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May 9, 1909
MERCY HOSPITAL IS
OPENED TO PUBLIC.
$10,000 BUILDING DONATED BY
Distinctive Kansas City Institution
Is Now Prepared to Care for
More Patients -- Its
After some years of hard work on the part of the directors of Mercy hospital, the handsome new hospital building has been finished and yesterday afternoon and evening it was thrown open to the public for inspection. The new building, outside of labor and many donations of work, was erected and furnished at a cost of something over $10,000, the whole sum being donated by charitable persons. Those who attended the reception yesterday were struck with the appearance of the new hospital building and were unanimous in their belief that the money had been well spent.
Mercy hospital is a distinctive institution in Kansas City. The only patients it will take are the sick babies and children of parents who cannot afford to secure competent medical attention. Mercy hospital has a record for the past four years, having lost but two patients who were over two years of age.
ITS WORK WELL KNOWN.
The little babies taken there range from a few hours in age to several months. The greatest death loss has, naturally, been of the newborn babies.
So well was the work of Mercy known to the public that the old building was constantly filled with patients. It had a capacity of eighteen patients and then the nurses and attendants had to live in halls and corners. Each day, in the old building, applicants had to be turned away because of the lack of facilities.
The new hospital has a capacity of 100 patients and the nurses and attendants will occupy the old building which adjoins. The new building is three stories in height containing all of the latest appliances for hospitals and a great amount of equipment which is used for children only.
On the first floor the most noticeable room is the children's playroom. Heretofore, when the weather was bad, the children have had no place for their games. The new playroom has been fitted with toys, blocks and some gymnastic apparatus.
The second floor is given over to wards entirely, one noticeable ward being the room allotted to the incurable cases so that the children need not be sent away from the hospital because they had stayed so long a time and could not be cured.
FLOODED WITH LIGHT.
Bordering the entire second floor is a sixteen-foot sun porch, which is to be filled with a long line of little white iron beds for those children who need the outdoor air.
The third floor is also given over to wards, but there the nurses' dining rooms are located.
The whole building is flooded with outdoor light, and the ventilating system is of the most modern type. The institution is run wholly by the charity of the people of Kansas City, having no endowment whatever.
Yesterday morning the twenty-one little patients were moved from their old, cramped quarters into the new and roomy wards. They were greatly delighted and entertained by the many visitors who went to Mercy hospital to see the good work of the directors and the people of the city. Only those infants who are dangerously ill were kept in the old building.
Labels: children, hospitals, Mercy hospital, nurses, toys
May 5, 1909
WITNESSES DENY STORIES
ATTRIBUTED TO PATIENTS.
Evidence Introduced to Refute
Charges Against Management
of General Hospital.
Six witnesses were heard for the defense in the general hospital investigation yesterday. The hearing was then adjourned until Saturday at 2:30 p. m., wh en the committee will meet at the city hall. The last two sessions, for convenience of nurses and doctors, were held at the new general hospital.
Miss Catherine May, a former nurse in the hospital, was the first witness. John A. Johnson, Mrs. Violet Hutchins, Miss Josie Pomfret and "Sig Frisco" were patients there, and she attended each of them. As to Johnson, whom she nursed at the old hospital, she said he was not allowed to lie on a damp, cold bed, never did lie on the floor all night and was never strapped to a chair while nude and left in the cold as is charged.
Miss May then told of having received Mrs. Hutchins into the hospital and of the patient having assaulted her while refusing to take a bath. She also told of the patient's threats toward her baby and of having heard her say: "I'll get this hospital in trouble. I'm a good talker in court all right." As to the Miss Pomfret charges Miss May said the young woman demanded a private room and refused to give up her personal property as required.
Regarding Frisco, who swore that he lay all night and a day with no attention from a doctor or nurse, Miss May told of giving him an alcohol rub, placing hot water bottles about him and giving medicine to ease him, after which Frisco said he was "very comfortable."
Mrs. Kate E. Pierson, connected with the Associated Charities and a member of the tenement and pardons and paroles boards, told of sending many patients to the hospital, and of visiting them afterwards. She never heard but one complaint, that of a father regarding food given his daughter.
"I happened in the hospital at meal time a few days later," the witness said, "and the food the girl got was well cooked and good enough for anyone."
In the matter of a charge alleged to have been made by Dr. C. B. Irwin, investigator for the tenement commission, against the treatment of tuberculosis patients at the hospital, Mrs. Pierson said the report was a verbal one made to the board, and that Dr. Irwin had no authority to make such investigation, as the commission has no jurisdiction over the hospital.
Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner, was placed on the stand to tell of an autopsy which he held on the body of Harry Roberts to determine the cause of death. After the post-mortem it was discovered that Roberts had died of Banta's disease, a rare ailment.
Labels: Coroner Zwart, general hospital, nurses, parole board, tenement commission
October 26, 1908
SLUM ANGELS IN TOWN.
They Will Distribute Comfort and
Cheer to the Unfortunate.
The Slum Angels have arrived in Kansas City and from now on we can see them every day, if we feel like it. There are only two of them, that seeming to be all that could be induced to come to Kansas City, although Minneapolis has five and New York and several other cities many more.
Various are the names that the Slum Angles go by. In some places they are called the Slum Sisters and in others the Little Saints of the Salvation Army. If you address them as Captain Nettie Room and Lieutenant Alice Seay, they would answer to those names also.
They are two bright, sweet faced young women who have been appointed by Colonel Blanche B. Cox, commanding the Mid Western province of the Salvation Army, to take charge of the slum and relief work of the army in this city. For several years there have been slum angels at work in other cities and Miss Room herself has been in the work eight years, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. Miss Seay graduated from the Chicago training school last July.
All of the investigating work of the army in this city will be turned over to them and it will be their duty exclusively to determine whether an applicant for relief is worthy or not. They will also administer temporary relief where the need is pressing.
An important part of their work consists in nursing. Miss Room has nursed several years in hospitals and her assistant has had instruction along the same line. The slum angel comes into the home of the poor family at their darkest hour, when illness has attacked the breadwinner, doctors and nurses the ailing one, cheers up the other members of the family, and provides temporary relief when needed.
One other function that the angels undertake is to teach that virtue is next to Godliness. They will invade an unkempt home and with the consent of the housewife, give the house a thorough cleaning. They will instruct the family in the use of soap, scrubbing brushes and disinfectants.
The customary uniform of the slum angel consists of a blue striped suit with a black straw hat, trimmed with army insignia. They will occupy rooms in one of the congested districts of the city, which they will make their headquarters. It is planned to make these rooms the meeting place of the mothers' clubs, reading circles and sewing societies, which the slum workers will organize among their workers.
"But we will not forget the spiritual side of our work while attending to the physical wants of our people," said Miss Room yesterday. "We will make it our business to bring Christianity into the lives of all with whom we come in contact."
The slum sisters are making preparations for their work this week. They will begin active settlement life in a few days.
Labels: Boston, charity, clothing, ministers, nurses, Salvation Army, women
October 19, 1908
IGNORED "BEARDSLEY RULES."
Nurse Is Reprimanded for Trying to
Have Police Capture Ruffian.
Time after time the surgeons and nurses at the emergency hospital have been notified by the police that they were to call headquarters whenever any person who had been cut or shot appeared at the hospital for treatment. Several times the surgeons have treated persons injured by a cutting or shooting scrape that the police wanted but did not know where to find them.
Acting under the orders of the police department, which orders were given by Captain Walter Whitsett of police headquarters. Mrs. Frances Kaiser, the night nurse, called up the station Saturday night when B. F. Scott was brought in with his jugular vein cut. The officer who answered the telephone informed her that Captain Walter Whitsett and Lieutenant James Morris were not in the station. She told them that Scott would probably die but was told that there were no officers in the station who could leave.
Mrs. Kaiser, desiring to follow her instructions, then called up Chief Daniel Ahern at his home and informed him of the matter. Chief Ahern immediately summoned Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Hogan, who took up the man's statement. Last night Captain Whitsett went to the emergency hospital and attempted to reprimand the nurse for calling up the chief of police at his home. Mrs. Kaiser replied that she was only endeavoring to obey his instructions to notify the police when men were brought into the emergency hospital who had been cut or stabbed in a fight. She said when the police at the station refused to act she got hold of an officer who would. Captain Whitsett informed the nurse that the "Beardsley rules" were taken up for her guidance but the nurse said yesterday that she was under the impression that she was employed under the administration of Dr. W. S. Wheeler, the health commissioner.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, emergency hospital, nurses, Police Chief Ahern, police headquarters, violence
October 15, 1908
WANT IGNORANT NURSES
BARRED FROM PRACTICE.
Missouri Association Would Compel
All Nurses to Pass State
If the Missouri State Association of Nurses does not succeed in getting its registration bill through the state legislature this coming session, it will not be from the lack of plans. At the initial meeting of the association in the Grand Avenue Methodist Episcopal church yesterday afternoon, the weakness of the last year's campaign and efforts were discussed. Preliminary arrangements were made for the work this fall.
The graduate nurses of Missouri feel that there are too many women getting into their profession without due education, either academic or professional. It is the desire of the association to get a bill passed that will make it necessary for all persons wishing to become to pass state examinations and to register as graduate nurses. They wish to put the business of nursing upon the same basis as the practice of medicine.
Such a measure is the chief aim of the association, and it will be to this end that its members will direct their most serious attention. Committees will be appointed immediately which will have charge of the different phases of the work. Each committee will receive full instructions as to the manner in which it is to proceed in order to act in co-operation with the others in this association.
The meeting yesterday was the first of a series of meetings which will be held in this city today and tomorrow. Matters pertaining to the year's work among the members and officers of the association were discussed and routine business transacted. The day was spent largely in getting acquainted with each other and old friends renewing friendships.
Last night the association held a banquet for its members at the Densmore hotel, which was to effect closer social relations. Officers for the ensuing year will be elected at the meeting tomorrow.
Labels: churches, Grand avenue, hotels, nurses, organizations
October 8, 1908
HUNDREDS INSPECT THE
NEW GENERAL HOSPITAL.
Patients Will Be Moved From the
Old Building Today -- There's
Room for 400.
Soon after Dr. J. Park Neal, house surgeon, had given the signal to throw open the doors of the new general hospital yesterday morning, the visitors began arriving. The whole building was open for inspection from the kitchen in the basement up to the fourth floor. Those interested in the institution roamed at will through the wards and operating rooms and the nurses quarters.
Entering the main door of the hospital building the visitors were met by the white-coated interne, who welcomed the people and extended an invitation for everyone to feel at home. In the office to the left of the entrance of the building the telephone switchboard was dotted here and there with lights of the calls from the various wards, while the clerical force seemed to be busy getting things in order. The house surgeon spent most of his time during the day in his office, shaking hands with the physicians and surgeons who called. Dr. Neal endeavored to personally conduct through the building all of the doctors who paid a visit to the city's new institution.
Representatives of several branches of the city government visited the new hospital, while many doctors and their allies, the nurses, were out in force. Others not personally connected with the hospital, but desirous of seeing the well equipped hospital lingered in the halls and operating rooms. Many of the visitors yesterday had at some time or other been patients in the old city hospital and were loud in praise of Kansas City for building and equipping the institution. The visitors came singly, in pairs and in crowds. Dr. Neal said late yesterday afternoon that he believed there were from 200 to 300 people in the building every minute since the doors were first opened at 8 o'clock.
Visitors were allowed to examine the hospital until 10 o'clock last night when the doors were closed and preparations begun to make the long delayed change from the old to the new quarters. The first meal to be served in the new building will be lunch at noon today. From that time on the new city general hospital, which will accommodate 400 patients, will be in full and complete running order. It was strange, but there was not a flower sent to the hospital authorities on the grand opening day, and the omission was noticed by many of the visitors.
Labels: Dr J Park Neal, general hospital, nurses
September 17, 1908
FERRETS FOR HOSPITAL RATS.
Expert Will Make an Effort to Clear
Out the Pest.
Ferrets are to be employed by the health and hospital authorities in exterminating the numerous rats which infest the old hospital building. Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., yesterday issued an order directing the purchase of ferrets to be used at the hospital.
Patients in the wards have been attacked by rats and bitten before the nurses could scare them away. After dark the nurses are afraid to enter the wards on account of the pests.
Labels: animals, general hospital, Mayor Crittenden, nurses
September 12, 1908
RATS ATTACK TWO BABIES.
Infants Mutilated by Rodents in the
Rats made an attack upon two babies at the general hospital last night. The faces of the babies, each under two weeks old, were gnawed by the vicious creatures and terribly wounded before a nurse rushed to their aid.
There are eight babies in the infants' ward at general hospital. Miss Muriel Pickering, the nurse, stepped out of the room at midnight to attend another patient. On one bed were four babies, all about the same age. Miss Pickering was gone about two minutes when she heard the cries of the babies. She rushed back into the room and fought the rodents away, and then called Dr. W. T. Thornton.
Dr. Thornton found the rats had harmed but two of the four babies in the bed. Their hands were lacerated terribly and great gashes were cut in their faces. He cauterized the wounds and set a guard to watch the ward during the remainder of the night.
Nurses have been bitten by rats while asleep at the hospital, but this is said to be the first time they ever attacked patients.
Labels: animals, children, doctors, general hospital, nurses
September 6, 1908
AFTER EIGHT HARD YEARS
OF LABOR THERE.
HIRED NURSES NOW IN CHARGE
DISAGREEMENT SAID TO BE
BACK OF IT ALL.
Sisters Had No Interest in the Home,
Owned by Corporation, and
Worked There Contrary
Bad news for the foundlings of Kansas City. The Sisters of St. Vincent, who for eight years have been in charge of St. Anthony's Home for Infants, have abandoned the work and left the home. Differences between the sisters and the women board of managers finally led to notice on the sisters' part that they would leave. Orders from the mother house of the sisterhood came to them a week ago, and now strange hands are ministering to the motherless babes. The trouble, it is said, has been brewing for a year.
The building occupied by St. Anthony's home is owned by a corporation consisting of Mrs. Richard Keith, its president, Miss Rose Altman and several other Catholic women of the city. The money for the purchase of the property has all been received in the way of charitable contributions, and as proceeds from church fairs and the like, but for some reason the property has always remained in the hands of the corporation, although it is an old established rule of the Catholic church that all church property be held in the name of the bishop, in trust for his successor. Many of the convents and educational institutions of the Catholic church are owned by the orders conducting them, but there are few cases, if any, on record where the property acquired by public donations, remains in the hands of the corporation's seculars, as in the case of St. Anthony's home. And thereby hangs the substance of the trouble which culminated last week in the Sisters of Charity withdrawing from the home.
TELL CONFLICTING STORIES.
Just what led to the present crisis is hard to determine, as those in a position to know refuse to talk, and conflicting stories are given out by both sides to the controversy. But it is said that some heated scenes occurred between Sister Ceclia, superioress of the home, and the women officers of the corporation.
The trouble resulted in a visit to this city last May of the mother superior of the black cap sisters of charity. With Mrs. Keith she visited Bishop Hogan, at which time matters were temporarily patched up, but no definite understanding was reached. Last Tuesday two of the sisters of charity left St. Anthony's home for Trinidad, Col., two for St. Vincent's hospital in Santa Fe, N. M., and the other left Saturday for the mother house, near Cincinnati.
There were five sisters in charge of the work at the home, whereas last night there were eighteen paid nurses, according to the statement of Miss Mary Workman, the matron.
BABY TURNED AWAY.
Miss Workman is a nurse who has been employed at the home for a long time, and was made matron and given charge of the home by Mrs. Keith, when the sisters left the institution. When a reporter visited the home last night, the piano in the reception room was open, a stylishly gowned young woman was fingering the keys, and St. Anthony's home no longer wore its convent air. Two women, one carrying a 6-months-old babe, left the home as the reporter entered. the child had been refused admittance at the home, an unheard of proceeding when the sisters were in charge.
"The woman wants to go home and leave her child here," said the matron. "She has been working and supporting it for six months, and now she wants to leave it here; hasn't she a cheek to think we should care for it for her?"
"The sisters were broken hearted at leaving here," said Miss Workman. "Their hearts were in the work, nad I could not bear to see them bid goodby to the infants they learned to love so well, and even to the building itself, the scene of many hardships to them."
Miss Rose Altman refused to make any statement regarding conditions at the home, referring the reporter again to Mrs. Keith, but she admitted that she had heard rumors of trouble between the sisters and the corporation controlling the home, but insisted that the rumors were not true.
Labels: charity, children, churches, nuns, nurses, St Anthonys Home, women
August 31, 1908
MOTHER IS WON
BY BABY'S SMILE
YOUNG WOMAN WAS ABOUT TO
DESERT UNWELCOME CHILD.
ONCE SHE RAN AWAY FROM IT
BUT EMERGENCY HOSPITAL DOC-
TORS BROUGHT HER BACK.
She Concluded to Face the World and
Strive for the Mite, When
It Looked Up at Her
Late yesterday afternoon two women applied to Mrs. Lizzie Burns, police matron, for aid in disposing of a baby boy, which the mother said was just 11 days old. She said the child was hers and that she wished to give it away, as she could not take the tiny fellow to her Southern Missouri home. The woman with her said she was a sister-in-law.
Mrs. Burns told the women to go to the emergency hospital and ask for the nurse, Mrs. Ralph A. Shiras, who would direct them to the Helping Hand institute, where they were to remain until this morning, when arrangements for the final disposition of the youngster were to be made. The women obeyed her instructions as to the first part. They found Mrs. Shiras and told her their mission.
Now, Mrs. Shiras is a woman possessed of strong motherly instinct. Her first move was to grab the baby and begin to fondle it. She did not notice the sister-in-law as she walked into the hallway, and, beckoning to the young mother, said: "Mabel, come here a minute."
Nor did she see the two women walk hurriedly out of the hospital and begin to make tracks toward Fifth and Walnut streets. She was engrossed in trying to make the baby laugh by "dimpling" its chin. When she turned and said, "Come on now, I'll show you the way," she found herself with a baby on her hands.
THEY PURSUED HER.
An alarm was sounded and a "posse" was immediately formed form a squad of doctors and board of health inspectors. The chase was soon over, as the two women were captured at Fifth and Walnut streets just as they were about to board a car. They were returned and Mrs. Shiras headed the procession to the Helping Hand.
There the women refused to give their names. The young mother told of her shame and said that was the reason she wanted to desert her helpless infant. All the time she was talking she held the tiny bundle in her arms. The matron at the institute and Mrs. Shiras were trying to persuade her to keep her baby, work for it and rear it herself.
The young mother demurred. When it seemed she was about determined to give the offspring away, the little fellow looked up into her face and actually crooned, as a broad smile overspread his face. The mother looked down at her smiling child. A light not seen before came into her eyes, still suffused with tears, and she burst forth afresh.
"I'LL KEEP HIM."
"I'll keep him and bear my burden," she said.
"I know I'd never desert a baby smart enough to laugh like that when only 11 days old," said the white-haired matron. "That child knows its mother right now. Yes he does."
Then there was a season of billing and cooing as the baby was passed from one woman to another, while the admiring mother looked on through her glistening eyes. The sister-in-law was then taken in tow and shown her duty. The outcome of it was that a slender arm slipped about the young mother's waist as "Mabel, you can go home with me. You'll not have to bear your burden alone," was whispered in her ear.
Probably a Missouri Pacific train never carried two happier women than did the one bound for Joplin last night. They took turns about fondling a little baby, who occasionally looked at the smiling face of one of them and smiled back as if he knew his unfortunate young mother, but was by no means ashamed of her.
"She seen her duty and she done it," said a policeman after the curtain had rung down.
Labels: children, custody, emergency hospital, Fifth street, Helping Hand, nurses, police matron, railroad, visitors, Walnut Street
August 27, 1908
ON GRAVE CHARGE.
BUCKNER MAN ACCUSED OF AS-
SAULT ON WIFE.
WOMAN IS EXPECTED
SHE FEARS HER HUSBAND, AND
ASKED FOR PROTECTION.
Prisoner Did Not Expect Arrest -- He
Says He Can Prove His Inno-
cence Easily, but Will
Not Talk of Case.
Charged with having assaulted his wife with intent to kill her last Thursday morning, W. A. Johnson, who lives near Buckner, Mo., was arrested yesterday afternoon and brought to Kansas City, where he was placed in the county jail. The arrest was the outcome of much investigation of the circumstances which surrounded the mysterious assault made upon Mrs. Johnson Thursday morning, and the result of Johnson's strange actions in his home since the morning of the assault.
From the beginning there have been few persons in Buckner who have not believed that Johnson knows more of the attempt to murder his wife than he gave out, and there has been much talk in Buckner of using mob violence.
When Johnson was arrested yesterday afternoon he was at the home of Clint Winfrey, two miles north of Buckner. He was taken there late Tuesday night at his wife's request, she saying she could not rest easily as long as her husband was in the house.
T. E. Beckum of Buckner was the arresting officer. When told that he was under arrest, according to witnesses, Johnson's face lost its expression. His hands and feet worked nervously and without evident purpose.
"You know your duty, Tom," he said slowly, without looking at the constable; "and you must do it. I am ready to go."
"Do you want to read the warrant?" asked Mr. Beckum, producing the paper.
HE DREADED JAIL.
"No, it is not necessary," answered the arrested man.
As the party, which consisted of Johnson, Beckum, Whig Keshlear and J. W. Hostetter, turned to go to the surrey, which was standing by the gate, Johnson hesitated and asked falteringly:
"Will I have to go to jail and spend the night there?"
Upon being told that such would be the case the suspected man almost broke down. He insisted that some arrangement be made whereby he need not be put behind the bars just yet. At Johnson's request Clint Winfrey and T. E. Beckum called up Prosecuting Attorney I. B. Kimbrell and asked him if it was necessary for Johnson to go to jail. Mr. Kimbrell promised that he would look into the matter after the prisoner had been brought to Kansas City.
On the way to Kansas City, Johnson spoke of his arrest but few times. On one occasion he requested that the warrant be read to him. After Mr. Beckum had complied Johnson muttered, "All right, all right."
Upon the second occasion, Mr. Hostetter had spoken of a neuralgia pain in his jaw and Johnson lifted his head from his hands and said:
"My heart aches far worse than your jaw, Hostetter, and it can't be cured."
The party drove into Independence from the Winfrey farm, passing wide of Buckner, since there had been much talk of mob violence. At Independence they stopped at a hotel for a short while and there Johnson was asked if his arrest was unexpected by him.
SAYS IT'S A SURPRISE.
"It was a great surprise, and wholly unexpected," he said. "But I think I had better not talk just yet. If I was at home on the farm I would be glad to answer any question that you want to ask, but until I have talked with my lawyers I had better be quiet. I am not running on my ignorance, nor do I boast of my wisdom, but I think that I will be able to clear up a few things soon.
"Right now I can scarcely collect my thoughts, my brain is in a whirl and I have been under a great nervous strain for the last four or five days. "
Beyond these few remarks Johnson would say nothing. During the half hour that they were in Independence, Johnson remained standing, always shifting about in an extremely nervous manner.
From Independence to Kansas City the party rode on the electric car and all of the prisoner's conversation was in regard to the scenery through which he was passing. Not once did he refer to his arrest.
On East Eighth street between Highland avenue and Vine street is where the woman in the case lives. As the car reached Woodland avenue Johnson, who had been sitting on the north side of the car, crossed to a seat by the window where he could see the house as he passed. As the car reached the place Johnson looked up into the windows of the house until it had passed out of sight. He said not a word.
MRS. JOHNSON IS DYING.
Mrs. Johnson is reported as failing rapidly. The physicians late last night stated that there was small chance for her to live through the night. Symptoms of meningitis have appeared and Mrs. Johnson has become delirious. The nurse and the women of the Johnson household are in constant attention. If she should die, the charge against her husband would be changed to first degree murder, and he would be held in the jail without bond. As it is, he hopes to furnish satisfactory bail this morning.
The arraignment and preliminary hearing will probably be this morning.
The people of Buckner soon learned of Johnson's arrest and most of them seemed to be greatly relieved, while a few thought that the action was a bit hasty on the part of the state. It was taken, however, at the indirect request of Mrs. Johnson, who, it is stated by a relative, greatly feared her husband.
It was given out yesterday for the first time officially that there had been much discord in the Johnson family for the past four or five years, but that none outside of the immediate family knew of the domestic troubles.
Johnson's endeavors to be released from the jail last night were without avail. As he walked into the jail he looked straight ahead of him and spoke to no one. After the cell door was locked he stood silently an gazed at the floor. Mr. Kimbrell stated last night that he could do nothing definite in the case until he learns of the condition of the man's wife. Johnson may be held without arraignment until tonight.
No visitors whatever are allowed in the Johnson house and every effort is being made by physicians to save the woman's life. Dr. N. D. Ravenscraft, who has been attending Mrs. Johnson since the night of the assault, said last night that Mrs. Johnson is worse than she has ever been since the attack. He expresses no hope for her recovery.
Labels: Buckner, doctors, Eighth street, Highland avenue, Independence, jail, Johnson assault case, nurses, Prosecutor Kimbrell, streetcar, Vine street, women
August 15, 1908
SHOT HERSELF IN THE HEAD.
Mrs. Alice Buerskens Felt She Was a
Burden to Her Husband.
With a small bunch of flowers in her left hand and a large revolver in the right, Mrs. Alice Buerskens shot herself in the right temple at 10 o'clock in her home, 1700 East Twenty-eighth street, yesterday morning after sh e had written a note to her husband, Henry Buerskens, a bartender, telling him she loved him too much to be a burden to him any longer. Alice Holmberg, 7 years old, who lives at 2705 Vine street, every day paid a visit to Mrs. Buerskens and when she called at the home yesterday Mrs. Buerskens sent her to the store to purchase stamps. While the child was away from the house Mrs. Buerskens shot herself.
She died instantly and was found lying on the bed by the Holmberg girl when she returned to the house from the store. Alice Holmberg immediately ran to her home, where she notified her mother, who in turn apprised No. 6 police station.
Carpenters employed on a new building across the street from the Buerskens home heard of the pistol shot, but paid no attention to it. The dead woman and her husband had recently moved to the Twenty-eighth street house, and the neighbors did not know their name.
The police found difficulty in securing the woman's name and it was several hours before the husband was notified of the suicide. The husband could not give any reason for the deed, and the note she left to explain her act was not clear. He said that his wife appeared to be in a happy mood when he left her in the morning to go to work. Before her marriage to Henry Buerskens she was Alice Beech and formerly a nurse in the city hospital and in the state hospital at Topeka, Kas. The coroner was notified and he had the body removed to Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms.
Mrs. Buerskens left the following note addressed to her husband:
"Dear Henry: You are not to blame for this -- I love you too much to burden you longer. Pray God to forgive me -- love to my own dear mother, father, brother and all my people -- sweetheart, don't you feel bad -- I am sorry I could not help you more -- love and kisses, Alice"
When seen last night, Mr. Buerskens said his wife had been ill for several years and of late had been worse than usual. They had no children and she was alone in the house the greater part of the time, and probably brooded over her illness. He said his wife had never complained of being tired of life and he had no idea she would kill herself.
Neighbors and friends who have known the woman for several years said she had been in the habit of taking opiates to relieve the pain she continually suffered. Mrs. Buerskens's parents reside in Topeka, Kas.
Labels: children, illness, No 6 police station, nurses, Suicide, Twenty-eighth street, undertakers, Vine street, women
July 28, 1908
HAS BEEN GRAFTED 30 TIMES.
Lee Weedy, Dunning Opera House
Victim, Is Operated On Again.
Lee Weedy, a fire inspector in Kansas City, Kas., yesterday underwent his thirtieth operation in the grafting of skin to parts of his body burned in the fire of the Dunning opera house in 1894. At the time that the ancient playhouse was destroyed Weedy was a member of the No. 2 hose company. He was caught by falling walls and was nearly roasted before being rescued.
Since he has received his injuries more than 400 pieces of human flesh were grafted from nurses at Bethany hospital and members of the fire department, most of which grew successfully. A space about the size of a hand on the right calf of his right leg failed to knit. Drs. L. D. Mable and D. E. Smith yesterday removed four strips of skin measuring one inch in width and five inches in length from other parts of Mr. Weedy's anatomy and grafted them to the unhealed burns. The physicians state that the operation will be successful. Mr. Weedy will remain at the hospital pending the result of the operation.
Labels: doctors, Fire, health, hospitals, Kansas City Kas, nurses, theater
July 17, 1908
IN THE WORKHOUSE.
TO REMAIN ONE YEAR UNLESS
HE PAYS $1,000 FINE.
Chief of Police Daniel Ahern's Luna-
cy Commission Quickly Decides
That Gallagher's Troubles
Are Temper and Booze.
Before a lunacy commission consisting of four physicians Jack Gallagher, notorious circumventor of justice, was yesterday adjudged sane. It took the commission only an hour and a half to hear all of the testimony and to make its physical and mental examinations; then they went into executive session and within five minutes had returned its verdict, which reads:
"We submitted Jack Gallagher to a personal, mental and physical examination, and heard the testimony of witnesses, and from the evidence of such mental and physical testimony and examinations offered, we find that Jack Gallagher is sane, and responsible for his actions."
After the commission, consisting of Dr. J. O. Hanawalt, Dr. St. Elmo Saunders, Dr. O. L. McKillip and Dr. J. S. Snider, had been informed of its duties and the result its decision would have upon the cases which were then being held in suspension by the police court, it called Jack Gallagher as the first witness.
Gallagher walked into the room accompanied by an officer. The slugger' demeanor was somewhat tame compared with his previous actions. As Dr. Hanawalt began to question the prisoner he dropped his eyes and nervously moved his hands and feet. The preliminary questions relative to age and residence were all answered in a quiet manner.
IN SALOON BUSINESS THREE YEARS.
"In what business were you engaged as a boy," was the first question.
"I did not go to school further than the fourth grade. Then I worked like any other kid."
"When did you first enter the saloon business?"
"Three years ago, in Kansas City."
"What is your general condition of your health?"
"Did you ever have any serious illness?"
"No, just kid's diseases. Dr. Snider always treated me."
"Do you ever have any trouble articulating?"
Gallagher did not understand the word, and after it was repeated to him three times he replied:
"I didn't get past the fourth grade in school and I don't know what that big word means."
When its meaning was explained he answered in the negative.
"How tall are you and what do you weigh?"
"I am 6 feet one inch and a fraction and weigh about 170 pounds."
"Did you ever weigh more than that?"
"Yes, several years ago I weighed 190 pounds
"What caused you to lose weight?"
"Worry over my business, and I have had to do a lot of that."
Then followed the physical and mental tests given by the physicians. During the physical examination Gallagher called attention to a small bruise on his left ankle, which he charges was made by a blow from Albert King's cane. Gallagher told the physicians that he had never been troubled with his eyes, having passed an examination for the United States army and also for the police department.
"Is your memory good?" questioned Dr. St. Elmo Saunders.
"Yes," and after some hesitancy he added, "There have been times when I have overlooked my mail for a day or two, but they were mostly bills."
"Do you remember all of the events which happened yesterday?"
"If you mean the events which led up to me being arrested and my appearance in the police court, yes."
"Tell me the facts which led up to your going to Mr. King's rooms."
"I don't care to answer that question."
"But you remember them well?"
75 GLASSES A DAY.
J. F. Richardson, representing Mr. King, then questioned the witness.
"Do you drink intoxicating liquor?"
"Do you ever get drunk?"
"Yes. I have drank whisky ever since I was 20 years old."
"Did you take any whisky on the night before you went to Mr. King's rooms; and if so, how much had you drunk?"
"I drink every day from sixty to seventy-five glasses of whisky; Tuesdays as well as any other day. I was under the influence of whisky when I was arrested."
"Were you responsible for your actions in King's room?"
"I think I was, but I won't answer any more questions like that."
Colonel J. C. Greenman, Humane officer, said that they must have witnesses to help them in their decision as to whether or not Gallagher was insane. Then Dr. Saunders questioned Dr. Snider relative to the medical attention which he had given Gallagher. Dr. Snider replied that Gallagher had never been seriously ill, and that in his opinion he is sane and always had been.
"You have never seen him act insane before?"
"No, never. When he is drunk, as he frequently is, he is always able to take care of himself."
"Is he a good business man?"
"From what I know of him I would say yest."
Tom Gallagher, brother of the prisoner, was called to the stand.
"Would you believe from your brother's conversation Tuesday night that he was drunk?"
"HE'S SANE," SAYS TOM.
"Yes, I think he was, but he knew what he was doing."
"Do you think your brother is sane or insane?"
These questions satisfying both parties to the investigation, Tom Gallagher was dismissed and Miss Mayme Lefler, Mr. King's nurse, who was with him at the time Gallagher attempted to assault him Wednesday morning, was called to the stand.
Miss Lefler went over the story of the assault in a very concise manner, stating at the close that she believed Gallagher to be sane. Miss Lefler, in getting her training as a nurse, had to spend a certain part of her time in the insane ward at the general hospital, and from her knowledge of insanity she pronounced Gallagher as being sane, but a man of violent temper. She stated that Gallagher seemed to have been drinking before he entered Mr. King's room Wednesday morning.
Mrs. Etta Condon, proprietor of the hotel at which Mr King is staying, was called to the stand and told the same story as did Miss Lefler. "Do you think he was insane?" she was asked.
"No, not a bit of it."
"Would you know an insane person if you saw one?"
"I think I would, but Gallagher seemed to be more drunk than anything else. And he has a violent temper."
QUARRELSOME WHEN DRUNK.
J. J. Spillane, a street inspector and a particular friend of Gallagher's had been present throughout the hearing and at Tom Gallagher's request he was called to the witness stand.
Spillane told of his acquaintance with Gallagher, which dated back twenty years. He said that he did not believe that Gallagher was insane, or that he ever was insane.
"Is he quarrelsome when under the influence of liquor?"
"Not any more than any other man is; he would always stick up for himself."
Captain Frank Snow of police headquarters was called to testify. He had known Gallagher for ten or fifteen years. During that time, according to the testimony, Gallagher's conduct had been of a very erratic nature. He had engaged in several controversies at various times.
"Do you think that Jack is insane?"
"No, indeed. Jack would not have any trouble if he would let the booze alone. Every man, or almost every man, who has owned a saloon on East Fourth street, has gone crazy, and Jack will go the same way if he keeps up his present pace."
"So you think drink was responsible for all his trouble?"
"Yes, I do."
W. K. Latcham, the arresting officer for the second offense committed by Gallagher Wednesday morning against Albert King; Gus Metzinger, patrolman in charge of No. 4 police station, and who released Gallagher on $11 bond, and Dr. E. L. Gist all testified that it was their belief that Gallagher was sane. The testimony was becoming long drawn out and immaterial. The case for insanity was lost within the first five minutes of examination and the commission decided to put an end to the needless investigation.
After taking the testimony of John McCarthy, one of Gallagher's bartenders, the investigation adjourned and the commissioners met in secret session. They remained in session long enough to cast one vote and dictate their decision to the stenographer.
GOES TO THE WORKHOUSE.
Gallagher was sent to the workhouse in the daily crowd which is sent from the police court. His fine is $1,000 or one year in the workhouse. If he does not pay his fine he must remain for one year unless pardoned by the mayor.
The lunacy commission proceeding was instigated by Chief of Police Daniel Ahern, who conferred with Judge Theodore Remley of the police court and Colonel J. C. Greenman of the Humane office. It was the opinion of the three that Gallagher was too dangerous a man to walk the streets of Kansas City. It was the fear that he would be able to pay his fine and get out of the workhouse a free man, that led Chief Ahern to take such steps in having the lunacy commission appointed, he says.
"It means," said the chief, "that Gallagher goes to the workhouse His time limit for appeal is over and he will have to serve out his time or pay his fine. He is a dangerous man and should be kept in custody. I believe the fellow is insane."
It was suggested to acting Police Judge Remley by Cliff Langsdale, city attorney, that the time for appeal bond in Gallagher's case had elapsed. Judge Remley said that he would not countenance an appeal bond at any rate. He said that it would be necessary for Gallagher to go to courts above his jurisdiction before he could keep himself from the workhouse any longer.
Labels: alcohol, Col. J. C. Greenman, doctors, Jack Gallagher, Judge Remley, mental health, nurses, Police Chief Snow, workhouse
July 16, 1908
WAS HIS OBJECT MURDER?
Jack Gallagher Calls on King
and Creates a Disturbance.
(From a sketch made in the Police Matron's Room at Central Station Yesterday Afternoon
Following his vicious inclinations, Jack Gallagher attempted to assault Albert King, a reporter for The Journal, who is lying seriously injured as the result of a previous attack made upon him by Gallagher, in Mr. King's apartments at 720 East Fifteenth street yesterday morning at 5 o'clock. Failing in his first attempt to satiate his brutal desires because of arrest, Gallagher returned to Mr. King's rooms after having been released on an $11 bond, and again tried to force entrance into the room, uttering violent threats while trying to break in the door. Again he was arrested, but this time he was held without bond, because he was taken before a police officer who knew his duty.
Shortly after 5 o'clock yesterday morning Gallagher went to the hotel in which Mr. King is staying and asked Mrs. Etta Condon, the proprietress, to show him to Mr. King's room. Mrs. Condon replied that it was too early for visitors, especially too early for a sick man to be awakened. Gallagher and a friend who had gone to the hotel with him insisted, saying that they were very intimate friends of Mr. King from St. Louis, and that they only had an hour to stay in Kansas City.
Mr. King, who is well known in Kansas City, had been receiving many visits from friends since he was injured; so Mrs. Condon said that she would see if Mr. King would see them.
NURSE ORDERED HIM OUT.
Gallagher did not wait until she had awakened the injured man, but brushed past her and stood over his bedside. Mr. King was aroused and turning in bead, saw his former assailant.
"Hello, Albert. How do you feel about it?" asked Gallagher.
"I feel pretty tough since you got through with me," replied King, "and I don't want to talk to you. Get out of here."
"I want to introduce my friend, Mike O'Brien, to you before I go," replied Gallagher, beckoning to the friend who had remained in the doorway. "You remember Mike, don't you, Al?"
King replied that he might have seen O'Brien before but did not recall the circumstance. Then he ordered them out of the room, saying that he did not wish to have anything to do with them. By this time Miss Mayme Lefler, Mr. Kin's nurse, had returned to the room. Noticing that her patient did not treat his visitors in a cordial manner, she bent over them and asked who they were.
Upon being told that one of them was Jack Gallagher she ordered them from the room. Gallagher stood and laughed at her until she finally pushed him towards the doors.
"Oh, I'll step outside and let you all talk it over for a minute," said he; "but I'm goin' to stay here till I see your finish," addressing the last remark to Mr. King.
Once the bully was out of the room, Miss Lefler locked the door and writing a note for passers-by, telling them to call the police station for help, she slipped to the open window ready to drop it out on the street.
Meanwhile Mrs. Condon had gone downstairs to a telephone and called the police. She was followed by O'Brien.
PACED THE HALLWAY.
Mrs. Condon returned to her hotel and saw Gallagher pacing up and down the hallway, bellowing out his mad threats to the closed door. Soon he stopped his loud talking and hid behind a turn in the hall. Every time a door would open or close he would hasten to Mr. King's door to see if King had left the room or if he might be caught in the act of leaving. Mrs. Condon tried to argue with Gallagher, but her words had no effect. Then she tried threats and told Gallagher that if he did not go she would call for help.
"Don't you dare call for help you--" he rasped between his closed teeth. "If you do I'll fix you," and he shook his fist in Mrs. Condon's face.
Just then Officer James Mulloy was seen hurrying across the street. He had been notified by the operator at No. 4 police station that Gallagher was threatening Mr. King. Miss Lefler called out to him and the officer hastened up the steps. When he reached the hallway he heard Gallagher threaten Mrs. Condon. Approaching Gallagher, the patrolman told him to come with him to the police station.
"It will take four of you to take me there," boasted the bully, as he began to beat and kick on Mr. King's door.
"Not this morning," said the officer as he dragged Gallagher to the head of the stairs. There they were met by three officers who had gone to the house with the patrol wagon from the Walnut street police station. Once in the patrol wagon Gallagher quited down.
When he was taken before Patrolman Gus Metzinger, acting desk sergeant, he was charged with disturbing the peace and locked up. His friend, O'Brien, pleaded with Officer Metzinger for his release on bond, saying that he would see that Jack went directly home and did not bother King again. The officer graciously complied and made the bond $11, which Gallagher himself deposited.
Twenty minutes afterwards Gallagher was back at Mr. King's door, demanding entrance. As Gallagher hurried up the hotel steps he was healed by Mrs. Condon, who tried to get him to go back. Finding that her p leas were of no avail she called out in a loud voice so that King could just hear her, "Jack Gallagher, you get out of this house at once."
KING WAS ARMED THIS TIME.
But Gallagher thrust her aside and went directly to the door of King's room. Miss Lefler had locked the door and helped King to a sitting posture in the bed. Armed with a large revolver which had been secured after the first disturbance, King sat ready for his assailant should he manage to break through the door.
Gallagher was demanding entrance, but he got no answer from behind the door. Through the door Mr. King and his nurse could hear Mrs. Condon pleading with him to desist in his bestial endeavors, saying that Mr. King was not in the room and that he had gone home immediately after Gallagher's first visit.
But Gallagher would not be satisfied. He demanded that the door be unlocked. Mrs. Condon replied that the maid had the keys and that he would have to wait until she could be found.
Inside the room, Albert King sat in bed with the revolver pointed at the door.
"I am going to shoot through the door at him," he told his nurse.
"No, don't do that," she cautioned, "you might hit Mrs. Condon. You can't tell just where she might be standing.
As a matter of fact, Mrs. Condon was standing between Gallagher and the door, keeping him from reaching the knob as he had attempted. For five minutes they stood at the door and argued whether or not King was in the room.
"Haven't you enough trouble already?" asked the woman of Gallagher.
"Yes, but King and The Journal have given it all to me, and now I'm going to give King his. He and The Journal run the whole police department, and they have put me down and out, so it's me or King now."
"Well, he's gone home now, out on Wabash avenue, so you can't find him here. You had better go on and leave me alone."
"I don't believe King has gone, I'm going to see, anyhow."
WAS READY TO SHOOT.
The it occurred to Gallagher to look over the transom and see for himself.
"Stand clear of the door," wh ispered Mr. King to Miss Lefler. "The minute his head comes up over that transom I'm going to shoot. I believe that I will be justified in doing so."
Gallagher grasped hold of the knob, with one hand upon the top of the door, which he with his great height could easily reach. He was just in the act of swinging up to the transom when Patrolman W. K. Latcham came bounding up the stairs. He had been called by H. F. Hollecker, a saloonkeeper at 716 East Fifteenth street.
"You're under arrest, Gallagher," he called, being warned by Mrs. Condon that Mr. King was inside the door waiting to shoot at the first opportunity. That stopped Gallagher, and probably saved his life; for if his head had appeared above the transom Mr. King says that he would surely have shot.
Then Gallagher began to beg to get inside the door or to look over the transom. By signs only Mrs. Condon had told Officer Latcham that Mr. King was in the room waiting for a sight of Jack Gallagher. The officer would not allow him to climb up the door.
"You've got to come with me," said the officer, "and you've got to come at once. You know I'm able to take you and take you alone, so come along and behave."
GALLAGHER KNEW HIS MASTER.
Officer Latcham said afterwards: "The coward began to crawl like a whipped cur and came right along, not giving a bit of trouble. I did not even have to draw my revolver on him. When we got downstairs we found the patrol wagon waiting for us and nothing else happened."
At the station the day shift of police had come on and Sergeant Halligan booked Gallagher for disturbing the peace and refused to allow him to be released on bond. He was taken to police headquarters with the rest of the prisoners who had been arrested during the night.
Gallagher said that he would not go in the patrol wagon with the rabble, but he found out that the officers were determined that he should and soon stopped his bullying and took his seat in the wagon beside a drunken man.
"S-a-y," was the word used by Gallagher when he was brought before Theodore Remley, acting police judge.
"Now you keep quiet until your time comes," remonstrated Judge Remley.
"All right, judge," Gallagher replied in his blustering, bullying manner. "I suppose you are going to fine me because Albert King said for you to."
After James Mulloy, the policeman making the arrest, Miss Lefler, the nurse, and several witnesses had told their stories to the court, Gallagher asked permission to ask questions of Miss Lefler.
His first question was so insulting and foreign to the case that Judge Remley told her not to answer.
"That's right," Gallagher snarled at the judge, "you take away my rights after convicting me on their testimony. Now fine me if you dare to."
"Your fine is $500," replied the judge.
"How about signing a personal bond' asked Gallagher.
"Wait a minute, Gallagher, I have another case against you," Cliff Langsdale, the city attorney, said as Gallagher was being led back to the holdover.
"That's right, stick me, fine me another $500, the police and papers are against me and I guess you are, too."
A few necessary steps required by law and Judge Remley levied a fine of $500 on the second charge of disturbing the peace.
Looking over towards the table occupied by the newspaper men, Gallagher said: "I know when the police reporters leave the station They leave here at 2:45." Swearing vengeance against the police and the newspapers, Gallagher was placed in the holdover, later to be removed to the matron's room.
Labels: Fifteenth street, hotels, Jack Gallagher, Judge Remley, newspapers, No 4 police station, nurses, police court, police headquarters, police matron, violence, Walnut street police station
July 5, 1908
WEDDED 2 DAYS;
FIRES BULLET INTO BRAIN IN
PRESENCE OF WIFE.
AFTER BIDDING HER GOODBYE.
NO REASON FOR JOS. P. THOMP-
SON'S ACT IS KNOWN.
Married Pearl A. O'Shea on July 2.
It Was a Mild Elopement, and
Her Parents Didn't Ap-
prove of Wedding.
One July 2 Joseph P. Thompson and Miss Pearl A. O'Shea took a trip to Leavenworth and were married by a justice of the peace.
Last night at 7 o'clock when the young wife entered her husband's room at 3102 East Twentieth street he said goodby to her and, pointing a pistol at his right temple, shot himself in the brain.
Thompson was a woodturner and worked for the American Sash and Door Company. He was 26 years old and had been in the city three years. A quiet young man, he never spoke much about himself to anyone, but there were rumors that he had once been married before.
For the last year, Thompson had boarded at the house of Mrs. Alma D'Avis, 3102 East Twentieth street, and it was there that he met the girl that afterward became his wife. Mrs. D'Avis has weak eyes, and requires the attention of a nurse. Her niece, Pearl O'Shea, was a nurse, so Mrs. D'Avis had her come and stay with her. That was two months ago. An attachment sprang up between the young people living in the same house, and the runaway marriage was the result.
After the marriage they told the girl's mother and he stepfather, John Reed, who lives at Twentieth an Harrison streets. The latter did not approve of the union at all. the girl was their only support, they said, and they had lost much of their property in the recent flood.
This is the only reason that the young man's friends can give for the suicide. Yesterday afternoon he came home, apparently in a normal frame of mind. He was not known as a drinking man, and was said to have no bad habits. He did not even own a revolver, so that he must have especially purchased the one he used.
Last night the young wife was hysterical with grief and had to have the care of physicians. The tragic ending of the short romance of her life affected her so seriously that the doctors fear for her mind.
Thompson came to this city three years ago from Hot Springs, Ark. He was a member of the lodge 73 of the West Side branch, W. O. W., and was well liked by all his associates. At no time did his actions give any trace of insanity.
Labels: boarding house, flood, Harrison street, Leavenworth, lodges, marriage, mental health, nurses, Suicide, Twentieth street
June 9, 1908
RAT BITES CHUNK
FROM NURSE'S NOSE.
WHILE SHE WAS ASLEEP IN THE
Discovery Made by Mayor Crittenden
While Making a Tour of In-
spection of Institution
"Think of having to sleep in a place where rats gnaw off the end of your very nose," said Mayor Thomas T. Crittendon, Jr., after having gone through the general hospital yesterday afternoon. "I wouldn't have believed that anybody had to sleep under those conditions if I hadn't seen a nurse at the hospital who was in bed and undergoing treatment for a severe rat bite in her nose. While she was sleeping soundly Saturday night a rat disfigured her face by taking a large chunk of flesh from her nose.
"Such a place as the city hospital, the old one, I mean, is a disgrace to Kansas City. The filth and mean wards should not be tolerated. Think of taking a visitor out to our general hospital. Why, I would be too ashamed to do it. There is no excuse for such conditions as exist at the hospital."
Mayor Crittenden had accepted an invitation from Dr. St. Elmo Sanders, city physician, to make the tour of the hospital and before the party had gone far on their way they met Mr. Charles Shannon and he made the third on the trip of inspection.
The mayor was particularly displeased with the quarters for the nurses at the present hospital. The third floor is set apart for them and it is infested by rats and other vermin to such an extent that a few months ago the board of public works found it necessary to make an appropriation to reimburse the nurses for the loss of shoes, hosiery and underwear which the rats had eaten.
The way in which white and black, male and female patients, are all placed in the same room met with the mayor's disapproval. He had said that conditions in the hospital might be bettered to a great extent, though the building itself was responsible for a certain amount of the disgraceful condition.
If the mayor was bitter in his condemnation of the old hospital he was more than enthusiastic over the new hospital which is almost completed. He called it a building of which the citizens of Kansas City might well be proud, and says he will push as rapidly as possible all details so that the city hospital department shall soon be ho used in a building which can cleanly and adequately take care of patients.
Labels: doctors, general hospital, Mayor Crittenden, nurses, race
June 7, 1908
POLICE REFUSE TO
"NOT TRYING WIX IN THE NEWSPA-
PERS," THEY SAY.
As in All Cases, They Are Seeking
Evidence Against the Accused,
Only, and Not That Which
Would Free Him.
"The police will give no more information concerning the Wix case. I think we have given out too much of our side already. We do not intend to try the case in the newspapers."
So said Captain Walter Whitsett at police headquarters last night when asked if there was anything new in the case. By "Our side" he meant the prosecution. He said further that the publication of too much of "our information gives the other fellows a chance to get busy." In other words the police department, a public institution, is run solely to prosecute men. When a man is arrested, charged with a crime, it is a well known fact that the police set to work to get all they can against the man and seldom take notice of anything in the prisoner's favor.
If Clark Wix is convicted for the murder of John Mason as he now stands charged, it appears that it will have to be solely upon circumstantial evidence as, so far, the police have no positive evidence.
The man's watch found in pawn in Wix's name at Silverman's pawnshop, 1215 Grand avenue, and later identified by Mrs. Lizzie Mason, widow of the murdered man and Maude Wilson, was yesterday proved beyond a doubt to be the property of Wix. In his statement Wix said that the watch was his and the woman's watch was his wife's.
When J. B. Schmeltz, 1231 Grand avenue, was seen he said that Detective Fred Bailey called him up about the watch. His mark in the watch was 10232107. The 102 Schmeltz places in all his watches and the 32107 when separated means 3, 21, 07, or March 21, 1907, when the watch sold. The works number is 14160503 and the case 6219763. It is a Waltham, size 16.
WIX BOUGHT A DIAMOND.
When Silverman's pawnshop was visited it was learned that the watch pawned by Wix February 10 last bears exactly the same numbers. Schmeltz also said that he recalled Wix bringing a diamond stick pin to him to be set in a ring and said that he believed he sold him a small diamond ring within the last year, possibly the one Wix gave to Maud Wilson.
The numbers on the works of the woman's watch in pawn are 10437364 and the case 67074. That watch is claimed by Mrs. Mason, who said that her husband was carrying it when he disappeared. She said that the watch was brought second hand, so it would be hard to trace the numbers in that case. Wix says the watch is his wife's and she confirms him. Her description of the watch is identical with the one in pawn. Her nurse friends used to use it when she was a nurse at the general hospital, and they all describe it as a large-sized woman's wath, engraved case, with a diamond in the back. Captain Whitsett says that the watch is being held as evidence and no one not connected with the police or the prosecution shall be allowed to see it. Harry Way, Mrs. Wix's father, said yesterday:
"That watch was given to Harriet by her uncle, Cyrus Way, fifteen years ago. It was brought from Roscoe Smulk, a jeweler at Shelbina, Mo, who is now dead. An effort will be made to get the numbers there, but I don't think they keep them."
If the watch was ever cleaned or repaired by a jeweler here, the numbers will be found here, and the defense is working along those lines now.
WHEN HE WAS ELEVEN YEARS OLD.
Some of the new information received by the police yesterday that, twelve years ago, while hunting near Ottawa, Kas., with a man named Alvin Keller, the latter was supposed to have been accidentally shot by Wix, and that the belief was that it was not accidental. Wix is now 23 years old, so, if that is true, he was only 1 years old when the informant seems to cast suspicion upon him.
It was learned yesterday that on Sunday, January 26, when Mason disappeared, he was about the barn of W. A. Marshall, 1417 Walnut, during the morning. He took John Nevins out and drove him through Penn Valley park in an effort to sell him a horse. Nevins, who is a horseshoer, did not take the horse. Then Mason called up George Coleman, a liveryman, and tried to sell him the buggy and harness. He was turning all his property into cash, as his wife had sued him for divorce.
While Coleman was looking at the buggy Mason left the barn. That was about noon. About 2 p. m. he called Marshall and said:
"I will be over pretty soon with Clark Wix, and I want you to knock that trade with me."
"I asked him what he meant," said Marshall, yesterday, "In his broken German he had used knock for boost. I don't see how he could have been talking in the presence of Wix, to whom he wanted to sell a team."
DISPLAYED HIS MONEY.
Detectives "Lum" Wilson and J. L. Ghent were assigned on the Mason case yesterday, and they took a new tack. They found out where Mason had often showed his money, that he did not choose his company well, and was often known to have shot craps with negroes. Any of that class may have known that Mason carried a large sum of money, and he might have been killed by them.
The police had several men in the office of Captain Whitsett last night, sweating them and taking their statements. Some of them are believed to have been men who worked for Wix at the time of Mason's disappearance. It is known that an old man named Barslow, a barn foreman, was told to be there at 8 p.m. One of the men who worked about there at the time and who knew Mason and his habits well is now being looked for by police with two different warrants for swindling transfer men and others for whom he worked. That is he collected C. O. D. money and decamped. That man's name is Gale Chaney, and his brother Tom also worked there. Another man now driving a newspaper wagon may be questioned by police.
Every person who ever knew Wix is now rallying to hi support in his hour of trouble. The verdict of many seen yesterday was, "He was the hardest worker I ever saw, and at the same time a man of jolly disposition. I can't conceive his committing such a crime and feel that he will come out all right."
Funeral services of John Mason, the murdered man, will be held at 2 o'clock this afternoon at Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms, 3015 Main street.
Burial will be in Mount Washington cemetery.
Prosecutor I. B. Kimbrell and the grand jury were ready at 10:30 yesterday morning to examine Clark Wix and the evidence in the case against him, on which he is held in the county jail for the murder of John Mason, but Inspector M. E. Ryan telephoned that he did not have his evidence in shape to present. The grand jury then adjourned until Monday.
Labels: buggy, Captain Whitsett, detectives, Grand avenue, Main street, newspapers, nurses, pawn brokers, Penn Valley park, police headquarters, Prosecutor Kimbrell, undertakers, Walnut Street
June 5, 1908
CHARGED TO WIX.
PAWNED DEAD MAN'S WATCHES
MASON WAS IN WIX'S BARN.
ACCUSED MAN ALSO SUSPECTED
OF FANNING MURDER.
Was Once Before the Prosecutor to
Explain His Sudden Wealth
Shortly After Fanning
At 11 o'clock last night Clark Wix was formally charged with the murder of John ("Dutch") Mason, the horse trader who disappeared from here January 26 last. Mrs. Lizzie Mason, the murdered man's widow, and Maud Wilson, with whom he had lived, both went to Camden, Mo., yesterday and identified the body.
It was after hearing statements made by the women, after they had identified property pawned by Wix, that John W. Hogan, assistant prosecutor, concluded to charge Wix with murder in the first degree. The information was drawn and sworn to by Mrs. Lizzie Mason. Then it was filed with Justice Michael Ross and a warrant issued on which Wix will be arrested this morning. His statement is to be taken at police headquarters this morning. His arraignment will be later.
The body of Mason arrived in the city yesterday afternoon and was sent to the morgue of Freeman and Marshall, 3015 Main street. There is a large hole in Mason's skull on the right side at the base, and another behind the left ear. A deep fracture connects both holes. It is the opinion of Detectives Charles Halderman and James Fox, who have developed he case, that the murder was committed with a hammer. A search will be made for the weapon.
In looking over his pawn slips Fred Bailey, secretary to the inspector, found where Clark Wix had pawned two watches and, as Mason had a watch when he disappeared, Detective Ralph Trueman was sent to Silverman's pawn shop, 1215 Grand avenue, after the property. He came back with a man's hunting case watch and a woman's watch with a diamond in the back. He also got a diamond ring and an Elk ring from the same shop.
IT WAS HER WATCH.
Both Mrs. Mason and Maud Wilson quickly identified the man's watch as having been Mason's. They were not told of the other watch, and Mrs. Mason was asked if she ever possessed a watch.
"Yes," she said, "a small watch with a diamond in the back of the case." When shown the other watch which had been in pawn in Wix's name both women identified it immediately as Mrs. Mason's, and the Wilson woman said that Mason had the watch with him when he left that fatal Sunday, January 26.
According to the pawn sheets Wix pawned Mason's watch on February 10 and not until May 6 was Mrs. Mason's watch pledged. The police think that the diamonds in the Elk ring and other ring originally were part of Mason's horseshoe pin in which were fifteen stones, three large ones at the top and six smaller ones on each side.
John Hogan spent most of the night taking statements in the Wix case. Miss Wilson in her statement said that on April 26 last, her birthday, Clark Wix made her a present of a diamond ring. At the same time he had a stone set into a stud for himself. L. L. Goldman of 1307 Grand avenue, who set the two stones for Wix, also made a statement. Both persons said that the jewels were of almost the exact size of the three large stones in Mason's horseshoe pin. Miss Wilson said that when Wix gave h er the ring he said: "Now, if my wife ever finds out that I gave you this ring you must tell her that you bought it from me."
The third stone thought to have come from Mason's pin is believed now to be in an Elk charm worn my Wix when he was arrested.
CALLED FROM WIX'S BARN.
W. A. Marshall, a liveryman, said in his statement that on the Sunday Mason disappeared he called up from Wix's transfer barn, 1406 Walnut street, and said: "I'll be over with Wix to see you in a little while about buying that horse." But, though that was about 1 p. m., Mason never came.
James Conely and John Lewis, horseshoers at Fourteenth and Walnut streets, stated that they often saw John Mason about Wix's barn, which was directly across the street from them.
It was the intention to question Wix last night, but that had to be abandoned until today. Wix has not yet been informed that he is charged with murder. When arrested he asked no explanation, though it was 1 o'clock Wednesday morning, and since he has been held in the matron's room at headquarters he has taken no apparent interest in why he was locked up and no one allowed to see him.
QUESTIONED IN FANNING MURDER.
It developed yesterday that two months ago, on information furnished Detectives "Lum" Wilson and J. L. Ghent, Wix was taken before Prosecutor Kimbrell to be questioned in regard to the murder of Thomas W. Fanning, the aged recluse who was brutally killed with a hammer in his home, 1818 Olive street, December 31, 1906.
He was known to have hauled Mrs. Fanning to the general hospital, and it was reported that he said later: "Somebody is going to have to kill that old guy, Fanning, living all alone out there with all that coin." It was shortly after the Fanning murder that Wix went into business for himself, but in his statement at that time he said that his uncle, Clark Wix, postmaster of Butler, Mo., had furnished him the money. That matter will be reopened now.
Police Judge Harry G Kyle was yesterday retained by relatives to defend Clark Wix. Kyle comes from the same county, Bates, in which the Wix family live. All sorts of influence was brought to bear yesterday to get to see and talk to the prisoner, but Captain Walter Whitsett would not permit it.
THREATENED HABEAS CORPUS.
Thomas W. Wix, a farmer from near Yates Center, Kas., arrived yesterday and it was he and Clark Wix, the uncle from Butler, who retained Judge Kyle. Rush C. Lake, assistant attorney general, went to the station and, according to Captain Whitsett, threatened to sue out a writ of habeas corpus if not allowed to see Wix. He was told that such action would mean in immediate charge of murder and there it ceased. Then other lawyers tried the same tactics and failed.
In June, 1906, Clark Wix was married to Miss Harriet Way, a nurse at the general hospital, who had served barely one of her two years.. At that time Wix was driving an ambulance for the Carroll-Davidson Undertaking Company, which handled all the city dead from the hospital, and it was his frequent trips there that brought him in contact with his wife.
Miss Way lived near Shelbina, Mo., and it was reported soon after her marriage that her family came near ostracising her for what she had done. In about a year, however, Wix had diamonds of all kinds and frequently gave his wife gems until she was the envy of her nurse friends at the hospital. Mrs. Wix was not informed last night that her husband had been charged with murder.
When Clark Wix was examined by County Prosecutor I. B. Kimrell and City Detectives Lum Wilson and J. L. Ghent, shortly after the murder of Thomas Fanning in his home at 1818 Olive street, on New Year's eve, 1906, Wix was not plainly told what charge might be placed against him. No person, outside of Chief of Police John Hayes, Wix's wife, the detectives and the prosecutor knew that Wix was under arrest. None of Wix's political friends knew of it or made any effort to secure his release. In recalling the questioning of Wix at that time Mr. Kimbrell said last evening:
"We asked Wix how he came by diamonds he was wearing and how he found the wherewithal to purchase his teams and wagons. He showed us that the original story about his owning many large diamonds was an exaggeration and that he possessed only two small ones, and he proved that he held title to only three teams and a wagon or two. He told us the size of his salary and how much he had been saving out of it each week. We corroborated his explanation by his wife and the neighbors. We never told him he was held for the Fanning murder. We discovered that we had no case against him and dropped the matter without letting his name be connected with the murder."
Labels: Captain Whitsett, detectives, Fourteenth street, Grand avenue, jewelry, Judge Kyle, Justice Ross, murder, nurses, Olive street, Prosecutor Kimbrell, Walnut Street
June 3, 1908
WHAT LARKS THERE'LL
BE IN THE BIG ROOM.
WHEN IT'S OPENED FOR PLAY
AT MERCY HOSPITAL.
Little Patients Look Forward to the
Day With Impatience -- A
Gleam in Their Mel-
"Wait till our new playroom's done." That is what the little boys and girls, inmates of the Mercy Hospital, Fifth street and Highland avenue, are saying. Everything now centers about that large new playroom which is almost completed, and every morning and afternoon the nurses have to take the children back into the new building and let them feast their eyes on the room which is to mean so much fun to them.
Some of the little patients in the hospital have been there for seven months, and in some cases there are not many signs of improvement. Their lives are not full of pleasure, and it is seldom that visitors who take more than a patronizing interest in them are seen. The little fellows feel that they are being made spectacles of and they can see the pity in their visitors' eyes. That is not what they want; they want comradeship. Their games are few, and in bad weather they must stay indoors. For this reason they look forward to the large playroom with such promise of rainy day pleasure.
At present there are eleven patients in the hospital, ranging from 10 days to 8 years in age. The older children are unusually bright and quick to learn, and in the most instances they desire to keep up their school work while in the hospital. Slates and school books have been provided for that purpose and the nurses take turns in teaching them. Few of the children, except the infants, are confined in beds, and so they find ample time to play at their games.
Running games are on the "blacklist" among them for one of their number is a cripple and cannot move without the aid of crutches. The children themselves have passed the rule that no game which calls for running or jumping shall be played, and so most of the time is spent in telling stories and piecing card maps.
"You see Joey, he's got hip d'sease, and it ain't fair to him if we play tag cause he'd have to sit and look," said one little girl in telling about their games.
But the nurses take the most interest in the infants. Maybe it is because every unnamed infant which is brought to the hospital is named for one of the nurses. There are Anne, Ruth, Carmen and Marjorie. Then the male infants are named for the doctors or particular friends of the nurses, such as Ralph and Billy. Billy is the pet of the hospital. He belongs to a mother and father who wish he did not belong to them, and consequently they are never seen about the hospital. Billy is 2 years old and is almost blind, totally in one eye. He can not talk, but his actions are so pathetic, say the nurses, that "you just can't help loving him." And so Billy gets the cream.
Miss Virginia Porter, superintendent of the hospital, says that older children are all well behaved and that they grow fond of the hospital and nurses. Even though they come of parents who do not love them, for the most part, Miss Porter tries to teach them that they should love their home and their parents above all else. The children all show the effect of this teaching, for when one little girl in the hospital was asked if she would rather stay in the hospital or go home, her little face grew long and she said: "I'd rather go home, I guess, for Mrs. Porter says that homes are the best places in the world."
Labels: children, Fifth street, Highland avenue, hospitals, illness, nurses, visual impairment
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