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January 17, 1910


Wouldn't Trust His Temper After
Christmas Treat from Bartender.

Dabney had not been seen around the saloon near Eighth street and Grand avenue since Christmas. His absence was noticed by his friends, who asked the reason. Squires, the big, genial bartender, only smiled when anyone asked. "What's become of Dabney? I haven't seen him lately."

A few nights ago Dabney dropped in. He looked at Squires, and it plainly was evident that Dabney had something serious on his mind.

"I'll get even with you," he said, between clenched teeth, "if it takes the rest of my natural life and part of the hereafter."

The the cat was let out of the bag. It appears that the evil day for Dabney was Christmas night. He stood about the saloon most of the evening suggesting, "Most saloonkeepers give patrons a present on Christmas."

The proprietor was away, and Squires spoke of him as being the one to make gifts. Dabney persisted, however. It so happened that while he was making one of his curt suggestions Squires spied an empty whisky bottle beneath the bar. It was a dark red bottle and still had the "bottled in bond" stamp partly intact. The big bartender quietly filled the bottle from the water faucet. He replaced the cork and the stamp without being detected.

"Here," he said, as he wrapped up the bottle of water. "I will break the rules of the house in your case. Here is a quart of as fine a whisky as you ever tasted. Compliments of the house."

Dabney was delighted, for he recognized the brand. The following day was Sunday, and, being so well supplied, he did not take home is customary "life saver."

"Come up, boys," he said, inviting the house to the bar. "I will treat back when I get a quart of good booze like that."

He not only treated once, but twice. Carefully stowing the bottle of water away in his overcoat pocket, he set out for home. He is a bachelor, and a friend who was invited the next morning "to have a nip at some of the best stuff you ever tasted" told the rest.

"Dabney loves his hot toddy," said the friend. "He especially likes it on Sunday, because everything is closed tightly. On this day he called me and two others into his quarters to 'have a toddy' out of his Christmas present from 'Tom.'

"With great care he got his hot water, sugar and lemon all ready. The proper amount was pured into each glass. While the water was steaming and the smell of lemon was perfuming the air Dabney, with a great show of pride in his gift, unwrapped his bottle of 'whisky.' When the cork came out with a 'thop' Dabney smiled and said: 'Get ready for the big treat, boys.'

"After all that preliminary, what was our surprise when the contents of the bottle proved to be plain, old Missouri river water. We had no toddy, as hot and cold water, lemon and sugar make a very insipid drink. Dabney frothed at the mouth, he was so mad. He swore vengeance, for he had to wait until midnight before he could get a real drink -- but he never went to call on Squires that night. He said he feared he might lose his temper and spill blood."

Dabney is patiently waiting on his opportunity to "play even" with Squires. He swears he will "make somebody feel as they made me feel -- Sunday, the day after Christmas, and not a drop to drink."

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September 11, 1909


Cruel Prank Played on Mysterious
Lad by Fellow Employes.

A practical joke that wasn't exactly pleasant was played yesterday upon Michael Mile, 15 years old, who works at the Brunner Hardware Company, by other boys who work in the same department. The boy was thirsty and drank a cup of water which was placed in the work room. He was then informed that it contained white lead and that his life was in immediate danger.

At the Emergency hospital, where he hastened as fast as his legs would carry him, he was placed upon the operating table and treated for poisoning, much to his bodily discomfort.

An analysis by Dr. Fred B. Kyger and Dr. E. A. Pond showed that the water contained no white lead. The boy left, declaring vengeance.

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August 21, 1909


Liepsner's Succotash Cob Was a Puz-
zle to Winstanley.

"I've lived long enough in Missouri to have to be shown," said Ed Winstanley, purchasing agent, yesterday, when H. C. Liepsner remarked that in his garden he was growing succotash.

"On the same cob corn and lima beans are growing in alternate rows," said Liepsner.

"Show me. Bring down a sample," replied the doubting Winstanley.

Yesterday Liepsner made good. He brought to the city hall a cob showing alternately rows of corn and beans.

"That stumps me," confessed the confiding Winstanley, and he really displayed some temper when Liepsner began pulling out the beans, to show that they had been inserted by him.

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December 29, 1908


Mr. and Mrs. Coey Will Go to Cali-
fornia by Rail.

Charles A. Coey of Chicago and Miss Carrie Hume Lewis of 1809 Linwood boulevard, this city, will be married at the home of Miss Lewis's parents next Saturday night. Mr. Coey is prominent in Chicago automobile circles and an enthusiastic aeronaut. The latter fact caused some of Mr. Coey's friends, who believe in practical jokes, to spread the story that with his bride he would go on a honeymoon trip through the clouds, starting in a large balloon from Kansas City. One Chicago newspaper accepted the yarn as fact and solemnly published it.

"It was an absurd story," said Miss Lewis at her home last night. "Why, we had never even thought of such a thing. We will leave for Los Angeles next Sautrday night, and don't forget to state that we will go by rail. After two months we shall return to Chicago and be at home at the Auditorium Annes."

Miss Lewis is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Lewis.

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October 30, 1908


Order Goes Out for No Mercy Toward
Those That Practice Outlawry
on Halloween.

Have the kids in your block been holding whispering conferences on the street corners this week? Then take heed. This is clothes line night.

If your family washing is being done today, wind up the line at sundown and put it away, for it is "loser weeper" if you don't. You may find it tied to somebody's porch bench two or three blocks down the street, and then again you may not.

Clothes line night has become recognized among the youngsters as a greater night of frolic than Halloween. People don't expect mischief makers then as they do on the witches' eve, and there are so many startling surprises that can be sprung on the uninitiated. It is lots of fun to see folks stopped in their hurried walk and hear the queer words they say when they find out it's only a rope that stopped them. It's exciting to be chased for blocks after the folks hear the suspicious "tee-hees" from the bushes. It's sport to tie the knob of the front door to a post on the porch so that it cannot be opened, and then ring the doorbell merrily until a red, angry face appears and a fist shakes menacingly.

But it's most fun to take the nice, new clothes lines down and cut them into tiny pieces and scatter them in them all over the yard.

But here's a damper to the sport of clothesline night and all other nights, especially Halloween. The police have been given strict orders to be on the trail of all boys all of the nights until Halloween has gone for another year.

The order says, in part: "Keep a sharp lookout and arrest all persons (men or boys) who may be found destroying, or attempting to destroy, personal property." The order goes further and says "any kind of property," meaning of course, that if the boys should try to move one man's lot over onto another's, arrests would follow.

Special stress is being laid upon the specific act of "soaping the car tracks." Any boys or grownups caught doing this will be swooped down upon and lodged in the nearest police station.

There is to be no such thing as papa appearing on the scene after arrest, saying: "This is my boy; he's not bad, only mischievous," and the mischievous one being released on a personal bond. The order is to require only cash bonds or book the offenders for investigation, from which there is no appeal, no such thing as bond. So, small boys, big boys, young boys and old boys, be good, or at least, be very careful.

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August 10, 1908


Lieutenant Hammil Has Made a Most
Useful Discovery.

Lieutenant H. W. Hammil, stationed at the Walnut street police station, has an infallible method of getting rid of the fellow who wants to monopolize the station telephone. When the bothersome fellow gets the receiver to his ear a monologue like the following ensues:

"Hello, is this Mary?"
"Aw, you know who it is."
"Yes, you do."
"Who have you been thinking about most today?" and so forth, ad infinitum.

Last night such a dialogue was started over the 'phone by one of the beardless youths who frequent the station.

"Watch me make him cut that out," said the lieutenant.

Slipping up behind the unwary youth the officer pulled a common pin out of his vest and inserted it into the cloth wrapping around the telephone wires.

"Hello," said the youth.

A long pause and then he repeated the salutation. Evidently something was wrong with the wire and after calling until he was red in the face, the young man desisted, muttering to himself words not loud but deep.

When he had gone the lieutenant explained:

"You merely insert the pin into the cloth and twist it until it touches both wires at the same time. That causes a short circuit and communication is as impossible as if the other person had hung up the receiver. It is an absolutely sure method of cutting short the conversation, and the recipe is free to all who wish to try it."

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August 6, 1908


Miss Beers Was in an Auto Which
Mr. Harrington Drenched With
His Garden Hose as It
Scorched Past.

A state warrant was issued out of the North division of the city court, Kansas City, Kas., yesterday for the arrest of C. D. Harrington, a prominent contractor who lives at 2033 West Thirty-ninth street, which is just across the Kansas state line from Westport. He is charged with assault, the complaint being signed by H. M. Beers, a well known horse and mule dealer of Kansas City, Mo. When Squire Lee, the negro constable of the court, visited Mr. Harrington's home last night for the purpose of serving the warrant, he was told that Mr. Harrington was with friends in Kansas City, Mo.

The warrant for Mr. Harrington's arrest is the outcome of a little stunt pulled off by him last Saturday evening in front of his home. It seems from the statement made to County Attorney Joseph Taggart by Mr. Beers and his attorney, J. K. Cubbison: Harrington had objected to the speed at which some automobiles were driven through the street in front of his home. In fact Mr. Beer's machine was one of those complained of. Beers told Mr. Taggart that he had told Harrington if his driver exceeded the speed limit to have him arrested.

Mr. Harrington evidently did not wish to take the trouble of causing a warrant to be issued for Mr. Beers's chauffeur, but instead, when he drove the machine in front of his home last Saturday evening he turned the garden hose loose on the auto and its occupants. It happened that Mr. Beers's daughter, Miss Frances, was the only passenger and she received a real ducking.

Mr. Beers in his complaint alleges that his daughter suffered a severe nervous shock, and he declares he will prosecute the case against Harrington, regardless of the cost.

Constable Leo will make another effort to secure service on Mr. Harrington today.

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July 29, 1908


Treatment Is Good for Boys, the
Warden Thinks.

Since a cup of blood was taken from his head, Charles Whelpley says he feels better. Charles is at the boys' camp at Indian creek and is the victim of the first hazing stunt pulled off there this year. By the way, the blood was only red ink. This is the way it happened:

Charles, in order fully to enjoy his vacation, parted with his heavy crop of hair and went bareheaded. He got blisters on his head, for the sun was unkind. So George M. Holt, in charge at the camp, put Charles in a hammock and assigned several boys to see that he was well taken care of. As he did not improve, it was decided that an operation should be performed. A razor was secured and brandished above the boy's head while one of the party drew his finger across one of the larger blisters. At the same moment, another of the hazers produced a cup filled with what appeared to be blood, but which really was water with a copious mixture of red ink.

Then Edgar Warden, deputy probation officer, secured a flour sack into which he put a spoonful of sugar. This Charles dutifully sucked, "to bring down his fever." An afternoon of this treatment found him feeling fine and on the high road to recovery.

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July 24, 1908


Dr. C. A. Ritter Was Included in the
Telephone User's List.

Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., and a few others were not the only ones upon whom practical jokers operated Wednesday night. Dr. C. A. Ritter, who lives at 302 West Fourteenth street, was called up about 11:30 p. m. His wife answered the telephone, but the person speaking insisted that he must speak to the doctor.

"But the doctor has just gone to bed. He has not had a wink of sleep in twenty-four hours," said Mrs. Ritter.

"Well, he is wanted at once at the Baltimore hotel," replied the voice. "Mr. Crethington has just been injured in an accident in the elevator and must have attention at once."

The doctor hurriedly dressed and took the receiver. The message was repeated to him. He had never heard of Mr. Crethington before, and he was unable to recognize the voice, but he rushed over to the hotel.

There all was peace and content. No one had been injured in an elevator accident, there was no man with a name like Crethington in the hotel. Dr. Ritter's number had not been called from any telephone in the hotel that night. The doctor went home sleepy and mystified.

"In the light of the hoaxes that were pulled off on others last night," said the doctor yesterday afternoon, "I think it was a practical joker who played the trick. However, I do not know anyone of my acquaintance who would be both so foolish and so unthoughtful as to get a man out of bed to play a joke on him when he hadn't had any sleep for twenty-four hours."

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July 27, 1908





Then Notifies the Newspaper Offices
and Reporters Hurry Off to Get
Detail of the Bogus

Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., was calling on friends last night, when he received this telephone message:

"This is Whelan of the Post-Dispatch. I am at the Hotel Baltimore. Can you come down here a few minutes for a little conference in regard to Mr. Cowherd's candidacy?"

The mayor replied that it would be impossible for him to get away at that time, but that he might be able to get to the hotel by 10:45 o'clock.

"All right, that will do. Come down then. We will be here," Mr. Bernheimer said to the mayor.

"I see you are," said the mayor; "but why aren't you home in bed?"


"Home in bed? Why, your secretary called me up a while ago and said you wanted me to meet you here at the Baltimore hotel, as you wanted to discuss a very important matter with me."

"Well, that's the first I had heard of that. This is quit a surprise to me. I came down here to find a Mr. Whelan."

At this juncture a reporter for The Journal stepped up to Mayor Crittenden and asked:

"Mayor, what significance is there in the political conference held here tonight?"

"What political conference?" demanded the mayor.

"Why, between you and Joe Shannon and Mr. Bernheimer and others."

"I haven't seen Joe Shannon tonight. There was no political conference. Mr. Bernheimer is a Republican and -- say," and a light seemed to break in on the mayor, "let's get together here. How did you come to asked me about a political conference anyway?"

"The city editor sent me over. He said someone had telephoned to the office that a conference was on between you and some Shannon Democrats and so I came over to find out about it."

The mayor glanced around the hotel to see if he could discern a practical "joker" in the crowd.

"Somebody has been playing a joke," said his honor, "but I can't see any one in this crowd who looks like a joker."

"Nor can I," said Bernheimer, disgustedly.

Then the mayor and Bernheimer walked out in the lobby arm-in-arm.


At intervals for several years the "joker" who uses the telephone to further his humorous ideas has played pranks on public officials, newspaper men and others. Probably the most persistent case occurred during the campaign of 1904. A well known business man, who occasionally goes in for silk stocking politics, took an active part in the campaign that year. He established a Hearst headquarters at his own expense, published pamphlets and flooded the Western country with literature favorable to his candidate. One night, about 11 o'clock, he appeared in the office of the city editor of The Journal.

"Well, I'm here," he said, without any other introduction whatever.

"So I see," was the reply. "What can I do for you?"

"Don't you want to see me? Didn't you telephone my home for me to call at the office tonight?"

"I certainly did not," was the answer.

"Well, that's funny," and he pulled his stubby beard, perplexedly.

A few nights later this same man inquired of the clerk at the Hotel Baltimore if W. C. Whitney was in his room. He was told that Mr. Whitney was not registered at that hotel.

"Why, he telephoned out to my house for me to meet him here."

A week later this same man journeyed to the depot to meet Mr. Hearst, who was, according to a telephone message, laying over for an hour between train He couldn't find Mr Hearst anywhere. Finally he adopted the plan of making no appointments by telephone except with people whose voices he knew.

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July 12, 1908



Candidates From K. C., K., Who Had
Provided Money for the Fried
Chicken and Watermelon,
Are a Sore Bunch.

The first crate of lemons, those of the nice large sour juicy variety, was opened yesterday and passed around among about forty candidates seeking nomination at next month's primaries. The distribution took place in a grove just outside the town where a "grand old rally" was to take place. The candidate had all contributed money to help defray the expense with the understanding that the event would be of much political importance and one long to be remembered.

It will be remembered all right by those candidates who donated to the cause, as the biggest joke played on them in all of their political experience. The managers of the affair had promised to have Cyrus Leland, W. J. Bailey and other speakers of prominence as the principal orators of the day.

When the candidates reached Bonner on a Union Pacific train at 11 o'clock and asked where the big rally was being held, they were surprised with the answer, "What rally?"

"Why, the big Republican meeting today."

"Oh, yes, now that I think about it, I did hear something about a meeting that was to be held here, but none of us people know anything concerning it.. We have been trying to find out something about it ourselves. There is a negro picnic being held out in the grove north of town."

The candidates started out on foot to locate the picnic grounds. Upon their arrival at the grove they found a number of negroes enjoying themselves in the shade of the trees The men who had collected the money from the candidates to defray the expenses of the "big rally" announced that Leland and Bailey were unable to be present. Other speakers billed for the occasion were also conspicuous by their absence. The candidates were very much disappointed, but circulated around the grounds until the first train bound for Kansas City arrived.

The candidates declared that they had been "stung" by some of their colored constituents. Some of them took turn about kicking each other, while others laughed it off, claiming that it might have been worse. It seems that no arrangements had been made for the meeting, other than the collection made from the candidates. Before the candidates left the grounds, however, F B. Dawes of Leavenworth, who happened to be in Bonner on business, delivered a short patriotic address which was followed by brief talks by four of the candidates.

In anticipation of a political meeting Samuel Hackley of Kansas City, Kas., was on the scene with his box kites with large banners bearing the names of Taft and Sherman and the picture of Mr. Leland.

The candidates were all of one mind -- they had been jobbed, that was all.

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June 30, 1908


As Result of a Prank Played by a
Companion on Police.

There was a joker in the holdover at Central station last night, and his idea of a joke resulted in a bath to several occupants of the underground apartments, formerly devoted to women.

A water pipe with tap at the end served to irrigate the prisoners in this section of the holdover. The joker twisted the pipe at 1:00 this morning and broke it. The crook he gave it turned the stream fairly upon his companion's bunks.

It looked like a mutiny for a while, those defenseless hoboes under a stream of water, pure water, and solid walls on four sides.

A plumber came after half an hour's lapse and shut off the stream. The police didn't know whom, at least that's what they told the drenched hoboes.

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June 26, 1908





Home Where Ceremony Was Being
Held Set on Fire Accidentally.
The "Cutups" Find New
Source of Torment.

Jokers made an attempt to fumigate the residence of Mrs. N. P. Maupin, 3609 Wyandotte street, Wednesday night while Mrs. Maupin's daughter was being married in the parlor to Harry Pierce, a furnishing goods dealer. As a result of the prank Robert Maupin, brother of the bride, may have an injured left hand the rest of his life, and J. J. Foster, a wedding guest, is still confined at his home, 2001 Woodland avenue, ill from inhaling deadly sulphur fumes.
The wedding ceremony was just performed and the formalities of bride-greeting were on, when Robert Maupin left the room to investigate the source of sulphur fumes, which had annoyed the guests during the last few minutes of the wedding service. He entered a rear room and was almost overcome by the fume before he discovered the tray on which the sulphur was burning.
The jokers who placed the sulphur inside had closed the window again and Mr. Maupin was forced to raise the sash with one hand while he held the tray of burning sulphur in the other. The window "stuck," he jerked impatiently, and the tray was overturned. The burning mass ran over Mr. Maupin's left hand and he screamed in pain.
In the meantime, J. J. Foster, who had gone in search of Maupin, heard the latter's startled cry and rushed into the room. The window curtains were ablaze and the carpet was burning. The deadly fumes prostrated Mr. Foster beore he could get out of the room, after putting out the fire and aiding Mr. Maupin with the window and the sulphur tray.
Dr. Allen L. Porter was called from his residence at 3001 Central street. He revived Mr. Foster and treated Mr. Maupin's hand. Mr. Foster was then taken to his home and later another physician was called in consultation. Last night Mr. Foster was unable to leave his house. He insisted last night on going to the telephone and talking to Maupin. He had intended offering a reward for the detection of the jokers who caused his injury. Mr. Maupin, however, said he would prefer not to prosecute because he is sure the fumigating method was taken by friends, who merely tried to frighten the bride and groom.
The flesh was burned from Maupin's hand, and the attending physician stated that some of the finger joints may remain stiff. Mr. Pierce and his bride, who was Miss L. Maupin, will leave tonight for a honeymoon tour of California and the Pacific coast. Their departure was postponed on account of the serious injury to the bride's brother and their guest.

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December 25, 1907


Frank Miller's Father Denies That
His Son Was a Suicide.

Did Frank miller, the young Pennsylvania university student who was found hanging ead in his room at the university last Wednesday, commit suicide or was he the victim of a prank played by "frat" men in his initiation into the Psi Omega fraternity? His father, the Reverand J. H. Miller, 2930 Main street, does not believe his son committed suicide, but he will offer no theory as to how he came to his death.

There are two reasons which tend to disprove the theory of suicide. According to the Rev. Miller, his son was not of a morose or nervous temperament as stated in the dispatches from Philadelphia, but was of a cheerful disposition and well liked by his fellow students. The note alleged to have been found in young Miller's room in which he is said to have stated his intention to take hsi life, has not been forwarded to the father, although other letters and personal effects belonging to the young man have been received.

"I cannot believe that he has taken his life until I see that note in my own boy's handwriting," said the grief-stricken father yestrday. "It's a mystery to us all. We only know that he lost his life, but we do not believe he lost it at his own hands. How he came to his death, we are not able to say."

Young Miller was a candidate for membership in the Zeta chapter of the Psi Omega fraternity and the Friday before his death he was initiated into the society. At the initiation ceremony he was roughly handled and one of his toes broken. Whether any further pranks were played on him by the "frat" men is not known. The father stated yesterday that he would write the coroner for a full account of the tragedy.

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November 1, 1907



Thirteen Appeared in Police Court,but
the Pranks of Most of The Were
Harmless -- Fifteen Halloween
"Drunks" Were There, Too.

Thirteen of the defendants in police court this morning came before Judge Kyle with dark rings under their eyes -- and rings that weren't there as the result of drink. They were the Halloween "cutups" who hadn't been clever or lucky enough to evade the officers.

The names of Albert Brown, R. A. Staley, James Briody and James Brown were called, and the first four unlucky "kids" filed into the courtroom.

The patrolman who caught them testified that they were hauling a wagon along the car tracks near Independence avenue and Prospect for the fun of seeing motormen make emergency stops.

"You've been locked up all night?" asked the Judge.

"Yes, sir," said the oldest boy.

The judge looked at them thoughtfully


"And, sa-a-y, we're hungry, too," pleaded the boy.

"All right. You're dismissed."

Then came Louise Diggs, a 14-year-old negro girl, who had given in to temptation and gone "skylarking" in boy's clothes with "the rest of the bunch." She was dismissed for lack of evidence that she did any mischief.

Rube Medley, Floyd Turpin, Harry Becker, Guy Rupe and Roy Rupe were all the same size, and they looked like a corporal's guard on undress parade.

"They were trying to pull down a sign board, but it was too heavy for 'em," testified the patrolman.

"You've been locked up, too, I can see," said the judge as he noted the rings under the boys' eyes.

"Well, if you can't outrun the officers you'd better stay indoors after this. You didn't destroy any property, so you may go, too."


The next party of four was made up of J. A. Kennedy, "Jim" Benedict, "Ed" Kennedy and Grover Brink. The charge of greasing the tracks at Ninth street and Broadway wasn't sustained and they went away grinning.

And then came fifteen Halloween "drunks," most of them "plain," and no fine was more than $2.

Frank Belander and Walter Ayres were last on the docket. They pleaded guilty to a Halloween fight.

"It was in the middle of a car track, where there was plenty of room -- and we won't fight any more," said Belander.

"It's alright with me," said Ayres. "You see, judge, it wasn't our fault. A woman tempted--"

"All right," interrupted the judge. "It was only a Halloween fight, and you have an excuse that's stood the test of time. I'll fine you $1 each."

Then the judge dismissed court.

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October 30, 1907


Chief Ahern Issues Orders Governing
Halloween Pranks.

Daniel Ahern, chief of police, yesterday issued the annual Halloween order. It recites briefly what will happen to "all persons -- men or boys" who violate the order. There must be no practical jokes to the injury of others, no destruction of personal property and, last, but by no means least, no soaping of the street car tracks.

All violators of the order will be promptly arrested and, if they cannot give bond, will be held for investigation until the following day when they will be tried in police court.

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September 13, 1907




In a Spirit of Playfulness He
Pulled Trigger and Bullet Passed
Through Miss Callaway's Brain.
Mother Accompanying Body
Home for Burial.
Edna Callaway, Kansas City Girl Shot and Killed in Denver, Co.

Death at the hands of a cousin of her fiance was the tragic ending of a summer vacation to Miss Edna Callaway, a young Kansas City society woman, at Denver, Col., Wednesday night. Witte Ellis, formerly of Kansas City, accidentally shot and killed her with an automatic pistol at the home of his mother in the presence of her sweetheart, W. Lysle Alderson, who with his mother and Miss Callaway were visiting at the Ellis home. The tragedy occurred on the evening Miss Callaway was to start upon her return trip to Kansas City.

The shooting occurred after the return of the party, composed of Mrs. J. M. Ellis, of Denver, the hostess; Mrs. D. P. Alderson, of Kansas City; W. Lysle Alderson, Miss Callaway, and young Ellis, from a dinner at the Shirley hotel.


It seems that for a prank the two women had gone into their sons' bedrooms and concealed some of their night clothing. When the boys discovered the joke they decided upon a reprisal which would turn the laugh the other way. Accordingly young Alderson produced an automatic pistol with which it was proposed to scare Miss Callaway, whom they believed responsible for the original joke.

The pistol was arranged to be loaded by placing a "clip" full of cartridges in a place provided for the insertion so that the top shell would be in position for firing. Ellis took the pistol and removed the "clip" containing the bullets.

Then the two ran into a hallway, where their mothers were awaiting the outcome of the joke. Miss Callaway,, hearing the commotion and knowing some prank was on, peeped from her door and then came out. They flourished the pistol some moments, Ellis exclaiming,

"Where's the fellow who stole my clothes? I want my clothes!"

He turned from his mother to Mrs. Alderson and then back again to his mother. At that moment Miss Callaway came out, laughing, and asked what the trouble was. Ellis told her that someone had gone into his room and stolen his night-clothes.


Then he turned to the young woman, accused her of stealing his clothes and ordered her to put up her hands. She was standing beside Mrs. Alderson, at the time, and both women raised their hands in mock terror. Ellis pulled the trigger and sent a bullet crushing into the young girl's brain. One shell had caught when the clip was removed and remained in position for its work of destruction.

Miss Callaway sank back in the arms of her sweetheart's mother. Death was instantaneous. Mrs. Alderson eased the body gently to the floor and then fainted. Mrs. Ellis also fainted, while her son stood for a moment dumbfounded. When the realization of what he had done came to him, he became frantic, sobbing and crying that he would kill himself. He was prevented from this by friends who heard the noise of the gunshot and went into the house.


When his sweetheart fell, young Alderson ran to her, took her into his arms and placed her upon a bed. It was some moments before he realized the awful truth, but when he discovered Miss Callaway was dead, his grief was pitiful In a few moments he became hysterican and had to be led away from his fiance's bedside.

Added sorrow in the tragedy comes from the fact that young Ellis' father, former Judge J. M. Ellis, perished in a hotel fire in Goldfield, Nev., less than a year ago. Mrs. Ellis' health was undermined by that occurrence and she came to Kansas City several months ago for rest and a change of climate. The visit of the party of Kansas City people to her home at this time was in return for the one Mrs. Ellis had made in Kansas City. Witte Ellis accompanied his mother while she was here in this city.


Immediately after the shooting word of the unfortunate affair was sent to Kansas City by telegraph. The first reports were badly garbled, one account having it that the shooting had been done by W. Lysle Alderson, fiance of Miss Callaway. The news created a profound sensation in social circles where both the young woman and Mr. Alderson are well known.

The body of the unfortunate young woman will be brought to Kansas City this morning, accompanied by Mrs. Alderson and her son. Mrs Robert Stone, the girl's mother, who had been spending the summer at Excelsior Springs, returned to her home at the Elsmere hotel last night. She was completely prostrated at the news of her daughter's death.

The first report was that young Alderson himself held the revolver which ended Miss Callaway's life in such a tragic manner. This report almost completely prostrated D. P. Alderson, the father of the young man, a member of the firm of Bradley-Alderson Company, but a private dispatch from young Alderson later stated that the revolver was held by Witte Ellis, the son of Mrs. J. M. Ellis, whom Mrs. Alderson and her son and Miss Callaway were visiting at the time. The knowledge that his son was not responsible for the death of his fiancee was a great relief to Mr. Alderson, and mitigated to some extent the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate affair.

Mrs. F. P. Neal, of 318 Walrond avenue, is an aunt of Miss Callaway. Mr. Neal, vice president of the Union National bank, received several telegrams during the day, one of which was from young Alderson, stating that the body of Miss Callaway would be brought to Kansas City at once. The entire party will leave Denver this morning, arriving tomorrow morning.

Mrs. L. F. Rieger, of 426 Gladstone boulevard, is a distant cousin of Miss Callaway.

Miss Callaway was the daughter of Mrs. Robert Stone, who was, before her marriage to Mr. Stone, Mrs. R. P. Callaway. The girl was 19 years old and was a graduate of the Central high school two years ago. She lived at the Elsmere hotel with her mother and stepfather, who were in Excelsior Springs yesterday when the affair occurred. Miss Callaway went to Denver last summer to visit her aunt, Mrs. J. M. Ellis. Two weeks ago young Alderson, to whom she was engaged, went to Denver with his mother to spend his vacation with his fiancee. Young Alderson is also 19 years of age and a graduate of the Central high school in the class of 1905. The two have been sweethearts for years and had been engaged for some time, though no definite time for their marriage had been set.

A specially unfortunate feature of the affair was that it occurred on the eve of the departure of the Kansas City party for home. They were expected to start last night.

D. P. Alderson received a dispatch yesterday from his son which read:

Edna shot tonight; Witte held revolver; death immediate; come at once.

Mr. Alderson had intended to leave for Denver to be with his sone but it was later decided that this would be unnecessary and the arrangements were made to bring the body to Kansas City immediately.


The coroner's inquest was held over the body of Miss Calloway in Denver yesterday. W. W. Ellis testified that he held the automatic revolver when it was discharged.

The jury decided that the killing was entirely accidental and did not recommend any disposition of young Ellis. The district attorney was present at the hearing, but gave no indication of any intention to hold Ellis for trial.

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September 12, 1907




Made Deafening Noises With Bells
and Pans and Demolished Veran-
da Furniture -- Would Not De-
sist Until Frightened Off
by Approach of Police.

Two policemen and a patrol wagon were required to quell a miniature riot incidental to a charivari after a wedding at 2716 Gillham road last night. The police were summoned after a gang of hoodlums had smashed furniture and deluged with water the house in which the bridal party was holding an informal reception.

The boisterous charivari followed the wedding of Herman Hampel, of San Francisco, to Miss Edna Spengler, which had been celebrated earlier in the evening at St. John's Lutheran church by Rev. Ernst Schulz. From the church the wedding paty had gone to the home of the bride's father, Carl Spengler, Jr., 2716 Gillham road, where an informal reception was to be held. The house was thronged with guests, among them many women gowned in expensive toilets. Everything went merrily until about 9:30 o'clock.


Then a crowd of boys and young men who had not been invited to the wedding and reception appeared and began a charivari. It was said that the "serenaders" were composed largely of a number of young toughs known to police as the "Holmes street gang." They carried bells and tin pans, with which they created an uproar that drove many of the guests inside the house and aroused the neighbors for blocks. It is presumed their intentions were to keep up the disturbance until they were invited inside. When, after several moments, their importunities were not heeded, they adoped more boisterous tactics. They swarmed upon the front veranda, overturning and breaking a number of chairs and settes placed there for the accommodation of the guests. Then they secured some garden hose, attached it to a hydrant and played a stream of water upon the veranda and in the hallways of the house. A number of the celebrants who happened in the reach of the stream were thoroughly drenched.


When the rioters first became boisterous, the Walnut street police station was notified and Lieutenant Morley dispatched Patrolman A. N. Metzinger to the scene. Upon a second call a patrol wagon was ordered out. The charivari party learned that the police were coming, however, and dispersed before arrests could be made.


The bride was not at all disconcerted at the untoward incident. She received the congratulations of her friends undisturbed through the turmoil. Beyond a little annoyance while the charivari was at its height, the reception proceeded as merrily as if nothing unusual had happened.

The bride is the daughter of Carl Spengler, a local manager for the Dick & Company Brewing Association, of Quincy, Ill. her husband is an influenctial young business man in California. Their wedding was considered an important social event in German circles, and the annoyance at the reception was deeply deplored by many of their friends.

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August 3, 1907


Pretended Suicide Called for Police
to Send an Ambulance.

Walter Radcliffe, while in a saloon at Nineteenth street and Grand avenue last night, was struck with a desire to see the police ambulance "make a run." He called up No. 4 station and said he had taken carbolic acid. As the ambulance rattled up he dashed out of a side door and into the arms of Officer Shelly. The officer loaded him into the ambulance and delivered him to Dr. G. R. Dagg, at the station. The doctor refused to accept Radcliffe's explanation of "the joke" and he was plied with violent emetics. It was Radcliffe's turn then, but he failed to see "the joke."

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