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January 21, 1910


Cigar Stand Manager, Young
and Pretty, Sues Rich
Saloon Keeper.

Miss Mabel Reeder, young and pretty, manager of the cigar stand in the lobby of the Savoy hotel, yesterday filed a suit in the circuit court against John E. Johnston, a saloon keeper at 810 Main street, demanding damages in the sum of $25,000 for alleged breach of promise of marriage. Johnston is said to be well-to-do.

It was on December 1, 1905, Miss Reeder asserts in her complaint, that Johnston promised to marry her. Since then, she alleges, he has discontinued his attentions and has informed her that he does not intend to marry her.

According to the complaint, the engagement of Miss Reeder and Johnston became publicly known and, it is set forth, Johnston's failure to perform his part of the agreement embarrassed, humiliated and wounded her "in feelings, affections, womanly pride and sensibility," and, it is added, her "prospects for life and eligible marriage are blasted."

"This isn't one of those love letter cases," said Miss Reeder last night in her rooms at the Tomlinson apartments, Eleventh and Broadway, "because I haven't any love letters to present. I would just love to give you a story, but I can't for several reasons. One is that my lawyer, Frank P. Walsh, tells me not to talk.


"You see, Mr. Johnston and I are from the same town, Wichita, Kas. We have known each other a long time and it was there that we became engaged. He was the proprietor of a hotel and I was working at the cigar stand in the hotel. We both came to Kansas City a couple of years ago and Mr. Johnston started a saloon here.

"I am unable to tell you why Mr. Johnston broke off his engagement with me. I don't know whether there is another girl in the case. He has known that I contemplated bringing this suit, because he was notified. Really, now, there isn't anything sensational about this case, and I want to escape all the notoriety I can."

Johnston refused last night to discuss the action brought against him by Miss Reeder.

"Let Miss Reeder do the talking now," he said, "and I will have my say later."

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December 27, 1909


Relatives Wire That Her Mother Is
Dead in Wichita.

"Try and locate Mrs. Alice Conn, wife of Fred Conn. Mother is dead. EDNA K. YOUNG."

This telegram was received last evening from Wichita, Kas., by Chief of Police Frank Snow. But Mrs. Alice Conn is nowhere to be found, either in the directories of the two Kansas Citys or in Argentine. Consequently Chief Snow has asked the papers of the city to assist in the matter and help find the daughter.

If any one knows where Mrs. Alice Conn, or a Fred Conn, live they may confer a great favor on both the young woman and also on the relatives in Wichita.

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December 26, 1909



Work Will Be Started Feb-
ruary 1, and Will Be Com-
pleted by June, 1911.
Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway Gets Direct Line to Mexico City.

WICHITA, KAS., Dec. 25. -- Announcement was made here today that contracts for the right of way from San Angelo, Tex., to Del Rio, Tex., have been signed by the Orient railroad and the local municipalities and actual work on the construction of a branch to connect with the International Railroad of Mexico will be commenced February 1. This will give Wichita, Kansas City and intermediate shipping points a direct line to the City of Mexico. The contract provides that the road is to be completed June 1st, 1911.

Simultaneously the information was given out here today that the Mexican government has agreed to spend $6,000,000 and a Mexican capitalist $4,000,000 on irrigation projects in Northern Mexico along the line of the International road. Millions of acres there will be transformed into veritable truck beds.

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November 27, 1909



Special Train With Pres. Stilwell,
Vice Pres. Dickinson and East-
ern Financiers Will Be
Here For Hours.

When the main line of the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient railroad is completed into Kansas City, it is likely that the Orient trains will enter the new Union passenger station. At least efforts to this end will be made this morning.

A. E. Stilwell, president of the road, and E. Dickinson, vice president and general manager, will arrive in Kansas City this morning with a party of Eastern capitalists and stockholders. The party will arrive in a special train of seven sleepers over the Rock Island, at 8 o'clock. While here there will be a meeting with President H. L. Harmon and other officials of the Kansas City Terminal Railway Company, and admittance to the organization will be sought.

The Orient officials have but little doubt that satisfactory arrangements can be made as there is no real opposition to the plan. It is not known as yet just how the Orient will enter the city, whether on their own tracks or those of one of the other roads, or the exact location of on their own tracks. The right of way from Wichita to Kansas City has not been secured. The company, however, expects to be operating trains from Kansas City within the next four years, probably by the time the Union depot is completed.

Mr. Stilwell and his party will remain in Kansas City until noon, leaving for Wichita over the Rock Island. From Wichita and inspection of the system will be made, as far as the present tracks are built.

The greater part of the Orient system is already in operation. From Wichita, Kas., to San Angelo, Tex., is a stretch of track 510 miles in length over which three through trains each way are to be operated daily.

From Marquez, Chihuahua, 300 miles southwest of San Angelo, there is another completed stretch of track 287 miles in length extending to Sanchez, Chihuahua. A train each way is operated daily over this portion of the system.

After another uncompleted stretch of 200 miles the Orient is complete from Fuerte, Sinaloa, to Topolobampo, the terminus of the system on the Gulf of California, over which daily train service is provided.

The only other uncompleted portion of the system is from Kansas City to Wichita, 208 miles, making in all about 500 miles of the system and 1,659 miles yet to be completed.

The Orient party headed by Messrs. Stilwell and Dickinson will spend a month in the United States and Mexico inspecting the system and making whatever arrangements are necessary to hasten its completion.

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July 20, 1909


Infant, 3 Weeks Old, Attacked by
Animal in Cradle.

A 3-week-old baby, whose ear and hand had been torn by a rat, was taken to the emergency hospital yesterday by the child's mother, Mrs. Anna Holland, who has rooms at 914 East Eighth street. While Mrs. Holland was busy about the place yesterday she heard the infant crying and on going to the cradle saw a big rat jump out. The baby was covered with blood and its wounds are considered very serious. Mrs. Holland came to Kansas City two or three weeks ago from Wichita, Kas., and has been looking for employment. She has two other children.

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June 29, 1909


Mrs. Myra McHenry Would Down
Traffic With a Pen.

Mrs. Myra McHenry, co-worker and one-time associate of Carrie Nation, was here yesterday. Mrs. McHenry is going to Lexington, Mo., where she will visit her sister, Mrs. Thomas Young, and incidentally take a whack at anything that looks as if it needed whacking.

"I am on a hunt for whisky," she said. "There is no more of it in Wichita, and I must find other fields. Mrs. Nation and myself, while we strive to attain the same ends, are not alike. She is a 'hatchet smasher' and I smash with the pen.

Mrs. McHenry has been in jail thirty-three times.

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June 24, 1909



Good Fairies in Forms of Kindly
Bishop and Celebrated Singing
Master Help Woman to
Rightful Place.


Hard fought battles, which resulted in many strainings of the heart-strings, have won at last fame and fortune for a former Kansas City girl. Mr. J. F. Von Herrlich, who made a splendid success of her debut in grand opera at Milan, Italy, a few weeks ago, and who, at her very first song as Violetta in "La Traviata," took her Italian audience by storm. But in order to make this wonderful success Mrs. Von Herrlich was forced to leave her home, her children, her husband and native land. The leaving was not made as easy for her as it might have been, and it was not without many misgivings that the young woman, now only 26 years of age, left her family and home ties four years ago to begin her vocal studies in Paris. The story of her studies and her final triumph reads like a fairy tale, with a bishop and the famous Puccini as the good fairies, who entered into the life of the ambitious young woman.


Born in St. Louis, Mo., Matilda Hossfeld was taken to Wichita, Kas., at the age of 10 years. There she entered the schools and her life was just that which usually befalls the school girl. She had a voice, a rich voice, but no one dreamed of the vast possibilities that were in store for her. She used her rich voice at the early age of 10 years, being wonderfully matured at that time, and within a few years she became the director of the choir at St. John's church in Wichita. Meanwhile she was attending high school in the town.

About this time Cupid crept into the game and caused the Rev. J. F. Von Herrlich, rector of the church, to be present at one of the choir rehearsals. He fell in love with Miss Hossfeld. The two were married when the girl was 17 years old. The husband saw only a few of the possibilities which might be developed by her voice; saw her and to him as a rector, in her beautiful singing of the hymnals from the old English masters, and soon he secured a charge in Kansas City, as Wichita offered few opportunities for vocal culture.


Shortly after their wedding, the couple came to Kansas City and lived at 726 Washington street. Mr. Von Herrlich was the pastor of St. Paul's Episcopal church in Kansas City, Kas. His wife was taught the use of her voice by Professor Farley. Still, she used it only for the rendition of the cloistral hymns and great crowds were attracted to St. Paul's church. Charity recitals were given and the gifted young woman sang at many of them, always for the good of the church. Finally the rector was called to New York. In that metropolis larger opportunities presented themselves, and the future prima donna took advantage of a few of them.

Fate willed it that someone who really knew music and who really understood what the world of art would miss if Mrs. Von Herrlich remained only in church choirs, suggested that she train her voice for grand opera. The idea was fascinating and foolish all at once. She, the wife of a minister, to go upon the stage? She would not tolerate it.

Yet the good was done. The word had been spoken and the seed was sown. She told her husband of the conversation she had with the music lover, and he almost rebuked her for entertaining the idea.

"No, you would do far better by remaining in the choir and singing at charity recitals. The magnificent anthems of the great old masters are enough for you and it is work for God. You must either work for God or for the world. If you go upon the stage it must be for the world."


The rector's wife, the tiny spark of ambition bursting into a sudden flame, argued with him that it was art, not fame or glory on this earth, that she cared for, but the husband was obdurate.

The fairy tale nearly came unto an end, but another and others heard her beautiful voice and urged her on to grand opera and art. Giving way to the importunities of those friends whom she met in her work, the rector's wife went to the bishop of her diocese and put the case to him.

"My dear, if you feel that you should go upon the stage with your voice, by all means go," responded the bishop. "You will be working for God by your singing. You will be working for Him when you fill people's hearts with the poetry and the good things of life. It is not wrong for you to go, it is a great right."

The rector's wife hurried home to her husband. She had a bishop's decision now and what was a curate beside a bishop? And so the husband consented. Within a few months she had sent her two children, Harold, 4, and Hilda, 6 years old, to her sister Hilda in Kansas City, and had set sail for Europe.

For a year she studied under Madame Marchesi and her advancement under such tutelage was exceedingly rapid. But it was not fast enough for the homesick woman, who longed to see her children and her husband.


It so happened that the Baroness Prepossiki heard her singing, and became enraptured. The baroness called upon the young woman and urged her to leave Paris and travel with her.

It was during these travels with the baroness that the second good fairy entered and made it possible for all Italy to listen to the voice of the little Western girl from America. This second good fairy was the famous singing master, Puccini.

Matilda Hossfeld Von Herrlich sang for Puccini and Puccini forthwith made her his protege. For three years Mrs. Von Herrlich lived in the home of Puccini as one of the family and the great master gave her his best efforts and made her what the Italian critics call the greatest of the prima donnas.

The name of Puccini and his training caused a large audience to greet the foreign prima donna upon the evening of her debut in Milan, and she was accorded the greatest ovation ever received by a singer upon the stage at Milan. For days the Italian papers were filled with praise for her and her singing. She was cartooned, her pictures appeared in all of the papers of the country, and she was named the "Most Beautiful Madonna."


All this was for the girl who was born to William Hossfeld and his wife, Augusta Weinreich Hossfeld, in St. Louis, twenty-six years ago. The mother is dead, having died the year of her daughter's marriage, but her father is living and is at his home, 2614 East Fifth street. He and his daughter, Hilda, younger than Matilda, are taking care of the children.

While living in Wichita and when she was yet unmarried, Miss Hossfeld was voted the prettiest girl in the city. Rival artists and photographers went to her in order to urge her to pose for pictures which might be exhibited at certain exhibitions. Besides that one little happening, and the romance of her marriage, Matilda Hossfeld Von Herrlich's life had been uneventful until the day she held the conference with the good bishop of New York.

Her marriage to the rector of St. John's church in Wichita was surprise to all of her friends, as the rector was many years her senior. Her parents alone knew that the marriage was to take place and the two were married by Archbishop Watkins. Mrs. Von Herrlich is now in Milan.

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May 14, 1909


Deaf Husband and Tongue-Tied
Bride Booked for Municipal Court.

When Ben Green, who is deaf, married Eliza Reamer, who is tongue-tied, last week at the home of his mother in Lawrence, Kas., everyone thought the match an excellent one, though the couple had known each other only a week.

With light hearts they boarded a train for Kansas City, where they intended to spend their honeymoon. Possibly the world at large wouldn't have known about the union if they had not been arrested at Independence avenue and Holmes street yesterday afternoon. They were quarreling.

Both were taken to police headquarters and charged with disturbing the peace. In default of bond they were kept at the station. Mrs. Green, in the matron's room, attempted to tell about her marriage.

She met Green in Wichita a week ago, she said. It was a case of love at first sight. Green persuaded her to go to Lawrence, where they were united. The husband was unable to find work, she said, and they quarreled. The case will be tried in the municipal court this morning.

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April 25, 1909


With English Stockholders, He Paid
a Visit to President Diaz -- Good
Progress Being Made.

A. E. Stilwell, promoter and president of the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient Railway, returned to Kansas City yesterday after a trip over the right of way of the Orient and a visit to President Diaz with his party of English capitalists. The party arrived at the Union depot at 6 o'clock last night over the M. K. & T. in a special train.

"There is nothing much to say," said Mr. Stilwell last night. "We went over the Orient and found things progressing as always. The result of our interview with President Diaz had no unusual features. We made a purely social call upon him and received his congratulations upon the progress we have made."

H. J. Chinnery, one of the English financiers and a heavy investor in Mr. Stilwell's railway, was enthusiastic.

"We are more than ever delighted with the prospect," said he. "The reception accorded us at the hands of the president of the Mexican republic has given us encouragement far greater than we ever contemplated. It seems as if there is nothing in Mexico that Mr. Stilwell cannot have if he will ask for it. Our faith and confidence in that gentleman's ability as a railroad promoter and builder is only exceeded by that of Diaz.

"He gave us ever assurance of encouragement and help from the republic. Already he has done much to aid the road by using his influence in our behalf. The idea of a direct line of railroad from New York to Mexico and the gulf is not only a future possibility, but a reality, and the future is not a great way off.

"The work on the road between Sweetwater and San Angelo is already well under way and will be completed by September. This extension will connect Kansas City direct with one of the richest countries in America. It is hard to believe that any better or more fertile soil exists anywhere than in the territory of San Angelo. Most of the early vegetables, strawberries and fruits come from this section, and the completion of the track between San Angelo and Sweetwater means considerable difference in freight rates and time by a cut of more than 100 miles, it being necessary now to come up by way of Fort Worth, Tex."

After dinner at the Hotel Baltimore last night Mr. Stilwell, Mr. Chinnery and Mr. Hurdle left for Wichita, Kas., to look over terminal possibilities. The party will then go to Boston for a conference with Eastern investors, when the Englishmen will return to Europe.

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April 10, 1909


Aged President of Mexico Makes It
Easier for the Orient to Build.

Before President Arthur E. Stilwell of the Orient and his part of officials, directors, stockholders and investors return from their inspection of the system, which they will begin today, they will have had an audience with Porfirio Diaz, the veteran president of Mexico, through which republic so much of the Stilwell road runs. There are matters concerning the relations of the Orient with the Mexican government that will come up for discussion at this meeting.

President Diaz has extended every possible encouragement to the officials of the new line, and it was only recently through his influence the time limit for the completion of the road in Mexico was extended five years. By his recommendation to the Mexican congress, Diaz has secured a substantial increase in the freight and passenger rates of the Orient, which will swell its revenue, while in the process of construction. Naturally such an increase is very welcome to the owners of the line, which is stretching steadily toward the Gulf of California without the help of Wall street.

By permission of the national legislative body of the country, the road can now charge 5 cents a mile for first class passengers, and 3 1/2 cents for second class. The third class is abolished. Formerly first class passengers rode for 3 cents. Moreover, the freight rate there has been increased about 25 per cent.

There are about forty-two who will leave on the special train this afternoon over the Rock Island for Wichita. President Stilwell and W. W. Dickinson, vice president and general manager, will be among the number. From Wichita to Sweetwater, Tex., they will go over their own line. At Sweetwater they will take the Texas & Pacific for El Paso, and thence over the Mexican Central to Chihuahua, where they will strike their own line again. They will run out each way from Chihuahua, and inspect the road thus far completed and will not get any farther west than Sanchez, about 225 miles from Chihuahua. Mexico City will then be visited and the meeting with President Diaz held.

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March 3, 1909



Picture of Girl Found in Heskett's
Pocket, the Clue by Which They
Were Located at the

In hopes of revenging herself on her husband, who, she said, had deserted her about two years ago, Mrs. James W. Heskett of Wichita, Kas., arrived in Kansas City yesterday morning, and through the aid of James Orford, a city detective, found her alleged husband with another woman at the Peristyle apartments at Ninth and Charlotte streets.

She saw both arrested and locked up at police headquarters last night. At the time of her marriage, ten years ago, Heskett's father was the sheriff of Sumner county, and he was his chief' deputy. At the time of the alleged desertion he sold his house and, the woman says, left his wife and child only $500. Until his arrest last night, the two had never met, nor had she received a word from him.


"Yes. I want to prosecute them both," said Mrs. Heskett last night. She is a small woman, with bright blue eyes and blond hair. The blue eyes flashed when she made the declaration. "I thought I loved him, but now I wouldn't live with him for anything. I wouldn't give up my position in a confectionery store in Wichita, where I'm getting only $6 a week, to live in luxury with my husband.

Inspector of Detectives Ryan asked Heskett a few questions and called Mrs. Heskett into his office.

"How do you do," she said frigidly, and Heskett's reply was just as cold.

"What did you leave me and the baby for?" she continued.

"Now I mean to prosecute you, and before I leave I want to see that woman you ran away with. I just want to look at her once," and she stamped her foot. The husband did not reply, and was taken back to the holdover.

Mrs. Heskett was allowed to see her rival, who was sitting in the matron's room. Detective Orford and Inspector Ryan accompanied her.


Orford introduced the two women.

"This is my wife," he said. Both bowed coldly. "You knew he was married, didn't you?" he asked.

Then the tears began to well up in the eyes of the second woman, and a moment later she was sobbing.

"I just loved him so much," she said, "and I still love him. He told me that he didn't love you, and that we would always be happy. I'm his common law wife, and we are married in the eyes of our neighbors."

Mrs. Heskett bit her lip.

"I'm the one that has suffered," she said, as the party filed out of the door. "Now one knows how I have suffered."

Heskett was a conductor for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe out of Wichita. He had known his wife since they were children, and had gone to the high school in Wellington together. After his term as deputy marshal there had expired he moved to Wichita and the two paid for a small home and were living happily.


About three years ago Heskett met Miss Mamie Hensen of Englewood, Kas., on one of his trips. He finally lost his position with the railroad. After inducing his wife to allow him to sell the property, the wife says he kissed her one morning and told her he was going to Kansas City to hunt work. When he secured employment he would send for her.

When no letters came, Mrs. Heskett became suspicious, and remembered a picture of Miss Hensen which she had taken out of her husband's coat. She sent the picture to the Kansas City police, and Detective Orford located couple after a long search.

The couple, the detective says, had been living as man and wife at the Peristyle apartments for four months. The woman has been employed in a millinery house and Heskett was the shipping clerk in a wholesale wall paper house. He had not used an alias. James Heskett, Sr., moved to Clinton, Ill., six years ago, and is reported to be a wealthy farmer. Mrs. Heskett says that he has known of her plight, and has known of his son's whereabouts. She said last night that she would not return to Wichita until she had prosecuted her husband, and that complaints would be filed with the prosecuting attorney today.

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March 3, 1909


Mentally Unbalanced Young Woman
Says Thief Has It.

Somewhere in Kansas City a pretty, young girl is wandering about in search of a person whom she imagines stole a gold tooth which she once owned. She is Miss Florence Anderson, who came to Kansas City yesterday from Wichita, Kas., to visit two sisters residing here.

The young woman first attracted attention by her queer actions at the Union depot.

"I am looking for a man who stole my gold tooth," she said to the station matron, "and if I catch him there is going to be trouble."

Thee matron saw that the girl was deranged mentally, and went to a telephone to call an officer. When she returned to the place where she left the girl, the young woman had disappeared. At a late hour last night she had not been found, although the police made a diligent search for her. Relatives in Wichita have been advised of her disappearance.

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December 21, 1908


First Seen by Thousands at St. Jo-
seph, Mo. -- Two Split at
Salina, Kas.

ST. JOSEPH, MO., Dec. 20. -- Lighting the dusky heavens with its incandescent glare, one of the most remarkable meteors ever seen in this part of the country was witnessed by thousands of people in St. Joseph shortly before 6 o'clock this evening.

The meteor was visible for about thirty seconds, while passing over St. Joseph and on southwest until it disappeared in Kansas, where it appeared to drop.

In appearance, the meteor looked like a ball of fire larger than a street lamp, shedding a string of sparks for many feet in its wake. Its course was marked by a peculiar white streak across the sky, which was visible for possibly fifteen minutes after its passage, and then waved as if blown about by the wind, and faded from sight.


WICHITA, KAS., Dec. 20. -- (Special.) The northern sky was brightly illuminated this evening at about 6 o'clock by a meteor of unusual brilliancy. It appeared to fall from the northeast. Many people in this city noticed the meteor and they are all of the opinion that it struck not many miles north of the city.

Telephone messages from farmers living between here and Sadgwick are to the effect that a meteor was seen, but they say it was north of them.

For at least two counties further west reports of the meteor continued to come in until midnight.


SALINA, KAS., Dec. 20. -- (Special.) About 6 o'clock tonight two meteors shot across the heavens from the northeast and were very low. Each star broke in two before it disappeared. The meteors were large and both were observed at the same time, and nothing is known as to whether or not they struck the ground.

Many telephone calls from the outlying districts in this, Saline, and adjoining counties tell of the celestial visitants being sighted in farming communities.

The farthest report west so far received was from Ellis county.

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December 1, 1908


Road to Be Opened to Sweetwater,
Tex., Within a Few Days.

President A. E. Stilwell of the Orient has announced that the Sweetwater gap in Texas will be closed within a few days, giving the road a stretch of 432 miles of track southwestward from Wichita. He says:

"The Sweetwater gap will be finished in the course of a few days. Our first important through connection was made with the Colorado & Southern at Chillicothe, Tex., during October, and five new stations opened. Earnings at once began to show an increase, and for October there were $113,000, the largest for any one month in the history of the railroad, and an increase of $32,000 over September. A through train service will be inaugurated about December 1. Wichita to Sweetwater, giving us in this one section 432 miles of connected track, and putting us in a position to do through business with the Colorado & Southern and Texas Pacific.

"In spite of the panic, we have during the past year laid 135 miles of track. We now plan to finish the track to San Angelo, giving us the business of one of the most important cities on the line, and affording a valuable connection with the Santa Fe road. All of the grading between Sweetwater and San Angelo is completed, and with the track completed to San Angelo, we will have 510 miles of track in one section.

"To aid us in this work, we have just sold in London $575,000 6 per cent five-year notes, and are offering the states $100,000 6 1/2 per cent two-year notes.

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October 1, 1908


Kansas City's New Railroad
Making Good Progress.

Chillicothe, Tex., is now the terminus of the Northern section of the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient railroad, which will eventually reach from Kansas City to Topolobambo, Mexico, on the Gulf of California. An extension of twenty miles from Elmer, Ok., across the Red river, by means of a recently completed bridge into Texas was finished last week and train service has been installed between Wichita and Chillicothe. A northern extension has been made on the section running northward from Sweetwater, Tex., to the new terminus at Crowell, Tex., thus leaving a gap of but twenty-three miles between Chillicothe and Crowell. When this gap is closed a line from Wichita, Kas., to Sweetwater, Tex., will have been completed and will be 535 miles in length. Construction is still being pushed forward on the remaining portions of the line on both sides of the Rio Grande.

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June 13, 1908


Contracted Pneumonia While Work-
ing on the Clark Wix Case.

Charles F. Haldeman, 54 years old, one of the best known detectives on the police force, died at his home, 2218 Prospect avenue, yesterday morning from pneumonia. He had been working on the Wix case, and went to Cameron, Mo., where it is supposed he caught cold. He was in bed since Friday.

Mr. Haldeman was born in Bloomington, Ill., and came to Kansas City in his boyhood. He entered the police business fourteen years ago, when he was appointed a deputy United States marshal under General Shelby. He served in this position four years, and then went on the city detective force. For ten years he has been identified with the force and made a name for himself by clever work in many well known cases.

He leaves a widow and a son, William T. Haldeman, who lives at Independence. Five brothers survive --John R. Haldeman, Dr. O. C. Haldeman and E. D. Haldeman of Kansas City Martin Haldeman of Butler, Mo., and James Haldeman of Drexel, Mo. Four sisters are living, Mrs. L. A. Hartley, Mrs. Anna Young and Mrs. H. F. Hunt of Kansas City and Mrs. A. F. Cogswell of Wichita, Kas.

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April 3, 1908



Says She Fled Wyandotte Because
She Feared County Attorney
Would Prosecute Her
in Baby Case.

Mrs. Sarah Morasch testified yesterday in her own behalf before the district court jury in Kansas City, Kas. She was called by counsel for the defense to tell the jury of her whereabouts at the time of the murder of little Ruth Miller of Argentine.

On direct examination the story told by the defendant in many ways differed from that told by her daughter, Blanche, in connection with the doings of the Morasch family the night before and the night following the killing of the child. Some of her statements, according to court records, were diametrically opposed to statements made by both herself and Blanche at the preliminary trial in the South city court.

The testimony of the defendant was mostly a series of negatives. She positively denied having sent the box of candy to Ella Van Meter. She had never sent Ella any candy at all, had never in her life been the possessor of a grain of strychnine, and Ella had never written for her the address of the Millers at 634 Cheyenne avenue, she said. In regard to the baby alleged to have been adopted surreptitiously by Mrs. Morasch from the U. S. G. Hughes maternity hospital last January, the defendant likewise blocked all further inquiry about details from the prosecution and defense by an emphatic denial.

The baby had been in good health while in her hands, she said. She had not at any time claimed it as her own, as her neighbors unanimously testified, nor had she, at any time, said she was about to give birth to a child.

When in cross-examination the prosecutor parried with her answers and tried to pin her down to an acknowledgement that she wrote some of the letters exhibited, her voice rose shrill in reply:

"I wrote some of that letter, not all of it!" The damaging parts of the missives, she freely swore, had been inserted by someone else. As she leaned far over in her chair to designate the questioned sentences or paragraphs, the had with which she pointed shook perceptibly, and her voice frequently broke.


"Where was I February 11?" Why at home, of course. Where do you suppose I'd be?" the witness answered to one of the queries of the county attorney.

"I had just been let out of your office, Mr. Taggart, where you know you bluffed me and nearly frightened me to death, until I could jump into a river at the sound of your voice. I went straight home after quitting the court house. You told me there to go home and to pull down the blinds, lie on my back and think over all I knew of the Hughes home and then, if I remembered anything about it that I had not told you, to come back.

"I went straight to a rooming house across the line and hired a room and paid 25 cents down on it, leaving me with a nickel. I had started with only 35 cents."

"Did I knot tell you before you left my office," interposed County Attorney Taggart, "that you would never again be arrested on the charge of mistreatment of the Hughes baby?"


"Yes, you did, but I did not place much faith in it. You also told me that if I did not return to you with full information concerning the maternity home you would see to it I got a six months' jailing. You said I would be followed everywhere I went and that I could not escape you.

"I tell you, I went out of your office a nervous wreck compared with what I was when I went in."

As to the flight of herself and daughter, Blanche Morasch, form the temporary home at Eighth and Locust streets to Harrisonville, Mo., subsequent to the murder, defendant alleged it was inspired by a fear of the county attorney, who had bulldozed her, she said continually.

She said that on the evening of Wednesday, February 12, she had left the rooming house to buy bread for the children. Before she had gone far she turned a corner of a street and came face to face with Taggart standing on the opposite side of the street with his hat pulled well down over his eyes.

In great fear she had but then turned about without buying the bread, she swore, and had then fled to her room, there stating to her daughter, Blanche, that the two of them must at once leave the city and go to Wichita, Kas., or again face the juvenile court and Taggart on a charge of child abuse.


County Attorney Taggart then showed the witness the letter purported to have been sent by Mrs. Morasch to her daughter, Mrs. May Gillin, while on the flight to Harrisonville. It is "No. 8" in the exhibit.

Witness stated that part of the letter was in her handwriting and part in that of a girl at the farm house, where the two were stopping for the night. She said she had asked this girl to finish her letter to her daughter.

"Mayme was her name," testified Mrs. Morasch, "and I don't know what she might have added to my letter. She also wrote my signature on it."

"Now, you say you wrote the forepart of this letter. Are you responsible for the line on page two of which says: 'Did the police inquire about Blanche?' "

"The line does not say Blanche," replied the witness, sharply.

"Well, it indicates it by the letters, B and L together, with a dash following."

Mrs. Morasch took the sheet referred to and satisfied the prosecutor that the two letters spell 'me' and are no abbreviation at all. The lines following practically repeat the question, using the name Blanche spelled out in full. Mrs. Morasch denied having written that part of the letter, ascribing it to "Mayme," whose last name she could not recall. The defendant will be called upon for further cross-examination this morning. Counsel for the defense, Daniel Maher, will today call upon his assistant, Attorney Wooley, in regard to the mysterious not introduced by the defense as a sample of Ella Van Meter's handwriting where on the experts disagreed.

The case may not go to the jury before Monday.

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March 31, 1908



Mrs. Morasch Feared Prosecution for
Death of Hughes's Foundling.
Grieved to Hear of Ruth
Miller's Death.

In low, even tones, Blanche Morasch, 17-year-old daughter of Mrs. Sarah Morasch, now being tried in the Wyandotte county district court, Kansas City, Kas., told the jury of the flight of Mrs. Morasch and herself to Harrisonville Mo., subsequent to the poisoning of Ruth Miller. While talking, Blanche seldom withdrew her eyes from those of County Attorney Taggart, except to cast them down toward the thin, nervous fingers of her left hand, which kept continually twisting at the folds of her skirt. he turned states' evidence upon the charge against her being dismissed.

"We were three days and as many nights on the way to Harrisonville," said the girl. "The first night we were at Peculiar, Mo., the second at Belton, the third half way between Belton and Harrisonville. We went all the way afoot, except one short ride in a farm wagon. There was snow on the round.

"Mother and I left Kansas City, Mo, about the morning of February 13. Mother was worried about something and insisted we leave at once for Wichita, Kas., She wanted to stop over a few days with friends at Harrisonville, Mo. We had a little money, which I had earned working at a laundry, and I turned this all over to mother, for I knew very well she could manage the expenses of the trip much better than I could.

"If mother knew anything of the poisoning she told me nothing about it and indicated in no way any knowledge of it. When we were talking over the walk to Harrisonville, the previous night, she told me she that she had just met County Attorney Taggart near our rooms at Eighth and Locust streets. She described him as having his hat pulled down over his eyes.

" 'The county attorney is following me everywhere,' she explained as a reason for our hasty departure from Kansas City. 'I've just got to go somewhere to get away from him. He thinks I killed the baby, which I adopted from the Hughes home If we don't pack up and leave the city he's going to get me sure. I can't stand his following me all the time.

"We set out on the trip about dawn. Both of us had new shoes and the walk to Peculiar, which consumed the greater part of the day, went off nicely. We stayed at a private home that night.

"The next morning, early, we got up, dressed and started out. Both of us were very tired yet from our tramp of the day before, but by noon the stiffness disappeared. Our shoes gave out in the uppers for the slag on the railroad grade was sharp as knives The center of the railroad track was filled with water and snow.

"We did not stop long at Belton, but passed through to a farm house a few miles beyond Before we left there the following morning the farmer's wife brought out a pair of shoes for mother, old ones, which she had thrown away.

""When we got to Harrisonville our feet were very sore and we were a sorry sight. Mother was completely exhausted."


"When did you first see the Kansas City papers and get your first information of the death of Ruth Miller?" asked County Attorney Taggart.

"At Belton," replied the witness. "Mother went into a hotel or some place there and got a paper. When she saw on the first page the account of the little girl's death she wrung her hands and said over and over again: 'Poor Ruth! Poor Ruth!"

After dismissing Blanche from the witness stand, Taggart recalled Coroner A. J. Davis. Ella Van Meter, to whom the candies were sent, was recalled. Her testimony was similar to that given on the stand a week ago and went to show that the slip of paper containing the address, now marked 'exhibit No. 1,' was the one originally on the package.

Thomas D. Taylor, superintendent of the mails in the Kansas City Mo., postoffice, and Postoffice Inspector John C. Koons, partially identified the stamp on the candy box wrapper, on exhibit, as the one used in Kansas City, Mo., at the time.


Judge Newhall of the Kansas City, Kas., south city court, who presided at the preliminary, is to testify this morning as to statements made by Blanche and Mrs. Morasch at the preliminary hearing.

According to County Attorney Taggart, last night, the state will rest its case tomorrow, but has another handwriting expert to introduce. The defense has announced that it will produce only a few witnesses and is even now willing for the case to go to the jury without argument.

Mrs. Morasch has borne up well since the opening of the hearing. While being returned to her cell at the county jail, after court adjournment she kept up a lively and childish conversation with her little daughter, Hattie, who has spent most of her time in her lap, asleep.

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March 24, 1908


Young Man of Many Names Says His
Parents Are Rich.

A desire to ride in an automobile for even a short space of time, caused the arrest last night of a man believed to be A. W. Martin of Quincy, Ill. A week ago this man called to Missouri Valley Automobile over the telephone telling the company that he wished to be a White steamer car, and asked that a demonstrator be sent to him at the Midland. The request was complied with and the man, who gave his name as Martin, was taken for a spin.

At the end of the drive Martin expressed himself as being satisfied with the machine and signed a check on the Kansas-Nebraska bank in Wichita, Kas., for $4,200. After some communication the bank in Kansas informed the automobile company that A. W. Martin never had money in that bank. Martin was taken to the garage and was accused of having tried to pass a worthless check in payment for the machine. He frankly admitted that he knew the check was worthless and gave no further explanation. He was then taken to police headquarters at the request of the Pinkerton detective agency.

At police headquarters the man first gave the name of John Jones, and later told the officers that his name was A. G. Dorkenwald, son of the owner of Dick Bros. brewery, at Quincy, and made out a draft upon Dorkenwald for the amount necessary to gain his release. While he was being searched, however, the name of A. W. Martin, Quincy, Ill., and the name of the tailor who had made his clothes were found sewed on his coat.

He was then locked up and upon further questioning said that his real name is Earl Frazer, and that he had formerly lived in Chicago with his parents who were very wealthy. He said that his father and mother are now in San Monico, Cal. Frazer, or whoever he might be, did not appear troubled over his arrest, saying that he had no doubt that his folks would see that he was soon released and the matter cleared.

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December 22, 1907


So Fast and So Often That His Wife
Couldn't Keep Up.

Mariam E. Toliver sues for divorce from Chester W. Toliver because he has moved so often, she alleges, since their marriage that she cannot keep up with him. They were wed November 7, 1906, she claims, and during the ten months following he lived in these towns: Leeds, Mo., Sedalia, Mo., Wichita, Kas., Abilene, Kas., Kansas City, Mo., Horton, Kas., and Kansas City again. The last time he came to Kansas City, September 7, 1907, she stayed here, while he, she swears, kept on moving and is now somewhere in Iowa.

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October 22, 1907



"Parents Separated" the Burden of
Pathetic Stories Heard by Judge
McCune -- Many Sent to

"Parents separated" was the brief but sadly expressive story borne by a majority of the cases that came before Judge McCune at the regular session of the juvenile court yesterday. After it was added the pitiful detail of petty crime and wrong doing that the developments in the case showed was, in most cases, "born in the flesh and bred in the bones" of the young offenders present.

Judge McCune was quick to grasp the threads that led unmistakably back and beyond the little culprits before him, and "another chance" was the rule rather than the exception.

Ben Moore, who stood head and shoulders taller than his mother, was given a bad name by Chief Probation Officer Mathias, which is an unusual occurrence. "He is just a loafer," he told the court, "and in spite of our best efforts will not be anything else. We have found him jobs and helped him time and time again, but it is no use; he is a bad lot. His father and mother are separated and the woman can do nothing with him."

The mother, with tears streaming down her face, acknowledged the truth of the officer's assertions, and the boy was sent to the Boonville reform school for four years.

James Flaigle was accused of being a truant. He said his father wanted him to work in his store on Union avenue and the court was in possession of a letter bearing out the assertion. His father thought the experience of the store would be enough of an education, but Judge McCune could not see it in that light, and the youngster was ordered to go to school, which he smilingly promised to do.


Henry Reisner ran away from his home in St. Louis because, he said, his father abused his mother. He came to Kansas City and was gathered in by the police while wandering about the streets. He didn't seem much interested in the proceedings pertaining to himself, anyway, and the court decided to send him home.

A West Prospect place woman was present to say that her son, who is on parole for past misdemeanors, was too ill to attend the court. When the court officers commented upon the mother's strong odor of whiskey, she calmly told the court that she had "inherited that breath." Judge McCune was moved to remark that he had heard of its being acquired in every other way but by inheritance. The woman finally departed, explaining things to herself after everyone else had refused to listen.

Charles Riggs, 13 years of age, 4322 East Fourteenth street, was up or the fourth or fifth time for violating his parole, playing hookey and numerous other bad things. His father and mother have separated, and the latter was in court to defend her son. Judge McCune said he must go to Boonville, and the mother said he shouldn't. When the court finally threatened to have her locked up if she did not stop her interference she allowed the child to be led away.


Fred Corp of Wichita came to Kansas City with a load of cattle. He had nothing to do with cattle but just came along to see the sights and have a good time. Upon his arrival he got separated from the men he came with and the police picked him up at 3 'clock Thursday morning. He told the court of his experiences through many tears. When arrested he had $3.05 in his pockets. The necessary amount of this will be invested in a ticket for Wichita today.

Tony Lapentino, who has been behaving badly, and has claimed the attention of the court many times, was sent to Boonville for four years. Ethel Ackley, a sweet-faced girl of 9 years, whose mother is dead and whose father was charged with deserting her, will be provided for in some charitable institution.

Terrence Quirk, one of the boys who recently located and equipped with small arms a Wild West camp on the outskirts of the city, enrolled for the Boonville institution.

Ellen, Allen and Howard Collins, who were recently found in a destitute and suffering condition in the rear of the premises at 911 Paseo, will be cared for until other arrangements can be made at the North end day nursery. Their mother is in a hospital and the father incompetent to provide for his family.

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July 20, 1907



Voices Are Getting Weak, but P. H.
Harlan and Cliff Hogan Are
Sticking to Abstinence ---
Cigarettes, Too.

"I've lost twenty-four pounds in just four days," announced P. H. Harlan, the fasting undertaker, as he stepped from the scales last night, and Cliff Hogan, who had a day and a half the start of me, has lost only fourteen pounds."

"It was a mistake to say I wasn't hungry up to yesterday, for I was, but that was my third day and with it my hunger really left me, as it did with Hogan and with Dr. I. J. Eales, the Bellville, Ill., physician, whose fourty day fast inspired us to start."

Dozens of telephone messages, picture postcards and letters are pouring in on the two fasting neighbors at Fifteenth and McGee streets. Tempting invitations to dine on spring chicken and inch-and-a-half sirloins tumble out of the mail along with serious inquiries from other fat men who are anxious to see the experiment kept up and who will themselves try it if found practical.

Clifford Hogan, who manages the Crescent Automobile Company, was not at his place of business until evening, for he had worked all day at moving his household goods from Mount Washington to Twelfth street and Wabash avenue. He found the unusually hard work on a very empty stomach did not exhaust him. But his voice was weak, and so was Harlan's, though the latter says his wind is better than it has been for years.

Harlan, whose hands and one leg have daily become puffed up, says that since the second day of his fast they have not swollen. He did a great deal of walking yesterday and is so delighted with the results that he may not stop short of the month limit set by Dr. Eales.

Harlan, too, has the title of doctor, having been a practicing dentist in Chicago and Wichita until the size of his belt became so great that he could not get near enough to his dental chair to reach the patients. Then he returned to the undertaking employment, where the patients are not so nervous, anyway.

When Harlan banteringly discusses with Hogan the length of their fast, the automobile man recounts that a week's fast was all he promised himself for sure, and after the first two days he really planned that all the money he saved on meals for the week he would spend for Sunday dinner in breaking the fast.

But he thinks he will probably stay with Harlan on a two or three weeks' fast. He is remembering now that while he was soldiering in the Philippines and ill he lived for five weeks on malted milk alone, and possibly he has visions of tapering off from actual fasting on such a diet, but his running mate stands firm for absolutely no nutriment.

"My second and third days," said Hogan, last night, "every time I passed a restaurant or smelled food, I had a sensation in my jaws as of having mumps. But that left when my hunger disappeared.

"I'm using the fast to break the cigarette habit, too, which was fastened on me. I have switched to cigars, which I could not enjoy before. I always inhaled cigarettes, and I know that if I did now it would make me sick. I suppose that proves that I'm getting down from abnormal to normal, and from depravity to healthfulness.

"Having been reared on a farm, I know that fat in a hog's body is merely the storage of nutriment for use in case a period comes in which no food is available. Then a hog can live off of his fat without injury or inconvenience. And so I see no reason why Harlan and I should not live to advantage for a time off our surplus supply."

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March 22, 1907


Woman and Her Companion Are Sent
to the Penitentiary.

Irene Napper, 24, and Arthur Lowry, who is five years older, pleaded guilty to horse stealing in the criminal court yesterday afternoon. The woman was sentenced to the penitentiary for two years and the man for seven. They stole a team and buggy belonging to W. H. Hand from in front of the Bell Telephone building at Sixth and Wyandotte streets on March 2. Lowry had already stolen $8 from another man and had taken the woman with him to Leavenworth. They returned in a day or two and, seeing the rig, took it. They started to drive to Wichita, Kas., but got no further than Lawrence when they were arrested.

"Are you married to this man?" asked Judge Slover of the woman.

"No," she said.

"Have you ever been married?"

"Yes. My husband is in the penitentiary."

"Did you know that this man Lowry has been in the penitentiary?"

"Yes. He has been there twice in Kansas. Five years for horse stealing and five years for killing a man."

"Who was it stole this team?"

"I did."

"How did you happen to do that?"

"I don't know unless it was because he told me to."

The woman said she was born in Rich Hill, Mo.

When Judge Slover pronounced the sentence on the two, the man said, cheerfully enough, "Thank you, judge."

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March 22, 1907


Possibility That Syndicate May
Purchase Their Business.

President J. J. Swofford, of the Swofford Bros.' Dry Goods Company, said yesterday that negotiations were pending with St. Louis, St. Joseph and Wichita capitalists for the Swofford plant at a price close to $1.000,000.

"The matter is merely being discussed in a business way," said Mr. Swofford. "We have set our price and the others are considering it. I do not look for anything definite for some weeks, and the whole thing may end in talk."

The capital stock has been increased from the original $300,000 to $1,000,000. It succeeded the Grimes Dry Goods Company in 1891.

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