January 31, 1910
HOW JUSTICE ROSS
MADE HIS FORTUNE.
DONOR OF MONEY TO MA-
HONEY CHILDREN WAS
ONCE A LAMPLIGHTER.
Formed Partnership With
John Mahoney Twenty-
Five Years Ago.
Justice Michael Ross, of Kansas City, who in the Wyandotte county, Kansas, probate court Saturday gave the children of his dead partner, John Maloney, $50,000, was born in Cincinnati, O., December 19, 1859. His father, Alexander Ross, came to Kansas City in 1866 to aid in the erection of the first gas plant the city had. In June a year later, the family followed him, coming from St. Louis by boat.
"The Missouri was full of boats in those days," said Justice Ross last night, "and was the principal means of navigation between here and St. Louis. Kansas City had a real wharf and it was a busy one."
Two brothers, William J. and James Ross, and a younger sister constituted the children at that time. James was drowned while swimming in the Missouri river in 1872.
"We attended a little frame public school down in the East Bottoms just opposite what was known as Mensing Island," said Justice Ross. "Later we went to Washington school which still stands at Independence avenue and Cherry street. A ward school education was as high as one could go in those days unless he went away, and that was all we received."
After the erection of the gas plant Justice Ross and his brother William secured positions as lamp lighters. It required them to get up at all hours of the night, according to the condition of the weather and the fullness of the moon, both to light and turn out the street lamps. After doing this work at night Justice Ross worked all day on an ice wagon for J. E. Sales. Later on he worked in the old Davis brick yard, which stood about where the Zenith mill now stands in the East Bottoms.
Justice Ross always had in view the day when he would go into business for himself -- be his own boss. With his savings and some help from his mother he started a little grocery and general store on the levee at First and Campbell streets in 1874. After a time his brother, William, was taken into partnership, but remained but a few years. The latter for several terms was a member of the city council.
BOUGHT OTHER STORES.
As the city began to grow away from the river, Justice Ross saw better opportunities and opened a grocery store at 1401-3 East Fifth street, at Lydia avenue, and later another at 1100-2 East Fifth street, at Troost avenue. These two stores were money makers and enabled him later to branch out along other lines.
In September, 1888, Justice Ross was married to Miss Bessie Egan. All of their children, seven boys and four girls, are living, the oldest daughter being away at school near Cincinnati, and the oldest boy at St. Mary's, Kas. Six of the nine children at home attend the Woodland school.
"I knew John Mahoney from the day he came here with the C. & A. railroad," Justice Ross said. "He was doing small jobs of grading in those days and his mother went with him over the country. They used to trade with us at the little store on the levee and when in town Mahoney and his mother stopped at our home."
It was almost twenty-five years ago that Mahoney and Ross went into partnership and the latter has been a silent partner ever since, Mahoney seeing to most of the details and looking after the work. Justice Ross also had other interests, such as tree planting, and planted the trees around the finest residences and along many of the prettiest boulevards. In speaking of some of the work done by himself and Mr. Mahoney, the justice said:
"We built all of the Southwest boulevard, also Fifteenth street, doing the grading work. Roanoke boulevard is another piece of our work, as was the ill-fated Cliff drive, where poor John and his wife met such a tragic fate. We did lots of work on the country roads in Jackson county and built almost all of the roads in Wyandotte county, besides many of the brick-paved streets.
LARGE CONTRACT WORK.
"We also did much work away from here, such as government work on the levee at New Orleans, county roads in Southern Indiana and railroad grading in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado. Mahoney was a man who made friends wherever he went. I just received a letter from Indiana asking if he and McGuire were the same men who were there asking for all particulars."
As Justice Ross's business ventures thrived he found it impossible to give the time required to his two grocery stores, and a few years ago he disposed of them. Previous to that, however, he had established the Missouri Carriage and Wagon works at 308-10 Broadway, which he still operates.
For many years he has been buying property and erecting modern flats thereon. He does not build flats to sell, but he keeps them for what they bring in. When Admiral boulevard was cut through at Virginia avenue, Justice Ross owned a big row of old flats immediately in the right of way. They are brick and their moving back was the biggest job of that kind ever done in this city. He made them modern and is erecting more flats near them.
The prettiest and most costly structure erected by Justice Ross is a flat building at Benton boulevard and St. John avenue, on a promontory overlooking the entire city. He owns forty or more pieces of improved property in the city.
In the fall of 1898 Michael Ross ran for justice of the peace on the Democratic ticket and was elected. Since then he has held the office for three terms, twelve years, winning each time with ease. He said last night, however, that he would not seek the office again. He intends to build a big home in the southern part of the city and he and Mrs. Ross will devote their time to their children. He now lives at 626 Troost avenue.
"John Mahoney almost decided to go to Jacksonville, Fla., with our party," said the Justice. "The ground was frozen and he could not work. But he was such a home-loving man he hated to leave his family, even for a day. I had a premonition when I left that something would happen. When I got the wire the first thing I thought of was his automobile. We did not get the particulars, however, until we got a paper at Memphis, and did not get full particulars and learn that McGuire was killed and the others hurt until we got The Journal at Paola, Kas.
Labels: business, Campbell street, East bottoms, grocers, history, Independence avenue, Justice Ross, New Orleans, politics, public works, real estate, schools, St Louis, Troost avenue, Utilities
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 25, 1910
3 KILLED, 3 HURT
WHEN AUTO SKIDS
OVER CLIFF DRIVE.
MACHINE DROPS EIGHTY FEET
AND IS DEMOLISHED
John Mahoney and Wife and
Thomas McGuire the
WRECKED AUTO WHICH PLUNGED OVER EMBANKMENT ON CLIFF DRIVE, KILLING THREE.
Three persons were killed and three, who by a miraculous streak of providence escaped death, were injured yesterday afternoon when a large automobile plunged over an eighty-foot embankment on the Cliff drive, at Scarritt's Point. The dead:
John Mahoney, aged 51, grading contractor, 616 North Seventh street, Kansas City, Kas.
Mrs. John Mahoney, aged 46 years.
Thomas McGuire, 50, a foreman for Mr. Mahoney; resided at 53 South Forest avenue, Kansas City, Kas. Father of six children.
John O'Connor, 42 years old, of Fifty-first street and Swope parkway.
Miss Nellie Mahoney, 19 years old, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Mahoney.
Lillian, 6-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Mahoney.
The O'Connors also have two other children, John, age 8, and Anna, age 13, who were in school at the time of the fatal crash which claimed their parents.
The accident is ascribed to a slippery condition of the driveway, water which trickled from the cliff having frozen. The machine, in rounding the curve at Scarritt's point, evidently skidded on the ice toward the precipice at the outer edge of the drive. Mahoney, who was the contractor that had charge of the grading work on this scenic drive, was driving the car. He evidently tried to steer it toward the cliff, with the result that t he heavy rear end of the car was thrown completely around, the rear wheels crashing through a fence and over the abyss.
At the point where the machine went over the cliff there is a sheer descent of probably forty feet, with probably forty feet more of steep hillside ending in an accumulation of boulders. Tracks in the roadway showed where the rear wheels of the car had backed over the precipice and the entire car was precipitated upon the rocks below, alighting on its side and crushing two of the victims. The others either landed on the rocks or were caught in the wreckage.
The scene of the accident is just above and a little to the southeast of the Heim brewery and the men who witnessed the tragedy, or who were attracted by the piteous cries of the victims, rushed to the place and gave first aid to the injured. Police from No. 8 station, who were notified, carried the injured down the cliff, which owing to the slippery condition of the ground, is almost impassable even for pedestrians, placed them in the police ambulance and hurried them to hospitals. The dead were removed later to undertaking establishments, the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Mahoney being taken to the Leo J. Stewart parlors and that of Mr. McGuire to Carroll-Davidson's.
BODIES UNDER CAR.
The scene following the tragedy was a sickening and pitiable one. the first persons to arrive found pinioned under the wreckage of the big motor car the mangled bodies of Mr. Mahoney, Mr. McGuire, Mr. O'Connor and the two girls. Mrs. Mahoney lay on the rocks at the rear of the machine unconscious, but still alive. She expired within ten minutes. Mr. Mahoney and Mr. McGuire were killed outright evidently.
The younger daughter of the Mahoneys still grasped a doll which she had carried in her arms in the machine and, gazing upon the forms of her parents as they lay still puon the frozen ground she cried piteously:
"I want my papa, I want my mamma."
It was with difficulty that she was induced to leave the spot and her childish grief brought tears to the eyes of every bystander. Miss Mahoney was dazed badly. She talked little, though seeming to partially realize what had happened, and just before she was placed in the police ambulance she was prostrated. Mr. O'Connor also was dazed, though he walked about and declared he was not hurt.
TWO SEE ACCIDENT.
Daniel Ferhnback, 19 years old, of 28 Bigelow street, just below Scarritt's Point, with Thomas Nelligan, 10 years old, were eye-witnesses to the accident. Ferhnback was chopping wood in his yard and the Nelligan boy was with him when they glanced up and saw the machine go over the brink of the hill.
"It was terrible," said Ferhnback. "The rear end went over first and the whole thing fell down into the hollow. It was done so quickly I hardly knew what had happened, but it seemed to me that the machine partly turned over. The noise sounded like a bunch of sewer pipe falling and hitting something."
For a moment, Ferhnback said, he scarcely knew what to do. Then he heard a cry, "O, God! O, God! " It was Mr. O'Connor pinioned under the car.
Ferhnback and his boy companion at once started up the hill but Nelligan, being more nimble, arrived at the top first. The boy took one look at the mass of twisted iron and wood and at the blood covered bodies under and about the machine and he ran back the winding path to where Ferhnback was hurrying up.
"It's awful," said the boy, covering his face with his hands as if to shut out the sight.
CRASH IS HEARD.
About the time that Ferhnback and Nelligan were horrified to see the machine plunge over the cliff, M. G. Givson, of 2026 Charlotte street, was walking along the Chicago & Alton tracks, far below the Cliff drive. He hears a crash but paid no attention to it and was startled by the screams of a woman, evidently one of the Mahoney sisters. He also rushed up the hill, arriving about the time that Ferhnback reached the top.
Mr. Gibson picked up the little Mahoney child and bandaged her head with handkerchiefs. Mrs. Mahoney lay free of the car, and Mr. Gibson said that she still breathed when he arrived. He took one of the cushions which had been hurled from the automobile and placed it under the woman's head, but within ten minutes she was dead.
Miss Nellie Mahoney was carried to one side by the two men, who made her as comfortable as possible. Mr. O'Connor lay with one leg pinioned under a rear wheel of the car, a short distance from the body of Mrs. Mahoney. Mr. Gibson and Mr. Ferhnback managed to lift the rear portion of the car enough to extricate the man and Mr. O'Connor immediately got up and walked about, declaring that he had no pain and that he was all right.
The accident happened at 3:15 o'clock. It was not so very many minutes later that Mr. Gibson, having done everything he could to help the injured, ran to No. 8 police station, 3001 Guinotte street. Sergeant Edward McNamara, Patrolman Gus Metzinger and Motorcycleman George A. Lyon responded at once. They were joined later by Park Policeman W. F. Beabout and the police carried the two Mahoney girls and assisted Mr. O'Connor down the cliff to the ambulance.
Coroner B. H. Zwart went in peerson to view the bodies, and he summoned undertakers. It was 5 o'clock before the bodies finally were removed, the conditions in the vicinity of the scene of the horror making it difficult to carry the bodies out.
Even the coroner, accustomed as he is to such things, was moved at the horror of the scene. Mr. Mahoney lay crushed under the car and a piece of the spokes of the machine was found to have penetrated his adbomen.
The Point, which is the highest on the Cliff drive, lies under the shadow of the north side of the cliff. the sun does not strike there, save during a small portion of the day, and water which runs down the hill is frozen, as it trickles across the roadway, into a mass of treacherous ice, making it difficult for motor cars without ice clutches to round the curve at that point without skidding.
Mr. Mahoney, who was driving the machine, sat in the front seat with Mr. McGuire, and the others sat in the rear seat. The car was a seven-passenger Pierce-Arrow. The tracks in the driveway show that the machine came round the curve well within the middle of the roadway and away from the precipice. It is probable that Mahoney had noticed the slippery condition of the pavement and purposely kept away from the brink.
When the fatal stretch of ice was reached, however, the auto was shown to have skidded greatly toward the chasm and the theory is that Mahoney, in order to avoid the very thing which happened, headed his car toward the inside of the road. If he did, he miscalculated terribly, for this swung the heavy rear of the car around over the edge of the cliff and the ill-fated occupants were hurled down up the rocks. The wooden fence, through wh ich the auto smashed, was erected as a warning to daring motorists. It went out as if made of egg shell.
That the machine did not take fire and add to the horror is believed to have been due to a final effort of Mr. Mahoney. the engine was found to have been shut down entirely, and it is believed that Mr. Mahoney automatically pulled his lever as the machine shot backward over the precipice.
At the emergency hospital, whither the two Mahoney girls and Mr. O'Connor were removed, it was stated last evening that Mr. O'Connor's case is the least serious of any of the injured. He sustained a wound on the back of his head and some bruises. He probably will recover.
After being removed to the hospital, little Lillian Mahoney lapsed into a coma and Miss Nellie Mahoney became hysterical. It was stated that neither of the girls knew that their parents are dead. It was feared neither could stand the shock.
The condition of both the girls is regarded as serious. Miss Nellie sustained a dislocation of one of the shoulders, a fracture of the right arm and bruises about the body.
The younger girl received a bad cut about the back of the head and bruises about the body. Both girls are suffering terribly from nervous shock, and this is what makes their cases so grave.
It was said at St. Margaret's hospital at midnight that Lillian Mahoney is probably fatally injured. The child is under the effects of opiates. It is belived her skull is fractured.
BUILT THE DRIVEWAY.
Mr. Mahoney executed the grading work on the very driveway where he, with his wife, met death. It is said that he was familiar with every foot of the ground along the roadway and that because of the pride which he took in the work he particularly liked taking a spin in his machine along the course.
The ill-fated machine was purchased by Mr. Mahoney from the estate of Mrs. Mary S. Dickerson, who died. It is said that Mr. Mahoney paid $3,500 for the car.
FRIENDS SHOW SYMPATHY.
A telegram telling of the death of Mr. Mahoney was dispatched late last night to his old schoolmate and business partner, Justice Michael Ross, who is now visiting in Jacksonville, Fla. Mrs. Ross went to the residence of the dead contractor last night and arranged to take charge of the children.
"My husband and Mr. mahoney were lifelong friends. I know if Michael were here he would want me to take care of the children and and give them a temporary or even a permanent home," Mrs. Ross said.
Annie and Johnny Mahoney heard about the catastrophe at 4:30 o'clock in the afternoon. They were overwhelmed with grief.
CHILD PREDICTED ACCIDENT.
"Oh, I told papa not to buy that auto. I told him all along it would lead to some accident," sobbed the girl.
The boy, four years younger, soon quieted himself and began to assure his sister. The children were taken last night to the Ross home, where they may stay permanently.
Labels: accident, automobiles, children, Cliff drive, Coroner Zwart, death, Guinotte avenue, Justice Ross, police
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
November 24, 1909
WOMAN ACCUSED OF MURDER.
Charge of Felonious Assault in
Bonnell Case to Be Changed.
The charge against Mrs. Sadie Geers in connection with the shooting of Harry Bonnell Sunday, will be changed today from felonious assault to second degree murder, as a consequence of Bonnell's death this morning.
Mrs. Geers was arraigned Monday in Justice Ross's court on the first charge, and her preliminary hearing set for Friday. This charge will be dismissed today. Mrs. Geers is in jail.
Labels: jail, Justice Ross, murder
October 13, 1909
BIG PARADE HELD IN
HONOR OF COLUMBUS.
ITALIAN SOCIETIES COMMEM-
Replica of Santa Maria, With "In-
dians" Aboard, a Feature --
Music and Speeches at
Columbus day, commemorating the discovery of America on October 12, 1492, was celebrated in Kansas City yesterday for the first time. A bill making October 12 a legal holiday passed the last legislature.
As the great "Christopher Colombo" was an Italian, born in Genoa, Italy, the Italians of Kansas City took the lead yesterday in celebrating the day. Ever since July 4 last the representative Italians of the city have been working on a monster parade, and yesterday the people viewed the result of their labors. The parade formed at the Holy Rosary church, Fifth and Campbell streets, and was headed by a line of carriages. In the first were Mayor Crittenden, Justice Michael Ross and Michael E. Casey, the state senator who drew up the bill making October 12 a holiday. Judge Harry G. Kyle, W. H. Baehr, city treasurer, and other city officials were in the other carriages with representative Italian citizens. Following these were members of many Italian lodges and societies.
SANTA MARIA IN PARADE.
The most attractive feature of the parade was a replica of the Santa Maria, the boat on which Columbus sailed to America. On board were sailors and "Indians." Frank Bascone, dressed to represent Columbus, stood in the boat, telescope in hand, apparently searching for land. Four bands were in the line of march.
After forming at Fifth and Campbell the parade went south to Sixth street, east on Sixth to Gillis, north on Gillis to Fifth and west to Walnut street, thus traversing the very heart of the Italian quarter known as "Little Italy." Crowds lined both sides of the street through the entire North End.
The line of march was continued down Walnut street to Sixteenth, on that street to Grand avenue and thence to the City garden, about Nineteenth and Grand, where the real celebration was held. Mayor Crittenden, Senator Casey and Judge Kyle made speeches in English, the best they could do. Speeches in Italian were made by Professor G. G. Langueri, Rev. Father John Marchello and Rev. Maxdano, minister of the Italian Evangelist church.
Labels: Campbell street, churches, Fifth street, holidays, immigrants, Judge Kyle, Justice Ross, Mayor Crittenden, ministers, North end, parades
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
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
June 22, 1908
MINISTERS CALL ON BROWN.
Says He Expects to Go to Prison for
Since his arrest last Friday night on a charge of issuing worthless checks the Rev. C. S. L. Brown has made his peace with his Diety and is now calmly awaiting the outcome of his trial. Last night Mr. Brown said he expected to receive a penitentiary sentence. He was arraigned Saturday afternoon before Justice Michael Ross and held under a bond of $750. He has made no attempt to secure his release, and said that he did not care to ask his friends for help. If it is possible Brown intends to keep his mother in ignorance of his trouble until he is a free man. He said last night that he did not want his child to see him until he was out of jail.
In the same cell with the minister is Antonio W. Martin, the young Italian adventurer, who has gained some notoriety by his recent escapades. The two men had figured out the amount owed by the minister on account of the worthless checks he had passed.
That the unfrocked pastor still has friends who are willing to stick by him was shown yesterday by the number of persons who called at the county jail to see him. Among the visitors were four Christian ministers. Mr. Brown said last night that since he had resigned from his charge at Lee's Summit six weeks ago he had spent his time in drinking and gambling, but that he had now mastered these passions and believed when he got out of jail he would go forth a stronger man. He wants a place where he can be busy and not have time to think about the allurements of gambling.
Labels: gambling, immigrants, jail, Justice Ross, Lee's Summit, ministers
June 19, 1908
POLICE OFFER A CHIP AS
EVIDENCE AGAINST WIX.
Bit of Wood With Message on It Is
Placed in Hands of the
With a charge of murder in the first degree against him, Clark Wix was taken before the grand jury yesterday to testify in the investigation into the death of John Mason, a horse trader, who police claim was murdered by Wix on January 26. Mason's body was found in the Missouri river near Camden on May 31.
At a preliminary hearing before Justice of the Peace Mike Ross a few days ago, Wix was released on a $10,000 bond. Yesterday afternoon Wix was held in the witness room of the grand jury, but was not called to testify. He will be called again this morning. It is unusual for a grand jury to summon as a witness any person charged with the crime being investigated, and the attorneys for Wix believe the grand jury doubts whether the police have sufficient evidence to indict him.
According to the attorneys the grand jury probably intends to work along altogether different lines than the police have been working on. The police interested in the case were at the court house yesterday with their evidence against Wix. A small chip of wood was in the hands of the grand jury yesterday as evidence. The chip was found on Santa Fe street near Fifteenth by a man who desires the chip returned to him. Upon one side of the chip of wood was the word "Help" and "over," On the opposite side was the following: "Help -- I am in prison on an island one mile north of Quindaro. Was brought here by Clark Wix." The police believe the handwriting on the chip is that of John Mason, the murdered man.
Labels: Fifteenth street, Judges, Justice Ross, murder, Santa Fe street
June 5, 1908
CHARGED TO WIX.
PAWNED DEAD MAN'S WATCHES
MASON WAS IN WIX'S BARN.
ACCUSED MAN ALSO SUSPECTED
OF FANNING MURDER.
Was Once Before the Prosecutor to
Explain His Sudden Wealth
Shortly After Fanning
At 11 o'clock last night Clark Wix was formally charged with the murder of John ("Dutch") Mason, the horse trader who disappeared from here January 26 last. Mrs. Lizzie Mason, the murdered man's widow, and Maud Wilson, with whom he had lived, both went to Camden, Mo., yesterday and identified the body.
It was after hearing statements made by the women, after they had identified property pawned by Wix, that John W. Hogan, assistant prosecutor, concluded to charge Wix with murder in the first degree. The information was drawn and sworn to by Mrs. Lizzie Mason. Then it was filed with Justice Michael Ross and a warrant issued on which Wix will be arrested this morning. His statement is to be taken at police headquarters this morning. His arraignment will be later.
The body of Mason arrived in the city yesterday afternoon and was sent to the morgue of Freeman and Marshall, 3015 Main street. There is a large hole in Mason's skull on the right side at the base, and another behind the left ear. A deep fracture connects both holes. It is the opinion of Detectives Charles Halderman and James Fox, who have developed he case, that the murder was committed with a hammer. A search will be made for the weapon.
In looking over his pawn slips Fred Bailey, secretary to the inspector, found where Clark Wix had pawned two watches and, as Mason had a watch when he disappeared, Detective Ralph Trueman was sent to Silverman's pawn shop, 1215 Grand avenue, after the property. He came back with a man's hunting case watch and a woman's watch with a diamond in the back. He also got a diamond ring and an Elk ring from the same shop.
IT WAS HER WATCH.
Both Mrs. Mason and Maud Wilson quickly identified the man's watch as having been Mason's. They were not told of the other watch, and Mrs. Mason was asked if she ever possessed a watch.
"Yes," she said, "a small watch with a diamond in the back of the case." When shown the other watch which had been in pawn in Wix's name both women identified it immediately as Mrs. Mason's, and the Wilson woman said that Mason had the watch with him when he left that fatal Sunday, January 26.
According to the pawn sheets Wix pawned Mason's watch on February 10 and not until May 6 was Mrs. Mason's watch pledged. The police think that the diamonds in the Elk ring and other ring originally were part of Mason's horseshoe pin in which were fifteen stones, three large ones at the top and six smaller ones on each side.
John Hogan spent most of the night taking statements in the Wix case. Miss Wilson in her statement said that on April 26 last, her birthday, Clark Wix made her a present of a diamond ring. At the same time he had a stone set into a stud for himself. L. L. Goldman of 1307 Grand avenue, who set the two stones for Wix, also made a statement. Both persons said that the jewels were of almost the exact size of the three large stones in Mason's horseshoe pin. Miss Wilson said that when Wix gave h er the ring he said: "Now, if my wife ever finds out that I gave you this ring you must tell her that you bought it from me."
The third stone thought to have come from Mason's pin is believed now to be in an Elk charm worn my Wix when he was arrested.
CALLED FROM WIX'S BARN.
W. A. Marshall, a liveryman, said in his statement that on the Sunday Mason disappeared he called up from Wix's transfer barn, 1406 Walnut street, and said: "I'll be over with Wix to see you in a little while about buying that horse." But, though that was about 1 p. m., Mason never came.
James Conely and John Lewis, horseshoers at Fourteenth and Walnut streets, stated that they often saw John Mason about Wix's barn, which was directly across the street from them.
It was the intention to question Wix last night, but that had to be abandoned until today. Wix has not yet been informed that he is charged with murder. When arrested he asked no explanation, though it was 1 o'clock Wednesday morning, and since he has been held in the matron's room at headquarters he has taken no apparent interest in why he was locked up and no one allowed to see him.
QUESTIONED IN FANNING MURDER.
It developed yesterday that two months ago, on information furnished Detectives "Lum" Wilson and J. L. Ghent, Wix was taken before Prosecutor Kimbrell to be questioned in regard to the murder of Thomas W. Fanning, the aged recluse who was brutally killed with a hammer in his home, 1818 Olive street, December 31, 1906.
He was known to have hauled Mrs. Fanning to the general hospital, and it was reported that he said later: "Somebody is going to have to kill that old guy, Fanning, living all alone out there with all that coin." It was shortly after the Fanning murder that Wix went into business for himself, but in his statement at that time he said that his uncle, Clark Wix, postmaster of Butler, Mo., had furnished him the money. That matter will be reopened now.
Police Judge Harry G Kyle was yesterday retained by relatives to defend Clark Wix. Kyle comes from the same county, Bates, in which the Wix family live. All sorts of influence was brought to bear yesterday to get to see and talk to the prisoner, but Captain Walter Whitsett would not permit it.
THREATENED HABEAS CORPUS.
Thomas W. Wix, a farmer from near Yates Center, Kas., arrived yesterday and it was he and Clark Wix, the uncle from Butler, who retained Judge Kyle. Rush C. Lake, assistant attorney general, went to the station and, according to Captain Whitsett, threatened to sue out a writ of habeas corpus if not allowed to see Wix. He was told that such action would mean in immediate charge of murder and there it ceased. Then other lawyers tried the same tactics and failed.
In June, 1906, Clark Wix was married to Miss Harriet Way, a nurse at the general hospital, who had served barely one of her two years.. At that time Wix was driving an ambulance for the Carroll-Davidson Undertaking Company, which handled all the city dead from the hospital, and it was his frequent trips there that brought him in contact with his wife.
Miss Way lived near Shelbina, Mo., and it was reported soon after her marriage that her family came near ostracising her for what she had done. In about a year, however, Wix had diamonds of all kinds and frequently gave his wife gems until she was the envy of her nurse friends at the hospital. Mrs. Wix was not informed last night that her husband had been charged with murder.
When Clark Wix was examined by County Prosecutor I. B. Kimrell and City Detectives Lum Wilson and J. L. Ghent, shortly after the murder of Thomas Fanning in his home at 1818 Olive street, on New Year's eve, 1906, Wix was not plainly told what charge might be placed against him. No person, outside of Chief of Police John Hayes, Wix's wife, the detectives and the prosecutor knew that Wix was under arrest. None of Wix's political friends knew of it or made any effort to secure his release. In recalling the questioning of Wix at that time Mr. Kimbrell said last evening:
"We asked Wix how he came by diamonds he was wearing and how he found the wherewithal to purchase his teams and wagons. He showed us that the original story about his owning many large diamonds was an exaggeration and that he possessed only two small ones, and he proved that he held title to only three teams and a wagon or two. He told us the size of his salary and how much he had been saving out of it each week. We corroborated his explanation by his wife and the neighbors. We never told him he was held for the Fanning murder. We discovered that we had no case against him and dropped the matter without letting his name be connected with the murder."
Labels: Captain Whitsett, detectives, Fourteenth street, Grand avenue, jewelry, Judge Kyle, Justice Ross, murder, nurses, Olive street, Prosecutor Kimbrell, Walnut Street
June 2, 1908
ELOPED FROM POOR
FARM TO BE MARRIED.
WILLIAM MEADS AND BRIDE DE-
FIED COUNTY COURT.
He is 66 and the Bride, Formerly
Mrs. Eliza Anderson, Is 76.
They'll Live in a
Neither age nor circumstance can stand before the will of Dan Cupid. Among the twenty-one women in Kansas City who became brides yesterday, the earliest June bride of them allow as Mrs. William Thomas Meads, 76 years old, who, as Mrs. Eliza Anderson, eloped from the county poor farm with the groom in the early morning and was married at the court house at 10 o'clock by Justice Mike Ross. And among the twenty-one none is more happy or more thrilled with dreams of the future.
"The county court wouldn't let us marry at the farm," she explained last evening in the room at 727 Harrison street, which she and the groom rented for a week. "There is absolutely no sense in them not allowing us to get married, but since they wouldn't , we up and ran away. We were up at 5 o'clock, for it takes William a long time to get over the two miles to the station. The other women there bade me goodby last night.
"Now that we are here and married, we are ready to face the world again. We fled from it once. But William has saved his salary as librarian, and I have many friends in Kansas City. We are going to open a little confectionery store and live in a room in the back. We are certain that we can make a living and are never going back to the poor farm.
"They never treated William right out at the farm. He had charge of the library and had to be on his feet day and night to answer two telephones. And they only gave him $5 a month. He can make lots more than that in Kansas City."
The bride, who had been standing back of Meads's chair, here stopped her flow of talk to push her spectacles back on her forehead, stoop, put an arm around Meads's neck and kiss him on the brow. The old man petted her with his one able hand.
"She's a mighty good little woman," he put in. "Don't you dare to poke fun of her in your paper."
"No," interrupted the bride, straightening suddenly. "It is an outrage the way we have been treated. People seem to think our running away is a joke. I've just as much right to get married as I had fifty years ago. I'm an old settler in Kansas City. I have been here forty years. My husband died twenty years ago and I went to work for Bullene, Moore, Emery & Company. I was with them a long time until I got the asthma so that I couldn't work nor live in the city. So I went out to the farm where the air is pure. I know some of the finest people in Kansas City. Two members of the grand jury, who visited the home, recognized me and were astonished. I told them it is no disgrace to be on the poor farm. It's no crime to be poor, after one has worked hard for years and years, as I did. It's just inconvenient.
"William and I are going to start life all over again, aren't we, William?"
The groom gave a "yes" pat with his hand.
That is about all -- Oh, yes, there is the groom. William Meads is 66 years old and paralyzed on one side. He fought during the entire civil war under General Joseph Shelby. After the rebellion he was employed for fifteen years on a Kansas City evening newspaper During the latter part of the period he was foreman of the composing room. When he was stricken with paralysis he went to the poor farm. He has better use of his right arm and leg now than he had ten years ago, but his general health has been worn down by the passing of years. he did not attempt to rise from his chair either to greet or bid farewell to his visitor.
Labels: Civil War, courthouse, Harrison street, Justice Ross, libraries, poor farm, romance, Seniors, veterans, wedding
January 17, 1908
HE LIKED MURDER STORIES.
Grant Figs Delighted in the Reading
of Crimes of Blood.
Ellis Mitchell, a son of Israel Mitchell, at whose house at 2211 Lydia avenue Grant Figgs, confessed murderer of two people, lived for a while before his arrest, was examined by Deputy Prosecutor John W. Hogan yesterday afternoon and his statement was taken in short-hand, transcribed and signed. He repeated his first story, that Figs frequently asked him to read newspaper accounts of murders and other crimes. Figs seemed excited at hearing the details of killings and often sat with his eyes on the door for some time afterwards.
When the officers went to Mitchell's house yesterday they found the entire family hidden in the basement. It was only after repeated knocking that there was a response. The negroes said that they feared some of Figg's friends had come to kill them for telling on him. The police promised to protect them in the future.
Israel Mitchell told Hogan that Figs had a habit of hiding in the basement whenever anyone knocked at the door. Both the Mitchells identified the hammer found in Woodman's store, at 1112 East Eighteenth street as their hammer, which Figs had secured possession of before the murder of Woodman.
Figs was arraigned in Justice Mike Ross's court yesterday afternoon on two murder charges, one for the killing of H. O Woodman at 1112 East Eighteenth street, August 28, 1907, and one for the beating to death of Edward Landman of 1107 East Eighteenth street, on November 25. Figs declined to plead in either case, and the hearing in both was set for Saturday afternoon. James A. Dyer, George Burgman and Deputy Prosecutor Hogan escorted him from the county jail to the justice court and back.
The arraignment was held in the justice court, instead of direct in the criminal court, says John George, clerk of the justice court, because Figs wants all the time possible. Figs has no attorney yet, and no money.
Claude Brooks was taken from the county jail to police headquarters for a few minutes yesterday afternoon, photographed, measured and his fingerprints made. He will be arraigned either in the criminal court or in a justice court this afternoon for the murder of his benefactor, Sid Herndon, at the Navarro flats.
Labels: courtroom, Eighteenth street, Judges, Justice Ross, Lydia avenue, murder, newspapers, retailers
December 2, 1908
ANTONE HEARD HIS GOAT CRY.
But His Neighbor Had Her Locked in
Cellar With Bulldog.
"I don't want de damage. I want my goat back. She one good goat to milk in all de Kansas Cit'. My lawyer friend say I must replevin." Antone Bongiorno, who lives a stone's throw toward the sunrise from the Holy Rosary Church, was talking to Justice Mike Ross.
"Yes, your lawyer friend is right," said the justice. "You can replevin the goat. But you will have to wait until tomorrow, this is New Year's day, a holiday. But why can't you get the goat without going to court?"
"My neighbor, Ambrose, have her locked in his downstairs, the cellar, you call it, and he have a bull dog there, too. I cannot get her on account de dog. I go to de window las' night and hear her cry, but de dog, he bark and I do not go in."
Labels: animals, churches, holidays, immigrants, Judges, Justice Ross
October 21, 1907
SHE MARRIED IN HASTE.
Grace White Was Dazzled by Her
Suitor's Claims to Greatness.
On Tuesday, October 15, Fred Melleni, alias Fred Walden, met Miss Grace White, a young waitress in Clark's restaurant, 123 West Twelfth street. On the 16th and 17th he did some fast and furious courting, and on Friday, the 18th, Fred Melleni and Miss Grace White were married by Justice Michael Ross.
Three days before, Mellleni had been arrested by the police and held over night for investigation. His picture was in the rogue's gallery. He was released on the morning of October 13, upon his protestations that he was trying to live honestly. Then he met his affinity and married her. Melleni says he is an actor. He borrowed money from friends to get his marriage license.
Yesterday Sheriff King of Clay county took the groom away from his bride on a warrant charging Melleni with the theft of a suit of clothes from Fred Dunn, who keeps the Royal hotel at Excelsior Springs, and $13 in money and a gold watch from C. C. Michael of this city, who was a guest of the hotel. The thefts are alleged to have been committed about three weeks ago.
Melleni's wife says he told her that he was well connected, and that his father was owner of two opera houses in Hanover, Germany. The young wife's home is in Golden City, Mo., where her father is a structural ironworker.
Labels: con artist, Excelsior Springs, Judges, Justice Ross, romance, Twelfth street
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Early Kansas City, Missouri