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July 24, 1909


Dr. A. S. Kaulbauch, Dentist, Has
Narrow Escape in Office.

Carrying a pressure of 250 pounds to the square inch, a vulcanizer gave way in the work room of Dr. A. S. Kaulbach, a dentist, at Twelfth and Main street, yesterday afternoon. The vulcanizer was wrecked, several sections narrowly missing Dr. Kaulbach. He was splattered with debris from the room, and two windows were blown out.

W. B. Clark, the crossing policeman, was under the impression that an amateur safe cracker was at work, so loud was the noise of the explosion.

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June 13, 1909


A Fine Appearing Body of Men.


It doesn't take the oldest inhabitant to remember the time when the crossing squad, which now numbers twenty-nine men, was limited to one or two members. At one time Sergeant James Hogan was the whole squad himself with the exception of a patrolman who has been stationed at the Junction for more than twenty years. Kansas City cannot boast of the largest squad in the country, but its members are noted for their general efficiency.

In the mind of the ordinary person the crossing man leads a life of ease. In fact, the majority of the police department envy the crossing men until they have been given a trial. Then it is found that a man must know the location and name of all the office buildings, the streets in every section of the city, the routes of the different street cars and most of the public men.

"Can you tell me the way to the depot?" is a question heard every five minutes.

"Where is the nearest shoe store?" asks a woman.

"Do you know Charley Smith?" asks a farmer who feels hurt when the crossing man shakes his head. "You see he was a great feller to make acquaintances in our town, and I was sure you would know him."

Answering questions, directing the careless drivers who persist in driving on the wrong side of the street and dodging street cars on his own account, are only mere incidents. The constant strain on the system is generally the cause for a man's departure from the squad. Some men ask to be relieved in less than a week.

When the cable cars formerly ran on Ninth street and when some one was injured nearly every week as the cars swept around the corner at high speed, a patrolman was always stationed at that particular spot. The second patrolman to be placed at a crossing was James Hogan, who commenced patrolling the corner at Eleventh and Walnut streets, just eleven years ago.

Four years ago the crossing squad was increased from eight members, who worked from 8 o'clock in the morning until about 7 o'clock in the evening. Patrolman Hogan on account of his seniority and his general knowledge was made a sergeant of the squad.

Two years ago the squad was increased to fourteen members and more crossing were included in the list. But the hours were long and the men asked to be relieved. At last the problem of long hours was solved by Sergeant Hogan, who recommended that the squad be doubled and the hours shortened. Fourteen of the men now go to work at 8 o'clock in the morning and are relieved at 1 o'clock in the afternoon by the other division. After six hours of rest they report at police headquarters and are assigned to the parks and theaters. On the following day the second squad are given the same hours and report at 8 o'clock in the morning, as did the opposite squad on the previous day.

Sergeant Hogan, who has been on the force for nineteen years, probably has a better general knowledge of Kansas City than any other man. One glance through an information guide can tell him whether the pamphlet is up to date or not.

"I don't see the name of the Sharp of finance building," he informed a book dealer the other day when his opinion was asked in regard to the reliability of a guide recently issued. He also knows the name of every street in both Kansas Citys and places of general interest. With such a leader it isn't any wonder that the crossing squad is rated as highly efficient.

Names of the officers, from left to right:

First row -- Crowley, Kennedy, Quayle, Darnell, Rogers, Kincaid.
Second row -- Kearns, Keys, Madigan, Harkenberg, Doman, Nichols.
Third Row -- Lillis, O'Roark, Noland, McCormick, Briden, Jackson.
Fourth Row -- Roach, Coffey, J. T. Rogers, Ryan, McFarland, Hoskins.
Fifth Row -- Hodges, Koger, Sergeant Hogan, Zirschky, Wilhite.

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May 1, 1908


An Apparently Demented Girl An-
noyed Penny Theater Patrons.

A 12-year-old girl, unable to say anything but "da-da" and believed to be feeble-minded, was taken out of the Electric penny theater on East Twelfth street yesterday afternoon by Patrolman Thomas Keys of the crossing squad, after she had annoyed several visitors in the theater by climbing up on their backs and trying to kiss their cheeks and ears. She is being held at the detention home until she can be identified or someone calls to claim her. She has blue eyes with red lids, yellow hair an wears a checked gingham dress and black shoes. Her stockings are ragged and she has no hat.

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January 8, 1908


Dr. S. S. Landon, Former Police
Surgeon, Suffers Mental Collapse.

At the insistence of Roy Shunk, a nurse at the Sheffield hospital, Dr. S. S. Landon, former police surgeon and owner of the hospital, was taken into custody at Twelfth and Main streets yesterday afternoon by Patrolman Michael Cassady of the crossing squad. Shunk told Cassady that Dr. Landon had got beyond his control.

After he was detained in a cell in the police matron's room Dr. Landon grew violent. When no one would bring him the keys and allow him to free himself he overturned an iron bed on which he had been lying and, with superhuman strength, wrenched a leg from it as if it had been a twig. He also smashed an earthen receptacle which was in the cell and cut his hand.

It was about that time that Dr. W. C. Anderson, connected with him in the Sheffield hospital, and Amos Townsend, an attorney, arrived. They counseled with the doctor for a few moments and left the room. He reached through the bars to where a table holding a tray of dishes was standing. Mrs. Joan Moran, police matron, ran in just in time to save the tray of dishes, but Dr. Landon broke a leg from the heavy oak table before he could be prevented.

Dr. E. G. Blair, a visiting surgeon at Dr. Landon's hospital, and a close friend, arrived after a time and succeeded in getting the doctor to consent to take a hypodermic injection. Dr. Blair said he would give him a powerful sedative to quiet him for the night. Relatives and friends intend to make some disposition of the doctor's case today.

"Ever since before Christmas Dr. Landon has been acting queerly and of late has grown worse," said Dr. Anderson. "Recently he has grown more and more delusional and wanted to be constantly on the go. It is our opinion that he has had a breakdown from overwork."

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October 31, 1907


Police Board Will Decide Today as to
Winter Uniforms.
New Style of Caps for the Crossing Guard.

Winter uniforms for the traffic squad will be decided upon at today's meeting of the board of police commissioners. The board long ago decided to adopt the uniforms prescribed for the traffic squad of New York city, and yesterday samples of the caps and leggings were received by Orderly Sergeant Morrison. The cap, of blue cloth with thin braids of cavalry yellow, is fitted for attaching a short cape, which, when worn during the falling weather, is fastened to the cap and hangs to shed rain or snow over the collar of the top coat.

To protect the men while handling traffic of the driveways, high leggings will be provided. The glove to be admitted is the new style cavalry buckskin, which is without the gauntlet. The soldiers found that the main thing a gauntlet did was to accumulate snow.

Commissioner Gallagher has ordered a report made upon the hours of traffic in the downtown district. The traffic squad is now on post until 4:15.

"We want to shorten the hours for these men, whose work is tiresome and unremitting," said the commissioner yesterday. "It was hard during the summer, and it is going to be harder than ever during the winter. The men want an eight-hour shift. I do not think we can manage that, but a schedule is now being drawn up that may show us how three more men could let us make a nine-hour shift of crossing duty."

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September 28, 1907


Too Effeminate for a Copper, Says
Sergeant Hogan.

Sergeant James Hogan, commanding officer of the crossing squad, and the glass of fashion and mold form as far as the police force is concerned, announced positively last night that the chewing of gum by the members of his squad must cease, unless there is an exceptionally good excuse given.

"Chewing gum's too effeminate for a policeman," said Sergeant Hogan last night, pulling his freshly pressed uniform coat down a little in the front, and inspecting his immaculate white gloves. "When the order of the police board forbidding members of my squad to chew tobacco while on duty went into effect, I thought it was a good thing. When the men started to chew great wads of Pepsin and Yucatan while on duty I didn't say anything, because I realized they had to have some substitute for their daily allowance of plug cut for a little while. I didn't expect them to break off all at once. But this thing of chewing gum as a substitute for tobacco has gone far enough. The men will be turning up their trousers at the bottom next, and putting colored bands around their uniform caps. It's got to stop."

Members of the crossing squad are not allowed to use tobacco in any form while on duty, because so much of their work consists in escorting women across the congested crossings. Chewing gum was hailed as the only thing which would help the men, who had used tobacco for twenty years and more, to break themselves of the habit, and its use was adopted by most of the members of the squad.

"The idea of seeing a great six-footer with a mustache and a family tripping into a drug store and lisping to the clerk to 'please give me a package of gum,' just as if his first name was Reginald instead of Bill," said Sergeant Hogan, disgustedly.

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