January 29, 1910
PICTURE MACHINE EXPLODES.
Patrons of James Street Nickle Show
Cry "Fire" and Stampede.
A loud explosion followed by a tongue of flame, which burst from the operator's room at the "Star" nickle show, No. 8 South James street, Kansas City, Kas., about 8 o'clock last night, caused a panic to spread among the one hundred or more patrons who had gathered for the first performance. The cry of fire was followed by a mad stampede for the rear exits. Men, women and children trampled over each other in their frenzy, and a large gate at the rear of the theater was literally torn from the hinges by the frightened crowd. Luckily no one was seriously hurt in the rush, and aside from a few bruises, the crowd was none the worse for its experience.
Christ Clark, the picture machine operator, did not escape so lightly. When the films of the machine became ignited Clark, in his attempt to extinguish them, was badly burned. He fell from the elevated room where he was working and was treated at No. 2 police station by Dr. Mortimer Marder. Clark lives with his mother at 2012 North Fifth street. The fire department was called, but most of the fire was extinguished by the use of chemicals. The proprietor, Frank Spandle, probably saved the life of Clark. The young man was overcome and had sunk to the floor of the room among the burning films, when he was pulled from his perilous position by his employer.
Labels: explosion, Fire, Kansas City Kas, moving pictures
January 23, 1910
BLASTING JARS BUILDINGS.
Tenants of Downtown Structures Feel
Shock of Dynamite Shots.
What seemed like distant earthquake shocks have been felt in all the buildings on both sides of Grand avenue, between Ninth and Thirteenth streets during the last few days, the concussions being due to dynamite blasting in the conduit trench on the east side of Grand avenue.
When a shot is fired in the trenches there is a very perceptible chug and lift in the floors of all the structures in this district, and especially is this noticeable in the basements and first floors of the big buildings. In the basement of the R. A. Long building the concussion is so severe that some of the apparatus in a barber shop there has been moved out of the place. Higher up in the building the shock is not felt so markedly.
Blasting has been going on for several days and is likely to continue for several more. The trench is but partially completed and at present the work is hindered by a vein of rock which has to be blasted out. It isn't at all probable that the blasting will damage any of the big steel buildings, but it is altogether possible for it to do some damage to some of the less substantial structures, it is said.
Labels: explosion, Grand avenue, public works, R A Long building
January 10, 1910
SON OF ACTRESS IS BURNED.
Father Dead, Mother Away, Boy
Hurt Fatally Playing Indian.
While playing with some other boys in a vacant foundry at Nicholson and Prospect avenues yesterday morning at 11:30 o'clock, Eddie Campbell, aged 8 years, was so badly burned that he died four hours later at the University hospital.
The lad was attempting to make an Indian fire with some logs, and as the timber would not ignite readily he poured some kerosene on the heated portion. An explosion followed and young Campbell's clothes caught on fire. His playmates made frantic efforts to extinguish the flames, but did not succeed until after the boy had sustained fatal injuries. The body was taken to Stewart's undertaking rooms.
Eddie Campbell had been living with an uncle, Albert Campbell, at 728 North Chestnut street, for some time. His father is dead and his mother, Stella S. Campbell, who is an actress, is touring Michigan.
Labels: Chestnut street, children, death, explosion, Fire, Nicholson avenue, Prospect avenue, theater, undertakers, University hospital
December 24, 1909
GAS COMPLETES RUIN
OF RIALTO BUILDING.
FLAMES UNDER CONTROL WHEN
MAIN BREAKS, EXPLODING.
Firemen Grope Way to Street as
Third Roar Is Heard and Fire
Raging for Hours, Leaves
Only Ice-Coated Walls.
CHARRED WALLS OF THE RIALTO BUILDING, ALL THAT REMAINS OF A "FIRE TRAP."
Flames fed by a broken gas main destroyed the Rialto building at the southwest corner of Grand avenue and Ninth street at 3:30 o'clock yesterday morning. The building was erected in 1887 by Albert Marty, its present owner. The fire started in the basement and raged virtually unchecked for three hours until everything inflammable had been consumed. Nothing remains but the ruined and ice-coated walls. The loss is estimated at $300,000.
The building was one of the few remaining big Kansas City fire traps which are a terror to the fire department. Almost entirely of frame construction inside, it burned like tinder. In the language of Assistant Chief Alex Henderson, "not all the fire companies in Missouri could have stopped it."
The fire was noticed first by J. W. Johnson, a negro janitor, who had for many years been a fixture in the building. Johnson was sitting in one of the offices on the second floor at 3 o'clock in the morning, when he was startled by a rumbling sound like the report of a muffled cannon. He jumped from the chair in which he had been resting after several hours of hard work in policing the building, and bounded down the stairway.
He was confronted by dense smoke, and forgetting everything but that there were several person in the building who were in imminent danger of losing their lives, he bounded up the steps and shouted fire from each landing. In this manner he aroused Dr. J. W. Gaines, Dr. Robert O. Gross, Dr. Emil Thielman, Dr. Oliver F. Jones, Dr. A. Talbot, Dr. B. E. Jordan, Dr. J. B. Jones and Dr. Frank Jones. On the fifth floor Johnson came upon Charles R. Manley, senior physical examiner of the Y. M. C. A., in a semi-conscious condition, the result of striking his head against a post in his efforts to escape while groping his way through the dark, smoke-filled hallways. Johnson himself was beginning to feel the effects of the smoke, but not thinking of his own life in his efforts to save others half carried and dragged Mr. Manley down the stairway and out into the streets to safety. In the meantime, A. E. Perrine, night watchman in the building of McGowan, Small & Morgan, gas grantees, which is the first building south of the Rialto, discovered smoke and noticing the glare of flames which by that time had gained considerable headway in the trunk factory, hastened to a telephone and turned in the alarm.
FIRE FIGHT BEGINS.
The fire department soon was on the scene. The fire at first looked to be easy to extinguish. The firemen had the flames smothered, when a terrific explosion, caused by the breaking of a gas main, shot the flames up through the building to the top floors. At the time of this explosion Assistant Chief Alex Henderson and a squad of men were on the first floor of the building. The force of the explosion shook the entire building and as the flames were spreading to all parts of the structure, it was as much as a man's life was worth to stay inside, as another explosion could be expected at any time. While Chief Henderson and his men were extricating themselves from the trap, Captain Pelletier, with several men, were groping their way about in the basement of the Ninth street entrance. In what seemed to be hours, they emerged through the smoke and debris into the street. It was none too soon, as the third explosion occurred a few minutes later and had any of the firemen remained in the building they would have been buried beneath the floors and walls. By this time twenty companies had arrived and were throwing streams of water into the burning building from all sides, but it was of no use. The interior of the building was mostly wood and the outside wall kept the streams from getting to the center of the building, where the fire was worst.
The Rialto was the only old-time building of any consequence on Grand avenue. Albert Marty, the owner, is an active real estate and building man of Kansas City. He purchased the ground in 1886 and in 1887 constructed a five-story building on the corner. In 1889 he purchased forty-eight feet on the south side of the corner lot and the same year erected the south half of the building which burned yesterday morning.
The building was occupied by many prominent physicians and dentists, some of whom have been in the building twenty-five years.
"The number of occupants is in the neighborhood of 100," said Dr. H. D. McQuade, who had offices in the building for many years. "Many of us will be up against it for offices for some time, but I expect to contract for offices on the fifth floor of the Keith & Perry building tomorrow. Many of us received offers from other physicians to share their offices while looking for locations."
VALUED AT $125,000.
The building was valued at $125,000, although at the time of its erection it cost in the neighborhood of $200,000. That was more than twenty years ago. There was $81,500 insurance carried on the structure. The heaviest loser among the occupants was Hugo A. Brecklein, a druggist, occupying the first floor. Mr. Brecklein estimated his loss at $20,000, with $12,000 insurance.
J. H. Langan, son of John P. Langan, a grocer at 4601 Independence avenue, was walking north on Grand avenue yesterday morning when the fire started, and in attempting to awaken some of the men who were sleeping in the offices, he broke the glass in one of the doors, severely cutting his hand. But he saved the life of a man who was sleeping through all the disturbance, and succeeded in helping him to the street.
At least sixty physicians and twenty dentists lost their office furnishings and instruments in the Rialto building fire yesterday. The average loss for each tenant is said to have been about $700, and that only a small part of it was covered by insurance.
For years the Rialto has been the doctors' office building of Kansas City. Many of the most prominent physicians of the city were established there. Owing to the fact that in many buildings dentists and physicians are not allowed to rent offices, because the odors arising form the mixtures of medicines is objected to by other tenants, this building has long been recognized as the headquarters of men engaged in these two professions.
VALUABLE RELICS LOST.
About 1,000 specimens of prehistoric stone implements and two ancient violins were cherished treasures of Dr. A. H. Cordier, which were lost in the Rialto fire. Dr. Cordier occupied room 310, third floor.
A collector of prehistoric implements, Dr. Cordier, on trips to Mexico, Alaska, Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas and through Missouri, got several thousand specimens, and he had about 1,000 of them on display in his offices. His is a collector of old violins and had two of these instruments, which he prized highly, in his rooms. Another relic which Dr. Cordier lost was the mounted head of a mountain sheep which he shot while on a hunting trip in British Columbia. Dr. Cordier's office had been in the Rialto building eighteen years.
DR. ANDERSON LUCKY.
A long distance survey of the Rialto ruins makes it appear that Dr. R. V. Anderson, a dentist, is the only tenant of the burned structure whose effects were not destroyed, and he recalls the fact that once before in a fire in the Rialto building he also was lucky.
Dr. Anderson's office has been in the building nearly eighteen years, ever since he began to practice, and some years ago ago fire broke out beneath his office, and his rooms, enveloped in smoke and flame, seemed doomed. The firemen, however, extinguished the blaze before his effects suffered any serious damage.
ORDINANCE NOT ENFORCED.
At the burning of the Rialto building yesterday morning the firemen were greatly handicapped by dangers from exploding gas, and they were in continual danger of being burned by flame of escaping gas. Had the building been equipped with a Siebens' shut-off gas valve it would have been possible for the firemen the moment they reached the fire to turn off the gas in the entire building and thereby lessen the danger occasioned by the escaping gas. The building code requires the installation of gas shut-off devices on all buildings, but for some reason the ordinance has never been enforced.
Labels: dentists, doctors, druggists, explosion, Fire, Grand avenue, grocers, Independence avenue, Ninth street, real estate, Rialto building, YMCA
December 21, 1909
EXPLODES; BURNS TWO.
SPREADS BURNING GASOLINE
AND FIRES CLOTHING.
Mrs. Wilhelmina Kimberling, Den-
tist Newton's Assistant, in
Critical Condition -- Heavy
Rug Probably Saved Life.
Presence of mind displayed by Mrs. Wilhelmina Kimberling probably saved her life late yesterday afternoon, when a gasoline blow-pipe exploded in the office of Dr. Frank H. Newton, a dentist at 520 Minnesota avenue, Kansas City, Kas., throwing burning gasoline over her clothing and that of Dr. Newton. She ran screaming for aid from the little work room, where the explosion occurred, to the outer office, where she laid down on the heavy floor rug and folded it about her in an effort to check the flames.
Dr. Newton, whose clothing was also afire, raised a window and shouted for help, in the meantime smothering the fire in his clothes. Leslie Channel, a young man who lives in Quindaro, Kas., and his father Samuel Channel, heard the cries and ran upstairs. Mrs. Kimberling's clothing was still burning when they reached her, and Leslie Channel threw his overcoat about her. Dr. Newton, who sleeps in apartments adjoining his offices, carried a heavy comfort from his bed and folded it about her. The folds of the overcoat and comfort smothered the flames, but not until she had been seriously burned.
WOMAN'S CONDITION CRITICAL.
Drs. J. A. Fulton, W. H. McLeod, E. R. Tenney and J. S. Kline reached the scene of the accident soon afterward. The woman was given emergency treatment, and taken to Bethany hospital where it was said last night her condition was critical. She received severe burns on the arms, chest and legs. Her face was also burned, but the attending physicians said the burns there were superficial.
Both of Dr. Newton's hands were burned, and he also suffered a severe burn on the left leg. He was attended by Dr. Kline.
Mrs. Kimberling for several months has worked in the doctor's office. Her mother lives in Illinois. She has one daughter, Hazel, 5 years old, who lives with friends in Kansas City, Mo. Mrs. Kimberling is 23 years old and lived in apartments in the same building in which the accident occurred.
The gasoline blowpipe, which caused the accident, is used by dentists to melt the gold used in fillings and crowns. Dr. Newton said last night he did not know what caused the explosion, but supposed it was due to a defective connection. The dentist's blowpipe is similar to that used by plumbers for melting solder.
Labels: accidents, dentists, doctors, explosion, Fire, hospitals, Kansas City Kas, Minnesota avenue
December 7, 1909
BOILER KILLS FOUR,
RIPS BUILDING OPEN.
DRIVER THROWN FROM PASS-
ING WAGON, DIES.
Explosion Occurs While Steamfitters
Are at Work -- Other Men In-
jured -- Pickets Blown Off
Fence Across Alley.
EXPLOSION WHICH COST FOUR LIVES.
By the explosion of a boiler in the basement of the six-story building at 908-10 Broadway at 11 o'clock yesterday morning, Michael Frawley and James Cox were killed outright, and Andrew Meyer and Essie Williams, a negro porter, so badly burned and otherwise injured that they died before nightfall. Two others were badly hurt, and three stories of the rear portion of the building were wrecked. Considerable damage also was done to adjoining structures.
Within two minutes business men and pedestrians in the neighborhood ventured to enter the front door of the building bent on rescuing those who were hurt. The flooring on the first and second stories had been splintered and a heavy partition in the middle of the building had toppled over. Every window glass on two stories had been blown out. Heavy timbers, torn from their places, hung over overhead, and for a time a general collapse of the rear section of the interior of the structure was feared.
The cause for the explosion is not known. Steamfitters employed by Val Wagner & Co., 3918 Main street, were adjusting a steamcock on the boiler, and were preparing to clean out the pipes. They had started to work last Saturday and yesterday morning they put fire under the boiler in order to do the cleaning. There was no forewarning of anything being wrong with the apparatus, and when the explosion occurred Michael Frawley, one of the steamfitters, was on top of the boiler. The boiler had not been in use for some time, and it is supposed that this is accountable for the very bad condition it was in when the workmen began the repairing.
ONE DRIVER IS KILLED.
James Cox, a driver for the Stewart Peck Sand Company, happened to be driving through the alley and had just reached the building when the explosion occurred. He was thrown bodily from the wagon and dashed to death against the brick pavement. C. R. Misner, another driver in the employ of the same firm, sat beside Cox. He too was hurled from the seat, but escaped with a fractured shoulder. Essie Williams, a negro porter, was in the boiler room at the time of the accident, and he was scalded from head to foot by the escaping steam. H e was hurried to the General hospital and died at 3:45 o'clock yesterday afternoon.
Andrew Meyer and W. H. Straubmeyer, plumbers, were at work on the boiler. Both seemed at first to have received minor injuries but Meyer was suffering from shock so he was sent to St. Mary's hospital. He did not rally, and it later developed that he was internally injured. He died at the hospital at 5:40 o'clock.
WHO THE DEAD MEN ARE.
Michael Frawley, 2040 Madison avenue, was unmarried, an orphan, and 28 years old. He has lived in this city all his life. Two brothers, John and Emmett and two sisters, Mary and Kate Frawley, survive. His body was taken to the Wagner undertaking rooms.
Meyer, Forty-third and Hudson streets in Rosedale, was well known in Atchison, Kas., where he had worked as a steamfitter off and on for many years. He came to Kansas City recently and went to live with a brother at the Hudson street address in Rosedale. He was 45 years old and unmarried. His body was also taken to the Wagner undertaking rooms.
If James Cox, 1416 Central street, has relatives living they were not found last night, and it is almost certain they do not live in this city. He was about 35 years old. It is said he was single, but there is another rumor that he has a wife and child somewhere.
Edward Booker, business manager of the local steamfitters' union, said last night that none of the men killed or injured bore union cards. Frawley, he said, was merely a steamfitter's helper. He had once applied for a card in the union, but did not keep up with the requirements, and his membership was finally cancelled.
Essie Williams, 505 East Sixth street, the negro porter, was also a fireman. The whereabouts of his survivors have not yet been ascertained. His body was taken to the Countee undertaking rooms.
The wrecked building is the property of the Homestead Realty Company and is in the charge of David Bachrach, who as the agent, had the renting of the rooms. The block had been unoccupied recently, but the H. K. Mulford Company of Philadelphia was preparing to move its stock in on the third floor.
"It was a terrific shock which seemed to shake the foundation of our building from under us," said C. M. Lyon, president of the Lyon Millinery Company, which occupies the building adjoining on the south. "Several plate glasses crashed and I ran to the front door and out on the street fearing that possibly a second explosion might occur. the damage we suffered was comparatively small, but the fright we were given was large."
The picket fence surrounding the home of Mrs. Thomas E. Moran, 916 Bank street, just across the alley from the wrecked building, was partly demolished by the concussion and many pickets were torn from the fence and blown several feet away.
Labels: accident, Bank street, Central street, death, explosion, hospitals, Madison avenue, Main street, Rosedale, Sixth street, undertakers
November 19, 1909
PICTURE MACHINE LETS GO.
Only Four in the Audience When
Explosion Took Place.
Frank Tierney, of 320 West Thirteenth street, was burned about the face and hands in an attempt to extinguish a fire that started from the explosion of a moving picture machine at the cozy theater, 1300 Main street, yesterday afternoon. There were four persons in the audience at the time.
Tierney was attended by Dr. Hamilton and sent to his home. The damage to the theater was slight.
Labels: doctors, explosion, Fire, Main street, moving pictures, theater, Thirteenth street
July 12, 1909
3 DEAD AS RESULT
OF BOMB EXPLOSION.
FIREWORKS DISPLAY NEAR A
CHURCH ENDS FATALLY.
Italians of Holy Rosary Congrega-
tion Were Celebrating St. John's
Day -- Two Negroes Are
The upright figure is sketched from a duplicate of the iron pipe which was also to have been fired. The upper figure is a sketch of the piece which killed the woman and the lower figure is a sketch of the piece which was hurled through the house at 511 Campbell street.
Amidst a throng of 700 persons who gathered at Fifth and Campbell streets last night to watch the celebration of St. John's day, a bomb exploded, instantly killing Clarance Harrington, a negro of 511 Lydia avenue, and Anna Fields, a negro woman of 568 Harrison street; and so seriously wounding Tony Grassiffe, an Italian living at 311 East Third street, that he died at 10:45 o'clock.
The bomb was one used in the pyrotechnical display being held under the direction of the Holy Order of St. John, an organization of the Holy Rosary Roman Catholic church, Fifth and Campbell streets. Tony Grassiffe, one of the victims, was the master of ceremonies and for almost an hour he had been lighting bombs, rockets and Roman candles, while the crowd gathered denser in the street.
Grassiffe finally planted the huge cast iron pipe, loaded with dynamite and a bomb, in the center of a low corner lot. He had been warned to completely cover the bomb with dirt, and to plant it deep. Ignorance or carelessness caused him to leave the bomb in its two feet of iron pipe standing uncovered in the lot. He lighted the fuse and before he could gain his feet the explosion occurred.
NEGROES INSTANTLY KILLED.
Grassiffe's left leg at the knee was completely severed by the bursting projectile. A huge piece of the iron was hurled westward and struck the negro woman full on the right side of her face, tearing it away, and leaving only a small portion of the skull. Another, and smaller piece, struck Harrington in the center of his forehead, crushing his skull and tearing part of it away. The two negroes dropped in their tracks, dead. The woman lay across the sidewalk grasping a palm leaf fan in her hand. The man fell close by her side.
Sergeant D. J. Whalen was standing within three feet of the woman when she fell. He was struck in the chest by a piece of mortar, but was uninjured. Officer Lee Clarry was standing still closer to the negro, and escaped without a scratch.
PENETRATES HOUSE WALL.
One piece of the iron pipe was hurled northward with a force which caused it to penetrate the wall of a house, seventy-five feet distant, and continue its course within, plunging through a two-inch door and spending its force against the other wall of the building.
Seated at a window, not three feet from the point where the projectile entered the wall, was Tony Gafucci. He was thrown from his chair, and lay on the floor of his room, momentarily stunned. The house number is 511 Campbell street.
Instantly after the sound of the explosion, the great crowd surged forward to where the dead bodies were lying. The police officers held them back, and themselves ascertained the condition of the negroes. Seeing that both were dead, the officers hastened to aid Grassiffe, whom they heard groaning and crying for help. They picked the injured man up from the hollow and carried him into a nearby drug store.
The police ambulance was hastily called, and Dr. E. D. Twyman accompanied it to the scene of the explosion. As he alighted at the spot where the negroes were lying on the sidewalk, and stooped down to make examinations, the uncontrollable crowd of negroes and Italians surged forward closer still, knocking over the surgeon.
COULDN'T SAVE ITALIAN.
When Dr. Twyman reached Grassiffe he found the injured man to be in a dangerous condition. Nothing could be done to stop the terrible flow of blood from the severed limb. The surgeon ordered a record drive to the emergency hospital, where every effort was made to save the life of the injured man. He was kept alive until 10:45 o'clock, by means of artificial respiration and then died.
By some means Grassiffe's wife gained entrance to the hospital and, gazing upon the form of her husband, became hysterical. It was necessary for Dr. H. T. Morton to administer an opiate to quiet the woman, who was shrieking strange Italian chants at the top of her voice, pausing now and then to cross herself and mutter a hurried prayer.
The coroner was notified of the deaths and ordered the negroes bodies taken to Moore's undertaking establishment, 1033 Independence avenue.
The celebration last night was held in spite of the constant warnings given out by Father Charles Delbecchi, in charge of the Holy Rosary church. He had just left his church, where he had warned once more of the dangers of fireworks.
Labels: accident, Campbell street, churches, death, doctors, explosion, Fifth street, fireworks, Harrison street, holidays, immigrants, ministers, Third street
July 6, 1909
IN NEGRO COLONY.
REPORTED BLACK RESIDENTS
HAVE ARMED THEMSELVES.
Arrange System of Signals to Call
for Assistance If Further At-
tempts Are Made to Dyna-
Negroes who live in the vicinity of Twenty-seventh street and Highland avenue, near the vacant house at 2707 Highland which was wrecked by dynamite at 4 o'clock yesterday morning, presumably as a warning to real estate men that Twenty-seventh street is the negro's farthest point south in that portion of the Tenth ward, have organized for protection, and are reported to have armed themselves. Last night they declared they would not act hastily, but that it bodes ill for anyone to attempt to repeat the dynamiting of Monday morning.
Last night Everett Robinson, whose wife is a white woman, and G. F. Parsons patrolled the colony. They arranged a system of signals by which they could get assistance if needed.
OBJECT TO "INVASION."
White residents of that neighborhood as a rule deplore the dynamiting, but they are a unit in objecting to what they call a "negro invasion" of a white residence district, and they declare that every possible effort should be made to rid the neighborhood of the blacks.
The house dynamited yesterday morning is the property of the King Realty Company. It is the third house from the corner, and is the only vacant one of four cottages. The dynamiting was carefully planned and almost wrecked the house. The explosive was placed in the center of the house and a fuse was led through a rear window. The explosion lifted the roof, wrecked the interior and tore out a portion of the wall. Bric-a-brac and dishes in the adjoining house, occupied by G. F. Parsons, were broken.
The noise of the explosion awakened people for a block. For a time the negroes in the colony were panic-stricken. The police and firemen who arrived on the scene calmed them when they searched the house and discovered no more explosives.
WON'T BE INTIMIDATED.
During the day the negroes talked over the situation, and they made up their minds they would not be intimidated. They say they will remain in the homes which they are purchasing and that the authorities will protect them.
When these houses were finished last spring and it was learned that they were to be sold to negroes, warnings were posted on them, declaring that the negroes should not occupy them. But little attention was paid to these notices. About the same time a real estate man built a row of houses on Twenty-eighth street which he advertised for sale to negroes. A mass meeting was held and he was induced to change his mind. They have since been sold to whites.
The dynamiting yesterday morning came as a surprise to the negroes and also to the white residents of the neighborhood. So far as could be learned yesterday no active steps against the negro invasion of the neighborhood had been taken recently and it was suggested it was possible that the person who used the dynamite probably was inspired from a meeting in the Tenth ward Saturday night.
WILL PROTECT THEIR HOMES.
The negroes of Highland avenue are emphatic in asserting that they will remain in the homes which they are purchasing.
"We have to live somewhere," declared the white wife of Everett Robinson. "My husband does not make a large salary and we put what little money we had in this home. I have not heard of anyone who is anxious to give us our money back and I know that my husband is going to protect his wife and babies from an attack."
Parsons, whose home adjoins the wrecked cottage, declared that the negroes in that section are law abiding, but that they have armed themselves, and that if any further attempt is made at dynamiting it will go hard with the dynamiters.
"I am buying my home here," he declared, "and I am not going to be intimidated."
The "warning to negroes" notices which were printed in the evening newspapers was a copy of a notice tacked on a negro's door last spring. No notices of any kind have been served on the negroes since.
Labels: explosion, Highland avenue, race, real estate, Twenty-seventh street
June 29, 1909
WOMAN FIRST FOURTH VICTIM.
Mrs. Williams Sharp Injured While
Playing With a Toy Pistol.
Mrs. William Sharp, 26 years old, 1025 Harrison street, was last night distinguished by being the first person in Kansas City to be injured by the premature explosion of Fourth of July noisemakers. She was in her home and picked up a toy pistol loaded with a blank 22-caliber cartridge. In some manner the cartridge was exploded and the index finger on her right hand was badly lacerated. She was treated at the emergency hospital.
Labels: accident, emergency hospital, explosion, fireworks, Harrison street, holidays, toys
June 10, 1909
BLOWN UP BY PRESCRIPTION.
Druggist High Loses Part of a
Thumb Through Explosion of
Chemicals, Which Starts Fire.
While preparing a prescription in his drug store at Fifteenth street and Troost avenue yesterday evening, Harley High was badly injured by an explosion of the chemicals which he was using in an evaporating dish. His right hand was badly hurt, and powdered chemicals were blown into his face.
The injured man was treated at the residence of Dr. W. T. Singleton, Jr., directly across the street. It was found necessary to amputate the right thumb at the first joint. The great mass of powder which had been blown into Mr. High's face was picked out. He was taken to his home, 3214 Chestnut street.
Fire which resulted from the explosion entailed a loss of $900 on the building and its contents.
Mr. High was suffering so greatly that he could not tell how the explosion occurred. No one else was near.
Labels: accident, Chestnut street, doctors, druggists, explosion, Fifteenth street, Troost avenue
May 24, 1909
RAN THROUGH FLAMES
TO RESCUE HER BABY.
KANSAS CITY, KAS., WOMAN
Mrs. J. A. Tavis, After Gasoline
Explosion, Rushed Through Fire
and Wrapped Her Skirts
Mrs. J. A. Tavis and her son, Theodore, 2 years old, were dangerously burned by an explosion of gasoline yesterday morning at the home, 313 Washington boulevard, Kansas City, Kas. The heroic action of the mother, who rushed through the flames and wrapped her clothing about the baby, probably saved the child's life. Mrs. Tavis's left leg from the hip to the foot is literally baked. She is also suffering from severe burns on her right foot and right leg below the knee, as well as the right hand. The baby, which had been ill for several weeks, was burned from the knees down on both legs and feet, also both hands and arms. Dr. W. C. Whimster dressed the wounds.
The accident was caused by dropping a lighted paper on the floor near a bucket into which a wash basin filled with gasoline had been emptied. An explosion followed and the flames immediately spread over the room and the adjoining hall. Mrs. Tavis, who was near the door leading to the hall, heard the baby scream, and rushing through the flame, wrapped the child in her skirts.
Labels: children, explosion, Fire, Kansas City Kas
December 31, 1908
BLACK HAND TRIES
TO MURDER FAMILY.
TONY ARMENIO'S HOUSE BLOWN
UP BY DYNAMITE.
Inmates Escape Injury, but Front of
Building Is Wrecked -- Money
Had Been Demanded of
Coming to the country twenty-one years ago, Tony Armenio prospered in business but gained the enmity of the Society of the Mafia, or Black Hand, members of which early yesterday morning attempted to kill Armenio and his wife and child by exploding a dynamite bomb in his living apartments. The Italian owns a saloon at 550 Gillis street and lives on the fourth floor above the dramshop.
Preceding the explosion yesterday morning Armenio on Monday received a letter, which was unsigned, demanding $5,900. If Armenio failed to give the money to "friends," the writer stated, his entire family would be killed. The Italian saloonkeeper did not heed the warning and thought but little of it, because he received a similar letter about a year ago.
A tenement house four stories high with storerooms occupying the ground floor, situated at 536 to 550 Gillis street, is owned by Armenio. Along the rear of the tenement is a porch, and it was upon this porch that the Black Hand arranged the bomb.
NOISE WAS FAR REACHING.
An explosion, the detonation of which was heard as far as Sheffield, occurred at 1:30 o'clock yesterday morning and wrecked the rear rooms of the apartments occupied by Armenio and his family. In the front room were Armenio and his wife, while in the room to the west was their daughter, Mary, 16 years old. The dining room is directly west of that in which the daughter was asleep. A window opens out onto the rear porch.
Just beneath the window ledge the Black Hand agent had removed a brick from the wall, and placing a bomb on the window ledge, balanced it with the brick. A fuse was attached and set off. The force of the explosion tore the window casing out and knocked bricks out of the wall, and caused the plaster to fall off the ceilings and walls of every room.
Mary Armenio was covered with debris and unable to get out of bed until her father and mother assisted her. The shock greatly frightened the Armenio family and the other inhabitants of the tenement house. Window panes were broken in houses a block away. As soon as the first excitement was over the Italian family joined the throng in the street below. Luckily none was injured by the flying debris.
The explosion played havoc with the tenement, but also performed many peculiar tricks. A two-by-four scaritling torn from the porch was driven through the door from the dining room leading into Mary Armenio's room. A bird cage, imprisoning a canary bird, was hanging to a window casing. All of the casings was blown away except a small part to which was attached the cage. The glass and plaster fell into the cage, but the bird was uninjured.
THEY'RE AFRAID TO TALK.
Nails were driven into the walls and door frames and the police believe that the bomb was composed of a beer bottle filled with nails and iron slugs.
As is always the case where trouble has occurred among the Italian inhabitants of Little Italy, the police are at a loss. When asked, the Italians invariably shake their heads and mutter: "I don't know." Never have the police been able to make the Italians say they believe a murder has been committed by members of the Black Hand, so powerful is the influence of the society.
The report of dynamite explosion was heard by practically every policeman on duty in Kansas City. Immediately afterwards the patrolman called up their various stations and reported. But not one of them was able to give definite information as to where the explosion occurred. At police headquarters at 2:45 o'clock they learned that the explosion occurred at 559 Gillis street. And it was 3 o'clock before they learned that it was caused by a dynamite bomb placed in the building with murderous intent.
Labels: black hand, explosion, Gillis street, immigrants, police headquarters, saloon
July 5, 1908
NOT AS MANY ACCI-
DENTS AS USUAL.
ONE BOY NEARLY BLINDED.
MYRON KING INJURED BY IM-
Toy Pistols, Cannon Cracker and
Gunpowder Claim a Number
of Victims -- Noisy across the Line.
As the result of an untimely explosion of an improvised cannon, Myron King, the 16-year-old son of A. J. King, 1705 Linwood boulvard, received painful and serious injuries about the face yesterday afternoon possibly blinding his right eye. Myron and about fifteen of the neighborhood boys and girls were gathered in the front yard of H. G. Brown's residence, 3219 Highland avenue, shooting off various kinds of fireworks. After all of the firecrackers had become exhausted, some of the boys decided to use a tomato can as a cannon. It was touching off this cannon that the King boy received his injuries.
The can was about half loaded with black powder and slugs, and then plugged with paper. A small priming hole was drilled through the top of the can and firecracker fuses sere used as a fuse. Myrom stooped over the can to light the fuse. As he struk the match the sulphur tip flew off, falling on the powder which had been placed about the priming hole. There was an explosion, and the powder and tin struck the lad full in the face.
Myron staggered back, grasping blindly at the air. His companions ran to him, and the little girls set up a scream which attracted the attention of the whole block. Mothers, whose boys were in the crowd, ran to the scene of the explosion.
Mrs. G. P. Kincade, 3220 Highland avenue, thinking it was her son who had been injured by the explosion, started to run to Mr. Brown's home. She got no further than the front steps of her own home when she fainted in her son's arms. He had come hurrying home to assure his mother that he was safe.
"DON'T SPOIL THEIR FUN"
None of the King family was at home at the time, so the wounded boy was taken into Mr. Brown's home and several physicians were summoned at once. Among them was Dr. J. W. McKee, an oculist. The boy's face was completely blackened by powder and was badly cut in several places. Immediately the physicians and the oculist began to pick out the grains of powder from the lad's face and eyes, and when they had done as much as was possible at one operation, he was taken to his home.
At the time of the accident Myron requested that his parents not be notified until they returned home, saying: "There is no use to spoil their fun today. The accident has happened and it would do no good for them to come home right now." Nevertheless the physicians thought it best that they should be home to take care of the boy as soon as possible, and they were called from Elm Ridge, where they had gone to see the races.
Concerning the boy's condition, Dr. McKee said: "Myron will have a hard fight for the sight of his right eye. It was badly burned with powder and is in a precarious condition. It is impossible to say at this time just what may be the outcome There is still some powder left in the eye and it was not practicable to remove it this afternoon. His left eye is in good condition and it will not take much treatment to make it as good as it ever was."
MAY LOSE ONE EYE.
The physicians who attended the boy say that his condition is not serious. They fear only infection from the can and powder. Most of the particles were removed from Myron's face yesterday afternoon.
According to the physicians and occulist it will be some time before Myron can use his eyes to any extent. It was said that it would take at least three days to determine just the extent of the injuries done to the right eye, and if it can be restored it will take much treatment and a hard fight on the part of the oculist and boy.
Labels: children, doctors, Elm Ridge, explosion, fireworks, Highland avenue, holidays, Linwood boulevard, toys
July 2, 1908
SET CAR AFIRE.
PANIC AMONG PASSENGERS FOL-
CORINNE TALIAFERRO HURT.
SEVERAL OTHERS WERE IN-
JURED, BUT ONLY SLIGHTLY.
Trolley Car in Flames Ran Wild
Through Wyandotte Street Un-
til Pedestrian Turned
Off the Current.
When the "overhead" blew out on a Grand Central depot bound car at Twelfth and Wyandotte streets at 9 o'clock last night, half a dozen passengers were momentarily shrouded in flames. Miss Corinne Taliaferro, 1747 Pennsylvania avenue, became hysterical and jumped from the car w hen released by a passenger who had removed her from immediate danger from fire Her back and shoulder were wrenched, and she was so hysterical when taken to emergency hospital that an examination of her injuries could not be attempted.
A. L. Perry, 513 Locust street, who made a brave attempt to save the women passengers who tried to jump from the car, was treated at the emergency hospital, and Edward H. Bly, 5617 East Ninth street, who set the brakes on the car after it had been deserted by the crew, was burned severely. An unidentified woman passenger whose ankle was inured sent for a carriage and was taken home.
E. G. Combs, motorman of the car, No. 713, says he was thrown from the front vestibule by the explosion. The car had just crossed the Twelfth street tracks when the overhead blew out and the motorman left his brakes. Immediately the front of the car was enveloped in flames and the passengers fled to the rear vestibule. The first of the passengers, eager to leave the burning car, which was then under ordinary speed, pushed the conductor into the street and the car was left running wild.
It was then that Perry and Bly, the latter with an ambition to be a motorman, and with his application for a job placed with the Metropolitan Street Railway Company earlier in the day, attempted to rescue the passengers While Bly aided the two women to the rear of the car, Perry braced himself on the steps and refused to allow them to jump from the car.
Mrs. Taliaferro, who had been touched by the flames, stooped low and leaped straight into the street under Perry's outstretched arm. The rest of the passengers crowded upon the young man with such force that he was pushed to the pavement and his right ankle was twisted and his left shoulder bruised. The car, running wild and burning, had passed Eleventh street.
Bly, who could no longer aid the passengers, turned his attention to the brakes. The front vestibule was full of smoke and fire but he stepped in and fumbled for the levers. He brought the car to a stop near Ninth street, just as the insurance patrol company swung into Wyandotte from its Eleventh street station. The flames were soon extinguished The car was pushed to a switch in the North End.
The conductor and motorman, bruised, went to their barn and Bly sought a physician, while Perry went to the emergency hospital. Miss Taliaferro for two hours was too hysterical to receive treatment and was given opiates to quiet her nerves and brace her for examination . In the meantime Jack Bell, a traveling man acquaintance, had reached the emergency hospital and later D. H. D. McQuade was summoned. At midnight Miss Taliaferro was removed to the Wesley hospital, Eleventh and Harrison streets.
D. H. D. McQuade stated last night that the injuries may prove more serious than at first indicated by the examination. He thinks the girl has been injured internally and that several bones have been broken. A further examination will be made today. An opiate was given her last night in order that she might get rest and recover from the nervous shock sustained at the time of the accident.
Labels: doctors, explosion, Fire, Grand Central depot, Harrison street, hospitals, Metropolitan Street Railway Company, Ninth street, Pennsylvania avenue, streetcar, Twelfth street, Wyandotte street
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Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri