February 6, 1910
OLD PIER STONES UTILIZED.
Taken From Old Bridge for Big
When the work of cutting down the piers of the old Winner bridge in the Missouri river to make them conform in height to the bridge the Armour Swift interests intend to build on the piers began there was some curiosity expressed as to what use was to be made of the mammoth stone slabs discarded. The question is being answered. They are to form the foundation for a big building that is to be erected at the northeast corner of Eighteenth and Holmes streets. Portions of the stone have been set already in the excavation of the building, and the remainder is being delivered. One stone is about all a team of horses can draw at one time.
The concrete approaches for the bridge are about finished, and the first delivery of steel is looked for some day this week.
Labels: Eighteenth street, Holmes street, Missouri river, real estate
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 22, 1910
REEDER PICTURE MOVED.
For Half a Century It Has Hung at
For the first time in several years the life-size oil painting of Andrew H. Reeder, the first governor of the territory of Kansas, which has graced the walls of the Coates house for half a century, was removed from its place in the lobby yesterday so that steamfitters could get at a defective pipe. The painting will be cleaned and re-hung in its old place.
The removal of the picture yesterday resulted in a flood of questions at Clerks Mong and Preston. Each told the story of the picture at least a score of times during the day and evening. The painting was made at the direction of Colonel Kersey Coates, the founder of the Coates house, from a photograph. The painting pictures Governor Reeder in flight.
It was back in 1856 that Governor Reeder had much trouble with the pro-slavery men and was forced to hide in Kansas City. He was a close friend of Colonel Kersey Coates, and Colonel Coates successfully hid the governor for two weeks at the Gillis house and other places about the city, finally furnishing him with a disguise in which he was able to escape as a deck passenger on the Missouri river steamer, the A. B. Chambers. When he arrived at St. Louis he had a photograph taken and sent it to Colonel Coates.
Labels: arts, boats, Coates house, Kersey Coates, Missouri river, photographs, St Louis
January 8, 1910
MUCH LIME IN THE WATER.
Cold Weather Is Responsible for Its
"Just natural conditions of the river," is the explanation given by the city chemist department for the hardness of the water from the Missouri. "It is lime that makes the water hard, the natural lime rock in the stream. Every time the weather gets cold the water becomes affected. The lime congeals with the water in greater proportions, and it is not as easily dissolved as in warmer weather. So long as the cold spell lasts so long with the water be hard."
Complaints of chapped hands and faces are general. People are blaming it to the hardness of the water.
"Every time I wash in Missouri river water my hands and face feel like nutmeg graters," complained a woman yesterday.
"Did it ever occur to that woman that probably she did not thoroughly dry her face and hands after washing, and that the chap is due to exposure to the cold and winds?" is the retort from the city chemist. "She should apply a lotion of glycerin and rose water after washing. It is a sure preventive for chapped hands and face."
Labels: City Chemist Cross, Missouri river, Utilities, weather
January 3, 1910
ONCE THE GATE CITY.
Pioneer Recalls the Days
Before the Railroad
Enchanting is the romance of the Golden West, the story of mountain and plain. Forming the most striking drama in American history, the record, alas, is but fragmentary -- the half has not been told. For, imperfectly have the annals been kept of the vast domain west of the Mississippi river from the time of early settlement to the present. Evidences of marvelous transformation are at hand, fruits of pioneer privations are enjoyed, but the annal of achievement in details has been neglected by historians. Reminiscences of early settlers can now alone supply the deficiency.
To a great extent has the history of Independence, Mo., to do with that of the West. This city was the scene of the initial step in the march of progress. Preparatory to crossing the desert, westward bound caravans procured supplies there. Frontiersmen, explorers and prospectors, returning home, brought to Independence the first news of discovery, for this city was then the greatest trading post in the West.
Prominent among the pioneers was Henry A. Schnepp, who is now a resident of Galesburg, Ill., but is now visiting his brother, David Schnepp, at the latter's home, 413 Whittier place. Mr. Schnepp was conspicuously identified with the early growth of Independence and lived there for fifteen years, leaving during the year 1890.
"In the early fifties Independence was the outfitting point for all the country west of the Missouri river and was the headquarters for frontiersmen," said Mr. Schnepp yesterday afternoon. "The paramount issue was to retain this lucrative trade and active measures were adopted with that end in view. This gave impetus to the construction of the first railroad in the West, which ran from the river to this city. A depot was built at Wayne City and a terminal established at the postoffice. The cars, which ran over wooden rails, were drawn by horses.
"Before the construction of the Hannibal & St. Joe Railway in1856 all transportation was by river. Apropos the recent agitating with regard to navigating the Missouri, it seems to me that as the river was navigable then, it should be now."
GOLD FOUND BY MISSOURIAN.
Mr. Schnepp staged through Iowa when that state was but sparsely settled. When he traveled along the Hawkeye frontier in 1854 the capital of that state was located at Iowa City and the territory west of Des Moines, the present capital, was inhabited almost exclusively by Indians.
"I could never forget the first overland mail route to Salt Lake City. The mail was carried by stage coach and the trip required many days under favorable weather conditions. The route extended from Independence to Westport, thence to Fort Riley, in Kansas; Fort Bridges, in Wyoming, and on to Salt Lake. The charge for carrying each letter was 25 cents, collectable on delivery. Prior to the establishment of the pony express in 1853-4, mail from the West was carried by a boat around Cape Horn."
Mr. Schnepp says that the gold fields of California were discovered by Joseph D. Childs, an uncle of C. C. Childs, an Independence banker. A contractor by profession, Joseph Childs was erecting a mill near Sacramento when workmen excavating a race found gold. This discovery started the rush to California, and Mr. Schnepp was one of the first to go for a fortune. He did not acquire fabulous wealth, but returned home with enough gold that he has not since been called a poor man.
Labels: California, Fort Riley, history, Independence, Missouri river, pioneers, railroad
December 18, 1909
BOIL WATER, OR
JUST TAKE IT RAW?
DEPENDS ON HOW YOU LIKE
GERMS, SAYS CROSS.
City Chemist Says Water Supply
Shows Improvement and That
Bacteria Are Not of
"Would you still advise consumers of Missouri river water, as it comes through the city mains, to boil it?" Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, was asked yesterday.
"It all depends upon whether the consumers want to take the germs raw or cooked," laughingly answered the doctor. "So far as I am concerned I take the water straight from the faucet. I do not experience any harm from it, but fastidious people and those whose health is none the best may prefer to have the water boiled. Just now the city is supplying a pretty fair brand of water. The discoloration and presence of sediment so apparent a week ago has almost entirely disappeared, and I believe for the rest of the winter there will be no more off-color water."
BACTERIA NOT HARMFUL.
"How about the bacteria?"
"The centimeter count varies. Some days it is higher than others both at the receiving basins and at different points throughout the city. But people should take no unnecessary fright, for I do not imagine that there is very much to be feared from the character of bacteria we detect by the analysis."
FILTER PLANT NEEDED.
The doctor added that he had but little hope that the water will be entire pure from bacteria and discoloration until the city gets the money to install filtering basins. This is an expense that will have to be provided through a bond issue. A car load of sulphate of iron has been received with which to coagulate the water, and separate it from the solids. The sulphate of iron will succeed alum and lime, and Dr. Cross looks for better results from its use.
Practical demonstration has proven that the burning of oil in the boilers at Turkey Creek station is more economical that coal as a fuel. The fire and water board is advertising for bids for the installation of oil burners and four additional boilers at this station.
Labels: City Chemist Cross, health, Missouri river
December 13, 1909
MUD IN THE SUPPLY
DUE TO LOW WATER.
LITTLE HOPE FOR RELIEF UN-
DER PRESENT CONDITIONS.
River Stage Drops Five Feet -- Slush
Ice Adds to Trouble -- Filter
Plant Badly Needed at
"Good morning. Have you taken your mud bath?" were the greetings received yesterday by W. G. Goodwin, general superintendent of water works, from consumers who had been compelled to take their morning dips in a coating of mud and drink a muddy mixture at their tables and in their coffee.
"Yes," good-naturedly responded Goodwin, "I've been there and I expect to be repeating it so long as the river remains low and the pumps bring forth as much mud as water. The stage of the river at Quindaro station is four or five feet below the level recorded some days ago and the water is running with slush ice and also all kinds and assortments of debris.
"I do not look for clear water until conditions change, and there is some cessation in the consumption. In addition to keeping the pumps busy for days, delivering water at the rate of 39,000,000 gallons for twenty-four hours, to meet the demands, we were called upon to do the neighborly act for Kansas City, Kas., and make up a deficit in its ordinary supply.
"This meant an additional 3,000,000 gallons a day to our burden of production, and as a consequence the water had to be forced into the distributing pipes to the consumer from the river, without having time to have the solids precipitated by the customary treatment of lime and alum.
FILTERING PLANT NEEDED.
"But the condition of the water is no worse than it always has been when the river is low, and after a heavy snow storm. and what is more, I do not believe consumers will ever see much change in times like these unless the city installs a filtering plant."
Mr. Goodwin found it necessary yesterday as a source of protection to the water supply, to shut off the 3,000,000 gallons a day that Kansas City, Kas., has been getting.
"Superintendent Riley, of the Kansas City, Kas., plant told me that they could get along without our assistance, as he has about completed arrangements to have his own plant furnish all the water that is needed," said Mr. Goodwin.
Labels: Kansas City Kas, Missouri river, public works
December 3, 1909
WELLS AND CISTERNS
MENACE TO HEALTH.
WATER FROM MISSOURI RIVER
SAFER TO DRINK.
City Chemist Says River Water
Causes But Few Cases of
"Eighty per cent of typhoid fever cases are caused by the use of drinking water taken from springs, wells and cisterns over the city," said Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, yesterday.
"The best water is that taken from the Missouri river. When a cistern becomes cracked it furnishes an avenue for the seeping in of sewage and other poisons from the earth.
"Some years ago I made an inspection of wells, springs and cisterns about town. I found that 80 per cent of typhoid fever was among persons who drank water from these sources, especially cisterns that had cracks in them.
"I quickly found that my recommendation that most of these wells, springs and cisterns be abandoned and sealed was not in line with political sentiment. There was too much politics involved in the crusade, so I gave it up."
"Have you ever called the attention of the Crittenden administration to this matter?" the chemist was asked.
"No, I never have," he replied, "but I am going to. The wells and springs and cracked cisterns are a menace to the health of the city and I want to report t hat they produce more typhoid than does the Missouri river. water."
DRINKS MISSOURI WATER.
"Do you drink and use Missouri river water?"
"I drink it as it comes from the faucet. I am not afraid of it, nor should any other healthy person be. Possible it would be well enough for people with weak constitutions to boil it.
"There is no greater amount of typhoid fever in Kansas City now than at this time in previous years. And what there is I am not going to charge up to Missouri river water, so long as I am aware that the city abounds with contaminated springs, wells and cracked cisterns.
"The newspapers contain accounts of a plague of typhoid at Parkville, but it does not follow that because Parkville is located on the banks of the Missouri river and close to Kansas City that our citizens are likely to take the malady from drinking Missouri river water.
"Missouri river water is in pretty good condition now. The bacteria counts are about normal. I feel confident that when sulphate of iron is used to purify it instead of lime and alum there will be a lessening of the bacteria and the purification will be more complete. A carload of sulphate of iron is ow on the way to the city, and just as soon as it gets here we will try some of it on the water."
Labels: City Chemist Cross, health, Missouri river, Parkville, typhoid
December 2, 1909
BOOSTING RIVER NAVIGATION.
Meeting at Commercial Club Tomor-
row Night to Increase Interest.
A special meeting will be held in the Commercial Club rooms tomorrow night for the purpose of creating more interest in the project for improving the navigation of the Missouri river. No solicitations for funds will be made at the meeting.
Walter S. Dickey, president of the company which proposes to establish a boatline on the Missouri, will show 125 pictures of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, some of the pictures being moving scenes. Comparisons between the navigable Mississippi and the Missouri will be brought out, by which Mr. Dickey expects to show conclusively the possibilities of the Missouri.
Moving pictures of the Kansas City delegation going to New Orleans in the Gray Eagle, and the visits of President Taft and other notables will also be shown.
Labels: boats, Commercial Club, Missouri river, moving pictures
November 25, 1909
OLD RIVER MAN IS DEAD.
Isaac Smith, Also Civil War Veteran,
Sitting in a chair, wrapped in a bed quilt, his head hanging over on his chest as if he had but fallen asleep, Isaac Smith, an old soldier and Missouri river navigator 76 years of age, was found dead in a room at 1820 Union avenue about 8 o'clock last night. The old man had been placed in the room about 10 a. m. by his son, William Smith, an employe of the Bemis Bag Company. the coroner said life appeared to have been extinct five or six hours . The body was sent to the Carroll-Davidson undertaking rooms, where an autopsy will be held later.
The son was taken in charge by an officer and taken to No. 2 police station where he made a statement. He said that his father's condition was such about 10 a. m. that he should not be on the street. In taking him to the room, which the old man previously occupied, he fell on the stairway, making a slight abrasion on the nose and causing the nose to bleed freely for a time.
Washing off the blood, the son said, he placed his father in the chair, covered him securely with the bed quilt and left. When he returned at 8 p. m. the old man was in the same position in which he had been left, but life had flown. The dead man had been an inmate of the National Soldiers' Home at Leavenworth, Kas. The coroner does not think an inquest will be necessary.
Labels: death, Leavenworth, Missouri river, No 2 police station, Union avenue, veterans
October 24, 1909
FOR TAFT BOAT TRIP
KANSAS CITY DELEGATION
WILL LEAVE TONIGHT.
Will Travel to Alton on Four Spe-
cial Cars -- Decorations for the
"Gray Eagle" Sent
Imbued with the "Kansas City Spirit" and a determination to impress upon the big waterways convention at New Orleans the need of improving the Missouri river, the Kansas City delegation will leave for Alton, Ill., at 9 o'clock tonight on four special Pullman cars by way of the Chicago & Alton railway. Decorators were sent to Alton Friday night and by the time the Kansas City delegation arrives tomorrow morning the Gray Eagle, the boat on which the Kansas City delegation will ride, will be one of the gayest in the fleet. At least that was the declaration last night of E. M. Clendening, secretary of the Commercial Club, who has made all of the arrangements for the trip.
Yesterday it seemed very unlikely that President Taft would be able to accept the invitation of the Kansas City delegation to ride at least part of the way down the river on the Gray Eagle. More than a dozen telegrams were exchanged with the management of President Taft's itinerary, but late last night Secretary Clendening was informed that it would be practically impossible. He still hopes that the president will find time to visit the Kansas City boat and take breakfast on the steamer Tuesday morning.
LEAVE ST. LOUIS MONDAY.
The "Gray Eagle" will reach St. Louis at 9 o'clock Monday morning. President Taft will speak in the Coliseum at 11 o'clock. The party will embark at 4 o'clock in the afternoon for the great trip down the river. The fleet arrives at Cape Girardeau at 6 o'clock Tuesday morning, Cairo, Ill., at noon, and Hickman, Ky., at 4 o'clock. Memphis, Tenn., and Helena, Ark., will be the principal stops on Wednesday. Vicksburg will be the only stop of importance on Thursday with Natchez and Baton Rouge on Friday.
The fleet will arrive in New Orleans early Saturday morning and until the following Tuesday night there will be a continuous round of convention work and receptions in the southern city. Grand opera, addresses by the governors of the different states, inspection of the city, and attendance at the convention will take up about all of the time of the Kansas City delegation. The party will leave New Orleans at 6:20 o'clock Tuesday night.
Besides Secretary Clendening, members of the delegation of seventy include Jerome Twitchell, J. H. Neff, Hon. Edgar C. Ellis, C. S. Jobes, H. F. Lang, W. B. C. Brown, C. D. Carlisle, W. G. Mellier and Hon. W. P. Borland.
Labels: boats, Commercial Club, Congressman Borland, Congressman Ellis, conventions, Edwin Clendening, Missouri river, New Orleans, President Taft, railroad, St Louis
September 18, 1909
KILLS SELF ON "HOBO HILL."
Jesse Skarling, Despondent Because
of His Wife's Illness.
Under a tree on "Hobo Hill," an elevation overlooking the Missouri river near the foot of Main street, Jesse M. Skarling, a painter, killed himself yesterday afternoon by swallowing about four ounces of carbolic acid. Depression on account of his wife's illness is thought to be the cause. Beside him was a note which furnished the only identification.
"My name is Jesse Skarling," the note read. "My dear wife's name is Ida Skarling. My mother lives at Muskogee, Ok. Goodby, friends."
The man evidently had thought about committing suicide for several hours. Beside his body were dozens of cigarette stubs and the grass indicated that he had moved several tim es as the sun shifted. There was no label on the bottle and no indication where the acid was purchased.
After viewing the body, Deputy Coroner Czarlinsky ordered it sent to O'Donnell's undertaking rooms.
Labels: Dr Czarlinsky, Main street, Missouri river, Suicide, undertakers
August 28, 1909
DOWN THE RIVER WITH TAFT. Steamboat Chester Will Carry Kan-
sas Cityans to New Orleans.
At a meeting held yesterday afternoon the directors of the Commercial Club enthusiastically accepted the invitation from St. Louis to send a steamboat representing Kansas City with the flotilla which will escort President Taft down the Mississippi river from St. Louis to the big waterways convention at New Orleans in October. Secretary E. M. Clendening was instructed to send notification of Kansas City's acceptance and to ask that the Kansas City boat be assigned a good place in the formation of the down-river fleet.
The steamboat Chester will carry the Kansas Cityans to New Orleans. It is the intention to begin the trip at the home dock, make stops at the towns down the Missouri river as far as Jefferson City and join the flotilla at St. Louis. This scheme, it is thought, is preferable to making the start at St. Louis and besides it will afford the Kansas Cityans an excellent opportunity to campaign for river improvement at Lexington, Glasgow, Boonville, Jefferson City and the other towns down the Missouri between here and the state capital.
The Chester has capacity for sixty passengers, and from the way applications for berths are coming in it is probable that they will be engaged long before the trip is to be taken. A band will be on board the boat, which will be gaily decorated. H. G. Wilson, transportation commissioner of the Commercial Club, will be in charge of the arrangements.
The boat will probably leave Kansas City on the afternoon of October 21, will reach St. Louis October 25 and will arrive at New Orleans October 31. It will be used as a floating hotel for the Kansas Cityans while at St. Louis and New Orleans.
Labels: boats, Commercial Club, conventions, Jefferson City, Lexington, Missouri river, New Orleans, President Taft, St Louis, Steamboat Chester
August 25, 1909
THE ONLY SOLUTION.
Safe and Sanitary Way to
Dispose of Garbage.
"The time is at hand for this city to face the garbage problem and to face it in a safe and sanitary sort of way. In my opinion the proper solution lies not only in the collection of all refuse, but also in its final destruction. the city should be provided with an incinerating plant; indeed, it is now so large since the borders have been increased that we should have two such plants."
Dr. W. S. Wheeler, health commissioner, made this suggestion in the first annual report, which he read before the hospital and health board yesterday afternoon.
In discussing this subject Dr. Wheeler tells the board that J. I. Boyer contracted last December to remove garbage three times a day during the months between May and October and twice a day during the other months. The garbage was to be removed away from the city.
"Up to this date," the report states, "Mr. Boyer has not in any particular fulfilled his contract with the city, and, with his present equipment, he will not be able to do so. further, Mr. Boyer has had implicit instructions from your health commissioner that the government officials had warned our department that no more garbage should be dumped into the Missouri river, but Mr. Boyer has, purposely or otherwise, not heeded our protestations in this respect."
"PEST HOUSE FOR DISEASES."
Dr. Wheeler speaks of the workhouse as a "veritable pest house for all kinds of diseases." He blames the construction of the place for the unsanitary condition, and says "unfortunates are packed in cells like rats in holes." He suggests that the place be enlarged so that more cell room may be had, that sewer connections be made with each cell and that two wards be built where the attending physician may see that sick prisoners get humane treatment.
The commissioner next takes up the spit nuisance, tells of the ordinance passed concerning spitting in street cars, and says that education has done much to abate the nuisance.
In a long dissertation on "the house fly," he speaks of the diseases that are carried into homes by this insect. It is his opinion that typhoid fever and many intestinal troubles are spread by the fly.
He recommends the destruction of open vaults and that sewage should not be allowed to empty into adjacent streams, but should be destroyed completely. To keep the city in better condition he recommends more inspectors and a system by which tab may be kept on them to see that they work.
Labels: board of health, doctors, health, Missouri river, public works, typhoid, workhouse
July 25, 1909
WABASH PASSENGER TRAIN SLIDES INTO THE RIVER.
FOUR KNOWN TO BE DEAD AND 30 INJURED.
Embankment Undermined by Missouri River, Near Orrick, and East Bound Train Slid Into the Water --- Trainmen Buried Under their Engine -- Passengers Reported Missing.
A washout made by the recent floods which had washed away practically all the support of the tracks, caused a part of Wabash train No. 4, out of Kansas City, to plunge into the Missouri river at Hull's Point, Mo., two miles east of Orrick about 10:15 o'clock last night. Orrick is thirty miles east of Kansas City.
Four are known to be dead and thirty-nine injured, some seriously.
The engine, baggage and express cars are in the river, almost entirely covered by water and the bodies of the engineer and fireman, a baggageman and a baby are buried in the wreckage.
The train consisting of engine and nine coaches left Kansas City for St. Louis at 9 o'clock last night in charge of Conductor W. M. Frye of St. Louis.
There were four sleepers on the train, one of them for Des Moines and according to Conductor Frye's story he carried sixty-eight passengers.BIG CONSIGNMENT OF MONEY.
In the baggage and express car was Harry Eckhert, Pacific express messenger, who had charge of between $30,000 and $40,000 consigned to St. Louis.
Immediately after the news of the wreck reached Kansas City a relief train was sent out and all of the injured were brought to Kansas City.
The train bearing the injured and other passengers arrived at the Union depot at 2:30 o'clock this morning. Seven ambulances with surgeons were in waiting and the injured were given temporary treatment in the main waiting room before being taken to the hospitals.
An hour after the wrecked passengers reached Kansas City, a new train was secured and the uninjured passengers were sent on to their destination.RIVER ATE BANK AWAY.
The train was running at 35 miles an hour when it reached the line of track, a quarter of a mile in extent, which had been undermined and washed away by the Missouri river. Into this space the train suddenly plunged, though passengers say that they felt the shock of the grinding brakes. At the point where the derailment occurred the track is practically straight and the river makes no perceptible curve.
The river had eaten its way fifty feet beyond the inmost rail so no vestige of track remained visible. When the engine struck the water it hurled itself forward carrying the baggage and mail car and sleeper with it. The baggage car crashed on top of the engine and the two were forced beneath the water, the engine being completely submerged and the baggage car standing on end in the water. The mail car overturned in the water and the clerks were forced to climb over the wreckage before they could get to safety. Every one of them was injured in some degree by the force of the shock.
The washout occurred after 6:30 o'clock, for at that time another Wabash passenger train, eastbound, went over the track in safety and no danger was noticed.DIED AT POST OF DUTY.
Engineer Flowers and Fireman Bond both went into the river with their engine and were drowned. It is thought that the escaping steam would have scalded them to death even had they not been held under the water by the weight of the engine. Baggageman Harry Eckert was caught in his car which sank to the bottom of the stream and he was drowned like a rat in a trap.
The death of little Donald King, the infant who was thrown from his father's arms into the river, was particularly sad. The child was but 2 years old and both parents were with him and his two little sisters, but little older than himself. Just before the train was precipitated into the river his father took him forward to the toilet room. When Mr. King got to the front of the coach the first shock came and he lurched heavily. The child was forced from his arms in some way and, it is thought, fell into the stream through one of the open windows. When the parents were seen at the Union depot last night they were both so dazed they could hardly give a coherent account of the accident.
Ten or twelve people who were only slightly injured left the train at the scene of the accident and went back to Orrick, Mo. Their names could not be learned this morning.BIG CROWD GATHERED.
News of the wreck was not long in reaching the depot and long before the relief train arrived the platform resembled the ward of a hospital. Along track No. 1 on which the train was scheduled to come in, was a long line of cots, while emergency surgeons in shirt sleeves strolled up and down or sat on the cots awaiting the arrival.
At about ten minutes past 2 o'clock there was a stir in the crowd of those waiting, the crowd having steadily increased as the news of the wreck filtered through the early morning air. A "flash" was received that the train had reached Randolph, just across the river, and would be at the station in ten minutes. Policemen showed up from apparently nowhere and took up their station along the track.
Ten minutes, twenty, thirty minutes passed and when shortly after the half-hour the train backed in. The crowd was so dense it was with difficulty the police made a passageway for the surgeons and stretchers.LONG LINE OF WHITE COTS.
Conductor Frye was the first man off the train. As soon as his lantern flashed its signal to the waiting hospital attendants, a line of white cots came into view, while the police had a difficult time keeping back the morbidly curious.
"A man in the sleeper is badly hurt," said Frye.
Men carried in a cot and because of the crowd it was necessary to pass the cot holding the injured man through a car window.
Others were carried or helped out by trainmen, hospital attendants and uninjured passengers, some bleeding and dazed, with temporary bandages wrapped about heads, arms and bodies.
Those who were able were left for the time being to shift for themselves, while surgeons bent over the cots of the more seriously injured to administer temporary relief.
Meanwhile uninjured passengers besieged Frye to know when they could "go on."
"Just as soon as we can get a train crew," was the invariable reply of the patient conductor.PASSENGERS AIDED DOCTORS.
Dr. Robert Sheetz and Dr. G. O. Moore of Orrick were the first physicians on the scene. They impressed those of the passengers who were able to assist them and gave temporary relief to most of the injured by the time the train reached Kansas City.
Miss Irene Dorton, 20, and Mrs. Sam Hackett, 40 years old, both of Orrick, were within a few miles of their home when the accident occurred. They had been visiting friends in Kansas City and were getting their luggage ready to get off the train when they were suddenly thrown out of their seats and across the aisle. Both lost consciousness and were revived by some of the passengers who were not as severely injured. They were attended by Drs. Sheet and Moore of Orrick.
"I can't tell you a thing about how the accident happened," said Miss Dorton, who was hurt the least. "I remember saying something to Mrs. Hackett about getting off the train, but that is all."ONE OF THE WORST INJURED.
Frank Gardner, 40 years old, of Mount Vernon, was one of the worst injured. His hand was gashed and his left arm was almost crushed off. He was in the forward car and was caught beneath the wreckage.
"Our escape from death was simply miraculous," said Miss Mamie Donnelly of Mexico, Mo. "I was holding my little niece, Mary, 6 years old, in my lap, when suddenly a feeling passed through me similar to that one feels when riding a chute the chutes, then came a terrible jar and Mary was thrown clear out of my arms and her little head struck the roof of the car. I caught her dress and she fell back on me. We were both scratched a little but outside of the jar were not hurt."BOTH OF THEM BRUISED.
Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Moore of Pueblo, Col, who were on their way to Huntsville, Mo., were both hurt. Mrs. Moore was badly bruised and cut and her back was sprained.
"We were in the chair car when the accident occurred," said Mr. Moore, "and we felt as if the earth just slipped out from beneath us. My wife was thrown against the side of the car and then into my arms. For a moment it felt as if we were to be engulfed and then all was still. Then came the cries for help. It seemed as if everyone was crying for help even though they were uninjured. Everyone was just panic stricken. I gathered my wife in my arms and we soon found ourselves outside the car. The scene was awful. The engine had bone beneath the river and was followed by several cars, we could not see how many. When I attended my wife's injuries I helped to look after the other passengers who were hurt."BRAKEMAN SWAM ASHORE.
Z. T. Finney, the brakeman, was on the head end of the deadhead sleeper and was pitched far out into the Missouri river when the embankment gave way beneath the train. He was half buried beneath coal from the tender and was cut and bruised. The water restored him to consciousness and he swam to shore.
"I was on the head end of the deadhead sleeper," said Brakeman Finey, "when the crash came. Just before we went into the water I felt the platform sort of sway and a sickening, falling sensation came over me. The next I remember I felt myself hurled over the top of the tender and then all was blank until I found myself swimming back to the train. The engine as it sank into the soft bank came to a sudden stop, and this jammed the cars together and threw me over the tender. That's how I happened to get hurt, although I am lucky that I was not carried beneath the cars."
Finney's injuries, while severe, are not serious.BABY LOST IN RIVER.
"I'll never forget this night as long as I live," said Miss Birdie Dugan of 2829 St. Louis avenue, St. Louis, who was on the wrecked train. "It was terrible to see the injured as they were brought into our car, and to think of the others lying in the river. A man in our car lost his baby right out of his arms, and it went into the river. The poor mother was just a little distance away. There was an awful crash as the car broke in two, and the roof came down and the sides came together and caught so many people so they could not move. Everybody worked to get them out before the other half of the car fell into the river. The accident occurred shortly after 10 o'clock. We left Kansas City at 9 o'clock, right on time."WOMAN DOCTOR AIDED.
Dr. Mary Turner Loahbeck of 2829 St. Louis avenue, St. Louis, Mo., was on the train, and assisted in aiding the injured. "About all that was possible for me to do was to bandage the cuts," the doctor said. "I had no bandages with me, but we secured twenty or thirty sheets from the sleeping cars, and tore them into bandages. I attended about twenty people myself. The people of Orrick, Mo., were very kind. They gave us dry underclothing for the persons who were wet, and offered us all the assistance they were able to render."
Had it not been for the fact that the Wabash train No. 9, being the passenger train from Boston, was delayed at Moberly an hour, it would have met the fate of its sister train. If the train No. 9 had been on scheduled time it would have reached the washout before No. 4. Train No. 9 was due in Kansas City at 9:45, but arrived at 2:40, just after the relief train got into Kansas City. No. 9 was detoured over the Missouri Pacific after having been held for three hours by the wreck.
Labels: accident, children, death, Des Moines, drowning, flood, Missouri river, railroad, St Louis
July 18, 1909
ANOTHER BOY IS DROWNED.
Charles Pearson Fell From Raft in
Pool of Backwater.
Charles Pearson, 13 years old, son of C. H. Pearson, a stone mason of 2929 Hallock avenue, Kansas City, Kas., was drowned yesterday in a pool of water formed by back waters from the Missouri river at the foot of Fifth street in Kansas City, Kas. Pearson, unknown to his parents, went with a party of boys to the river yesterday afternoon about 3 o'clock. The boys found a deserted skiff in a pool of back water, and using boards as paddles rowed around in it for awhile. Later young Pearson with Frank Decker and Ridge Kirkham, his playmates, climbed aboard an old raft. While playing on the raft the boy lost his balance and fell into the water. Doctors R. E. Barker and Mortimer Marder rendered emergency treatment but could not revive him. The body was taken to Fairweather & Barker's morgue where it was viewed by Coroner J. A. Davis. The drowned boy was a student at the Longfellow school. Funeral arrangements have not been made.
Labels: boats, children, drowning, Kansas City Kas, Missouri river, undertakers
July 17, 1909
BOY DROWNS IN POND;
EFFORT TO SAVE VAIN.
BODY OF 9-YEAR-OLD STARR
ALLISON YET UNRECOVERED.
Playmate, in Swimming With the
Younger Lad, Makes Heroic
Struggle to Rescue Him, but
Starr Allison, the 9-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Allison, 3532 Windsor avenue, was drowned about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon in a slough immediately west of the entrance to the Milwaukee bridge on the Missouri river.
Clyde Perkins, 13 years old, made a most heroic effort to save his playmate. Twice he was dragged beneath the eddying waters, but becoming exhausted himself, he was forced to release his grasp on the drowning lad to save his own life. The drowned boy's body has not yet been found. Young Perkins is a stepson of K. L. Perkins, a druggist at 3600 St. John avenue.
W. H. Jackson, 3011 East Twenty-third street, was fishing about 100 yards south of where the boys were swimming. Hearing repeated cries for help he looked toward the slough and saw Perkins struggling in the eddy with his little friend. Perkins is said to be an excellent swimmer for a boy his age.
"The Perkins boy was holding to the Allison boy, and at the same time trying to master the swiftly rushing eddy and get his companion to a place of safety," said Jackson. "I believe it was he who made the outcry. While running along the steep embankment of the railroad to get near enough to go in I saw the boys sink twice. The next I saw, Perkins was alone swimming toward the bank just beneath the bridge."
The Perkins boy, after gallant fight to save a human life, was almost exhausted when he reached the bank. Johnson supported him until he was rested. He had swallowed a quantity of water. After a time the two secured little Starr's clothing, and, realizing what the shock would be to the mother, left them with a neighbor next door.
J. L. Allison, father of the drowned boy, is connected with the Allison-Richey Land Company at the Union depot.
"Star went down to Kanoky, as the boys call the place, with some other boys the other day and they all went bathing in the shallow pond," Mr. Allison said. "He was greatly delighted over the new venture, but his mother and I cautioned them.
"This morning when he asked to go down there again with Clyde, his mother refused her consent until he had secured mine. He called me up at my office, but I was out. He begged his mother until she consented after he had promised not to go in the water. We understand the Perkins boy told Starr to stay out, and he certainly made an effort to save our boy."
"Star wanted to go in when we got there," said Clyde Perkins, "but I would not let him. After a short time he went behind some tall weeds and the next I saw he was in the water. Then I told him to stay close to the bank, where it was shallow. While swimming later I saw him wading out from the bank. There is a step off, made by the eddy, and he went down. Then I swam and caught hold of him.
"He was excited and struggled hard or I believe I could have gotten him to shore. After he had dragged me under twice I became so exhausted that I had to release him and make for the bank myself. It seemed to me that I barely made it, too."
W. H. Harrison, former license inspector, Herman Robrock, and Dr. C. O. Teach, neighbors of Mr. Allison, with three men from the latter's firm, went to the slough shortly after the drowning to make a search for the body. Most of the men are expert swimmers. Until 10 o'clock last night they took turns diving from different points in search of the dead boy. Grappling hooks were used and drags made. The men will return to the scene early this morning and renew their search.
Where the eddy swirls about, it has formed a whirlpool, and it is the opinion of some that the whirling waters may keep the body from floating out into the open river.
Labels: children, drowning, druggists, fishing, Missouri river, St John avenue, swimming, Twenty-third street, Union depot
July 13, 1909
THINKS RIVERS ARE
AT HIGHEST STAGE.
FORECASTER CONNOR NOW
LOOKS FOR FALL.
At Topeka There Was Fall of 0.7
of Foot and at St. Joseph the
Missouri Is Stationary.
SKETCH OF THE JUNCTION OF THE KAW AND MISSOURI RIVERS, LOOKING TOWARD KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.
With a rise of over half a foot in the Missouri river yesterday, Forecaster Connor of the local weather bureau predicted a maximum stage of about 27.2 for this morning, which he believes from the information to hand will be the crest. Mr. Connor bases this prediction o n the assumption that there will be no more rains in the Kaw and Missouri river valleys.
The rise in the Missouri yesterday was rapid until 3 p. m. Since that hour it has remained stationary. This was taken by the observer to indicate that the mass of water due to recent rains had crested, and that now only the rise of the day before at Topeka and St. Joseph is to be felt here. At Topeka there was a fall of .7 of a foot during the day, while at St. Joseph the river was stationary.
The heavy rains at St. Joseph yesterday held the river up at that point, but the forecaster does not think they will influence the river there to any appreciable extent, and that by the evening it will show a good fall. The volume of water in the Missouri and Kaw rivers which must pass Kansas City, he asserts, will keep the river at a high stage for several days at least, although there is a possibility of a fall by this evening.
The West Bottoms are beginning to feel the flood now in earnest. The seepwater and sewage, together with the storm waters yesterday morning gave several sections of that district the appearance for awhile, at least, of being flooded by the river. In the "wettest block" several of the floors were under water for a couple of hours and many o f the business men and merchants in that neighborhood are ready to move if the water should go much higher.
Back water from the sewers yesterday covered sections of Mulberry, Hickory and Santa Fe street between Eighth and Ninth streets. Cellars in this district were all flooded.
The Cypress yards in the packing house district is a big lake. There are from two inches to several feet of water all over the railroad yards. Yesterday the Missouri Pacific had to run through eight inches of water at one place to get trains out from the Morris Packing Company plant. The railroad men say that they will run their trains until the water rises to such a height that the fires in the locomotives will be extinguished.
At the Exchange building at the stock yards several pumps were used to keep the basement free from water which started to come in Sunday night. Several of the cattle pens are flooded so they cannot be used and the Morris plant is almost surrounded by water. It is believed that at the present rate the water will be up to the sidewalks at the Morris plant this morning. It would take six feet more, however, to stop operations at this plant.
Labels: Eighth street, flood, Hickory street, Kaw river, Missouri river, Mulberry street, Ninth street, Santa Fe street, St.Joseph, stock yards, Topeka, weather, West bottoms
July 10, 1909
WILL CRUISE 2,000
MILES IN MOTOR BOAT.
DR. G. L. HENDERSON AND WIFE
PLAN SUMMER OUTING.
The "Wave" to Leave Kansas City
When River Is Free of Drift.
St. Louis and Chicago the
A cruise on the "Wave," Kansas City's most pretentious motor boat, of almost 2,000 miles, is about to be undertaken by its owner, Dr. G. L. Henderson, who will be accompanied by his wife. The cruise has for its objective points St. Louis and Chicago, but the side trips which will be taken between these places will swell the mileage until it will probably go above the expected 2,000 miles. Dr. Henderson will depart early next week, or as soon as the river is free from the masses of drift, due to the high water. His boat, which has been wintered on the banks of the Kaw, was moved to the Missouri just below the Power Boat Club landing yesterday. The finishing touches are being given it and stores are being placed on board.
The Wave is sixty feet in length and fifteen feet beam. It is built on the steamboat, or sternwheel model, and is very light draft. Its engine, a four cylinder, slow speed model, develops about seventy-five horse power, which is transmitted through a shaft and bevel gearing to a jack shaft and by chains to the wheel. The boat is electrically lighted, a perfect system of storage batteries having been installed recently. A large high power searchlight is a part of the equipment. The main cabin is roomy and is occupied by the owner. A fully equipped bathroom opens from one end.
The galley is in the forward end of the boat, and the crew's quarters in the rear. There is no pilot house, the entire front part of the upper deck being open, but covered with a standing canopy. The gasoline tank has a capacity of 300 gallons, of which the engine consumes four gallons an hour when running. A large refrigerator is let into the bow.
The crew which will take the boat on the cruise will be made up of P. Philip, engineer, and Ray Miller, assistant. Pilot "Art" Bolen will take the boat to St. Louis and it is probable that Dr. Henderson will take the wheel from there himself as the Mississippi and Illinois rivers are well "lighted."
Labels: boats, Chicago, doctors, Kaw river, Missouri river, St Louis
July 9, 1909
SAVED FROM DEATH
BY GIRL'S QUICK WIT.
ELECTRICIAN GRABBED JUST IN
TIME BY MARY JOHNSON.
Was Suspended From Guy Rope Over
Flood Waters of Missouri With
High Tension Current
Suspended over the waters of the Missouri river from a guy rope on the discharge pope of the new pump in the East Bottoms, while a high tension current coursed through his body, paralyzing him and burning his flesh, A. J. Winnie, an electrician, was saved from death yesterday afternoon by Miss Mary Johnson, who, at the risk of her own life, grabbed his body and broke the short circuit. She was severely shocked as was her brother, Dan Johnson, but between them they rescued the lineman without serious injury to either.
The accident occurred in the early part of the afternoon. Miss Johnson is a daughter of A. D. Johnson of 334 Olive street, the contractor who built the pumping station, and she has been greatly interested in seeing the big centrifugal pump work. With a friend, Mrs. J. Dixon, she visited the pumping house yesterday afternoon. Her brother, Dan, was awaiting them and rowed them to the pump house, which stands some distance in what is now part of the Missouri river. The pump had been turned over to the city Wednesday night but Mr. Johnson remained there to render any assistance that might be needed by J. Nepher, the city inspector, and A. J. Winnie, the electrician who was given charge of the plant.
CLIMBS ON DISCHARGE PIPE.
A test of the pump was favorably commented on by the women and when the big motor was stopped, Winnie worked at the incandescent lights about the room. The pump house is ten feet above the present height of the river and it was planned to place clusters of electric lights on river and shore sides of the building. These would be over openings in the building eight feet in width. To place the lamps on the river side, Winnie found it necessary to get on the roof. To reach that place he clambered out on the big discharge pipe and then with his left arm over the steel guy rope he threw his right arm over the conduit which centered the big opening in the pump house.
Miss Johnson was about to compliment him on his agility, when his body suddenly became rigid, his face took on a look of agony and smoke curled up from his right hand and arm. Miss Johnson had studied electricity. She realized that Winnie had formed a connection with a high tension current, and that it was shocking him to death, having completely paralyzed him so that he could not help himself.
Without a thought for her own safety, she leaned forward and grasped him about the body. Her brother Dan, who was standing a few feet away, grabbed at her at the same time and the current passed through the trio. The force of the hold which Miss Johnson took a Winnie was sufficient to break his grasp of the charged conduit, and he swung helpless from the guy rope.
HEROINE IS MODEST.
The shock which Miss Johnson and her brother received stunned them, but they quickly recovered and, taking hold of Winnie, helped him into the pumphouse.
Winnie was badly burned. It took some time before he recovered sufficiently to realize how he had been saved. The skin was burned from his right hand, and his left arm was seared in several places where the current had passed through his body to the guy rope from which he was suspended. Miss Johnson applied oils to his burns and Winnie announced after thanking her that he would remain on the "job" until his time was up in the evening.
It was not until an hour after the incident that Mr. Johnson or his sister realized how close to death Winnie had been or the risk Miss Johnson had taken when she grasped his swinging body.
Miss Johnson modestly disclaimed any special credit for her part in saving Winnie from death.
"I knew enough about electricity to realize that he was grounded, and the first thing I thought of was to break the connection. To do this I made a grab at him, but did not think that I would get the shock that I did. Brother Dan grabbed me at the same time, or perhaps I would have fallen in the river. As it was, we both received severe shocks, but they did not injure us."
Labels: accident, East bottoms, Missouri river, Olive street, women
April 26, 1909
HE'S PREPARED FOR A FLOOD.
Croatian Builds House to Float
If there is a flood in the West Bottoms this year one householder there at least will be prepared to resist it.
He is one of the Croatians squatting on the "made" land near the Missouri river bank and his handiwork can be plainly seen from the street cars crossing the intercity viaduct. It consists of a crude but large houseboat resting upon piles six feet high driven firmly into the ground. The bottom of the boat is not fastened to the posts, so if a flood comes it will float clear but will be retained in the vicinity by means of an anchor and a stout rope.
Labels: boats, Croatians, flood, immigrants, Missouri river, West bottoms
April 5, 1909
OLD CITY LANDMARK
SOLD AND TO BE RAZED.
M'LEAN MANSION TO MAKE
WAY FOR PARK.
Built Fifty Years Ago, It Was
Known by Rivermen as "Mc-
Lean's Beacon" -- Sells
for Only $55.
M'LEAN MANSION ON "QUALITY HILL."
Up on the highest point of "Quality Hill" being at the north end of the Kersey Coates drive, stands the McLean mansion, one of the oldest of the fine old homesteads of Kansas City. This house, three stories in height, constructed of brick and containing sixteen large rooms finished in walnut, was recently sold by the city for $55. Soon it is to be torn down and the space on which it stands, overlooking the Missouri river and Kansas City, Kas., is to be used by the city for park purposes.
Built almost half a century ago, the old mansion ,the finest on "Quality Hill," stands today a landmark of the early aristocracy of Kansas City. That it is soon to be entirely demolished is a sore thought to many of the old-timers, and no few of them are making pilgrimages to the old home in which many of them have spent happy hours as guests of Mrs. Ella M. McLean.
Back of the huge old house stood the brick barn, smaller and less magnificent by far. It has been sold for $45 and has already been razed. So high upon the bluff does the house stand that in the old days of Kansas City the lights from the windows at night used to serve as markers for the steamboats as they plied the muddy Missouri. It was the first evidence of Kansas City as the boats floated down stream, and the house was known among the river men as "McLean's Beacon."
Few of the young generation know the old house. Few have ever seen it, since it stands so far out of the way of drives and ordinary walks. But it is a typical structure of the earlier days of Kansas City, full of corners and rooms ad hallways which must cause the pioneers of Kansas City many reminiscent thoughts.
Labels: history, Kersey Coates, Missouri river, real estate
February 20, 1909
NO TYPHOID IN WATER.
First Chemical Test Shows Satisfac-
It takes three days for Dr. W. M. Cross, city chemist, to make a complete and satisfactory analysis of the city's supply of water from the Missouri river. At a meeting of the fire and water board Thursday the chemist was directed to submit a daily analysis of the water to the water department, and this morning he will furnish data of an analysis of the water taken from the river and settling basins three days ago.
"The analysis is very satisfactory," said Dr. Cross yesterday. "There are no typhoid germs visible, and the water is in very good shape for this time of the year. Owing to the many complaints made of the hardness of the water, which his due to the clarifying of it with alum, I may recommend the discontinuance of alum and the substitution of iron and lime. The later softens the water, and iron is splendid as a coagulant."
Labels: City Chemist Cross, health, Missouri river, typhoid
January 21, 1909
FANATIC RIOTER TO TEXAS.
Mrs. Della Pratt has Gone to Live
on a Farm.
Mrs. Della Pratt, a member of the band of fanatics who participated in the city hall riot, December 8, is on the way to Texas. Had legal obstacles not interposed, the charge of murder now pending against her would have been dismissed yesterday in the criminal court. But it was found that this was not advisable.
At the time of the riot, Mrs. Pratt was in a houseboat in the Missouri river. She was later captured in a skiff, after being fired upon by police, whose bullets killed her young daughter, in the boat with Mrs. Pratt. For some time she has been out on a bond of $3,000, although it has never been the intention of the state to press a charge against her.
Yesterday it had practically been decided to release Mrs. Pratt, but it was found that the state could not compel her attendance as a witness at the trials of James Sharp and Mrs. Sharp, leaders of the band, unless she was under bond. Had the charge been dismissed she could not have been brought to Missouri to testify once she had left the state. For that reason the charge still stands against her, but the bond is now $500. Thomas M. Pratt, her brother-in-law, is surety. The Pratt children are already in Texas. Their mother will join them on a farm near Sherman, where relatives live.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, criminal court, Missouri river, Texas
December 9, 1908
BULLETS KILL TWO AND WOUND FIVE IN FIERCE BATTLE BETWEEN POLICE AND BAND OF RELIGIOUS FANATICS
FIGHT BEGAN IN FRONT OF CENTRAL POLICE STATION AND ENDED AT MISSOURI RIVER BANK.
MAN AND GIRL AMONG DEAD
YOUNG GIRL, MEMBER OF THE BAND,
PIERCED BY BULLETS AFTER FLEE-
ING TO THE RIVER.
Three Policemen Wounded.
Tent on Missouri River Flat Boat Where the Women and Children Members of the Religious Fanatics Took Refuge.
-- Shot through the breast, abdomen and thigh.
LULU Pratt, 14 years old, fanatic
-- Shot through the right chest and cut through right eye and upper lip with dagger. Taken to St. Joseph's hospital; dangerous.
-- Shot in the right chest, right kidney and left hand. Taken to St. Joseph's hospital; dangerous.
-- Shot in forehead. Right ankle crushed and shot in calf of same leg. Leg amputated at general hospital later.
J. J. Sulzer, retired farmer living at 2414 Benton boulevard
-- Shot in right hip, also in right chest. Latter bullet glanced and severed the spine. Paralyzed from shoulders down. Taken to University hospital; will die.
Lieutenant Harry E. Stege
-- Shot through left arm. Ball passed along his chest from right to left, grazing the skin, taking piece out of arm. Went back into fight.
In a battle between police and religious fanatics which began at Fourth and Main streets at 3:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon and ended at the Missouri river bank, two persons were killed and five were injured. The trouble came about through the police trying to break up a religious street meeting, at which revolvers and knives were carried by the exhorters.
Just a few minutes before the tragedy occurred George M. Holt, a probation officer, found Mrs. Melissa Sharp, Mrs. Della Pratt and the latter's five children singing near Fifth and Main streets. He asked why the children were not in school, and was answered with an insult.
"Do you belong here?" he asked of one of the women.
"No, we have a house boat on the river," she replied.
The fanatics, after a collection amounting to about $3 or $4 had been made, started north on Main street with Mr. Holt following. They went into what is known as the Poor Man's mission, 309 Main street, conducted by J. C. Creighton and wife. Mr. Holt then approached J. A. Sharp, husband of one of the women, and addressed him and Louis Pratt, the other's husband.
"I am the father of Jesus Christ," said Sharp. "I have been sent to reorganize the world. You are no more than damned sheep. Get out of here. I am going to preach with my children right in front of that police station. You'll see what they'll do to me. Get out!"
With that Sharp drew a big revolver and struck Mr. Holt over the head. He left the "mission" with the fanatics following, all of them but two having revolvers, Sharp with both revolvers and knives. The fanatics consisted then of Mr. and Mrs. Sharp, Mr. and Mrs. Pratt and the latter's children, Lulu, 14, Lena, 12, Mary, 11, Dewey, 8, and Edna, 4 years old.
While Mr. Holt hurried into police headquarters, his head bleeding, the fanatics ranged along the curb in front of John Blanchon's saloon, 400 Main street, and the men began to flourish revolvers and knives and talk in wild tones about what God had commanded them to do. While all this was going on Patrolman Dalbow, who was sent from the station to see what the trouble was, walked up to James Sharp, who styles himself as "Adam God." Witnesses say that Dalbow spoke kindly to the man and told him he must cease, as a crowd was gathering.
"I'LL SHOOT THE SERGEANT."
"Do you come as a friend, brother?" Sharp asked.
"Yes," replied the officer," the sergeant wants to see you.
"I am going over and shoot the sergeant," said Sharp, his wrath rising again.
Just at that juncture Lieutenant Harry E. Stege, who had followed Dalbow out of the station, arrived on the scene and said to Sharp, "Drop that knife," at the same time drawing a revolver and pointing it at Sharp.
Then the trouble began in real earnest. Louis Pratt, who, up to that time had stood mute by the curb, a little in the rear and to one side of Sharp, raised a revolver which he was carrying in his hand and shot at Lieutenant Stege.
LOUIS PRATT. Religious Fanatic, Whose Leg Was Shot Off in Fight With Police.
The ball tore through Stege's clothing form the right to the left side along the chest, taking a chunk out of the left arm. Stege retreated, shooting, and a general fusillade was opened on the police. Pratt shot Dalbow through the chest, just as he was drawing his revolver, and one of the women, Mrs. Sharp, witnesses say, shot him in the back as he retreated.
DIES IN EMERGENCY.
Dalbow staggered across the street south to the door of the emergency hospital. As he pushed open the door his revolver fell from his hand. "I am shot bad," he said to Dr. R. N. Coffey. The officer caught him and carried him to a cot in the hospital. He died in a few minutes without regaining consciousness.
The shooting by that time had attracted the attention of all the officers in police headquarters. Sergeant Patrick Clark, in his shirt sleeves and unarmed, went out and into the thickest of the fray. The big leader, Sharp, was tackled by the sergeant and, though the latter was armed with both a knife and a revolver, the sergeant went after him with his fists. Clark was stabbed twice in the face and as he turned, was shot through the shoulder.
Captain Walter Whitsett, Inspector Charles Ryan, Detective Edward Boyle and others went into the street, emptied their revolvers and returned for more ammunition.
The gamest fight against the greatest odds was made by Patrolman Mullane, who ran down Fourth street from Delaware street just in time to meet the enraged fanatics fighting their way toward him. Louis Pratt, Mrs. Sharp and Lulu, the oldest Pratt girl, all attacked him, paying little heed to the shots of others. He at that time was the only policeman in uniform in range. Mullane would shoot at Pratt and when the woman and girl would walk right up to him and shoot at him, the big Irishman, realizing that they were only women, only clubbed his gun and struck at them.
The three-cornered fight lasted until Mullane's gun was empty and they had him cornered behind a small wagon on the north side of Fourth street. While he was attempting to get at Pratt the woman and girl pumped shots into him from the rear. He soon followed Sergeant Clark into the station, where both men fell to the floor. Doctors attended them there. They were later removed to the emergency hospital, their wounds dressed, and sent to St. Joseph's.
SPECTATOR IS SHOT.
While there were no fewer than 500 spectators in the crowd when the shooting began, only one was shot. That was J. J. Sulzer, 2414 Benton boulevard, a retired farmer. He was an onlooker and was hit by two bullets, the fanatics evidently taking him for an enemy. He was shot in the right hip first and almost immediately afterwards in the right chest. That ball ranged in such a manner that the spinal cord was severed. Mr. Sulzer dropped on the car tracks in front of city hall. He was treated at the emergency and sent to the University hospital. The doctors think he cannot live, as he is paralyzed from the shoulders down.
SHARP, RINGLEADER, ESCAPED.
There was not a moment while the fight was on that the police could not have killed all of the women and children, but they refrained from doing so. Seeming to realize the fact, the women and older Pratt girls -- Mary, Lena and Lulu -- constantly gathered around the two men who were doing most of the shooting. The women and girls would circle about the men, thereby blanketing the fire of the police, and would then fire point blank at the officers themselves.
Among the fanatics, Pratt and Mrs. Sharp made the gamest fight. Sharp, the leader of the bunch, disappeared during the fight, as if the earth had swallowed him. Pratt was so badly wounded that he had to be left on the street, but even then one of the women, Mrs. Sharp, ran to him and gave him a loaded revolver. Struggling to position, he fired again until his weapon was emptied.
Chief Ahern turned in a riot call, and all the police in the city that were available appeared there as soon as possible, under commands of captains and lieutenants.
When it was found that Sharp, the ringleader, had escaped, the chief scattered his men in all direction over the city. It is believed that he was wounded. The houseboat was guarded last night.
WOUNDED RESTING EASILY.
At midnight Dr. Eugene King of St. Joseph's hospital said that Sergeant Patrick Clark was in a serious condition, but that he was doing nicely, and stood a good chance to recover. Patrolman Michael Mullane had shown some little improvement during the hour preceding 12 o'clock. Dre. King said that his chances of recovery were very slight.
The condition of J. J. Sulzer at the University hospital was reported by Dr. A. W. McArthur at midnight to be very critical. Dr. McArthur said that one of the bullets was lodged just beneath the skin on the left side of his body, but that he would not attempt to remove it until this morning.. Hope for Mr. Sulzer recovering from his wounds was slight, the surgeon said.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, Captain Whitsett, children, emergency hospital, Fourth street, guns, Inspector Boyle, Main street, ministers, Missouri river, murder, North end, Police Chief Ahern, violence, women
December 9, 1908
GIRL IS KILLED ON RIVER.
Police Attempted to Sink Skiff in
Which Mrs. Pratt and Chil-
dren Were Escaping.
Information that men and women who had participated in the shooting had escaped and were making their way to a houseboat they had moored in the river was given to the police. Chief of Police Daniel Ahern ordered Captain Walter Whitsett, Lieutenant Al Ryan and Inspector of Detectives Charles Ryan to go to the river with thirty detectives and patrolmen.
When the officers arrived at the river bank, foot of Delaware street, they found one woman, two girls and a boy guarding the boat. Inspector Charles Ryan acted as the spokesman for the police and, climbing down the sand embankment, approached the gang plank. He was stopped by the woman, Mrs. Della Pratt, who threatened to shoot. The woman stood at the head of the scow gesticulating with her left hand as she warned the officers not to come any nearer, while she kept her right hand on a rifle hidden behind the canvas flap of the boat covering. Lining the top of the bank for a block in each direction, people stood watching the police trying to induce the woman way from the boat. She refused to allow anyone to approach the boat nearer than the end of the gang plank.
When ordered to come out on the bank she said she would give herself up if the police would bring Mrs. Melissa Sharp to the river and allow her to talk to her. The police refused to grant her request. Then she asked them to have James Sharp, whom she called "Adam," brought to the house boat.
REFUSED TO SURRENDER.
For forty-five minutes the police argued with the woman and pleaded with her to surrender, but she stubbornly refused. Her two daughters, Lula, 14, and Mary, 11, joined the tirade against the police. While the officers did not want to shoot the woman and two girls, they were afraid to make a run for the boat, as it was believed that some of the men might be in it.
Finally a woman allowed William Engnell, a 15-year-old boy, to leave the boat and the police officials urged him to try to influence the woman to give up. He returned to the boat, but he did not have any success and again left the boat and was placed under arrest.
Untying a skiff which was alongside of the small houseboat, the woman ordered the two girls into it, and taking several revolvers and a rifle, the woman entered it and shoved off toward midstream. As the skiff, which had a canopy over it in the bow, floated out into the current, loud cheers rent the air from many of the persons in the crowd who sympathized with the woman and her kind.
ORDERED NOT TO SHOOT.
Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., and Police Commissioner Andrew E. Gallagher were spectators along the river bank, and had ordered the police not to shoot the woman and children. But it was seen that the woman and children would soon be out of reach, Mayor Crittenden gave the police permission to attempt to shoot holes in the boat in an attempt to endeavor to compel the woman to put back to shore.
Immediately upon receiving the order, Lieutenant Harry E. Stege, armed with a riot gun, shot at the boat and his fire was at once returned by the woman, who used a Winchester. As the bullets from the skiff were aimed at the crowd and were heard to sing as they passed overhead, the crowd wavered and finally broke and ran. The police fired volley after volley at the skiff, but could not tell whether the bullets were having any effect. After using all of the ammunition in the boat, the woman sat down and the girls got under the canopy.
Previously, and during the shooting, the three had been standing up in the boat, singing and waving their arms. It was seen that the boat had passed behind the range of the police guns and a new form of attack had to be planned. Mayor Crittenden ordered several patrolmen to enter a skiff and follow the fanatical woman and her children. He ordered them to stay out of rifle range but to keep them in view and arrest them at the first opportunity.
FOLLOWED BY FERRY BOAT.
But as the crowd of police officers and followers ran east along the river bank they came to the Ella May, a ferry boat, and impressed it into service. The captain of the boat was ordered to follow the floating skiff and near the piers of the old Whiner bridge the Ella May drew alongside of the skiff and its occupants. Inspector Ryan and Captain Whitsett asked them to take the woman out of the water.
The water became so shallow that the ferry boat had to back up, and it was then steered to the regular Harlem landing and the police ran up to where McCoy was standing on the bank with Mrs. Pratt and her daughter, Mary.
The woman informed the officers that her other daughter, Lula, 14 years old, had been shot in the cheek and was in the boat. The little girl's dead body was huddled in the bow of the skiff. It was placed on some bedding found in the skiff and two patromen rowed it back to the foot of Main street, where an ambulance was waiting. The woman and living child were put on the ferry boat and brought to police headquarters. The dead child's body was sent to Wagner's morgue.
PITY FOR THE CHILD.
With her clothes wringing wet from dropping into the water as she attempted to get out of the boat after her mother said they would surrender, Mary Pratt, 11 years old, stood shivering on the sand bank near Harlem. An officer shed his coat and wrapped it around her. Pity was expressed by every police officer for the girl, but none was shown for the woman who was led to the boat with her wet clothes clinging to her body.
They were placed in the engine room while the ferry boat crossed the river, and then taken to the station in the police ambulance. While crossing the river Mary, who is a sweet-faced intelligent little girl, told about the shooting.
"Our faith you know teaches us that we have the right to kill police who interfere with us. We were strangers and did not know we had to have a permit to sing in the street. When the officer came out there and told us to get off the street, then we believed that they were not peaceful and we had a right to shoot them."
"Does your religion teach you that it is right to kill people?" was asked. "No, you be just and understand my position," Mary said. "We are a peace-loving people and believe that this country is free and we have a right to preach on the streets. If the police try to stop us our religion teaches us to believe that they are wrong and should be killed."
"Did you all have guns with you up town, Mary?" was asked by Lieutenant Al Ryan.
"Yes, we all had guns except Dewey and Edna. Papa had given them to us and we always carried them when we went up town to preach," she said. As she told her story she smiled every little while, and the fact that her sister had been killed did not seem to trouble her.
She told the police that the tribe of religious fanatics had drifted down the Missouri river from North Dakota, where they had spent the summer. Two boys named William and Alexander Engnell joined the clan at Two Rivers, S. D. The boys lived at Pelan, Minn. Alexander fell from the faith, Mary said, and left the band before they reached Iowa. William is still with the people and was arrested at the houseboat.
Labels: Adam God sect, boats, Captain Whitsett, children, Delaware street, Fourth street, guns, Harlem, Main street, Mayor Crittenden, ministers, Missouri river, murder, Police Chief Ahern, violence, women
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