An election to vote bond could be held in November to save the expense of a special election. But it is my opinion that the matter should not be put off another day. By another year there will be from 100 to 125 inmates, and the conditions will be worse than ever.
"The county court might erect one building a year for the next five years. But that seems to me to be too slow. We might start the work now and rely upon the money derived from the bond election to complete it.
"The farm became the county's property eighteen months ago. An administration building has been built at the cost of about $1,300. An old frame building is used for a dormitory. These are the only two buildings to accommodate eighty-five boys."
Labels: children, Judges, McCune Home
November 21, 1909
BOY JUMPS OFF CAR;
KILLED BY AUTO.
NOT THE HOPPING KIND, JUST
PLAYING, COMPANION SAYS.
Edgar Palin, Aged 12, Dies in Hos-
pital From Injuries Received in
Alighting in Path of Machine
Giving Children Ride.
Twelve-Year-Old Boy Who Leaped from Street Car Fender and Was Mortally Injured by Automobile.
As Edgar Palin, 12 years old, 2802 East Sixth street, jumped from the back fender of an eastbound Independence avenue car yesterday afternoon at Prospect avenue, he was run over and fatally injured by a motor car driven by E. T. Curtis, 3338 Wyandotte street. He died at 7 o'clock last night at the German hospital, without recovering consciousness.
With Allen Compton, 400 Wabash avenue, the boy had been playing all afternoon. About 3 o'clock the two lads started northward on Wabash avenue, and at Independence avenue both noticed an approaching street car.
"Let's catch the fender," called Edgar, as he waited along the curbing. The car was moving at moderate speed and the boy ran behind, and caught hold of the fender. His companion, 10 years old, ran behind on the sidewalk. At Prospect avenue Edgar, without looking around, jumped from the fender directly in front of an approaching auto, barely fifteen feet behind him. Curtis attempted to dodge the boy. The left fender of the auto struck the child and he was sent tumbling on the pavement. He was picked up by Curtis. Several children were in the auto. With Curtis was Herman Smith, of 3606 Olive street, whose father owned the car. In a nearby drug store it was found the boy had been injured seriously.
GIVING CHILDREN RIDE.
"I was driving at about fifteen miles an hour," Curtis said. "The auto belonged to young Smith's father and I was running it because I had the most experience. A party of school children were with us. We were taking them for a ride around the block. I noticed the child on the fender and did not have the least idea that he was going to run in my path. I swerved to one side, but the machine skidded and the fender of the auto struck him in the back. I realized at once that he had received a fearful blow."
After the child was given emergency treatment in the drug store by two neighboring physicians, he was taken to his home in the motor car, and after being attended by Dr. Max Goldman, was removed to the German hospital. Dr. Goldman found that the boy's spine was broken and that his skull was probably fractured.
Allen Compton, his playmate, was in a condition bordering on hysterics last night. The two had been gathering old papers during the forenoon and had just been to the paper mill, where they had received a few pennies with which they intended to buy Christmas presents.
"Edgar wasn't no car hopper," Allen said last night, in defense of his friend. "He was just running behind and holding on to the fender. Edgar wasn't that kind."
With Judge J. E. Guinotte, a friend of the family, young Curtis went to police headquarters last night and made a statement to Captain Walter Whitsett. After consulting Virgil Conkling, prosecuting attorney, it was decided not to hold him. He promised to come to the prosecutor's office Monday and make a complete statement. He said that he had been running a car for eight years. He is the son of W. E. Curtis, a live stock commission man.
The injured boy was the son of W. M. Palin, a real estate dealer in the Commerce building. The body will be taken to Gridley, Kas., for burial.
Labels: accident, automobiles, Captain Whitsett, children, Commerce building, death, German hospital, Independence avenue, Judges, Prospect avenue, Sixth street, streetcar, Wabash avenue, Wyandotte street
November 12, 1909
COME TO TOWN TODAY.
COMMERCIAL CLUB ROOMS DEC-
ORATED FOR RECEPTION.
Five Women Members of Party Will
Be Guests of Honor at Country
Club Luncheon -- Omaha
the Next Stop.
Kansas City will be the host today to the Honorary Commissioners of Japan, consisting of forty-three of the leading business men and educators of the Oriental empire, who, together with five Japanese women, are touring the United States. No efforts will be spared to entertain the foreign guests during their stay here, which will be from 9 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night.
Following the arrival here the party will breakfast in their special train. At 9:30 the men of the party will be met in automobiles by the members of the Commercial Club and the next hour and a half will be spent in a reception in the club rooms. The club rooms have been decorated with palms and ferns, the stars and stripes, the Japanese national flag, the mikado's coat of arms, and the Japanese man-of-war emblem. Judge W. T. Bland, president of the club, will head the receiving line, and in it will be the forty-three Japanese commissioners, the officers off the Commercial Club and all former presidents of the club.
WILL VISIT HIGH SCHOOL.
At 11 o'clock the party will be taken to the Westport high school, where Baron Kanda, head of the school of the nobility in Tokio, will make a short speech. Baron Kanda speaks English fluently and is a graduate of Amherst college. The address will be followed by a drive through Swope park and a stop at the Evanston Golf Club for a buffet luncheon.
After the luncheon the party will be driven through the city, up and down the principal streets, over the boulevards and through the leading parks.
The first place of interest to be visited will be the Bank of Commerce. This will be followed by an inspection of the Burnham-Munger overall factory. A drive to Kansas City, Kas., is next in order, where the party will be shown through the plant of the Kingman-Moore Implement Company. These will be the only places visited during the day.
While the men are being entertained by the members of the Commercial Club the five women in the party, Baroness Shibusawa, Baroness Kanda, Madame Midzuno, Madame Horikoshi and Madame Toki will not be forgotten. A committee composed of the wives of the Commercial Club directors and Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Clendening will entertain them. A visit to the Westport high school, a noon lunch at the Country Club and a tea at the home of Mrs. W. R. Nelson will be the events of the day which have been mapped out for the women.
DINNER AT THE BALTIMORE.
At 6:30 o'clock in the evening a dinner will be served to the men in the banquet room at the Baltimore hotel. At the same time a dinner will be given for the women in the Japanese room of the hotel. At the conclusion of their dinner the women will repair to the banquet room, where the entire party will listen to the addresses by David R. Frances, Senator William Warner, Baron Shibusawa and Baron Kanda. Judge Bland will act as toastmaster.
This will conclude the events of the day. The visitors will be taken back to their train, and will leave for Omaha, from where they will work west to San Francisco, from which port they will sail for Japan, November 30.
The Japanese arrived in Seattle from Japan September 1, and when they leave will have spent eighty-eight days in America, visited fifty-two cities, and traveled more than 11,000 miles. During this time they have visited plants and institutions representing nearly every American industry. Many of Kansas City's leading industries will not be visited, as the party has been to similar ones in other cities.
Baron Elighi Shibusawa, who is the head of the commission, is one of the leading men of Japan, being both a statesman and a financier. His individual efforts have raised the status of business men in this country. In 1873, Baron Shibusawa organized the first national bank in Japan under the capital stock system, and has been connected since with all leading banking institutions in Japan.
One Pullman dynamo car, a baggage car, a Pullman dining car, four ten-compartment sleepers, one twelve-section drawing room car and a six-compartment observation car comprise the equipment of the special train that will bring the Japanese to Kansas City over the Burlington railroad. The train will be in charge of W. A. Lalor, assistant general passenger agent for the Burlington at St. Louis.
Labels: banking, business, California, Commercial Club, Edwin Clendening, Evanston Golf Club, Hotel Baltimore, Judges, Kansas City Kas, Omaha, railroad, schools, Swope park, visitors, Westport
October 30, 1909
JAMES M'MAHON TO
PRISON FOR LIFE.
WAIVES A JURY TRIAL AND
ENTERS PLEA OF GUILTY.
Murderer of Sisters and Brother-in-
Law Hoped to Get in an
Asylum -- Dressed in
James McMahon, the confessed murderer of Alonzo Van Royen, his brother-in-law, and Mrs. Margaret Van Royen and Miss Rosa McMahon, his sisters, yesterday afternoon pleaded guilty to the triple murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary at Lansing, Kas., by Judge Hugh J. Smith of Wyandotte county court of common pleas.
Immediately following the impressive scene in the court room McMahon was hurried to a Kansas City Western electric car and taken to the state prison by Sheriff Al Becker and Under Sheriff J. H. Brady. The usual prison routine of "dressing in," which includes clipping the head, shaving, a bath, and the application of the Bertillon system of measurements, was gone through with, and at 8:15 o'clock last night t he identity of James McMahon was merged into that of convict No. 2555.
The arrest of McMahon on Tuesday, his subsequent confession of guilt, his arraignment, his plea of guilty, the passing of sentence and his "dressing in" at the state prison on Friday night, for a record of swift retribution stands without a parallel in the history of criminal procedure in Kansas.
On the way from the jail to the courtroom McMahon maintained the same stolid indifference that has characterized his actions at all times since his arrest. Dressed in the same blue bib overalls, striped black and white shirt and black slouch hat which he wore on the day of his arrest, with handcuffs on his wrists, the stooping figure glanced neither to right nor left and answered in monosyllables the questions directed to him.
At the state penitentiary the party was received by Warden J. K. Codding; his secretary, Elmo D. Murphy, and Assistant Deputy Warden J. T. Crouch. The prisoner was at once given his supper, which he appeared to enjoy immensely. He even went so far as to smile at the warden and remark that the prison fare ought to agree with a man.
With none of the fear which marks the action of many men upon entering the walls of the prison with the knowledge that they are to be confined there for the remainder of their natural lives, James McMahon went through the ordeal of having his picture taking and the remainder of the routine in apparently a more cheerful frame of mind than he has shown during any time since the murders were committed.
Warden Codding announced last night that he would find suitable employment for McMahon and that his health would improve under prison discipline. "We will attempt to 'temper the wind to the shorn lamb,' " said the warden, as McMahon was led away.
Labels: Judges, murder, penitentiary, Sheriff Becker, Van Royen Murders
October 13, 1909
NOT TO BE A DIVORCE MECCA.
Judge Powell at Independence
Transfers 52 Default Cases
to Kansas City.
Judge Walter A. Powell of the circuit court is determined that Independence shall not become a divorce mecca for mismated Kansas Cityans.
Yesterday, by arrangement with the circuit judges here, he transferred fifty-two default cases back to Kansas City. Twenty-two cases in which papers were in the hands of officers for service, were retained in the Independence division. It is probable that Judge Powell will transfer more cases the later end of the week.
It has become the custom of disgruntled married persons in Kansas City who seek divorce to enter suit in Independence with the idea that they can avoid some of the publicity usual in such cases and also obtain decrees with dispatch. Judge Powell intends to put an end to the custom.
Labels: circuit court, Divorce, Independence, Judges
October 3, 1909
IN MEMORY OF HUGH C. WARD.
Governor Hadley and Others Pay
Tribute to Late Member of Bar.
Members of the Kansas City Bar Association gathered in Judge Herman Brumback's court yesterday morning, to honor the memory of the late Hugh C. Ward. Those who paid tributes to his character were Governor H. S. Hadley, J. J. Vineyard, president of the Bar Association; Frank Hagerman, Ellison Neal and Judge Willard Hall.
Resolutions will be drafted and presented to the various divisions of the circuit and appellate courts, in which Mr. Ward practice.
Labels: attorney, Herbert Hadley, Judges
September 19, 1909
ANONYMOUS LETTER CAUSES
CHAUFFEUR'S FATAL INJURY.
L. L. Moore, Found Unconscious on
Pavement Friday Night, Dies
at General Hospital.
An anonymous letter was the cause of the fight which resulted in the death of L. L. Moore yesterday afternoon at the General hospital where he had been taken unconscious on the day previous. Moore was a chauffeur and had fought with Benjamin Lamon, another chauffeur at Fifteenth street and Troost avenue. It developed that his injuries were due to his fall on the pavement.
Lamon is employed by Charles S. Keith of the Central Coal and Coke company. He became angry when Mr. Kieth showed him a letter written by an unknown person which accused Lamon of "joy riding" in Keith's motor car. Suspicion pointed to Moore who was desirous of obtaining a position with Mr. Keith and had written an application for position as chauffeur. The handwriting in both cases were similar.
When Lamon accused Moore as the author of the letter at the Missouri Valley Automobile Company, 1112-14 East Fifteenth street, Friday night, Moore refused to make any explanation or denial. A fight followed, and when Moore fell to the sidewalk he struck his head on the curbing, resulting in concussion of the brain, according to surgeons at the General hospital.
Lamon was arrested early morning, and yesterday afternoon was arraigned in Justice Miller's court for second degree murder. He pleaded not guilty. He was released on a $2,000 bond furnished by Mr. Keith. Lamon lives at 1525 Oak street and is married. Moore formerly lived at Maryville, Mo., and had only been in the city a few weeks. He worked for Mrs. Amy Cruise of 1209 Commerce building.
Labels: automobiles, Commerce building, death, Fifteenth street, general hospital, Judges, Oak street, Troost avenue, violence
September 5, 1909
STATE FINDS IT WAS
TRYING WRONG MAN.
LEVI CARTER, A NEGRO, HAD
BEEN IN JAIL SINCE AUG. 23.
It Was Lamp, Alias "Nick" Carter,
Wanted on Charge of larceny,
But New Cop Made a
Levi Carter was taking the air two weeks ago on Mulberry street, trying to keep out of the burning sun as much as possible, when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Is your name Carter?" he heard a voice say.
"Yes, sah," replied the negro, as he looked up and saw one of Marks's greenest centurions trying to extract a tree limb from its surcingle.
"Come with me," said Mr. Cent., looking ferocious.
Of course, Carter went. He was as far as the prosecuting attorney's office, where they filed against him a charge of "larceny from the person in the night time," which is sort of denatured highway robbery. Carter went to jail on August 23, to remain until yesterday.
NEITHER LAMP NOR "NICK."
Right here the plot thickens. The complaint was issued against Lamp Carter, alias "Nick" Carter, and not against Levi Carter at all. But the Carter who was in jail made never a word of complaint.
Yesterday Ruby D. Garrett, assistant prosecuting attorney, went to the court of Justice M. H. Joyce, who has had his office at Union avenue and Mulberry street since they began to draw plans for a new union depot. Mr. Garrett went to prosecute the case against Carter, Lamp Carter, alias "Nick."
In pursuance of that purpose, Mr. Garrett proceeded to introduce evidence. He questioned and requestioned, and was making the prisoner's chances look slim, when he hard a commotion in the court room. A group of spectators was talking excitedly. Mr. Garret overlooked the interruption for a moment and then asked a witness:
"Are you certain it was Lamp Carter?"
Then the storm broke, for Mr. Garrett heard amused and angry protest from the rear of the court room.
"What is the matter with you people?" he asked, turning so as to face them.
TRYING THE WRONG MAN.
The leader of the group came forward and said:
"There's nothing the matter with us, only you are trying the wrong man. This isn't Lamp Carter. His name is Levi Carter."
Just about then Mr. Garret discovered it was his move.
"Isn't your name Lamp Carter?" he asked the prisoner.
"Why didn't you say so long ago? You have been in jail for two weeks and haven't made a protest."
"I don't know," said Carter meekly.
"The state will dismiss this case," said Mr. Garrett after a further investigation.
"Dismissed," said Justice Joyce with his kindly smile.
And that is why the police intend, in their quiet way, to "sic" some more centurions on the trail of Mr. Lamp Carter.
Labels: courtroom, jail, Judges, Mulberry street, police
July 6, 1909
OF OLD WESTPORT.
REUNION AND PICNIC ON WOR-
Pioneers Hear of Kansas City's Pre-
carious Situation During Price
Raid -- Purchase of Shaw-
nee Mission Proposed.
The battle of Westport was lived over again by a hundred of the city's oldest inhabitants comprising what is now known as the Historical Society at the old Wornall homestead at Sixty-first street and the Wornall road yesterday.
The occasion was a basket picnic of the society and the object was no more than to celebrate the nation's birthday but so many could recall the time when the Wornall mansion was a hospital and and the cottonwoods around the premises were split and riven in battle that the names of Price, Mulligan and Curtis came easy, and many a gray headed veteran leaned eagerly forward in his seat while the speakers marshaled before them the contending armies.
"It was this way," said Judge John C. Gage, who was a participant in the battle. "General Price driven from behind by the Federal forces left Independence, Mo., and crossed the Blue. It was a serious moment for Kansas City for General Curtis left the town unprotected and crossed over to Wyandotte to his headquarters. For a whole night the city was practically at the mercy of the Confederates.
"It was a good thing the Confederates did not know of this movement of Curtis. By the next day he had returned and when the battle occurred Curtis was on hand and fought like a tiger."
Several of the old residents who were present had never heard of the incident referred to by Judge Gage. Others who were participants on one side or the other remembered it distinctly.
"Very little has been said of Curtis's desertion of Kansas City at this time," said the judge after his speech to some of those who had never heard. "It was an incident quickly closed by the prompt return of the federal forces from across the Kaw. You see General Curtis at first believed it might be more important to protect Fort Leavenworth than the city. When he discovered how small a force General Price had and that he was practically running away from federal pressure behind he changed his mind. He was no coward and his retrograde movement was merely misplaced strategy."
Other speakers were Judge John B. Stone, ex-Confederate soldier; Mrs. Laura Coates Reed, Hon. D. C. Allen of Liberty, Mo., Miss Elizabeth B. Gentry, Mrs. Henry N. Ess, William Z. Hickman and Dr. W. L. Campbell. Frank C. Wornall read the Declaration of Independence and Mrs. Dr. Allan Porter read a selection entitled "Two Volunteers." The meeting of the society was presided over by Dr. Campbell, who also introduced the speakers.
A proposition was made by Mrs. Laura Coates Reed to the effect that the society purchase the old Shawnee mission in Johnson county, Kas., for a historical museum to be used jointly by the D. A. R. society and the Historical Society. Mrs. Reed's remarks along this line were seconded by those of Mrs. Henry Ess.
Labels: Blue river, Civil War, history, Independence, Johnson county, Judges, Kaw river, Leavenworth, Liberty, organizations, reunions, veterans, Westport
May 26, 1909
WROTE 275 LETTERS TO WIFE.
Urging Her to Come Back, So Di-
vorce Was Denied Sheridan.
Andrew Jackson Sheridan, 65 years old, was yesterday denied a divorce from Louisa M. Sheridan, from whom he has been separated eight years. Mr. Sheridan, who lives in the house boat Mable, moored at the foot of Minnesota avenue, on the Kaw river, brought the suit before Judge E. L. Fischer of the Wyandotte county district court. The reason why he could not procure legal separation from Mrs. Sheridan was because he was found to think too much of her. Disaster came to his plans when lawyers for the defense produced in evidence 275 letters to the defendant, urging her to come back and live with him.
The plaintiff has lived in the house boat on the Kaw over three years and his face is brown from the reflection of the river. Mrs. Sheridan lives with her son in Toledo, O. Depositions from her were read in court. All of the 275 letters which Sheridan has addressed to his wife in the past year are affectionate and urge her to come live in his boat. In different places he alludes to her as being made up of parts of the pig, oyster and chicken. In one letter he promises to give her treatment to make her a "perfect human like myself."
Judge Fischer believed that a man who could give so much free advice to his wife and sign himself her loving husband did not badly want a divorce.
Labels: boats, Divorce, Judges, Kaw river, marriage, Minnesota avenue
April 26, 1909
PAID $150 FOR FIRST
COUNTY COURT HOUSE.
DANIEL P. LEWIS BUILT IT OF
HEWN LOGS IN 1828.
Old Building, Now Weatherboarded,
Still Stands at Independence --
Negroes Then Had Their
While Kansas City is considering the erection of a skyscraper court house to take the place of the old building in the North End, it might be of interest to members of the county court to know what was the cost of the first court house to be erected in Jackson county. One can scarcely realize in the present day of a temple of justice being erected at the enormous expenditure of $150, but that was the price which the taxpayers were compelled to pay in 1828.
The old town of Independence, Mo., had grown into quite a village, surrounded by a fairly well settled and wealthy farming community. Justice was dispensed in that early time probably as expeditiously as at present. The need of a building or court house wherein trials and other court procedure could be transacted was decided to be a necessity.
NEGRO HEWED THE LOGS.
The county court entered into a contract with one Daniel P. Lewis. In the fall it was agreed that he was to receive $150 for building a courthouse. In the all of that year Sam Shephard, a negro, hewed logs for the new building. They were dragged by a yoke of oxen to the ground selected as the site for the court house. The lot was No. 57 in the old town, now on the north side of Maple avenue near the square in Independence. The building was only one story and contained one large room, which was used as a courtroom and meeting place for all public discussions and lectures. Later several small rooms for use as offices were added.
The building is still standing in Independence, and the hewn logs of which it was constructed have been weather boarded and the large courtroom divided into small rooms. It is now used as a private dwelling and Christian Ott of Independence is the proprietor. It is understood the proprietor has offered to donate the building to the County Fair Association if it will move it from the lot.
In connection with the negro, Sam Shephard, who cut the logs for the court house, there is a bit of local history. In Independence and the country in the immediate neighborhood the negroes maintained a form of self-government. Each year they gathered together in convention and selected their officers. A judge and a sheriff were the principal offices upon which their government was founded.
PUNISHED BY THEIR OWN RACE.
Recalcitrant negroes and those accused of thefts or other crimes not taken notice of by the white people came under the supervision of the blacks' control. An accused would be summoned to court by the sheriff and the judge selected the jury of negroes from those present. The sessions of the negro court were held in a livery barn or blacksmith shop. If the negro on trial was found guilty after the deliberations of the jury, the sheriff carried out the penalty. As he was vested with powerful muscles as well as the authority of a sheriff, the penalty, which was usually a number of lashes on the bare back, was memorable.
The first judge was Wilas Staples and Sam Shephard was the first sheriff. The latter died in Lawrence, Kas., several months ago.
Labels: courthouse, history, Independence, Judges, Lawrence, North end, race, real estate
April 26, 1909
JUDGE M. A. PURSLEY DEAD.
End Came at Hot Springs, Where
He Went for Health.
Judge Marshall A. Pursley of Kansas City died in Hot Springs, Ark., Saturday night where he went in search of health ten days ago. The remains will be brought here for burial. Judge Pursley was born in Farmland, Ind., and was 45 years of age. He is a son-in-law of E. Stine and survived by a widow and two daughters, Helen and Emma, also two brothers and a sister. Judge Pursley came to Kansas City twenty-three years ago, and was prominent in politics. He was elected justice of the peace and for the past eight years was auditor of the Kansas City postoffice. He was a member of the board of directors of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen; judge advocate general of the Missouri Brigade Uniform Rank of Knights of Pythias, a member of No. 3, Uniform Rank Sicilian Lodge No. 39, Knights of Pythias; Albert Pyke Lodge, A. F. and A. M. Modern Woodmen, and Royal Neighbors. Arrangements for the funeral will be announced later.
Labels: death, Judges, lodges, politics, post office
April 24, 1909
WESTPORT HIGH SCHOOL
IS FORMALLY OPENED.
3,000 PEOPLE LAST NIGHT IN-
SPECT NEW BUILDINGS.
Entire Equipment Represents Out-
lay of Nearly $500,000 -- Elabo-
rate Programme of Speeches
and Music Is Presented.
The formal house warming of the Westport high school at Thirty-ninth and Locust streets took place last night, nearly 3,000 people participating. The building was thrown open for inspection at 8 o'clock. There was no conspicuous array of decorations and festooning of school pennants and class colors, only the building was brilliantly lighted by electricity in each of its four stories. There was enough to see and appreciate in the common equipments of the school.
The patrons of the school began to arrive in automobiles and street cars at 7:30 o'clock. Before the opening time came the better part of the better part of the crowd had arrived and was strolling about the grounds admiring the strictly modern buildings which, on their completion, September 15, had cost close to $500,000.
Two features of the school equipment brought forth more comment, perhaps, than all the others combined. They were the gymnasium, said to be the finest of its kind in the West, and the domestic science department, where pretty girls in neat white aprons stood ready too tell their mothers modern ideas concerning pastry making and undiscernable patchwork.
The domestic science department has over 100 pupils. Not all of them are girls, and it is said the class record in fancy work has several times been broken by the deft fingers of boys also adept on the baseball diamond.
The art department and the chemical and zoological laboratories are also expensively fitted with the latest models and appliances. In the zoological room are thirty compound microscopes. The water color work and free hand drawing of some of the students of the art department created favorable comment among the amateur and professional painters who are patrons of the school and who were among the visitors last night.
At 9 o'clock the crowd was ushered into the auditorium, where an excellent programme was the piece de resistance of the house warming. This part of the school equipment was in perfect accord with the others, expense apparently having been overlooked in making it among the best of its kind anywhere.
The auditorium seats 1,400 people. In times of emergency, like last night, chairs can be placed int eh aisles so that 200 more can easily be accommodated and all hear.
After the "Coronation March" had been played by the high school orchestra, Frank A. Faxon, vice president of the school board, made a few remarks of welcome. Addresses were given by Judge H. H. Hawthorne and Dr. Herman E. Pearse, both of whom were instrumental in procuring the big and modern high school building for Westport.
One of the features of the programme was a bass solo by Reid Hillyard, a pupil of the school. Mr. Hillyard received his musical training at the school.
Labels: Frank Faxon, Judges, Locust street, music, schools, Thirty-ninth street, Westport
April 17, 1909
MINDS CHANGE WITH MOON.
J. S. Hynes, Probate Judge, Pro Tem,
Makes Study of Insanity.
"Does the moon's changes effect mankind," asked J. S. Hynes, probate judge pro tem in Kansas City, Kas., yesterday afternoon, after he had filed the fourth insanity affidavit for the day. "It is claimed that the moon controls the tide; that fishermen for sea crabs never go out during the moon's last quarter and that agriculturalists in planting are more or less guided by its changes."
The four people charged with insanity yesterday were Ollie Morrison, Hannah Clauson, Mary Dooley and George Miller. Last Tuesday was the moon's last quarterly change and the records in the local probate court show that 95 per cent of all the insanity cases filed are brought during the week in which the moon changes in the last quarter.
Labels: Judges, mental health
February 5, 1909
BOY WITNESS WAS "RATTLED."
Told The Court He Had Never Heard
Sunday schools in Hartville, Mo., got a jolt when Earl Braton took the stand to testify in the divorce suit of his step-mother against his father. Earl is 11 years old and Judge Hermann Brumback took an immediate interest in him.
"Do you understand the meaning of an oath?" asked the judge.
"No," said the boy.
"Do you go to Sunday school?"
"Yes, every Sunday."
"Don't they teach you the Bible there?"
"Didn't you ever hear the pastor, or the superintendent, talk about the Bible or God?"
Earl said he didn't remember.
About that time Judge Brumback decided that the boy had a bad case of "rattles."
"I'll adjourn court 'till 2 o'clock and maybe at that time you'll remember," said the court.
At the afternoon session the lad went through t he ordeal rather in a better way. He lives with his father in Hartville, Mo., while his stepmother lives here.
Labels: children, Divorce, Judges
January 29, 1909
GREEK DENIES VIOLATING LAW.
Claims One Boy Is Over 16, and Other
Is at School.
Charged with employing two boys, Angelo Angelopoulos and Theodore Patrakis, both said to be under 16 years old and causing them to work more than nine hours a day in violation of the child labor law, Peter Maniatos was arraigned in Justice Miller's court yesterday. He declared he was not guilty. Maniatos conducts the bootblack stand on West Ninth street near the New York Life building.
Patrakis claimed he was over 16, and a letter from the boy's father in Chicago, exhibited before the court, showed that he was born in the year 1892. Angelo, though under age, has been attending school regularly, and reports from his teacher showed that the boy was making the best of his opportunities. Justice Miller set the case for Friday, and Maniatos was released on bond of $100. The boys are being held at the McCune home.
Labels: Chicago, children, immigrants, Judges, McCune Home, New York Life bldg, Ninth street
January 27, 1909
LOSES RIGHT TO HER CHILD.
Mother Signed Adoption Papers of
Heir to $40,000 Estate.
According to a ruling made yesterday by J. S. Hynes, judge pro tem of the probate court, Kansas City, Kas., a mother relinquishes all rights to direct the affairs of her offspring after she once signs adoption papers for the child.
The decision was handed down on the application of Ida Weeden for the appointment of a guardian for Dorothy Weeden-Gordon, the alleged illegitimate child of Monroe Gordon, the wealthy negro farmer who was murdered at his home near Bethel, Wyandotte county, last December.
It was proved by the records of the probate court that the infant heir to the $40,000 estate left by Gordon was legally adopted by Susan Wilson, mother of the murdered man, several years before he met his death. For this reason the application made by the natural mother of the child for the appointment of a guardian was dismissed.
"The affairs of the child rest entirely with its parent by adoption," said acting Judge Hynes. This means that Gordon's mother, through the rights of the child, will have something to say in the distribution of her murdered son's estate.
There is another alleged illegitimate child of Gordon who has set up a claim as an heir to his property, Robert Benjamin Gordon, 6 years old. Dorsey Green, an attorney, was appointed guardian for this infant claimant. The settlement of the estate promises to be accompanied with considerable litigation.
Labels: attorney, custody, Judges, Kansas City Kas, probate
January 17, 1909
YOUTHFUL BRIDE OF
AGED GROOM IN JAIL.
WEDDING OF DECEMBER AND
JUNE HAS USUAL SEQUEL.
Couldn't Agree and Finally Husband
of 74 Accused Wife of 18 of Appro-
priating Personal Belongings.
Man Also Arrested.
A tale of two cities -- Sheffield, England and Sheffield, Mo. -- with the variation of the marriage of an old man and a young woman, was told in its second chapter yesterday in Justice Michael Ross's court. There are to be succeeding chapters, too, for the bride and a young man are now in the county jail, sent there on complaint of the husband.
It was December 23 that Benjamin Sellers, only 74, and Emma Vaughn, 18, were married in Independence by Justice L. P. Anderson. Two days later there appeared in The Journal an article about the couple and interview from Sellers, telling how happy he was. But romance has now made a hotel fire exit.
Maybe it should have been said at the beginning of this story that it is a tale of three cities. For, after the expression of happiness from the groom, a dark cloud in the shape of Wakeeney, Kas., appeared on the matrimonial horizon. It was to Wakeeney that the couple took their bridal trip shortly after Christmas.
"They had serenaded us at 527 East Fifth street, where we have been living, when we were married," said Mrs. Sellers yesterday, "but in Wakeeney -- why, there were tin cans in the bed and the noise outside the hotel was awful."
Anyway, Mrs. Sellers came back from Wakeeney feeling anything but cheerful. She said yesterday that she had been sick in bed most of the time since.
It was yesterday afternoon that Sellers went to the court of Justice Ross and swore out a complaint on which his wife and Leonard C. Coker, a lather 19 years of age, whose home is at 3239 East Sixth street, were arrested. Coker had been staying at the Sellers home, 527 East Fifth, for about a week. He says he boarded there.
SELLERS ALL BROKEN UP.
"It has broken me all up," said Sellers, telling his story in the justice's court. "Why, I travelled with General Tom Thumb, first in Sheffield, England, where I passed show bills, and later until I rose to be his valet. For nearly sixteen years I was with him. The beginning was in 1857.
"After I left that employment, I went to farm in Illinois and later moved to Wakeeney, Kas., where I have property that yields me about $40 a month. That has furnished my living since I came to Kansas City three years ago.
"June 18 a young man brought this girl to my home. She said she was homeless, so I took her in and cared for her. After at time she disappeared and then returned. Always she kept insisting I should marry her, and at last, in December, I consented. She said then, 'Marry me or I will leave you."
HE MISSED SOME RINGS.
"She had not been at my house a week before I missed some rings and jewelry, and she told me she had not taken them. For a time she went under the name of Evelyn LaRue, but her real name was Emma Vaughn."
This is what Mrs. Sellers had to say:
"Why, 'grandpa' -- that's what I always call him -- forced me to marry him. You see, it was this way: A young man named Lester Blume took me to grandpa's house, and told me to take some rings that were there. I did it, and 'grandpa' kept threatening to do things if I did not marry him.
"Coker? I was engaged to him when I was 16. Then I lost track of him for a long time. He came to the house last Thursday after we had been at the roller skating rink, and he's been there since. But so have two of my girl friends, who have been caring for me while I was sick. Have we a large house? Three rooms.
"Yes, papa is a Baptist preacher in Sheffield. He's not preaching at present, he's painting houses."
Both Mrs. Sellers and Coker denied the charge made against them. Sellers has three sons and a daughter living in Wakeeney. His first wife, whom he married when he was 32, died three years ago. Since then he has been in Kansas City. He says he is determined to prosecute.
Labels: courtroom, England, Fifth street, jail, Judges, Justice Ross, marriage, Seniors, sheffield
December 25, 1908
CALLS HER HUSBAND
Nineteen-Year-Old Susan Vauhn
Marries 74-Year-Old Man.
Groom, aged 74; bride, aged 19 -- such was a marriage solemnized at Independence Wednesday afternoon, Justice L. P. Anderson officiating. Benjamin Sellers, the groom, is sprightly and well preserved. His bride, who was Miss Susan Vaughn, a comely lass with red hair, is a picture of robust health. Her father is W. M. Vaughn of Sheffield. Mr. Sellers is an Englishman. In 1857 he entered the em ploy of General Tom Thumb as valet, with whom he traveled for fifteen years. He still has an old suit of clothes which belonged to the famous dwarf.
When seen yesterday at their home, 427 East Fifth street, Mr. and Mrs. Sellers were very happy. "I know it is something out of the ordinary," said Mrs. Sellers, "but it is no one's business but our own. Grandpa -- that is, my husband -- has been very good to me ever since I have known him. I am satisfied with him as a husband."
"Yes," said Mr. Sellers, "Susan, who has been my housekeeper since last May, has been a good one. I believe she will be a good wife. The reason? Well, you see, I am getting a little too old, and tho ught I ought to have someone to take care of me."
This is Mr. Sellers's second marriage. His first wife, whome he married when he was 32, died about three years ago. He has three sons and a daughter living at Wakeeney, Kas. He is a well-to-do man.
On New Year's day the couple will start out on a honeymoon tour. They expect to spend about three months in California and the West, after which they will return to Kansas City and purchase a home.
Labels: California, Fifth street, immigrants, Independence, Judges, Seniors, sheffield, wedding
December 24, 1908
MRS. MORASCH ASKS NEW TRIAL.
Attorney Declares He Has Found
Evidence to Clear Her.
After hearing arguments on the application for a new trial in the Sarah Morasch murder case yesterday morning Judge McCabe Moore of the district court, Kansas City, Kas., announced that he would withhold his decision for a few days. Mrs. Morasch is the woman who was convicted of sending a box of poisoned candy to the home of Charles Miller on Cheyenne avenue, Kansas City, Kas., which resulted in the death of Ruth Miller, a 4-year-old girl.
The jury that tried her returned a verdict of murder in the first degree. Her attorney, Daniel Maher, asked for a new trial on the grounds that he had found new evidence which he argued was sufficient to clear her.
Labels: attorney, Death of Ruth Miller, Judges, Kansas City Kas, murder
December 16, 1908
THIS LEAGUE HELPS CONVICTS.
Society for the Friendless Will Hold
Annual Convention Here.
A league that is doing wonderful work of reclamation among criminals is the Society of the Friendless, which will hold its eighth annual meeting at the Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, December 17 and 18.
Beginning Thursday evening with addresses by Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., Judge T. F. Garver and the Rev. Charles M. Sheldon, D. D., the society will hold three sessions. Friday morning will be known as prison workers' conference and the speakers will be wardens, chaplains, prison and jail workers, ministers and superintendents of the society. The annual business meeting of the society will be held Friday afternoon. All interested in prison work are invited to attend the sessions.
The society is incorporated and working in seven states, and finding a foothold in three others. The general offices are in Topeka, where two temporary homes are conducted. Rev. Edward A. Fredenhagen is the general superintendent and organizer. The society is a member of the American Prison congress.
The purpose of the society is the prevention and cure of crime, reclamation and restoration of the criminal and the relief of the friendless and distressed. Work is secured for every ex-convict without friends or home.
Various departments are prevention of crime, prison reform, jail and prison evangelism, prisoners' aid and the temporary home. The society and its work is sustained by private subscriptions. Last year $11,792 was contributed.
The society has 6,000 members and nineteen leagues in existence. The First Friend is the official organ of the society, and it is published quarterly.
Labels: charity, churches, jail, Judges, Mayor Crittenden, ministers, organizations
December 6, 1908
SCHOOL TEACHERS CHEERED.
Not Wrong to Seal Lips of Whisper-
ing Pupil With Court Plaster.
Miss Edith Wirt, the Rosedale school teacher recently arrested for sealing the lips of a whispering pupil with courtplaster, was yesterday given a hearing before Judge M. H. Newhall, in the south division of the city court, Kansas City, Kas. After hearing the evidence, Miss Wirt was completely exonerated from any blame. In dismissing the charge against her, Judge Newhall stated that he felt like taxing the costs of the prosecution against the complaining witness. He said that he at one time had been a school, and that the courtplaster treatment for troublesome pupils was easy.
The decision of the court was received with applause by about thirty school teachers who attended the hearing.
Labels: courtroom, Judges, Kansas City Kas, schools, women
December 4, 1908
HIS MOTHER MARRIED A NEGRO.
But 6-Year-Old Boy's Black Step-
father Provides for Him.
The action of a white man against his former wife for the custody of their 6-year-old son was dismissed yesterday by Acting Probate Judge J. S. Hynes in Kansas City, Kas. The wife, after the husband had secured a divorce from her, married a negro. The child is being sent to a white school by its black stepfather, and, according to a number of witnesses who testified at the examination, is being well provided for.
As the laws of Kansas permit intermarriage between the whites and blacks, Judge Hynes held that he had no right to interfere in the case at issue, inasmuch as there was no evidence to show that the child was being neglected.
Labels: children, custody, Divorce, Judges, Kansas City Kas, race
November 26, 1908
QUESTIONED WALLACE'S RIGHT.
Judge Replies to Lawyers That He'll
Make a Statement.
Two attorneys, in the course of trials in the criminal court yesterday, questioned the right of Judge W. H. Wallace to sit. In both cases the judge made reply that he was legally in possession of the office, adding that he would make a statement of the reasons for his holding to the office on Friday morning.
A panel of 150 jurors has been drawn for service in the criminal court next week, indicating that Judge Wallace intends to proceed with the trial of cases.
It has been suggested to Judge Ralph S. Latshaw that he assume the bench and then put the burden of a suit upon Judge Wallace. But friends of Judge Latshaw say he will not do this, for fear of making Wallace appear as a martyr. So the quo warranto course seems the likeliest at this time.
The grand jury, according to A. O. Harrison, special prosecutor, is to resume its sessions on Friday.
Labels: criminal court, Judge Latshaw, Judge Wallace, Judges
November 25, 1908
BEFRIEND THE DEFENSELESS.
Purpose of a Parole Board Council
Will Be Asked to Create.
An ordinance is to go to the council next Monday night providing for the appointment of a pardon and parole board, of three members, by the mayor. It was drawn by Frank P. Walsh of the tenement commission, along lines of a measure that was to have been drafted into the new city charter, but which was overlooked. Judge J. V. C. Karnes and W. P. Borland, who served on the board of freeholders, have approved the Walsh plan. It applies to prisoners sent to the work house.
The three members of the board are to determine their terms of office by lot, their terms to be one, two and three years. They are to appoint a secretary, who shall attend daily the sessions of the municipal court and keep the board advised as to the character of cases disposed of. The board is to serve witohout compensation., as shall an attorney if it is thought necessary to appoint one. The pay of the secretary is to be regulated by ordinance.
Authority is given the board to specify conditions under which any prisoner may be paroled or pardoned. Paroled prisoners will at all times be under the control of the board. The secretary is held responsible to safeguard and defend prisoners when they are arraigned in court. The measure is principally for the benefit of boys and women who get into police court and are unable to properly present their defense.
Labels: attorney, Congressman Borland, Judges, parole board, tenement commission, workhouse
November 15, 1908
MOTORMAN'S POETRY WINS
A PUNCH IN THE NECK.
He Wrote It to His Mother-in-Law
About His Domestic
If a man writes poetry every week to his mother-in-law is her son justified in striking him? Such was the interesting ethical point that Festus O. Miller, justice of the peace, was called upon to decide yesterday morning.
This is the way it all happened. A. S. Abercrombie is a motorman on the Holmes street line and he is married to the daughter of Mrs. C. W. Bradley, 2318 Holmes street. Every week, it was brought out in the trial, Mrs. Bradley received a letter from her son-in-law inclosing some samples of alleged poetry, of which the following will be as much as the average reader can stand:
"I see my Lily is true to me
And will be good to her, you see;
If she don't make me me climb a tree
Some day my fortune she will see.
--By A. S. Abercrombie."
Since the Lily referred to was Mrs. Bradley's daughter, she stood the trial reading these versus without complaining very much. But soon Abercrombie began sending the verses in the form of a newspaper, written in long hand and called by him "The Bradley-Abercrombie Journal." In one of these the following effusion was offered:
"You thought I had money was the reason why
You proposed for your daughter to marry me,
But that's where you got left, you see."
Mrs. Bradley showed this poem to her son, William. The young man boarded his brother-in-law's car at Eighth and Walnut streets and rode out to Howard avenue, quarreling on the way. At Howard he struck the motorman with his fist.
"That was a very serious offense," said Justice Miller. "By striking the motorman while the car was in motion, you not only committed an assault, but you endangered the lives of all the passengers on the car. However, considering the nature of your provocation, I shall make your sentence a light one. One dollar and costs is your fine."
Labels: Holmes street, Judges, marriage, poetry, streetcar, violence
November 13, 1908
WOULDN'T PROSECUTE FATHER.
Mary Greathouse Refused to Appear,
and He Was Set Free.
The case of the state agaisnt Perry Greathouse, the merchant policeman who shot his daughter, Mary, at his home, October 21, was dismissed in the South division of the city court, Kansas City, Kas., yesterday morning. When the case was called neither Mrs. Greathouse nor the daughter would appear in behalf of the prosecution and Judge M. H. Newhall ordered the defendant discharged.
The shooting of Miss Greathouse by her father was not intentional, the bullet fired being aimed at the mother. The girl jumped in between her mother and father, just as the latter pulled the trigger of the revolver.
Labels: domestic violence, guns, Judges, Kansas City Kas
October 31, 1908
FOR COUNTY RECORDS.
County Court Decides In Fa-
vor of a Building.
One of the most important projects ever to be undertaken in Jackson county was assured yesterday when the county court decided to erect, adjoining the recorder's office on the north, a fireproof building to house all the records in that office.
At present the records are kept on wooden shelving, in a vault directly above the boiler room of the courthouse. That is, some of the records are. Others are stacked about the office with no protection from fire.
The records in this office contain every land transaction in the county. Should they be destroyed, endless litigation would result to clear titles. Every person in Jackson county, who owns real estate is vitally interested in the project of a fireproof building.
The action of the county court was taken in response to a communication submitted by C. L. Flaugh, H. R. Ennis, F. McMillan, A. P. Nichols and L. S. C. Ladish, a committee appointed for the purpose by the Real Estate exchange.
It was decided by the court that the proposed addition could be built at an expense of about $50,000, the money to come from the general revenues. A committee is to be named to investigate the new building erected by Chicago to house its records. Both that city, which lost all its records by fire and San Francisco, whose books met the same fate, have had much litigation over titles since the destruction of the records. Such a condition is also favorable to the formation of an abstract trust, with the consequent raising the rates to every one who conveys or buys property.
Judge C. E. Moss, who is much in favor of the building, is a candidate for re-election. To return him to the county court would mean a speedy consummation of the plan.
Labels: Chicago, county court, Judges
October 27, 1908
CONFESS MURDER OF
EDWARD CASSIDY AND THAD
DYER CAUGHT BY POLICE.
Went to Bassin's Shop to Rob Him
and Killed the Young Man When
He Interfered With
When Edward Cassidy and Thad Dyer entered the little shoe shop of Elle Bassin and his son, Nathan, 1221 West Twenty-fourth street, at 10 o'clock Saturday night, they were bent on robbery. The confession of Cassidy to Captain Walter Whitsett late yesterday afternoon settled that question. They figured no interference, but when Nathan Bassin objected and grappled with Cassidy, the latter said he drew a revolver and shot him dead.
The murder took place in the shoe shop at 10 o'clock Saturday night, and when it was discovered it was a mystery. It remained so until Sunday morning, when Patrolmen Fred Nissen and W. J. Graham got a clue which led to the arrest of Dyer and Cassidy. A grocer, William Doarn, at the southwest corner of Twenty-fourth and Mercier streets, remembered that the two men had been in his place just before the killing and had said, "If you see anything happen around here tonight you haven't seen us."
Dyer was the first to confess yesterday morning after being questioned a long while. Then he laid the crime on Cassidy and said: "We went into the the shop with the intention of trying on a pair of shoes and wearing them out without paying for them . When we started out the young man grabbed Casssidy and he shot him . Then we both ran."
PURPOSE WAS ROBBERY.
This story didn't sound, as there were no shoes for sale in the shop. Dyer stuck to his story until Cassidy confessed; then he said the latter's version was correct. Casssidy told the following story to Captain Whitsett and afterwards made a statement to I. B. Kimbrell, county prosecutor.
"We were broke and wanted some money. We met in Water's saloon on Southwest boulevard about 8:30 p. m. Then we visited different places until about 9:45 o'clock, when we decided to hold up the old shoemaker. We went to Doarn's grocery store, across from the shoeshop, and saw Will Doarn in the door. We asked him not to say anything about seeing us in the neighborhood if anything happened.
"I'M AWFULLY SORRY."
"Then we went across the street," continued Cassidy. "Dyer stood in the door of the shop as I entered and ordered 'Hands up." The young man grabbed me, and I shot him. I wanted to get away. That's all. I'm sorry, awful sorry. I never went into the thing with the intention of killing anybody."
Cassidy and Dyer both ran from the place immediately after the shooting and separated. Cassidy remained about the Southwest boulevard until late and then went home with a friend. He lives at 908 West Thirty-first street, and Dyer at 703 Southwest boulevard. Dyer said he went home.
Dyer is the son of Edward Dyer, a member of the Kansas City fire department. The father was at police headquarters insisting upon his son's innocence yesterday just after he had confessed his part in the murder.
Both men are well known to the police. Cassidy was recently arraigned in the municipal court by Sergeant Thomas O'Donnell on a charge of vagrancy. They were taken before Justice Festus O. Miller late yesterday afternoon and arraigned on a charge of murder in the first degree. They waived preliminary examination and were committed to the county jail without bond to await trial in the criminal court.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, grocers, Jews, Judges, Mercier street, murder, police, police headquarters, Prosecutor Kimbrell, saloon, Southwest boulevard, Thirty-first street, Twenty-fourth street
October 11, 1908
THEY WERE QUIETLY MARRIED.
Naturally So, Seeing That Neither
Bride Nor Groom Could Speak.
"They were very quietly married," Justice of the Peace Mike Ross said yesterday afternoon. And indeed they were, for neither of the two people spoke a word during the marriage ceremony. It was just a few minutes before 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon when three people strolled into the office of the recorder of deeds. A young man came first, followed by a young woman, and the mother of the girl bringing up the rear. Gazing around the large room until his eyes found the sign "Marriage Licenses" over a door in the corner he directed his steps thitherward.
Intuition on the part of the license clerk told him what the young couple had come for. The young man indicated that the sign language was the best he could do in the way of conversation, and the clerk nodded that he understood. Lester B. Honican, 23 years old, Cynthiana, Ky., and C. May Frank, 20 years, Wyandotte, Kas., was written on a piece of paper by the young man and the clerk filled out the necessary papers.
Honican then wrote the words "justice of the peace." and Justice Ross was summoned. The gentleman who has officiated in hundreds of court house marriages forsook the ceremony he has used so often and asked each of the parties one short question, which was written on a slip of paper and the parties read it. The marriage of the deaf mutes yesterday was said to have been the first silent marriage ceremony ever performed in the court house.
Labels: hearing impaired, Judges, Justice Ross, wedding
September 24, 1908
GOOD NAME GONE;
NEIGHBORS SHUN HIM.
NONE OF THEM WOULD GO ON
Finally Lawyers Came to Rescue of
Man Who Is Accused of Forgery
and Attempted Wife
After much delay and no little impatience on the part of the many curious spectators who crowded the court room at Buckner, Mo., yesterday morning, W. A. Johnson, on trial on a charge of attempted wife murder, waived his preliminary hearing. He was bound over to the criminal court in $4,000 bond. Justice James Adams, before whom the case was called, at first placed the bond at $5,000.
"Your honor, don't you think that is a little stiff," asked T. A. J. Mastin, who represented the defendant. Our client can hardly raise $1,000."
After some argument, the matter being satisfactory to the state, the bond was lowered to $4,000. Then time was asked that the defendant might secure bondsmen. The judge granted one hour.
FRIENDS GONE -- ATTORNEYS HELP.
For several days previous to the trial Johnson had circulated among those who had been his friends in Buckner and Independence, trying to secure someone who would sign his bond. But when Tuesday came and he had no success he went among those in Buckner with whom he had never had business transactions, but to no avail. Sentiment in his home town is strongly against the man, and no one would give him help.
It was soon decided that no bondsmen could be secured and his attorneys, Mr. Masten and W. S. Fournoy, expressed their willingness to sign the bond. Immediately Johnson was released on bond he was rearrested on the charge of forgery, his wife declaring that he forged her name on a deed in January, 1908. As the warrant for his arrest on that charge had been sworn out in Independence, he was taken there by the marshal and the justice of the peace sought.
ARRESTED ON FORGERY CHARGES.
The party arrived at the court room late in the afternoon and the judge was not present; consequently the state expressed its willingness to let Johnson have his freedom under guard until the bond could be fixed this morning. Johnson's attorneys have signified their intention of signing the bond.
Johnson has aged remarkably within the past month. His extreme nervous manner has increased, and while the complaint which charged him with having struck his sleeping wife with the desire to kill her was being read by the judge, the defendant nervously fingered his hat and his hands trembled violently.
Mrs. Johnson, the victim of the assault, has been improving rapidly and is no longer confined to her bed. Yesterday afternoon in the presence of Prosecuting Attorney I. B. Kimbrell; his assistant Will Carmody, and her attorney, J. G. Paxton, she reviewed the whole case. Once, in telling of her endeavors to win Johnson from the kind of life which he had been leading, the woman, now wrinkled and still suffering from her severe wound, broke down and sobbed.
MRS. JOHNSON IN TEARS.
"Oh, why did he do it? He knew that he was breaking my heart." It was some minutes before she regained control of herself. The story of the life which she had been forced to endure within the past two years moved her vastly, and she could scarcely talk at times.
"When I first learned that he was associating with a Mrs. Howard of Kansas City, I went to him and begged him to leave her and come back to me," she said. "But he would not do it, and he tried to deceive me. It was always business that called him to the city every morning, and it was business that kept him there almost all of every week.
"In February of last year he insisted that I go to our ranch in Mexico. I did not want to go, but he was so urgent that I finally gave in to him, as I always did. He gave me $8 to spend on that month's trip, and I did not hear from him but once. I did not know then that he had been in Colorado with this other woman, but the night that I got home I heard that he had returned the day before.
SEARCHED HIS POCKETS.
"Something made me go through his pockets that night, and I found a receipted bill from the Savoy hotel in Denver made out to W. A. Johnson and Mrs. Howard of Kansas City. The bill was a very large one. I have it now.
"The next day I asked him how long he had been in Denver and hinted that I knew all about it. He did not say anything at all. But from time to time he would go away on long business trips and take this woman with him. In Mexico, where he usually went, I had friends, and they recognized him and Mrs. Howard. They told me about it, but I could not say anything to Dode (her husband's nickname) about it. Finally things got so bad that I told him I was going to leave him after threshing this fall and that we would divide up the property equally and he would go his way and I would go mine. Nothing was said by him to that proposition.
"When the wheat crop was in he got about $1,800 for it. I asked him for $25 to buy a new dress, and though he always promised it, he gave me less than half of the $25. Most of that I spent for things for him.
"But before then he had signed my name to a deed which transferred $1,000 worth of property. I never saw one cent of that money. He promised that he would make it all right, but he never did. I never threatened him with exposure, but he knew that I knew of the forgery. It made him afraid.
"Less that a month before that night (she referred so to the night of the assault) Dode came to me and told me he was going back to Mexico to settle up the ranch business. I told him that he would have to take me. He did not want to do so, but I said that I would follow him on the next train if he went without me. He wouldn't be able to lose me like he did his little niece whom I sent to Mexico to take care of him last fall. But he did not go and nothing more was said about the trip up to that night."
BOUGHT HOUSE FOR WOMAN.
Such, in part, is the story which Mrs. Johnson told her attorneys. She told about other women in Kansas City with whom Johnson had lived, one in particular. She said thatJohnson bought an expensive house for this woman on Bales avenue and furnished it luxuriously, with chairs which cost $150 apiece. But Johnson did not pay the bills he contracted in Buckner, she said. She always opened his mail and knew, for he could not read.
The prosecutor and those associated with him have no doubt that they can convict Johnson on both charges. They say that the forgery is a clear cut case and there is no way out of that. Though the assault case is purely circumstantial, Mr. Kimbrell believes that Johnson's own statement will convict him.
The state is very anxious to get the assault case to trial within the next two weeks and will make every effort to do so. Meanwhile, in Buckner, W. A. Johnson, once the most respected man in the community, walks the streets and is shunned by those who once called him their friend. He said yesterday that he intended spending the greater part of his time on his farm near the town.
Labels: Buckner, courtroom, Denver, domestic violence, forgery, Johnson assault case, Judges, lawyer, marriage, Mexico, Prosecutor Kimbrell
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