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December 16, 1909


Speakers at Phantom Club Banquet
Show Steady Growth.

Members of the Phantom Club, organized on Friday, the thirteenth of December, four years ago, gave its second annual banquet last night at the Hotel Baltimore. Mayor Crittenden and prominent men about town were the guests of honor. Festus O. Miller was the toastmaster.

After a vocal solo by Lewis H. Scurlock, A. M. Kathrens, the president, reviewed the history of the club. He spoke of its organization and of its steady growth. It now has its own quarters at 1032 Penn street.

Other sentiments were responded to as follows:

"Phantoms in the Future," K. G. Rennic; "Club Fellowship," James West French; "Club Benefits," Estell Scott; "Good of the Order," Samuel Eppstein; "Topics," Clyde Taylor; "Remarks," Thomas R. Marks; "Narratives," Judge Harry G. Kyle.

Mayor Crittenden also spoke.

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August 13, 1909



Soldiered With Commissioner Marks
During Spanish-American War.
Retiring Secretary Held
Office Twelve Years.

Byron E. Line, formerly chief clerk and assistant purchasing agent of the Quincy, Omaha & Kansas City railroad, has been appointed to succeed James E. Vincil, for twelve years secretary to the board of police commissioners, who presented his resignation to the board yesterday afternoon, effective September 1. Mr. Vincil went into the office under Commissioners Gregory and Scarritt in 1897.

The new secretary is 30 years old. He has lived in Kansas City eight years. His salary will be $2,100 a year. His address is 1001 Penn street, Aberdeen Flats.

During the Spanish-American war Mr. Line was sergeant-major of the Fifth Illinois infantry, and for a time his regiment was brigaded with the 160th Indiana infantry, in which Commissioner Thomas R. Marks was captain. It was there that Line and Marks became acquainted.

Probably today the board will name a clerk to assist the secretary. He will bear the title of "excise clerk," and will have the saloons to look after. He will be expected to prepare a history of each saloon in Kansas City since the law limiting them went into effect.

"He will be expected to look after the sanitary conditions of each saloon," said Mr. Marks, "and also the moral tone, as it were. He must keep a record of all saloon proprietors, bartenders, porters and other employes, with their residences, and a complete history of each man. The day when well-dressed vagrants, 'con' men, highwaymen and burglars may tend bar in Kansas City will become a thing of the past very soon."

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June 20, 1909


List of Friday Night's Victims Re-
ported to Police.

Petty thieves and pickpockets were unusually busy Friday night and many robberies were reported to the police. In most cases, cash was taken. This list follows:

E. M. Dallas, 1026 Union avenue, lost diamond stud valued at $100 on Minnesota avenue car.

R. J. Nye's saloon, 1934 Grand avenue, cash register opened and $50 taken.

Miss Olive McCoy, 1035 Penn street, had pocketbook containing $30 stolen from her desk in the Great Western Life Insurance office.

Paul Witworth, 1111 East Eighth street, $40 taken from dresser drawer.

Samuel Levin, 1008 East Thirty-first street; dye works entered and $200 worth of clothes taken.

George Hayes, 1818 Oak street reported that he was slugged and robbed of $21 at Eighteenth and mcGee streets.

Floyd Swenson, 1810 Benton boulevard, reported that his residence was entered and money and jewelry aggregating $150 was taken.

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April 21, 1909


Switch Engine Derailed by Clothing
of Night Watchman Killed
on Belt Line Track.

L. Hougardy, night watchman for the Cypress Incubator Company, was decapitated and his body mangled by switch engine No. 2118 about 100 feet east of Penn street on the Belt Line tracks at 9:45 o'clock last night. Money in the man's pockets, together with his clothing which wadded up in front of the wheels, derailed the engine.

Engineer William White and Fireman Stoiver, by their combined efforts, could not dislodge the body, so No. 3 police station and the coroner were notified.

"I was keeping a sharp lookout on all sides because of the rain," said Engineer White. "I did not see the man, and can not yet understand how he came in front of the engine unnoticed, unless he had been murdered and laid across the rails or had been hit by another engine. The first notice I had of the accident was the jolt of the front wheels leaving the rails."

Engineer White has the reputation of being a careful engine driver of many years' experience. He lives at 2107 Belleview. Fireman Stoiver lives at 2719 Holly street.

Hougardy's identity was learned through his failure to pull the Western Union hourly call box. He lived near Broadway and Southwest boulevard.

An autopsy will be held today.

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October 18, 1908


Negro Fell Dead and Police Followed
Blood Stains to Crap Game.

William Williams, a negro 19 years old, fell dead in a doorway at Penn street and the Southwest boulevard at midnight. His head was nearly severed from his body. He had been seen running in Penn street just before he died.

Spectators telephoned police station No. 3 and officers were sent to the scene. The coroner was called and stated that it appeared to be the work of a strong man with an ax.

Sergeant Thomas O'Donnell followed a trail of blood in Penn street, picked up bloody dice on the way, and finally followed the stains to a spot near a box car on the Belt line tracks near Twenty-fourth and Penn streets. He said the place looked like it had been the scene of a crap game.

The body was sent to an undertaker and the police threw a patrol out through the district in an attempt to apprehend the murderer.

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September 21, 1908


Their Vehicle Got in Way of a
Street Car.

Several members of a picnic party were injured when a wagon in which they were returning from the outskirts of the city was struck by a Rosedale car at Southwest boulevard and Mayflower street shortly before 1 o'clock yesterday morning. Frank M. Spencer, owner of the wagon, of 2040 Penn street, is suffering from a sprained ankle and possible internal injuries. The others escaped with slight bruises.

The accident is said to have resulted from an effort of the driver to pull from one car track ot the other without noticing the approaching car. The force of the collision threw the vehicle on the sidewalk and against the office building of the Rochester Brewing company.

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July 26, 1908


Miss Evalina Wolfsohn Suddenly
Stricken With Heart Disease.

Sitting on the porch of her home at 1206 Penn street at 10:15 o'clock last night, Miss Evalina Wolfsohn, 18 years old, suddenly jumped to her feet and fell to the ground, dead from heart disease. A young man, Horace A. Dickson, an employe of the Kansas Bitulithic Company, who lives at 111 East Ruby avenue, Argentine, was talking to Miss Wolfsohn's 12-year-old sister, Katie, who was in a hammock near the porch, then notified the members of the family who were home.

The dead girl's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Wolfsohn, were taking a car ride and did not return until some time after their daughter died. Mr. Wolfsohn is a watchmaker for the Meyer Jewelry Company.

Miss Wolfsohn had complained several times of pains in her heart. She had attended Manual Training high school two years and Spalding's Commercial college one year. She was a milliner's apprentice.

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June 20, 1908



Forced Her Into Chair and Drilled
Out Gold Crowns and Fillings.
He is Fined $25
in Police court.

A remarkable experience with a dental firm was narrated in police court yesterday by Mrs. L. H. Watkins of 928 Penn stret. Her story was told in connection with the arrest of Dr. James Farrell, who said he was an operator with the Union Dental Company, 1019 Main street.

According to Mrs. Watkins the firm, some time ago, contracted to fix her teeth for $30, the money to be paid on payments -- the last one to be paid on the day the work was finished. When she went to the office Thursday afternoon to have a bridge set on two teeth she paid Dr. Farrell $5, having previously paid $20.

"He demanded the other $5," said Mrs. Watkins., "As a crown was loose on one tooth and there was other work to be done, I hadn't considered the work on my teeth completed and did not bring the balance."

Mrs. Watkins said the dentist insisted on having all of the money then and there. She told the doctor to call her husband, who was at the bottom of the stairs, and that he would settle the bill. Farrell, however, according to Mrs. Watkins, called in another man, forced her to get into a chair and, with instruments and drills, took out most of the work which had been put in. She said the pain was excruciating. Her mouth was still very sore yesterday.

Farrell admitted taking out two crowns, a saddle plate and a filling or two. He said he was held responsible for the work and must be paid for it. He said Mrs, Watkins consented to have the bridge work taken out. When asked why he didn't call Mr. Watkins, the dentist said he didn't know he was downstairs, and didn't know he would pay the $5 if he was.

Mr. Watkins said he had $30 with him and gladly would have paid the bill twice over rather than have his wife subjected to such treatment. Mrs. Watkins is 50 years old.

Justice Festus O. Miller, sitting for Judge Harry G. Kyle, fined Dr. Farrell only $25. The fine was quickly paid.

Mrs. Watkins said that the firm kept the $0 she had originally paid on the contract. Dr. H. H. Hall, manager of the concern, admitted that the money had been kept, as work to cover that sum had already been done and was left in the woman's mouth. This she denied.

Justice Miller scorned the firm for the manner of treating its patients. He advised that when such cases arise in the future to take the matter to the civil courts. Clif Langsdale, city attorney, said that other complaints had been made against the same firm.

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April 9, 1908



Slept in a Zinc Lined Wagon Bed,
Which Was Also Her Bath Tub.
Widow of Dr. A. P. Reed of
Raytown -- Disappears.

"Sixty-five years old, tall, slender and of stately bearing. Has gray
eyes and gray hair. She wore a long black jacket buttoned down the side
and a black skirt. Around her neck she wore a black and white spotted
handkerchief. She had on a lavender colored hat covered with a heavy
veil. In her left hand she carries a dark tan chatelaine and over her
right arm she carries a raincoat. Beneath her woman's attire will be found
man's underwear, a pair of man's trousers -- rolled up -- and a vest. She
also wore a pair of man's slippers and white socks."

The foregoing description was given to the police late yesterday afternoon as that of Mrs. Olive Reed of 1240 Penn street, widow of Dr. A. P. Reed, who was shot and killed on his farm near Raytown, Mo., in March, 1907, by William Robertson, a neighbor. Mrs. Reed was served with papers yesterday morning ordering her appearance before the probate court at 2 p. m., where inquiry was to be made into her sanity.

Shortly after a sheriff had served the papers Mrs. Reed dressed as described and left the house, after giving the key to her basement rooms to Mrs. A. D. Miller, from whom she rented.

"Those people out there are still nagging at me all the time," she told Mrs. Miller, "and now they have got me into trouble again. Here's the key to my rooms. Take good care of my little pony down there, as my heart and soul are set on it. Feed and care for my dog, too. If I don't come back you will get money from my lawyer, W. R. Moore, in the Scarritt building, for feed, and keep on caring for my things."


When court opened at 2 p.m. Mrs. Reed was not present, but there were nearly a dozen witnesses from Raytown and here in the city to tell of her many peculiarities, and she was declared insane by a jury. W. H. Gibbens, a Humane officer who has had the case in charge, then took up the matter with the police in an effort to locate the missing woman.

Mrs. A. D. Miller of 1240 Penn street said that Mrs. Reed moved into her basement December 12 last, and that she had not seen a peaceful day or night since. Believing that she was being constantly pursued, Mrs. Reed boarded up all the windows leading into her basement rooms and then went outside and piled agaisnt the windows all the rubbish she could find.

Her bed in the basement was a wagon bed, lined with zinc and filled with mattresses and bed clothing. In that the demented woman slept without ever taking off her combination of man's and woman's attire. To the zinc-lined wagon bed Mrs. Reed had a top made, also covered with zinc. Mrs. Miller said Mrs. Reed dragged the wagon bed to a tin shop several blocks away to have the work done. Her object, she told, was that the wagon bed might be used as her coffin after she was dead. The wagon bed is on a small truck so that it may be moved about the crowded room.

In the basement room with Mrs. Reed was a crippled Mexican dog, which she kept constantly covered up in a box, and a bay and white spotted pony about three feet high, over which was tied a blanket.


'I never saw the pony until last Friday," said Mrs. Miller. "Then she came leading it in the back way to her rooms. She paid $135 for it, and what she's going to do with it the Lord only knows. In a small back room she has a cart five times too big for the little pony, which she paid $25 for. I don't know how she got it in there. I didn't see her. She also uses that wagon bed for a bath tub in the summer, she said."

In Mrs. Reed's "apartments" is the largest assortment of worthless junk ever seen in so small a space. Yet the woman paid to have it all moved in from Raytown. She has tin pans, tin cans, broken glass jars, pieces of rusty screening, rags galore and everything that might be seen in a box out behind a woodshed. She would not part with a single article.

In the room with the combination wagon bed-bed-bath tub is an old piano tightly locked. The back of the piano is nailed up and parts locked with padlocks -- "to keep mice and rats out," she said. During the "dreary, weary watches of the night" Mrs. Reed was wont to open her piano and run the scale with irregular time over and over again. All the while she would quarrel with imaginary persons about the cost of the instrument and whether or not it was paid for.


There was a heater and also a gas stove for cooking purposes in the basement rooms. Although they were the property of Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Reed disconnected both and sold them to a second-had dealer. Then she built a fire in a tin bucket in the middle of the floor, filling the whole house with smoke and alarming the inmates.

Mrs. Miller said that she believed the demented woman went to a bank yesterday and withdrew a sum of money from a safe deposit vault. Mrs. Reed never got any mail, Mrs. Miller said, and never had a caller, yet she was prepared for both -- outside the door. Hanging high up on her door was a mail box; on a slate by the door are these directions:

"Leave your messages for Mrs. Reed on other side of slate when she is absent from home. Light candle below the slate to see how to write me."

It is believed by some that the tragic death or Dr. Reed last year h ad unsettled Mrs. Reed's mind. Many Raytown citizens say that she has been "a little peculiar" for years. Where she has gone is not known; but as her insanity is at the acute cunning stage she may give the police a good chase before they get her. Mrs. Miller said she never went out unless heavily veiled.

"I managed to get along with the woman and was not afraid of her until recently," concluded Mrs. Miller. "Then she told me that she would surely shoot me if I didn't keep out of my own hall. Then I took the matter up with the Humane Society. It will take some time to remove all the boards and tinware from my basement windows."

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December 31, 1907


First One Ever Received in Kansas
City Is Now Here.

A year or so ago the late King Oscar of Sweden conceived the idea of sending a number of circulating libraries to the United States to be read by the Swedish people, who had made America their adopted home. The libraries contain about 100 volumes, largely historical and poetical, with some fiction and some translations of American works. The chief purpose of the traveling library is to keep the Swedes in touch with the fatherland.

The first of these libraries to reach Kansas City is now here and is installed at the Swedish Lutheran church, 1238 Penn street, of which Rev. A. W. Lindquist is pastor. After it has remained here a year, it will be sent to another city and another of the libraries will come here. The library now in Kansas City is No. 24, so that the scope of the movement may be gathered from this fact.

Among the books is a translation into Swedish of Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn." All Swedes are urged to read the books and may consult them by applying at the church.

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September 22, 1907


Benjamin Clay Dies from Knife
Wounds Inflicted by Jesse Walker.

Benjamin Clay, 30 years old, a bottler, living at 2443 Penn street, died yesterday morning at his home from a stab would in the left temple inflicted by Jesse Walker, 19 years old, who lives at 2436 Washington street, the night of September 11. Dr. George B. Thompson, coroner, performed an autopsy yesterday. Walker is being held at police headquarters. Statements were taken from both the young man and his father, Albert Walker, yesterday. Should Jesse Walker be tried on a charge of murder, it is probable self-defense will be his plea. In his statement he says that Clay attacked him in a saloon at Southwest boulevard and Penn street, grabbed him by the hair and beat him on the face. He broke away from Clay and ran into a side room with Clay pursuing him, and that Clay was reaching in his pocket, apparently to draw a knife. Walker pulled out a knife and stabbed him three times, twice in the body and once on the left temple. Walker then ran and Clay chased him a block.

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September 12, 1907



With Her Field Glass Miss Jessie
Wright Observed the Doings at
Coffee's West 14th St. Resort.
Her Testimony Contradicted.

A portrait painter who is possessed of a pair of opera glasses and a stop-watch is causing a world of trouble for John Coffee, who conducts a saloon at 600 West Fourteenth street and spends his summers in Europe. The portrait painter is Miss Jessie Wright, of 518 1/2 West Fourteenth street. During Coffee's summer abroad Miss Wright observed his back door with her opera glasses and time his customers. Yesterday when Coffee made application for a renewal of his saloon license Miss Wright went before the police board with her remonstrance.
Coffee is also a proprietor of a livery barn just across the street and admitted to the police board that it does look bad to have so many hacks standing about his place day and night, but gave assurance that the hacks seen by Miss Wright and other remonstrators had not carried customers to his place. This statement was borne out by Manager Hyman, of the Blue Front livery. Many witnesses, who live on the block, testified that Coffee runs an orderly saloon. Two sergeants of police and a half dozen patrolmen said they had never had occasion to go there in discharge of duty, yet Miss Wright is positive there is something wrong with the character of the place and the police board promised her to investigate further.


Miss Wright furnished the board with minutes of her nightly vigils which, if borne out by evidence, will cause a general change in the neighborhood about Coffee's saloon. Mayor Beardsley promised Miss Wright this. Crowds of drunken small boys, women who go boldly into a barroom and intoxicated men who intimidate women must be looked after, the mayor said. Among the minutes furnished the police board by Miss Wright were the following:

"Thursday, July 26. -- Big boy got pail filled for little girl.
"Friday night, July 27. -- Three boys filled a 'can' three times in thirty-five minutes. The boy who carries the pail has the advantage of the free sandwiches in the barroom.
"July 30, 12:30 p. m. -- Drunken chauffeur made disgraceful scene and attracted crowd. Said he would return with Con Cronin and clean the place. Con Cronin often comes with his friends.
"Tuesday, Aug. 6. -- Little boy with 'can' could not find the saloon because there is no sign. Man showed him the place.
"Sunday, Aug. 11. -- Four boys waited for saloon to open at midnight. Got pail filled four times in twenty minutes.
"Monday, Aug. 12, 10 p. m. -- Neighbors aroused by trouble at saloon. I called up police at No. 3 at 11:32 p. m. Man said 'uh huh' and did nothing.
"Friday, Aug. 17. -- Bunch of thirteen stayed in saloon forty-three minutes. Came out at 11:40 and finished up their business on the sidewalk.
"August 18. -- Four boys got seven pails in fifty-one minutes. Man across the street yelled 'hello drunks' and Burke was the only one who looked around.
"Same day, 1 a. m. -- Boys from 709 West Fourteenth street filled a 10-pound lard can five times."


Mrs. Minnie Blythe, of 1820 Penn street, was also before the board with a remonstrance against Coffee. When questioned by Coffee's attorney she admitted that she lives five blocks away from the saloon and can't see what goes on there, but she had a lot of information which she said she got from neighbors and she saw streams of women with "cans" every night go up the hill to the saloon.

"It's only two blocks in the other direction to a good saloon," said Charley Shannon, representing Coffee. "Why don't they go there?"

"Well, Coffee sells better beer," Miss Wright interjected.

"Don't you live five blocks away from this saloon?" asked Attorney Shannon.

"Yes," admitted the witness.

"How much of a family have you?"

"I have two small children."

"If you are five blocks away how do you know Coffee violates the law and runs a disorderly place?"

"Well, I took it upon myself to go and see."

"There is somebody, of course, to stay at home with those babies while you are watching Coffee?"

"It's none of your business," replied Mrs. Blythe.

Mrs Blythe told the board that two little girls of the Franklin school have been annoyed by men about Coffee's. She said the timely arrival of assistance saved a 6-year-old child from harm and that a 9-year-old girl who goes past the saloon has been given money by intoxicated men. Miss Wright was once chased into her own house by a "drunk" from Coffee's, she told the board.


Miss Wright had Francis Burke subpoenaed. He was one of the boys she mentioned in her "minutes." She testified that Burke had been drinking on two occasions the same week, and of his keeping company with boys in short pants. Burke took the stand and stated that he does not drink, and that he was never in Coffee's place in company with boys. Further, he stated, he is 22 years old and has carried newspapers to the office of Commissioner Jones for thirteen years. The commissioner said Burke was right about that statement.

When Miss Wright was on the stand, Attorney Shannon asked her how she is able to keep such a close watch on Coffee's back door.

"I have a mighty good pair of opera glasses," she said, "and I keep them trained in that direction."

"At all hours of the night?"

"Well, only when men and women drive up in hacks and awaken me. I saw four women and two men get out of one hack. They come in automobiles, too, and sometimes they go in and sometimes the men bring out the drinks."

"What is your business?"

"I am a portrait painter."

"Do you spend much time at your profession, or do you watch Coffee's saloon all the time?"

"It's none of your business," said the witness.


Mrs. Johnson, who resides at 1332 Penn street, was the first witness introduced in behalf of Coffee. She told the board that she has lived there, next door to the saloon and near the side entrance which is watched by Miss Wright, for eleven years. She said she has never been disturbed by noise or anything else emanating from the saloon. She has never seen hacks stop at Coffee's entrance and has never seen women "canning" beer, as charged by Miss Wright.

Sergeant Duer and Sergeant O'Brien told the board that Coffee's saloon is the most orderly place in their district and that they have never been called there to make arrests or quiet a disturbance since the place opened. Patrolmen Dougherty and Fuller, who walk beats in the vicinity, made statements similar to those of their superior officers. Patrolman Fuller said he has seen Coffee refuse to sell "can" beer to women.

McKeever, the grocer next door to the saloon, stated that women asked him to send his clerks for "can" beer, but that Coffee told him he does not desire that sort of trade and that he gave an order against his clerks extending such accommodations to customers and that he thought that put a stop to the "can" trade.

J. F. O'Donnell, an undertaker, who keeps his livery near Coffee's place, said he is a good friend of the saloon man, but that Coffee refused him a little liquor one Sunday when he wanted it for a visiting friend.

Miss Wright closed her case with a report on the fire department near the saloon. She stated that the firemen drink entirely too much for the good of the service. The board will probably give a decision in the case today.

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April 16, 1907


Young Woman Missing When Landlady
Discovers Loss of Check.

A young woman went to the home of Mrs. Wallridge, 1322 Penn street, yesterday afternoon, and asked to look at some rooms. She was very particular and looked about for some time. Finally Mrs. Wallridge was called away and left the young woman alone. When she returned the woman was gone, and so was $25 in bills and three silver dollars. Mrs. Wallridge reported the matter to No. 3 police station.

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April 7, 1907


Hicks Had Asked His Wife to Get His
Breakfast at 4:30 a. m.

Mrs. Geneva Hicks and her husband quarreled most of Friday night in their home at Seventh and Penn streets. At 4:30 yesterday morning he wanted her to get up and cook his breakfast. Then there was another little misunderstanding, and Mrs. Hicks refused. While in a melancholy mood over their troubles, Mrs. Hicks arose and drank an ounce of laudanum.

Dr. Ford B. Rogers arrived promptly with the ambulance and in a short while left Mrs. Hicks thoroughly reconciled to her husband. She said she was willing to cook at any old time now. She is 27 years old.

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April 7, 1907


Wounds of Clarance Logan Cauterized
at Emergency Hospital.

While running along the street in the vicinity of Eleventh and Central yesterday, Clarence Logan, 10 years old, living at 800 Penn street, was attacked and bitten on the right hand by a vicious dog. The boy was taken at once to the emergency hospital in the city hall, where Dr. W. L Gist cauterized the wound. The dog, a mongrel, ran away.

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