August 30, 1908
CATCHES HUSBAND GAMBLING
Wondering what attraction her husband found to keep him down town until the wee small hours of the morning, Mrs. David Kirk, Jr., 3120 Euclid avenue, daughter-in-law of David B. Kirk, foreman of the grand jury, started an investigation which culminated last Thursday night in her wrecking a pool hall located at 715 Central street after she discovered her husband in a rear room playing poker.
For some time Mrs. Kirk had been disturbed in mind because her husband had begun to keep late hours and could not give to her any satisfactory reasons for his so doing. A week ago five men were arrested by Detectives Robert Phelan and Scott Godley, who charged them with gambling. In some mysterious way Mrs. Kirk heard that her husband was one of the men, as did also his father in law, David B. Kirk, foreman of the grand jury. When taxed with being arrested Kirk, Jr., denied it to his wife, and she asked the assistance of her father-in-law.
The son was called into the father's office and denied that he had been arrested, but admitted that a friend had been caught gambling in a raid that detectives made on the pool hall and that he had gone to the station and deposited $17 bond for his friend.
David B. Kirk, 3217 Montgall avenue, foreman of the grand jury, was at his desk in his office in the M. K. & T. building about 7 o'clock last evening when he received a telephone call from his daughter-in-law. She said that her husband was not at home and that she was worried about him. She finally left her home, 3120 Euclid avenue, and went to Mr. Kirk's office. He talked to her and endeavored to pacify her and then they started home. She suggested that they stroll down to the suspected pool hall and see if David, Jr., was there. Mr. Kirk said last night that the pool hall was brilliantly lighted, the billiard balls racked, but the room was empty.
Mrs. Kirk refused to be satisfied. She opened the door and walked in. A door at one end of the room led to another beyond. The glass panels were painted white and it was impossible to see what was behind them. Mr. Kirk and his daughter-in-law could hear men's voices, the clicking of chips and the shuffling of cards. She knocked on the inside door as it was locked. A man partly opened it, probably expecting to see another poker player to join the crowd, and that act led to the wrecking of the hall later on.
Mr. Kirk succeeded in getting her foot between the door and the jamb, and, assisted by Mr. Kirk, Sr., she pushed the door open. Inside was her husband and four or five other men. They had attempted to conceal all evidence of the gambling that was going on in the room, but overlooked one $5 bill A man remarked that the money belonged to him, but was surprised as the rest when Mrs. Kirk picked up the bill and said he had evidently made a mistake. She placed the money in her chatelaine bag. Mr. Kirk got some poker chips and cards as evidence.
Fearing that the commotion would attract a crowd, Mr. Kirk took his son's wife and started to leave the building. As the two went through the pool hall Mrs. Kirk's anger arose beyond control, and the red and white ivory balls seemed to drive her frantic. Rushing to one of the tables she picked up the balls and began throwing them through the mirrors in the room. Exhausting the supply of balls on the first table she quickly gathered up those on the table next to it and finished all the mirrors in the hall.
Going from one table to another the now enraged woman scooped up the little ivories and pasted them through the plate glass windows and out into the street. After she had thrown every everything she could handle she consented to leave. Mr. Kirk, her father-in-law, says they went to Eighth street and endeavored to find a policeman, but not a sight of one they could catch. Down one block and up another street the two people walked, hunting, searching and looking for a minion of the law, but in vain.
Just as Mr. Kirk, Sr., was calling the grand jury into session Friday morning he was informed that there was an urgent telephone call for him. He answered it and, last night, he said that his son was at the other end of the wire. Young Kirk told his father that Charles W. Prince, owner of the pool hall, was in his office and desired to know what reparation he intended to make for the damage of furniture and building resulting from his wife's actions. The young man wanted his father to tell him what to do. "Mr. Prince wants to talk to you," said the son. The father stated last night that he answered by saying: "If Mr. Prince wants to talk to me, he'll have to do the talking before the grand jury. That was the last Kirk, Sr. heard of Prince. It is not likely that that will be the last Prince will hear of Kirk, Sr., or of the grand jury, either.
When asked what action would be taken by him, Mr. Kirk, Sr., stated that he had called the prosecuting attorney into the grand jury room and told the whole story, shielding no one, asking no mercy for anyone.
Asked if an indictment would be returned by the grand jury against anyone for either gambling or keeping a gambling house, Mr. Kirk stated that the prosecuting attorney had informed the grand jury that Mr. Kirk had not secured enough evidence against anyone to make a conviction in the criminal court. The money, the cards, the chips, the table with its green cloth and white covering were not sufficient evidence, the prosecuting attorney told them. According to Mr. Kirk, to secure a conviction the state would have to have witnesses who could testify that they had seen the men gambling.
David B. Kirk, Jr., is 32 years of age. He is a millers' agent.