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January 23, 1910


Tenants of Downtown Structures Feel
Shock of Dynamite Shots.

What seemed like distant earthquake shocks have been felt in all the buildings on both sides of Grand avenue, between Ninth and Thirteenth streets during the last few days, the concussions being due to dynamite blasting in the conduit trench on the east side of Grand avenue.

When a shot is fired in the trenches there is a very perceptible chug and lift in the floors of all the structures in this district, and especially is this noticeable in the basements and first floors of the big buildings. In the basement of the R. A. Long building the concussion is so severe that some of the apparatus in a barber shop there has been moved out of the place. Higher up in the building the shock is not felt so markedly.

Blasting has been going on for several days and is likely to continue for several more. The trench is but partially completed and at present the work is hindered by a vein of rock which has to be blasted out. It isn't at all probable that the blasting will damage any of the big steel buildings, but it is altogether possible for it to do some damage to some of the less substantial structures, it is said.

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November 10, 1909


Weather Permitting Carrier Pigeons
Will Be Loosed This Morning.

On account of the hazy atmosphere of yesterday afternoon, the carrier pigeons, which were to have been liberated form the top of the R. A. Long building, Tenth street and Grand avenue, were not turned loose. the pigeons will be set free for their long flight to Colorado at 10 o'clock this morning, if the weather conditions are favorable.

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October 29, 1909

R. A. LONG FOR $5,000.


Is Arrested Just as He Is Given
Decoy Package.

Accused of Writing Letter to R. A. Long Demanding $5,000 Under Thread Against His Home.

A bungling attempt to "black hand" R. A. Long out of $5,000 resulted in the arrest of a man at the general delivery window of the postoffice at 8:30 o'clock last night, just as he had been handed a decoy package, supposed to contain the money demanded.

At police headquarters the prisoner gave the name Thaddeus Sebastian Wilson, who recently came to Kansas City from Garnett, Kas. He denied writing letters to Mr. Long asking for money, and at the same time making a veiled threat. Wilson was placaed in the holdover to be questioned later. Inspector E. P. Boyle said he had reason to believe that he had the right man.

When Mr. Long went to his office in the R. A. Long building yesterday morning, he found this letter on his desk, addressed and written in long hand, on plain stationary:

"Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 27.
"Mr. R. A. Long.
"Dear Sir: -- Say, old man, I am broke, and want some money. I have to help take care of my mother and sister. You know times are pretty hard on poor people and it is pretty stiff.

"I am trying to give my sister an education. If I had some money I would buy a little store for my mother, and I would work. We could make and save money that way.

"Now, I have to have some money, and I am not going to knock some poor devil down to get it. I want you to send me $5,000 at once. I don't want you to give it to me. I will pay it all back with interest.

"You get up $5,000 in bills of different kind and wrap 'em in a package like goods from the store. Wrap them up good so they won't be tore open. Then you mail it like store goods. It will come all right.


"Now I must have the money. I want to be honest so I ask you for it. No guess work or foolin, nothin but the dow will do. Send it today. Sure now. Say I've made n o threats. I have not been foolin either. I have lots of friends that will stand by me.

"You send me $5,000.00 as soon as possible today, as I told you konw. I guess you understand. Now get busy if you want us both to prosper. You needent say nothing to anyboydy, either. For the love of your home send that money as soon as you get this. This is more important. Let your work go.

"Waiting for results. O. B. VANDELLER.
"Gen. Delivery."

Mr. Long read the letter over, then tossed it to his secretary to make a copy. He did not give it a second thought.


But a second letter was received at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. This was more insistent. The writer in his first letter had apparently feigned illiteracy, but in the second the language was pointed and written in the best of style. There were none of the misspelled words that had appeared in the first.


It read:

"Kansas City, Mo., October 27, 1909.
"Dear Sir -- Now the best, cheapest and healthiest, and the most satisfacaotry way for you to do is to send along that $5000. No fooling goes much longer. You'll get it all back within three years. Now mind, $5,000 in the postoffice by tonight. Quicker the better; cheaper and healthier way is to send it along. I'll send you a note duly signed for the amount.
"Earnestly, O. B. Vandaller.
"Gen. Del.
"P. S. -- You send a letter also.

Mr. Long notified the police about 4 o'clock and Detectives Jo Keshlear and J. J. McGraw were assigned to watch the postoffce.


When Wilson went into the postoffice he appeared very nervous. He looked around the rotunda before he took courage to step up to the general delivery window. Finally he edged in among a small crowd of peole and in time reached the window. He went into his pocket and from a notebook handed a sheet of paper to the man at the window.

By that time McGraw and Keshlear knew he was the man after the Long decoy package. Before the clerk could hand it to him, however, Keshlear arrested Wilson. He made no resistance, but became more nervous. The slip of paper, which he handed the clerk and the window has been taken from a loose leaf note book in Wilson's pocket. On it was written, in identically the same hand as that of the Long letters:

"Give man my mail. -O. B. Vandeller."

The package which Wilson would have received, had he been given time, was a twelve-ounce bottle in a cigar box. The package was wrapped in newspapers with plain wapping paper on the outside.

To Inspector Boyle Wilson denied that he had written a letter demanding $5,000. Just a brief statement was taken down in shorthand at first, and the prisoner, who gave his name as Thaddeus Sebastian Wilson, was locked up to think the matter over.

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September 8, 1909


Says It Would Be Mistake to Hamper
Street Railway Company.

Having spent two months on vacation, R. A. Long, the man who set the pace for imposing structures in the West by putting up the skyscraping Long building, said yesterday that he "hoped the people of Kansas City will stand by the Metropolitan Street Railway and grant them an extension."

"I have not read the ordinance through yet," said Mr. Long, "but in a general way I understand it wants to extend its present right sixteen years, asking no new ones, but granting the city half fares for children and one-half its profits for the accommodation.

"We ought not to be penurious in dealing with our public utilities. There is a great risk which they assume. We must let them make money. The successful public service corporation always spends its money liberally in the way of improvements. The unsuccessful one cannot. The Metropolitan sure has shown this in its treatment of Kansas City.

"It would be a great mistake to hamper the company. It is a credit to the city and we are proud of it."

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July 1, 1909


Lifeless Body Plunged Down Long
Building Shaft Eleven Stories.

Lew Reid, 12 years old, of 1819 North Eighth street, Kansas City, Kas., was crushed to death by an ascending elevator in the R. A. Long building yesterday at noon. A sudden jerk of the car threw the boy forward. As he grasped the iron grill work of the elevator enclosure the swiftly ascending car caught him. The lifeless body fell eleven stories to the basement.

The boy entered the car on the basement floor in company with Otto Nelson, a messenger boy. They were the only passengers. The car was operated by John Livingston, 23 years old, 1101 East Sixteenth street, who has been employed in that capacity in the Long building nearly two years.

According to the story told by the elevator operator, only one stop was made before the accident occurred, and that was at the main floor. At the tenth floor Livingston noticed that he was ahead of his schedule, and threw the lever over to slow up, thereby causing the jerk which threw the boy forward to his death.

Livingston said he endeavored to put the boy back, and also stopped his car as soon as possible. The Nelson boy corroborated the operator's story.

Hughes Bryant, agent for the building, notified all of the employes not to talk about the accident. He also explained the accident by saying the boy either fainted or fell forward against the door without being thrown by the jar of the elevator.

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May 19, 1909

BRIDGE $125,000 GAP.


Hundreds of Women Are Working
in the Campaign, and Still
There Are Not Enough
Y. W. C. A. Women Work on Fundraising.

With only three days of its ten-day campaign left, the Young Women's Christian Association has obtained pledges amounting in all to $178,3443.45. A gap of nearly $125,000 yawns between the $300,000 required for the contemplated new buildings, and to bridge it successfully an average of about $40,000 a day must be obtained in the short space of time that is left. It seems an impossible task, and yet there is not the slightest indication of discouragement among the scores of women workers who are giving ever moment of their time to the campaign.

"Fail? Why such a contingency has not even been considered," said one of the officers of the ways and means committee last night. "Everyone of us is perfectly confident that the $300,000 mark will be reached before Saturday. Although hundreds of women are working in the campaign, still we haven't enough canvassers to call on all of the persons we have on our lists. If there was some way we could see all of these people in the next few days, we could get more, much more, than the amount needed. There can be no doubt of this. I know that hundreds and hundreds of people we have not seen are only waiting for our solicitors to call before giving their subscription. What a help it would be if they would send in the amounts voluntarily."

The total amount obtained yesterday was nearly $9,000. About $6,000 of this was pledged in the morning, and the remainder in the afternoon. Besides five gifts of $1,000 there was one $500. The names of the $1,000 givers are as follows:

The Kansas City Journal, the Missouri and Kansas Telephone Company, Mrs. J. L. Abernathy, Mrs. C. A. Baker and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Marty.

Hundreds of donations in varying amounts have been received during the subscription campaign, including $25,000 from Thomas H. Swope, $15,000 from Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Long, $10,000 from Frank Hagerman, and $10,000 from Emery, Bird, Thayer Dry Goods.

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May 4, 1909


Al S. Bright Has Close Call at
Eleventh and Walnut.

The sharp cry of a pedestrian saved Al S. Bright from being run down by a reckless chauffeur yesterday noon. Mr. Bright was crossing Walnut street at Eleventh when a rapidly moving motor car turned out of Eleventh street. It was nearly upon Mr. Bright when a man behind shouted "look out." Mr. Bright sprang backward, but not in time to clear the machine. The front wheels passed over his left foot, crushing the toes. The chauffeur did not stop to see how badly Mr. Bright was injured. The car was clearly exceeding the speed limit. Mr. Bright has offices at 317 R. A. Long Building.

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April 11, 1909


"Christian Men" the Title of a Kan-
sas City Monthly.

"Christian Men" is a new religious magazine published monthly in Kansas City. The space in this magazine is devoted entirely to things pertaining to the church, and while no particular denomination is mentioned, the material more directly affects the Christian church. It is called the organ of the Brotherhood of Disciples of Christ and its work is purely masculine.

The publication deals not with local church affairs in particular, but with the religious activities of the Christian faith all over the country. Under the caption of "Wireless Whispers" news is printed from Christian Churches from all parts of the United States.

At the head of the publication as editor is P. C. McFarlane. R. A. Long is president of the organization, F. Bannister, treasurer, and Mr. McFarlane, secretary. The offices of the company are in the R. A. Long building. On the editorial staff are C. Chilton, T. S. Ridge, R. A. Long, W. Daviess Pittman, Fletcher Cowherd, H. Allen and Burris A. Jenkins.

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January 5, 1909



R. A. Long Building, Jewish Temple
and Many Other Important Kan-
sas City Structures Were
Planned by Him.

Frank Maynard Howe of the firm Howe & Hoit, an architect of international note whose name is associated with some of the most important buildings in Kansas city, died at his home, 1707 Jefferson street, at 7:30 o'clock last night of heart disease.

Mr. Howe, who was 59 years old, had been quite ill since June last. On July 6, accompanied by Mrs. Howe and their daughter, Miss Dorothy Howe, he toured Great Britain, Holland, Germany and France, in the hope of recovering his failing health, but when he returned October 7 he was but little improved.

Besides the widow, Mrs. Mary E. Howe, and the daughter, Miss Dorothy, there is another daughter, Mrs. Katherine Howe Munger, who lives at the family home. There is one grandchild, Nancy Munger, 3 years old.

When Mr. Howe came to Kansas City in 1885, the architectural firm of Van Brunt & Howe was established, in connection with a similar firm in Boston, Mass. Several years later Mr. Van Brunt came here. At the death of Mr. Van Brunt, seven years ago, the firm of Howe & Hoit was organized.


Mr. Howe was the architect of some of very prominent buildings, among them the Electricity building at the Columbian exposition, Chicago, in 1893, where he was also a member of the board of consulting architects. He held a similar position at the Louisiana Purchase exposition in St. Louis in 1904. Among Mr. Howe's first works was the Union station at Worcester, Mass.

He was born in West Cambridge, Mass., now known as Arlington, and was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Some of the well-known home buildings of which Howe was an architect were the following: R. A. Long building, Emery, Bird, Thayer Dry Goods Company store, Fidelity Trust Company, United States and Mexican Trust Company, Reliance building, Scottish Rite temple and St. Mary's hospital.

Among the houses of worship he planned were the new Jewish temple, the Independence Boulevard Christian church and he was building the Linwood Boulevard Christian church. He also planned the homes of Kirk Armour, Mrs. F. B. Armour and Charles Campbell.

When Mr. Howe died he was planning to build for R. A. Long a $1,000,000 home at Independence and Gladstone boulevards, which with stables, conservatory and other buildings, will occupy a full block.

Mr. Howe was a member of the Elm Ridge Club and the Knife and Fork Club, and was president of the Philharmonic Society throughout its existence. As a great-grandson of Isaac Howe, who fought at the battle of Lexington, he was selected for membership in the Sons of the Revolution. Mr. Howe's ancestors were English Puritans and came to Massachusetts in the seventeenth century. He was a member of Ararat temple, Mystic Shrine, and a thirty-second degree Mason.

His principal avocations were painting water colors and music. He played the piano and the pipe organ.

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December 15, 1908


Remarkable Fantasy of a Man From
Grandin, Mo., With $290.

Joseph DeViera, 56 years old, was picked up at the Union depot yesterday afternoon in a bewildered condition. Sergeant R. P. Lang took him to police headquarters and turned him over to Colonel J. C. Greenman, investigator for the police department.

When searched DeViera had $290 but he acted as if he had been drugged. When Colonel Greenman asked him what was the matter he answered: "Ask J. B. White. He knows." Mr. White, who is connected with the Missouri Lumber Company in the R. A. Long building, was called over the telephone. He said DeViera worked for him at Grandin, Mo. He is an engineer and machinist.

"He was in my office this morning," Mr. White said. "He seemed all right then. When he left he said he would leave for home in the afternoon."

After being locked in a cell in the matron's room DeViera became very violent last night. He yelled with all his lung power that he was "Roosevelt, the mighty hunter." Then he became Napoleon I, and finally said, "I am the Christ, son of the living God, here to reform the world."

"Do you know Adam God, the reformer?" Patrolman Patrick Boyle asked.

"Sure," was the quick reply, "knew him in Africa when he was a baboon. He knows all about the origin of the species, just like I do. We are living too fast for the mighty hunter. I can hit a bear in the left eyebrow at thirty miles."

This sort of rambling talk, yelled in a tone to attract a crowd outside the station, DeViera kept up most all night.

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May 7, 1908





Cleaning Exterior of Commerce
Building -- A Careless Move
Caused the Accident --
They Make Light of It.
Two men cling for their lives seven stories above the street at the Commerce building.

The falling of a large bucket of water and a brush on the sidewalk on the south side of the Commerce building about 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon caused many passers to look up. Dangling from a rope beneath a scaffold almost seven stories above the street were two men.

In the crowd which quickly gathered were three women. The spectators all looked on with bated breath while their hands were tightly clenched. Lower and lower the two men dangled. Just as it seemed that one or both would surely lose their hold and drop to certain death, one of the men managed to get the toe of his right foot on the ledge of a window on the sixth story.

"Oh Lord!" cried one of the women. "I can't look any more. They're both going to drop!"

"Hush up," came from a little nervous man. "You make me dizzy. Don't let 'em hear you say that."

This all took place in a very few seconds. While it was going on the man who had reached the window ledge with his toe managed, by a superhuman effort, to draw himself up. Once there, he assisted his companion, whose toe had by that time touched the ledge and both were soon standing side by side in the window.


"Good boy! Good boy! shouted a spectator. "You are all right."

The two men did not appear to hear him. They walked about on the window ledge as if they were on a flat tin roof. One of them tried the window. It opened, the men entered, and the crowd sighed with relief.

The two men who came so near death are Charles Pepperdine of 3112 Bell street and Paul Jacoby, who rooms near Fifth and Walnut streets. They work for the Ben P. Shirley Company of Indianapolis, Ind., which has the contract for washing the big building and "pointing" the brick and terra cotta work. One washed while the other "pointed."

They were working on a scaffold made from a ladder. Ropes and pulleys are attached at both ends and securely fastened at the top of the fifteen-story building. Men who do that class of skyscraper work become careless. One of the became so yesterday, for, as the two men attempted to pass on the narrow platform, he placed a hand against the side o the building to steady himself. This caused the scaffold to shoot out from beneath their feet.


The two men shot off first, quickly followed by the big bucket of water and brush. At the back of the men, just about even with their hips, was a safety rope to keep them from falling outwards. Just as they fell both managed to grab that rope. It was attached to the two upright ropes, or "falls," as they are called. The weight of the men drew the two long ropes closer and closer together as the men dropped lower and lower. It was while in this position that Pepperdine managed to get his foot on the window ledge, and Jacoby was soon drawn to safety.

The men made their way back to the next floor and were soon on their ladders, ready to go to work. But as both had got a ducking from the big pail of water, they were excused to go home and get dry clothes.

"Nervous? Scared? Who, me? Not much. That wasn't any more than happens every day. Some of us slip or fall a ways, but there is not always a gaping crowd to rubber and make a hero out of the incident."


"I was giggling all the time," said Jacoby. "Just like a woman when she is tickled at something and can't laugh out loud. Just like kids in church, you know. I was kidding 'Pep' for the way he was attempting to swim in the air."

"No I did not look upon the incident as at all unusual," said Mr. Shirley, who has charge of the work. "It may have looked odd to the people in the street, but when you take into consideration that most every man I have can climb a rope hand over hand for seven stories at least, you can see that that lessens their danger. They are just like cats, always light feet down, and if their hands touch anything that looks like a rope they are sure to grab it and skin right back to where they fell from . Both men will be at work in the morning. They didn't go home because they were nervous."

There are two other scaffolds on the same side of the building on which there are from two to three men at work. They laughed heartily at the predicament of their fellow workmen, especially because they got a ducking, and thought the whole thing was a joke.


While the Long building as in course of erection a workman was laying terra cotta on the cornice at the very top, fourteen stories from the street. The piece he was laying fell from its place and the man with it. Near at hand was a rope with which the material was hauled to the roof. End over end the man went twice. Then his hands touched the rope and he grasped it, slid a few feet and remained still.

After getting his breath he went back to the top, hand over hand, got another piece of terra cotta to fit in the place of the one which was smashed on the pavement, slapped some mortar on to hold it in place and went to work. His hands were badly burned from "skinning" the rope in his fall of thirty feet. Otherwise he was alright.

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March 26, 1908


Plate Glass Is Carried From Long
Building to Ninth Street.

So violent was the wind last night at Tenth street and Grand avenue that one of the large windows in the front of the Great Western Life Insurance Company's offices, on the second floor in the Long building, was blown from its casing at 12:30 o'clock. The glass left the sash as clean as though the window had been cut from the frame.

After the window was blown out and the glass broken, the wind carried the pieces of glass up Grand avenue as far as Ninth street. A red lantern was hung in front of the Long building warning those who might pass by the danger from falling glass. The pane was 9x6 feet long and 3/8 inch thick.

A few minutes before the window was broken the large bill-board directly across Grand avenue from the Long building, was blown down and carried several feet from the sidewalk by the wind.

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November 5, 1907


A Policeman Found Him in an Alley
With Two Messages.

A boy in the messenger uniform of the Postal Telegraph company was taken to police headquarters drunk yesterday morning.

"I found him in the alley behind the R. A. Long building," John R. McCall, a patrolman said. "He had two messages. I don't know when he started with them but from the way he was progressing, they certainly wouldn't have reached their destination on time."

Several boys who came to the station said the messenger was about 15 years old and was called "Bosco." He was taken to the detention home.

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October 28, 1907


Enemy of J. L. Stark May Have
Disfigured His Wife.

Mrs. J. L. Stark, whose hair was so mysteriously cut from her head while she was sleeping at the home of her mother, 822 East Fifteenth street, on the morning of October 20, returned to her husband and her home, 2646 La Salle street, St. Louis, yesterday morning.
The matter of the strange assault upon her remains as much of a mystery as when it was first committed, though it is believed by Mrs. A. C. Ecton, the mother of the young woman that the latter's husband has an idea as to who made such a singular attack upon his wife. This is based on a letter received from him by Mrs. Stark in which he warned her to return home immediately before something more serious was done. "They will cut your throat next," the letter said, and Mrs. Stark packed up her belongings and left the city forthwith.
J. L. Stark was formerly a brick mason and contractor in this city, the last work he did here being in and upon the R. A. Long building. It is the idea of Mrs. Stark's parents that her husband may have had an enemy who made this disfigurement of the young wife the means of his revenge upon the husband.
The police have not interested themselves in the matter so far as the parents and friends of Mrs. Stark know.

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August 2, 1907


Book Agent Ate One, Taking It
for a Mushroom.

W. S. Bundy is a book agent. He is 37 years old and lives at Lister and Linwood avenues. He has a "neat little patch of ground," to use his own words. Bundy stepped into his back yard and saw what looked like a patch of "pretty, round, fresh mushrooms."

"I believe they are toadstools," said his wife.

"Well, I'll just taste one," said Bundy. "If they are toadstools I'll find it out. If they are not, you can cook them for supper."

Thereupon Bundy made his word good by "tasting" one. That was 9 a. m. The pursuit of his business found him on the third floor of the R. A. Long building about noon. Not until then did Bundy realize that he had eaten a toadstool. He was so completely prostrated that the ambulance from the emergency hospital called and took him away. When he reached the hospital he was unconscious. Dr. Paul Lux worked with him all afternoon. At 5 o'clock he was considered out of danger.

"Telephone my wife not to cook those toadstools," were his first words.

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