January 9, 1910
WORK AND WAGES FOR
Mayor Formulates Plan to Provide
Living During Present Cold
Weather for All Worthy Needy.
"Kansas City intends to be kind to the needy and unfortunate temporarily out of work," observed Gus Pearson, city comptroller, yesterday, "but we first are going to find out who is worthy of our time and kindness.
"This wail about the starving and homeless unemployed has been magnified. Investigation shows that on many of the coldest nights of the winter there were a whole lot of vacant beds in the Helping Hand institute, and I have it from the management that they had twenty-four more calls for work for men than could be filled.
"The trouble is that a great many well meaning people are imposed upon and their sympathies wrought up by classes of individuals who are continually preying on the purse strings of the charitable, but will not work unless the work meets with their particular tastes."
Mr. Pearson had a conference yesterday with William Volker, chairman of the pardons and parole board. They discussed the plan proposed by Mayor Crittenden of making an additional appropriation of funds to temporarily tide over the unemployed by giving them work at the municipal stone quarries in Penn Valley park and the municipal farm at Leeds. This will be done as quickly as possible after Messrs. Pearson and Volker have conferred with the heads of charitable institutions and the police in reference to the character of men considered really deserving.
"Bums and loafers who stray into Kansas City just to spend the winter and live off the charitable must move on or go to the workhouse," said Mr. Pearson. "We feel that we have a citizenship of our own who should receive our little acts of kindness in times of distress, and so far as the present city administration is concerned, there will be no deserving man or boy without a place of shelter or a meal."
Labels: charity, employment, Helping Hand, Leeds, Mayor Crittenden, parole board, Penn Valley park, workhouse
December 7, 1910
SKATING ON ALL PARK LAKES.
Length of Season for This Sport
Breaks All Records.
There has been consecutive skating on Penn Valley and Troost park lakes and the Parade since December 12 last, and if there is no unusual change in the weather the outlook for this winter entertainment continuing indefinitely seems promising.
"All skating records on the park lakes have been broken this winter," said W. H. Dunn, general superintendent of the system, yesterday. "Old timers tell me that this has been the severest winter Kansas City has had for years, and two feet of ice on the park lakes seems to bear them out. In the early part of the winter of 1908 there was no skating.
"The lakes were more adapted to boating, and the only skating last winter was from January 6 to 10 and from January 29 to February 5, twenty days, all told. There is a fine sheet of ice at the lagoon at Swope park, but thus far very few skaters have taken advantage of it. The downtown lakes are more accessible, and they are crowded afternoons and nights."
Labels: Penn Valley park, skating, Troost avenue, weather
December 7, 1909
HOMELESS MEN CITY'S WARDS.
Cold Weather Causes Influx -- Will
Be Worked in Quarry.
The approach of winter is bringing to the city the usual influx of penniless and homeless, and the charitable institutions are beginning to realize it. Yesterday George W. Fuller, a former member of the park board and representing the municipal labor committee in an official capacity, told the park board that Saturday and Sunday night 150 men out of work and money applied to the institute for food and lodgings. Mr. Fuller suggested that the plan of last year, whereby the city and park board co-operated, be followed this year, of working the unemployed in mining rock and crushing it for road building in Penn Valley park. Single men could be fed and lodged at the institute, and men with families could be given supplies on the basis of a dollar's worth a day.
Last year the experiment cost the city $4,918, and about 90 per cent of the rock is piled up and has not been used.
W. H. Dunn, superintendent of parks, said that the idea was a good and commendable one, but the question that confronted the city was what is to be done with the unused rock quarried last year. He said that some of it could be used, but advised that if the city was going into the quarrying business again some disposition should be made of the rock on hand.
Gus Pearson, city comptroller, urged the board to take up the proposition another year.
"It segregates the man who will work from the fellow who will not," said Mr. Pearson.
"And it means that whatever the city gives the Helping Hand to care for the poor and lowly, it will get back in labor and rock," argued Mr. Fuller.
On motion of D. J. Haff the board set apart $2,000 from the West park district fund with which to pay for the rock that is to be quarried and broken at the rate of 80 cents a cubic yard.
Labels: charity, employment, Helping Hand, Park board, Penn Valley park
August 22, 1909
BAND CONCERTS FOR THIS WEEK.
Sunday, 2:30 p. m., Swope park.
Monday, 8 p. m., Concourse, St. John and Gladstone.
Tuesday, 8 p. m., West Terrace park, Thirteenth and Summit.
Wednesday, 8 p. m., Budd park.
Thursday, 8 p. m., Penn Valley park, Twenty-seventh and Jefferson.
Friday, 8 p. m., Troost park, Thirtieth and Paseo.
Saturday, 8 p. m., the Parade, Fifteenth and the Paseo.
Labels: Budd park, Fifteenth street, Gladstone boulevard, Jefferson street, music, Paseo, Penn Valley park, St. John avenue, Summit street, Swope park, Thirtieth street, Twenty-seventh street
August 11, 1909
"MOTHER" WAKEFIELD IS DEAD.
Once Kept a Boarding House for
Benefit of Policemen.
Mrs. Sophia L. Wakefield, "mother" of the police department, died of paralysis at 11 o'clock last night at her home, 2906 Penn Valley park. She was 70 years old and a widow. Her husband, a major in the Union army, was killed in the civil war. Funeral arrangements have not been made.
Many of the older members of the police force will remember "Mother" Wakefield, as she was lovingly called in the days when she kept a little boarding house for the benefit of policemen at 206 East Sixth street. No restaurant in the North End, then a better place in which to live than now, could compete with her in the culinary art, and when her pleasant smile of welcome and ready sense of humor were thrown in with the repast, the satisfaction afforded by the meals to the big officers knew no bounds.
Mrs. Wakefiled was born in Chatham, Canada, and came to this city forty years ago. She is survived by two sons, Hank Wakefield, a former circus press agent, and William, a member of a troup of acrobats.
Labels: boarding house, circus, history, North end, Penn Valley park, police
February 13, 1909
ROCK QUARRY SOLVES
More Than 100 Men, Out of Work,
Have Benefited by Scheme of
The Helping Hand institute, assisted by the park board, has solved the "unemployed" problem of Kansas City. Since Monday more than 100 men have been busy at the rock quarry at Penn Valley park, and it is now the belief of E. T. Brigham, superintendent of the institute, that the situation is well in hand. Though the quarry is operated at a slight loss each day, he believes that in time there will be no public begging in Kansas City.
Several weeks ago, the park board agreed to take all the broken rock that the Helping Hand institute could furnish at $1 per cubic foot. A deserted quarry at the northeast corner of the park was turned over to Mr. Brigham and work began Monday.
Under ordinary circumstances the average man breaks two cubic feet of rock each day. For this he is allowed $1.60, but not in currency, which he might be tempted to spend in the North End saloons. For each box of rock he is allowed a 5-cent ticket. If he fills twenty-four boxes he is given twenty-four tickets, and these he exchanges for meal tickets which are good at three different restaurants or at the Helping Hand institute.
If he is unmarried and has no family to support he is not allowed to work until three days have elapsed, and in the meantime is allowed to look out for permanent employment. The tickets which he accumulates will afford him board and lodging for three days under ordinary circumstances.
At the quarry yesterday eighty-eight men were employed. A dozen of the more experienced were blasting rock; others were carrying the larger stones in wheel barrows to smaller piles. In the long shed which the park board constructed for use in cold weather the time keeper was busy keeping the individual accounts. Every man is furnished a pair of mittens free of charge and is entitled to go in the shed and warm his hands at the coal stove.
The extra expense is due to the number of experienced men who must be employed, Superintendent Brigham explained. One carpenter must be employed to do nothing but repair the boxes and fix hammer handles. An experienced man who understands blasting is also employed and adds to the expense bill.
"We are well pleased," Mr. Brigham said yesterday. "Thanks to the co-operation of the city, we can soon see that no one suffers in Kansas City for the lack of shelter and something to eat."
Labels: employment, Helping Hand, North end, Penn Valley park
December 20, 1908
APPEALS TO THE PUBLIC.
Mayor Crittenden Asks for Contribu-
tions to the Tree.
The following appeal to the public to contribute towards the success of the Christmas tree was issued yesterday by Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr.:
"I desire to call the attention of the good people of Kansas City to the great Christmas tree to be had at Convention hall on Christmas day from 2 p. m. to 11 p. m. of that day, for our less fortunate children, and to afford an opportunity to all who love little children to contribute to this worthy enterprise.
"There is no place in America where the welfare of unfortunate children is more dominant than here, and there is no city in America that will respond more quickly and generously than ours to such a call as this.
"I am not addressing this letter to the rich only, but to every man and woman who desire to have every poor child in Kansas City receive a Christmas present. Small contributions from everybody who can give is really the idea of the general committee.
"The poorly clad Christ Child came for the poor, as well as the rich, and while Kansas City is boasting of her prosperity and her growth, her great boulevards and her parks, her busy stores and her big banks, her splendid churches and her beautiful homes, let us not forget that there are a thousand unfortunate families in our midst, and that while we are celebrating this happy season and loading down our children with gifts, that there are multitudes of children that will have no Christmas, but will look on in silence, without so much as an orange.
"In behalf of these I make this appeal. Convention hall has had many great occasions. Let us make this the greatest. Kansas City has had many a happy Christmas; let us make this the happiest. Let this be Kansas City's Christmas treat for her children, and let us see to it that no child, of whatever creed or tongue or color, or however humble, will go to bed that hallowed night with a heavy heart and empty hands.
"Who among you are unwilling to make a little sacrifice towards this end? Money contributions received at the mayor's office, supplies of any kind received at Convention hall."
The several committees are requested to meet at the mayor's office in the city hall at 11 o'clock tomorrow forenoon.
Nearly $800 in cash contributions has been received, but this amount does not include cash subscriptions being solicited by the committees. It is hoped to raise $5,000.
Five large pine trees that are in the way of grading improvements at Penn Valley park are to be used from which to distribute presents at Convention hall.
Labels: charity, Convention Hall, holidays, Mayor Crittenden, Penn Valley park
August 12, 1908
ROTH IS SUSPENDED.
Park Policeman Accused of Arrest-
ing Two Young Girls
"He's suspended now, is he not?" asked F. S. Doggett, a member of the park board at yesterday's meeting.
"He is," replied Franklin Hudson, president.
"Then make the suspension indefinite," recommended Mr. Doggett, and the recommendation was ratified.
This is what happened to Herman Roth, a park policeman, who arrested Wanda McComb, 14 years old, and Freda Westerman, 15 years old, at a band concert in Penn Valley park last Monday night and later turned them over to the matron of the Detention home without informing their parents. It was asserted by Mrs. Westerman, mother of one of the girls, that she had investigated and was satisfied that Roth was under the influence of liquor when he made the arrests. She was supported by T. P. Strum and H. M. Ward, motorman and conductor, respectively on a Roanoke car, which Roth boarded with the prisoners. The street car men say Roth rode aimlessly about looking for a police station.
Freda Westerman exhibited several bruises and finger nail cuts on her hands and arms, which she said had been inflicted by Roth. He used profane language when they remonstrated against being dragged through streets and being compelled to take long and unnecessary rides in street cars.
Roth was not present to defend himself. A report was read from Sergeant Becker, the import of which was that he did not believe that Roth was drunk when he made the arrests. The records of the board show that Roth had heretofore been dismissed from the service for drinking while on duty.
Labels: children, music, Park board, Penn Valley park, police, streetcar
June 23, 1908
CASTLE IN PENN VALLEY PARK.
Is to Be Built by Park Board on
When Penn Valley park is completed, a castle is to be built on the crest of the hill east of the present lake, overlooking Twenty-sixth street, the Union depot and the West bottoms. It will be the highest elevation in the city park system. George E. Kessler, park landscape engineer, is now planning the structure.
J. C. Ford, 201 New England Life building, yesterday asked the board to consider his suggestion that a building to cost not less than $5,000 be erected on the high elevation. He wanted the building to have a restaurant and a roof garden with a flag polie above to distinguish it. It was after hearing Mr. Ford's suggestion that the members of the board let out the secret that just about such a structure is to be built and that the plans are now being made for it.
Labels: George Kessler, Park board, Penn Valley park, Twenty-sixth street, Union depot, West bottoms
June 12, 1908
BECAUSE HE HAD THE BLUES.
W. H. Bradley Drank Cloroform in
Penn Valley Park.
Choosing Penn Valley park as a picturesque place in which to die, W. H. Bradley, 35 years old, 2937 Baltimore avenue, attempted suicide there yesterday afternoon by drinking two ounces of chloroform. He was seen lying in the park by a passer-by who called the police.
Bradley was taken hurriedly to the general hospital where he was revived by Dr. R. A. Shiras. Bradley says he wished to end his life because things looked blue.
Labels: Penn Valley park, Suicide
June 7, 1908
POLICE REFUSE TO
"NOT TRYING WIX IN THE NEWSPA-
PERS," THEY SAY.
As in All Cases, They Are Seeking
Evidence Against the Accused,
Only, and Not That Which
Would Free Him.
"The police will give no more information concerning the Wix case. I think we have given out too much of our side already. We do not intend to try the case in the newspapers."
So said Captain Walter Whitsett at police headquarters last night when asked if there was anything new in the case. By "Our side" he meant the prosecution. He said further that the publication of too much of "our information gives the other fellows a chance to get busy." In other words the police department, a public institution, is run solely to prosecute men. When a man is arrested, charged with a crime, it is a well known fact that the police set to work to get all they can against the man and seldom take notice of anything in the prisoner's favor.
If Clark Wix is convicted for the murder of John Mason as he now stands charged, it appears that it will have to be solely upon circumstantial evidence as, so far, the police have no positive evidence.
The man's watch found in pawn in Wix's name at Silverman's pawnshop, 1215 Grand avenue, and later identified by Mrs. Lizzie Mason, widow of the murdered man and Maude Wilson, was yesterday proved beyond a doubt to be the property of Wix. In his statement Wix said that the watch was his and the woman's watch was his wife's.
When J. B. Schmeltz, 1231 Grand avenue, was seen he said that Detective Fred Bailey called him up about the watch. His mark in the watch was 10232107. The 102 Schmeltz places in all his watches and the 32107 when separated means 3, 21, 07, or March 21, 1907, when the watch sold. The works number is 14160503 and the case 6219763. It is a Waltham, size 16.
WIX BOUGHT A DIAMOND.
When Silverman's pawnshop was visited it was learned that the watch pawned by Wix February 10 last bears exactly the same numbers. Schmeltz also said that he recalled Wix bringing a diamond stick pin to him to be set in a ring and said that he believed he sold him a small diamond ring within the last year, possibly the one Wix gave to Maud Wilson.
The numbers on the works of the woman's watch in pawn are 10437364 and the case 67074. That watch is claimed by Mrs. Mason, who said that her husband was carrying it when he disappeared. She said that the watch was brought second hand, so it would be hard to trace the numbers in that case. Wix says the watch is his wife's and she confirms him. Her description of the watch is identical with the one in pawn. Her nurse friends used to use it when she was a nurse at the general hospital, and they all describe it as a large-sized woman's wath, engraved case, with a diamond in the back. Captain Whitsett says that the watch is being held as evidence and no one not connected with the police or the prosecution shall be allowed to see it. Harry Way, Mrs. Wix's father, said yesterday:
"That watch was given to Harriet by her uncle, Cyrus Way, fifteen years ago. It was brought from Roscoe Smulk, a jeweler at Shelbina, Mo, who is now dead. An effort will be made to get the numbers there, but I don't think they keep them."
If the watch was ever cleaned or repaired by a jeweler here, the numbers will be found here, and the defense is working along those lines now.
WHEN HE WAS ELEVEN YEARS OLD.
Some of the new information received by the police yesterday that, twelve years ago, while hunting near Ottawa, Kas., with a man named Alvin Keller, the latter was supposed to have been accidentally shot by Wix, and that the belief was that it was not accidental. Wix is now 23 years old, so, if that is true, he was only 1 years old when the informant seems to cast suspicion upon him.
It was learned yesterday that on Sunday, January 26, when Mason disappeared, he was about the barn of W. A. Marshall, 1417 Walnut, during the morning. He took John Nevins out and drove him through Penn Valley park in an effort to sell him a horse. Nevins, who is a horseshoer, did not take the horse. Then Mason called up George Coleman, a liveryman, and tried to sell him the buggy and harness. He was turning all his property into cash, as his wife had sued him for divorce.
While Coleman was looking at the buggy Mason left the barn. That was about noon. About 2 p. m. he called Marshall and said:
"I will be over pretty soon with Clark Wix, and I want you to knock that trade with me."
"I asked him what he meant," said Marshall, yesterday, "In his broken German he had used knock for boost. I don't see how he could have been talking in the presence of Wix, to whom he wanted to sell a team."
DISPLAYED HIS MONEY.
Detectives "Lum" Wilson and J. L. Ghent were assigned on the Mason case yesterday, and they took a new tack. They found out where Mason had often showed his money, that he did not choose his company well, and was often known to have shot craps with negroes. Any of that class may have known that Mason carried a large sum of money, and he might have been killed by them.
The police had several men in the office of Captain Whitsett last night, sweating them and taking their statements. Some of them are believed to have been men who worked for Wix at the time of Mason's disappearance. It is known that an old man named Barslow, a barn foreman, was told to be there at 8 p.m. One of the men who worked about there at the time and who knew Mason and his habits well is now being looked for by police with two different warrants for swindling transfer men and others for whom he worked. That is he collected C. O. D. money and decamped. That man's name is Gale Chaney, and his brother Tom also worked there. Another man now driving a newspaper wagon may be questioned by police.
Every person who ever knew Wix is now rallying to hi support in his hour of trouble. The verdict of many seen yesterday was, "He was the hardest worker I ever saw, and at the same time a man of jolly disposition. I can't conceive his committing such a crime and feel that he will come out all right."
Funeral services of John Mason, the murdered man, will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon at Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms, 3015 Main street.
Burial will be in Mount Washington cemetery.
Prosecutor I. B. Kimbrell and the grand jury were ready at 10:30 yesterday morning to examine Clark Wix and the evidence in the case against him, on which he is held in the county jail for the murder of John Mason, but Inspector M. E. Ryan telephoned that he did not have his evidence in shape to present. The grand jury then adjourned until Monday.
Labels: buggy, Captain Whitsett, detectives, Grand avenue, Main street, newspapers, nurses, pawn brokers, Penn Valley park, police headquarters, Prosecutor Kimbrell, undertakers, Walnut Street
May 14, 1908
ASK MEGAPHONES TO HELP.
Park Board Could Use the $15,000
the Minstrels Have on Hand.
At a recent meeting of the park board a resolution was adopted recommending the following improvements:
Building a front and installing shower baths in the public bath house on the Paseo at a cost of $4,000; making and installation of shower baths in North End playground, $4,000; installation of shower baths and remodeling in Warner square, Thirteenth and Summit streets, $2,000; enlargement of building in Holmes square, $4,000; building bath house in the Grove, $8,000; bath house in northwest corner of Penn valley park, $8,000; purchase of ground and building bath house on Admiral boulevard, $15,000.
The resolution invited the Megaphone minstrels to turn over to the park board the $15,000 they have in their treasury to assist in carrying out the resolution, and also extended the same invitation to the Playgrounds Association to come forward with the funds it has on hand.
Labels: Admiral boulevard, bath house, North end, Park board, Penn Valley park, Summit street, Thirteenth street
August 15, 1907
DON'T LIKE OILED ROADS.
Liverymen File a Protest With the
A Grand avenue liveryman appeared before the county court yesterday to plead against oiling the county macadam roads.
"An oiled rock road," he said, "is slippery and dangerous for horses. Since the boulevards in the city have been oiled we liverymen have to put sharp caulks on our horses' shoes to enable them to keep their footing, even in summer. When horses with these barbs are driven on the asphalt pavements they dig holes in it.
"There are two stretches of oiled boulevard in Kansas City upon which horses fall every day. One of them is on the hill near Penn Valley park. Some day there will be a bad accident on one of those places, and the city will have a damage suit on its hands.
"It will be more serious to oil the county roads, because the grades are steeper in the country than on the city boulevards."
Labels: county court, Grand avenue, Penn Valley park, public works
|Get the Book|
Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri
The Trial of Jesse James,
As an Amazon Associate this site may earn commissions from qualifying