February 9, 1910
PLANNED TO CHANGE
MRS. LOGAN O. SWOPE TEST-
IFIES IN INDEPENDENCE.
THOUGHT HE WAS DYING
Artificial Cause of Death Suspected
MRS. LOGAN O. SWOPE.
After the testimony of Dr. Hektoen yesterday in the coroner's inquiry into the death of Colonel Thomas Swope, Dr. Frank J. Hall, a patholigist, testified that he was requested by Mr. Paxton to get permission from Coroner Zwart to perform the post mortem examination of the colonel's body. He acted as an assistant to Dr. Hektoen, and dictated the report to Dr. Stewart. His report was a repetition of that of Dr. Hektoen, except that it was more explicit. It was filled with techincal terms and called for frequent explanations by Dr. Zwart to the jury.
After a recess, Dr. Hall was asked several questions suggested by Mr. Reed. He said that if strychnine had been taken in quantities sufficient to have caused death it would not have been noticeable in the post mortem. He also said that some artificial cause for death was suggested as a result of the examination.
After Dr Hall testified, Dr. Hoektoen was recalled, and was asked whether strychnine affected the old people more than it did the young, and he replied that he did not know. He also said that there was nothing in the post mortem examination to indicate the cause of death, and that a chemical analysis was indicated.
Overton H. Gentry, a pharmacist of Independence, testified as to the nature of the tonic mixture which Colonel Swope took. He said that it was made up of quinine, iron, pepsin and minor drugs and that each dose, a teaspoonful, contained one-hundred-and-eightieth grain of strychnine. He put the tonic up in six ounce bottles, which would give a little more than a quarter of a grain of strychnine to the bottle.
"This tonic was an extemporaneous mixture," said Mr. Gentry. "It was put up for and sold to Mr. Hunton although I understood that Colonel Swope used it several times."
Mrs. Maggie C. Swope, widow of L. O. Swope, and a sister-in-law of Colonel Thomas Swope, at whose home he died, was the next witness. Mrs. Swope was dressed in mourning. A closely woven black veil with a heavy border dropped loosely from her hat to her chin. She spoke clearly.
"I have lived in Independence for fifty-four years," said Mrs. Swope. "Colonel Tom was my brother-in-law and he lived at my house for the last ten years or almost since the death of my husband. My husband was Colonel Tom's favorite brother. I have six children living and there were four at home during the last illness of Colonel Swope.
"Dr. and Mrs. Hyde came to the house Friday evening, October 1, the evening of Mr. Hunton's death. I sent for Dr. Hyde.
"Colonel Swope was very averse to taking medicines. 'Medicines don't do anyone any good,' he would say when it was suggested that he take something for his indigestion, or a tonic. He did take some medicines occasionally and took the tonic that Mr. Hunton got for him. He took two bottles of this tonic in a year. It was only at rare intervals that he would take the medicine. He also took charcoal tablets for his dyspepsia. He was only ill twice in the last two years. Both Drs. Twyman and Hyde prescribed for him then. Dr. Twyman prescribed a tonic for him a year ago and last summer Dr. Hyde prescribed some laxative pills.
WANTED TO STAY DOWN.
"Colonel Swope fell Sunday, September 4. He did not want to get up and we had some trouble getting him upstairs. We sent for Dr. Twyman, but he could not come and sent his son, Elmer. He put his shoulder in a sling and said that he did not need any medicines.
"The following Sunday Dr. Hyde and his wife come out for a visit and Dr. Hyde called on Colonel Swope. He was smiling when he came downstairs. 'I have solved the question,' he declared. "Colonel Swope has agreed to have a nurse.' We all agreed that this was an excellent thing, for it was hard to care for Colonel Swope. He did not want anyone around and we could not handle him as well as a nurse would. He did not take any medicine, and the only thing we know that he took was those pink pills. Monday Dr. Hyde brought Miss Kellar.
"When Mr. Hunton was taken ill we sent for Dr. Hyde. His wife came with him, and when she asked if I wanted them to remain at the house I told them that I did. I was glad to have her there. They remained until Monday after the Swope funeral. Saturday morning Dr. and Mrs. Hyde went to the cemetery to get a burial lot. I asked my daughter to do this for me.
"Sunday morning Miss Kellar and I were alone at the breakfast table. Miss Keller had told me that Colonel Swope had spent an unusually good night and then Dr. Hyde came in. Dr. Hyde asked if Colonel Swope had had his breakfast, and when told by Miss Kellar that he had, he remarked to her, 'Please come and give him this digestive tablet.' They were not gone long, and when they returned Miss Kellar said that Colonel Swope had refused to take the medicine.
"MATTER OF TIME," SAID HYDE.
"It was not long afterward when we received word that Colonel Swope had been stricken. I met Dr. Hyde in the hall afterward and he said: 'It is just a matter of time. He is going just like Mr. Hunton.' I stepped into Colonel Swope's room about 3 o'clock. He was unconscious then."
Mrs. Swope said that she had been told about the will which Colonel Swope had made but that she did not know its contents or any thing about any of the bequests until after his death. She said that she had been told that her children had been liberally provided for in the will. This was natural, she said, "as they were the children of his favorite brother.
"Mr. Swope was inclined to talk about his wealth to those whom he knew well. He frequently boasted to me that he was a millionaire. Dr. Hyde told me that Colonel Swope told him that he had a million and a half dollars that he intended to devote to charity. This was about the time he was taken sick.
"Dr. Hyde was aware that my children, one of whom is is wife, would be the biggest beneficiaries. They, however, did not know to what extent they had been provided for, although he told them that he had so arranged his estate that none should ever want for anything. He also talked of making a new will. He expected to do this when he got down town after he got well. Dr. Hyde understood that if Colonel Swope made a new will that the million and a half residuary estate would not go to the children.
"Dr. Hyde did not tell me that he wanted to be an executor of the estate of Colonel Swope but recently Miss Kellar told me that Dr. Hyde asked her to use her influence with Colonel Swope.
TOLD OF DEATH BY HYDE.
"I saw Dr. Hyde go into Colonel Swope's room when he was called by Miss Kellar and it was Dr. Hyde who told me that it was all over, referring to Colonel Swope's death. I only saw Colonel Swope once on the day he died. This was between 3 and 4 p. m.
"The children were all a little afraid of Colonel Swope. He did not like children and young folks seemed to bother him. That is the reason that the children did not go into his room during his last illness.
"I knew that his will was in his vest pocket. He told Moss that it was there the afternoon that he fill in the library. He told moss that if anything happened to him that he could find his will there."
Mrs. Swope was then questioned about the medicine which she threw away after the death of Colonel Swope and Mr. Hunton. She said that about a week after the funeral she cleared away a quantity of medicines which stood on an open shelf in Mr. Hunton's room. Some of these medicines, she said, were strychnine preparations or contained strychnine. Efforts were made by Coroner Zwart to get Mrs. Swope to tell just what all of the bottles and boxes contained and the colors of the boxes. Her testimony was apparently unsatisfactory in this respect. These medicines, she said, had accumulated for a couple of years.
"There was no possibility of Colonel Swope getting hold of these medicines, for he never entered Mr. Hunton's room," she said. "Colonel Swope had a well-beaten path from the library to his room and he never deviated.
"For the last twenty-five or thirty years Colonel Swope would tell me he did not expect to live much longer. He made the statement a couple of years ago while Dr. and Mrs. Hyde were here that 'You are talking to a dead man now. I am just walking around to save funeral expenses.'
"In the early part of his last illness he said that he was going to die. A week before he died he declared that he was going to get well and that he was going to change his will as soon as he got downtown. This was the first thing he said that he was going to do."
Subpoenas were served on Dr. Ludwig Hektoen yesterday in the libel suit of Dr. Hyde vs. the St. Louis Post-Dispatch an in the suit for libel by Dr. Hyde against Mr. Paxton.
Labels: courtroom, druggists, Swope Mystery, Thomas Swope
February 8, 1910
CORONER'S INQUEST BEGINS
DEATH AND POST-MORTEM OF
COL. THOMAS SWOPE
HYDE'S NAME MENTIONED.
Doctors and Nurses Testify
The coroner's inquest into the death of Colonel Thomas C. Swope got underway in Independence yesterday, and it was brought out that Colonel Swope, tried a number of tonics and remedies, and that he worried over his will in the weeks before his death, and wanted the poor of the city to benefit by the income from his residuary estate, valued at $1,000,000.
Harry S. Cook, superintendent of the Forest Hill cemetery, told the story of the removal of the body of Colonel Swope at dead of night from the catacombs where it was at rest. He said that secrecy was observed and that a blanket was hung on the grillwork of the tomb, so that no one could look in, had anyone had an inkling of what was going on.
The casket, he said, had not been touched and the body was frozen and in a good state of preservation.
The autopsy was conducted at Ott's undertaking rooms at Independence. Coroner Zwart, Drs. Hektoen, Twyman, Stewart, Hall, and a younger docter were among those who attended the post-mortem, it was testified. The body was still frozen, and coal oil lamps and stoves were lighted to thaw it. Bottles were filled with hot water and laid on the body, and then all was covered with blankets.
The post mortem began at 2 p. m. After the doctors finished the autopsy, in which they removed all of Colonel Swope's internal organs and his brain, the body was sewed up, dressed and put back in the casket and removed to the third floor of the undertaking establishment, where it was hidden. It was taken back to the vault the following day. This was done in the day time, as the story of the autopsy had leaked out and there was no further reason for secrecy.
Dr. E. L. Stewart, who graduated seven years ago, and specializes in microscopy, took notes for the doctors who conducted the post mortem. Dr. Steward did not remember all of the details of the autopsy. He declaired that he was too busy taking the dictation by Drs. Hall and Hektoen to observe their operations as closely as he would have liked to. He said that so far as he could see, there was nothing about the appearance of any of the organs removed by the doctors which would indicate that they were other than in a normal condition.
Dr. Stewart turned his findings over to Dr. Hektoen, he said. Dr. Hektoen also took charge of Colonel Swope's viscera. Dr. Stewart remarked about the frozen condition of the body, which he said was rather frail. The brain, he said, after removal, was cut into thin slices so that the doctors could ascertain if there had been a hemorrhage. No blood clot was found either in the brain or in the lining.
NO CLOTHING ON BODY.
The clothing had been removed from the body when he first saw it and he noticed an undertaker's mark on the arm. He also noticed a small dark mark on the left wrist and the undertake's mark on the abdomen. He told of pulling off the scalp, sawing the cranium and removing the skull cap and then taking out the brain. This he said was sliced, but he did not remember into how many sections nor their thickness. The brain was then placed in one of the big half gallon fruit jars and was sealed.
Dr. Stewart said that the brain was taken out whole, as he remembered it. There was no hemorrhage, at least none that was visible to the naked eye, he said. Dr. Stewart did not know whether Dr. Hektoen took the kidneys. He said that to the best of his recollection several of the blood vessels near the heart were hardened. He said that neither he, nor any of the doctors who performed the autopsy, could attribute Colonel Swope's death to any unusual condition found in his vital organs.
He said that one kidney seemed to be slightly enlarged, but this fact, he added, might have been natural. The liver, he said, was of the ordinary gray color and was in good condition. Dr. Stewart said that had there been a hemorrhage of the brain that the embalming fluid wich is used would not have reduced it.
Dr. G. T. Twyman, the Swope family physician, was present at the autopsy, which he said was conducted by Drs. Hektoen and Hall. The body was very well preserved, but was frozen hard. the fluids in the body had all turned to ice. Efforts to thaw it were without avail. There was but one abnormal condition of any consequence, he said, and that was a thickening of the walls of the stomach.
KNEW NOTHING OF DEATH.
Dr. Twyman said that Colonel Swope was not anxious to take medicines or tonics. He last saw him professionaly on April 28, 1909. He had seen him at various times since then and there was nothing in his condition to lead him to the belief that he would die suddenly, he said. Dr. Twyman said that he knew nothing about Colonel Swope's last illness or death. He did not know what caused Colonel Swope's death and he declared that there was nothing in the post mortem which could lead him to form an opinion as to the cause of death.
Sylvester W. Spangler, who since 1903 has had charge of Colonel Swope's real estate, told of Colonel Swope's penchant for taking medicines of various sorts which might be recommended to him by friends, including a tonic which contained strychnine, quinine and iron. He also told of the oft-repeated wich of Colonel Swope just prior to his death that he could arrange in some way to so place his residuary estate that the revenue could be used for the benefit of the poor.
"The last time I saw Colonel Swope alive was the Saturday preceding his death," said Mr. Spangler. "I came down on account of the death of the night previous of his cousin and also to attend to any business matters which he might indicate he wanted closed. I was with him for about an hour and he was in bed all of this time. About the close of our converstaion Colonel Swope addressed me: 'So far as pain is concerned,' he said, 'I have none and never felt better in my life, but I realize that I am a weak man and can't live long.' I cheered him up as best I could.
KEPT TONIC IN OFFICE.
"Colonel Swope kept a tonic in his office, which, according to the label, contained strychnine, quinine and iron and was put up in Independence. He took the contents of two of these bottles, to my knowledge. He would take the medicine for a couple of days and then would not take any for several days, or a week. He took a teaspoonful at a dose. The medicine was orange colored. He also took tablets, some of a white sort and some bromo-quinine tablets. He took Pape's Diapepsin for his stomach trouble. In fact, he took a great many medicnes which were recommended to him by friends as good for his particular case. Two years ago he took some acid phosphates.
"He often told me about some new remedy he had purchased and which he said he would give a trial, as it was harmless, and if it did no good it would do no harm. He had a vest pocket memorandum book in which he kept a record of the medicines recommended to him and which he tried. He would invariably return to me and tell me that the medicines were fakes. The elixir, he said, was prescribed by an Independence, Mo., doctor and was to give him strength.
"Colonel Swope rewrote his will while I was in his employ. He did not discuss the bequests with me and I knew nothing of the amounts until after his death and the publication of the instrument.
"The reason he gave me for rewriting the will was that some of his property had greatly increased in value and that some had decreased. He wanted the proportions of his bequests to be as he first intended. After providing for all of his heirs he still had a good deal of property that he wanted to dispose of in a charitable way. This residuary estate was worth, he told me, about $1,000,000. He wanted the revenue from the estate to be applied to the benefit of the poor, regardless of their former conditions in life.
WORRIED OVER WILL.
"He was endeavoring to find a way to dispose of this property so that the revenue would be used for the purpose intended. He could transfer it, he said, so that it would not be necessary for him to make a new will and the old would could not be broken. He was worried over the disposition of the residuary estate. He told me that if he deeded it to the city that the revenue, and possible the principle, might be wasted, while if he deeded it to loyal citizen friends, that he feared they were too busy hustling after the almighty dollar to give the property and the revenue the proper attention.
"About six weeks before he died he went to the vault and got his will. After keeping it in his office for a week he told me one Saturday that he would take it home and spend Saturday and Sunday on it. Monday morning he brought it back and said that he had looked it over carefully and that it was as nearly perfect as he could make it. He said that he could not betteer it if he wrote it 100 times.
"Colonel Swope's effects, such as clothing which he kept in the office, were given to the Salvation army after his death. I never heard of an enemy of Colonel Swope and knew of no one that he ever entertained any malice against.
"Colonel Swope claimed Wooford county, Ky., as his home until he gave Kansas City Swope park in 1903. He lived in Independence except for a few months, about 1904 or 1905, when he roomed at the Orient hotel.
"Colonel Swope voted but once in his life, he told me, and that was when McKinley made the first race for the presidency. Colonel Swope made a special trip to Wooford county, Kentucky, to cast his vote for McKinley."
Miss Pearl Virginia Kellar, 36 years old, a trained nurse of five years' experinece, was the witness of the day. Miss Kellar attended Colonel Swope during his last illness and was employed by Dr. B. Clark Hyde, three weeks prior to that event. For several weeks Miss Kellar has been virtually one of the members of the Swope household in Independence. She said that she had only a passing acquaintance with Dr. Hyde, prior to the time that he employed her to go to the Swope home.
MENTIONS HYDE'S NAME.
"Dr. Hyde called me over the telephone Sunday night, September 12. He asked me to meet him Monday at 7:30 a. m. and go to Independence. On the way he told me that Colonel Swope was not really ill; that he had fallen and slightly injured his left shoulder, but to make him feel that I was doing something for him and to massage the injured shoulder. Mrs. Swope and the four daughters met us at the threshold and after donning my uniform I was escorted to Colonel Swope's room where we shook hands and he said he was glad to seee me. The injury I found to be very slight. I was with him three weeks, except one day when I went to the dentist.
" 'Here are some "Pinkle's Pink Pills and some tonic,' said Dr. Hyde to me. 'Let him have the pills and also the tonic as he has been in the habit of taking them.' I found the tonic to contain strychnine, iron and quinine and peptomangan. It was put up by Pendleton & Gentry of Independence. Colonel Swope told me that Obe Gentry had given Mr. Hunton the prescription and that it was very good.
" I kept a nurse's record of Colonel Swope for two weeks, or a week longer than he thought I kept it. He objected to the keeping of the record and when I told Dr. Hyde that I had kept it a week longer than Colonel Swope was aware, and that there was no good reason for keeping it longer, Dr. Hyde suggested that I discontinue it. Colonel Swope objected to me taking his temperature. I made up his bed and straghtened him around, then gave him a bath, an alcohol rub and massage and later another alcohol rub and massage."
NURSE'S NOTES READ.
Miss Kellar here produced her notes and read off her daily notations as to the treatment the patient received and his condition. She said that he ate very full dinners, including cabbage at one meal which she said Dr. Hyde told her he could have as he had been accustomed to it. She gave him occasional drinks containing wine or brandy. She said that Colonel Swope and Dr. Hyde were on perfectly friendly terms.
Her records showed that he took several doses of the pink pills, varying the number from time to time. Monday, September 20, she said that he sat up for an hour in an adjoining room where he looked over the grounds. Wednesday she said that he began taking the tonic, which heretofore he had not touched. She said that Mr. Hunton suggested taht now as he was better that he could take the tonic and get well sooner. Miss Keller also testified to the frequency that Colonel Swope vomited and said that these attacks were without the slightest warning and usually at meal times.
"On Wednesday, September 29 Colonel Swope and I went out riding. We drove out the Lexinton road past the Swope farm which he had not seen in nine years. We were out for two hours and he stood the trip splendidly. Thrusday we drove almost to Kansas City. Friday we started to Blue Springs, but failed to take the right road and had a rough ride.
"After putting Mr. Swope to bed, I came down stairs and Mr. Hunton called me. He was eating dinner and suggested that I eat with him. We had almost finished when Mrs. Swope and Miss Margaret came in. Mr. Hunton looked at me and said that he felt queer. Mildred and a girl friend entered the room at this time and Mr. Hunton tried to pick up a glass of water. He half raised it and then it fell from his hands. I ran to his side and discovered that his left leg was helpless. A negro boy helped me carry him to the library and we summoned doctors.
HUNTON BECAME SICK.
"By the time Dr. Twyman came Mr. Hunton had lapsed into unconsciousness. He had vomited profusely. The boys got an ironing board and we laid Mr. Hunton on this and carried him upstairs. Colonel Swope meanwhile had called, and one of the servants failing to pacify him, I told him that Mr. Hunton was seriously ill. After Dr. Hyde came they decided to bleed Mr. Hunton.
"I did not tell Colonel Swope about the death of Mr. Hunton until Saturday morning. When I told him that Mr. Hunton ws dead, he grasped the bed clothes, and hiding his head, cried, 'Poor Moss.' For a moment he sort of sobbed, and then he asked me to tell him all about it. He th en told me he wanted to be very quiet. He wanted to see no one but Mr. Spangler. He first said taht he did not want to see Dr. Hyde for fear that the doctor might think that he needed him professionally. Colonel Swope did not go across the hall to see Mr. Hunton, and I read to him. The news of Mr. Fleming's wife's death came at noon. Mr. Spangler ws the only visitor. He came about noon."
As Miss Kellar reached this part of her narrative, Deputy Coroner Trogdon conferred with Coroner Zwart and Attorney Reed and announcement was made of adjournment until 10 o'clock this morning.
MRS. SWOPE SHIELDED.
Miss Kellar, the trained nurse who was with Colonel Swope the last three weeks of his life, arrive at the court house shortly before 4 p. m. with Mrs. L. O. Swope and a woman companion. They were driven to the court house in an automobile and were escorted by Attorney John Mastin. They were taken in the witness room, which was kept locked. Miss Kellar, her companion and Mr. Atwood shielded Mrs. Swope from the gaze of the curious. Mrs. Swope was attired was attired in black and wore a heavy veil.
The array of legal talent in the case yesterday was probably the largest in the history of the court house. The Swope heirs and Mr. Paxton, the executor of the estate, were represented by Messrs. Reed, Atwood and Mastin. Virgil Conkling, the prosecuting attorney, represented the state, while Dr. Hyde was represented by Attorneys Walsh, Cleary and Johnson. Coroner Zwart wsa represented by Deputy Coroner Trugdon.
"Can we come in and listen to the case?" inquired Mesdames William Young and Cliff Morrow, neighbors of the Swopes, of J. A. Brown, superintendent of the court house building. "Certainly," he replied and secured them a seat immedately behind the attorneys. There were a score of women at the inquest in the afternoon.
Labels: cemetery, Coroner Zwart, courtroom, doctors, Independence, James A. Reed, probate, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery, Swope park, Thomas Swope
February 5, 1910
SQUATTERS STAY IN JUNGLE.
Attempt to Oust From Bottoms Re-
sults in Non-Suit.
A patch of jungle 400 feet long by 300 feet deep, near the Star elevator in the East Bottoms, was a matter of dispute between a whole colony of squatters and the Kansas City Southern Railway Company in Judge Thomas's division of the circuit court yesterday. While many settlers of the place were involved, only one, Lewis Warner, was named in the petition. Warner had lived in his lean-to close to the Missouri river bank and on the alleged right-of-way of the railroad for many years.
In answer to the demand of the railroad that he move his effects to other shores, Warner stuck the closer to his home in the tall reeds and willows. He was of the staying kind, and then there were others just as deep in the mud as he was in the mire. He put it up to the road to move the entire colony.
But even the patience of a corporation can become exhausted. Cyrus Crane, lawyer for the Southern, served notice on Warner that he must move or stand trial, and then brought suit to oust him.
When the case was called Warner was there with his witnesses. The latter were mostly neighbors of the defendant and denizens of the tract claimed by the railroad. In the court room yesterday they answered to the names of "Dump Bill," "Silver Bill," "Sleepy Sue," Louis Lombardo and Mrs. Louisa Sarah Koffman.
Lombardo is the janitor at the city hall. He was one of the first witnesses for the company.
"I was once in the vicinity of the patch of ground where Warner lives," said he. "There I saw an old negro man come out of the willows with a basket of vegetables on his arm. I looked at where he came from and saw nothing but bullrushes and willows.
" 'Where did you get those vegetables?' I said to him, and he answered that he got them back in the bushes. I followed the trail he was on and came upon one, two, three houses with truck patches. I felt like Christopher Columbus."
"Did the Kansas City Southern get you your job at the city hall?" was asked of Lombardo by Attorney Crane in direct examination.
"No, I got it by making a speech on a beer keg for the Democratic party," the witness promptly replied, while the whole court room laughed.
Some of the older witnesses said they had been living at their present location since 1890. One of these was Mrs. Koffman, who described the flora of the acreted land in this way:
"It is covered with trees except where there is bushes and willows and that's about all over the place.
"How large are the trees?" was asked.
"Oh, of different sizes. Some of them are as large as a gallon pail, and others no bigger than a pint measure. I don't know how you can't describe them because there are some littler and some bigger than others."
Attorney Crane entered an involuntary non-suit in the case and it was dismissed.
Labels: circuit court, courtroom, East bottoms, Judges, Kansas City Southern, Lawsuit, Missouri river
January 21, 1910
BOY SUSPECTS GIVEN
NO EVIDENCE FOUND AGAINST
LOUIS DYE, RALPH CLYNE
AND HARRY SHAY.
Those Filing Charges and
Fail to Appear.
Three boys, Louis Dye, Ralph Clyne and Harry M. Shay, accused of highway robbery, were dismissed from the charge by Justice James B. Shoemaker yesterday afternoon, completely vindicated. His action, Justice Shoemaker said afterwards, was warranted by the fact that they had not been sufficiently identified as the robbers, that their good character was obvious and that there was a want of prosecution, none of the the complaining witnesses nor any of the numerous persons alleged to have been robbed being present in the court room when the case was called.
A chance resemblance alleged to exist between the innocent youths and the boy bandits who committed innumerable depredations, including a murder, a month and a half ago, has followed the former since their apprehension in the Peck dry goods store December 7. Interrogated by police and county prosecutors, and an attempt made to personally assault one of them in the office of Captain Walter Whitsett at Central station by Thomas Spangler, whose father was killed by robbers in his saloon at Twentieth street and Grand avenue, the boys have had an unenviable six weeks.
Although Clyne, Dye and Shay worked in the same store in the capacity of elevator operators, they were scarcely acquainted before their arrest. They met often in the course of a day's work but it was only as other employes of a large commercial institution that hires hundreds of people meet. Now they are friends. Adversity and a common cause have brought them together.
The boys were arrested at the Peck store, at the insistence of Miss Stella Sweet, 529 Brooklyn avenue, and Mrs. L. F. Flaugh, 629 Brooklyn avenue, at 5:30 o'clock, December 7. Captain Walter Whitsett and Patrolmen E. M. Smith and E. L. Masson were the arresting officers.
While getting on the elevator to shop on the third floor the women, both of whom had been held up and robbed a week before, said they thought Clyne and Shay were trying to conceal their faces from them.
In the office of Captain Whitsett, the next day, the several persons previously robbed by the boy bandits were allowed to examine the boys in the presence of Captain Whitsett, Thomas R. Marks and Thomas Higgs, deputy county prosecutor. They were: Joseph Shannon, Miss Sweet, Mrs. Flaugh, W. S. McCain, Edward Smith, Albert Ackerman, Thomas Spangler and Edward McCreary.
When the case was called for trial before Justice Shoemaker yesterday afternoon Smith was out of town. He had left an assurance that he positively would not swear that the boys were guilty of robbing him. McCreary was not at the trial when his name was called, and it had reached the ears of the court likewise that he would not, under oath, associate the boys with the crime he had formerly charged against them.
Assistant Prosecutor Higgs asked for a continuance of the case until he could procure further evidence, but this was overruled. the boys were dismissed for want of prosecution.
"The police and the county had no case against them," said Justice Shoemaker. "This is another instance of someone acting prematurely. From all evidence to the contrary, these young men are as guiltless as anyone here in the courtroom."
Labels: Brooklyn avenue, Captain Whitsett, courtroom, criminal court, jail, Justice Shoemaker, Spangler murder
November 28, 1909
PICTURES OF RETIRED JUDGES.
Adorn Kansas City Court of Ap-
peals Court Room Wall.
Pictures of the judges who have retired from the bench of the Kansas City court of appeals were placed yesterday in the court room. The pictures were enlarged from photographs secured by the three judges now on the bench.
The pictures of the judges included are: Jackson L. Smith, W. W. Ramsey, Willard P. Hall, John F. Philips and Turner A. Gill. Judge Smith is dead and Judge Ramsey is now practicing in St. Joseph. The other three live in Kansas City. Judge Philips, one of the first three judges, is now on the federal bench.
The Kansas City court of appeals was established by an act of the legislature in March, 1885.
Labels: courtroom, Judge Philips, photographs
October 31, 1909
LETTERS TO RICH MEN
COST HIM LIBERTY.
THADDEUS WILSON GOES TO
JAIL FOR DEMANDING MONEY.
Must Face Charge in Federal Court
Today -- Young Man's Father
Pleads in Vain for
A father's eloquent pleading and an aunt's tears availed nothing yesterday morning when Thaddeus S. Wilson was arraigned before John M. Nuckols, United States commissioner on the charge of sending letters with fraudulent intent to R. A. Long and Lawrence M. Jones, and he was bound over to the United States district court which meets tomorrow. In default of the $2,000 bond Wilson was sent to the county jail.
"I knew my boy never meant anything wrong," said the Rev. W. E. Wilson, the father of the young man, who arrived yesterday from Earlton, Kas. "He simply wanted to borrow the money to pay me back the debts he has incurred during the past years. If he has violated any law, I'm willing to have him punished, but I can't see where it is. He has the best reputation in our part of the country, and I can't see where any harm was done."
According to the father, the young man's past had not always been a rosy one. He had become extravagant and had invested his savings in mining stock which never amounted to anything. He had been successful as a school teacher, the father said.
When Commissioner Nuckols announced that the young man would have to be bound over and that the bond was $2,000, the father said:
"I can get him here to trial. He won't have to stay in jail, will he?"
"I'll have that disagreeable duty to perform if the bond is not furnished," was the commissioner's response.
Labels: courtroom, jail, ministers, R A Long, United States District Court
September 26, 1909
JOHNSON NOT GUILTY
VERDICT OF JURY.
REPORT AFTER NEARLY FIVE
Defendant in Buckner, Mo., Assault
Case Says He Was More Affec-
tionate Toward Wife Than
After being out from 7:35 until midnight a jury in the criminal court last night returned a verdict finding William A. Johnson, charged with an assault on his wife in Buckner, Mo., August 20 of last year not guilty.
In all likelihood the case would have gone over until Monday, had not the jury made a request of Judge Ralph S. Latshaw to allow them to finish last night. the jurors have been kept locked up the greater part of a week and they were anxious to be at their homes Sunday.
The testimony yesterday, as presented by the defense, was largely that of Johnson himself. Johnson was on the stand the greater part of the afternoon. He said he was 57 years of age, had been born in Ohio and come to the Buckner neighborhood about the time he reached manhood. He said he was married 31 years ago and that he was unable to read and write, except that he could sign his name. This lack of education he attributed to the fact that he had to shift for himself from the time he was 15 and also because school conditions were rather unsettled at the time he was a child, it having been the time of the civil war.
Johnson first rented the farm he later came to own. He built the house in which he and his wife lived 20 years. His farm comprised about 800 acres and was encumbered for about $47,000. He testified that he lost money in two ranch deals, in one of them, $10,000. He said that whenever he had money in the bank, he allowed his wife to draw checks herself.
AFFECTION FOR WIFE.
"What was your feeling toward your wife?" he was asked.
"It was good, as much as that of any man and better than that of any number of men I see around," replied the witness.
This was true both at the time Mrs. Johnson was hurt and now, said he. Recounting the events leading up to and immediately upon the injury of Mrs. Johnson, the witness said:
"When we came home from church that evening (about eight hours before the assault), my wife read the paper to me and then we went to bed. I went to bed first and fell asleep almost immediately after taking some medicine I need for asthma. My recollection is that the light was burning when I went to bed. The next thing I heard was my wife calling, 'O, Dode!' a nickname she used for me.
"I jumped up and saw her on the floor, sitting down. I asked her what she was doing there and at first she didn't answer. Then she said she was sick. I wanted her to get on the bed, but she said she was too sick and asked me to lay her down. I got some pillows from the bed and laid her head on them. I don't remember whether I lit the light or not. I asked her what hurt her and she did not answer. Then I ran downstairs to call the Hilts. When they came upstairs with me, we put my wife on the bed and I called a doctor. I saw no blood until I laid her back on the pillows.
"Did you, that night, get up and go downstairs and up again or anywhere else in the house until you called the Hilts?"
"I did not."
"Did you know until the doctors made an examination how badly your wife was hurt?"
"Have you knowledge of who hurt your wife?"
"I couldn't look it in the face if I killed an animal, much less my wife. I didn't do it and have no knowledge of who did."
Johnson's testimony was not materially changed by cross-examination.
Mrs. C. F. Harra, who lives near Buckner, testified that she had asked Johnson the day after the assault if he was going to make an investigation. The witness said he replied:
"There is no need to investigate. There are no clues."
Other witnesses put on by the defense were Whig Keshlear, a detective, and his assistant. Thomas F. Callahan, an attorney, who acknowledged a deed made by the Johnsons. Depositions were read from Catherine Elliott, a washwoman, and Martha Shipley, a nurse. Both said the Johnsons seemed fond of each other. Henry Johnson, a nephew, also was called. He slept in a room adjoining the Johnsons the night of the assault.
Late in the afternoon Mrs. Johnson was recalled to the stand by the state. She said that, while she was recovering, she often talked to Johnson, but never about the injury. There was long argument over whether this answer should be admitted, but it was finally allowed to go in.
"I called for Mr. Johnson frequently to talk to him to give him a chance to ask me how it all happened."
The jury was withdrawn for a time while this testimony was being debated by counsel. James A. Reed, for the fifth time during the trial, moved the discharge of the jury while Mrs. Johnson was on the stand, but Judge Latshaw overruled.
Labels: attorney, Buckner, courtroom, criminal court, domestic violence, James A. Reed, Johnson assault case, Judge Latshaw
September 25, 1909
BY SOME ONE IN THE
HOUSE, SAYS LATSHAW.
DECLARES MRS. JOHNSON WAS
NOT ATTACKED BY BURGLAR.
Court Overrules Demurrer to Evi-
dence Introduced by State -- Im-
portant Testimony Allowed in
Record -- Defense Begins Today.
"This crime was not committed by a burglar, but by a member of the household. The evidence here is that whoever came down stairs soon after the crime went up the stairs again. Burglars do not return to a place where they have committed a crime. They leave the vicinity.
"As to motive, there is an unexplained forgery of Mrs. Johnson's name to a deed. There are quarrels between the couple to help in establishing motive. For these reasons, the demurrer is overruled."
The ruling here quoted was made by Judge Ralph S. Latshaw of the criminal court yesterday after attorneys for William A. Johnson of Buckner had argued half an hour that the state had not presented sufficient evidence to allow the cause to go to the jury. The court held that there was evidence. The introduction of testimony for the defense will be begun this morning.
Mrs. Mina Johnson told her story on the witness stand yesterday. Tired to the point of exhaustion by the many questions put to her, she answered all of them quickly Facing her, at a distance of twenty feet, sat her former husband, charged with assaulting her. She looked in his direction as she testified, but he did not lift his eyes from the table at which he sat.
TESTIFIES TO ASSAULT.
After she had exhibited to the jury the place on her head where she was struck, Mrs. Johnson related the happenings on the night of the assault. She and Johnson had come home from church, and retired. He went to bed first and she blew out the lamp. In the course of the night she awoke. The light was burning and brown paper had been put about the glass. She fell asleep again, seeming to be helpless.
Her next recollection, she said, was after the blow had been struck. She remembered kneeling by the side of the bed, blood streaming over her clothing. She looked about the room for her husband, but not seeing him, called. Then, she said, he came up and took hold of her arm, asking what was the matter with her. She told him she did not know, and asked him to let her lie on the floor.
Then he took pillows from the bed and put her head on them. Mrs. Johnson said Johnson did not ask her how she was hurt, either then or at any time since, in fact, that he had never asked any questions about the affair.
While Mrs. Johnson did not call it a quarrel, she testified to an argument she had with Johnson a few days prior to the assault. He was then planning a trip to New Mexico, and she insisted that she was going with him.
"I told him only death would keep me from making the trip," said the witness.
WAS ABSENT THREE MONTHS.
Mrs. Johnson testified as to her marriage thirty-two years ago. She was Mina Alderman, a school teacher. She taught Johnson to read and write after they were married. They rented a farm near Buckner and prospered, so that they came to own the place in a few years. Everything seemed to go nicely until seven years ago.
About that time, she testified, he became less cordial. Three years ago Johnson intended to buy a ranch in New Mexico, and on this deal was absent form home for three months. He seemed even less cordial on his return from that trip, said the witness. In one of his pockets she found a receipted bill from the Savoy hotel, Denver. It was for $46.50 on account of "W. A. Johnson and Mrs. M. B. Howard."
"It's a mistake," the witness said Johnson remarked when she questioned him.
Not long afterwards Johnson told her, she said, of buying a house and lot in Kansas City. He did not explain the deal to her satisfactorily, the witness testified.
SAYS HE BOUGHT EXPENSIVE HATS.
After the finding of the hotel bill Mrs. Johnson made search and learned the address of Mrs. Howard. She wrote Mrs. Howard, requesting an interview, but was refused. Mrs. Howard said in the letter, according to the witness, that she had met Johnson in a business way. She accused Johnson of dictating the letter, said the witness. Mrs. Johnson also told of coming to Kansas City once with Johnson, who would not or did not ride on street cars, so that she was soon very tired and unwilling to make another trip.
Lillian Short, a milliner in the employ of B. Adler & Co., said that she had seen Johnson come to the store three times with a woman who on each occasion purchased a high-priced hat. The woman was not Mrs. Johnson, the witness said. Mr. Adler testified to the same effect.
IMPORTANT TESTIMONY IN.
John F. Cox, Prescott, Kas., testified that Johnson told him on one occasion that he was very well acquainted with two women in Kansas City.
Edward H. Hilt, who testified Thursday, was recalled by the defense and further questioned. He was asked whether Keshlear and another detective who investigated the alleged assault did not talk to him. The witness said he could not remember.
Hilt was allowed to testify only after the objection, raised Thursday as to part of his testimony and again yesterday morning, had been overruled by Judge Latshaw. Hilt had testified that he was awakened by a groan and that, soon afterwards, he heard the footsteps coming down the stairs and almost immediately retrace their course. Fifteen minutes later he again heard footsteps and this ti me Johnson came to his door. The defense objected to any statement of the witness that the sound of the footsteps was similar.
It was one of the most important points that could be raised in a case in which, as in the one on trial, the evidence is wholly circumstantial. The testimony of Hilt was allowed to remain in the record.
ESTATE WORTH $15,000.
This concluded the state's case.
The defence then submitted its demurrer, which was overruled.
The assault on Mrs. Johnson was committed in the morning of August 20 at Buckner. The Johnson were at one time wealthy, but in the settlement of their affairs which followed the divorce given Mrs. Johnson last spring, only about $15,000 could be saved from the wreckage. Mrs. Johnson was given half of this. There was property sufficient to carry mortgages aggregating about $50,000.
Labels: Buckner, courtroom, criminal court, domestic violence, farmers, Johnson assault case, Judge Latshaw
September 24, 1909
OF WIFE, WOMAN SAYS.
MRS. HILT TESTIFIES IN BUCK-
NER ASSAULT CASE.
Three Times Court Denies Motion of
Defense to Dismiss Jury -- Wit-
nesses Tell Events Night
of the Attack.
While Mrs. Mina Johnson did not go on the witness stand yesterday to testify against her husband, William A. Johnson of Buckner, Mo., now on trial in the criminal court on the charge of having assaulted her the day was replete with incidents even without the wife's story.
Three times counsel for Johnson moved that the jury be discharged, stating that matters prejudicial to a fair trail had occurred, and s harp exchanges between attorneys on both sides were not infrequent.
Mrs. Johnson will testify today. Virgil Conkling, prosecuting attorney, informed the court during the afternoon session that he would not call Mrs. Johnson to the stand until today, as he had excused her because she complained of feeling sick.
Of the witnesses examined yesterday, only Mrs. Cornelia Hilt and Edward H. Hilt, her husband, were at the Johnson home in Buckner the morning of August 20, 1908, when Mrs. Johnson was hurt. For six years prior to her marriage Mrs. Hilt lived at the Johnson home. Mrs. Hilt was married ten years ago. At the time of the assault she and her husband had been two weeks at the Johnson home, Mrs. Hilt working about the house and Hilt doing farm work. They live in Buckner.
HUSBAND GAVE ALARM.
"The night Mrs. Johnson was hurt we had been at a Baptist meeting," she testified. "Early in the morning Mr. Johnson came to the room where my husband and I sleep and roused us. He said: "Jump up, quick, Nella, quick.' He said it several times. I got up and followed him up the stairs part of the way. As we were going upstairs he said: 'Mina's hurt.' Then I passed him on the stairs because I began to run. He said: 'Mina's hurt. I'm afraid she's hurt bad.'
"I found Mrs. Johnson on her back on the floor. I can't describe how bloody she was, for there was blood all over her. I could not see the wound, she was so bloody My thought was that her throat had been cut, there was so much blood."
"Did you notice the bed?"
"Yes, I noticed there was blood on it when we lifted Mrs. Johnson from the floor. The blood looked dry compared to that on Mrs. Johnson's clothes and on a corset cover that was lying on a chair by the bed. Mr. Johnson said his wife had wiped blood from her face with the corset cover.
"There was a light in the room. I stepped over and turned it up, although Mr. Johnson told me not to do so. Mr. Hilt said we must have a doctor and I offered to call one, but Mr. Johnson said he would. Mr. Johnson asked no questions nor did he tell me where the wound was. I stayed in the room only a few minutes, then my husband and I went downstairs to heat some water to wash Mrs. Johnson. When we returned, the doctor was there."
Mrs. Hilt said she had heard no unkind words between the Johnsons during her residence at the house. She said that two days before the assault she had driven to Buckner to meet Mr. Johnson and bring him home from the train. On that occasion, said the witness, Johnson had said to her:
" 'Nella, what am I going to do with Mina?' I said: 'I would not do anything to hurt her feelings, Mr. Johnson.' He said" 'She quarrels with me all the time and I don't say anything back.' "
Edward H. Hilt, husband of the previous witness, was then called to the stand. He said:
"While I was at the Johnson home I was in the habit of getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning and going home to do the chores there, then returning to the Johnsons. The morning of the assault I was awakened at about 3:30 o'clock. I was sleeping in the east room downstairs.
"The first thing I heard was a groan from above and southwest from where I lay. Then I heard footsteps or 'footpads' coming down the stairs toward the north. Then I heard a doorknob turn. I cannot say which knob it was, except that it was not the knob to my door. Almost immediately the footsteps returned the same way.
SAID WIFE HAD FALLEN.
"Fifteen minutes later those footsteps came again, just as the first time. My door opened and Mr. Johnson came by and said: 'Jump up.' My wife went out at once, but I waited to dress. I found Mrs. Johnson on the floor, with pillows under her head. Johnson meet me at the foot of the stairs as I started up and said: 'Mina has fallen and hurt herself.'
"We picked Mrs. Johnson up and laid her on the bed and then my wife and I went downstairs to heat some water. There was a dim light in the room when I came in."
PHYSICIAN ON STAND.
Dr. M. G. Ravencroft of Buckner, who was called to attend Mrs. Johnson after the assault, was the first witness. He identified six pieces of bone taken from Mrs. Johnson's skull in the course of an operation . He was asked whether the wound on Mrs. Johnson's head did not look as if the blow which caused it had been struck from the rear and forwards, but the court would not allow him to answer.
The physician said he asked Johnson how Mrs. Johnson was hurt. The latter replied, "I don't know." Mrs. Johnson also was unable to give an account of the happening, said he.
Dr. J. W. Robertson of Buckner testified that it would take a heavy blow to cause the injury received by Mrs. Johnson.
There was a craning of necks when Samuel H. Chiles, four years a marshal of Jackson county and the most renowned fox hunter in the county, took the witness chair. Mr. Chiles has lived forty years in Buckner and has known the Johnsons for a quarter of a century. Mrs. Johnson lived with his family when she was a little girl.
Two days after the assault Mr. Chiles went to the Johnson home. Johnson met him at the gate and said he wanted to talk to him.
" 'I want you to help me out in this trouble and help me ferret out who did this.' I said I would help all I could and asked him to tell me who was at the house at the time so that I would have something to work on. He told me who was there and I suggested that perhaps these people could tell, but Johnson said:
" 'No, they can't tell anything. I heard my wife say, 'Oh, don't,' and saw her on the floor and saw a light. I know I blew out the light when we went to bed. I saw my wife on the floor groaning and wanted to put her on the bed, but she said no.'
"The Johnson took me into the yard and said: 'Have you heard anybody talk about this?' I said: 'Yes, everybody is talking about it.' 'What is the impression of the people to whom you have talked,' he asked and I said: 'The impression is that you did it.' "
About four days later, said the witness, Johnson came to his house, with Clint A. Winfrey, a banker at Buckner. Johnson took him aside and out of Winfrey's hearing, said the witness, and spoke about getting a lawyer and employing a private detective. Whig Keshlear, a relative of Chiles, was mentioned, and Chiles said Keshlear would do as well as anybody.
In his opening statement for the state I. B. Kimbrell said that quarrels with is wife over a period of years were the cause of the assault and that Johnson struck his wife. The defense said that the blow was struck either by an intruder or that Mrs. Johnson fell and hurt herself.
Labels: Buckner, courtroom, criminal court, doctors, farmers, Johnson assault case, Prosecutor Conkling, Prosecutor Kimbrell
September 5, 1909
STATE FINDS IT WAS
TRYING WRONG MAN.
LEVI CARTER, A NEGRO, HAD
BEEN IN JAIL SINCE AUG. 23.
It Was Lamp, Alias "Nick" Carter,
Wanted on Charge of larceny,
But New Cop Made a
Levi Carter was taking the air two weeks ago on Mulberry street, trying to keep out of the burning sun as much as possible, when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Is your name Carter?" he heard a voice say.
"Yes, sah," replied the negro, as he looked up and saw one of Marks's greenest centurions trying to extract a tree limb from its surcingle.
"Come with me," said Mr. Cent., looking ferocious.
Of course, Carter went. He was as far as the prosecuting attorney's office, where they filed against him a charge of "larceny from the person in the night time," which is sort of denatured highway robbery. Carter went to jail on August 23, to remain until yesterday.
NEITHER LAMP NOR "NICK."
Right here the plot thickens. The complaint was issued against Lamp Carter, alias "Nick" Carter, and not against Levi Carter at all. But the Carter who was in jail made never a word of complaint.
Yesterday Ruby D. Garrett, assistant prosecuting attorney, went to the court of Justice M. H. Joyce, who has had his office at Union avenue and Mulberry street since they began to draw plans for a new union depot. Mr. Garrett went to prosecute the case against Carter, Lamp Carter, alias "Nick."
In pursuance of that purpose, Mr. Garrett proceeded to introduce evidence. He questioned and requestioned, and was making the prisoner's chances look slim, when he hard a commotion in the court room. A group of spectators was talking excitedly. Mr. Garret overlooked the interruption for a moment and then asked a witness:
"Are you certain it was Lamp Carter?"
Then the storm broke, for Mr. Garrett heard amused and angry protest from the rear of the court room.
"What is the matter with you people?" he asked, turning so as to face them.
TRYING THE WRONG MAN.
The leader of the group came forward and said:
"There's nothing the matter with us, only you are trying the wrong man. This isn't Lamp Carter. His name is Levi Carter."
Just about then Mr. Garret discovered it was his move.
"Isn't your name Lamp Carter?" he asked the prisoner.
"Why didn't you say so long ago? You have been in jail for two weeks and haven't made a protest."
"I don't know," said Carter meekly.
"The state will dismiss this case," said Mr. Garrett after a further investigation.
"Dismissed," said Justice Joyce with his kindly smile.
And that is why the police intend, in their quiet way, to "sic" some more centurions on the trail of Mr. Lamp Carter.
Labels: courtroom, jail, Judges, Mulberry street, police
August 3, 1909
BOY ON TRIAL WAS HIS SON.
That Was Why Prospective Juror
Wanted to Be Excused.
They were selecting a jury in the criminal court to try a young man who had appealed from the municipal court. One of the jurors, who had stood the questioning as long as he could, finally walked over to the court deputy marshal and to the clerk and asked to be excused.
"Why cannot you sist as a juror in this case?" asked Judge Ralph S. Latshaw, to whom the juror was referred.
"Why, judge, that boy on trial is my son and I didn't even know he had been arrested."
He was excused as a juror.
Labels: courtroom, criminal court, Judge Latshaw
June 30, 1909
SHE SLAPS LAWYER IN COURT.
Then Mrs. Williford Challenges O.
T. Knox to Finish Fight.
When Mrs. Hattie Williford left the witness stand in Judge James H. Slover's division of the circuit court yesterday, she walked straight to where O. T. Knox, an attorney, was sitting and slapped his face. She lives at 1093 Cherry street and had taken umbrage at a question asked her by Knox, who represented Mark Dewey in his divorce suit against Alice Dewey. The latter is a sister of Mrs. Williford.
Mrs. Williford also expressed her determination and willingness to make the fight one to a finish, in or out of the court room. Knox, who has a James J. Jeffries physique, brushed her away before the court attendants arrived.
Judge Slover smiled. No one was fined. The case was not finished yesterday.
Labels: attorney, Cherry street, courtroom, Divorce, Judge Slover, violence
June 14, 1909
BEARDS WORK NO
LOCAL LAWYERS DISCUSS WHIS-
KERS IN COURT.
Hair on the Face a Side Issue,
Says Thad B. Landon, Com-
menting on a Chicago
If there is a prejudice against bearded jurors in Kansas City, such as seems to be agitating the bar of Eastern cities at this time, attorneys have not heard of it. A number of them, when questioned yesterday, said they had found no fault with jurors who wear "hangdowns," "stickouts," or "stubbles." As there are few cases in which a damage suit arises out of impaired hirsutement, local attorneys say, bearded jurors have been found as satisfactory as clean-shaven ones.
"I have never noticed that bearded jurors took views different from clean-shaven ones, taking them as classes," said Bert S. Kimbrell, who has been the assistant prosecuting attorney for four years. Mr. Kimbrell had unusual opportunities to study jurors. "The mere fact that a man has a beard to stroke while another, for want of it, may have to twiddle his thumbs during the trial of a case, does not prove nor disprove any issue," said Mr. Kimbrell.
NO EFFECT ON INTELLECT.
"A beard or the absence of it does not have any effect on the intellect, so far as my experience with juries goes," said Glen Sherman, who himself could raise a prodigious beard, if only he would. "for reasons of my own, I prefer to remain a bachelor on the beard question, but every juror has a right to his beard, and to his opinion. No prejudice exists, so far as I am concerned."
"Many considerations enter into the choice of a juror from the attorney's standpoint," Ben T. White remarked. "I have never noticed that a beard was one of them, however.
"Challenges do not depend on beards, but on the general character of the jurors," said James L. Kilroy. "It may perhaps be true that the character student could lay down a vague rule whereby anyone might analyze the workings of a man's mind from the cut of his beard, but such a conclusion no doubt frequently would shoot wide of the mark. I never worry about juries with whiskers."
All of the attorneys here quoted are clean-shaven. there was not a bearded one who could be found to be questioned.
Labels: attorney, courtroom
June 10, 1909
BRADY FREED UNDER
THE UNWRITTEN LAW.
Jury After Seven Hours Finds
Him Not Guilty.
After having deliberated from 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, the criminal court jury, in a verdict returned at 10 o'clock last night, acquitted Leon H. Brady, who was on trial for killing Joseph E. Flanagan.
But twenty or thirty persons were in the courtroom when the verdict was announced, including the defendant's wife. As it dawned upon her that her husband was a free man, she into his arms, and he caressed her tenderly.
Little "Billy" Brady, their 2-year-old child, was out at his Grandmother Brady's, 2115 Benton boulevard, but J. H. Brady, his grandfather, was there to hear the verdict, as were General Milton Moore and Horace Kimbrell, lawyers for the defense.
Brady's father expressed a wish to thank the jury, but Judge Ralph S. Latshaw forbade him. The freed man left the courthouse with his wife, going to the home of his father to get "Billy," then they returned to 2421 Prospect avenue, which has been their boarding place since the trouble at the Angelus.
The jury took about fifteen ballots before a verdict was reached. Some of the jurors held out for manslaughter in the fourth degree until far into the night.
Labels: attorney, Benton boulevard, courtroom, Judge Latshaw, murder, Prospect avenue
June 9, 1909
BRADY SAYS HE SHOT
IN DEFENSE OF HOME.
CLAIMS FLANAGAN TOOK AD-
VANTAGE OF WIFE.
Board of Education Draughtsman
Tells of Circumstances Which Led
to Killing -- Woman in the
Leon H. Brady, charged in the criminal court with murder for the second degree killing of Joseph E. Flanagan, went on the stand yesterday as a witness in his own behalf. The case will go to the jury today. Brady testified that he was 31 years old, had come to Kansas City at the age of 5, graduated from the public schools here and had taken a mining course in Columbia university, New York city; that afterwards he had worked for a copper mining company in Butte, Mont., had been engaged as engineer in a geological survey of Northern Montana and later had gone to Mexico to work in the Guggenheim smelters at Acientos and other places. He returned to Kansas City in April of last year and has since been a draughtsman for the board of education.
"When was the first time you heard of Flanagan pressing his attentions upon your wife?" he was asked.
"It was a couple of weeks before Flanagan was shot. My wife told me she could not go out of her room but that Flanagan was dodging around. I said to her:
" 'He hasn't said anything out of the way, has he? If he has, let me know. I can't call him down for standing around in the halls. That's only bad manners.' "
"When was the next time your wife complained?"
WARNED BY TELEPHONE.
"The Sunday preceding the shooting I was called from dinner to the telephone. A voice, which said it was Flanagan's, asked me if I wanted to take a walk that afternoon. I said I was going to my father's. After I had been at his home a time with my baby, a woman called me by telephone and said: 'You'd better come home and see what's doing.' "
Brady said that as soon as he returned to the Angelus boarding house at 1014 East Fifteenth street, where he lived at that time, he found Flanagan had appeared there almost as soon as he had departed. This was three days before the killing, which occurred Wednesday, March 24.
On Monday, said Brady, he asked his wife to explain a statement that Flanagan had threatened her on Sunday, and she began to cry.
"I've been in torments for two months," she told him.
She then told the husband, according to his story, that Flanagan had mistreated her twice, and had threatened her if she did not keep still. She said she had been afraid to tell before that time.
The next evening Brady met Flanagan at Twelfth street and Troost avenue. They walked down town and back to the Paseo before separating at Fifteenth street and Troost avenue. Brady was armed. Mrs. Brady was not mentioned.
"Why didn't you ask Flanagan to explain?" he was asked.
"I wanted to. My idea was to get at the thing somehow. I did not want to shoot him down in the street, but I did not know how to bring up the subject."
Tuesday evening the men went walking together again. They talked about revolvers, but not of Mrs. Brady.
"I thought I might see some way out of it all without a scandal or a tragedy," said the witness.
Telling of the events leading up to the shooting and of the happening itself, Brady said:
"When I came home Wednesday noon for lunch, Flanagan, who had moved away from the Angelus for a month, was back again. We talked. Mrs. Brady was ill and I took her lunch upstairs to her. I told my wife Flanagan was back. Then I went on to my work, two blocks away.
"But I could not work. As I had passed out of the house I had seen Flanagan sitting in the parlor, grinning at me sarcastically, as I believed. I went back to the house and up the rear stairs to our room. I asked Mrs. Brady whether she had been bothered, referring to Flanagan, and she said no. For fifteen minutes I remained, playing with the baby. I had put the revolver I carried on the dresser.
WENT WILD WITH RAGE.
"Presently Mrs. Brady said she was going downstairs. Almost immediately after the door had closed behind her I heard her cough. The thought flashed through my mind that Flanagan must be there. I jumped up and grabbed the revolver as I heard my wife say, 'No! No! No!'
"When I jerked the door open I saw my wife with her back to the door. Flanagan had hold of her shoulders and she had her hands up as if to push him away. I went wild with rage and turned loose on him with the gun at once. I suppose before he could have let go of her.
"At the first shot Flanagan fell. He started to get up, and I fired three times more. Then he ran to his room. He was running, and I thought he might get a gun, so I reloaded the revolver.
"Did you say to Mrs. Brady, 'If I didn't kill him I'm going to?' "
"I don't remember saying that."
Mrs. Belle L. Bowman, owner of the boarding house, had previously testified that she heard Brady use such words.
On cross-examination Brady said his wife did not call for him, but only said, "No, no, no."
Mrs. Mary Rosanna Brady, whose story to her husband caused the killing, preceded her husband on the stand. During the morning session of court she had been excluded from the room on account of being a witness. As soon as she had testified, she went to the prosecutor's office and remained there until the evening adjourment was taken.
TOLD OF BRADY INDIGNITIES.
Only once while she was on the witness stand did Mrs. Brady cry. That was when she told of the killing.
"I was born in Fort Madison, Ia.," said Mrs. Brady, "and in 1903 went to Mexico with my parents. July 4, 1905, I met Mr. Brady, and September 29 of the next year we were married. We have a boy 22 months old.
"I first met Flanagan in October, 1908, when I came to Kansas City. We grew to have a speaking acquaintance in the latter part of December. It was not until the Monday before the tragedy that I told Mr. Brady of the indignities Flanagan had heaped upon me. I have suffered from asthma since I was 3 years old. If it an unusually severe attack, morphine has to be administered. This leaves me in a helpless condition.
"About two weeks before the shooting I told Mr. Brady that Flanagan was spying on me. On the Monday afternoon I mentioned I told him that, on January 11, Flanagan had come to my room and taken advantage of me while I was helpless from drugs. He came into the room and took the baby while the doctor was there. As soon as the doctor had gone he took me into his room. I resisted and he said I would be foolish to tell Mr. Brady, as it would only make trouble. On February 27, he did the same thing."
The witness said that on the Sunday preceding the killing, while Brady was visiting his father, Flanagan had come to her room and had asked if everybody was gone and if she was expecting anybody. She said she had closed the door in his face. He told her, she said, that he "would do her dirt" and that he put his hand to his pocket.
CALLED HER A "BLUFFER."
"On Tuesday he came to the room again and said, 'Did you tell Brady anything?'
"I said 'yes,' and he said: 'You are a great bluffer. I was out walking with Brady last night and your name was not mentioned.' "
Relating the details of the shooting, Mrs. Brady said:
"It happened in front of my door. About 1:20 o'clock that afternoon Mr. Brady returned home. I told him I was going to the bathroom, and went out. I still had hold of the doorknob when I met Flanagan. He bade me the time of day and said: 'Won't you invite me in?'
"I said: 'Of course not. We are no longer friends.'
"He said: 'I want your friendship even if you no longer want mine.'
"I asked him why, and he said, taking hold of me in spite of my efforts to tear away: 'Because I love you. I'm jealous of you. I want you all to myself.'
"Then," said the witness, "Mr. Brady opened the door." She wept violently for a moment.
"As the door was opened," resumed Mrs. Brady, "he let go and I fell back against a trunk that was standing in the hall. Mr. Brady shot as soon as the door was open. I think he shot four times. Then I went downstairs with him and the baby, and telephoned for his sister. Then they took him away."
On cross-examination the attention of Mrs. Brady was called to discrepancies between her testimony on the stand and the statements she made to the prosecuting attorney soon after the shooting. She said was excited when she made the statement. On the witness stand she said that her friendship for Flanagan ceased after he had mistreated her. In her statement she had said they continued on friendly terms. She said also that she was in possession of her faculties at the time of the attack January 11, and that she could scream. Flanagan did not carry her into his room, she said. She remembered being there fifteen minutes and that the door was locked.
NOT A WOMAN IN COURT ROOM.
Also, she said she and her husband had discussed Flanagan before the shooting on the same afternoon, but later modified her statement.
W. S. Gabriel, assistant prosecuting attorney, who with Ruby D. Garrett, is conducting the prosecution, produced a note signed "Mary," and asked the witness if she had written it to Flanagan. She said the note was not written by her.
Mrs. Brady told her story with her face to the jury. She seemed hardly conscious of the presence of her husband, for she glanced in his direction but seldom. There was not a woman in the courtroom to hear her story and and hardly two rows were filled by spectators. She told her story without emotion. Mrs. Brady wore a white waist, a gray walking skirt and a small black hat trimmed in red. Her heavy veil was lifted when she testified.
Among other witnesses for the defense called during the afternoon was Dr. William T. Singleton, who treated Mrs. Brady January 11 and February 27 for asthma by giving her a hypodermic injection of morphine and atrophine. He said the drugs were sedatives, but would not necessarily effect the use of the vocal organs.
Joseph L. Norman, secretary of the board of education, and J. M. Greenwood, superintendent of schools, both old friends of the Brady family testified to the defendant's good character.
SAYS HE WAS LURED INTO TRAP.
The state rested its case at noon. According to the opening statement by Mr. Gabriel, it had proposed to show that Flanagan had been lured into a trap.
Among the state's witnesses were: Dr. Ralph E. Shiras, surgeon of the emergency hospital staff; Dr. James Moran and Dr. J. Park Neal of the general hospital, and G. E. Marsh and W. T. Latcham, patrolmen. Dr. Moran was present when Mr. Garret took Flanagan's dying statement, in which he declared himself innocent of wrongdoing. Only that part of the statement in which Flanagan said Brady shot him without saying a word was permitted to go to the jury. The wounded man died at the general hospital a few hours after the shooting. Every bullet took effect.
The state's chief witness was Mrs. Bowman, who conducts the boarding house. She said Flanagan and Mrs. Brady were frequently alone on the third floor of the house, where both had rooms, but that Flanagan did not seem to be there more when Brady was gone then at other times.
It was Mrs. Bowman who said that Flanagan tried to descend the stairs after he was shot. The witness said she heard Brady say: "Let him come. If I haven't killed him I will."
SHOT IN DEFENSE OF HOME.
The witness said that Mrs. Brady, when under the influence of opiates, was at times almost unconscious.
Gen. Milton Moore opened the afternoon session by briefly outlining the defense. His main argument was that Brady shot in defense of his home.
Statements by both state and prosecution led to the belief that the arguments summing up the testimony will be brief and will consume less than two hours. This will not be because of limitation by the court, for Judge Ralph S. Latshaw, before whom the case is being tried, seldom limits murder trial arguments.
The jury with which Brady's fate will rest is made up of the following: James A. Wood, 4315 Main street; C. C. Wagoner, 3202 Gillham road; J. J. Ronham, 2852 East Seventh street; William H. Hand, 1229 Cherry street; Michael Bresnahan, 1831 Oak street; E. E. Esslinger, 3902 Belleview avenue; Charles J. Lewis, Mt. Washington; F. O. Hartung, 3006 Garfield avenue; J. B. Ralph, 3513 St. John avenue; Alfred Simpson, Independence avenue; Jesse Robertson, 6216 Peery avenue; D. J. Biser, 1933 Montgall avenue.
Labels: courtroom, doctors, Fifteenth street, guns, Judge Latshaw, marriage, Mexico, murder, Superintendent Greenwood
May 28, 1909
JAMES SHARP TELLS
A RAMBLING STORY.
PREACHES ON WITNESS STAND
BUT PASSES UP KILLING.
Arguments in Riot Case With
Instructions to Jury Including
Manslaughter and Par-
Cost of the Sharp trial to Jackson county $1,500.
Duration of trial (if ended today) twelve days.
By noon today or shortly after 12 o'clock the fate of James Sharp will be in the hands of the jury. All the testimony was finished yesterday afternoon and the instructions were read to the jury.
If Sharp meant to convince the jury he is not in his right mind, his counsel let him do the best possible thing by allowing him to ramble on the witness stand as he did yesterday morning. One of his impromptu sermons lasted for nearly twenty minutes and might have been two hours had the court not stopped it. All through Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, the Northwest and Canada he rambled.
DEFENSE SCORES POINT.
But when, in the course of his ramblings, he got to Kansas City, his flow of language dried. He was not allowed by his counsel to tell even who fired the first shot in the riot, and, not having been examined as to the details by his own counsel, could not be cross-examined on such points.
In many words Adam God told of the revelations he had:
"It was revealed to me, after I had been preaching for two years, that I was a chosen vessel. I received it as the messenger of the fifth angel in the ninth chapter of Revelations -- the angel who opened the bottomless pi pt and out of the pit came locusts and they had tails.
"I am Jesus Christ. This knowledge that is in me is God. I claim to be the father of the Lord, yet he is my mother. I am the father of Jesus Christ raised up again out of David. This revelation came to me in Fort Smith, Ark. Since then I have found more proof in the Scripture all the time. Two years ago it was revealed to me that I was David."
"Will you ever die?"
"I preached that I would never die and that my body would never see corruption. Anyhow, I will be reincarnated."
JEALOUS OF ADKINS.
But in all of Sharp's statement, from the time the meteor fell on his farm in Oklahoma until the time of the riot, through the tears that masked but could not stop the flow of words, though whatever emotion he may have felt, there was in it all , t the culminating moment, the note of jealousy. For John Adkins, the Adkins who led the naked parade, was a greater preacher than Adam God.
"From the time Adkins joined us until we were arrested in Oklahoma City he was the leader," Sharp testified. "The time he was converted he preached as no man has ever preached before nor since. We stood dumbfounded. Tears streaming down his cheeks, Adkins told us of things we had never heard of; things that were not in the Bible. He made men weep and women cry. Often I myself have wept as I preached, but I couldn't make others cry. But Adkins could. He was a great preacher."
It was Adkins who told Sharp, according to the defendant's story, that he was Adam, Mrs. Sharp, Eve, and the boy, Cain or Abel. There is confusion in the testimony as to the child's name. It was Adkins, too, according to the defendant, who said three times to the police, when they started to interfere with the naked parade: "Get the behind me, Satan." And Sharp said the police got.
NO SENSE OF SHAME.
Of this orgy Sharp told with no sense of shame. He appeared amused when he related his wife's endeavor to shield herself from the public gaze after her arrest and omitted no detail. In marked contrast to this was his testimony about selling his home because he feared he would get attached to it instead of god.
"An evil spirit leapt out of Holt and on me," said Sharp, telling of the controversy at the mission in the North end. I became unbalanced and pushed him out. I called him a foul name, but did not swear. I struck Holt with a pistol against my will. From that time on I was like a blind man and all through the fight I can't remember. I never was in such a fix since I was born. I know I said: 'Come on, we'll hold a meeting if we don't get killed. This is a free country and we'll preach anyhow.'
"I meant to show my humility with guns and thought perhaps they'd let me alone. I was watching for the police. the first officer told me to go over to the station and I started to talk to him when a man in citizen's clothes came up beside the officer and put a pistol in my face and told me to drop my knife. Then I heard a shot fired.
"Did you fire that shot?"
At this point the direct examination stopped. Sharp's counsel would not let him tell who fired the first shot, but turned him over to the state for cross-examination. Then the religious ramblings ceased and Sharp was brought back to his earlier life with a jerk.
WAS SHORT-CARD GAMBLER.
""Yes," said he in answer to questions from Mr. Conkling. "I was a gambler from the age of 14 for almost thirty years. I played cards for money. I was a short card gambler and played poker, seven-up, casino and other games. About all I looked for was to swindle. I got so I could run up high hands, but played square when I had to."
Under a fire of questions Sharp admitted that he had no title to the farm on which he lived, as it was a claim and he had lived there only two and a half years. He said he sold his relinquishment for $250 and paid off debts of $22. He didn't give the poor over $125, he said.
But after he quit gambling, Sharp took moral bankruptcy. He never made restitution to the people whom he had swindled.
"Gambling was the devil working through me. The money I had swindled people out of I just charged up to the devil, and let it go at that."
"Did you preach the Ten Commandments?"
"The Commandments were law in their day, but Christ came along and changed the law."
Pursuing questions about the evil spirit he said Holt brought the defendant, Mr. Conkling asked:
"Did you get the evil spirit first, or the gun?"
WAITED FOR TROUBLE.
"I carried the gun all the time. I never was in such a fix. Just think of a man going out and doing what I did -- "
"Did you tell the others to bring their revolvers?"
"They had them with them all the time. I was not hunting trouble. I was waiting to see it come. I was expecting it after what had happened."
"When the officer said, 'Drop that knife,' where was the weapon?"
"In my hand, open. We were holding a meeting and I was watching to keep them off if they interfered. I was armed with faith. Besides that, I had a gun and a knife which the children not of God could understand. Of course they could not recognize the spirit."
The sharp fire of cross-examination, calling for quick thought and feats of memory by the defendant, did much to dispel any belief of insanity which he may have instilled on his direct examination.
MRS. SHARP HYSTERICAL.
There were certain inconsistencies which hardly could have been lost on the jury. For instance, Sharp testified that he learned to read largely through his perusal of the Bible. He gave the impression that this was about his only means of education. Yet Sharp, it was pointed out, writes a fair hand.
Mrs. Melissa Sharp, sobbing and talking in the voice of hysteria, preceded her husband on the stand. She seems devoted to her husband, aside from religion and told of the falling star and of her conversion in Oklahoma in a voice that expressed the profoundest conviction.
Her recital of how the Sharps wept and prayed for weeks after Adam saw the star was dramatic. When she had finished amid tears of her own and of Mr. Martin of her counsel, she was taken back to her cell without cross-examination.
ARGUMENTS ARE BEGUN.
The argument was begun at 7 o'clock in the evening by William S. Gabriel, assistant prosecuting attorney, who presented the case for the state. He was followed by A. A. Bailey of the defense and Harry Friedberg for the state. After these addresses court adjourned until 9 o'clock this morning. The morning A. E. Martin will argue for the defense and Virgil Conkling, prosecutor, will sum up for the state. How soon after that there will be a verdict is for the jury to say.
About twenty-five instructions offered by the state and defense were given to the jury by Judge Ralph S. Latshaw. Under them, Sharp may be convicted of murder in the first or second degree. The maximum penalty for the last mentioned offense is two years' imprisonment. The jury may acquit on the ground of self-defense or on the plea of insanity.
The instructions cover partial insanity, the presumption of guilt raised by flight after the crime. There is an instruction covering the supposition that Sharp was insane at the time of the crime and has since recovered, and another that supposes he was insane then and is so now. The court instructed the jury that it was not necessary that Sharp should have fired the shot that killed Michael P. Mullane in order to convict him, but that it was sufficient if proved anyone acting in concert with him did the deed.
For the first time during the trial of the case, A. A. Bailey of Sharp's counsel took the active part yesterday. His adroit questioning strengthened the defendant's case materially, so far as it was possible to do so in light of the damaging evidence Sharp gave against himself. A. E. Martin, the other attorney, was late at both morning and afternoon sessions, and was lectured each time by the court.
COVER PARTIAL INSANITY.
After the Sharps had told their story in the morning, or at least as much of it as Mr. Bailey shrewd questioning allowed to be revealed, the afternoon was devoted to expert insanity testimony and to rebuttal evidence by the state.
Dr. S. Grover Burnett heard a 4,000-word hypothetical question and was asked: "Assuming that all this is true, is it your belief that Sharp is insane?"
"It is indicative that he is insane. He is suffering form a form of mania of insanity classified as paranoia religiosa."
The hypothetical question, easy for Dr. Burnett, was too much for a spectator, who fainted and was carried from the room.
Dr. Burnett modestly admitted that he had pronounced 15,000 persons insane and had never, so far as he knew or was able to find out, made a mistake. He was the only expert put on by the defense.
In rebuttal, the state introduced Harry Hoffman, a deputy county marshal, who would not say whether he believed Sharp sane or insane. It also called to the witness stand Theodore Remley, justice of the peace, before whom Sharp had two preliminary hearings. Justice Remley testified that, at neither of these hearings did Sharp make any interruption, nor did he n or his wife carry a Bible. The same facts were testified to by Clarance Wofford, stenographer of the criminal court, who reported the preliminary hearings.
John S. Steed, sheriff of Johnson county, Kas.; Hugh I. Moore, a reporter for The Journal, who talked to Sharp soon after his arrest; John M. Leonard, editor of the Olathe Register; Edwin G. Pinkham, a reporter for the Star, all testified they believed Sharp sane.
The statement made by Sharp after he had been returned to Kansas City was read. In it the fanatic said it had been revealed to him that Kansas City was the town he was going to take. His band, he said, was singing "Babylon is Falling" just before the riot started. Also in his statement, Sharp said he fired the first shot.
Labels: Adam God sect, attorney, courtroom, Johnson county, Judge Latshaw, Judge Remley, mental health, ministers, newspapers, police, Prosecutor Conkling, The Journal
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