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December 22, 1909


Gray Haired Elevator Operator the
Original "Sunny Jim."

"To You All a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."

This little inscription, signed "Elevator Man, Merry Building," is the way L. G. Chase, the gray-haired man on the lift expresses his sentiments of good cheer to his friends and patrons. The cards bearing greetings of the season are pinned on the sides of the elevator at the Merry building, 1009-11 Walnut street, embedded in a mass of Christmas greens and holiday emblems.

Every Christmas t his gray-haired elevator man enters into the spirit of the season and decorates his car in a lavish manner. This season he has done better than before. With streamers of tinsel, which are entwined around Christmas bells, fern wreaths, holly bells and little bits of mistletoe here and there, Mr. Chase has transformed his little elevator from a simple black iron cage to one of holiday beauty.

But it is not only at this season of the year that the passengers in the Merry building elevator find a plethora of good cheer, for the man who runs the elevator has the same sunny disposition the year round.

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December 8, 1909



Elevator Operators, Ages 17, 19 and
21, in Downtown Dry Goods
Store, Are Arrested -- Youngest
Weeps, Others Indifferent.
Louis Dye, Ralph Clyne and Harry Shay, Suspects in the Spangler Murder.
Three Suspects Held by Police for Spangler Murder and Recent Holdups.
(Sketched at Police Headquarters Last Night.)

Working on the "boy bandit" theory, the police yesterday evening arrested three youths, two of whom were identified as having shot and killed M. A. Spangler and wounded Sam Spangler, his son, in their saloon at Twentieth street and Grand avenue on the morning of November 23. Their names are Louis Dye, 21 years old; Ralph Clyne, 19, and Harry Shay, 17. All are employed as elevator operators in a down town dry goods store. Dye is a bridegroom.

The arrest was made at 5:30 o'clock by Captain Walter Whitsett and Plain Clothes Officers E. M. Smith and E. L. Maston.


The officers visited the store in company with several recent victims of holdups and rode in the elevators with the boys as they were at work. They were arrested and taken to police headquarters. Albert Ackerman, 502 1/2 Wyandotte street, the man who was in the Spangler saloon at the time of the shooting, was summoned and in Captain Whitsett's office identified Dye and Clyne as the two who shot up the saloon.

"That's the fellow that had the gun," Ackerman stated, pointing at Dye. "The other fellow was with him. Of course they are dressed differently now, but there is no mistaking their faces."

Four others who have been robbed recently visited police headquarters in the evening and in every case identified the boys.


W. S. McCann, a druggist, living at 1405 East Tenth street, identified Dye and Clyne as the two men who attempted to rob his store at Twenty-seventh street and Agnes avenue on the night of November 25. He said they went in the store, and that Clyne pointed a revolver at his head while Dye attempted to rob the cash register. When he showed fight they fired four shots at him and ran. He thinks that Harry Shay is the man that was left outside as a look out.

Miss Stella Sweet, 529 Brooklyn avenue, and Mrs. C. L. Flaugh, 629 Brooklyn avenue, who were held up Thanksgiving night on the steps of the Admiral Boulevard Congregational church, identified all three of the boys as the robbers.

Edward C. Smith of the Smith-McCord-Townsend Dry Goods Company declared that the three boys had robbed him on Thirty-sixth street, between Locust and Cherry streets, on the night of December 3. They took a pocket book containing a Country Club bond for $100. At that time they had handkerchiefs tied over their faces, but Smith was sure that he recognized them.


Captain Whitsett made no attempt to cross-examine the boys last night, but ordered them locked up until this morning when they will be confronted by further witnesses, the chief of whom will be Sam Spangler, who was discharged from the general hospital yesterday. The prosecutor's office was notified and representatives will be on hand today to take their statements.

"I am sure that we have got the right men this time," stated Captain Whitsett. "They answer the description of the gang that have been doing all the robbing lately, and I am sure that it was they that held up Joseph B. Shannon last week."

None of the boys would make any statement except that they were strangers in town, only having been working for a week. During the identification process both Dye and Clyne showed indifference, while the younger boy, Shay, broke down and cried.

Dye lives at 1921 Oakland, Shay at 1242 Broadway and Clyne at 1710 East Thirteenth street. Dye was married three weeks ago, shortly before the Spangler murder.

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December 5, 1909


Now Herman Smith Sues Former
Employer for $15,000.

A fractured skull caused by a blow on the head with a steel stew pan resulted in the filing of a $15,000 damage suit yesterday in the circuit court by Herman Smith against the Household Fair store.

Smith was employed at the Household Fair to run the elevator. On November 8, while engaged in his regular duties, a stew pan became dislodged from a shelf. It clattered down two or three stories through the elevator shaft, striking Smith on the top of the head.

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September 23, 1909


Brake Did Not Work and Calvin
Kester, Operator, Was Injured.

Calvin Kester, elevator operator in the New York Life building, was severely injured yesterday morning just before noon when the elevator he was running dropped from the eighth floor to the basement. The elevator left the tenth floor with only the operator in it. When he attempted to stop at the eighth floor the brake failed to work and the car continued its downward flight with increasing velocity.

When the car struck the bottom of the shaft Kester fell unconscious and was carried into the United States Trust Company office. An ambulance was summoned and Dr. Fred B. Kyger had the injured man removed to the emergency hospital. Upon examination Dr. Kyger found the man to be suffering from a strained back, a cut on the left leg and bruises on the body. The surgeon pronounced the injuries to be not serious.

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July 7, 1909


None of the Passengers in Temple Build-
ing Seriously Hurt.

Dropping four floors with out seriously injuring anyone was the record made by the new electric elevator in the Temple building, Missouri avenue and Main street, yesterday afternoon.

The elevator had started up from the first floor with four passengers. As it neared the fourth an elderly man approached the cage. The elevator boy did not notice him and did not make the fourth floor stop. The old man asked the boy if he were not going to stop, whereupon the boy brought his car to a sudden stop a few feet above the fourth floor landing. In sudden strain, the cable which held the car gave way and the lift started down. The automatic catches kept it from falling rapidly. At the second floor the elevator boy gained partial control by using the emergency lever, and the car slowly settled, hitting the bottom of the elevator pit with a thump which jarred the passengers sharply, but hurt no one seriously.

Miss Laura Catherman, 1419 Minnesota avenue, Kansas City, Kas., received a slight sprain on her left ankle.

The passengers were prisoners in the pit for nearly half an hour.

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July 1, 1909


Lifeless Body Plunged Down Long
Building Shaft Eleven Stories.

Lew Reid, 12 years old, of 1819 North Eighth street, Kansas City, Kas., was crushed to death by an ascending elevator in the R. A. Long building yesterday at noon. A sudden jerk of the car threw the boy forward. As he grasped the iron grill work of the elevator enclosure the swiftly ascending car caught him. The lifeless body fell eleven stories to the basement.

The boy entered the car on the basement floor in company with Otto Nelson, a messenger boy. They were the only passengers. The car was operated by John Livingston, 23 years old, 1101 East Sixteenth street, who has been employed in that capacity in the Long building nearly two years.

According to the story told by the elevator operator, only one stop was made before the accident occurred, and that was at the main floor. At the tenth floor Livingston noticed that he was ahead of his schedule, and threw the lever over to slow up, thereby causing the jerk which threw the boy forward to his death.

Livingston said he endeavored to put the boy back, and also stopped his car as soon as possible. The Nelson boy corroborated the operator's story.

Hughes Bryant, agent for the building, notified all of the employes not to talk about the accident. He also explained the accident by saying the boy either fainted or fell forward against the door without being thrown by the jar of the elevator.

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June 18, 1909


Martin Hansen of Kansas City, Kas.,
Probably Fatally Injured.

Martin Hansen, 14 years old, an office boy for the Meyer Jewelry Company in the Boley building, was caught between the freight elevator in that building and the wall of the shaft yesterday afternoon, and probably fatally injured.

Ray Heath, employed by the company, was running the elevator, which is controlled by a single steel cable. As Heath passed the fifth floor, Hansen tried to board the elevator, but missed. Hanging by his hands, he was dragged up along the shaft between the fifth and sixth stories. So tightly was Hansen wedged in between the elevator and the shaft wall, that a hole had to be chopped in the wall before he could be released.

He was taken to the University hospital, where it was said last night he is suffering from internal injuries. Hansen lives with his parents at 1936 North Sixth street, Kansas City, Kas.

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April 1, 1909


Walter Lillis, 16 Years Old, Injured
at Burd & Fletcher Plant.

While looking down the elevator shaft yesterday afternoon at the Burd & Fletcher Printing Company's plant 717 Wyandotte street, Walter Lillis, 16 years old, an errand boy, was caught between the descending elevator and the gate in front of the shaft. Before the elevator could be stopped the boy was "scalped." He was hurried to the emergency hospital, where he was treated by Dr. W. L. Gist. Though his injuries are dangerous, the physicians were positive that he will recover.

The boy had looked down the elevator shaft and shouted an order to a man on the lower floor just before the accident occurred. He was not looking and did not hear the descending elevator until it struck his head. The scalp was torn loose from the occipital region of the skull and it required a delicate operation to replace it. The boy did not require an anesthetic during the operation. He was taken to his home at 662 Park avenue.

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November 17, 1908





Falls While Attempting to Board
Moving Elevator -- Clings a
Moment to Grating of
Shaft, Then Drops.

Mrs. Emma Frances Caufield, wife of Dr. E. A. Caufield, 3523 Wyoming street, St. Louis, was instantly killed at 1:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon by falling twelve floors through an elevator shaft in the Commerce building. As the unfortunate woman fell through the open door of the elevator shaft her fingers grasped at the iron grating, clutched it for a brief moment, then relaxed their hold and she fell to her death in the sub-basement, 150 feet below. When her husband and friends reached her she was dead, almost every bone in her body having been broken by the fall. Dr. W. A. Harroun, whose office is in the Commerce building ,was the first person to reach the body. He said that death had resulted instantly.

There were only two eye witnesses to the tragic occurrence -- Miss Frances Weatherby, a stenographer in the offices of the Rio Grande Valley Colony Company, who had accompanied Mrs. Caufield to the elevator, and Frank Marks, the elevator operator. The statements of these two witnesses as to the way in which the accident occurred differ materially.

Mrs. Caufield, in company with her husband, Dr. E. A. Caufield, had gone to the offices of a company on the tenth floor of the Commerce building, where they engaged in conversation with J. D. Cameron, the manager of the company. Mrs. Caufield suggested to the steographer, Miss Weatherby, that they go to the top floor of the building. The two women left the office together and walked down the corridor to the elevators.


"I stepped up to the elevator, and pushed the button to signal them," said Miss Weatherby. "I saw the car coming up and I turned to see if Mrs. Caufield was following me. As I did so I observed that the adjoining elevator had stopped at that floor and Mrs. Caufield was in the act of entering it. One foot was on the floor and of the elevator and the other foot was still on the floor of the corridor. Before she could enter the cage the elevator appeared to start, for I saw her foot raise with it until her skirts were pulled up several inches. It seemed to me that she tried to step up into the elevator, but it moved up quickly and Mrs. Caufield was thrown over backward.

"As she fell into the open shaft she clutched at something, I think it was the iron grating, then she fell. The elevator quickly dropped to the level of the floor again, so that if she had been able to retain her hold on the grating she would have been knocked loose by the elevator anyway."

In relating her story to her employer, Mr. Cameron, about two hours after the accident, Mrs. Weatherby was in almost a total state of collapse.

"I can still see that poor woman as she clung to the grating just for an instant. I was too horrified to move. I just stood and looked, and then she let go and I ran to the office," she said.


Dr. Caulfield, when seen last night at his apartments in the Baltimore hotel, was unable to talk coherently.

"I cannot believe it; I cannot realize that she is dead," he moaned. "Just look," and reaching over he picked up a photograph of his wife. "Do you realize that only a few hours ago I was with her, alive, well and happy; and now to think -- poor girl, poor little girl."

Dr. Caulfield said that when his wife left the office in company with Miss Weatherby, he remained with his friend, Mr. Cameron.

"It seemed just a moment until I heard a scream, and Miss Weatherby staggered down the corridor crying that Mrs. Caulfield had fallen down the elevator shaft. When I reached the elevator the operator was walking up and down in front of the cage, and repeating over and over again 'I wasn't to blame. It wasn't my fault.' "

The alarm spread quickly through the building and W. B. Frost, manager of the building, immediately sent word to all the available doctors, so that within three minutes after the accident medical assistance was at hand. The coroner, Dr. George B. Thompson, was notified. He viewed the body and ordered it taken to Eylar Bros. undertaking establishment.


The accident happened at an hour when many persons are away from their offices and practically no excitement was noticeable about the building. When seen at his office, Mr. Frost signified his willingness to help in any way in arriving at a solution as to how the accident occurred, and submitted this statement from the elevator boy, giving his version of the accident:
"I stopped at the tenth floor of the building and this woman, Mrs. Caulfield, stepped into the car. I noticed there was another woman standing in the corridor. As I shut the gate or got it almost shut, someone said, 'Wait a minute,' Then Mrs. Caulfield grabbed the door. I had started the elevator and was about four feet above the level of the floor when the lady fell from the cage. She fell kind of on her knees and then rolled over into the open shaft. She caught at the grating for just a second, then she let go and fell. I couldn't help her because I didn't dare drop the elevator down on her."

For some time after the accident the boy, who has been in the employ of the Commerce building for about three weeks, was hysterical. When seen last night he appeared to have regained his composure, but on advice of Mr. Frost he refused to tell his parents' name or give his address.

"The boy has made a complete statement to us as to the way this accident occurred, and this is the statement we have given to the newspapers," said Mr. Frost. To this statement the boy concurred.


The friends of Mrs. Caulfield say that she had a peculiar horror of the fate which overtook her. She was, according to the statement of her husband, a very careful woman in places of possible danger. Only a few moments before leaving the office she had expressed her horror of the accident which occurred in New York a few days ago which resulted in the death of Harvey Watterson. To her friends she often said:

"What an awful fate it must be to die by falling a great distance."

"Mrs. Caulfield was the daughter of J. C. Hewett of St. Louis, and was well known in literary and social circles in that city. She leaves one child, 2 1/2 years old, who is with friends in Joplin, Mo.

The father and other relatives will arrive in this city this morning. Telegrams have been sent to the following persons: J. J. Hewett of St. Louis, a brother; Mrs. S. V. Bryden of St. Louis, J. H. Robertson of Des Moines and Mrs. Huntoon of Joplin.

An inquest will be held by the county coroner this afternoon.

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February 28, 1908


Elevator Boy's Pocket Picked While
Going Up and Down.

James P. Cox, elevator boy at the courthouse, yesterday won the distinction of being the first elevator operator in Kansas City to suffer at the hands of a pickpocket. Cox's purse was taken from his hip pocket during the 9 o'clock rush. In it were two pawn tickets, a dime, several receipts and a meal ticket with three meals unpunched.

This is the most daring robbery about the courthouse since the theft of a spaniel pup from the basement of the county jail last August. The pup belonged to Sheriff Charles Baldwin and was being cared for by its mother, who was owned by County Marshal Al Heslip. The thief was never captured.

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February 19, 1908



After Giving Him Liquor, Murderer
Says They Induced Him to
Sign Confession -- Case
to Jury Today.

Denying that he ever made a confession to police that he murdered Sidney Herndon in the Navarro flats, Twelfth street and Baltimore avenue, on January 12, and claiming that he signed a confession fixed up by the police when he was intoxicated and under fear, due to threats made by the officers, Claude Brooks, negro, was on trial for the murder of Herndon or knew anything of the killing until he was placed in the county jail and the confession was in the hands of the prosecuting attorney. He denied ever owning the hammer which lay on the table in the courtroom, and which was the weapon used to kill Herndon, and also disputed all of the testimony of witnesses who claimed they saw him in the Nararro building the night of the tragedy.

Brooks claimed that while on the train, detectives who arrested him at his father's home and brought him back to Kansas City threatened to take him off the train at a bridge crossing the Missouri River and "string him up" if he did not "come through" and tell about killing Herndon. He also stated that the officers gave him whisksey in Sheffield and before they reached that place, and that he was in an intoxicated condition at the time the statement, said to be his confession, was made and signed by him.
Inspector of Detectives Ryan testified that he gave Brooks one drink of whiskey, which Brooks asked for, but that he did not have any other liquor, and no threats were made. He stated that Brooks made the confession of his own free will, and seemed perfectly willing to tell of the murder at the time of his arrest. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John W. Hogan, testified to obtaining the confession, and stated that no one threatened Brooks. Other officers were put on the stand and bore out the statements of inspector Ryan.
The most damaging testimony against Brooks was that of Amel Jones, a negro boy, who said he saw Brooks hiding in the Navarro building late the night of the murder, and that he had a paper in his hand, which is described in Brooks's confession as containing the hammer in which he killed Herndon. Robert Webb, a negro at whose house Brooks lived, identified the hammer as exactly similar to the one he saw in Brooks's room. Charles Herndon, brother of the murdered man; Burtner Jones, negro elevator boy; Dr. O. H. Parker, deputy coroner, and others gave testimony.
The case was not finished last night, although most of the testimony, including the confession of Brooks, the night of his arrest, was introduced. It will be continued today and will probably go to the jury by noon.

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December 5, 1908





This Is Belief of Officers Who Worked
on Case -- Explosion Took Place
When Janitor Closed a
Closet Door.

Mystery which is baffling the entire police and detective forces of Kansas City and the local members of the Pinkerton Detective agency surrounds an explosion in the basement of the First National Bank building, Tenth street and Baltimore avenue, at noon yesterday, which wrecked the basement of the institution and endangered the lives of employes and officers of the bank, as well as pedestrians on the street outside.

The Infernal Machine That Exploded in the First National Bank Building.
Such As Might Have Caused the Explosion.

That an infernal machine, probably a bomb made of dynamite or nitro-glycerin, caused the explosion, and was set there by an enemy of the bank or a crank, who may have lost money through the failure of financial institutions during the financial stringency, is the belief of nearly every expert or officer who worked on the case yesterday. Another belief is that it may have been a crank who had money in the First National bank and had failed to obtain as much as he wanted during the panic who used this as a means of getting revenge. The officials of the bank are unaware of any person who might be an enemy of the institution and do a thing of this kind.

Damage to Windows Across the Street

The explosion was so terrific that it was felt by persons in the offices of the bank building, the New York Life building and the Shubert theater building. A cloud of smoke rose through the windows and up the elevator shaft, which smelled like that of dynamite or nitro-glycerin. Glass in the skylight of the bank building, which is fully 200 feet from the place of the explosion, was shattered. Had not the building been strongly built it would have been blown into a mass of ruins, according to expert builders and architects who made an investigation. They say the structure is absolutely safe, and that the only damage was to the basement, which will not in their estimation exceed $3,000.

As it is only a portion of the basement was wrecked. Two walls, made of tiling marble and concrete, were blown down. One of these walls was 12x18 feet, and the other was 20x18 feet, both being 18 inches thick. An iron beam supporting the ceiling, which is about nine inches wide and two inches thick, was bent and the door casing, which is made of iron, was warped out of shape. A hole two feet in diameter was blown in the wall directly back of the point of explosion, and there is a hole in the concrete floor about four inches deep.

In Wrecked Cellar of Bank.

There was a row of closets made out of marble, and a wash sink of the same material, in the room, and these were broken into fine pieces. The lockers for employes' clothing, which are made of sheet steel, were bent out of shape and tipped over. There were int eh adjoining room. The iron bars on the windows of the basement were blown across Baltimore avenue and wrecked the windows of the Robert Stone Investment Company. The sewer pipes and water pipes were blown into fragments near where the explosion took place.


At the time of the explosion there were about 250 people in the bank. Elbert Ward, a negro porter, was nearest the scene of the explosion. He was closing the door of the toilet room when the explosion took place and probably the door saved his life. He was rendered unconscious and lay partly covered with a pile of debris when he was found by Logan Wilson, a mail clerk in the bank, who helped Ward get to the upper floor. Ward was taken to a hospital. He was very seriously cut about the head and body, a piece of iron was found in his leg and it had severed an artery. He will probably die.

Ward, the porter, is the only one of the injured who is considered in a serious condition. Most of the others were considerable distances from the explosion and their injuries will not prove serious unless some of the pieces of broken tile or glass are embedded in their flesh. The other injured are:

R. H. Klapmeyer, bank clerk, cut on the head by flying pieces of tile or glass.

Charles Grant, a pedestrian on Baltimore avenue, bruised by flying iron.

George Evans of the Evans-Smith Drug Company, who was walking on the opposite side of Baltimore avenue from the bank, cut on the head by flying pieces of tile.

Val Jean Brightwell, clerk, cut on head and fa ce by flying pieces of tiling.

J. D. Wilson, an employe of Bell, Egolf & Co., in the United States and Mexican Trust Company building, cut on face by flying glass.

Joseph Patch, carpenter, living at 1315 Lydia avenue, cut by glass. Not serious. Patch was taken to the emergency hospital, where his wounds were dressed. He was in a dazed condition and told the police that he had been shot.

R. M. Cole, knocked senseless by concussion. On sidewalk.

Jay Donaldson, pedestrian on Baltimore avenue, cut on head.

As soon as the explosion took place the fire department and police headquarters were notified and the patrons of the bank were hurried out of the building, the police working on the theory at that time that persons in the building were responsible for the explosion, which may have been true, although no one was arrested at the time in connection with the case. The street was soon crowded with curious people, including depositors of the bank, and a score of police were employed to watch the building.


There are several theories about the origin of the explosion, all of which are that it was probably caused by an infernal machine and the explosive used was no doubt dynamite. One theory is that the bomb was taken into the basement by an outsider, which, according to President E. F. Swinney, would be an easy matter on account of the new clerks working in the bank since the increase of business caused by the failure of the National Bank of Commerce, and was placed there with the intention of blowing up the cash fault. That when the stranger got to cellar he became confused because of the winding stairway leading to it and made a mistake in the location of the vault, thinking it directly above where the machine exploded. He is supposed to have thought that an iron door in the wall directly above the spot where the explosion took place, might have a connection with the vault, which led him to believe that to be the location of the money chest of Kansas City's largest bank.


Surroundings of the scene of the explosion lead officers working on the case to believe this theory and also to point out the operation of the person supposed to have placed the bomb. It is believed the bomb was made of a piece of water pipe, about two inches in diameter and eight inches long; that it contained dynamite which was packed in gun cotton; that the bomb was sealed at each end with some kind of material, such as sealing wax, and at one end was placed a quantity of nitro-glycerin. This bomb could have been placed under the water sink in the toilet room where the explosion took place, and attached to the door in such a way that when the door was moved by some one entering or going out, the infernal machine exploded.

Remains of What Probably Was a Bomb.

The broken pieces of such a piece of pipe were found in the room next to the scene of the explosion. They had been blown through the wall. They were badly shattered, but the fact that they showed no signs of having been connected with other pipe previous to the explosion leads the police to believe that they were used in making the bomb.


President E. F. Swinney of the First National bank, and Detectives Dave Oldham and Edward Boyle, who are working on the case, believe it was an explosion of natural gas or sewer gas, but experts who examined the surroundings say this is impossible.

Walter M. Cross, city chemist and an expert on explosives, was asked to examine the bank after the explosion. His statement was that gas could not have caused it because the effect of the explosion was too concentrated; that if it had been caused by gas the whole wall behind would have been pushed out, and not a small hole blown, as it was. He also said that the explosion was too violent to have been caused by gas. He says he believes the explosion was caused by dynamite or nitro-glycerine.

Fire Warden Trickett said: "I am able to arrive at no other conclusion but that the explosion in the First National bank was from dynamite. I made a close examination of premises and the room in which the explosion occurred. There is no gas connection about the building so the explosion could not have been from escaping gas."


Detectives working on the case reported last night that the explosion was caused by natural or sewer gas. Detective Oldham, ho claims to have done some work with a mine drill, gave this as his theory, as did also Boyle, who was formerly a plumber, despite the statement of City Chemist Cross. John Hayes, ex-chief of police, believes it was a bomb set for the purpose of wrecking the institution.

Joseph Patch, a carpenter who was injured and was supposed to have been on the opposite side of Baltimore avenue when the explosion occurred, was arrested last night and taken to the police station, where he was questioned by Assistant Prosecution Attorney Hogan. Ward, the injured negro janitor, also made a statement to Hogan.

Patch, who it was first thought might have had some connection with the affair, because of his story about being shot, and also the fact that he is a union carpenter and the unions have had trouble with the builders of the different bank buildings, was closely questioned by Hogan. Patch has a long police record, most of which was family trouble, but he was released late last night because his testimony led the police to believe that he was not in any way connected with the explosion. His wife was also detained at the police station for a time last night, but she gave no evidence against her husband that would lead the police to believe that he was connected with the affair.

While the gas theory is believed by officers they were ordered to continue working on the case last night, and members of the Pinkerton detective agency also put on the case by the bank. No more arrests had been made at a late hour last night.

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December 28, 1907


Only to Fall Down Elevator Shaft to
Probable Death.

By a strange perversity of fate J. W. Turner, who lives at 1216 Locust street, escaped the Custer slaughter of 1876 and passed safely through the Spanish-American war, only to fall down an elevator shaft at the Avery Manufacturing Company's building, 1000 Santa Fe street, yesterday morning to almost certain death.

When Turner was 23 years old he enlisted in the famous Seventh cavalry which was annihilated by the Indians under Chief Sitting Bull at the massacre of the Little Big Horn. Turner himself did not participate in that battle. Three days before it came about he had received a two months' furlough in order to visit his family in Indianapolis, Ind., where he was born.

When he heard of the massacre he was but fifty miles from the battlefield. He turned back, scarcely believing the report that not a single one of his comrades had escaped slaughter, and proceeded to the battlefield where he readily saw that all he had been told was true. He has said over and over again that he would have given anything in the world which he possessed if he might have only been in that battle.

Turner is 54 years of age, and at the time of his accident he was employed by the Kansas City House and Window Cleaning Company, as foreman of the window cleaning gang at the Avery Manufacturing Company, 1000 Santa Fe street.

Yesterday morning he went into the office of the shipping clerk, and seeing the elevator boy, Sullivan Thomas, standing by the elevator shaft, he asked, "Are you going to take me up?"

"Sure," replied Thomas, as he got up from his chair and walked to the door of the shaft.

Thomas was familiar with the workings of the elevator and so opened the door himself, looking back at the boy as he did so. Still looking backward, he stepped through the door where the elevator should have been and fell to the basement. Turner was taken to the emergency hospital and afterwards removed to the general hospital. The hospital authorities said last night that there was a small chance of his surviving the night.

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November 3, 1907



While Carrying Breakfast to Lew Dock-
stander, the Minstrel, the Man
Walked Into Shaft's Opening
and Died Instantly.
H. L. Towns, a negro waiter, fell down the shaft of the service elevator in the Hotel Baltimore, from the seventh floor at 11 o'clock yesterday morning. He was instantly killed. In his hand was a torn order check and near where he fell was one of the corkscrews furnished the waiters. The tray of dishes he had been carrying remained in the elevator.

A few minutes before 11 o'clock a call for a waiter came from room 729, occupied by Lew Dockstader, the minstrel. Towns answered the summons. He waited while Mr. Dockstader wrote on a breakfast check an order for a meal.


Towns went to the kitchen, where the order was served. He placed it on a big tray and went up on the service elevator to take the order to Mr. Dockstader's room. The next that is known is that Towns was at the bottom of the elevator shaft. The tray containing the breakfast ordered by Mr. Dockstader lay on the floor of the elevator.

William Draper, the elevator boy, was too excited at the time to give any explanation of how the accident had occurred. Yesterday afternoon an attempt was made to question him in the private office of the hotel. He could not explain why Towns was at the bottom of the elevator shaft and the tray which he had been carrying remained in the elevator. There was no one on the seventh floor at the time of the accident except Draper, who was operating the elevator. The coroner viewed the body immediately after the accident.


Towns was 33 years old and lived at 1415 Lydia avenue. A wife and three children survive him.

The elevator is used exclusively for employees. It has been in use for eight years. The equipment had been recently renewed. D. J. Dean, one of the managers of the hotel, said that there had never been an accident in the elevator.

Towns had been in the employ of the hotel for several years. He was a favorite waiter and was assigned to wait upon Mr. Dockstader immediately after the arrival of the minstrel in Kansas City early this week.

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October 4, 1907



After Forty-two Years They Hold a
Celebration -- Each Had Believed
the Other Dead -- Separated
in Heat of Battle.

As Alexander H. Burke, former governor of North Dakota was riding in a passenger elevator at the Midland hotel yesterday afternoon, he was accosted by a stranger who noticed his G. A. R. badge and who, himself an old soldier, asked the conventional questions heard wherever two of the old veterans meet. Before the elevator had reached the end of the trip, he discovered that the stranger was a boyhood friend who had been torn from his side in the famous fight in the woods at Chickamauga, and whom he had mourned as dead for forty years. The stranger was Colonel Lewis Ginger, one of the few who escaped death or capture in the awful slaughter when General E. A. King and nearly his whole command fell before the terrible fire of Confederate cannister. As the recognition became mutual the two men clasped hands and there was something suspiciously like moisture in the eyes of both.

Without more ado each dropped for the while his business, and they went to Colonel Ginger's room, where they spent the rest of the afternoon recalling their boyhood days and telling of the things fortune had sent to them in the forty-two years since their dramatic parting. The story they told was like a leaf from some forgotten romance.


It seems that both were fired with patriotic zeal when the call to arms came in '61, and though Burke was but 12 years old and Ginger 14, in some way they managed to secure enlistment in the Seventy-fifth Indiana. Burke became drummer boy for his company, while his chum was detailed as orderly to Brigadier General King. They served together in the terrific campaign that ended with Chickamauga.

At Chickamauga just before the crisis came they were upon the advance firing line, so close to the enemy they could hear the rattle of accouterments in the midst of the cannonading. Their command was cut off from the main body and all but surrounded.

General King rode up close to where the boys were standing.

"Orderly," he commanded to young Ginger.

The soldier turned and saluted. "Go over there and tell Cap--"

The command was never completed, for a the gallant general was struck, and he sank dead into the arms of his orderly.


Seeing that all was over, Ginger sprang upon his horse and burst through the gray lines just as they were closing in. As he turned for a minute he saw Burke in the hands of two Southern soldiers. When he leaned over his horse's side to escape the shower of bullets sent after him. Burke thought he had been shot and was falling to his death.

Burke was carried away to a Southern prison, while Ginger made his way back to the Union lines and finished the war in harness. Each imagined the other was killed. Not until they met at the Midland hotel yesterday did they learn the story of mutual escape from destruction.

Although Governor Burke afterwards became the chief executive of one of the Northern states and Ginger won fame as an inventor and promoter, neither imagined that the other was his boyhood friend. They celebrated the meeting by a dinner last night at the governor's home, where they told over and over again the story of that memorable day when the flower of a great army was withered away in flame and smoke.

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August 21, 1907





Unfamiliarity With Its Mechanism
May Have Been Responsible for
Accident -- Brother Saw Dead
Body and Asked Who
Was Killed.
Daniel Forest Cobb, Killed in an Elevator Shaft

Falling through the elevator shaft from the fourth floor of the Fidelity Trust building, Daniel Forest Cobb, president of the firm of Dan F. Cobb & Co., was instantly killed at 7:30 o'clock last night. The body was found at the bottom of the shaft in a badly bruised condition by Tom Avery, a janitor in the building, whose inexperience at handling elevators, it is alleged, was indirectly responsible for Mr. Cobb's death.

When announcement of the accident was conveyed to the bereaved family at their home, 3411 Troost avenue, little Cecil Cobb, the 10-year-old daughter, became frantic and rushed to an open window. She exclaimed she no longer cared to live. Opportunely Mr. Cobb's brother was present and restrained the girl from harming herself.

Mr. Cobb's offices were on the fourth floor of the Fidelity Trust building. He was one of the most extensive dealers in Northwest Texas lands in the country. Last night he was waiting in his office for a party of tourists he was to take to Texas today. The elevators had stopped running and the only employe remaining in the building was Tom Avery, a janitor. According to Avery, Mr. Cobb requested him to operate the elevator, as the regular operators had gone home and he was expecting some friends there soon from out of town.


Avery, who was the only witness, made the following statement to the coroner:

"Mr. Cobb rang the bell several times and finally I took the elevator up to the fourth floor, where his offices were. He said to me, 'Tom, you must be asleep! Why didn't you come up sooner.' "

I told him I was not an elevator man; that they had all gone home and that I was not supposed to operate the cars. He then said he was expecting some friends there and that he wanted me to get them to his office.

"Then I went back down to the first floor to my work. Shortly he began ringing the bell again, and I went up to the fourth floor. Not thoroughly understanding how to run an elevator I did not stop the car just at the landing, but went on up about four feet. When I came down the bottom of the car caught one of Mr. Cobb's feet, crushing it to the floor.

"He cried with pain and throwing up the reverse lever I quickly shot the car upward again, thinking it would release his foot. That was the last I saw of poor Mr. Cobb. He had fallen into the shaft and dropped to the bottom."

Avery is an elderly man, and his frame shook with grief while he related the sad details.

"God help me," he cried. "Mr. Cobb was such a good man and so kind to me. What can I do, what can I do. I thought I was trying to help him, but see what I have done."

The grief stricken janitor was led away by Henry C. Brent, vice-president of the Fidelity Trust Company, who was one of the first persons to reach the body after it had reached the bottom of the shaft. Mr. Brent spoke high words of Avery's services, telling Coroner Thompson that he had been a trusty employe of the company for many years.


Walking cheerfully into the lobby of the building shortly after the coroner had arrived, enroute to Mr. Cobb's office, were Luther Cobb, a brother, who has offices in the Ridge building, and Jay M. Jackson, president of the Jackson Land Company, in the Gibralter building, a former business associate and close friend of the deceased. When they saw the dead body of a man lying on a stretcher near the elevator entrance Luther Cobb asked a newspaper reporter standing nearby the cause of the excitement and whose body was lying on the stretcher.

Not knowing that the man was a brother he told that Daniel F. Cobb, a real estate man with offices upstairs, had fallen through the elevator shaft and been killed.

The brother became colorless, gasped for breath, rushed to the remains and, throwing aside the covering, looked into the face of the dead man. He gave a shriek and fell into the arms of Mr. Jackson and nearly collapsed. Quickly recovering himself, the brother's first words were in the interest of the surviving members of the family.

"His poor wife and children; they will never be able to stand this awful blow. But I must tell them; no one else can do it but me."


Mr. Jackson's horse and buggy were outside the building and taking it the brother and Mr. Jackson drove quickly to the home of the bereaved family. They were met at the door by Mrs. Cobb and the three daughters, Cecil, 10, Doris, 8, and Louis, 6 years old, respectively. The news of the death of the husband and father was broken by Mr. Cobb. The wife and mother was stricken dumb for a moment and the eyes of the little children opened wide with a mixture of horror and unbelief.

"Yes, he was killed a few minutes ago," replied her uncle. Then he told them the details of the tragedy.

Mrs. Cobb became hysterical, the two smaller children seemed to fail to grasp the true meaning of the word death, but with a heart-rending cry of intense anguish Cecil darted up the stairway crying that she would also kill herself so she "could be in Heaven with her father." Luther Cobb reached the child just as she was about to plunge through the open window.


S. P. Cobb, a brother of the dead man, is a guest at the Midland hotel. With a party of friends he spent the evening at a theater and did not hear of the accident until he went to the desk for his room key. Several times the hotel clerk had sent a bellboy about the hotel calling for Mr. Cobb to answer urgent calls by telephone, but he could not be located.

It was nearly midnight when Mr. Cobb entered the hotel and went to the desk for his key. A yellow slip of paper bearing a telephone number was handed out with the key.

"Who could be calling for me at this time of night?" mused Mr. Cobb as he studied the slip.

"It's your brother's house," volunteered the clerk. "I fear they have some bad news there for you."

Mechanically the man took down the receiver. The telephone girls, the cashier, clerks and bellboys grouped about the desk watching, but none dared break the news to him.

The telephone girl gave Mr. Cobb immediate connection with his number and in an instant his face clouded then turned crimson.

"Which one?" he asked. Someone at the other end of the wire were telling him of his brother's death. There were two brothers at home and in good health when Mr. Cobb had departed for the theater.

Hanging up the receiver, Mr. Cobb beckoned to a friend and the two hastened to a carriage. He had received the message and was going to his brother's family.


Daniel Forest Cobb was born 43 years ago in Owen county, Ky. After reaching manhood he went East and engaged in the brokerage business in New York and Philadelphia. Later he was sent to Topeka, where he held the position of state manager for the Equitable Life Assurance society. Six years ago he came to Kansas City and opened offices in the Fidelity Trust building. He dealed exclusively in Northwest Texas lands and was said to be one of the largest individual operators in the West. According to Jay M. Jackson, Mr. Cobb carried fully $50,000 in insurance, $2,500 of which was accident.

Mr. Cobb is survived by a father, who lives in Owen county, Ky., the widow, formerly Miss Ada Thompson of St. Louis; the three daughters, and two brothers, S. P. Cobb, of Wellington, Kas., and Luther Cobb, of Kansas City.

No funeral arrangements have been made at this time.

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May 29, 1907


Kansas City, Kas., Barber Who Had
a Vision at Police Station.

T. J. Shelton, 807 Cherry street, a barber with a shop at 1 1/2 Central avenue, Kansas City, Kas., walked into police headquarters early Monday morning and asked to be "detained" for a time.

"It's a good bed and the long rest is what I need," he said.

When Shelton was placed in the matron's room he immediately went into using an imaginary phone in the corner of his cell.

"It's a wireless phone," he told Dr. W. L. Gist. ""Handy things, aren't they? Wouldn't be without one."

Later Shelton called Mrs. Joan Moran, the matron, and handing her a quarter said: "I wish you'd send a meal up on the elevator there to my nurse. She's up there and hasn't had anything to eat for some time."

Shelton pointed carelessly out into space as he spoke of "the elevator there." An order was made to send him to the general hospital yesterday. In the afternoon he appeared better, however, and made many promised regarding his future conduct, so Dr. Gist allowed him to be taken in charge by a friend.

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May 7, 1907


Elevator Boy's Note Found by Land-
lady, Who Called the Police.

George Evans eloped to Leavenworth a week ago with 17-year-old Maud Calvert. He is 23 years old and an elevator operator out of work. Two days after marrying they returned to the home of the girl's sister, Mrs. Louis Baskew, 1012 Adeline place. Promised employment failed Evans and he grew despondent. Yesterday he went to where he had been rooming, at Mrs. M. N. Paine's, 315 East Fourteenth street, closed the windows tightly, preparatory to ending his life by inhaling gas. He wrote this note:

My Darling Wife: I am sorry to have to write you this, my last farewell. When you get this I will be in the other world. I am going to kill myself. It is the only thing I can do. I cannot think of leaving here, Kansas City, and leaving you, and I can't get a job. Am out of money. Nothing left for me to do only end it all, when you will be free
again and you will soon forget me and marry again and be happy. Maud, forgive me -- my dying request -- if I am doing wrong. GEORGE.

Thinking to try once more for a job Evans went down the street, but failing in search for work he returned home, determined more than ever on suicide. But the landlady had found his note. She did not know he was married. She sent to ask him to come down stairs to see her, but as eh hesitated she telephoned for an officer and he was taken to No. 4 police station. His wife and her sister were brought there later to see him.

"They called it a childish prank -- our running off and getting married," he said yesterday, "and I guess it was, but I couldn't stand it to leave Maud and I was tired trying and failing to get work."

In Captain Flahive's office the girl wife had been silently weeping. When she spoke she said:"Why, George, I'll go to work. I know one of us can have a job all the time."

Mrs. Baskew, the sister, took them both back to her home. Mrs. Paine sent to the police station to ask that Evans should not return to her home, evidently fearing he might end his life there if he did not find employment.

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