February 8, 1910
CORONER'S INQUEST BEGINS
DEATH AND POST-MORTEM OF
COL. THOMAS SWOPE
HYDE'S NAME MENTIONED.
Doctors and Nurses Testify
The coroner's inquest into the death of Colonel Thomas C. Swope got underway in Independence yesterday, and it was brought out that Colonel Swope, tried a number of tonics and remedies, and that he worried over his will in the weeks before his death, and wanted the poor of the city to benefit by the income from his residuary estate, valued at $1,000,000.
Harry S. Cook, superintendent of the Forest Hill cemetery, told the story of the removal of the body of Colonel Swope at dead of night from the catacombs where it was at rest. He said that secrecy was observed and that a blanket was hung on the grillwork of the tomb, so that no one could look in, had anyone had an inkling of what was going on.
The casket, he said, had not been touched and the body was frozen and in a good state of preservation.
The autopsy was conducted at Ott's undertaking rooms at Independence. Coroner Zwart, Drs. Hektoen, Twyman, Stewart, Hall, and a younger docter were among those who attended the post-mortem, it was testified. The body was still frozen, and coal oil lamps and stoves were lighted to thaw it. Bottles were filled with hot water and laid on the body, and then all was covered with blankets.
The post mortem began at 2 p. m. After the doctors finished the autopsy, in which they removed all of Colonel Swope's internal organs and his brain, the body was sewed up, dressed and put back in the casket and removed to the third floor of the undertaking establishment, where it was hidden. It was taken back to the vault the following day. This was done in the day time, as the story of the autopsy had leaked out and there was no further reason for secrecy.
Dr. E. L. Stewart, who graduated seven years ago, and specializes in microscopy, took notes for the doctors who conducted the post mortem. Dr. Steward did not remember all of the details of the autopsy. He declaired that he was too busy taking the dictation by Drs. Hall and Hektoen to observe their operations as closely as he would have liked to. He said that so far as he could see, there was nothing about the appearance of any of the organs removed by the doctors which would indicate that they were other than in a normal condition.
Dr. Stewart turned his findings over to Dr. Hektoen, he said. Dr. Hektoen also took charge of Colonel Swope's viscera. Dr. Stewart remarked about the frozen condition of the body, which he said was rather frail. The brain, he said, after removal, was cut into thin slices so that the doctors could ascertain if there had been a hemorrhage. No blood clot was found either in the brain or in the lining.
NO CLOTHING ON BODY.
The clothing had been removed from the body when he first saw it and he noticed an undertaker's mark on the arm. He also noticed a small dark mark on the left wrist and the undertake's mark on the abdomen. He told of pulling off the scalp, sawing the cranium and removing the skull cap and then taking out the brain. This he said was sliced, but he did not remember into how many sections nor their thickness. The brain was then placed in one of the big half gallon fruit jars and was sealed.
Dr. Stewart said that the brain was taken out whole, as he remembered it. There was no hemorrhage, at least none that was visible to the naked eye, he said. Dr. Stewart did not know whether Dr. Hektoen took the kidneys. He said that to the best of his recollection several of the blood vessels near the heart were hardened. He said that neither he, nor any of the doctors who performed the autopsy, could attribute Colonel Swope's death to any unusual condition found in his vital organs.
He said that one kidney seemed to be slightly enlarged, but this fact, he added, might have been natural. The liver, he said, was of the ordinary gray color and was in good condition. Dr. Stewart said that had there been a hemorrhage of the brain that the embalming fluid wich is used would not have reduced it.
Dr. G. T. Twyman, the Swope family physician, was present at the autopsy, which he said was conducted by Drs. Hektoen and Hall. The body was very well preserved, but was frozen hard. the fluids in the body had all turned to ice. Efforts to thaw it were without avail. There was but one abnormal condition of any consequence, he said, and that was a thickening of the walls of the stomach.
KNEW NOTHING OF DEATH.
Dr. Twyman said that Colonel Swope was not anxious to take medicines or tonics. He last saw him professionaly on April 28, 1909. He had seen him at various times since then and there was nothing in his condition to lead him to the belief that he would die suddenly, he said. Dr. Twyman said that he knew nothing about Colonel Swope's last illness or death. He did not know what caused Colonel Swope's death and he declared that there was nothing in the post mortem which could lead him to form an opinion as to the cause of death.
Sylvester W. Spangler, who since 1903 has had charge of Colonel Swope's real estate, told of Colonel Swope's penchant for taking medicines of various sorts which might be recommended to him by friends, including a tonic which contained strychnine, quinine and iron. He also told of the oft-repeated wich of Colonel Swope just prior to his death that he could arrange in some way to so place his residuary estate that the revenue could be used for the benefit of the poor.
"The last time I saw Colonel Swope alive was the Saturday preceding his death," said Mr. Spangler. "I came down on account of the death of the night previous of his cousin and also to attend to any business matters which he might indicate he wanted closed. I was with him for about an hour and he was in bed all of this time. About the close of our converstaion Colonel Swope addressed me: 'So far as pain is concerned,' he said, 'I have none and never felt better in my life, but I realize that I am a weak man and can't live long.' I cheered him up as best I could.
KEPT TONIC IN OFFICE.
"Colonel Swope kept a tonic in his office, which, according to the label, contained strychnine, quinine and iron and was put up in Independence. He took the contents of two of these bottles, to my knowledge. He would take the medicine for a couple of days and then would not take any for several days, or a week. He took a teaspoonful at a dose. The medicine was orange colored. He also took tablets, some of a white sort and some bromo-quinine tablets. He took Pape's Diapepsin for his stomach trouble. In fact, he took a great many medicnes which were recommended to him by friends as good for his particular case. Two years ago he took some acid phosphates.
"He often told me about some new remedy he had purchased and which he said he would give a trial, as it was harmless, and if it did no good it would do no harm. He had a vest pocket memorandum book in which he kept a record of the medicines recommended to him and which he tried. He would invariably return to me and tell me that the medicines were fakes. The elixir, he said, was prescribed by an Independence, Mo., doctor and was to give him strength.
"Colonel Swope rewrote his will while I was in his employ. He did not discuss the bequests with me and I knew nothing of the amounts until after his death and the publication of the instrument.
"The reason he gave me for rewriting the will was that some of his property had greatly increased in value and that some had decreased. He wanted the proportions of his bequests to be as he first intended. After providing for all of his heirs he still had a good deal of property that he wanted to dispose of in a charitable way. This residuary estate was worth, he told me, about $1,000,000. He wanted the revenue from the estate to be applied to the benefit of the poor, regardless of their former conditions in life.
WORRIED OVER WILL.
"He was endeavoring to find a way to dispose of this property so that the revenue would be used for the purpose intended. He could transfer it, he said, so that it would not be necessary for him to make a new will and the old would could not be broken. He was worried over the disposition of the residuary estate. He told me that if he deeded it to the city that the revenue, and possible the principle, might be wasted, while if he deeded it to loyal citizen friends, that he feared they were too busy hustling after the almighty dollar to give the property and the revenue the proper attention.
"About six weeks before he died he went to the vault and got his will. After keeping it in his office for a week he told me one Saturday that he would take it home and spend Saturday and Sunday on it. Monday morning he brought it back and said that he had looked it over carefully and that it was as nearly perfect as he could make it. He said that he could not betteer it if he wrote it 100 times.
"Colonel Swope's effects, such as clothing which he kept in the office, were given to the Salvation army after his death. I never heard of an enemy of Colonel Swope and knew of no one that he ever entertained any malice against.
"Colonel Swope claimed Wooford county, Ky., as his home until he gave Kansas City Swope park in 1903. He lived in Independence except for a few months, about 1904 or 1905, when he roomed at the Orient hotel.
"Colonel Swope voted but once in his life, he told me, and that was when McKinley made the first race for the presidency. Colonel Swope made a special trip to Wooford county, Kentucky, to cast his vote for McKinley."
Miss Pearl Virginia Kellar, 36 years old, a trained nurse of five years' experinece, was the witness of the day. Miss Kellar attended Colonel Swope during his last illness and was employed by Dr. B. Clark Hyde, three weeks prior to that event. For several weeks Miss Kellar has been virtually one of the members of the Swope household in Independence. She said that she had only a passing acquaintance with Dr. Hyde, prior to the time that he employed her to go to the Swope home.
MENTIONS HYDE'S NAME.
"Dr. Hyde called me over the telephone Sunday night, September 12. He asked me to meet him Monday at 7:30 a. m. and go to Independence. On the way he told me that Colonel Swope was not really ill; that he had fallen and slightly injured his left shoulder, but to make him feel that I was doing something for him and to massage the injured shoulder. Mrs. Swope and the four daughters met us at the threshold and after donning my uniform I was escorted to Colonel Swope's room where we shook hands and he said he was glad to seee me. The injury I found to be very slight. I was with him three weeks, except one day when I went to the dentist.
" 'Here are some "Pinkle's Pink Pills and some tonic,' said Dr. Hyde to me. 'Let him have the pills and also the tonic as he has been in the habit of taking them.' I found the tonic to contain strychnine, iron and quinine and peptomangan. It was put up by Pendleton & Gentry of Independence. Colonel Swope told me that Obe Gentry had given Mr. Hunton the prescription and that it was very good.
" I kept a nurse's record of Colonel Swope for two weeks, or a week longer than he thought I kept it. He objected to the keeping of the record and when I told Dr. Hyde that I had kept it a week longer than Colonel Swope was aware, and that there was no good reason for keeping it longer, Dr. Hyde suggested that I discontinue it. Colonel Swope objected to me taking his temperature. I made up his bed and straghtened him around, then gave him a bath, an alcohol rub and massage and later another alcohol rub and massage."
NURSE'S NOTES READ.
Miss Kellar here produced her notes and read off her daily notations as to the treatment the patient received and his condition. She said that he ate very full dinners, including cabbage at one meal which she said Dr. Hyde told her he could have as he had been accustomed to it. She gave him occasional drinks containing wine or brandy. She said that Colonel Swope and Dr. Hyde were on perfectly friendly terms.
Her records showed that he took several doses of the pink pills, varying the number from time to time. Monday, September 20, she said that he sat up for an hour in an adjoining room where he looked over the grounds. Wednesday she said that he began taking the tonic, which heretofore he had not touched. She said that Mr. Hunton suggested taht now as he was better that he could take the tonic and get well sooner. Miss Keller also testified to the frequency that Colonel Swope vomited and said that these attacks were without the slightest warning and usually at meal times.
"On Wednesday, September 29 Colonel Swope and I went out riding. We drove out the Lexinton road past the Swope farm which he had not seen in nine years. We were out for two hours and he stood the trip splendidly. Thrusday we drove almost to Kansas City. Friday we started to Blue Springs, but failed to take the right road and had a rough ride.
"After putting Mr. Swope to bed, I came down stairs and Mr. Hunton called me. He was eating dinner and suggested that I eat with him. We had almost finished when Mrs. Swope and Miss Margaret came in. Mr. Hunton looked at me and said that he felt queer. Mildred and a girl friend entered the room at this time and Mr. Hunton tried to pick up a glass of water. He half raised it and then it fell from his hands. I ran to his side and discovered that his left leg was helpless. A negro boy helped me carry him to the library and we summoned doctors.
HUNTON BECAME SICK.
"By the time Dr. Twyman came Mr. Hunton had lapsed into unconsciousness. He had vomited profusely. The boys got an ironing board and we laid Mr. Hunton on this and carried him upstairs. Colonel Swope meanwhile had called, and one of the servants failing to pacify him, I told him that Mr. Hunton was seriously ill. After Dr. Hyde came they decided to bleed Mr. Hunton.
"I did not tell Colonel Swope about the death of Mr. Hunton until Saturday morning. When I told him that Mr. Hunton ws dead, he grasped the bed clothes, and hiding his head, cried, 'Poor Moss.' For a moment he sort of sobbed, and then he asked me to tell him all about it. He th en told me he wanted to be very quiet. He wanted to see no one but Mr. Spangler. He first said taht he did not want to see Dr. Hyde for fear that the doctor might think that he needed him professionally. Colonel Swope did not go across the hall to see Mr. Hunton, and I read to him. The news of Mr. Fleming's wife's death came at noon. Mr. Spangler ws the only visitor. He came about noon."
As Miss Kellar reached this part of her narrative, Deputy Coroner Trogdon conferred with Coroner Zwart and Attorney Reed and announcement was made of adjournment until 10 o'clock this morning.
MRS. SWOPE SHIELDED.
Miss Kellar, the trained nurse who was with Colonel Swope the last three weeks of his life, arrive at the court house shortly before 4 p. m. with Mrs. L. O. Swope and a woman companion. They were driven to the court house in an automobile and were escorted by Attorney John Mastin. They were taken in the witness room, which was kept locked. Miss Kellar, her companion and Mr. Atwood shielded Mrs. Swope from the gaze of the curious. Mrs. Swope was attired was attired in black and wore a heavy veil.
The array of legal talent in the case yesterday was probably the largest in the history of the court house. The Swope heirs and Mr. Paxton, the executor of the estate, were represented by Messrs. Reed, Atwood and Mastin. Virgil Conkling, the prosecuting attorney, represented the state, while Dr. Hyde was represented by Attorneys Walsh, Cleary and Johnson. Coroner Zwart wsa represented by Deputy Coroner Trugdon.
"Can we come in and listen to the case?" inquired Mesdames William Young and Cliff Morrow, neighbors of the Swopes, of J. A. Brown, superintendent of the court house building. "Certainly," he replied and secured them a seat immedately behind the attorneys. There were a score of women at the inquest in the afternoon.
Labels: cemetery, Coroner Zwart, courtroom, doctors, Independence, James A. Reed, probate, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery, Swope park, Thomas Swope
December 21, 1909
ZOO AT LAST HAS OCCUPANTS.
Gus Pearson's Four Lions Transferred
to Swope Park Yesterday.
The four lions that are to form the nucleus for Kansas City's zoo at Swope park were yesterday transferred to the building from the barn they have been kept in at Dodson. Two buffalo, male and female, presented to the park board by A. Weber, arrived from Kansas last night. They will be exhibited for a few days at the store by Mr. Weber on Walnut street, after which they will be sent to the zoo buildings. C. W. Armour has presented several deer and the Elks several elks, but before they can be shipped from the West to Kansas City a permit will have to be secured from the state game warden.
"After we get all the animals and birds together we will have a pretty fair collection," said Gus Pearson, city comptroller and father of the zoo, last night. "Beside the lions and the buffalo, we have three monkeys, a badger, a wildcat and several smaller birds and animals."
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, lodges, Swope park, Walnut Street
December 7, 1909
SWOPE PARK ZOO KEEPERS.
Board Appoints August Atkinson
Chief and Fred Morrison Assistant.
The park board appointed August Atkinson head keeper of the zoo building in Swope park at a salary of $75 a month, and made Fred Morrison an assistant at $60 a month.
A test is now being made of the steam heating plant for the purpose of regulating temperatures adapted to the different animals that will eventually make their homes in the place. Tomorrow the board will make a personal inspection of the buildings, and just as soon as the members are satisfied that they are habitable for animals the four lions and smaller exhibits already owned by the city will be installed therein.
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, Park board, Swope park
November 30, 1909
EAST WIND MAKES ZOO COLD.
Opening of Buildings Postponed Un-
til Smoke Stack Is Lengthened.
When the wind blows from the east it is impossible to heat the boilers installed in the zoo buildings at Swope park on account of the smoke stack not being high enough.
At yesterday's meeting of the board it was decided to lengthen the stack with a metal top, and next spring carry the stone work up to the required height. Until this work is done there will be no formal opening of the building, as it is not deemed best to install the animals before sufficient heating facilities are assured.
Labels: Kansas City Zoo, Swope park
November 22, 1909
FUNERAL IN CEMETERY HOME.
Services for L. B. Root, Who Died on
Wedding Anniversary, Wednes-
day, Two Years After Daughter
Louis B. Root, superintendent of Mt. Washington cemetery, died yesterday morning at St. Mary's hospital folowing an operation performed last Wednesday for intestinal trouble. The funeral will be Wednesday from the home of Mr. Root in the cemetery.
Mr. Root was the first superintendent of parks in Kansas City. He had lived here twenty-two years. He was graduated from Cornell college in 1875. He taught school for several years and was for four years county surveyor of Elkhart county, Indiana.
In 1893, he began contracting work, planned by George E. Kessler, landscape architect for the park board. In 1898 he made a survey of Swope park and a year later was made superintendent of the park. He has been superintendent of Mt. Washington cemetery since 1901 and his work did much to make it the finest burial place in the West.
Mr. Root died on his thirty-fourth wedding anniversary, and will be buried two years to the day from the time his only daughter, Mrs. D. C. Wray, was buried. The widow and one son, Louis P. Root, survive him. The son is engaged in mining in Salvador, Central America.
Labels: cemetery, death, Funeral, George Kessler, hospital, Mt. Washington, Park board, Swope park
November 12, 1909
COME TO TOWN TODAY.
COMMERCIAL CLUB ROOMS DEC-
ORATED FOR RECEPTION.
Five Women Members of Party Will
Be Guests of Honor at Country
Club Luncheon -- Omaha
the Next Stop.
Kansas City will be the host today to the Honorary Commissioners of Japan, consisting of forty-three of the leading business men and educators of the Oriental empire, who, together with five Japanese women, are touring the United States. No efforts will be spared to entertain the foreign guests during their stay here, which will be from 9 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night.
Following the arrival here the party will breakfast in their special train. At 9:30 the men of the party will be met in automobiles by the members of the Commercial Club and the next hour and a half will be spent in a reception in the club rooms. The club rooms have been decorated with palms and ferns, the stars and stripes, the Japanese national flag, the mikado's coat of arms, and the Japanese man-of-war emblem. Judge W. T. Bland, president of the club, will head the receiving line, and in it will be the forty-three Japanese commissioners, the officers off the Commercial Club and all former presidents of the club.
WILL VISIT HIGH SCHOOL.
At 11 o'clock the party will be taken to the Westport high school, where Baron Kanda, head of the school of the nobility in Tokio, will make a short speech. Baron Kanda speaks English fluently and is a graduate of Amherst college. The address will be followed by a drive through Swope park and a stop at the Evanston Golf Club for a buffet luncheon.
After the luncheon the party will be driven through the city, up and down the principal streets, over the boulevards and through the leading parks.
The first place of interest to be visited will be the Bank of Commerce. This will be followed by an inspection of the Burnham-Munger overall factory. A drive to Kansas City, Kas., is next in order, where the party will be shown through the plant of the Kingman-Moore Implement Company. These will be the only places visited during the day.
While the men are being entertained by the members of the Commercial Club the five women in the party, Baroness Shibusawa, Baroness Kanda, Madame Midzuno, Madame Horikoshi and Madame Toki will not be forgotten. A committee composed of the wives of the Commercial Club directors and Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Clendening will entertain them. A visit to the Westport high school, a noon lunch at the Country Club and a tea at the home of Mrs. W. R. Nelson will be the events of the day which have been mapped out for the women.
DINNER AT THE BALTIMORE.
At 6:30 o'clock in the evening a dinner will be served to the men in the banquet room at the Baltimore hotel. At the same time a dinner will be given for the women in the Japanese room of the hotel. At the conclusion of their dinner the women will repair to the banquet room, where the entire party will listen to the addresses by David R. Frances, Senator William Warner, Baron Shibusawa and Baron Kanda. Judge Bland will act as toastmaster.
This will conclude the events of the day. The visitors will be taken back to their train, and will leave for Omaha, from where they will work west to San Francisco, from which port they will sail for Japan, November 30.
The Japanese arrived in Seattle from Japan September 1, and when they leave will have spent eighty-eight days in America, visited fifty-two cities, and traveled more than 11,000 miles. During this time they have visited plants and institutions representing nearly every American industry. Many of Kansas City's leading industries will not be visited, as the party has been to similar ones in other cities.
Baron Elighi Shibusawa, who is the head of the commission, is one of the leading men of Japan, being both a statesman and a financier. His individual efforts have raised the status of business men in this country. In 1873, Baron Shibusawa organized the first national bank in Japan under the capital stock system, and has been connected since with all leading banking institutions in Japan.
One Pullman dynamo car, a baggage car, a Pullman dining car, four ten-compartment sleepers, one twelve-section drawing room car and a six-compartment observation car comprise the equipment of the special train that will bring the Japanese to Kansas City over the Burlington railroad. The train will be in charge of W. A. Lalor, assistant general passenger agent for the Burlington at St. Louis.
Labels: banking, business, California, Commercial Club, Edwin Clendening, Evanston Golf Club, Hotel Baltimore, Judges, Kansas City Kas, Omaha, railroad, schools, Swope park, visitors, Westport
November 9, 1909
WHO'LL MANAGE THE ZOO?
This Difficult Question Comes Up
Again Before Park Board.
The question of the management of the zoo in Swope park again was up for discussion before the park board yesterday. Gus Pearson, city comptroller, wants it managed by a board of control composed of the three members of the park board, and two members of the Kansas City Zoological Society. He presented a resolution to that effect.
D. J. Hall put in one inviting the Zoological Society to co-operate with the board in a way of advice and suggestion, but to have no voice in the management of the building or the purchase of the animals.
"The society might as well go out of existence. We can't even exercise our boyhood rights to water the elephant," said Mr. Pearson.
"Cheer up, Pearson, it might be worse," consoled Mr. Haff. "We are letting the society co-operate with us, and recommend what kind of animals to buy."
"The order is not to spend a whole lot of money buying animals," said Mr. Pearson, "but to improve civic pride among the citizens and have them donate specimens. If you wait until the city gets money enough to buy animals you'll be a long while without a zoo."
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, organizations, Park board, Swope park
November 8, 1909
TO DECIDE ON ZOO OPENING.
Park Board Today Will Fix Date
and Discuss Management.
The park board will determine today a date for the formal opening of the Zoo buildings in Swope park, and decide whether it will consent to two members of the Zoological Society serving on a board of management.
It is a debatable question as to whether the board under the charter has the power to deputize control over park property to any other than itself.
Labels: Kansas City Zoo, organizations, Park board, Swope park
October 26, 1909
TO TEST THE HEATING PLANT.
If Satisfactory, Animals Will Be
Moved Into Zoological Building.
Gus Pearson, city comptroller, yesterday induced the park board to purchase a carload of coal with which to test the heating plant in the new zoological building out in Swope park.
If it works all right the monkeys now owned by the city, and being housed with custodians of the park, and other animals, will move in.
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, Swope park
October 21, 1909
NO PLACE FOR POLITICIANS.
Zoo Management Must Be Composed
of Competent Men.
An official of the park board said yesterday that the board does not propose to be in a hurry to formally open the zoo buildings at Swope park.
"The management and operation of the zoo is no boys' play," said the official. "The employes and superintendent must be composed of trustworthy men who are familiar with such things. It cannot be manned by political hangers-on, and this might as well be understood from the very start. Already the board is flooded with applications from men for positions who know more about running a ward political primary than they do about operating a zoo. They might as well look for other jobs, for it is the intention of the board to find men who are fully familiar with the habits of animals and know how to manage them. Such men are now being sought.
Labels: employment, Kansas City Zoo, Park board, Swope park
October 12, 1909
HOME AT LAST FOR
GUS PEARSON'S LIONS.
ZOO CONTROVERSY SETTLED;
COMPTROLLER IS HAPPY.
Feed for the Voracious Animals Has
Cost $1.57 Per Day, and They
Were Threatened With
"Who is that happy looking man?"
"That happy looking man is Gus Pearson, city comptroller."
"What makes him look so happy?"
"The park board has compromised with the contractor that put up the zoo building in Swope park, and Mr. Pearson will now find a place for the four lions he has been feeding for nearly four months at a cost of $1.57 per diem from his private purse."
When Mr. Pearson came from the rooms of the park board in the city hall last evening suffused in smiles, and as light hearted as a boy in his first pair of high topped boots, the foregoing conversation was overheard. It will be recalled that the comptroller some years ago was constituted father of a zoo to be established in Swope park, and he set out enthusiastically and vigorously upon his task. He prevailed upon the park board to let a contract to build a zoo building at a cost of about $35,000, and while the builders were rearing the structure, he looked about for animals and curiosities.
SMALL MATTER OF $3,900.
He wanted to prepare a surprise for everybody, so four months ago he invested $1,000 in four lions without letting everybody know his business. He expected that the building would be ready then for the reception of the beasts, and he did not figure that there was likely to be a dispute between the contractor and architect over a small matter of $3,900 for alleged extras in excess of the contract.
But the contractor and architect did lock horns over the extras, and the result was that the park board refused to accept the building pending the dispute even inf Mr. Pearson did have four lions with voracious appetites on his hands. He had to make the best of his plight. The four lions were stored in a barn at Dodson, and Mr. Pearson provided for their daily fare of meat at $1.57 per day. When the bills began to climb up into the hundreds of dollars, and there was no indication that the contractor and architect were going to agree, Mr. Pearson appealed to the park board.
GOT NO SYMPATHY.
He got no sympathy from this source, and when a cold snap came along that threatened the lions with pneumonia unless fires were started to keep them warm the patient comptroller became desperate. Negotiations were set under way to temporarily turn the lions over to the Hippodrome management, but before the plan was carried out the contractor and architect came to terms. The contractor, Carl Nilson, is to accept $2,000 as a compromise and the deal will be closed today.
"Are you glad?" Mr. Pearson was asked last night.
"Glad? That doesn't half express my feelings," he replied.
"When will the lions be moved over to the zoo?"
"Mighty quick," he answered.
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, Park board, Swope park
October 11, 1909
SWOPE MEMORIAL PROJECT.
Commercial Club Agrees on One Built
by $1 Contributions.
In a memoriam adopted by the Commercial Club yesterday a plan is suggested by which a monument be raised by popular subscription to the memory of Colonel Thomas H. Swope. It suggests that no one be permitted to give more than $1. When the subscription list will be started is not yet known.
At the meeting of the club yesterday it was stated that influence would be used with the school board to have it declare a half holiday each year on the anniversary of Colonel Swope's death, October 3, that the children might spend the day in Swope Park.
The Journal recently received $1 from "An Old Citizen," who wishes to honor the memory of the philanthropist with a suitable monument, as an initial contribution to a fund for that purpose.
"An Old Citizen" believes, he says, that if any plan is arranged to raise money for the memorial no one should be allowed to contribute more than $1, in order that as many persons in Kansas City as wish may have an opportunity to show their gratitude to the man who did so much for the average person in the community by giving the city a park big enough for all the people. He states that he thinks a simple monument, bought with the dollars of many persons to whom a dollar means much, would make a more suitable memorial than an expensive shaft bought with the donations of men who easily could afford big contributions.
The Commercial Club's memoriam praised Colonel Swope's generous spirit and designated that the club "initiate, formulate and carry out a plan for raising a fund by popular subscription, each individual subscriber to be limited to $1, for the purpose of erecting, as a public testimonial, a suitable monument in Swope park, in his memory, and to commemorate his great philanthropy, although he has builded monuments that will never perish."
Labels: Commercial Club, Swope park, The Journal, Thomas Swope
October 8, 1909
TO GRAVE THROUGH
LINES OF CHILDREN.
YOUNG FOLK PROMINENT FEA-
TURE OF SWOPE FUNERAL.
More Than 60,000 Take Last
Look at Man "Who Gave
Us the Park."
The head of the cortege which will follow Thomas H. Swope to his last resting place will form at the city hall at 1 o'clock this afternoon. From there the procession will march to the public library, thence to Grace Episcopal church, Thirteenth and Washington.
It has been arranged that all children attending school east of Main street will form from the library west on Ninth street and south on Grand avenue, the intention being of the cortege to pass through a line of school children as far as possible. The west of Main street school children will form on Eleventh street west from Wyandotte street and south on Broadway. The children of the Franklin institute, to whom Colonel Swope, conditionally, gave $50,000 before he died, will form on Grand avenue south of Eighteenth street, on the road to the cemetery.
PAY LAST TRIBUTE.
The library doors were opened at 9 a. m. and the waiting crowd began to file slowly by the casket. Instinctively, men removed their hats. Small boys, some of them barefoot, followed this example, keeping the hat close to the heart until the casket had been passed. When there was no rush the crowds passed the casket at the rate of forty to sixty a minute. Between the hours of noon and 2 p. m., however, there was a great increase, and Charles Anderson, one of the police guard, counted 369 in five minutes. Shortly after 3 o'clock, after the flower parade had passed along Admiral boulevard, the crowd became very dense at the library and two lines had to be formed. During that time they passed at the rate of 120 a minute, which would be 720 an hour.
THE SCHOOL CHILDREN'S TURN.
During the morning the school children were released to give them an opportunity to look upon the face of the man "who gave us the park." Some were bareheaded, some barefooted, some black, some white, but all were given the opportunity to look upon the pale, placid face of Colonel Swope.
Mothers who could not get away from home without the baby brought it along. Many a woman with a baby in arms was seen in line. The police lifted all small children up to the casket.
"Who is it, mamma?" asked one little girl, "Who is it?"
"It is Colonel Swope who gave us the big park," the mother replied.
"Out there where we had the picnic?"
"Did you say he gave us the park, is it ours?"
"He gave it to all the people, dear, to you and me as well as others."
"Then part of the park is mine, isn't i t?"
"Yes, part of it is yours, my child."
One white haired man limped along the line until he came to the casket. With his hat over his heart he stood so long that the policeman on guard had to remind him to pass on.
"Excuse me," he said, and his eyes were suffused with tears, "he helped me once years ago just when I needed it most. He was my friend and I never could repay him. He wouldn't let me."
BITS OF HISTORY.
The aged man passed on out of the Locust street door. Every so often during the day the police say he crept quietly into line and went by the casket again, each time having to be remembered to pause but for a moment and pass on. Who he is the police did not know.
Near the casket Mrs. Carrie W. Whitney, librarian, erected a bulletin board on which she posted a card reading: "Thomas Hunton Swope, born Lincoln county, Kentucky, October 21, 1827; died Independence, Mo., October 3, 1909."
In the center of the board is an excellent engraving of Colonel Swope and on the board are clippings giving bits of his history and enumerating his many public gifts to this city. The board was draped in evergreen and flowers.
On a portion of the board is a leaflet from a book, "History of Kansas City," which reads, referring to Colonel Swope:
SENATOR VEST'S TRIBUTE.
"When Swope park was given to Kansas City, Senator George Graham Vest said of Colonel Swope: 'I am not much of a hero worshiper, but I will take off my hat to such a man, and in this case I am the more gratified because we were classmates in college. We graduated together at Central college, Danville, Ky.
"He was a slender, delicate boy, devoted to study, and exceedingly popular. I remember his fainting in the recitation room when reading an essay and the loving solicitude of professors and students as we gathered about him. He had a great respect for the Christian religion. It has gone with him through his life, although he has never connected himself with any church. I know of many generous acts by him to good people and one of his first donations was $1,000 to repair the old Presbyterian church at Danville, where we listened to orthodox sermons when students."
Later Colonel Swope gave $25,000 to his old school at Danville for a library. Then followed his most magnificent gift, Swope park. Its value when given was more than $150,000. Today it is worth far more.
Speaking of Colonel Swope again, Senator Vest said: "In these days of greed and selfishness, where the whole world is permeated with feverish pursuit of money, it is refreshing to find a millionaire who is thinking of humanity and not of wealth. Tom Swope has made his own fortune and has been compelled to fight many unscrupulous and designing men, but he has risen above the sordid love of gain and has shown himself possessed of the best and highest motives. Intellectually he has few superiors. The public has never known his literary taste, his culture and his love of the good and beautiful. The world assumed that no man can accumulate wealth without being hard and selfish, and it is too often the case, but not so with Tom Swope. In these princely gifts he repays himself with the consciousness of a great, unselfish act."
Labels: children, funerals, history, libraries, Locust street, police, schools, Swope park, Thomas Swope
October 7, 1909
HAS REACHED WAITING STAGE.
Zoo Controversy May Be Dealt With
by Park Board.
Six red foxes, one coyote, one wild cat, two eagles, two monkeys, one parrot, four lions.
This is the collection of animals the city has already on hand for its prospective zoo at Swope park, but as to the particular time when they will find an abiding place in the buildings prepared for their comfort is simply a matter for speculation.
The buildings are completed, but the architect and the contractor are at odds over the payment of $7,000 in extras in excess of the contract. The controversy has reached the waiting stage. The contractor says the $7,000 in extras were honestly put in the building.
"They were not," replies the architect, and so there you are.
"Looks as if the park board will have to take possession of the buildings by force," said a park official yesterday, "and then let the contractor appeal to the courts for redress, if he has any."
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, Park board, Swope park
October 5, 1909
SERVICE FOR SWOPE.
LET PEOPLE PIN ON BADGE OF
MOURNING, SAYS MAYOR.
Swope Park, Philanthropist's Most
Enduring Monument, Discussed
by Park Board as Last
That a memorial service in honor of the late Colonel Thomas H. Swope will be held in Convention hall, and that his body will rest in Swope park, his most enduring monument, seems probable in view of a message sent to the council last night by Mayor Crittenden, at an informal conference of the park board yesterday.
The appropriateness of having the body of Colonel Swope buried in Swope park, and a monument to his memory erected there, was informally discussed at the meeting of the park board.
"I was talking with Judge C. O. Tichenor today," said D. J. Haff, and he expressed the opinion that if the body of Colonel Swope found its final resting place in Swope park it would be carrying out his wishes.
Judge Tichenor spoke to the colonel about it once, and he seemed pleased with the idea but said he would not discuss it.
The board was formally apprised of the death of Colonel Swope by Mr. Haff. He referred to the philanthropist as the greatest benefactor the city ever had. Mr. Haff said the gift of Swope park was of incalculable advantage to the entire park movement and that it had inspired the development of the park and boulevard system.
The two houses of the city council adopted a resolution expressing the grief and the appreciation of the council and the people of Kansas City over the death of Colonel Swope. Aldermen O'Malley, Wirthman and Edwards were appointed a committe from the upper house, and Aldermen Morris, Gilman and Wofford from the lower house to make arrangements for the funeral of Colonel Swope. The committee meets at 10 o'clock th is morning in the offices of the Fidelity building.
Mayor Crittenden, A. J. Dean, president of the park board, and Kelly Brent of the fire and water board go to Independence this morning to formally offer to the bereaved family the city's regrets.
The arrangements for the funeral also will be discussed.
"Colonel Swope should be buried in Kansas City and should be given a public funeral," said the mayor last night.
Labels: Convention Hall, Independence, Kansas City council, Mayor Crittenden, Park board, Swope park, Thomas Swope
October 4, 1909
COLONEL SWOPE DIES
OF PARALYTIC STROKE.
END COMES AT INDEPENDENCE
AFTER 5 WEEKS' ILLNESS.
Millionaire Philanthropist Gifts
to Kansas City Alone More
Than $1,500,000 -- Many
COLONEL THOMAS H. SWOPE.
Colonel Thomas H. Swope, multi-millionaire philanthropist, whose gifts to Kansas City included Swope park, alone worth $1,500,000, died at 7:25 o'clock last night at the home of his sister-in-law, Mrs. L. O. Swope, in Independence, following a stroke of paralysis at 10 o'clock yesterday morning. Colonel Swope never regained consciousness. He was in his eighty-second year.
Colonel Swope was stricken while reading in the Kansas City and Independence papers of the death of his cousin and friend, Colonel James Moss Hunton, who died in the same house Friday and whose body rested in an adjoining room, awaiting burial today.
Ten years ago Logan O. Swope, a brother of Colonel Swope, died in the same house, of paralysis.
"Let me have the papers and read what they have to say about my old friend," Colonel Swope said to the nurse.
The papers were taken to him as he lay in bed and he read part of the obituary notices, while tears ran from his eyes and his form shook with emotion. He told the nurse he would read the rest later. These were Colonel Swope's last words. With a faint cry of pain his body stiffened and he became unconscious.
Dr. B. Clark Hyde of Kansas City, who had been in almost continuous attendance for the past five weeks, was present, but despite all efforts of the physicians the patient remained unconscious to the end.
RELATIVES AT DEATH BED.
There was present at the death bed Mrs. Logan O. Swope, widow of the colonel's brother, Dr. B. C. Hyde, Mrs. B. C. Hyde, Miss Chrisman Swope, Lucille Swope, Thomas Swope and Margaret Swope, cousins of the dead man.
The illness which resulted in death had been of five weeks' duration. One morning Colonel Swope was walking across the room at his home when he collapsed and fell heavily to the floor. He was put to bed and his strength and vigor seemed to leave him. While physically weak he continued mentally strong and up to a few days ago was able to discuss extensive business affairs with his manager, S. W. Spangler.
Three days ago the colonel was out for a drive of several hours, accompanied by a nurse, and the fresh air and sunshine seemingly helped him. He commented on the pleasure he had derived in being able to again be out of doors, and observed that if he continued to improve he would be strong enough to dispose of some important matters he had in mind. Those who know say they believe he was contemplating making some large bequests to charitable and public institutions not already provided for in his will drawn by himself three years ago. Judge C. O. Tichenor, a life long friend, it is said, volunteered to assist him in the preparation of the will, but the colonel declined the offer. The original will is said to be on file in Independence, and will not be opened until after the funeral.
WON'T DISCUSS WILL.
It is said that relatives have been liberally provided for, and it was announced in Independence last night that they are familiar with its contents. They refused to discuss the matter.
Some time ago it was publicly stated that Colonel Swope had in contemplation the endowment of an art gallery and an industrial school, but it is not known whether he made nay provisions for these in his will.
Since the death of his brother, Logan O. Swope, ten years ago, Colonel Swope made his home with his brother's widow in Independence. He made no provision for a resting place for his body after death. He has two sisters living. They are Mrs. Elizabeth Plunkett, living on a farm near Nashville, Tenn., and Mrs. Margaret Fleming of Columbia, Tenn. It is not expected they will attend the funeral.
FOR A PUBLIC FUNERAL.
No funeral arrangements have been made by the immediate relatives, and none will be made until after the funeral today of Mr. Hunton. Upon learning of Colonel Swope's death, Mayor Crittenden called up the bereaved relatives at Independence and said that if they desired Kansas City would co-operate in the obsequies. The mayor stated that city hall here would be closed on the day of the funeral.
It was suggested last night that the funeral should be held under the direction of the people of Kansas City, but no formal step was taken. There will be meetings today of civic and commercial organizations to take formal cognizance of the death of Kansas City's greatest philanthropist, and the idea of the people as a whole being the mourners and conducting the funeral will be discussed.
There was a sentiment prevalent last night that the body have its resting place in some beautiful spot in Swope park and that an appropriate monument be erected, to be paid for by popular subscription. A mask of the features of Colonel Swope will be taken today for use in the erection of the monument.
TO KANSAS CITY IN 1857.
Thomas H. Swope was born in Lincoln county, Ky., in 1827 and received a common school education in that neighborhood. Later he attended Central university at Danville, formerly Center college, and was graduated from that university in the year 1848 in the class with Senator George Graham Vest. He then entered the senior year at Yale and graduated that spring. The profession of a lawyer attracted him and he went to Gainesville, Ala., where he studied law under Judge Reavis. Although proficiently equipped for the practice of his profession he did not follow it.
When 30 years of age Mr. Swope came to Kansas City and has been a resident of this county ever since, although not maintaining his legal residence here. He came here in the year 1857 and engaged in the real estate business. His investments in late years have returned him large incomes. Before settling in Kansas City permanently he migrated to Montana and engaged in mining. While in the West he explored the Rocky mountains and made large investments there. He also laid out the town of Butte City while in the West.
Thomas H. Swope descended from a long line of ancient and honorable ancestors. His ancestors settled in Kentucky a few years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A record of his family preserved by his relatives name the Rev. Benedict Swope as his direct ancestor. He was a minister of the Reformed church and during the war he had charge of the Second Reformed church of Baltimore. Family traditions say he was born in York, Pa., but public records speak of him as being born in Germany. He settled in Logan's Station, Ky., in 1774.
KENTUCKY HIS RESIDENCE.
The oldest of seven children, Thomas H. was born of the union of John Brevett Swope and Frances A. Hunton of Virginia. His mother was from one of the wealthiest and most influential and prominent families of the mother state. The Swope family has always counted itself among the F. F. V. Being born in Kentucky, Colonel Swope naturally maintained his affection and sympathies with his native state, and has always held his legal residence in Woodford county, Kentucky. He has maintained a magnificent home in the Bourbon state.
A bas relief of Colonel Swope, done by Miss Maud Miles of Kansas City and first shown in Baltimore at the Baltimore Memorial Art Society, was placed on exhibition in the club rooms of the Commercial Club. The philanthropist heard that a monument of stone was to be carved from the model and discountenanced the idea. It was planned to raise $25,000 for this purpose but was discontinued after his remonstrance. The monument was to have been placed at the entrance to Swope park.
While he made many donations known to the public he made many more that never reached the public ear. It was characteristic of the man to be reserved and silent as to his benefactions. One of the best illustrations of this fact is the lack of information regarding the man to be found in the histories of Missouri and of Kansas City men.
He never paraded his charitable and philanthropic donations and always disapproved of public notoriety given to his bequests. In a speech made by the late ex-Governor Thomas T. Crittenden it was said that Kansas City did not appreciate the greatness of the man who had by his gifts to the city placed himself alongside Girard of Philadelphia and others well known to the public. Kansas City would applaud his goodness and laud the man years after his death, he said, because then the worth of his gifts would begin to be appreciated.
Labels: charity, death, doctors, Independence, Swope Mystery, Swope park, Thomas Swope
Octoberr 4, 1909
GIFTS TO CITY AND OTHERS.
Swope Park But One of His Contributions.
During his lifetime, Colonel Swope did much for the city in which he amassed his fortune. He gave to the city Swope park, 1,354 acres of land valued at $1,000 per acre. This beautiful tract of land has been converted into one of the finest natural recreation grounds in the Middle West, and it gave the donor much pleasure to see it appreciated as it is.
The land for the new city hospital at Twenty-third and Locust was given to the city by Colonel Swope.
He gave the Young Women's Christian Association $50,000 for its building fund. To the Young Men's Christian Association he gave $5,000.
He gave the ground for the Home for the Aged at Thirty-first and Locust. He recently gave the Franklin Institute, a charitable organization at 1901 McGee street, $50,000 to be used in building a new home, on the condition that the organization raise another $50,000 to add to it.
Many other smaller donations were made toward the work of extending charity to the needy and afflicted and it is said that never did he refuse to heed a plea for funds to conduct such work.
Colonel Swope devoted his time and energy almost entirely to his business. He was at his office early and late. He had been absent from his office but a few days in four or five years until he was taken ill
September 2. On that day he was at his office the last time, but he directed his affairs from his sick room and took the same keen interest in the transaction of his business.
HELPED HIS OLD SCHOOL.
The first gift known to have made by the philanthropist was for the sum of $1,000 to the Presbyterian church in Danville, Ky., where he had worshiped so long as a student at Center college. Being a graduate of the famous old institution, Colonel Swope never lost interest in his alma mater, and learning that the school needed a library he made it possible for the old college to obtain one. He offered to give $25,000 to the school for the purpose if another $25,000 was raised. On March 15, 1902, the authorities of the school notified him that the required amount had been subscribed, and he sent his draft for $25,000. The name of the donor had not before been given, as he had requested that it only be given out that an alumnus had offered the money.
Labels: charity, general hospital, Locust street, Swope park, Thirty-first street, Thomas Swope, Twenty-third street, YMCA, YWCA
October 4, 1909
HE DIDN'T FLATTER HIMSELF.
Colonel Swope Told Kelly Brent He
Was Not the Smart Man Many
"Many persons think me a smart man but the truth of it is I'm an old fool," Colonel Thomas H. Swope said one day to Kelly Brent.
The two had a real estate deal on, and the colonel concluded at the end of long negotiations not to make the investment.
"Some years ago I concluded to sell off a great deal of my real estate holdings," said Colonel Swope, "and hang me if I didn't sell for a song the best of it. What I sold is worth millions today and a great deal I have left is not worth paying taxes on."
When the park board a few years ago suggested placing of a brass medallion of Colonel Swope at the entrance to Swope park he protested earnestly. He wrote to the board saying that while he lived he wanted no monument to be erected. It was explained that the medallion was not intended as a mark of the memory of the donor of the beautiful park, but as a slight token of appreciation and esteem from the city. After a long parley Mr. Swope reluctantly gave his consent to the installation of the medallion.
No man was more averse to publicity in the making of public bequests than was Colonel Swope. Just a hint being dropped that he contemplated a gift would anger the philanthropist and he would abandon his purpose. Some years ago Colonel Swope visited Roosevelt hospital in New York and asked to be shown through the institution. He incidentally remarked to the attendant that he was from Kansas City and that it was his purpose some day to build a hospital here and present it to the city.
A reporter for The Journal heard of the colonel's intentions and printed the story. The colonel became exasperated over the premature announcement and asked the reporter to visit him at his offices. The reporter to this day remembers the wrath displayed by the colonel and his ears still tingle with the tongue lashing administered.
"By your interference, sir," the colonel loudly declaimed, "you have deprived Kansas City of one of the best hospitals in the country. When people get to knowing my business it is time for me to quit."
It is unnecessary to state that Colonel Swope did not build the hospital, but he did give the ground on which it stands.
"I have known Mr. Swope a great many years, and knew him to be a kind, generous man," said J. J. Swofford last night. "Several times in the past five years I have approached him for donations for the Y. M. C. A. building fund and other funds for the promotion of the association's enterprise. He usually contributed from $100 to $400 a year.
"I know very little of Mr. Swope's business tactics, but I remember a peculiar thing about the manner in which he made these donations. He kept absolutely no account of his charities and when he signed a check to give me for the fund he used a check without a number and stub. He seemed very modest and sensitive about what he gave away.
"About three months ago, I think it was, he made and arrangement with my son Ralph Swofford of Thirty-first and Summit streets, who is president of the executive board of the Franklin Institute, to endow the institution with $50,000 providing as much more could be raised. A campaign has already been started and I believe is pretty well under way to raise the required $50,000.
Labels: charity, Franklin institute, hospitals, New York, Park board, real estate, Swope park, The Journal, Thomas Swope, YMCA
October 4, 1909
ESTATE WORTH $3,000,000.
Much in Kansas City and Nearby
Realty -- Gifts to City More Than
It is conservatively estimated that Colonel Thomas Swope's estate amounts to more than $3,000,000. With keen foresight he acquired many years ago lands in what is now the heart of the business section of Kansas City, and it is in such properties that the greater part of his fortune was made and is now invested.
Some of the more important properties included in the estate are:
The lot and block at the southeast corner of Eleventh and Grand, occupied by the Keith Furniture Company; the northeast corner of Twelfth and Walnut, occupied by McClintock's restaurant and other business firms; the Majestic theater building; the three-story building at 915 Walnut, the two-story building at 1017-1019 Main street, occupied by the Carey Clothing Company and other firms. The business blocks at 916-918-918 1/2 Main, occupied by the Snyder Dry Goods Company and the Seigelbohm Jewelry Company; the seven-story building at the southeast corner of Eighth and May, occupied by the Burnham, Hanna, Munger Company, the three-story building at 419 Walnut, occupied by a commission firm; the two-story building at 1012 East Fourth street, occupied by a commission company; the building at the southeast corner of Union avenue and Mulberry streets, occupied by the Union Avenue bank; the five-story warehouse at the northwest corner of Mulberry and Eleventh; the two-story brick building at the southeast corner of Twelfth and Hickory, used as a warehouse.
OUT OF TOWN REALTY.
There are other and less important properties in various parts of the city, beautiful family homes at Independence, Mo.
The out-of-town property owned by Colonel Swope consists of the 240-acre tract occupied by the Evanston Golf Club, bounded on the east by Swope parkway, the north by Sixty-third street, the west by Prospect avenue and the south by Sixty-seventh street, a 320-acre tract east of and adjoining Swope park, a 50-acre tract on the north of the park, a 400-acre farm near Columbia, Tenn., improved property in Knoxville, Tenn. and Middleboro, Ky, and vacant property in Syracuse, N. Y., Lawrence, Kas. and Topeka, Kas.
Colonel Swope also owned some mining claims near Butte, Mont., the value of which cannot be estimated. He recently said that if he were a young man, he could take one of the claims and dig a fortune out of it. He evidently believed that the claims were very valuable.
Labels: Eleventh street, Evanston Golf Club, Independence, Main street, Mulberry street, real estate, Swope park, Thomas Swope, Union avenue, Walnut Street
September 2, 1909
MENAGERIE IS DISCONTENTED.
Absence of Park Board Members
May Cause Open Outbreak.
Unless another member of the park board gets back to town soon there will be trouble among the monkeys and the wild cats and other animal owned by the Kansas City Zoological Society.
A great menagerie building has been put up in Swope park by the park board for the use of the Zoo society, and it is ready for its new tenants, but there is no park board to receive the property from the contractors and turn it over to the silly-faced owls and other things for which it was built.
During the year or more the Zoological society has been in existence it has been the recipient of a great number of small wild beasts and birds. These, pending the construction of a house, have been billeted out in various bars and houses. The keepers are anxious to be rid of them, and the Zoological society is anxious to have them collected.
John W. Warner is the only park board man in the city. Commissioners D. J. Haff and A. J. Dean are out of town, with nobody knowing when they will get back.
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, organizations, Park board, Swope park
August 29, 1909
DEAF MUTES PLAYED BALL.
At End of Unequal Struggle, Score
Was 24 to 8.
A V-shaped crowd stood in Swope park yesterday afternoon. Except for occasional handclapping, there was silence. Yet a ball game was in progress. There were no coachers. The batters slugged the ball and ran swiftly about the bases. Not once was there the old familiar "Put 'er here," nor the semi-hysterical "Third base, you chump."
Persons riding in automobiles and in other vehicles stopped to watch the unusual spectacle. The players gesticulated wildly. They made excitedly pantomimic gestures at the umpire on the occasion and snapped their fingers under his nose in a way no regular arbiter would "stand for," but never was a word said between the kicker and the kickee.
It was the deaf mutes' baseball game.
In spite of the absence of "rooting" and the wild applause which greets the usual base hit in the average game, the Kansas City Silents, who were playing the Missouri Selects, slugged mightily. At the end of the fifty inning the Missouri Selects gave up the unequal battle. The score was 24 to 8, even though two deaf mute mascots of the Selects, each 3 years old, "rooted" as loud as their small fingers would allow them.
Labels: hearing impaired, sports, Swope park
August 24, 1909
PARK BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT.
Acceptance of Zoo Buildings Prob-
ably Will Take Place Today.
There was no quorum of the park board present in the city yesterday afternoon. As a consequence, according to John W. Wagner, the sole member in the city yesterday, the meeting was postponed to today, when D. J. Haff, a member of the board, is expected to return. The board is expected to receive from the contractors the bird and animal house of the new zoo in Swope park. If this is done, the Kansas City Zoological Society immediately will begin to place animals in the building.
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, Park board, Swope park
August 22, 1909
BAND CONCERTS FOR THIS WEEK.
Sunday, 2:30 p. m., Swope park.
Monday, 8 p. m., Concourse, St. John and Gladstone.
Tuesday, 8 p. m., West Terrace park, Thirteenth and Summit.
Wednesday, 8 p. m., Budd park.
Thursday, 8 p. m., Penn Valley park, Twenty-seventh and Jefferson.
Friday, 8 p. m., Troost park, Thirtieth and Paseo.
Saturday, 8 p. m., the Parade, Fifteenth and the Paseo.
Labels: Budd park, Fifteenth street, Gladstone boulevard, Jefferson street, music, Paseo, Penn Valley park, St. John avenue, Summit street, Swope park, Thirtieth street, Twenty-seventh street
July 26, 1909
OF TWO SMALL BOYS.
SAW SIGHTS AND FRIGHTENED
Johnny and Tommy, 10 and 8 Years
Old, Respectively, Had High
Time While Folks Had
Visions of Kidnaping.
Without permission of their respective parents, Johnny Sinclair, 10, and Tommy Beels, 8 years old, took a day off from home and spent the whole of Saturday night and Sunday in wandering about the towns and parks surrounding Kansas City, much to the consternation, grief and anxiety of their families.
When the boys were missed Saturday night it was learned that they had gone with an employe of Electric park. Mont Shirley, 29 years of age, who has a longing for the companionship of small boys, being evidenced by his having led other urchins on several days' tours of the surrounding country on previous occasions.
Johnny Sinclair is the only son of Aaron Sinclair, janitor of the Boston flats, 3808 Main street. Johnny's father gave him a dollar Saturday noon and told him to do what as he wanted with the money.
BOYS WENT TO PARK.
Barefooted and without his coat, Johnny looked up his younger friend, Tommy, youngest son of H. T. Beels, 107 East Thirty-ninth street, and proposed a trip to Electric park. Tommy was willing and thought it best not to go into the house for his hat and coat, for his mother might thwart their schemes. So the boys left the Beels home about 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon.
When 5 o'clock came Mrs. Beels missed her son. Within a few minutes, however, he telephoned his mother that they were at Electric park and were going to take a boat ride with a man whom they had found congenial. Mrs. Beels told the boy to come home immediately.
Tommy had other views in the matter and when Shirley suggested an extensive tour of the city, to include Kansas City, Kas., Lansing, Leavenworth, Forest, Fairmount, Swope and Budd parks and all at his own expense, the boy readily fell in with the plan. Mothers were not interviewed.
Dire thoughts of drowning, kidnaping and disaster beset Mrs. Beels when her boy did not materialize at supper time. Persons in charge of the park were questioned and it was learned that the two boys had gone away from the park with Shirley. None knew where.
SEARCH PARTIES ORGANIZED.
Mrs. Beels, at midnight, went to the Sinclair home and inquired there for her son and learned that Johnny Sinclair was also missing. That was the first idea of Johnny's whereabouts which the Sinclairs had. Search parties were organized and the park secured.
Yesterday morning a young man went to the Sinclair home and told that he had seen the two boys and Shirley at the Union depot and that they were going to St. Joseph and H. L. Ashton, a friend of the Beels family, who is well acquainted with the mayor of that city, called him over long distance 'phone and had the town searched for the runaways. Then came a telegram that the three had been seen early Sunday in Leavenworth.
Meanwhile Mrs. Sinclair and Mrs. Beels were beside themselves with fear and anxiety for their children. They secured the promise of the park authorities to drag the lake in the park this morning, and the search for the missing increased in strength and vigilance each hour.
Shirley's family had been notified of the disappearance, and Charles J. Blevins, Shirley's brother-in-law, hastened to Leavenworth, hot on the trail. He returned empty-handed.
TELL OF JOLLY TIME.
About 11 o'clock last night the boys returned home, dusty, wet and tired. They had a wonderful story to tell of their trip and adventures. They had been through every park in the city, and seen the National cemetery and Soldiers' home at Leavenworth from a car and had a jolly time in general. Saturday night was spent in Kansas City, so Tommy Beels says, and the three went to a rooming house. He did not know the location. Late last night Shirley gave the two boys their carfare and put them on a Rockhill car at Eighth and Walnut streets and left them.
Shirley is said to have a habit of giving young boys a good time at his own expense. Two years ago, it is claimed, he took two boys to Leavenworth and stayed there for three days, after which the boys returned safe and sound.
Shirley works in the park and every Saturday he has been in the habit of spending his week's wages upon some boys whom he might meet. His brother-in-0law, Mr. Blevins, said that Shirley is nothing but a boy himself. When he was 4 years of age, according to relatives, Shirley fell upon his head, and he has remained stunted, mentally, ever since. Shirley longs for the companionship of children, and he is attractive to them since he plays with them and talks with them as though he were 9 rather than 29 years of age.
INTERVIEW CUT SHORT.
Johnny Sinclair, nervous, excited, scared and tired, last night told a clear and fairly consistent story of how Shirley and Tommy Beels and he passed the time between Saturday at 2 p. m. and 11 o'clock last night, when the boys returned home.
In the main details Johnny clung to his story. He fell asleep while being questioned by his father, and that ended the questioning. In substance, he says:
"Shirley invited Tommy and me to go to Swope park, while were were at Electric park, where he was working. We went to Swope park with him and in the evening we went down town and went to several nickel shows.
"Then we went out to Swope park again, but late that night. Shirley wanted to go down town to cash a check. When we got down town the saloons were all closed, and we finally went to bed at a place near Eighth and Main streets.
SAW LEAVENWORTH SIGHTS.
"The next morning we had a nice breakfast of beefsteak and potatoes and coffee, and then we went over to Kansas City, Kas., and there we took a car for Leavenworth. We saw the penitentiary and the Soldiers' Home from the car, and the National cemetery, but we didn't stop there.
We went to Leavenworth and spent the time just running around. That's all we did. I was never there before, and it was fun. We had a dinner of bologna sausage and cheese, and about 8 o'clock we started for home."
Besides the fright which was occasioned the two families of the boys no harm was done, except one of the boys was forced to take a hot bath and swallow a dose of quinine after he reached home. Johnny's original $1, which started the trouble, remains intact. Shirley stood the expense on his pay of $12, which he drew from the park on Saturday afternoon.
Shirley lives one block southeast of the park.
Labels: amusement, children, Electric park, fairmount park, Leavenworth, Main street, missing, runaway, St.Joseph, Swope park, Thirty-ninth street, Union depot
July 16, 1909
FINISHING SWOPE PARK ZOO.
Building Probably Will Be Turned
Over to City August 1.
The zoo buildings at Swope park are receiving the finishing touches, and it was said yesterday at the offices of the park board that in all probability they will be turned over by the contractors August 1.
"A large force of men is now busy grading the approaches to the buildings," said W. H. Dunn, general superintendent, "and this work should be completed by the time the contractors are ready to turn over the buildings. We are daily in receipt of offers of animals for the exhibits, but as yet have been unable to accept them on account of there being no provision for their care."
An important matter in connection with the zoo is the appointment of a head keeper and assistants. These positions, to a great extent, will have to be filled by men who are experienced in the care and treatment of the animals that will comprise the collection. So far as known the park board has not considered any applications for these positions.
Gus Pearson, city comptroller, and one of the moving figures in the zoological society says that just as soon as the buildings are made ready for the reception of them, he has promises of elk from the Elks' lodge, a big eagle from the Eagles' lodge, a camel from the Shriners and lions and other animals of the jungle from private contributors.
Labels: animals, Kansas City Zoo, lodges, Park board, Swope park
July 7, 1909
PLANS A RIVERSIDE
DRIVE FOR THE BLUE.
BOULEVARDS AND PARKWAYS
If Bonds Are Voted Tuesday, Kess-
ler's Ideas of Beautifying the
Blue Valley Will Be
Preparatory and unofficial sketches for the redeeming of the Blue river and its tracks, and the addition of boulevards and parkways on both sides of the stream from the Missouri river to Swope park, have been prepared by George E. Kessler, engineer and landscape architect, for the consideratoin of the park board.
To carry out the plans of beautifying the Blue valley will necessitate funds from a bond issue, and there is not much likelihood of the park board giving it serious consideration unless bonds to be voted next Tuesday carry. If the bonds are approved by the voters the board will go over the territory and determine the applicability of Mr. Kessler's suggestions.
"The beautifying of the Blue valley and making it accessible to the use of the public for boulevards and other pleasures is a big undertaking," said Mr. Kessler yesterday. "There are many propositions involved that will have to be figured out before any definite engineering plans can be settled. The natural possibilities are there, and I have some excellent ideas.
"I believe it is possible to increase the water area of the stream by the acquirement of 100 or more acres of land at the bend in the river at about Twenty-seventh street and the installation of a dam."
Labels: architects, Blue river, George Kessler, Park board, public works, real estate, Swope park, Twenty-seventh street
July 5, 1909
ESCORTS RAN FROM
BOTH LEFT THEIR COATS AT
THE AMBERSON HOME.
Alone, Clara Amberson and Her
Sister Fought a Losing Fight
With Murderer -- Girl Dies
After Four Hours.
Miss Clara Amberson, who was shot in the right temple by Alfred Howard, a rejected suitor, in the dining room of her home, 735 Kensington avenue, just before midnight Saturday, died at 4:20 a. m. yesterday. She did not regain consciousness.
In an unlighted room, and deserted by the young men who escorted them home, and who fled when Howard appeared with his revolver, Miss Amberson, assisted by her sister, Mrs. Mamie Barringer, battled in vain with Howard for possession of the weapon. Finally throwing Miss Amberson to the floor, Howard jumped on her, and then, as Mrs. Barringer seized him about the neck, he pulled the trigger.
The bullet struck Miss Amberson just back of the right temple and she collapsed. Believing that he had killed her, Howard turned the weapon on himself and sent the second shot through his own brain, and fell lifeless beside her. Surrounded by her mother, sister and friends, sthe wounded girl passed away four hours later.
In the light of subsequent events, it is believed that Howard contemplated the murder and suicide Saturday afternoon. It is known that he saw the young women at Forest park in the evening in company with young men, when he had been denied the privilege of escorting them or even calling at their home, and it is believed that the sight of the girl who was all the world to him, encircled in the arms of another man on the dancing floor, maddened him.
Four years ago Alfred Howard, then 22 years old, came to Kansas City from Iola, Kas. He secured a position in a railroad freight office, and roomed and boarded with Mrs. Anna Amberson, mother of the girl he killed. Miss Amberson was then a child of 13.
WANTED TO MARRY HER.
They were together a great deal. Howard assisted her with her studies, and when she was graduated from high school last year he declared his love for her, and asked her to be his wife. This was objected to by her sister and her mother because of her youth.
Six months ago Howard left their house, and shortly afterward went to Hot Springs, Ark. In the meantime Miss Amberson entered a wholesale millinery establishment and was rapidly perfecting herself in that line when he returned three weeks ago.
Howard had been in poor health since his return, but this did not deter him from declaring his ardent love for the girl whom, he told his friends, no other could replace. Miss Amberson found many excuses for not making engagements. Thursday he called her on the telephone and to his several requests for an evening she replied that she had previous engagements.
Saturday evening he called at the Amberson home and asked Miss Amberson to accompany him to a park or that she spend the evening with him as she chose. Miss Amerson smilingly told him that she had an engagement for the evening and that she was sorry. During the conversation he showed the sisters the revolver which he later used. No thought of violence crossed the minds of either girl.
SHADOWED TO FOREST PARK.
Miss Amberson and Mrs. Barringer were unaccompanied when they walked to Forest park, a short distance from their home. There they met several friends, among them Orville Remmick of 5212 Independence avenue, and Ed Doerefull of 4621 East Seventh street.
It is believed that Howard shadowed the sisters to the park. H e arrived at the Ambrose home shortly before 10 o'clock in the evening. The noise he made when he withdrew a screen from a window in the kitchen of the Amberson home and clambered in was heard by Mr. and Mrs. Joe Wharton, roomers on the second floor, but they ascribed it to a parrot. For almost two hours Howard lay in wait. He chose as his hiding place the bedroom of the sisters, which opens from the dining room to the north.
On their way home, Deorfull, who escorted Miss Amberson, and Remmick, who escorted Mrs. Barringer, suggested that they eat some ice cream. They stopped at the Forest Park pharmacy and chatted for a few moments with O. Chaney, the druggist.
RAN FROM REVOLVER.
It was warm and the young men carried their coats over their arms. When they arrived at the Amberson home, they conversed for a few moments on the porch just outside the dining room, when the suggestion that they get a drink of water was made. the quartet entered the dining room. Miss Amberson and Doerfull going to one window seat while Mr. Remmick took a chair. Mrs. Barringer went into the kitchen for the water, when suddenly Howard sprang out of the bedroom.
Holding a revolver which he pointed at Miss Amberson, he cried:
"Throw up your hands and don't scream!"
"It's Alf! Help!" cried Miss Amberson.
Doerfull was first to see the revolver and the first to get out of the room. He was closely followed by Remmick. Both left their coats and hats. The cry for help brought Mrs. Barringer back to the room. By this time Miss Amberson had grappled with Howard and had clutched the revolver. Then began the battle for possession of the weapon and the shooting.
HAD PLANNED THE CRIME.
Screaming for help, Mrs. Barringer, after the shooting, fled to the sidewalk. Neighbors hastened to the scene. Doctors declared Miss Amberson fatally wounded, and said that Howard's self-inflicted wound had caused instant death.
The police who searched his clothing found the note which he had evidently written some time during the evening in which he declared that "Mamie" (Mrs. Barringer) was the cause of the anticipated double tragedy, and asked that Miss Clara and he be buried side by side.
ESCORTS DIDN'T WAIT.
Ed Doerfull, the escort of Miss Amberson, told a reporter for The Journal last evening that he had never been frightened as badly in his life as he was when he looked at that shiny steel barrel and heard the command to throw up his hands.
"I didn't wait to learn any more about who the fellow with the revolver was," said Mr. Doerfull. "Mr. Remmick and I had escorted the girls home and stepped inside the house to get a drink of water. I was close to the door and when I heard the command to throw up my hands and I saw that shiny steel barrel of the revolver, I concluded that I had better play checkers and move.
"I did not stop to grab my coat or hat, but ran. I don't know how I got home, for I was badly frightened. I lay awake all night and got up around 6 o'clock and went over to Remmick's house to see if he got home all right.
"I did not know until then that anyone had been shot, as I was too far away from the house when the shots were fired to hear the noise of the reports.
"I don't know why I ran away and did not notify the police about the man with the gun, but I guess most anybody would act the same as I did if they looked into the business end of a revolver and were ordered to throw up their hands.
GOT THEIR COATS SUNDAY.
"I got my coat and hat this morning at the same time Mr. Remmick got his. We saw Miss Amberson's body then and we will probably go to the funeral together.
"I did not know the young lady very well, having only met her a few times at the park. I did not go back to the house today, as I had an engagement to go to a picnic at Swope park, and it was too late when I got back this evening."
Orville Remmick, who was with Doerfull when Howard entered the room with the revolver in hand, told his parents that he was taken by surprise, and that when he heard the command to throw up his hands and he saw the revolver, his first thought was for his personal safety. He said that he ran for the door and ran home.
REMMICK HEARD REPORTS.
Half a block away he heard the muffled reports, and when he got home he telephoned to the Amberson home and learned of the double tragedy. He feared for a while, he said, that his companion, Doerfull, had been shot. Remmick left his coat and hat at the Amberson home and called for them yesterday morning. He spent yesterday afternoon at Forest park and yesterday evening at Electrick park.
Miss Amberson was 17 years old. She was the youngest of three children. Besides her sister, Mrs. Barringer, and her mother, she leaves a brother, Will, who is in the navy. An effort was being made yesterday to notify him by wire and hold the funeral until his arrival, if possible. The Ambersons came to Kansas City from Salida, Col., six years ago.
Howard had been rooming for the last two weeks at the home of Mrs. Ellen Harper, at No. 801 Cypress avenue, just a block from the Amberson home. That he planned the murder and suicide is believed by Mrs. Harper, as his trunk was locked and contained all of the small articles which he kept about his room.
Labels: Cypress avenue, dancing, druggists, Electric park, forest park, guns, Kensington, murder, rooming house, Suicide, Swope park
|Share on Facebook
|Get the Book|
Kansas City Stories