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December 28, 1909


She Admits False Age of Son Was
Given Factory Inspector.

Mrs. E. L. Folsom, 707 East Eighteenth street, weeping bitterly, was lectured by Judge E. E. Porterfield in the juvenile court yesterday for making a false affidavit regarding the age of her son, Lyle H. Wilcox, in the office of W. H. Morgan, state factory inspector, recently when the boy went to work. She swore that he was born April 7, 1895, but yesterday admitted that he was born a year later. While under oath, as the court learned from private conversation with the woman's daughter, other misstatements were made.

"You ought to be punished," said Judge Porterfield, "for making the false affidavit about your son's age and for other statements made here under oath, but I cannot do it in this court. It could be done in the criminal court, however. This habit people have gotten into of making false affidavits of their children's ages before the factory inspector has got to be broken up. Somebody is going to be punished, too, if it does not cease."

The boy, Lyle, was given into the custody of his sister, Mrs. Iva Hubbard, 1405 Spruce avenue. Mrs. Folson said she had born ten children, seven of whom are living. She said she was divorced from Joseph Wilcox in Oklahoma City, Ok., and that seven years ago in January she was married to Folson.

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December 15, 1909


Wife Suing for Divorce Has No Place
for Husband's Brother.

Mrs. Pauline Bovee is to have temporary custody of her two little girls. Judge J. G. Park of the circuit court yesterday awarded the mother the temporary custody of Lorena Bovee, aged 10 years, and Med Bovee, aged 8. The children are not to be taken from the county.

Albert W. Fischer, a brother-in-law, is restrained from going to the woman's home, 2513 Woodland avenue. The court ordered that he remove his clothing and piano immediately.

Mrs. Bovee is allowed $45 a month as temporary alimony and $200 attorney fee. Permanent custody of the children will be decided when the divorce suit brought by Mrs. Bovee against Wayland Bovee is finally settled.

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October 12, 1909


Foster Parents Regain Child and
Cause Arrest of Iowa Woman.

Charged with kidnaping her own baby from its foster parents in Des Moines, Mrs. Laura McConkey passed through Kansas City yesterday in charge of Iowa authorities on the way to Des Moines, where she will stand trial. Rev. A. D. Horne, the foster father, took the little girl home in his arms yesterday to his wife, who anxiously awaited the return of little 3-year-old Marguerite, whom she loves as much as if it were her own child.

In destitute circumstances about eighteen months ago, Mrs. McConkey found a home for the child with the family of the minister and signed the adoption papers. She was allowed the privilege of visiting the child. On the last visit, in August, the mother love asserted itself and two weeks later she spirited Marguerite away. the police over the country were notified. At last Mr. Horne found the baby with its mother in Altamont, Mo. A warrant was sworn out for the mother's arrest, and she was brought to Kansas City. She agreed to go to Iowa without extradition papers.

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August 18, 1909



Public Sentiment Toward C. F. Mor-
ris So Unpleasant in Nevada and
Chillicothe He Leaves -- Mis-
understood, He Says.

Practically driven from Chillicothe and Nevada, Mo., towns in which he formerly lived, C. F. Morris, the father who wanted to give away his unborn baby, has come to Kansas City. He was at the Detention home yesterday afternoon and saw Mrs. Agnes O'Dell, probation officer, with regard to putting Mrs. Morris in a hospital.

"I was misunderstood," said Morris, who last week wrote to Mrs. O'Dell that he wanted her to find a home for the child. "Doctors advised me wrongly and I did not know well enough to disregard their advice. Of course I want the child now.

"After my letter to the probation office here was published, things were made so unpleasant for me that we left Chilllicothe and went to Nevada, where we were married September 1 of last year and where we lived until four months ago. The unpleasant story was repeated in Nevada and I decided to come here."


Morris has written a letter to Mrs. O'Dell explaining his side of the matter, but she has not yet received it. Following is a copy as Morris gave it out to the Chillicothe papers:

"Mr. Dear Friend -- I received your answer Sunday morning and will say in regard to same you do not know what sadness has come over our home. You surely misunderstood. I never wanted you to take the child before it was born. My wife has always wanted a babe and I have never censured her or hinted to her that I didn't.

"And she wouldn't give it up for the world. We have always lived such a happy life and have never done anything to harm anyone. But, Mrs. O'Dell, through your kindness, I see my mistake. If I could only have had some kind of woman like you to advise me instead of the doctors I would never have thought of such a thing. We have always made so many friends wherever we have lived. It was all my fault. Kindly forgive me and write to Chillicothe if you wish to see if our reputations isn't of the best. The only reason in the world I had for giving up the babe, Mrs. O'Dell, was that I never wanted one.

"But I assure you that I do want one now and I will worship this one as long as I live. You know the public is always ready to tramp a man when he is down, but I know you are not of this kind. Won't you please write my wife and encourage her? She is so worried I am afraid she will never stand it. I thank the papers very kindly for not signing any names and some day I may be able to do them a favor. Now Mrs. O'Dell, thank you once more for this letter and assuring you our baby will be welcome in our home. I beg to remain your best friend, asking you to forgive me and if you can help me in any way. Your kindness will never be forgotten.

"P. S. -- We have received a dozen letters today from people who wanted to adopt our baby for a money consideration. I did not answer any of these letters. If I had I would have said to each of the parties, 'No, our child is not for sale.' It will be the happiness of our lives now."

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August 15, 1909


Offer to Give Away Unborn Child
Staggers the Judge.

On the advice of Judge E. E. Porterfield, a letter received yesterday at the Detention home has been forwarded to the prosecuting attorney at Chillicothe with a request to investigate the case of a man who wants to give a baby, not yet born.

The letter states that the wife of the writer expects to become a mother within ten days and adds that, as the couple does not wish children, they would like to have the child adopted. It was mailed in Chillicothe Friday, and is directed to Mrs. Agnes O'Dell at the Detention home. The writer offers to pay Mrs. O'Dell liberally if she will nurse his wife in her illness and assist in getting the child adopted.

An answer was sent to the writer of the letter yesterday and others to county officials in Chillicothe. Judge Porterfield said he had never heard of such a case of cruelty.

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August 3, 1909



Police of St. Joseph Think
They've Found Him.
Four-Year-Old Harry Jacobs, Kidnaped.

Lured by a stick of candy, Harry Jacobs, 4 years old, was kidnaped yesterday afternoon from in front of his stepfather's parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Jacobs, 1508 Olive street. The kidnaper, who worked for two hours before accomplishing his end, meets a description of the boy's uncle.

Half crazed at the the loss of her boy, from whom she had been separated for over three years, Mrs. Jacobs collapsed at the Union depot yesterday afternoon while searching for him. Dr. M. W. Pichard, who attended her, said her condition was serious. No trace of the child was found.

At 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon the missing child was seen at the Union depot by a waiting passenger. In the mean time a dozen relatives, assisted by the police, scoured the city for the little fellow all afternoon and evening, but up to a late hour last night had found no trace of him.

Almost four years ago Della Craft of St. Joseph, Mo., was married to Harry Burke of that place. They were divorced a few months later. Mrs. Burke would not live at home, and she could not find employment where she could keep her boy with her, so she arranged with her mother to care for him. She says that she paid her mother $10 a month to care for the child.


Three months ago at Horton, Kas., Mrs. Burke married Harry Jacobs, a cook. Before the ceremony he promised her that she could have the boy live with her.

In the meantime Mrs. Jacob's mother married Frank Baker, who became greatly attached to the boy and did not want to give him up. The child was finally given to his mother and her husband, and they departed for Eastern Kansas. They came to Kansas City about two weeks ago.

For the first few days they stopped at the home of Jacob's parents, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Jacobs, 1508 Olive street. They then found apartments at 1613 Park Avenue.

Little Harry Jacobs developed a fondness for his new "grandma" and spent much of his time at her house, only a short distance from his home. Yesterday morning a man who, the mother declares, was her brother, appeared in the neighborhood of the Olive street address. A tinner was doing work on an adjoining house. The stranger asked the boy if he could not help him and the tinner gave him a dime for assistance in carrying tools and tin to the roof.


A few minutes after 1 o'clock Mrs. Jacobs received the news that her son had been kidnaped She was told that a man who answers the description of her brother had lured the child away with a stick of candy. The child, she was told, recognized the man and willingly accompanied him.

Mrs. Jacobs ran to her step-mother's home. Neighbors hurried to her aid. Jacobs was summoned from his work and he called for his father. The quartette, accompanied by neighbors, hastened to the Union depot. There Mrs. Jacobs was told by a waiting traveler that a boy answering the description of her son accompanied by a man who she says she believes to be her brother and a woman whom she thinks is her mother, had been seen in the station just a short while before.

At that Mrs. Jacobs became hysterical and collapsed. She was carried to the invalids' room in the depot, where Dr. M. W. Pickard was summoned to attend to her. In the meantime friends had organized searching parties and the police of both Kansas City and St. Joseph were notified.


ST. JOSEPH, MO., Aug. 2. -- The police of South St. Joseph investigated this end of the kidnaping story of Harry Jacobs in Kansas City today, and believe the kidnaped boy is now at the home of Frank Baker, 225 West Valley street, South St. Joseph. The police say they have no official request from Kansas City to make an arrest.

Frank Baker is a carpenter, who has been employed by Swift & Co. at the packing plant for several years. The police claim not to know Clarence Craft, said to be a brother of the kidnaped child's mother.

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March 31, 1909



Father's Habeas Corpus Proceedings
Call Out All the Skeletons From
the Family Closet -- "Checkers"
Incident Again.


While the lad about whom there was all the fuss tried to pick the spectacles from the nose of his chaperon, the battle for his possession went briskly on between Theodore C. Thomas, the father, and Mrs. Agnes Boss Thomas, the mother. After five hours of hearing testimony little had been accomplished when court adjourned last night and the indications are that the case may take longer than today.

If there are any skeletons left in the Thomas family closet it will take a vacuum cleaner to find them, for the married life of the parents, now divorced, was gone into in great detail.

The Thomases were divorced three years ago, the husband securing the decree and the custody of the child., except for one month each year. On September 25, 1908, Mrs. Thomas took the child from the Oak street school in Leavenworth, brought him to Kansas City, and has since had him at the home of her mother, Mrs. Annie Boss, 113 East Thirty-fourth street. The father brought habeas corpus proceedings in the circuit court to gain possession of the boy, who is constantly referred to by his mother as "Tito." It is on this application that the hearing is now being had.

For the husband the court records were introduced as his case. Mrs. Thomas's attorney demurred, but were overruled and the introduction of testimony for the wife began.


Frank P. Walsh, the first witness, testified as for her good character. Then Mrs. Thomas was put on the stand and for four hours was pelted with questions. Her cross-examination will be resumed this morning.

Mrs. Thomas, who is of the Mrs. Leslie Carter type as to features and bearing, although a brunette, proved a quick and alert witness. She seemed a match for the attorneys.

Mrs. Thomas admitted that she attended one of the parties given at the Humes house. She said there was a Dutch lunch and a jolly time, but that she did not go again. She denied that there was anything out of the way the night she was at the Humeses. The others at the party nicknamed her "Checker," she said.


Thomas, according to the wife's testimony, kept a hotel at Cleveland. The wife said he was intemperate and that she largely supported him. She mentioned alleged indignities at the hotel. In 1906 she sued for divorce, but before the case came to trial she decided to go to Europe, and understood, so she said, that the divorce matter was to be held in abeyance. When she returned, however, she said she was told by Thomas that he had secured a divorce on a cross-bill, and also the boy. She said she knew nothing of the trial of the divorce case until that time.

"I finally left Cleveland and came to Kansas City, because Mr. Thomas threatened to kill me if I did not leave the child and go away," she testified.

Further, Mrs. Thomas said her husband again asked her to marry him, but that she would have nothing to do with a reconciliation. She testified that she had the boy in her possession for a month during both 1906 and the succeeding year, the time being October. As to her ex-mother-in-law, she said every effort was being made to alienate the affections of the child from her.

There yet remain many witnesses to be heard. Judge Slover is giving attorneys wide scope in bringing out testimony.

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March 20, 1909


But Court Had No Jurisdiction Over
Baby's Clothes.
"Well, he may take his child if the court so orders, but he cannot have the clothes I bought for it." Saying this, Mary Boyd of Centropolis yesterday in the circuit court at Independence, undressed the little son of Taylor A. White before an astonished judge and jurors and, leaving the nude babe on the bar of justice, left the court room.

White, after the death of his wife a few months ago, placed his infant son in charge of Mrs. Boyd. A few days ago White married again and wanted his child. Mrs. Boyd refused to give up her charge, alleging that White had not paid for its care. White brought suit for possession of the child and received a favorable verdict.

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January 27, 1909


Mother Signed Adoption Papers of
Heir to $40,000 Estate.

According to a ruling made yesterday by J. S. Hynes, judge pro tem of the probate court, Kansas City, Kas., a mother relinquishes all rights to direct the affairs of her offspring after she once signs adoption papers for the child.

The decision was handed down on the application of Ida Weeden for the appointment of a guardian for Dorothy Weeden-Gordon, the alleged illegitimate child of Monroe Gordon, the wealthy negro farmer who was murdered at his home near Bethel, Wyandotte county, last December.

It was proved by the records of the probate court that the infant heir to the $40,000 estate left by Gordon was legally adopted by Susan Wilson, mother of the murdered man, several years before he met his death. For this reason the application made by the natural mother of the child for the appointment of a guardian was dismissed.

"The affairs of the child rest entirely with its parent by adoption," said acting Judge Hynes. This means that Gordon's mother, through the rights of the child, will have something to say in the distribution of her murdered son's estate.

There is another alleged illegitimate child of Gordon who has set up a claim as an heir to his property, Robert Benjamin Gordon, 6 years old. Dorsey Green, an attorney, was appointed guardian for this infant claimant. The settlement of the estate promises to be accompanied with considerable litigation.

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December 19, 1908


Half Brother of the Man Slain in the
Riot Will Raise Them.

Thomas M. Pratt, a half-brother of Louis Pratt, was given the custody of the four Pratt children in the juvenile court yesterday. The little ones have been in the Detention home since shortly after the riot of nearly two weeks ago, in which their father was mortally wounded. Thomas Pratt offered to rear the children and the court turned the bright looking youngsters over to him.

Mrs. Della Pratt, mother of the children, was also in court. She said she and her husband got their "Adam God" belief from John Pratt, her brother-in-law. James Sharp, leader of the fanatic band, imparted the creed to John Pratt. Previous to this time the Pratts had been "Holiness" folks. She said she found both beliefs were "false worship."

Lena Pratt, who had a revolver in the fight, said Sharp had taught the band that salvation would come to the world only after bloodshed and that everybody was to shoot after he started firing. The 12-year-old girl said she was convinced Sharp's belief was false.

Thomas Pratt, who was given care of the children, said that, so far as he knew, there had never been a taint of insanity in his family. Both his half-brothers, he said, were converted to Methodism a decade ago and later seemed to go to extremes on the subject of religion.

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December 16, 1908


After Being Discharged by a Justice,
Information Was Filed by

Informations charging murder in the first degree were filed yesterday by I. B. Kimbrell, prosecuting attorney, against Mrs. Della Pratt and William Enghnell, members of the band of fanatics headed by James Sharp. Mrs. Pratt and Enghnell had a preliminary hearing Saturday before Justice Theodore Remley and yesterday the justice ordered their release. However, both are in the county jail awaiting trial upon the informations filed by the prosecutor.

Sharp, his wife and the two others accused of first degree murder, will not be tried before January. It would be almost impossible to have the cases ready for trial before that time, so attorneys and prosecutors agree.

While the adult members of the band are in jail, the four Pratt children are having the time of their lives at the Detention home. Under the guidance of J. K. Ellwood, superintendent, they are imbibing knowledge at a rapid rate. In eight days the larger ones have learned to read and write.

Requests from person who wish to adopt the children continue to come to the probation officers. George M. Holt received a letter yesterday from G. H. Walser of Liberal, Mo., asking for all the children. He promises that they shall not be separated and offers to provide the best of care. This application is only one of twenty.

Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner, said last night that the inquest of all five victims of the riot would be held tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock. The inquest will include an inquiry into the death of Lulu Pratt, who was killed while attempting to escape in a boat in company of her mother.

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December 14, 1908


Sharp and His Companions in Crime
Spend a Gloomy Day
in Jail.

Sunday was a day of rest and pleasure for Mrs. Della Pratt and her four children, but James Sharp and his wife found little to brighten their stay in jail. Ed Fish and William Engnell were sullen and morose when they were seen.

At the Detention home the three Pratt girls and their brother Dewey had been dressed in clean clothes early in the morning. A few minutes after they had had dinner they were surprised to see their mother enter the large room in which they were playing.

The sorrowing little woman did not have arms enough to receive the rush of children, all of whom wanted to kiss and hug her at the same time. "Do you feel well," "Did you sleep all night," and a hundred other questions were hurled at the smiling woman by the happy little children who are trying to help their misguided mother forget the past. With the two smaller children on her lap and the two larger girls standing by her side with their arms around her, Mrs. Pratt listened to the wonderful tales of the happy moments her children had spent in the Detention home.

Mary and Lena Pratt could hardly be taken away from the primers furnished to them, so eager to learn are they. Even Dewey and Edna showed enthusiasm in their progress of being educated.

Mrs. Pratt was allowed to visit with her children for an hour, and was then taken back to the county jail where she shares her cell with Mrs. Sharp. The two women find much comfort in the friendship of each other, but Mrs. Pratt is the brighter of the two and is buoyed up by her affectionate children.

Both women spend the greater part of the time in jail pacing up and down the narrow confines of the cell, bemoaning their trouble and fearful of the final outcome. Mrs. Sharp had but little to say yesterday, except she did not understand how she ever became complicated in such an awful crime. Both women expressed sorrow for the grief of Mrs. Michael Mullane and Mrs. Albert O. Dalbow.

In another wing off from the women's quarters James Sharp, Ed Fish and William Engnell are locked. The once powerful "Adam God" sits with downcast head and eyes that appear to plead for a kind word. "Brother, it is awful. I am up a stump and don't know what to think," Sharp repeated several times when asked how he was feeling. Fish and Engnell were not inclined to talk very much, appearing to be unconscious of their positions.

After Mrs. Pratt left the Detention home the four little ones said they were happier since seeing their mother. Dewey told Mrs. Lizzie Burns, police matron, who had called on them that "we thought mamma was going to go crazy, but now she is better and we don't think she will."

"No, mamma slept well last night and feels cheerful today," Mary Pratt said. Lena, the eldest girl, watched the younger children and did her best to fill the place of her mother and the children were appreciative of her kindness. "We all want to learn and hope we can be able to help our mamma when we get out of here," she said to her visitors. Asked if they liked dolls, the three girls said they did. "We haven't had a doll since we left our home about three years ago," Mary said.

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December 12, 1908


Mrs. Della Pratt Declares That She
Is Not Inhuman -- Wards of
Juvenile Court.

With all their peculiarities, their odd beliefs, seeming to make them so unlike other people, the Pratt family became intensely human yesterday afternoon when the hour came for mother and children to part -- perhaps forever.

The parting came about 8 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Mrs. Pratt was in the matron's room, surrounded by her remaining flock, Lena, 12; Mary, 11; Dewey, 8, and Edna, 4 years old. She was talking of the future for her little ones, who were playing about the matron's room. She had just finished speaking of the riot of Tuesday, which she said she heartily condemned.

"I want to send my children to school now," she said. "I want them to have an education and be like other people."

"I want to start tomorrow," spoke up little Mary, the brightest one of the lot. "Della, can't I begin tomorrow? I want to learn to read and write." Mrs. Pratt's children all call her by her first name, Della.

"I want to learn, too," interposed Dewey.

"Me too," spoke up Edna, the baby, Lena, the one who took a leading hand in the riot, said nothing. She was leaning with her elbows on the window sill looking wistfully into the street.


"I wish you could all start right now and me with you," said Mrs. Pratt. "If I had had an education I never would have been a follower of a man with such an insane belief."

Just as she finished speaking Captain Walter Whitsett entered the room, followed by George M. Holt, the probation officer over whom the trouble of Tuesday started.

"Come on children," said the captain, "I am going to take you down stairs."

The children started out of the room, when the captain added, "Get your wraps."

"Why take their wraps?" spoke up Mrs. Pratt, a pained expression on her face. The captain said something about "just taking them downstairs" but the mother, who appears to have a great deal of love for her children, seemed to realize that the hour of separation had come. Her eyes were still suffused with tears as she had been softly weeping ever since she looked upon the face of her dead child, Lulu, at the undertaker's only a few hours previous. Tears started afresh as she gathered her little flock about her.

"Don't take them away from me. Don't do that," she pleaded. "I prayed all night this would not happen, yet something told me it would. I have had all the grief I can bear, it seemed, but this is even greater than the rest.

"What h as happened may cause people to think that I am inhuman, that I am not like the rest. But I am. I love these children; they are all I have now and you are going to take them from me. Let me go with them, even be near them where I can hear the sounds of their voices. Let me do that, please do."


Little Dewey was the first to shed tears as he clung tightly to his mother's skirts. Edna wept because he did, and Mary, her face wet with tears, said comfortingly, "We are just going downstairs, Della; we'll all be back. The man said so."

"Good care, the best of care, will be taken of them," said the captain as eh drew the children gently from the mother's grasp and started out of the room. Once more the frail little woman interposed. "Let me kiss them," she wailed. "I know this is the last I will see of them on earth." She kissed them passionately, one by one. Lena, the oldest, was mute, but choked back a sob as she left her mother's arms.

"We'll all be good, Della," called back Mary, "awfully good, and then maybe we'll all go to school and you can be with us -- if we are good."

The little ones were walked to the detention home, a large crowd following. Until they were landed there Mary, who always acts as spokesman, believed that they were to be taken back to their mother.

"Let me go back with you and tell Della that we are all right over here in a big house," she begged. "I think I ought to do it. She will worry so if she don't know where we are." Her request was not granted.

The children will be disposed of later by the juvenile court.

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December 4, 1908


But 6-Year-Old Boy's Black Step-
father Provides for Him.

The action of a white man against his former wife for the custody of their 6-year-old son was dismissed yesterday by Acting Probate Judge J. S. Hynes in Kansas City, Kas. The wife, after the husband had secured a divorce from her, married a negro. The child is being sent to a white school by its black stepfather, and, according to a number of witnesses who testified at the examination, is being well provided for.

As the laws of Kansas permit intermarriage between the whites and blacks, Judge Hynes held that he had no right to interfere in the case at issue, inasmuch as there was no evidence to show that the child was being neglected.

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September 26, 1908





Was Mistaken for a Detective Who
Had Gone With Mrs. Thomas
When She Kidnaped
Her Child.
Mrs. Agnes Boss Thomas,who Kidnaped Her Child in an Automobile
Kansas City Woman Who Kidnaped Her Child in Leavenworth Yesterday,
Guarded by a Detective in an Automobile.

Agnes Boss Thomas, who was a witness in the Humes-Richards alienation of affection suit, yesterday, under guard of a private detective patrol, went to Leavenworth in an automobile and carried off her baby, Theodore C. Thomas, Jr., while the 5-year-old child's school teacher looked on, powerless to do anything. Mrs. Thomas brought the baby to her home, 119 East Thirty-fourth street, where Theodore, Jr., is still resting and awaiting a probable habeas corpus proceeding. The little fellow's attorneys, Kelly, Brewster & Buchholz, are in waiting, too, and John Hayes, Jr., who was mistaken for a detective by the Leavenworth police force, is out on bond.

Mrs. Thomas was divorced from her husband in July, 1906. Mr. Thomas received the divorce while his wife was abroad, both being represented by attorneys. In the settlement by the court at Pawnee, Ok., it was stipulated that Mr. Thomas was to have the custody of the child except one month in each year and that if the mother wished the child during this month she should go after and return him at the proper time.

Young Theodore C. Thomas, the Kidnaped Child.
The Kidnaped Child

Recently when Mr. Thomas wished to go to Mexico he left Theodore, Jr., with the child's grandmother in Leavenworth. When the time rolled around for Mrs. Thomas to have the child for her one month of the year, the baby's grandmother decided she should not have him. On account of her connection with the Humes-Richards case, the grandmother said Mrs. Thomas could not have the baby for the one month provided for by Judge Baynard T. Hainer in the Oklahoma courts.

Yesterday Mrs. Thomas decided to get her baby, and employed an automobile and a bodyguard and went after him. Living strictly up to the letter of the decree, which said she could get the baby by going after him, Mrs. Thomas employed F. H. Tillotson of the Hayes-Tillotson Detective Agency, to see that no force was used against her. The two went to Leavenworth and called at the school house where the baby, Theodore, Jr., is receiving his first lessons. Mrs. Thomas stepped to the door, asked the child's teacher to see him, and then simply carried him home, as she claims the court said she has a right to do.

In the meantime, John Hayes, Jr., an attorney of Kansas City and son of former Kansas City Police Chief John Hayes, was in Leavenworth on legal business. The police force of Leavenworth, recalling that the big man in the automobile was of the Hayes-Tillotson agency, just arrested young Hayes and held him for ransom. He proved his innocence and was finally let go on bond.

Mrs. Theodore Thomas, the mother of the child, was formerly Agnes Boss, the daughter of a prominent Congregational minister here, and was reputed to be the most beautiful and most accomplished girl in the city. After being educated in the high school here she went to Vassar. She was a splendid musician, an artist of some ability, and was a leader of society here.

She was married to Theodore Thomas, son of a wealthy and very prominent Leavenworth physician, about eight years ago. Six years ago the son was born to them. At that time Mr. Thomas was conducting an ice plant in Atchison, Kas. Later they moved to Oklahoma, and at Pawnee, Ok., a divorce suit was instituted by the husband.

The decree was granted Mr. Thomas, giving him also the custody of the child.

After the divorce, Mr. Thomas brought his boy to Leavenworth and placed him in the care of his mother, Mrs. M. S. Thomas. She has become very much attached to the child and was prostrated with grief this afternoon. The little boy was just 6 years old a few weeks ago and started going to school last Monday. The mother has come here on several occasions with different attorneys and attempted to get the grandmother to give up the child.

Several months ago Mrs. Theodore Thomas came into prominence by starting to lecture on theosophy. She is well educated and speaks well, and it is said she made quite a hit. Mrs. Thomas is still a very beautiful woman.

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August 31, 1908





She Concluded to Face the World and
Strive for the Mite, When
It Looked Up at Her
and Laughed.

Late yesterday afternoon two women applied to Mrs. Lizzie Burns, police matron, for aid in disposing of a baby boy, which the mother said was just 11 days old. She said the child was hers and that she wished to give it away, as she could not take the tiny fellow to her Southern Missouri home. The woman with her said she was a sister-in-law.

Mrs. Burns told the women to go to the emergency hospital and ask for the nurse, Mrs. Ralph A. Shiras, who would direct them to the Helping Hand institute, where they were to remain until this morning, when arrangements for the final disposition of the youngster were to be made. The women obeyed her instructions as to the first part. They found Mrs. Shiras and told her their mission.

Now, Mrs. Shiras is a woman possessed of strong motherly instinct. Her first move was to grab the baby and begin to fondle it. She did not notice the sister-in-law as she walked into the hallway, and, beckoning to the young mother, said: "Mabel, come here a minute."

Nor did she see the two women walk hurriedly out of the hospital and begin to make tracks toward Fifth and Walnut streets. She was engrossed in trying to make the baby laugh by "dimpling" its chin. When she turned and said, "Come on now, I'll show you the way," she found herself with a baby on her hands.


An alarm was sounded and a "posse" was immediately formed form a squad of doctors and board of health inspectors. The chase was soon over, as the two women were captured at Fifth and Walnut streets just as they were about to board a car. They were returned and Mrs. Shiras headed the procession to the Helping Hand.

There the women refused to give their names. The young mother told of her shame and said that was the reason she wanted to desert her helpless infant. All the time she was talking she held the tiny bundle in her arms. The matron at the institute and Mrs. Shiras were trying to persuade her to keep her baby, work for it and rear it herself.

The young mother demurred. When it seemed she was about determined to give the offspring away, the little fellow looked up into her face and actually crooned, as a broad smile overspread his face. The mother looked down at her smiling child. A light not seen before came into her eyes, still suffused with tears, and she burst forth afresh.


"I'll keep him and bear my burden," she said.

"I know I'd never desert a baby smart enough to laugh like that when only 11 days old," said the white-haired matron. "That child knows its mother right now. Yes he does."

Then there was a season of billing and cooing as the baby was passed from one woman to another, while the admiring mother looked on through her glistening eyes. The sister-in-law was then taken in tow and shown her duty. The outcome of it was that a slender arm slipped about the young mother's waist as "Mabel, you can go home with me. You'll not have to bear your burden alone," was whispered in her ear.

Probably a Missouri Pacific train never carried two happier women than did the one bound for Joplin last night. They took turns about fondling a little baby, who occasionally looked at the smiling face of one of them and smiled back as if he knew his unfortunate young mother, but was by no means ashamed of her.

"She seen her duty and she done it," said a policeman after the curtain had rung down.

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June 20, 1908


Hugh Hyromus Says He Is Unable to
Warm His Wife.

Hugh and Lizzie Hyromus were married on November 29, 1908. Yesterday Mr. Hyrmus filed suit, through his attorney, Samuel Miller, for divorce charging his wife with having a mania for staying out nights attending parties and dances . She is also charged with being possessed with a temper that she cannot control. In Mr. Hyroums's petition he alleges:

"When not from home and not giving vent to her temper she sits in my company, but is as mute and cold as a statue of stone . The treatment thus received by the plaintiff from the defendant renders his life miserable in the extreme and causes him to suffer almost constant mental pain and anguish, and by his constant fretting has impaired him physically and filled his home with sorrow and gloom instead of mirth and sunshine; that he has exhausted his persuasive powers in attempting to change career, but all words of kindness had no more effect on her than the few drops of water from a passing cloud would have upon the sands of a desert.

The plaintiff asks for and disillusion decree of divorce and the custody of their 19-months-old child.

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June 11, 1908


B. F. Scott Said to Have Beaten Wife
on Day of His Release.

Several days ago Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., pardoned from the workhouse a man named B. F. Scott. Scott had been sent there May 5 to serve out a $500 fine -- one year -- for abusing his wife.

According to F. E. McCrary, Humane agent, the minute Scott was released he began a search for his wife. Finding her at 2811 North Freeman avenue, Kansas City, Kas., Scott is reported to have immediately raised trouble. He is said to have whipped his wife and assaulted Miss Daisy Rody, his niece. Both the wife and niece are reported to have been severely bruised and beaten. Then Scott, so it is said, grabbed his infant child and fled.

Yesterday afternoon Andrew Cole, a Humane officer from this side, went to Kansas City, Kas., and with W. W. Lacy, a truant officer, arrested Scott. They say he will not tell what became of the child. He was arrested at the wife's home, and the officers said she begged that he not be harmed.

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May 23, 1908



Girl Who Played Piano for a Ghost
Show Is Also in the Juvenile
Court Because She's
So Nervous.

It would take Dr. E. L Mathias several hours to figure how many miniature John Does and Mary Roes he is the guardian of. And he won't figure the total, but merely tells reports to "cut it out."

Every time a woman brings a foundling into the children's court Judge H. L. McCune, after making some disposition of the child, either leaving it with the foster mother or sending it to the county nursery, appoints Dr Mathias guardian. He got another one yesterday.

An attendant at the McKenzie nursery at 1607 East Ninth street brought the baby into court. It slept serenely, while Judge McCune looked it over and remarked judicially:

"Very pretty baby. Where did you get it?"

"She was left at the nursery along with this letter," replied the attendant, handing the judge a note.

"Andrew, eh? A miss, did you say it was? All right" -- turning to the clerk -- "change the young lady's name from Doe to Andrews. Make her a ward of the court. Dr. Mathias is appointed the guardian. The nursery may keep the -- Miss Andrews as long as the attendants are kind to her."

Then Dr. Mathias did a gallant thing. He gave the baby Christian names in honor of the women of the court: "Helen Agnes Andrews" -- Helen for Mrs. Helen Smith, and Agnes for Mrs. Agnes O'Dell.

"I wonder if that means that Mrs. O'Dell and I will have to buy the Doe baby its clothes," Mrs. Smith whispered.

Mrs. O'Dell followed the nurse and child to the door and gave the baby a farewell pat.

"What color are its eyes?" she asked. "I ought to know, now that she's named after me."

"They're blue yet," replied the nurse.


It looked like a story when a girl's mother said she ran away from home rather than take music lessons, and once had climbed on the roof of the house to hide from the music teacher. The reporters had the name and address written down, when "Mother" O'Dell, probation officer, sent this note:

"Ina is a good girl. You must not print her name or address."

There is a touch of sadness in the girl's story, too. Her father left home recently, and as there were five littler ones for her mother to support, Ina remembered her music lessons and went to work as a piano player at the ghost show at Fairmount park. She didn't come home one night, and her mother had her brought into court. She is 16 years old.

"She's a good girl, only she gets nervous," said the mother.

"I'd get nervous myself if I played a piano in a ghost show. Stay away from the park, my girl, and we'll get you a better place to work."

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April 25, 1908


Rich August Muller Wants to Adopt
a Neighbor's Child.

August Muller, Seventh street and Northrup avenue, Kansas City, Kas., created some little stir in the Wyandotte probate court room yesterday forenoon, when he appeared there leading Helen Ries, 17-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ries of the same vicinity, by the hand, declaring that he would adopt her for the sole purpose of leaving his money and property to her. Muller is considered wealthy. He is now, he said, advanced in years and himself and wife are lonely for younger company. Ries, he has known since childhood and Helen played on his knee when but a baby. Both Reis and Muller are well known in Kansas City, Kas. The court will investigate further.

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April 22, 1908



W. W. Williams, Husband of the
Young Woman, Calls on the
Mother and Sets Her
Yearnings at Rest.

One woman was made happy in Kansas City yesterday. That woman was Mrs. Florence Scott, 1303 Wabash avenue, who for ten years has made a fruitless search for her daughter, Susie, given away in 1898. If all goes well she will in a few days see her daughter, now 17 years old, alive, well and happily married.

W. W. Williams, a mining engineer of Salt Lake City, called to see Mrs. Scott yesterday. He said that he had seen in The Journal where Mrs. Scott was looking for her daughter, Susie, who had been given to Mr. and Mrs. R. L Martin, then supposed to be from Maryville, Mo.

"As soon as I read the story," said Mr. Williams, "I figured out that your lost daughter was y wife. I married her in Denver fourteen months ago. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. L . Martin."

Mrs. Scott was beside herself with joy at the news. Williams told her that the Martins had given Susie a good education and had always been kind to her. He said his wife, who was 7 years old when given to the Martins, recalled her mother, often spoke of her, but could not recall her name. This, it is presumed, her foster parents kept from her.

Williams also told Mrs. Scott that he had a good home in Salt Lake City and that he and his wife were happy. He is on his way to Chicago to attend to some business, but expects to return here soon. He wired his wife last night to come on here and meet him. He intends to surprise her by introducing her to her own mother. Williams told Mrs. Scott that he wanted her to get ready to go back and live with them. At present Mrs. Scott is working as nurse at the home of J. Baker, 1303 Wabash avenue.

It was by mere chance that Williams saw the story of Mrs. Scott's search for her daughter. Sitting in his hotel yesterday he picked up a week-old paper which contained the story. The name of R. L. Martin attracted his eye and he read the story through. He at once came to the conclusion that Susie Martin had once been Susie Scott, so he sought the distressed mother and broke the news to her. Mrs. Scott called up Mrs. Lizzie Burns, police matron, who has been assisting her, and told her the good news, saying: "I guess the long search is over." Mrs. Scott says no adoption papers were ever made out for her child.

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April 22, 1908


Iola, Kas., Woman's Child Given to
Burlesque Performers.

Dorothy Evaline Mack is the name which the baby of Mrs. Emma Ingledue of Iola, Kas., will carry through life. The infant was yesterday adopted by Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Mack, who are here this week with the Trans-Atlantic Burlesquers at the Majestic theater. Last Friday Mrs. Ingledue left her baby with the police matron, Mrs. Joan Moran.

"I am too ill to care for her," she said. "I know that I could not give the child the advantages in life she deserves, I would rather some good couple had her."

"We only have two more weeks on the stage," said Mrs. Mack, "and then we will be back at our Philadelphia home. And by the way, that little home will soon be paid for. Next season I will stay at home and be mamma to Dorothy Evaline while J. C. Mack rustles around and makes a living for all three of us."

Mrs. Mack said that for three years she had been trying to adopt a baby.

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April 19, 1908


Tracy Avenue Couple May Adopt the
Little Foundling.

If everything goes well today a good home may be secured for the foundling who was discovered in a dark hallway at 584 Harrison street late on the night of March 17 and later christened "Little Pat" by Mrs. Lizzie Burns, police matron , in honor of St. Patrick's day.

Seeing in the news yesterday that a baby girl had been left with the matron for adoption Friday, Mr. and Mrs. S. A. Kelly of 1403 Tracy avenue, called to see the little one. They were told that it had been taken to the detention home and were just about to leave when Eugene Burns, a son of the matron said: "What's the matter with 'Little Pat?' Why can't you take him and adopt him? He's a boy, you know."

Mrs. Kelly said she thought that Patrick had long ago been given a home, but when informed that illness had kept him at St. Anthony's home, though now he had thoroughly recovered, she at once spoke for "Little Pat."

"Yes, Mrs. Kelly was out here with Eugene Burns," said Sister Cecilia at the home. "She is coming back tomorrow with her husband. It looks very much like Pat is to secure a good home at last."

Mr. Kelly is a traveling salesman. He and his wife have no children.

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April 17, 1908



Ten years Ago She Placed 7-Year-Old
Susie in Care of R. L. Martin
and Wife, and Hasn't
Seen Her Since.

The death of her husband ten years ago, followed by adverse circumstances, caused Mrs. Florence Scott, then living with her four children at 1823 1/2 Main street, to dispose of one of her children, Susie, who was then just 7 years old. Through Mrs. Mollie Lee, who was police matron at that time, the little girl was given to Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Martin, said to be from Maryville, Mo.

Mrs. Scott called yesterday on Mrs. Lizzie Burns, one of the present matrons. The mother love is strong in Mrs. Scott and she wants to see her daughter, who now should be 17 years old. She told Mrs. Burns of the struggle after her husband's death and how Mrs. Lee had advised her to dispose of one of the children.

"After I had agreed," said Mrs. Scott, "Mr. and Mrs. Martin were sent to see me. They took Susie away, and from that day to this I have never heard one word of her. No papers were signed by me, therefore she could not have been adopted."

Through her tears Mrs. Scott said yesterday that she did not intend to take Susie away from her present home. All she wanted was to see her child, saying she did not wish her daughter to be taken clear out of her life.

Soon after her little girl was taken from her Mrs. Scott wrote to Maryville, Mo., to "R. L. Martin," but her letter was returned unopened. Then she appealed to the chief of police, but said no effort was made to locate her offspring.

Some years later Mrs. Scott said she went to Mrs. Patti Moore who was police matron at that time. Mrs. Moore, she said, looked up the records for her and found that the child had been given to the Martins of Maryville, Mo., but further than that nothing was of record. Mrs. Moore gave Mrs. Scott a picture of her little girl which had been received from the Martins. The edges of the portrait, Mrs. Scott says, were torn off to destroy the name of the photographer or any information it might bear.

Still imbued with an insatiate desire to see her child, Mrs. Scott two years ago took the matter up with F. E. McCrary, then a juvenile court officer but now Humane agent. McCrary's investigations, she said, developed the same facts -- that the child had been given to the Martins of Maryville, Mo. She said, however, that she was told that McCrary had written and found that R. L. Martin was a restaurant keeper of Maryville. Taking heart anew she wrote a letter to the restaurant man but, like all the others, it was returned unopened. Mrs. Scott's desire to see her child at times becomes so great that it is almost a mania, causing her to lose sleep and worry greatly.

"It seems funny to me that the police cannot tell me where my little girl has gone," she said. "It looks very much like they have been holding back information from me for all these ten miserable years. The martins have no adoption papers and never have had. It is not my intention to try to take Susie from them. She is my baby, my own flesh and blood, and I only want to see her; to talk with her and see how she is getting on.

"All of my other children are now grown up and away from me, but I know where they are."

At present Mrs. Scott is living at the home of Mrs. J. Barker, 1303 Wabash avenue. This time she will make an extraordinary effort to find her now almost grown daughter.

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February 19, 1908



Now Mecum Is Trailing Them, Very
Leisurely, in a Covered Wagon.

Esta Mecum and John Mellinger, each aged 12 years, were yesterday ordered detained by Judge H. L. McCune, sitting in the juvenile court, until homes can be found for them with relatives or others able to provide for them. This will enable Esta's father to continue the hunt for the boy's mother "and that there outlaw Tom Hopkins," as old man Mecum designated a former friend.

"He is an outlaw, is he?" inquired Judge McCune of the witness, Mecum, who was before the bar to explain why he was making the boy sell silver polish while he himself was buying beer.

"I think he is," said the rustic Sherlock Holmes. "I had 20 acres up in Michigan and he and my woman sat fire to the house and barn and said that the Indians had done it. Then he ran away with this boy's mother, and I set out to trial them."

"Indians up there?" Judge McCune inquired.

"There's a reservation; yes sir."

Sherlock's account of his trail was touching. He had been overhauled with a man named John Mellinger, father of a boy named likewise, the boy being then before the court.

"They tell me you and Mellinger were making these boys sell the silver polish while you and he drank up the proceeds. What is Mellinger to you?"

"Nothin' much, I kinder suspect him."

"More of your detective work?" the court asked.

"I reckon you'd call it that. He knows where my wife and Tom Hopkins are."

Humane officer McCrary said that if the ametuer detective would take a peep in the holdover, he would see his friend there, safe and sound, awaiting investigation.

The court took charge of the two boys until permanent homes can be found for them. Mecum said that he was a stone mason by trade but admitted he did not want a job -- "Not just now, anyway." He added, "I want to follow my wife and that outlaw, Tom Hopkins. They's gone north again."

He is following in a covered wagon. He explained that when Mrs. Mecum decamped she shipped the boy before the court to "Busy Bee Arizona." He meant Bisby.

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January 21, 1908


And Mrs. Mary E. Brown Tried to
End Her Life With Poison.

More than a week ago Silas Brown, a driver for the American Butter Company, 540 Walnut street, left his wife, Mary E. Brown, and went to live with his mother at Seventh and Oak streets, taking with him a 2-year-old adopted boy. The wife continued living alone at 1214 East Eighth street, pining for the child. Last night she visited her husband and his mother, and begged them to let her have the boy . It is said they received her coldly, and refused her request.

Returning to her home Mrs. Brown took poison, and notified a friend of her act. She was removed to emergency hospital, where the physicians worked over her until 1 o'clock this morning, at which time she revived sufficiently to tell them what drove her to the attempt upon her life. She did not say w hat kind of poison she had taken, but the doctors believed it to be strychnine. It is thought that she will recover.

Mrs. Brown in 23 years of age, and comely.

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October 17, 1907



Wanee Ward Was Lonesome in
Keytesville and Deserted Her
Father's People -- Mother Will
Reward Her Fidelity.
Wanee Ward, Runaway from Keytesville, Mo.

Running through muddy fields and hiding in corn and behind trees for cover in order to keep out of the hands of officers, and finally managing to safely secure herself in a seat in a passenger train bound for Kansas City, Wanee Ward, a little 14-year-old girl, came here late Tuesday night and now enjoys the care and attention of her mother, whom she had not seen for years.

Her mother is Mrs. Luttie Ward, of 1429 Harrrison street. She secured a divorce shortly after the little girl was born and, according to her statement was given the custody of her five children. For some reason the little girl was at that time left with the relatives of Clarke Ward, Mrs. Ward's husband.

Mrs. Ward never made an effort to have her daughter sent to her , and knew noting of the child's dissatisfaction with her home in the little town of Keytesville, Mo., until a few weeks ago, when Mrs. Ward received a letter from the girl begging her to come after her. Mrs. Ward said she refused to do this in order to avoid a family row.

Although she had become dissatisfied with her home in Keyesville, Wanee Ward would say noting to her relatives about her intentions of coming to Kansas City. Three weeks ago she started to plan her escape and at that time told a schoolmate of her intentions. She saved what pennies and nickels she could get and Tuesday morning had $1.35. In the afternoon she ran away from school and found her way through corn fields and woods to the railroad station, which is two miles from the school house.

When she reached the depot, there was no passenger train in sight and she hid in a corn field to wait for one to appear. A train stopped at the station early in the evening, and she boarded it on the opposite side from the depot in order to avoid detection. The little girl hid in a seat until the train departed for Kansas City.

Wanee had but $1.45 and the fare to this city is $2.02. This did not worry her, however, as when the conductor called for her ticket she handed him $1, telling him that was all the money she had. The conductor accepted the money and the child finally found her mother.

Yesterday, the sheriff of Keytesville inquired of the authorities in this city as to the little girl's whereabouts, and it is thought that Mr. Ward's family will try to have the child taken back to Keytesville, but Mrs. Ward says she will use every effort to retain custody of her daughter.

This is the second one of the Ward children to run away from the Ward relatives, a son, George, having come to his mother in this city two years ago.

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September 10, 1907





Father Died and the Mother Gave
Her Five Children Away.
Grandparents of Miss
"Potter" Live in
This City

The mystery surrounding the birth of Miss Ella Potter, of Kansas City, Kas., has been solved. She is the daughter of Mrs. Ida Drysdale, who lives on a farm near Jefferson City, and the grandchild of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rice, of 2506 Euclid avenue, this city.

Yesterday Mrs. Effie Stuttle, of 804 Minnesota avenue, with whom Miss Potter is living, was called up by telephone by a woman who refused to give her name, and told that Miss Potter could find her grandparents by calling at 2506 Euclid avenue. Miss Potter lost no time in reaching the Euclid avenue address, and after making herself known received a welcome by her grandmother.

"I was never so happy in all my life," said Miss Potter last night. "I knew I was right when I said I was not the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Potter, and that I remembered being taken to their home when I was a mere baby. My grandmother bears me out in every one of my statements.


"According to the story told me this afternoon by my grandmother, my father died when I was an infant, leaving my mother with five small children. She was poor and could not properly care for us, so she gave us all away. There were three boys and two girls. My sister and two of my brothers are dead, so grandma has been informed, leaving just myself and a brother. She could not tell me where my brother is now, but I guess my mother will know. I must surely see him."

"Will you visit your mother at once on the farm?"

"No, I'll not go there now, as my grandmother says she has been expecting to visit her here in Kansas City for some time, and is liable to arrive any day. Oh, I can hardly wait to see her. Just think, I am 18 years old, and have not seen my mother to know her since I was a baby. If she is not able to take me home with her I shall not burden her, for I am capable of making a living for myself. I would be willing to help support her now, but my grandmother says she has a good home.

"It wasn't because she didn't love us children that she gave us away; it was because she couldn't give us as good a home as she wanted us to have. She has thought me happy because the pole she gave me to have lots of money, but I would rather be with her in a hovel than to live in a mansion without he. I have known all the time that I had a mother somewhere in the world, but it didn't bother me so much when I was a little girl.

"Ever since I have been big enough to think seriously it has worried me a great deal. Many a night when all alone in my bed I have offered up a silent prayer that she would come to me some day."

Miss Potter told her grandmother how she remembered living near a bluff and the trip on the street car taken by her when her mother took her to the Potter home in Kansas City, Kas. Her grandmother told her she was correct, that her mother then lived in a house on the West bluff, just up from the Union depot.

"I recalled a time, as I remembered, when I was bitten by a dog when I was a baby," said Miss Potter, "and grandma said it was right. she said I was not quite 3 years old then."


Miss Potter states that the reason her relatives have kept her in ignorance of her right name was because they thought she was living in luxury and happiness and never suspected she questioned Mr. and Mrs. Potter of not being her father and mother.

Miss Potter received a letter yesterday from Charles Morris, of Oakley, Kas., a cousin of Mrs. Potter, in which he pleads with her to return to the Potter home. He said he remembered her when she was first taken there and how proud Mrs. Potter was of her.

Miss Potter says she has not made any plans for her future and will not until she has seen her mother. She does not want to return to the Potter home to live. Mrs. Stuttle, with whom she is now staying, conducts a kindergarten and training school, and she says that Ella can have a home with her as long as she wants it.

When a reporter called at the Rice home last night the house was in darkness and numerous rings at the doorbell failed to receive a response.

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September 10, 1907


And Then His 2-Year-Old Son Began
to Wail Aloud.

Mike Ross, a fireman living at 1519 Franklin street, was before the juvenile court yesterday because he had failed to pay $2 a week for the care of his 2-year-old son, Jim, who has been living with Mrs. Marie Strauss, 1311 Crystal avenue, since Ross' wife left him.

"I want to take the boy and I'll give him a good home," Mike said. "I don't pay the woman the money because she won't let me see the boy."

"Mike was drinking and I was afraid," Mrs. Straus explained.

"The law says," Judge Porterfield broke in, "the law says, Mike, that you must support your child even if you never see him. We can put you in jail if you don't care for him.

"And you, Mrs. Straus, must let Mike see his child whenever he wants to."

"All I want is justice; I love the boy," Mike said and he began to cry. Little Jim, seeing his father in tears, climbed on his lap and wailed aloud. Mike and Mrs. Straus went away together, Mike carrying the child.

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September 7, 1907




Has Lived With Them Since She Was
3 Years Old -- Remembers, She
Says, Her Mother Taking Her
to Strange Place to Live.
Miss Ella Potter, Adopted.

Suit in equity to compel Mr. and Mrs. Eli Potter, who have reared her from infancy to young womanhood, to reveal her right name and history is to be brought in the Wyandotte district court by Miss Ella Potter, an accomplished and pretty 18-year-old girl of Kansas City, Kas. She has employed County Attorney Joseph Taggart to represent her.

Miss Porter declares she is not the child of Mr. and Mrs. Porter and has known so ever since she was taken to their home. However, she says they have always claimed her as their own, and when she would plead with them to tell her the facts and make known her true parentage, they would simply laugh at what they called her foolishness.


"I am positive that I am not their child," said Miss Potter yesterday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Effie Struttle, 804 Minnesota avenue, where she is now living, having left the Potter home July 4 last. "I can just faintly remember playing with two little boys and a little girl, whom I believe were my brothers and sister. I recollect leaving them one day with my mother, who took me on the cars and left me in a strange house with a strange woman. I cried when she left me."

"Do you remember ever seeing your mother again?" Miss Potter was asked.

"Oh, yes. She frequently visited me for what seems now to have been several months, but finally she came and left and I have never seen her since then, that I know of. I used to cry for her and ask to see her, but Mrs. Potter would tell me to hush, that she was my mamma. After I grew to be a good-sized girl I often pleaded with them to reveal to me my right name and tell me who my father and mother were, but they would invariably treat my pleadings lightly, insisting that I was their child and for me not to be so foolish as to think otherwise.

"I am now a young woman, and I am more than ever convinced that I am not the child of Mr. and Mrs. Potter. My only desire and ambition at present is to ascertain my true parentage and see my real mother, if she is living. It is a terrible mental strain to be under, but I shall never have any peace of mind until I have learned the mystery that seems to surround my birth. I believe the courts will do justice to me and compel Mr. and Mrs. Potter to lay bare the secret."

The people of Kansas City, Kas., first remember Miss Potter as a child of about 3 years old. It was generally understood that Mr. and Mrs. Potter had adopted her. Mrs. Potter has always shown a great fondness for the girl, and until the last year or two they were almost constantly in each other's company. When Miss Potter became of school age she was sent to the Columbia, Mo., seminary. Later she attended school at Aurora, Ill., and at Mt. Carroll, Ill. Miss Potter states that her terms at these schools were short, as Mrs. Potter would send for her to come home.

In speaking about her suit, Miss Potter stated that she had engaged County Attorney Taggart to take care of it for her, and that he would commence an action in the next day or so.

County Attorney Taggart was seen last night and stated that Miss Potter had consulted him in the matter of bringing a suit to ascertain her identity, and that he had taken the case. He didn't know just when he would file the petition.

"I never heard of such a suit being brought before," he continued, "but I am inclined to believe that a suit in equity would hold in court, and that Mr. and Mrs. Potter can be compelled to reveal the name of the girl's parents, if they know."

Mr. and Mrs. Potter have lived in Kansas City, Kas., for more than a quarter of a century. They erected a handsome mansion at Eighth street and State avenue in the '80s, which was used for a while as a private hotel. It was burned to the ground about seventeen years ago. They have since erected a home on the same site. Mrs. Potter years ago was a candidate for mayor of Kansas City, Kas., as an independent woman candidate. She was defeated, but received quite a vote.

Mr. and Mrs. Potter could not be seen last night.

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April 17, 1907


Father Makes Offer in Filing a Suit
for Divorce.

Jesse T. Moreman filed a petition in the circuit court yesterday for divorce from his wife, Lye Elizabeth Morman, charging her with ill treatment and other indignities. In his petition Moreman offers to let three children, Mabel, Thomas and Merriam, choose between the two litigants in open court, deciding with which parent they wish to make their respective homes.

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April 10, 1907



Theory of Police That Lad Was Kid-
naped Grows Stronger as Evidence
of Hack Drivers Is Brought to
Their Notice -- Three Persons
Said to Be Involved.

Mrs. Annie L. Sadlier, grandmother of Charles H. McNeese, 2305 Brighton avenue, who disappeared on his way to the Ashland school last Friday, was arrested at her home, 1522 McGee street, by Detective W. H. Bates and Thomas Hayde yesterday afternoon. Though Mrs. Sadlier denies any part in the affair, she was positively identified yesterday afternoon by two hack drivers, one of whom said he hauled her twice while looking for the child and another one who says he drove the very carriage in which little Charles was taken away and that Mrs. Sadlier was a passenger as far as the Ashland school. Charles M. Howell, attorney for Mr. McNeese, said last night that an information would be filed against Mrs. Sadlier this morning, charging her with kidnaping.

There is still another hack driver in the case who has not been located and the police think that he will come forward and assist in identifying the woman under arrest when he learns that no charge will be placed against him. This is the man who drove the hack to the Irving school Twenty-fourth and Prospect, a week ago today, when Garrell Ash, the 6-year-old son of Mrs. Lou Ash, 2413 East Twenty-third street, was taken away protesting. Charles McNeeese used to attend that school and the kidnapers evidently made a mistake. Garrell was taken to a house at 1522 McGee street, questioned for a long time and then sent home on a car. It was this incident, given the detectives yesterday, which led to the first clue, as at that number lives the missing child's grandmother -- mother of McNees's divorced wife. Ash pointed out the house and will be given a chance to see Mrs. Sadler today.

"Tink" Williams, a driver from the Jackson livery barn, 1309 Walnut street, at once identified Mrs. Sadlier. He told the detectives that he had hauled Mrs. Sadlier and a younger woman with a baby on two occasions and that both times they drove out around the schools on the East side when the children were going to school.
Charles Burch, a negro driver for the Eylar Bros.' livery barn, who also identified Mrs. Sadlier readily, said that it was he who drove the carriage the day young McNeese was stolen. He told of the same two women, one elderly, the other young and with her a baby. He drove them last Friday morning to the Ashland school, Twenty-fourth street and Elmwood avenue.
"I was told to wait about a block form the school," said Burch, "as both women got out. Presently the younger woman and a man returned, leading and dragging a little boy, who didn't seem to want to go. This woman was still carrying her baby. I never saw the older woman until today at police headquarters."
When they got in the cab again Burch was told to drive post-haste to Armourdale, where he was dismissed as the quartette boarded an electric car. They are believed to have transferred so as to reach the Leavenworth electric line in Kansas City, Kas.
Mrs. Sadlier, when first arrested, told Detective Bates that she had seen her daughter, the former Mrs. McNeese, only last week. At the station she denied the statement and said she had not seen her in three years, but heard from her eight months ago in Montreal, Canada. She then said one of her nieces was at her house last week and followed that with a denial, saying that she had seen none of them for eight months.
Her statement, taken later in the day, reads in part:
My name is Annie L. Sadlier. My daughter's name now is Mrs. Annie Evans. She married Charles C. McNeese eleven years ago and they had one child, Charles Hiram McNeese. She and McNeese were divorced about four years ago and he given the custody of the child for one year by Judge Gibson, when it was to be given to its mother if she proved herself worthy. She married Bruce Evans afterwards and on March 1 three years ago moved away from here. Don't care to say when I last saw my daughter, if not compelled to answer now. Was home all day Friday, April 5, and not out of the house from 1 to 4 p. m. Don't remember anyone that day at all and don't remember when my brother got home. I am not going to answer the
question whether I saw my daughter Friday and will say no more until the
proper time. I positively declare that I was not in a hack last week at any time. Was not at any liver barn last week, either. I positively declare that I had noting to do with the kidnaping of Charles McNeese last week.

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