January 10, 1910
SOCIETY'S AIM TO
National Organization to Be
Formed During Present
To make good folks out of bad ones is the object of a convention of men and women representing eight states, which began in Kansas City yesterday and will continue until Wednesday.
The meeting is that of the Society of the Friendless, which has for its purpose the uplifting of men, women and children within prison walls and their conversion tion good citizens when they are released. The society was started ten years ago in Kansas and Missouri, but at the present convention a national organization will be perfected.
The opening meeting of the convention was held yesterday in the Institutional church, Admiral boulevard and Holmes street, and the feature was an address by Fred M. Jackson, attorney general of Kansas, who declared that in enforcing prohibition of the liquor traffic Kansas is doing more than probably any other state in the prevention of crime. Other speakers of the afternoon were Henry M. Beardsley of Kansas City and Dr. A. J. Steelman of Seattle, superintendent of the Washington branch of the society.
J. K. Codding, warden of the Kansas state prison at Lansing, was to have spoken, but was unable to attend the meeting yesterday because of injuries received several days ago. He expects to be present at the session today.
Mr. Jackson was assigned the topic of law enforcement as a preventive of crime. He said, in part:
"In Kansas it is figured that one-fifth of the men in prison are there by accident or thorugh the miscarriage of justice, another fifth is a criminal class andd the remaining 60 per cent are men who may either be saved or become criminals.
"We proceed in Kansas the best way to save this 60 per cent, and that is to enforce the law against the organized liquor traffic. The greter per cent of men in prison go there because of the liquor traffic and the state claims the right to oust any business which contributes so largely to the public expense and to public detriment.
"Some people ask why w do not have a local option law or some other measure than prohibition. When you grant licenses in one part of the state, you bot those who do not want liquor as an element of government. When we have prohibition it should be enforced. The state demands it and I do not claim the least bit of credit for my part in enforcing it. An officer who merely does his duty doens't deserve any credit.
"There result where the law ha been enforced is that society and the man have been repaid. Business men realize the poverty which liquor causes and are against it. What is a saloonkeeper? He is a man who wants to share the responsiblilty of government, who helps run the police power, whose consent is necessary to levy taxes and disburse them. By putting him out of the way, more than half hte counties of Kansas have dispensed with their poor houses and in other counties these institutions are but poorly populated.
HAS PAID KANSAS.
"We have decreased crime and criminals. Has it paid Kansas? The results speak for themselves."
Dr. Steelman, who talked on the reformatory side of the prison, told of the wonderful progress made in the treatment of prisoners and of modern methods for making them good citizens after their release. The first step in the movement, he said, was saving the services of the prisoners to the state and this was succeeded by the idea of saving the men themselves. Dr. Steelman was formerly warden of the Joliet (Ill.) penitentiary.
Mr. Beardsley devoted his talk to outlining the purposes of the society. He said the work of the society is both preventive and to help the fallen.
"Criminals," said Mr. Beardsley, "ought to be on the credit instead of the debit side of the state's accounts. A small amount invested in reclaiming these men brings big returns to the state."
Mr. Beardsley said the work of the society has been costing about $12,000 a year, but that this year $15,000 will be required.
Warden Codding of Lansing, in a telegram to the society, expressed regret at his inability to be present and conveyed his good wishes.
The Rev. E. A. Fredenhagen of Kansas City, corresponding secretary of the society, presided at the meeting yesterday.
Labels: Admiral boulevard, alcohol, conventions, Holmes street, jail, Mayor Beardsley, ministers, organizations, penitentiary, prohibition, visitors
December 6, 1910
TO GET ADAM OUT
MRS. SHARP FAILS TO SEE GOV-
ERNOR, BUT IS ADVISED
WHAT TO DO.
Talks With Husband an Hour,
Then Takes Train Back
to Kansas City.
JEFFERSON CITY, Jan. 5. -- Mrs. Sharp, or "Eve," as she calls herself, came here from Kansas City today to see if she could accomplish anything toward getting her husband pardoned from the penitentiary. "Adam God," as her husband calls himself, is serving a twenty-five year sentence in the penitentiary, and has not served four months of it.
"Eve" did not have any recommendations whatever and was in ignorance as to how to proceed in the premises. She reached here thismorning and called at the governor's mansion to talk with Governor Hadley. There she was told that the governor would be found at his office, and thither she went.
While she did not get to see the governor, she saw Major Chambers, pardon attorney, who told her that she had best return to Kansas City, where her husband was convited, and see if she could get any recommendations favoring clemency for him.
GOES TO PENITENTIARY.
After leaving the state capitol, "Eve" proceeded to the penitentiary, where she talked with her husband for an hour and later in the day took a train to Kansas City.
About a year ago "Adam God" and "Eve" received a large share of attention at the hands of the newspapers. They appeared in Kansas City preaching on the streets some strange religion and caused such crowds to collect that the police sought to break up the outdoor meetings. "Adam God," "Eve" and their followers resisted with weapons. As a result two police officers, the male follower, a bystander and a child lost thier lives. "Adam God" and "Eve" were both indicted, but the prosecution against the latter was dropped.
"Adam God" is employed in one of the shoe shops and is known at the prison as an industrious and good convict.
Labels: Adam God sect, Jefferson City, penitentiary
December 24, 1909
TEXAN SUSPSECTED OF
KANSAS CITY MURDER.
M'CLINTOCK DUNLAP'S SLAYER
MIGHT BE DALHART MAN.
Clyde Charles Confesses He Killed
Kansan Near Larned -- Says He
Was With Restaurant Em-
ploy Here Oct. 18.
LARNED, KAS., Dec. 23. -- Clyde Charles, confessed murderer of George B. Neptune of Larned, now is suspected of the murder of Mark Dunlap, a Dalhart man, at Kansas City, October 18. Alfus H. Moffet, of the Moffet National bank, and Jake Garmater, both of Larned, are in Dalhart making examination and recovering stolen property that belonged to Neptune.
Neptune was killed at his farm home near Larned September 18, soon after Charles shipped a number of his horses and other property to Dalhart. He then went to Kansas City, where he spent several days.
Charles and Dunlap met in Kansas City. They had known each other before. Dunlap had been working in a restaurant in Dalhart. He was well liked. His life was insured for $1,000. Charles, two other men and Du nlap were known to have been together in Kansas City a few nights before Dunlap was killed.
CAME WITH CATTLE.
Dunlap went to Kansas City with a car of cattle. He had $100. Charles, who acknowledged that he was with Dunlap at the time of the killing, claimed that four men had rushed out of an alley and one had struck Dunlap. He says the men made no attempt to rob. He also claims that Dunlap did not have any money.
Charles told the same story at Dalhart, although the restaurant keeper where Dunlap had worked claimed that Dunlap had more than $120 when he started. Charles's sister, however, corroborated Charles in the statement that Dunlap had no money when he was in the city. How she knew is not known.
It is thought t hat there was a plan to get the life insurance money by some means. But this theory is now disregarded as it is the belief that the man was murdered for the small sum of money he had.
At Larned the officials today are "sweating Charles. Charles confessed to the Neptune killing, but has as yet refused to divulge anything more.
Inspector of Detectives Edward P. Boyle thinks that Clyde Charles, sentenced to a life term in the Kansas penitentiary for the murder of George B. Neptune at Larned, Kas., is the man who killed Mark Dunlap in Kansas City on October 18.
Dunlap met his death in a fist fight at Sixth and Main streets. Many passersby saw the killing. The police were able to obtain a very accurate description of the man who struck the blow, and officers who worked on the case says that it coincides with the description of Charles, which has been given out by the Kansas authorities.
Labels: Inspector Boyle, Main street, murder, penitentiary, Sixth street
December 21, 1909
POGUE RETURNED TO PRISON.
Escaped From Lansing Penitentiary
in 1906, Surrendered Voluntarily.
James G. Pogue, who surrendered to the Kansas City, Kas., police and signified his willingness to return and serve an unexpired term in the Kansas penitentiary, was taken to the state prison yesterday by John Higgins, parole officer. Before leaving the police station in Kansas City, Kas., Pogue took off his coat and gave it to Louis Robinson, a fellow prisoner, saying he would not need it in prison.
The story of escape from the state prison and his successful efforts to save the mortgaged home of his sister, followed by his voluntary return after accomplishing his purpose aroused interest in the Pogue case. He was convicted in Leavenworth county in 1903, on a charge of of grand larceny and sentenced to seven years in the state prison. In 1906 he disappeared and since that time the authorities have been looking for him.
In speaking yesterday of his adventures, Pogue said he had missed thirty-five days work since he left the prison and that practically all of the money earned during this time had been sent to his sister in Leavenworth.
Labels: Kansas City Kas, penitentiary
December 20, 1909
SISTER'S HOME SAVED
BY ESCAPED CONVICT.
THAT TASK ACCOMPLISHED, HE
GIVES HIMSELF UP.
James G. Pogue, Who Says He Left
Lansing Prison in 1906, Tells
How He Lifted the
Because he could not bear to have his only sister lose her home which had been morgaged to assist in his defense, James G. Pogue in 1906 escaped from the Kansas state prison at Lansing for the purpose of working and saving his money in an effort to lift the mortgage. Having accomplished his purpose, and realizing that he would never be able to make a home for himself or live in peace with the grim threat of recapture constantly before him, Pogue yesterday morning declared his identity to two Kansas City, Kas., policemen, and expressed his desire to return to prison and suffer whatever penalty might be exacted by the law.
NEVER MISSED A REMITTANCE.
During the three years and more of his precarious freedom, Pogue has wandered over almost the whole of the United States. A coal miner, and accustomed to the hardest kind of labor, he worked unceasingly with one object in view of saving the home for his widowed sister. From the harvest fields in South Dakota to bridge building in Arkansas, the hunted man has traveled, but will all his hardships and the difficulty encountered in securing work he has never failed to send his remittance to his sister, Mrs. Ada Tieufel, Fourth street and Marion avenue, Leavenworth. In all, the erring brother has contributed something in excess of $950.
Pogue was convicted in the district court at Leavenworth in November, 1903, on a charge of grand larceny and sentenced to seven years in the state's prison. According to h is story, he was made a trusty and effected his escape on January 15, 1906. A diligent search failed to locate him, and in the circulars sent out from the prison since that time will be found the name and description of James G. Pogue.
IN FEAR OF RECOGNITION.
After making his escape Pogue went to Hutchings, S. D., where he worked for Clyde Carpenter, a sheepman. Later he went to Arkansas and was employed as a trackman on the Kansas City Southern railroad. He had assumed the name of Mike O'Brien, and in his travels about the country went by that name. Returning from Arkansas, he again went to Dakota and worked for a farmer by the name of Jerry Files, near Spencer, S. D.
Three months ago he went to Pine Bluff, Ark., and was employed as pump tender by the Missouri Valley Bridge Company. While working there he recognized among his fellow laborers a man who had known him years ago in Leavenworth. the haunting fear which had followed him at all times after his escape from prison prompted him to quit his job at Pine Bluff because he feared that his old associate would recognize him. The determination to give himself up came as a result of frequent discussions with his sister on the subject.
ANXIOUS TO FINISH TERM.
He knew his desire to take a claim and prove up on it could not be realized with safety so long as he was an escaped convict. Saturday morning he arrived in Kansas City and determined to make himself known. In former years he had lived at 225 North James street, Kansas City, Kas., and the thought came to him that he would deliver himself up to Kansas officers. Early yesterday morning he disclosed his identity to Robert Hooper and Pres Younger, Kansas City, Kas., policemen. He was taken to No. 2. police station and locked up while the prison authorities at Lansing were notified. He probably will be taken this morning to the prison where he will be compelled to serve the remainder of his term.
"I am anxious to make a man of myself," said Pogue last night, as he looked through the bars of his cell at the police station. "I kind of wanted to stay free until after Christmas time, but it would only be putting it off, and the sooner I begin serving my time the sooner I will be able to walk about the streets without hiding my face every time a man passes.
TO MAKE A MAN OF HIMSELF.
"I am glad I got away and helped my sister to save her home, even if I do have to suffer additional time for it. You see I would have been out by this time if I had stayed and now I will have to stay three years or more. I used to drink quite a bit before I went wrong, and I lay most of my trouble to that, but since I went into the prison in December, 1903, I have never taken a drink of liquor.
"I want to serve my time and then take out a claim somewhere and make a man of myself. You see I am only 32 years old now, and that ain't too old for a man to begin to live as he ought, do you think so?"
Pogue's manner and conversation left the impression of sincerity, and his face sh owed signs of pleasure as he talked of his future prospects.
J. K. Codding, warden at the Kansas state prison said last night that his records at the prison showed Pogue to have broken his parole, and John Higgins, parole officer of the institution, probably will go to Kansas City, Kas., this morning to return with the prisoner.
Pogue's wife and 10-year-old daughter are now living in Leavenworth. His father, David Pogue, a retired merchant, he says, is living in Topeka.
Labels: Kansas City Kas, Leavenworth, penitentiary
December 20, 1909
MUST LIGHT CONVICTS' PIPES.
New Duty Imposed Upon Guards in
the Federal Prison.
TOPEKA, Dec. 19. -- Warden McClaughrey of the federal prison has gone Warden Codding of the state prison one better in the matter of reforms. He has issued an order requiring the guards to light the pipes of the convicts.
A few days ago some convicts almost set one of the prison barns afire in the federal prison. To prevent any accident of that kind Warden McClaughrey simply decided to take matches away from all the prisoners. In order not to disappoint them in their smoking, however, he has directed the guards to carry a small alcohol lamp to light the pipes of the prisoners.
The guards are kicking on the order, claiming it makes them the servants of the convicts, but the order will stand just the same. It is estimated that the prison will save $25 a month on matches by reason of the new order, but it will probably spend double that amount for fuel in the alcohol lamps.
Labels: penitentiary, tobacco, Topeka
November 19, 1909
MURDERESS GROWS THIN.
Mrs. Meyers Sighs for Freedom -- Did
Not Write Governor.
Mrs. Aggie Myers, the Kansas City woman serving a life sentence in the state penitentiary for the murder of her husband, says that prison life does not agree with her. In fact, she has grown thin and emaciated, and the hard work at the penitentiary is beginning to tell on her.
"She looks to be in poor health, worn and haggard by the drudgery and work in prison," said County Marshal Joel R. Mayes yesterday. Mr. Mayes returned yesterday from Jefferson City, where he took fifteen prisoners from the county jail. While at the penitentiary he had a talk with Mrs. Myers.
"Mrs. Myers," said the marshal, "denies having written the letter to the governor asking for a pardon. She says she does not know who wrote it. The first she heard of the letter, she told me, was when she read it in a Kansas City newspaper."
Labels: Aggie Myers, County Marshal Mayes, Jefferson City, murder, penitentiary, women
November 1, 1909
PAT M'MAHON GOES
TO PRISON TO GET JIM.
TELLS WARDEN HE WANTS TO
FATTEN HIS BROTHER.
Sockless and Collarless, Makes His
Way to Lansing -- Sheriff Becker
of Wyandotte County Brings
LEAVENWORTH, KAS., Oct. 31. -- Patrick McMahon, accompanied by Dr. J. W. Palmer of Wolcott, Kas., walked into the state prison at Lansing today and astonished the warden by announcing that he had come to get his brother, James, for the purpose of taking him home to fatten him up.
The warden saw that the man was evidently crazy and treated him accordingly, humoring him as much as possible, yet firmly declining to let him see James.
He telephoned Sheriff Al Becker, of Wyandotte county, to come up for Patrick, and this afternoon Becker arrived and after some argument persuaded McMahon to accompany him to Kansas City.
McMahon had on no stockings and no collar when he came to the prison today. Dr. Palmer said that McMahon came to his house before noon and walking in demanded water. Dr. Palmer did not know him, and handed him a big dipper of water. McMahon in his eagerness spilled the water all over himself. He drank nearly a gallon as fast as it could be handed to him.
He insisted on having Dr. Palmer accompany him to Lansing, stating that he became uneasy about Jim and rode over to Brenner Heights this morning and took a car to Wolcott.
When Dr. Palmer found out who the man was he became interested, and asked him point blank if he wanted to see Jim, for the purpose of warning him against saying anything. McMahon confusedly denied this intention, saying he feared for his brother's health, and knew the warden would let him take Jim home.
McMahon ate a tremendous dinner at the prison. He has all the appearance of a man laboring under a terrible mental strain. Jim McMahon is quite settled, and talks to the warden every time the latter sees him. He doesn't like being put in an ordinary cell, and wants to be put back in the insane ward, where he was treated as a guest when first brought to the prison.
Sheriff Al Becker was first notified yesterday that McMahon was at Brenner Heights, west of Kansas City, Kas., and that he was alarming persons in that vicinity. A few minutes later a telephone call was received from Wolcott stating that the man was there and that a mob was forming. Before the sheriff could get men started after Pat another call was received to the effect that the Leavenworth county sheriff had taken charge of him, and that he was on his way to the state penitentiary at Lansing.
Sheriff Becker went to the penitentiary, where Pat was turned over to him. At the Wyandotte county jail upon his return to Kansas City, Kas., McMahon said that he had gotten a crazy idea into his head that he could go to the state prison and persuade the warden to release Jim.
He was detained until he had apparently recovered from the excitement under which he was laboring and was then permitted to go home.
Labels: Kansas City Kas, Leavenworth, mental health, penitentiary, Sheriff Becker, Van Royen Murders
October 30, 1909
JAMES M'MAHON TO
PRISON FOR LIFE.
WAIVES A JURY TRIAL AND
ENTERS PLEA OF GUILTY.
Murderer of Sisters and Brother-in-
Law Hoped to Get in an
Asylum -- Dressed in
James McMahon, the confessed murderer of Alonzo Van Royen, his brother-in-law, and Mrs. Margaret Van Royen and Miss Rosa McMahon, his sisters, yesterday afternoon pleaded guilty to the triple murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary at Lansing, Kas., by Judge Hugh J. Smith of Wyandotte county court of common pleas.
Immediately following the impressive scene in the court room McMahon was hurried to a Kansas City Western electric car and taken to the state prison by Sheriff Al Becker and Under Sheriff J. H. Brady. The usual prison routine of "dressing in," which includes clipping the head, shaving, a bath, and the application of the Bertillon system of measurements, was gone through with, and at 8:15 o'clock last night t he identity of James McMahon was merged into that of convict No. 2555.
The arrest of McMahon on Tuesday, his subsequent confession of guilt, his arraignment, his plea of guilty, the passing of sentence and his "dressing in" at the state prison on Friday night, for a record of swift retribution stands without a parallel in the history of criminal procedure in Kansas.
On the way from the jail to the courtroom McMahon maintained the same stolid indifference that has characterized his actions at all times since his arrest. Dressed in the same blue bib overalls, striped black and white shirt and black slouch hat which he wore on the day of his arrest, with handcuffs on his wrists, the stooping figure glanced neither to right nor left and answered in monosyllables the questions directed to him.
At the state penitentiary the party was received by Warden J. K. Codding; his secretary, Elmo D. Murphy, and Assistant Deputy Warden J. T. Crouch. The prisoner was at once given his supper, which he appeared to enjoy immensely. He even went so far as to smile at the warden and remark that the prison fare ought to agree with a man.
With none of the fear which marks the action of many men upon entering the walls of the prison with the knowledge that they are to be confined there for the remainder of their natural lives, James McMahon went through the ordeal of having his picture taking and the remainder of the routine in apparently a more cheerful frame of mind than he has shown during any time since the murders were committed.
Warden Codding announced last night that he would find suitable employment for McMahon and that his health would improve under prison discipline. "We will attempt to 'temper the wind to the shorn lamb,' " said the warden, as McMahon was led away.
Labels: Judges, murder, penitentiary, Sheriff Becker, Van Royen Murders
October 27, 1909
TO LANSING FOR SAFE KEEPING.
M'MAHON BROTHERS, PATRICK LAMB
ESCORTED IN AUTOMOBILES.
Bum Tire Delays Journey; Mc-
Mahon "Guesses" He Is
Even before James McMahon's confession that he alone killed his two sisters and brother-in-law, Sheriff Al Becker had concluded that it would be best not to keep the prisoners, McMahon and his brother, Patrick, and Patrick Lamb, an employe at the McMahon farm, in Kansas City , Kas., over night and arrangements were made to take them to the penitentiary in Lansing. Telephone messages were coming into the sheriff's office informing him that there was much bitterness expressed in the vicinity of the McMahon and Van Royen homes and that a lynching was being planned.
Acting upon this advice the sheriff deemed it well to remove the prisoners at once, so that when Patrick McMahon had completed his confession to Taggart, the brothers and Patrick Lamb, together with officers and reporters, started for Lansing.
In an automobile with Patrick and James McMahon were Sheriff Becker, Under Sheriff Brady and Deputy Sheriff Brady. Patrick Lamb rode in another car with Deptuy Sheriffs Charles Lukens, U. S. G. Snyder, Harley Gunning, William McMullen and Clyde Sartin. In two other motor cars were newspaper reporters.
Never in all his life, probably, had James McMahon contemplated such a tour as he was then making. Every officer was well armed, and there was anxiety on the part of the sheriff, who did not know to what extent the movement to lynch the prisoners had progressed. The party drove out State street as far as Ninth street, then wheeled into Minnesota avenue and connected with the Reidy road.
The journey was continued on this road to a point where a cross-road offers an outlet to the Parallel road. If the junction of the Reidy road and the cross-road could be passed safely the officers felt confident that they would not meet violence.
PATRICK QUIET AND SULLEN.
Farmers in wagons and buggies lined the thoroughfare, and while the prisoners were peered at curiously, there was no demonstration. That everybody along the route knew of the apprehension of the McMahons was evident.
Riding with the sheriff and under sheriff, James McMahon appeared nervous during the first stages of the ride, but Patrick McMahon sat at his side, quiet and sullen, and seemingly totally oblivious to his surroundings.
At the junction there was not a person in sight when the motor car party arrived and, turning into the road, the machines were speeded rapidly to the main thoroughfare that led directly to Lansing. Near Bethel, Kas., the machine in which the McMahons were riding punctured a tire and the entire party got out and watched the chauffeur make the repairs.
During this interim, James McMahon, who was now feeling safe from a mob attack, appeared more cheerful and talked willingly to those about him. Again and again he said that he could give no reason for his crime and again and again he described it. He seemed unconcerned regarding his strange situation.
"GUESSES" HE IS SORRY.
"Guess you know this country pretty well, don't you, Jim?"
"I've walked over every foot of it," said the prisoner. "And I guess I won't walk over it any more."
"How do you feel by this time?"
"All right, all right, I'm glad I confessed."
"Sure that no one else was implicated in this affair?"
"No one else; Pat ain't guilty of anything," said Jim. "I did the whole thing."
"Are you sorry?
"I guess I am.
"Did you think they were going to catch you any time last week?"
"No, I didn't get afraid until this morning, then I knew the jig was up."
"How have you been at night? Did you sleep?"
"Yes, I slept all right; sometimes I got nervous."
"Didn't you get kind o' creepy when you walked about the Van Royen house?"
"No, not much."
"How about this man you said you saw talking to Van Royen on that Tuesday morning?"
"O, that was a lie."
"And about seeing Rosie when you were going to the pasture to milk the cows?"
"That was a lie, too," said James.
As he answered these questions the prisoner chewed tobacco at a furious pace. His lips were covered with the stains of the weed.
The repairs on the tire completed, the journey was resumed. At a point about fourteen miles from Leavenworth the same tire broke again, and there was another delay.
NEVER IN AN ASYLUM.
"We're outside Wyandotte county now, ain't we," said Jim, as he stepped to the ground the second time.
"Well, I feel safer now. There won't be any feeling over in this county."
"Were you ever in an insane asylum, Jim?" someone asked.
"No, but I guess I ought to have been."
"Ever have any insane fits or anything like that?"
"Not that I know of."
For a second time the obstreperous tire on Henry Zimmer's automobile was repaired and another start made, but in a few minutes the rim of the wheel rolled off. Then Zimmer tore off all the wheel fixings and the machine carrying the McMahons, rolled into Lansing limping on one side.
At the penitentiary Sheriff Becker and his prisoners were received by Warden J. K. Codding, who said that while the prison officials were willing to keep the men they would have to be willing.
"DON'T KNOW WHY I DID IT."
"We're willing," said Jim. "I'd rather be here than in Wyandotte."
"What do you think about it?" Patrick McMahon was asked.
"I guess this is the better place for tonight, anyhow," said Patrick.
Henry Zimmer offered to take Pat Lamb back with him, but the latter, at first willing, later decided that he would remain at the prison.
"I don't know what they're thinking down there," said Lamb, "so I'll just stay here for a few days."
The party remained in the warden's office fully a half hour, and during all that time Patrick McMahon spoke scarcely a word. When spoken to he answered, but his answers were brief. Jim McMahon, apparently not badly frightened, apparently not greatly concerned, sat in one of the warden's easy chairs and answered all questions put to him. The substance of all his answers were:
"I killed them, and I don't know why I did it."
Labels: automobiles, farmers, Kansas City Kas, Minnesota avenue, newspapers, penitentiary, Reidy road, Sheriff Becker, telephone, Van Royen Murders
October 4, 1909
SHOWS NEEDLE WORK
BY WOMEN CONVICTS.
Both are Serving Sentences in Kan-
sas Prison for Murder -- Exposi-
tion at Electric Park Is
in Full Swing.
The attendance at the Missouri Valley Fair and Exposition in Electric park increased from 8,000 Saturday to more than 20,000 yesterday. Nearly all of the visitors in the afternoon were from out-of-town, while the city folk predominated last night. All of the exhibits are in place, including the chickens, of which there are more than 400 coops.
Several attractions were added yesterday. The exhibit of the Kansas state prison was opened. It shows the binder twine made at the prison and some needle work by women prisoners. Among that class of work is a piece of work completed by Jessie Morrison, who is serving a life sentence for the killing of Mrs. Olin Castle of Eldorado, Kas. Another bit of fancy work made by a noted woman prisoner in the Kansas penitentiary is a pillow cushion cover finished by Molly Stewart, convicted of the Schneck murder at Ottawa.
The dog show will open Wednesday, as will the flower show. In order to protect the exhibits,a fire engine station has been installed in front of the German village. Joe, the Kansas City fire horse which won first place, with Dan, another Kansas City product, at the international fire congress under direction of George C. Hale, former fire chief, is on exhibition. The animal is now 32 years old.
At 8:45 o'clock tonight "Alligator Joe" is to be married. His real name is Warren B. Frazee. The bride-to-be is Miss Cleopatra N. Croff. The marriage is to take place in the alligator farm. It will be public.
Labels: amusement, animals, Electric park, Fire, penitentiary, wedding
September 5, 1909
WON'T HELP AGGIE MYERS.
Pardon Attorney Will Refuse to
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. September 4. -- Information reached the executive office today that an effort may shortly be made by persons residing in Kansas City to procure a pardon, or parole for Aggie Myers, who with Frank Hottman, murdered her husband, Clarence Myers, in Kansas City, May 10, 1904. Both the woman and Hottman were in the shadow of the gallows for many months before the governor commuted the death penalty in the case of the woman to life imprisonment. Later the sentence of Hottman also was commuted.
Pardon Attorney Frank Blake, when advised today that an effort was being made to secure clemency in some form for Mrs. Meyers, said that efforts in that direction would be so much wasted energy, so far as he was concerned.
"Under no circumstances will I recommend clemency for Mrs. Myers," said Mr. Blake. "I was in the office of the attorney general when here appeal to the supreme court was tried. The record in the case disclosed one of the most diabolical and brutal murders ever perpetrated in the state of Missouri. I believe that people who commit crimes of that character should be punished."
Mrs. Myers is a great letter writer, and it is because of her industry in that line that some Kansas City persons have interested themselves in her behalf, it is said. She was in poor health when received here but has entirely recovered, performing her regular task in one of the prison sewing rooms.
Labels: Aggie Myers, murder, penitentiary
September 1, 1909
COST OF PRISONERS' FARE.
Recent Law, Marshal Says, Under
When the legislature enacted the recent law providing that a county marshal might collect only 3 cents per mile for taking prisoners to the penitentiary, it must have counted on a 2-cent fare. If such were in force the extra cent per mile would be sufficient to defray all expenses. As it now stands every prisoner taken to the prison will cost either the marshal or the state more than the law allows.
"It must be remembered," said Marshal Mayes yesterday, "that the penitentiary is a mile from the station in Jefferson City. Prisoners cannot be walked all that distance. We have been hiring a conveyance of some sort and could afford to do so under the old allowance for expenses. This way we cannot. The 3 cents per mile will just pay railroad fare and will not even feed the guards."
A stated recompense is fixed in the bill for guards, but nothing is said about feeding them or housing them in Jefferson City if they should be unable to catch a train back to Kansas City the same day.
Labels: County Marshal Mayes, Jefferson City, penitentiary, railroad
August 27, 1909
K. C. BURGLAR ESCAPES.
Meyer, Serving a 5-Year Term,
Changed Suits in Mansion.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO., Aug. 26. -- Justin Meyer, a Kansas City burglar doing a five-year sentence in the penitentiary, escaped this afternoon from the executive mansion. He was working as an electrician with a party of a dozen other convicts engaged in making repairs on the building. He is supposed to have gained access to a bedroom in an upper story where there was an old suit of clothes. His suit of stripes was found in this room. After getting rid of his convict garb he walked boldly out by the two guards and passed unnoticed by them. Meyer has served about two years of his sentence. A reward was offered for his capture by Warden Andrae tonight.
Labels: crime, Jefferson City, missing, penitentiary
June 27, 1909
PRISON PRESENT FOR PRIEST.
Engraving of "Last Supper" on the
Handle of Knife from Greece.
A package sent here from Greece to a Greek church priest who recently came to Kansas City was stopped by the postal authorities yesterday and turned over to the custom official for inspection. If the contents prove to be subject to impost a duty will be levied.
A Greek messenger had called for the priest's mail but the custom officers demanded the presence of the man to whom the package was addressed. The priest, in his rimless stovepipe hat, long black silk robes and thick bushy whiskers, went to the customs ho use in person and claimed the package. In the presence of the treasury department he opened it and discovered a knife. It was wrapped in a letter which said the knife was sent from a prisoner to his old priest as a memento.
As a knife it did not amount to much, the blade, a thick ugly thing, evidently being part of an iron strap from a barrel and the spring made from an old key. On each side of the handle was engraved a representation of the Last Supper. The wood looked like box elder. The carving was excellent though the figures were not over half an inch in height and the distance from the first to the thirteenth only two and one-half inches. The treasury decided the knife had no commercial value and so declared it undutiable.
Edge tools are barred from all United States penitentiaries but the present to the Greek priest which arrived yesterday shows that in Athens they not only allow prisoners to have knives but teach them how to use them.
The address on the wrapper was in Greek characters. An interpreter who took the priest to the customs house accommodated the treasury men by writing the name in English. His English was more puzzling than the Greek, so the customs house does not know yet who got the knife so far as any record goes.
Labels: immigrants, ministers, penitentiary, post office
May 30, 1909
ADAM GOD SAYS HE
IS NOT A LUNATIC.
APPARENTLY PLEASED WITH
Load Lifted From Riot Leader's
Mind and He Speaks of Kind-
ness of Police -- Verdict
Adam God is satisfied with the verdict of the jury which yesterday found him guilty of murder in the second degree, and fixed his punishment at twenty-five years in the penitentiary.
James Sharp, which is the fanatic's real name, was busy in the jail during the afternoon writing a miniature sermon about himself. He showed visitors one of the sheets which he had written and then remarked:
"That doesn't look like the writing of a crazy man, does it?" Then he laughed.
"In my blind walks," says Sharp in his statement, "I have been like a crazy man, but there is nothing crazy about m e. No crazy man could write with the understanding I have. I will always pray for my enemies, for they have been the making of me."
A great load seems to have been lifted off the prisoner's mind by the sentence. He speaks repeatedly and often of the kindness with which he has been treated.
"The police, bringing me back from Olathe, could have killed me," said he. "They did not even abuse me. I have had the best treatment all the time. Even the prosecuting attorney is my friend."
Twenty-five years is practically a life sentence for Sharp. It was testified during the trial that Sharp is 48 years old. From other sources is the information he is 52. With the one-fourth allowance for good behavior, the lapse of years yet seems to preclude the possibility of his ever leaving prison walls alive, unless pardoned by a governor. Since his confinement in the county jail Sharp has lost eighteen pounds. That has been in six months.
A second degree murder verdict on the part of the jury was unexpected. On the first ballot three of the jurors voted for capital punishment, three for acquittal on the grounds of insanity, one for manslaughter and the balance for second degree with varying terms of imprisonment. It took nearly nineteen hours to reach an agreement. Sharp had little comment to make when the jury reported at 10 o'clock.
It is not likely that the case of Mrs. Melissa Sharp, wife of the fanatic, will be called for trial until September.
Labels: Adam God sect, jail, ministers, murder, Olathe, penitentiary
April 29, 1909
WIFE SLAYER ESCAPES
FROM ST. JOSEPH ASYLUM.
J. M. Crane, Convicted of Murder,
but Committed as a Lunatic,
Coming to Kansas City.
ST. JOSEPH, MO., April 28. -- J. M. Crane, who was committed to the state hospital for the insane at this point about a year ago after having been given a life sentence in the penitentiary from Kansas City, for the murder of his wife, escaped late today. He had been given many privileges at the asylum of late, and it is believed made his escape after carefully planning to elude detection.
Superintendent Kuhn of the asylum is out of the city, and his assistant declines to give any information about Crane or his manner of escape. It was admitted, however, that Crane was gone.
It is said that Crane has a grievance against several persons in Kansas City, who testified against him, and assisted in prosecuting him for the murder of his wife. There is some apprehension that he will endeavor to do these persons bodily harm.
MURDERED HIS ESTRANGED WIFE.
John M. Crane shot and killed his wife, Henrietta Crane, on the evening of July 8, 1905, at her home, 1101 Bales avenue. Mrs. Crane, from whom her husband had been separated for some time, was sitting on the front porch when Crane came up the walk.
When she saw him coming, Mrs. Crane ran into the house. Crane followed. After a struggle in the hall Mrs. Crane ran across the street. As she ran, Crane fired several times, three of the shots taking effect. The woman fell dead in a neighbor's dooryard.
Crane was tried for the crime, and in spite of his plea for insanity was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Five days before the sentence of death was to be carried out, Governor Folk granted a reprieve of thirty days in order that a commission might examine into the sanity of the man. The reprieve was given upon the request of deputy prosecutors. A number of physicians had examined Crane, and all said he was insane. Several said he was hopelessly demented and could live but a short time.
On May 5, 1907, after having been in the jail hospital for seven months, Crane was pronounced insane by a commission and was taken to the state asylum at St. Joseph.
Labels: Bales avenue, death penalty, Governor Folk, mental health, missing, murder, penitentiary, St.Joseph
April 29, 1909
DANCE IN FULL UNIFORM.
Governor's Staff at Mansion Hop in
Honor of Colonel Andrae.
JEFFERSON CITY, April 28. -- Governor Herbert S. Hadley tonight gave a dance in honor of Colonel Henry Andrae, warden of the state penitentiary and a member of the governor's staff,, who is to be married tomorrow to Miss Gussie Neff.
For the event the governor invited all the members of his official staff, and about twenty of them reported in full regimentals. None made a braver showing than Colonel E. S. Jewett of Kansas City, who was in full uniform, and smothered in gold lace.
Labels: clothing, dancing, Herbert Hadley, Jefferson City, military, penitentiary, veterans
April 27, 1909
TURNED DOWN BY "PAL."
CONVICT SAYS HE DOESN'T
KNOW WILLIAM TURNER.
Man Who Told of Robbery at
Camden Point Is Confronted
With One Serving Sen-
tence for Crime.
The horror of spending several years in the Missouri penitentiary for robbery is not going to befall William Turner, the confessed safe blower of the Camden Point bank, who says that himself and three "pals" looted the place the night of December 27, 1907. Harry O'Neal, one of the robbers who was captured the day after the robbery and who was convicted, was brought from Jefferson City yesterday and after looking at Turner declared that he had never seen him before.
Turner's story was doubted when he "confessed" to the prosecuting attorney. The confession did not conform to the facts as the county attorney or Platte, who was called in, knew. The statement of O'Neal did not correspond. That Turner was not sincere in his confession was assured when he arrived in Platte City. Although he told the officers all about the robbery and wrote a description of the ways and manners of safe blowers, he refused to plead guilty.
O'NEAL DIDN'T KNOW HIM.
As Turner was the only witness who seemed to know anything about the matter and as he had refused to plead guilty, O'Neal was the only one who could tell whether Turner took part in the robbery. Governor H. S. Hadley and the warden of the penitentiary gave consent to O'Neal's removal to Kansas City to get a glimpse of his "pal."
Soon after his removal to Platte City, Turner was brought back to Kansas City and placed in the county jail. The authorities of Platte county were afraid the jail there was not safe. He was taken from the county jail to police headquarters Saturday and O'Neal was placed in the holdover.
Yesterday afternoon the "pals" met in Captain Whitsett's office. There was not a sign of recognition on O'Neal's part when he came into the room. He had not been told why he had been brought to Kansas City. Turner, who had been taken to the captain's office from the holdover when O'Neal was brought in, did not recognize his "pal" apparently.
"Do you know that man," Turner was asked.
"I don't remember his face," he replied.
TO OKLAHOMA FOR LARCENY.
The same questions were asked O'Neal, but he did not recall Turner as an acquaintance. When he was informed that the slightly built, well-dressed young man was his supposed partner in the bank raid, O'Neal took a second look.
"That feller a 'yeg?' Not much," he said.
As he is wanted in Sapulpa, Ok., on a charge of larceny, Turner will be held until the authorities from that state can be communicated with. The charge of bank robbery will not be dismissed against him until the Oklahoma authorities arrive.
Labels: captian whitsett, crime, jail, Jefferson City, oklahoma, penitentiary
April 21, 1909
15-YEAR SENTENCE IMPOSED.
Edward Cassidy Convicted of the
Murder of Aged Shoemaker.
Edward Cassidy was tried in the criminal court yesterday on a charge of first degree murder for the killing of Nathan Bassin, an aged shoemaker, at Twenty-fourth and Mercier streets, October 24. The jury found Cassidy guilty and fixed his punishment at fifteen years in the penitentiary.
Labels: criminal court, Jews, Mercier street, murder, penitentiary, Twenty-fourth street
March 2, 1909
AGED COUPLE KILLED
BY ESCAPING GAS.
FOUND IN THEIR HOME 36
HOURS AFTER DEATH.
Bodies of A. H. Tuttle, Civil War
Veteran, and His Wife, Discovered
in Residence -- Grate and
Last night, when Captain Jack Burns of fire company No. 18 entered the house of A. H. Tuttle, 2617 East Twenty-fifth street, and found an aged man and his wife both dead, Tuttle lying on his side on the floor and his wife sitting in a chair in the front room of the house. A gas grate and an overhead gas heater in the room were burning.
The first intimation of a tragedy was discovered by A. M. Weed, a solicitor for the Wells-Fargo Express Company. Captain Tuttle, as he was familiarly called, has been an employe of the express company for the past twenty-five years. When he failed to appear at the depot yesterday morning, for the first time in years, it was thought he was ill. Mr. Weed called at the house about 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon and failing to get a response to repeated ringing of the door bell, walked around the house. He questioned a little girl playing in the yard as to whether Tuttle lived the4re, and if she had seen either of them that day. The girl replied that she had not seen either of them since Sunday morning. Weed found the milk on the back porch and the morning papers on the front porch.
FILLED WITH GAS FUMES.
Mr. Weed returned to the office and reported to H. B. Jeffereies, assistant agent, that he suspected something wrong. Mr. Jefferies visited the house at 6 o'clock and after investigating saw the blue flame of the gas heater, which is attached to the gas jet, through a side window. He went to the front porch and putting his hand on the large plate glass window found it to be hot. He called W. W. Hunt, who lives at 2619 East Twenty-fifth street, and after a consultation sent a boy to No. 18 fire station for a ladder. Captain Burns and one of his men responded and entered the house through an upstairs window.
"As soon as I opened the window I could smell the gas fumes and the still more horrible odor of decaying human flesh," said Captain Burns. "It was necessary to light matches to see in the ho use as most of the curtains were drawn. The heat was intense. Coming down the stairs the heat was more noticeable and gas fumes made breathing difficult. In the parlor, off the reception hall, we found the old couple; Captain Tuttle lying on the floor and Mrs. Tuttle sitting in her Morris chair in front of the burning grate, her head over on her breast as if in sleep."
DEAD THIRTY-SIX HOURS.
Mr. Jefferies and Mr. Hunt went into the house and opened the doors and windows. Coroner's physician, Dr. Harry Czarlinsky, was called and declared that the death had occurred thirty-six hours earlier. He said that asphyxiation from inhaling carbon monoxide was the cause of death. Carbon monoxide is the fumes from imperfect combustion of natural gas, and is similar to that given off my burning anthracite coal.
Before noon Sunday morning Mrs. Tuttle went to a neighbor, Mrs. Jackson, at 2515 East Twenty-fifth street, and borrowed a cupful of sugar, saying she was going to make a custard pie. This was the last time she was seen alive. Other neighbors had seen the couple earlier in the day.
From the appearance of the house, those acquainted with Captain and Mrs. Tuttle declared that they had evidently just gotten up from the breakfast table. The breakfast dishes had been washed and were on the dining table, covered with a cloth. Captain Tuttle's razor, shaving brush, mug and strop were lying on the kitchen table.
W. L. Cowing, 2506 Montgall, said that Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle were to have gone with him to Shawnee Sunday afternoon to look over some land. "I saw them yesterday morning," said Mr. Cowing last night, "and they both declared they would go. When I came to the house in the afternoon I got no response to my ringing of the doorbell and concluded they had gone ahead of me."
Rev. R. P. Witherspoon, 1601 Belmot avenue, brother of Mrs. Tuttle, was called form the Gypsy Smith meeting and arrived at the house after 9 o'clock. He was shocked at the news. He said that he had never known a happier or more devoted couple.
"My sister and her husband have led an ideal life," he said, "and had it not been for neighbors and friends this thing might have gone unnoticed for days. They loved each other and everyone around them, and were loved by them in turn."
CIVIL WAR VETERAN.
Captain Tuttle served in the Sixteenth Ohio regiment of infantry in the civil war. Shortly after the war he became a director in the Missouri penitentiary at Jefferson City, where he remained several years. He afterwards went to Warrensburg, Mo., and engaged in business. Twenty-five years ago he joined the messenger service of the Wells Fargo Express Company and remained with them until his death.
Promotions came one after another, until he became money deliverer and one of the most trusted employes of the company. His superiors and associates declare that his word was as good as a bond. It is said that the company has offered several times to retire him on a pension, but that he has steadily refused, saying that he must be around and doing something or he couldn't feel right. He drew $36 a month as pension from the government.
Three sons survive the couple. They are Lloyd Tuttle, a salesman for the Ferguson-McKinney Dry Goods Company in St. Louis; Charles P. Tuttle of Coalinga, Cal., and Harry Tuttle of St. Paul, Minn. Mr. Tuttle has a brother living in Creston, O., and Mrs. Tuttle has a sister, Mrs. T. J. Claggett, Marshall, Mo., and two brothers, Charles Witherspoon, Mansfield, Tex., and the Rev. R. P. Witherspoon of this city.
The bodies were taken to Carroll-Davidson's undertaking rooms on Grand avenue. News of the deaths has been telegraphed to the sons and the funeral arrangements will await their arrival in this city.
Labels: Civil War, death, Dr Czarlinsky, Fire, Grand avenue, Jefferson City, ministers, Montgall avenue, penitentiary, Seniors, Shawnee, Twenty-fifth street, undertakers, veterans
February 20, 1909
PRINTERS TO ENTER A PROTEST.
Mass Meeting in Kansas City Sunday
to Voice Opposition.
JEFFERSON CITY, Feb. 19. -- A row is brewing here over the several bills which have been introduced to establish a public printing plant in the penitentiary. Charles W. Fear, legislative agent for one of the trade unions is sowing the senate and house with copies of a Journal editorial of two days ago condemning the plan to have convicts print the textbooks for Missouri school children.
"We are not opposed to the state making the convicts work, and we are in favor of the state teaching these men trades, but we are opposed to one particular industry having to bear the brunt of the proposed new system. It will be a crime to attack the printer in this way."
A mass meeting has been called for Kansas City on Sunday to protest against the enactment of a bill introduced by Representative Coakley of Kansas City.
Labels: Jefferson City, penitentiary, printers
December 30, 1908
BELIEVED 10 YEARS WOULD DO.
Opium User Asked Long Sentence So He Might Be Cured.
Charles Lewis, who forged a check, yesterday asked to be sent to the penitentiary.
"For ten years I have been a user of opium and I believe a prison sentence would cure me of the habit," he told Judge R. S. Latshaw in the criminal court.
Lewis was given five years, the minimum penalty. With good behavior he will finish his time in three years and three months.
Labels: criminal court, forgery, Judge Latshaw, narcotics, penitentiary
January 20, 1908
BACK TO LIFE AFTER
EIGHTEEN LONG YEARS.
NOTHING SURPRISED PRISONER
AS MUCH AS HIS PARDON.
Hope of Freedom Had Long Since
Died in His Breast -- Society
That Aids the
Up in the Kansas City Life building there are two small offices stuck away under the stairs. One of them is the headquarters of the Anti-Saloon League and the other that of the Society of the Friendless. The Friendless are men just out of the penitentiary. The society finds work for them and gives them the "glad hand" generally. One of the "Friendless" turned up yesterday to say that it was tougher on him at liberty than it had been in captivity, for while he had been able to endure eighteen years' imprisonment at Lansing, Kas., working steadily all the time at hard labor, two weeks' work at liberty had put him on the flat of his back. He was up again, though, like a good fellow and was ready to go to work. Not quite understanding the lay of the land a casual visitor to the headquarters of the society offered the man a small contribution. "Much obliged to you, all the same, sir" the ex-prisoner replied. "I do not need it. Hand it to some fellow that does. I do not mean to be offensive but I am all right."
Inquiry developed the fact that the man had but recently got out of the Kansas state penitentiary.
"How long were you in?" he was asked.
"Life," he replied, and he laughed as he said, "they made me do eighteen years of it. My, but that is a long time. I hardly knew the cities when I got out. D. R. Anthony used to work for me and his little boy who used to play around my place is now in congress. Goodness, but how the little fellows grew up in that long, long eighteen years.
The man asked to have his name suppressed for fear publicity might embarrass him at work.
"Did the changes surprise you when you got outside?" he was asked.
"Nothing surprised me as much as news of the governor's pardon. I had been expecting it for many years. We all do. Three weeks ago I was at work in the prison when I heard a shout from a gang in another part of the building, and the boys came running to me saying I was pardoned. They 'ganged' me right then and there. I could hardly believe it. It was too much. I had been sent up for life for killing a man, and thought I ought to be at liberty, but thinking I ought to be at liberty and being at liberty were quite different. I did not believe it, but the boys brought the Kansas City Journal to me and then I read it myself. They had been watching The Journal every day for the list of Thanksgiving day pardons. It was great news for me."
Labels: organizations, penitentiary, thanksgiving, The Journal
December 9, 1908
LOUIS HARTMAN IS A FARMER.
Man That Shot Pratt Is Applicant
for Position of Guard at the
He May Have Fired the Bullet That
Ended Fanatic Pratt's Fusillade.
Louis Hartman, who grabbed a revolver from Patrolman Coughlin's hand and possibly fired the shot that settled Pratt, is a farmer at Trimble, Mo. He helped to build the Metropolitan tunnel on West Eighth street, and is prominently identified with Republican politics in the northern counties of Missouri. He is an applicant for one of the positions of guard at the state penitentiary at Jefferson City, and was in the city yesterday on matters pertaining to his appointment.
"I was standing in an adjoining saloon, and heard the shooting. I walked to the northwest corner of Main and Fourth streets, and there encountered Patrolman Coughlin, who was shooting at Pratt," said Hartman. "It was evident to me that from the way Coughlin was holding his gun he could not shoot effectively I stepped in front of him, saying, 'Level your gun on my shoulder.' He did so, but the bullet went wild. I took the gun out of the policeman's hand. Pratt was then on all fours, and his three children were about him. A woman was handing him a gun. I took aim, fired, and Pratt fell helpless to the sidewalk. Then the woman and children dispersed. I could have shot the woman, but I was prevented by the police on the opposite side of the street shooting in my direction."
Labels: Adam God sect, Eighth street, farmers, guns, penitentiary, violence, visitors
November 23, 1908
MUST BACK UP AND LIE DOWN.
When Rulers Pass, in That "Rotten
Country of China."
In Arthur P. Spencer, sentenced for the fourth time to a penitentiary, this time to do eighteen months, the federal authorities at Fort Leavenworth have an exceptional prisoner. He is an American, born in China, who speaks Chinese in eight dialects and who lived in that country till he was 21 years old.
"And a rotten country it is," said Spencer when waiting in the federal court in Kansas City last Tuesday. "I see that the emperor and dowager are both dead. Most likely they are. They may have been dead a month. You never can tell over there."
"Did you ever see either of them?" Spencer was asked.
"Neither," he replied, "though I have been in the street when the chairs have been carried past. They make you back up and lie down on the ground as the chairs approach, so that the man in the street does not get a chance to see the faces of the rulers. One may look out of the windows of the houses, but I never happened to be in a house when the chairs came by.
"It is seldom that the emperor leaves the palace. The ring around him sees to that. The ring is so crooked it is hard to call it a ring. Its principal work is to keep the emperor from learning anything, so it surrounds him with superstition and keeps him locked up."
Spencer does not think much of the Chinese mandarins.
"They are all scoundrels," he said. "They could not be mandarins and not be. But the reform party is growing and one day there will be an end to the mandarin. The reformers in this country are to be known by their short hair. Some of the orthodox Chinese have their queues cut off, but not many. The reformers all have their hair cropped. Their headquarters are in the United States."
Explaining the "Six Companies," Spencer said there are six dialects in China, each of them difficult to understand. In order to facilitate business each dialect has a representative in a common company, from which cause the name grew.
Labels: Leavenworth, penitentiary
November 18, 1908
JURY FINDS SPENCER GUILTY.
Chinese Interpreter Is Convicted on
Three Counts -- Admits He Is
Guilty on three counts, was the verdict returned by a jury yesterday in the United States court which had heard "Harry S. Reardon" conduct his own case, when he was tried for impersonating a government immigration inspector. "Reardon" was convicted on evidence furnished by Chinese witnesses, who accused him of obtaining money and endeavoring to get money from them by representing himself to be a government official.
When it was shown that he had been convicted a number of times and served time in different penal institutions, "Reardon" dramatically pointed his finger at a group of government immigration officers and, with tears streaming down his cheeks, exclaimed: "I am going to break the ice. I am Arthur P. Spencer. I have been in the penitentiary. They lie when they say I was convicted, because I always pleaded guilty."
Reardon conducted his own defense and was guilty of many blunders. In making this argument to the jury the Chinese linguist said: "This is part of a plot among the Chinese to get rid of me. They are suspicious of any white man that speaks their language. I have done no wrong in Kansas City and have been trying to live a straight life, as I gave my word to do. These charges are trumped up to get me away. I cannot get the truth out of these Chinamen, they have lied to you on this stand."
"Reardon" will be sentenced to the Leavenworth prison this morning.
Labels: con artist, crime, immigrants, Leavenworth, penitentiary, United States District Court
October 23, 1908
DR. GODDARD FREE TODAY.
Served Seven and One-Half Years for
Killing Fred Jackson.
DR. JEFFERSON D. GODDARD
(Court sketch of the doctor at the time of his
conviction of the murder of Frederick
JEFFERSON CITY, MO., Oct 22. --(Special.) Dr. Jefferson D. Goddard, who shot and killed Fred Jackson, a laundryman, in Kansas City about twelve years ago, will be "dressed out" of the Missouri penitentiary tomorrow morning. He was sentenced to twenty years for killing Jackson, but this sentence was commuted by Governor Dockery to a term expiring tomorrow. He will go from Jefferson City to the home of his sister in Cass county to rest for some time before determining what he will do in the future.
Dr. Goddard's medical education and skill stood him in good stead in the prison. He had charge of the drug store and assisted the physician in charge in hospital work, and earned the respect and confidence of the officers of the institution by his good conduct and his readiness at all times to use his professional skill in relieving the ills of his fellow convicts.
"He has been an invaluable man to the state," said Warden Matt Hall in discussing him, "if we can say that a convict is valuable to the state. He was a skilled pharmacist and a good physician and was absolutely reliable and trustworthy. He leaves the prison with the best wishes of every officer and convict who came in contact with him."
Dr. Goddard was received at the prison April 25, 1900. Dockery commuted his sentence to ten years with benefit of the three-fourths law. Consequently he has served seven and one-half years.
Labels: doctors, Jefferson City, murder, penitentiary
September 23, 1908
GETS FOUR YEARS IN THE PEN.
Ward Headley Convicted of Assault
on Two Girls.
Ward Headley, charged with assaulting Ethel Kelso, 7, and Eunice Swift, 5 years old, was found guilty last night in the criminal court and his punishment fixed at four years in the penitentiary. The jury was out two hours. Headley was an employe of a men's furnishing establishment and had been married but two weeks when he attacked the two little girls, July 4, at the home of O. J. Swift, 1815 Kansas avenue. The Kelso family lived nearby and the two little girls were together at the Swift home where Headley was a guest. Headley and his bride lived at 2921 East Sixteenth street.
Labels: children, crime, criminal court, Kansas avenue, penitentiary, Sixteenth street, violence
May 28, 1908
BURIED IN A ROAD.
SAFEBLOWER WILL LEAD
THE POLICE TO IT.
That Is, if Some Wagon Wheel
Don't Set It Off Before This
Morning -- One Sends Money
to His Mother.
Safe blowing is not a lucrative business, according to G. W. Hart and William Riley, the two yeggmen who were arrested Tuesday night after having blown a safe in the Metzner Stove Supply and Repair house, 304 West Sixth street. The two burglars made a complete confession before Captain Walter Whitsett and other police officers last night, telling somewhat of their past and present record, also giving an interesting account of how they pulled off their jobs.
The two men met each other on the streets several days ago and their acquaintance grew steadily. Both lived in a low rooming house at 507 Grand avenue and it was there that they perfected their plans for the safe robbery which they perpetrated Tuesday night.
For several days past Hart has made a hiding place of the Hannibal bridge. In that locality he kept his tools and prepared the nitroglycerin which he used to blow the safes. He said that had he been successful in his robberies here he intended taking his loot to that place and burying it at the roadside, where he has now over a pint of nitroglycerin stored away.
The only other safe blowing job which Hart has tried in Kansas City was Sunday night when he attempted to blow open the safe in the Ernst Coal and Feed barns at Twentieth and Grand avenue. At that time, however, he was interrupted by police officers and barely escaped arrest. He was not successful in this attempt. Two or there days previous to this Hart entered and robbed a wholesale house located near Fifth and Delaware streets. He got only a few dollars in currency.
WHERE HE HAS WORKED.
In tell of his work at the safe-blowing, Hart said: "I have been at this business for the past year or two, and in that time I have robbed safes in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Nebraska and Missouri. The biggest haul I ever made was from a bank in some town in Oklahoma. I had to get through four large front doors which were loaded with concrete, but was successful, and sent the money I made in that deal to my mother. I often sent her the biggest part of my makings. She thought I got it honestly. No, I won't tell you her name or where she lives," he replied to a question from the police captain.
"Sometimes I would bank the money I got from the safes," he continued, "but it never got me anything. I am worse broke now than I was when I was living honestly. The job we pulled off last night was to get me money to pay my board.
"When I got the safe all soaped and ready to blow," he said in reply to a question of where he went when the explosion took place, "I usually stand just on top of the safe. There is no danger of any hurt up there, for the explosion always blows out, not up. If it has made too much noise, I most always have time to jump down and pull out the money boxes before anyone gets there, and then make my getaway."
Hart is a man of thirty or more names. He refused to tell his right name to police officers, saying that G. W. Hart was just as good as any. Among the names given were Maycliffe, Miller, Pope, Brown and Simpson. Hart has served a term of years in the Ohio state penitentiary, having been sent there on the charge of assault with intent to kill. He shot a brakeman who tried to eject him from a freight train on which he was stealing a ride. The brakeman was not seriously injured. With this exception he has had no other prison record, being only 26 years of age.
HE'S GREEN AT IT.
William Riley, the other yeggman, was more reticent about his part in the affair of Tuesday night. He claimed that it was his first attempt at safe blowing and admitted that he was rather amateurish about the business. Though he has not done much along the yegging line, he has a much longer prison record than his partner. Most of his matured life has been spent behind prison bars. He is now 47 years old. He was first convicted of highway robbery in Jackson county and sentenced to five years in the state prison. He had not been released from that term many months before he received a sentence at Springfield, Mo., for a term of two years, charged with grand larceny. Besides this he served four years more in the Missouri penitentiary for grand larceny, having been convicted at Sedalia.
When the two men were arrested Tuesday night the woman who keeps the rooming house in which they lived, and Ernest Vega, a Mexican roomer, were also arrested. Hart and Riley have both testified that these two were entirely innocent of the affair, and have asked for their release. It is probable t hat they will be released this morning, as the time limit for investigation of prisoners is over.
Hart will accompany a squad of police officers to his hiding ground at the runway of the Hannibal bridge this morning, when the nitroglycerin, which he has buried there, will be removed. It is lying on the roadside, just under the surface, and it is feared that the wheels of some farm wagon might accidental cause an explosion if it is not removed at once.
Labels: Captain Whitsett, crime, Delaware street, Fifth street, Grand avenue, Hannibal bridge, highway robbery, immigrants, penitentiary, railroad, Sedalia, Sixth street, Twentieth street
May 15, 1908
BELIEVES SHE IS HIS WIFE.
Convict Writes Concerning a Poor
The Journal of April 28 contained a story the heading of which read, "Here's an Unfortunate Man." It told of a teamster who had to support eleven persons on $10 a week. His wife had just become hopelessly insane and he was compelled to borrow $30 from his employer.
The story said that a daughter, 20 years old, and her two children were living at home because her husband had deserted her some time before. Yesterday Colonel J. C. Greenman who handled the case got a letter from Elmer Albertin, now known as "No. 9738" in the penitentiary at Jefferson City. In inclosed the clipping from The Journal.
"I cut this story out of an old Kansas City Journal," he wrote. "While the story contains no names, I feel sure that the deserted woman with the two children is my wife. I did not desert her, but have been a victim of circumstances.
"At the time I left home I went out into Kansas and worked in the harvest fields. When, by hard work, I had saved $17 I started for home. While sitting on the platform of a depot in a small town two men came up behind me and one of them knocked me senseless. Then they robbed me. A big gash was cut in my head and was sewed up there."
The man goes on with some unimportant data and winds up with "Then I came into Missouri and now I am here for two years." He did not say what he had done or where he was sent up from.
Colonel Greenman enclosed the letter with a brief note to the man about whom the story was written and told him to give it to his daughter. If she proves to be Albertin's wife an effort may be made to get him pardoned as his family here is greatly in need of his support.
The same story was returned to The Journal by a prosperous farmer to Effingham, Kas, who offers to put the unfortunate teamster and his whole family on a well stocked farm. That letter as sent to the man yesterday by Colonel Greenman with instructions to reply direct to the kind hearted Kansas man.
Labels: Col. J. C. Greenman, farmers, Jefferson City, marriage, penitentiary, teamster, The Journal
February 28, 1908
THREE YEARS FOR FOREST.
He Admitted That He Stole Gas Stove
Albert Forest, who stole a gas stove last Wednesday and was arrested in front of the Kansas City Missouri Gas Comany's office while he had the stove on his back, entered a plea of guilty to a burglary charge yesterday afternoon, and was sentenced to serve three years in the penitentiary. The stove was worth $3, but Forest brokeinto the Western Auction and Mercantile Company's store to get it. He also stole the padlock from the door.
Labels: crime, penitentiary, Utilities
September 7, 1907
AMERICANS GET FREEDOM.
Former Kansas City Man Among Two
Released by Mexican Officials.
Edward Stover, formerly of Kansas City, nine years ago a conductor on the Hannibal & St. Joseph railway, and W. B. Speed, of Dallas, Tex., conductors on the Mexican Central railroad, who were imprisoned without trial more than a year ago in the penitentiary at San Luis Potosi, Mexico, have been released unconditionally by the Mexican government. The men were arrested following a fight between Americans and Mexicans, in which a Mexican was killed. Speed was not even a witness of the fight, and while Stover was there he was not concerned in it.
Labels: Mexico, penitentiary
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