January 24, 1910
TINY TOT TELLS THE TRUTH.
Assures Court He Never Sells Papers
After Six O'clock.
Tony Grapes is the name of a diminutive Italian boy. He says he is 8 years old, but looks no more than 6. A few days ago he approached Judge E. E. Porterfield on a Brooklyn car and wanted to sell him a paper. Yesterday Tony and his father were in the juvenile court.
"Do you remember seeing me?" asked the judge.
"Yep," smile Tony, showing his white teeth. "I sell you paper."
"Do you remember when I asked you how late you quit selling papers and you said, 'Any old time?'"
"I quit all the time at 6 o'clock," said Tony, who had evidently been informed that little boys are not allowed to sell papers later than that.
Tony said he had made 15 and sometimes 25 cents a day and that he gave the money to his moth er. Tony acted as interpreter when the judge told the boy's father he must not sell papers any more until the youth is older
"You are sure you are telling your father exactly what I say to you?" asked the court.
"Sure," said Tony. "He says he no like me to sell papers. He 'fraid the cars run off my legs and arms and hands and feet. Then I wouldn't have any to sell papers when I get big."
Labels: children, immigrants, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, newspapers
December 11, 1910
JUDGE TAKES PART
OF RUNAWAY GIRLS.
Homes Have Been Found for
Ava Jewell and Hattie
"I told them 'If you never do anything worse than sit on a rock pile and crack rock for papa you will be queens on a thrown with jewels in your crowns.' "
T. W. Jewell, 920 Cambridge avenue, Sheffield, made this statement in the juvenile court yesterday afternoon after admitting that he had required his daughter, Ava Jewell, 16 years old, and his stepdaughter, Hattie Hayes, 15 years old, to crack rock in his quarry "because they were useless to their mother in the house."
About three weeks ago both girls ran away from their rock cracking work, Ava going to Kansas City, Kas., and Hattie Hayes getting employment at a cracker factory. For the past week she had been working as a domestic in a Sheffield hotel. She was taken into the juvenile court on the request of her mother and stepfather.
"Why did you put these girls, young women, I might say, to work on a rock pile?" asked Judge E. E. Porterfield earnestly.
"It was honest labor," said Jewell, "nothin' of which they should be ashamed. They might o' done far worse. You tell him how it came about, mamma," concluded Jewell, addressing his wife.
"Well, they just wouldn't do the housework right," said Mrs. Jewell. "It kept me continually following them about doing the work over again. I knowed somethin' had to be done to keep 'em busy, so I asked papa if he could use 'em in the quarry on the rear of our lot. 'Yes,' says he, 'I can use 'em breakin' up the small stones. Then he put 'em to work down there. That's all.'
"They was there about two or three weeks," said Jewell, "not over three at the outside, and all the work they done could be did in ten to twenty hours. I built 'em a nice platform on which to work. All they had to do was gather the small rock, carry it to the platform and break it. It sells for $1 a yard, judge. It's valuable."
"You know what they done, judge?" asked Jewell in apparent surprise, "they hammered holes in their skirts and kept me busy putting handles in the stone hammers. They would strike over too far and break the handles, just for meanness. Why, there mamma used to come down there just to encourage them, you know, an' she would crack more rock in an hour than they'd crack in a whole day. Mamma liked to crack rock, didn't you mamma? All the time them girls was a complainin' and talkin' o' runnin' away, an' one day both of 'em up and run away."
"I am surprised that they waited so long," said Judge Porterfield when Jewell had finished his explanation. "They should have gone the first day you put them there. A stone quarry, using a hammer and a drill, as this girl says she had to do, is no place for young women."
It was at this point that Jewell delivered himself of the tender sentiment about "jewels in your crowns."
"That sounds nice," suggested the court, "but it doesn't go with me. Any place on earth for a girl or woman but the rock pile, whether it be for papa or in jail. I do not approve of it. this girl will be made a ward of the court and a place secured for her. Working promiscuously in hotels and factories is not the best place for her, either, so long as she is not remaining in the home."
Hattie, who was 15 in October, was turned over to Mrs. Agnes O'Dell, a juvenile court officer, who will secure a place for her in a private family. Her stepsister, Ava Jewell, has a place as a domestic in Kansas City, Kas.
Labels: children, employment, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, Kansas City Kas, sheffield, women
December 28, 1909
MOTHER LECTURED BY JUDGE.
She Admits False Age of Son Was
Given Factory Inspector.
Mrs. E. L. Folsom, 707 East Eighteenth street, weeping bitterly, was lectured by Judge E. E. Porterfield in the juvenile court yesterday for making a false affidavit regarding the age of her son, Lyle H. Wilcox, in the office of W. H. Morgan, state factory inspector, recently when the boy went to work. She swore that he was born April 7, 1895, but yesterday admitted that he was born a year later. While under oath, as the court learned from private conversation with the woman's daughter, other misstatements were made.
"You ought to be punished," said Judge Porterfield, "for making the false affidavit about your son's age and for other statements made here under oath, but I cannot do it in this court. It could be done in the criminal court, however. This habit people have gotten into of making false affidavits of their children's ages before the factory inspector has got to be broken up. Somebody is going to be punished, too, if it does not cease."
The boy, Lyle, was given into the custody of his sister, Mrs. Iva Hubbard, 1405 Spruce avenue. Mrs. Folson said she had born ten children, seven of whom are living. She said she was divorced from Joseph Wilcox in Oklahoma City, Ok., and that seven years ago in January she was married to Folson.
Labels: children, custody, Eighteenth street, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, oklahoma, Spruce avenue
December 23, 1909
NO BOYS IN DETENTION HOME.
Inmates Released to Allow Them a
There is not a boy in the detention home. The youthful prisoners have all been released on the promise to report Monday in juvenile court.
"This has been our custom every year the week before Christmas," said Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer, yesterday. "We want every boy in town, however bad, to be given a chance to celebrate Christmas day. There will be as few arrests as possible this week."
Labels: detention home, Dr Mathias, holidays, juvenile court
December 21, 1909
GAMBLED HIS MONEY AWAY.
Cecil Killey, 10 Years Old, Spent It
at Drug Store Raffles.
Money given him by his grandmother to buy schoolbooks Cecil Killey, age 10 years, of 4016 Central avenue, spent on drug store raffles. The boy was taken into juvenile court yesterday to explain.
"All the boys do it," explained the youngster. "Sometimes there are as many as thirty in a drug store at one time. It costs ten cents a chance. If you win you get a box of candy."
"You are too young to gamble this way," said Judge E. E. Porterfield. "The next time you are brought into this court you will be sent to the McCune Farm.
Labels: Central avenue, children, druggists, gambling, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court
December 14, 1909
HIDE FOR OBSTREP-
His Father Had Cowhide and
Was Not Afraid to Use It.
JUDGE PORTERFIELD OF THE JUVENILE COURT.
Judicial notice was taken yesterday for the first time of the cowhide, as an instrument of regeneration for obstreperous boys, when Judge E. E. Porterfiled of the juvenile court paid it the following tribute:
"If I ever amounted to anything, it's because my father kept a cowhide, and he was not afraid to use it."
This remark was occasioned by a mother's statement that she did not like to whip her children. John Morrisy of 815 East Eighth street, had been summoned into court on the complaint of the mother. She said that she could not control him.
"The only fault I have to find with him is that he does not get up in the morning," she said. "And when he drinks beer he swears at me and his grandmother so loud that he attracts the neighbors."
"Why don't you get the cowhide?" asked the judge.
"Oh, I never did believe in whipping my children."
"You make a mistake, madam. If there was ever a boy in this court who needed a cowhiding, it is your son. My suggestion to you is to get a long whip. If John doesn't get up in the morning, don't wait until he gets his clothes on. Pull him out of bed and thrash him on his bare skin. Like lots of other mothers, you have spoiled your boy by being too lenient."
John Morrisy was arrested the first time in December, 1908, and sentenced to the reform school. He was charged with cursing his mother. John agreed to sign the following pledge, on condition that the sentence would be suspended:
"I am going to get a job and I am going to keep it, give mother my money; am going to church, come in early at night; I am not going to drink whisky or beer; I will not swear any."
John broke that pledge last Thursday. He bought some beer in a livery barn. When he came home he abused his mother and cursed her. The boy was charged also with smoking cigarettes. This he admitted.
"Where did you get the papers?" asked the court.
"It's this way," explained the boy. "The merchants ain't allowed to sell or give them away. I went out to a drug store. I bought two packages of Dukes. When I told the man that the tobacco was no good without papers, he said it was against the law to give them to minors. Then he walked back of the prescription case.
"He looked at me, then at a box behind the counter, where he kept the papers. Of course, I got wise right away. I reached my hand in the box and got three packages."
"You won't smoke any more cigarettes," said Judge Porterfield, "if I don't send you to Booneville?"
"If I can't get the papers, I won't."
The question had to be repeated two or three times before the boy understood. He promised not to use tobacco in any form. If he does, Judge Porterfield ordered that he be taken immediately to reform school. John was taken to the boys' hotel. A job will be found for him, and if he lives up to his pledge, will not be ordered to the reform school.
Labels: abuse, alcohol, boys hotel, children, Eighth street, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, tobacco
December 5, 1909
CAMPAIGN TO RESCUE
CHILDREN FROM WORK.
COMPLAINT MADE THAT STORE
EMPLOYS TWO, 4 YEARS OLD.
Picture Shows Where Girls, Under
16, Play and Sing and Will Be In-
vestigated by Dr. Mathias,
Chief Probation Officer.
Parents who permit their children to sing in picture shows in violation of the law, or to participate in any entertainment for which they receive pay, according to Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer, will be prosecuted in the juvenile court.
Heretofore prosecution of child labor cases has been almost entirely on the initiative of the local and state factory inspectors. But complaints have been made recently to the juvenile officers that the practice has not been entirely stopped. An investigation is to be made to find out whether the parents and theaters are obeying the law.
The law forbids children under 14 years of age to engage in any "gainful occupation." Children under 16 can not work for wages without first receiving a permit from the local factory inspector.
This does not forbid parents to allow their children to participate in church entertainments and the like, where they receive no pay.
COMPLAINT AGAINST STORE.
Complaint was made yesterday of a large department store, which is giving a Santa Claus entertainment. Two children, 4 years of age, take minor parts and their parents are paid for their time. With W. J. Morgan, factory inspector, a juvenile officer yesterday went to the store to investigate the complaint, and will report Monday in juvenile court to Judge E. E. Porterfield.
Several picture shows are reported to have employed girls under 16 years of age, without official permits, to play the piano and sing. These cases are to be investigated immediately.
"The child labor law, if anything, is not severe enough," said Dr. Mathias. "It should not only require children to remain in school until they have reached a certain age, but it should keep them in school until they have passed through the graded school into the high school.
"The trouble with the present law is that it is founded on the law of averages. The average boy or girl completes the grammar school at 14 years of age. But think of those who do not go beyond the third or fourth grade. Many children have not reached the high school at 14.
SHOULD HELP ABNORMAL.
"If there is any change in this law it should be re-framed for the benefit of the abnormal, or the child below the average. Every child should be compelled to stay in school until he or she had reached the high school. The child might be 16 or 18 years of age before he is graduated and permitted to go to work, but he would be a much better citizen than if allowed to quit at 14.
"Take for instance the foreigners who are rapidly migrating to Kansas City and other American towns. Many of them have been brought up to believe that a wife or a child is an asset, the same as the old slave holders used to think. Hardly before the child is able to walk and talk the father puts it to work. The boy gets a place in a shoe-shining parlor or holding the horse of some delivery man. The pay is $1 or $2 a week, which is given the parent.
"These foreigners average about one child a year. The more children, they know, the greater their income. If it were not for the child labor laws, these children would be permitted to grow up in ignorance, and their little bodies stunted from doing heavy work before they had gained physical strength."
Labels: children, Dr Mathias, employment, immigrants, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, theater
November 28, 1909
MAKING GOOD MEN
AT M'CUNE FARM.
WORK OF INSTITUTION TOLD AT
Great Future of Farm for Boys De-
scribed by Speakers -- Large
Crowd Witnesses Ceremonies
and Visits the Home.
"There's de judge, fellers!"
"Hello Judge!" shouted more than eighty happy boys as they rushed to open the gates that admitted William Scarritt's automobile which bore Judge E. E. Porterfield to the McCune Farm for Boys to see him that they grabbed hold of his arms and legs and climbed all over him in enthusiasm.
Judge Porterfield's visit to the farm was for the purpose of conducting the ceremonies for the laying of the cornerstone of the fine new schoolhouse which is now under construction. The occasion was eventful because of the fact that there were more visitors at the farm yesterday afternoon than ever before at any one time.
The ceremonies started at 3 p. m. with a song by the youngsters, who sang it with earnestness. After the invocation by J. M. Taylor, superintendent of the farm, the boys sang another gospel hymn and Judge Porterfield made the opening address.
TOOK CLEVELAND PLAN.
"April 16, 1908," the judge began, "marked an epoch in the civic life of Jackson county. It was the date of the opening of the McCune Farm for Boys.
"To start with the officials had 100 acres of land and one small farmhouse and it was, and still is, the intention to follow the plan of the Cleveland authorities on their handling of their youngsters who have not adequate chances to build their lives upon a good home training. The Cleveland farm contains 285 acres of land, has seven cottages, a laundry, barns, gymnasium, carpenter shop, water, sewer and electric light systems. The feature of the home is that each cottage comprises facilities for fifteen to twenty boys and has a faculty consisting of a head master and head matron who have absolute charge of the boys.
"In comparison, we have eighty-two boys and three cottages, while Cleveland has 115 boys and seven cottages. The latter home is more complete, of course, but at the same time it is much older and without doubt Jackson county will have an institution just as good in a couple of years. Our condition is such now that I have often been compelled to send boys back to undesirable homes because of lack of room at the farm. Some have been paroled when they should not have been, but their places had to be given up to others who needed the training even worse than they.
PROUD OF RECORD.
"Since the home has been opened 183 boys have been sent here. eighty-two are now in attendance; eighty have been paroled, and not in a single instance, by the way, has any one of them been sent back; fourteen were sent to the reform school because they ran away from the farm, and only three out of this whole 183 have been guilty of other offenses bad enough in their nature to necessitate their being sent to the reformatory.
"Paroled boys are found good homes by Mrs. O'Dell, and she always has a good home ready for every boy who deserves it. These boys have the advantage of a splendid school, are taught useful work and enjoy baseball and other sports of which all boys are fond. In short, it is a character building institution.
"Prior to the advent of the court in 1902 all boys who had committed small offenses were compelled to go to the county jail where they were thrown in with the vilest of criminals and were really hardened by their confinement instead of being benefited as the officials intended they should be. Those boys possessing small criminal tendencies easily learned the worst, and I am glad that we have passed that stage now.
WERE MAKING CRIMINALS.
"It is not a misstatement of facts to say that the state was engaged in making criminals. The McCune farm makes citizens. The jail enforced idleness and ignorance, thereby making charges for the state. The McCune farm teaches industry and prepares for good citizenship.
"The only relief I know is to issue $100,000 or $200,000 worth of bonds and diminish the issue on public improvements, for it is easier to make a citizen than build cities. It is a matter of economy to improve this institution. The governor of Colorado said in a speech in 1904 that in eighteen months the juvenile court had saved the state $88,000. Seven hundred and seventeen boys were dealt with and only ten were sent to the reform school. Prior methods sent 75 per cent and in two years the state saved $200,000 in criminal court expenditures.
"As a financial proposition the farm will pay for itself in two years' time, and what is priceless and cannot be measured in money value is the good citizenship that the influences will stimulate.
LIKE FARM LIFE.
Judge McCune addressed the audience next and confined most of his remarks to the boys.
"How do you like the this place, boys?"
"Fine! Best ever!" they answered.
"Why were you sen here?" he asked.
"To have a good home," they replied.
"Like your teachers?"
"You bet. Every one of them."
"Of course you do," said Judge McCune. "Why, I even knew some of you fellows after you had run away to come back of your own accord and fall on your teachers' necks and say you were glad to get back home, and you kissed them, too, didn't you?"
Here the boys laughed heartily and ascented to the speaker's last remarks.
"It pleases me very much to see the interest shown at these ceremonies this afternoon by the large representation of public citizens, and I know that with their support this home for boys will be the best that money and effort can make."
Judge J. M. Patterson followed with a few remarks and declared that if the taxpayers would look into this matter and investigate, as their duties as citizens demanded they should do and aid the courts to the best of their ability, this McCune farm for boys would become a very great institution which other large cities would wisely pattern after, for the start now made is so well planned that only the money is all that is needed to perfect the young enterprise.
CORNERSTONE IS LAID.
The ceremony of laying the cornerstone for the new school house was then completed. In the box in the stone were deposited the annual report of the juvenile court, copies of the Kansas City daily papers and a report of the progression of the institution compiled by Judge Porterfield.
The new building is to be a six-room structure sufficiently large to accommodate 225 boys and is to cost $15,200. It is located 600 yards southwest of the main dormitory on a hill overlooking the old Lexington road and is surrounded by many beautiful shade trees.
Labels: children, Judge McCune, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, McCune Home
November 18, 1909
BOY AND DOG EAT TOGETHER.
Canine Served Similar Meal to
Master in Truant Home.
Two meals were sent yesterday to the cell occupied by Lawrence Hansen, 10 years old, the boy taken Tuesday to the detention home for truancy. One meal was for the boy; the other for his dog, Jack. The dog is given the exact bill of fare served his master.
Lawrence will be held until next Monday, when he is to be tried before the juvenile judge. His dog will stay with him. The dog apparently enjoys the situation. He frisked around during the day and at night slept at the foot of his master's bed. As long as he is not parted from Lawrence, the dog seems happy and contented.
Labels: animals, children, detention home, food, juvenile court
November 16, 1909
WON'T GO TO SCHOOL
'CAUSE HIS DOG CAN'T.
FOX TERRIER HELD RESPONSI-
BLE FOR BOY'S TRUANCY.
Two Pals, Lawrence and Jack, Re-
ceive Same Sentence in Juvenile
Court and Do Penance
One of the newest types of juvenile offenders, a small fox terrier, whose master is Lawrence Hanson of Fifth and Gilliss streets, was locked up yesterday at the detention home by the juvenile officers. "Jack," for that is the dog's name, is charged with being an accessory before the fact. His master has been playing "hookey" from school, and Jack has been held responsible.
Yesterday morning Lawrence Hanson, 10 years of age, and Jack, were brought to the detention home. The boy has been attending the Karnes school. The past month he is said to have been absent more days than he has been present.
"Why won't you go to school?" asked the juvenile officer.
The boy sniffled. Suddenly there was an outpouring of tears and the little chap hid his face in his sleeve.
"They won't let me take Jack with me. And I said I wouldn't go to school unless he could go too."
Jack, who had followed the boy to his home, sat at his master's feet. He looked up into the little boy's face. When Lawrence began to cry, Jack also was affected. He jumped up into the boy's lap and slipping his nose under his master's sleeve, licked away the tears as fast as they came.
The dog appeared to take the disgrace even worse than the boy for Jack had been charged with being an accessory before the fact. It was he who had caused his master's arrest.
Presently the clouds disappeared. The boy dried his eyes. Lawrence smiled. The dog jumped down from the boy's lap. He wagged his tail vigorously.
It was decided to lock the little boy in a cell with the other incorrigibles.
"But what should be done with Jack?" was asked.
"The dog seems equally guilty with the boy," suggested Dr. E. L. Mathias, chief probation officer. "It seems to me that he should suffer as well as his master."
So Jack was locked up with his master. The boy considered it a disgrace. But not so with the dog. He skipped up the stairs ahead of the boy and the officers.
Yesterday afternoon, dog and master sat together. The dog was cuddled in the boy's arms, sleeping peacefully. He did not realize that he was doing penance for leading his young master astray.
Labels: animals, children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Fifth street, Gillis street, juvenile court
November 14, 1909
LIKES KANSAS CITY PLAN.
Cincinnati Will Soon Have Juvenile
CINCINNATI, O., Nov. 13. -- As a result of the visit of Kansas City men interested in juvenile reform, Cincinnati soon wi ll have a juvenile improvement association patterned after that of Kansas City. Delegates from other cities to the convention of juvenile court attaches also were interested in the pardons and paroles board of Kansas City.
E. E. Porterfield, judge of the Kansas City juvenile court and president of its juvenile association, created a favorable impression by his description of the plan by which boys are kept in school through charitable persons paying them a salary equal to what they could make if employed.
The speech of Jacob Billikopf of the Kansas City pardon and parole board, in which he gave concrete examples of the work being done for families of persons conditionally paroled from the city workhouse, caused much discussion among the delegates. Dr. E. L. Mathias, juvenile officer in Judge Porterfield's court, took part in the discussion and told of the work done by him. The three Kansas City delegates have left Cincinnati for their homes.
Labels: charity, Dr Mathias, Jacob Billikopf, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, parole board
August 28, 1909
IT TOOK THREATS TO
MOVE THIS WOMAN.
FEAR OF IMPRISONMENT HER
"We Shall See," Said Mrs. Mary
Baughman, When the Juvenile
Court Took Her Grand Child-
ren From Her.
It took threats of imprisonment to move Mrs. Mary Baughman, who was born McCormick, from the juvenile court room yesterday afternoon. Even in parting she was not subdued.
"It will break my heart to part with the children and I will have them, court or no court," was her defy as she rose to go.
"If you make trouble we shall have to put you in jail," said Judge E. E. Porterfield.
"Yes, we shall see," retorted the irate grandmother. "It doesn't become a judge to talk that way to a woman who is asking nothing but the right to care for her children," and she swept from the room.
"It's my own fault for running to those probation officers with my troubles," said Mrs. Baughman afterward. "Pearl and Frances Harmiston, my grandchildren, have had me as their only support since they were small. Lately I have had them in St. Agnes home. Their mother, my daughter, Mrs. Charlsie Wiggons, 214 East Missouri avenue, is doing better now than she did and I thought she ought to help a little to support the girls. So I asked the probation officers what I could do to make her help me. Instead of this, they bring them into court and send to them to St. Joseph's home, where the little ones have to wash and scrub floors. I have always worked hard, but it wasn't 'till I was a woman grown and had the strength. I was born a McCormick, and I will have the children."
The Harmiston children were sent to St. Joseph's home during the morning session of the court, over the grandmother's protest.
The records show that they were in court as neglected children, on complaint of their mother.
In the afternoon Mrs. Baughman returned and sat patiently until 4 o'clock, when she asked the court again to give her the children. The threat to send her to jail followed.
Labels: Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, Missouri avenue, women
August 21, 1909
DON'T BE A BUM, JUDGE SAID.
Weary Willie Is No Good to Any-
body, Court to Youngster.
"Uncle liked sister, and my aunt liked me. It got so that uncle always took the other side when I said anything. So I just left."
That's the way Jean Corwin Miller, 13 years old, late of Calvert, Morton county, Kas., began his story yesterday in the juvenile court. Both his parents are dead. He and a sister were living with Jasper A. Miller, a farmer at Calvert.
"I had $3 when I left," said the boy. "I rode on the cars to Colby, walked to Manhattan, and rode the cars again to Lawrence. When I got there I found I was 10 cents short of the fare to Kansas City. A man gave me the dime."
"Well," said Judge Porterfield, "where did you want to go?"
"To Mrs. Ella Hogan, my aunt, in Ottawa, Kas."
After a talk with the boy, who is bright for his age, and seemed rather homesick, the court ordered him kept at the Detention home until his relatives could come for him.
"You don't want to start out in life as a bum," said the judge. "Grow up into a man and make something of yourself. Bums are of no good to anybody."
Labels: children, detention home, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court
June 15, 1909
GUY COLBY MUST REFORM.
Former White Ward of Negro
Woman Is Sent to Boonville.
Guy Colby is going to leave Kansas City for four years this time. His ticket reads Boonville, Mo., and he will start today. The sentence is four years.
Yesterday Guy ran away from the McCune home for the second time. He was found and taken to the Detention home before evening. He said he was anxious to see Ernest Crocroft, with whom he ran away from the McCune farm two weeks ago to Jefferson City. Crocroft was sent to Boonville.
At the time his friend was sentenced, Colby also was in court and was told that his next offense would result in a reform school sentence. That was imposed yesterday by Judge E. E. Porterfield of the juvenile court.
It was Guy Colby who was taken by probation officers from Mrs. Sarah E. Carr, a negro woman, who had cared for him for years. His mother lives in Haverhil, Mass. An investigation made by probation officers showed she was not able to care for the boy, so he was sent to the McCune farm.
Labels: children, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, McCune Home, race
May 16, 1909
GIVE UP HIS BOY?
NEVER, SAYS FATHER.
BRAWNY IRON WORKER WINS
ADMIRATION OF JUDGE.
Authorities Wanted to Send Clar-
ance Anderson to McCune Home,
but Request Failed After
Parent Told Story.
"Rather than give up my boy I'll sell out all I have in Kansas City and leave. The only thing which will separate me from my children is death."
Charles Anderson, an iron worker, said it and brought his big fist down on the table at one end of which sat Judge Porterfield of the juvenile court. Clarence Anderson, the boy, was in court Friday on complaint of the truant officer.
"Wouldn't you like to have the boy sent to the McCune farm?" asked the court.
"No. I have lost two children already," said the man, who swings beams in midair.
"You would not lose the lad if he went to the farm."
"I don't want him to go."
Then Anderson told his story.
"I have had a hard time to raise my family, but I have buckled down to the job, and mean to stay by it till the last rivet is headed. My wife is dead. I have a daughter who works afternoons. In what spare time she has, she looks after this boy and his smaller sister. Just to show you what I think of my family, let me tell you that I threw up a job at $150 with the American Bridge Company. That was because the work took me from home. I couldn't get anything in my line in Kansas City, and I had to follow the work, wherever it was. No I can work here, and I mean to stay by my family. You couldn't get me to give up one."
"Just keep the lad in school, that's all," said the court, with admiration for the ironworker's words and for a man who meant "to stay with the job" until it was finished.
Labels: children, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, McCune Home
April 17, 1909
HIS LONG PLAY IS ENDED.
Mere Matter of Chirography Led
Herbert Spencer to Court.
It was fine for Herbert Spencer not to go to school. He is 11 and lives at 1301 Forest avenue. For nine weeks he did not go to school, but had one long grand play. Of course, all good t hings must come to an end, and so did Herbert's fun.
"Son," said his mother to him one day, "why is it I do not get any reports from your teacher? How do I know whether you are are getting along in school?"
"I'll see," said the dutiful child.
Just a little while afterwards Herbert handed his mother a note, written in the geometricals which they teach in the schools and call writing. Reading from the first angle to the last tangent, this is what Mrs. Crabtree, the mother, read:
Your boy Herbert has been in school every day. He will pass. MISS THOMAS.
Miss Thomas was the boy's instructor in the Morse school.
But Mamma knew a thing or two. It turned out that Miss Thomas had learned to write before the copybooks began to use an ax on the alphabet. A charge of truancy stared Herbert in the face yesterday in the juvenile court.
"Better let your teacher write the reports after this," said Judge Porterfield. "Run along this time, but go to school."
Labels: children, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, schools
April 7, 1909
TO LOOK AFTER TENT COLONY.
Man and Wife Will Be Employed
At McCune Farm.
The employment of a man and his wife at the McCune farm for boys was authorized yesterday by the county court. The salaries are to be $50 and $30 a month respectively. A cook also is to be employed at $30.
The couple mentioned are to have charge of the tent colony at the farm, to which boys are sent by the juvenile court.
Labels: employment, juvenile court, McCune Home
March 27, 1909
AN ULTILMATUM TO GREEKS.
Juvenile Court Names the Hours for
Shoe Shine Stands.
Greek shoe shining stands are to close at 2 p. m. on Sundays, at 10 p. m. on Saturdays and at 8 p. m. the other five days of the week. If they do not comply with this order, made by the juvenile court yesterday, their places will be closed all day Sunday.
While some of the proprietors of such stands have shown a disposition to make life less a burden to the boys they employ, others of their number have opposed orders made by the court. The expression of the court yesterday was in the nature of an ultimatum.
Labels: immigrants, juvenile court
January 30, 1909
NEGRESS ADOPTS WHITE BOY.
But She Can't Have Him While
Living In Missouri.
Color lines were drawn sharply in the juvenile court yesterday. Mrs. John May, a negro woman, adopted Guy Colby, a white boy, 8 years ago in Lynn, Mass. He is now 11. The adoption was legal in every way, according to the Massachusetts statutes, but Missouri laws do not recognize such a relationship.
Probation officers discovered that Guy, a white boy, was attending the Attucks school for negroes. Judge E. E. Porterfield sent the lad, who looks well cared for, to the McCune farm. He promised Mrs. May that she could have him again if she returned to Massachusetts, which it is her intention to do. She took the lad from a foundling home.
Labels: Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, McCune Home, race, schools
January 9, 1909
BOY CASE IS ARBITRATED.
Judge Porterfield's Verdict: "Don't
Use Shinny Sticks Any More."
In the juvenile court yesterday afternoon Eddie Stephons and Tommy Bramlette, 14 and 13 years old, respectively, told Judge E. E. Porterfield that when boys play policemen it means clubs will be freely used on the heads of any prisoners taken into their custody.
The boys had been fighting and Eddie still bore a scar across his forehead and one cheek was swollen as the result of a blow from Tommy's shinny stick. The defendant readily confessed it was he who delivered the blow.
"That will do," said Judge Porterfield, after each boy had told his story. "The plaintiff has no case at all. He simply got whipped. Dismissed, but you must not use shinny sticks or play prisoner and policeman until good feeling is restored between you."
Labels: children, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court
January 6, 1909
PORTERFIELD JUVENILE JUDGE.
High Man on the Democratic Ticket
Succeeds Judge McCune.
Judge E. E. Porterfield of the circuit court will be chosen today to preside over the juvenile court for a period of two years. The law sets the formal election for Thursday, but action is to be taken today so that the new judge may, in a manner, familiarize himself with the duties of the place.
At the last general election, Judge Porterfield was elected to serve a term of six years. He was the high man on his ticket. He has not sought the office of juvenile judge, but today's meeting will give it to him. The term of the judge of the juvenile court is two years, unless unforeseen circumstances change the tenure of office.
Labels: Judge Porterfield, juvenile court
January 5, 1909
GOOD CARE FOR THE BABIES.
Court Gives St. Anthony's Home a
Clean Bill of Health.
A clean bill of health will be given St. Anthony's Home for Babies today by H. L. McCune, until yesterday judge of the juvenile court. Last week Judge McCune heard complaints against the hospital and took the matter under advisement. Certain changes were prescribed and these have been made at the hospital.
For one thing, a chief nurse has been hired. Then there have been added to the directorate D. B. Holmes, L. M. Johns and other well known men who have taken it upon themselves to see that things at the institution are kept in good sh ape.
Labels: hospitals, Judge McCune, juvenile court, St Anthonys Home
December 31, 1908
JUDGE M'CUNE'S LAST DAY.
New Presiding Officer for Juvenile
Court Must Be Chosen.
For the last time, Judge H. L. McCune will hold juvenile court today. He has been at the head of this work for two years, and the history of the Kansas City child's court is the history of his tribunal, for there has been no other regular judge since the juvenile law went into effect. Judge McCune goes out of office the first of the year. His successor will be chosen by the circuit judges from among their number. Judges John G. Park, Republican, and E. E. Porterfield, Democrat, are most frequently spoken of for that place.
Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, yesterday completed his annual report, which will be handed to Judge McCune for approval today. The report shows that 1,155 cases were handled during the year in court and 851 settled out of court, making a total of 2,006. The report shows the disposition of those handled through the court. The register of the Detention home shows that 977 children have been booked there during the year.
As a general thing the report shows that children who have a father but no mother living are less in evidence in the juvenile court. Ninety living with the father were brought to the attention of the probation officers, while 131 who lived with the mother, the father being dead, were in court.
Labels: children, detention home, Dr Mathias, Judge McCune, Judge Park, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court
December 22, 1908
FREE TICKETS FOR ALL TO
THE GRAND TOMORROW.
A. Judah's Gift to the Children Will
Be Distrubted From Different
Manager A. Judah of the Grand has invited the poor children of the city to a matinee performance by Corinne and her company tomorrow afternoon. The entertainment is being given in connection with the Christmas tree, and Manager Judah promises a surprise for the little ones who will be his guests for the afternoon. Admission will be by ticket, and the distribution of tickets will begin today, in charge of the following charitable organizations:
Associated Charities, 1115 Charlotte street (will also distribute tickets among colored population); Institutional church, Admiral boulevard and Holmes street; Helping Hand, 408 Main street; Franklin institute, Nineteenth and McGee streets; Grace hall, 415 West Thirteenth street; Humane Society, city hall, second floor; United Jewish Charities, 1702 Locust street; Italian Charities, offices with Associated Charities; juvenile court, county court house; Bethel mission, 43 North First street, Kansas City, Kas; Catholic Ladies' Aid Society, Eighth and Cherry, St. Patrick's hall.
Labels: A Judah, Associated Charities, charity, Cherry street, children, city hall, Eighth street, Franklin institute, Helping Hand, Humane Society, Institutional church, Jews, juvenile court, Main street, theater
December 21, 1908
TO LIGHTEN WORK
ON GREEK SHINERS.
JUVENILE COURT COMMITTEE
Wants Standas Closed at 7 p. m., Night
School Established for the
Boys, and a Holiday
Seven propositions were put up to the Greek proprietors of shoe shining stands yesterday afternoon at a conference between them and a committee, appointed by Judge McCune, consisting of F. E. McCrary, Dr. E. L. Matthias and James C. Chaffin. Twelve of the sixteen stands in the city were represented. Owing to the inability of the Greeks to fully understand what was wanted of them, and also because they could not agree on the proprietors and then meet with this committee of the juvenile court.. The committee of Greeks is: Joseph Snyder of California, an educated Greek who is a leader among his countrymen; James Katzoulos, 818 Walnut, Demetrius Nikopolis, 1130 Grand, and Peter Maniatos, 14 West Ninth.
The articles of agreement which they were asked to sign were as follows:
1. Employ no boy, except with the consent of the juvenile court, under 14 years of age.
2. Open the shops at 7 a. m. and close them at 7 p. m.; between those hours the boys to be allowed sufficient time in which to get three meals a day.
3. Lend aid to establish a night school for Greek boys to open January 2, 1909, and remain open each year for the same time that the public schools are open.
4. Pay the boys their wages only on the last day of each month.
5. Encourage the boys to save their money and welcome any case where anyone designated by the juvenile court or its committee may talk with the boys and explain to them the subject of saving their money.
6. In cases where employers have agreed to pay the earnings of any boy to his relatives or legal guardian, pay the money through City Comptroller Gus Pearson, such payments to be made on the first day of the month, beginning January 2, 1909.
7. Arrange all day work of the boys so that each one can have at least one half holiday each week.
With most of these propositions there was no fault found. The proprietors all expressed themselves as being willing to settle the matter amicably and to the satisfaction of the court. The only one of the articles which caused any considerable discussion was that of closing the shops at 7 p. m. But as they were made to understand the liability of the invocation of the eight-hour law, it is quite probably that they will arrange working hours so that the boys can have a chance to go to school, besides getting a little recreation. The committee of Greeks and the juvenile court committee will get together at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, when an agreement will be made.
Labels: California, children, immigrants, Judge McCune, juvenile court, reform school
December 19, 1908
PRATT CHILDREN GET A HOME.
Half Brother of the Man Slain in the
Riot Will Raise Them.
Thomas M. Pratt, a half-brother of Louis Pratt, was given the custody of the four Pratt children in the juvenile court yesterday. The little ones have been in the Detention home since shortly after the riot of nearly two weeks ago, in which their father was mortally wounded. Thomas Pratt offered to rear the children and the court turned the bright looking youngsters over to him.
Mrs. Della Pratt, mother of the children, was also in court. She said she and her husband got their "Adam God" belief from John Pratt, her brother-in-law. James Sharp, leader of the fanatic band, imparted the creed to John Pratt. Previous to this time the Pratts had been "Holiness" folks. She said she found both beliefs were "false worship."
Lena Pratt, who had a revolver in the fight, said Sharp had taught the band that salvation would come to the world only after bloodshed and that everybody was to shoot after he started firing. The 12-year-old girl said she was convinced Sharp's belief was false.
Thomas Pratt, who was given care of the children, said that, so far as he knew, there had never been a taint of insanity in his family. Both his half-brothers, he said, were converted to Methodism a decade ago and later seemed to go to extremes on the subject of religion.
Labels: Adam God sect, children, custody, detention home, juvenile court, ministers
December 15, 1908
MRS. PRATT MAY NOT BE
TRIED ON MURDER CHARGE.
Probation Officer Believes She Should
Not Be Parted From Her
Toys in profusion are being sent to the Detention home for the four children of Mrs. Della Pratt, members of the band of fanatics who caused a street riot last Tuesday. In many cases no names are attached to the presents. The list of Christmas things includes xylophones, dolls and other creations of the toy maker which children in houseboats are not commonly supposed to have enjoyed.
The Pratts are getting along famously. The larger children are devouring their primers with lightning speed and it will not be long, at their present rate of progress, before they will be as far advanced with their studies as other children of their age. They seem quiet and well behaved and give the probation officers no trouble.
"We will have to enlarge the building if the contribution of toys keep coming in," said Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, yesterday. Just then Mrs. J. K. Ellwood, the matron, came into the doctor's office and seized the city directory. "Need it for a high chair," she said. It was for one of the Pratt babies.
It is the opinion of Dr. Mathias that the Pratt family should be reunited. "Of course the children will be in the juvenile court on Friday and the mother is in jail. But if she is not prosecuted I would favor making the little ones wards of the court and aiding the mother to provide a home for them. Given the chance these children would behave like normal human beings of their age. They could go to school and their mother, no doubt, would be glad of a chance to be with them again."
I. B. Kimbrell, prosecuting attorney, said yesterday that he would try to have the trial of James Sharp, leader of the band of fanatics, set for next week. Sharp and Mrs. Sharp are to be prosecuted, but it is doubtful whether Mrs. Pratt and the other members of the band will have to go on trial. Christmas juries are usually more lenient towards prisoners, and Sharp may have this idea in mind.
Labels: Adam God sect, children, detention home, doctors, Dr Mathias, juvenile court, Prosecutor Kimbrell, toys
December 1, 1908
NO ONE ANXIOUS TO
BE JUVENILE JUDGE.
THERE'S WORK AHEAD FOR THE
MAN UNDERTAKING IT.
Judge H. L. M'Cune Will Vacate That
Bench in January, and a Suc-
cessor Is to Be Chosen.
Duties of the Place.
On the first Thursday after the first Monday in January the judges of the circuit court will meet and select a presiding officer of the juvenile court form among their number. For the past two years Judge H. L. McCune has held this place, but he goes out of office in January.
So far, no judge has declared himself a candidate for the lace, although several have said they would prefer not to have the place. Judge James E. Goodrich and E. E. Porterfield seem at present to supply the list of candidates from which a judge will be selected. Neither of them is a candidate for the place, in the meaning that he greatly desires to fill it.
There are many arduous duties connected with the office of judge of the juvenile court. Conversant with the work as was Judge McCune when he took the place, it was some months before even he had things systemized. When he steps down next month the task of learning the ropes will not be an easy one for his successor, at least for a time.
What was at first a small matter, has expanded into a large department. Besides the regular trial of cases in court, there is general oversight over the probation officer and the Detention home, not to mention the McCune farm, on which there is now being constructed a home for boys. It is easy to let abuses creep into the juvenile court system. A knowledge of these, and the way to combat them, is the necessary equipment of a good judge.
There are people in Kansas City, and good people, too -- you wouldn't believe it if you saw their names in the paper -- who have tried to look upon the Detention home as a free employment bureau. It seems so easy to take a boy capable of earning $6 a week out of the home, which he wants to leave anyhow, and pay him $3 a week. 'Sides which, as the old proverb remarks, it saves money.
It has taken the greatest care of the probation force to keep these abuses out of the system in the past, and the same vigilance no doubt will be as necessary in the future. The case spoken of is mild and only one sample of the sort of matters which are brought up to juvenile judge and probation officer in almost constant succession.
The judge of the juvenile court appointed in January probably will serve until January, 1911. No specific tenure of office is fixed, but the intent of the law is that there shall be a change ever odd-numbered year. Of course, changes may be made more frequently, should conditions require it.
Labels: detention home, Judge McCune, Judge Porterfield, juvenile court, McCune Home
November 11, 1908
WHERE BAD BOYS ABOUND.
Probation Officer Seeks Information
Regarding Intractable Youths.
Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer, is showiong by means of pins on a huge map, just which are the worst behaved districts of the city from the boy standpoint. He also is showing neighborhoods from which come reports of neglected children. When completed, the map will form an accurate day-to-day record of the cases on the juvenile court books.
Labels: children, doctors, Dr Mathias, juvenile court
October 24, 1908
WERE WRAPPED IN BEDDING.
East Bottoms People Appeared in
Court Without Clothing.
More destitute than any family which has been in the juvenile court for months, the Akes family from the East Bottoms appeared there yesterday. So scant was the clothing for the family that some of the members of it were wrapped up in quilts and old sweaters. They told the judge that there was four feet of water in their home at Michigan and Guinotte avenues. The case was one for the Helping Hand, where the Akes were taken so that they could be fitted out with clothing.
Labels: clothing, East bottoms, Guinotte avenue, Helping Hand, juvenile court, Michigan avenue
October 10. 1908
TRAGEDY BREAKS UP
A VAUDEVILLE TRIO.
ALL BECAUSE AILEEN WROTE A
SWEET LITTLE NOTE.
It Was to a Married Man, and the
Forest Park Beauties, in Colors
Which Made a Noise,
Get Into Court.
Notice is hereby given that the partnership mentioned below, heretofore at Forest park, has been dissolved by order of court:
Dorothy -- Aileen
Song and Dance Soubrettes
A letter caused it all. This missive, couched in tender terms, was from Aileen D'Armond, otherwise Aileen Clemm of 1515 East Twelfth street, to F. K. Weston, or John King, manager of the flicker-flicker theater at Forest park, where the "sisters" gave afternoon and nightly exhibitions of terpsichorean and musical skill (See billboards for further adjectives.).
Dorothy, or, more properly, Grace Stafford, had nothing to do with the mailing of missives. It was companionship that brought her into the juvenile court yesterday afternoon with Aileen and Mrs. Henry C. Clemm, mother of one of the"sisters."
There might have been no trouble at all if Weston or King -- his wife called him King -- had not been married. But wives will see their husband's letters, and things began to happen shortly after Mrs. King got her eyes focused on the written page.
COMPLAINED AGAINST AILEEN.
To the probation officer for her with a complaint against Aileen, who confesses to being 14 and who, until last year, was a pupil at the Humboldt school. Result, the D'Armonds and the mother of half of them before Judge H. L. McCune. The case was heard in chambers.
Such an insight into theatrical life as was given by the two girls. For her part, Grace Stafford, or Dorothy D'Armond, had a word or two to say from the depths of a deep blue poke-bonnet-scoop combination, trimmed with blue and white feathers.
"How much do you make a week?" asked the judge.
"I have been offered $30, but would not take it because I would have to appear alone," she said with the wisdom of 19 years. "I make $15."
And then Grace, who is a comely girl, told the judge of how, as her parents wanted her no longer after she was 15, she had struck out for herself. She had done housework, and was making a success of it on the stage. In the end, as she expressed a desire to go home, but said in the same breath that she would not be welcome there, Mrs. Agness Odell of the Detention home was detailed to care for her and find her a home. Her parents live in Oklahoma.
With Aileen it was different. It developed that she was an impressionable girl. As her "sister" said:
""Mr. King was so influensive. He seemed to have Aileen hypnotized."
However, this could not serve as an excuse, Judge McCune being a non-believer in the occult.
It turned out that Mr. Clemm is at Braymer, Mo., where he has the management of a store. Mrs. Clemm expressed her disinclination to move to Braymer, preferring the city. In the end, choosing between rejoining her husband and having her daughter sent to Chillicothe, she voted for Braymer.
"I'M AFRAID SHE'LL KILL ME CHOILD!"
The mother and foster mother got a scolding from the judge for dressing the girls, one in vivid blue and her own child in bright red.
"Red always was so becoming to her," she pleaded. The judge was obdurate in favor of quiet tones for dress.
Up to this point the hearing had progressed quietly enough. But when it was announced that Mrs. King was about to appear, the sisters and Mrs. Clemm plainly were flustrated.
"I am afraid she will kill my child," said the mother in genuine alarm. "She has threatened to take her life."
So Mrs. King, a frail little woman, testified with an officer of the court at each side, ready to stop any offensive maneuvers. She said her husband was now tractable and providing for her, paying no more attention to the girl.
"I did say to the girl that 'when I get through with you you won't be such a pretty soubrette behind the footlights," she admitted, "but nothing more, Aileen dear."
When it was all over, Mrs. King thanked the court, thanked George M. Holt, deputy probation officer, thanked everybody, and went her way. As for King, who had sat all afternoon in the courtroom, he was not called nor did he linger after adjournment.
Labels: children, clothing, courtroom, forest park, Judge McCune, juvenile court, marriage, oklahoma, theater, vaudeville, Weston, women
September 29, 1908
MUST BREAK UP "DOPE" SALES.
Humane and Juvenile Court Officers
Will Assist in Crusade.
Following the story told by Willie Smith, a cocaine victim at the tender age of 15, the prosecuting attorney is preparing to file information against the druggists who are said to have made sales to the boy. The humane officer and the juvenile court officers are assisting in the crusade to break up the sale of the drug to minors. The sales are largest in the poorer districts of the city.
Labels: children, Humane Society, juvenile court, narcotics
September 27, 1908
SAW A BOY BUY COCAINE.
Then Bert Stregel, Druggist, Was
Arrested and Arraigned in Court.
Bert Stregel, a druggist at Fifth and Central streets, and his clerk, E. C. Ellis, were arraigned in police court yesterday charged with selling cocaine to Willie Smith, a 15-year-old messenger boy who was tried before the juvenile court Friday. Both asked for continuances, and they were granted until Tuesday.
The boy testified that he has been addicted to the cocaine habit for the last four months. He named three places where he bought the drug, Charles Gidinski's, Nineteenth and Grand, Dudley & Hunter's, 1303 Grand, and Bert Stregel's, Fifth and Central. Edgar Warden, a probation officer, went with him to Stregel's and watched the boy buy a box of cocaine.
Labels: Central street, children, druggists, Fifth street, Grand avenue, juvenile court, narcotics, Nineteenth street
September 26, 1908
BOY OF 4 FOUND DRUNK.
Probation Officer Saw Father Give
Beer to the Child.
Judge, probation officers and spectators were shocked at the evidence produced in the juvenile court yesterday in the case of Floyd Hardman. Floyd is a yellow haired youngster of four summers whom Probation Officer William Emmett found at Fourteenth street and Grand avenue in a drunken stupor. Emmett informed the court that the Humane Society had been told about the boy and one day he sat in an office window and watched the father and two other men buy beer in a bucket and give it to the baby to drink from first. He said the boy spent his time on the corner cursing people who passed. The father was fined $5 in police court for giving the boy beer to drink.
Mrs. Hardman said she was married in 1902 and did not know her husband drank or allowed the boy to drink. She said she allowed the boy to go on the moving van with his father becasue she believed it to be healthful for the child. She was ordered to keep him at home. Judge McCune informed her that small children were like sponges and absorbed everything around tehm and that her child evidently absorbed too much beer.
Labels: alcohol, children, Fourteenth street, Grand avenue, Humane Society, Judge McCune, juvenile court, police court
August 28, 1908
DR. MATHIAS SAYS
DR. PERRY IS RIGHT.
SUPPORTS THEORY THAT EPI-
LECTICS SHOULD NOT MARRY.
Persistent Offenders Brought Into
Juvenile Court in Kansas City
Bears Traces of Traits
The opinion of Dr. L. M. Perry, superintendent of the Parsons, Kas., hospital for epilectics, to the effect that marriage between persons so afflicted should not be permitted, is shared by Dr. E. L. Mathias, probation officer of Jackson county. Dr. Perry, in a recent statement to the Kansas board of health, protested that the statute forbidding such marriages was almost a dead letter and that, for the good of the state, it should be rigidly enforced.
"Records of thousands of boys who have come under observation of this office since its establishment confirm the theory that the persistent offender bears the traces of one or more of four traits handed down by the parents," says Dr. Mathias, himself the fourth generation of a family of physicians.
"These four traits are, broadly speaking, epilepsy, idiocy, insanity and alcoholism in one or both parents. Whenever we have had the case of a boy who does wrong, time after time, and submits to no correction, he always shows the taint of one or more of these four things. This statement is taken from information regarding all the cases which have passed through this office.
"Of course, there are contributing causes, such as environment. Another feature is the early death of one or both parents from natural causes, indicating that they did not have the vitality to impart to their offspring. But the four main influences are those named.
"This statement does not take into account the occasional offenders, but those who are habitual wrongdoers. The fact that they have been born late in the life of their parents tends to the same end.
"While on this subject, it is a curious thing to note that more boys who have mothers only, go wrong, as compared with those who have only fathers to look after their welfare. A widow generally has to work all day and do the housework in the evening. The boys, as a consequence, if too small to work, are on the streets most of the time. In the evening the mother is too tired to give them much attention. A father, on the other hand, gives up his evenings to the boys and makes companions of them. This state of affairs has been proved in a careful record of thousands of cases. The boy has a better chance, three to one, with the father rather than the mother."
Dr. Mathias has had signal success in his work with boys. He makes a careful study and record of each case, both as a court record and from the medical standpoint. Hundreds of boys pass under his observing eye every month.
Labels: children, doctors, Dr Mathias, juvenile court
August 12, 1908
LIFE WITH ACID.
ONCE WON PRIZE AS MOST BEAU-
TIFUL GIRL IN MISSOURI.
WEDDING WAS SET FOR TODAY.
DOCTOR PRONOUNCED HER DEAD
3 HOURS BEFORE SHE DIED.
Mother of May Williams Had Her
Committed to Reform School.
Girl Took Poison Rath-
er Than Go.
On the night before her wedding, and on the eve of being sent to the girl's reform school, pretty little May Williams committed suicide by drinking carbolic acid in the presence of her mother and Mrs. W. W. Smith, an officer of the juvenile court. Miss Williams was heiress to $15,000 and her life within the last three months had been a checkered one.
Two months ago, a few weeks after her mother had married Sol Mead, a railway conductor, Miss Williams was sent to the juvenile court, charged with being incorrigible. Mrs. Smith, the probation officer of the Detention home, thought the girl should be in a better place than the home. Consequently, according to Mrs. Alice Page, the matron of the Y. W. C. A. home at Eighth and Harrison streets, arrangements were made whereby the girl was taken to the Y. W. C. A. home. Mrs. Page found the girl to be anything but incorrigible.
A short while ago it became rumored that Miss Williams was to be married today. Shortly after the rumor became public, and the girl admitted that she intended to marry this morning, she was taken from the Y. W. C. A. home and hauled back to the Detention home. At her mother's request the reform school authorities decided to take the girl and to keep her for an indefinite length of time.
SOMEONE WAS NEGLIGENT.
The threat of the reform school had been made to the girl time and again by her mother, Mrs. Mead, and each time Miss Williams had replied that she would die before she went to the institution. Mrs. W. W. Smith accompanied her to her home, 816 Euclid avenue, in order that the girl might pack her trunk. On the way home the girl told Mrs. Smith that she was going to commit suicide. After the two had reached the Mead home, Miss Williams sat in the parlor and talked to her mother of the reformatory. Rising, she said:
"I will die first, and it will be before your eyes."
Whether any attention was paid to the girl's remarks has not been learned. At any rate, she was allowed to leave the presence of the court probationary officer and her mother, with the threat of suicide fresh upon her lips, and over fifteen minutes passed before she was missed. The court officer was present all of that time, and it is said she had heard the threat which the girl made.
In the meantime Miss Williams had gone to the Woodland pharmacy, three blocks away, convinced the druggist that her mother wanted three ounces of carbolic acid, and walked back home again. When she reached her home she walked up the back steps and raised the bottle of carbolic acid to her lips. She had heard footsteps approaching and desired to be successful in her attempt to end her life. At that moment Mrs. Smith caught sight of the girl and called to Mrs. Mead, the mother. With both women looking at her, standing as if rooted to the floor, the girl drank the contents of the bottle and then murmured:"Now, I suppose you are satisfied."
Instantly the probation officer ran to he 'phone and called a doctor and neighbors. Someone called the police ambulance and Dr. J. Park Neal.
DOCTOR THOUGHT HER DEAD.
Dr. A. H. Walls, who lived in the immediate neighborhood, was called. He replied that he could not get to the Mead home for twenty-five minutes. Ten of those twenty-five had elapsed when someone called the police ambulance. The ambulance made a rapid run and arrived at the home of the Williams girl shortly after Dr. Walls had arrived. As Dr. J. Park Neal, probably the most successful combater of carbolic acid suicides in Kansas City, jumped from his ambulance he was met by Mrs. Smith and Dr. Walls. They told him that the girl was dead an d that nothing could be done for her. Taking Dr. Walls's word for it, and knowing Mrs. Smith as a court officer, he did not attend the girl, but went back to the emergency hospital.
As the ambulance turned the corner of Eighth street an undertaker's wagon appeared around the corner of Ninth street. No one knows who called it. By that time Dr. E. R. Curry arrived and pronounced the girl alive. She had been alive all of the time and lived for three hours after she had taken the poison.
"Could she have been saved had you attended her when you were at the house?" was asked Dr. Neal.
"I believe she could," he said. "In fact, I know she could have been saved. But I took Mrs. Smith's and Dr. Wall's word for final. I had no reason to believe the girl was still alive."
Dr. Neal could not understand why he was turned away while there was hope that the girl might not be dead.
Long before the girl was really dead, another undertaker's ambulance had driven up to the front door, and the neighbors looked on and wondered. No one could be found who would admit calling the second undertaker's ambulance.
Mrs. Mead, the girl's mother, says she is heart broken and will see no one. A doctor was called to see her.
May Williams was a beautiful young girl of uncertain age. Her mother swore in court that May was but 15 years old, while May swore that she was 17. Had the girl been 15 years old three years would have expired before she attained her majority; 17 years of age meant only one year until she came into the $15,000 which her father had left her.
WON A BEAUTY PRIZE.
Last spring May Williams won the prize in St. Louis as being the most beautiful unmarried woman in Missouri. The prize was given by a local newspaper. Everywhere she went her beauty was remarked upon. In St. Louis, say those who knew her there, she was not considered incorrigible, nor even wayward.
Mrs. Mead was divorced from her first husband and May lived with him until his death. In his will he left May $15,000, and, it is said, cut off his divorced wife without one cent. At the time of the Williams divorce, which occurred in St. Louis, the whole family history was aired.
Mr. Mead, who is a conductor on the Chicago & Alton railroad, has not been notified of his step-daughter's death. He is expected in from his run this morning at 10 o'clock.
Labels: detention home, Dr J Park Neal, druggists, Eighth street, Euclid avenue, juvenile court, Ninth street, probate, St Louis, Suicide, undertakers, women, YWCA
August 9, 1908
WHISTLED WAY INTO COURT.
Ada Bentley, 9 Years Old, Was Ac-
cused of Warbling at Man.
"A whistling woman and a crowing hen
Will never come to a good end."
"A whistling girl and a bleating sheep
The very best property man can keep."
Take your choice. Both proverbs may occasionally come true.
Ada Bentley whistles. Neighbors who testified against her in the juvenile court yesterday said she whistled at men. But Ada, looking at Judge McCune with her clear eyes, said she was only whistling for practice, although, like every other feminine, she seemed pleased because others were jealous of he attractions.
Ada lives at 2216 Holmes street. With Albert, her brother, she was in court on complaints of neighbors. Her mother was a good lawyer, but she made a mistake when she told that her oldest daughter, 17, was a piano player in a mutoscope show. Judge McCune said he would look further into the case, especially as concerns the girl who plays. Ada, with the whistle, stands to get an early discharge. She is said to be 9 years of age, but looks older.
Labels: children, Holmes street, Judge McCune, juvenile court, mutoscope
August 6, 1908
JUVENILE COURT IN NEW YORK.
Mrs. Agnes Odell Says It's Conducted
Devoid of Sympathy.
Just returned from a visit to New York, where she took a ward of the juvenile court for adoption, Mrs. Agnes Odell of the Detention home registers a knock on court methods in the Biggest Town.
"Juvenile court in New York is not really juvenile court at all, as we understand it," said Mrs. Odell yesterday. "The judge sits high up on his bench, the little ones are brought in much in the fashion of criminals, and the whole atmosphere is devoid of sympathy for the child that might be made a useful member of society.
"I found the personal element, upon which we lay so much stress here, almost entirely neglected. The children are not treated with the consideration that would bring out the best that is in them.
"Another thing I noticed was the low average of intelligence among the probation officers and other officials entrusted with the care of the children. I am frank to say that I saw nothing to compare with Kansas City methods in the methods of handling children, nor in the results achieved."
Labels: children, detention home, juvenile court, New York
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Early Kansas City, Missouri