February 4, 1910
PATRONYMICS OF THE GREAT.
Sly Attempt of Wrongdoers to En-
list Official Sympathy.
"Did it ever occur to you," asked Inspector Edward P. Boyle last night, "how many men when arrested will take the name of the chief of police, the police judge or some other official with whom they have to come in contact? They hope to gain sympathy by that ruse. We got a man yesterday for horse stealing, and, by gosh, he gave the name of Edward P. Boyle, my full name. He is in the county jail now under my name, but when we looked him up in the National Bureau of Identification, we find that he has a goodly supply of names."
"Boyle" was arrested by L. C. Barber, a motorcycle policeman, on complaint of of the Kirby Transfer Company, Missouri and Grand avenues. It appears that he rented a horse and wagon from Kirby to do a huckster business and disposed of the rig.
"Boyle's" picture is in the book sent out by the National Bureau of Identification at Washington. He appears there under the name of James J. O'Neil, which, bu the way, is the name of a former chief of police of Chicago. He also bears the names of Edward Riley and Edward Connors, the last being believed by the police to be his. He has done time in the Rochester, N. Y., Industrial school, the Elmira, N. Y., reformatory, and two years in the Auburn, N. Y., penitentiary. He was five years in Elmira. The man of many "police" names also has done short terms elsewhere.
When Hugh C. Brady was police judge there hardly was a week that some bum did not give the name of "Hugh Brady, sir, yer honor."
Labels: Chicago, con artist, crime, Grand avenue, Inspector Boyle, jail, Missouri avenue, New York, police
January 21, 1910
BOY SUSPECTS GIVEN
NO EVIDENCE FOUND AGAINST
LOUIS DYE, RALPH CLYNE
AND HARRY SHAY.
Those Filing Charges and
Fail to Appear.
Three boys, Louis Dye, Ralph Clyne and Harry M. Shay, accused of highway robbery, were dismissed from the charge by Justice James B. Shoemaker yesterday afternoon, completely vindicated. His action, Justice Shoemaker said afterwards, was warranted by the fact that they had not been sufficiently identified as the robbers, that their good character was obvious and that there was a want of prosecution, none of the the complaining witnesses nor any of the numerous persons alleged to have been robbed being present in the court room when the case was called.
A chance resemblance alleged to exist between the innocent youths and the boy bandits who committed innumerable depredations, including a murder, a month and a half ago, has followed the former since their apprehension in the Peck dry goods store December 7. Interrogated by police and county prosecutors, and an attempt made to personally assault one of them in the office of Captain Walter Whitsett at Central station by Thomas Spangler, whose father was killed by robbers in his saloon at Twentieth street and Grand avenue, the boys have had an unenviable six weeks.
Although Clyne, Dye and Shay worked in the same store in the capacity of elevator operators, they were scarcely acquainted before their arrest. They met often in the course of a day's work but it was only as other employes of a large commercial institution that hires hundreds of people meet. Now they are friends. Adversity and a common cause have brought them together.
The boys were arrested at the Peck store, at the insistence of Miss Stella Sweet, 529 Brooklyn avenue, and Mrs. L. F. Flaugh, 629 Brooklyn avenue, at 5:30 o'clock, December 7. Captain Walter Whitsett and Patrolmen E. M. Smith and E. L. Masson were the arresting officers.
While getting on the elevator to shop on the third floor the women, both of whom had been held up and robbed a week before, said they thought Clyne and Shay were trying to conceal their faces from them.
In the office of Captain Whitsett, the next day, the several persons previously robbed by the boy bandits were allowed to examine the boys in the presence of Captain Whitsett, Thomas R. Marks and Thomas Higgs, deputy county prosecutor. They were: Joseph Shannon, Miss Sweet, Mrs. Flaugh, W. S. McCain, Edward Smith, Albert Ackerman, Thomas Spangler and Edward McCreary.
When the case was called for trial before Justice Shoemaker yesterday afternoon Smith was out of town. He had left an assurance that he positively would not swear that the boys were guilty of robbing him. McCreary was not at the trial when his name was called, and it had reached the ears of the court likewise that he would not, under oath, associate the boys with the crime he had formerly charged against them.
Assistant Prosecutor Higgs asked for a continuance of the case until he could procure further evidence, but this was overruled. the boys were dismissed for want of prosecution.
"The police and the county had no case against them," said Justice Shoemaker. "This is another instance of someone acting prematurely. From all evidence to the contrary, these young men are as guiltless as anyone here in the courtroom."
Labels: Brooklyn avenue, Captain Whitsett, courtroom, criminal court, jail, Justice Shoemaker, Spangler murder
January 10, 1910
SOCIETY'S AIM TO
National Organization to Be
Formed During Present
To make good folks out of bad ones is the object of a convention of men and women representing eight states, which began in Kansas City yesterday and will continue until Wednesday.
The meeting is that of the Society of the Friendless, which has for its purpose the uplifting of men, women and children within prison walls and their conversion tion good citizens when they are released. The society was started ten years ago in Kansas and Missouri, but at the present convention a national organization will be perfected.
The opening meeting of the convention was held yesterday in the Institutional church, Admiral boulevard and Holmes street, and the feature was an address by Fred M. Jackson, attorney general of Kansas, who declared that in enforcing prohibition of the liquor traffic Kansas is doing more than probably any other state in the prevention of crime. Other speakers of the afternoon were Henry M. Beardsley of Kansas City and Dr. A. J. Steelman of Seattle, superintendent of the Washington branch of the society.
J. K. Codding, warden of the Kansas state prison at Lansing, was to have spoken, but was unable to attend the meeting yesterday because of injuries received several days ago. He expects to be present at the session today.
Mr. Jackson was assigned the topic of law enforcement as a preventive of crime. He said, in part:
"In Kansas it is figured that one-fifth of the men in prison are there by accident or thorugh the miscarriage of justice, another fifth is a criminal class andd the remaining 60 per cent are men who may either be saved or become criminals.
"We proceed in Kansas the best way to save this 60 per cent, and that is to enforce the law against the organized liquor traffic. The greter per cent of men in prison go there because of the liquor traffic and the state claims the right to oust any business which contributes so largely to the public expense and to public detriment.
"Some people ask why w do not have a local option law or some other measure than prohibition. When you grant licenses in one part of the state, you bot those who do not want liquor as an element of government. When we have prohibition it should be enforced. The state demands it and I do not claim the least bit of credit for my part in enforcing it. An officer who merely does his duty doens't deserve any credit.
"There result where the law ha been enforced is that society and the man have been repaid. Business men realize the poverty which liquor causes and are against it. What is a saloonkeeper? He is a man who wants to share the responsiblilty of government, who helps run the police power, whose consent is necessary to levy taxes and disburse them. By putting him out of the way, more than half hte counties of Kansas have dispensed with their poor houses and in other counties these institutions are but poorly populated.
HAS PAID KANSAS.
"We have decreased crime and criminals. Has it paid Kansas? The results speak for themselves."
Dr. Steelman, who talked on the reformatory side of the prison, told of the wonderful progress made in the treatment of prisoners and of modern methods for making them good citizens after their release. The first step in the movement, he said, was saving the services of the prisoners to the state and this was succeeded by the idea of saving the men themselves. Dr. Steelman was formerly warden of the Joliet (Ill.) penitentiary.
Mr. Beardsley devoted his talk to outlining the purposes of the society. He said the work of the society is both preventive and to help the fallen.
"Criminals," said Mr. Beardsley, "ought to be on the credit instead of the debit side of the state's accounts. A small amount invested in reclaiming these men brings big returns to the state."
Mr. Beardsley said the work of the society has been costing about $12,000 a year, but that this year $15,000 will be required.
Warden Codding of Lansing, in a telegram to the society, expressed regret at his inability to be present and conveyed his good wishes.
The Rev. E. A. Fredenhagen of Kansas City, corresponding secretary of the society, presided at the meeting yesterday.
Labels: Admiral boulevard, alcohol, conventions, Holmes street, jail, Mayor Beardsley, ministers, organizations, penitentiary, prohibition, visitors
December 10, 1909
STILL DENY CHARGES.
EXAMINATIONS MADE IN VAIN
Shay Says He Can Prove He Was at
Theater on Night of One Hold
Up, the Victim of Which
The three youths, Louis M. Dye, Ralph A. Clyne and Harry Shay, locked up in the county jail charged with highway robbery and suspected of the Spangler murder, were subected to a series of rigorous examinations yesterday by Assistant Prosecutor Norman Woodson. His efforts in "sweating" the prisoners so far have met with no success. The trio deny every charge made against them and with the exception of numerous identifications, the authorities have obtained no evidence that might help toward conviction.
The matter is at present entirely in the hands of the prosecutor's office, the case having been taken from the police department.
SHAY IS WORRIED.
Shay is profuse in assurances that he knew nothing of the robberies with which he is charged.
"Of course I am innocent," he says, "but these people whom I never saw before coming in and identifying me a criminal naturally makes me worried. A man swore yesterday that I had held him up at 10 o'clock on the night of December 2. At that time I was a a theater with a friend who can swear to it."
Mrs. Nora Dye, the bride of Louis Dye, visited him yesterday. She remained only a few minutes. Beyond stating that he is innocent, and that he can account for every evening that he had spent away from home for more than a month, Dye refused to talk.
Ralph Clyne is the most talkative of the three. He is in a cell on the third floor of the building in the woman's department and is far more comfortable than his fellow prisoners. He is cheerful and jokes about his surroundings. "Yes, I'm in the state quarters up here," he stated.
"I can give an account of myself on the occasion of all these hold ups. Before I was arrested I never even knew the names of Dye and Shay. I sued to see them in the morning when I came to work and that was all. I certainly never went any place in their company."
His mother, Mrs. M. Clyne, paid him a visit. "Cheer up mother. I'll be out of here in a week," he told her after kissing her affectionately. "It's no disgrace to be locked up when you are innocent."
Mrs. Clyne had brought him a big package of fruit. "This is like money from home," he said as the jailer pushed the oranges and apples through an aperture in the cell. "I missed your hot cakes this morning at breakfast."
Three more complaints of highway robbery were filed against the prisoners yesterday, and a further examination will be made and more statements taken this morning.
Labels: food, highway robbery, jail, murder, Spangler murder
November 28, 1909
WHILE IN FIT SHOT ROOMER?
Defense Planned for Mrs. Sadie
Geers, Charged With Murder.
Mrs. Sadie Geers, facing a charge of murder in the second degree, was bound over to the criminal court yesterday by Justice James B. Shoemaker. She was unable to furnish $5,000 bond and was returned to the county jail to remain until her case comes up for trial.
Mrs. Geers is held for the shooting which resulted in the death of Harry Bonnell, one of her roomers in a house at 509 East Sixth street, last Sunday afternoon. The defense will use the plea that the woman was subject to epileptic fits and that she shot Bonnell during one of them. The court appointed Jesse James to defend Mrs. Greer.
Labels: criminal court, jail, Jesse James Jr, Judge Shoemaker, murder, rooming house
November 26, 1909
NOT SERVED TURKEY.
ROAST PORK THERE, WITH SIDE
Various Institutions Served Thanks-
giving Dinners -- Children Had
Their Fill of Chicken -- Pris-
oners Not Forgotten.
The unfortunate who are in institutions and the unlucky who happened to be in jail yesterday were not overlooked Thanksgiving day. While a regular turkey and cranberry sauce dinner was not served at all places, on account of the high price of the bird, a good, wholesome, fattening meal was served, where turkey was absent.
In the holdover at police headquarters there were forty prisoners, all but five men. when noontime arrived the following was served to a surprised and hungry bunch: Turkey and cranberry sauce, real biscuits and hot cakes, baked potatoes, hot mince pie and coffee with real cream.
Out at the city workhouse there were 107 men and eighteen women prisoners to be served, too many for turkey at prevailing prices. They were all given their fill, however, of the following menu: Roast pork with dressing, baked Irish potatoes, bakes sweet potatoes, vegetable soup, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, coffee.
A real turkey dinner with cranberry, baked potatoes, celery, vegetables, pie, and coffee with genuine cream was served to the 109 prisoners in the county jail. After appetites had been appeased the men and women put in the rest of the day singing old-time hymns. It has been truthfully said that no old-time hymn can be started in the county jail but that enough voiced immediately join in to make it a success. And they always know the words and the chorus.
CHILDREN MADE HAPPY.
There were but seven children in the Detention home yesterday, but they were not overlooked. The matron saw that they were served with turkey, vegetables, mince pie, coffee, etc.
At the Salvation Army Industrial home, 1709 Walnut street, fifty-five men, and employes of the institution, sat down to Thanksgiving dinner.
"We had turkey, cranberries, potatoes, celery and other vegetables, bread and butter, mince pie, cake, coffee, candy, nuts and apples," said one of the men. "And we got all we wanted, too."
The Salvation Army proper served no Thanksgiving dinner to the poor yesterday, as it makes a specialty of its big Christmas dinner. Baskets are also given out at that time. Wednesday and yesterday baskets were sent out to a few homes where it was known food was needed.
Probably the happiest lot of diners in the entire city were the twenty little children at the Institutional church, Admiral boulevard and Holmes street. While they laughed and played, they partook of these good things: Chicken with dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet and Irish potatoes, celery, olives, salad, oysters, tea, apple pie a la mode, mints, stuffed dates and salted almonds.
DINING ROOM DECORATED.
The dining room was prettily decorated with flowers, and Miss Louise Mayers, a nurse, and Miss Mae Shelton, a deaconess, saw to the wants of the little ones. After the feast all of them took an afternoon nap, which is customary. When they awoke a special musical programme was rendered, and the children were allowed to romp and play games. Those who had space left -- and it is reported all had, as they are healthy children -- were given all the nuts candy and popcorn they could eat.
"I wist Tanksgivin' comed ever day for all th' time there is," said one rosy-cheeked but sleepy little boy when being prepared for bed last night.
Over 200 hungry men at the Helping Hand Institute yesterday were served with soup and tomatoes, escalloped oysters, roast beef, celery, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cream turnips,cabbage stew, bread, butter, pumpkin pie and coffee.
Out at the General hospital, the convalescent patients were allowed to eat a genuine turkey dinner but those on diet had to stick to poached eggs, toast, milk and the like. A regular Thanksgiving dinner was served to the convalescent at all the hospitals yesterday.
Labels: Admiral boulevard, detention home, food, general hospital, Helping Hand, Holmes street, Institutional church, jail, police headquarters, Salvation Army, thanksgiving, workhouse
November 24, 1909
WOMAN ACCUSED OF MURDER.
Charge of Felonious Assault in
Bonnell Case to Be Changed.
The charge against Mrs. Sadie Geers in connection with the shooting of Harry Bonnell Sunday, will be changed today from felonious assault to second degree murder, as a consequence of Bonnell's death this morning.
Mrs. Geers was arraigned Monday in Justice Ross's court on the first charge, and her preliminary hearing set for Friday. This charge will be dismissed today. Mrs. Geers is in jail.
Labels: jail, Justice Ross, murder
November 1, 1909
NO PLAN BUT TO GET
SON, THEN JUST REST.
ADAM GOD'S WIFE RELEASED
At Home of Police Matron Re-
nounces Husband's Religious
creed, Declaring She Will
Live Only for Boy.
Melissa Sharp, the wife of "Adam God," who started the riot December 8, 1908, that resulted in the death of two officers, two members of the "Adam God" flock and a private citizen, as well as injury to others, slept in freedom last night.
For the first time in nearly eleven months this woman yesterday walked in the open and free air; enjoyed the liberty of persons not guilty of crime, and was entitled to do as she chose.
With this liberty, thrust upon her suddenly yesterday morning when the prosecutor's office decided that there was no charge upon which she could be held, Mrs. Sharp was almost as helpless as she had been when confined by prison walls, and when asked the simple question as to what she intended to do said she didn't know.
HAS NO PLAN.
She had no notion, no plan.
"All I want is rest," she said. "I want to be able to sit down or to lie down and solve this tremendous problem. I want my boy, my 16-year-old son, who is far away. Maybe when I get him I can think of something to do."
When Mrs. Sharp was released from the county jail yesterday morning she did not know which way to turn. She had relatives in Southern Missouri, but she cared not to ask them for aid. Then it was that Mrs. Margaret Simmons, matron of the jail, came to her rescue.
"You come home with me," said Mrs. Simmons. "Come home with me and stay there until you can decide what to do."
And Mrs. Sharp went home with her.
Immediately after the "Adam God" riot the woman was placed in jail. She was transferred from the city holdover to the county jail. Ever since she has remained in prison without trial. What her fate would be she never knew and as the months dragged along she didn't care.
WAS MODEL PRISONER.
"She was a model prisoner," said Mrs. Simmons. "I don't believe that her mind was unbalanced and regardless of what some people may think I decided to take her into my own home. It is an act of charity and I can conceive of no greater charity than the sheltering of this lonely, lonesome woman."
Mrs. Sharp is 38 years old and she appears to be younger. Her husband is 54 and he is now serving a sentence of twenty-five years in the Missouri penitentiary. While Mrs. Sharp wants to be faithful to him, she doesn't care to discuss the fate of her husband or her relations with him.
She has a son and her whole life now is centered in that boy, who, despite his years, is doing a man's work on a railroad in Montana in an effort to earn his own living.
James Sharp, who is the "Adam God," was not alone old, but he was ugly and repulsive. He was many years older than his wife and why she married him only she herself knows and she won't tell why.
MISSOURI FARMER'S DAUGHTER.
She was the pretty daughter of a farmer, living in Mountain Grove, Mo., and Sharp was working on a neighboring farm. It was after their marriage that the religious frenzy got possession of them. they were not converted by the words of a man. They got the idea of fanatical religion and they got it together.
"I can't explain how I began to believe in the strange creed," said Mrs. Sharp. "It just came on me, and it came on him. I am through with that creed now. I still have the faith. I believe in God' I believe in the Bible. What I want to do now is to go into some church; to hear the reading of the Bible; to listen to the instruction of some good minister. I am through with the other form."
When Mrs. Sharp left the jail she expressed no thought of her son. It was when she reached the home of Mrs. Simmons that the mother love pronounced itself. When the woman entered the matron's home on Troost avenue she little realized the character of the friend who had taken her to her own abode to afford her shelter. Mrs. Simmons's son was at home and when he started to leave it he put his arms affectionately around his mother and kissed her. Mrs. Sharp began to weep. The sign of affection between Mrs. Simmons and her son had awakened her to new ideas.
CRIED AT THOUGHT OF SON.
"O, if I only had my boy," she said. "That's what you want to do," said the matron. "Get your own boy. Let him be with you; let him solace you; let him live for you and you live for him."
This simple statement from a simple woman of culture, the widow of Major Simmons, a confederate officer, a former newspaper man of Kansas City and one of the most revered of the town's early-day inhabitants, afforded consolation to the distressed woman.
"I shall send for my boy," she said.
"He must come to me. I'll try to forget this terrible ordeal through which I've passed. I'll live for that boy."
The woman dried the tears in her eyes and seemed comforted.
In the afternoon she took a long walk along Troost avenue, the first walk in the outdoors in nearly a year. She looked at the people and studied them. She came back to Mrs. Simmons refreshed. She still seemed a bit worried, but she appeared as one who expected happiness. She retired about 9 o'clock after bidding Mrs. Simmons goodby for the night.
"I'm tired," she said, "but I feel so much better. I think I can sleep now."
Labels: Adam God sect, jail, police matron, Troost avenue
October 31, 1909
"ADAM GOD'S" WIFE IS
GIVEN HER LIBERTY.
AFTER ELEVEN MONTHS MRS.
SHARP GOES FREE.
Doubt as to Her Sanity Leads
Prosecutor to Dismiss Indict-
ment for Riot of De-
cember 8, 1908.
After spending almost eleven months in the county jail, Mrs. Melissa Sharp, the wife of "Adam God," who was sentenced to twenty-five years in the penitentiary for the shooting of Patrolman A. O. Dalbow on December 8, 1908, will be given her liberty today on the recommendation of Virgil Conkling, county prosecutor.
"I won't prosecute any one when I have a reasonable doubt as to their sanity," he said. "I'm going to dismiss the case against her."
It lacked a few minutes of midnight last night that Mr. Conkling made known his decision. The case was promptly dismissed and Marshal Joel B. Mayes was notified to liberate Mrs. Sharp this morning.
For many weeks Mr. Conkling has had this step under advisement. Many persons expressed doubt as to the woman's sanity. She would have faced the jury on November 15. She will not even be taken before a lunacy commission.
"She will be absolutely free," Mr. Conkling said last night.
When it was hinted in her presence that she might be turned loose on the grounds of insanity, she resented the insinuation, but when she was told last night by Deputy Marshals Joe McGuire and E. S. Dudley that she was free, she began crying for joy.
"Free, did you say? I can't believe it, I'm so glad," she said.
She sat down on the edge of the bed and began to weep hysterically, while the deputies filed out quietly. The other women prisoners were awakened and before midnight it was generally known that Mrs. Sharp was free.
During her stay in the county jail Mrs. Sharp has made friends of everyone who made her acquaintance. Her patient demeanor and her solicitation for the women prisoners has made her universally liked. During the last few weeks she has admitted that her husband, whom she trusted so blindly, was wrong.
"It all seems like a dream," she has said many times. "I was following my husband on that day thinking that he could do no wrong. Now I know better."
Labels: Adam God sect, County Marshal Mayes, jail, mental health, Prosecutor Conkling, women
October 31, 1909
LETTERS TO RICH MEN
COST HIM LIBERTY.
THADDEUS WILSON GOES TO
JAIL FOR DEMANDING MONEY.
Must Face Charge in Federal Court
Today -- Young Man's Father
Pleads in Vain for
A father's eloquent pleading and an aunt's tears availed nothing yesterday morning when Thaddeus S. Wilson was arraigned before John M. Nuckols, United States commissioner on the charge of sending letters with fraudulent intent to R. A. Long and Lawrence M. Jones, and he was bound over to the United States district court which meets tomorrow. In default of the $2,000 bond Wilson was sent to the county jail.
"I knew my boy never meant anything wrong," said the Rev. W. E. Wilson, the father of the young man, who arrived yesterday from Earlton, Kas. "He simply wanted to borrow the money to pay me back the debts he has incurred during the past years. If he has violated any law, I'm willing to have him punished, but I can't see where it is. He has the best reputation in our part of the country, and I can't see where any harm was done."
According to the father, the young man's past had not always been a rosy one. He had become extravagant and had invested his savings in mining stock which never amounted to anything. He had been successful as a school teacher, the father said.
When Commissioner Nuckols announced that the young man would have to be bound over and that the bond was $2,000, the father said:
"I can get him here to trial. He won't have to stay in jail, will he?"
"I'll have that disagreeable duty to perform if the bond is not furnished," was the commissioner's response.
Labels: courtroom, jail, ministers, R A Long, United States District Court
October 26, 1909
PRISONERS NEED MAGAZINES.
County Marshal Joel Mayes Pleads
for Reading Material.
Prisoners at the county jail are having a pretty hard time just now getting something to read, and County Marshal Joel Mayes asks for magazines and periodicals. The magazines which the jail now affords have been read and reread so many times that some of the prisoners can almost repeat the stories and poems by heart while some of them have even digested the advertising portion to the extent of memorizing it, so anxious are they to read.
The marshal says a great many of the stores have magazines which they cannot return and he would be very glad to get these for the prisoners and, in fact, would be greatly appreciated reading matter from any source.
Labels: books, County Marshal Mayes, jail
September 30, 1909
HAD DYNAMITE ON STREET CAR.
Four Months in County Jail
for Two Men.
Four months in the county jail was the punishment meted out yesterday afternoon by J. J. Shepard, justice of the peace, to Edward Sanford and Joseph Monroe, charged with carrying dynamite upon a street car.
The two men were arrested the night of August 26 by Patrolman E. C. Kaiser and S. D. Harrison of the Westport police station. A valise carried by one of them when searched was found to contain a quantity of dynamite. Sanford also carried a double barreled derringer. To Lieutenant O. T. Wofford the defendant Sanford said they were to blow up a scab job.
They were defended by Bert Kimbrell. Thomas Higgs, assistant prosecuting attorney, represented the state.
Sanford was tried on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon and held to the criminal court.
Labels: crime, jail, police, Westport
September 22, 1909
Excuse the Police Make.
Were Afraid Someone Would Talk
to Women in Matron's Room.
That someone might talk to the women prisoners who were confined in the matron's room Monday night was the excuse yesterday of the police for keeping two women with babes in arms in the holdover, instead of placing them in the matron's room, where they are ordinarily taken.
Mrs. Mattie Bell, whose 6 months old baby was removed to the Emergency hospital before morning, was turned over to the Humane society, and the child was sent to Mercy hospital.
The other woman was removed to the matron's room this morning.
Labels: Humane Society, jail, Mercy hospital, police headquarters, police matron
September 21, 1909
STEEL CELLS FOR BABES;
SOFT BEDS FOR EVILDOERS.
"Oh, Please Don't Put Us in There,"
Pleaded Mother With Infant as
Police Thrust Her Into Dungeon.
A condition never before heard of at police headquarters in all of its history, existed there last night. Four women, keepers of public rooming houses, all had comfortable quarters in the matron's room. Down in the steel cell section of the women's department of the holdover, locked behind bars, were two worn women, each with a babe at her breast.
Both of the babies were ill and crying, but there was no room in the matron's comfortable room for women with babies in arms. Those who had the beds and slept beneath the sheets are women who today will be accused of harboring young girls in disorderly resorts.
Mrs. Nellie Ripetre, with a baby of 6 months old, was sent in about 9 o'clock p. m. for investigation. It has always been the custom in the past never to lock up a woman with a baby. If there was no room in the matron's room for the mother and the babe, room had to be made by putting someone down in the holdover. This negro woman lay on the concrete floor with her crying baby folded tightly to her bosom. The floor got too hard for the mother later on and she chose an iron bunk in one of the cells. There she lay all night. The windows were open and the place cold. Mother-like, however, she huddled her baby close to her, to keep it warm. Part of the time the child lay on top of its mother, covered only by her bare arms.
About 11 p. m. Mrs. Mattie Bell, with a 5-months-old child, was sent in from No. 2 station in the West Bottoms.. Her baby was puny, sickly and crying. The matron's room, however, was still filed with healthy, well-dressed rooming house keepers, so the mother and her sick child had to listen to the harsh turn of the key in a cell door.
"Please don't put me in that place," begged the mother. "It's cold down there and my baby is very sick."
"That's the best we've got," she was informed.
Mrs. Bell was booked for the Humane Society. She had been found wandering about in the streets with her baby. After she was locked up Mrs. Bell tried the concrete floor, and, like the other mother, had to creep to the steel slabbed bed in a cell. She complained to the jailer and the Emergency hospital was notified that there was a sick baby in the holdover.
In a short time a nurse and a doctor went to the cell room and relieved the distressed mother of her sickly burden. The little one was tenderly cared for during the balance of the night but the other mother -- she's colored -- her babe clasped tightly to her breast, spent a chilly night.
The four rooming housekeepers in the matron's room rested easily.
Labels: children, emergency hospital, jail, No 2 police station, police headquarters, police matron, race, rooming house
September 6, 1909
MANY VISITORS AT JAIL.
One Hundred Callers Yesterday to
See the 125 Prisoners.
Nearly as many visitors applied at the county jail for admittance to see a friend or relative yesterday afternoon as there are prisoners in the jail. Approximately 100 visitors were at the jail during the hours allowed for visiting yesterday afternoon. There are only 125 prisoners.
Visiting hours are between 10 to 12 o'clock and 2 to 4 o'clock every day except Saturday when visitors are not allowed. That day is given over to a general house cleaning. On Sunday morning the visiting hours are usually occupied by church workers who hold services in the jail.
September 5, 1909
STATE FINDS IT WAS
TRYING WRONG MAN.
LEVI CARTER, A NEGRO, HAD
BEEN IN JAIL SINCE AUG. 23.
It Was Lamp, Alias "Nick" Carter,
Wanted on Charge of larceny,
But New Cop Made a
Levi Carter was taking the air two weeks ago on Mulberry street, trying to keep out of the burning sun as much as possible, when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Is your name Carter?" he heard a voice say.
"Yes, sah," replied the negro, as he looked up and saw one of Marks's greenest centurions trying to extract a tree limb from its surcingle.
"Come with me," said Mr. Cent., looking ferocious.
Of course, Carter went. He was as far as the prosecuting attorney's office, where they filed against him a charge of "larceny from the person in the night time," which is sort of denatured highway robbery. Carter went to jail on August 23, to remain until yesterday.
NEITHER LAMP NOR "NICK."
Right here the plot thickens. The complaint was issued against Lamp Carter, alias "Nick" Carter, and not against Levi Carter at all. But the Carter who was in jail made never a word of complaint.
Yesterday Ruby D. Garrett, assistant prosecuting attorney, went to the court of Justice M. H. Joyce, who has had his office at Union avenue and Mulberry street since they began to draw plans for a new union depot. Mr. Garrett went to prosecute the case against Carter, Lamp Carter, alias "Nick."
In pursuance of that purpose, Mr. Garrett proceeded to introduce evidence. He questioned and requestioned, and was making the prisoner's chances look slim, when he hard a commotion in the court room. A group of spectators was talking excitedly. Mr. Garret overlooked the interruption for a moment and then asked a witness:
"Are you certain it was Lamp Carter?"
Then the storm broke, for Mr. Garrett heard amused and angry protest from the rear of the court room.
"What is the matter with you people?" he asked, turning so as to face them.
TRYING THE WRONG MAN.
The leader of the group came forward and said:
"There's nothing the matter with us, only you are trying the wrong man. This isn't Lamp Carter. His name is Levi Carter."
Just about then Mr. Garret discovered it was his move.
"Isn't your name Lamp Carter?" he asked the prisoner.
"Why didn't you say so long ago? You have been in jail for two weeks and haven't made a protest."
"I don't know," said Carter meekly.
"The state will dismiss this case," said Mr. Garrett after a further investigation.
"Dismissed," said Justice Joyce with his kindly smile.
And that is why the police intend, in their quiet way, to "sic" some more centurions on the trail of Mr. Lamp Carter.
Labels: courtroom, jail, Judges, Mulberry street, police
August 22, 1909
OPENING TO FREEDOM CLOSED.
Air Chute in City Holdover Stopped
With Brick and Cement.
Similar to the farmer who locked the barn door after his horse was stolen was the action of the police in closing up the air chute in the city holdover yesterday. Harry Martin, a safe keeper, escaped by means of crawling through the air chute Friday morning. He was only one of many who have escaped by that egress in the past.
A workman yesterday closed up the air chute by cementing the opening in the holdover. A foot of cement was placed in the shaft and then bricked over. It is now impossible for a prisoner to get into the shaft to climb to the top and freedom.
July 31, 1909
DEATH PENALTY PAID
BY NEGRO MURDERER.
CLAUD BROOKS HANGED AT THE
COUNTY JAIL YESTERDAY.
With a smile and a "Good-by everybody," Claud Brooks stepped into eternity. He made the scaffold his stage, and for a few brief seconds seemed to enjoy being enough of a spectacle to cause fifty men and boys, all white, to crowd to see him.
In fourteen minutes after 9:15, when Marshal Joel B. Mayes sprang the trap, he had been pronounced dead. The law had taken its vengeance for the death of Sidney Herndon, struck down in cold blood eighteen months ago.
Brooks taunted one of the deputies with being nervous and asked another not to tie him so tight, as he would not attempt to resist. A few moments later he dropped to his death.
With appetite Brooks at breakfast ate the catfish which had been provided for him according to his wish. Then he asked for whisky, which also was given him. And then for two hours the Rev. E. S. Willett, Rev. J. W. Hurst, Rev. S. W. Bacote and Rev. J. C. Dickson prayed and sang with him. Half an hour before the execution he was given the sacrament. And then the nervousness, if he previously felt any, vanished.
Into the room where the gallows stand there was admitted a motley crowd of some fifty. There were policemen by the fives. There were boys who looked barely over 17. There were men of many types, not to mention several well known in the business life of the town.
Outside, crowds threatened to storm the jail to gain entrance. Marshal Mayes asked the police to protect the entrance into the jail wagon yard, which the crowd appeared to take by storm. Some half a hundred got into the criminal court room, from which the gallows was shut off by brick walls.
Still others stood outside, waiting to catch a fleeting glimpse of what was once a human being. Children of tender years and women with the imprint of respectability were among the number.
Eighteen months ago Brooks killed Sidney Herndon, owner of the Navarro flats at Twelfth and Baltimore, four feet of stature and crippled. He killed him with a hammer. The motive was robbery. The negro got more than $100. Out of this he bought a suit of clothes and hired a carriage to take him to the Union depot so he could escape. The rest he lost gambling and gave away. He was tried, convicted, his sentence affirmed by the supreme court and not considered otherwise than proper by the governor.
Labels: alcohol, County Marshal Mayes, crime, death penalty, jail, ministers, murder, race
July 4, 1909
AT THE COUNTY JAIL.
FEDERAL PHYSICIANS DECLARE
PLACE IS UNSANITARY.
Pardon Recommended for Woman,
That Her Life May Be Pro-
longed -- Feed Prisoners
Conditions at the Jackson county jail, Missouri avenue and McGee street, are criticised by physicians who care for the federal prisoners there.
One of the prisoners is Mary Cook, serving a sentence for six months for counterfeiting, who has become seriously ill. In order to save the woman's life, the United States court officers here have recommended a pardon. This step is most unusual.
The county marshal, in charge of the jail is not held blameworthy by the department of justice, nor by the physicians.
"It is the impossible way they are trying to make the jail cost the tax payers next to nothing," said Dr. Eugene Carbaugh, one of the federal physicians.
When at jail attending the Cook woman, Dr. Carbaugh and Dr. Lapp, an alderman, who is one of the federal physicians, made a casual examination to find the cause for sickness. The declare it is largely due to defective plumbing and neglect of ordinary sanitary precautions.
Without exception, they say, the prisoners complained of the food. The government pays 50 cents a day to the county for boarding its prisoners. The county is feeding the prisoners at a cost of 11 cents a day, which is 2 cents a day more than the bill had been.
When asked what remedy could be proposed, the government representative said "the doctors tell us it would be necessary to tear out every bit of plumbing in the place, and then keep trusties or other intelligent men constantly at work watching the prisoners, to see that they help keep the place in order. More money is needed for better food."
Judge John F. Philips has never spoken of conditions in the Jackson county jail, but he never sends a prisoner there to serve out a sentence. He called a special grand jury last week to take two boys out of the jail and to give him a chance to send them to some place where conditions are at least sanitary. The Cook woman, who is ill through hereditary trouble, was sent to the jail here at her own urgent request.
Labels: counterfeiters, doctors, Dr Carbaugh, health, jail, Judge Philips
July 1, 1909
NEGRO MURDERER REPRIEVED.
Governor Hadley at Last Hour Sends
Thirty-Day Stay of Execution
for Claud Brooks.
Less than twenty-five minutes before the time set for the execution of Claude Brooks, the negro murderer, Marshal Joel Mayes received a telegram from Governor Hadley postponing the hanging until July 10. Mr. Mayes had a telephone conversation with the governor, but insisted on a telegram. The governor said the papers in the case would be sent to Kansas City at once.
Brooks, who was ready for his trip to the scaffold, showed no signs of emotion when told the news. He was taken from the death cell and placed in another part of the jail. The other prisoners, hearing the news, cheered.
The decision of the governor, it is said, was based upon the advice of a relative to whom the governor looks for recommendations in Kansas City criminal cases. This relative advised an inquiry into the sanity of Brooks. The governor sent the reprieve while this relative was at the county jail.
The time set for the hanging of Brooks was 9 o'clock yesterday morning. Brooks murdered Sidney Herndon, burned part of the evidence and made his escape. Now doctors say he is of a "low type of mentality."
Labels: death penalty, Herbert Hadley, jail, mental health, telegram
June 27, 1909
GALLOWS UP FOR BROOKS.
Negro Who Murdered Sidney Hern-
don Will Be Hanged June 30.
Claude Brooks will be hanged June 30 for the murder of Sidney Herndon. The death watch was put on the condemned negro last night. It was believed until yesterday afternoon that a respite of sixty days would be given. This was refused by the governor.
Mrs. Margaret Simmons, matron at the county jail, had a telephone conversation with Governor Hadley yesterday afternoon. The governor told her there would be no respite and that it would be useless for anyone to see him about a commutation of sentence.
Labels: death penalty, Herbert Hadley, jail
June 25, 1909
ADAM GOD TAKES AN APPEAL.
On Plea as Poor Person, Judge
Orders Evidence Transcribed.
James Sharp, or "Adam God," convicted in the criminal court for the murder of Michael Mullane, a patrolman, in the city hall riot December 8, 1908, and sentenced to twenty-five years in the penitentiary, filed an appeal to the supreme court yesterday. On his affidavit as a poor person, Judge Ralph S. Latshaw made an order that a transcript of the evidence taken at the trial be made for Sharp at the expense of the state.
It will no doubt be a year or more before the higher court passes on the case. Meanwhile Sharp will remain in jail here.
Labels: Adam God sect, jail, Judge Latshaw
June 24, 1909
CONDEMNED NEGRO BAPTIZED.
Colored Women in Jail Sang During
Claud Brooks, the negro now in a death cell in the county jail awaiting execution June 30 for the murder of Sidney Herndon, was baptized yesterday by the Rev. J. W. Hurse of St. Stephen's Baptist church. Three negro women, who are prisoners at the jail, sang while the ceremony was going on. The cell of Brooks is on the women's side of the jail.
Labels: death penalty, jail, ministers, music, race
June 20, 1909
LEAVES THE POLICE FORCE.
Wm. Long, Jailer at Headquarters,
Becomes Hotel Detective.
After more than a dozen years on the police department, William Long, the jailer at police headquarters, resigned yesterday to take a position at the Hotel Baltimore as night house officer. He will serve under H. W. Hammil, former lieutenant in the police department, who resigned to go with the hotel about three months ago.
Long was sent to the "woods" with others who thought that Hayes should have been retained as chief. He was moved back to headquarters five months ago.
Labels: employment, Hotel Baltimore, jail, Lieutenant H. W. Hammil, police, police headquarters
June 8, 1909
SPENDS HIS TIME PRAYING.
Claud Brooks to Be Hanged for
Murder June 30.
No preparations have been made at the county jail for the execution of Claud Brooks, who is to be hanged June 30 for the murder of Sidney Herndon, owner of the Navarro flats, Twelfth and Baltimore. Brooks will not be put into the condemned men's cell until June 10. It is customary to grant men sentenced to execution an reprieve of sixty days, and this may be done in the case of Brooks.
The condemned man spends most of his time praying.
Labels: Baltimore avenue, death penalty, jail, murder, Twelfth street
June 6, 1909
ROSE JUST HAD TO STEAL.
Even When Locked in Jail the Habit
Stealing hacks isn't the only accomplishment that Rose smith possesses. She was arrested yesterday afternoon in Rosedale for climbing on Thomas Murphy's hack and driving away without the owner. But her performance was placed in the background when she attempted to carry away all the electric light fixtures in the women's holdover at headquarters by concealing them in her stockings.
The woman was suspected when Charles Gatto and Robert Wiseman, the two jailers, entered the holdover yesterday morning. Neither could explain the disappearance of the electric globes. It remained for Lieutenant Harry Stege, the Bertillon expert, to solve the disappearance. When "mugging" the woman he imagined he heard a rattle of glass, and to his astonishment, Rose extracted the missing globes from her stocking.
"I just wanted to steal something," she said, with a grin.
Labels: crime, jail, police headdquarters
May 30, 1909
ADAM GOD SAYS HE
IS NOT A LUNATIC.
APPARENTLY PLEASED WITH
Load Lifted From Riot Leader's
Mind and He Speaks of Kind-
ness of Police -- Verdict
Adam God is satisfied with the verdict of the jury which yesterday found him guilty of murder in the second degree, and fixed his punishment at twenty-five years in the penitentiary.
James Sharp, which is the fanatic's real name, was busy in the jail during the afternoon writing a miniature sermon about himself. He showed visitors one of the sheets which he had written and then remarked:
"That doesn't look like the writing of a crazy man, does it?" Then he laughed.
"In my blind walks," says Sharp in his statement, "I have been like a crazy man, but there is nothing crazy about m e. No crazy man could write with the understanding I have. I will always pray for my enemies, for they have been the making of me."
A great load seems to have been lifted off the prisoner's mind by the sentence. He speaks repeatedly and often of the kindness with which he has been treated.
"The police, bringing me back from Olathe, could have killed me," said he. "They did not even abuse me. I have had the best treatment all the time. Even the prosecuting attorney is my friend."
Twenty-five years is practically a life sentence for Sharp. It was testified during the trial that Sharp is 48 years old. From other sources is the information he is 52. With the one-fourth allowance for good behavior, the lapse of years yet seems to preclude the possibility of his ever leaving prison walls alive, unless pardoned by a governor. Since his confinement in the county jail Sharp has lost eighteen pounds. That has been in six months.
A second degree murder verdict on the part of the jury was unexpected. On the first ballot three of the jurors voted for capital punishment, three for acquittal on the grounds of insanity, one for manslaughter and the balance for second degree with varying terms of imprisonment. It took nearly nineteen hours to reach an agreement. Sharp had little comment to make when the jury reported at 10 o'clock.
It is not likely that the case of Mrs. Melissa Sharp, wife of the fanatic, will be called for trial until September.
Labels: Adam God sect, jail, ministers, murder, Olathe, penitentiary
May 27, 1909
BOY DUPE OF SHARP
BAND IS RELEASED.
WILLIAM ENGHNELL TELLS OF
FAITH IN ADAM GOD.
While on Stand, Prosecutor Dis-
misses Information Against Him.
Fanatic Continues to Inter-
rupt Court Proceedings.
WILLIAM ENGHNELL,Following the City Hall Riot.
As He Appeared After His Arrest
Acrid exchanges of words between attorneys and the release of William Enghnell, a member of James Sharp's band, from the county jail, brought interest to the closing hour of the Adam God hearing for yesterday.
The day had been one of lagging testimony, largely by deposition, and court and spectators, as well as the jury, were weary when, at 4:30 o'clock, Enghnell, 20 years old, who does not appear bright, marched to the witness stand. He had been brought out of his cell on a former day of the trial, but taken back before he had a chance to testify.
On the stand Enghnell spoke with a pronounced Swedish dialect. He said he had lived in Kitchen county, Minn.
"Who is this?" asked A. E. Martin, counsel for the fanatic, Sharp, indicating the defendant.
"It's James Sharp."
"HE IS THE LORD," SAYS BOY.
"By what other name do you know him?"
"By what other name?"
"By what other name?"
"He is the Lord," said the boy, reverently.
"How long have you known Sharp?"
"I met him a year ago in Kitchen county, and hear him preach."
Judge Ralph S. Latshaw of the criminal court here turned to Enghnell and told him not to testify to anything that might tend to incriminate himself.
Immediately Virgil Conkling, prosecutor, was on his feet.
"If the court please," said he, "the state wishes to dismiss any information that may be pending against Enghnell. The state will not prosecute him for anything. He was not present at the shooting."
Mr. Martin resumed:
"Why are you in jail, Enghnell?"
"They had me arrested for believing the truth and Adam. I met him and God revealed to me that He was Adam, and I got the faith."
The witness started to tell what he saw of the shooting on the river, but was stopped by an objection by Mr. Conkling.
Sharp spoke up and said:
"I object. There you go stopping one of my best witnesses. Object, object," he continued, punching Martin in the back.
"Let him tell what he knows about that killing," shouted Sharp.
"That's the truth," called out the boy in the voice of a zealot.
On cross-examination Mr. Conkling asked:
GUNS TO KEEP OFF EVIL.
"Sharp believed in killing people, didn't he?"
"No," said the boy. "Letting all people alone was our doctrine."
"Why did you have guns?"
"I heard Adam say that all through the South, where he had been preaching, they had been putting him in jail, and he had the guns to keep the evil men off him."
"Now don't let him get more than twenty-five minutes from the shooting," called out Sharp. "They wouldn't let the others tell what happened twenty-five minutes afterward. Why should this boy tell what happened more than twenty-five minutes before the shooting?"
The interruption was too much for Martin, who jumped in and said, "For two or three days I've resisted putting this boy on the stand. I was forced to do so by the defendant."
"Mr. Martin is 21 years old, a member of the bar and ought to be able to conduct a criminal case or resign," said Mr. conkling frigidly. By this time the prosecutor was on his feet and continued: "I don't think you ought to take this position before the jury."
"Are there any other witnesses they are trying to force you to put on, Mr. Martin?" asked Judge Latshaw. "If there are, I will protect you."
"No," said Martin.
"If you object," said Mr. Conkling, "I shall not examine this witness further. I don't want to be unfair."
Martin had none, so the questioning about the guns was resumed by the prosecutor.
GAVE ADAM HIS MONEY.
"Sharp took the guns up town to protect him from the evil man," said the boy Enghnell.
"Did you give him some of the guns?"
"When I got into the faith I gave Adam my two pistols. I saw he was David, the father, and I gave everything I had to him."
"What else did you give him?"
"A $5 bill."
"Because he told you he was Adam?"
"No. God revealed it to me."
"Revealed it to Sharp, too, didn't he?"
"When you offered him the $5, you had a hard time to get him to take it, didn't you?"
"What did he say about you not having nerve to use pistols?"
"He said I didn't."
As soon as this answer had been given, Mr. Conkling accused Martin of shaking his head at the witness and objected to such alleged acts. martin denied them, but Conkling persisted.
"Did Sharp tell you that if anybody stopped him from preaching there would be war? the prosecutor asked the witness.
"Did he say if they didn't let him do what he wanted he would shoot?"
"Yes, he said that."
"Did Sharp tell you that perhaps this was the town God wanted him to take?"
"Did he say he had to fire the first shot and then they all could shoot?"
ALL GOT REVELATIONS.
"Did he say he proposed never to be put in jail again?"
"Did he tell you he bought the guns to keep the police from arresting him?"
"Were you with Sharp w hen he stood off the Canadian police?"
"Stood them off with a rifle, didn't he?"
"And the next day he stood off several?"
"Then they sent fifty Canadian police after him and he stood them off with a rifle?"
"All of you who joined the band got revelations to give Sharp your money, didn't you?"
"Yes, we got revelations. God showed us."
"Did Sharp say he would do like David did to the Philistine with his knife?"
This concluded the examination of Enghnell, who was set at liberty. He was taken in charge by Mrs. Alice Stultz, a mission worker at 1418 Oak street, who said she would care for him. Court then adjourned for the day.
The reference Enghnell made in his testimony to Sharp taking the city had to do with a claim he made to his followers in connection with Joshua and Jericho.
SHARP NOT ON STAND.
Sharp himself did not take the stand yesterday, and it is possible that neither he nor his wife will be used as witnesses. The case may be finished today, as there remains little evidence to be put before the jury unless the Sharps go on the stand. Mr. Martin was unwilling last night to allow Sharp or his wife to testify, but added that they might override his wishes.
During the afternoon there were read by A. A. Bailey of Sharp's counsel depositions taken early this month in Oklahoma City. L. A. Sheldon, a real estate dealer who was a jailer there in February, 1905, said that the Sharps were in his charge for about sixty days that year. This was just after the naked parade.
"Sharp told me," said Sheldon, "that he came naked into the world and would go out that way. He preached and sang in the jail day and night so that one couldn't sleep in the jail office. He said also he was God and was generally 'nutty' on religion. His mental condition was 'mighty weak'.
"This naked parade was on Broadway in the afternoon. There were four of them in it."
James Bruce of Oklahoma City, who had the contract for feeding prisoners at the jail when Sharp was confined there, said he seemed to be rational on all subjects except religion. Sharp, so said Bruce, had a "very elegant beard," which reached almost to his waist.
"I told him," said Bruce, "that I wanted his whiskers and when I got back there he had cut them off with a pocket knife and had them in an envelope. 'Keep these and they will make you religious,' he said to me. I learned from neighbors that Pratt gave Sharp over $3,000, realized from the sale of Pratt's farm."
ASKED TOO MUCH FOR FARM.
John Tobin, a retired farmer of Oklahoma City, saw Sharp's band in their camp near Oklahoma City in the spring of 1905. He said he wanted to buy the farm (Pratt's), but that Sharp asked $6,000, or $1,000 more than it was worth.
John Ballard, a deputy sheriff, saw the naked parade.
John W. Hanson, assistant county attorney, who was police judge of Oklahoma City in 1905, gave it as his opinion that Sharp was sane.
"He told me," the witness said, "that the constitution of the United States guaranteed him the right to preach on the streets. This was after he had been arrested for blockading the streets."
When Mr. Conkling read this question from the deposition: "It's very common for religious fanatics to claim divine origin, isn't it?" Sharp remarked, loud enough to be heard all over the courtroom:
"No, it is not."
Labels: Adam God sect, attorney, city hall, courtroom, jail, mental health, ministers, Oak street, oklahoma, Prosecutor Conkling
May 24, 1909
SHARP READS THE BIBLE.
Spends Most of the Day of Rest in
James Sharp, the religious fanatic on trial for murder, spent a quiet day yesterday in the county jail. Most of the day Sharp was in his cell reading the Bible and praying. As on previous Sundays, Sharp did not take part in the religious services held in the jail building.
He was not visited by anyone, and the jailers did not allow him to visit his wife.
Labels: Adam God sect, jail, ministers
May 23, 1909
THE WILL OF GOD IF
I AM HANGED: SHARP
LEADER OF RELIGIOUS FANATICS
Conflicting Testimony as to Who
Started the City Hall Riot
Brings Protest From
SHARP TRIAL'S SECOND DAY: Defense still fails to indicate any trace of an insanity plea and continues to question along self-defense lines.
Sharp interrupts and contradicts Captain Whitsett, while latter testifies.
Patrick Clark, captain of police, tells of his fight, barehanded, with Sharp, who had both revolver and knife.
Testimony as to fight on river admitted only sparingly by Judge Latshaw.
Sharp gives out statement to effect that evidence which gets at the cause of the riot is being excluded. Also ridicules introduction of his overcoat as evidence, as not proving anything.
"If they sentence me to hang it will be the will of God."
With these words James Sharp was led back to his cell in the county jail after the second day of his trial on the charge of killing Michael Mullane, a patrolman, in the city hall riot. It was the first time during yesterday that he had mentioned religious matters.
The day closed with the evidence of the state two-thirds finished and with no more traces of an insanity defense than were shown on Friday. A. E. Martin, of counsel for Sharp, stated that he had not announced any defense and that his purpose would be to break down the testimony of the state's witnesses. All of his cross-questioning, however, as told in The Journal yesterday, was directed towards showing that the band of fanatics under Sharp's leadership did not provoke the riot, but that it was started by officers. Self-defense is the logical name for such a theory of the case. The state is expected to finish its testimony by Monday evening.
Police officers gave the greater part of the testimony yesterday. Of them, Captian Walter Whitsett was on the stand the longest time. Whitsett gave his age as 41, his service in the police department as twenty years and his residence as 2631 Gillham road. On the afternoon of the riot he was at his desk in the city hall as captain commanding the headquarters precinct.
CHILDREN WERE SHOOTING.
"I heard the shooting," testified Whitsett, "took my revolver out of my desk and ran to the street. I met Captain Clark, who had been wounded, on the stairs. When I got to the middle of the street I saw Mullane standing with a club in one hand and a revolver in the other. There was a man in front of him with a revolver. The women of the band also were near at the time. There was a man with a long beard standing on the opposite corner firing in the direction of Mullane."
"Who was this man?" asked Prosecutor Conkling.
"That's him right there," said the witness, indicating Sharp.
"What happened then?"
"I fired three or four shots at him and his revolver fell out of his hand. Two or three children came up behind and began to shoot at me. When I got back on the street, after going into the station for another revolver, I saw Mullane staggering toward headquarters and helped him in. Later we searched for Sharp but could not find him. We immediately sent his description to every officer in the city and notified the surrounding towns.
"On the evening of December 10 we got word from Olathe that Sharp was under arrest there. I went there that evening with Inspector Charles Ryan."
Court adjourned at noon with Whitsett still on the stand. In the afternoon he resumed his story of the trip to Olathe. He found Sharp there in the office of Sheriff Steed. Sharp's beard and hair had been cut and he was wounded in both hands. There was a hole through his hat.
"I talked to Sharp in the presence of Mr. Steed, Inspector Ryan and Hugh Moore, a newspaper man Sharp told us--"
Mr. Martin for the defense here objected to Whitsett's telling of Sharp's statement.
"If a written statement was taken that is the best evidence," said Martin.
The statement was shown to Captain Whitsett and identified by him. Weapons used in the city hall riot then were introduced in evidence. First there was Sharp's .45 caliber Colt revolver, the handle scarred by a shot. Sharp told Whitsett the weapon was shot out of his hand. Then there was a .45 caliber colt which Louis Pratt had carried.
"I was told by Sharp that Pratt had bought his weapon in Kansas City," said Whitsett, but Sharp spoke out sharply in court to the witness:
"I didn't say that. Why do you want to tell such stuff as that?"
"I don't know. He might have bought it up the river," responded Whitsett.
EXHIBITED THE WEAPONS.
Then was shown the 38-caliber Colt, which Sharp said his wife brought in her bosom from the houseboat. Lena Pratt's 32-caliber pistol was then exhibited and identified, and the knife, with its four-inch blade.
"What was the purpose of all these weapons, as Sharp told it to you?" asked Mr. Conkling.
"He said it was to resist any officer who might interfere with his preaching. He said he also had two rifles and a shotgun and another revolver, the latter used by Lulu Pratt."
The overcoat worn by Sharp the day of the riot was then shown to the jury, as were the remnants of Sharp's beard.
"Don't see why they want to show the coat," said Sharp to W. S. Gabriel, assistant prosecutor. It doesn't prove anything."
On cross-examination, Captain Whitsett was asked about happenings at the river, following the street fight, but the state objected successfully to most of the questions. Just after an objection had been sustained, Sharp spoke up and said:
"Your honor, can I have a word? This man wants to tell what happened there, and he is cut off. Now ---"
"Make your objection through your attorneys, Mr. Sharp," answered Judge Latshaw.
Inspector Charles Ryan followed Captain Whitsett on the stand. He recounted substantially the same details of the shooting and the trip to Olathe.
George Robinson, 2905 Wyandotte street, a barber at 952 Mulberry street, was the next witness, and told how Sharp came into his shop sat in the chair of Chester Ramsey and had his hair and whiskers cut off.
"He didn't take his hands out of his pockets. He said: 'My hands were frosted up North, where I've been fishing. I want this job done in a hurry. I want to meet a friend and have to get on a train.'
"When the job was done, Ramsey took a purse out of Sharp's pocket and took 40 cents out of it. Then Sharp went away."
The defense objected to the testimony of Robinson on the plea that the state had given no notification that he would be called as a witness. The objection was overruled. Robinson was not cross-examined, but will be recalled by the defense to give further testimony.
Then came William Thiry, a farmer who lives near Monticello, Kas. "On the evening of December 9 Sharp came to my house," said Thiry. "My son opened the door and then I went out on the porch. Sharp was standing there. He said, 'Brother, I want to tell you my circumstances. Wait till I sit down,' and he sat down on the edge of the porch. 'I'm paralyzed, brother,' he resumed. 'I lay down over there on a strawstack and tried to die, but the laws of nature were against me.'
"He kept his hands in his overcoat pockets and asked for food and a night's lodging. 'I am no ordinary bum,' said he. 'I have money to pay for my keep over night.' I consulted with my wife and we decided we could not keep him, but we took him and fed him. I telephoned Mr. Beaver, my brother-in-law, who lives a quarter of a mile from me and Mr. Beaver said he could keep him. While I was telephoning, Sharp came into the ho use and listened to the conversation.
"At supper he spoke of being a peddler and that his partner had turned him down because he was paralyzed in his hands. He said he wanted to get back to town to a good hospital. It was 8 o'clock when he left my house. I fed him myself. He didn't take his hands from his pockets."
"I am willing to acknowledge anything this man says," remarked Sharp. "He treated me alright while I was there."
The defense fought the introduction of this testimony on the same theory it had advanced in the case of Robinson. It objected further to Thiry's relating some of the conversation. Mr. Conkling insisted it was relevant as combating a defense of insanity, if such was to be the defense.
"We have never announced what our defense would be," said Martin.
"You have done so repeatedly in open court while applying for continuances in this case," said Mr. Conkling.
Court was adjourned after the defense had secured permission to bring a number of witnesses from Lebanon, Mo.
In the course of the morning session Captain Clark, who lost an eye in the riot, gave his testimony. He lives at 538 Tracy avenue, and has been on the police force for twenty-one years. He was sergeant in immediate charge of headquarters station the afternoon of the riot. Testimony was also taken from Howard B. McAfee, business manager of Park college at Parkville, Mo., who was making a purchase on the Fourth street side of the city market when he heard children singing on Main street and went toward the gathering. He saw Dalbow come from the station and shake hands with Sharp. Then someone behind Sharp fired. He saw Mullane trying to get away from the women, who seemed to be pursuing him. then he saw Sharp and Clark in their encounter. He helped Clark into the station and when he looked again Sharp was gone.
Preceding Mr. McAfee, there testified Job H. Lyon, a traveling evangelist. Just before the riot he had a talk in the Workingman's Mission with Pratt. Sharp and Creighton, the last named in charge of the place. Being warned against antagonizing the police, Lyon said Sharp waved his hand and said: "I am God. If any policeman attempts to interfere with me, I'll kill him."
The witness said Sharp made similar statements while brandishing his revolver in the direction of the city hall. Pratt and Sharp, said Lyon, pointed revolvers at Dalbow when he approached. Sharp, said the witness, fired the first shot.
After Sharp had been brought to jail here, Lyon, who often holds Sunday meetings for the prisoners, accused the fanatic of falsehood in regard to the story he told the Mulberry street barber. He asked Sharp to attend the jail services and Sharp said he himself was god, and, of course, would not come. Then Lyon told him that God did not prevaricate and Sharp refused to have anything more to do with the evangelist.
Labels: Adam God sect, barbers, Captain Whitsett, children, Gillham road, guns, jail, Judge Latshaw, Main street, ministers, Mulberry street, Olathe, Parkville, police, police headquarters, Prosecutor Conkling, Sheriff Steed, Wyandotte street
May 4, 1909
Other Penalties Assessed by United
In the federal court yesterday Charles L. King was sentenced to two years in the Leavenworth prison and fined $100 and costs for counterfeiting. Mary Cook, his accomplice, was fined $100 and sentenced to the Jackson county jail for four months.
Herbert H . Ready and A. F. Brooker were fined $100 and costs each on charges of using the mails to defraud, and Harry J. Egan was fined $50 and costs on a similar charge.
Sam Nigro was fined $10 and costs for retailing liquor without a license. The case against his wife was dismissed.
Labels: counterfeiters, federal court, jail, Leavenworth
April 27, 1909
TURNED DOWN BY "PAL."
CONVICT SAYS HE DOESN'T
KNOW WILLIAM TURNER.
Man Who Told of Robbery at
Camden Point Is Confronted
With One Serving Sen-
tence for Crime.
The horror of spending several years in the Missouri penitentiary for robbery is not going to befall William Turner, the confessed safe blower of the Camden Point bank, who says that himself and three "pals" looted the place the night of December 27, 1907. Harry O'Neal, one of the robbers who was captured the day after the robbery and who was convicted, was brought from Jefferson City yesterday and after looking at Turner declared that he had never seen him before.
Turner's story was doubted when he "confessed" to the prosecuting attorney. The confession did not conform to the facts as the county attorney or Platte, who was called in, knew. The statement of O'Neal did not correspond. That Turner was not sincere in his confession was assured when he arrived in Platte City. Although he told the officers all about the robbery and wrote a description of the ways and manners of safe blowers, he refused to plead guilty.
O'NEAL DIDN'T KNOW HIM.
As Turner was the only witness who seemed to know anything about the matter and as he had refused to plead guilty, O'Neal was the only one who could tell whether Turner took part in the robbery. Governor H. S. Hadley and the warden of the penitentiary gave consent to O'Neal's removal to Kansas City to get a glimpse of his "pal."
Soon after his removal to Platte City, Turner was brought back to Kansas City and placed in the county jail. The authorities of Platte county were afraid the jail there was not safe. He was taken from the county jail to police headquarters Saturday and O'Neal was placed in the holdover.
Yesterday afternoon the "pals" met in Captain Whitsett's office. There was not a sign of recognition on O'Neal's part when he came into the room. He had not been told why he had been brought to Kansas City. Turner, who had been taken to the captain's office from the holdover when O'Neal was brought in, did not recognize his "pal" apparently.
"Do you know that man," Turner was asked.
"I don't remember his face," he replied.
TO OKLAHOMA FOR LARCENY.
The same questions were asked O'Neal, but he did not recall Turner as an acquaintance. When he was informed that the slightly built, well-dressed young man was his supposed partner in the bank raid, O'Neal took a second look.
"That feller a 'yeg?' Not much," he said.
As he is wanted in Sapulpa, Ok., on a charge of larceny, Turner will be held until the authorities from that state can be communicated with. The charge of bank robbery will not be dismissed against him until the Oklahoma authorities arrive.
Labels: captian whitsett, crime, jail, Jefferson City, oklahoma, penitentiary
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Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri