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August 11, 1909


Once Kept a Boarding House for
Benefit of Policemen.

Mrs. Sophia L. Wakefield, "mother" of the police department, died of paralysis at 11 o'clock last night at her home, 2906 Penn Valley park. She was 70 years old and a widow. Her husband, a major in the Union army, was killed in the civil war. Funeral arrangements have not been made.

Many of the older members of the police force will remember "Mother" Wakefield, as she was lovingly called in the days when she kept a little boarding house for the benefit of policemen at 206 East Sixth street. No restaurant in the North End, then a better place in which to live than now, could compete with her in the culinary art, and when her pleasant smile of welcome and ready sense of humor were thrown in with the repast, the satisfaction afforded by the meals to the big officers knew no bounds.

Mrs. Wakefiled was born in Chatham, Canada, and came to this city forty years ago. She is survived by two sons, Hank Wakefield, a former circus press agent, and William, a member of a troup of acrobats.

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August 8, 1909



Jealousy and Continual Quarreling
Alleged Cause -- Negro Witness of
Tragedy Says Woman Also
Used Revolver.

Jealousy and continual quarelling is the alleged cause of the death of Mrs. Mary Siers, 1025 Jefferson street, who was shot and instantly killed yesterday afternoon about 4:45 o'clock by her brother-in-law, Grant Siers, who then turned the pistol upon himself and sent a bullet into his head, dying before anyone reached his side. The only witness to the murder and suicide was Susie Richardson, a negro woman, who lives in a house in the rear of the Siers residence.

Siers had lived at the home of Mrs. Siers for the last two years, after being separated from his wife, who lives in Humeston, Ia. Mrs. Siers' husband is divorced and is an inmate of the Soldiers' home at Leavenworth, Kas. From boarders in the house and Chester Siers, a son of the slayer and suicide, it was learned that the couple quarreled most of the time. Jealousy on the part of both is said to have caused nearly all of the domestic trouble.


About 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon Mrs. Siers was busy showing two real estate men over the house when Grant Siers returned home and began to quarrel with his sister-in-law. She told him to leave the ho use and he entered the hall to get his suit case. The woman threw the suit case at his feet with the admonition not to return. Siers requested time to get his clothing from his room, but she again told him to leave. His son, Chester, finally induced him to leave the house, and the two men went to a saloon at Eleventh and Jefferson streets. Later in the afternoon the father left his son at Eleventh and Main streets.

The next heard of Siers he was entering the yard at the Jefferson street residence. Instead of going in the back way, as was his custom, Siers entered from the front and went around the house to the rear door. A latticed porch is just off the kitchen door, and as Siers walked upon the porch Mrs. Siers appeared in the doorway. She ordered him off and according to the theory of the police he drew a revolver and shot three times. Two bullets entered her body, one on each side of the chest. The third bullet lodged in the wall back of her. Then Siers placed the muzzle of the pistol behind the right ear and killed himself.


The version of the double killing as given by the Richardson woman differs greatly from that of the police theory. She said she was standing in the yard and saw Mrs. Siers point a revolver at Siers and fire twice. Siers, she said, turned and fell, and while on the floor of the porch took a pistol from his pocket and fired at Mrs. Siers, afterwards shooting himself. However, when the deputy coroner, Dr. Harry Czarlinsky, examined the bodies only one revolver was found and that was under Siers. the body of Mrs. Siers was slaying in the kitchen and Siers's body was on the porch.

Mrs. Richardson said that Siers was asking for his clothes and that Mrs. Siers finally ordered him away and said:

"I'll see you dead before I will give you your clothes."

"My God, please don't kill me," Siers exclaimed, she said.

Immediately after this conversation Mrs. Siers began to shoot, according to the negro woman. She was positive two revolvers were displayed. As the police could only find one pistol, and that underneath Siers's body, the discredit the negro's story.

Dr. Czarlinsky also found five shells, which were for the pistol, in the coat pocket of Siers.


Chester Siers, who is a restaurant cook, said yesterday evening that his father did not own a pistol so far as he knew, but that his aunt had one. He said his father and aunt were in love with each other, but that he had never heard them discuss the subject of marriage.

W. L. Haynes and Charles Callahan, boarders,were in the parlor during the shooting and counted four reports of shots fired. Mrs. Moyer, housekeeper, was in another part of the house. The son of Siers said that in the past when his father had left home after a quarrel with his aunt she always sent him money to come back. About a month ago she had him arrested on a charge of disturbing the peace. He was sent to the workhouse, but after serving a short sentence, Mrs. Siers paid his fine, it is said.

Siers, who was 54 years old, was a barber and had a shop at the corner of Nicholson and Monroe streets. He leaves a widow and six children. The widow and three children reside in Humeston, Ia.

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October 15, 1908





Color of Infant's Locks Was Source
of Worry to the Elderly Bruen-
ing in His Declining

Just last week Sarah Theresa Bruening, 1416 Central street, was sent around the corner to a private kindergarten in Thirteenth street. There are a lot of boarders at the Bruening home and Mrs. Bruening needed all her time to earn a living for herself and the baby. So Sarah Theresa was sent to kindergarten mornings while her mother did the work and, within a week, little Theresa was taught a lot of discipline. That gave the hard-working little mother of the child time -- and it meant more money and nice clothes for Theresa.

Today Sarah Theresa Bruening is one of the richest children in Kansas City. She was 4 years old September 26, and yesterday the stroke of an official pen in court estimated her holdings in notes, mortgages, stocks and bonds at $42,000. It is her share of the estate of her grandfather, Theodore Bruening, who lived at 2102 Troost avenue before his recent death. The elder Mr. Bruening did not have time to write a will -- he spent his time worrying because he feared little Sarah Theresa would have red hair. So the estate was divided among the widow, a son, three daughters and 4-year-old Sarah Theresa Bruening, whose father died before she was born.


Little Sarah Theresa hasn't planned on the manner in which she will spend or invest her suddenly acquired wealth. She doesn't know she has any wealth. But the child's mother, Mrs. Anna Smyth Bruening, has formulated a plan. She is going to devote her talents and time to realize it. Here it is:

"A good Catholic education; that's all the plan I have ever made for the baby."

Anna Smyth Bruening was born in Ireland. Little Sarah Theresa was born with blue eyes and light golden hair. And Ireland and golden hair worried the doting grandfather. His constant query when he visited his daughter-in-law was "Will she have red hair?" He often asked about Mrs. Bruening's father and mother and traced her family tree in search for the golden tresses. Finally he gave it up and said it was all account of the Irish. But the grandfather never ceased to worry because his little granddaughter had been endowed with golden locks, which her mother prized and knows will some day become the envy among Sarah Theresa's grownup women companions.

The old brick mansion at 1416 Central street doesn't belong to Mrs. Bruening. A trim little sign on the front door of the stately old house says "Board and Rooms." Mrs. Bruening's mother lives there too and the house is full of young men. By this means Mrs. Bruening has supported those dependent upon her efforts as a provider. She is only 30, but a life of endurance and work has powdered her hair silver. The young looking face is heavily shaded by a wealth of white hair, which one might expect to see a woman of twice her age possess.


Mrs. Bruening came from Ireland when she was 8 years old and her parents lived at St. Mary's Kas., where she was educated in a convent. When she left the convent she was married to Theodore Bruening, Jr., and he died a year and a half later. Then Sarah Theresa was born with her red hair and blue eyes and Mrs. Bruening has been working ever since. She doesn't intend to quit working now because her child has a fortune.

When the little girl was introduced to a Journal reporter she put her arm about her young mother's neck and whispered: "Honey, may I have a nickel?"

"Not today, dear," said the mother.

"Then mamma, honey, make it a penny," replied the child, with the resignation of a plutocrat willing to take all that was available.

When the penny, in turn, was declined, the child went out to play. She didn't cry.


It isn't likely that the board and room sign will come down form the front of the Bruening home. Sarah Theresa's mother, though young and pretty, has got into the way of making a living and wishes to keep busy. It is understood a settlement will be made upon her, too, and the income of the baby's holdings will be available, but Mrs. Bruening doesn't care much about spending money.

She has requested that a son of the baby's grandfather and benefactor, Henry Bruening, 3800 Washington street, be appointed guardian of the child. If Henry Bruening should not live long enough to hand over Sarah Theresa's property when she becomes of age, then Mrs. Bruening thinks maybe she will have time to be in a position to look after her daughter's stocks and bonds and things.

There was over $200,000 in the estate of the elder Theodore Bruening and about $115,000 of it was personal property. He was a general contractor and his son, Sarah Theresa's father, was his employe until the younger man's death.

Sarah Theresa will continue at the kindergarten for a while. Later, according to her mother's plans, she will enter St. Theresa's or the Loretta academy for the finished education Mrs. Bruening has dreamed about so long and worked so hard for.

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July 5, 1908





Married Pearl A. O'Shea on July 2.
It Was a Mild Elopement, and
Her Parents Didn't Ap-
prove of Wedding.

One July 2 Joseph P. Thompson and Miss Pearl A. O'Shea took a trip to Leavenworth and were married by a justice of the peace.

Last night at 7 o'clock when the young wife entered her husband's room at 3102 East Twentieth street he said goodby to her and, pointing a pistol at his right temple, shot himself in the brain.

Thompson was a woodturner and worked for the American Sash and Door Company. He was 26 years old and had been in the city three years. A quiet young man, he never spoke much about himself to anyone, but there were rumors that he had once been married before.

For the last year, Thompson had boarded at the house of Mrs. Alma D'Avis, 3102 East Twentieth street, and it was there that he met the girl that afterward became his wife. Mrs. D'Avis has weak eyes, and requires the attention of a nurse. Her niece, Pearl O'Shea, was a nurse, so Mrs. D'Avis had her come and stay with her. That was two months ago. An attachment sprang up between the young people living in the same house, and the runaway marriage was the result.

After the marriage they told the girl's mother and he stepfather, John Reed, who lives at Twentieth an Harrison streets. The latter did not approve of the union at all. the girl was their only support, they said, and they had lost much of their property in the recent flood.

This is the only reason that the young man's friends can give for the suicide. Yesterday afternoon he came home, apparently in a normal frame of mind. He was not known as a drinking man, and was said to have no bad habits. He did not even own a revolver, so that he must have especially purchased the one he used.

Last night the young wife was hysterical with grief and had to have the care of physicians. The tragic ending of the short romance of her life affected her so seriously that the doctors fear for her mind.

Thompson came to this city three years ago from Hot Springs, Ark. He was a member of the lodge 73 of the West Side branch, W. O. W., and was well liked by all his associates. At no time did his actions give any trace of insanity.

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June 17, 1908


Prominent in Local Sports for the
Past Twenty Years.

Thomas Minogue, for the last twenty years one of the prominent figures in Kansas City's sportdom, died about 6 o'clock yesterday morning at his boarding house, 1325 Brooklyn avenue. Minogue was 45 years old and Wednesday night was apparently healthy and in prime condition. A hemorrhage of the lungs was the cause of his death. He was unmarried, but leaves a mother and sister in Leavenworth, Kas. At the time of his death, Minogue was assistant superintendent of the streets. He had formerly held the same job under Mayor James A. Reed, when T. J. Pendergast was head of the department. At one time he was a bartender in the Pendergast saloon. When the new administration came in Minogue was given back his job as assistant street commissioner.

Minogue's figure was as well known around the racing stables at New Orleans and in the East as in Kansas City. No wrestling contest or prize fight was complete without him. He sometimes officiated as referee and sometimes as announcer. At various times he became a promoter of prize fighters, but never with striking success.

Among sporting men Minogue was considered a "good Indian." He never "laid down" and never left a friend in the lurch. He was a friend of "Doc." Shively and Dave Porteous, and was looked upon as an authority on boxing. He was a member of the order of Eagles. The funeral arrangements have not been made.

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February 7, 1908


Matt Rech Suffers Because Girl Re-
fuses to Wed Another Man.

Lola Ealy's refusal yesterday morning to marry Clyde Duncan, a boarder whom she had known only three weeks, resulted in the stabbing of Matt Rech, another boarder, last evening at 6 o'clock. The affair was at Mrs. Elizabeth Ealy's boarding house, 802 East Fourteenth street. After her refusal the girl said Duncan threatened to kill her. Then the mother ordered him to move from the house, which he did. But at supper time he entered the dining room, where Rech, of whom he was supposed to be jealous, was seated at the table. Duncan says he had been drinking heavily. He had an open knife in his hand and made for Rech, whose back was turned. Mrs. Ealy, hoping to save a life, raised a chair and struck Duncan over the head just as he reached around Rech and plunged in the knife over the victim's heart.

Rech was taken to McCall's sanitarium with a wound that it was said late last night would probably prove fatal. Drs. E. L. Rubel and H. B. McCall attended him.

Duncan was arrested at 11 o'clock and spent the night at No. 4 police station. He said he had been very drunk and had no clear recollection of the affair. Rech is a cable man for the Home Telephone Company and Duncan is a laborer.

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