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August 4, 1909


W. H. Winants Tells of Pioneer
Movement in Electric Railways.

Some idea of the complete way in which the street railway properties are wiped out may be gathered from the fate of the old Northeast electric line. It was only in an accidental way yesterday that the fact was developed that within the last twenty years there was built, operated and wiped out in this city an electric railway. The contractor who was speaking of the line could not recall particulars of it, but remembered that Colonel W. H. Winants, president of the Mercantile bank of this city, had been president of the old company. When Colonel Winants was asked about the road he told a story that was one of pioneering.

"Municipal transportation is a dangerous thing," said the Mercantile bank's president. "So many bright minds are bent upon perfecting the means of rapid transit that great discoveries are made, so great that they destroy all earlier methods. Eight men, including myself, found some twenty years ago that horse cars, dummy engines and cable railways would soon be obsolete and that electricity would be the moving power.

"We raised money for a line and took over the Northeast horse car line. That system ran from the Market square to Woodland avenue by way of Independence avenue. It took care of only that territory, and being a mule line, was not conducive to settlers going beyond. With electricity available we went further. We left Independence avenue and laid rails along the present route, though not so far east as the cars now go.

"When we went out there we went out alone. Our equipment was crude, being then newly invented, and the consequence was the service was not as good as it might be. It would not be accepted today. But we ran electric cars, the people saw how much faster they went than the old mules, and how much farther they could go without coming to a dead stop. Mules would go only so far.

"Poor as our service was, the line began to develop the country, and in an incredibly short space of time there were houses going up all along the route, and thus began the growth of the northeast part of Kansas City. The street cars did it."

Asked what became of the line, President Winants laughed and said that "modern inventions and other things made it necessary to get a bigger company, the Metropolitan, to take it over.

"I had the honor of being the president of the first electric line in Kansas City, and the only 'gravity system' we have had. One morning I arrived at the car line barns at Highland avenue, or near there, and found the trolley had got mixed up with the overhead rigging, and had been torn off the top of the car. It would not do to tie up the system. It was time for people to be getting down town. So I had the trolley pole laid at the curb, closed the doors, told the passengers there would be no stop made till we got to the end of the line, thus giving a chance to any who wanted to get off, and away we went.

"It was a downhill run all the way except past Shelley park, and we gathered enough momentum before reaching that level to carry us on to the next decline. We made the trip all right, and thus began and ended Kansas City's gravity line.

"Seriously speaking," resumed Colonel Winants, "there is a great risk in street car sureties. The lines have to spend vast sums of money pioneering. They do a tremendous amount of good to the city and a new invention may wipe them out."

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June 16, 1909


Col. Fleming Presents Bronze Tablet
of Lincoln's Gettysburg Speech.

The class day exercises of Garfield school will be held tonight at the Independence Boulevard Christian church. A feature of the exercises will be the presentation to Garfield school of a bronze tablet containing Lincoln's Gettysburg address The address will be made by J. A. Runyan, industrial commissioner of the Commercial Club, and the tablet will be accepted on behalf of the Kansas City board of education and the Garfield school by General Milton Moore, who will also present the certificates of graduation to the seventy-five students graduating this year. The tablet is 18x25 inches of bronze, and was presented to the school by Colonel Fred W. Fleming. It will probably be placed in the main hall way of the enlarged Garfield school before the opening of the fall term in September.

A committee consisting of Colonel Fleming, chairman; Judge John G. Park, Fred C. Adams, J. M. Fox, Rev. Dr. G. H. Combs and E. C. Meservey, representing the Northeast Improvement Association, took the matter up with the board of education about a year ago of needed improvements to the Garfield school building. The board has purchased 100 feet of ground lying east of the present building on which an addition will be erected during the coming summer, and the entire school building renovated inside and out.

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May 26, 1908


Taken by William Becker and His
Wife on a Northeast Car.

William Becker and wife, 413 Prospect avenue, were suffering yesterday from a most unusual injury received Sunday night on an eastbound Northeast-Rockhill car. The accident occurred on one of the new cars, and in one of the long seats running parallel at the rear of the car. Just as the car rounded the curve into Maple avenue, Becker and his wife, from some source unseen by them, received such a terrific shock of electricity that they were thrown across the car to the opposite seats.

Becker was at work in the city market yesterday for C. L. Reeder, a fish merchant, but his right arm was practically useless and his right let was also in bad shape. He said his wife was shocked on the right side below the waist.

"I can't imagine where the shock came from," said Becker, "but I know that it was so strong that it almost blinded me for a moment. The conductor told me afterwards that his shoulder was almost dislocated when he grabbed me as I was thrown from the seat. I have heard of cars being charged with electricity on damp nights, and as it was very damp Sunday it may be that this car was in that state.

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November 20, 1907


While running beside and east-bound Northeast car at 1441 Independence avenue yesterday afternoon, Samuel Friedman, a 10-year-old school boy, lost his footing and fell, sustaining a compound fracture of the right leg. With a companion the lad was hopping street cars. His home is at 1130 Independence avenue.

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October 5, 1907


Devout Expression of Little Girl
Struck by a Car.

"God was good to me that time," was the comment of a 5-year-old girl when she was taken from the fender of a rapidly moving Northeast car at Locust street and Independence avenue about 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon. And while a dozen grown-ups, who had witnessed her narrow escape from death, were yet struggling to recover their equanimiity, she calmly caught hold of the hand of her uncle, John Reed of Kansas City, Kas., and walked away.

The child had become separated from her uncle and, in attempting to catch up with him, tried to cross the car tracks in front of the car. Before the motorman, C. M. Johnson, could stop, the car struck the little one, who was caught by the fender. The car was brought to a quick halt and Johnson and the conductor, H. L. Moe, ran to the front, expecting to find her mangled remains beneath the wheels. Instead, she was seated on the fender, not greatly disturbed by the accident. She left the scene with her uncle before her name and address could be ascertained.

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September 13, 1907


Wholesale Destruction of Canines in
Northeast Part of Town.

Poisoners have been killing dogs by the wholesale in the district centering about 500 Olive street the past two days. More than thirty canines, some of them valuable, have died from what appears to be arsenic poisoning. Within one block on Minnie street three dogs were found dead yesterday morning, one of them being an imported butt terrier belonging to Frank J. Lyngr, a policeman, living at 2116 Minnie.

Most of the animals killed were valueless street curs, but a few were dogs of pedigree and breeding. One Scotch collie valued at $125 was among the victims.

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May 31, 1907


Test Made Last Night to Develop

Forty-two cows selected from dairies in the northeast part of the city were inoculated at 8 o'clock last night with tuberculosis virus by City Milk Inspector Wright and L. Champlain, veterinarian of the city pure food inspectors, for the purpose of determining if any of the herd are afflicted with tuberculosis. The temperatures of the cows treated were taken at three different times yesterday, the last shortly before the tuberculosis virus was injected. It takes twenty-four hours for tuberculosis to develop in a cow, and the real results of the tests made last night will not be known until tonight.

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