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December 8, 1909


Humane Society Busy Detecting
Smooth Shoes on Slippery Streets.

For the past two days the Humane Society has been busy in an attempt to give the horses of Kansas City a square deal. The sudden fall of snow, which made the downtown streets slippery, caught teamsters and horse owners unprepared, their animals wearing smooth shoes.

Last Monday Humane Agent Frank E. McLreary, in addition to his regular duties, appointed a field force of a dozen men. The streets are being patrolled thoroughly during the day and late into the evening. If any animal is seen making a vain attempt to struggle up a steep grade its shoes are examined and, if in bad condition, it is taken from the shafts and to the nearest blacksmith shop. The smithies are working overtime, most of their business being at night. An officer patrols the vicinity of the blacksmith shops and sees that the line of animals awaiting their turn in the streets are properly blanketed and protected from the cold.

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October 14, 1909


Kansas City, Kas., Building Burns.
Total Loss $20,000.

The Rainbow skating rink at 832-34 Minnesota avenue, Kansas City, Kas., was burned to the ground last night, with a loss of $20,000, including a blacksmith shop nearby and a cottage partially burned. No lives were lost, although Mrs. Sol Sparks, aged 87, had to be carried from the damaged cottage at 836 Minnesota avenue. Several were in this cottage, but all escaped without injury. The burned blacksmith shop was occupied by H. F. Wood and H. A. Ketler.

The rink was first built as an auditorium and contained a gallery and a mechanical pipe organ. It was erected in 1907.

W. D. Brant, manager, placed its value at $18,000. Of this, $14,000 is covered by insurance. Robert Hamilton, a fireman, suffered from a falling brand which burned his hand and blistered his head.

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July 30, 1909


Henry Nevins Came to Kansas City
in 1869, and Opened Shop
on Third Street.

Henry Nevins, pioneer horseshoer of Kansas City and in the early days a fair prototype of Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith," died at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon at the family residence, 1032 Olive street. He was 70 years old.

He was born in Tipperary county, Ireland, and came to this country when a young man, spending some years in Canada, where he learned the blacksmith trade and where he married. Later he crossed the line into the United States, settling first in Burlington, Ia., and from there removing to Kansas City in 1869.

He first opened a shop at Third street and Grand avenue and for twenty years Nevins's blacksmith shop was a landmark.

In those early days when railroads were in their infancy and mules and horses were yet the main standby for transportation, the blacksmith was a most important person.

Nevins met the situation with an energy that never seemed to tire, and it is on record that during rush seasons he has been known to stand in the smith forty-eight hours at a stretch, without sleep, eating in the shop meals brought to him by his wife.

Early in his career in Kansas City Mr. Nevins began to put his savings into real estate, and this policy he continued throughout his career. But once in his life did he part with real estate he had purchased, and that was about eight years ago, when he sold to the Armour Packing Company the property at 306 West Eighth street for $10,000, and for which he had paid $900 in early days. For an other property next to the Gillis opera house, which cost him $800 he recently refused an offer of $800 a foot.

Practically all his wealth is in inside Kansas City real estate and a conservative estimate of his estate places the figure at $150,000.

Later he moved his blacksmith shop to 512 Walnut street, and when that property became too valuable for a blacksmith shop he moved once more to 512 Grand avenue, where he continued in business until five years ago, when he retired, owing to advancing age and continued ill health.

He leaves a wife and six children, three sons and three daughters. The children are: John M., James H., William J., Elinore, Catherine Marie and Rose.

The funeral will be held Saturday morning at 9 o'clock from St. Aloysius's church, and burial will be at St. Mary's cemetery.

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March 21, 1909


McCurdy Spends Birthday Working
at the Anvil.

John G. McCurdy, the pioneer blacksmith of Independence, celebrated his 91st birthday yesterday hard at work with his hammer and anvil. Mr. McCurdy spent his early manhood making wagons and doing blacksmith work for the outfitting trade of the Southwest. He has followed his trade ever since and every day finds him at the forge. When the court house was built in Independence in the early days Mr. McCurdy made the nails. His wife died in 1874 and since that time he has been making his home with his daughter, Mrs. Lizzie Powell, 315 North Liberty street, Independence.

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May 11, 1908





Parent Tried to Save Him, but the
Boy's Coat Gave Way and
His Life was Quickly
Crushed Out.

While returning with his father after an afternoon spent in Fairmount park, Carl Ruehle, a 16-year-old boy, was dragged from the front step of a crowded car by his coat catching in a picket fence beside the track at Twelfth street and Mersington avenue last evening about 7 o'clock, and thrown beneath the rear trucks, and instantly killed.

The approaching rain caused a rush to the incoming cars at the park, and young Ruehle and his father, G. C. Ruehle, a blacksmith at Twelfth street and Highland avenue, had been barely able to force their way on the car, the father standing upon the platform, and the boy gaining a foothold on the step. Irvin Menagerie, the motorman, put on full speed soon after he left the park, and the boy leaned far out to get the breeze full in his face, saying that he enjoyed it.

"Be careful, Carl," the father said when he leaned particularly far out. "You might hit your head against a post or fall off. Perhaps you'd better get up here on the platform with me."

"There's not room on the platform," the boy replied. "I'll be careful."

This conversation took place but a minute before the accident. Between Myrtle and Mersington avenues the street car track goes through a cut about four feet deep, and on each side is built a fence to deep persons from driving into it from the road. The car was going rapidly, and young Ruehle once more leaned out to catch the breeze, bystanders say, and before his father could again warn him the car had reached the cut.

The boy's coat was not buttoned, and the wind caught it in and bellied it out. Before young Ruehle could draw his coat back one of the pickets had caught in a fold of the cloth, and was dragging him from the step. He cried out, and clung to the rail with all his might but could not keep his hold.

At his son's cry the boy's father grasped at him, and succeeded in getting hold of part of his clothing. He clung until the cloth parted, the back of his right hand being deeply cut and bruised from striking against the sharp corners of the car in trying to hold on.

The boy was instantly killed. He was an employe of the Hallman Printing Company, and lived with his parents at 1313 Lydia avenue. The body was taken to Newcomer's morgue after an examination by the coroner.

The father was taken to D. V. Whitney's drug store, at Twelfth street and Cleveland avenue, and his wound dressed. Lynn Turpin was the conductor and Irvin Menagerie the motorman on the car, which is No. 234.

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May 7, 1908


Eugene Lane, 7 Years Old, Killed by
Santa Fe Train on Belt
Line Trestle.

While returning to his home at 3810 East Fifteenth street yesterday evening about 6 o'clock, Eugene Lane, age 7 years, was caught on the long trestle of the Belt line railroad near Thirteenth street and Jackson avenue and killed. The boy was struck by an eastbound Santa Fe passenger train while midway on the trestle and the impact of the engine threw him against one of the iron uprights, crushing his skull.

Eugene Lane was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Lane, who live at 3810 East Fifteenth street, and had ben sent to a neighbor's house on an errand for his mother. The boy had been in the habit of using the trestle in making journeys to and form the neighborhood to which he was sent, but had forgotten that a train was due when he attempted to cross the trestle yesterday afternoon.

Edward Lane, the father of the boy, has a blacksmith shop at 3406 East Fifteenth street. The boy was an only son.

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November 16, 1907



Found in the Bath Room of His Apart-
ment of the Hotel Yesterday -- Well
Known as a Mason and to
State Politics.

J. B. Thomas, cashier of the Bank of Albany of Albany, Mo., committed suicide in the Midland hotel this morning by shooting himself through the right temple with a revolver. Mr. Thomas's body was found in a bathroom at 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon.

Coroner Thompson was called and said the man probably had been dead several hours. He ordered the body taken to the undertaking rooms of Freeman & Marshall.

"Mr. Thomas came here last night," T. B. Bishop, the clerk at the hotel said. "He went to his room at about 8:30 o'clock. This morning the maid found his door locked when she went to the apartment to arrange it. About 2 o'clock she went there again and received no response when she knocked.

"No response was made to repeated knockings and the carpenter forced the door open. Mr. Thomas was found dead in the bathroom."

Mr. Thomas was fully dressed. The revolver was still clutched in his right hand and contained one empty cartridge. On his left hand was a Masonic ring. Engraved inside was "J. B. Thomas, Consistory No. 2, From Nicholson."

He wore a gold watch and a chain with a Knight Templar charm attached. In his pockets was found $3 in change and a bunch of rings.

"I can conceive of no reason for his act," Judge Thomas Morrow, who is a close friend of Mr. Thomas, said yesterday. "He was one of the leading citizens of his town. He was a prominent Mason."

T. B. Bishop telephoned the Bank of Albany at once. The officers of the bank could give no reason for the act. Mr. Bishop told them the body would be placed in the care of the Kansas City Masons subject to advice from his relatives.

Mr. Thomas, who was apparently about 60 years old, was a Kentuckian by birth. He came to Missouri as a young man and at first was a village blacksmith. He was elected circuit clerk of Gentry county in 1876 and re-elected in 1880. He was made cashier of the Bank of Albany soon after he retired from office, and had held that position ever since. He was elected grand master of the Masonic order of the state about six years ago and his Masonic ring was the first identification when his body was found. Mr. Thomas accumulated considerable money and invested most of it in mining properties around Galena and Baxter, Kas.

He left one son, Claude Thomas, cashier of a bank in Gravity, Ia., and a daughter, Mrs. Dr. Stapleton at Ha Harpe, near Iola, Kas. His wife is living.

Mr. Thomas was a familiar figure at nearly all Democratic political gatherings of importance. He wore a heavy beard which in recent years has been changing from a dark brown to gray.

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June 6, 1907



Greetings Implanted on the Cheeks
Instead of Lips -- Youngsters
Were From State School
for the Deaf.

When the 5:40 Chicago & Alton from the east pulled into the Union depot yesterday afternoon, bringing forty-five deaf and dumb children from the state school fo the deaf at Fulton, the excitement could not have been greater if all the forty-five and the crowd of Kansas City relatives had all been shouting at the tops of their voices.

The deaf folk are great kissers. Every Kansas City boy and girl but one -- and twenty-six of the forty-five were Kansas City children -- was seized by fond arms, hugged tight and kissed upon both cheeks. The deaf people don't kiss one another upon the lips, or at least those at the Union depot did not yesterday afternoon.

When the kissing was completed the finger greetings began. How many hundred questions were asked and answered from hand to hand the innocent bystander whose hands were deaf and dumb could only conjecture. But every blessed child and welcoming parent or sister was talking the single hand language on each hand seeparately at the same time. It made the bystander wonder if there wasn't some advantage, after all, in being deaf and dumb. A man who talks with his mouth and listens with his ears cannot talk about more than one thing at a time. He has only one mouth. The deaf and dumb people talked twice at the same time -- one with each hand -- and listened with both eyes, the listener at the same time talking twice at once.

They are an exceedingly friendly folk, and everything was forgotten in the welcome extended to the home-coming school children. They didn't know that a dozen locomotives were blowing and panting nearby or that there was a roar of whistles and bumping cars out in the yards. One deaf mother carried a baby which cried, but she didn't hear it or pay any attention.

One of the youngest and prettiest little girls in the party was the last to come out of the car which had orne the party from Fulton. She stood alone on the platform of the car for a moment, signaling frantically with her thumb on her upper lip and her fingers wigging. The sign was rather an unexpected one for a neat little girl in a bright blue uniform and mortar board cap, to be making in the face of a big crowd. After a little she stopped it and dased down the steps into her mother's arms.

Professor D. C. McCue, assistant Superintendent of the school, who was in charge of the party, was asked what that sign meant in deaf and dumb one-hand lingo.

"It means mother," he said. If you put your thumb on yuour forehead and wiggle your fingers, you are saying 'father.' Your thumb on your chin and wiggling fingers means 'sister.' The little girl was calling her mother."

One little lad met no welcome. There was no one to meet him and he began to cry. Professor D. C. McCue took him by the hand to the depot matron's office. There the little lad sat and cried, waiting for his father or mother to come. He couldn't talk to a soul and his eyes were so red with weeping that he couldn't read the cheering notes which the matron wrote for him. The lad carried a card, as do all the deaf children, bearing his name and address. It read: "Everett Early, 1309 Crystal avenue." Once before, a year ago, a little boy who came home from the deaf school waited in the depot long hours until his father, who was at work during the day, came to take him home.

The other children passed through the depot at 7 o'clock. There were two parties of them, one of thirty under the care of J. S. Morrison, bound for Joplin, and the other one of twenty in care of Professor L. A. Gaw, bound for Springfield. There were no Kansas City children on the 7 o'clock train.

The total enrollment at the state school for the deaf for the year, which closed yesterday, was 381. All of these children were sent to their homes in groups of twenty or more, each group under the care of one of the teachers in the school. They went from Fulton to all parts of the state. The school consists of two large buildings and cottage dormitories for the children. In addition to double hand language, the children are taught to read and write and to work at some trade. There are classes in cooking, cabinet making, tailoring, printing, shoe making, harness making, blacksmithing, gardening, sewing and dressmaking. There are thirty-five teachers and over fifty other employes.

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