April 8, 1909
NEW POLICE BOARD
TO CLEAN UP TOWN.
MAKES FRANK SNOW ACTING
CHIEF, ED BOYLE INSPECTOR.
Flahive Given Pick of Force and
Told to Drive Out District 4's
Tough Gang and Ignore
THE POLICE BOARD AS IT IS NOW COMPOSED.
T. R. MARKS, MAYOR CRITTENDEN, R. B. MIDDLEBROOK.
Captain Frank F. Snow, property clerk at police headquarters, was appointed acting chief of police, and Edward P. Boyle, a detective, was appointed acting inspector of detectives yesterday by the new board of police commissioners.
Captain Thomas P. Flahive of district No. 4 was given his pick of the force, and told to drive out the gang of crooks and undesirables in his district, despite the interference of any politician. Democrat or Republican, and clean up a certain disreputable element that has infested that part of the city for so long a time.
Chief Daniel Ahern was placed in charge of the new district, No. 10, and Inspector Charles Ryan was told that he would be taken care of.
Thomas R. Marks and R. B. Middlebrook, the first Republican police commissioners Kansas City has ever had, being in the majority on the board did not wait for the presence of Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., to start the ball rolling. By appointment they met in the office of Daniel Ahern, chief of police, shortly after noon. Then they sent for Charles Ryan, inspector of detectives.
RYAN IN THE RANKS.
Telling the two officials that they would be cared for in some manner, the commissioners asked for their resignations. In a few minutes, they had them in writing.
Captain Snow and Ed. P. Boyle were sent for and told that Snow was to be made acting chief of police and Boyle acting inspector of detectives.
Later, when the board met with the mayor in the chair, Commissioner Middlebrook presented Ahern's resignation and moved its acceptance. Snow was then formally made acting chief. The same form was gone through in regard to the acceptance of Ryan's resignation and the temporary appointment of Detective Boyle to his place.
The next order of business was to take care of the deposed officers. Ahern was appointed captain of the new police district, to be known as No. 10. Ryan was made a detective, and assigned to duty under Acting Inspector Boyle, his former subordinate.
AHERN IS APPRECIATIVE.
Captain Ahern showed great appreciation when the board cared for him in the manner in which it did.
"I did not expect to remain," said the former chief. "My position belonged to the new commissioners, and they had a right to it. I certainly appreciate the magnificent manner in which I have been cared for, and will show it by doing my full duty and carrying out to the letter every order of the board."
Former Inspector Ryan had little to say except that he would line up with the men he used to boss with such severity, and do the best he could. It was intimated that Ryan may resign from the force later, but that could not be confirmed.
Labels: Captain Flahive, Commissioner Marks, detectives, Inspector Boyle, Mayor Crittenden, No 4 police station, police board, Police Chief Ahern, Police Chief Snow, police headquarters, politics
April 6, 1909
EXIT JONES AND GALLAGHER.
Retiring Commissioners Draw Two
Months' Salary and Say Goodby
A sort of farewell service took place yesterday afternoon at city hall, when Elliott H. Jones and A. E. Gallagher, the retiring board of police commissioners, paid their last visit to police headquarters in an official capacity. Incidentally, it marked the first time in the memory of the oldest policeman that a Democratic board retired in favor of Republicans.
The two men first visited James Vincil, the secretary of the board, who probably will say adieu to his quarters within the next month. Both men drew their salaries which they had allowed to accumulate during the last two months and left office smiling.
"I'll have to loook into the room where we have had so many sessions," said Mr. Gallagher, and the two men paused at the door of the room where the weekly meeting takes place. Mr. Jones did not seem particularly sorry that the last meeting was over.
"Well, goodby, Mr. Vincil," said both men, as they left the secretary's office. "Good luck to you."
The retiring commissiones then paid a visit to Captain Whitsett, Chief Ahern and Captain Frank Snow. They conversed a few minutes at each place and wished all good luck.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, city hall, Commissioner Gallagher, Commissioner Jones, police board, Police Chief Ahern, Police Chief Snow, police headquarters, politics
February 17, 1909
WANT TO SEE A POLICEMAN?
Cheer Up, Ahern's New Order Fixes
WHEN CHIEF AHERN'S ORDER
GOES INTO EFFECT
Numerous complaints come to Chief of Police Ahern from citizens that they never see a policeman in the vicinity of their homes. To enable the residents to obtain a glimpse of the blue coats, the chief issued a special order yesterday which is as follows:
To Commanding Officers: -- You will hereafter have the officers under your command, while walking their beats, to change their routes several times during the day or night and not walk the same street all the time. In many sections of the city citizens complain that they have never seen a policeman, for the reason that the officers usually walk to and from their boxes on the same street or streets. Have this mode changed so that people can see them occasionally. You will have this matter arranged as you may think best. DANIEL AHERN, Chief of Police.
Labels: police, Police Chief Ahern
February 2, 1909
BETWEEN O'HEARN AND AHERN.
There's a Difference of Opinion Over
a Telephone Call.
The identity of the individual who asked that a stay of execution be given the workhouse sentence of E. J. Marr, convicted of vagrancy, is still a mystery. It was reported Sunday that Alderman "Mickey" O'Hearn had asked Chief of Police Ahern to keep Marr out of the workhouse, for a time at least. Alderman O'Hearn does not remember calling up the chief over the telephone or visiting him during the day that he was reported to have interceded in behalf of the prisoner.
"I never heard of the man," he said last night. "I don't see what The Journal has got it in for me about. I never called up the chief about the case, much less visited him."
Chief Ahern said: "Well, I'm sure it was Mr. O'Hearn who called me up. He told me he was coming right down and I held the prisoner until he came. But then I might be mistaken. You know one can't tell every time who is speaking over the phone. No, I don't believe I know who it was, but it certainly sounded like Mr. O'Hearn."
Labels: Alderman O'Hearn, Police Chief Ahern, The Journal
December 12, 1908
FUNERAL OF OFFICER MULLANE.
Brave Officer Will Be Buried Today,
Wearing His Uniform
Dressed in his full uniform of blue, the same uniform he had so gallantly defended only a few brief days ago, and with his badge of authority, star No. 151, shining from his breast, the body of brave Michael P. Mullane lay in a casket at his home, 931 West Twenty-fourth street, all day yesterday. Hundreds called out of respect for the widow's grief, looked upon the face of the gallant man whom they had once called dear friend, and departed.
Michael Mullane is the first officer in Kansas City to be buried in full uniform, his star and all. It had been his request in life that should he die in the discharge of his duty to be laid away "Just as I fought, with my uniform on."
The funeral will be this morning at 8:30 o'clock. There will be a short service at the home at that hour. At 9 a. m. solemn requiem high mass will be said at the Sacred Heart Catholic church, Twenty-sixth street and Madison. Burial will be in Mount St. Mary's cemetery.
Yesterday Chief Ahern received many telegrams from police departments in nearby cities and over the country. All were of condolence, and many spoke with praise for the officer who had made such a gallant fight, only to sacrifice his life because he refused to shoot a woman.
Labels: Adam God sect, cemetery, churches, Funeral, Madison street, police, Police Chief Ahern, Twenty-fourth street, Twenty-sixth street
December 11, 1908
'ADAM' SHARP IS
TAKEN IN KANSAS.
JOHNSON COUNTY SHERIFF CAP-
TURES RELIGIOUS FANATIC.
IS WOUNDED IN BOTH HANDS.
BROUGHT TO KANSAS CITY AND
LOCKED IN HOLDOVER.
Offers No Resistance and Declares
He's Glad That His Fight Is
Over -- Abjures His "Faith."
City Hall Guarded.
Religious Fanatic Who Styles Himself "Adam God."
After fifty hours' search by the local police and officers of nearby towns, James Sharp, who styles himself "Adam" and "King David," was captured three miles south of Zarah, Johnson county, Kas., yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock. It was James Sharp who started a riot at Fourth and Main streets Tuesday afternoon, resulting in the death of Patrolmen A. O. Dalbow and Michael Mullane; bystander A. J. Selsor; and Louis Pratt, one of the religious band, and his 14-year-old daughter, Lulu.
News of Sharp's arrest reached police yesterday afternoon about 5 o'clock and Chief of Police Daniel Ahern sent Captain Walter Whitsett and Inspector Charles Ryan to Olathe, Kas., after the prisoner.
A farmer named W. C. Brown living eight miles northwest of Olathe telephoned to J. S. Steed, sheriff of Johnson county, about 11 o'clock yesterday morning that a man resembling the description of the fanatic, James Sharp, had been seen in that neighborhood Wednesday night and yesterday morning. He said that the suspect had spent the night at the home of Joseph Beaver, a farmer living about two miles from him. Beaver, he said, was in Olathe and the sheriff could talk to him and get a good description of the man.
Sheriff Steed found Beaver and after having him describe the stranger who had stayed at his home decide that the man was Sharp and drove to the Brown farm, leaving Olathe about 1 o'clock yesterday. When he reached the Brown farm he deputized a young man who worked on a nearby farm, and the two men started a search for the mysterious stranger.
ASLEEP IN STRAW STACK.
A large wood pasture was first gone over, and then the officers separated and searched the ravines for several miles. A straw stack in the middle of an old wheat field was seen by the sheriff's deputy and, going around it, he found a man sleeping under the straw.
When Sheriff Steed reached the straw stack the man was called and told to come out. As he rolled from under the stack the men noticed he kept his hands in his pockets, and when they made him take them out they saw that he was wounded in both hands. After being searched by the sheriff, Sharp was placed in a buggy without being handcuffed and driven to Olathe.
Sharp told his captors that he was praying and contemplating while he was in the haystack as to what he should do. Weary with the long tramp from Kansas City and exhausted for the want of food, Sharp welcomed arrest and surrendered without any show of making a fight.
He was taken into the office of the county jail and his wounds, which had not been treated, were washed and bandaged by Sheriff Steed. He was then given a supper, which he devoured with eagerness.
ANXIOUS TO GO BACK.
While he was eating his meal the police officers from Kansas City arrived. Sharp greeted them and said he was anxious to go back with them. After finishing eating he told of his trip from Kansas City to the place of his capture.
"I shot five times at the police and when I had emptied my revolver I went into the saloon there on the corner and gave my pistol to the bartender. I told him that I was through, that I was not sure of the Lord, and asked him to take me to a policeman.. The man seemed to be frightened and did not move. I then tried to load the gun, but my two hands were wounded, so I could not do it. The cylinder would not turn. I was going to put the barrel in my mouth and blow off the top of my head."
Sharp said he then walked outside and stood in the crowd and watched the police and citizens gathering around Pratt across the street. Continuing Sharp said, "God then directed my steps south on Main street to Fifth street, and west up Fifth street. I went on down Fifth street to the bottoms. When I reached a barber shop I went in and had my hair clipped. I told the barber that my hands were frozen. Leaving the shop the Lord's will seemed to take me farther away from the shooting scene and I walked and walked.
"I WAS LOSING FAITH."
"I was losing faith in my religion because things had not come about as the revelation made it out. I continued walking all that night. In the morning I slept in the woods. That evening I went to a house and asked for something to eat and a place to sleep. The people gave me my supper, but said they did not have any place to put me for the night. They directed me to a house about 300 yards distant, to a cousin's. I stayed there all night and had my breakfast there.
"I could not use my hands and the man fed me. They asked me what was wrong with my hands, and I told them that I was paralyzed. I told them I was a peddler and that my partner had left me. I was afraid they would suspect that I was wanted in Kansas City and left as early in the morning as possible.
"After leaving that house, which was the Beaver farm, I went to that straw stack and hid. At first my only intention was to get away, to escape. Then I began to fear that I had done wrong and was debating whether I should go to some farmer and pay him to take me to a town and give me up. I had money to pay the man for my trouble.
"When the officer arrested me it seemed like I was going to heaven. I was so worried and had lost such a quantity of blood. I told the sheriff that I was glad he had me and the j ail would not be a bad place for me."
HAD PLENTY OF MONEY.
When the officers searched Sharp he had a number of cartridges in his pocket and a large knife, which he carried in his left hand and cut Sergeant Patrick Clark in the eye with. A large roll of bills containing $105 and a purse with $4.92 in it was also found in his pockets.
A large crowd of persons gathered in the jail yard at Olathe, and attempted to get into the room where the prisoner was. Everybody in the city wanted to see the man that caused so much grief by inciting his followers to murder and riot.
Captain Whitsett and Inspector Charles Ryan left Olathe and Sharp at 9 o'clock last night over the Frisco railroad, and arrived in Kansas City at 10 o'clock. The officers with their prisoner left the train at Rosedale and took a street car to Fourth and Wyandotte streets. They were afraid that friends of the dead and wounded officers who might have heard of Sharp's capture would attempt a demonstration against the prisoner. When the officers and prisoner got off the car he was placed between the two and hurried to police headquarters, where a large force of policemen and detectives were inside the station and also guarded the doors.
Labels: Adam God sect, buggy, Captain Whitsett, farmers, Fourth street, Frisco, guns, jail, Johnson county, ministers, murder, Olathe, Police Chief Ahern, Rosedale, Sheriff Steed, Wyandotte street
December 10, 1908
MUST HAVE PERMIT TO PREACH.
Chief of Police Issues Order Relative
to Street Howlers.
The following order, issued by Chief of Police Daniel Ahern yesterday afternoon, went into effect last night:
On and after this date no preaching will be allowed on the streets of the city without a written permit from the chief of police. By order of the police commissioners. -- Daniel Ahern, Chief of Police
"There is not any use waiting until tomorrow to begin to get these people off the street or to start a crusade," the chief said. "I will be mighty careful of how I issue such permits from now on."
Labels: Adam God sect, ministers, police board, Police Chief Ahern
December 10, 1908
FUNERAL OF OFFICER DALBOW.
Will Take Place This Afternoon.
Police to Attend.
Mrs. Albert O. Dalbow, the widow of Patrolman Dalbow, killed in the city hall riot, yesterday accompanied her brother-in-law, Joseph Dalbow, to his home at Sixty-first street and Troost avenue. She will live there until she makes other arrangements after the funeral of her husband.
The funeral services will be at the home of Joseph Dalbow this afternoon at 2 o'clock. The body will be placed in a vault at Forest Hill cemetery.
A special order was issued yesterday afternoon by Chief of Police Daniel Ahern detailing officers to act as pallbearers and as an escort. The pall bearers will be officers John Tarpey, H. A. Eads, Edward Boyle, John P. Withrow, M. A. Savage and George Hightower.
Chief Ahern telephoned to the police chiefs of Kansas City, Kas, and Leavenworth, inviting them to send a representation of the police departments of their cities to attend the funeral of Patrolman Dalbow. Thirty patrolmen were ordered to act as the special escort and the night men were urged to attend. The police detail will be in charge of Drill Master Lang.
David E. Bowden, chief of police of Kansas City, Kas., last night made out a list of twenty-two patrolmen and officers which detail will represent the Kansas Cit, Kas., police department at the funeral of former Patrolman Dalbow.
Labels: Adam God sect, cemetery, Funeral, Inspector Boyle, Kansas City Kas, police, Police Chief Ahern, Police Chief Bowden, Sixty-first street, telephone, Troost avenue
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
December 9, 1908
THERE'LL BE A CLEAN-UP NOW.
No More Indiscriminate Preaching in
Streets, Say s Chief Ahern.
The shooting was barely stopped, and the smoke was still to be seen, when Chief of Police Ahern intimated that there would be a general cleaning up of the city.
"You can say for the police department, that the police will be very careful hereafter in granting privileges to fanatics and street preachers. Arms will not be allowed to be carried, unless such carrier has obtained a permit. There are too many anarchists and law-breakers dwelling in the city. I intend to issue an order that will be so drastic that we will not be in danger of having another tragedy while I am chief of police."
Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden said yesterday afternoon, while he was watching his police officers parleying with Mrs. Pratt and the girls, that the city would have to be gone over with a fine-tooth comb and cleaned up. People like these fanatics will have to be disarmed and kept off the streets. There are too many persons in this town carrying revolvers, and an order will have to be made to put a stop to it. A more rigid police surveillance will be given the floating and non-working population. All fanatics will be given to understand that they will have to abide by the city ordinances, and not by any religious teachings which might conflict with our laws.
Labels: Adam God sect, anarchy, crime, guns, Mayor Crittenden, Police Chief Ahern
October 19, 1908
IGNORED "BEARDSLEY RULES."
Nurse Is Reprimanded for Trying to
Have Police Capture Ruffian.
Time after time the surgeons and nurses at the emergency hospital have been notified by the police that they were to call headquarters whenever any person who had been cut or shot appeared at the hospital for treatment. Several times the surgeons have treated persons injured by a cutting or shooting scrape that the police wanted but did not know where to find them.
Acting under the orders of the police department, which orders were given by Captain Walter Whitsett of police headquarters. Mrs. Frances Kaiser, the night nurse, called up the station Saturday night when B. F. Scott was brought in with his jugular vein cut. The officer who answered the telephone informed her that Captain Walter Whitsett and Lieutenant James Morris were not in the station. She told them that Scott would probably die but was told that there were no officers in the station who could leave.
Mrs. Kaiser, desiring to follow her instructions, then called up Chief Daniel Ahern at his home and informed him of the matter. Chief Ahern immediately summoned Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Hogan, who took up the man's statement. Last night Captain Whitsett went to the emergency hospital and attempted to reprimand the nurse for calling up the chief of police at his home. Mrs. Kaiser replied that she was only endeavoring to obey his instructions to notify the police when men were brought into the emergency hospital who had been cut or stabbed in a fight. She said when the police at the station refused to act she got hold of an officer who would. Captain Whitsett informed the nurse that the "Beardsley rules" were taken up for her guidance but the nurse said yesterday that she was under the impression that she was employed under the administration of Dr. W. S. Wheeler, the health commissioner.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, emergency hospital, nurses, Police Chief Ahern, police headquarters, violence
October 1, 1908
AGAINST STREET STANDS.
Police Are Ordered to Place Them
100 Feet Back From
During the meeting of the police board yesterday Commissioner A. E. Gallagher brought up the question of the street peanut and candy wagon standing in front of fuit and confectionery stores and drawing away trade.
"There is a fruit and confectionery stand near Ninth and Main street which pays a rental of $150 a month. Not long ago one of these peanut wagons took up a stand right in front of the man's place. When moved by the policeman he would return as soon as the oficer left. Now there are three of the wagons circled about this man's place.
"II know these street stnds pay no rent," continued Mr Galagher. I dout if they pay any taxes at all, and all they do is pay a mal licene fee to the city. It is not right that a man who pays taxes and big rent should be made to compete with such vendors. At Eighth and Main streets there is a man who pays $50 to $75 a month for a small space Right out on the treet beneath the viaduct i one of those wagon agaist which he must compete for trade."
Mr. Gallagher spoke of the wagons always being in the way at transfer points and cited the wagon at the northwest corner of Eighth street and Grand avenue as an instance. He said they should be made to stand at least 100 feet from the corner. Commissioner Elliott H. Jones agreed with him, and Chief Ahern was ordered to move all such stands away from street corners. The mayor was not present.
The chief stated that most of the street wagon, lunch wagons included, paid rent to the business man in front of whose place they stand.
It came to light in a police court trial some time ago when an attempt was made to move a candy and a lunch wagon from Fifth and Walnut streets, that both men had been paying rent to a dry goods store near where they stood, one $25 and the other $20 a month. The lunch wagon was moved on complaint of the management of the Gilliss theater, but the candy wagon is still against the curb right at the corner.
Labels: Commissioner Gallagher, Commissioner Jones, Eighth street, Fifth street, Grand avenue, Main street, Ninth street, police board, Police Chief Ahern, retailers, Walnut Street
August 18, 1908
MOB ONCE HANGED AN
INNOCENT NEGRO HERE.
Was Suspected of Having Shot a Po-
liceman -- Chief Ahern and Cap-
tain Snow Were Present.
Policemen old in the city service recall but one negro lynching in recent Kansas City history. There has been mob violence threatened here, but only once was a man's life taken by citizens. A mob hanged a negro of the name of Harrington April 3, 1882, and the police still insist that the man was wrongly accused of murder.
Old-time policemen who figured in the affair were Daniel Ahern, now chief of police; Frank Snow, now captain of police in charge of police court property; Con. O'Hare, Patrick Jones, and five others. The monument erected by the people as a tribute to policemen who fell in discharge of duty -- on the west side of city hall -- bears Jones's name and the date of his death. His name is the second on the long list. He was the victim of a negro's bullets in St. Louis avenue, and another negro was lynched for the crime.
Patrolman Jones lived in the West Bottoms. On the night of his death he had been relieved from duty and had started home to supper. As he turned into St. Louis avenue he met Tony Grant, a negro of bad reputation, carrying a sack.
Jones at once suspected the negro of theft and asked him what he had in the sack. The negro declined to tell and the patrolman placed him under arrest. The sack contained a firkin of butter which the negro had stolen from a grocery. As Jones leaned over to examine the contents of the sack he was shot and killed. The bullet came from behind the policeman and no one saw the shot fired. Tony Grant, believed to be the guilty negro, fled.
Here's where Harrington came into the limelight. Sitting in front of John Monohan's boarding house at Ninth and Hickory streets, he heard the shots and ran toward the body of the policeman. Police a few minutes later arrested him on complaint of white citizens who had also been attracted by the pistol shot..
Harrington, the police maintain, was innocent, but he was hanged an hour later from the Fifth street car bridge. Daniel Ahern, then a patrolman at the West Bottoms station, was assigned with a squad of six officers to take Harrington to police headquarters and started on foot around the bluff to the North End.
A crowd of excited citizens followed the negro and his police escort and soon the officers saw they had made a mistake in starting with the prisoner. It was too late to turn back and they entered the bridge. At the same time a crowd from the North End entered the bridge from the north and the police found themselves, with the negro prisoner, hemmed in. They pleaded with the mob, but were thrust aside. A noose was slipped over Harrington's head and he was thrown over the bridge rail.
Captain Frank Snow and Con O'Hare ran through the crowd and jumped off the end of the bridge, intending to cut down the negro and possibly save him.
As Snow leaned toward the rope a man on the bridge above leaned low over the rail and sent a bullet into the top of Harrington's head. The mob dispersed and the police remember the incident as the only illegal hanging in the history of Kansas City. Tony Grant was never captured and most of those who had a hand in the affair, with the exception of Ahern and Snow, are dead.
Labels: history, murder, North end, police, Police Chief Ahern, Police Chief Snow, race, St Louis avenue, violence, West bottoms
July 16, 1908
SLUGGER WILL TRY TO HAVE
HIMSELF DECLARED INSANE.
THUS ESCAPE HIS MIS-DEEDS
CREATES A SCENE IN THE ROOM
OF ALBERT KING.
Arrested and Released on Ridiculous
Bond of $11 -- Fined $1,000
in Police Court on Two
An attempt is to be made by the friends of Jack Gallagher to have him declared insane.
The object is to prevent justice from taking its course.
The first suggestion for a lunacy commission was made by Jack Gallagher himself.
His saloon license gone, under a double fine of $500, and with a penitentiary sentence staring him in the face, Gallagher's only hope is in an "easy" lunacy commission that will free him of all responsibility for his brutal, wanton and wicked acts.
A depravity seldom equalled, unbridled license and bad whiskey is what's the matter with Jack Gallagher. His mentality, even though of a low order, is capable of recognizing right from wrong. Gallagher, according to the statements of eye witness, was too drunk when taken to Central police station yesterday morning that the officers in charge hesitated about arraigning him in court.
The lunacy commission judge is the last desperate stand of this desperado and his friends.
Gallagher was locked in a cell in the police matron's room last night.
INSANE? NO, BAD WHISKY.
When the city attorney, Cliff Langsdale, called the case of the city against Jack Gallagher, arrested yesterday morning on two charges of disturbing the peace, it was said Gallagher was too drunk to appear. Newspaper men attending police court insisted that he be brought out before the court and arraigned on the charges. Sergeant Frank Snow informed the court that Gallagher was "pretty drunk," but Judge Remley finally ordered him brought out of the holdover so he could judge for himself.
Gallagher's demeanor before the court was that of the bully. While he showed signs of heavy drinking he was sufficiently sober to know what he was talking about and the police judge decided he was sober enough to stand trial.
After Gallagher had been fined $500 on two charges he asked his brother, Thomas Gallagher, to apply for a lunacy commission to inquire into his sanity. Thomas Gallagher immediately sought the chief of police, Daniel Ahern, and asked that the $1,000 fine be stayed until he could have his brother tried for insanity. Chief Ahern readily granted the request, giving Gallagher a stay for twenty-four hours. Judge Remley consented to the stay granted by the chief of police. Jack Gallagher was then turned oer to Colonel J. C. Greenman who has charge of all insanity cases for the police department. Gallagher was taken from the common holdover and placed in a cell in the matron's room. The police stated that he had been put in the matron's room because it was rumored that Gallagher's friends had passed cigars and whisky into the jail to him when he was held for investigation when he assaulted Albert King on Wednesday, a week ago.
Gallagher's friends called on the chief of police during the morning and afternoon, but the chief refused to say what their mission was. Jack Spillane, a street inspector, was in evidence at police headquarters and in the chief's office all of yesterday afternoon. He refused to say what he wanted, except that he was a friend of Gallagher's.
SLUGGER'S FRIENDS BUSY.
Thomas Gallagher insisted on an early meeting of the lunacy commission and desired to name the members who were to be called in to act. He was informed by Colonel Greenman that the law required a certificate of two reputable physicians to determine whether a man was insane or sane. He also told Tom Gallagher that he intended to go further than the law required, that he intended to appoint four physicians so the public would be satisfied with any verdict that the board should return.
A physician, who said he had been Jack Gallagher's family doctor for the last five years, appeared at police headquarters and said he wanted to be called as a witness to testify that Jack Gallagher had been insane for nearly five years. He was one of the physicians that Thomas Gallagher asked Colonel Greenman to appoint as a member oft he lunacy board.
Willis King, a brother of the reporter assaulted by Jack Gallagher, called on Colonel Greenman yesterday afternoon and asked that he be notified so he could have witnesses summoned to appear before the commission. Colonel Greenman set the time for the commission to meet at 10 o'clock today.
"BAD MAN," SAYS AHERN.
Chief of Police Daniel Ahern said yesterday afternoon that he considers Jack Gallagher a "bad" man and that he does not want him at large. He said he will hold him pending a report of the self-solicited lunacy commission, a member of which Gallagher requested to be allowed to name.
"When Gallagher was brought in here the second time today I made up my mind that he is dangerous and should not be allowed his liberty again, said the chief. "Why, he might attack you, or me. I wouldn't allow a bully like that to strike me, but I know I am just as liable to a cowardly assault from a man of that kind as a newspaper reporter or any other person.
"Gallagher was fined in police court. His fines were heavy, but if he were went to the workhouse I thought Jack's friends might pay his fine, and I decided to prevent it.
"It was my plain duty to send him to the workhouse, though. What could I do under the circumstance of a fine and no cash forthcoming. When Jack's friends suggested he is crazy I was a way to keep him under restraint.
"It does not matter to me whether he is crazy from the effects of bad whisky or from other causes. I simply had to keep him under restraint, and I thought the lunacy commission plan was the best way out. I straightway turned the prisoner over to Colonel Greenman, the humane officer."
MUST KEEP THE PEACE.
At the request of Albert King, Jack Gallagher will be placed under a heavy police bond by the prosecuting attorney. After being placed under a bond, if Gallagher cannot raise funds to meet it, he will remain in jail for thirty days, after which time he is at liberty and will forfeit the bond if he disturbs the peace of the complainant.
Besides this, a warrant charging Gallagher with burglary is in the hands of the authorities. The charge of burglary is brought under a statute which defines burglary as the forcible entry into the dwelling house of another in the night time with intent to commit a felony therein.
Gallagher's actions in the home of Mr. King yesterday morning bring him under the rule of the statute and the warrant for his arrest on the charge of burglary is the result.
Labels: alcohol, Col. J. C. Greenman, Jack Gallagher, Judge Remley, mental health, newspapers, Police Chief Ahern, Police Chief Snow, police court, police matron, violence
July 8, 1908
POLICE WHO DRINK ON DUTY.
They Must Stop or Chief Ahern Will
Know the Reason Why.
Every sergeant of police in Kansas City will appear at police headquarters today at 1 o'clock in pursuance to an order to that effect issued yesterday by Chief of Police Daniel Ahern. The chief said that complaints had reached him of late relative to patrolmen drinking and smoking on their boats or while on duty.
"The police manual," the chief said "absolutely forbids a patrolman to drink intoxicating liquor or to smoke while in uniform, whether on duty or not. The sergeants have become lax in their discipline and it is a fact that the policemen of Kansas City drink and smoke while on duty and in uniform. The practice must stop and the sergeants will be held responsible."
Chief Ahern will also remind the sergeants that the police manual exacts that the patrolmen are to present a neat appearance and that they are not to use their clubs except in extreme cases.
Labels: alcohol, Police Chief Ahern, police headquarters, tobacco
July 5, 1908
DEMENTED MAN WRECKS CELL.
John E. Stroud, the K. U. Man, Dis-
plays Superhuman Strength.
John E. Stroud, the Kansas university man who has been detained at police headquarters since 4:30 o'clock Thursday afternoon because of his demented condition, was yesterday transferred to the general hospital. Stroud is laboring under the hallucination that he is under the spell of a hypnotist, and he came here with the idea that Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., could remove it.
Stroud has grown gradually worse since his incarceration and early yesterday morning almost demolished the cell in the matron's room in which he was confined. It was bolted to the floor and with the superhuman strength of the insane college student, although a slender man, actually tore the cage from its moorings on the floor. He smashed up two chairs in his cell and began on the iron bed, when that was removed. Stroud reached through the bars of the cage, grabbed a trunk standing near and, with the small purchase that he had, hurled the trunk across the room and upset it against a door.
He was determined to get out, and swore that he would wreck the city hall, but that he would gain his freedom. One of the things which is worrying the police matron is how Stroud reached an iron bed which stood entirely out of his reach across the room. When Mrs. Lizzie Burns went in the cell room at 6 a. m. Stroud had, in some manner, reached the bed, tore off its coverings and dragged the mattress to the side of his cell.
When the young man was removed to the general hospital later in the morning he had to be handcuffed, and on arrival at the hospital was strapped to a bed as he was still violent.
Chief of Police Daniel Ahern received a letter yesterday morning from R. J. Stroud, father of the demented man, at Howard, Kas. In it the father asks the advice of Chief Ahern about what disposition to make of his son.
Labels: city hall, general hospital, jail, Mayor Crittenden, mental health, Police Chief Ahern, police headquarters, police matron
July 4, 1908
FOURTH BEGAN MORE
NOISY THAN EVER.
BEFORE MIDNIGHT, EVEN, THE
NOISE WAS UNBEARABLE.
No "Quiet Zone" Around Hospitals or
Anything Else -- Giant Crackers
and Torpedoes on the
"The racket and noise made by the Fourth of July eve celebrations is something awful, and we are going to call up the police to see if it can't be stopped," said one of the sisters at St. Joseph's hospital at 11 o'clock last night. "There has been loud and disturbing noises all the evening and just now one fanfare was finished up that was incessant for fifteen minutes. It is awfully trying on the patients."
"The annoyance from the discharge of nerve wrecking contrivances is becoming unbearable and our patients are complaining," was the report from Agnew hospital.
"Men and boys have been putting torpedoes on the tracks of the Holmes street car line all night long, and the whole neighborhood seems to be well supplied with dynamite fire crackers," reported the general hospital.
"We have one patient who has become hysterical from the din that is being created in the vicinity of the hospital building. Men and boys are putting something on the car tracks that, when it explodes, shakes the windows," was the report from the South Side hospital.
"The noise is awful and there seems to be no end to it. We wish the police would get around here and put a stop to it," was the complaint from University hospital.
Other hospitals reported like disturbing conditions, and the quiet zones which the police promised were not within the limits of Kansas City last night. Soon after sunset the booming of big and little fire crackers, the placing of the nerve-wrecking torpedoes on street car tracks were of common occurrence and there was not a section of the city that was free from the din and disturbance of the noise creators. Down town streets which in past years were as quiet on the eve of the national holiday as a Sunday, were particularly in a state of turmoil and deafening noises, and no apparent effort was made on part of the police to put a stop to it. From the river front to the limits south, east and west, the roar of all descriptions of fireworks was continuous, and in the residence districts sleep was out of the question.
Chief of Police Daniel Ahern had made promises that there was to be a sane 3rd and Fourth of July, and he issued orders to his command to arrest all persons that discharged or set off firecrackers, torpedoes or anything of the like within the vicinity of hospitals or interfered with the peace and quiet of any neighborhood. How well Chief Ahern's subordinates paid attention to instructions can be inferred by reports from the hospitals and the experiences of citizens all over the city.
The first to make history by celebrating too soon was Joseph Randazzo, and Italian boy 17 years old. He had reached a revolver with a barrel eighteen inches long. At Fifth street and Grand avenue Randazzo was having a good time chasing barefoot boys and shooting blank cartridges at their feet. After he had terrorized a whole neighborhood William Emmett, a probation officer, took him in tow and had him locked up. That was at 9:45 p. m. When he had a taste of the city bastile he was released on his promise to be good. But he has yet to appear before Judge Harry G. Kyle in police court.
Nearly an hour after this the police of No. 6 were called upon to get busy. A negro named L. W. Fitzpatrick, who lives near Fourteenth and Highland, moved his base of operations from near home and began to bombard Fifteenth and Montgall and vicinity with cannon crackers varying in length from twelve to eighteen inches. Just as he had set off one which caused a miniature earthquake he was swooped down upon by the police and he did not get home until $10 was left as a guarantee that he would appear in court and explain himself.
Probably the greatest surprise came to Otto Smith and Edward Meyers, 14 years old. Armed with 25-cent cap pistols they were having a jolly time near Nineteenth and Vine when a rude and heartless policeman took them to No. 6 station.
They were "armed," and it was against the law to go armed. On account of the extreme youth of the lads they were lectured and let go home.
Mrs. Mary Murphy, 65 years old, who lives at 2025 Charlotte street, was standing on the corner of Twenty-first and Charlotte streets last night when a groceryman who conducts a store on the corner offered her a large cannon cracker to fire off. Thinking it was a Roman candle, the old lady lighted the cracker and held it in her hand.
She was taken to the general hospital, where it was found that her hand had been badly burned. The hand was dressed and she was taken to her home.
Labels: Charlotte street, children, Fifteenth street, fireworks, Fourteenth street, Grand avenue, Highland avenue, holidays, Holmes street, hospitals, No 6 police station, Police Chief Ahern, Vine street
July 2, 1908
NEVER THINK AGAIN
POLICEMEN DON'T WORK.
One of Them Walks Nearly 8,000
Miles a Year -- Board Orders
Call Boxes Rearranged.
Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., at the meeting of the police board yesterday, caused an order to be issued which will make many a tired policeman rise and call him blessed. It came about in this way:
While Chief Ahern was talking to the board an idea seemed to strike the mayor. "Chief," he asked, "from where I sit on my front porch I see a policeman come and pull a box every half hour. Is there any use in walking these poor fellows to death away out there? I understand that there is only half an hour between calls. Has the officer got time to stop even for a minute to investigate anything that may seem suspicious to him, or to listen to a complaint?"
"He has very little time in that district," answered the chief, "or in any of the residence districts, in fact."
The board was then told that Patrolman Reuben Webster, walking beat 17 in No. 6 district, known to all as "Penitentiary beat," traveled just twenty-one and two-thirds each day. The boxes are so far apart that it keeps an officer on the trot almost to make them on time. At that rate he would cover 7,908 1/3 miles each year and, in a little over three years, could girdle the globe When the board was told that, and that there are beats even longer, it created a distinct shock.
Chief Ahern was ordered to revise the time on all the call boxes in the city and, if necessary, to order them moved to different places for the patrolmen's convenience.
Labels: Mayor Crittenden, police, police board, Police Chief Ahern
June 23, 1908
SAVE THEM FOR THE FOURTH.
Police Will Arrest Premature Shoot-
ers of Noisy Fireworks.
On account of so many complaints going to Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., about the discharge of firearms and the use of explosives and fireworks in the city previous to July 4, Daniel Ahern, chief of police, yesterday sent a special order to all commanding officers in the city, drawing their attention to city ordinance 24883, governing the use of firearms and explosives in the city limits.
The orders are to arrest all persons violating the order but boys. Where those are found the police are to give them a warning and tell their parents. Then if the same boys persist in celebrating prematurely, they are to be arrested and taken before the juvenile court. All those who are old enough to know better anyway, are to be arrested and arraigned in police court.
Labels: children, fireworks, holidays, juvenile court, Mayor Crittenden, Police Chief Ahern, police court
June 12, 1908
POLICE WILL PATROL
RIVER IN LAUNCHES.
Mounted Men Guard Flooded Whole-
sale District -- Peril of the
Chief of Police Daniel Ahern and Captain Walter Whitsett yesterday afternoon drove through the flooded East and West bottoms. Complaint had been made that sightseers and others had been breaking into unprotected houses and stealing.
Last night mounted men were stationed all over the West bottoms with orders to patrol the flooded district carefully. If the water goes any higher police will be placed in launches to patrol. Now an officer on horseback can reach the most important part of the wholesale district.
It was also reported to the police that in the trees near Harlem many dead cattle, horses and hogs have become lodged. The citizens in that vicinity fear the result if the animals are left there after the flood goes down. Today police in motor boats will be sent over the river to dislodge any dead stock and see that it gets into the current.
Near the Kelly mills in the East bottoms twenty-five or thirty men are at work night and day watching to see that the water does not break through the dike formed by the embankment of the Kansas City Southern railway.
"That is really the key to the East bottoms," Captain Whitsett said. "If the water once gets through there it means lots more trouble, especially for truck gardens, Currents would be quickly formed and all of that loose rich soil would go down the river as it did in 1903."
Wednesday night and last night fifteen or twenty families, by special permission, slept on the hillsides below North Terrace park. In the day the people go down and watch their property.
William Mensing, 10 East Fourth street, called at police headquarters last night and offered five or six furnished rooms for the benefit of the flood sufferers. In 1903 Mensing had a rooming house at Fourth and Main streets. While his rooms could have been rented at good prices, Mensing gave up a dozen or more to poor families and even took two families into his home.
"These rooms I have are not for men who can hustle for themselves," he said last night. "As before, I prefer to let women and children occupy them."
Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., chairman of the police board, informed the department yesterday that tents could be secured at the Third regiment. They are to be used for poor and needy families if the worst comes.
Today two gasoline launches will be placed in commission for use of the police. They will be expected to patrol the river below the Hannibal bridge and render aid to people on both sides of the river if the emergency calls for it.
The crowd on the Intercity viaduct last night -- most of the people were sightseers -- was so great that Captain Whitsett stationed four men under Sergeant Robert Greely at the entrance. Their business was to be on the lookout for crooks and to keep the people moving. Three patrolmen were placed at the Mulberry street pay station to keep order and see that no one used the "center rush" method to get through the crowd without paying.
Last night several police were patrolling the river bank from the foot of Grand avenue east. It had been reported that thieves had been breaking into wholesale houses through windows, loading their boats and landing further down the river
The police were asked last night to be on the lookout for Antonio Travesse, 6 years old, an Italian boy living at 410 Holmes street. His father, Carlos, greatly excited, reported the missing boy. He said that when last seen his baby was going toward the river.
Harlem could not be reached by telephone last night. In the afternoon it was said that the water there had flooded the only remaining stores. Last night's report from there was that the river was getting lower, and that most of the wise citizens over there, who had passed through the terrible 1903 flood, will save all of their household goods and stocks of merchandise. Some were moved to this city and some of the stocks are still there, very high up with the counters and shelves nailed down.
Labels: boats, Captain Whitsett, children, East bottoms, flood, Grand avenue, Hannibal bridge, Harlem, Holmes street, immigrants, intercity viaduct, Mayor Crittenden, military, Mulberry street, Police Chief Ahern, West bottoms
June 2, 1908
TO IT'; JONES
IT'S NONE OF THE PUBLIC'S
BUSINESS, HE SAYS.
DOESN'T FAVOR ARRESTING THE
"What Good Would It Do? Listlessly
Inquires the Commissioner --
Mayor Hangs Fire on
Lavender women, their friends the dude vagrants, the thief, the thug and the saloonkeeper, may go on threatening the police; they may predict their removal and the prediction may come true so far as Elliott H. Jones, a member of the board of police commissioners, seems to care.
"There's nothing to it," he said yesterday. "I never met Mickey O'Hearn in my life until inauguration day in April, but a man tells me that he says neither he nor any of his friends ever threatened the police. And Chief of Police Daniel Ahern says he never moved men on Mickey's account -- so that settles it."
"But would you not think it proper to call in the six or eight men who have been taken out of plain clothes in the last six months after they were threatened, told they would be moved, and hear them tell you that they were moved on the very day that certain men and women set for them?' the commissioner was asked.
"It's none of the public's business why men were moved, and I for one shall not ask the chief to give his specific reasons for so doing."
"Do you know that a written resolution which stated that no more men should be moved from one beat or district to another without an absolute order from the board or the chief's written reasons for so doing, was unanimously adopted last July?" Mr. Jones was then asked.
"I BELIEVE GALLAGHER."
"This board is not governed by any orders of the previous board," he said promptly. "Anyway, Commissioner A. E. Gallagher tells me that no such resolution was adopted. I believe him."
When it was known that men were being moved after they had been threatened, Chief Ahern was asked if he moved them without the order of the board.. He said he moved men each month and knew of n o order to the contrary. Then an investigation was made and the following was learned:
James E. Vincil, secretary to the board of police commissioners -- "Yes, I remember the resolution well, but I think it was only made a verbal order to the chief. I have looked and it is not of record."
Former Chief John B. Hayes -- "The resolution was introduced by Frank F. Rozzelle, then a member of the board. It was in writing, as I remember, and was unanimously adopted."
Frank F. Rozzelle, former commissioner -- "During the trial of Captain Weber, Chief Hayes testified that Commissioner Gallagher had ordered men moved from one district to another and the members of the board knew nothing of it. I introduced a resolution in writing, as I remember, to this effect: 'Resolved, That in the future the change of any member of this department from one beat or district to another shall not be made with out the order and full consent of the board.' "
IT WAS IN WRITING.
Former Mayor Henry M. Beardsley -- "I recall that Commissiner Rozzelle introduced the resolution in writing. It was unanimously adopted. As I recall it, the resolution stated that in future no changes of men should be made without the order of the board, or, if it became necessary, for the chief to move a man in an emergency, he was to furnish the board his specific reasons in writing for doing so. I was so sure that such a resolution had been adopted that I asked Secretary Vincil about it and only a short time before I left the mayor's office. He remembered it as much as I did, but, strange to say, it was not of record in his office."
Besides these men of reputation who recall the adoption of the resolution there were at least five newspaper reporters present who remembered the occurrence well -- and the necessity for such a resolution.
According to Commissioner Jones, however, even if such a resolution was adopted by the board as previously constituted, the present "reform" board will not take cognizance of it -- at least, he intimated, that he and his colleague, Mr. Gallagher, would not.
HE'S WILLING, BUT SHY.
"So far as I am individually concerned," said Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., "I would favor a thorough investigation into anything concerning the police where serious charges are made. But as I am so new at the business, I would prefer that an older member of the board take the lead."
When Commissioner Jones was told that the police were well acquainted with most all of the well dressed vagrants in No. 4 district, the men whose sole support for years has been fallen women, and was asked if a special order would be issued to arrest all such men and ring them into police court, he replied:
OH, WHAT'S THE USE?
"What good is to be accomplished by it? Other men would take their places and we might fill up our workhouse with men for the city to support."
While Commissioner Jones was talking he had before him a large envelope which contained a record of the changes made in the police department June 1. They had been made by the chief, he said, and he would not know what they were until he had read it. He said that he or other members of the board might request a change, but in the aggregate the board would not know why changes were made unless the chief was asked for his specific reasons, Mr. Jones says, he refuses to make public.
Labels: Commissioner Gallagher, Commissioner Jones, Commissioner Rozzelle, corruption, crime, Mayor Beardsley, Mayor Crittenden, newspapers, No 4 police station, police board, Police Chief Ahern, Police Chief Hayes
May 28, 1908
TO SHOW BOOKS.
BOARD DECIDES RECORDS ARE
OPEN TO PUBLIC .
ALD. O'HEARN'S ACTIVITY.
ACCUSED OF CAUSING REMOVAL
OF VIGILANT OFFICER.
Remarkable Case of Lisiecki Broth-
er's Saloon, Where a Politician
Is Said to Have Called
Off Besieging Police.
After twenty-four hours deliberation the board of police commissioner came to the conclusion yesterday that records of arrests at the different stations in the city should be declared public, so long as the information desired was of past transactions. May Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr. declared that information of past transactions should be given to any citizen asking it, and the other members of the board concurred, after some discussion.
The board was told that a reporter for The Journal had asked on Tuesday to see the records and had been refused by the captain of No. 4 station and Chief of Police Daniel Ahern.
"What do you want to see the books for?" Mayor Crittenden asked.
"It has been charged that every man since the first of the year who has been active in arresting women who infest the streets in that district has been taken out of plain clothes, and all but the two who are now detailed for that duty, put into uniform and removed from the precinct," the mayor was told. "It is said that the records at the station will show this state of affairs. It is also charged that the removal of the men came after threats from well dressed vagrants and a certain saloonkeeper-politician in that district."
No comment was made upon this statement. Chief Daniel Ahern, who was present, was simply ordered to let the books be examined "in the presence of the officer in charge of the station," and that was all. No hint at an investigation by this board was made.
SIX HAVE BEEN MOVED.
The records show that since January 1 eight men have been detailed in plain clothes in No. 4 district. Their principal duty is to keep the streets clean of undesirable women at night. Six of those men have been removed already, and the two now there have been told that they are to go. One of the men who is said to have threatened policemen who did their duty is Alderman Michael J. O'Hearn, known in a political way as "Mickey" O'Hearn.
The records will show that Frank N. Hoover was removed from No. 4 precinct on March 1. It is well known that this district harbors criminals of all classes and a horde of women who support well dressed vagrants in idleness. The records show that during Hoover's short stay in plain clothes his "cases" included the capture of land fraud sharks, a murderer, one woman who attempted murder, shoplifters working Jones Bros.' department store, clothing thieves, typewriter thieves, "hop" fiends, opium jointists, vagrants -- and a long list of "lavender ladies" who called to men from their windows, and others who walked the streets by night. Scores of these lawbreakers were fined from $5 to $150 in police court on Patrolman Hoover's testimony.
It is alleged that one night when Hoover had arrested a well known vagrant, who for years has lived off the wages of sinful women, he was accosted by O'Hearn, who demanded to know why Hoover was aresting his "friends." One who heard the conversaion said that Hoover told the saloonkeeper that he knew nothing about his "friends"; in fact, that he was doing police duty. O'Hearn, according to report, then told Hoover with a snap of the finger: "We'll see about you later." And he was "seen to" March 1, when he was put into uniform and transferred to a beat in No. 6 district.
Labels: Jones Dry Goods, Kansas City council, Mayor Crittenden, narcotics, No 4 police station, No 6 police station, police, Police Chief Ahern, saloon, The Journal
May 27, 1908
TO SHOW BOOKS.
CONTAIN NAMES OF OFFICERS
WHO WERE TRANSFERRED.
THEY ARE PUBLIC PROPERTY.
BUT CONTAIN PROOF OF
Matter of Changing Active Officers
Is to Come Before Board Today.
Farce Follows Chief Dan-
iel Ahern's Order.
Not until yesterday was it made known that the records of arrests at police stations in Kansas City, ordinarily believed to be open to public view, are secret, perhaps sacred, reports, wont to be seen by any one not connected with the department until so ordered by the board of police commissioners, or, perhaps, some higher tribunal -- mayhap the mysterious influence behind the present police force.
While the charge has been made that officers who did their full duty in bringing in objectionable women of the streets, in whom well dressed vagrants were interested, had recently been taken out of plain clothes, put back into uniform and transferred to remote districts, it was additionally charged that the records of No. 4 police station for several months would show that every officer who had been active in that work had been removed to another district.
Believing that the records at a police station were as public as those of police court or any other court, a reporter for The Journal called at No. 4 (Walnut street) station yesterday and made this request of Captain Thomas P. Flahive:
"I want to see the record of arrests since January. I want to get the names of the officers working in plain clothes since that time. I want to see how many women each man arrested and find out if those same officers are still in this district, or if they have been removed."
"While our books may be regarded as public records," said Captain Flahive, "I must refuse you access to them unless you bring me an order from Chief Ahern of the board."
"The books are in Captain Flahive's district," said Chief Daniel Ahern later, "if he wants to show them to you he can. He won't, you say? Then I will not let you see them without an order from the board."
GALLAGHER SAYS "NO."
"Not by any means," was the reply of Commissioner A. E. Gallagher. "The matter will be brought to the attention of the board tomorrow."
Commissioner Elliot H. Jones, last night said, when asked whether the records of arrests were public property, "I don't know; I've never thought about it."
"It is my personal opinion, off hand, that such records are open to the public," came from Mayor Crittenden. "However, I am new in the business here and would not like to give a positive opinion. Ask the board tomorrow."
City Counselor E. C. Meservey was called up at his home last night after all of these refusals by public officers to screen police acts and asked whether he regarded the records of a police station as public records. He said promptly: "I see no reason why they should not be just as public as the records of the police court, especially those of past transactions. There is only one reason in my mind why they should be refused and that is where the police saw that the giving of the record would interfere with their duty in arresting law breakers." When told the record that was wanted he said, "that certainly is of past transactions and I think the records should have been produced."
THEY WERE NOT REMOVED.
The records under the Hayes administration will show that for one year previous to his removal by the board, July 31, 1907, only a few men were detailed in plain clothes in No. 4 district to bring in objectionable women and vagrants supported by them, and they were not removed for doing so. They remained at that duty a long time.
On the best information that can be gained without seeing the books, the records since July 31 last year will show that no fewer than from eight to ten different men have been assigned to duty in that district. From memory it can be truthfully said that since January 1 these officers have been detailed there: Edward Prewett, Daniel Doran, Frank M. Hoover, Thomas L. McDonough, Lucius Downey, J. C. Dyson, John Rooth and A. B. Cummings. All of them were active in doint their duty.
Prewett was put back in uniform and sent to No. 6.
Doran got into "harness" and was sent to No. 9, "the woods."
Hoover is now wearing blue at No. 6.
McDonough was taken from that duty, put into uniform but left in the district.
Downey, who had been in plain clothes for nearly three years, was put into a suit of blue he had nearly outgrown and sent to a tough beat in the North end.
Dyson in in blue and brass and is taking a chance at being sunstruck in the tall grass of No. 9.
Rooth and Cummings are still there, but the rumor is that they are slated to go June 1.
THREATENED BY VAGRANTS.
It is known that Downey and Dyson were threatened by thugs, vagrants and a saloonkeeper-politician and told they would be moved May 1. And on that date they were removed. Rooth and Cummings were so often threatened by the same men that they have appealed to the chief for protection. They were told by vagrants they would be moved June 1. Will they?
Labels: Captain Flahive, Commissioner Gallagher, Commissioner Jones, No 4 police station, No 6 police station, No 9 police station, North end, police, police board, Police Chief Ahern, Police Chief Bowden, Police Chief Hayes, The Journal
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