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June 26, 1909

WALKED FROM PLEASANT HILL.

John Fleming, 18, Missing Since
Monday, Returns.

John Fleming, the 18-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Fleming of 2404 Kensington avenue, who has been missing since last Monday, returned home last night at 8 o'clock, having walked the entire distance from Pleasant Hill, Mo.

He could not give a very connected account of his wanderings, saying that he thought his mind had been affected by the heat of the sun when he started out. He remembered that he had walked most of the way to Pleasant Hill. It was thought that he had some vague idea of visiting his aunt, who lives within nine miles of that town, but he did not arrive there. He was more lucid about the return trip.

Young Fleming was first sighted at Raytown, Mo., by friends of Mrs. Fleming, who telephoned to the mother. Others along the line of march also recognized him and telephoned to the home. A reunion was held last night at the home.

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April 9, 1908

QUEER PRANKS OF A
DEMENTED WOMAN.

KEPT A PONY AND CHAISE IN
HER BEDROOM.

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

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

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

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

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


SHE IS DECLARED INSANE.

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

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

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

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


IT COST HER $135.

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

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

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


BUILT A FIRE IN A BUCKET.

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

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

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

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

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

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November 7, 1907

ORDER FOR ROAD WORK MADE.

The County Court Wishes No Delay Next
Spring in Closing Gaps.

The county court in Independence yesterday issued the order to Oscar Koehler, county surveyor, to prepare all necessary profiles and plans and specifications immediately, so that there may be no delay in the work next year of closing up the gaps in Jackson county's rock road system.

The Lee's Summit road already is graded. Macadam is to be laid from the end of the present rock road to Hickman's Mills. The Raytown and Little Blue road is to be graded and macadamized. The distance is three miles. The Independence and Atherton road is to be extended from the present end of the macadam to the foot of the Missouri river bluffs, a distance of three miles.

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