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November 22, 1909



Revolver Found in Room of Former
Wild West Show Rider; Wom-
an May Prove an Impor-
tant Witness.
Harvey Bonnell, Rooming House Shooting Victim.

Lying on the floor in a dingy rooming house at 509 East Sixth street, with a bullet wound in his breast, Harvey Bonnell was found yesterday afternoon.

Although he knew that he was in a dangerous condition, Bonnell refused to tell how he received the wound. At the general hospital, where he was rushed in the police ambulance, he refused to talk to Norman Woodson, an assistant prosecuting attorney, who attempted to get a dying statement.

"I'm not going to tell how it happened," he declared. "Perhaps I'll die, but I'm not going to give anyone away."

He then turned over and then refused to utter another word.

When the police arrived at the scene Sadie Gear, proprietress of the rooming house, was seen going upstairs. She was agitated and declared that she was not in the room at the time. At police headquarters she maintained the story.

Sergeant Robert Smith sent several officers to the building, where everyone was questioned closely. Mrs. Gear was brought to the station with several roomers.

Patrolman Gurney Shaw, after a long search, found the pistol in a room on the third floor, which was occupied by Lee Rarick, formerly a rough rider with Miller Bros.' Wild West show.


Though Rarick denied at first that he knew anything about the affair, he admitted that he heard a shot, and a few minutes later, Harry Gordon, one of the roomers, had brought the revolver to his room.

Mrs. Sadie Gear.
Considered an Important Witness by Police.

"I loaned it to Mrs. Gear a week ago," he said. "because I didn't want to keep it up here in my room. I'm sure I don't know who did it.

Gordon would make no statement to the police. Mrs. Gear was in a defiant mood when she faced Captain Whitsett. She asserted that she had frequently quarreled with Bonnell, who abused her.

"But I don't know a thing about the shooting today," she declared, "I got up for a moment and went out and then I heard the shooting. I went upstairs, and then they told me that Bonnell had been shot. Yes, that's the same revolver that was given me to keep by one of my roomers."

Captain Whitsett asserted last night that he expected the mystery would be cleared up quickly.

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September 14, 1909


Creditable Exhibition in Spite of J.
Pluvius's Interruption.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Far East, combined, gave an exhibition before a large and appreciative crowd at the circus grounds, 17th and Indiana avenue, yesterday afternoon. It has been nearly a decade since Buffalo Bill has been seen in Kansas city, and the return of the most picturesque of the few remaining frontiersmen was signaled by an outpouring of those who have personal recollections of the old-time scout, and those to whom he has seemed more a figment of fancy than a reality.

It was a good show that the two Bills brought to Kansas City yesterday. The meeting of the East and the West with their varied manners, customs and contrasts, on a field of daring, afforded opportunity for speculative reflection by the studious, and was an interesting spectacle for the less serious minded. An act not catalogued was the appearance of J. Pluvius, monoplaning above the arena with his large-sized sprinkling pot spouting unpleasant reminders to a greater portion of the crowd of umbrellas left at home. From the grand review, with which the show opens, to the final salute of the assembled company, every act is well worth seeing. The rough riders of all nations, the pony express, the emigrant train, were all interesting features of the show. "A Dream of the Orient" was presented in spectacular form by Arabs, Japanese, Singhalese, Cossacks, Dahomeans, Hindues and Australian boomerang throwers.

"The Battle of Summit Springs," in which were shown scouts, soldiers, plainsmen and Sioux and Cheyenne Indians, was of a hair-curling variety. The attack of the Indians was as spectacular as could be desired. Other interesting features on the program were Devlin's Zouaves, fancy shooting by Buffalo Bill, a game of football on horseback, a great train holdup, shooting by Johnny Baker, U. S. Cavalry drill, cowboy fun and Russian Cossacks.

The worst punishment of last night's performance fell upon the acrobats. The feature of their act is that they tumble on the ground without the use of mats or rugs. As they lined up twenty strong towards the north end of the rectangle the audience did not at first realize how much more difficult their evolutions would be in a foot of mud and in drenching rain. They were dressed in red tights with blue doublets, the colors showing up brighter because of the drenching.

After the preliminary stunts were over and their uniforms were still unsullied, the crowd began to believe there would be no mishap. Then the fun began. Someone's foot slipped in an aerial flip flop. Instantly he was immersed and the crowd laughed. Other and similar accidents followed as the teams increased the complexity of their work.

"This crowd is a revelation in the circus business," said Hugh Thomas, head of the police department of the show last night. "It is a great big good natured bunch that doesn't care for the weather or anything else. That's the English as well as the American spirit, though. The idea that predominates in an Anglo-Saxon aggregation is that it does not matter so much how well you do, as how well you do under the circumstances."

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August 30, 1909



For a Week Products of Farm Will
Take Precedence Over Thrill-
ers -- Special Features
Are Attractive.

There was a bunch of tired men in Independence last night who seemed happy in their fatigue. They were the directors of the Independence fair and everything was ready for the opening this morning. The fair this year is going to be just as it has always been, an old-fashioned county affair where the products of the farm take precedence over thrillers of summer park invention and where a prize hog looks a whole lot better than a motor car, for the time being.

And if exhibits are to be counted, the Independence fair is better off this year than ever before. It has been a good year on the farms of Jackson county, and for that reason the exhibits are going to be the largest in the history of the fair. The mountain of pumpkins, a yearly feature of the fair, is to be cooked into pies and distributed to visitors as edible souvenirs. That is to be done on the last day, Saturday.


The fair is to have executive recognition and it will be opened at 10 o'clock this morning by Governor H. S. Hadley. The governor will make his speech at that time, after the salute of Battery B of Kansas City has been fired. After the speech of the governor, the battery will maneuver and the fair will be on in earnest. The gates will be open at 7 o'clock in the morning.

The directors have offered purses aggregating $10,000 for the race meeting, and there is a good list of entries. Independence is on three racing circuits and more than 200 horses will strive for the various purses. There will be from one to three races a day.


Admission to the grounds is to be free this year and as an added attraction, there is to be a fireworks display every night. A band will give a free concert every night. Zach Mulhall's Wild West show will be there.

There is to be a series of special days. Tomorrow is to be a special racing day and there will be an extra race for an extra prize. Thursday will be Kansas City day, when Kansas City exhibitors and Kansas City exhibits will have full sway. Friday will be Old Settler's day. Many of the old settlers of Jackson county and the counties surrounding will attend the fair on that day. Saturday is to be pumpkin day.

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August 27, 1909


Former Policeman Duke Lee Injured
in Wild West Show.


Duke Lee, former soldier, Kansas City policeman and rough rider, is in Kansas City again, recuperating from injuries which he received in Grand Rapids, Mich., two weeks ago while attempting to tame a broncho in a Wild West show, with which he has been traveling. Lee was thrown and trampled upon by the vicious animal. He suffered two broken ribs and a dislocated collar bone.

"I can't explain how it happened," Lee said yesterday. "The show keeps wild horses instead of trained ones and it is a real fight in the arena that the crowd is watching."

Lee resigned from the police department in the spring. He served in the regular army and was in the Boxer insurrection in China before his appointment to the force.

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August 20, 1909


The Wild West Aggregation to Give
Two Performances Sept. 13.

Walter K. Hill, press representative for Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Far East, is in the city giving notice of the appearance of the big aggregation in Kansas City Monday, September 13.

"Buffalo Bill is in his sixty-fifth year, but is as vigorous and alert as ever. He appears at every performance," said Mr. Hill, who some years ago was a resident of Kansas City. He says the place has undergone a complete change during his absence.

"It is the most prosperous city in the United States today," he said last night.

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May 5, 1909


"Red" Whitman and Ex-Captain
Give Impromptu Wild West Show.

An attraction that wasn't scheduled to take place at the afternoon performance of Miller Bros.' Wild West show yesterday was pulled off by "Red" Whitman, the proprietor of a lunch stand; Ex-Captain William Weber, now an assistant license inspector, and James E. Roberson, a policeman. The spectacle of Whitman chasing Weber with a butcher knife and the policeman in pursuit of both produced no little excitement. It all ended when Whitman was brought to the ground by the policeman's club.

The melee started when Weber asked Whitman if he had a license. Whitman was busy dispensing steaming sandwiches and did not care to be bothered. He used an expression that displeased the ex-captain, who proceeded to climb over the inclosure.

He changed his mind, however, when Whitman picked up a butcher knife and started to meet him. Not content with repelling the attack, Whitman started to chase Weber from the grounds, but Patrolman Roberson ended the chase with his club. Whitman was taken to No. 6 station, where he was booked for disturbing the peace and selling goods without a license.

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May 4, 1909


101 Ranch Exhibit Witnessed by
Large Crowds.

After a big street parade yesterday morning, Miller Brothers' 101 Ranch Wild West show opened the season at Seventeenth street and Indiana avenue to full capacity, afternoon and night.

From the opening parade, a grand ensemble of participants in the show, to the last number, a reproduction of the massacre of Pat Hennessy and family by the Indians in 1874, each display is interesting. In reproducing the massacre of the Hennesy family the Miller brothers have secured Chief Bull Bear, said to be the identical Indian who led the others in the massacre. W. H. Malaley, the same United States marshal who led the posse and captured the Indians, has charge of the capturing party now. The reproduction is said to be true to life.

In the stage coach robbery, reproduced at this show, several horses are supposed to be shot. They drop to the ground and remain there as if dead. One, whose leg was "shot," gets up after its wound has been bound and limps away, while its cowboy rider walks, fanning his favorite steed.

The marvelous manner in which cowboys handle the "rope" attracts much attention. One lariat thrower, after catching horse and rider in every conceivable place, catches the horse by the tail while the animal is on the dead run. The lassoing of wild steers, throwing steers by the horns, riding bucking bronchos and steers and the daring riding of the Russian Cossacks are other interesting features on the programme. Following the riding of the Cossacks the cowboys go them one better by doing everything they do and then some.

With this show is the largest number of Indians ever allowed by the government to leave the reservation with one organization. They give a dance at each performance, but even the management does not know which it is to be. The weather, environment and the mood of the once savage governs the dances. They have in their weird repertoire the ghost, snake, sun, squaw, coon, antelope, wolf, buffalo and elk dances. There are seventeen separate and distinct displays on the programme and among these are an Indian maiden who does some crack shooting, races between cowboys and cowgirls, dances on horseback and trick riding by both men and women.

At the close there is the usual concert at which there is a genuine negro minstrel show, some fancy club swinging and acrobatic work. As a concert finale, a trainer enters the cage of a ferocious lion which has already killed three men.

There will be two performances of the Wild West show today, at 2 p. m. and 8 p. m.

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April 13, 1909


Big Cop Returns to Old Love -- the
Wild West Show.
Duke Lee, Former Police Officer

Duke Lee, after two years of faithful service as a Kansas City policeman, turned in his resignation to Secretary James Vincil of the board of police commissioners yesterday. Last night was Lee's final performance in the role of a bluecoat. Within a few days he will be at Ponca City, Ok., where he will join his old love -- a Wild West show.

Lee has crowded an interesting and somewhat extraordinary career into a life of 32 years. He was a good horseman, a good shot and a good cowpuncher when he was 16 years old. He rode the plains of Wyoming and might have been there yet had it not been for a war with the sheep herders. This caused him to migrate to Texas, where he joined the Buffalo Bill Wild West show. When the Spanish war was declared in 1898 Lee joined Troop C of the Sixth cavalry, was sent to the Philippines and later went to China and participated in the siege of Peking.

Returning to America after the Boxer trouble, Lee rejoined the Buffalo Bill show and stuck to the sawdust for four years, but upon the suggestion of friends came here and landed a job on the force. Lee thought that he was to be given a place in the mounted squad, but he rode a horse only the first month. He has been walking a beat ever since.

While in Kansas City Lee got married and got fat. His wife was Miss Pansy Clark, whose dower amounted to several thousand dollars.

In the capacity of showman, Lee will soon be in Kansas City. He hopes to take off about twenty-five pounds of flesh before his return.

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February 11, 1909



"Hello, Jim," Said Emmet Dalton to
J. H. Knapp, "Glad I Didn't
Hit You That Time
at Vinita."

Two men who parted ten years ago with murder in their hearts after keeping up a running fire with Winchesters, met on the tanbark of the Rhoda Royal circus last night and one of them, Emmett Dalton, formerly one of the notorious Dalton gang of bank robbers, extended his hand to the other and said:

"Hello, Jim. Glad I didn't hit you that time down at Vinita."

The other man, dressed in the fez of a Shriner and evening clothes, turned and looked at the man who addressed him but did not recognize in the sombrero topped circus rider before him the fleeing desperado who had turned in his saddle ten years before on the Oklahoma plain and so nearly snuffed out his life with a bullet. Dalton introduced himself and the other, J. H. Knapp, president of Knapp Construction Company, grasped the hand of the brown skinned man in his own.

"And I'm glad I didn't hit you," he said.

For half an hour the men stood there talking, and parted friends.

Emmet Dalton is the youngest of the old Dalton gang. Knapp was at that time a special officer for the Wells-Fargo Express Company. While chasing the Dalton brothers the incident occurred which both remembered so clearly. They became separated from the others and Knapp took several shots at the fleeing outlaw, which the latter returned, but neither was hurt. Dalton's horse finally outstripped that of the officer and he got away.

Dalton is with the 101 Ranch Wild West show and is taking part in the Rhoda Royal exhibition to keep in training in the winter. He was released from Leavenworth prison three years ago, where he served seven years.

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September 8, 1908


Immense Crowds Attended Afternoon
and Night Performances.

It's a good circus that Ringling Bros. brought to Kansas City this year. In fact, it is no violation of confidence to state that the Ringling circus this year is about the biggest, brightest and best in its line. Owning, as they do, the Barnum & Baily, Sells-Fourpaugh and Buffalo Bill Wild West shows it doesn't require the wisdom of a Solomon for discern which name will be heralded premier in the circus world. The Ringlings have always prided themselves on conducting "clean" shows and they certainly live up to their pride.

The crowd that turned up yesterday afternoon filled every seat in the big tent and occupied the ground space five rows in front of the seats for the entire distance around the big tent. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people saw the circus yesterday afternoon and last night.

In the way of circus acts the Ringlings feature a number that possess genuine merit. The entire bill is marked by a high average. As usual the animal section of the show remains its popular interest.

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July 8, 1908


Oran A. Russell Was Thrown From
Horse at Forest Park.

Oran A. Russell, 26 years old, a rider with the J W. Riggs Wild West show at Forest park, was thrown from a horse last night at 7 o'clock and was very seriously injured Russell had never before mounted the horse, which was said to be an unconquered bronco. At an unguarded moment, though a practiced rider, he was thrown from the animal in such a manner as to light with his abdomen on a tent stake.

At the emergency hospital, where Russell was treated by Dr. J. P. Neal, his injury was diagnosed as a rupture of the spleen. Russell said his home is in Kalamazoo, Mich. He has been with the Wild West show five weeks, three weeks of that time at Forest park. The young man's mishap was witnessed by a crowd which was attending the show.

Last last night Russell was said to be dying. He asked that in case of his death his mother, Mrs. Charlotte Flatt, at Kalamazoo be notified. His father, Austin Russell, also lives there.

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May 4, 1908


Wild West Organizations Furnish
Employment for Hundreds.

That the numerous Wild West shows are giving employment to many Indian families and affording them a means of livelihood other than the government is evidenced by the fact that the railroads are constantly handling parties of Indians en route from the West to join the shows at Eastern points.

A Wild West show takes better in the East than in the West, and for this reason, as the show go eastward for summer work they are calling upon more Indian families to join them. Those Indians who are expert in horseback riding or shooting get the first engagements, but others are employed at sall salaries simply because they are Indians.

During the past month several hundred Indians have passed through Kansas City en route east to join some show and help to portray scenes that never existed at all or are fast dying out, even in the West.

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March 23, 1908


Colonel Cummins Says Britishers
Never Tire of Them.

Colonel Frederick Cummins, otherwise known as Chief La-Ko-Ta of the Sioux tribe of Indians, was a guest at the Baltimore hotel yesterday. Colonel Cummins is an Indian only by adoption. Chief Red Cloud of the Sioux having conferred that title upon him in 1891, but he knows s much, or perhaps more, about the Indians of this country than any other man living. He is now at the head of a Wild West show and is here recruiting, the show for a season's tour of Europe, opening in Liverpool sometime in May.

"The English especially are interested in anything that comes out of the great Wild West," Colonel Cummins said at the hotel last night. "Other men have made fortunes in this business in Europe and fortunes are yet to be made there in the same business. A Wild West show will draw larger crowds in the cities and towns of England than any other attraction imaginable. These shows are a novelty and the public never gets tired of seeing them."

Colonel Cummins is making an extensive tour of the country for the purpose of securing material in recruiting his show. While in Oklahoma recently he bought all of the famous Pawnee Bill's horses and all of Colonel Zack Mulhall's horses except Governor, Lucile's pet. He left here last night for the Indian reservations in South Dakota where he will obtain eighty Indians for his show. The United States government requires a bond of $500 for every Indian taken off the reservation. This bond is required to insure the return of the Indian to the reservation in excellent physical and moral condition.

"The Indian is not hard to manage," Colonel Cummins said. "I know their every trait of character and as long as they are well fed and clothed we never have any trouble with them. In all my experience with the Indians I have never had trouble with one of them"

By reason of his long life among them, Colonel Cummins is known to most of the Indian tribes of the country. He has had an Indian show of some kind at nearly every national ind international exposition since 1890.

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