January 29, 1910
FRED'S RELIGION DIDN'T STICK.
He Was "Converted" by Hart, but the
Workhouse Caught Him.
Why did Fred Marshall become a backslider so soon? The board of pardons and paroles yesterday tried to solve the problem. Marshall has been in the workhouse twice before, but last Sunday night he "went forward" at the revival being conducted by Evangelist Hart in Kansas City, Kas. He came to this city Thursday and took aboard too much liquor. The result was a workhouse sentence when he could not produce $15 to pay his fine.
Yesterday Marshall's sister appeared with him before the pardons and paroles board at the workhouse. She pleaded for him, and promised to see that he got less religion and more work in the future. He will be released on parole today.
Labels: alcohol, Kansas City Kas, ministers, parole board, workhouse
January 9, 1910
WORK AND WAGES FOR
Mayor Formulates Plan to Provide
Living During Present Cold
Weather for All Worthy Needy.
"Kansas City intends to be kind to the needy and unfortunate temporarily out of work," observed Gus Pearson, city comptroller, yesterday, "but we first are going to find out who is worthy of our time and kindness.
"This wail about the starving and homeless unemployed has been magnified. Investigation shows that on many of the coldest nights of the winter there were a whole lot of vacant beds in the Helping Hand institute, and I have it from the management that they had twenty-four more calls for work for men than could be filled.
"The trouble is that a great many well meaning people are imposed upon and their sympathies wrought up by classes of individuals who are continually preying on the purse strings of the charitable, but will not work unless the work meets with their particular tastes."
Mr. Pearson had a conference yesterday with William Volker, chairman of the pardons and parole board. They discussed the plan proposed by Mayor Crittenden of making an additional appropriation of funds to temporarily tide over the unemployed by giving them work at the municipal stone quarries in Penn Valley park and the municipal farm at Leeds. This will be done as quickly as possible after Messrs. Pearson and Volker have conferred with the heads of charitable institutions and the police in reference to the character of men considered really deserving.
"Bums and loafers who stray into Kansas City just to spend the winter and live off the charitable must move on or go to the workhouse," said Mr. Pearson. "We feel that we have a citizenship of our own who should receive our little acts of kindness in times of distress, and so far as the present city administration is concerned, there will be no deserving man or boy without a place of shelter or a meal."
Labels: charity, employment, Helping Hand, Leeds, Mayor Crittenden, parole board, Penn Valley park, workhouse
January 8, 1910
MAKING WIFE OBEY
IS "BUTTING IN."
Parole Board Rules She Is
"Lord and Master" in
In an effort to make his wife obey, as she had promised to do when he married her nine months ago, J. M. Hall, stock clerk for the Great Western Manufacturing Company, 1221 Union avenue, landed him self into the workhouse on a $300 fine three days after Christmas -- during the most joyous week of last year. The "you must obey your master" stunt took place at the Hall home at St. Clair station, near Mount Washington.
A. B. Coulton, manager of the Great Western Manufacturing Company, appeared before the board of pardons and paroles at the workhouse yesterday and asked for Hall's parole. William Volker, president of the board, then looked over the testimony which was given in the municipal court when Hall was convicted and given the highest fine in the power of the court. It ran something like this:
WOULD NOT OBEY.
Charged with disturbing the peace. Wife appeared to prosecute him. She said that ever since their marriage last March he has been dictatorial and domineering and insisted that she obey him as she promised. The day of his arrest he went into the kitchen and, seeing the stove door open, told her to close it. She did not want the door closed and told him so. Then he demanded that she stoop and close the door and she flatly refused.
"Then I'll teach you to obey as you promised," he said. With that Mrs. Hall testified, he grabbed her by the wrist and forced her to her knees demanding that she obey him. Still she refused. Then she was thrown back so as to strike a couch with her back. She did not shut the stove door. Couple have been married since March, 1909. She said she started to leave him several times, but was induced to return.
STICKS TO HIS RIGHTS.
Hall still thought he "had a right" in his own house to make his wife obey. He was obdurate until he found out that his parole hinged upon his apparent change of heart. Then he asked the board for terms. As Mrs. Hall soon will have to go to a s hospital the board provided that Hall pay over to L. H. Halbert, secretary to the board, $7.50 every Saturday night. That will be given to Mrs. Hall.
"Besides paying the $7.50 weekly," said Mr. Volker, "you absolutely must keep away from your wife. You also must report to the secretary once each week."
Hall, still defiant on the question of "obey," agreed meekly to the terms of parole. His employer, Mr. Coulton, said that a separate check would be made out to Secretary Halbert each week and Hall would be sent to deliver it. Hall will be released today.
"Before we parole anyone," explained President Volker to Hall, "we generally find out if he has any regrets for his actions; if he is sorry for doing the thing that caused his arrest. Are you?"
"I think I did as any husband should," said Hall calmly. "She refused to obey and I tried to make her. That's all."
"I see you have no regrets," said Mr. Volker, much in earnest. "I want you to know that I do not think there is provocation great enough for any man to strike a woman."
"But I did not strike her," insisted Hall. "I just tried to make her apologize and obey as any good wife should. What are you going to do when a woman absolutely refuses to obey?"
"If she refused to shut the stove door and I wanted it shut," said the board president, who is a single man, "I think I would quietly shut it. But if she wanted it left open I would leave it open. A woman knows more about a kitchen in a minute than a man does in a year. That is her domain; she reigns there as an absolute monarchy and a man has got no business going into the kitchen and telling the wife what to do. It's bound to cause trouble. Let her run the whole house. That's her place. You may run the rest of the earth if you choose, but think how puny, how little, how mean it is to force your wife to her knees by twisting her wrist simply because she would not 'obey her lord and master' and shut the stove door in a place where she, and she alone, has full command. I am not a believer in slang but I am forced to say that what you did might well be called 'butting in.' "
Labels: domestic violence, marriage, Mt. Washington, parole board, Union avenue, workhouse
December 31, 1909
PUGILISM OR NAIL EATING?
Pardon Board Doubtful Which Tends
More to Good Citizenship.
Terence O'Grady, the human ostrich, is free from the workhouse by action of the pardon and parole board yesterday afternoon. He was arrested several weeks ago at the insistence of his wife, who said that his dual role of prize fighter and crockery eater unfitted him for the more domestic one of providing for her and their children. He was fined $500.
Investigation by the board disclosed that O'Grady, if not always a hard working man, possessed a heart as good as his punch and as elastic as his stomach. He said and proved by receipts that he is supporting his widowed mother in Ireland whom he has not seen for more than twenty years. The last money sent to her by Terence was mailed from Kansas City November 4 in the shape of a check for $100. It was one of many such remittances.
"I'll either go back to the prize ring or the kerosene circuit as the human ostrich," said O'Grady to a member of the board who asked him what he would do if paroled. He then added, "It's immaterial to me which I follow. I leave the matter with the board entirely."
Mrs. Kate Pearson stated during the session yesterday that she was afraid O'Grady might swallow a shovel if he were put on the street force. William Volker and Jacob Billikopf could not even guess which of the two occupations named were the best from the standpoint of good citizenship, so the original proposition was remanded back to O'Grady for a decision.
Labels: daredevils, immigrants, Jacob Billikopf, marriage, parole board, sports, workhouse
December 20, 1909
METHODS FOLLOWED AT INSTI-
TUTION SETS EXAMPLE.
Improvements Make All Cells Sani-
tary -- Shower Baths Provided
and Fumigator to De-
The interior of the workhouse has taken on quite a different aspect in the last few days, important improvements having been completed. The ceilings and walls are painted white, the latter having a heavy coat of red about six feet up from the floor. All of the cells have a new coat of shiny black enamel.
Until the recent improvements, each cell was unsanitary, being equipped with nothing but an old bucket. Now every cell is provided with a sanitary plumbing outfit. It took one month to dig a sewer inside the cell block and make the necessary connections. Outside the work could have been done in a week or ten days, but there the dirt had to be carried out in small boxes. The sewer is from five to seven feet deep and before dirt was reached it was necessary to dig through four inches of solid concrete, chisel through a steel plate one-eighth of an inch thick and then pick the way through eighteen inches more of solid concrete. This is laid beneath the floor to prevent any escapes by tunneling. As it took fully three weeks to reach terra firma it is not likely that anyone would succeed in completing a tunnel before being captured.
There also is a new system regarding mattresses and bedding. When a new prisoner arrives he gets a fresh, clean mattress, stuffed with clean straw. When the prisoner leaves the straw is burned and the bed tick washed. The cleaning method continues with regard to blankets. When a prisoner leaves his blanket goes direct to the laundry. If he is a long term man his blanket is washed and he gets a clean one two or three times a month. He also gets a fresh bed tick with new straw frequently.
SHOWER BATHS FOR ALL.
At the east end of the cell block is a new washroom with a dozen bowls. Across the corridor are shower baths. Both have hot and cold water and plenty of soap. A prisoner is required to bathe on entering the workhouse, all of his discarded clothing going to the fumigator. He also is examined by the workhouse physician, Dr. F. H. Berry. His physical condition also is looked after. For the first time since it was built the workhouse now is absolutely free of any kind of vermin, and Superintendent Cornelius Murphy says he intends to keep it that way.
When a prisoner's clothes go to the fumigator they are not afterwards packed away in a bag and given to him all full of wrinkles when he leaves the place. In the workhouse now is a tailor who understands cleaning, pressing and mending. After leaving the fumigator the underclothing and linen go to the laundry where they are washed and ironed. The outer clothing goes to the tailor who repairs, cleans and presses it. When a prisoner leaves the institution now he often finds his "makeup" in far better condition than when he entered.
"The scheme of putting a prisoner's clothing in good condition," said C. A. Beatty, assistant superintendent, "has proven a good one and the men greatly appreciate it. It does not send a poor man away looking like a trap, but he has a good 'front' and is fit to apply to any man for work. The prison clothes worn by the men are washed frequently and the men are required to take baths often. It is new to many but they are getting used to it."
SOME LEARN TRADES.
In the sewing room, established at the personal expense of William Volker, president of the board of pardons and paroles, all of the bed ticks as well as the clothing worn by both men and women prisoners, are made by women prisoners. One young woman who had been a frequent inmate of the institution now is earning $2.25 a day at a local mattress factory. Others are earning an honest living at overall factories. They learned to sew under the instruction of Mrs. Burnett, who has charge of the sewing room. Some never had done any stitching.
Another adjunct to the workhouse, which has proved a success, is the shoemaking department. A practical shoemaker, hired at the expense of Mr. Volker, is instructing the long term men how to be shoe cobblers and some are learning how to make shoes throughout. The shoes of all prisoners are overhauled and mended in this department. The shoeshop and sewing rooms are located over the barn and are heated by steam.
There are thirty-five men now out at the industrial farm at Leeds. They are now engaged at present in making a new roadway, but in the summer they are going to learn practical farming and gardening. This, too, has proven a success.
Labels: clothing, employment, health, Leeds, parole board, workhouse
December 11, 1909
SPENT $7.50 ON HER
SAYS PARDONED WOMAN.
Fined $500, Mrs. Cross Agrees to Go
With Brother to Ohio and Leave
Aged Admirer of McLouth, Kas.,
Mrs. Ada Cross, 40 years old, who is alleged to have been in a plot to swindle an old man named Kenyon, 85 years of age, of McLouth, Kas., and who was fined $500 in the municipal court December 4 on a technical charge of vagrancy, was paroled yesterday by the board of pardons and paroles. She left last night with her younger brother, Fred A. Spray, for Kirkland, Ind., where he told the board he would make a home for her. She never had been arrested here before.
About last August, so the testimony ran in court, the aged man told a friend that he would give $1,000 for a "nice, good wife." The word reached a real estate dealer here, it was said, and Mrs. Cross went to McLouth, where she met Mr. Kenyon.
After being requested to leave the hotel there, the woman went to Lawrence, where a letter to the aged would-be Benedict soon took him. While there the two became engaged, he paying all the bills. From Lawrence the woman is alleged to have gone to Indiana, where she wrote that she had raised the money on a mortgage. After that she was heard from in three cities in Old Mexico, where she is said to have tried to get Mr. Kenyon to invest in land, later trying to get him to sign notes with her in the purchase of a $2,500 hotel in Kansas City.
All of this caused the old man to investigate through the police, and the woman was taken into custody. Mrs. Cross said that $7.50 paid for her hotel bill at Lawrence was all that the aged Lothario had spent on her. Kenyon's son arrived on the scene and assured the authorities that he would take his father home and have a guardian appointed for him.
Mrs. Cross, thoroughly repented, assured the board yesterday that she would go home with her brother, who has a wife and three children on a farm near Kirkland, Ind., and remain there.
Labels: Lawrence, municipal court, parole board, vagrancy
November 27, 1909
MANY CITIES ASK FOR
KANSAS CITY PRISONER.
Vagrant a Menace at Workhouse,
Board Member Says, Teaching the
Boys How to Work "Safe" Games.
The police of several cities are anxious to get possession of E. Burgess, now serving a year's sentence here on a technical charge of vagrancy, according to L. A. Halbert, secretary of the board of pardons and paroles.
Burgess was accused originally of inducing the matron of the Nettleton home to marry him, it being alleged that he had a wife in another city. He is said to have posed as a wealthy man. While awaiting "a large remittance," his new wife was supporting him, having paid for the marriage license and ceremony.
Mrs. Burgess heard that her husband proposed to other women after the marriage, and previously had proposed to a dozen or more. She caused his arrest. The first wife did not appear so he was arraigned in the municipal court as a vagrant and fined $500.
A letter from the chief of police at Hudson, Wis., told of a man supposed to be Burgess, who had a wife there. She supported him for a long time after marriage while he gambled and was engaged in a general confidence business.
The chief of police of Ottumwa, Ia., said Burgess is wanted there on a charge of passing worthless checks and "beating" hotels. He said the Cedar Rapids, Ia., police want Burgess on the same charge.
The police of Oklahoma City, Ok., and El Paso, Tex., tell of similar accusations there. The Hudson, Wis., chief says Burgess "is an all round crook and confidence man."
"He has been a menace to the younger prisoners here in the workhouse," said Jacob Billikopf, a member of the board, at the weekly meeting yesterday. "He frequently relates his experiences and tells how easy it is to separate people from their spare change and how to work the game so as to keep out of prison."
"I would be willing to turn Burgess over the the authorities of any city where it plainly could be shown that they had a case against him which would send him over the road," said President William Volker. "If any of these places has a direct charge against Burgess, I will be glad to turn him over, but I don't want to take any chances of turning loose a dangerous man on the public again. Let him remain here for the balance of his sentence, nine months, and notify the places where he is wanted when he is to be released."
An effort is to be made, through the Hudson, Wis., police, to induce the alleged original Mrs. Burgess to come here and prosecute the man for bigamy.
Labels: bigamy, con artist, crime, Jacob Billikopf, oklahoma, parole board, Texas, vagrancy
November 27, 1909
PAROLE SYSTEM IN HANNIBAL?
Jacob Billikopf's Address at Muni-
cipal League Meeting Responsible.
At the convention of the Missouri Municipal League here a few days ago Jacob Billikopf delivered an address on the work of the board of pardons and paroles and explained the system under which it operates. The mayor, city attorney and some members of the city council of Hannibal, Mo., who were delegates, became interested and sought Mr. Billikopf after the meeting.
"I explained the whole system to them in detail," said Mr. Billikopf yesterday, "and showed them our records. The took home blanks and cards which we use in our work here. Benjamin Henwood, the city attorney, said that a special ordinance would be drawn on his arrival home and a pardons and paroles system put into operation there. All of them approved of our system, and no doubt will adopt a similar one in Hannibal."
Labels: conventions, Jacob Billikopf, parole board, visitors
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
September 18, 1909
LID ON CIGARETTES
FOR CITY PRISONERS.
"MAKINGS" BARRED FROM THE
WORKHOUSE BY PAROLE BOARD.
No Longer May Favored Ones Have
Delicacies at Table, But Must
Masticate Prison Fare --
The board of pardons and paroles took occasion yesterday to issue its first orders governing the future conduct of affairs at the workhouse. the new orders, or rules, were submitted by Secretary L. A. Halbert and approved by the board. They are taken from rules governing houses of correction in Chicago, Ill., Cleveland, O., Elmira, N. Y., and Boston, Mass.
"General order No. 1, section 1," reads" "At no time will cigarettes, cigarette tobacco or papers be permitted in the workhouse, and the smoking of these harmful things by both men and women prisoners must absolutely be prohibited."
Section 2 permits the men prisoners to have chewing and smoking tobacco, but pipes must be used.
Section 3 puts a ban on food, fruit and delicacies being sent in to prisoners by persons on the outside. that custom has been in vogue here ever since there was a workhouse, and the board is informed that this is the only city that permits it. Hardly a day passes that baskets or packages of food or fruit are not received for prisoners. Joseph Mackey is one prisoner who, it is said, does not know what workhouse "grub" tastes like. All his meals come from the outside.
PRISON FARE FOR ALL.
"Prisoners are not allowed to have food in their cells," explained President William Volker, "consequently it was placed on the dining table for them. It is not fair to have a few eating choice viands while the majority of prisoners have to look on. Prison fare is as good for one as another, and should be part of the punishment."
Secretary Halbert was for abolishing tobacco in any form. He never uses tobacco. Neither of the male members of the board are tobacco users but they, with Mrs. Kate Pierson, compromised on abolishing cigarettes. Prisoners will also be permitted to send out for candy, chewing gum and a small amount of fruit which they may have in their cells.
Hereafter prisoners will not be permitted to carry any money or jewelry into their cells with them. Deposits will be made with the clerk. If a prisoner sends out for any of the permitted "luxuries" he will have to give an order on the clerk for the amount and that will be charged against his account.
The board also is working on rules governing the conduct of guards and other employes at the workhouse. they have not been completed. A resolution discharging Joseph Etzel, a guard, was adopted. A prisoner complained that Etzel had abused him. This is the second time the board has dropped Etzel. The first order appeared to have no effect as he kept on working.
During the recent work house investigation Etzel was accused of attempting to intimidate a witness for the board. he was peremptorily ordered dropped. Why he retained his place no one on the board was able to explain. The ordinance giving the board charge of the workhouse gives it the right to hire and discharge guards. It was said yesterday that Etzel is "out for good" this time or the board will know the reason why. When Superintendent Cornelius Murphy informed Etzel that he had been discharged the guard went before the board.
SAYS "INFLUENCE" IS GOOD.
"I haven't done nothing to nobody or violated no rules here and I demand to know why I'm fired," he demanded.
"We don't think you have the proper influence in a place like this," Mr. Voelker informed him.
"My influence is as good as any of 'em," stated Etzel, proudly. "I have as good backing as the best."
"I am not speaking of political influence," replied the president. "We do not consider you a fit man for the place. I do not care to discuss this matter with you further."
Another guard, who was reported to have been involved in a romance with one of the girl prisoners, a sewing machine girl, was called in to explain. He denied being in love and insisted he had made no arrangements to pay the woman's fine. He was told to return to duty.
Five male prisoners and one woman were ordered paroled yesterday. Several applications were deferred until further investigation could be made.
The board made a rule that a prisoner could not receive visitors until they had been there fifteen days. After that the relatives may visit on Sundays only.
Labels: Chicago, food, New York, parole board, tobacco, workhouse
August 14, 1909
MANUAL TRAINING FOR
Superintendent Murphy Will Go to
Chicago to Get Ideas for
Changes in the conditions which now prevail at the workhouse are to be instituted as soon as possible, if the ideas of the members of the pardon and parole board are carried out. At the meeting of the board yesterday afternoon it was decided to send Cornelius Murphy, new superintendent of the workhouse, and L. A. Halbert, secretary of the board, to Chicago, where they are to make an exhaustive study of the conditions which are in force at that institution.
It was deplored by the board that there is no means of teaching a prisoner at the workhouse any trade by which he might make his living if he were released or pardoned. Such institutions as laundires, shoe shops and tailoring shops were mintioned as among the available ones which might readity be had in the Kansas City workhouse.
Mr. Murray and Br. Halbert probably will leave for Chicago some time during the last part of next week. William Volker and Jacob Billikopf, members of the board, both have examined the Chicago workhouse and express much appreciation of its methods.
Labels: Chicago, Jacob Billikopf, Jews, parole board, workhouse
July 27, 1909
O'HEARN MUST QUIT
AT ONCE, SAYS MAYOR.
TOLD TO RESIGN.
Pardon Board in Charge of Institu-
tion Today -- Crittenden Not
Ready to Announce Suc-
cessor -- Board's Report.
The resignation of Patrick O'Hearn as superintendent of the workhouse, effective this morning, was demanded by Mayor Crittenden in a letter to O'Hearn mailed last night. The letter should be in the hands of O'Hearn when he reports at the institution today. The action of the mayor was based on the official report of the board of pardons and paroles, and the demand that the superintendent be removed without further ceremony.
"I have mailed a letter to Mr. O'Hearn asking for his immediate resignation. He should receive it by the early mails tomorrow," said the mayor.
"But suppose he does not resign?"
"I have no fears in that direction. It will be safe to say that Mr. O'Hearn will not be superintendent of the workhouse after tomorrow morning. The whole thing is a closed incident. Officially I asked the board to investigate workhouse conditions. It has done so, and its verdict is in my hands.
HASN'T NAMED SUCCESSOR.
"The workhouse has been a source of much annoyance and tribulation to every administration. Naturally my administration came in for the share of odium and criticism that springs up regularly year in and year out. I am glad I had the investigation made. It was the means of disclosing conditions at the city's penal institution that should and will be corrected."
"Who is to be O'Hearn's successor?"
"I have several men of integrity and sound judgment who are good disciplinarians under consideration, but I do not know if any of them would accept the position for the salary, which is $150 a month. A man possessed of the requirements to make a satisfactory superintendent of the workhouse is not looking for $150 a month job. He is better employes and better paid."
The mayor said that possibly by tonight or tomorrow he will be able to announce the name of the new superintendent, and that in the meantime the board of pardons and paroles will exercise jurisdiction over the workhouse.
GUARDS TO BE DISCHARGED.
It is thought that most of the guards under the O'Hearn regime will be discharged.
There was talk in political circles last night that Edward Winstanly, city purchasing agent was being considered as O'Hearn's successor, but the report was not taken seriously. It was argued that the man who will be appointed must have had some experience in handling prisoners.
"Everything that belongs to the city will be returned," declared the mayor.
This means an effort will be made to recover the two calves and a black mare, claimed by the city, which testimony at the hearing showed had been sent from the workhouse during O'Hearn's administration.
O'Hearn was appointed superintendent in April, 1908. His wife is matron of the institution, but whether she will be asked to resign has not been determined.
The report of the board of pardons and paroles deals with conditions past and present at the workhouse, and contains many recommendations for improvements.
Labels: employment, Mayor Crittenden, parole board, workhouse
July 23, 1909
SUPERINTENDENT CAN'T RE-
MEMBER SPECIFIC ACT.
Fails to Recall Alleged Whipping of
Negro Girl for Insulting Wife.
That men and women prisoners have been kept in the dungeon at the workhouse for periods ranging from eleven to forty-three hours at a stretch is a part of the prison records being investigated by the board of pardons and paroles.
The investigation which Mayor Crittenden requested should be made into affairs at the workhouse was begun yesterday morning in the lower house council chamber. Superintendent Patrick O'Hearn was on the stand both morning and afternoon.
When the afternoon session opened, Frank P. Walsh, attorney for the board, who is conducting the inquiry, asked O'Hearn how many prisoners had been given sentences in the dungeon for stealing food from the dining room table.
"I don't know of any," said O'Hearn, "that was most always used as a threat. When a prisoner was sent to the dungeon it was generally for something else."
"I will read from your own records," said Mr. Walsh. "Do you remember Ed Cox, who was placed in the dungeon on September 2, 1908, for stealing bread from the table and carrying it away in his trousers leg?"
"I remember him," replied O'Hearn. "He fought the guards. I saw that myself."
Walsh -- "Do you recall Paul Tillman, Alice Stark, Sadie Shepherd, Hattie Newton, who served thirteen hours each in there, and Charles Meredith, who served an hour and a half? The records show that each was confined for stealing bread."
O'Hearn -- "I don't recall them in particular; there were so many of them put in there."
Dropping the subject for a moment, Mr. Walsh asked O'Hearn if he had ever sent prisoners out to drive city sprinkling wagons at night, if he had had his own wagons repaired at the expense of the city or if he had shod horses belonging to Mr. Cartright, former guard at Leeds, at the city's expense.
NO CHARGES FILED.
Frank M. Lowe, attorney for O'Hearn, objected. He demanded that he be given a copy of the charges against O'Hearn. He was told that there was none.
"Mr. O'Hearn is not on trial here," explained Mr. Walsh. "Things may crop out which may reflect on Kipple, head guard, some of the other guards or Mr. O'Hearn himself. There have been no specific charges filed. This board is simply making a most searching investigation with a view to bettering conditions at the workhouse. Information has been secured from prisoners, former guards and others. Even rumors are being looked into. What Mr. Lowe asks for we cannot give as we haven't it."
Mr. Lowe was told he would be furnished with copies of the evidence from day to day for his information.
"Do you keep a record of the number of days each prisoner works?" asked Mr. Walsh, resuming the inquiry.
"No," replied O'Hearn, "only the names of the guards were kept. We worked some prisoners one day and another lot the next."
O'HEARN SAYS HE IS BUSY.
Walsh -- Do you make a report to the city comptroller showing the number of days each man works?"
O'Hearn -- "No, I'm not required to. Every day excepting Sundays and holidays is credited as a working day whether the prisoner works or not.
Mr. Walsh tried to get from O'Hearn what his duties were about the institution, but they seemed so varied and even vague that he asked him to describe a typical day's work for himself.
O'Hearn -- Well, I get up early to begin with. On my way to the workhouse I may stop at the quarry for a time. Then I look after the food and general cleaning. I make trips about the yards, the stable, laundry, quarry and spend the rest of the time in my office. I may have to make trips down town after requisitions and see after men working at places on the outside. I always put in a busy day."
Walsh -- Do prisoners gamble in the cell room?
O'Hearn -- I don't think so. That is, I have never seen them.
O'Hearn explained that Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are visiting days at the workhouse. Fifteen minutes is the time limit set on visitors but they often remain longer when overlooked, he said.
DOESN'T REMEMBER WHIPPING.
During the morning session Mr. Walsh asked of Superintendent O'Hearn: Did you ever whip a negro girl for insulting your wife?"
"I don't remember," replied O'Hearn.
Walsh -- "Did Mr. Burger make a hose for you to do the whipping with?"
O'Hearn -- "I can't remember."
Walsh -- "Well, if you ever did a thing like that you surely ought to recall it. Did you or did you not whip the negro girl as I asked?"
O'Hearn -- "I just can't remember whether I did or not."
SENT WOMAN TO DUNGEON.
Edward L. Kipple, head guard at the workhouse, was questioned about prisoners being sent to the dungeon.
Walsh -- "Ever know of prisoners being sent to the dungeon?"
Kipple -- "Y-e-s, sometimes, when they got unruly they were sent there for ten or twelve hours."
Walsh -- "Ever sent a woman there?"
Kipple -- "Believe I sent one. In all I guess I've sent four or five to the dungeon."
Walsh -- "Who has the authority to send a prisoner there?"
Kipple -- "Only Mr. O'Hearn or myself."
Walsh -- "What do you consider a sufficient length of time in the dungeon?"
Kipple -- "That depends on what they do."
Mr. Walsh then read a list of names from the workhouse record of men and women prisoners who had been kept in the dungeon eleven, thirteen, fifteen, eighteen and twenty-four hours. Three had been kept there for thirty-eight hours, one for forty-one and another for forty-three hours. While in the dungeon, which has only one small opening over the door for ventilation, prisoners are shackled with their hands to the wall, making it necessary for them to stand. The dungeon is said to be in a very unsanitary condition.
Kipple testified that he had never seen nor heard of a prisoner being struck with a club while in the dining room, that blankets were never used twice without washing and that he knew nothing of vermin in the cell rooms. He also swore that he had never known of liquor and drugs being secured by the prisoners or of gambling among prisoners.
Claude Marshaw, known as "Goldie," who served a term for peddling cocaine and was himself then addicted to the habit, said that the drug was often spirited into the workhouse. He said that Mike Green and "Red" Crawford, both now escaped, had gum opium and whisky most of the time.
"Who brought the stuff in?" asked Mr. Walsh.
"I don't know, only that they had it. Green would take up a collection every afternoon to get a bottle and he always got the whisky about 7 p. m."
Walsh -- "How about the food out there?"
Marshaw -- "Bad, very bad. In the morning they always had pan gravy in a rusty pan, coffee in a rusty cup, half a loaf of hard, moldy bread and a small piece of meat.
SAW PRISONERS ATTACKED.
Walsh -- "Ever see a prisoner assaulted in the dining room?"
Marshaw -- "Yes. I saw Dan Mahoney beat a man in the dining room and I saw Mahoney, Foley, Gent and an Italian called Mike beat up another one."
Walsh -- "Was 'Riley, the Rat' there while you were there?"
Marshaw -- "Yes, two or three days, but he never even put on prison clothes. He wore 'cits' all the time, Riley did. He and Green and others gambled, playing 'coon-can' and 'craps.'"
Jesse Cooper, a negress who has had short sojourns at the workhouse, said there was vermin in the negro women's quarter, that blankets were not often washed and that the bread was hard and moldy. She also said she that two negro women had each spent two days and nights in the dungeon while she was there.
John Mulloy, a parole prisoner, told of an assault which he had witnessed on a negro boy in the dining room. It started, he said, because the boy did not step fast enough for Dan Mahoney who jabbed him with a club. The boy grabbed at the stick and was beaten over the head until he bled. Mulloy also condemned the meals.
The hearing will be resumed at 9 o'clock this morning. There are many witnesses to bet examined. By the ordinance, passed Wednesday noon, the board of pardons and paroles now has charge of the workhouse.
Labels: abuse, alcohol, attorney, food, Mayor Crittenden, narcotics, parole board, Riley the Rat, workhouse
July 20, 1909
MORE POWER TO THE BOARD.
Mayor Would Vest in It Complete
Control of the Workhouse.
Accompanied by a special message, Mayor Crittenden last night had an ordinance sent to the upper house of the council to enlarge the powers of the board of pardons and paroles so as to give it almost complete control of the workhouse, and full control so far as rules of government and their enforcement go. In his message the mayor says "the honesty or efficiency of the superintendent of the workhouse has never been questioned by me, but should an investigation made by the pardon board under their power, as enlarged by this proposed ordinance, prove that he has been faithless, then he, as well as any of his subordinates who are shown to be unworthy, can no longer continue in the city employ."
The ordinance was passed by the upper house unanimously, but referred to the workhouse committee by the lower house, the Republicans voting against the reference. It would permit the pardons board to make all the rules for the management of the workhouse, enforce their observance, try the superintendent or any other workhouse officer for cause. The ordinance would also allow the board to find officials or officers guilty of the evidence should warrant, recommend the dismissal of the offender, which recommendation the mayor is to be bound to act upon.
The ordinance grows out of the recent police developments.
WORKHOUSE HEARING THURSDAY.
President William Volker of the board of pardons and paroles announced yesterday that the investigation which that board is to conduct into affairs at the workhouse will begin at 9 o'clock
Labels: Kansas City council, Mayor Crittenden, parole board, workhouse
July 17, 1909
HAD GOOD CIVIL WAR RECORD.
Aged Applicant for Parole Says Son
Was Knighted for Bravery.
Anderson J. Barker, 69 years old, was fined $500 Wednesday for running an alleged "fake" employment agency, wore only a pair of overalls and a short-sleeved shirt when he appeared before the board of pardons and paroles yesterday for hearing on his application for parole, but despite the costume his appearance was that of a stately gentleman of the "old school."
After telling of his service to his country during the civil war, during which he was twice breveted for meritorious conduct on the field, tears streamed down his cheeks as he told of how he had reared his two sons, both of whom, he said, were heads of Y. M. C. A. organizations, one in a suburb of Chicago and the other in Calcutta, India.
"For saving the life of Lord Frazier in Calcutta on November 9 last," said the aged man, his eyes suffused with tears, "my boy Ben was made a knight by King Edward VII of England on February 9 of this year. The king also decorated him with a gold medal for bravery. My other son, Edwin, is a thirty-second degree Mason.
"I have been engaged in one business in this city for seven years. The police judge heard only the testimony of a policeman and the complainant, and said: 'Five hundred dollars.' I never committed a crime in my life."
While discussing the matter of parole, Barker said he would withdraw his application, and appeal. He did not wish to bear the stigma of having to report to the secretary every week. The board told him there was no stigma attached to a parole and promised to look into his references today, when he may be granted freedom.
Labels: Civil War, clothing, England, parole board, police court, Seniors, veterans
June 26, 1909
PRISONERS SWELTER IN
On Men's Side Capacity is 112, and
Number of Inmates Is 131.
While the sun's rays sizzled down upon the roof of the Kansas City workhouse yesterday afternoon 131 men lay in cells, panting and sweltering. The cells on the men's side have equal space for fifty-six white men and the same number of negroes, the total capacity being 112. If there are more than that number there are no more bunks for them.
Instead of the men being divided equally, yesterday there were eighty-three white men and forty-eight negroes, making it necessary to place one-third of the white men with the negroes. The municipal farm at Leeds relieves the situation some. There are twenty men there, and if these were in the workhouse it would make living intolerable.
At this season of the year the workhouse is generally running "short-handed." The police, however, in the last month have been extraordinarily vigilant. Many commissions have expired, and more soon will expire, and the new board has announced that recommissioning the men will depend entirely on their records.
The women's department at the workhouse has accommodations for sixteen white and thirty-two negro women. This department, however, is not so crowded. Yesterday there were fifteen white and nineteen negro women prisoners.
The board of pardons and paroles relieved the situation some yesterday by paroling eleven men and two women, all but one of whom will be released today. One of the men will not be released until July 1, when certain conditions have been complied with.
Labels: Leeds, parole board, race, weather, workhouse
May 9, 1909
TEACHING WOMEN TO SEW.
Installation of Machines at Work-
house Proves a Success.
William Volker, president of the board of pardons and paroles, is feeling gratified over the success of his scheme of placing sewing machines in the workhouse and giving the female inmates a chance to learn a trade.
The machines were installed a short time ago at Mr. Volker's expense but they have been in actual operation but ten days. the first three days it was hard to get the women interested, but a few finally went to work and the rest soon followed them. A prisoner in the workhouse, who is a cutter, was given patterns and laid out the work. A woman instructor taught the female prisoners how to sew and the result was fifty-six pairs of overalls of various sizes for the men prisoners. Most of the women never handled a machine or a needle before, but they are learning fast.
Labels: parole board, women, workhouse
May 7, 1909
GOOD WORK AT CITY FARM.
Board of Pardons and Paroles Has
Helped Clean It Up.
"The board of pardons and paroles is doing great work out at the city farm, near Leeds, with prisoners from the workhouse," said Mayor Crittenden last night. During the afternoon, in company with Jacob Billikopf and Frank Walsh of the board of pardons and paroles, C. A. Sumner, of the City Club and W. C. Root of the tenement commission, the mayor made and inspection of the farm.
"A year ago portions of the farm were veritable jungles," said the mayor, "but things are different now. With the board of pardons and paroles acting in a supervising capacity, prisoners from the workhouse have cleaned out all the underbrush, erected buildings for their sh elter and laid out gardens which have been planted with all kinds of produce.
"The site for the proposed tuberculosis hospital has been put in fine shape and just as soon as bonds are voted the erection of the building will be under way."
Labels: Jacob Billikopf, Mayor Crittenden, parole board, tenement commission, workhouse
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
March 21, 1909
NEW PAROLE PLAN ADOPTED.
Prisoners Violating Their Agree-
ment Must Serve Triple Time.
A new order of things was put in practice by the board of pardons and paroles at its meeting yesterday. Persons paroled do not get off so easily and the board has an opportunity of keeping track of parolees longer than before. The new scheme was learned by the board on its recent visit to Cleveland, O., where it made a thorough investigation of the house of corrections and the parole system there.
When a prisoner is paroled now he agrees that should he violate any of the conditions of his parole he is to go back to the work house and serve out three times the amount of his unexpired term. He also agrees to report to the secretary of the board, if on parole, for that length of time instead of just for the unexpired term of his sentence, as has been the case. Under the new system if a man with 100 days to serve violates his parole he will be taken in custody and returned to the work house, where he will have to serve 300 days.
A matter came to light yesterday which heretofore had been kept under cover. That was the fact that William Volker, president of the board, out of his own pocket, pays the fare of every paroled prisoner who is sent out of the city to his family or friends, often fitting him out with new clothing before doing so. Several such cases arise at each meeting. Mr. Volker has also fitted numbers of men out here in the city so as to enable them to "make a good front" when they went to work. This class of work has always been done by the Provident Association, but Mr. Volker so far has taken the burden upon himself.
Labels: charity, parole board, workhouse
February 24, 1909
POLICE HOLDOVER IS A
DISGRACE TO THE CITY.
Pardon and Parole Board Takes Offi-
cial Cognizance of Conditions
at City Hall.
Unsanitary, filled with vermin and a disgrace to the city, are a few of the things said about the holdover at police headquarters in the report of the secretary of the board of pardons and paroles, which report was made on motion of Jacob Billikopf. Frank E. McCrary, the secretary, investigated the condition of the holdover.
The jail for men is situated in the cellar and is a breeding place for disease, the report says. The room in which prisoners are held while waiting for their cases to be called in the municipal court, the report continues, is too small and not well ventilated, the foul air making it very offensive in the court room.
Captain Whitsett is quoted as saying that all prisoners arrested by the uniformed police are only held until the following morning, while those arrested by the detectives, or secret branch, are held longer. One case brought to the attention of the board was that of witnesses against Dr. Harrison Webber, accused of selling cocaine and having $8,000 in fines against him. Dr. Webber is detained in the matron's room, while two witnesses who bought the drug from him are being held in the holdover. They have been there now over twenty days. The three are being held as witnesses against members of a medical company.
While the board admitted its inability to remedy the unsanitary condition of the holdover, they suggested that even public buildings came within the jurisdiction of the tenement commission. The Humane Society will be asked to investigate the sanitary conditions, and, if possible, have them improved.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, doctors, Humane Society, Jacob Billikopf, jail, narcotics, parole board, police headquarters, police matron, tenement commission
January 13, 1909
GET COKE AND OPIUM?
PARDON AND PAROLE BOARD
WILL INVESTIGATE RUMORS.
Also Would Know Circumstances Sur-
rounding Escape of F. E. Golden.
Severn Are Freed at Yes-
The mystery surrounding in disappearance of F. E. Golden from the workhouse January 5 is being investigated by the pardon and parole board. Golden and an old man named George Rogers were recently fined $500 each for attempting to "short change" local merchants.
When he went to the workhouse he had $21.50 and a watch. After he had been there several days the money and watch were returned to him one morning. That night he escaped from the engine room where he was working.
"Patrick O'Hearn told me," said Secretary Frank E. McCrary, "that the engineer left the room and , in violation of strict orders, failed to lock the door. When he returned, Golden had decamped."
Mr. Billikopf said the board might want to know why Golden's money and watch happened to be given him the very day he happened to escape?
According to Mr. McCrary, Superintendent O'Hearn said Golden's watch was given him so he could tell the time down in the engine room, so he would know when to fire up. It appears to be the custom to give prisoners their money when it is asked for.
EASY TO GET "DOPE."
Another matter the board may look into is the passing of different kinds of "dope" in to prisoners. At every meeting so far prisoners have voluntarily stated that they sent out every day for gum opium, morphine and cocaine.
"Some of the guards will get it for you," one man stated, "if there is anything in it, but it is most generally brought in by the men of the chain gang. The money is given them when they go out in the morning."
The board yesterday gave freedom on parole to seven workhouse prisoners and sent one back until some of his statements would be investigated.
RAILROADED TO PRISON.
Paroled yesterday was Daniel Shoemaker, 21 years old, a negro dining car waiter, a dragnet victim. He was arrested December 3 "for investigation" and held three days, forty-eight hours longer than the law allows. Then he was fined $50 as a vagrant. Shoemaker told the board yesterday that he had just come in from his run when arrested, but that the police would not allow him to telephone and prove it. Even in court this was denied him.
Labels: Jacob Billikopf, narcotics, parole board, workhouse
November 25, 1908
BEFRIEND THE DEFENSELESS.
Purpose of a Parole Board Council
Will Be Asked to Create.
An ordinance is to go to the council next Monday night providing for the appointment of a pardon and parole board, of three members, by the mayor. It was drawn by Frank P. Walsh of the tenement commission, along lines of a measure that was to have been drafted into the new city charter, but which was overlooked. Judge J. V. C. Karnes and W. P. Borland, who served on the board of freeholders, have approved the Walsh plan. It applies to prisoners sent to the work house.
The three members of the board are to determine their terms of office by lot, their terms to be one, two and three years. They are to appoint a secretary, who shall attend daily the sessions of the municipal court and keep the board advised as to the character of cases disposed of. The board is to serve witohout compensation., as shall an attorney if it is thought necessary to appoint one. The pay of the secretary is to be regulated by ordinance.
Authority is given the board to specify conditions under which any prisoner may be paroled or pardoned. Paroled prisoners will at all times be under the control of the board. The secretary is held responsible to safeguard and defend prisoners when they are arraigned in court. The measure is principally for the benefit of boys and women who get into police court and are unable to properly present their defense.
Labels: attorney, Congressman Borland, Judges, parole board, tenement commission, workhouse
June 3, 1908
Duties of Municipal Court Sergeant
Under New Charter.
The new city charter will contain a section providing for the appointment of a court sergeant whose duties it will be to attend sessions of the municipal court, to be substituted for the police court, and to see to it that prisoners who are not represented by attorney shall have their cases fairly presented to the court. He shall keep a record of the essential facts concerning each prisoner for the information of the superintendent of the House of Correction, so to be named in the charter, and to take the place of the term "workhouse." The court sergeant is to be appointed by the mayor, and his salary is to be fixed by ordinance.
A parole and pardon board is also provided for in this section. Three men will be named by the mayor to comprise the board, and they are to serve without compensation. The board is to meet once a week to pass on applications for paroles and pardons, but between the time of the meetings the board may grant absolute pardons.
Labels: parole board, police court, workhouse
|Get the Book|
Kansas City Stories
Early Kansas City, Missouri
The Trial of Jesse James,
As an Amazon Associate this site may earn commissions from qualifying